It has been well over 2 years that the Narendra Modi led BJP, stormed into the parliament with a thumping majority that stumped the entire political spectrum in and around India. It took a huge anti-incumbency wave, added to the charisma of the former Gujarat CM and prolific political management by his Man-Friday in the most important state of Uttar Pradesh. Business houses were frustrated with policy paralysis, the middle class with rising inflation and in-your-face corruption, the poor with pathetic infrastructure and basic amenities.
Then came stories of Church vandalisms, harassment to cow-leather using media professionals, intolerance and the (in)famous award-wapsi gang. India had suddenly changed into a country of citizens who wouldn’t allow the other to even express his point of view and give an opinion. Suddenly. Our peace loving, ever accommodating, knowledge sharing, progressive thinking country had become a land of war mongers, hateful bigots, all of whom were saffron flag wielding extreme right, Hindu fanatics. But wait, did it really?
Narendra Modi, the man who the entire media and a few political parties held responsible for the riots in Gujarat in 2002, was feared to trigger mass scale islamophobia and turn the “Hindu fanatics” into machines of carnage. Even after the Supreme Court appointed SIT during the UPA rule gave him a clean chit, some of our “eminent” media personalities continued to, not merely suspect him but go to lengths of convincing a foreign MP that Narendra Modi, in fact, had blood on his hands. This, actually was even before Modi took his oath as the Prime Minister.
Religious intolerance and intellectual intolerance reached the zenith during the Delhi & Bihar elections. Churches were being desecrated, intellectuals were “trolled” on Social Media and elsewhere. A promoter of India-Pakistan peace ties had his face blackened, narrowing the intellectual freeway. BJP lost in both the states and India transformed.
Churches were again safe (although the vandalism stories were later proved to be fake) and intellectuals were enthused enough to have their freedom to express back. Awards were no longer being returned.
Then came the season of highlighting solitary incidents as the mood and nature of our country and its people. With no disrespect to either of them, if solitary incidents like Dadri and Hyderabad University suicides are the reflection of the entire region/state/country, shouldn’t Barkha Dutt be representative of all journalists, Harshad Mehta of all businessmen, Mohammed Azharuddin of all cricketers, Lalu Prasad Yadav of all politicians, Bharat Shah of all of Bollywood, etc.?
Insignificant BJP victories later, everyone looked at the biggest Kurukshetra. Everyone initially praised Prashant Kishore and Priyanka Vadera for the scoop-of-an-alliance with Samajwadi Party. Link Here
Then, even after being “25 Saal UP Behaal”, suddenly, “UP ko yeh saath pasand hai”. Economic Times reporters (journalists – let that sink in), predicted that the alliance would do better than expected and BJP was the biggest loser : here. These “reporters” were touring Uttar Pradesh and claimed to know the voter’s pulse. Goa had its share of AAP cheerleaders too like this one. What I’m mesmerised with, after the results in Uttar Pradesh specially, is HOW IN THE WORLD can a neutral journalist FAIL so miserably in his line of duty to identify one of the BIGGEST BJP wave of a generation? I would have still reposed a little faith in the “fourth pillar of democracy” if the results were a close contest. But failing to see a 312/403 can happen only if you’re going out with a prejudiced mind and acting like 2 of Gandhi’s 3 monkeys (the blind and the deaf one, of course).
While AAP had convinced itself of emphatic wins in Goa and Punjab with their “Internal Surveys” just like they did with their “Internal Enquiries” with their Ministers, it was a humble pie eating contest in Goa, at least after this.
In this fast-n-furious age of Information at finger tips, it doesn’t take understanding the concept of escape velocity to sift the information from propaganda. All you need is to think on your own and try and connect the dots. You’ll be amazed!