Why “Politics of Hate” will (not) define 2019
I never wanted to write anything on domestic politics. But the amount of lava Mt. Social Media has been spilling in the recent past made me rethink. Notwithstanding my ideology, I decided to be as fair as possible (I don’t want to run the risk of being branded a BHAKT by the blinded Left Wing).
To begin with, I have had my own set of challenges and complications regarding who I support and why I support. I have always supported the NDA (not RSS or its affiliates), but realized that if one supports NDA, the Parent comes as part of the combo package so that one can get branded a BHAKT by Leftists. It’s very easy to stick to the standard median on politics (like All politicians are the same, makes no difference to my life, Sab mile hue hai etc.). But then I remember one of my professors during my Engineering days discourage me from being a fence-sitter as he believed that fence-sitters are more dangerous than people propagating violence.
Simply put, I have always been a big fan of Economic reforms, reduced tax terrorism, and subdued churn and burn of tax money on end-less populism. Having observed 10 years of UPA rule, I have learnt that it is the complete opposite that keeps Indian politics afloat (was too young during the first NDA rule). Then came the Modi-wave who was some-what Capitalist and carried a successful track-record of governance. That was/is the only alternative to the perennial populism, policy paralysis and the loot of tax payer money. I celebrated 2014 like no one did. The same year exposed the entire scale from LEFT to RIGHT in full public view which was otherwise foggy till then. A big divide of our society lay in front of me, which ran into rural areas this time. So much so that people started openly wishing death upon others, purely on the back of differences in ideologies (refer few Left Wing twitter and Facebook accounts). The scale of this blind hatred towards someone is ever increasing and social media made the rupture more visible.
The NDA rule between 2014-2019 has been a mixed bag if we go by expectations (but far better than UPA 1 & 2), as the UPA only helped a common man like me understand the number of zeroes that a One-Lakh crore ($14Bn) carries. But in reality, the NDA has done a fair amount of work in setting up on-ground Infrastructure in promoting Financial Literacy and banking reach, attracting FDI investments (more due to the perceived optimism than real reforms), more or less normalizing the Tax regime, Electrification, Road and Railway network enhancement, promoting air connectivity, Universal Health Insurance (will check the cost to exchequer) etc. But Alas! A united opposition stands the risk of running out of money and understands the fact that NDA will definitely need money to win 2019 and they haven’t heard of a single large scam. So there’s gotta be a scam, look carefully. Here comes a major defense deal and this has be the one, because all defense deals are potential scams (Of course! who knows it better than the opposition).
While a majority of the media houses and Lutyens-elite have been against the NDA rule since Day 1, the blind-hatred is what baffled most of us supporting NDA (not the Parent again). This was more visible since Rafale deal had come into picture. The amount of scrutiny and the Media trial that Rafale deal (a perceived scam that was struck down by the Supreme court itself) had gone through is far greater than what proven scams like 2G, Coal Scams (we don’t discuss anything below one-lakh crores ($14Bn) from UPA 1 & 2 in this post).
Somehow, the deal size happens to be the scam size as stressed again and again by eminent intellectuals running political parties and sometimes Media houses as well. The recent article in “The Hindu” by another eminent intellectual had few important facts (including the mix-up of F3 and F3R standards in a hurry to expose the establishment) in it for those of us who didn’t dig deeper due to a busy run for Rozy-Roti. But the justification provided to prove the government wrong including “that all the rules and conventions were over-ridden” (just to ensure they stick to the convention of being a LEFTIST newspaper) never made any sense. The issue highlighted was essentially discretionary powers used by the Govt on the grounds of Strategic and Security reasons. This was unacceptable to many of “them” as for years they are used to a Prime Minister without discretionary powers.
I had spoken to many of my pro and anti-BJP friends who are working professionals with curiosity to understand their opinion. Most of them agree that, Demonetization was a BIG FAILURE and the government is answerable for that. GST implementation could have been smoother. Issues with RBI could have been managed a little more tact-fully instead of feeding an already famished Lutyens media trying to re-instate their old ally.
What I had observed in the recent past is how things have taken an ugly turn. A small section of Extreme Left started questioning and abusing even the civilized section of Anti-BJP. The mockery of bed-ridden politicians and call for their deaths and all-day abuse services taken up by these extreme left have almost dwarfed the already-sick troll army that BJP had deployed. For a change, the society around politics have fallen farther than the politics itself. Everyone of us agree that The Left Wing carries a certain aggression, good vocabulary, admirable knowledge, patience whereas (as one of my friends from Mumbai mentioned) the RW lacks patience and knowledge and straight away begins an un-intellectual debate online and off-line (which is their biggest undoing).
2019 Election according to few of the economists and analysts I spoke to, will not be a cake-walk for anyone (including the Mahagathbandhan). The ground reality remains that the decision makers as always will remain the majority Rural voters and not the mud-slinging urban dwellers.
A common man like me can only hope/wish for three things. Dismantling of anti-national institutions that plague our country’s economy today, subdued tax terrorism and lesser influence from the Holding company (wink-wink). As a big supporter of BJP (Political wing), I believe reforms are only possible under the current regime. BJP has to build a concrete strategy to be able to win polls this time around.