Why this Kolaveri Di?
Back in 2014, the intellectual class in India came up with a variety of sophisticated connotations for BJP’s overwhelming majority of 282 seats. They said it was “a black swan moment” or “in the era of coalition politics it was a fluke”. And here we are in 2019, with BJP surpassing its own personal record.
Ever since the exit polls started pouring in, I have been enjoying the video analysis by several TV news anchors, panelists and self-proclaimed youtube journalists. You could easily guess who! It has never been so soothing to watch them. But I must appreciate their consistency. They have found innovative ways to justify congress’ abysmal electoral performance. For instance they invented a new theory of “Bhakti Cult” i.e. according to them the first time voters, the young voters, thought that India was a mess before 2014 and whatever happened, happened after 2014, hence they voted for Modi. The older voters on the other hand are communal and voted in favor of Hyper-Hindu-nationalism. How smart! In fact, they started abusing the voters (who voted for BJP) by calling them pliable, uneducated and illiterate.
But, I don’t understand-
Why this Kolaveri kolaveri kolaveri Di? Why this killer rage?
It is not that they did not see this coming. Amit Shah had been saying for last six months that we will get more than 300 seats. In each of his interactions he literally told the reason of his claim as: “Our government has been able to establish a connect with 22 crore poor families via different government schemes“.
Let me tell you why they are so surprised with this kind of mandate.
Ready? Ready? 1… 2… 3… 4…
Since India’s independence, the poor and their poverty has been used as a political tool. Pt. Nehru was a pioneer of this art. He in his book “the discovery of India” clearly mentioned that the poor peasants with their limited outlook were very easy to be manipulated or convince. He spoke to them and they simply followed him. On the other hand, the urban population or the middle class was a little more sophisticated, would have a lot more questions and wanted a stronger fare i.e. it was tough to convince them. In fact according to the book he did not support the middle class when they wanted to revolt and overthrow the British government as they felt caged, circumscribed and unable to grow or develop. Nehru apparently wanted to change the system first. I guess he wanted a system where he gets the top post, which anyhow he did get at the end.
Anyway, coming back to the issue at hand, the exploitation of poor. There has always been a lot done in the name of poor, but they still remained poor. Rajiv Gandhi once said only 15 paisa reaches the poor when the government sends 1 rupee. How? Why? More recent, Priyanka Gandhi in one her public interactions claimed that there are no roads in Amethi because we have to bribe the contractors first, what can we do?
Coming from the people who represent India’s oldest and grandest party means only one of the two things or even both the things. First the Indian National Congress lacks the intent to fix these problems or second, they are incompetent in doing so. I believe it as the first one. If the poor gets what he deserves, do you think he would come on streets for sponsored protests? It could be any kind of protests – for caste, religion, reservation or movies. Have your ever seen a rich guy taking beatings from the police in the name of protests? If poor gets some money do you think he would still be a part of any kind of vote bank? Again, it could be any kind of vote bank – based on caste, religion, cult or anything. We very well know that in India in several places, voters are literally bought by freebies – cash, liquor, smartphones, laptops, sarees or even e-rickshaws. Paying more importance to caste based reservation than reservation based on finances is also a part of the same tactic. Reservation on the bases of financial condition would not create vote banks based on various castes, would it?
This is what changed.
Alright buddy, now tune changes…
This verdict of 303 seats, a vote share of 39%, more than 50% votes in 17 states, reaching as high as 61% in Himachal Pradesh, means that the poor received what was sent to him. Although, BJP should be looking into states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala etc. where it got 0 seats, if the poor did not receive the benefit of the various schemes or they received it but chose to be ungrateful. If it is the second case, government can’t do much but if the people did not receive the benefits, there might be a scope for improvement.
In a country where half of the citizens are poor, the incumbent government if claims to have worked for the poor should always win a clear majority on its own each and every time.
These journalists who are crying foul now, knew about this already. They had been running fact checkers on the government claims. They went to the villages and found out the ones who were left. They knew the 10 crore families that received LPG gas connections and out which 4 crore were free, will vote for Modi. They knew, more than 33 crore account holders who never thought they will ever have a bank account but got one in the form of Jan Dhan account will vote for Modi. And the accounts are not with zero balance, the collective amount deposited in the accounts is quickly inching towards 1 Lakh Crore mark. They knew, the 48.1 million people who got their loans approved under Mudra Yojana will vote for Modi. They knew the number of people who are getting health insurance cover up rs 5 lakh will vote for Modi.
Not only this, they knew the villagers who were living in dark for decades and got a new hope when a transformer was installed in their village for the first time, will vote for Modi. Even though not every house in the villages have electricity, but their is a hope now; the hope that was lost. When the people see that the current government is building roads at the fastest pace ever, they are hopeful that their village will also have a road even if it is still not there. Hope!!
They knew all this, they tried to downplay this by means of fact checkers. Even if I suppose the claims are exaggerated or partially true, the number of beneficiaries was big enough to win a clear majority. You can’t defeat that now. Can you?
Cow, cow, holy cow….
This was the only way they could have diverted the attention. In the name of beef, cows, minorities, Dalits and so on. They singled out crime cases where victims belonged to any of these communities in an endeavor to portray BJP in communal light. You could look at Lynching Whatsapp; In the name of Holy Cow. You might get an idea how cattle smuggling was sold as lynching in the name of Cows.
They blamed social media for a lot of things. Do you know why? Because social media is not moderated, it was the voice of common man, he liked, shared and subscribed to what he believes or rather what he wants to believe in. On the other hand, news sites, content publishing sites are moderated, an editor accepts or rejects the submission. On these platforms, it was possible to create an anti-modi anti-bjp rhetoric. This is one of the reasons why Quora looks pro BJP, the answers on Quora are not moderated (here I am not talking about Quora Spaces, on Spaces the posts are moderated).
Liking and sharing anti-Modi posts or calling him communal was/is fashion, modern and an intellectual thing to do. This why these platform made a lot of money during these five years. These platforms especially the emerging ones on internet improved their bottom lines in the last five years. It was a business strategy for them, as simple as that. This is the reason why they are still going on with the same old communal rhetoric. And trust me, they always knew what they were doing. One way to create fake news is by showing an incomplete picture. They were always aware of the truth, you cannot manipulate unless you have the complete picture available to yourself, otherwise you yourself will fall in that trap. Time Magazine’s Modi is India’s Divider in Chief to Modi United India is a shining example of what they do to gain an edge in their TRPs.
Parties like congress and others already knew they are going to loose. Rahul Gandhi would not have filed nominations from a second place if he had not known that he might lose Amethi. You could have a look at The only reason why Rahul Gandhi chose Wayanad, Kerala. Even the hardened party loyalist were switching parties even before the elections began.
But if not them, then who is the biggest looser after this election?
If not them then who is surprised and lost?
The consumers, readers and viewers who were consuming the content what these youtubers, journalists, e-papers, bloggers were producing. Those consumers trusted them, believed in them and got betrayed. Moreover, the more they consumed content from them, the more was made available at their disposal, thanks to the clever Artificial Intelligence algorithms. You must have noticed the kind of videos you see more, you get more recommendations for the similar videos same with blogs and articles.
Choosing what to read and believe on internet has become the single most difficult thing in today’s digital India.
They chose to believe the lies in the beginning. They ended up in a delusional reality in the end.
Somebody said this “The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others.”
Why this kolaveri kolaveri ..aa di?
Thanks for Reading.
An FPGA/Embedded Systems Development Engineer working on ADAS / Autonomous Vehicles and interested in Indian Politics.