The dusts of elections settled in the Northeast earlier. They will also settle in the remaining parts of India soon. Politicians of all hues thrive on lies. It is a known thing. But in this election we have seen for the first time how blatant lies could be fed to common people, assisted by lapdog media and propaganda factory of the BJP.
One major allegation against the Modi government was that it destroyed the democratic institutions of the country. Now its best example is Election Commission of India. T N Seshan, the erstwhile CEC took it to an exemplary height of neutrality and autonomy. Now in Modi’s India, it has surrendered all its neutrality and autonomy and become an organ of the government.
It was first visible in the phasing out of the general election. The general election was planned in a manner so that Prime Minister Narendra Modi could canvass everywhere for the BJP. Then came the election speeches of the Prime Minister. Throwing all norms to the winds, he brought in the activities of the armed forces to election canvassing. When this was repeatedly brought to the notice of the EC, they did nothing to stop him.
There are many other instances where EC took partisan position. The latest is the cancellation of election campaign in West Bengal one day before the schedule. All this, the EC is doing to please its master. It is not that TMC is all holy. No they aren’t. It seems the BJP has met its true match in TMC. That is why we have seen this great spectacle in Kolkata. But one thing is for sure that the poll panel has its autonomy.
There are other important features of this election too. Parliamentary elections are a big thing for any country. Politics is most practiced in a general election. What kind of political practices are we witnessing in this general election? To understand this, we need a little bit of context. Towards the end of UPA II, Manmohan Singh government almost came to a grounding halt. It badly suffered from policy paralysis. In that background, when Modi appeared in the national political scene with the promise of good days, people overwhelmingly supported him. But once in power Modi did nothing to bring the promised good days.
Here it was not the question of policy paralysis, but the introduction of wrong policies. And we all know what those wrong polices were. Besides, Modi government tampered with the autonomy and independence of our institutions and finally it assiduously promoted a divisive agenda for its electoral gains. BJP under Modi has done all the three things in last five years. So they should have asked votes from the people on these counts. Except the Hindu Muslim divide, why haven’t they spoken a word about the rest? Hindu Muslim divide is their breathing thing. Without that the party will cease to exist.
They know that people were angry with their policies and their blatant interference with the institutions of the country. So never ever they spoke about these while asking people to vote for them. Pulwama came handy to them and on their own they created Balakot to change the political narrative. They brought in the issue of nationalism and maximum leader. They said that all other issues could wait and we all should rally behind Modi to protect our country because he is a great leader who only could ensure the security of the country.
This is not a new trick. When they cannot solve the basic problems of the people or cannot do better things to change their life, they always try to introduce a false political narrative to hoodwink people. But they cannot do it without the connivance of a lapdog media and a section of an unthinking middle class. More than the lapdog media, this unthinking and pseudo educated class is more responsible for helping directly or indirectly supporting this obnoxious narrative. This section of the middle class is polished and many of them are also English speaking people. But they are the ones who believe myths rather than questioning them.
They believe all kinds of myths propagated by the lapdog media about the invincibility of Modi. They don’t ask any searching questions about society and democracy though they know how to promote their business or entrepreneurial interests intelligently. We don’t know how to educate this class on the vital issues of our country. May be deep in their hearts there is an escapism and irresponsibility. They are also apparently apolitical. Their apolitical stance on everything helps sustain the politics of far right.
This is of course not a new phenomenon. This is a worldwide phenomenon. We have seen it happening in most developed countries of the world. The best example is the election of Donald Trump as the president of USA. The interesting thing is fed by the lapdog media this unthinking middle class spread and sustain all kinds of untruth and half truths and cause immense damage to our body polity.
Compared to them, the working class, the poor peasants and marginalised people learn true truths of life by practicing them. They know it from the experience of their life without any mediacy. Here lies the role of education and learning. Learning is not mere skills and know how. It is something integral to our life and lived reality. At times mediacy deprives it from its true worth. It creates a big gap and detaches us from our reality. So it becomes necessary to learn it raw.