OPINION

Monthly Archives: MAY 2019


Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas.
Will Modi walk the talk?
29.05.19 - Vipin Pubby
Will Modi walk the talk?



Prime minister Narendra Modi’s speech to the newly elected Members of Parliament from National Democratic Alliance was flawless. His generous references to inclusiveness and extending a hand to minorities did surprise many. To the old slogan of Sabka sath, Sabka Vikas, he added  Sabka Vishwas.

Not only his own party members but even his trenchant critics must not be having Vishwas that it was Modi speaking in that tenor. If only he would have said these words before the elections, the doubts and fears of minorities and also his critics would have been given a ray of hope. But perhaps he and his party may have lost out some votes of the fringe groups who have been out to spread terror among the minorities, including religious minorities. On the other hand, he would have gained support from a section of minorities as well as his critics who had been accusing him of maintaining silence on communal and violence assaults on minorities.
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His supporters say you can’t expect the prime minister to intervene or criticise every such incident. That’s granted but it is also a fact that early intervention can stop more such incidents.
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Modi’s speech was high on statesmanship. He acknowledged the fear and apprehensions among the minorities although he blamed the rival parties for it and for exploiting them over the years. He said he had worked on the poor in his previous term and had been amply rewarded. He declared that he would now work for the welfare of minorities in his second term to gain their confidence.

The prime minister was actually not just addressing the new NDA MPs but citizens across the country through his widely televised speech. Besides focusing on inclusion of minorities and other marginalised groups, Modi also spoke of importance of coalitions and regional aspirations. Another fear that he allayed was that he would respect the constitution. His critics had been of the view that if given a majority he and his party may try to tinker with the constitution and may drop the reference to secularism from the constitution. 

His reference to restraint in speech and action and also reaching out to party veterans like Lal Krishna Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were other highlights of his speech. So was the reference to his opponents that even those who had opposed him "woh bhi hamare hain”.
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He did criticise but an incident involving the killing of a BJP worker. Surely it would not have taken him much time to condemn the other two incidents as well.
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For a party that had described a section of minorities as "termites” or had given ticket to terror accused Sadhvi Pragya Thakur (who, in turn, had praised the killer of the father of the nation), for a party which does not have a single Muslim MP, for communalising even Rahul Gandhi’s decision to contest from Wayanad, the words of reconciliation were too good to be true.

Indeed within 48 hours of the speech, two communal incidents took place involving beating of members of Muslim community and again there was no immediate condemnation. This was in line with a spate of lynchings in the recent past with the government and Modi keeping silence for too long. It was only when he had condemned the incidents that such incidents stopped.

His supporters say you can’t expect the prime minister to intervene or criticise every such incident. That’s granted but it is also a fact that early intervention can stop more such incidents. 

He did criticise but an incident involving the killing of a BJP worker. Surely it would not have taken him much time to condemn the other two incidents as well.

Modi would not have thought that a test for his declarations to new MPs would come so soon. It also remains to be seen how he tackles Pragya Thakur who statement praising Nathuram Godse had led him to say that he would never forgive her. What happens now when she would be sitting in the same House. If Modi was sincere he should have asked her to resign. He has enough majority to take such decisions.

Given the past track record of Modi, it is difficult to believe his positive assertions in Parliament House meeting. Will he take minorities along and can he infuse confidence in them ? That’s the big question and only time can answer it. He must be given enough time to prove his sincerity. 

 

(The author, a freelance journalist, is a former Resident Editor of Indian Express, Chandigarh, and reported on the political developments in Jammu and Kashmir, North-Eastern India, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab in his long, illustrious career.)

 

 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:
 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties 
A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION
BAD, BAD WOMAN! 

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL

 

_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT
 




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DECONSTRUCTING MODI – KITNA MAZBOOT?
The Voters' Psychology
24.05.19 - Swarajbir
The Voters' Psychology



Note — As India is in the throes of the narrative about a Mazboot Neta/Mazboot Sarkar, here is a piece by Swarajbir, Punjab’s foremost playwright and poet, and also the editor of Punjabi Tribune, on the psychology that goes into the election of a leader like a Donald Trump or a Narendra Modi. This piece was originally published in Punjabi in the newspaper a day after the election results and has been translated by Punjab Today at its own initiative. — Editor

 
WHEN London Business School dons, Hemant Kakkar and Niro Sivanathan, came up with their 2017 research paper, "When the appeal of a dominant leader is greater than a prestige leader,” it made significant waves.

Intrigued by a very Punjabi-sounding surname Kakkar, I fired on a whim an email seeking access to the entire research paper and the deductions the authors had made thereof. It was based on a survey carried out in 2016, a year before the paper hit the academia. 

The authors wanted to study a number of phenomena, including the advent of Chinese nationalism, rise of populist authoritarian leaders who are overbearing in their narrative, including the rise of Narendra Modi in India, the traction which saw Donald Trump catapulted to American presidency, the force majeure exhibited by leaders who ride upon populist slogans and beat the drums of nationalism for the unwashed masses.

Kakkar and Sivanathan primarily surveyed two kinds of leaders: dominant/authoritarian leaders who are aggressive in behavior and often exhibit questionable moral character, and prestige leaders whose personality traits shun aggression for sagacity, humility and a measured approach.

Surely, such surveys were not new. The largest exercise of this kind was undertaken in the 1940s, during and shortly after World War II, by a team of researchers of the University of California, Berkeley, which included Theodor W. Adorno , a highly regarded psychologist known for his critical theory of society.  

It was to be followed by the publication of The Authoritarian Personality (1950) that explained why, when the going gets tough, people prefer dictatorial leaders and proactively shun logical, rational and sagacious ones.

The Authoritarian Personality triggered much debate, primarily because it sought to collate the principles enunciated by Karl Marx and the theory of Sigmund Freud in the same box and argued that authoritarianism was the result of a Freudian developmental model. The Authoritarian Personality, with Holocaust as its impetus, proved to be highly influential in the field of social sciences and psychology worldwide, prompting many other similar academic ventures.

A prominent research in this strain was carried out by Bob Altemeyer, who was then a Professor of Psychology at the University of Manitoba. He produced a test and scale to measure and understand right-wing authoritarianism. His research is extensively documented in the book, The Authoritarians (2006).

Kakkar and Sivanathan’s work takes forward the work of their predecessors along the same lines. They inferred that when faced by the situational threat of economic uncertainty (as exemplified by the poverty rate, the housing vacancy rate, and the unemployment rate), people escalate their support for dominant leaders who they see as more decisive and determined; who puts forward his narrative more effectively and authoritatively; whose persona exudes dominance and influence.

It matters little, the research showed, what means the leader adopts in achieving his objectives. The survey offered important theoretical explanations for why, around the globe from the United States and Indian elections to the Brexit campaign, constituents continue to choose authoritarian leaders over other admired/respected leaders.

A part of Kakkar and Sivanathan’s research was carried out during the 2016 American presidential campaign.

As per this survey in which participants indicated their voting preference for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or neither, the sections of the populace that was more worried about unemployment and economic uncertainty in the future betrayed a marked preference for Donald Trump. A dislike for both Trump and Hillary came next and a preference for just Hillary Clinton was the third choice. 

The survey effectively showed that when a country witnesses large scale unemployment and economic uncertainty, it increases the preference for a dominant leader as opposed to a prestigious leader because want someone who can take tough decisions and execute them, or claims he has the willingness to do so.

With a rise in economic uncertainty, a sense of apprehension drives the underlying psychological fears.

With no jobs in sight, people not only face economic onslaught but also a psychological assault. 

Such people want a semblance of a crutch, of any form of support. This can only come from a leader who is seemingly powerful, who peddles his narrative loudly and with much authority, can spew slogans and deploy language which could play on the people’s innermost fears and stoke their sense of uncertainty.

What kind of a game is this? A game that never ends those fears, but stokes these further. A strong leader encroaches upon the entire mind space and successfully peddles the idea that he is the messiah who will end fears, apprehensions and uncertainty. The language of prudence and sagacity does not cut any ice. What works is a narrative of incitement, elements that further stoke the fires of fear, apprehension and uncertainty, false formulations that feed upon the majoritarian bigotry and the ability of the leader to portray himself as the biggest, strongest, shrewdest one who will not flinch from sacrifice when need be.

Kakkar and Sivanathan also ran another survey as part of their research in which people in certain American towns were given a scenario study in which participants were told about a possible terrorist attack in a small US town. They were told that while local authorities were certain that such an attack would occur, they had little idea about where and when and so were in no position to assure the people if they will be able to prevent it but will definitely try their level best to do so. 

The participants thus informed were asked to indicate what kind of leader they would like to see elected as their president given the possibility of such attacks, and their unambiguous answer was Donald Trump. Clearly, when people are struck with fear, they choose a dominant leader over a prestige leader.

History is witness to the fact that mass psychology and subconscious remain under the effect of dominant leaders for a long, long time. 

In the second half of the last century, Indira Gandhi and Margaret Thatcher come to mind as two prime examples of this phenomenon. 

Indira Gandhi fashioned herself as a leader who could take tough calls. She remained prime minister for 15 years (1966-1977 and 1980-84).

She made the biggest blunder of her political life by imposing Emergency and consequently lost the 1977 election.

Till date, the Emergency era is recalled as a blot on the country’s political history but the Janta Party that came to power in 1977 could not run the government with any amount of efficacy and the very same people who had thrown out Indira Gandhi in 1977 brought her back in 1980.

Margaret Thatcher defeated the Labour Party thrice and ruled for almost eleven and a half years.

In her initial years at the helm, she took decisions against migrants, effected cuts in public spending on welfare measures and projected herself as a tough leader. Britain witnessed demonstrations where she was vilified as ‘Margaret Thatcher, Milk Snatcher’ but she continued her winning streak.

These examples and surveys tell the story of what persuasions and causes go into the making of an electorate’s mind.

The latest election results merely vindicate the narrative that the carefully crafted persona of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the discourse built around Nationalism and the attacks on Balakot have impacted the voting behaviour to a massive extent.

Bhartiya Janata Party has won even more seats than its 2004 tally even though pundits had predicted the 282-seat bar set in 2014 as the peak that could not have been surmounted. Parties allied with the BJP have also gained as a result of their association and the NDA is likely to hover around 350.

In any democracy, the role and responsibility of the Opposition is no less important than that of the ruling side.

Congress, that had started dreaming big following its victory in Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, would not only have to play the role of an opposition but will  also have to wage a battle and do some serious introspection to stem further atrophy.  

The next five years will be decisive for India’s democracy. These are the years that will put to test India’s Opposition as to whether it can play any constructive role or remains a scattered force as it happened in the previous five years.
 
 
 
 
The author is Editor, Punjabi Tribune.
 
 
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:
 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties 
A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION
BAD, BAD WOMAN! 

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL

 

_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT
 





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TRANSPARENCY AND OPACITY
Dark clouds over the constitutional institutions
23.05.19 - Vipin Pubby
Dark clouds over the constitutional institutions



IN AN AGE of information explosion and demand for transparency in the functioning of various institutions, the country is seeing an increasing trend where attempts are being made by these institutions to put a lid over their functioning. Of course governments always like to restrict information but now it is the institutions, which are supposed to be transparent in their functioning and expect others to be transparent, are themselves turning opaque.

The latest incident involves the functioning of the Election Commission of India. Its role and decisions in the recent past have been coming under a cloud of suspicion. It is the same Election Commission which at one time was feared by all shades of politicians and its decisions were not questioned by anyone.

During the just concluded general elections, some of the decisions appear to be biased. It  delayed taking action and ignored some of the obviously objectionable statements made by certain leaders, particularly prime minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. It was only after a Supreme Court pulled it up that it initiated some action but even then ignored some highly provocative statements.
 
Yet it kept a lid on the dissenting note while taking such decisions. It is now well known that one of the Election Commissioners, Ashok Lavasa, a former Haryana cadre IAS officer known for his integrity and efficiency, had opposed some of the decisions taken by the three member commission. However the Commission has not been recording his dissent and gave the impression that the decisions were unanimous. Lavasa insisted that at least his dissent be recorded. However the other two members of the Commission did not agree and rejected his contention by a majority decision.
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Institutions, which are supposed to be transparent in their functioning and expect others to be transparent, are themselves turning opaque.
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This rule framed by the Commission is questionable. Even in Supreme Court and High Courts, the dissenting judgements are recorded even if the views of the majority of judges on any bench prevail. All that Lavasa was wanting his dissent to be recorded but it was not allowed.

Talking of Supreme Court, its stand in the case relating to a former staffer accusing Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment, also lacks transparency. The highest court itself did not follow proper procedures. What is of extreme concern is that while the committee of senior judges constituted to look into her complaint rejected her claims, it has refused to give a copy of its findings to the complainant. 

The courts have themselves stated in numerous judgments that the complainant has the right to be informed about the arguments and findings of any proceedings so that further action, if required, could be taken. It is mandatory to provide copies of judgment to the complainant and the accused.

Certainly it was not an ordinary case of sexual harassment and there could be much more to it as indicated by Justice Gogoi himself, yet it was all the more important that the judiciary should have come clean on the issue. Even if it was a conspiracy, the court could have exposed it but brushing the issue under the carpet has done no good to the reputation of the highest court of the land.

The same lack of transparency is increasingly seen in other spheres of public life. This is despite the Right to Information, a truly landmark initiative, which was aimed to bring transparency in the functioning of government and its various institutions. However efforts are being made by the government as well as these institutions to circumvent the law and hide information by delaying response or giving vague responses. This tendency must be curbed and citizens must be given access to all the information which impacts their lives.

While it is understood that nation’s security and safety comes first and that certain organisations like the armed forces need to maintain secrecy, there is no reason that institutions like the Election Commission or Supreme Court put a cover on their functioning. The spirit behind the Right to Information must be respected and guarded.

 

(The author, a freelance journalist, is a former Resident Editor of Indian Express, Chandigarh, and reported on the political developments in Jammu and Kashmir, North-Eastern India, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab in his long, illustrious career.)

 

 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:
 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties 
A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION
BAD, BAD WOMAN! 

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL

 

_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT
 




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GENERAL ELECTIONS 2019
What will be the outcome?
16.05.19 - Vipin Pubby
What will be the outcome?



WITH THE OUTCOME of the general elections just a week away, and voting to be completed in just 59 seats, all eyes are on the performances of various parties and formation of the new government.

It has been a long and hard fought elections with political leaders putting in their best efforts. The seven phase elections spread over a month and a half has left the country guessing over the outcome. As a senior political analyst said, unlike previous elections, this one is the toughest to predict.

There is hardly any one who is willing to put down a figure for various parties and alliance partners. While there are differences over which party would emerge as the single largest party, there is unanimity on the point that it would be alliances which would decide the formation of the next government.

Certain significant aspects that stand out in these elections which had not been seen in any previous elections have made these elections unique and path breaking. 

For instance, till late seventies or till the end of the Emergency, it was a one sided game with the Congress dominating and with a clear face for prime minister’s post. Then came an era of coalitions with no face for the top post. Thus we had a series of leaders who became prime ministers but were never projected as such during election campaigns. These included Morarji Desai, VP Singh, Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh. The exceptions were Rajiv Gandhi after the assassination of Indira Gandhi and Atal Behari Vajpayee who was projected as the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP during this period.
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Modi led his party and the coalition to a hands down victory and he has since then sought to build his image as an invincible leader. Instead of the slogan of "BJP BJP”, what was popularised was "Modi, Modi”. All this has led to building up of a personality cult around him.
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The big change came in 2014 when the BJP and its alliance partners projected Narendra Modi as an undisputed prime ministerial candidate while the Congress went without a face as it remained undecided on whether to project Rahul Gandhi as its candidate for the post. 

Modi led his party and the coalition to a hands down victory and he has since then sought to build his image as an invincible leader. Not just the alliance partners, even the BJP and RSS too were made to take a back seat. Even Modi himself chose to address himself in the third person. Instead of saying I did this or that, he would say Modi did this and that. Instead of the slogan of "BJP BJP”, what was popularised was "Modi, Modi”. All this has led to building up of a personality cult around him.

Even these elections are being contested by the BJP and its alliance partners with Modi as undisputed leader. The Congress and its alliance partners and even the members of mahagathbandhan have not come out clearly on their prime ministerial candidate. While SP and BSP are wishing for Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and other regional chieftains are nursing their own ambitions. The Congress too has not come out officially with its prime ministerial candidate but now it has become more or less clear that its President Rahul Gandhi would take up the post if Congress gets sufficient numbers to stake its claim with the help of its allies. His acceptability has certainly increased over the last few months.
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Right from ‘pappu’ versus ‘feku’ to ‘chowkidar chor hai’ versus dynastic politics, the standards have fallen to the lowest level that can be imagined.
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Another important aspect of the elections has been the divisiveness it has generated in the society. The differences have never been sharper and the political rhetoric never so acerbic as it was during the current campaign. Right from ‘pappu’ versus ‘feku’ to ‘chowkidar chor hai’ versus dynastic politics, the standards have fallen to the lowest level that can be imagined. 

In the process the real issues concerning the people have taken a back stage. We have the ‘dynasty’, Modi, Balakot strikes, alleged wrongs in the past, religion and caste politics as the major issues instead of getting economy back on the rails, generating employment, getting investments, steps to help the crucial farm sector, encouraging trade and enterprises and developing infrastructure.

The results would decide whether the country would be run either through coalitions providing for protecting the interests as well as needs of the diversity that India is or through creating a uniform system moving towards presidential form of government.

As the country gives its verdict, drawing lessons from the past and placing faith in the  hands of elected leaders, the prayer in the hearts of all citizens should be to take the country to new heights of development.

 

(The author, a freelance journalist, is a former Resident Editor of Indian Express, Chandigarh, and reported on the political developments in Jammu and Kashmir, North-Eastern India, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab in his long, illustrious career.)

 

 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:
 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties 
A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION
BAD, BAD WOMAN! 

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL

 

_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT
 




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ELECTION ISSUES BEING DEBATED NOW
Why is Modi getting so insecure?
09.05.19 - Vipin Pubby
Why is Modi getting so insecure?



EVEN AS WE are in the middle of the election campaign for the Lok Sabha elections, one aspect that stands out starkly is the issues that are being talked about to influence the voters.

None of the major political parties are focusing on the real issues which directly affect the common man. The poll rhetoric undoubtedly has touched the lowest possible levels and it is turning out to be the most bitter campaign ever since the independence of the country.

Perhaps it is because the stakes are too high in these elections but the kind of language being used is cheap and even vulgar. Can anyone imagine Atal Behari Vajpayee or Lal Krishan Advani or Manmohan Singh attacking political opponents with such harsh words?

But besides the choice of words, it is the issues being raised that are a cause of worry. Instead of talking of the developmental issues and successes of the government, prime minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah are focusing on ‘parivar’. They have been placing all emphasis on the alleged failures of the country’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and have crossed all levels of decency with belittling reference to Rajiv Gandhi’s death. He was was tragically assassinated by Sri Lankan Tamil militants through a suicide bomb attack. What was particularly jarring was the manner in which the remark was made : that the one who was touted as Mr Clean ended his life as Bhrashtachari number one. .
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Indian voter is watching closely. The literacy rate may still be comparatively low but it has shown its political acumen in the past.
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Apparently the attempt is to make it a contest between Modi and Nehru-Gandhi family rather than a contest between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress.

There is hardly any reference to what they called the "biggest economic reform” of demonetisation or the benefits of the GST or even other developmental works taken by the government. There is no reference to the proposed bullet trains or Swacchh Ganga projects or even speeding up construction of highways etc.

Congress too seems obsessed with the "chowkidar chor hai” slogan and has been hammering it day in and day out. The language used by some of its leaders, as also leaders of other opposition parties, is also condemnable. 

These parties, for unknown reasons, are not emphasising on the various failures of the government. They are not concentrating on loss of lakhs of jobs or mounting inflation or farming distress or failure or the government to bring back black money and those accused of cheating banks and fleeing abroad.
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Can anyone imagine Atal Behari Vajpayee or Manmohan Singh attacking political opponents with such harsh words?
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The bitter campaign has vitiated the poll atmosphere and unfortunately the Election Commission of India, which has vast powers at its disposal, has proved to be ineffective. It has let off several leaders, including Modi, without even a warning despite provocative comments. Even though it is known that one of the two Election Commissioners, Ashok Lavasa, has been giving dissenting views on the decisions taken by the Commission, his voice has little meaning because the Commission works with the rule of majority.

Unfortunately the electoral mudslinging is being directed to Bofors versus Rafale deals rather than the corruption at the grassroots level. Common people continue to suffer from every day corruption despite attempts to introduce transparency and digitalisation. The fact is that there is little impact. Some would say the situation has worsened because higher amounts are demanded in the name of "higher risks”. 

The various political parties making big promises and announcing subsistence allowances are not talking about the economy or how will these parties generate funds for the projects being promised by them.

Indian voter is watching closely. The literacy rate may still be comparatively low but it has shown its political acumen in the past. The voters have in the past given over 414 seats to the Congress but had also reduced it to 44. Similarly it had at one time given just two seats to the BJP and had raised it to 282 last time. What the voters have in store for various parties this time would be known only on May 23. 

 

(The author, a freelance journalist, is a former Resident Editor of Indian Express, Chandigarh, and reported on the political developments in Jammu and Kashmir, North-Eastern India, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab in his long, illustrious career.)

 

 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

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_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT
 




[home] [1] 2  [next]1-5 of 8


Comment by: Sahib Singh

Congress is raising real problems of the country in which Modi govt is failed. It is PM who uses bad and baseless language and raising issues which have no concern with the peoples of India.

reply


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and best treatment for your transplant as top best medical treatment it will help your future life,
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Best regard
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Call or whatsapp No . +919667270992
email:ramseymalik@gmail.com



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