Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Analysis of the 2018 Elections – Part 2

In the first part, we discussed the ideological framework for how one needs to approach what happened and how one prepares for the coming future.  Specifically, the regressive nature of and use of Morality as a weapon by the aggressors.

Politics is not just about doing good but more importantly about seeming to be doing good. And, for whatever it is worth, “Good” is a narrative. A narrative that can be created, molded, bastardized and sold.

Role of Narratives, Visible in-the-face indicators and why BJP lost in 2018 State Elections - @vivekagnihotri @AmitShah @narendramodi @SrBachchan @sgurumurthy @DrGPradhan @majorgauravarya Click To Tweet

Mohammad’s revelation story of conversing with god in a cave with no witnesses but himself and based on that asserting himself to be the only true prophet – kinda like “Saw who? Me; Says who? Me, Messenger who? Me” and Christ’s virgin birth and the derivative storylines are by far the most outlandishly juvenile stories ever told and sold!

But theologies have been created. PhDs are awarded. The largest universities in the world have created tomes of fascinating material that surrounds these theologies coming out of outright fantastical stories that cannot even pass the sniff test of a 3 year old in a sane world. But 2000 years in, these stories sell. Zealots convert even folks who are steeped in civilizational ethos like that of China and India.

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You see, what sells and what people convert to has nothing to do with what is actually real. What the world is, is immaterial in narratives. Narratives can be as fantastic as a hallucinatory human mind.

When narratives are told and sold repeatedly, they become “precedents”. Precedents become the basis of histories. Histories create the ethos of nations. National Characters are fashioned and changed based on such narratives-based histories. That is why the first point of battle in any civilization has to be the creation of narratives.

That battle cannot be lost if integrity of your civilization is any concern.

Invaders and Colonial rulers came to India because of how prosperous and rich it was. By some estimates, Britain alone plundered $45 trillion from Indians. Yet, history knows Indians as “illiterate and undeveloped” before the British developed us by creating railroads to carry that loot out!

Narratives.. narratives, you see.

State Elections 2018 – Many causes and many arguments

As per one analysis, the difference in the votes per seats for the loss was very marginal.  In fact in 22 seats, NOTA (none of the above) got more votes than the winning margin.

In 22 seats this time, NOTA tally was greater than the victory margin. Twelve of these seats were won by the Congress, nine by the BJP and one by an independent candidate.  Four BJP ministers lost in such constituencies.

So Congress clearly got the advantage, but he loss was not always of BJP.

Total votes tally in the different states was:

  • Madhya Pradesh: Congress 1,16,61,561 votes Vs BJP  got   1,16,50,751 votes [Difference: 10810 votes] and NOTA  got 4.15 lakh votes
  • Rajasthan: Congress 1,29,89,053 votes Vs BJP  got   1,28,34,190 votes [Difference: 1,55,862 votes] and NOTA  got 5.34 lakh votes

The culprit is probably NOTA votes.  But the loss was there anyways if the only thing BJP is fighting against are the NOTA votes.  So yes, even when NOTA hurt, it is not the only factor or even the most critical factor.  Given the work that BJP did for people and how honest and good the rule of both Raman Singh and Shivraj Chauhan was in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, and in context of the history of Congress’ past, that party should not have come anywhere close to BJP’s tally, NOTA or no NOTA.

So, it was not the work that really counted.  Narrative did.

As for what could have BJP done better?  There are two extreme camps out there: Exclusively Development Camp and the Passionate Hindu camp.

Exclusively Development Camp: While the former looks at how BJP did or did not pursue the Development agenda to the exclusion of everything else – social, religious and organizational agenda.  They seem to think that a party exists in vacuum.  That, the only mandate is to do work without the need to handle the internal character of the party.

Passionate Hindu Camp: These are even weirder creatures who think they are responsible for making BJP, Modi and Amit Shah what they are.  Forgetting that until 2014, none of them could make even the most extremist of Hindu win even a panchayat election!  And until even then, Amit Shah was winning every election at hand!  These people remind me of the lizard who never left the ceiling of a room.  When asked why she couldn’t venture out or at least to the walls, she would retort – “Are you god damn crazy?  All these years I have been saving the ceiling from falling down.  Do you have any idea what would happen if I don’t save it?”  People have grand ideas about themselves.  And they think they are the saviors when they don’t realize that their “savior act” has made them prisoners and slaves of their own fears.  So, such Hindus did NOT make BJP what it is.  It was the hard work of every karyakarta, the guile and hard work of Amit Shah and the focus and commitment of Modi.  Yes, BJP needs Hindus as much as Hindus need BJP, but neither the community nor the party need such exclusivist minded idiots who think like that lizard who held the ceiling!

Then why did BJP lose?

Only hard-core fools, imbeciles, brain-washed can say with a straight-face that Modi Government did not do path-breaking development work in the last 4 years.  No matter what area of the Government we pick up, the development has been mind-boggling.  Decisions have been taken with confidence, integrity and balance.  From where India was in 2014 with below 5% GDP growth, high inflation, rampant corruption and loot and becoming a pariah in the economic community of the world to one of the most important and critical player on the global stage – the journey has been painstakingly hard.

But wait.

If the difference in 2014 situation and today is so vast to anyone using objective measures, then (1) why is it not visible to the common man (2) why is the narrative against BJP even being entertained by anyone leave alone the educated and informed?

If the work done is so kick-ass, as it is, then why isn’t change visible?

Is it because the Modi Government has focused on things that are fundamental in nature?  Highways, fundamental laws and structural changes, procedural transformations, easing of laws, improvement of structure of finances of banks and financial institutions, giving gas, light, toilets and housing for the poor, purging of inefficiencies, leaks and espionage in ministries!

These do NOT show.

And what does not show on the surface and IN the face of common man, does NOT matter.  It is important and critical for a nation.  But in terms of 50 years span.  Not in terms of 5 years when you have to go back and ask for vote.

When you have to ask for vote, you need IN YOUR FACE metrics and indicators.

And, that is the difference between Gujarat and India.  When Modi and Shah ruled Gujarat, it was easier to make Gujarat shine with fundamental changes, because underlying the state’s ethos and infrastructure was a certain strength that needed to be unleashed.  Which is what Modi and Shah did.  They unleashed its inherent strength.

India is full of contrasts and contradictions.  It is huge and unwieldy.  Whatever is true of India, the exact opposite is also true about it.  It is the fastest growing economy of the world, but has the highest number of poor and hungry in the world.  It gives the world the best engineers and churns out the highest number of engineers in the world, but also has the highest number of illiterate people in the world.

Even if you strengthen one part of the nation’s structure fundamentally in a significant way, those who are paid to criticize and not highlight the work can easily find examples of things that are not working.  If you build millions of toilets, all someone has to do is show a village where someone is defecating in public to make his point.

Narrative you see is a bitch.

Don’t get me wrong – real work is critical and important.  What the Modi Government has done is fundamentally critical for the next generation of Indians.  But even more damning would be to just have it done for 5 years and then get undone.

And, that is why IN-YOUR-FACE indicators are critical for the elections.

That is where the work was needed in the last one year.  The lack of in-your-face visibility of economic indicators should never be underestimated.

In the next part of analysis, we will discuss what really needs to be done by BJP election team for 2019.