Sunday, December 23, 2007

Victory for democracy

Normally, elections are fought between political parties. Media's role is ideally that of an observer. Gujarat 2007 was different. Media's role was that of an active political participant. There was a clear bias that media blatantly displayed against the incumbent. Modi, the incumbentChief-Minister, had to fight not just the Congress but also the partisan. Despite the tremendous development work which he had carried out, despite a terror free, riot free Gujarat he delivered, the media was loathe to acknowledge it. Even when they did, it was grudgingly. They called him names that can be euphemistically described as unparliamentary. Enthused by a complementary media, the Congress breached all levels of decency and called Mr. Modi 'Merchant of death'. Modi said that this would be an election only based on development agenda. But when somebody abuses you the way the Congress and the media did, that too in the midst of an election campaign, one would be forced to respond. And when he did that, he was accused of 'communalising' the agenda. But Modi carried on unperturbed.

Modi, also had to fight the very visible dissidence in his own party. The RSS also, reportedly, was not very enthusiastic about Modi's 'style of governance.' So Modi took it upon himself to carry the BJP to another victory. He placed his hope in the hands of people.

The election day arrived. People came in huge numbers. Exit pollsters theorized that large turnout means bad news for BJP. After two phases of polling, these shameless creatures called psephologists, who pride themselves on getting stupendously wrong every time, predicted that Modi may just scrape through. They said landslide victory for BJP is impossible while a congress victory is not impossible. They attributed this 'hypothetical' loss to such unverifiable reasons like 'authoritarian rule', 'Modi not being a team player' and whatnot.

On counting day, when it became increasingly clear that Modi was heading for a comfortable win, to me, it was the greatest victory for democracy. Here's a leader who goes directly to the people and ask them to vote for him for whatever good he has done to them. People respond to him and how magnificently. They give him another landslide win. It clearly showed, in a democracy, no matter who is with you or against you, you can win if people are with you. People are the power in a democracy. This was just what the Gujarat election exemplified in an unmistakable way. It also showed people will be with you if you deliver them good governance and provide an environment that's terror and violence free.

It also meant, quite significantly, that media should now have to seriously to introspect about its conduct, about its objectivity or the lack of it. Otherwise the media is sure to lose a lot of credibility pretty fast. Men like Yogendra Yadav and Dorab Sopariwala, had they been in any other job, would have been fired for their colossal failure in their job. Never have they got their predictions even remotely near the actual figures. Particularly Yadav, exhibits too much of his political inclinations and that is something that is disturbingly blatant for a viewer to see in a credible political analyst that Yadav claims himself to be.

Finally, congratulations to Mr. Modi. He is certainly the man of the moment.

3 comments:

adam brown said...

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Arjun Sharma said...

Identha spam-u?

Coming to the post, you have the nail on the head, kanayya. For media which pride themselves on being unbiased and secular, thes channels have shown a blatant anti-Modi bias. Show up the man's faults, by all means, but also concede his achievements. And, showing up the faults of others(read, the Congress) too might not be a bad idea. It won't lead them astray from their journalistic principles, if that's what they're worried about.

Modi has his faults, but he also has his merits. And it is for these that the people of Gujarat have voted him back to power. By doubting the verdict and dubbing it 'a victory for communalism and fascism' over secularism, the Congress, the Left and the media are insulting the people of Gujarat and callimg them stupid and unscrupulous, with no sense of what is right for them. This is a very bad and condescending attitude to have towards the people of this country. The analysis of the verdict also has been in this trend. Interpreting it in terms of caste, 'gauging' the mind of the average Gujarati and his/her inclination towards/fondness for the 'Hindutva agenda' -- all these are very obvious insinuations that the average Gujarati is stupid.

You don't go around saying that about an entire state citizenry on national television. You're just a racist if you do. That's what the media and the UPA are showing themselves to be, in the aftermath of these elections.

wanderlust said...

agree with every word. I've blogged on the same.
In other countries, there's a prominent representation of the right wing in the mainstream media. We don't seem to see that anywhere in India other than the blogosphere. People need to get all perspectives on a given issue... a right-wing media house is the need of the hour.
It's not surprising Indian media is pseudosecularist and anti-Hindu - most media houses are owned by foreigners, and are funded by Christian or Muslim groups.