Washington, DC/New Delhi – “We are winning,” “We are winning with more seats than 2014” … such lurid statements from the pinnacle of the BJP pyramid are reverberating across the political atmosphere. Utterances from the only top BJP leader, RSS Pracharak and incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi are being echoed in the lower echelons of the party workers as well, but without conviction.
On the other hand, Indian National Congress, the so-called Grand Old Party of India with its young President Rahul Gandhi has reinforced its attack line by adding another family member Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. However, bestowing the legitimately elected Prime Minister with a select choice of adjectives will not sway voters to the Congress fold.
Journalists should remember what they are called in Greek, “Demosiographos,” from where was born the expression “Watchdogs of Democracy.” Hence journalists, as a matter of principle, are supposed to question the ruling class and also listen to the opposition and present the scenario to the public without spin or opinion. This is conspicuous by its absence on most Indian media.
Now let’s see what is going on in the minds of voters with harsh sanguinary divide in Northern India in the name of the Holy Cow, the demonetization that caused irredeemable loss of those currency notes, jobs that are available but not being filled and the list goes ad infinitum. The bleak picture of a divided opposition which is concentrating on “Modi Hatao” (Defeat Modi) is depressing for the voters.
Indian citizens no doubt suffered from demonetization and the scars haven’t healed, but the troubling fact is no one dares to raise questions in the fear of being labeled anti-national because demonetization was proclaimed to be in the national interest by the ruling party.
With a hype generated that either you toe the Modi line or be labeled DeshDrohi (unpatriotic), the silence can be deafening. Although not iniquitous in words or deeds, there is a fear of being falsely labeled in case certain thoughts are freely aired.
As a mechanism to save oneself, the family and loved ones, the real feelings and thoughts – however deeply baking in the oven of consciousness – are kept alive there while voices reflect what the ruling class is propagating.
But be warned – give him or her the choice of a secret ballot and that inner voice – shrouded in the world of secrecy – emerges and leaves an indelible mark on the ballot box.
The situation may seem like the famous play Waiting For Godot, but in reality there is a rendezvous with destiny for all on May 23.