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Of ‘Hopes’ & ‘Emotions’: FOOLS RUSH WHERE ANGELS FEAR…, By Chanchal Chauhan, 13 May, 2014 Print E-mail

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New Delhi, 13 May 2014

Of ‘Hopes’ & ‘Emotions’


By Chanchal Chauhan


The BJP has already started thanking the electorate for its massive support to their ‘strong leader’. With exit polls putting its Government in Delhi, it’s brimming with confidence saying “we told you so”. This apart, the party has specially sought to underline the difference in the nature of this General Election and that of earlier elections.


At a briefing the other day the party spokesperson emphasised this election was one of ‘hopes’ and not of ‘emotions’. Yes, he was right. Hopes, hopes and nothing but hopes were aroused at the big rallies by the ‘PM-in-waiting’, Narendra Modi, who stated without any ambiguity, ‘You gave chance to the Congress for 60 years, give me a chance for just 60 months.’ He aroused hopes among the masses or his followers that within this short period he would bring prosperity to each home and hearth.


The ‘hopes’ were stirred pretty much across States. Modi offered them a better tomorrow with certain slogans even replacing some deities. People, it appears took the bait of his promise to shower all wealth and riches on the poor, homeless, unemployed, peasants, workers, Dalits, OBCs and minorities and that under his governance all sections of Indian people will prosper and all their ‘hopes’ will be fulfilled.


His speeches remind us the similar hopes aroused by outgoing PM Mammohan Singh when he, at the behest of the international finance capital convinced Parliament in 2008 to accept the controversial nuclear deal with the US because it would provide electricity to every village and home in India. Those who opposed the deal were dealt a severe blow in General Election 2009 and UPA-II captured power once again, and didn’t need the support of the Left parties, who had vehemently opposed the deal. The reactors purchased on the basis of that deal may well be now rotting somewhere. Each and every home could not be electrified. Now the UPA-II is facing the wrath of people, but similar hopes are aroused by the ‘PM-in-waiting.’


During the earlier elections also promises were made, hopes were aroused and all those promises were written in the election manifestoes or ‘common minimum programmes’. But after taking oath and installation of a new regime, most manifestoes and minimum programmes were thrown into the dustbin of the Central secretariat. People realised late that they had been cheated and fooled.


The political parties wedded to the economic interests of the big corporate houses do this dirty trick sooner than later. They always treat common people as a bunch of fools, but it is not true. Indian people, after the experience of the bitter dose of authoritarianism during the1975 Emergency did not allow one-Party rule at the Centre and often voted for a coalition so as to checkmate the imposition of any dictatorship on themselves.


The regional outfits also contribute to this federal polity and are therefore favoured by the voters of their respective regions. We see this phenomenon of the ‘hung Parliament’ for this reason. However, this time around, we may not see a similar scenario as the ineffectiveness of the UPA-II, unabashed corruption and a badgered economy evoked a battle cry of a strong Government at the Centre. Keeping known allies in good humour and high voltage election campaign entailing huge election expenditure may be the key to achieving this goal.  


However, if the exit polls are to be believed and the attempt of the Right reaction in India succeeds, one may visualise what is in store for its leader. Modi, is hardly aware, what awaits him. His utterances at rallies, at times, reminded us what the English bard, Alexander Pope, wrote: ‘Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread.’ He aroused the ‘hopes’ among the Indian masses in the same manner as Indira Gandhi did after the creation of Bangladesh. She was treated as ‘Goddess Durga’ and she gave a popular slogan, ‘Gharibi Hatao’. But within a short span of two years, all those hopes were belied, and she faced the wrath of common man that led her to impose the hated internal emergency.


The poor were the worst sufferers of the draconian laws she had framed to suppress the voices of agitating masses. She was praised for this by Bala Saheb Devras, the then RSS leader. The Ambani group within no time reaped huge profits from bonus-cut and wage-reduction of workers and thus got the new status of a monopoly House under that regime. But the common men were deprived of their democratic rights and civil liberties.


So, the big question is whether history is going to repeat itself. In case, the ‘strong leader’ wins the race and what appears to be reach ‘7 Race Course’ in New Delhi, he will first face the adverse weather conditions approaching Indian subcontinent caused by El Nino effect and these will evaporate the ‘NaMo’ effect. If the monsoon fails, and it is quite likely this year as predicted by weather scientists, the economic crisis that is already creeping into the mass of the world economy will worsen and grip India too.


Then the BJP ‘strong leader’ will try to fool people by declaring from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the Independence Day that he got no money to help the poor because the Congress led UPA government left no money in the government treasury and no grains in the godowns of the FCI to supply to the poor, so he was helpless and he had no magic wand.


On this pretext, he is likely to adopt the same path trodden by earlier regimes--of neo-liberal and corporate-friendly policies. He would then justify his harsh decisions of selling ‘Navratna’ public sector undertakings, as Arun Shourie did during his tenure in the earlier NDA regime and will allow the entry of FDI in retail and in other financial sectors as the decision is being imposed rigorously by the international finance capital that is ruling now the world economy. And, whosoever becomes the leader of our democracy will too have to serve those bosses.


They may impose or rather export to India some economists from the US such as Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya as mentioned in my earlier article. Anyone can see that during the UPA regimes, the same forces of the international finance capital exported to our country economists such as Manmohan Singh, Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Raghuram Rajan to keep hold on the key positions so as to implement the policies dictated by those alien forces. Some of them may continue in the new regime too, some may be replaced by those who may continue to follow the same path with new zeal.


Thus, will the masses realise at some stage the grimy trick and feel cheated? If this happens, then it could trigger a wave of agitations, demonstrations and manifold expressions of people’s anger against the same very leader-- ‘strong’ or ‘weak’. Too early or too pessimistic to say, but in any case, history shows that the common people will still be at the receiving end, notwithstanding the hopes. ---INFA

(Copyright, India News and Feature Alliance)

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