Modi’s doom and Press punditry


The courtrooms are splurging in noise, so are the lawyers, the adjudicators as well as the mujrims. A death certificate has been issued. Twitterites as well as instagrammers have sounded the bungle. 2019 will be the year of Modi Mukt bharat. But we tend to overdrive as individuals, and more as political commentators. We make a mountain out of an invisible mole- more often because of the hysteria that media tends to create which indulges in both the pro and the con effect. The pro effect being political maniacs have a field day while self-obsessed mug “dikhaoing” news anchors of Noida can pursue their gossipy grapevine. The con effect remains that most of these punditry never materialise in a country of stark contradictions- saas bahu serials, Article 377 and MTV’s bold step to conceptualize lesbiandom. 2012 was a year which proved to be the most hilarious example of over punditry in the history of Indian state elections.

‘Akhilesh Yadav won a thumping majority against incumbent BSP. BJP came a distant third and the Congress under the “babalogs” fared in 6 more sits than its previous elections 2012. Privy to earlier year, everyone were abuzz about Rahul’s striking leadership in the General elections where a person called Salman Khurshid also won. The Congress backed almost 2 dozen sits. The Lutyens of the Capital was now considering the probability of Rahul becoming the next CM of Uttar Pradesh- UP was the ultimate rosy love of the anglophile PM of India in the 50s. 2012 UP elections showed the royal punditry had not come off age. Rather wilder possibilities were aired, greater coherence was shown in articulation, but what they missed in the full scenario were the installation to caveats-a must when someone discusses politics and politicians. Mulayam Singh Yadav was tamed down to be a possible PM of 2014 of a non-aligned political formation of 2014 with oddly 45-50 sits out of its catchment basin of 80.

The prophecies proved inaccurate, the intellectual allurements wrong. The Gujarat elections changed the mood of the nation 7 months later. I fear very strongly, the same mistake is being committed again, rather childishly and in an overtly thronging fashion. Almost every news channel is abuzz with the news whether there will be a tie up between the Dalit and the Yadav based parties in Uttar Pradesh – BSP and SP had been in alliance once in the 1990s albeit unsuccessfully. The fire has just got a bit wilder after a gossipy repartee came from the UP CM not denying the possibility altogether to counter the BJP. BSP has rejected even a modicum of a chance of such a bhaichara with the bhaiyaa of UP. But debates have gone ablaze in all political quarters. Few doubt the greatest onus to be put on UP elections waiting in 15 months. And it would also be the time when Modi will be directly challenged in the most populous and hence politically indispensable state where he held almost a 90% strike rate in 2014.

But are we predicting a Modi doom too soon? Yes. Because the BJP still is strong enough in its main bastions of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and a probable comeback in Karnataka and a phantomic rise in Kerala. Every political election is won by votes and arithmetic. So chemistry may be a factor in running alliances, but not in winning the festivity every 5 years. Bipolar states with Congress on the opposite table may be a cakewalk for the BJP even in 2019. And trends have shown that growing political conscience imply voters to ply in different ideological preferences between general and assembly elections. Delhi being the foremost example where three different political weightages were given on 2 different political parties in a course of only 450 days. 18 months earlier we had a vanquished Nitish, today a jubilant one-almost the apple of the eye in the secular brigade which by the way believes in communalizing elections not on the basis of religion, but through the identityof caste. Because in India, we have only been taught communalism on the basis of religiosity and not on the basis of any other factorisation.

So to call the shot even before the match started is more a gamble, less a picturesque prophecy. Rather, it is like those numerologists and astrologers who predict but seldom prove a theorem, not a geometric but a political one.

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