New Rabbit, Same Hat

There seems to be a perception of a massive change for the better with Modi getting elected. It will be interesting to see how it unfolds, because all I am seeing is that a political puppet that got exposed and thus rendered useless got discarded for its alternative. Or perhaps more accurately, one out of two political puppets got exposed and rendered useless and got discarded, leaving the full weight of the masters behind one.

I had brought this up when the scam exposes started, triggering the UPA2 spiral into the abyss. It was the government getting exposed and rightly so, but the absence of scrutiny on the other side of who was profiting from the government corruption was a telling indicator that long back. The absence of scrutiny from the opposition was easily covered up with big dramas to media and outrages in Parliament, but rarely over anything that did not get exposed in other ways already, and almost never with legal action and accountability (they have since *acquired* Subramanian Swamy for a fig leaf on that).

It is no coincidence that media buried the paid news report either. It is a larger part of the corporate media puzzle, where the free speech of media hasn’t been muzzled, but prostrated. You are not supposed to see the non-audience facing side of the set.

While there were two corporate puppets, with the traditional “rulers” leading, the stakes weren’t as high. It was important that the puppet win, but it was okay if the other one got chosen as well. When that ended, the stakes grew higher in making the remaining puppet win.

The India that imagines that Gujarat is actually some kind of Shangri-la that will spread India wide is in for a rude awakening. People from Gujarat still end up in Maharashtra for work. The promises and methods of the BJP offer nothing that would give a different result from the UPA2.

All that we have got is a fresh face with its make up in tact, unlike the UPA2 with its running mascara and ugly scars showing. For a while, the facade will last, then the stories will seep through, because neither in Gujarat, nor in its manifesto is anything that will actually prevent the government from misusing its power, which is already happening in Gujarat.

All that we will have is a government better able to fool the people into trusting it, and you’d damn well expect so, given the kind of money being poured into convincing the people of the promised land!

At the end of the day, it is business as always as far as India is concerned, only with the side effect of the other risks that come with this puppet.

There is no end to dynastic politics. The Modi wave has swept UP carefully around the rulers. Both the Gandhis, supposedly much hated by BJP made it without any particular visible intent by BJP to rout them other than a token Modi rally in Amethi after Kumar Vishvas started making a visible challenge and dividing the anti-Congress vote became important. Where Aam Aadmi Party didn’t have the resources to mount a big challenge, in Rae Bareily, Sonia Gandhi breezed through without any particular challenge from the BJP either. “Mullah” Mulayam Singh Yadav, much reviled by BJP, won from both seats he contested in a state where the Modi tsunami was on, Dharmendra Yadav and Dimple Yadav won too. What is stunning is the win of Akshay Yadav – entering politics for the first time, pitted against a BJP MP who was earlier in the SP and with a massive Modi wave backing him. The Modi wave did not harm him either, even as it decimated both Congress and SP otherwise.

Its job of electing the next emperor done, media is emerging from its Modi haze to now raise questions about him. Possibly because alarmed journalists too are realizing that this isn’t an NDA government, or even merely a BJP government, but a BJP government without even a proper opposition. And journalists who toed working briefs now have to look at what they have wrought and are not so sure this is what they had set out to achieve.

It does not matter. If questioning couldn’t stop the UPA, which at least had the sense to deny or apologize for wrongs in public, it is not going to matter at all to the BJP which has long made a virtue of public claims of innocence and victimization while deploying other tracks of communication to actually defend its actions and show them as in the interests of India. The media has been rendered mostly irrelevant in a system carefully crafted to maintain impunity for the powerful. By the time the media will be needed again, there will be a nice lull to erase memories and anyone with too many neurons will be shuttled away to where they can’t be heard.

For the rest of the country, it is going to be life as usual, interspersed with some nice goodies to keep them aware of how their lives are transformed, while the very country gets eroded from under their feet in invisible ways. Do contact me if living actually becomes easier for you by next year because ab ki baar Modi.

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About the Author

Vidyut is a blogger on issues of National interest. Staunch advocate of rights, learning and freedoms. @Vidyut

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