June , 2024
Elections 2024: Illusion & Reality
20:46 pm

Buroshiva Dasgupta

Whenever there is an election, we find the politicians speaking in hyperboles – and possibly, 2024 Lok Sabha has reached a crest. About prediction of results we see, for the first time, two apparently ‘rational’ poll analysts giving diametrically opposite figures. So statistics, and their analyses, are also lying! The desperation, in all spheres, seems apparent.

The reality, however, will be clear in less than a week when the Election Commission announces the results. Of course, results will matter: who will rule the country? But the issues thrown up among the hyperboles and the promises of all political parties will indicate how the country will be run in future. According to an extreme view, there will be no more elections in the country. The opposition cries wolf: if the ruling party comes back, the constitution will be changed and India will see dictatorship. One of the constituencies within the opposition however has already shown how dictatorship looks like, though for a short time.

But the turnaround in perception about India in the international platform is no illusion. The pandemic has revealed how resilient India can be. The economy did not crash and people did not starve – as many predicted. There may be some failings – the handling of the migrants for example, or the deaths in the second phase of the pandemic; but while the economy of the ‘developed’ countries were reeling, India stood firm, gave free rations and had plenty in reserves in terms of food and money. The world is shifting its attention from China, whose ‘imperialism’ seems more real and India is becoming a better bet for the global corporations. That’s not for nothing. So whoever comes to power cannot tamper with the world perception of India today. The propaganda of the ruling party has raised Narendra Modi to the level of divinity; but it is also true one cannot deny him the due, even though managing the country’s economy in times of crisis was a collective effort; and so was the image made at the global level  by an able foreign minister.

The prime minister revealed immense energy – at his age – crisscrossing this huge country to campaign for the election. This is no mean feat. His programmes were meticulously planned; he was adequately briefed with the local issues and in most cases he attempted to speak, at least a few words, in the local dialect. The opposition tries to dismiss his strategies as a ‘big show-off’; but the reality is that he touches the heart of the local Indian in the countryside.

The ruling party would not recognise what the Congress did for development after independence; But it would be unfair not to acknowledge the right ‘temples’ which Jawharlal Nehru built in the form of the Bhakra Nagal  dams and the IITs and IIMs. Growth was slow; but it was steady. The shift in economy from the socialist structure had started long before Narendra Modi came to power – in fact in the  previous Congress regime itself under Narasimha Rao and then later through Manmohan Singh. The leftists had vehemently opposed this structural change in economy and even wanted to pull down Manmohan Singh government, though now in 2024 elections they are ‘friends’ with the Congress, to fight Narendra Modi.

We know politics make strange bedfellows. The ‘illusion’ of the leftists about the Congress now seems to be over, facing the hard ‘reality ‘of the ruling BJP. The ruling party has created a dream world for the future through its well-oiled propaganda machinery. One has to wait and see what they really deliver, if they come to power again for the third time. The ’INDIA’ conglomerate is still very amorphous and lacks a sense of direction except the determination to defeat the BJP.

Whoever comes to power, we don’t want the democratic structure of India to be tampered with; neither do we want to slide back from the present structure of the economy by which India has gained international respect.

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