almost every political analyst and even those common men discussing politics at tea stalls and their office spaces in indian cities are arguing that the recent india-pakistan standoff will indeed up bjp’s and modi’s chances in 2019 polls. this seems true when one switches on the television set that is filled with patriotism and praise for the ruling dispensation. this also appears true when we turn to tier-1 and tier-2 cities of india where more or less every whatsapp and facebook user has some work that keeps their household afloat.
but the truth is that these aforementioned facts do not decide electoral outcomes in a country where almost half the population still works in farm sector and the formidable dalit constituency is still aspiring for socio-economic equality, which has been long-promised, however, remains a distant dream to day.
india’s politics does not run on how well we are faring in the global scene or on the strides we make in geopolitics. indians have a range of local issues that they expect the government to resolve and this is what made narendra modi the most favoured man in 2014 lok sabha elections.
today, he is more a cult with modism as the talk of the town. his party members are rallying behind him and are still riding the modi-wave. 5 years gone and the party can only claim limited success. in fact, the ground situation remains more or less the same. a young dalit entrepreneur is still facing hurdles in securing loan for her small-scale venture even as the government is claiming lakhs of crores of rupees lent through the mudra yojana. public offices are still unconcerned with people’s pain and the business in bureaucracy has remained as usual.
in 2014, when people voted decisively in favour of modi, they expected a new india in next 5 years. only a tiny fraction of population, which is earning a regular monthly income, thanks to their domicile in urban parts, expected india to rule the world and have a world leader as its prime minister. for most, expectations were simple- equal opportunity, improvement in standard of living and respect. sadly, the modi-mongers deprived the people of these by intimidating all who criticized modi.
today, modism is a cult. one is either a member or against it, and if the latter holds true for you, you are likely to be silenced by the cult members with impunity.
for modi, however, this is no feat. his poll analysts have forgotten that indians, especially those who have the command to swing the elections, hate strongmen and like underdogs. for them, modi’s preference of a geopolitically stronger india over local expectations is a strong reason to vote the bjp out of power in 2019. the recent quarterly gdp growth rate of 6.6 percent must worry the modi regime since it establishes distress in agriculture and manufacturing sectors.
in fact, the rallying of bjp behind the india-pakistan standoff will only cost bjp since the wider electorate is viewing it as sidelining of and compromising with other promises of development, opportunity, equality and better standard of living.