Tuesday, December 23, 2014

If BJP Failed Miserably, Why Are TV 'Analysts' Miserable?

J&K and Jharkhand elections results: Expert analysts are so out of touch with reality that they beat Rahul Gandhi in not seeing the obvious contest.

Democracy is the worst form of government, except all those other forms that have been tried, so said Sir Winston Churchill. You would agree that there's nothing better than a system that gives people the right to choose the bad guys. It gives us elections that give us results that give us so many laughs. 

Today, analysts in TV debates delivered the best ones. Most of them know the anchors and the anchors know them. They are moderately famous people and watch out for each other's backs when it itches.

A majority of them dislike the Bharatiya Janata Party, and rightly so. The party sprinkles its vision with progressive words like development but the long, flowing saffron robes fail to hide its naked ambition for a theocratic Hindu Rashtra. They polarise people in the name of religion. They refuse to see the reality of India.

No etymology is retentive that the word analyst came from anal, then why are our analysts so out of touch with the ground reality that they could beat Rahul Gandhi in the Keep-Your-Head-in-the-Cavity-Contest? Their personal dislike for the BJP makes it tough for them to accept the fact that the BJP might be doing better. The unbridled run of a divisive party should concern them but they refuse to recognise it and choose to rubbish it.   

This morning was one of those constipated beginnings as I flipped through channels to see faces getting longer and eager to go and hug the non-BJP spokespersons in the other windows. On such days the TV screens have a minimum of eight windows going at a time, and the BJP is generally in a minority in these panels. The irony is, that it fails to appreciate how cornered it feels to be in minority. 

The BJP is heading to form a government in Jharkhand. It has won 25 seats in Jammu and Kashmir, up from 11. Yet, our analysts agreed that the BJP has failed to win the number of seats it projected. The BJP had launched Mission 44+ in Jammu and Kashmir. The BJP had no such mission in Jharkhand. But there was unanimity in noisy debates conducted in English that Modi's magic was fading. Close your eyes and the monster would go away, huh? 

They concluded that the BJP got all its seats in Jammu because it polarised the votes to get more Hindu votes. That's a bad thing. They also said the Valley boycotted the boycott call to vote in large numbers lest the Pandits should have a say and the BJP should open its account. That's a bad thing, too, no? No. The panellists believe Muslims of the Valley preventing a communal BJP from gaining ground is a good sign. That Mehbooba Mufti warning people about a Hindu chief minister in case the BJP won was not at all polarising. 

In the past they have hated the polarisation of majority votes in states like Uttar Pradesh. They have justified the minority en bloc voting and rightly so. People who are in minority need to be together to counter the recent majoritarian narrative. Logically, a minority vote split gives the majority to walk all over them. Voting en bloc ensures their representatives, from whichever community, keep them in their minds.

Now comes the twist, the panellists prefer to ignore. Hindus are a minority in Jammu and Kashmir. The BJP was, in fact, playing minority politics to ensure Hindu-dominated Jammu gets a voice in Srinagar because the discrimination against Jammu is not a fable. Like every state, there are favoured regions. In Jammu and Kashmir, it is the Valley, especially areas around Srinagar, that eats the pie first and the rest get the leftover.

Now that the PDP and the BJP did better, almost all panellists agreed that the PDP should not go with the BJP and sleep with the Congress. Unsolicited advice. Now, isn't the two poles of these two polarisers coming together a good thing, especially after a vicious fight? 

Just to temper the heightened communal temperature, maybe? Why wouldn't it be ideal for a Hindu Jammu and Muslim Kashmir to work together in a state that takes pride in Kashmiriyat, in a country that claims secularism is its very foundation? If it has boggled your mind, consider the inanities mouthed about the other state.

In Jharkhand, the BJP has a simple majority and it will form the next government. Those who did not want the BJP to win in the first place are saying it did not win enough seats to sit comfortably in the seat of power. They are also cribbing that the BJP fought in the name of Modi because it has a leadership crisis in the state. Can we now leave it to Modi and the BJP to decide what to do with the mandate? 

Of course, they would have someone run the state from Ranchi. They rued the fact that Babulal Marandi, the honest and once the most credible BJP leader, is the man that the BJP would miss the most today. Well, Marandi lost both the seats he contested. That should settle the debate about his credibility.  

CommentEven Omar Abdullah was gracious enough to admit defeat in Sonawar and went a step further by accepting that his victory margin in Beerwah was too slim to not concern him. It is time some TV debate expert analysts accepted that voters choose their leaders based on ground realities and some go in the BJP's favour. 

It is after all a contest between the BJP and the others, not the BJP vs the Raibahadurs of TV studios. Why so serious? Go catch the night show of PK, instead of saying lul things in lul debates about lul parties of a lul democracy. As Chacha Churchill would say, except from all the other forms that have been tried.

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