Year 2015 is coming to an end. This has turned out to be a year of showbiz—on political, social and economic front—without any major tangible results. Continuing to grapple with one problem or the other on the home front, Modi Sarkar sought to hard sell its make in India, digital India and other programs in other countries and among people of Indian origin. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his spin doctors worked overtime to highlight these efforts, throughout year. One has to wonder why the government is not highlighting any tangible success of these efforts. It’s not that a government keen on propaganda and perception management would overlook this vital aspect and properly communicating its achievements to the masses.
The year also saw some upward movement of the Congress—first time after its demoralizing defeat in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections— as the grand old party managing to mount pressure on the NDA government on crucial issues such as land acquisition law, GST and so on. Left intellectuals, who were almost lying low for a couple of years, rose to the occasion to hog the limelight over the debate on ‘rising intolerance’. Delhi Chief Minster Arvind Kejriwal put up an exciting show, turning tables on finance minister Arun Jaitley on the corruption issue, after the CBI raided his secretariat to unearth alleged corruption of his principal secretary. Mega stars Amir Khan and Sharukh Khan contributed their due share in intolerance controversy –even as BJP motor mouths exhibited their full calibre to remain in the limelight—casting shadow on their own party government at the centre.
Media, particularly the television, blared throughout the year on every idiotic statements made by political parties, its leaders and their crochets in its huger, sorry, lust for TRPs. Many TV channels soft- pedalled on its stand when it comes to dealing with the government of the day and aired only those portions that suits the political bosses. To some extent, the only saving grace now is the social media—though everything circulating on it have to be taken only with a pinch of salt.
There is a growing antipathy among people towards political parties and politicians. Political strategists, like Prashant Kishor—who spearheaded Modi campaign and later Bihar’s Nitish campaign—can only unleash strategic campaigns for elections and even perception management for a short period. The rise and rise of social media, which have a tremendous power, will immediately see through the game and bring before public the multiple dimensions of any good or bad decisions being taken by the governments.
What the country is now looking forward is a proper mechanism that ensures delivery of services to the masses. No amount of showbiz, talks about ache din and repeated claims about development taking place elsewhere could help sustain credibility of an elected government. People will see through the game.
Let us get this right. Political promises are not delivered by individual politicians but the economy. One just cannot assume that manipulation of economy, showbiz and propaganda by political strategists will help deliver the promises. The economy requires serious attention rather than manipulation. Politicians, its time, have to spell out clearly what they will do for the economy and not what economy will do for them and their respective parties.