Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Eclipsing pride of Gujarat

The BJP’s propaganda is that development in Gujarat has happened in the last decade only. This absurdity is an insult to the ever enterprising Gujaratis. The state has done well for a century

 Assembly election is about a week away. An enormous amount of money and propaganda is being used to convince the voters that this election has to be fought on the issues of development. There can hardly be any debate that the people should vote to power only such parties that work for the development of society. The huge propaganda is therefore an exercise in tautology.
    The Congress communications did not project a chief ministerial candidate but they punctured the development balloon of the incumbent government. The advertisements by the BJPtellusthatitisonlyoneman,NarendraModi, who has done every good thing in the state. Through this campaign Modi has virtually decimated the party in the state. This does not bode well for a functioning democracy.
    Abad party in power may result in a defective democracy but a single man in power destroys democracy. We all know what happened in Germany when a guy called Adolf Hitler destroyed hisownparty,theNationalSocialistParty(Nazi).
    Modi, who often alleges that the Congress engages in vote-bank politics, is himself spearheadingadubiouscampaign.HeispaintingGujarat as a backward state 11 years ago. The stock propaganda is that development in Gujarat has happened in the last decade only. This absurdity isagreatinsulttotheeverenterprisingGujaratis. Gujarat has been one of the most developed regions for over hundred years with the largest textile industry and being a booming trading centre.
    Let’s take one of the most disgraceful advertisements being dished out day in and day outthe one in which a child asks his mother why people are telling him to oppose Modi. The mother says that they want to fool us for votes. British looted us for 100 years and after independence thieves have looted us and now they want to continue to loot us. It’s only Modi who can save us and give us a glorious Gujarat. After citing everything that she has is given by Modi, sheconcludesthatsheis,therefore,‘M o d i n a m a - n a s’ (Modi’s person). The child consequently repeats that he is also one.
    This piece of propaganda is an insult to our history. The reference is to the Congress leadership since independence which obviously includes Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Morarji Desai, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Pandit Nehru. If this is the level to which the propaganda can stoop to to promote the cult of one man, it is indeed a shame for all of us.
    The media suggests another clean sweep by the BJP. But the desperation in the BJP campaign suggests exactly the opposite. In contrast, the Congress party is putting up a smart and clutterfree communication for the first time ever. It systematically exposed the stains on the ‘clean’ image of the CM. Its campaign also hijacked the GujaratipridecardfromtheBJP.AconfidentModi, who began the campaign in Hindi with eyes on the national politics, returned to Gujarati the moment Keshubhai returned to play his second innings. The multi-crore Sadhbhavna mission was designed to wash away his communal image. Losing ground on his original vote-bank, he returned to his Hindutva card by not giving a ticket to any Muslim. His latest attack on CongressleaderAhmedPatelwasdesignedtosuggest achange in stance.
    The BJP started by spending lakhs to say that the Centre was slapping the Gujaratis but the moment it looked in the mirror, it found itself red-faced. So it immediately dropped the advertisement and started singing “bhai-bhai” which eventually turned out to be a self-goal when the Congress retaliated.
    The BJP which is attacking the Central government on corruption is at the receiving end in thestatesruledbytheparty,especiallyinGujarat and Karnataka. Tehelka exposed a dubious company registered in Barbados called GeoGlobal Resources which will enjoy a windfall of Rs 20,000 crore at the cost of Gujarat taxpayers in perhaps the most scandalous contracts ever signed by the Modi regime.
    The Kabaddi videos which are constantly being played on the LED bill-boards say nothing about the issues concerning people. Enormous amount of money is being spent to project the macho Modi against a ‘captain-less’ Congress. Such advertisements could have done wonders inBiharandUP.ButinGujarat,itcouldwelldoto Modi what ‘India Shining’ ads did to Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2004.