For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love – John Donne
Well I am no astrologer but New Year has to be better than the previous or India could have its very own Indian Spring. Population growth of India is running far ahead of the GDP numbers. The unprecedented growth phase stretched roughly from 90s to 2010 has ended leaving far more people clueless about their future. The Hindu Right-Wing political groups represented by RSS clones like BJP are fast losing their patience to get another bite into power at Delhi. Never before youthful India fed & brought up on large doses of glamorous dreams through a lifestyle of entertainment want money for acquiring gadgets that it can’t seem to live without. The soup is further spiked by large number of youths from the destitute class struggling to live like their friends in the upper echelons as they too have access to same media as the consuming class.
The Elections in a democracy is like a game season. Politicians would be readying for 2014 which would put the affairs of the country on back burner. Political class disconnected from majority of population seeks to segment people on the basis of caste/religion than economic or regional factors. This results in obfuscation of economic issues and emergence of identity politics to garner the votes. Political class in India is not media savvy so the fall into trap of Bollywood style image building depicting them as super humans capable of solving ALL problems facing the region and country. Religion in India is very entrenched in everyday life so use of religion in politics is customary in an election year.
Although India has time & again refused to elect leaders who present themselves as strong & powerful but politicians continue to project them as most powerful lords. I am sure no person with basic knowledge of marketing would believe that N. Modi’s victory in Gujarat elections has anything to do with his projection as the only ‘strong & able’ person alive in India. Modi victory is assertion of Hindu pride than his personal appeal. Such phenomena are prevalent in Punjab, J&K & many other states formed on culture identity of the people.
The 2012 could well be called as the year of Media-Manipulations rather than organic civil protests. It’s customary for media to go where the news is but in India media has demonstrated its ugly power of creating news where it wasn’t. Taking a cue from Cyrus Barocha show 2012 was ‘the- year- that- wasn’t’ from the news media perspective. People would never have known Anna or Ramdev unless media provided them relentless coverage. Media funded by vested interests & need for sensationalism went on to organize many people protests on Dehi roads. The opposition parties also leveraged their right to oppose the govt by distract the ruling coalition from task of economic development. Therefore Indian audience had to face the double whammy of useless news & economic slowdown. The media & politicians played havoc with happiness & economic health of average Indians in 2012. Current year being closer to elections would not be any better though we pray to these monsters to let us leave alone. The UPA government didn’t allow full FDI in Newsmedia and attempted to control it which is not possible due to nature of the beast. So let’s hope that India may have a quieter 2013 so that people could get to live their life away from these monsters.