No! Indians Don’t Vote Intelligently
By Trevor Selvam
18 May, 2014
Whenever an Indian election ends, analysts’ claim that the Indian electorate votes with their heads, not with their hearts. This has become more of a condescending and clichéd exercise, rather than an attempt at grappling with the reality of India’s evolving social demography.
A whole heap of bleeding heart democrat-ists, satchel-carrying socialists and banner waiving tag-along partners of either sex who populate several organizations in the same city at the same time, will now lament and wail on a zillion blogs and twitter networks, about what happened. They will remain awe-struck for a month or so. They will also go ape-shit and issue statements and 140 character proto-smart twaddle on how they are all shocked and amazed “by the sweeping victory” and then will come the asinine “acceptance “of the results as the “exercise of democracy.” Sorry, but enough of calling a spade, a spoon!
As days go by, they will then analyze and analyze and then go into paralysis, finding ways and means to dodge their own responsibilities, their own divisive activities, over the years and come to a standstill again. If I hear another comrade spazzing out on the shocking results, I will puke.
Complete stasis. Motionless again for five years? That could be the outcome. They will meanwhile not waste a breath to call each other names and various “-ists.” In effect, they will once again, not stand-by the people of India, who were duped into voting for this fascist huddle by an extraordinarily well-oiled, well-heeled confluence of corporate media and big industry (owned by each other).
Unkind? No, not all. Unsparing? No, not for now. Because, you just cannot wake up to the fascist menace in the last few months before the elections. Just last week, you were saying, the “tide is turning.” “It won’t be a wave, it won’t be a sweep.” You were not duped. You were navel gazing and bickering amongst yourselves, for quite a few years. You fooled yourself. Why? Because you were disconnected. You were out of sync. You were comparing notes with your own kind. You were talking amongst yourselves. You did not for the past several years, join hands and organize amongst the poor, like 40 million RSS members have been doing. They got their act together and got down to the grass roots work when the comrades were bitching about other comrades walking with still other comrades. That has been the problem. You did not see it coming. You were busy quoting Lenin and using terms like LWE (left wing extremism as PC Chidambaram and his Greenhunt buddies did) while the RSS shakhas were opening up new shakhas. Even though the entire BJP machinery was not fully convinced about having Modi as their leader, in effect their whole party got hijacked by the millions (if not billions) that swept in from the oligarchs and other industrial classes into fronting Modi as their man. Meanwhile you were hacking away at each other in your blogs.
Yes, the majority of the people (31.5%) who voted for Modi were duped. I am not talking about the new middle class. Because they are believers in Modi-cracy. I am not talking about the Industrialist class. Because Modi is their best bet to get free power, free land, tax holidays and easy access to FDIs.
I am talking about the rural and small town masses that came by their millions to listen to Modi or his hologram. He turned them on with his churlish magnetism. They did not vote with their intelligence or thoughtfully. This does not mean they are idiots. It simply means that given the thoughts that were presented to them and given the record of ALL the parties who did their “secular” flag-waiving harangue, it was perfectly understandable that they chose to vote for a melodramatic and theatrical Modi, who captured their hearts as a down-home man-wonder.
BJP did nothing wrong. The milestones project to lay siege to India was laid out well in advance by the rogue marketer Amit Shah and the creepy communalist Togadia. In a carefully planned, step by step PR onslaught, they first got the “clean chit” on Godhra (shame on the judges who cowered and prostrated themselves and overlooked the evidence). Then they sold him as “an ordinary chai-selling subaltern”-which in this country of Bollywood dream merchant-ism, sells extraordinarily. Then they took on the Gandhi clan for their “upper class” roots and of course the “foreign” element. Finally, over the last week they unleased their blood-curdling “Land of Bhagwan Ram” hysteria. You will notice that they did not get too defensive about the “Gujarat Model.” Because that model was in tatters, already. So they did not waste too much time, defending it. In any case, who on earth would imagine that malnutritioned peasants would understand “child mortality” and then go onto vote for Congress? Do school drop outs follow the blogs that claim that they are part of an alarming statistic and therefore they must trot off to the EVM and vote AAP? Would Gujarat’s errant doctors have a conscience breakthrough (since 90% of rural medical facilities in Gujarat are without doctors) and go vote for the non-existent socialists?
So, the satchel carriers and their mentors in “development think tanks” will weep and weep bitterly and flood the Indo-Gangetic plains complaining about the 40 million members of the RSS who pulled off a miracle doing what they themselves should have been doing for sixty years since India’s so-called independence. That is--- Organize! Organize! And Organize at every level of society, and Defend! Defend! Defend! at the grass roots, in independent but connected militant networks. And Unite! Unite! And Unite! On the basis of a minimum platform to rid India of the false prophets of neo-liberalism and unite strategically (which means not to intrude in the areas of strengths of each other) and defend the common platform in forums, in civil liberties organizations, in panchayats, in the forests, in the mines, in the towns and the cities. That, Indian satchel carriers have not been capable of. Maybe some heads should now turn.
Trevor Selvam is a frequent contributor to Countercurrents.org
Comments are moderated