I have been hearing a myth for few decades now that Indian elections are decided in ‘Bharat’, not in ‘India’ – Common terms used by so-called experts on TV to refer to rural and urban electorate, respectively. Most of the ‘esteemed’ commentariat blamed surprise NDA defeat in 2004 on arrogance-driven ‘India Shining’ campaign of BJP which fails to strike chord with ‘Bharat’. However, simple data analysis would show that BJP lost elections in urban areas with score of 1/7 and 0/10 in Delhi and Mumbai, respectively. Other loses were already factored in by BJP election managers but losses in urban areas sealed the fate. But why despite delivering a stellar governance record where benefits were quickly cornered by urban populace, able administrator such as ABV had to face crushing defeat at hands of generally hated person like Sonia Gandhi ?
Answer lies in one-sided narrative peddled by Lutyens’ ecosystem after Gujarat riots. Horrible inhuman but largely fake stories were concocted about atrocities on Muslims which would create revulsion among any normal human being. These stories were peddled without any counter for years and young middle-class urban Hindus were shamelessly sent on guilt-trip for voting BJP. This project was concluded successfully because there was no one to speak for BJP. Same trend was repeated but in reverse and along different dimension in 2011 with Anna Hazare movement. 2009 saw one of the most one-sided coverage in favor of incumbent in history of Indian parliamentary polls. Hence, there were lot of expectations among too many dynasty bootlickers which was almost impossible for Sonia Gandhi to satisfy even after bankrupting the treasury. With rampant corruption and abysmal governance plaguing UPA administration, several corruption episodes and scandals like 2G, CWG and Adarsh started tumbling out of UPA closet. With social media driving the narrative among educated young urban middle-class Hindus regarding Anna Hazare movement, there was a tectonic shift in opinion against UPA. Congress and Rahul Gandhi. Suddenly, it was cool to support BJP and Narendra Modi. There were people who voted for first and probably, last time in their life in 2014 parliamentary elections. Mainstream media channels who were defending UPA corruption were lampooned as ‘Darbari Media’. Sensing shift, many media houses like Zee TV and India TV started adopting a distinctive pro-BJP tilt.
Cut to present, CAA protests and Hathras Incident over the last one year were designed to induce same shame in young urban Hindu voters. BJP survived narrative war thanks to social media warriors and pro-BJP channels like Republic and Times Now ,exposing lies. People like Arnab Goswami have shown courage to espouse Hindu causes with zeal. These actors allows BJP supporters to counter fake narrative and blunt the liberal propaganda. This is not the case that BJP is surviving due to Arnab and Arnab is world’s biggest Hindutva warrior. Arnab is a businessman and he might switch sides like Dr. Swamy. However, Arnab took truth of Hathras to drawing rooms when every single channel was spreading lies and inciting caste violence. As we stand today, Arnab is recognized as single largest RW icon. Today, Arnab is being harassed and failure of Narendra Modi to act would send a message the social media supporters and supportive media houses that they are dispensable. Modi might be thinking that his direct connect with low income group bring him votes but let me put it straight – this is not true. It takes lot of unknown, unnamed supporters fighting office in cafeterias, family gatherings and WhatsApp groups to win perception battles for BJP. If you don’t stand for biggest icon, nothing would put their neck on line to keep you in power. You are already losing perception battle as your unknown footsoliders are giving up. Failure to act within next few hours can take Indian media to 2002 and believe me, this time Vemula, Award-Wapsi, Hathras and CAA would dethrone you.
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