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Divided, we can't take on 'Narendra Modi cocktail'
Friday May 23, 2014 10:57 AM, Anurag Modi

None of us must be in any delusion that it was a Modi wave that won a majority; with just a 31% vote share and 283 seats, this is the first time in Independent India that any party got a majority in a parliamentary election.

Modi with Tata Amabani

And, with just 38.5% of the vote, the NDA won 336 seats. In the Modi versus the rest kind of presidential election that Modi fought; he is basically a big loser. Had it been a proportional representative system, the BJP would have been quite an insignificant factor in the parliament. So, Modi's so-called landslide victory became possible because 61.5% of the opposition was divided amongst its regional leaders, and it is here that religious politics has defeated caste politics.

It is not that only non-BJP political parties are divided, but with the emergence of Aam Admi Party (AAP) people's movements and activists, who have so far been taking on Modi's communal and corporate agenda are also very much divided. With this divided opposition, the Modi cocktail of religious politics mixed with the new economic policy- a hardline agenda riding on the back of the horse named development - is going to intoxicate people much more easily and will develop stronger roots.

Actually, with the onset of globalisation, the United States of America (USA) was a better example for Modi and its mentor RSS, than the age old Nazi German; USA use of race and religious politics, to carry out the economic agenda of the corporate powers that they serve. And it is here that Advani lost to Modi in the race for the post of Prime Minister even before the election took place; as, it was not the RSS which decided on it but the corporate lobby that pushed for Modi. If it was a question of only polarising voters Advani would not have lost so early; after all, he was the first person to master the art of communal polarisation. But he lost because he lacked the capacity and the killer instinct of mixing divisive politics with a corporate agenda. The corporate agents were able to convince the Sangh Parivar that it is a game of mutual benefit; that the RSS will be able to push their agenda through well only if it is wrapped in the cover of development; they rode on each other's back. Obviously, Modi was a mascot of good governance with a Hindu nationalist image. We have seen in the election campaign that it was " Abki Bar Modi Sarkar" and not BJP Sarkar, and other than Modi no other leader of the BJP was supported or allowed to tour the country.

In Gujarat, Narendra Modi has been successful in demonstrating his capacity of mixing communal agenda with corporate agenda. In fact, the corporate supported campaign helped him sell it to his benefit in this parliamentary general election. For the first time in Indian history we have witnessed the corporate lobby so openly supporting a divisive agenda.

The corporates have planned all this very meticulously; they have used everything that they have seen useful. The corporate lobby, through its media power used India Against Corruption's (IAC) movement to single out the Congress on the issue of corruption. For all through that one year, we witnessed media televising IAC movement 24X7 and equating Anna with Gandhi. Kiran Bedi, Baba Ramdev and Sri Sri Ravishanker – all who are now openly supporting Modi - were with IAC. So, to the common man, it was some honest and non political people, not BJP or Modi, who were attacking the Congress on the issue of corruption. At the same time, the corruption issues of BJP were put under wraps: non-appointment of Lokayukta in Gujarat, or the corruption issues of BJP led states were not on the IAC list.

Even with the formation of Aam Admi Party, the corporates and Modi were benefited and were happy about it on two counts: one, with the Delhi Legislative Assembly election in mind, the AAP with narrow vision was targeting only Sheila Dikshit and her Congress party on the issue of corruption; if it was not for corruption issues raised by AAP, Sheila Dikshit would have scored better than Modi on the issue of development. Second, the failure of the Congress was not attributed to its anti-people economic policy of globalisation which in the last ten years has led to privatization of all basic social services; distress amongst farmers causing around 3 lakhs farmers to commit suicide ; and $ 343,93 billion (between 2002-2011) of black money trashed by corporate in foreign banks. Instead, the AAP embarrassed congress's agenda of new economic policy; only attacking crony capitalism. AAP failed to realize the fact that, corruption was just the symptom and not a decrease in itself. The even went a step ahead by talking of the revolutionary politics, without having any ideological base.

With AAP's success in Delhi many activists and people's movements joined the party. This has not only caused a vertical rift within people's movements and in activist circles, but it led those who joined AAP to abandon their common position against capitalism and the present development model based new economic policy. This election has witnessed not only decades-old allies and friends of movements pitted against each but a war of words on social networking sites.

So, once everybody, including the so called revolutionary party like AAP accepted the basic policy premises it was more-or-less established that there is nothing wrong with the new economic policy, and that it is only a matter of good governance . And, it is here that Modi found the edge over all his opponents, especially with his corporate-supported campaign. And, with a mix of corporate media projecting Modi as lone and best taker of governance, the polarising tactics of Amit Shah worked better.

The USA has got a like minded ally in Modi- both share common view on religion with economy; its deadly weapon, use religious terrorism as a weapon to divide and control their opponents. With these like minded allies, it is not only Adani and Ambani but we will now see international corporations ruling India. We must note the fact that India is not the biggest market in terms of consumer goods and infrastructure projects alone but it is also the biggest arms buyer in the world with the USA being the biggest arms supplier. We will see the USA fueling an arms race as next to us in arms purchase are Pakistan and China; our two immediate neighbors, whom Modi has already openly challenged in his election speeches.

Now, with caste politics taking the backseat and religious politics at work, regional parties will be less effective against BJP. The Congress is already quite demoralized. I can say this with my personal experience that at this crucial juncture people's movements and activists are also demoralized, confused and stressed. It is this stress that was behind the death of one of my friend and key mentors of people's movements, who recently lost his life to brain hemorrhage.

Now, to take on the USA-supported deadly Modi brand of cocktail, the people's movements of this country and all other regional forces need to bury their differences, and mobilize the youth of this country to rise to the occasion and challenge Modi on his economic and communal agenda.

Can we?

Anurag Modi, full-time activist for 22 years, Samajwadi Jan Parishad Email:

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