The Fight beyond Abuse, Mockery and Assault on Democracy
The whole performance of Rahul Gandhi after a disastrous call for the No-Confidence motion – ostensibly done to embarrass the Modi Government – and his lies will go down in the history of Indian governance as legendary. Here is a party which was the only real national party for over 60 years of Indian political milieu after independence and it has someone so flippant, frivolous and imbecile as its President. And, that people around him have to defend him and his antics.
Rahul Gandhi reminds one of Donald Trump and his way of doing things.
It obviously is no coincidence that both are being helped by one agency – Cambridge Analytica. That organization, perhaps, loves to work with jokers who can be made to do far more than they are capable on the strength of lies, abuse and falsehoods by using the social media.
From the time when Trump boasted of how he could “grab the pu**y” to the time he made those disastrous remarks standing alongside Putin, I have seen with wonder how those who seem perfectly normal and intelligent people start to not just defend but justify those actions and words. And, how Trump has gone on to use abuse, lies, hyperbole and backing of hate to spread his message.
Rahul Gandhi is being prepared using the same script.
IN the parliament performance, he used lies, he talked of religion, he mocked the PM, he tried to heckle the PM and do oneupmanship as well. This is how Trump beat his competitors, including Hillary.
When Trump was being a buffoon or abusive, the others tried to counter it by showcasing their own “good self” or “seriousness”. But he used that to dig deeper and abuse more. Soon, his abuses resonated and spread far wide with the help of compliant media like Fox. Let’s be clear, NDTV is India’s Fox. Just like Fox, they can go to any extent to peddle their own “ideology” and “supremacism-laden ways”.
The way Trump could make his abusive and insulting behavior work for him and get the “base” that he did – was to create another line of argument that was useful for many – attack on the Globalization (which was hurting middle America) and on Terrorism (Islamic terror). Unfortunately, the Left in the world has made its virtue to side with Islamic terror and play its second fiddle all the time. In subtle and not so subtle ways. So, while the “Liberals” want to fight the White Supremacism in US, they love the Islamic Supremacist ideologies and ideas. And, they have left the fighting against Islamic Supremacism to the White Supremacists themselves! That is what Trump jumped on.
Fight against Islamic Supremacism is as just and important a fight as the one against White Supremacism. And, many were feeling the pusillanimity of the Democrats annoying and destructive in this area.
Lack of seriousness in terms of jobs growth was another area that Democrats did not take care of while globalization was destroying communities in middle America. I have seen one such town in Wisconsin and I can easily see why they would have turned to anyone who would say he cares for them!
So, the abuse of Trump was accompanied by the aligning to pain-points that impacted daily ways and lives of a lot of people. Enough to push the conservative audience to a point of majority.
This was the deadly combination that Trump used to keep pushing over the barrier of abusive politics.
Make no mistake. Congress is trying to do the same.
It’s members regularly abuse Modi and BJP and Hindus and couch those words in seemingly “logical” ways and use the pain-points of normal people as the crutch. The script is uncannily similar.
Therefore, the response from the BJP has to be fierce and strong. It cannot do a Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush or a Hillary and hope to win against such a strategy. In fact, one’s seriousness and one’s maturity or even one’s goodness will be used against him by these people.
And, I am seeing that just as the Trump team’s strategy was to chip away to most loyal of democrats to dumping and not voting for Hillary on some account – siding with Bernie and so hatred for Hillary, a sentiment that Trump fanned – a similar strategy is being used to divide the Hindu vote.
On one side are those who consider themselves “ultra Hindus” and who argue that Modi is not doing enough for Hindus. On the other side are those Hindus, who while they emphasize their “Hinduness” they mock the “Modi Bhakts”.
Both the camps realize that Modi is the best candidate in the nation for the PM. But both the camps may end up in the NOTA camp. That is all that Congress wants. For, that is all that Trump wanted as well – Democrats not voting for Hillary. Which is what ended up being the critical leverage to beat Hillary.
So all the joker behavior, abusive-ness, the megalomania, the idiocy is just an act. It is a distraction. The real strategy is being played out at many levels.
And, the time is not to play it nice. It is time to go all guns blazing for BJP. With all they have and with a blitzkrieg of strategies. Multiple flanks must be opened and multiple communication vehicles and channels should be used. Abuse should be beaten by abuse. Congress and its key people need to so roundly mocked and that caricature made so permanent in psyche of common Indian that the rest of the message can be delivered appropriately thereafter.
The fight is happening at many levels and hits are taking place at many levels of voters. Being smug is the last thing that BJP or its supporters need right now. As much as Rahul Gandhi’s disastrous performance seems laughable and comedic, that is NOT where one should dwell strategically for long. The fight should be taken up at the the grass-roots and media level. This fight needs to be undertaken in ways that uses the strategies from advertising, communications, psychology and human behavior to its fullest extent.
Just as America is at a point where its dismantling and destruction seems a matter of time and not if, given the fissures and the divide that has been created in the society and the nation’s fabric; a similar outcome may await India if this fight against the machinations of Cambridge Analytica and those who want power at any cost are not beaten down.
More than everything, right now Democracy around the world is itself at stake. In the face of such an assault by unscrupulous organizations (Trumpians, Congress-lovers, Cambridge Analytica), it will be impossible to conduct democracy AND keep a nation safe. For, the very basis and goal of such undertakings made the democratic governance impossible to function in a way that it can face assault from enemies. It is time for beating this game for the future of nations and democracy in the world.
The American future has been harmed irretrievably and the only way out of this mess for America may well be to abandon Democracy completely. Let India not make that same mistake.