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2018 Election Results: Is ‘Liberal Media’ Coming To Modi’s Aide?

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After the recent reverses BJP suffered in the assembly elections, many scions of so called liberal media have got busy theorizing the loss as anti-incumbency. Arguments are repeatedly being made across liberal platforms that people in the three states BJP lost power, voted on local issues and against their respective state government.

It appears a full-fledged campaign has been initiated, and to ensure its success many seasoned journalists are volunteering of their own accord, coming up with their bucket list of why it’s not Modi’s defeat. Their collaborative attempt is straight focused, to chart out a perception, basis which brand Modi is isolated of all defacing attributes.

One common tool being deployed in this perception game is counter factual information. With a judicious use of irreconcilable facts and unverifiable public opinion it’s concluded that the defeat lies solely and squarely on the incumbent, on whom the voter’s ire was directed. Through reams and reams of similar fantasy material based on imaginary field conversation, Modi’s image is rather amplified as the only savior.

What Is That Feedback Loop Through Which We Can Gauge Modi’s Popularity?  

As ordinary consumers of news information, how do we ascertain the truthfulness of the narrative that the vote was against the Chief Ministers, Ministers and BJP MLAs in the just concluded assembly elections, and not against the misrule of the center?

How do we precisely establish that the brand Modi escaped without any dent to its brand value more so when he attended no less than 29 rallies covering 53 constituencies across these states.

It can be argued that Shivraj and Raman lost only because of Modi, and for that they also have their invincible track record to boast of. In other words, it can be said that if 2G and Coal gate despite being the crimes of the central government had cascading effect on the fate of states, so did demonetisation and GST. Under similar circumstances when in 2013 Sheila Dikshit lost the elections, the buck stopped at the then Manmohan Singh government. The media nodded in concurrence and emphasized it.

UPA-2 continued sharing the blame for the state losses long after it was removed from center. In fact the UPA-2’s misrule was publicized so much that its misgovernance example continues holding weight even today, and occupies central theme in NDA’s election campaigns, 4 and half years since NDA came to power. From Prime Minister to party president, no one from the BJP leaves an opportunity to invoke the failures of the Singh government. Not to mention their obsession with Nehru, which drives them further back in time and helps ascribe Nehru, in addition to his daughter, grandson and great grandson for all the ills of the state going to polls at any point of time.

Now BJP vexed with Nehru-Gandhi family is not something of their own making. Here again a section of liberal media owing to their information clout, made it an issue more worthy of discussion. Dynastic relationship became that particular evil, deserving of being purged. Strangely enough for a country where reference, contact, inheritance, recommendation and jugaad are but a way of life.

Lakhs of farmers have marched to Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata barefooted from far off places yet for the liberal media it’s not a statement against Narendra Modi. Patels, Marathas and Jats the better off agrarian castes are holding cities on ransom to get reservation, yet for the liberal media it’s not a statement against Modi.

So what exactly is authentic public opinion? And, is there any way to gauge it?

Because the self-claimed pioneers of public cause in liberal media are surely not in a position, neither intellectually nor morally, to reflect upon the masses’ thought process. Pending their redemption citizens can take cues from the countless democratic assemblies happening around their vicinity. An active engagement with our adjacent public space would help us get a far better understanding of the true public opinion.

A cursory look around our countryside for one would tell us that there is a grave agrarian crisis right next to our doorstep. A mad rush of students at the nearest metro or railway station would tell us what big a crisis unemployment is. Over the past couple of years large scale protests have happened across the nation, on subjects ranging from agrarian distress, unemployment to reservation. All of this put together paint a far more clear public opinion which conclusively points to the center’s failure.


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  1. Rashid Hussain

    Quality writing once again- although I more or less don’t agree with the core premise of your reasoning!
    But unequivocally concur with the last two paras in isolation, which is my takeaway from the whole write-up!

    I reiterate, either I have not read that much of these liberal authors, columnists, or if your argument is indeed true, then surely I have not developed that discerning nuanced eye to catch the subtle shenanigans of these then appropriate to call pseudo-liberal journalists!

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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