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Narendra Modi’s rise and the failure of liberal politics in India

Discussion in 'National Politics' started by AbRaj, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. AbRaj

    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Narendra Modi’s rise and the failure of liberal politics in India

    ByBarkha DuttMarch 17

    [​IMG]
    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses his supporters at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters in New Delhi on March 12. (Adnan Abidi/Reuters)


    “I can see the glimmer of a New India” proclaimed a triumphant Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi a day after last week’s election victory in the country’s most politically significant state; at 200 million people, Uttar Pradesh has as many people as United Kingdom, France and Germany combined. If it were a country, it would be the world’s fifth most populous.

    Modi is right. Not since the 1970s and (former prime minister) Indira Gandhi — of whom it was said “India is Indira and Indira is India” — has an individual defined and dominated politics in this manner, defying all conventional assumptions, disrupting politics-as-usual and permanently smashing the elitism of India’s erstwhile liberal consensus. Above all, and bypassing the mainstream media for the most part, he has emerged as a supreme communicator.

    Even his most contentious and audacious decisions — like the move toban 86 percent of India’s cash overnightlast November have come at no political cost; instead, the big gains in India’s heartland prove that his decision to ‘demonetize’ high-value currency notes ultimately played out as a distinct advantage. In the cinematic plot of the Uttar Pradesh elections, Modi was cast as the vigilante action-hero, a sort of Robin Hood figure whose uncompromising toughness forced the rich and powerful to queue up at banks and suffer discomfort just like the poor. Unfazed by criticism — from opposition parties, eminent economists and large sections of the global and national media (I am on record as a skeptic of the move’s economic wisdom) — the prime minister positioned the currency ban as a patriotic purge of toxins from the body politic.

    As elsewhere in the world, from the Washington, D.C., Beltway to Brexit, the spectacular consolidation of Modi’s hold over India — as well as how Indians think — underlines the equally spectacular failure of liberal politics, its echo chambers and its elitism trap.

    His enormous victory in Uttar Pradesh has been touted as his Indira moment; not just for the complete command he enjoys three years into his term, but for his commonality with the former prime minister as an absolutist strongman. But if Indira was the daughter who inherited power from India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, Narendra Modi is the son of a tea vendor who rose from abject poverty and hardship to earn his influence. His success in pushing back against India’s old liberal elites catches the global anti-liberal undercurrent. That he is entirely self-made — unlike Indira Gandhi and the dynastic lineage her family spawned — empowers him to mock the pedigree of liberal elites, public intellectuals and the institutions they represent. During the recent election campaign Modi could not resisttaking a swipe at Harvard, which he said mattered a whole lot less than hard work. At the same time, Modi referenced himself as a “poor mother’s son” in a speech widely believed to be a dig at the lofty criticism of his demonetization policy by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, among others.

    Yet, Narendra Modi exemplifies how the old labels of ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ do not apply. There is no doubt that among the many different elements that won Uttar Pradesh for Modi were state subsidies such as those for cooking gas (hugely popular among woman voters) and microfinance loans — all of which helped the prime minister cement his pro-poor credentials. In many ways he is not a free-market reformist — as fiscal conservatives may have imagined — but rather a new-age welfare-capitalist for the country’s poor, who believes that the government is the vehicle for change.

    There is a curious and uncanny similarity between Narendra Modi’s rise and Donald Trump’s ascent to power in the United States. Even if President Trump’s temperamental outbursts make him seem like an adolescent compared to Modi’s measured prime ministerial style, there is a reason so many Modi supporters admire Trump and are contemptuous of politicians like Hillary Clinton. For their proponents, the common thread that binds the two men together is their open mocking of establishment politics and their ‘outsider’ status, which has enabled them to claim a more unvarnished and honest politics. Of course, when compared to the glitter of Trump’s gold-plated glamour, Modi’s humble origins give his political positioning much more heft.

    There is also some similarity in how Trump supporters and Modi’s voters view the liberal media — as the biased enemy. Modi as prime minister has never been openly coarse and argumentative about journalists in the way Trump has been in the United States; his style is to simply ignore journalists, who he sees as prejudiced, and engage directly with people via social media. But like Trump, Modi believes that the liberal English-speaking media has always critiqued him unfairly.

    And much as Trump supporters mock the Democrats’ obsession with transgender toilets as an example of their preoccupation with the most trivial of issues, in Modi’s India, the political opposition finds itself hapless, confused and unable to choose which battles to pick. On nationalism or secularism especially, Modi has put his challengers on the defensive. In the current anti-elite, anti-liberal mood, the halfhearted counterarguments of Modi’s political opponents have few takers in an India whose center of gravity has moved firmly rightward.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...and-the-failure-of-liberal-politics-in-india/
     
  2. PARIKRAMA

    PARIKRAMA Angel or Devil? Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

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    The issue with BD is that her views and her voice is not going to be taken as serious at all..

    In any case any dominance of one view - right , left or moderate liberals to the extreme is never good. A society always goes through phases of all 3 interlapping the end of one phase and ascent of another..

    It does not mean all of us follow every policy of PM Modi blindly.. the masses of today say bluntly the right and the wrongs in crisp manner..

    What BD fails to point out is that opposition to PM Modi is not on the issues which can be really "issues" but rather a self creation sensationalism.. that's the reason the so called opposition folks don't have meat and mettle to break through PM Modi and his policies...

    Everytime has good or bad elements.. if opposition as I said earlier was working Constructively and would have helped in looking at optimization and betterment of delivering what has been agreed in the parliament after careful debate and discussion then I certainly believe their voice would be taken seriously.. instead like BJP did , they only disrupt parliament and put false accusations...

    It's same with media who is now becoming a paid stooge of all Influential parties instead of a free and fair journalist who brings out the good things..
     
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  3. Nirbho

    Nirbho Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Barkha Dutt toh kab ki bik gayi!:computer1:


    No wonder why media seems so pissed off over #YogiAdityanath. Not so long ago, Radia journos used to decide such appointments.:fuu:
     
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  4. AbRaj

    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Precisely this is the point. And all MSM outlets and Award wapsi and Bindi brigade were pert of nexus waging an ideological war of " elites vs non elites” including this same ledy Barkha Dutt.
     
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  5. IndiranChandiran

    IndiranChandiran BANNED BANNED

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    The title of the OP itself is misleading for it seeks to judge Modi by western yardsticks of what conservative means .

    While the social views of Modi and by extension the BJP / Sangh are conservative to an extent in that parallels can be drawn with the Republican Party / Conservative sections in the US , his economic policies are a mix of neoliberalism & that of the welfare state bordering on Marxist socialism , the latter being anathema to any true blue Conservatives in the West particularly in the US ( Interestingly Modi's MII has parallels with Trump's Make in America itself against laissez faire capitalism - the gospel of most conservative Republicans in the US ) .

    It's views on religion echo the most right wing of the conservatives sections of the Republicans who reject Darwinism for Biblical Creationism .

    It's often been argued that the Sangh lacks a rigorous intellectual base with earthy folksy mythmaking holding centre stage instead of rational scientific views.
     
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  6. zebra7

    zebra7 Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Dear Author, Barkha Dutt, I have full sympathy with you, because you are crying rivers these days, and in such condition, your Brain have also left you. First, its the BJP, not the Modi.

    Second, why messing your mind, so much, and grab few realities for this man, which you tried to target so much, with no store unturned.

    1. YOU CAN HATE MODI, OR YOU CAN LOVE MODI, BUT YOU CANNOT IGNORE MODI.

    2. MORE YOU ATTACK MODI, OR TRY TO DEFAME MODI, MODI WILL GROW MORE.

    3. HIS POLICIES MAY BE WRONG, BUT WITHOUT DOUBT, HE WORK LIKE BULL, AND HIS INTENTION IS ALWAYS GOOD, AND HAVE CLEAR FUTURE VISION, WHICH HE PUTS ALL HIS EFFORT TO ACHIEVE.
     
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  7. AbRaj

    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

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    अब्दुल : तलाक़-तलाक़-तलाक़
    नग़मा : योगी-योगी-योगी
    अब्दुल: मज़ाक-मज़ाक-मज़ाक !:mrgreen::mrgreen:
     
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  8. nair

    nair Die hard Romeo Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

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    Barkha lost her credibility in radia tape issue.... She has no moral right to write anything about Indian politics.....Some how she has managed to stay relevant in Indian media.... Thank God today we have social media to express and expose characters like her....imagine if this was happening 10 years bak


     
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