Winner takes all

The law of the world is – WINNER TAKES ALL. And that’s why and how everybody starts blowing the trumpet of the winner after any contest, not giving a damn for the loser and the rightfulness or otherwise of the manner and tactics used by the winner in the process. Hence it’s but natural that almost everybody is busy in singing praises of Mr. Narendra Modi, preaching others to learn some lessons from him and mocking his opponents while telling them (whether required or not) as to how and why they lost  the electoral battle. However, is it enough for those writing such articles which include thinkers and senior journalists ? Does that sum up their role in the society ?

During the past five years, true journalism has, if not vanished in toto, got diminished to the greatest possible extent and the quality of the prevailing and visible journalism (if at all, it can be called journalism) has touched its nadir. In fact, the media and the journalists themselves have played a major role in this ‘handsome victory’ of Mr. Modi by not allowing this election to remain a level playing field. Before the elections also, a sizable part of the media was busy in glorifying (in fact, deifying) Mr. Modi as well as mocking and  demonizing his political opponents. So what’s new that’s happening after the elections ? Nothing !

Perhaps it’s the aftermath of liberalization in the nineties which has drowned all the noble values and ideals prevailing in the Indian collective psyche since times immemorial (despite getting bookish and impractical with the passage of time, they were existing then). Gone are the days when we used to read and hear about such committed journalists who were not only fearless but also ready to make even the greatest of sacrifices including their lives to throw light on hidden dark truths and uncover them before the masses whom they felt committed to. Journalism was also considered a noble profession like those of medicine and teaching in that bygone era. Now every field appears to have become a career and nothing else. So who cares as to how this huge victory has been arrived at ? For as per today’s value system (which seems to have been accepted by one and all) – victory is a goal in itself, a coveted goal which has to be achieved by any kind of means – fair or foul.

I have been reading many articles (which are routinely written whenever any new govt. has to take charge) telling the ‘Task Cut Out For Mr. Modi’. In my humble opinion, now there’s no task cut out for him. He has already accomplished his task with great success. He had devoted his full time and abundant energy to this task only (fighting and winning the election), doing nothing else and thinking about nothing else. Now he can unabashedly enjoy the fruit (that is, power) of this well-accomplished task for the next five years. Power is not a means for him, this has always been his goal. At the most, he can try to rewrite or distort the history of the Gujarat riots of 2002 and wash that stain from his name by using that power. The recently released biopic on him is a step in that direction only. By (mis)using his power, he can ensure to go down in the (distorted) history of India as a great man and put himself in the league of people like M.K. Gandhi. He knows very well how to use the power in hand to further own interests. In this particular election, the survival of Rahul Gandhi or any other opponent of Mr. Modi was not at stake. The fact that nobody noticed was that the survival at stake was that of Mr. Modi himself. For power is as vital for him as water is for fish. Had he lost his power by losing this election, his politics would have come to an abrupt halt culminating in the end of his career which is power-soaked politics only. He doesn’t have any career outside the corridors of power.

Now should we keep on preaching and mocking his defeated opponents because they are less smarter than him, because they are not competent to checkmate him in the game of chess (as they are seldom able to guess his next move) and because, unlike him, they haven’t mastered the art of winning elections ? The fact is, Mr. Modi and his right hand – Mr. Amit Shah have understood the ‘FIRST PAST THE POST’system of deciding the result of any seat undergoing election in India more than anybody else and they have used this knowledge of theirs (plus their abundant resources) to the optimal use. They know how many votes they needed in any particular constituency to win the seat and for that they did not need to carry all the sections of the society alongwith them. This is the most appropriate way to unpack Mr. Modi’s overwhelming victory.

Mr. Modi did not fight an election, he virtually fought a war. He did not treat his political opponents as mere rivals for power but as real enemies. He and his right hand Mr. Shah followed the dictum that ‘Everything is fair in love and war’ (they perceive all elections as wars only).This gesture and the strategy to use all the four classic means (as cited in Chaanakya Neeti) to get anything done or get the better of an adversary – Saam, Daam, Dand and Bhed (cordiality and counselling, money or favour, punishment or fear for that and creating a rift in the rival camp through discrimination) put Mr. Modi in a league of his own, apart from his rivals, who established that he is invincible in such kind of a war. But who is the ultimate loser in this war ? Not the opponents of Mr. Modi and his party but the Indian masses who got carried away (in fact, conned) once again.

This election was, from Mr. Modi’s viewpoint, more or less a mini MAHABHAARAT in which nothing was more important than or even equally important to victory. Winning at any cost and by any means was the motto. Mr. Modi, over the past few years, has become a self-proclaimed follower of M.K. Gandhi. However Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, always stressed that when the means are vicious, the ends are bound to get polluted howsoever pious they might be. Well, that philosophy of his seems to have died with him only. Mahatma Gandhi was ruthless as far as crushing the vices was concerned but he was not ruthless in dealing with the people who were on the other side. However in a war, one has to be ruthless, else the likelihood of defeat exists even in the most favourable circumstances. To eradicate even the remotest possibility of loss, one has to be cruel, insensitive and devoid of any principles. And that’s Mr. Modi for you, the so-called follower of Gandhi doing exactly the opposite of what Gandhi had taught to his followers and the whole world. Now in the noise of victory trumpets being blown for Mr. Modi, his strategy to win is needless to discuss because what’s important is the result and not the way used to get it as it was for the Father of the Nation. Mr. Modi is a great marketing man who sold his well-designed image to the voters all over the country with his smart talk, aggressive gestures, hard-hitting assertions and blatant lies in addition to changing the electoral narrative to suit his interests throwing the genuine issues of the common public to the dustbin. The biggest secret of his success is that he succeeded in brainwashing the voters.

Till January this year, I was expecting Mr. Modi to provoke Pakistan for a war (or something akin to that) to arouse nationalist sentiments in India for cashing on them in the election in May. However perhaps Mr. Modi knows the theorem of grabbing the maximum gain by taking the minimum risk. Hence the war did not happen but war-frenzy came into existence among the masses for Mr. Modi to cash on because of the Pulwama attack which provided a ground for the much-publicized air-strike. How could that attack (taking 40 and odd innocent lives) happen at the most opportune moment for the ruling party (to be exact, its supremo) ? Isn’t there a single fearless and committed journalist left in India who can smell a rat in that ? Or servility to the high and the mighty only has become the motto of us all, discarding everything else ?

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About Jitendra Mathur

A Chartered Accountant with literary passion and a fondness for fine arts
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17 Responses to Winner takes all

  1. Just disgusted of election time this time. So much of allegations on one another only to win. Everything is fair in love and war. For me though winning is important, the path chosen for winning is equally important.
    Yeah, journalism is so biased now. Stopped reading news papers too.

  2. rationalraj2000 says:

    The bitter truth, told as it is. Sadly not many are willing or have the courage today to call a spade a spade!

  3. Amit Kumar says:

    In 2014, a hype had been created around Modi by the PR machinery and people too were disgruntled after 10 years of UPA government, they wanted a change, expecting better governance. All they got in the last 5 years were token statues, names of roads and railway stations being changed and other such farcical symbolism. This time too, I don’t think there was any Modi wave or so, rather TINA won (There Is No Alternative), at least that’s what, I guess, people have gone for. Plus like you have pointed out, the ruling party shrewdly milked the nationalist sentiments after Pulwama.

  4. sydbarett says:

    The overwhelming margin is hard to digest. And if there was no tampering, it means two things. That my knowledge of my own country is far removed from reality and that the mandate proves beyond doubt that we as a country love to be divided. In which case we got what we deserved.

    Think the other very disturbing aspect is the amount of foulmouthing and money gone into these elections. If elections are fought primarily on money power, small/regional parties never stand a chance. This also sets a nasty precedence for times to come. Someone must pay and we all know who that ‘someone’ is.

    I got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Regret the day when I decided NOT to shift abroad.

    • Hearty thanks Nishant for the detailed and logical comment which I endorse in totality. Indeed we got what we deserved. However what has happened to the so-called committed journalism in India ? Isn’t there anybody who can smell a rat in the tragic Pulwama episode ?

      • sydbarett says:

        Mathursaab, ma poochta hoon aapse…, kya yeh Rat Pakistani nahin tha?… tha ki nahin tha…? Aaj, saare desh ki janta ko pata hai ki jab jab‎ yeh Rats Bharat par humla karenge, hum unke bil me ghus ghus ke unhe marenge ;-P Maare gaye Rats ke smell se baki Rats to bhagenge hi…is se hamare jawanon ko rozgar bhi milega…

        Jokes apart, when the judiciary isn’t able to do anything about Govt interference, what chance do media houses stand? Verdicts are being ‘reserved’ and kept in abeyance for months, to be released only when the Govt deems it fit to do so.‎ Even sarkari clerks have more independence than this. I recall, after the Balakot retaliation, most international media houses were dismissive of India’s tall claims and seen endorsing the Pakistani version of low/no casualty. Same thing with the Vidyasagar bust episode. Closeup of video footage was fairly conclusive on who had done it, yet Mamta with all her muscle could not get the national media houses to show the truth. So even though there seems to be high probability that Phulwama was abetted by the Govt, media will be least interested. The most surprising upshot of the entire episode was the smartness with which Imran avoided falling into the War trap set by our Govt. This despite the fact that the Indian media was painting him as a weakling wilting under pressure from Indian Govt. We are so naive that media was busy convincing us by “India is mightier than Pak since we have more nuclear weapons” kinda argument. The fact that in nuclear warfare the size of your stockpile is redundant beyond the initial 4 or 5 or 10 bombs and that it’s all about the first mover advantage, was very conveniently ignored. 

        Besides, the idiot box has really turned us into idiots. This isn’t an Era of the “Buddhijiwi”. “Buddhujiwi” is more like it!

      • Hearty thanks Nishant. Hindi mystery-writer (Late) Ved Prakash Sharma used to maintain the suspense in the novel by hiding this fact as to who was against whom (while apparently being on his side) or who was in collusion with whom (while apparently being against him). This is what, I feel, has happened in the Pulwama case. Imran Khan and Narendra Modi are good friends and a friend in need is a friend indeed, isn’t it ? In such kind of a novel, the mystery gets unravelled in the climax but in the real life, we know very well, it will never be.

  5. Rekha Sahay says:

    politics is a blame game and survival of the fittest ( jungle rules), in other words – jo hits vahi sikkandar!!!
    I agree with you, Honest journalism is always a rare commodity. It’s great to see, that you are pointing out the real issues.
    Actually we need honest, Educated and intellectual politicians and leaders.

  6. berkeley says:

    Ꮐreat article.

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