Reality Check India

Terrorism and other big ticket items off the table

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on December 8, 2008

So, the middle class people of Delhi have spoken. It turns out they have no big issues with the governments’ response to terror after all. ( Terrorism fails to enthuse ) The people of Chattisgarh have no problems with the fact that you cant venture into three-quarters of their land either.

Shoot ! Now what ?

There is a concerted media campaign in progress to prevent “Terror from being politicized”. You should read it as a campaign to prevent the opponents of the Congress party from using this issue to attract free-agent votes. IBNLIVE had a very provocative headline earlier. It went like “Congress smashes terrorism poll plank of BJP” (or something to that effect). Even now I am watching TV personalities claim that terror as an issue will not work. See this for an example

Update :

Found it ! The headline reads “Cong decimates BJP’s terror plank, wins 3 states

Congress defied Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) aggressive stance on terror and price rise in the Assembly elections for the five states – Delhi, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh – to register comprehensive wins in the first two states.

Source : See above link

I do not want to pick on CNN-IBN. All media channels and almost all TV commentators rubbed their hands in glee that terror and even price rise was not an issue. Even M J Akbar, whom I kind of respect, slipped into a sarcastic mode on Headlines Today.

A new paradigm shift ?

All our favourite talking heads on TV have latched on to the new paradigm shift in Indian politics. At last people are voting for ‘development’, we are told. See MP, Chattisgarh, Delhi. See, no anti-incumbency – only development. See Dikshit, the ultimate developer. See, now women can walk on the streets in Delhi at night.

What is development ? New roads, irrigation projects ? No one knows.

The truth is that the pundits are not able to analyze the results. But they all agree that terrorism should not be allowed to become a ‘poll plank’.

The bottom line according to me

This constant media chatter will have disastrous consequences in the years to come. They are drilling into the minds of free agent voters the idea that they should not make terror their main plank.

If national security in these times fails to be an electoral issue, there is little chance India can pull if off against a determined enemy. There will be lesser and lesser representation of this interest in the future population of elected humans. The jihad against India will win. It has in the past, just read about the Bahmani kingdom.

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6 Responses

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  1. reason said, on December 8, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Chhattisgarh voted back the BJP government, and the CM Raman Singh promptly said Salwa Judum will continue. This result has been after eminent bloggers, nobel laureates (22, it was counted), global christian networks and other assorted bandicoots had had a say on the subject for the last several years.

    So it is possible there are free agent voters, and they are also against terrorism, in the backward state of Chhattisgarh. It is just bad that in poor Chhattisgarh’s case, the candles are lit for terrorists and not their victims.

    It is remarkable that BJP and its communal, right wing, Hindu fundamentalist, Hindu-terrorist-supporting politics actually won big time in some of the most backward and undeveloped regions of this country. And it is a pity that the folks at BJP’s Delhi head-quarters are unable to rejoice at what this means and instead agonize that they were unable to get the votes of Delhi’s overpaid and under-worked ‘government’ class.

    I dont have much trouble analyzing this result. If you are a christian convent educated upper middle class, you are not likely to vote BJP even if terrorists troop into your country daily, inflation runs at 20%, stocks crash 70%. The poor sods at MP and Chhattisgarh did not have this benefit, and had no trouble getting communalised.

    Plan outlay of delhi – 10000 cr. of Chhattisgarh – 9600 crore. 400 crores in delhi last year for common wealth games alone.

    The internet-enabled so-called middle class should actually go out to vote less.

  2. realitycheck said, on December 9, 2008 at 2:56 am

    >> If you are a christian convent educated upper middle class, you are not likely to vote BJP even if terrorists troop into your country daily, inflation runs at 20%, stocks crash 70%. The poor sods at MP and Chhattisgarh did not have this benefit, and had no trouble getting communalised.

    Yes, I believe it is uncool to mention support for anyone other than PC or Manmohan Singh in bars and hi-end restaurants.

  3. B Shantanu said, on December 9, 2008 at 10:45 am

    Great post RC. And what you have pointed out is sad but may actually come true…

    National security may simply cease to be an electoral issue.

  4. proud indian said, on December 9, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Security and terrorism will cease to be an ISSUE only till the next attack…

    i don’t think we learn as a nation from our failures…

    It started with common man being targetted many times… every time the securiy was beefed up and it slacked in a matter of few days… the cities, places kept changing but attacks continued.

    then came the biggest attack – Parliament…

    then almost at regular intervals we had terror attacks till the latest and worst in Mumbai.
    Now that the elite class was targetted … suddenly there was a talk of accountability and a few heads rolled….
    but is this solving the issue… no … we are just having new bosses No policy level decisions are seen.

    With the election results to concentrate on, the terror issue is totally sidelined by media…hopefully not by teh Govt.

    lets see whether India as a nation learns something from these attacks or we have to wait for the next one….

  5. Barbarindian said, on December 10, 2008 at 3:26 am

    How would you calculate volatility of public opinion given the seat distribution in any election?

    It appears that after a high volatility phase, public opinion is becoming a bit less volatile. This means that the coming general elections will not be much different from the current trend.

  6. realitycheck said, on December 10, 2008 at 5:31 am

    >> It appears that after a high volatility phase, public opinion is becoming a bit less volatile. This means that the coming general elections will not be much different from the current trend.

    The Congress is on the right track. They are moving themselves into a position where they provide some escrow to parties like LJP, RJD, SP, DMK, AIADMK too (but Jaya messed it up by bad mouthing Sonia), JDS. Right there you potentially have 150+ seats. The Left and BSP are not too averse to the Congress either.

    All parties have unmonitored interests to protect and the Congress offers the best guarantee for them. It ha also shown by repeated talks of ‘first claim on resources’ that there is still life left in this system of rival benefits (also known as India).

    In return, these local parties would offer over-the-top support for the Congress (eg, Laloo calling Advani the main terrorist just a couple of days after the terror attacks).


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