Friday, 26 July 2013

Devaluation of secularism.

Narendra Modi the projected leader and prime ministerial candidate of the BJP has been praised by his supporters for his economic excellence and lambasted by his opponents for his lack of secularism.

With the Indian economy on shaky grounds and the volatile rupee there are quite a few, for whom the economy has become the most important factor in selecting a leader. Modi whether rightly or wrongly is taken as an example of economically competent leader. Manmohan Singh the current Prime minister had two selling points - his secularism and his economic ability. However the recent problems with the economy has lead many to question his economic capability.

The Indian growth story [which a little over hyped] has slowed down and many[economic agencies] do not feel the economy can recover any time soon. There are few real incentives being offered,the FDI [foreign direct investment]regulations are still debated and seem to require more time to take effect. Further more it may be overturned by more socialist minded politicians. Even the promise of a stable government seems distant with collation politics ,becoming necessary for any party to win a majority,proving to be quite unstable. The food security bill promising to feed the many poor in India is raising concerns with the governments ability to perform such an undertaking especially at a time when the economy is doing badly. Further more the bill seems unlikely to be past soon,its timing has lead many to call it a populist policy and bad memories of India's unhappy and unsuccessful  socialist past  has lead many to question it.

Now with this in mind,we should consider the extensive reach of the Modi propaganda machine.With more and more doubts about Manmohans economic skills,and the congress parties attempts to use the nonsecular image associated with the BJP  to win support, those concerned with the economy have begum to take an stand that seems quite harmful to the congress, that is- "What is the use of secularism?" Both of Manmohans selling points are being questioned together.Regardless of weather Modi is secular or not,Hindu votes [of the orthodox variety] are being secured for the BJP without any effort on their part due to congress painting them to be only pro-Hindu. Unfortunately the two qualities of Manmohan  ,which shall undoubtedly get him some votes, due to their association, are being devalued together! You see the voters are more than happy to elect a secular leader but economic problems force them to ignore ideals and vote for some who seems to be better economically. And the BJP with their much touted Gujarat model of development and leader[that are not questioned] seem to have a nice edge and a rhetoric that shall undoubtedly hit quite a few cords. The congress has been more passive in its approch to the elections and most are unsure about who shall be the next candidate at a time when Modi already has a huge number of followers who would like to see him as president. Rahul Ghandi's lack of active involvement in public eyes is going to hurt his prospects and a growing number of people [and media houses]consider Manmohan a weak puppet ,which of course is also gonna hurt the congress.The secular rhetoric may simply fail to get votes

More importantly Modi's supporters have hyped Gujarat's economy to such an extent that it is now taken as a fact that Modi is an economic genius,questioning this is bond to get a lot of criticism even though Modi did not have such a great hand in economic development and the state is not truly doing excellently. .

Along with the strong anti-incumbency factor,the pumped up young voter thirsting for change, the ruling congress seems to have its work cut out for it. 

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