The irreversible rise of MAYA

| | in Oped
The irreversible rise of MAYA

Crazy narratives emanating after BJP's comprehensive win in UP civic elections and artful distortions will only help Modi

Call it the dogged determination of an incorrigible bunch of perennial sceptics who can go to any length to pull Prime Minister Narendra Modi down. So resolute is their disdain for Modi that they would dig out defeat in victory, turn pride into misery and label diplomacy as treachery. The crazy narratives emanating after Bharatiya Janata Party's comprehensive win in Uttar Pradesh civic elections and artful distortions of ground realities in Gujarat are glaring examples of their desperate intent and designs. This bunch is out with a vengeance to spoil Modi's party, even as the latter continues to give them shocks and guffaws.

Look at the UP narrative, to begin with. Barely had the echo of drumbeats over BJP's impressive win in UP civic polls subsided when queer narratives started to make their way on to social media and the barely-read, big-font laced news portals, some newspapers included. The discomfort of yet another win by the “saffron” party was palpable and the sceptics soon started to rejoice on how “independent” candidates were the most comprehensive winners and not the BJP. While they churned out smart statistics to prove their point, they were adamant not to give any credit to dynamic UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for the victory of the BJP. Or the unabated appeal of Prime Minister Modi and the exceptional diligence of party president Amit Shah, for whom every election is critical. How could they, as their bread and butter is made of trying to disrupt and dent image of BJP top leaders? They are obsessed with trying to trivialise the charisma of MAYA (Modi, Amit Shah, Yogi Adityanath). Incidentally, and the sceptics should note this, Maya in Hindu mythology means supernatural power wielded by Gods and, therefore, impossible to pervade, forget about defeating.  

Taking statistical jugglery to weird levels, sceptics argued that the results were a reflection of people’s “anguish” against demonetisation and GST. They also claimed that while outcome of the mayoral elections were “as expected”, the results from small towns were “alarming” and signs of worry for the party. They flaunted 3,875 and 3,380 Independent winners in Nagar Panchayat and Nagar Palika Parishad respectively to raise “alarm” over diminishing appeals of the BJP. Sadly, in their bid to prove Benjamin Disraeli's dictum of “lies, damn lies and statistics,” they ended up looking stupid, very stupid. And this is how.

While the sceptics flaunted BJP's good mayoral performance — 10 out of 12 — of 2012, and credited very little to the effect of MAYA in the party getting 14 out of 16 seats this time, they chose to conveniently ignore the same yardstick of 2012 data when flaunting other results and glorifying the rise of the Independents. Perhaps, in their hurry to beguile their audience and flatter their masters, they did not realise the same statistics could come back to haunt them. In the 2012 civic polls, in Nagar Palika Parishad, Independents won 4,323 out of 5,097 seats — a staggering 85 per cent; this figure was 64 per cent in 2017. In Nagar Panchayat in 2012, Independents won 4,734 seats out of 5,158 which translate into 92 per cent; this year, this figure is 71 per cent.

Now are the sceptics ready to take the slap — and digest these two explanations? One, in percentage terms the influence of Independents has declined substantially, and interestingly by about 21 per cent in both the above examples. Two, the mountain that sceptics are making out of the mole, is actually a hugely fallacious one and driven by their intense urge to deny the irreversible ascent of the MAYA factor. It is laced with biases of perverse kinds and one that takes journalism to an irreversible low level.

Narratives around Gujarat are equally flippant. Suddenly, one evening social media got abuzz with “unprecedented” crowd at a rally in Surat and why this was sign of extreme worry for Modi and Shah. Taking political analytics to bizarre levels, the entire outcome of Gujarat polls started to be woven around this one picture. Sceptics started to predict the demise of the BJP. What about thousands of such pictures of Modi and Shah and how pale this one picture would become when seen in comparison? This is just one example of the distorted narratives that we have constantly been fed ever since the Godhra days; and what if it has always helped Modi, the determination of the sceptics has remained intact.

Sadly, this lot is painfully desperate, and for vague reasons adamant at trying to defame the idea of India, and her vibrancy. Perhaps they have taken comedian Jim Carrey too seriously in their bid to look interesting. Carrey had once famously said, “If you ain't desperate at some point, you ain't interesting.” Desperate they are. Interesting? Far from it.

(The writer is a strategic communications professional)

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