Saturday, February 7, 2015

Media Monsters & Delhi Election

Buried truth in TV Cacophony

The English TV channels blaring out exit polls predictions are not even trying to hide their gloat. All media houses are very satisfied with the result exit-polls predict and have finally got a moment to boast of ‘I told you so’.
The anchors suddenly appear all puffed up and are competing with each other to portray themselves as modern prophets, Political pundits and public opinion moulders. They are able to hide all the welts they had received in the last elections with this one exit poll prediction. It is as if, the combined results of the past few elections are reversed with this single one.
Some of the conclusions being dished out to unsuspecting and worried BJP supporters are
1.       This is a defeat for BJP and/or Modi ji
2.       Middle class has deserted BJP
3.       BJP’s development promise has fallen apart
4.       AAP promise of development has more takers
5.       BJP’s fortune has dwindled.
Most TV anchors reach that position by influence and political leveraging. I believe strongly in their lack of intelligence. This is a breed that makes the practitioners of the world’s oldest trade look honourable in every aspect. Let me tell what they are not talking about
The 2013 election result vs 2014 exit-poll predictions for Delhi is given here
Vote % 2013
Vote % 2015 Exit poll
*will not add to 100% due to rounding off of decimals
First of all, the difference between vote shares of BJP and AAP is a mere 2%. This has to be kept in mind. 
It is evident that BJP has added 7% additional votes to its last year’s share. The marginal increase in turnout alone cannot explain the 7% increase in total vote share.
AAP vote share has taken a dramatic increase, by about 13% and there is a corresponding decrease in Congress vote share. There is an argument that the BJP vote share was 46% in Lok Sabha election and hence in this election their vote share has come down. This is highly speculative as the vote share is determined by different sets of reasons for these two elections. Hence the fair comparison would be the 2013 Assembly election which is also not too very distant in the past.
The only reasonable conclusion that can be drawn is BJP has been able to shore up more support than before. It can only mean one thing. The number of people who want BJP to come to power in 2015 is more than the number of year 2013. This is in spite of or due to utterances of Sakshi Maharaj, Sadhvis etc which were shown to be abhorrent by the media.  To attribute this increase to any particular reason would be at best speculative. To describe the increase in vote share as a loss caused by Sakshi Maharaj is sheer vitiated propaganda.
The vote share of AAP has also increased between 2013 and 2015 substantially. In the 2013 election Congress had obtained 53% of the Muslim votes while in 2015, according to one poll, AAP has received 71% of Muslim votes. One thing that can be certainly said is that Muslims have moved from Congress camp to AAP camp decisively. The Muslim shift alone should cover about 5-6% of increase in AAP vote share, more than half of the total.
The other half of increase for AAP could most probably by strategic voting by anti-BJP voters.
In summary, BJP has managed to wrest 8% from other parties on the development platform, at least half of AAP vote gain has come from polarized votes. In this respect the support of MIM and the call from Imam Bukhari cannot be discounted. There have been many explicit calls from Muslims to fellow Muslims to vote for AAP. In the case of Bukhari, the call to vote for AAP would surely have influenced some to vote for AAP and the refusal from AAP stemmed the Hindu reaction. AAP seems to have gained the best of the polarization. Had Hindus polarized, AAP would have been history.
The media has played second fiddle to AAP, which could have probably moved another couple of % of voters into believing AAP is a better option.
So revisiting the questions
1.       This is a defeat for BJP and/or Modi ji
2.       Middle class has deserted BJP
3.       BJP’s development promise has fallen apart
4.       AAP promise of development has more takers
5.       BJP’s fortune has dwindled.
This is surely not a defeat for BJP or Modi ji. BJP has been able to convince more people on local issues. Whether Kiran Bedi’s induction into BJP contributed positively or negatively remains shrouded in theories, the fact remains BJP has gained voter confidence in comparison to 2013 election.
To say middle class has deserted BJP stems from the false argument that BJP has fared badly in this election compared to 2013. If middle class has deserted BJP has lower class support increased by 8 + x %, (x = the % of middle class desertion)?
To say that BJP’s development promise has fallen apart also goes against the gains BJP has made in Assembly election.
To say AAP promise of development has impressed more would be difficult to swallow as the bulk of support has come from Muslims. We do not know about the support of Christians which was earlier Congress monopoly. Nor is there any reason to believe that AAP’s promise of development has captive audience only amongst Muslims.  
The Media has all the reason to t(h)rash BJP as BJP is not giving any lift or leverage to media brokers unlike the earlier government. Media is projecting false reasons to demoralize BJP supporters but the facts remain that BJP has done better and more people have put their trust in BJP this time than the last election.
The rise of AAP is reasonably explained by religious polarization of Muslim vote, along with strategic voting of other groups who are anti-BJP all egged on by partisan and ideologically committed Media.
Having said that, under the adverse circumstances, many of them were creations of a defunct government that undermined our nation in every possible way.
One of the outcomes of this election is the invisible hand of MIM in the operations of the Delhi Government. Now that we have seen the workings of Telengana, it is not difficult to guess Delhi’s. The na├»ve Hindus have allowed a regime that is installed by party with communal and divisive goals. The divisive and polarizing politics of AAP will make Delhi a WB in coming days. The communal agenda of AAP backers will be brought to the fore. And that will bring the critical tilting edge to BJP. Until then, Delhi will suffer the ill effects of demographic reality that cannot be wished away.
It is not reason that won but emotions have overwhelmed reason. To discuss political outcome as if it is a scientific experiment with immutable laws only shows that the TV anchors do not have the brains to handle complex ideas. And except the obvious suspect of polarization, the Media morons were pointing fingers at every other imaginary culprits, for identifying the correct culprit at this point of time would tantamount to self-indictment.

If I were to learn lessons from Delhi elections, they would be.
1.       BJP has done better than before, and that is a confirmation that BJP policies find more acceptance
2.       BJP losing this time is mainly due to a communal game played by AAP with the help of MIM, a game of minority appeasement and communal politics
3.       Muslim have not responded to ‘development’ plank as much as to ‘Islam’ plank
4.       AAP win is mainly due to its takeover of vote banks from the earlier owner, Congress
The big question remains if BJP had underplayed polarization card? Was polarizing Hindus the fitting reply to MIM’s plan? Only time will tell.  

Other questions that defy answers are

a. What portion of 8% increase of support to BJP is due to reaction to Bukhari/MIM?
b. Had BJP made efforts to polarize would it have brought another 1.5% net increase which could have swung the result in opposite way?

If minority polarization scripted this win for AAP right under Hindu nose, Media house provided the cover for the crime to be committed. That is the story of Delhi Election for me.

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