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I vote therefore I am


Bihar elections turned utmost important - the icons of Indian media lost sleep to run its pre-poll and post-poll analyses. Bihar has traditionally been considered major during elections, but minor in any social or economic context. This time around, the number game aroused enormous excitement – way bigger for any state election campaign. Let’s see what our media fed us in the run-up to this extravaganza.

There was a wave of intolerance that rose to headlines and died soon after the elections were over. The BJP, who fared poorly, suspects a political role of the undue attention to intolerance that drove them to back foot just ahead of the election. The opposition says, which include the mainstream media for the moment, that the intolerance against the religious minorities and hyped focus to Hinduism by BJP and its sister concerns were an attempt to polarize and hence the whole nation and the creamy layer (who plan to change the world over thumbstrokes and form public opinion virtually) unanimously raised their voices against such forces. To add to this ‘protests’ there were a horde of intellectuals who returned their awards to the government – this brigade includes renowned scientists, authors, poets, film-makers etc. The election results in Bihar was TRP-bullish the day Delhi gave AAP a thumping majority. BJP, visibly confused by the results, blame the Nitish Kumar – Lalu Yadav alliance for playing dirty with caste politics. Meanwhile Mr. Modi is busy on his horseback that Alexander gifted him… no stopping from winning foreign hearts… this time it was our ex-rulers, the UK. Another interesting thread just popped up from nowhere – the old pillars, but new junked rebels of BJP including Mr. LK Advani raised their heads and issued an aggressive statement against the current leadership comprising Mr. Modi and Amit Shah, calling them responsible for the Bihar debacle.
Indian voters have finally found fun in voting. A clean sweep to BJP at the center and then within 1.5Y two major state assembly elections snatched by smaller oppositions – even if it’s extremely enticing to statistically dissect these trends, it’s an absolute no-brainer in reality. The media is on a roll – post 2002 Godhra, they initially painted Mr. Modi blood-thristy. Soon they made people forget his shady past and made him ‘a development leader’ who not only projected Gujarat as the model of development to the rest of the nation, but was catapulted into superstardom outside Gujarat. This wasn’t new for BJP - it happened in 1992 (Babri Masjid demolition). 
Now the gatekeepers of Indian democracy (the largest in the world by the way) have started nitpicking into everything about this government – as if there was a timer set to 1Y to declare the end of honeymoon. A moron hates SRK and comes to headlines! Unbelievable, SRK needs some donkey’s certificate to decide on his nationality? When would this fine brains of Indian media industry get bored of drawing graphs on voting trends? In India, voting should, at best, be taken as a routine exercise with minimal coverage. Less than10% Indians have access to basic healthcare and the remaining lot, which is almost the whole of India, can afford only some quacks or ‘alternative medicines’. If I’m sounding too puritan, ask anyone in this country what attracts someone to an election other than a fun fiesta, an adrenaline rush…. a cricket match? Yes, that’s the closest mate for an election in India. All India needs a nail-biting finish to anything unpredictable and we’re hooked with all our hearts and soul. Did I miss brain? Oops, that’s busy in shopping anyway… counting the change on a super saver deal offer.
Hope the media experts cover Mizoram with equal enthusiasm someday. 
Let me, a man on the street, summarize the basics of an election in India. Elections are fought and won by fiddling any or a mix of these levers – caste, religion, force and money. Caste and religion are integral to Indian demography and careful maneuvering on these can produce favorable results. Money is either giving away carrots before elections to meet the numbers or to showcase flyovers and highrises (with air-conditioners protruding outside) in selected posh urban areas or showering tax sops on sunshine industrial sectors. Force is the simplest - frighten voters in the name of protection and harness a strong cadre base by distributing candies so that they ‘work hard’ during pre-poll campaigns. The levers of an election are precisely devised to meet the demand of each constituency. The media are on both sides of the fence. Statistics, mathematics, heuristics… science can be cruel, if it reaches wrong hands! These are open secrets - everyone in this country knows this and has accepted it into their soul. Having said that, we must understand that winning elections (i.e. being successful in politics) is not easy. It's not everyone's cup of tea like everything else. Just knowing the recipe of a great dish doesn't make me a good chef. In short, I can't take away any credit from an accomplished political personality of this country.
This is how we have convoluted our notion of democracy. Had we shown any resistance to this evolution, we wouldn't have reached here. We surrender to influential politicians so that we get favors in return and stay ahead of our neighbors in different spheres of life. We, the voters get what we deserve. Either we should oppose this form of democracy and reject it downright or solemnize our caricatures as democracy with an open heart. I love pretenses, but can't drag it so long. India needs to be truthful before making any development on any front whatsoever.

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