It is election season in India and over the next few months we can expect lots and lots of announcements and pronouncements. Bombast and calumny. Truths and lies. Deification and vilification. I attempt to categorise some of the statements that will come our way from the government.
- Those that highlight achievements of the government in the last 4–5 years, which include (I expect that these will be accompanied by hidden or open accusations that the Congress did nothing in 61 years.)
- Some real (SwacchBharat which is a modest success),
- Some useless (renaming roads & cities, international recognition etc.) and
- Some imaginary (stronger economy, eliminated corruption).
- New schemes and policies that will miraculously solve all problems of all citizens.
- For the poor, welfare schemes that will help them get food-shelter-clothing. These schemes will probably be in the name of all those freedom fighters that the Congress did not revere (does not have to be true, just has to be said that way), BJP ideologues.
- For the middle class, income tax and savings sops
- For the rich, tax breaks, amnesty for black money etc.
- Announcements showing how stronger India is, how much more respectable India has become in the world. Never mind what the or are saying.
- Announcements of new, grand sounding schemes where the responsibility of actually doing something for the country is passed on to the citizens. All in the name of inclusive citizenship. Something like the scheme below.
What we will not see or see very little of is negative news about issues like corruption, crony capitalism, deleterious effects of the demonetisation adventure weakening economy, rising prices etc. That is where tame media comes into play, they will self censor or misdirect consumer attention.
There will also be lots and lots of distraction that will prevent us from asking the right questions.
There will also be lots and lots of social media chatter, trolling and fake news.
Incidentally, this is what would have happened if the Congress has been in power too. Just that the BJP does this like a well oiled machine while the Congress does it like a rusty one.
The only losers are common folk like us. As always.