Nowhere in the contemporary world or in the history of the near past has there been such a disconnect between the ruling party and the widespread media discourse and issues related to the common man, as seen in India. Actually, something else has happened but the discussion is about something else. For example, the price of domestic LPG cylinder was increased by Rs 50 but not a single leaf was raised on this in the whole country. There is no discussion on this in the media, there is no demonstration of the opposition, there is no opposition from the civil society, and there is no displeasure of the common middle class citizens. Instead, the whole country is embroiled in the ongoing debate on the slogans of ‘Sir Tan Se Juda’ and ‘Jab Mulle Kaate Jayenge…’. It is not that such discourses have started after the slitting of a Hindu tailor’s incident in Udaipur, but it is a continuation of such discourses.
How surprising that the issues related to the life of the common man have gone out of the mainstream discourse and no one is bothered about it. No one is feeling that something is happening which is not compatible with the circumstances of the country. On the one hand, there is a narrative created by the government and the ruling party, which is discussed in the mainstream media all day and virtual platforms are also full of similar discussions, on the other hand there are issues of common man or real issues related to the country and society. . Earlier also, there used to be discussion on the issues sponsored by the ruling party and the ruling party used to divert attention from the real issues through some fabricated issues but it did not happen that the real issues completely disappeared from the discussion and only sponsored or fabricated issues Go mainstream. This is happening now. Now the fringe has become really mainstream.
These days the country is entangled in the whirlpool of such fabricated problems, due to which all the problems of the mainstream have been veiled. It is not a matter of discussion that the price of domestic LPG cylinder has increased by Rs 50 and due to this the cost of a cylinder in many cities of the country has exceeded Rs 11 hundred. It is also not discussed that the price of one dollar has reached near 80 rupees. There is also no discussion on whether the rate of wholesale inflation is above 15 per cent and this rate has remained in the doubles for the last one year. Economics experts are using terms like ‘stagflation’ and ‘syncflation’ to describe the state of the economy. ‘Stagflation’ means that the economy has come to a standstill and inflation is increasing rapidly. ‘Syncflation’ is being used in the context of companies increasing the price as well as reducing the quantity of packaged goods in a packet or box to throw dust in the eyes of the consumers. That is, the quantity is shrinking and the price is increasing. Every citizen of the country, whether he belongs to any class, has been hit by inflation, but his thinking seems to have gone beyond this.
Recently, the unemployment figures came, in which it was told that in the month of June, the unemployment rate in villages went above eight percent and in cities it was 7.3 percent. According to the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy, in the last two-and-a-half years, unemployment has increased for the first time in a month without a lockdown. There was a decrease in employment when the lockdown was imposed due to Corona, but the month of June 2022 was the month with the highest unemployment among the months without lockdown. One crore 30 lakh jobs were reduced in this one month. In an industrialized state like Haryana, adjacent to Delhi, the unemployment rate was above 30 percent. But this issue is not a matter of mainstream discourse.
However, it is not that no one is talking about inflation and unemployment. Its figures are coming like a news and opposition parties and some independent and committed journalists and intellectuals are also criticizing it but the common citizen seems to be completely unaware or unaware of it. He feels that these problems are not his own, but someone else’s. Or is he believing that beyond personal problems like inflation, unemployment, there are bigger and wider problems of the country and society, which are more important to solve. For whatever reason or medium, the issue of Hindutva, nationalism and national security has become bigger than concern for their livelihood. For the first time it is visible on such a large scale that the concern of religion and culture has become bigger than bread and employment.
The whole country seems to be a victim of Stockholm Syndrome. He feels or has been made to understand that bread and employment are not his main concern. Their existence may not be causing trouble for him personally but he should take so much trouble in the larger interest of the country and society. He suffers from such a syndrome that the leader of the opposition, who talks about bread and employment, sees him as his enemy. It has been inculcated in his mind that the opposition is the enemy of the country and the citizens and all the leaders of the opposition are corrupt and family-oriented. It may be that some opposition leaders are corrupt or some leaders are facing trial or some leaders are familyists, but this does not make everything they say anti-national. The question is, what can be done if they do not like what the opposition is talking about? Opposition leaders are being harassed through central agencies but this is not creating any sympathy in the mind of the common citizen. He’s getting it right.
Actually the common Hindu of the country does not want to see anything more than Hindutva, nationalism and national security? The other Narrative is not working for him. He is not paying attention to inflation, unemployment. He is not believing that the ruling party is using religion for politics, but is believing that it is because of the ruling party that Hinduism is being protected and Hindu is getting stronger. He also makes his assumption about national security from those fabricated posts that come forward on WhatsApp, in which it is told that today the whole world is bowing down before India. It does not believe the reputable strategic experts around the world that China has annexed India’s land or that China is making India an economic slave. Instead, he believes in the social media hype that China is in trouble because of Modi’s bets!