Elections in India: a momentous event or a political show?

The closer the day of declaration of results of the general elections in India, the more the process resembles a bright political show. And this is very sad: behind the bright show is hidden the fact that these elections can have a really fateful significance for the country, determining its course for at least next five years.

Elements of the show can be seen throughout. For example, Narendra Modi, the central figure in the election campaign, is using high-tech means to bring home his position to the voters. According to the London "Daily Telegraph", Narendra Modi uses his holographic image to ostensibly appear simultaneously at dozens of rallies, where he is physically unable to come.

Elements of the show can also be seen in the pre-election rhetoric and this cannot be held against Narendra Modi supporters alone. His opponents are indulging much more in such tactics, says the expert of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies Boris Volkhonsky. Indian media (the overwhelming majority are sympathizers of the ruling Congress) have been actively hyping the story that Modi suddenly announced he has a wife, a fact that he was able to conceal so far. As if that changes anything in the political attitude of the Bharatiya Janata Party and its leader.

Even a terrible tragedy is used as an element of show in order to attract public attention to the election (and hence to improve the honorarium for the writing fraternity). One such "hot" topic was the recent self-immolation of a spectator during a televised debate last week, when this crazy man burned not only himself, but also a local politician from the opposition Bahujan Samaj Party, who suffered 75 % skin burns and later died in the hospital.

Today India has chosen the worst campaign in any of the world’s "developed democracies" - continues Boris Volkhonsky. - But there is a fundamental difference between the content of the elections in India on the one hand and, say, the U.S. and Western Europe on the other hand. In the West, where all power is in the hands of powerful financial groups and transnational corporations, election campaigns actually change very little. For example, one party will set taxes at 35% and the other at 38%, one party will allow gays to marry, the other will give them "only" the right to live in a civil union, without calling it an official marriage.

In India, the situation is quite different. A lot depends on who comes to power. If this is BJP headed by Narendra Modi, we can expect political stability for at least the next five years in the country. There will probably be important economic reforms, and in the international arena, India will steadfastly defend its national interests and not the interests of Western corporations.

And this is obviously what scares West the most. And this explains the attempts to give a "yellow" tinge to the entire campaign as much as possible. The aim is simple: to create the impression that in India the choice is not between different directions of the vector of development, but just between different troupes of comedians and clowns, as in the West, thus introducing into the consciousness of the voters the thought that on the whole, the choice is not important: it's just a bright show and only the process whose pictures flash on the TV screen is important.

If this campaign is successful, then the best outcome for the West will be a "hung" parliament in which none of the political forces will have a decisive advantage. So it will still be possible to use various manipulations, pit various factions against one another( as has already been tested after the regional elections in Delhi), make the Government of the country dysfunctional and prevent India from occupying an independent and consistent position in world affairs to defend its national interests.

India elections