The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Monday, 11 February 2013

UPA-2’S POPULIST SCHEMES: IS THE CONGRESS PARTY READING TOO MUCH INTO THE ELECTORAL MINDSET?

Extending from

UPA’S POPULIST SCHEMES, THE ELECTORAL MINDSET AND A 2013 GENERAL ELECTION

http://severallyalone.blogspot.in/2013/02/upas-populist-schemes-electoral-mindset.html 

The real cause of worry that the Congress party might not be realizing is an electoral trend that India witnessed last year and a social trend that erupted from nowhere in 2011 and is travelling ahead.

Conventionally, the congress party doesn’t look at the educated and urban middle-class voters as its primary vote bank, a class steadily rising in India. This is also the class getting rapidly aware of its political and democratic rights. Though it’s a long way to go for a significant change to happen, the process has already and ‘robustly’ begun the massive civil protests since 2011 show.

All the assembly elections last year that had populous states like Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat saw unexpected and massive polling percentage. The mammoth Uttar Pradesh shot up from 46 per cent in 2007 to 60 per cent in 2012. Other states, too, registered impressive turnouts - Punjab over 78 per cent, Goa over 80 per, Gujarat over 70 per cent while Himachal Pradesh over 75 per cent.


There might be slight variations in these figures but what is important to see is the high jump in Uttar Pradesh that sends maximum number of politicians to the Indian Parliament. Here, the Congress party again failed miserably despite heavy Rahul Gandhi blitzkrieg.

When it is seen in the contrast of the voter turnout in the Lok Sabha elections since the Independence, the trend should be worrying for the Congress party.

The base percentage of the voter turnout in the different Lok Sabha elections has been around 60 per cent. In the last elections held in 2009 it was 58.43 per cent.

It is an accepted wisdom that the educated and middle class or largely the urban population has remained laid-back when it comes to exercising his electoral franchisee, i.e., casting the vote.

That is changing now. The massive turnout in the streets to protest government policies or the massive turnout in the assembly elections tell us this ‘nonchalant’ class of voters is awakening. And since the process began, the Congress party has been at the centrestage of left, right and centre controversy.

Projecting Rahul and promoting a youth-friendly image, at this stage, might prove too little, too late. It is not as if the Congress party doesn’t realize it. The move to collect funds to disburse funds for the populist election dole-outs like the direct transfer of cash subsidy or food security or yet another farm debt waiver as Sachin Pilot* said the other day are the desperate measures to lessen or overcome the impact of the damage (or for that matter, sudden hangings of Afzal Guru!).

What might spoil the game of the Congress party is a possible high voter turnout. If the turnout increases even by 10 per cent and crosses the 70 per cent mark, it will be akin to hara-kiri for the Congress party.

Any household that has paid over Rs. 900 for LPG cylinder is not going to vote the Congress party in again. The lot of such disgruntled voters is in millions because the delicate economic balance of their families has been badly affected by the incessant price rise of almost every commodity in last four years.

If they come out to vote, and indeed, they would come out, as the recent civil protests and high poll outcomes tell, it is going to write-off any positive that the Congress party is expecting to get from the populist Budget announcements.

Also, it is not that the Congress party is the sole claimant of the population segment (farmers, people from the lower economical class, the slum dwellers, and so on) it is targeting with the populist schemes. Now, the regional satraps, too, are putting forward their claims effectively. It is not that the BJP doesn’t get votes from this segment. Yes, in case of low turnouts, the Congress party has been able to get enough number of votes to gain a positive swing in the voting pattern.

Banking on this vote bank while alienating the rising middle class and the urban population is a political suicide in the changed circumstances!

The need was a balancing act. That NEED remains.

Why could no one in the grand old party of India read it?