Prominent American journalist Molly Ivins had remarked:
“Polarizing people is a good way to win an election, and also a good way to wreck a country.”
And now, let it sink in all of our heads… for what follows is an account of crazy hate-mongering by one of the largest political parties in the country, for the mere sake of winning a state election.
As a continuation of their political campaign for the Delhi state elections, the BJP released their new campaign video on 2nd February. In accordance with their other ads and campaign videos, this one too is filled with honeyed rhetoric and glosses over the failures of the party.
See the ad and an amazing breakdown of it here:
But what’s unique is the sickening amount of hatred and political polarization that it stirs. It returns to the party’s long-standing attempt to paint the NRC-CAA protestors as “anti-nationals” and as a threat to the nation.
The party relies strongly on social media and ad campaigns to expand their outreach and deliver their ideas and ideology to the common masses. And the means that are used to gain mobilisation are to polarize the people and pit them against each other, creating a ‘Us vs. Them’ scenario. Polarization involves the creation of an imagined ‘common enemy’ who is a threat to a constructed Indian nationalism.
The Video That Raged Fires (Both Good And Bad):
The opening line of the ad makes it clear that hatred will follow ahead –
“Samay aa gaya chalo nikaalein, Dilli se dharne walon ko.”
The derogatory stance with which the protesters are portrayed very obviously fails to keep in mind that protesting is a constitutional right and not something that can be used to defame anyone, not especially certify them as anti-nationals.
The cliché “Urban Naxal” has been thrown around casually in the next line, making evident the irreverence of the party towards thinking and questioning individuals.
The most outrageous one is the line which blatantly refers to protesting people as “jinke mann mei sena ke prati, koi bhi samman nahin.”
Also Read: Why Are Fans Shocked With Saina Nehwal?
An In-Depth Analysis:
HW News’ Managing Editor Mr. Sujit Nair deconstructs the ad step by step and carries out its analysis, by comparing it with two election campaign ads from the USA.
He uses the Presidential campaign video by the former USA President Barack Obama and state election campaign video by Arnold Schwarzenegger. He picks out a few keywords from each of them to present the difference between a development-oriented campaign and a hatred-spreading one.
Among other things, the highlight is the “economic patriotism” that Obama ushers in, as opposed to the rhetorical nationalism of this party.
The respective keywords that Nair picks out from the BJP video and the video by Obama are: “nikaalo” vs. “secure middle class”; “tukde tukde” vs. “end war”; “Shaheen Bagh” vs. “students” and several others. A clear binary that is established between both is – Regressive vs. Progressive.
Nair also lists the keywords from Arnold’s state campaign, which includes words like – innovation, fiscal responsibility, public interest, rebuilding the economic engine and most importantly “without fear or favour”. Nair says that this is the “only mindset that can take us to development”, and we completely agree. He also talks of the crushing of every voice of dissent by the current ruling party.
The way the ruling party of a nation addresses its people makes a huge difference in how the community is treated. Hitler often used demeaning words like “rats” for Germany’s Jewish citizens. We all know the atmosphere that it created subsequently and the consequences that followed. Them defaming any group of people surely has dire social and political consequences for that group.
But, history doesn’t remember Hitler gloriously. What it recalls with pride, are the numerous unsung heroes who dissented, and sheltered the discriminated group.
As said initially, polarization and hatred wins elections temporarily, but fails hearts and brings self-ruin soon enough. This charged ad may fuel the existing hatred in the minds of many people, but it will also ignite the voices of dissent – the very ones which will be the voice of change!
Image Sources: Google Images
Find Blogger @Rhetorician_RC