Prem Kumar wrote:The Modi-apologist strikes again. Hindus did their part - by voting Modi in again in 2019 with an unprecedented majority! Its reasonable to ask him to not abandon Hindu causes. "Looking after Hindu interests" is one of the main reasons for capturing political power. If that purpose is under-served, he must be questioned.
There are two problems with this argument. Hear it out.
1. Lack of context
This is a consistent problem, and it cuts both ways. For example, beyond a point, UPA era scams were so frequent that it was 'expected' and they are no longer punished as much (diminishing returns at work) for each new one. Whereas a single allegation on the present government is a big deal to many - supporters and opponents.
Similarly, failure to do things must
be weighed in the context of what was done. This is important because it expresses the poster's ability to be factual even when working within their own biases.
Personal bias exists in everyone, myself included - I want the government to do certain things more than others. But
it is important to state that those are what you seek. Don't place that upon 'Hindus' and characterize it as a government failure to help 'Hindus'. State what you seek as what you seek, not some collective desire.
It's not that what you seek is invalid. The problem is that expressing it as a collective aspiration takes away focus on the matter, and instead turns it into two sets of posters yelling at each other like minime-Lenins from their respective soapboxes. This is pointless forum noise. We don't want otherwise good posters name-calling one another whiners and apologists. Save us the trouble of kicking both parties out temporarily to cool them down.
The voice of collective desire can really only be stated through one thing - election results. If something important to you isn't getting done, but it seemingly has no electoral consequence, then that is reality to resolve into your own argument. This feeds into the second one...
2. Asymmetry of Political Impact
In politics, punishment vs reward is not symmetric. The reward you get for doing something is not
the same as the penalty you face for not doing. Certain things are critical to do, failure to do which results in sustained penalties every election (which shows up as sustained 'anti-incumbency'). Anti-incumbency in every single election is a glaring sign that the populace is desperately demanding something basic that is not being done by every single elected entity.
For example - sanitation, roads, the lowest end of the Maslow hierarchy. A facet of these is that these are mostly 'boring' things that take continuous delivery of administrative and execution skills. They're not glamorous things - but they're must haves for dignified human life.
Conversely, other political actions have outsized reward for getting done, but little penalty for not getting done immediately. For example, the RJB matter. People are not stupid - they realize it's mired in religious and legal disputes, and don't penalize the government every 5 years for failing to make progress. However, actually succeeding - as this government did - has major reward for them in the next election. These aspirational goals involve more legislative, legal and executive maneuvering - they're typically not about building or maintaining something.
Typically, basis sustenance Maslow needs have high penalty for failure but high reward for finally getting done - but only the first time. The higher aspirational needs have limited electoral penalty for failure, but high reward for success - again typically just once. However, failure to accomplish basic sustenance tasks generates continuous electoral punishment, but failure to accomplish aspirational goals does not.
Think about this - both have the same reward behavior, but have very different penalty behavior. A political entity has to balance accomplishments on both fronts. Succeeding in sustenance goals gives them the stable incumbency to address the the aspirational goals.
This is provably true - the 2019 election mandate has no parallel in democratic history anywhere in the world. It was mostly driven by sustenance needs being broadly addressed in a significant way.
The first time an incumbent was re-elected with an even higher turnout. In fact, a record breaking original turnout beaten by a new record during re-election. Half the states giving absolute majority voteshares that cannot be overcome by any combined opposition. Successive majorities for the same leader, not seen in 2 generations in domestic political history (a polity only a little over 3 generations old).
This is a sign that the government is managing its sustenance vs aspirational efforts properly . Within that context, there remains a lot to be done, for sure. But as mentioned above, it's important to fit into that context, and to consider the asymmetry of impact.
Instead, there's often a tendency to blame 'Hindus' for not caring about one's cause. Or conversely blame the government for failing Hindus. Both are noise. The matter itself almost always is relevant, but the poster is too busy misdirecting his/her emotional energy the wrong direction.