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Negative politics is the new normal, brace for more aggression

Negative politics is the new normal, brace for more aggression

With political bosses and their underlings busy engaging in slanderous politics, the people are wondering at the ugly turn of events. They have two options: To get swayed by the hyperbole of the politicians, or to confront them with the everyday issues that matter.

Whether it is inflation or unemployment, or issues concerning health, education and national security, people are looking for solutions to the plethora of problems they are confronted with, but the political class seems to be far removed from this reality.

For the politicians, it is all about getting power and enjoying the benefits. It used to be said that all is fair in love and war -- paraphrasing the words of John Lyly, the poet: "The rules of fair play do not apply in love and war."

Politics must now be added to love and war, for it has transgressed all limits of fair play.

Every politician seems to be baying for his opponent's blood in a bid to stay ahead. Negative politics is the new weapon for the political fighters. Unleashing campaigns to target and demonise the opponent has become the basic mantra for every political party and leader.

The Congress has so many epithets for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP has a plethora of adjectives for Rahul Gandhi, and so does it for Arvind Kejriwal, Akhilesh Yadav, Mamata Banerjee, and all others and their juniors or seniors or ordinary workers. It is a free for all.

By using the worst lines and expressions against each other, the belief is that it will proportionally pull down the opponent and elevate the source. The social media storms give a massive impetus to the thought behind the unleashing of negative campaigns.

Negative politics is the trend. Slaying opponents with a barrage of words is the fashion, but equally disturbing is being upfront about it and wearing the negativity as a kind of badge.

When Rahul Gandhi was convicted by a Surat Court, it should have been a moment of redemption for him and all the other politicians. But, has it been so?

The question is wide open.

The political scene has become very aggressive with all the parties adopting a cut-throat stance against each other.

Rahul Gandhi is going on a 'revenge rally' in Kolar, the place in Karnataka where he made the 'Modi surname' comment in 2019 that got him disqualified from the Lok Sabha.

"Rahul Gandhi lost his Lok Sabha membership after the court sentenced him to two-year jail for his speech. Hence, the party has decided to launch its fight to save the Constitution from Kolar," the party's state working president, Saleem Ahmed, said in Kolar.

And the date for the event, named 'Satyameva Jayate', has now been postponed from April 5 to April 9 to coincide with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's programme.

All the political parties, whether the ruling BJP or the Opposition, are leaving no stone unturned in attacking each other.

The current Parliament session reflects this. With not a single day of working, this session is surely going to be the most disastrous one.

The treasury benches also behaved aggressively demanding Rahul Gandhi's apology over his UK statement even as the Opposition is steadfast on the demand for a JPC probe into the Adani Group issue.

For the Congress and its supportive like-minded parties, the Adani case is a very big issue. Having linked it with Rahul Gandhi's disqualification from the Lok Sabha, the opposition led by the Congress has made it a 'Save Democracy and Save Constitution'.

In a recently-held press conference at the party headquarters in Delhi, Rahul Gandhi had said, "I have been disqualified from the Lok Sabha because Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scared of my next speech on Adani."

He also said his disqualification would help the party as it has given the Congress a new weapon.

And, adding to the fire are the reactions emanating from some foreign governments -- the US and Germany -- on Rahul Gandhi's disqualification, and Congress leaders thanking them.

The BJP slammed Rahul Gandhi over this and has launched a scathing attack against the Congress for inviting foreign powers to interfere in India's internal matters.

The Congress has been trying to rally other opposition parties behind it, while the BJP is aggressive on issues of corruption and nationalism.

As the elections to the states and the 2024 Lok Sabha polls near, the nation is going to witness a tumultuous period.

Campaigns, counter campaigns, narratives and waves will be unleashed to sway the masses. Religion, caste, region, language, freebies, etc., will occupy the top slot, and real issues will take the backseat.

For a common woman, every day is a struggle with rising prices of all essential commodities, and essentials. Milk prices have been increased multiple times in the past year. Vegetables, fruits, other eatables, are also seeing a hike in rates.

And so are other expenses -- clothes, medicines, education, transport, housing and everything else. Various crimes have also increased and so has the general sense of insecurity. The job market is shrinking and layoffs are becoming the norm.

But these are not the issues which are attracting the attention of any political party. These are people's problems for which only they have to find their own solutions. The politicians are fighting bigger battles!

The year is going to be tough and challenging and will subside only with the ending of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

(Deepika Bhan can be contacted at [email protected])


Tags: Narendra Modi Rahul Gandhi