‘neo-Techno-Liberal Urban’ and ‘slipping to Poor-Hungry Rural’ - Youth

by Amit Bhushan on Saturday 13 January 2018, 8:34 PM | Category: Politics| View: 209 views


‘neo-Techno-Liberal Urban' and ‘slipping to Poor-Hungry Rural' - Youth

                                             By: Amit Bhushan                            Date: 13th Jan. 2018


With the politics in India in tumult, the political parties and Netas are busy with the finalizing their agenda appeal for votes for the year and beyond. Politics has long been driven by the Netas trying to ‘segment' people into various groups. In India, this has generally been done basis Castes & Ethnicity (Centrists), or Work-units/regions & Linguistic groups (communists), Faith (so called Right wing) and some strands of Economic strata segmentation mixed with each of them. The term ‘some strands of Economic strata' might be disputed by the Netas, so let me define this as ‘the differences only existed in Industrial scenario (owners/manager and workers) and by size of land holdings' and not much else like the access to bank credit for self-employed/small entrepreneurs or professional trades etc. There existed sound ‘political experts' across parties who can ‘create/identify segments' and then advise the right kind of appeal for these segments and ‘support attempts' to conjecture a winnable majority. Some of the ‘seasoned activists' who could ‘rally some sections of people' basis track-record could also be co-opted into Netadom for further bolstering of the ‘democracy', provided such activists seem ready to serve the ‘party's interests'. Then of course the government and Netas therein also had their role cut out in terms of ‘identification' of people who are achievers in different fields who are to be looked up to, businesses and business interests that are to be promoted, government run businesses & institutions etc., and not to forget some of the weaker sections to be ‘actively' supported amongst others. The ‘administrative' machinery revolved most around as per description with of course rule making, procedures and standards, revenue collections, law administration etc. which are routine admin job.

The ‘Opinion formulation' as a role rested mostly with the Netas may be alongside some ‘seasoned bureaucrats and/or journos' and identification of the ‘right themes' to propagate these opinions rested firmly with the denizens of ‘forth estate', who also controlled the ‘how' part for such propagation. The format of one-to-many one way communication was an apt mechanism with few exceptions when some ‘activists' could rally a large number of people on their own. Even when these happened, seasoned Netas knew how to slip-in themselves in the helm of affairs and the commercial news media supported such full time Netas to ‘take control' with administration also colluding to ‘support order maintenance'. The vote appeal of the Netas were made by crafting a clutch of suitable segments as well as some supportive activist groups and a ‘common agenda' formulated for making a pitch that could convince ‘public', but mostly relying upon the strength of these sections. Rallies and parades were conducted to convince ‘close supporters (donors)' to convince them about the win ability basis support being garnered from the segments and the ability of the rhetorical agendas to accommodate some of their ‘key concerns'. It is always easy to find support for ‘big projects' in electoral manifesto of the major parties, but absence of concerns of suicidal farmers or a way to address them suitably or details of reforms in governance of some government units. In fact the commercial news media has almost never questioned the ‘agenda' or scrutinized the priorities or the way it would be implemented, giving away their ‘game'. The continuance of the same is most desirable thing from the point of view on the Netas and the commercial news media since that upholds their primacy in formulation of ‘agenda for the segments' they want to attract.

The rise of ‘social media' and ‘tough question politics' seems to be a cause of disruption in the mechanism. This is because it helps communicate the ‘opinions of the masses' directly and has much appeal in ‘mass opinion formation' within the right sections. Basically as society, youths and in particular youth belonging to ‘neo-Techno-Liberal Urban' and ‘slipping to Poor-Hungry Rural' segments of youth seem to have much greater role in propagation of views on the ‘political class/Netas/Parties'. It is a break from past, when the older generation had a much greater sway over what the younger generation should be doing including their political choices. For example some of the Bania youths going against a party criticizing some of its actions in deference from family elder's view/softness about the party and Brahmin youth supporting the same actions some times in line with or sometimes against opinions held their family elders, couldn't have been thought about in the past. Since it is the youth are now able to carry along many ‘others' (in the family and outside) with the arguments and rationale, they have a major impact on opinion formulation. The mechanism of gathering information could also vary much from past where the Neta- media nexus could be almost the sole influence and now there is a definite rise of the ‘social news and opinions', so there seems much greater competition in opinion-building markets and it is rising constantly. The denizens in the commercial news media as well as Netadom have taken to the ‘social media' in order to have their influence via this ‘channel' as well, however the ‘channel' could easily accommodate them as ‘one of the many'. Thus there seems to be a rising need for an ‘engaging content' but the same comes from ‘anyone of the many' rather than the Netas or the Journos alone. However, to ensure some engagement, the political slogans now seem to be in line with what can possibly engage these sections like ‘Vikas/Development' or ‘Jobs' or ‘Kisan/farmer issues' even if there is little by the way of project proposals, policies and programs of the Netas/Parties. It may be noted that even with Banking coming to political lime-light on account of industrial NPAs, access to bank credit or improving distribution of the same is still not on discussion agenda of the Netas who may otherwise be happy to discuss past happenstance like demonetization. This remains so even as cultivating the ‘influential sections as mentioned' remains a political priority for the Netas and parties.   

Thus there is a tumult amongst the youth and a political competition to capitalize upon the same is seen as an opportunity by some Netas to come out of the hibernation or relative hibernation and become ‘active'. Some of the ambitious young things may be having their own plans regards political stints as well and this also shows up often. All this obviously crowds the political space for ‘ideas' as well as the ‘people/Netas' who would be able to make it or stay relevant. And possibly a signal of somewhat declining role of the media for election agendas, although the role of the media over regular reporting on governance matters seem to be intact for now due to its better access on information as well as its abilities for professional handling of the same. The relatively softer scrutiny of the schemes by people on account of high decibel ‘son of the soil' campaign in an elections just passed might be still fresh in the memories of people/Netas and many of them know about the rising tide of the level of competition. The rural sections with deaths were unsparing, the urban sections voted for a possible ‘continuance of reforms' but with the caveat that the delivery on Jobs, Vikas/Development and Kisan issues should become a reality sooner rather than later, but only when the under-performers and the unconnected (with people) are being self-evicted by the parties. The trends are likely to continue amid rising competition. Let's see the ‘Game' evolve…

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