Indian Election: Modi, Obama of India
History repeats itself. The ongoing Indian election 2014 to parliament has many similarities with 2008 American elections. There are many commonalities between Modi and Obama. Both are having Leadership style, campaign management, ground situations, and result prospects alike. Hence, Modi's election is trailing on Obama's first election pattern and repeating the global history of US election.
Indian election appears three cornered. First is the Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA). Second is the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Third and last may be the BJP or the Congress supported third front. Third front could not take proper shape before election. It is a dream on paper and its’ very existence is in question. But, in case of fractured mandate, it will be a potent option. Therefore, Election in reality is two-dimensional. Modi-primeministerial candidate of BJP is leading NDA and undeclared Rahul Gandhi of congress is leading UPA. Now, election has centred between Modi and Rahul rather than BJP versus Congress. It is just like election between Democrats and Republicans in US.
In America, the republican Bush got two consecutive terms. The performance of first term gave him second term. But, Bush badly performed in his second innings. Likewise, Manmohan Singh got two terms in continuation. He did well in his first term. As a result, he repeated. But like Bush, he failed in performance in his second tenure. This proves Modi is facing same ground realities as Obama encounterd in 2008.
There is a big question. Will Modi-of-2014 be able to prove a verbatim of Obama-of-2008? There are many similarities between them in their style of functioning and marketing. One, both are well read and having in-depth knowledge of politics. Two, both are IT savvy. Three, both are authoritative and decisive. Four, both are good orators and famous for their effective speeches. Five, both are self-made. Six, both have lived poor life and seen hardships in their childhood. Seven, while Obama was the first to use internet, Modi is a 3D-innovative user in politics. Hence, both have comparable electo-political characteristics.
The U.S. Federal Election Commission finds that 2014 general election in India is projected to cost about $5 billion, making it the costliest election ever in India and the second most expensive campaign in world history, behind only the 2012 U.S. presidential election, which cost some $7 billion.
The huge sum marks India’s entrance into big-time election expenditures as well as the emergence of sophisticated Western-style campaigning, fund-raising and the domination of social media in politics. Narendra Modi, the visionary leader of the opposition BJP, is especially keen on the use of social media to attract young voters, while the incumbent Congress party has “started spending on digital, which it never did in 2009.”
Social media came in limelight in 2008 US election. It helped Obama in making him President. Though, all parties have realised its potential, but Modi is ahead among all in using it as selling tool. He copied Obama's social media model. As a result, this tool helped him a lot in building his image. Modi uses social media to connect and engage with high class gentry who are net savvy.
He is making favourable opinion by social media. His social media usage is well calibrated and planned like Obama’s election of 2008. These two tools, social media and 3D are keeping him always ahead of other competitors in race. Both, Modi and Obama have same political marketing strategy and electoral logistics.
A new dimension has emerged in the 2014-election. Which one is bigger, Party or Personality? Abki baar Modi sarkar or Abki baar BJP sarkar. Reality is that Modi’s personality is hovering over the party BJP. There is nothing wrong in it. Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Obama are two cases to prove this.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee led a 16-party NDA to electoral triumph in the 1999 general elections. This was the saffron party's finest hour. Vajpayee's personal popularity was at its peak. The NDA led by him managed to cross the 300-seat mark in the Lok Sabha polls for the first time. The softer image and wider acceptability of Vajpayee are two significant differences between him and Modi.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram told a news channel in a press conference on Nov 5, 2013, “The BJP has projected a person larger than the party. They would realise their mistake, if not now, in the near future. You cannot project a person who is larger than the party in a parliamentary democracy,"
The Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi On March 11, 2014 in Balasinor, Gujarat, addressing a rally, launched a blistering attack on BJP's PM nominee Narendra Modi on his home turf by comparing him with Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler and also accused his government of "stealing" farmers' land at the behest of corporates.
It appears Modi has full and free control over the election management. It is reflected that his personality is bigger than party BJP. On this ground, opposition is attacking him. This hard personality cult of politics of Modi over party politics is making many inside the party and outside the party uneasy. The slogan ‘Abki baar Modi sarkar’ over ‘Abki baar BJP sarkar’ is an evidence in inself to prove the case of personality cult of politics of Modi.
Like Modi, Obama also invited criticism because of pursuing cult of personality. Few Americans feel that his personality is bigger than his Democratic Party because of his style of functioning. Law professor Jonathan Turley at George Washington University said he's astonished by how passive Americans -- especially Democrats -- have been to President Obama's abuse of executive power, which he said has become so dangerous it's making the U.S. political system unstable. He told the House Judiciary Committee on Dec. 3, 2013 that Obama is "becoming the very danger" the Constitution was designed to avoid.
But Turley's a bit late to the party in noticing the Obama cult of personality that has turned the Democratic Party into a bunch of Soviet-style apparatchiks. The cult of Obama adoration has since become so unbearable the White House press corps revolted last year, denouncing the government-funded-propaganda that puts the president front and center into everything, even celebrations of pivotal historical events such as the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Therefore, it seems that both are doing politics on similar lines- personality politics rather than party politics.
The salient factors which are responsible for meteoric rise of Modi and Obama are quite similar. Their social-cultural backgrounds are same. Both of them have impressive and powerful influence on their respective parties intellectually and politically. They have been dedicated and silent gross-root level field works of their respective parties before coming to national scene. Now, They have achieved a remarkable and unmatched position in their parties on the grounds of individual personalities.
On the basis of similar electo-political characteristics and electoral logistics, Modi like Obama has kindled a ray of hope in the mind of people of his country at large . The comparative description of sequence of events reveals that same efforts will bring same results.
In US, the minimum number required to form government is 270, while in India it is 272. Obama got 365 in 2008 election. This is 95 more above the bottom line. In 2012 election, he got 332. Now recent predictions are in Modi' s favor and depicts his bright future. The basic question is what will be the tally of NDA on May 16. Will Modi get similar result as Obama?
Modi is following the same path of success on which Obama moved in 2008. On the grounds of logical reasoning, the result of Modi's election will be same as that of Obama's because he is making almost similar efforts as those of Obama. Therefore, it is obvious that Modi is going to be Obama of India. NDA will touch base line of 272 and its variations would be within plus-minus five percent.