ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Moral Convergence of the Real and the Ideal


The current political scenario seems to have given rise to two expressions—the unambiguous and the ambiguous. Arguably, unambiguous political expressions seem to be associated with leaders who are from the ruling parties seeking a mandate for the second successive term in the states. Their expressions are unambiguous on two interrelated counts. First, the public speeches made by these political leaders are unambiguous on moral grounds. Meaning such speeches are made without carrying the moral burden of a sense of guilt—guilt that, on the one hand, should result from the breach of promises that were made on the eve of the previous elections and the associated multiple failures on the other. Second, the leaders speaking for incumbent parties, or the ruling party in the election fray, have been using a language that is hatefully explosive suggesting a clear communal divide between the majority and minority communities. And, the full-throated slogans given by such leaders as a prelude to election rallies also lack a sense of duty to follow constitutional principles. Thus, the selective reference to a particular phase of Indian history, to upcoming religious structures being built, and the spectacle of images produced by digital technology, do certainly measure up to unambiguous public expressions.

The second expression results from the first, in that it is deployed to make people forget or gloss over the devastating consequences of the governance failure in creating employment, arresting inflation and guaranteeing people an opportunity for decent and, hence, basic survival. However, such an astonishingly bold and full-throated expression is based on the “absurd” assumption that “the majority community faces a threat from the minority community.” Such an expression is further based on the assumption that certain sections from the majority community will lend their sympathetic ear to such explosive expression no matter how deficient or deceptive they may be, particularly in terms of the rhetoric that involves religious appeal. These leaders look very certain in the belief that they know what the voters want, and hence they impose a choice on the voters. It is as if the voters do not have any political choice of their own—that they either lack critical awareness that is necessary to dispel self-illusion. Or it is that these leaders want the voters to forget the ruling government’s failures on basic fronts such as inflation and unemployment. For the present dispensation, the spectacle of the visual rather than the deliberative becomes the main plank to mobilise people.

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Updated On : 1st Jan, 2022
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