By SK Nag
The days are not so simple as earlier in political life. Public speaking has been difficult, unlike the past, due to the presence of social media. Without making a well-rehearsed statement in public, the outcome will be disastrous. Trolling on social media nowadays, a good validation platform. Contemplating this paradigm shift, political leaders should have changed their mindset long ago. But they have failed to accept the change in electorate behaviour. Influencing the larger crowd with incorrect narratives is a thing of the past. The masses do not welcome anything which is not relevant or factually correct. The momentary and impulsive manifestation of any sly political speech soon be trolled on social media rejecting the expressions incompatible with the current context or useless. Therefore, public life behaviour has been tougher if the leaders’ 360-degree perspectives are not transparent or ahead of time.
A low hanging strategy of over glorifying ruling govt trivial mistakes on the pretext of reaping political mileage by the opposition has become common, which the citizenry of India don’t want. It has stopped creating any ripple in their favour. The country currently during the pandemic situation needs conducive opposition fitting to the world largest democratic governance structure. Indirect manifestation of political frustration of disintegrated and disgruntled opposition due to many regional parties’ existence, the concept of charismatic leadership theory is gone.
Opposition should change their chorus to sing the song differently. Because understandably, the Indian political system is fast changing its landscape in an evolutionary changing paradigm of Gen X, Y, Z, and so on so forth. With the hyperactive involvement of digital media (social media), the political dimension has changed the definition of public life over the years. So the political etiquette and deliverables. Nimbleness is needed to remain relevant in the political cloud, failing which the fall is inevitable. There is no one size fits all political behaviour nowadays. The so-called political prowess will be very fragile if the public life is not disciplined and transparent to the citizenry of India.
Though social media sometimes overpower other media due to its digital speed and reach with telecom infra’s help, still other forms of media play a vital role. With the availability of more smartphones, digital traffic concentration is increasing every day, helping spread political awareness among different class citizens in the social pyramid.
Gone are the days of preaching by the local leaders to influence a lot and help harvesting popularity without any validation by the masses. Their (local leaders) views were endorsed with a leap of faith and conviction to take this country forward.
The limitation of media outreach has gone, and the target audience reach has included a bigger horizon. The readers are no longer a limited group. In today’s context, those days of information asymmetry is a myth now. Popularity is a short-lived attribute that disallowed the political innate to manipulate the population mindset. And such dated beliefs are no longer helpful. So political leaders should learn to behave and speak. A little more homework is required before subscribing to their opinion in the public domain. People believe in political accountability and the responsibility of good governance. Innate political might and wit is a key political strength that can navigate a government with more success. More and more heuristic statements or spreading lies may not sensitize the target audience in the right direction; it portrays an irresponsible brand image of the person speaking randomly.
Opposition role in democratic politics has a formidable role to play, which is grossly absent. Ridiculing the incumbent ruler without any factual data at hand, the desired political mileage is doubtful. Because the intent of such actions tacitly exhibit the hidden envy. Politics is not only ‘poly � tricks’ but also ‘policy ticking.’ All the opposition forgets the second part, and they are playing the role of algebraic opposition. Whatever ruling party is proposing has been opposed without having to analyze the merit in the proposal. Governance in a country like India is taking the whole ministerial energy to fight opposition non-cooperation. Pandemic time governance should have been more friendly rather than full of hostility. Country’s politics are immaturely taken outside the country and comment on various confidential matters diluting the country’s security and safety that are neither in good taste nor advisable.
Indian economy needs a stable government where all party unanimous policy support is very much needed. Without the consonance of all, the progress is compromised. The timely action on policy is an imperative which any developing country must not forget. Therefore without getting into “Onida” politics (Other’s envy & Ruler’s pride), we must embrace politics of development and cooperation known to be a new normal politics.
(SK Nag is Chartered Engineer, Energy Expert and industry mentor. The views expressed are personal opinion of the author. He can be reached at [email protected] )