Is the price that the Modi voters are paying worth it?

Is the world dependant on hype? If something is hyped up around you, it’s face value increases and you want it even more? The 1 billion dollar clothing brand “Supreme” relies on hype value to attract customers and the frenzied customers stand in queues for over 12 hours to buy the products. Does this situation sound familiar to you in the Indian context? This situation reminds me of demonetization in India and the increased support that Modi received after demonetization. People were queueing up to change their notes outside banks but were still chanting Modi’s name on the streets. Did the people of India elect Modi for bringing out change in the country or simply because of his hype? We are all acting like a bunch of frenzied teenagers who are brand crazy and simply believe in the value of something because it is hyped.

The ideology of the BJP which is anti muslim, pro-hindu, supports marginalization of minorities may seem like the solution to leftism which is arising in the country. It is an ideology that comes with the cost of freedom of speech of Muslims and freedom of ideas. This is shown by the increasing censorship in Cinema. “Supreme” is a brand which only has 11 stores worldwide but it is still valued over Abercrombie and Fitch. Since, there is scarcity of the clothes which Supreme is selling because of their intentional effort to keep the supply lower than the demand in order to maintain its hype, the resale value of Supreme is 300%. Customers want Supreme because it is exclusive, original and expensive. The citizens of India want the BJP because it is its ideas seem original. But the real value of these ideas is a huge expense to the country. The minorities are losing their rights increasingly under the rule of the ideologically driven BJP. Is the BJP really rooting for India or only for itself? Is it standing for the values which are stated in the constitution?

This brand “Supreme” which the teenage population is going crazy around is owned by the Carlyle group. The profits from Supreme contribute to the profits of the Carlyle group and fund its activities. The Carlyle group owns an arms manufacturing company which funds bombings in Yemen. The teenagers who opt to buy the brand are not aware of this. Do the teenagers who are standing in queues to buy Supreme products know that their money will go towards funding activities which kill innocent lives?

This is similar to craze that an increasing number of people in India have for the BJP. The BJP MP in UP, Hari Om Pandey said that “There are increasing lynchings because the increasing Muslim population in India needs to be curbed”. If a political party supports outright lynchings instead of protecting its citizens, we are in times of grave danger and violation of human rights. Many members of the BJP are charged for cases like rape and murder. 33 percent of BJP’s MLAs have cases of crimes against them and there are 48 MLA’s and MP’s who have cases of crimes against women. Do the citizens who are voting for the BJP know that they are voting for criminals? There is a popular netflix video starring Hasan Minhaj called “Patriot Act”, which compares Modi with Trump. The only difference is that some US citizens regret voting for Trump while there are very few Indians who see the true cost of voting for Modi.

Supreme is only popular because it is so scarce and exclusive. Researchers say that if Supreme increases its production to meet the demand, the brand value will lose its exclusivity and people will not want to buy more of the product because it is not valuable anymore. Similarly, if the BJP wins the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, it will succeed in marginalizing more minorities and will keep going ahead with its agenda to create a Hindu nation. After it has succeeded in this attempt, the essence of the BJP’s ideology will be lost because there will be no more Muslims or minorities left to marginalize. Hence, the very activities which the BJP promotes like lynchings, crimes, anti-muslim behaviour will lose its essence. They will then pick some other community to marginalise to give more meaning and a new aim to their party. Hence, too much of the BJP will drive them out of power too. After they are done targeting muslims and minorities, since there will be 100% Hindus, there will be no one left to target, what then?

Voters need to understand the ideology of Modi before voting for him based on his marketing campaigns. Hype does break in this world and the fall is hard. The value of the hyped product falls and the customer is hurt. Once, the voter sees that Modi is all hype and there is a true cost to the nation which comes after voting for him, the voter will be more informed while voting. Do vote this 2019 election, every vote counts. Make an informed decision. Let’s not be frenzied teenagers anymore, after all we are voting adults.

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Vidhi is an Economics and Finance major and is in her third year at Ashoka. She is interested in Macro-economics and believes that good economic policies can change the face of the nation and improve the quality of life of millions. She is also a trekking enthusiast and absolutely loves to travel. Mountains are the love of her life. Simplicity in people baffles her.

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