What do make of a person who breaks the binary of ‘half full- half empty’ with a third way of looking ‘half filled with water and half with air’?
Most brands that we see today are externalized concrete vision of great out of box thinkers. Fred Smith did not think of improving the postal system rather gave birth of an entirely new concept of ‘over night delivery’ in the form of FedEx. Herb Kelleher conceived of ‘bus in the air’ with a price and frequency that of on road public transportation system and created Southwest airline. Sony’s Akio Morita challenged the notion that music source had to be fixed. Poloroid once upon a time turned the logic upside down that camera only captures images not prints them. Not long time back iPod empowered the music lovers by making them masters of what they want to listen not what album cutting companies produce.
Is development a new discourse? Probably yes. Most of the established political brands has not been able break away from their narrow tunnel vision and continue to view the future as a modified extension of past. Congress mixes and remixed the so called inclusion agenda, the BJP for a variety of structural impositions looked at reality with hindutva angle. The left parties see nothing but imperialist agenda of MNCs. It binary opposite of inclusion (Congress) is exclusion (BJP) which must have been a dominant consciousness for the ‘partition generation’ (and also upper and lower social divisions). But things do not remain fixed. Emergence of consciousness is dynamic process.
The discourse has been changing, the old is now obsolete. The ideas of identity, religion, caste and sect are fundamentally are collectivists in nature which provides a survival tool kit to individuals in the absence State. The maturation of democracy, urbanization, encounters with alternate ways of existence (propelled by media exposure) and economic progress provide impetus to individualism. The modern generation is ‘me’ and ‘now’ orientation. The path to salvation is by empowerment though development. The new generation knows it. It’s currency of trade is consumption and it is an individualistic agenda. What is it in for me (caste, religion, sect I have it)?
Congress’s inclusiveness and BJP’s hindutva is essentially attempt appropriate a sense of violation. It derives its sustenance from identity. The new emergent physical (cityscapes) and mental (psychographics) reality is recasting identity into a default construct. Its violation is essential for its activation (this is the reason why some speeches are meant to incite). Modi’s developmental brand of politics is beginning to silence many identity based voices. People want deliverance from poverty, hunger and backwardness and good governance need not be based on identity. Religion and representation is not one and the same thing. The new twenty something class wants economic well being and fast.
Modi is very much like iPod and iMac for Apple. He is a silver bullet brand capable of getting the BJP out of its current difficult position. He is discourse changer/ game changer. By putting the developmental agenda on the centre stage he has introduced a new evaluative dimension electoral politics. Identity and corruption are two facets on which both of the political brands indistinguishable. This leaves the young electorate frustrated and dismayed. But sometimes brand recreate companies. Take for instance Fena and Ceasefire (brands became companies). It is good opportunity for BJP to create its own ‘blue ocean’. Appropriate inclusiveness (Congress’s strength) under the rubric of development and leave corruption and dynasty.
The political opponents would never allow Modi to move on. But worst would be when internal factions within the BJP resort to old and obsolete discourse.