The death of “lobbyism”
Some club members’ worry
Unpredictability makes Modi and Modi era different from others. Lobbyism has no place, closing down the theaters of fabricated heroes, who used to rule the roost. Earlier heroes were manufactured by rumor mills, which are now thrown into junkyards. Elitism also has gone along with it.
Recently, there was a media rumor that former Managing Director of ICICI Bank and now head of BRICS Bank is going to be Union Finance Minister, replacing Nirmala Sitharaman immediately after the budget. But an outdated type of rumor mill that used to make dark horses as heroes at the end hardly works in the Modi era. Many are unhappy with Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman only because she cannot be easily tamed by those with vested interests. She works with a principle.
Those who had the habit Of loitering around the power circle found their habit futile. They are at the forefront of triggering rumors and expressing discomfort with Nirmala Sitharaman. But the message is clear, such habits do not work now.
Modi himself had declared once, “don’t write possibilities as per one’s interest. It would not work with me” immediately after the election results were out. Before the formation of the last two Modi governments, media fabricated their rumors to make them happen as per their custom. For example – media with some vested interest predicted Arun Shourie to become Finance Minister, immediately after the poll results in 2014. Shourie was one Of the most hated ministers in the Vajpayee ministry. Suddenly, he became a poster-boy. Some also tried to project Deepak Parekh, whose biggest achievement has only been to show presence at high levels. Such style was the seven decade-old custom, which Modi closed by slapping suspense on everyone. None is able to predict what is he going to do. He has successfully closed the business of betting on speculation and locked the hero-making machine.
Perhaps, it is only because Of the media exercise of projecting Piyush Goyal as the possible Finance Minister, he lost the chance of ultimately being Finance Minister, otherwise a deserving contender for the post. Piyush is a high-performing minister and an asset in the Modi government. In whichever the ministry he is placed, he will perform. Often “heroes” used to lobby with media to project names. Sometimes, the strategy worked out in the Congress and Congress coalition, and to some extent even in the Vajpayee era too.
That was how many still then unknown names in the Congress party emerged, finally to dominate the party, sending the poor khadi clad grand old grass-root level leaders to their home.
In NDAalso, some like Shourie and Yashwant Sinha emerged to steal plum post in that way only during the Vajpayee era. Today, strangely, when they are out of cabinet for the reason Of their age they could easily mend with their once bitter opponents. The persons like Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh, Kapil Sibal and host Of such faces with no mass bases in the Congress party could replace the old war horses only through projections by vested interests. Other Congress leaders, who had the capability to win on their own finally got marginalised, writing elegy on the death of the Congress.
Modi wanted to stop such mills working on his party also. Give the rumors the value of only rumors. No one can predict what Modi is going to do. Earlier, media used to create heroes, now media destroys chances of heroes.
The abuse on Nirmala Sitharaman is not different from the abuse on Modi and Amit Shah. In Democracy, criticism is important, but not abuse and exchange of slurs. These days, performers are garlanded with slurs, degrading the standard Of polity and mindset.