- An Useful Idiot is “someone who supports one side of an ideological debate, but who is manipulated and held in contempt by the leaders of their faction or is unaware of the ultimate agenda driving the ideology to which they subscribe.”
- Anyone can be wrong once. But to be wrong repeatedly, when all the facts are before you, when the stakes are so high, is unpardonable.
- Many supporters of Modi did so assuming that the Hindutva movement would be kept in check while long-awaited economic reforms would happen. Many people on the ‘economic right’ walked into his camp. Modi got a resounding victory, and had the mandate he needed to carry out sweeping changes. He did nothing.
- All the evident failings of Modi since 2014, briefly are: no reforms; a move leftwards to a command-and-control view of the economy; a continuation of most of the flawed schemes of the previous government with fancy name changes; maximum government, minimum governance; a rollout of GST, which they had earlier opposed, with so many slabs and exemptions; another inspector raj; demonetisation.
- Modi mishandled Kashmir, with violence escalating. The social wing of the Hindutva Project that he clearly believes in is tearing Indian society apart. Quips about it being safer to be a cow than a woman have become a cliché.
- Many who had supported Modi in 2014 now realised that their optimism was misplaced and the worst-case-scenario was unfolding. But many did not.
- Demonetisation (or DeMon) was a litmus test that revealed which intellectuals cared about their principles, and which just wanted proximity to power. DeMon was the largest assault on property rights in the history of humanity. It led to people dying in queues, businesses shutting down, livelihoods being decimated. There was no way any of its goals could be achieved, and there was no way taking 86% of the money supply out of circulation would fail to devastate the economy. All this was evident from the start. Any economist who supported DeMon lacked either intelligence or integrity. There is no charitable explanation.
- Modi is a master of optics, and controlled the narrative to actually make short-terms political gains from DeMon. But it was worrying and depressing that so many people who should know better continued in their steadfast support of him. Why did they do so? Here are few possible reasons why these Useful Idiots continued to stay Idiots. (1)These Useful Idiots, who can't win on their own tried to rationalize every action or inaction of Modi with rationalization. (2)The Patronage Economy swung into place after Modi came to power with legitimate ways of rewarding cronies i.e. Rajya Sabha seats, Padma Awards, sinecures at government institutions, and so on. (3)This government is vindictive, and it appears that it will remain in power for a long time. These Useful Idiots who had spent their lives on the periphery are now establishment intellectuals and there is no way that these idiots will lose that position and face Modi's wrath just for the sake of principles and truth. (4)These Useful Idiots never actually believed in anything. Once close to power, they discarded these principles; just as their masters will one day discard them. Modi and gang have consolidated their political capital, and no longer need these Useful Idiots.
- Had crude oil prices remained flat, at May 2014 price of $108 per barrel, our GDP growth would have been lesser at 6.5% (instead of present 7.5%), a matter of serious concern.
Going by the history and attitude of Modi, it was unreasonable for Indians to expect Modi as a savior of the country which seemingly suffered under Congress regime. The fears are unfolding. It is saddening to note his failed schemes, deterioration of economy, joblessness, banks in peril, agriculture in distress, law & order in crisis, Kashmir burning, China border standoff with imminent danger of war and so on. Modi keeping people in denial that 'ache din' is coming is fast evaporating. The worst fear is that Modi might prove worse than Congress and its imminent return in 2019, with 20% minorities and 25% dalits en masse voting for Congress and BJP is saddled with disgruntled Hindu vote bank. When nothing had been done in three years, what can we expect in next one year, with fifth & final year focus totally on forthcoming general elections.