How Narendra Modi avoids the ‘India Shining’ trap

[This article first appeared in ThePrint on 22 February 2018.]

One of the reasons for the defeat of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA coalition in 2004 was the election slogan: “India Shining”. Instead, a better slogan would have been “India Rising”, as L.K. Advani later admitted.

There’s a fundamental problem in politicians trumpeting their success and saying “I did it”. Once the story is over, the audience moves on to something else. It looks for other, newer stories.

A successful election slogan doesn’t seek to end the story but keeps you hooked to it. When a movie ends, you don’t even wait to see the credits before you get up and leave. But a TV series ends with some suspense that makes you want to watch the next episode. That is also how successful politicians present their work. Continue reading “How Narendra Modi avoids the ‘India Shining’ trap”

Narendra Modi’s new book ‘Exam Warriors’ is an extension of his grand plan to woo first-time voters for 2019

By Shivam Vij for Firstpost, 3 February 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s book Exam Warriors may perhaps win him more votes than his election budget that shied away from disbursing sops.

To be released on Saturday by Penguin Random House India, the author’s bio on the book is five paragraphs long. The very first paragraph reads, “His victory was propelled by historic support from India’s youth, particularly first-time voters.”

That is factually correct. A data analysis by political scientist Oliver Heath in 2015 found that the BJP’s unprecedented victory in 2014 was propelled less by the votes it snatched away from other parties and more by new, first-time voters. Continue reading “Narendra Modi’s new book ‘Exam Warriors’ is an extension of his grand plan to woo first-time voters for 2019”