Why Modi Will Win 2024 | Election & Political Analysis Pradeep Bhandari | Abhijit Chavda Podcast 38 | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "Why Modi Will Win 2024 | Election & Political Analysis Pradeep Bhandari | Abhijit Chavda Podcast 38".
Note: This transcription is split and grouped by topics and subtopics. You can navigate through the Table of Contents on the left. It's interactive. All paragraphs are timed to the original video. Click on the time (e.g., 01:53) to jump to the specific portion of the video.
And people have made up their mind as of right now to see PM Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister the third time. Then Gujarat happened, we got Gujarat correct. In that I remember Yogi Indaryadavan, I debated on NDTV. He was saying that Congress is sweeping. I was bold enough to say that Mamata will lose Nandigram because I had done a boothwise analysis to it. So even if you ask me, generally the opposition is not looking here to defeat Modi. They are looking to ensure that Modi falls less than 270. I want to be treated equally. I don't want any special treatment, but I want to be treated equally. Pradeep Bandaraji, welcome to the Abhijit Chawana Podcast. It's wonderful to have you on. Thank you so much for having me on your podcast. I was telling this to my family and I was surprised and pleasantly surprised to know that they were not waiting to hear me on the podcast, but to hear you on the podcast. I really appreciate that. Please thank them on my behalf. Thank you. So we finally meet. It's good to finally meet you. I had briefly met you in Pondichariyaka a few years ago, but it's good to finally have a sit together and talk about things.
Political Narration And Strategy In India
Pradeep Begrativas venu (00:59)
So a lot is happening in the world right now in India. Elections are coming up in 2024. You are a syphologist. What exactly is a syphologist? What do you do with that? See, I am a syphologist through experience and training. Now, syphology at the end of the day is the art of understanding the mind of the Indian voter. And through qualitative and quantitative analysis, understanding what the people of India are thinking, why the people of India are thinking, what they are thinking and what drives their choices. Now, I traditionally am from a background of economics, public policy, theatre and engineering, but I have always been a very, very avid follower of Indian politics and Indian debates. I remember when we were in college, we used to grow up watching Arun Jaitley's fiery Lok Sabha speeches when he was the leader of opposition. And at that time, I was a deep admirer of Hundab's work in terms of the way he took over, you know, scale in user. And then when I started my company, Janki Bhat in 2017 early, initially it was a content company, but pure digital content was giving us a lot of viewership, but not that much money. So, I happened to one of my friends who was working in the UP 2017 campaign of the BJP and he said, "Why don't you travel UP?" So, I said, "Why?" That was a wonderful opportunity for me. And so, he had arranged the travel and used to travel in all the public transport. We used to stay in around 100-200 rupees room in Oyo, 500 rupees Oyo here and there, Samkar e Kartha house. And then in around one and a half to two months, I got a chance to travel to every second district of UP. And at that time, a lot of people were coming out with surveys that either the Samajwadi party will win it or the BJP will just cross the majority mark. But, you know, having got a first-hand experience of talking to people across cast lines and that was like primary raw information in front of me. I was getting something completely different on the ground. So, I got in touch with... because I had travelled across every district, so I had built a volunteer base. And then, what I came to the conclusion is that BJP is sweeping the election. At that time, Siddharth Zerabi was the editor of BTBI and through somebody, I got in touch with him. And I said that this is a survey which we have done through Janke Bath. This is the sample size and data.
Three lessons from travelling in India (03:40)
And I was very confident on it because I was not an amateur in politics. Somehow, I understood the nuances of what the voter was thinking. And so, he said, okay, it's a business channel. It's your survey. Let me give it a try. I'll put a platform. I'll run it on BTBI. And it came out to be completely correct, the trend. Since then, because I had very less resources, we started to do this event-based thing. That I used to go to any election, stay there for one, one and a half, two months and build a local team, have a core team. And through that is how I started. So, then Gujarat happened. We got Gujarat correct. In that, I remember Yogi Indaryathar when I debated on NDTV. He was saying that Congress is sweeping. I said, no, it is BJP. We will touch around 110, 105. And I asked him that you are such a... you claim to be such a great psychologist. Please tell me 10 seats which the Congress is winning. And he did not have any answer. And that is when I came to the conclusion that majority of the people who come on television or who come on the digital media, particularly in the sphere of politics, psychology, are mainly gass. Because they don't talk about primary information and they talk a lot of technical stuff. And I happened to get... Tripura was a very big election which I got correct because I stayed there in one and a half, two months. There was an FIR on me. There was an attack on me by the CPM government. But we were one of the only guys who said in a pre-poll that BJP will sweep it. So, after that I got into a very good working relationship with Anub. And he was kind enough to give me a significant platform, believe in my talent. And since then the company grew significantly and we predicted 37 elections out of which we got 34 correct. And in all of these elections, the ones we got correct or the ones which I have got wrong, what I have come to the conclusion is that it has been a fantastic learning experience. And I have been able to understand this country a little bit. And along with that I have come to a unanimous conclusion that you can't predict this country without travelling. In India if you tell me and give me 10 crores or 15 crores and say that sit in Delhi or Bombay and do a survey for us, I will not do it for you. Because this is not just mainly for me doing a survey or doing qualitative analysis. For me this is a chance for me to travel in the heartlands, understand this country. And then narrative and data is my strength. And that is how if you see my analysis or if you see the grammar of my political analysis or psychological analysis, I talk about seats, I talk about what is happening, why it is happening. And I try to simplify things because that is how it is. Even in the Bengal 2021 elections which we got wrong, in fact everybody got it wrong.
Learning the art of election narration (06:19)
I stayed in Nandigram for one week and I was bold enough to say that Manta will lose Nandigram because I had done a boothwise analysis to it. And 2500 plus margin is what we had commented and that is what happened. And that was my first learning experience in terms of that elections are just not about what voters want. At the end of the day there is something called election management also. So I coincidentally became a syphologist. I was in syphology, I loved the news, I happened to be in broadcast journalism. But in all of this, the intent is always being to be the voice of the people on the ground. Whether it is in my syphology or it is in my journalism. So yes, as they say, the more you do, the more you learn and the more you experience, it was not planned. I believe life cannot be planned. You experience it, you see the opportunity and give you a full 100%. Right. So you said that you stayed in these places for an extended period of time. For each of the... I have travelled 400 constervancies. And I can claim, not claim and I can very humbly say that apart from 3 or 4 states, God has been kind that God has given me an opportunity to not stay in only 5 star hotels in these places, stay in the heartlands of the country. And getting this opportunity in my 20s and early 30s, I believe I have really, really grown a lot. And when I say, say for example, I will give you an example. Tripura 2023, when I went recently, we went to this constituency called as Chorilam. Now Chorilam is a tribal constituency near a tribal constituency in Tripura. And in 2018, when I had come, the entire country at that time had not adopted digital payments. I could see when I was in this, this was Amitsha's rally and we were waiting. I generally look at a rally, there is a concept that I use to gauge a rally, which is the last man concept. If a politician is able to enthuse the person in the last row in a rally, that is when I can understand that rally has some amount of benefit or has done any impact on the ground. It is just merely getting people in the rally does not make a politicians rally successful. All of this is something which I have learned, built my models and I keep on learning. So, I was very hungry. So, there was this guy who was selling Kukumbar for 30 rupees and I said, take a 200 rupees. He said, Bhiya, why do you want to give me 200, give me UPI? And that guy on having selling Kukumbar in a tribal district could take a payment of 30 rupees on UPI. That was not the case in 2018. And this is the change which I see on the ground. When I see this change on the ground, it is my duty to tell that the country is changing. And this is how I understand the sentiment. I will give you another example. I was today, when I was coming to Mumbai, I was talking to my taxi driver. And I asked him, what do you think in 2024? He said, first, iti saari, pati, sat me aari. These are all people who used to be against each other. They are coming together with definitely means that a) they accept that all of them individually are weak and b) that he give me an analogy. He give me an analogy of a lion in a jungle. A lion is always alone. And that is how he related to Modi's politics.
Creating a ground-level team (09:35)
So now, if I look at psychology theoretically sitting with you in this room, I would say, okay, vote shells, all these individuals will add. But that is not how Indian politics works. That is what I call about chemistry. So, when you say, yes, I travel, I stay in these places. And now, I am building a team of people who can, I build a team, but now I am expanding this team as process comes, as things move forward, which is a very big base of volunteers who can predict. See, an election goes wrong when some, say, Avijit Chawara tells me that a constituency is won by, say, a party X. And Pradeep Bandari says that a constituency is won by a party Y. And I do not have the mechanism to check that. So, it requires a lot of resources. It requires a lot of planning. And one, as it is said, right, in order to score a century in cricket, you need to ensure that you bat well on every ball. Similarly, in order to predict an election, you have to ensure that you do everything correctly. One mistake you make and your entire election can go wrong. So, that is where I love the art of the narrative in an election. I love the art of what the politician is doing, what the fight is doing. Numbers come logically. So, do you need a big team of people on the ground? Yes. And who understands the place? Now, it all depends. I have experimented on elections by a very big team, as well as a very small team too. Now, what I have come to the conclusion is that I will not do any election where I have not experienced that state. So, I have made it a point that in any election, I should be able to travel at least for some time. Because that gives me, I do not know how, but I somehow understand the sentiment. Now, with elections which are very, very complex and where certain complex factors play in, I need a very, very big team which can do the check and the counter check. Now, it all depends. Now, suppose if I am doing a survey where an individual tells me that I need to tell which candidate is 5, should be fielded from that constituency, in that I will need a very big team. Now, if only I have to tell who is winning, who is losing, now for that I may not need a very big team. So, it all depends on the depth of the findings that you want to arrive at. So, if I am doing a survey for a political party hypothetically, that will require much bigger, much wider depth of team. But say when I am doing only for a channel which requires vote share, I may not need that. But if I am doing where a seat share and a vote share is required and I also have to tell the audience which person is winning what seat, that is what we did in 2019, then I will need a very big team. And more than a bigger team, what is required is you need a committed team where you can cancel the bias. So, the challenge is always to cancel the bias. That is because I am also coming with the bias.
Commitment of the team to counter each other's bias (12:36)
Everybody in this world comes with the bias and we need to accept that. Those who call themselves neutral are the biggest liars in the country. Absolutely. So, the bias is natural to you. We are not robots. So, the challenge is that. But because I am also into journalism and I love the news, this is where I don't work very very, like Prashant Kishore takes a party, works with the party in an integral manner. Whatever we do is we do it from a distance. And because I also have a love for the news, so I can't help it that if I love the news and love the politics, so that is how it is. So, to cut the long story short, more than a bigger team, it is a team which is committed, which is honest, which does not lie. And even if the team is lying, you should have mechanism to check it. That requires resources. Right. So, do you handpick each individual yourself? I have. So, I will tell you this. Again, I will give you an example. For example, in Tripura 2023, I had experimented with a very small team. And we did that survey for one week because we were not doing that for any political client at that time. And we were just doing it for a channel. And it was a very high prestige thing because I wanted to get it completely correct. So, Tripura, we did it for a week. I hired volunteers in every district in Tripura. And along with that, I had a very good team from Delhi, a small team from Delhi, which could do it. Now, it is a smaller state. And smaller state has more challenges. As in, yeah, because in smaller states, when the margin of votes is less, say, Tripura, average constituency to win an election, you need 25,000 to 35,000, between 25 to 35,000 votes and you can win it. Now, that in UP or in Bengal, Bengal is the most complex election I have ever seen. And it is not because they are rigging, booth management. All of this is, you know, plays a very important factor. So, it is just not that, suppose if the people want a party X, it is not necessary that the party X will come to power. Okay. And that is what is the, I love that state a lot too because it is, for anybody who is interested in politics, that state is a challenge and a very big learner. So, there I experimented with a very big team. Now, there was, when I look at that election in retrospect, because we got the Bengal 2019 correct, but 2021, Mamata, apart from the women vote, there were four districts where the voting percentage was very, very low compared to average voting percentage. Now, these are things which are not, you cannot gauge in any poll. And those who say that they gauge, they are lying. So, it all depends. So, I look at every election as a unique case in point. And say, for example, when Rajasthan election in 2018 took place, at that time, everybody was saying that Congress will get 130, 140. But when we travelled on the ground after the ticket distribution, there were two camps, such in pilot camp and was a Galoth camp.
Why did you feel the need to form a new party in Bengal? (15:48)
And I was very clear that this time also they will not cross 100. So, it was very, it was very challenging for me to, you know, say that there will be less than 100. So, we could do that. And yeah, so it's a challenge. It's a, I would, I can tell you now in the last eight years, having travelled across the country and built a team, that if you are not working as a quote unquote politician, it becomes a challenge to do a very, you know, to do that exercise at a large scale. I see. Yeah. So, but yes, that is the challenge and you have to accept that challenge. So, how is it different to cover a state like Tripura as opposed to something like UP? Huge. Okay. So, I like say Tripura, I will tell you the strategy that I deployed in Tripura. So, in Tripura, we went constituency wise. And when we went constituency wise in Tripura, we ultimately divided the entire state into red, green, yellow, where red were constituencies which we knew that one party is definitely losing. Green were constituencies which we knew that one party is definitely winning. And grey were the constituencies which we had to keep track of. Okay. Because I had a very good team. I personally was there. There was a very good local support also. So, in 2018, Tripura is something very dear to my heart because they gave, Tripura gave me a lot of love. This time also, every constituency I used to travel to, people used to recognise us. They gave us deep travel areas also. They loved us. So, I could track every constituency, every booth. That is me at my best. And I could have the resources to do that. If you remember, there was a video which went viral, my friend Pradhyut from Mota because we in the opinion poll had said that BJP will get between 30 to 35 seats. And everyone at that time again was saying that left in Congress alliance, left Congress and Mota alliances, left in Congress is winning and Mota will might be the team maker. We did not say that. So, Pradhyut, a very prominent local channel in Tripura, number one channel, their headlines Tripura asked that the opinion poll is saying that you might not, BJP might just slender pass the majority mark. So, he said, "Ah, Bandari ji, I know both popular thing." He was trying to take a, you know, just a very satirical take on me. But eventually, after the election, all of it came out to be correct. So, he spoke. So, those are funds and those are challenges that you look for. Like, that's how I look for it. Whereas, UP for me was do or die because I was going into the UP elections after not getting the Bengal elections correct. And that for me was a shocker because Bengal, I had gotten correct in 2019. I was the guy who, I even got Nandi Gram correct, which nobody in this country could get. So, for me, it was a very big shocker to see that a state has voted out the chief minister from a constituency and got the chief minister's government with two-third majority. That has never happened in the country in the past 15 years, if you look at election wise, when Indira Gandhi lost against Rajanarayan during the post-emergency election, infact pre-emergency election, sorry, the Congress could not pass through.
Why was purvaanchal such an important state for the BJP? (19:02)
So, it's not, it's like saying that, say, the BJP's main candidate loses from their seat or the chief minister loses from the constituency and the BJP wins by two-third, it's not possible. Like, Raghubardas lost against Saru Rayan Jharkhand, which again we said that at that time and these guys got very angry and publicly they got angry. But it was the case when Raghubardas lost, BJP also could not form the government. But Bengal was Mamta losing and Mamta's government coming with two-third majority. Yes, yes. So, yeah, so UP for me was do or die. Again, in UP, I got excellent support from my team and what my team used to tell me at that time is I could, so I had put in seven teams in UP and every team's output I used to check with another team. And then at the end of the day, I had raw data and analysis and then I travelled across UP from north, east, west, north, whether it is Purvanchal, Bundelkhand or east and whatever the great ideas I checked myself. So, when I checked myself, I'm able to do things quite fast. Now, it all, and then we got UP correct and the same time we got all the four correct. So, I could recover very strongly from Bengal and I'm very fortunate that Bengal was learning for us in order to come back very strongly. And at that time, Punjab elections were also taking place. It took me two days to predict Punjab. Because my team had given me a data of seven, I'll tell you, my team at that time which was in Punjab for one and a half, two months, they were saying that UP will win but not with a very sweeping mandate. But when I travelled in Punjab for two days, I came to the conclusion this is a wave election and I somehow thought I was very much convinced that they will cross AT and I told my team to redo it and redo it without seeing the party and ask you that people want change or whether they want the same government. And then in that sample, majority was wanting change and that is how we gave UP a sweeping mandate. Similarly, 2019 in January when we predicted, again, that was a wonderful election and I was also doing this prime time show Lalkar with Republic and I happened to travel every other part of the country. And wherever I used to travel, people used to say Modi. And in January, I said that NDAs crossing 300 people were shocked to not even BJP people were not believing that that is happening. But that was the scenario. And I don't play the game of extremes. So, Chavarajee, in this business what I have seen is that based on the Satabazar, people play a game of extremes at times. So, if my man, if suppose if I am saying that NDAs getting between 300 to 320, generally people will play at 350 plus, 360 plus. So, this is how mostly people do. But what we go by the sentiment that whatever is the data on the ground, we try to get it. So, that is where 90, more than 90, 95 percentage, we are correct because we love the art. For us, this is more about learning how the country thinks and the narrative. So, I can, what this has given us is that suppose if a politician gives a statement or announces something, we know why he is doing it. Now, imagine that if I am doing election with putting all my people or having a software of Kati where I am doing only vote share with analysis, that will not give me the idea of what the voter is thinking. So, it is more of psychometric analysis which we do, which is our USP. So, this model is called a Jankiva Probability Map of Outcome Model. Okay, psychometric analysis. I do, I don't do a pure quantitative. It is a quantitative and qualitative mix. And in the qualitative, I add a psychometric analysis. I see. That is how I do it. So, is it a questionnaire based kind of thing? So, it all depends. Like right now, if for a political, for a elect, so when we do non-political ones, which I generally do very, very less, it only depends on the scale of the project because when I am not doing an election, I like to do the use. It is as simple because I like voicing my opinion as something which I love. So, questionnaires are there for sure. But every questionnaire, every state or every election, the questionnaires are different. It all depends on the political circumstance of that state or that area based on which we do the questionnaire. So, it is not that there is one questionnaire, one size fit all for all. Right. It is tailored for each state. Yes. And how is it to cover a national election as opposed to a state election? You must need vast resources for that. It all depends again. Now, if it is a wave election, I don't know. I will tell you what. I don't have a one-fit answer to this. Because in 2019, when I travelled across, I could make it out of a BJP sweep and I got the same from my team. But my team was giving me a conservative estimate. Okay. So, I had taken a call on this that it is not a conservative, it is a one-way election. So, for me, a national election, if it is a wave election, you can gauge, if you have gauged the wave, you know you will get the sentiment. If it is not a wave election and if it is an election where a lot of caste arithmetics overplay and then imagine there are no strong leaders at play, then you need a very big team. Okay. So, if you ask me that do you need a team? Yes. What will be the size of the team? That all depends from election to election. Okay. And, you know, the kick is that when you do, generally for me, the kick is, now I have grown beyond this, I believe now we will be focusing a lot on these four or five assembly elections which are coming. But eventually, the kick is not just to get the election correct, but we also want to play a very significant role in shaping the narrative. That is what we intend to do. Okay. Yeah. So, the 24 election is coming. How long before that do you start your work?
Election Season and Election Strategy (25:02)
It all depends. So, it, see, doing an election requires a lot of money. Now, I cannot lie to my audience. So, whatever right now I am speaking, these are all, these are my secondary research which I have done. But primary research requires a lot of money. Now, suppose if I am, I have been told to do it now or say do it in six months in advance to 2024, then I will do it in six months in advance to 2024. But because ultimately there has to be a buyer for it, right? And there has to be a customer for it. If there is no customer, then you as an agency or as a platform will do it when the political atmosphere is the maximum. Right. So, A, if you are doing for a party, then it depends when the party wants it. B, if you are doing it for the audience, then you do it when the audience wants it. But I would look at, looking at 2024 elections very seriously in terms of future after the results of the assembly elections. Okay. If the assembly elections happen and they do not go and not combine with the Lok Sabha. Okay. So, if you ask me, January is the right time since for starting to look at a Lok Sabha election in terms of seed sheds. But before that, you can at least gauge an opinion. So, what have you gauged? No, I am convinced on this factor. And I said this before 2019 also, but people did not took me seriously. That time also did not take me very seriously. Now, I am convinced on this factor that people of the country have already made up their mind. And people have made up their mind as of right now to see PM Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister the third time. Now, from here to May, it is the mistakes that the BJP will do if the BJP does that will get their seeds down below the majority mark or significantly above the majority mark. Okay. Now, because I do not see, if you look at any elections since 2014, people are voting in personalities and voting out personalities. People do not vote parties, vote in or vote out parties only. In Delhi, there was no face of the BJP against Kejriwal. Kejriwal, we were in 2015 and 2020. There was no face of BJP against Mamata Manari, Mamata Shrept, Bengal in by two-third majority. Yogi was the choice of the BJP in UP, BJP won with two-third majority. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the hope in 2014. He delivered in 2019. Both ways he came with majority, absolute majority. People of this country have started to give clear mandates. Even in Karnataka, the BJP lost, it was a very clear mandate of the BJP. So, people do not give Adha Dura mandate. So, in this scenario, the question which comes to your mind is that, is there any inner fantasy for the BJP to be defeated, not for the BJP Modi to be defeated? And if not Modi, who is that credible person who can capitalise that amount of vote? The answer right now is, I do not see that happening. So, even if you ask me, generally the opposition is not looking here to defeat Modi. They are looking to ensure that Modi falls less than 270. That is what I agree with their strategy. Now, Modi can fall less than 270 to only in two circumstances. A) is that the Congress gains significantly in the Hindi heartland and B) along with that, one of the regional parties wins the state, sweeps the state against the BJP as an opponent. Now, both of them happening together, I do not see it as of right now. No. 3 is if you see that the general sentiment because all of these people are not coming with complementary vote shares. All of these individuals are coming with ultimately panning to the same vote share. For example, if you look at the top seven parties which got the vote share in 2019, out of which BSP is not in this alliance, along with this Shiv Sena which is now split into two, had two and a half percentage vote share, which is again now will be reduced. Because there is some vote that the Shinde faction has taken away from it, what we do not know right now. No. 3, YSR, CP and TDP again were not in this alliance. So, the parties which got the top seven vote share last time, out of which three are not in this alliance. Next point is that apart from Congress which had a 19 percentage vote share and BJP which had a 37 percentage vote share, no other party could cross 5 percentage vote share. So, if you are looking at a scenario where say an half and a Congress comes together, it does not mean that one plus one adds, it leads to two. It is basically relative weakness of the two which can ultimately benefit the BJP. See, the biggest test of the opposition unity was the Samajwadi party in the BSP coming together in 2019 elections. That was truly a very, I would say on paper, a very challenging alliance for the BJP to take on. But because the vote transfer could not take place between the two parties and that time he said the BJP will cross 60. In fact, you know what happened, the Samajwadi party's relative vote share decreased than what it was in 2014. BSP's vote share was also roughly similar than 2014. And BJP's vote share in UP increased from 2014 to 2019. From early '40s it increased to 49 percentage. So, when the two parties came together, it ended up in a situation where more number of people voted the BJP. Because there were beneficiaries that Modi had addressed to. So, even when these parties come together, till the time they do not provide an alternate vision which people believe in. Till the time they do not provide a face which can take on Modi. I do not see this becoming a very big challenge. Only if the BJP does mistakes, that is something which can happen as of right now. A week is a long time in politics for sure. I am not denying it. And see, BJP is starting from a base of 300. With people of this country significantly with Modi. Only Modi can defeat Modi, nobody else can defeat. I keep on saying this because he is a leader who has built a very enormous goodwill on three pillars which I will tell you. But only if he does mistake or the BJP does mistake, that is only when the opposition will benefit. That is not being seen right now. Number two, along with this Modi has done three things. A, people of this country believe that he has taken India's global prestige forward. Yes. And people believe in a sense of pride in that Indian identity. Number two is the beneficiaries that he has impacted across cast lines, across regions. He is enormous. I believe he started with this jandhan ensuring that the bank accounts open so benefits reached the people at a very big scale.
Various Indian Parties in the Game, Ubiquitous Modi Factor (31:46)
That is what was the difference between 2014 schemes for also around before 2014. But the conversion into reaching to the last mile was not so high as it is in Modi's era when 90% plus is the conversion rate. So whether it is more than one crore toilets, whether it is more than one crore avas, whether it is more than one crore people getting tap water, whether it is 80 crore people getting rations, all of these are welfare. People call it suvada. So people think, a politician, Parse Modi is no longer a politician for the gharib. He is like the man who has helped them in time of need. Now from here, only if in a scenario of these people making mistakes in "arrogance of power" or any other scenario is that is where they work. But when the people look the other side, whether it is Lalu, whether it is Congress, all of these are not people who do not have any past legacy issues. They also have past legacy issues. So in this scenario, there is no JP, JP, Parse which was at the time of Indira Gandhi who could mobilize people. The masses. I don't see that happening. So deep down inside the heart of the opposition also, they know that they can max get Modi less than 272. They are not looking at sweeping the election for sure. They might be okay with the BJP without Modi. That is what they are looking at. And that is what, and this again will all depend on whether they have, whether they are able to build an alternate narrative. Because voters does not, if you are a party X and I am a party Y, if two leaders sit on a table and sign a pact, that does not mean that the karekartha on the ground also signs the pact. For example, let's say the Congress and the Aap have always been at loggerheads with each other. And this is exactly the problem which came with the Samaj Vadi party in BSP. One party could transfer the vote, the other could not. And because for 20 years in a constituency, if I am a Sapa karekartha and you are a BSP karekartha, you and me afford against each other. And I have to give my ticket to you or my seat to you. Why will I support you? Because if I know that if you win, my entire politics is gone. Politics is pure, at root of politics is ultimately also self-interest of politicians. That is where it is. So, if I ask you that if the Congress and the Aap have gone at loggerheads with each other, say Punjab, why is it the state unit of Congress is going against Aap? Because they know that the Aap has eaten against the majority of vote of the Congress. So, somebody who has been fighting for the Congress all his life, he is suddenly told to cheer for the opponent that necessarily does not happen at the local level.
Growth and progress of the country (34:33)
And when these people know that the Mahul in the country is not of a very big anti-incumbents, that can happen tomorrow, then all of this can change. See, if there is a very strong anti-incumbents, you don't need face, you put anyone and that will happen. But what I am telling you at the ground, that is not the scenario. Pro-Moodhism is more. Now, Mawam Muthra gave a very foolish argument that all of us combined have a bigger vote share than the BJP. With that logic, Mamtabanerjee also is a less than 50% vote share player. None of these political parties have crossed 50% vote share. So, ideally, their 13th Chief Ministers should first resign and say that we have not crossed 50%. So, more people are against us than what they are for us. So, till the time, they do not give the perception to the people that a) they are not an opportunistic ally and b) they are not here just in order to save their own kunba. And 3) they do not, they provide an alternate vision. I don't see them becoming a very big threat. See, in politics, it is said that, "Hirokum aja hero ki valuk baare me tali tabhi bhajat hai jabh ke mooi kendha willin ota hai". Till the time, Babbar was not there and Sholei, you would not be remembering or crying for Jay or Vero, right? So, similarly, in the case of politics, it is a hero villain in politics. As of right now, Modi is not the villain, is what I can say. In state elections, it can change completely. Please see that, BJP also has to understand that the strategy of putting Modi in a state election worked between 2014 to 2019 because at that time, the BJP governments were not in power. Right now, there are multiple BJP state governments in power and at places, the performance of these state governments have to be evaluated. That's why 13 states are non-VJP right now. So, those who say that democracy is not in this country, I ask them that 13 states, which is roughly more than 40 to 45% of these states have not voted the BJP government. So, where is this not a true picture of the democracy of the country? - That's right, yeah. So, my humble submission is that in 2024, people have made up their mind. There is clarity, not confusion. And only PM Modi can defeat PM Modi. As of right now, he is ticking all the right boxes to come back as the Prime Minister of the Third Time.
Antice-Modi and Mamata freinds and allies (36:37)
And as of right now, opposition apart from a mere photo op have not been able to provide an alternate vision. If that happens tomorrow, we can look at it for sure. How many seats will Modi get? 260, 270, 300, 320, 330, 350 or 250. All of that is a conclusion which depends on multiple factors in politics. There are places where MPs have not been convinced whether they change the ticket or not. So, all of that is a calculation which we should do from end of this year after the Assembly elections take place.
Vajpayee defeat (37:05)
So, yeah. And as I said, two factors. A) can one of these state factors, so can a Mamata sweep Bengal and a Congress rise in Hindi heartland. If these two happens, that is where the BJP's base will go down. - Okay. You said that only Modi can defeat Modi.
Constitutional Rights And Minority Issues
India shining and Nujay (37:23)
Yes. - So, in 2004... - That is with every strong leader of the regime. - Right. So, in 2004, did Vajpayee defeat Vajpayee? BJP defeated and I will tell you why. Look at before 2004 what happened. And this is where people, it was not the India shining which defeated Vajpayee. Let us look at it in detail. Before 2004, BJP's government was there in Yutu, Uttar Pradesh. And it is said that the road to Lok Sabha and it's a hard fact cannot go without capturing or winning the trust of the people of UP. Because it has 80 Lok Sabha seats. Now, before 2004, BJP's government was at play with the Mayawati. They broke the government, they ended the government in between and they came with Mulayam. And at the same time Ashok Singhal was a very tall RSS leader at that time. And he was jailed in a BJP government. And that is what had taken the Karakarthas completely off. And the assembly election result which happened in Uttar Pradesh before the Lok Sabha, the BJP performed very poorly. So that was an enough indicator for the BJP that it is not coming back. So, it was not India shining per se. But I believe that this was a very very big factor which ultimately if your base goes away from you, then whatever floating vote you get is of no value. So, it's like saying that the Congress still has the base. But Congress is not able to get the floating vote. There in 2004, the BJP lost its base because the Karakartha felt that the Khmer leader is the Khmer leader. So, that is not the case which Modi has done as of right now. And right now, the polarity is very extreme. It's choosing between a black and a white. It's not that the shades of grey in Indian politics have gone down substantially. And the Congress is to be blamed for that because the Congress has projected itself as an anti-Hindu party. And that is the biggest problem that the Congress is facing. Wherever in states this issue has not come up, the Congress or any other opponent has done well. So, the Hindus of this country do not want special treatment. They want equality. They don't want to be treatment for granted. So, if Rauv Gandhi wears a Janayu in Gujarat, after that he forgets that Janayu, people remember these small things. And this is where I said that choice is between a black and a white. And again I say that before 2004, it was Jupi which created the biggest issue for the BJP. Now, the BJP is at its strongest in Uttar Pradesh. It is in fact stronger in Jupi than what it was even in 2019. So, the next logical question is, where can a window of light be for the opposition? The window of light, the opportunity can only be in the Hindi heartline. One of the state leaders doing significantly well. Because, Jupi with Mahavati and Akhilish also, the BJP could cross 60 seats. Now, Congress does not add anything "significant" to Samajwadi party. So, you have to wait and watch how things span out. But as I said, as of right now, Modi is not making those mistakes. Only if these people are perceived to be arrogant in power and are perceived to be taking the people of the country for granted. That is when their downward graph will start. Right now, Modi is, goodwill is enough for him to come back in 2024. Only if he makes mistakes or the BJP makes mistakes. That is when issues can take place. Whereas at the state level, there are problems. So, Haryana will be a challenge for the BJP. Madhya Pradesh is a good fight with the Congress. Chhattisgarh Congress is doing very well. In Telangana, KCR is at a leading position right now. So, this is the beauty of the democracy of this country. That in different state elections, it works on different issues and national elections, it works on national issues. This is why I think we need to really re-explore this whole idea. Can a one year, one election be better than a one nation election? Because, election is the only time when the voter has the power to really make the politician accountable. And also counter check the politician in power.
Pratyanchaat Balaaur Development gnd Se (41:57)
And also, bust false narrative. So, had the UP elections 2022 not taken place, the false narrative that the Luttons in the western media had propagated that Covid mismanagement had happened. That could not have been quelled had the UP verdict not come. Similarly, if the Bengal Post poll recently, the Panchayat elections did not take place where the Mamata saw Reagan becoming a norm. And BJP getting significantly more seats than anticipated. Mamata would not know that she has to work more on the ground. And my logic is that permanent bureaucracy is already not answerable to the people. It is only the political bureaucracy which is answerable to the people. So, in this scenario, that answerability should be there because that gives the incentive for the politician to work more. Because always in power, good men will always not be in power. You need to create structures where even bad men do not change the structure for their own good. So, every time there will not be a moody. That is how it is with the journey of any country. So, what is my question is that suppose if the MP does not work for out of 5-3 years, where is the counter check? How will counter check happen to false narratives which will be propagated by the western media, by Luttons media, by lot of people who do not believe in the growth and the progress of the country. Number 2 also, and this is all I am telling from my experience, this argument of significant cost in all argument, see when an election takes place in Bengal, it is not the Uttar Pradesh does not get affected. When an election takes place in Tamil Nadu, Bengal does not get affected. And when Lok Sabha election always happens only once in 5 years. So, I do believe and suppose what if that 2 parties are in alliance and tomorrow that party breaks away and the government forms with another party.
Ek Hi Saal Me Padh Kar Ab Restraining Act (43:47)
Which means that already you have to get that election done in 6 months. This is why post independent India, see post independent India is very very different. Right now, a lot of forces abroad across the border and particularly rivals in China do not want this country to grow and progress. So, only elections, the time in the voters tell what they are actually thinking. And it keeps everybody in power very humble. Across the party lines it also checks, puts a counter check on western forces or foreign forces which are trying to weaken India or propagate a narrative of weak India. So, I do believe that for me, one year one election can be a way out of all of this. Where it is like say Madhya Pradesh, all the elections you combine, whatever elections happen in one year, you decide a month and do it at that time. So, at least every year the politician also keeps on getting that counter check, what is working for me, what the people are thinking, what the people are not thinking. Otherwise, my counter question to you is how will you put a check on the politician, whether they are working or not working. In fact, my counter is that only an election is when the Netasi is given to the people who are not working. So, I think that the majority of people who are not working are not working, who are not working. So, I think that one nation, one election, one intent will be given to the people who are not working. But, I think that there is a one year one election. So, I think that the majority of people who are not working are working. So, that is why I think that the majority of people are working. What is the minority majority factor in elections? So, now those who speak about secularism in this country, my question to them is that why is that always in a minority dominated constituency. So, let us look at it, let me take a step back.
So why Do We Consider These The Minority (45:44)
So, if you talk about minority, now nationally Hindus are majority, Muslims are the second largest majority in this country. Yes. Correct. And there are Parsis and others who are real less than 1%, 2%. So, this country needs to ask itself and needs to have a very healthy debate that who is a minority. Those who are less than 5% are the minority or those who are the second largest majority are the minority. So, if the definition of the minority is that everybody except the majority is the minority, well, then good. But even in that, shouldn't the benefits proportionally be given to those who are the smallest minority. So, the minority of the minority. The tragedy of pseudo secularism in this country has been that the minority of the minority have not got the benefits proportionate benefits. But the second largest majority has got disproportionate benefits. That is because of the Netas, I don't blame them. I don't blame the community at all. It is because of the Netas, because they thought that this is our vote bank. Vote bank, yes. Now, when this had reached its peak, the majority started to demand equal rights. And this is what people say is the rise of the Hindu consciousness. So, the rise of the Hindu consciousness took place because the majority was taken for granted for a significant amount of time. And the demand for equality is what I feel is the rise of the Hindu consciousness. So, if the minority can have its right, the majority should also have its right. In this scenario, there are three things. A, that in this country, in a minority dominated constituency, why is it that it is less chance for a Hindu to win? So, say for example, if there is a Muslim majority constituency in India, please look at data. Look at Jammu and Kashmir in places where the Muslims are in majority. Why is it that it has been that always the parties which have toothed the line of "pseudo-secularism", they have got elected. Why is it that in a Malda, it is very difficult for a party which speaks about Hindu rights to get voted. So, number one is that, whereas that is not the scenario in a Hindu majority area. In a Hindu majority area, you can make somebody contest from any caste or religious line. If that person has worked on the ground and has built a goodwill, the person will be elected. So, in this country, there are more than 100 constituencies where the Hindus are in minority, Lok Sabha Baid. And there is not even one area which was Hindu minority first, near independence and has become Hindu majority now. But there are more than 50-60 districts which were Hindu majority and have become Hindu minority.
You Can Never Impose Section 144 To Secular Places (48:41)
Okay. Now, I do believe that the destinies of the countries are decided by demography. If you look at modern era and the countries which have partitioned, whether it is Kosovo, Sudan, all of them where the demography changed, and then people wanted another nation. Yes.
Small Problems Create Largest Problems (48:59)
That is how it has been a fact. Say, for example, what happened in NU. Now, in NU, why is it that, that say in a demographically skewed constituency area, say the minority there, which are the Hindus, when they want to go to their shift mandir and pray, why do you need the sales date to impose Section 144? Why do you need such heavy policing? Why do you need to ensure heavy intelligence is deployed? Why? If you look at the counter of that, that is not the scenario, right? So, which means that are we in this country creating certain pockets where true secularism is not followed in letter and spirit? And when the true secularism is not followed in letter and spirit, so which means that whereas demography changes, your entire quality will change. So, are we saying that places where the Hindus are in minority, the Hindus cannot become the MPs or the MLAs? How many places in this country I ask that if the Hindus are in minority and the Hindus speak about Hindus, but ensure that the Muslims and the Hindus both get the benefit, the Hindus can be elected. I can guarantee you not even one. So, even if, say, people from TMC or any other party which get elected from Malda or Mursi Dabad, these are areas where 60 percent, 70 percent, demographically, the Hindus are not there and the second largest majority is there. There the candidate is compelled to speak first about the minority rights, first not about the Hindus there. So, yes, it is a challenge that in this country as the demography changes, the polity definitely changes. So, if you ask me what is the minority-majority conundrum, the majority wants equality, the majority wants everybody to be treated equally. And please accept this. We need to accept that India is India because India is secular because India is Hindu majority. You look at the countries across inner geography and you look at the demography there. You look at Pakistan where the Hindu population is reduced from 14 percentage to less than 2, 2.5 percentage now. You look at any country. We are we. India is Bharat Bharat only because India is Hindu majority. That is how constitution is followed. That is why tolerance is practiced. That is why secularism is there. So, and this, since independence, unfortunately, the minority has been subconsciously given this thought that equality means special treatment to them. But that was not the scenario at all. Had they been preached that equality means equal treatment to all, this minority-majority conundrum would not have come. Say for example, do you know that the demography of Bengal right now is near to the demography of Bengal which was during 1941? Okay. Now, these are challenges which will come to the country in years to come. And you need to ask that how will you deal with these challenges, say 10 years down the line.
Regional Politics And Demographies
Muslim dignity now! (52:21)
And number two, there was a time when you ask again about minority-majority conundrum that the minority had a veto on deciding the political destiny of this country. That veto has gone after 2014. This has been the biggest change, which means that even in a place where the minority is 35 percentage, it is not necessary that even if that 35 percentage votes in one way, that the result will be as per that 35 percentage. Okay. Now, my question again to you is that, why is it that places where the demography is 30-70, the 30 things of voting one way on religious lines more than developmental lines? This is something which we need to ask ourselves. So, A is places where the Hindus are in minority, there are less chances for the Hindus to be the MPs or the MLAs from that place. B is the last 70 years, minorities of the country have been taught by pseudo-circular neta that equality means giving you special treatment. Three is that the rise of the majority consciousness of the Hindu consciousness is not dangerous for the country, but it is needed to ensure that there is a balance in semblance against the entire 70 years of pseudo-cyclism which is practiced. And the rise of the Hindu consciousness means the Hindus saying that I just want to practice my faith, I want to be treated equally. I don't want any special treatment, but I want to be treated equally. And if saying that is being communal, so be it. That is what I want to say. So, and this is something which I am speaking about pure facts. These journalists who speak about hijab, they go to western media wearing western dresses and want the girls in India to wear hijab. So, you will understand the dichotomy and the sad part is that the people who quote unquote are intellectuals of these communities, they do not say speak against the wrong in such a vociferous voice as they have to. And this is where the challenge comes. So, the solutions to the issues in the minority community will come from the minority community themselves. They have to self-introspect. And this is, if you remember, Prime Minister Modi had said that I believe in laptop in Kitaab over Tran and that was in context of ensuring a social educational upliftment. Why is it that? The places where the minorities in majority, why the education standards in these places are not top class? Why is it that these communities have not demanded that? The community needs to introspect. The intellectual of these communities need to introspect. If and those, it is, in fact, it is the majority which is demanding more rights for them than the minority person. And my question to those is that suppose if anybody gets 1 crore rupees in the pocket and wants to set up a house in Delhi, why do they prefer a Lodi road over, say, Old Delhi? Why is it that? That is the question. Why do they prefer a Lodi road over a Mustafa Baj in other areas? If I give you 10 crores to set up, say, take any best flat wherever possible, why will you go to a Bandra? Why will you not go to a No? Why are places like No not become economically upliftment areas or have not become areas which speak about economic and social growth of the country? Why is it that more cases of stealing, more cases of robbery, more cases of illegal activities have been started to report from No in the past many times in the demography is changing? Why? This is what the community and the people they need to answer. This is where these people have to really self introspect. So the majority, there is no conundrum in the majority of the minority. The majority has only been demanding equal rights.
What about illegal immigration? (56:23)
And if we as a country know that we are a Hindu majority and we are Bharat because of being Hindu, then there is no problem to any solution. Hindus are the most tolerant. If you see, we are the most tolerant people across the globe. That is what the real truth is and that is the only truth. You spoke about the fact that certain areas are becoming more minority dominated. Is there an angle of illegal immunization in this? Absolutely, yes. At the same time, there is a conscious attempt to change the demography of these areas. I will give you an example. Santal Parganav Jharkhand at one time used to be 75% plus tribal area in early 2000 check data. Now, it is 35% Muslim population, 60% tribal in just 20 years and that is disproportionately growing. Now, when this happens, obviously it will change multiple dynamics at that place. Why is it that the illegal Rohingya which are coming in this country, why are we not thinking how will we remove them? If places like Bangladesh, Myanmar do not want Rohingya, why are people in this country who in the garb of human rights want illegal immigrants? So, yes, there are illegal immigrants in these areas. Number two is that why is it that these border areas which is a very big matter of concern that the border areas and now at least the government has started to look on this. That these people generally settle in the border areas, they change the demography at border areas or in these islands and from there is where the illegal activities take place. Even the islands. You look at Lakshwati. So, whereas on the contrary, you should have looked at border areas as your biggest growth engine for cross-border trade. But that was not the case. Many border areas, you go to the Bangladesh-Bengal border, you even move towards the Assam border in areas, then you look at Lakshwati, when these islands, why is it that certain pockets are becoming hub of illegal trade?
So, because there is a conscious attempt to change the demography here. As you change the demography here, you focus on making your borders volatile. As you make your borders volatile, it compromises on the national security. Now, at least the government has started to not take these things lightly. In fact, there was a time, if you remember, when these terrorists were caught and there were a bomb blast in Delhi or Mumbai, it was an everyday affair. - It was. - It was. Now, people don't realize there is a generation which has not grown in that era. But I remember very well that when we were in a college school, our parents used to tell us that we were caught in a metro, we were caught in a house that was caught in a house. If you remember during the Batla house, these people were caught from what areas? These people were caught from such areas only. They were caught from Western UP. Now, that is no longer the scenario. So, if there is intent of the leader, all of these can be taken care of. So, yes, the answer to your question is definitely yes, that there is a significant question of illegal immigrants. At the same time, apart from that, I always see that there is also an approach, there is a way of looking at it, a very expansionist approach. Which means, I will give you an example and this is again a fact and you travel and check it out. See, there are 10 houses at a place, right? Out of 10 houses, there are 8 houses which are belonging to the minority community. Let's say Muslims and there are 2 houses which belong to the Hindus. Now, these 10 houses are their locality. In 5 years, I can give this to you in writing, these 2 Hindu houses will move away from sell their land at cheap rate and they will go and migrate to some other place. Look at the other picture. 8 Hindu houses, let's say 2 Muslim houses or let's say 2 other community houses. They don't have to migrate, they live peacefully happily. This is where all the metro cities are eventually like that only, right? This country is Hindu majority which means that is how the scenario is every non-Hindu is not living in Gito and pockets, right? They are obviously living in good significant areas. These 2 will live significantly well. They will prosper, their children will go to school, they will be economically prosperous. Why? So, if you see that there is a huge difference when out of 10, 2 Hindu houses are there and 8 minority houses are there. These 2 Hindus eventually have to migrate and move because they will, this part they have been taught of expansionism, right? So, if you talk about tolerance, apsi, sahara, dangar, jumna, tehzi, ideally what should have been the scenario? 10 out of 10, if 8 houses are minority, 2 houses are majority, eventually it should have been 4 more houses of the Hindus there, 5 more houses of Hindus there. Why is it that the Hindus tend to live from those areas? That is the question. These are legitimate questions and I am not speaking out of any tirad or I am not speaking out of any hate or love. I am just telling you a fact. I challenge anybody who says that this is hate or I tell them that please go and travel. This is what is happening. I am a man who believes in equality. So, I am saying that if it is equality, please look at why the trend of those 2 areas are different. But I am of this firm believe that we are what we are as Bharat because of being Hindu majority. It is as simple as that. So, if you talk about illegal, yes. So, whether it is illegal immigrants is a factor, definitely yes. Expansionism is also a factor. Tendency to expand is also a very big factor. And it is not only limited to India. If you see globally, that is how the scenario is. Look at what has happened in France. France which called itself the hub of liberalism. You look at the way that London is changing. And if this is the rate of change now, what will happen in next 20, 25, 30 years? And my question is that Hindus do not have any other land to go except Bharat. So, we need to be aware about all of this because at the root of it is our identity. It is our culture. It is our civilizational pride. It is who we are. That is why everybody, every explorer had to come to this land in order to understand what really is real knowledge. But we cannot let this land, the essence of this land completely changed. Because many of the people who belong to the minority community also historically, if you go back deep in history, have converted at some point or the other from Hindus. -Yes, right. -This is a hard fact. -Yes, it is. I am okay to share a biryani with somebody till the time this other someone does not bring a goat inside a complex and offends my religious right. Please do that in the designated places. If you want to pray to Allah through namahas, you should do that at the place, not at roads. Similarly for Hindus also. Similarly for everybody. We need to respect each other. But that respect has to be both ways. -Mutual. Rule of law should be applied in letter and spirit at every place of this country irrespective of democracy. Why is it that the policeman, in off-record conversation, says, "I am not going to be able to speak to you, because you are the force of the people, you are the force of the people." Why? These are things which we need to really question. And the answers will only come from the community themselves and those who tell themselves to be preachers of the community. You mentioned that UP is the road through which you go to the... -100%. -Yeah.
Southern states (01:04:19)
What about the Southern state, Tamil Nadu, etc. How significant are they? See, I'll tell you one thing. In Tamil Nadu, let's go. Now, you've answered a very good question. See, if the opposition does not come into power in 2024, I fear and suspect that there might be a scenario where they might try to push a narrative of a North versus South divide. Now, I do say this with two reasons. There is, if you have observed that delimitation is taking place, and eventually the number of constituencies in the country will increase. Because per constituency size in the country is significantly higher.
Dravidian politics (01:05:13)
So, in this, if there are chances that the number of constituencies in South may vary.
2019 elections (01:05:22)
Now, at this moment in South, historically, whether it is Tamil Nadu, Dravidian politics has always been anti-centre politics. -Yes. So, whether that will give them more fuel to create an anti-centre movement. We had seen that in the past also. With every Dravidian leader, it has always been, has thrived on an anti-centre politics. Anamala is trying to change that with the BJP. It's a long road ahead. -Yes. But he is in the right direction along with everybody else. In South, the BJP did not perform well in 2019 also. In 2019, the DMK got 39 seats. BJP got 0. AI-DMK got 1 seat. I think they got 38. Just check. AI-DMK got 1 seat, I'm sure. In Telangana, the BJP got 4 seats. KCR got significantly more seats. And BJP had a double digit wood share. In Kerala, it was again left and it was the UDF and the LDF which was the main fight and the BJP was not there. In Andhra Pradesh, again, it was a regional play. So, if I look at these more than 100 seats, the places where the BJP could get seats was only in only Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Karnataka. So, this time, as I told you that is there a state which the regional leader can sweep against the BJP? Tamil Nadu has already swept. So, what more can the DMK get out of, it got 38 seats out of 39. So, even despite that, the BJP could get 300 plus. The point where the BJP has to focus and why am I telling is BJP because the poll of the polity right now is BJP. In 50s and 60s, it was Congress. Now, it is the Bhattis and the party. And the number of seats that the BJP gets to lose decides the entire view of things because it's the dominant force. In Karnataka is where the real action will be, Karnataka and Telangana. Any gain from any other state will be marginal. Now, if an AI-DMK BJP alliance, it is happening for sure. That's why he had shared stage with PM. But if the seat transfer happens properly, proportionately, then you can see AI-DMK doing better. But there is some sentiment for the opposition leaders in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. So, that is there. So, I don't see BJP gaining any disproportionately in Tamil Nadu right now. In assembly, they can do well for sure if an Amalai is allowed to have the free hand till the assembly elections. Well, I say it means an upward trajectory. Any election is not a five-year project, it's always a 10 to 15-year project.
Predictions And Impacts On Future Elections
Will Naths have significant impact on the 2024 election? (01:08:12)
You always remember that first the societal change takes place, then a political change takes place. First you get the vote share, increase the base of the vote share, then you go forward and get your government. It depends on the multitude of factors. So, I don't see BJP becoming a… Tamil Nadu in Lok Sabha will be a fight between DMK and the ND alliance. Telangana is where they got four seats last time. So, again, I don't see them as of right now doing like four cannot be 10-12. It can be plus minus around that bracket. Karnataka is where they have to see that they are in the range of what they were either in 2014, between 2014 to 2019. In 2014, they were 17 and in 19, they were 25. So, they should look at not going less than 17 in Karnataka. And in fact, come near to their figure in 2019 election, what they got. 2019 was 25, which was a very good scenario. So, if they land up between 14 and 19, it's only a gain for them, they are fine. They should just be looking at not getting wiped out from these things because seeing Kerala, they are not a force because they don't have that. They get vote share, but the seat share conversion is where LDF and UDF transfer votes to each other and Kerala, Raju Gandhi has a sentiment for Congress there.
The impact of ministers against the non-Naths (01:09:33)
Okay. Andhra Pradesh, it is, I believe that my political understanding tells me that Jagann, if in time of need, will support the BJP for sure. Okay. So, it's a fight between Jagann and TDP there. So, if you remove Andhra Pradesh, you remove Kerala, you only are left with three states, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana, where Karnataka and Telangana is where particularly Karnataka is where you can get more than double-digit seats. And the other two places you can't get double-digit seats as BJP. Okay. Tamil Nadu you can try as NDAA and in Telangana you can't even get as BJP. So, which means that your swing in South will depend on Karnataka. Your Telangana can become your second frontier and Tamil Nadu can become your third frontier. But with time, you are in that direction with time. You should look at in Telangana not letting KCR sweep. So, it all depends on what is the narrative in that state near the election. Okay. So, I have to do a primary study to comment on that. But as of right now from a distance, I can tell you that they are somewhere near their 2014-19 level only in Telangana. They are not, they won't be performing like it will not be where BJP gets zero seats for sure. Karnataka is where they have to see whether they are more than 17, they are less than 25, they are less than 17, they are around 25. That is where the swing real will take place. And Tamil Nadu, whatever gain NDAA adds, it's a gain only because there was zero last time. Yes, right. So, even if they get three seats, two seats if the BJP gets, four seats if the BJP gets. So, they can look at getting between two to five, six seats. But as NDAA, they can look at getting more seats. Okay. More NDAA. But provided there is no sentiment for Stalin in Rahul there. That is where the picture comes from. Okay. See, you can't do the Hindi Heartland politics in Tamil Nadu and all. You have to look at these states differently. They have their unique aspirations which have to be respected. And you have to, the version of nationalism that you work in say UP that may not work in Tamil Nadu. Okay. You have to reorient it and repackage it. Factually, if you see, no Prime Minister has done so much for Tamil Nadu, vis-a-vis Modi has done. True, yeah. Whether it is the, you know, speaking about the Tamil pride, whether it is the developmental schemes in Tamil Nadu, whether it is for example, ensuring that the Tamil language is given the due importance. I have not seen any other Prime Minister speak so much interest in the Tamil culture, in the Tamil language, in ensuring last mile delivery in Tamil Nadu as Modi has done. There has been no step-motherly or step-fatherly treatment from his side at all, despite whatever the performance in elections has been. So, if that reaches to the people on the ground, then you can see eventually things moving forward for sure. But for 2024, whatever gain they can do, they should be happy with it. So, Tamil Nadu seems to have a very different way of doing politics in elections. How is it different? It has been always the case since independence. If you look at it since independence, all the stalwarts of Tamil Nadu politics, in fact at a time, Jayalalita used to have a very good equation with Modi when he was the cheapest. But you look at the 50s, 60s, MGR, Karunanidhi, all of those times also, these politics had emerged on positioning the Tamil identity as different from these Indian identities. Yes, right. And there were a lot of forces which were at play. There was a larger plan somehow, I believe, of the Western forces that they were looking to weaken India. If you remember, there was a plan before independence. I do not remember that. You are a historian too. You will remember that certain states they wanted to take away from the Indian territory. Now, they were not successful in doing so. Post-independence, they consciously tried to seep in this thought that the Tamil identity is completely different from the Indian identity. Yes, right. And the leaders in the centre could not approach the politics in Tamil Nadu from a different lens.
What is the impact of the Lighthouse event in Tamil Nadu? (01:14:11)
And Congress was at a very strong position. So, that scenario for the leaders in Tamil Nadu to create that sentiment of the Tamil pride against Delhi. Delhi is not giving us, Delhi is doing discrimination against us. All of that was evident. And they got the road to make that happen. Had the Congress government in the 50s and the 60s approached it differently, you could not have seen this happening. So, there was a tacit understanding for sure. But if for 50 years you have been taught that the Tamil identity and the Indian identity is completely different than these people from centre, those who come from the Hindi heartland are trying to impose their culture on us. So, seep should be the subconscious mind of the voter. Deep root it. Now, for that to change, it takes time. It will take time. And slowly Modi is trying to address that. Modi is trying to address, Modi is trying to speak about the Tamil pride. Modi is ensuring that no developmental discrimination takes place. If you remember the Kashi Tamil, Sangam was, he was the first prime minister to do so. So, he is trying to seep in the subconscious thought that there are always interlinkages in different parts of this country. That's why we are unique. It's not, we are not different. We are diverse. There is a very big difference between the word different and diverse. Modi is telling that we at the end of the day are connected by one common thread of being Bharatiya. That is where Kashi Tamil Sangam comes into the picture. And it is slowly moving towards that direction. But for 50 years, because it has been seeped subconsciously, also at the same time, this is for the first time in the politics of Tamil Nadu that DMK and AI-DMK do not have very tall leaders like they used to have.
Why cant AI MNC and DMK join hands? (01:15:53)
There was a time of MGR, there was a time of Karunanadee, then there was a time of Jai Lalita. None of the leaders in AI-DMK and DMK have that amount of following absolutely not there. Now, Anna Malai for the BJP in Tamil Nadu, he is on a right road. But it will take him some amount of time for sure. It's not a 5 year journey, it will take him good time of 10-15 years. But he is on that track. So, he is slowly emerging and reaching to the people on the ground and it's positive. So, it is again, as you know, politics is always about circumstances and situations. So, when you do not have a towering personality in DMK and AI-DMK, it is giving vacuum for the BJP to fill slowly and gradually in Tamil Nadu. But it will take time. We have to take AI-DMK along with them right now. So that this anti-centre regional parties coming together does not arise. And Modi was smart to do so in the NDA meeting. If you remember, the EPS was sitting standing right next to Modi. So, Modi was very smart. He knew that he needs him. And this is what needed otherwise DMK would have spread it Tamil versus centre narrative. Now, they cannot do so because AI-DMK also is a Tamil party at the end of the day.
So, now because there is no Jai Lalita, there is no Karuna Adi, there is no MGR. So, there is a big vacuum in Tamil Nadu politics. And the BJP can fill it in years to come. But right now, they have to do so with AI-DMK. And as of right now also, DMK is in a strong position in Tamil Nadu. Strongly. And you know, I will tell you what I have seen that voter ideology, narratives, all of them play one important role. But if a Netha has delivered benefits to the voter on the ground, has not done significant corruption, has stood with the sukhanduk of the people on the ground, then the voters vote in that Netha irrespective of time. That is when pro-income when she comes. So, Naveen Patnaik for so many years has been in Orissa. Because, the BJP is not, the other part has not been able to challenge it significantly. But at the same time, you see he delivering the benefits to the last man. Voters, see those who are not very wealthy, lower middle class or say even the poor, they want the politician to care for them. To give them their benefit. So, this is what is the beneficiary relationship which Modi has built, which Naveen has built, which Mamta built it, which you quote unquote some leaders called freebie. But these are the relationships which are built. Say for example, why could Kajri Balvin in Delhi despite a massive campaign by the BJP in 2020? Because, people lower of the pyramid thought, why is free bus ride working at places? This is where it is working at places. So, the voter at the bottom of the pyramid understands this. They want Suvada, but not at the cost of India's interest. This is why, if you remember that Niai was brought by the Congress before 2019. Niai was a scheme, they said that they will put X amount in the bank account. People thought that it's a game changer. And Congress had come after winning Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh. So, it is not only that the voters are bikau and they believe in freebies. No, the voters went with Modi. Why? Because Modi for them had worked around the clock. Modi worked 24/7 for them. Not, Modi was looked as a leader, looked as a leader, just intense. So, they did not care for a better benefit. So, suppose if I have worked for my constituency around the clock, given them the Suvada which they need, the basic Suvada. And you come up and say that I will give everything free. People will not come to you because they will know that you have the benefit of the free voter. And the Suvada also understands that India is free. But when he wants the Suvada, when he has lived in an era with high electricity prices, exorbitant electricity prices, he will be fine with zero electricity prices and low electricity prices. This is how the voter understands it. This is where we put it. In fact, it's not just to do with the poor. Why is it that the big corporates also go towards the bank in order to write off their loan or ask them for giving them more time to repay their loan when the business has not done significantly well because they want that comfort. So, the rich, when they can want comfort, it is justified. When the poor wants that comfort, that also has to be justified. And the poor is wiser and the common man in this country, so wise that this common man in this country, who votes a Naveen Patnaik with three fourth majority in assembly, but in the same state gives BJP more seats comparatively, eight to nine seats in the Lok Sabha because it was about Modi. So, you have to give it to the voter. We are a democracy because of the voter of this country. There is one part of India which is kind of significantly neglected, which is the Far East or North East of India. Or the state of Assam is a heavy weight. So, how are the electoral dynamics there? Are they significantly different from…? Very different. Very, very different. So, I would say it was neglected. Now, it is no longer neglected. Now, it's no longer neglected. I will give you a simple example from my personal experience. In 2018, I had travelled in Tripura. When I had to go to Agartala, I did not have a direct flight. So, from Delhi, I had to go to Guwahati. From Guwahati, I had to play over to Agartala. From 2023, when I went, I had a direct Delhi flight from Delhi to Agartala.
Contributions of North East India (01:22:02)
Okay. That's a change for me. Yes. From Guwahati to Meghalai, earlier when I had gone in 2018, there was a two-lane road. Now, when I had gone, when I went in 2023, it was a four-lane highway. Okay. It's a change. I went to extreme tribal areas in Tripura. I could see in the mountainous tribal regions of Tripura, houses being built through PMavas. This for them had not happened in the pre-2014 era. Housing scheme was thought. But its reach and execution on the ground is what… See, execution is what differentiates Modi from any other leader. Right.
Political Narrative And Future Leadership
No single size-fit narrative (01:22:51)
So, even in those mountainous regions, you saw people having their Pakka houses being built. And this for them was changed. So, now, I feel that the North East is definitely not neglected. In fact, the facts tell us that the North East is not neglected. India is building more highways faster than, say, United States… I was reading a data which told me that India is building highways at a faster rate than what US or China is doing this year. India, in a day, built more roads than what US or China could do in a day. So, now, we are working at a speed and a scale, particularly in the infrastructure domain. We have the tallest bridge. We have the fastest-growing highways. And if the space continues, we will also beat China and the Expressway network. Another example. I travelled from Delhi. Last time, when I travelled from Delhi, it was a normal way. Now, I used the new Agra, the Delhi Mumbai Expressway. A part of it has started to japort. My car could go at a constant speed without any speed breaker in the speed limit. So, why will I not prefer a road transport? I took a Vande Bharat from Delhi to Banaras. I had more legs facing than a flight. I had charging facility available. I had excellent food. I could reach in 5-6 hours, which is equal. So, a 3-hour flight journey is equal to a 6-hour train journey because a train drops you to a station which is in the centre of the city. And you don't have to come 3-4 hours or 2-2.5 hours in advance. And it is more comfortable, per se. So, even for example, Northeast, what I am seeing is that more connectivity is taking place and more infrastructure and schemes are reaching at the last mile. Particularly in Assam and other places. Politics is very different. Tripura politics is very different from Assam politics. Manipur, you are seeing so many... Now, you are seeing... There are a lot of vulnerabilities attached there. I have not gone there after the incident which took place. We have to see. So, Nagaland politics works a lot on clans. - Clansier. But Assam does not work in that way. Whereas Tripura also does not work in that scenario. Tripura has moved. The base of the politics has moved from CPM led to BJP led now. But it is between the BJP and the CPM. Whereas, Naga is all on clans. What the clans want, that is what will happen. A lot of money works in these places. You think that the Hindi Heartland drives the money. It is not, please go to Nagaland, please go, come to South. You will know how per constituency cost is more. It is much easier to fight in the election in the UP, Madhya Pradesh or Abhihar. Where it is more costlier to fight in the election in Tamil Nadu, Handa Pradesh, Telangan or even Nagaland. I see. - Yes. And with the way, Aimantabhishwar Sarma is working in Assam. I think he is positioned to... With his vision, what I can understand, he wants it to be a bigger growth engine for the East.
Whats unique about Bengal? (01:25:59)
Than what Calcutta and Bengal is. So, yeah. In fact, now you come to Bengal, the politics of Bengal is unique in its own right. It has no relation to Nagaland, Meghalay, what Assam anyway. - Yes, right. In fact, in Bengal also, North Bengal is completely different than South Bengal. Darjeeling all those things. - Yes. So, you come to this jungle man, it has completely different politics altogether. South Bengal has completely different politics altogether. So, there is no one narrative there. It is such a big state with more than 270-280 constituencies. So, it is different. And if they say that caste works in UP Bihar, I disagree. The caste is a factor more in the southern states than what it is in UP Bihar. And even caste is an important factor in Bengal too. - Okay. It is in Nagaland, it is different. Again, it is more to do with tribes. And Assam is also different, but it is not that much to do with caste per se. So, yeah, everything has its own, I cannot fit. There is no one size fit or formula. But yes, one thing is common that if you have worked on the ground, then you will get the votes. Irrespective of caste line. Modi in UP got votes from Mayavati's core voters, Jatav SCs. Modi could do that because Modi had provided benefits irrespective of caste and religious lines. So, all of them voted for Modi. Majority of them voted for Modi. That is why the vote transfer exactly could not take place between a Sapanabi and a Sp. It was that simple. So, this country is beautiful. It is very challenging. I will tell you another part. Had only money been a factor in elections, then the richest man of the country would have been the Prime Minister of India. Why is that never happened? Because this country believes in struggles, Sangarish. And it also now needs to start respecting wealth. I think the biggest disservice which the politicians in our country have done in the last 60-65 years is that, and particularly Bollywood. Bollywood, absolutely. They should be ashamed of this. And I do not have any love lost, but I speak the facts that they always branded a saint as a guy who is doing atyachar on the common man.
Why we should want the rich to become even richer (01:28:23)
This is exactly how the communists think. The communists will want to travel in a business class, have the best wine, live in the Feista Hotel and talk about party. But never experience party. That is what a communist is. Whereas, a wealthy man who is grounded will create jobs, creation of jobs, which will ensure that wealth distribution takes place. And this is how prosperity will grow. A communist will always want that wealth is concentrated in few hands, so that maximum remain poor and his politics keep on going forward. Whereas, a wealthy man or a non-communist will always want wealth distributed. I am completely against crony capitalism and monopolies driving, but I am a man who believes in wealth becoming a habit of the country. Yes, I agree. You should be proud to earn money. You should be proud to be rich. Modi for sure has the entrepreneurial spirit of this country. I believe that energy has now gone to every last mile of the country. That is why you are more start-up than the Chinese. That is why you are creating faster start-ups than the Chinese. And you travel to every part of the country, you will see innovation. So, this is innovation. It is better if you are doing something. But you need to now get ideas. I want to look at an India where India gets more fortune than the Chinese get. That's right. In that scenario, you will eventually have challenges of regulators being very, very dispassionate and proper. So, those are challenges which come. See, the answer is not that India is no longer a mixed economy. They say it is not completely pro-market, it is not completely pro-anti-market. But at the core of it is that all of us should admit sitting on a table that let's create wealth, let's be rich. And let people who are rich, let's support them. That is how it should be there. Indians should start taking, Indian should start, you know, the Indian families should also inculcate this habit in their next generation. So, this is the risk. You have to succeed. You have to have a lot of companies. You have to have entrepreneurs. You have to have a lot of people. Absolutely. Service classes are the best. China, Chinese, and other companies create wealth and create wealth. And wealth is not the best. The Indian people should start. So, if you are not a wealth-creating society, you must create a super-power. And then you have to have a lot of people who are rich. 2047, if you have to, we have to ensure that, per capita income of India is more than what is of China or the others. We are definitely growing in the right direction for sure. So, that has been the biggest disservice in the last 70 years. And now it is changing for sure. Now, I believe it is changing. So, yeah. So, what I look at it is, Chavaraji, that if you don't have money in your pocket, the government should take care of your education, health, and ensuring that you have the basic necessities in order to achieve your dreams.
Future BJP leadership (01:31:53)
And if you have the idea, the system should provide enough capital to take the risk. Risk capital still in this country is very low compared to what it is in mature markets. That is where I think we need to work. As we are moving, we are maturing, it will take time, but it will happen. It will happen. So, Prime Minister Modi has announced that he will be running for the third term. Yes. Eventually, somebody else will have to replace him as the BJP top leader. Who do you think it will be? You want me to. See, politics depends a lot on circumstances. It all depends whether the next Prime Minister is elected or selected. Now, I know as much as you know, my political understanding tells me that when Prime Minister Narendra Modi comes back in 2024, if these current circumstances continue, there are two theories. There is one theory which says that he will retire in 2026 and pass the battle to somebody else. Yeah, that is one. That is one. The other is saying that no, he will go forward till 2029 and then he will give the battle to somebody else. I honestly don't know. And I honestly feel that this is a very premature discussion right now. Because it all depends on what are the circumstances in the polity in 2026.
Sun will decide (01:33:24)
This is for sure that 2024 third term is there and if PM Modi comes back with third term, he would like to break J Jamalal Nehru's record of being the longest serving Prime Minister for 17 years. Okay. So, I believe that he will definitely cross that for sure. After that, what does the sun want? What do the people want? Is the opposition stronger at that time? Is there a need for somebody from the states to come in with... You never know. We might talk about, okay, our Minister can be the next Prime Minister. We might talk, okay, we can talk. Maharashtra, Deputy CM can be a person who can be a Prime Minister. We can talk. Himantavister Sarva can be a Prime Minister. We can talk from the opposition. My opposition people will talk. Rahul Gandhi can be Prime Minister. Aap will talk. Khayyidinwal can be the Prime Minister. All of this at this moment is a very premature discussion because it all depends on what are the circumstances at that time. And if it is the BJP side you are talking about, a very big role will be played by the sun and what does Modi want at that time. Right. My reading is that, see, PM Modi has achieved a relationship, not a relationship of positioning in the mind of the Indian voter. That not of a politician. But somebody who is more than a politician, who is a spiritual, moralistic, political statesman, which has taken India's global pride forward. So, like there was a Nehru era, then everybody after Nehru started to speak about Nehru, Nehru, Nehru, Nehru. Similarly, I believe this is the Modi era, where if the BJP, whosoever comes after the BJP, he has to take the Modi's legacy forward. Now, it all depends. Modi would definitely want, see, when is the legacy established? Nehru's legacy could have been established because after Nehru, the guys who came took Nehru's legacy forward. Correct? So, Modi would definitely want that because he has worked so much for the country in the last 10 years and at that time it will be more than 10 years, 13, 15, 17 years. So, at that, so just correcting myself that Jawaharlal Nehru, just check it out, he had been the Prime Minister for 15 years, if I am not wrong, for more than 15 years. Now, PM, if he wins back, then it will be his 11th and the 12th. So, he has to continue till 2029 to defeat that. That I do not know whether it will happen or not because he will be at that time, I think he is now 70, he will be turning 73 now. So, he will be 74 in 2024 and around 26, he will be 75, 76. So, it all depends on his health. If he is healthy enough, energetic enough, then why not he should go beyond that? So, honestly, Chawraji, I have seen these things from close distance. Who would have imagined that an NCP and a BJP will come together in Maharashtra? Who would have imagined? Who would have imagined that Nikma Shinde would leave with the Thakar and join hands with the BJP? So, in politics, you can't answer these questions right now. So, I will hold my thoughts. I will not give you an answer just to get more views for sure. Like lot of people do. Because if I say it, it will be from a position of authority. I don't want to say that because people can interpret it in different ways. But what I can definitely tell you is at that time, it will all depend on what PM Modi wants and what the Sangh wants. These are the two things. And ultimately, what's the choice? The choice is whether to take Modi's legacy forward or to get somebody who can build his own legacy. And at the end of the day, what do the people want? And whether at that time, whatever PM Modi will say, people will accept it. So, saying, let's imagine a hypothetical scenario in which the next Prime Minister is selected. Which means that PM Modi, before 2029, says that, okay, I am passing the baton to person X and I am done. Whether that happens and whether people will accept that. Or PM Modi says, before 2029, the sentiment is such that somebody else is declared as the Prime Ministerial face from the BJP side and from the other side, opposition side. Or if the scenario is such that the sentiment for the BJP as strong it is right now, it is not and people want a leader from the opposition to prop up, then these discussions do not arise. That will be the worst case scenario for the BJP because Modi's legacy can only be taken forward when the person who comes after Modi talks about Modi's legacy. That is very, very important for his legacy to be established. This is how I look at it. So, there are no one-fit answers for sure. But if you ask leaders in the BJP who are doing well, Home Minister Amit Shah, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Devendra Fadnavi, Srimantabhishwar Sarma, these are very strong leaders which are there.
Rahul Gandhi (01:38:39)
You have good leaders in the union cabinet also, which are there for sure. Charismatic leaders who defeated Dhawla and the Nametian Shah. But it all depends on what at the end of the day the BJP's workers want and the people want. Or maybe some wildcard entry comes to Sinanobhars. You have seen that happening in the past. There are a lot of stories which I can tell you of the record of how many Chief Ministers were chosen in the Congress era. So, it all depends, as I said, two factors. What Modi wants at that time, what Sung wants and how much do the people accept that. One thing which has happened for Congress and Rahul Gandhi is that in the last six months, the BJP has not been able to call him a Papu. If you go ahead and see entire conversations across, he has not been called Papu like he was called before. Now, how far does this go has to be seen. And I do believe that if in the India alliance, are they looking at projecting Khargiya as the Prime Ministerial candidate, that has to be seen. So, if that happens, they can build a narrative of, they can build some narrative going. So, before talking about who after Modi, we have to see what happens in 2024 because this is the last battle of survival for the opposition parties. That's right. Yeah. Because I do believe they will also do the seed sharing and stuff. I feel they will do that. But I, what Dita is telling you on the ground that vote transfer will not take place fully. And people are subconsciously with Modi right now. So, interesting times for Indian politics after 2024. Very, very interesting times. So, what's the impact and relevance of social media in electoral politics? It creates perception. But it is not something we decide who is the Prime Minister, who is not. It definitely creates perception. It is more important in the mainstream media right now.
Social Media And Leadership Qualities
Social Media (01:40:41)
It is. I ask you, you go to a mainstream channel. If you do not get your Twitter link or a cool link or a Facebook link, you will not be incentivized to go. Yeah. There has not been a single narrative which has worked on social media, which has not been picked by the mainstream media. Social media today drives conversations, drives narrative. And today in this country, there are 80 crore WhatsApps. There are people, India is watching more videos than any other country in the world. And your family groups have politics, your WhatsApp groups have politics everywhere. There is politics, politics, politics. It's content, content, content. Yes. So, yes, social media has a very important role. But just because if you are popular on social media does not mean that you will get votes. At the end of the day, the politics is at its base. People have to, after a worker's polling booth, they have to motivate their voting. So, if you are a voter, you have to vote. Just because you vote, social media provides you an effective way of reaching to your voter. But I will give you an example. Suppose that if you, every day, do a video, let's say, and it is reaching the constituency where you are living in. But if you have not gone to their house to campaign, I can give this to you in writing and blank people, they will not vote for you. Because people want, who is elected representative, who is available to them, who stands for them. If you and me are right now talking, you and me could have even easily done a Zoom conversation. But there is a huge difference between a podcast in person and a podcast in Zoom. - Absolutely. - Similarly is the impact of social media. It helps you reach more people, but it is not a substitute for your on-ground campaigning. It is not your, see, big rallies can be substituted by small choppals, for sure. But your ground campaigning cannot be substituted by your social media campaigning. Your social media campaigning can become a complementary catalyst to your ground campaigning. It helps you reach more people. So, even if today, see, earlier the information was controlled by the mainstream. Today, nobody can control information. Now you are living in an era where you are getting packets of information from everywhere. - Yes. Which video can go viral, you never know. Today a politician is also making video, his team is also making a video, he is putting it on the social media. It is not that the mainstream channels or anybody in the press has a monopoly. Nobody has a monopoly in the narrative today. So, ultimately at the end of the day, the best narrative survives. This is the most democratic time for the country. Because earlier if you see Chavraji, that information was controlled, data was not cheap and people used to wait to watch people on television. I am telling you as a TV guy, even if I am on TV, I have to ensure that my clip is circulated on social media, reaches people on social media. Because that gives me instant gratification, right? So, similarly for a politician, why is it that for the politicians, the social media budgets are increasing and the advertisements spend on TV. You think that if somebody, if an Aetha will give advertisement on TV, people will vote. No. You have to do the basics. It is all about doing the basics. It is purely about doing the basics. So, my answer is, it is a very important tool for your political campaigning, for reaching out to your voter. But it is not a substitute for the basics of the election, which is getting your people to vote and ensuring that your votes are more than the opponents. But politics at the end of the day is that you should get more votes than what your opponent has got. It is simple, to put it very simply. That is what it is. And every leader who has risen from the ground, politics does not happen sitting in Indian International and Habitat Centre.
Bal Dopta C S. Sorry. (01:44:45)
That is also what I am saying. But I think that the team is very important. They are not going to be part of the party. They are going to be in a position to do this. And they are going to be in power and they are going to be in a city that is not a city. They are going to be in a city that is not a city. You have seen mass leaders like that. Modi is a mass leader. Modi is not beyond, he is a statesman. Say, Balasayap Takre was a leader, was a mass leader. So, there are different categories of politicians. You have to choose who you are and who you have to be. And again, who you intend to be. So, to answer, I know when I start speaking about politics, I go on and on. But to cut it short, what I can tell you is that it is an effective way to reach to the people. But it is not a substitute to your on-ground campaign. But you cannot run a campaign without social media also. So, if your social media strategy is flat, you can screw up your entire election. One wrong statement on social media can change the entire election. I will give you an example. Madhya Bali, Mr. last time I had given a statement that Kui Maikalal reservation Kui Hata Sakta in 2018. That entire statement changed the entire course of the election. The BJP could end up getting less seats than Congress despite getting more votes shared in 2018. I see. So, right now you are being filmed every time. There is a phone camera on you every time. Every statement of yours is watched. What you do is watched and it is put on the social media. It can be put by anybody and everybody. Everybody is a journalist today or a content creator.
Has Created an Issue Or Two. (01:46:20)
In fact, you as a content creator today are more impactful than 99% of journalists today. Because you are reaching to more people. So, yes, social media is very very important. But politicians who think that it is important for them to substitute the basics of the campaigning, they completely miss out. It has in fact increased the cost of the campaign. Earlier what was the election? You used to go to your voters, talk to them, reach to them, all of that. Now, these effective technologies, this gives you effective way of reaching out to your voter quicker, faster. And if your opponent is doing it, if you are not doing it, then you are again behind. You have to do that also. So, it is an additional thing to do. Additional thing, very important thing. It is basically you communicating. Let us say a TV channel or a newspaper or a digital podcast, still like you has screwed a politician. And that video has gone viral. Now, how will that politician put his narrative? He has to use a social media right? Yes. So, that is why there are social media armies and it has also provided jobs to many people. It has. It has. It has at least ensured that people are not frustrated. They can vent out their anger, happiness or emotion. Yes, right. That is how I look at it. You cannot do it without social media. I call social media people's media. Right. Because there is no controller to that, apart from the algorithms for sure. Yes. So, you have this tremendous amount of knowledge about politics, about electoral politics and all that. Thank you so much for saying that. It is my wife who will accept that I have some knowledge. So, how did you gain all this? What is your journey been like? See, my vision and my intent always has been, Chabraji, that I love when my work is connected to the people. So, if you tell me, I love voicing my opinion and I really feel very, very happy when a man on the ground or a woman on the ground comes to me and says that you have been my voice. I love that. I really love that. When I started Janki Bhat, then Janki Bhatan Republic partnered. It was a tremendous partnership with Arnaup and we reached places with the Indian News also. It was a tremendous work and across Janki Bhat has given me an opportunity to reach to the people. My journey, even when I was in my college, see, I have grown up watching my dad getting a President's Gallantry Medal in police force. He is serving in the interiors of Madhya Pradesh, living months away from the family with no light at that time in the 70s and 80s and 90s. I have seen my mother running an NGO for Thalesimiya patients and ensuring that Thalesimiya has an ultimate blood disorder curing poor patients.
Qualities for being a Leader (01:49:16)
So, I have grown up in a family which has done a lot for the people. My dad, when I was in college, I believe in 13, gifted me a Gita. That was the best gift that he had ever given me. My mother is a very prolific writer and their teachings have had a huge impact on my life. So, for me, whether it is wealth, whether it is media or typology, at the end of the day, it is a way of connecting with the people. I want my life either to be dedicated to being the voice of the people or do something for the people of the country. Because we get life once and we need to have a higher goal and because I could not be a soldier, so at least you say if you can't die for the country, live for the country. So, I believe in that. So, I am not a 9 to 5 guy and if there is no higher ideal, I will not be there. Which means that I know that suppose if I am talking to you in this podcast, I know it is reaching to multiple people and if one percentage of that can also be influenced, my job is done. So, I have huge respect for the politicians who take out so much pain to do a lot of work for the country. I also have huge respect for those who have become the voice of the country and I have been lucky enough to also get a lot of love from the people of the country. So, my journey always, I was in engineering, I graduated from MIT, I was a topper. At that time, also, topping in the college did not give me so much happiness as was winning a debate at that time. I remember winning in 2014 the Young Eater Award, there was a youth parliament in Delhi and I was the first leader of opposition to actually get to win that. So, that gave me a lot of high or say when I come on TV or when I speak to you on a podcast, I love talking politics, I love talking what is temporal. I don't like to be doing things which are only for real, real per se. I want to ensure and I love when my work impacts people significantly.
Work that drives me (01:51:37)
So, yes, I am very controversial but I am not consciously controversial. When I take a stand, see if my journalism that also happened all coincidentally, what I have learnt is that everybody gives news. People don't want news readers, they want opinion makers and opinion. I have learnt whatever is travelling across the country. So, if I see something is wrong, I say that it is wrong. For you, it might be right but for me it is wrong. So, that is what happened in Maharashtra or say in post-pul violence when it happened in Bengal. In that scenario, a victim from one of the families of Abhijit Sarkar who passed away, who was skilled only for expressing his political opinion in Bengal, came to me because nobody in the media was picking up their voice. For 15 days I ran that campaign, the mother cried in front of me on air. Thankfully, the Calcutta High Court ordered a CBI and that was the first step to justice. So, I felt very, very, very happy. At least I could play a role. So, yes, I believe in going to the masses, reaching the masses. People give me the energy. When I am in front of speaking, in front of a lot of people, I am a very, very different person. People who know me will tell you that we have started this campaign called 'Making India a Developed Nation' with the youth of the country where we have turned around 10 programs in Indore. I have not used a single piece of paper while speaking to them because I just connect with them in that way. So, my journey has always been, I started formally as an engineer but in my school days I was a very, very good cricketer. I got a chance to play with Glenn McGraw also in Australia. Because again, there the passion was always that you are playing for your city, you are playing for your school, sports teaches you team spirit. It does, yes. And always debating excited me. So, in all my whether it is my school, my college or now, I have always been a good student at my craft. But I have always been a very opinionated student. So, that is why permanent bureaucracy did not work for me. It was a civil service in all. And I was a very highly politically opinionated person. And I used to love watching these debates in the parliament. I used to love watching the TV debates and stuff. And I used to love going to these MUNs in the MOC parliaments in abroad, US, UK and winning them. Because that is what I am. And after my engineering, I got a very high paying job in Bangalore in one of the very top engineering companies. It used to give me a life of comfort. But I really got bored. And after around a year or so, I left that. And then we started from, you know, I then I started in the door. I taught in one of the government schools in 10th class. And at that time, I was preparing for my civils. And in 10th class and that class, everybody was from MP board. It was a Pink Flower Public School. And after four years, when I came out of a TV rivet, I got a random call from one of the students. He said, "Sir, I am not a student. I am a 10th student. But I am from Pink Flower Public School. And I am from IIT. Can you imagine that?" So, not being a teacher. But it gave me a form of expression at that time when I was preparing for the civils. And when I came to Delhi, again, I joined the research think tank. But I am not a guy who can only be in front of a computer, just making excels, writing things. I want my work to be seen by the people. And I do believe that that is what gives me a lot of happiness. Wealth is definitely important. But wealth cannot be an end. It has to be a means. It has to be a means for one larger thing. This is how I look. And I always believe that good men should reach significant positions of importance in this country. Because that is how the country will change. Ambedkarat said at one time that the constitution is just a mere piece of paper. If it is about the men who ultimately ensure that the constitution is followed in letter and spirit, it will become the guiding document. That is how it is. Similarly, in whatever field you are, you should always ensure that you reach the top position. So, here my journey has always been, I have believed in this funda of Gita which says that just do. I have experienced myself thinking a lot and doing a lot. I have felt myself as a better person who is doing a lot. And whatever, you can't plan life. You can only experience life. You can think that how you have this dream, you have this aspiration and all. But what you have in front of you is only that present moment. And our rishis and saints always used to be very happy and always used to teach that your consciousness, present moment or awareness or present moment may be there. So, I have been going through a lot of ups and downs in my life. I have been at the peak of my reaching out to the people through TV.
Want to direct (01:56:54)
I have been off air. Then I have come on air. Then off air. But every time has given me, I have seen that whenever I am down, I have come 10 times stronger after that. So, my journey's rule or motto has been that 10 years down the line, people should say that this guy has done significantly well for the country in whatever he has done. So, I feel happy when I speak on TV or when I speak to you or on my podcast, people say you are standing for us. What whosoever people. I cannot stand. You will stand for some, some will be happy, some will not be happy. When I predict an election, I feel happy because I know that it is such a challenging affair. So, when I know that what political narrative I am saying, somebody can follow it, I like that. And yes, I do have huge respect for politicians who are in positions of responsibility and are doing significantly well. And I do believe in, I do not believe in neutrality. I believe in taking a political opinion because I believe that only political opinion or if you take an opinion, which means you believe in something, if you believe in something, then only you can do something. That's right. Irrespective of any political thought you have, whether it is left or right or a BJP or a Congress or an AP. That's how I look at it. So yes, at core, I am a student of public policy, comics, engineering, theatre. But my journey has been in media and psychology related to politics. What's next? What's long term? See, long term, as I said, you will see me, long term, I see myself doing significantly good for this country in a stronger position than what I am right now. Either reaching to 100 crore Indians, 120 crore Indians or being at a place of responsibility which gives me, gives me or being at a place where my voice as a position, from a position of responsibility and authority impacts the life of the people and I can do significantly well for the people. I don't want to sit on the side when the storm is in the middle. I love to be in the storm and I love to face the storm and I want to love to be in the thick of the things. So this is how, who I am. So, I will not comment in the area of the people. I will only comment in the area when my commentary can change that. So, that is how I am. Either I will change it or I will ensure my commentary changes it. There cannot be two ways about it.
Importance Of Decision Making And Innovation
The importance of choosing either/or in life (01:59:47)
Either what you speak, it is of so much importance that it changes it, right? Or you change it. These are only two things. Either you be for somebody or against somebody, you are for something or against something. This is how I look at it. So, this is where I can see myself. I can see myself, you know, I, you know, God has been very kind because when I came to Delhi in 2016, I would never have imagined at that time in just a matter of 7 years. I came when I was 23, 24 in a span of 7 to 8 years but I have worked a lot. I have done video editing on my own, I have done script writing on my own, I have done selfie interviews on my own, I have travelled in public transport. I have done sports, I have come from a good family but I have done because I have always been taught Khudjukan nai kannoyan. My family has been a great support. I have done all of that on my own. I have seen times when my company was in the verge of closing. I have not raised a single rupee of debt and still been able to make Jankimath a good psychological brand. I have been very fortunate to work at such a time of my career with Arunabh at that time because it was a very good bonding and growing so well in that significantly, I could never have imagined to become a news director at such a young age at that time. So, at the core of all of it, I have always ensured honesty is there. So, I do not have layers what I feel it is correct, what I feel wrong is wrong. I could never have imagined that my political opinion or my election analysis will be appreciated by those who have been in politics for 40-45 years, I have got calls. I am very happy that, not happy but satisfied when the way I look at things and those who have been at the helm of affairs, that opinion is respected. I can relate to all of that, when I can guess what a politician can do next. So, it makes, I am a guy who does not believe to only criticize power, I criticize power when I feel it is wrong, then I will definitely do so. Provided my voice reaches those people. So, that is how I look at it and through you I want to appeal to the people of this country. This is what I can say. So, what next? Right now, next is the 2024 election. There is nothing except that, beyond that and apart from that.
Being innovative (02:02:29)
People say in journalism that we do news and all. At the core of it always has to be people. You have to stand for the people, if you just read the news. And I am completely convinced, Chavdaji, that formal education only or only structured thinking cannot create magic. Magic is always wrong. Magic is never planned. You have started a podcast that reaches millions of people. You are impacting millions of minds. Why? Because you are innovative, right? I don't come from a quote unquote official. What people say journalism is, if you only do what people are telling is correct to be done, it will never reach people. It will never reach masses. Disruption is always first laughed at, then it is followed and then it becomes a norm. It is as simple as that. You are only answerable to your heart and you should know your heart and mind is in sync. But the toughest time, the toughest challenge if you see in all of this for me or generally for which I have seen for people is patience. Patience. Yeah. I am a bit impatient. You should be impatient. Why should you not be? I am impatient. I am impatient. There is a difference between expectation and desire. Ambition, desire.
Working as a team (02:04:13)
To do something. Not to become, but to do. When you do, then you become. You never know. You and me are sitting today. Tomorrow you might be at some exposition, my position and you might be sitting in a different way. Yeah, right. But both of us are doing something. Am I the best version of, am I doing the best? Maybe no. I believe that is just one percentage of my potential. Are you happy with what you are doing? Maybe yes, you might. But you have 100 times of that potential. All of us should not be satisfied. Yes, I believe that ultimately teams win. And there is nothing called as, you know, multiple leadership. Leader is always one and the team is a leader has to create more leaders. Absolutely. I think that Ganguly is the only opening batting team that is not going to win. But Ganguly is the only team that is going to win. They will win the XWAS team if they win. I think that the team is the only team that is going to win the XWAS team. They are the only team that is going to win the XWAS team. I think that the team is going to win the XWAS team. They are the only team that is going to win the XWAS team. So, my journey is like that. It has not been linear. It has always been linear. But in the core of this, I would just say that only you come to yourself. If you expect the team to win, you expect the team to win. You will get the best result. But I think that the team will win the XWAS team. So, if you are a player, you will be able to win. If you are a player, you will be able to win the XWAS team. You will be able to win the XWAS team. So, if you are a player, you will be able to win the XWAS team. So, if you are a player, you will be able to win the XWAS team. If you are a player, you will be able to win the XWAS team. That is how I look at it. Thank you very much for a fact. I hope I did not bore you. Absolutely not. Very interesting. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thanks a lot. Pleasure to speak to you. So, that was the conversation. Hope you liked it. If you enjoyed this, please share this on WhatsApp and other media. Thank you very much and I will see you soon.