In the run-up to the 2014 General Elections, we were told repeatedly, on several occasions, through various media outlets by numerous people that there was no Modi-Wave on the ground. When the results were declared eventually, it became pretty clear that they were as wrong as the people who believe the Earth is flat.
The Exit Polls that mostly predicted a victory for the BJP and also the NDA, however, they fell short in predicting the nature of the Modi wave. The NDA, eventually, won 336 of the 543 seats and the BJP secured 282 seats on its own. The UPA, on the other hand, won merely 60 and the Congress was reduced to its lowest ever tally of 44. Most Exit Polls gave UPA close to 100 seats. The highest estimation was 148 seats and the lowest was 97.
Other than the Exit polls, the intelligentsia of India was also vehemently telling the nation that there is no ‘Modi wave’, basically insinuating that BJP or NDA might not make the government or at least, not with a thumping majority like they did. The Atal Bihari Vajpayee election of 2004 was repeatedly invoked to get people to believe that the Modi wave was merely in Television studios (well, funny considering media has traditionally been anti-BJP and definitely anti-Modi) and not on the ground.
It is now 2019 and the nation is in the thick of General Elections. The same clamour that we heard in 2014 is back and the media seems to support the Congress narrative that 2019 might be a repeat of 2004 elections. They repeatedly assert that the Modi wave is over and that Rahul Gandhi has “come of age” (A phenomenon that has been taking place since 2009) and is poised to defeat Narendra Damodardas Modi.
With the narrative being exactly the same in 2014 and now in 2019, it bodes well to revisit what the intelligentsia was saying then and now, considering they were proven wrong then and they might as well be proven wrong now.
In April 2014, Sanjay Kumar declared emphatically that “BJP’s aggressive campaigning centred around Narendra Modi has failed in generating a Modi wave across the country”.
Praveen Chakraborty of IndiaSpend, who has since then joined the Congress party’s Data Analytics unit, had pontificated solemnly in 2014 why waves don’t matter.
The Blind who could not see the obvious in 2014 appear to be sure again in their vehement proclamations that there’s no Modi wave in 2019. Praveen Chakraborty, who had told us with utter confidence that “Data analysis for over 40 years shows that national issues or sentiments have a limited impact on votes and seats for a national party” is now telling us that the absence of Modi-Wave is exactly what will make 2019 a repeat of 2004.
Sanjay Kumar, after failing miserably 5 years earlier, wants us to pay close attention to “Why the Modi wave is missing so far in the polls”. Although this time around, he appears to have learnt something from his past failures and adds the caveat, “So far this election has not seen either a pro- or anti-Modi wave. While it might change in the round of elections, it can go either way.”
It’s a familiar trend, however. The mainstream media, like in 2014, is again working overtime to prove that there’s no Modi wave. Only the players appear to have changed. The likes of Sujata Nandan and Anup Kumar had exhausted themselves telling us that the Modi-wave was nonexistent.
We were told by Scroll in 2014 that caste politics had neutralized the Modi wave in Bihar and that the BJP was in contention in only 9 seats. the BJP eventually won over 22 seats in the state while the NDA secured 31. Does it seem familiar with regards to what the same people are saying for Uttar Pradesh in 2019?
Scroll.in in 2018 itself (a year before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections) had written off the Modi wave. It asserted that while BJP might win 2019, Modi’s ability to create another wave is highly unlikely.
Just before the 2014 elections, Saba Naqvi had essentially written off the Modi wave too. She had emphatically asserted that BJP will fall short of a majority but is likely to form the government.
In 2019, again, we have a barrage of individuals with a particular political inclination that there is either no Modi Wave or that it has dissipated. People like Saba Naqvi and Aditya Menon, like their comrades Sanjay Kumar and Praveen Chakraborty, are telling us quite confidently that there is no Modi wave at all.
TheQuint.in didn’t exist right before the 2014 elections, but if it had, we are pretty sure it would be saying exactly what it’s saying in 2019. “No Modi wave”.
No one can fault Aditya Menon for lack of effort. The known bigot and fake news peddler went to extraordinary lengths to torture the survey data into saying what he wanted it to say. Our comprehensive article on the matter can be read here.
Some, of course, took their stupidity a notch ahead. In 2019, Prannoy Roy of NDTV said there was no Modi wave in 2014. The election where BJP won a thumping majority. And, of course, for the 2019 elections, he is pretty much saying the same thing.
The run-up to results day of 2019 Lok Sabha Elections appears to be along the same lines of what we witnessed 5 years ago. We have politicians from the Opposition parties making extremely stupid remarks that only benefits the BJP, the enthusiasm among BJP supporters is at an all-time high, Narendra Modi’s own confidence appears to be on Cloud 9. And we have detractors who tell us regularly that there is no Modi wave in 2019. It only remains to be seen whether 2019 has a similar conclusion to what we witnessed in 2014.