Psychology of Sacrifice: Why Voters Still Wait for ‘Acche Din’

Opinion polls show that the Modi mania is back, especially among the youth. Gone are the memories of demonetisation, GST, rising prices, and mob lynchings. People want Modi back for another round. Is this because we are fickle? Aren’t we lacking in jobs, social security, labour reforms? Are we a populace full of masochists? Modi, if anything, should be booted for causing immense social and economic havoc. Then why, despite all the pain he has put the country through, do we still want him back?

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‘We Choose to Suffer Because We Are Rational’

When Hitler started gaining in popularity, several social scientists were confused. How does a rational human being support the devil? Two theorists, Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, stepped away from rationality-led investigations like Marx’s study of historical materialism, to explain society. They decided to investigate the prehistory of reason (of course, all based in Europe) in an attempt to uncover irrational passions that could possibly define human behavior. Here, they fell back on Freud and his psychoanalytical tools to understand human nature.

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According to Freud, the ego, always on an oath of self-survival, must control or suppress the child-like impulses of the Id or the inner nature. This suppression is a sacrifice made for the emergence of the enlightened ego. (An ego which is purposeful, modern and rational.)

The basis of rationality is the childhood suppression of the Id, a violent sacrifice that must bear some fruit, which is the birth of the rational man. Their conclusions were that, rationality is embedded in the logic of sacrifice. We understand rationality through a system of an exchange. That if we sacrifice such and such thing, god will have to listen to our prayers. Therefore, we suffer (choose to) because we are rational. There’s a larger gain involved, the emergence of something better.

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Just Wait (and Suffer) a Bit Longer... Acche Din Will Be Here for Sure

Similarly what is a little sacrifice to making the nation a superpower? How selfish can you be to not want to wait in long queues or die of starvation for lack of Aadhaar verification? After all, it is in public interest to rid the country of corruption, is it not? It is a national cause to clean India, bring back the black money, take a broom and sweep the roads, while manual scavengers die every week. This is a country of small and big sacrifices. And at the end of the day, we will be rewarded with genuine UNESCO ratings. Success is ours to claim.

Success is guaranteed because PM Modi has proved that at the end of struggle, there is success. He is the ‘chaiwallah’ who went on to become prime minister. His childhood is a bedtime story read aloud to every infant. He epitomizes the potential of the common man; this time it is the ‘chowkidar’.

His perilous life since childhood ‘shakha’ days has been documented. We now have a Bollywood movie coming up, so that this rags-to-riches story is embellished in our brains forever. ‘Modi – the common man’s fight to becoming world famous’.

A nation’s success is hard labour and full of sacrifices. And even if the first five years have been torturous for the common man, it is the road for him to turn into a prince, just like our PM. Just wait a bit longer, the ‘acche din’ will be here for sure. Suffering for our nation is a fundamental duty. Like soldiers, shoulder to shoulder we battle on into the storm. Vote for another round of misery and hate with pride in our hearts, and our reasoning in our gumboots. The fault lies in our psyche.

(Debjanee Ganguly is a political commentator.This is an opinion piece and the views expressed are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for them.)

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