莫迪的訊息非常簡單：印度教徒優先 Modi’s Message Was Simple: Hindus First #
On May 23, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won India’s general elections by a shockingly large margin. Out of 543 seats in parliament, sitting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party won 303, far exceeding the 272 needed to form a government, while the largest opposition party won just 52. Even some of the BJP’s own politicians weren’t sure of a majority until last week’s exit polls.
今年5月23日，印度人民黨（Bharatiya Janata Party, BJP）以駭人的差距在印度大選中獲得勝利。在國會中 543 席中，現任總理納倫德拉·莫迪（Narendra Modi）所屬的政黨就贏得 303 席，遠超過組成政府所需要的 272 個席次，而最大的反對黨則僅拿下 52 席。直到上週出口民調前，即使該黨政治人物也不確定是否將成為多數黨。
Few were expecting this result. Most analysts had predicted the party’s 2014 tally of 282 seats would be much diminished, and not without reason. Over the last five years, Modi’s government has been roundly and repeatedly criticized. The economy was hit, jobs were lost, farm distress rose, national security was breached, corruption charges were made, and communal violence peaked. The enduring images of India under Modi’s rule were damning: farmers marching in the streets, people crying in endless ATM lines after the prime minister withdrew cash from the economy, Muslims asking Hindu mobs for mercy, widows of paramilitary soldiers crying over their corpses. The party would have to pay—or, at least, that was the common wisdom in New Delhi.
而這是很少人所能預料到的結果。大部分的分析師認為，該黨在 2014 年取得的 282 席次將會大幅縮減，而這並非沒有理由。在過去五年內，莫迪政府飽受嚴厲批評。經濟打擊、就業機會減少、農村貧困惡化、國家安全遭受挑戰、受貪腐指控以及社群間暴力達到高峰。在莫迪統治下的印度景象活像是個詛咒：農民上街抗議、人們在無止盡的 ATM 排隊動線上哭泣（因為總理宣布在現行經濟體系中廢除現金）、穆斯林請求印度暴民們憐憫他們、準軍事部隊成員的寡婦家屬在屍體上哭泣。而這是該黨所能注意到的，又或者這僅是——新德里的日常。
But instead, the BJP came back stronger than ever. Why did hundreds of millions of Indians give five more years to a man whose government arguably left the country worse than it was in 2014?
然而相反的是，他們比起以往更加強大。為何數以億計的印度人，願意在給他五年，即使他的政府很有可能使他們的國家比起 2014 年更糟？
For one, Narendra Modi remains personally very popular despite his government’s missteps. He continues to be seen as efficient, incorruptible, and visionary even by many who bemoan the state of the economy or the lack of jobs. His admirers go to any length to defend him against criticism: They argue his party members don’t listen to him, that he is up against “70 years of misrule,” and that his ideas will bear rich fruit in the distant future.
就我看來，即使莫迪政府有所失策，莫迪本身仍然非常受到歡迎。即使是那些唱衰經濟狀況或者缺乏就業機會的人，也仍然認為莫迪是一位有效率、清廉且具有遠見的人。他的崇拜者致力於保護他不受批評：他們認為莫迪的黨員們並不聽令於他，也認為他反對「七十年失政（70 years of misrule）」，並且認為他的理念將在未來歡喜結果。
In New Delhi, a man who lost his livelihood because of Modi’s decision to demonetize high-value notes in 2016 told me he was going to vote for the BJP because “Modi brought the rich and the poor to the same level”—they both suffered from the decision.
Modi’s grip over the country’s massive youth vote has become tighter even though their prospects dipped under his governance. Nearly 18 million Indians between the ages of 18 and 23 voted for the first time in this election. I spoke to first-time voters in at least six states. Many of them were attracted to Modi’s strongman image—his ability to take bold risks, to attack his opponents, and to crush dissent.
儘管莫迪的願景在他治理下早已搖搖欲墜，但他仍緊抓印度廣大的青年選票並且力道漸深。這次選舉中，有將近 1800 萬名首投族，其年齡介於 18 歲到 23 歲。我和至少六個邦的首投族聊過，他們當中很多人都被莫迪的強人形象所吸引——他有能力冒險犯難、抨擊反對者以及弭平異議。
In the small northern town of Rohtak, a 19-year-old woman voting for the first time said Modi is the only Indian political leader who made her hopeful about the country. In Ranchi, a 24-year-old job seeker told me he hated “all politicians except one.” I didn’t even need to ask who. He said it wasn’t Modi’s fault that he remains jobless even though he has a degree in software engineering. “What can he do?” said the young man, a member of the traditionally discriminated-against Dalit caste. He refused to believe that unemployment hit a 45-year high under Modi’s regime. “That’s not true,” he said. He also said he was sure that fewer jobs were available in the pre-Modi government led by the Indian National Congress party. “Not true,” I said. He said a man has to blame himself if he can’t find a job, not the government. “Not everyone is eligible for a job,” he said. Then he left.
在羅赫塔克（Rohtak）這個北方小鎮中，「莫迪是印度政治人物中，唯一讓我對這國家感到希望的人」一位 19 歲的女性首投族表示。在蘭契（Ranchi），一位 24 歲的求職者青年告訴我，他「討厭所有的政治人物，除了那位以外」，我完全不用問那是誰。而即使有著軟體工程碩士學位的他現在仍找不到工作，但他仍說這並不是莫迪的錯。另一位屬於傳統上遭受歧視的達利特（Dalit）種姓的青年告訴我：「他能做什麼？」他不願相信在莫迪的統治下，失業率來到 45 年以來的高峰。「這不是真的」他說，並且他表示他確定就業機會減少早在前朝政府時發生，即印度國民大會黨（Indian National Congress Party）領政時。我對他表示那是錯的。但他則說，一個男人找不到工作必須怪自己，而不是怪政府。「不是所有人都有資格找到一份工作」他說完後就走了。
The prime minister and his party were also popular with sections of the rural poor. Nearly 70 percent of Indians still live in villages, and many of those who I spoke with were thankful to the BJP for something or other: free cooking gas, higher housing subsidies, toilets, health insurance, and, towards the end of Modi’s government’s term, financial assistance for farmers. “I was able to build a house with the money his government gave us. What more reason do I need to vote for him?” asked a domestic worker. “He really takes care of the poor,” a housewife said.
總理與他的政黨在鄉下貧困地區也同受歡迎。將近 70% 的印度人口居住在農村地區，並且他們大部分的人都對我說，他們很感謝印度人民黨的像是：免費的烹飪用天然氣、更高的住房津貼、廁所、健康保險，以及其他在莫迪政府任期快結束時對農民的財政補助。「我用他的政府給我們的錢蓋房子。我投給他還需要其他理由嗎？」一位幫傭對我說。「他真的很照顧窮人」一位家庭主婦說。
To be sure, Modi’s is not the only government to craft schemes for the rural poor. No government in India, whether at the federal or the state level, can hope to return to power without the support of the countryside. Rural Indians’ needs from the government are greater, and so are their numbers at the voting booths. Between 2004 and 2014, Congress-led coalitions rolled out one rural scheme after another to appeal to village voters, including 100 days of guaranteed wage employment, a biometric identification system to ease access to state benefits, and, of course, a whopping farm loan waiver.
可以肯定的是，莫迪並不是唯一對農村貧困人口制訂計劃的政府。在印度無論是聯邦政府或地方政府，他們都無法在沒有農村支持下掌權。農村的印度人需要政府幫助更多，他們在投票站的人也更多。在 2004 年至 2014 年期間，印度國民大會黨組成的聯合政府，他們接連出台許多農村援助計劃，包含保證百日約聘工作、提供一種生物辨識系統以便利地使用國家資源，當然的，高額的農業貸款豁免。
But it comes down to marketing: The Congress party is not half as good as the BJP at selling its successes and masking its failures. Nor does it have the BJP’s nationwide messaging machine. Many Indians still get their news from television, and the BJP boasts the support of mainstream channels such as Republic TV and Sudarshan News that are openly and proudly partisan. The party also recruits what it refers to as “cyberwarriors”—mostly young, unemployed, and often angry men—across India to circulate its messages among the country’s 500 million internet users. Over a million people worked or volunteered for the party during the monthslong election campaign, promoting its work on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and vernacular social media platforms, while attacking its opponents and critics.
然而這一切都可以總結成宣傳問題：在宣傳事蹟以及遮掩失敗的方面上，國民大會黨遠不及印度人民黨。許多印度人至今仍觀看電視新聞，而印度人民黨則獲得主流頻道支持，例如共和國電視台（Republic TV）以及蘇達山新聞（Sudarshan News），他們都是公開且自詡的支持者。此外他們還招募所謂的「網軍（cyberwarriors）」，大部分是年輕、失業並且通常是忿忿不平的男人，他們在遍及印度 5 億位的網路使用者當中傳遞消息。在數月長的競選活動期間，超過一百萬名自願或為其工作者，在臉書（Facebook）、推特（Twitter）、 WhatsApp 以及當地的社群媒體平台上，為他們帶風向而同時也攻擊對手與批評者。
In a village in Gujarat, I met young and jobless men who were getting paid 8,000 rupees ($115) a month, comparable to the entry-level salary at the nearest call center, by the BJP to run WhatsApp groups. In Jharkhand, one of India’s poorest states, I met more young men who had studied computer engineering but were unable to find a job—and so were putting their tech skills to work at the BJP’s so-called IT cells that operate at village and neighborhood levels. The BJP’s cyberwarriors also create and spread fake news and vile propaganda. Most of this false information is meant to mobilize Hindus against Muslims, with imagined revelations about the Muslim roots of the main opposition leader, Rahul Gandhi, and supposed news reports about Congress’s endorsement of Pakistan-aided terrorism in Kashmir.
在古吉拉特邦（Gujarat）的一個村莊，我遇到一位失業青年，印度人民黨每個月給他 8,000 印度盧比（約新台幣 3,618 元）來操作 WhatsApp 群組，而這差不多是最近的電話客服中心的初等職務薪水。而在印度貧困邦之一的賈坎德邦（Jharkhand），我遇見許多就讀電腦工程學位但依據找不到工作的青年，不過他們貢獻他們的技能，給活動於鄉村與鄰近地區的印度人民黨口中的「資訊技術組（IT cells）」。該黨網軍同時也製造假新聞與進行負面宣傳。大多數的假消息，都是為了在印度教徒與穆斯林間煽動對立，例如造謠主要反對黨領袖拉胡爾·甘地（Rahul Gandhi）具有穆斯林血統，以及新聞媒體猜想國民大會黨支持喀什米爾地區的巴基斯坦恐怖主義。
All these techniques hammer home a simple message—and it works. Religious polarization was at the core of the BJP’s election campaign, online and offline. It showed up in the speeches made by the party’s biggest leaders. The party president, Amit Shah, said if his party were voted back into power it would amend citizenship laws to favor refugees who are “Hindus, Buddhist, and Sikhs,” and called Muslim immigrants living in India illegally “termites.” The chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state, said that his non-BJP predecessor had tried to “curb people’s emotions.” He was referring to 2015’s lynching of a Muslim man suspected of eating beef by a Hindu mob and suggesting that the previous government shouldn’t have tried to police such incidents.
所有的手段都表明一個簡單且有效的訊息。即不管是在線上或線下，印度人民黨的競選核心策略就是宗教對立。這表現在該黨重要的領導人物言論當中。黨主席阿米特·沙阿（Amit Shah）曾說，如果他們重返執政，他將修改國籍法來救助「印度教徒、佛教徒以及錫克教徒」的難民，並宣稱那些非法移民印度的穆斯林為「白蟻」。印度最大的邦北方邦（Uttar Pradesh）首席部長表示，他的非印度人民黨前任部長曾試圖「壓抑人民情緒」。他指的是在2015年印度暴民對一位被懷疑吃牛肉的穆斯林私刑的事件，並且暗示前任政府不應該對此類事件加以介入。
And as the BJP’s campaign progressed, it became more divisive. In April, Modi uttered the word “Hindu” 13 times in a single speech. He said Hindus have “woken up” and insisted that Hindus have never engaged in terrorism. The next week, his party put up as one of its key candidates a woman actually charged with planning a terrorist attack that killed 10 Muslims in 2008.
並且隨著該黨選情發展，對立變本加厲。四月時，莫迪在一次發表中說了 13 次「印度」。他說，印度教徒必須「覺醒（woken up）」並且堅持印度教徒從未涉入恐怖主義當中。下週他的政黨即推派一位婦女作為主要候選人之一，但實際上她曾被指控涉入一場在 2008 年造成 10 名穆斯林死亡的恐怖攻擊事件當中。
This religious polarization follows a simple logic. Hindus make up 80 percent of India’s electorate, and if they can be persuaded to set aside their multiple other identities—caste, class, region, food, language—and vote as Hindus alone, then a party can stay in power for as long as it likes. The BJP has made border nationalism synonymous with Hindu consolidation and sought to link the country’s largest religious minority—Muslims make up 14 percent of the electorate—with its greatest territorial enemy, Pakistan.
此種宗教對立遵循一個簡單的邏輯。印度教徒佔了印度選民的 80%，而如果他們能被說服脫離他們其他多元身份，例如種姓、階級、宗教、飲食、語言，而僅以印度教徒身份投票，那那個政黨就可以隨其喜好把持政壇。印度人民黨將國境民族主義成為團結印度的同義詞，並且試圖將國內最大的少數宗教與他們最大的領土糾紛敵人——巴基斯坦，連結在一起，此即穆斯林，而他們佔了將近 14% 選票。
This time around, the news helped. The suicide bombing on Feb. 14 in Kashmir’s Pulwama district by a Pakistan-based terrorist group and India’s retaliatory airstrikes near Balakot, Pakistan, on Feb. 26 cemented the BJP’s winning formula. Modi urged young voters to dedicate their first vote to the Air Force team that executed the Balakot strike. “Your vote on the lotus [the BJP’s symbol] will mean dropping 1,000-kilogram bombs on terrorist camps,” said Ram Madhav, a senior BJP leader, at another rally.
在這之中，新聞幫了很大的忙。2 月 14 日，在喀什米爾的普爾瓦馬（Pulwama）地區，發生一場由巴基斯坦恐怖組織進行的自殺炸彈攻擊事件，以及隨後同月 26 日，印度對巴基斯坦巴拉科特（Balakot）鄰近地區發動報復性空襲，此也鞏固了印度人民黨的勝利方程式。莫迪對年輕選民大聲疾呼，要他們將第一次投票投給執行巴拉克特反擊事件的空軍作戰小組。印度人民黨的高層領袖拉姆·馬達夫（Ram Madhav）在一次集會表示「投下蓮花一票等同於對恐怖份子投下一千公斤炸彈」，印度人民黨的象徵即是蓮花。
All Hindus—distressed farmers, jobless youths, oppressed Dalits, businessmen skeptical of the BJP’s economic policies—were called upon to forget their circumstances and vote for their nation. Many of them did, and they made history.