The last four-five years have seen a growing phenomenon—the shift to ultra or hyper nationalism. Whether it is the yellow jersey movement in France, Germany, Brexit, the rural - urban divide in Europe, Ukraine, Brazil, the US, and of course India.
Sundeep Waslekar, president of Strategic Foresight, talks about the unseen currents behind this shift.
“Underlying this is a combination of factors. One is the growing inequity,” Waslekar says. “Economic progress in the last 500 years has been driven by science and technology. But earlier, technology made life easier and created new kinds of jobs…. But the growth that’s taking place now is reducing jobs.”
As a result, in many parts of the world, people are seeing that their life is not better than their parents’ life. People feel a sense of loss and want to go back to their father’s time.
“People are looking for answers in the cultural, sociological field, whereas one of the key problems is in the technological arena,” he says.
In 2019, almost half of the democratic world is going for elections. More than 2.2 billion people will be voting this year. Their voting pattern will reveal which way people are leaning. Though electoral politics isn’t the best way to understand this phenomena, the results will be an important indicator of whether the phenomena will sustain.
Waslekar surmises that we might have a divided verdict in the elections in India and the European parliament. In 2019, the clear ascendency of ultra-nationalistic forces will give way to divided electoral verdicts—and that is likely to place some restraints and checks and balances.
“2019 will be a point of junction in most countries around the world,” he says.