Monday, May 12, 2014

Intellectually yours

Here is an article for me to troll. This time it is by Salil Tripathi. And it opens with this gem of a paragraph.

"Only one man knows the mind of Narendra Modi, and his name is Narendra Modi. And yet, discarding cynicism and skepticism of political manipulation, several business executives, intellectuals and economists appear to have taken him and his supporters at their word and accepted him as an exemplar of good governance, a protector of equal rights, the harbinger of a Reaganite small government (even though in the Reagan era, US government spending only grew bigger, with larger deficits), a magician who will spark entrepreneurship, and a champion of safety and security for women.”

Replace Narendra Modi with a certain scion named Rahul – and see the number of intellectuals who have ‘bought’ into the brightness and hardwork of Rahul Gandhi (with photographic evidence every time) –though he has nothing – not even a constituency to show for it. And the number who have also brought into the so far unknown brightness of Priyanka Gandhi – whose only real claim to fame is the investment acumen of her husband (and that is sarcastic).

And if that seems an unfair comparison – for what it is worth – Rahul has been around in politics for a while now – eating at Dalits houses, travelling in local trains, occasionally repairing EVMs. 

Now replace that with Kejriwal – the same Arvind Kejriwal who ran away from Delhi after 49 days – in which he claimed (and I suspect, still does) to have done more work than any government after independence. Well, if governance was so easy, why not appoint Kejriwal Chief Minister for every state for 50 days – till he completely transforms India. Yet – the number of intellectuals – who have brought into his vision of ‘Swaraj’ is huge. And this, for an unknown unproven quantity.

Then what is wrong, if people (intellectuals or dumb unwashed masses) have brought into Modis vision with a track record of 14 years, give or take a few decimal points here and there over which there is a continuous quibble? 

Now, I do not know what is an intellectual. But are those who support the other 2 or 3, intellectuals? And if not, should they not be called out too. And then again, who or what should an intellectual support in Indian politics? Sonia? or perhaps Fai?

Be that as it may, the article plunges into more intellectual depth. Where he accuses Modi of using others in his party to say unsayable stuff – but guess what – Congress nominees for these elections, a certain woman chief minister from Bengal, an ex CM of Kashmir, MPs of various hues have said quite a few unintellectual words, the aspiring Swaraj chap often tweets plain lies and worse – and all in these election times – but this is a blow to Modi article, so hold your breath. 

Then with some comparisons with Suharto and Deng Xiaoping (intellectual Rahul said that first – aila,) he rushes to downplay the Gujarat model with some strawman arguments. That Gujarat was a progressive and entrepreneurial state for a while – atleast about 5 centuries now. And that communal riots are common in Gujarat in Modi rule as well – post 2002 - but guess what the other big riots in the country are ignored - voila. 

But all this is just hot air. The real meat of the piece comes later. Where he accuses certain intellectuals of switching sides to Modi – for self preservation – by and large - why, because he has decided so. Nice logic.

And then he says that Modi can damage institutions – not forgetting that much of our institutions are in trauma after the last 10 years of continuous assault by UPA -  but then intellectuals are supposed to support that I suppose.There is no institution left untrampled - starting from extra consitutional NAC to compromised CBI to support in Parliament to extra constitutional authorities looking over PMO files. 

Sorry Salil, tough luck - the unwashed masses here are just not intellectual enough - they are dumb fools to not have continuously believed in the greatness of Sonia and Teesta. 

Hopefuly time will tell if they made a good choice and then we can revisit this piece.

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