Thursday, January 29, 2015

A note on the Delhi elections

Of course, you are aware by now that the Delhi elections are a test for Narendra Modi. Exactly like the Maharashtra assembly election was and the Jammu and Kashmir elections were. Exactly like how the Bongaigaon and Jhunjhunu Municipal and Panchayat elections will be. Unless you live under a rock in an uninhabited island somewhere.
But what you might not have noticed is that the party which is now the darling of all those who flocked to the Congress not too long ago - the Aam Aadmi Party which is fast becoming an Ek Aadmi Party is still doing very very well as per many surveys, bar a few.

More than that, you would have noticed that there has been no "Blow to Kejriwal" at all. None at all. Atleast none that is reported by the friendly media. Think about it. A founding member of the party has no time to campaign for the party, has submitted a list of tainted candidates from his own party and his father (A founding member) has made fairly critical comments. And there is no blow to Kejriwal at all. And of course, there is no rift, none at all because sources say so. Another member, Shazia Ilmi has now joined the BJP and that is no blow to Kejriwal at all (though the piece I have linked does use those words).

Now go back to the Lok Sabha elections 2014. If Advani sat two seats away from Modi there was a rift. If he did not turn up for a meeting there was a rift. If Sushma Swaraj did not smile, there was a rift. And even post elections, any random utterance by a random functionary is played out as a huge blow to Modi and Amit Shah and what not.

But why is it that Mr. Kejriwal who has now taken the space of the Congress in the political spectrum that is Delhi is teflon coated? The only other leader who is coated with teflon is the great Sonia Gandhi. What gives?

Well for one, this is the acid test for media. Right in their backyard, there is an election being fought.  If they (media) don't win this one, for Mr. Ek Aadmi Party, then their strategy is completely under question. So, they are pulling out all the stops, gushing over EAP strategy, like this one:

Trawl through typical Congressi journalists and you will find similar paeans, platitudes and praises for EAP. However, this has not gone unnoticed. Here is Amit Shah on one particular channel campaigning for EAP:

Epilogue: As always, we wait till the elections happen, till that point, everybody is a psephologist, including yours truly. And then everybody is humbled by what the electorate decides. At which point, everybody comes up justifications very very quickly as to why they always knew that the electorate is always right. Such is the circus for every elections. 

Friday, January 09, 2015

The Story of Shivaji

The story of Shivaji ought to be inspirational for any Indian. Or anybody. Anybody who thinks in a situation that the chips are down or if it appears like there is no way out.  I finished reading the book Shivaji by Sethu Madhavarao Pagadi. Translated in English - it is a book badly put together. It is a series of paragraphs strung together and some historical accounts - and there is so much of a story to be told. This book is a mostly a compendium of events of Shivajis life through various historical accounts.

A story of inspiration. A story of bravery. A story of a motivation. A story of a dream. A story of having the odds stacked against an individual. A story of a repressive regime. A story of a mother. A story that is the true David versus Goliath. Where against all odds, one man brought an empire down to its knees (from which the Mughal empire never recovered). A story of how one man (or his mother - Jihabai) inspired an entire generation or more of Marathas to ultimately rule the country. It is also a story of strategy. Not just military, but non-military, of foresight, of negotiation, of justice. There are so many aspects to this story, it is amazing.

But more importantly, it also brings an underpinning of something that is so important when you are up against something so daunting. Shivaji, was a disruptive innovator. And as a disruptive innovator, he broke rules - impudently. He fought battles on his terms. He used his strength. He hit his enemy when and where it was least expected. He built alliances out of thin air. He used everything around him - for example, staying friendly with the English while attacking the Mughals. Or staying friendly with the Mughals while doing something else. He broke rules when he realized that his opponent was an unethical opponent to begin with. And he broke rules impudently - while still remaining true to certain human principles. And he broke what was accepted as conventional wisdom as well. And he always kept his opponent guessing. And of course, he used the 'my enemies enemy is my friend' to great advantage. And in doing so, started the irreversible decline of the Mughal empire and created a Maratha empire (not duly recognized by our historians, IMO) that ruled from present day Tamil Nadu in the South to nearly Attock in present day Pakistan.

Without breaking the rules, he would never have succeeded.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

I used to be a fan of...

Yes, when I grew up, we had one TV channel that became two. We had one newspaper which mostly everybody bought - and there was another lesser known newspaper which few people bought. We all watched the same things, spoke about roughly the same things and therefore, we idolized the same people.

So, there were times when I used to wait with bated breath for a stupid newspaper. I stopped buying newspapers a few years ago - because well, the entire newspaper is like a Russian joke. The only truth was on the sports page, the weather was half lies and the rest were all lies. Plus, I really do not want to know the latest happenings in the film world or be bombarded with advertisements. So, yes, I used to be a fan of this newspaper waiting for each morning.

I used to be a fan of this columnist there. Yes, the one who made this comment.
I won't go into the history of all this because its all well known now, but thanks to Social Media, one is that much more 'knowledgeable' if you will.

I was a fan of this satirical columnist - who is reduced to writing pieces like this and taking potshots (yes, at you know who). Well, columnist, a) give the man credit for trying and b) many say it cannot be done, but there are some who are getting it done.

I was a fan of this intelligence columnist - well, this chap was outed yesterday for writing an apology of a piece which was taken down by this piece written by bwoyblunder - who is, well, a twitterati like anyone of us. He has been taken down in the past one, here, by Jaideep Prabhu. And of course, he is best known for the grandmother crossing border story which in turn was preceded by someone 'predicting' the story - obviously someone who planted it. And here is B Raman storified by emanin on this episode.

I was a fan of some of those reporters who made their name when Indian TV news channels blossomed. One of them used to run this weekly program, The world this week and I used to wait for it with bated breath.

And I was a fan of his protege, who, well, is as discredited as can she can be.

And I was a fan of this chap, who started off writing interesting stuff on the sports page and later one became more of  a pugilist than a journalist.

And I was a fan of, actually this columnist held me in thrall for a long time. And of all the people, this columnist was also someone I highly admired. I hoped to have my own (pardon me) column in a newspaper of repute like this persons columns. And I used to await each of his weekly columns, but sadly, sometimes, ideologies precede ideas and of late, said columnist has often descended into rant (well, I do that on my blog without a column). And results in stuff like this:
Yes, we all make mistakes...but as someone said, "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do sir?"

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Congress Media complex

Pakistan has its Military-Jihadi complex. India has a Congress-Media complex.

Like any good writer who writes something about India, a Pakistan connection is necessary. Why, that recent movie had it. Our liberals look up to Pakistan, some of them for shopping trips and sponsored flights to attend conferences. So, too, when we want to write about out media and its cosyness with the Congress, it is important to bring in Pakistan.

In Pakistan, the only distinction between the army and the terrorists is the uniform and sometimes, they also get exchanged. Why, even our ex-Defence Minister got fooled (or wanted to get fooled).

Here in Congress-Media complex, it is very similar. You cannot make out the difference. They claim they are neutral, but are actually wearing a Congress uniform inside. And Congress means, subscribing to a leftist ideology, pandering to minorities, having a pro-minority tilt for everything - all the stuff that we now know as #IdeaofIndia, rather, a false Idea of India.

So, the Congress media complex painted to us, Mr. Rahul Gandhi as the intellectual who will become the Prime Minister of the country one day. Why, they still hold foul mouthed Mani Shankar Aiyar in high esteem. And they refused to call out the 2G scam and the Coal scam until they could not ignore it. And the National Herald case had this visual of journalist turned pugilist asking, how is it a fraud.

You see, these worthies are subscribed to and for to that Congress Idea of India. An India ruled by babalog elite, 'hun ki karaan', handwringing style of leadership that offers them lifetime benefits. Why, sons of dynasty gynecologists, drivers, cooks and other sundry people are offered lifetime (and a few generations) worth of protection and nurturing in many forms.

Some of them find jobs in committees, boards, panels and what not and enjoy tax payers money while supporting the Congress. The government also (sadly, this government has not reversed it completely yet) provides lakhs worth of advertisements to newspapers to celebrate ad-hoc politician birthdays.

You see, this is a mutually beneficially ecosystem. Media supports Congress when they are in power - by calling out the BJP (or any other opposition) for all their mistakes. Why, if you remember, the BJP was blamed for every policy failure while the Congress was ruling. And the BJP was blamed for disrupting Parliament. And yet, now when the NDA is in power, it is the BJP that is being blamed for Congress disrupting the Rajya Sabhaa. And the media is repaying Congress investment in them by playing their story.

The Congress story demands that minorities (read hyper minorities like Muslims and Christians) are shown to be scared of the majority - when in reality it is the reverse. Yes, I am making this rather largish pronouncement, but see around you and see how much the government machinery abuses the majority and provides for the minorities (so called). And how the entire debate has been hijacked to a Hindus are the worst offenders.

And thus you have worthies comparing the ISIS to RSS, Congress politicians calling 26/11 attacks as an RSS conspiracy, resistance to a uniform civil code (the most secular thing of all) and of course, minority mollycoddling in all policies and education and such like.

So the aim of the Congress-Media complex is to prove to you over the next 5 years that NDA is just another government like the UPA. And they are playing to the Congress gallery.

(Unfortunately, I think, they have started the noise rather early and revealed their cards too soon. And I hope that is noticed by the strategists here and they do the right thing - which is to cut the umbilical cords that bind the complex etc etc)

Ten Years

Ten years of blogging. About 2000 odd posts - which is about 3 odd posts a week - yes, at one point, during the heyday of blogging, it was almost a post a day. Nowadays, it is about one a week, but I must admit that blogging has opened my eyes, more than anything else.

10 years ago, I was a wannabe writer knocking at the doors of newspapers and waiting to be published. 10 years on, I am still a wannabe writer but no longer knocking at any door.

It is like I have moved beyond that.

I blog, I write, there are those who read, there are those who publish what I write and the ecosystem has evolved. There are sites like CRI, Niticentral, Indiafacts and Firstpost where I do send my submissions if I write something 'that good', otherwise, if I am not sure I leave it here, because more than anything, this blog is also my own education. I even had a brief blog with a big publication but turned it down because it felt too restrictive. I have found my voice as a writer in the Right Wing Space. Can I get better at it? Of course, I am just at the shore of a vast ocean waiting to be explored.

This has been own journey from a person who was not aware of politics (like most people), who was 'secularism' personified - though I was a fan of Balasaheb Thakre for a long time to a person who is aware of politics. Through the blog and later through twitter, I have had the good fortune of meeting many interesting people and been a part of many interesting discussions online and offline.

The blog has some 2 lakh page views and I suppose the best post is the old 'How to write about India'.

And I meet a lot of of people who are waiting to start writing - and I can only say one thing - start.

Blogging has cleared my thoughts - at one point, about a few months into the blog, I thought I had run out of ideas, but no, I did not and they kept coming and I refined them and kept at it. I am no famous blogger, I am just an ordinary guy who wanted to write and found joy in doing so.

But if I had not started writing, if I had waited to be discovered, that would have never happened. The   discovery has been mine - that yes, I can indeed write...

Thank you - for those who read my blog sometime, anytime...And thank you all those readers who have dropped by sometime during the 10 years of this blog.

As for me, I will continue writing here till I find it joyful!

(Like many posts, not exactly refined, but well, blogging was never about refinement..Ideas flow, evolve and yes, sometimes refined, sometimes unrefined. Like to get a diamond, one needs to proverbially remove a lot of coal I suppose.)

Once upon an NDA

The NDA government came to power in 1999 and ruled for 5 years or thereabouts. Vajpayee was an able Prime Minister and had a reasonably good cabinet to go with. They came up with the Golden Quadrilateral, thanks to which we have good around the country - at least the major ones. They also came up with the Freedom to Information Act - which became the RTI. And the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan which became the sad RTE that it is today.

By the way this government did not have scam worth its name - though the friendly media tried their best to nail George Fernandes (of all the people) in a cooked up coffin scam.

But recall what the media did to this newly minted ministry. The BJP of those days thought that with the victory, the Congress ecosystem had become well and truly theirs and became complacent. And the media did what they have been doing in the last few months - ever since the Modi government came into power.

In those days there was no social media worth its name so it was just the media all along. Many of the media turncoats swore allegiance to Vajpayee, but retaining their allegiance to the Congress ecosystem. And here is a glimpse of how they reacted during the IC-814 hijacking.

In a nutshell:

On Christmas eve, after news of the hijacking broke, there was stunned all-round silence. But by noon on December 25, orchestrated protests outside the Prime Minister’s residence began, with women beating their chests and tearing their clothes. The crowd swelled by the hour as the day progressed.

Ms Brinda Karat came to commiserate with the relatives of the hostages who were camping outside the main gate of 7, Race Course Road. In fact, she became a regular visitor over the next few days. There was a steady clamour that the Government should pay any price to bring the hostages back home, safe and sound. This continued till December 30. [The Truth about Kandahar]

The media made out that the overwhelming majority of Indians were with the relatives of the hostages and shared their view that no price was too big to secure the hostages’ freedom. The Congress kept on slyly insisting, “We are with the Government and will support whatever it does for a resolution of the crisis and to ensure the safety of the hostages. But the Government must explain its failure.” [Truth about Kandahar]

Kanchan ends the post with this: We are, if truth be told, a nation of cowards who don’t have the courage to admit their weakness but are happy to blame a well-meaning politician who, perhaps, takes his regimental motto of ‘Izzat aur Iqbal’ rather too seriously.

But the point is that the media will toe the Congress line as they did during Kandahar or during any other crisis. Their stand during the Cash for votes scam of 2008 (if i get that right) has also covered them with glory.

The point being, media (as I pointed out in my last post) is a huge caucus of Congress interests. These are the people who have been nurtured by Congress with freebies in the form of contracts (remember Green Pine Agro), bungalows for cheap rent, awards, rewards, interviews (canned and preserved), protection from investigation, free air trips, easy interviews, access to the high and mighty. And the NDA does not promise anything through its tenure, but the Congress, whenever it is back will give them their dues. 

Net, net, media, in its present form cannot be trusted. They will create noise, create a ruckus, but remember they are doing so to protect their own (and their masters) interest. Mr. Modi will do his best to ignore them for now.

But watch out, because when an incident happens (and it will - like Kandahar was orchestrated by the Pakistanis - who gifted us Kargil as well - there will be other incidents like there always will be) the media will start their wailing and chest beating to facilitate and benefit their mai-baap. 

Right now, everything you see - whether it is conversions, whether is it the IIT(D) Director, whether it is RS disruption by Congress - is being faithfully reported with perfect bias towards the Congress ecosystem without actually letting the people that this government is doing some real work.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Frankly, Right Wingers have a lot to learn

Right wingers argue on twitter, but frankly they need to learn from their brethren.

When their communist-socialist counterparts, came in power in 2004, they went in for massive changes in the system - overhauled the laws fairly impudently and even had an unconstitutional NAC rule the roost for 10 years fairly unchallenged with fringe activists, minority appeasement and got appeasement as a central policy from local to foreign.

This is at a government level.

There is an entire network of Leftist NGOs masquerading as do-gooders. The activist ecosystem is enriched by Congress and its cronies. Indeed, every one of their systems they ostensibly put in place to help the people, in fact helped no one but their own ecosystem. It was practically an NREGA at all levels. The Leftists go after targets very very systematically. Take the example of RTE. The way these so called activists have been targeting RTE is worth learning. Read Reality Check India who has been documenting this for many years now.

Nowadays, now that Modi had disturbed their rather cosy bee hive, they are into writing books which their ecosystem will dutifully give great reviews for. The professor is writing one. The hack who is writing for a yellowish pink paper is writing another. Another journalist has launched his books more than Pakistan has test launched missiles.
Apart from this, they work on what they call as 'research' which will find its way into academia after a few years.

They make pointless tear jerking tele serials named 'Truth alone triumphs' to get their subliminal #IdeaofIndia into peoples minds. Why, they even make movies with subliminal derision of everything  Hindu, including the latest one which shows our friendly westerly neighbors as filled with pacifists while deriding our own. Most of Bollywood makes movies that shows Pakistan sponsored terrorism as 'false flag' operations. Case in point - Haider - scripted by none other than Basharat Peer who is working very hard through his books and articles to portray Kashmir as a story of Islamic victimhood while in reality, it is a story of Islamic aggression (and thankfully, Rahul Panditas book does capture it in his book).

They take care of their own at every instance including the worst ones.

This is not to say, all the bad ideas of the leftists need to be replicated, but the RWers need to learn. Magazines (Swarajaya is an important step), Websites (now we have a few), Conferences, Activists, Books, Movies, Serials, Videos and a lot of work has to go in at a liminal and subliminal level. This cannot be countered by protesting - but has to be done smartly.

In the current milieu, anything that the RWers do will get highlighted for all the wrong reasons. Look at the news coming out since May16th and you will know what I mean. Media has dutifully ignored much of the good work and instead focussed on all the wrong things from targetting ministers to random statements of MPs, MLAs, and focussing on all the wrong issues- after all they are working 'for' their ecosystem and working to get it back into power.

For all the noise, much more work needs to done.

This is best explained by R Jagannathan who says, in his recent article that the RSS - perhaps the fore bearer of RWers, needs to get it act in order and get two important legislations passed.

What the Sangh should lobby for are the following:
A Freedom of Religion Bill aimed not at banning conversions but at forcing government to stay away from the running of temples and Hindu religious institutions - just as is done in the case of minority institutions under Articles 29 and 30 of the constitution.
A Right to Equality Bill that gives so-called majority-run institutions the right to the same autonomy that minority institutions now get under article 30. It is a travesty that a constitutional provision intended to ensure that the majority does not squash minority rights is being used to discriminate against majority-run institutions by undue interference. The Right to Education Act is thus a burden cast unfairly on non-minority institutions and it is a surprise even the Supreme Court has agreed to this perversity.
A permanent Truth Commission that establishes what happened in history - whether it is the destruction of temples or state-supported conversions or atrocities by upper caste Hindus against the rest - so that we don't have to live in a permanent state of victimhood. [Full article here]

This is a battle of ideas. And ideas have to worked at liminal and subliminal levels. And here is where  the real change needs to happen - and unless the current government does it, this will be a temporary phase with no structural change. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

When losing is winning

The BJP launched a high decibel campaign in its Jammu and Kashmir election. It was termed Mission 44 and the quest was to get more than 44 seats. Towards this end, the BJP appears to be offering a fresh hope to the people of the state. Many in the state have gravitated towards - people respected in both Jammu and the valley.

And the media has, in its usual way, covered it. Some, as they are wont to, dissed the BJP in the thinly veiled guise of contempt and false choice - that only they can offer a multi faith multi cultural society - when in reality the Islamiyat has all but done Kashmiriyat to death. Others reported it as it is. The usual suspects have created noise on the same. Omar, here and Mehbooba, there.

There has been a lot of speculation on the high voters turnout - on whether the turnout is beneficial to the BJP or if it is really people turning out in large numbers to keep out the BJP.  Worthies have contended that outsiders have made Modi rally a success in areas like both Kishtwar while being silent on his very successful rally in Srinigar.

But all this, I think is missing the point.

Even if the BJP does not win 44+ seats (and I strongly suspect that it wont), even if the BJP gets nowhere close to forming a government (and I strongly suspect that it is the case as well) - it has won. It will, in all probability gets its highest number of seats and have a very strong voting percentage - that cannot be ignored. But India has won - note that - not the BJP, but India.

Think about it. The nationalist BJP party has been able to campaign successfully, organize rallies, get a significant vote share and has attracted many people to its fold. In the meantime, voting percentages have been high and people have participated enthusiastically in the democratic process. The elections have been free and fair. And of course, Pakistan sponsored terrorists tried their best to disrupt the election process.

Those who are opposing Modi and shouting from the rooftops that the BJP wont win are missing the point. The point is not about winning Jammu and Kashmir for BJP - though if it happens, that will be an amazing turning point. The point is that the world is able to see the way people are responding to elections, trying to get a normal life while Pakistan sends terrorists from the across the border.

Those who think this is all about the BJP winning miss the big picture. The big picture is that Jammu and Kashmir is an inalienable part of India - the entire election campaign, the process has shown this to the world.

As for Pakistan Occupied Kashmir - you know where it going. And Pakistan itself, you know where that where that country is going as well.

Regardless of who wins or loses, the Modi government will use this to great effect to shut out the idiotic paid Fai analysts, the track II shopping tourism and the think tanks who go to great lengths to equate terrorism in Pakistan to the so called unresolved issue of Kashmir.

And that is that grand plan. And this is how, even if the BJP loses in Jammu and Kashmir it is a great win for India.

(Am putting this before the results come out - will update it when the results come out).

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Terror has no religion

Thank god (which one?) religion has no terror. Imagine if it did.

Imagine, for instance, Dodoites. What if the Dodoites had a scroll that detailed everything that the followers of Dodoism should do to those who worship other animals or trees or did not believe in a god. And if they insisted that only the oldest edition of the scroll written in blue ink with DoDo feathers and its misinterpreted editions (Do scrolls have editions?) can be used. Scary thought - what if the original handwriting had wrong spelings?

Imagine that the scroll did not account for the advancement of human sentiments like gender equality and freedom of expression for all Dodoites? And what if Dodos that raised their voices for these were liable to be killed by other Dodos around them? What is the point for dying something so new anyway? Old is gold.

Imagine their scroll institutionalized killing of those who did not believe in their DoDo god. What if it said, anybody who believed in the Capybara should be imprisoned in ant hills.What if the world ran out of ant hills?

Imagine if the scroll closed out technological advancements. Of all kinds. Except methods of killing capybarites. Thankfully no such Dodoite scroll bans advancement of technologies of destruction of Capybarites. Imagine killing Capybarites with stones for example, on a flat earth, for example. That would not be nice at all to showcase the advancement of the human race, considering we have the AK47, would it?

What if the scroll, written in Dodo call language, closed off advancement, for instance, for the Dodoites. Or transportation. Or the internet. Oh, well, how can a scroll ban something that is not invented. We however, need not worry about such thing, because there is no such thing. Because no scroll has banned any technological advancement of dodoites or capybarites for that matter.

Imagine that their dodo preachers went addressed the world asking Dodoites for the murder of Capybarites and then Seaanemoneites and even the Pteranodonites and other lesser animal godites. That would be so bad. (Pardon the spelling here, because I am new to all of these. Please do not clip my wings, or take me out of water or feed me chewing gum for this utterly despicable act of manipulating spelling - Wrennmartinites I beg forgiveness from thee.)

Imagine on the basis of this, random Dodoites going around murdering random Capybarites in coffee shops or schools or at homes or on streets. Or forming organizations for the murder of Capybarites and protection of Dodoites. And if the Capybarites cannot mimic the dodo call, they get shot or maimed or get their wings cut (Capybara has wings?) or something like that. And then take a video of it as well.

Imagine that the supreme DoDo country gives money to these organizations to murder Capybarites, sometimes under the guise of charity and other noble deeds when in reality all they want is for the Capybarites to worship the supreme DoDo.

Thankfully, we have no such thing.

Thankfully, terror has no religion whatsoever.

Thankfully we only have a just holy war around the world.

And that is manageable. Because if we had the rest, I cannot imagine the plight of the world.