Maharashtra : Will a sensible Shiv Sena settle for 100 seats?

How times change.

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Anyone remember this?

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But then, we have all learned never to take the Shiv Sena too seriously. Before the BMC elections of 2017, BJP released a series of video ads featuring a cartoon tiger and cub (but not naming any specific party). The cartoon tiger and cub are walking down a long hallway with a series of framed pictures showing fierce tigers. Both daddy tiger and cub tiger beam with pride as they imagine themselves as kings of the jungle. At the end of the hallway, however, is a mirror. When the two look in the mirror, there’s just two cats staring back at them.  Reality vs imagination.

Even now the Sena tries to needle the BJP here and there. Their decision to support a senseless campaign to “save” Aarey Forest from Mumbai Metro is only the most recent example. No, they aren’t cutting down the freaking forest, just a little patch of it so that they can build a metro that will help commuters move from polluting two & three wheelers to the most environment friendly mode of transport : the electric powered metro.

But the Sena has now had over five years to digest the Modi wave and make their peace with the new realities.

If I remember correctly, before the 2019 election, the BJP-Sena decided to go 50:50 for Assembly polls. Of course, this simply does not make sense.

All sorts of numbers are floating around now. Some say BJP has offered 106 seats to the Sena, some say Sena is willing to settle for 135 seats (less than half of the 289 member Assembly). The caveat is that BJP must accommodate the micro allies from its own share (the BJP has a lot of micro allies in Maharashtra whose names you may not have heard: I could remember just one, the Shiv Sangram Party, but there are many others). Keep in mind that these numbers are all speculation by media which may not know anything about the actual negotiations. Or these numbers may even have been floated deliberately by one side or another to test waters.

As for the CM post, I am sure that Sena has already given up on it. Devendra Fadnavis has been an exemplary CM for Maharashtra, ending some of the most endemic agricultural crises in the state. There is no doubt that he will continue as CM. I had said it a long time ago: that man is going a very very long way.

In case you were wondering what the old seat sharing between BJP & Sena used to be, here it is : 172 for Sena and 117 for the BJP. This was the distribution in every election since the times of Balasaheb until it was snapped in 2014. The alliance, or “Yuti” as it is called in Maharashtra, was formed in 1989.

My guess is that a realistic BJP would still want the Sena by its side. The BJP probably could win Maharashtra single-handedly if it tried, but only just. Dumping the Sena altogether would look bad to the electorate. And it would raise the specter of a giant Congress+NCP+Sena alliance. Yes, all three parties are in terrible shape, but never forget Bihar and the might of a combined opposition.

At the moment, it looks like the BJP will be out of power for full five years in both Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh (Congress recently added 6 BSP MLAs to its kitty in Rajasthan, now fully stabilizing its government). I don’t think the BJP would like to risk Maharashtra.

As such, the BJP’s baseline number for seat distribution would probably be 172-117, an exact reversal of the old Sena-BJP distribution from the Vajpayee years. But, knowing how Motabhai thinks, he would likely ask Sena to settle for 100.

My guess is that as Aditya’s star rises in his fully dynastic party, the Sena will get more and more sensible. Aditya is young. He likely has no memory of the 1995-99 rule, no memory of Sena talking down to BJP as it used to, no memory of Sena being anywhere close to power except as junior partner to BJP. He would settle for a cozy life as a respectable junior partner of BJP much more easily than Uddhav ever could.

It’s BJP all over the place in Maharashtra. NCP & Congress are almost over. Sena has few options.

Believe it or not, the most interesting entity in Maharashtra right now is Prakash Ambedkar and his Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA). They came from nowhere and put up a pretty decent show in Lok Sabha polls, adjusting for being such a small party that too in a big picture Lok Sabha election and standing against the Modi wave.

Getting ever closer to MIM, the VBA is trying to put together the alliance that every liberal has always dreamed of : the minority + Dalit alliance. The formula has never worked on the ground so far. The reasons are simple enough to understand : on the ground it is mostly the Dalit who faces the maximum brunt of the aggression from the ‘peaceful’ minority.

But the VBA has reasons to be upbeat. The mood in Congress/NCP camp can only be described as one of total doom and gloom. Literally every leader is looking to escape the sinking (sunken) ship. This might leave a significant chunk of voters in quandary. Not wanting to vote BJP/Sena, they might just go to VBA.  They know BJP/Sena is winning anyway and their vote will be for a losing cause. So when they are losing anyway, why not go with the opposition that is at least trying to win? Because Cong/NCP certainly isn’t. Even Pawar Sahib appears to be sleepwalking in the election : his comments on Pakistan the other day were only the latest of his blunders.

So, if you want some excitement in the very predictable Maharashtra election, keep your eyes on VBA. There’s no question of them winning a lot of seats. But in vote share, you may be in for an (unpleasant) surprise.

 

 

 

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No conversion! Why the new FCRA rules matter

This is a few months old, even though I just saw this today.

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Example of the kind of losses incurred by our economy due to the liberal mafia. Remember that this $2.5 billion loss is borne by the people of India. And of course, the jobs lost and the loss to GDP will be blamed by the same liberal mafia on the policies of PM Modi.

Let me make a sweeping statement. Maybe unfair to the 0.1% of NGOs out there which actually want to serve the public good and are run by people with good intentions.

FCRA NGOs are basically termites. Trying to undermine our economy: see what they did to Sterlite Copper. Trying to keep our infrastructure crippled : see what they are doing to Mumbai Metro. Trying to hollow out and destroy Indian civilization : think about mass conversion factories being operated across the countryside.

Here is sweeping statement No. 2: It is in our national interest to close down every one of these. As a democracy, that would possibly be too extreme a measure. So we can always do the next best thing. Burden them with regulations and harass them to the point that they slow down to a trickle or shut down on their own.

So here is some good news.

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The new rules now require every member of an NGO to file an affidavit saying they have not been involved in religious conversion, nor prosecuted for communal disharmony.

But one may well ask: it is not like shady NGOs weren’t lying before. So what’s the big deal? They will just lie some more.

Of course. But as with any sector, compliance always creates a burden that drains their productivity. Yes, it’s a cat and mouse game. By the time they have figured out how to dodge the new rules, I think the government will have a whole new set of additional rules.

But this particular blow is especially crushing. Because *every member* must file an affidavit in their *individual capacity* must file the affidavit.

Both of the highlighted parts in that sentence are significant. Since every member of the NGO must file the affidavit, the compliance load has just increased manifold.

Secondly, why is “individual capacity” such a big deal? Because that means nobody can hide behind institutional responsibility if caught lying. Corporate entities in India are all “limited” companies. It means that while a business is responsible for its assets, liabilities and products, the individuals who run the business are not actually responsible. You can sue the business and shut it down, but you cannot touch the personal fortune of the people who run that business. In the US, the corresponding term is “Limited Liability Corporation” or LLC. The liability is “limited” to the corporate entity.

But the new rules make the NGO members responsible in their individual capacity. If they lie, it’s not just the NGO that will be closed down. If the government wants, it can press charges, even criminal charges, against the individual members.

Imagine what that does to these NGOs. A lot of their workers are raw recruits, just out of college with so called degrees in social work. They might end up in jail if the NGO participates in conversion activities. Think about how a young college grad would react to this prospect. The new rules are sure to put a chill on their source of manpower.

Another thing is that in India it is surprisingly easy to get people prosecuted for “communal disharmony.”   In fact, it is almost impossible to be in public life and not have charges of communal disharmony pressed against you at some point.

And remember, this is just the beginning. Many more punishing regulations are probably on the way.

As some folks pointed out, this is probably the beginning of the groundwork for a nationwide anti-conversion bill. As Home Minister, we expect nothing less from Amit Shah.

 

 

Haryana to implement NRC : we need a national strategy on citizenship

Yesterday, Haryana CM Manohar Lal proclaimed that Haryana will implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Under pressure of coming elections (which Congress is sure to lose badly), Bhupinder Hooda jumped to support the proposal. So now we have bipartisan support for NRC to be implemented in the state. Good.

It is only a matter of time before this spreads to all other states.

Again, good development, but we need to learn the lessons from the Assam experience. A few days ago, I wrote a very bitter and despairing article on the NRC in Assam, admitting how everyone had let down the state, allowed its demography to be altered irrevocably by foreigners. The common refrain is that illegal migrants had been one step ahead of genuine citizens, getting their documents in better shape.

Liberals obviously see the Assam experience as a victory. Well, they see anything that takes India one step closer to destruction as a victory. They hope it will put a chill on plans to implement NRC anywhere else.

Remember, liberals don’t care if people eventually wake up and implement NRC everywhere. They just need it to be put off long enough so that the demography changes irrevocably.

And if you have lived in any major Indian city, you know that the ground is shifting under our feet and very fast.

We need a strategy.

The very first thing to do is pass the Citizenship Amendment Bill, which will clearly  and unapologetically spell out the difference between an asylum seeker (such as a Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist etc escaping from Pakistan/Bangladesh) and an infiltrator.

To a large extent, this should solve the problem of genuine Indians losing out while “better prepared” illegal migrants get through.

The second thing is to secure the border, especially with Bangladesh. The BSF needs to be given the resources to seal the border completely and stop all illegal border crossings.

An easy thing to do is to immediately deport all illegal Rohingya migrants from India. To a large extent, the government knows who they are and where they are.

The fourth leg is a diplomatic one and will require delicate negotiations. We have to get Bangladesh to agree to take deported illegal migrants. Remember that even if illegal migrants are isolated, we still need a sovereign country (usually Bangladesh) to accept them back. This will need a tricky carrot and stick policy. Because Bangladesh is an ally after all and China is always lurking in the shadows, waiting to snag any opportunity that might be presented by worsening India-Bangladesh relations.

The fifth and most important is to create an iron clad law defining two things : first, what constitutes proof of Indian citizenship. Since we have very few cases of citizenship by naturalization, this largely means we have to define what is needed to prove that at least one parent is an Indian citizen (and the other parent cannot be an illegal migrant).

This is a difficult task, given the realities of India. But tell me what is easy about India? Is it easy to manage one billion people, when less than half of them had access to toilets just five years ago?

The second thing the law must do is explain what happens to illegal migrants, once identified. We cannot have them burdening public finances by means of the welfare system.

One cost effective way of getting rid of illegal migrants is getting them to ‘self deport.’ It means we make it too hard for them to stay around in the shadows : how about no SIM cards, no welfare, no admission for their kids to public schools, no way to get a job, start a business or obtain a drivers license?

As I said, what liberals are really hoping for is that we keep putting this off until it is two late. They have a two pronged strategy for achieving this. The first is to exaggerate the difficulties of the citizenship determination exercise, harping incessantly on the poverty and backwardness of India (I’m curious : whose governments left India poor and backward?). The second is to shame Indians by drawing unnecessary comparisons with the Trump administration in the United States. It’s a pity that we even need to point out that America is a nation of immigrants, while India was born out of Partition. And in any case, what America does is not our business. We have already had one Partition. Within India, we have had several “mini-Partitions” already : the displacement of Asomiya people, the expulsion of Hindus from Kashmir and so on. No more Partition. Never again. The Israelis get it. Why can’t we?

[Guest Post] – On Hindi Diwas – by Dimple Kaul

Mitron,

This week I have not one but two guest posts. I already had one yesterday with somebody praising Chacha and his descendants. So I guess I owe you one from somebody on “our side,” though not on the same topic. It’s from Dimple Kaul, my guru in publishing and it’s the first video blog I have ever posted!  I think I should have more of these.

Now, I am sure I have mentioned Dimple Kaul before on this blog, but here is some more about her :

Dimple Kaul is a Learner, Writer and Life Enthusiast who writes on various issues across genres. She has always believed writing to be her soul calling! She has also served as Director of the Center for Indic Writers at the Indic Academy. So if you have been around the Indian right wing circuit, chances are you have seen already the fruits of her work in what you consume in social or mainstream media.

Her debut book Soul Call – of Love and More released to rave reviews.

मानस पटल, her second book, is an anthology of Hindi poems.

She has written for various media portals and also pens poems and prose on her blog.

As usual guest blog disclaimers apply, but with a video blog posted from Youtube, I guess I don’t even need to mention that all the words and opinions are of the guest blogger and have not been edited by me in any way.

Enjoy!

[Guest Blog] – Against all Odds – Making of Modern India – by Mohandas

Change of pace today, Mitron 🙂

Once upon a time I had said on Twitter that Congress has no real “supporters,” just members of its patronage network. At that time, Mohandas, who goes by @mohandasks on Twitter, said I was wrong and that one day he would meet me and show me that the Congress has its real supporters. Since that day, I may not have agreed with him on anything, but I have loved engaging with him. And I hope you will enjoy it too.

My guest blogger for today is Mohandas!

He has for us a guest blog dedicated to showcasing all the wonderful things that Nehru and his dynasty did for India.

Let me first explain what my position on this is. Yes, there is no doubt that India has achieved a lot of great things in 70+ years of independence. And as the party which led the nation for most of those 70 years, the Congress certainly deserves credit.

Well, how much credit? Let’s look at it this way. Every child is born illiterate. If the child has a chance to go to school, chances are they will finish the tenth grade some day. After all, the pass mark in the board exam is only 35%. Does that mean we should throw a parade for every kid who manages to pass tenth grade?

What is missing here? We have to compare the achievement of the child (in going from illiteracy at birth to passing tenth grade) to the average kid.

In other words, we have to adjust with a denominator.  If practically everyone is succeeding at something, then it is probably not an achievement in a real sense. Now, look at this graph.

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That’s the per capita GDP of Pakistan vs the per capita GDP of India. See how Pakistan dominates throughout the history of independent India. We finally manage to catch up in 2007!

That’s 60 years to catch up with Pakistan, the worst place on earth.

So yeah, India achieved a lot of things during the course of Gandhi dynasty rule. Anything that lasts long enough is going to end up with a long enough list of accomplishments. But, remember, for every thing that Nehru or Indira or Rajiv did, the rulers of Pakistan were doing something better. They were always one step ahead of us.

How shameful is that?

This graph tells the story of how the world’s second most populous nation poured its potential simply down the drain. When we start adjusting for India’s potential, where does that leave us? And for this I can never forgive the Gandhi Dynasty.

As usual, standard guest blog disclaimers apply. The words and opinions below are those of the guest blogger and have not been edited by me in any way.

—- Guest Blog begins —

The challenges faced by India at the time of her independence were enormous. 

Economy had been ravaged by 200 years of colonialism. Crippling poverty. Food insufficiency. Abysmal healthcare. No industries. Illiteracy. There was hardly any middle class. All you had were a handful of landed gentry and teeming poor masses.

As if these economic issues were not enough, we had the social problems. Take the model of our nationhood itself. It was unprecedented in history. There was no other nation which had people of different religions, cultures and languages. All the nations which had come into existence at that point were homogenous – based on a common language, religion, culture. There was no guarantee that this new nation we had embarked on building would work.

All the more so, when you consider that we had just seen one of the bloodiest chapters in human history. A million people had been killed in communal riots of partition. Tempers had to be cooled down. Refugees had to be rehabilitated.

Add to that the task of integrating princely states – each with their own demands and difficulties. Dealing with two hostile neighbours. Settling the division of assets due to partition.

Living in today’s peaceful, fairly united and a much more prosperous India, one can’t even imagine the situation back then. As the Prime Minister, how do you even go about tackling those enormous challenges? Whichever direction you turn, there is a fire burning. Which one do you put down first? Every problem looks insurmountable by itself, how do you deal with dozens of them?

In the face of such challenges, it would have been easy to take short cuts. Why go for universal adult franchise when majority are illiterate? Why go for democracy at all when a dictatorship would be more efficient in tackling these problems? Why not give into what the majority wants rather than try and uphold concepts like equality and secularism (yes, that dirty word)? Why not address the basic needs first rather than worry about things like higher education, science and technology. Or blame the colonists for all the problems and divert attention.

What is remarkable is that the government of the day did not take any of those short cuts. They tackled these enormous challenges while at the same time establishing democratic and liberal traditions that would befit a modern, developed nation. Universal adult franchise, parliamentary democracy, cabinet form of government, an independent judiciary and media, federalism, civilian control over army. 

Similarly on social front – social ills of child marriage, dowry etc were tackled head on. Women were encouraged to study and work. In my own family – all the women in my grandparents’ generation (born in the early 1900s) were housewives with primary school education or less. Heck, even the men had hardly studied beyond high school. Within a generation, my mother and her sisters and all my father’s sisters, nearly a dozen of them in total (born in ‘30s and ‘40s), had a college education and were working women!

Historically oppressed classes were given their due share. Land was redistributed. A modern economy based on industries was established. Education was given top priority. World class educational and scientific research institutes were established.

Take education, for example. I grew up in 70s and 80s in a small town in a corner of the country, yet I had access to the best education you could get anywhere in the world. Sitting there in that small town, and despite coming from a lower middle class family, I had the luxury of studying the best of Literature and Economics, Quantum Physics and Algorithms, you name it. I could listen to cricket commentary, and later even watch it on TV, from all over the world. I don’t know about you, but when you look at our condition just a few decades prior (the hand-to-mouth existence that my parents grew up with), I can’t help but feel grateful to whoever it was who built this wonderful country, taking it to where it was within such a short time after independence.

What is important to realize is that none of these was a “given”. Given the problems we had in ‘47, most people didn’t even expect India to survive as a nation for more than a decade, let alone turn into a modern, largely peaceful, united nation, a global power with a growing economy, within a short span of 50-60 years.

Does it mean everything was perfect? Of course not, nothing is ever perfect. Especially on a task as mammoth as building a nation like India, there will be mistakes, there will be failures. But the question is did the achievements outnumber the failures. Fact that we didn’t turn into a tinpot dictatorship like so many other decolonized countries, fact that we managed to rise above our differences and build a peaceful, stable democracy, fact that we managed to build an educated middle-class of hundreds of millions, pull millions more out of poverty and turn into a global power is enough to answer that question in the affirmative.

About the author: Mohandas grew up in the beautiful town of Mysore. He loves cricket, Mathematics and classical music.

Liberals opposing award to PM Modi over Swachch Bharat shows how little they care about real issues

Everyone dies one day. It’s the ultimate statistic. The biggest truth. You know what is the second biggest truth? Everybody poops. Ten out of every ten people.

Here is Truth No. 3 : In 2014, almost seventy years after independence, just 40% of people (actually less than 40% of people) in India had access to toilets.  It is 2019 and the number has now  96%. Even if you assume that government data might be overstated, the number would be at least 80%. So at the very least, toilet coverage would have doubled in five years.

Considering the size of India’s population, this may be one of the biggest advances in public health in human history. In 2018, the WHO estimated that 100% toilet coverage would save the lives of 3 lakh children between 2014 and 2019. Children who might have died of diarrhea. So, the number of precious young lives saved thus far by Swachch Bharat Mission would be in the lakhs. Think about that for a moment. Does it make you feel good inside?

But you know, this truth is making a certain class of privileged liberals feel quite constipated. And these liberals might not be doing anything else, but they surely are making headlines. When I typed the keywords into Google, a most excellent troika of liberal “news” organizations popped out.

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The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation wants to recognize the work done in building toilets. And “civil society” is unhappy. Who are these people?

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Ha! So it’s 43 “prominent” South Asian Americans, among them lawyers, civil society representatives and activists. Writing their usual drivel about vigilantism and violent Hindu nationalism.

So what makes someone a “prominent” South Asian? Must be some kind of accomplishment. I am going to guess every one of these prominent South Asians must have regular access to toilets.

And the fact that they are up in arms against the award by Bill Gates foundation shows just how little they care about real issues. And the lives of real people. Even if many of those are innocent babies. The “prominent” South Asians could not care less.

I actually took the time to read their open letter. Beyond the usual drivel, there is this part which is totally hilarious.

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Oh ho! They want the award to be redirected to “community based organizations and grassroots advocates.” In short, they want the award to be given to people like them. The “prominent” type people. Does the award come with a sizeable cash component? Just asking.

They might not care about the lives of children, but they certainly are behaving like five year olds who are upset about being denied candy.

Their campaign is another symptom of the now universal liberal epidemic : only the causes of Islamism matter and nothing else. Not truth, nor respect for human life, the rights of women, homosexuals, nothing.

But you know what these people never complain about? That generations of Indian Prime Ministers awarded themselves Bharat Ratnas despite failing to provide their people with something so basic as a toilet.

Have you seen a liberal saying that instead of awarding themselves Bharat Ratna, these Prime Ministers should have “awarded” the poor with toilets? Never. Because, after the Bharat Ratna Prime Ministers ate, they were always careful to leave behind a few scraps for the liberals to pick up. And that’s enough to keep “prominent” type people happy.

One of the themes of Modi sarkar has been try to get people to stop taking things in India for granted. No, open defecation shouldn’t be the norm. Babies dying in lakhs due to diarrhea should not be the norm. Not in this century. A huge informal economy, a mountain of black money, should not be the norm. Railway platforms and roads that look like garbage dumps  should not be the norm. We deserve better.

Loose lips sink ships : BJP leaders should learn from PM Modi to choose words carefully

During World War 2, the US govt would advise service members not to ramble on about anything and everything. What someone thinks is harmless talk might get picked up by enemy spies and cause tremendous damage.

Thankfully, we no longer have wars on the scale of World War 2. But the old adage still holds. And is perhaps even more relevant in the age of social media, which simulates a minefield.

This week saw two of the Modi’s top ministers faces make loose remarks that caused tremendous embarrassment to the party and government.

The first was Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, with her remark about Ola Uber. Yes, I know she didn’t say it was the whole reason, just one among many many others. Yes, I know that auto industry captains such as Anand Mahindra have said similar things in the past. Globally, the auto industry does anticipate a fall in demand due to ride sharing as millennials opt out of buying vehicles. You don’t have to convince me. I gave up driving on public roads years ago, using only ride sharing apps.

But that’s the global picture, happening in wealthy America and Europe. In India, this problem is at least 10 years away because it is still a dream for millions to own their own car. The huge drop in domestic auto sales cannot remotely be attributed to Ola or Uber. Let alone the huge drop in commercial vehicle sales.

The part that is inexcusable is for a top minister to not understand how narrative works, especially in the age of social media. Every word is parsed out and opponents jump on every opportunity created by every comma, period and semicolon. It is all fair game and both sides do it with equal ruthlessness. It is actually good for our democracy that people are so involved and active.

In his address to incoming BJP MPs, PM Modi stressed on the importance of avoiding loose talk.

The only way is to stay one step ahead of opponents. Before the words left her mouth, the minister should have thought carefully how the media will jump on it. Even if it is taken out of context and given undue importance, you have to anticipate that. Stay one step ahead.

That’s what PM Modi does. And in this I include of course Amit Shah. You won’t see Modi or Shah making the smallest gaffes. They never fail to communicate. That’s how they got the BJP’s vote share to grow by 8% in Uttar Pradesh.

Much the same applies to Piyush Goyal who made an embarrassing gaffe yesterday. The verbal slip up over Einstein and Newton could have happened to anybody. All he had to do was laugh and say later that he messed up. The whole thing would have gone nowhere. Leftists on social media trying to seize upon it would have looked like they were making a mountain out of nothing.

But Piyush Goyal made it worse, with his “clarifications.” The longer the clarifications got, the more they gave an opportunity for the other side to mock and ridicule. No lengthy clarification was needed; he could have just tweeted… “Mixed up Newton and Einstein… lol” and matter would have been laid to rest in less than 280 characters.

The economy is facing tough times. Yes, Manmohan Singh is now chilling out because nobody remembers the bad loan pile he left behind. He is using this opportunity to preen himself and take potshots at the government. Let him have his moment.

If you ask me, the trick is now to just sit tight and ride out the last of the mess. In one year max, the economy will bounce back. Then, the BJP will be on top again and they have four full years after that till the next election. In fact, the Congress may never win an election again. There is no need for BJP ministers on the hot seat to get so jumpy and defensive during this temporary phase. You just pulverized them in an election. Let them take a few social media digs to lighten their misery. You stay focused on the economy and keep looking straight ahead. No reason to play at every ball and risk losing a wicket. Because once you start losing narrative, even when the economy recovers, it won’t matter.

It all comes back to one simple principle : observe how PM Modi communicates. Be like him.

If liberals can whitewash 9/11, imagine what they did to our history

This is from the New York freaking Times, the supposed newspaper of record.

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See? It is now the “airplanes” which took aim and brought down the World Trade Center. The Islamic jihadis who were piloting those planes no longer exist in liberal memory. Interestingly, the number of victims of the terrorist attack has also been reduced, from close to 3000 to 2000. That’s a 33 percent reduction, less than twenty years after the attack happened.

After much ridicule, the New York Times deleted the tweet and posted a new one, still failing to mention Islamists anywhere.

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3000 people were “lost”? You mean like in the Bermuda Triangle? Thankfully, they got around to using the term “terror attacks” somewhere in the tweet.

One can imagine the New York Times newsroom, the eggheads sitting around, racking their brains, trying to come up with a way to mention 9/11 without any reference to Islamism. Language is a funny thing.

It is a symptom of just how much power Islamism exerts over the free world today. From human rights to feminism, every cause in the free world has been made subservient to the demands of Islamism. In the case of India, the old Western prejudices about Hindus have been reinforced by Islamist hatred for pagans and idolaters.  If you are wondering how a hate filled Hinduphobe could have been embedded as NPR producer in Delhi, there’s your answer.

In just twenty years, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 have been reduced to a footnote in global liberal discourse. The event is mentioned in dodgy language that obscures as much as possible who were the villains behind it.

Instead, “Islamophobia” is all the rage now, even if much of it is imagined.

How much has 9/11 become a footnote? An elected US Congresswoman by the name of Ilhan Omar referred to it recently as “some people did something.” The entire American liberal complex stepped in to defend her words. Incidentally, Ilhan Omar was speaking at an event organized by the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which was an un-indicted co-conspirator in a case involving terror funding in Palestine.

Yeah, that much of a footnote. You can go ahead and click the Washington Post link about this matter, which makes excuses for CAIR by saying  that the un-indicted co-conspirator thing is “true fact” that “lacks context.” Yeah, “lacks context.” Imagine being on a plane, when the passenger beside you says they were connected to Al Qaeda, but in a way that “lacks context.”

Now think about this : if they can whitewash 9/11, what have these liberals done to the interpretation of our several thousand year old history?

Look no further from what they have done even to our recent history. The Godhra carnage of 2002 has been wiped out of public memory. Even when it is mentioned, it is always presented as a controversy about who actually did it. Despite the fact that the offenders have all been identified and their sentences confirmed by the High Court a very long time ago. The truth has been forgotten, the smears remain.

In fact, the smears and conspiracy theories about Godhra are gradually being turned into the universally accepted version of history.

This is what happens to recorded history from 2002.

For propagandists of this magnitude, how simple is it to distort history from 1000 or more years ago, history that has to be surmised by piecing together scraps of evidence that are hard to come by?

The most infamous of these would of course be the Aryan invasion Theory (AIT). Yes, the liberal historians of today, led by their Emeritus queen, claim they never believed in AIT, but in the migration theory. Technically, they are right. But they had a far more devious strategy on AIT : first, they observe a strategic silence on the issue, allowing the AIT (and the Hinduphobia that comes with it) to circulate freely in the public sphere. The second is even more clever : they use the word “migration” for everything, including the Islamic invasions of India. Thus, the difference between “migration” and “invasion” is rendered meaningless. Yes, it’s devious. We are not dealing with amateurs here, but with established professionals with impressive CVs built in the course of their propaganda careers.

So how do we get back our past?

The old system is now so flawed, so moth eaten and so bigoted that it needs to be discarded in its entirety. The solution is long and painstaking and will likely not yield immediate results. The propaganda edifice of modern liberalism was not built in a day: nor will it go away in a day. We have to start from the ground level, building a whole new group of institutions that will question everything, write thousands of new books and operate with highest standards of academic rigor. You can’t “change” the textbooks because they are beyond redemption. The solution is to write new ones. For this, we will require an entirely new generation of professional historians who start afresh, from the same place where colonial historians began over a hundred and fifty years ago. No easy quick fixes.

Indian history as it is told in the official version, has failed. It’s worthless and a lie. We have to reread and rewrite everything.

 

 

Liberals decrying Chandrayaan coverage are ignoring history of space race

The narrative is now set. Liberals are treating ISRO’s failure to soft land a rover on the moon as a chance to go after PM Modi.

Here is senior patrakar Urmilesh in his segment on the Wire, saying that media played politics over Chandrayaan – 2. Among his other claims, that there was a Hindi news channel (see from 6:26) that ran with the headline : “Chaand Modi ki mutthi mein.”  He was possibly referring to this viral image, which has now been exposed as fake and photoshopped.

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But you get the idea. This fake headline has also found mention in other places :

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Most of all, liberals seem to be unhappy that some news channels used this moment of excitement to take broadsides against Pakistan.

Who does not remember the morning after the landing failure, when excited liberals yelled all sorts of insults at Modi in their glee? And one alleged science journalist actually yelled at the scientists who had been working on the Chandrayaan mission. ‘All topic experts’ in the liberal intelligentsia actually welcomed this, praising him for asking questions to those in power. As the scale of the PR disaster for liberals became clear, they backtracked a little on this one issue. An apology arrived.  Although soon after, the big boss of liberal news went out to remind everyone that liberal journalists have apparently contributed big to Indian science.

As I said, the narrative is set. In their derangement, liberals see even the Chandrayaan mission and ISRO as a stand in for the man they hate so much.

The worst of all are the ones who can only be described as concern trolls. The ones who are pretending to give sage advice about how this is not the way to do science, how science isn’t about chest thumping and making others look bad and so on ….

That sounds sort of nice in theory (like Communism). But it ignores both human nature (like Communism) and also the course of history (like Communism).

This is especially pertinent when it comes to space technology. In 1961, President Kennedy proposed that it should be a national goal for the United States to “commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon…

The United States achieved it by 1969. The extreme urgency of this mission was driven almost entirely by Cold War sentiments. After the Soviets launched the Sputnik in 1957, the Americans went into a tizzy. The US State Department openly acknowledges this today on its official website.  In fact, the fears rose to such a fever pitch that a month after the Sputnik launch, President Eisenhower went on television to address the American people on “science and national security.” It’s available publicly from the National Archives of the United States.

“Science as patriotism” is nothing new. And it has been remarkably successful. In the United States, the Sputnik generation was driven to study science and tech out of a love for their country and their free way of life. It did a lot of good things for the world.

And by the way, the earliest rockets that flew into space were all directly descended from ballistic missiles.

Indian liberals flinch at the very mention of patriotism today. They didn’t complain all these years when Indian children were paraded to celebrate the Dear Leader’s birthday as “Children’s Day.” But now they complain. Because India no longer submits to them.

Now they complain that children might get the wrong impression about science, end up mixing politics and patriotism with it. It is hard to see this as anything other than concern trolling.

The Chandrayaan mission and the excited media coverage around it has done tremendous good. It has brought the Indian public to cheer science, inspired kids to look to scientists as heroes. A lot of great scientific and technological achievements had an undercurrent of national pride and patriotism running through them. So it doesn’t matter if  sentiments of Pakistan got a little hurt in the process. Or for that matter, many more of Indian liberal sentiments.

Indian politics is now boring, but nation building remains interesting

It’s already been one hundred days of Modi sarkar – 2. Can you believe this? No, not that hundred days have already passed. I mean, can you believe that it’s been just one hundred days. Are you sure it is one hundred days and not one thousand days?

Do you even remember the result day of the 2019 election? Seems so far away now, does it not?

Those of you who still remember the result of the 2019 election might remember how nervous I was about the outcome in the Jan – March period. Until a week before results, I was thinking about 200 seats for BJP or so (actually my real estimate was 175, but I was scared to admit it even to myself). Thankfully, I was wrong all through. I remember the day Modi finished his last rally in Khargone in Madhya Pradesh and held that “press conference” with Amit Shah. The one where PM trolled all media idiots by keeping completely silent. That confidence that day was the first time I felt there was going to be a historic victory far beyond my expectations.

Like most people, I had several bouts of anxiety during March or so. But during one of these bouts I remember realizing something important :

If the BJP wins (this was a big IF in my mind at the time), that’s awesome. But, it will make Indian politics very very boring.

No doubt about that. The magic number for ousting Congress is two. Because the Congress is a political business venture instead of an ideological grouping, “investors” tend to pull out whenever the party loses two successive elections. One loss is bearable : it’s part of doing business. Especially when we are talking about a stock with stable long term returns spanning decades. But two successive losses and the stakeholders take flight. This has happened in states every single time. This is happening at the Center now.

The old ecosystem is still out there, with their tongues wagging. But we all know they have been reduced to pathetic figures. Who takes them seriously? Except possibly the right wing still looking for people to get mad at…

The roar of the ecosystem in the early days of Modi sarkar -I  has now been replaced by a dull hum. The ones who went too far during the UPA years have almost accepted their fate. They know they have burned their bridges. The low ranking lefties are thanking their stars that their faces did not become too well known in the UPA years. Everyone who could cross the bridge has crossed already and joined the winning side.

(Aside : As I have mentioned over and over again, the only market that is thriving for liberals right now is the “export market” for defaming India. Will lead to interesting diplomatic issues, but domestic impact is NIL.)

Ask a liberal if they expect to win in 2024. LOL.

This is set to be the way for a long time now. And even if BJP suffers a blip in 2024, so what? It will come back to power within a year or so. The BJP is now the natural party of governance in India. No other party even comes close to the reach of the BJP across this nation.

The BJP has not even hit its peak yet. The party is still growing by leaps and bounds in West Bengal and Odisha. It is off to a big start in Telangana. CBN’s old dysfunctional party will be their springboard in Andhra Pradesh. Despite all the internet trolls in the world : the party is knocking on the doors of TN and KL. In TN, the path is clear. ADMK is in tatters and will soon be swallowed by BJP. In Kerala too, the tired out left has no future.

Who can defeat BJP now? Nobody.

Does anyone even care that elections are approaching in Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand? All 3 results are a foregone conclusion. The results are purely of academic interest, simply because the constitution requires each seat to have an elected MLA. Otherwise, we might as well ask BJP to appoint all 3 Chief Ministers directly.

Nothing is permanent. But the BJP is here to stay unless a completely new political force emerges and sweeps across our vast country. The old ones just don’t have it in them any more.

For the near future, electoral politics has thus become irrelevant. Boring really.

But that does not mean India has become a boring place. What did Chandrayaan-2 really show? It showed that the “gap” is vast. We failed to do in 2019 even a tenth of what the Americans did in 1969. Think about that. It’s an indication of how much nation building lies ahead of us.

Everyone would agree that the highest note that Modi sarkar hit in the 100 days was Article 370. Even a hundred years from now, people will look back and remember this moment in the process re-integration of India. Yes, I said process (take the hint … it’s not over yet … no way). There is much praise that has been heaped on this move, but let me add one more which I haven’t seen anybody say explicitly yet.

It is a fantastic thing that this was done in first hundred days of Modi sarkar – II. Because nobody, not even the most irrational of haters, can say that Modi did this to win an election. Or even to divert public attention from other things.

Modi has already won the election. The next general election is five years away. And the BJP was already poised to sweep all coming state elections. And “diverting” from other problems, especially the economy, is silly. The public wont factor in Article 370 by the time they vote in 2024. They will however vote on the basis of how the economy turns out.

This brings us to the biggest challenge Modi faces now. To mend the Indian economy, as the poison of NPAs makes its way out of the system, the NBFC crisis fades away and GST finally begins to act as a benefit rather than a drag.

Some big measures have been announced by the Finance Minister. We have got two rounds of announcements. A third was promised, which has not happened yet. One can only hope that the FM is working out the modalities which is taking just a bit of extra time.

The govt has got lucky this year with the 1.76 lakh crore surplus from RBI. But this is hardly the time to waste good luck. Now is the time to cut policy rates sharply. And most importantly: cut taxes. Yes, withdrawing the FPI surcharge was a bit of band aid for the collapsing sentiment, but it goes only so far.

A real change that I am looking forward to is the rationalization of income tax slabs with the upcoming Direct Tax Code. Rumor has it that up to 10 lakhs will be have no income tax. Bear in mind by the way, that it is not as much fun as it looks : because all the exemptions under 80C, 80 CCD … 80 Z whatever are going away. But that is exactly what we need : a simple tax code. Something that a person with a  calculator should be able to fill out in under five minutes. Instead of ten different kinds of income (salary, long term dividends, short term dividends, rental) and twenty kinds of exemptions (insurance, rent payments, mortgage interest, etc), just one single number. You plug in the sum total of every paisa earned, subtract 10 lakhs from it, multiply by the rate and pay your tax. Done.

I digressed. Anyway. The other thing we need is targeted stimulus for sectors that are suffering. Especially auto. The government has recapitalized the Public Sector Banks. Sure. But didn’t SBI say they are sitting on 1 lakh crore with nobody asking them to lend?

The problem is no longer about banks not having money to lend. The NPA crisis should blow over completely by March 2020. Yes, the bad loans of UPA are almost behind us now. Now, it is about companies who no longer want to borrow.

The time is ripe for targeted stimulus to auto sector and big bonuses for exporters. In her first round of announcements, Nirmala Sitharaman had announced all GST refunds would be processed by Sept 30 if I remember correctly. I am waiting to hear if this has happened on the ground. Have the refunds speeded up?

Basically, it is all about putting more money into people’s pockets.

Yes, politics has become boring. But nation building remains interesting. And the biggest challenge is now for BJP supporters : can they break out of party molds and criticize the BJP as harshly as they would criticize the erstwhile Congress party?