BJP base forced Sadhvi Pragya to apologize, why doesn’t ‘secular’ voter demand same from secular parties?

In less than 24 hours, Sadhvi Pragya, now the BJP candidate from Bhopal, took back her words on Hemant Karkare. The BJP’s core voter simply would not stand for such language against a man who gave his life defending the nation against terrorists. Does it not say something good about the core voter of BJP?

Now, here is the man that Sadhvi Pragya is up against in Bhopal.

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A veteran Congress leader, a two term Chief Minister, releasing a book that asks whether the 26/11 terrorist attack was a conspiracy by the RSS! Could there have been a worse way of undermining India’s stance against Pakistan sponsored terrorism on the global stage? Not surprisingly, Pakistani media took great joy in publicizing this event worldwide, playing it up as “proof” of their innocence.

But Digvijay Singh never apologized for something as terrible as this. What does that tell you?

This article is not about politicians or parties. This post is about people. Politicians do not exist in a vacuum. Politicians cater to their supporters. And different parties have different support bases.

So why did Digvijay Singh never apologize? Simple. Because the Congress Party calculated these remarks would actually be well received by their core voter, or at least a huge section of their core voters.

This is hardly an isolated incident and hardly limited to the Congress Party. Everyone remembers how leaders from ‘secular’ parties repeatedly referred to Lashkar terrorist Ishrat Jahan as an “innocent college girl”.

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Another great ‘secular’ leader. The formidable Pawar Saheb is a veteran of politics, a prodigy who became CM of Maharashtra at age of 37 years. Does anybody really think Pawar Saheb would not understand the consequences of such statements? No, the reason such views were expressed is because ‘secular’ parties understand that it plays well with their core voter.

Or you could take Sushil Shinde, who declared in 2013 that BJP was a terrorist organization. At the time, Shinde was Home Minister of India.

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In 2013, the BJP had over one hundred elected MPs and was ruling several major states. The BJP has been embedded in government at local, state and central levels for decades. India’s Home Minister stating that BJP is a terror outfit is practically like India officially declaring itself a terrorist state. Truly unprecedented in the history of the world.

Another disaster for India’s global stance against terrorism. And Shinde never apologized either.

But it played well with the core voter of secular parties. That’s why they said it. Why else would so many ‘secular’ leaders question the sacrifice of Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma in the Batla House encounter? One of the people who spread lies about Batla House encounter is now the Chief Minister of Delhi!

This is what I have been saying. India’s secular politicians know that their base will reward them for such remarks.

Not only do ‘secular’ politicians know that their base will reward them, they also understand exactly where to make such statements.

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I am only going to make passing references to the small fry : a number of MPs and MLAs from secular parties actually wrote to the President of India requesting mercy for terrorist Yakub Memon who had been sentenced to death for his role in the Mumbai serial blasts that killed over 250 innocent Indians.

Perhaps, even more shockingly of the politicians who spoke in support of Yakub Memon were based in Maharashtra themselves. They weren’t hurting the feelings of their base, they were catering to it.

This is a tweet from last year, from the Congress official handle

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Mentioning by name “activist” Vernon Gonsalves who has been convicted and served a jail term in a case related to left wing terrorism.

By the way, did you know that within weeks of the Nov-Dec 2018 state elections, the new Congress government decided to drop murder charges against certain people in Chhattisgarh? Among them, the spouse of a top editor who founded a prominent left wing website that is deeply wired into the secular propaganda machine.

Sadhvi Pragya had to take back her words because the BJP understood that their core voter would not rally behind any perceived insult to a police officer who died for the nation.

But ‘secular’ parties expect no such backlash from their voters. Rather they expect rewards. Why? Who is this core voter of ‘secular’ parties that would rather give a clean chit to Pakistan and blame 26/11 on the RSS? You tell me.

 

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2nd phase turnout above 2014 : Ecosystem celebrated too soon

These days, information spreads around at lightning speed. Literally. A whole week between the first phase on April 11 and the second phase on April 18 is an eternity.

Shortly after the first phase of polls ended on April 11, the ecosystem began to jump for joy. The reason? The voter turnout figures reported by the EC at 5 pm showed a drop of 8-10% in voter turnout. In some places, as much as 12-15%! Especially in Uttar Pradesh.

The ecosystem which never believed in the Modi wave was instantly on its feet screaming that Modi wave was over, that the infamously lazy “upper caste urban BJP voter” had not turned out.

Underlying this false dawn for Indian liberals were several false (and frankly quite foolish) assumptions.

The first and most hilarious one of course was not actually waiting for the final voter turnout numbers to come in. The ecosystem saw the number that was reported at 5:15 pm and ran with it. They even forgot that the numbers are usually massively revised upwards as polling parties come in and the data is gradually put together. The real number rarely comes out before late night at the very least and often one must wait till the next morning.

Leading the pack was CSDS clown Sanjay Kumar, also the self proclaimed Sachin Tendulkar of opinion polls. He dashed out an “opinion piece” instantly, which instead of being thrown into the trash can, somehow ended up getting published in the Asian Age.

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Here is some “information” collected by “Professor” Sanjay Kumar.

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First, of all, voter turnout in Uttar Pradesh went up in 3/8 seats and not 2/8 unlike what “Professor” Sanjay Kumar says. Those 3 seats are Ghaziabad, Noida (Gautam Buddha Nagar) and Meerut. In other words, the 3 most urban seats in Phase 1. What does that tell you, “Professor”?

And in his hurry to write off the BJP, “Professor” Sanjay Kumar forgets something crucial. Yeah, voter turnout did go down by 2.8% in Phase 1, but have you noticed that the 2019 numbers are still 10-11% higher than the 2009 voter turnout numbers? That’s huge. And keep in mind that 2014 election happened just after violent riots in this *exact* area. So a small decline in voting in a couple of seats in the region can hardly be taken as an indicator of lower voter enthusiasm in Uttar Pradesh. Especially when the 2019 number is so far ahead of the old 2009 number.

This is the sort of analysis you would expect a “professor” like Sanjay Kumar to do. But then you would be expecting too much.

Now about the other two data points that “Professor” Sanjay Kumar mentions that are horribly horribly wrong! I have underlined them above : his claim that voter turnout fell by nearly 8% in Maharashtra and 10% in Assam.

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

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He didn’t wait for the final numbers! Stunning. At 5 pm on April 11, the turnout was 55% and “Professor” Sanjay Kumar went on to write an article about “8% lower turnout”. LOL!

And Assam? How about the “10% lower turnout” over there? Again, here are the final numbers.

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Final numbers. 78.23% in 2019 compared to 78.75% in 2014! That’s it!

I can’t emphasize how reckless and pathetic this is. A man who bandies around an academic sounding title of “Professor”, publishing a professional opinion in a newspaper, doesn’t even wait for the real numbers to come in. This is the standard of “experts” in India’s professional liberal community. Pathetic.

And tomorrow, when “Professor” Sanjay Kumar’s analysis falls flat on its face, he will compare it to Tendulkar making a mistake. Ha!

There is a reason I spent so much time on this one article by “Professor” Sanjay Kumar. Because other outlets picked up on his “analysis” and generated articles and headlines that were published and republished all over the internet. I think someone even showed me a clipping of Marathi language newspaper mentioning the CSDS guy and its projections. This is how the ecosystem works.

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See?

However, the liberal “Professor” saab might not have been prepared for what happened yesterday. An actual increase in turnout in the 8 seats of Uttar Pradesh in Phase 2 and also an increase in voter turnout in Maharashtra?

Now what, “Professor”? Time to claim Sachin Tendulkar status again?

So let’s take a step back. As the polling in UP proceeds westward, leaving the Muzaffarnagar riot region behind, the voter turnout becomes exactly the same as it was last time. It was the riots that had caused an unusual bump in the Phase 1 seats in 2014 over and above the increase due to the Modi wave. Sounds like the kind of thing that analysts should have taken into account. And neither should they have invested so much emotional energy into deciphering a statistically insignificant drop of 1% or so in Maharashtra Phase 1. In Phase 2, the turnout is up by a statistically insignificant 1% or so.

Go to Karnataka where a tremendous picture is emerging. Voter turnout is down but only due to lukewarm voting in Bengaluru. It’s up everywhere else. When you look more closely though in Bengaluru, the picture is quite incredible. The constituencies in Bengaluru with lower turnout are the traditional Congress bastions with large concentrations of minority voters. The seats in Bengaluru with BJP MLAs led the turnout. The “lazy BJP voter” is turning out to vote! The core voter of the opposition is staying at home.

Who knows? Perhaps in trying to conclude way too soon, liberals actually ended up further energizing the Modi voter. Extrapolating from incomplete and wrong data created the impression that voter turnout was down and Modi might be losing. The info spread on social media, on whatsapp, FB and Twitter. Perhaps BJP voters became even more energized. In the end, it might happen that the ecosystem regret their mistake of celebrating too much, too soon and over too little. And wouldn’t that be funny?

Voting is a day to strike back against the elite

Got up at the crack of dawn. Possibly for the first time in a year, I paid attention to the color of what I was going to wear. Went out to the booth, hoping to be the first voter in the city. An unexpected road closure forced me to walk the last kilometer or so, so I missed out on that. But never mind.

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Voting is a thrill.

But more than that, voting is a chance to get even.

What do I mean by that? There is a small group of people in India who think they own the nation. They think they own everything : the air we breathe, the land we walk on, our past, present and future. Both as individuals and as a nation.

On voting day, we get to remind them that as powerful as they may be, it is we the people who own everything.

And these people have only one attitude towards common folks like you and me : contempt. They look down on us and ask: “My parents, grandparents and great grandparents were this and that …  what did your father do?”

And these people are as petty as they are powerful. On my way to the voting booth this morning, I actually passed a tiny garden. The garden had a large board in front of it, with the name “….”. The man whose name appeared on it died a very long time ago. Like a dog pissing around and marking its territory, his descendants had come and named the place after him. The only difference is that street dogs are scavengers but the people I am talking about are predators.

They put up his name in stone just so we all know who owns us. Voting is the one day we get to stand up and be counted.

To be fair, this elite now exists in every nation in the world. The condescension with which a Lutyens liberal looks down on a ‘desi type’ is not very different from how the New York or Hollywood elite look down on the average Joe who works (or tries to get work) in the rust belt of Michigan, Ohio or Wisconsin. Or the way some Eurocrat from Bruxelles looks down on a working class fisherman living on the coast of England.

This attitude has generated a global backlash. Voting out of spite is a universal phenomenon now. There are many ‘enlightened and noble’ reasons for me to vote the way I did today, but I am going to admit it. The number one reason that drove me to the polling booth was spite.

They look down on people like me. They spit on every aspect of my culture and my heritage. They do not offer to Hindus like me the bare minimum of free expression. And when we just try to be who we are, they demonize us.

Not a day passes when we don’t find out that some liberal has called friends in Western newspapers to uncover yet another way in which we ordinary Hindus are horrible people.

They think we are helpless? Not today, Milord! Not today!

Today you are going to have to get in line with the rest of us. For this one day, we are all equal. Even if your great grandfather’s name is written in stone all over the place. So shut up and get in line.

I will quote to you a small incident from my life which you may find insignificant, but it had a great impact on me. At that time, I was a postdoc, visiting some place in Europe for the summer. The institute had this tradition that everyone would eat lunch together. And the lunch was free. Which was excellent news for me, because as a postdoc I barely made enough money to get by.

So I sat there every afternoon, eating my lunch and listening to other people talk. And one day, they started talking politics. I don’t know of which country … mind you these people think they own the world so they have big opinions about the politics of every country… but I think it was some European country they were talking about. And then the discussion turns to making fun of … you guessed it :

Idiot right wingers

Exact words. I pricked up my ears when I heard that expression. And on and on they went, making fun of “idiot right wingers”. I didn’t understand : were they so self absorbed and self impressed that they didn’t think a right winger could be smart enough to be at the table? Sure, I was by no means the smartest person there (hell no!) but their assumption that nobody with even average intelligence could be a right winger really made me angry. I kept quiet. But it did piss me off.

Of course this is just one incident. In my view, voting is the day we get to stick it to the smug folks. This is our one chance.

What else? I mentioned that there are ‘noble and enlightened’ reasons too for the way I did vote. What are those?

When I was a kid, I just assumed that our country was the biggest, most powerful and best country in the world. I didn’t know anything else.

Then, I started school. And to my great distress I realized that we weren’t No.1. In fact, in most things, we were bringing up the rear.

I used to have an atlas in Class 3, which had some data about the nations of the world on its inside cover. One day I learned that India was the country with 2nd highest population in the world. No. 2? At least that was not so bad! So I came back from school thrilled and told my mom. Mom, we’re a superpower. Just behind China, that’s all. I remember my mom laughed and told me that population doesn’t matter. What matters is that we are a dirt poor country. I was devastated.

It may sound dumb today, but it was only in 2008 that I first looked at the list of the world’s largest economies. I found out that India was ranked at #12 or #13, even behind teeny tiny Spain. I still remember the sense of shame I felt.

So this has always bothered me. The fact that India is not No. 1 in the world. So who is responsible for India failing to become No. 1? Who has ruled for decades? And who has the most to lose if India transitions to a first world country?

It was natural for me to focus my anger on them. Remember that their best case scenario is our worst case scenario. They had their golden days when India saw its worst days. In fact, ever since India has begun walking towards the light, their political fortunes have faded away. This may be the first election in India’s history where they are not even trying to come out ahead … they are just trying to make sure they are not too far behind and can stitch up a coalition.

Remember, while much of the blame for India not becoming No. 1 lies with them, much of it lies with us as well. It all comes down to one loaded word : caste. We let caste overrule our better judgement and they will rule over us for another hundred years. And we as a nation will never see the light. We will never become No.1.

It is not everyday that we the people hold the future of the nation in our hands. Not everyday that we have a chance to make history. I made the right choice. I am at peace.

Kejriwal has more to lose from rejuvenating Congress, I doubt Cong-AAP deal will happen

Okay, I could be proven wrong even before the words leave my mouth (aka … I click the “publish” button on this post). Considering especially how nuts Delhi CM Kejriwal is. But if there is at least a method to his madness, I don’t think it makes sense for Kejriwal to ally with Congress in the Lok Sabha election.

First of all, let us note with amusement how politics has changed in just five years. Around this time five years ago, the AAP supporters were riding a high horse, claiming to be holier than everyone else. I remember the swarm on Facebook, do you?

Where are those self righteous folks now as AAP blatantly pursues a politics soaked in the worst form of opportunism? Actually, I always believed those supposed ‘moralists’ were liars. And I have been proven right. In any case, AAPians will have no shame no matter what so I won’t say any more on this issue.

Instead of trying to shame AAPians (which isn’t possible), let us draw the important lessons here. Let us take note of the frauds in media and intelligentsia who were giving us moral lessons five years ago. Let us take note of how compromised they were and how cynically they tried to save their paymasters in the establishment by pursuing a vote cutting strategy in 2014. Let us remember this next time any intellectual gives any lecture.

Let us now carefully analyze all the incentives of AAP & Congress with respect to a possible alliance. The Congress is willing to be a “junior” partner in Delhi, but with a 4-3 deal. That’s practically half the seats.

What would Congress gain from this? That much is clear. They would raise their tally by 3 seats and reduce BJP’s tally by 7 seats.

What exactly would AAP gain from this? Sure, they would get 4 Lok Sabha seats. But how does that really help Kejriwal personally?

Kejriwal’s biggest priority is to remain Delhi CM. His vote bank has massive overlap with that of the Congress. To remain Delhi CM, he needs Congress to be down in the dumps.

Why exactly would he want to rejuvenate Congress by gifting them 3 Lok Sabha seats in Delhi?

So Kejriwal hates PM Modi. But I think he loves himself even more. Okay, what if Modi loses the election and Congress gets power? The Delhi Assembly election would be held within 8 months of the new government, well within the ‘honeymoon period’. Does Kejriwal really believe that a rejuvenated Congress would ally with him in the Assembly election as a “junior partner”? If Congress wins the Lok Sabha election, they are sure to try and get Delhi back.

Delhi is a ‘made in media’ state and old Congress faces like Sheila Dikshit or Ajay Maken are still very popular. Vote shares move swiftly in urban Delhi. The entire Lutyens media would jump on the Congress boat. At the very least, this would cut Kejriwal’s vote share in half, making him sure to lose the election. If Congress goes on to win in May 2019, they might actually win Delhi outright in 2020. At a minimum, they would take enough votes from AAP to give BJP a walkover. Either way, Kejriwal loses.

So what’s the upside for him in sharing seats with Congress in the Lok Sabha? Let’s go back to the 4 Lok Sabha MPs he would have. One or two of them might become ministers in a coalition government.

So AAP might have ministers at the Central level. Ironically, this is exactly what Kejriwal fears most. Another AAP leader who enjoys some big status. We are talking about a man who threw away an entire Assembly election in Punjab because he was too scared that some other leader could emerge from within his party.

Does Kejriwal even want Lok Sabha MPs and ministers in a coalition government? He would if he could be PM himself. But that’s not going to happen. If anything, Kejriwal has learned the hard way the importance of focusing on what you have, instead of hankering after what you don’t have.

From Kejriwal’s point of view, what really matters is the Delhi 2020 election. And for that, he needs to keep Congress at the margins. He has weathered the Modi wave when it seemed like an unstoppable tsunami in 2015. He can ride out another Modi government. Because the votes of AAP and BJP, by and large, don’t intersect. What he cannot afford is a rising Congress.

Even from the Congress point of view, giving in to AAP’s demands for seats in Haryana or Punjab is giving a lot of room. Punjab and Haryana are among the handful of states left where Congress believes it can still come to power on its own. Recent elections have showed that Congress organization is on its last legs even in ‘bipolar’ states like Rajasthan or Madhya Pradesh. They couldn’t secure a majority in either state. All the talk of massive incumbency against Vasundhara Raje and the Congress couldn’t even limp its way past the majority mark. The state was ripe for them to win, but the party organization simply did not have the ability to convert an anti-incumbency wave into votes. When they lose these states in five years, the question is whether Congress will *ever* be able to win them back.

The same goes with Karnataka. Congress reduced to junior partner in a coalition.

Punjab stands out as an honorable exception for the Congress Party. Yielding space to AAP in Punjab is a high price to pay.

So what’s going on now with these Twitter spats between AAP and Congress leaders? When has it ever happened that seat shares are negotiated on social media in full public view?

If you ask me, this is a way for both sides to speak to the M voter. The M voter is going to blame them for “letting BJP win” by failing to stitch an alliance. Neither side wants the blame. Each side is telling the M voter that they wanted to compromise, wanted to defeat Modi, but the other side was asking for too much.

Let’s wait and see. I think the alliance is off the table now and negotiations have broken down.

In the meanwhile, enjoy the pathetic sight of Lutyens media and intellectuals literally begging the two sides to strike a deal.

Why 50% extra punishment to Yogi Adityanath vs Mayawati?

We have always known that ‘Indian secularism’ is not to be taken literally. Indian secularism does not mean that we are all equal under the law. In its real and Orwellian sense, Indian secularism means that some people are more equal than others.

We have always known that. This “idea of India” extends well outside the world of law and constitution. It is pervasive in our popular culture, in our discourse, the way every narrative is framed and more. From the smallest newspaper reporter to the biggest Lutyens liberal, everyone understands this concept, almost by instinct.

Take for example this photo of a page from the Pune Mirror shared by Shefali Vaidya, which describes three incidents of violence at three different places in the country.

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The news of an elected BJP MLA murdered by leftists in Chhattisgarh is squeezed into the tiny column on the side. The news of an RSS leader murdered by Islamists in Kashmir gets slightly more coverage.

But the biggest headline, the biggest font and the biggest space goes to a man who was supposedly beaten up for selling beef.

This is the dehumanization of the Hindu right that I have been talking about. All violence against innocent people is wrong. But with a country of 130 crore people, when a case of some guy beaten up somewhere is a bigger media story than two people murdered for their political ideology, it becomes clear that there is an agenda.

There appears to be  a second, more curious message in this page from Pune Mirror. Observe that the murder of the BJP MLA in Chhattisgarh gets even less space than the killing of the RSS leader in Kashmir. This is likely because media is even more sentimentally attached to Communism than to Islamism. Remember what I said when Lenin’s statue was broken in Tripura? The state of Tripura may be tiny, but so deep is the emotional attachment between Indian liberals and their Communist idols that tiny Tripura would hurt them almost as much as mega Uttar Pradesh (if not more).

Anyway, I digress.

We know that Hindu sentiments are worth less to Indian secularism. But what if you wanted to be more precise than that? What if you wanted to put a number on it? Ok, our sentiments are worth less, but how much less?

The Election Commission’s decision from yesterday is perhaps the first time we have something to help us estimate.

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Two supposed breaches of the Model Code of Conduct. Quite similar cases.

Person 1 was found guilty of making a communal appeal to Hindus and was barred from campaigning for 3 days.

Person 2 was found guilty of making a communal appeal to the peaceful community and was barred from campaigning for 2 days.

So the estimate is 50%. The sentiments of the peaceful community are worth approximately 50% more to the Indian state than the sentiments of the Hindu community.

Interesting to know. At least we have a starting point. I actually suspect this number is much higher than 50%. But we have a first approximation.

It is both shocking and unsurprising that hardly anybody is even asking why the Election Commission blatantly chose to hand out unequal punishment to two people for the same violation of the Model Code of Conduct. In India, we have grown so used to such discrimination that people hardly even feel the need to comment any more.

Rather we submit by instinct now. Of course, Yogi Adityanath would get more punishment. How could anybody even expect that Hindu and Muslim sentiments would be treated at par by the Election Commission? Of course, Hindu sentiments matter less. It’s been that way for so long that it’s become something we take for granted.

I should make one point absolutely clear. The Election Commission is being unfair to *both* Yogi and Mayawati. Both persons have exercised their free speech rights and made a political pitch to the voting public. In a country where freedom of speech is treated as sacrosanct, banning a politician from campaigning in an election because some bureaucrat objects to their speech would be unthinkable!

But there has never been any constitutional protection for free speech in India. Just another fact we take for granted. A few days back, I repeated my point that “free speech” in India is based on compromises, on the principle of being “equally unfair to all” rather than being “equally fair to all”. It’s not ideal, but it sort of keeps the republic afloat.

And at that time I also pointed out that forces are now out there trying to destroy even this compromise. To overturn the doctrine of “equally unfair to all” and replace it with the doctrine of “only unfair to one”. This is a sinister effort to turn India into an apartheid state.

Let me illustrate what I mean by means of a simple diagram

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At the moment, the process of moving India from the second box to the third box is well underway.

In the past, the Election Commission has done a lot of partisan things. For instance, the EC changed the definition of ‘national party’ twice in order to make sure the CPIM fits the definition. In 2019, I doubt if the CPM will win even 5 seats. Wait and see… the definition of ‘national party’ will be updated to whatever number of votes and seats the CPM ends up with.

But at least, the EC kept a low profile. Most people don’t really keep themselves updated about who gets the privileges of ‘national party’ and who doesn’t. This time it’s totally in our faces. Yogi banned for 72 hours and Mayawati for 48. It doesn’t get more blatant than that. At least not yet.

For BJP supporters, is 2019 coming down to survival?

Here is the report card of the last 7 days of Indian ‘secularism’

Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha. There are probably others who did not even get a passing mention in our ‘liberal’ media. And I have not even mentioned Bengal, which is in a class of anarchy and political violence all on its own. Like Somalia.

While liberals continue to “suffer fascism” in fake stories made up on Twitter threads, BJP workers and sympathizers continue to drop like flies. Fake stories of liberal suffering, made up on Twitter threads, spread all across the world. These stories find space in Western publications and media, along with a bunch of stereotypes intended to create disgust for the Hindus and their “sinister” beliefs and customs.

A 75 year old man who was campaigning for Modi was publicly lynched in Tamil Nadu. He was not a BJP leader or even a BJP worker. Just a common man who was publicly supporting Modi out of free will, expecting nothing in return. What he probably did not expect was that he would be lynched to death for free political expression in our allegedly free country.

Perhaps the 75 year old man forgot that in India we also have ‘secularism’. And secularism trumps every single fundamental right and every rule of humanity and common decency. The killing of this 75 year old man is the bitter harvest that liberals wanted when they were pumping the veins of Tamil Nadu full of hatred against BJP/Modi. I mean the BJP does not have a single MLA in Tamil Nadu. There is quite literally nothing that has ever happened in Tamil Nadu for which BJP can be blamed.

Then who sowed this hate campaign against BJP in Tamil Nadu and why? Let me explain.

Scared by the BJP’s continuous growth and expansion into new territories, liberals began an organized campaign of telling people in places such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Bengal, etc that they were the “other”. In every Bengali family, there is always that old uncle who goes on and on about “Bengali identity” and how it is under attack from “Hindi wallahs”. Nobody used to listen to this uncle. In family gatherings and during festivals, this uncle would be in a corner all by himself, muttering like a fool. Suddenly, liberals found these uncles and told them they were right all along.

Thrusting these uncles to centerstage with a big megaphone is ultimately a losing strategy from the liberal side. But in the interim, it is sure to do some damage.

I suspect the same is true of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Think about the Kerala floods. Who plundered the flood aid? The CPIM did. Who conveniently flew out of Kerala during the floods and enjoyed a vacation in Switzerland? One top Congress leader did. Who lost out? The people of Kerala.  Worse, the CPM told the public that there was some 700 crore pie in the sky that was supposed to come from some middle eastern country, but was stopped by Modi! While Kerala was busy blaming Modi for stopping aid money that never existed, the CPM was busy pocketing the real aid that was sent by people from all over the country.

I wrote before about an ugly social media campaign whenever PM Modi visits Tamil Nadu. What was that campaign directed against? Against BJP for not developing Tamil Nadu enough under 70 years of Congress, DMK and ADMK governments?

The only aim of that campaign was to create an atmosphere of hatred. And this poor 75 year old man is the latest victim of this atmosphere of hatred nurtured by liberals who are terrified by the BJP’s endless rise.

Liberals hated that 75 year old Modi supporter precisely because he was everything that the liberals are not. He was an old man, likely not officially affiliated with any party, expecting no direct personal gain, yet working hard only for a cause. Liberals who charge for every letter, every comma, every full stop and every blank space while writing “open letters” against Modi were terrified by the specter of selfless commitment.

The problem is that liberals do not understand the fundamental reason why the BJP is growing. Because the BJP has real supporters it can rely on. Most of its growth is organic, with no need to have compromised intellectuals on its payroll.

And this is the fundamental reason the BJP will win the election of 2019. Because BJP workers think they are working for something bigger than themselves. The compromised intellectuals working for Congress are busy counting their payment at the end of every day.

But BJP workers are also fighting for themselves. Because they are literally fighting for physical survival. Yes, law and order is a state subject, but they have a psychological boost as long as BJP is in power at the Center. If Modi loses 2019, it is common BJP workers and even supporters who will bear the direct physical brunt.

Like I said, there are already four RSS/BJP folks who have been murdered in just the last week. Can you imagine how insecure the BJP worker must feel about the prospect of a hostile government at the center? That’s why the BJP worker is running twice as fast as the Congress intellectual.

I have made this analogy before. If you see a dog chasing a rabbit, who do you bet on to win the race? Always bet on the rabbit, because the dog is running for its dinner and the rabbit is running for its life.

In this election, BJP workers in several states are fighting literally for their lives. The Congress intellectual is running for a few extra $$$ in their bank account. Fairly clear who will win this.

 

‘Unemployment at 45 year high’ is fake liberal fantasy based on obviously wrong data

There is an old saying that if you have a favorite food, never find out how it’s made. You may no longer be able to eat it.

Today we will apply the same principle to liberals’ favorite ‘fact’ about the Indian economy: the ‘leaked NSSO data’ that shows that unemployment has reached a 45 year high.

Today we will find out how this number was calculated (cooked?). What are the components that went into this number?

So let me tell you some ‘facts’ about India.

Do you know who was the greatest beneficiary of demonetization? It was the casual workers, the ones who work in the informal sector and have to live on daily wages that are mostly paid in cash.

And do you know who suffered the most? It was salaried workers, usually the ones who get their pay credited directly to their bank accounts every month by their employer.

When demonetization hit, the formal economy apparently ran out of internet connections. Instead, the informal economy did very well, apparently because demonetization increased the availability of ready cash they do business in.

Don’t believe me? I’m not kidding. The NSSO ‘data’ actually found this. Real wages (i.e, inflation adjusted wages) of casual workers are up by 22% between 2011 and 2017. On the other hand, the real wages of salaried workers are down by nearly 20% since 2011 and 2017.

Thank you demonetization for ushering in economic justice on a scale unprecedented in world history. And thank you Surjit Bhalla for uncovering all the good news in the ‘leaked NSSO data’.

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You’ve all heard about the ‘leaked NSSO data’. The one that Modi sarkar is apparently trying to suppress. You know : the one that supposedly shows unemployment in India has reached a 45 year high. The liberal media just can’t stop talking about it.

But what the liberal media won’t tell you is how much good news is there in the same ‘leaked NSSO data’.

For instance, did you know just how well the rural economy is doing? It’s going so good that people are leaving the cities and going back to villages to enjoy the boom in the rural economy. According to NSSO ‘data’, India’s urbanization has dipped from 31% in 2011 to 29% now!

Rural distress? What rural distress?

And to think that all our media have left behind their comfortable homes in Lutyens Delhi to understand the ‘rural distress’ in the countryside. Come back! Stop wasting your time. Come back to the big city, which is now less crowded according to NSSO ‘data’! Leave the crowded villages behind and come back to our empty cities!

As if that was not good news enough, did you know that India’s population has declined too? The NSSO ‘data’ also finds that India’s population is just 107 crore people and not 130 crore people.

There is only one explanation for this : 23 crore Indians must be currently on vacation abroad, enjoying the sights of New York and Paris. And liberals say the economy isn’t doing well! Come on!

Defines belief? Yes! But these are the numbers that went into calculating (cooking?) the number of ‘unemployment at 45 year high’. You can’t choose to believe the headline number and refuse the components that went into it.

What is shocking is that until now, nobody in media or intelligentsia seems to have put in the bare minimum effort to carry out a sanity check on the ‘leaked NSSO data’. The media simply ran with it and the secular establishment was only too happy to weaponize the headline into a stick to beat the government with.

You might remember that recently an ‘auspicious’ number of economists wrote an open letter attacking the government over these supposed figures. These were supposed to be scholars, people with research credentials, people who have been trained to read beyond the headlines and cross check facts. Could they not have caught these obvious mistakes in the ‘leaked NSSO data’ with five to ten minutes of effort? But they didn’t. They jumped on the propaganda bandwagon. No surprise that most of these ’eminent economists’ were members of the left liberal complex, some had signed up with their entire families and academic descendants and some were even associated with the Congress campaign.

This is a betrayal of the trust of the Indian people in media and intelligentsia on a scale never seen before.

Propaganda newspapers, propaganda news channels and propagandist intellectuals created a storm of outrage around a piece of ‘unemployment data’ that was obviously wrong.

There is only one question left to ask. How did NSSO make such massive and glaring mistakes? Surjit Bhalla attributes this to a bizarre change in sampling and survey methods. Very well, that’s one possibility. But considering the scale on which the ‘leaked data’ was publicized and used as a propaganda weapon, we common people have to consider other possibilities. Was their deliberate malpractice involved? Did deep assets in the bureaucracy try to help a certain political party by rigging the data or the methods of data collection? We don’t know. But we do have a right to ask.

Why NRC is the most important National Security Issue of our times

India for Indians. How did that become so controversial?

Recently, BJP President Amit Shah set the proverbial cat among the pigeons by promising that if voted to power, the BJP government would send every illegal immigrant (except Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists) out of the borders of our country.

Wait, that’s the wrong analogy. This is not about setting the cat among the pigeons. The National Register of Citizens is about the pigeons hoping to keep the cats away from their nest. Otherwise, there will only be cats left and no pigeons. Get it?

Indian ‘liberals’ have jumped in to compare such measures to the holocaust, to apartheid and what not. Their case is based on both a denial of well established Indian history and Hinduphobia.

The Partition of India happened in 1947. The Partition was based on religion and was done with the explicit purpose of carving out a separate Muslim homeland. Those Muslims who wished to move to this separate homeland did so in 1947. They named the new country ‘Pakistan’ or land of the pure, presumably to distinguish itself from the ‘impure’ Hindus of India. Literally lakhs of Hindus were forcibly expelled from Pakistan to make space for the ‘pure’. Of course, any Indian of any faith, was most welcome to stay back here in our secular state.

That was 1947. We Hindus had to take refuge in the only country that would allow us to live.

That’s history and it cannot be changed now. The deal was made. You keep your side and we keep ours.

Some seventy years later, if the lands of the ‘pure’ have not been successful in developing economic opportunities nor upgrading to the twenty first century, then it is not really our economic burden to bear, is it? We wish them well, we wish to trade peacefully with them. But if they cannot build their nation, it is not our job to pay for them, is it?

We owe them nothing. Zero. We are happy to give them our best wishes, but nothing more.

We are the victims of Partition, not Pakistan or Bangladesh. How can it be our duty to bear the economic burden of our tormentors?

No, there is no comparison here to Nazism or apartheid. Jewish people faced persecution in Europe for centuries. Black people numerous injustices in South Africa. Nazism or apartheid were about reinforcing these injustices and making them even more severe.

The NRC is about making sure that we the victims of Partition get to keep whatever little of India we were still left with in 1947 after the oppressors had grabbed as much as they could.

Asking India to accommodate Muslim illegal immigrants from Bangladesh would be like asking Israel to pay an annual tribute to Germany. Or asking India to pay reparations to Britain. Or asking some African country to pay reparations to its former colonial oppressor in Europe. Or putting an extra tax on African Americans and using the money to pay for building ‘white only’ neighborhoods in America. It would be the exact opposite of justice.

‘Liberals’ ask why only send Muslim illegal immigrants back? How can the law ‘discriminate’ on the basis of religion?

Well, that’s because the intent is to make reparations for a targeted injustice that was committed only against Hindus (and Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, etc). Only the victims will get reparations. How could it be otherwise?

You tell me, liberals. Suppose there is a terrible fire in a cinema hall somewhere and a lot of people die because the theater owner did not take adequate safety measures. Who should get the compensation? The families of the victims or every single Indian citizen irrespective of whether they suffered any losses in the fire? Of course, the compensation is paid only to the families of the victims and nobody else. That’s not discrimination. That’s just common sense.

Today a Hindu, a Buddhist or a Sikh trapped on the wrong side of the border is a victim of Partition done on the basis of religion in 1947. Naturally, we owe any such person our sympathy, protection, a warm welcome and Indian citizenship.

A Muslim who infiltrates across the border from Bangladesh is simply an economic migrant. We should only offer them compassion, best wishes for a pleasant journey back to Bangladesh as well as best wishes for a happy prosperous life in their home country. Beyond that nothing. Certainly nothing in economic terms.

Let me remind you that India still has the world’s second largest population of poor people. This is not the time for charity. The only thing we can fulfill is our obligations. And we have an obligation to protect any Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist victim of Partition, who may be stuck today in Pakistan or Bangladesh.

Here is another reason in the Indian context why ‘liberals’ who object to special treatment for Hindus are acting in obvious bad faith. Because provisions giving explicit privileges to disadvantaged groups is baked into the definition of ‘Right to Equality’ as per the Indian Constitution.

The Indian state is not supposed to discriminate on basis of gender, caste, religion, etc.  This has *always* been interpreted to mean that the state will make special provisions for addressing specific problems of disadvantaged groups. That is why we have a Minority Affairs Ministry, which gives special scholarships and loans to members of minority religions. Our laws on rape and sexual harassment are clearly not gender neutral. The Women’s Reservation Bill, which enjoys widespread support across the political spectrum, if passed, would literally bar men from representing their local area in Parliament across 1/3rd of the entire country! We already have Parliamentary and Assembly constituencies that are reserved for backward castes and for tribals.  And of course, we have reservations for certain groups in government jobs and government colleges.

These special privileges have *never* been interpreted in Indian law as violations of the Right to Equality under Article 14. In fact, such privileges for disadvantaged groups have always been seen as tools for achieving the goals of equality and justice.

It is only natural therefore, that when crafting an asylum policy, Indian law would give special privileges to Hindus, who are marginalized and persecuted in the Islamic Republics that around us.

How did this well established principle in Indian law suddenly become controversial when it came to asylum law? I know why. Because this time it was Hindus as a group who received a benefit. And the Hindu hating Indian liberal cannot tolerate that. It would mean acknowledging the fact that Hindus were the victims of Partition and that Hindus have human rights too. To the liberal who has made a living out of telling the West that Hindus are sinister and evil, with their sarees, rasam, holy cows and Hanuman shirts, this would be a career destroying move.

The protection of Hindus who are persecuted in Pakistan and Bangladesh is a fundamental obligation that the Indian state cannot shy away from. Of course, in doing so, the Indian state should be careful to make sure that the burden does not fall unduly on the states in the North East. What we need is a systematic plan to make sure of the following:

(1) To secure the borders and ensure zero illegal infiltration of economic migrants.

(2) To provide a legal framework for granting asylum and a quick path to Indian citizenship for Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist refugees from Pakistan or Bangladesh.

(3) To resettle such refugees across the country in such a way that no particular state has to take too much of a burden.

(4) To identify illegal economic migrants by means of NRC and other initiatives and cut them and their children off immediately from all of the following:

(a) Any form of government welfare,

(b) Voting,

(c) Holding bank accounts, gas, electricity, water or phone connections,

(d) Admission in schools, colleges whether public or private

(e) Working whether in government or private sector

(f) Securing government documents and permits such as birth certificates, school certificates, Aadhar cards, PAN cards and drivers licenses.

(5) Eventually deport all illegal migrants.

Can India get its act together before there is no India left? We’ll see.

After first phase, seems things looking up for BJP

Mayawati is a person who somehow believes in doing the exact same thing over and over again and still expecting different results.

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Says that BJP is using ‘money power’ and exerting pressure on polling officers to press BJP buttons on EVM machines. Demands that EC ensure free and fair polls from next phase onwards.

This is her complete, official reaction to the first phase of elections in Uttar Pradesh. Do I still need to tell you who is winning?

It is actually stunning that Mayawati would not realize how badly it would demoralize her own workers when they hear their leader make the same old accusations that she made after the defeat of 2017. She didn’t even do the least bit that every politician does : claim victory. She straightaway went and said the elections were rigged!

Tells you why Mayawati’s politics is fading away. She has simply refused to learn how to play the modern media game.

Now, statements from politicians get interpreted in so many ways that it can be both futile and frustrating to decipher election winds from their words and body language. Hardly the case with Mayawati: she plays with a straight bat. And she has made it clear that she is unhappy with the first phase.

Yesterday, there were some hours of worry for the BJP when the initial turnout figures came in from Uttar Pradesh, showing very low voting.

But ultimately, the figures were sharply revised upwards. What is most striking is that the turnout actually exceeded 2014 in the 3 urban seats of Ghaziabad, Meerut and Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida). Means the urban voter is coming out to vote and very very likely for the BJP. Perhaps the urban voter wants to avoid another 2004.

If this pattern repeats across the nation, BJP will win a handsome mandate. While we often speak of the rural vote and we should, keep in mind that every time it is the urban voter who has decided the actual winner of the election. In the rural heartland, it’s always rather close. The tie breaker is the urban voter. In 2004, the BJP was decimated in Delhi and Mumbai and most urban centers. That made all the difference.

In 2009, Dr. Singh was at the peak of his popularity and the urban voter again went for his “soft spoken nice guy” image.

In 2014, the Congress simply disappeared from urban India. With enthusiasm in urban centers still at 2014 levels, hard to see a Congress comeback.

You can feel it in the words of Sonia Gandhi as well when she tells the BJP to remember 2004. This is not how a winning side talks. A winning side takes ownership and talks of sweeping the election. They don’t make weak noises about how things could go wrong for the other side if they get too complacent.

About the Muzaffarnagar seat, I am pretty sure BJP is winning. The turnout dipped by just 2%, but remember that BJP got 60% of the votes here. With a margin that big, simply makes no sense to think MGB could win against Dr. Sanjeev Balyan. Add to that the 3 urban seats from yesterday and we are at sure 4/8 already.

What about Saharanpur? The demographics would otherwise make this seat difficult for BJP, but Congress’ Imran Masood is a strong candidate and so is the joint SP+BSP candidate. It is a seat where the M voter is truly confused about who is best placed to defeat the BJP. Remember that Imran Masood came 2nd in 2014. But everyone knows that SP+BSP is way stronger in UP than Congress. This gives BJP a really good chance to win.

Let’s come to Bijnor, which is a very interesting seat. BJP won this seat with 46% votes last time. If you add up the SP+BSP+RLD votes from 2014, you get 49%. But things are not so simple. The Congress has given the ticket to Naseemuddin Siddiqui, who is Mayawati’s former right hand man. He is a decently strong candidate and a former BSP insider. If you give even 5% vote to Siddiqui, then BJP is sure to win. Remember that in Kairana bypoll, the BJP held on to every one of its 2014 votes if you adjust for the turnout.

The numbers look really bad for BJP in Baghpat and to a lesser extent in Kairana. A pity for Satyapal Singh, but seems Ajit Singh will win. So, out of 8 seats yesterday, the BJP has at least 4 that are easily in the bag. It has a strong chance in 2 others and a weak chance in one more seat. So 5/8 seems like a pretty safe bet.

Now, I know there is more to India than Uttar Pradesh. Actually 91 seats went to polls yesterday and yet here I am, going seat by seat about just 8.

Well, there are reasons for that. Because the results in Bihar and Maharashtra are a foregone conclusion. NDA is sweeping those states. No question marks there.

I almost forgot about Uttarakhand. Likely all 5 seats going to BJP. A very Hinduised state with a strong military culture. Modi’s popularity sky high and after Balakot, there is really no doubt who’s winning.

Speaking of Uttarakhand, I should talk about Baba Ramdev. In  Jan-Feb, he was dilly dallying, making vague statements like “whoever works hard will get rewards” etc. He has a massive business empire to run, after all. But yesterday he was quite clear when he said that people are voting for “National Security” and “Vikas”. If there is one man who understands every patch of the Hindi heartland, it is Baba Ramdev. He has branches in every street corner in the Hindi belt. He knows who is winning. Much more credible than any opinion poll agency.

The other thing I would note is BJD’s nervousness in the 4 seats of Odisha that went to polls yesterday. The party dashed off a series of letters to the EC complaining about this and that. Not a sign of confidence.

Overall, seems a very solid beginning for BJP. Things looking up in Odisha and the North East and losses in UP kept down to a minimum.

One more thing. It’s over for Chandrababu Naidu. The result is written all over his face.

BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi assassinated by leftists, dehumanized by liberals

An attack on an elected MLA is an attack on all of us. It is an attack on our democracy and the founding principles of our republic.

Bhima Mandavi was an elected MLA out on an election campaign, days before our General Elections, the largest democratic exercise in the world. He was a public representative out to meet the people to request their support at the polling booth. This is the most sacred part of any democratic tradition. It reminds the nation that those who govern are not masters but servants and must humble themselves before the people.

In this sense, BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi died while in the act of performing the highest and noblest of all rituals in Indian democracy.

And who killed him? Violent left wingers who are enemies of democracy.

Except we are not hearing that in the discourse, even when we are hearing something at all.

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No! No! No! No! A hundred times no!

This is not the time for Chhattisgarh CM to speak like a regressive patriarchal jerk who blames rape on what the woman was wearing, or how late she stayed out at night and in which part of town.

This is time for Indians, cutting across party lines, to speak in one voice against the Great Evil of left wing terror. To speak against those in politics and public life who enable the leftist ideology of hatred, murder and violence. And those who govern have a special responsibility to do so.

This is hardly a partisan issue and nor should it be. Who can forget what happened at Jhiram Ghati in 2013 when top Chhattisgarh Congress leaders were killed by followers of the same violent leftist ideology? Among them was Mahendra Karma, a great man, a patriot and a hero who led the Salwa Judum resistance against violent leftism.

Leftism is a challenge to us as a nation. We have to recognize that.

Except that did not happen yesterday. Because the killers were leftists and the victim was a BJP MLA, the assassination was met with a chilling silence among sections of society that otherwise claim to be very vocal about civil liberties and democracy.

The artists, the journalists, the intellectuals, the academics were all silent. These people, who pretend to be thought leaders and conscience keepers, all refused to speak when it really counted. And their silence against violent leftism makes them look both complicit and suspect. Remember that an attack on an elected MLA is an attack on all of us.

Remember the liberal crowd that comes out on the streets against one angry tweet or some trolling on Facebook? Remember the people who write alarmist articles every time some quarrel breaks out in some neighborhood over kids playing cricket? Remember the folks who rush to their Western paymasters screaming ‘intolerance’ and feeding them stories about the dangers of everything from sarees to Hanuman stickers?

Those are the people who have been trying to glorify violent leftist ideology as some kind of movement for civil liberties. And on the other hand, they have been trying to dehumanize members of the RSS/BJP to the point where the nation no longer cares about their deaths.

This dehumanization of RSS/BJP members has a long history. Can you name even a single person who was burned to death inside S-6 compartment of Sabarmati Express at Godhra on February 27, 2002? An entire coach full of people was burned alive in public view and the only thing heard from media and intellectuals was fake stories about how those people had refused to pay for tea, implying that they somehow deserved to be massacred.

Some counts suggest that nearly 1000 lakh people have been killed by Communism. Yesterday, BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi joined that unending list of victims. And yet when some student union goon flies the blood red Communist flag with the dreaded hammer and sickle, Bollywood celebrities descend to campaign for them. This is an outcome of a culture that systematically glorifies left wing violence.

There is no celebrity whose PR agent will tell them to stand with a placard for Bhima Mandavi. There is no academic or intellectual who expects to get NGO funding by speaking up for what happened to Bhima Mandavi.

But the thing is that we the people have the power to make these propagandists irrelevant. We do not have time for photo shoots with placards, speaking at fake intellectual conferences or signing propaganda petitions. And they would not let us into the big Lutyens clubs anyway where the liberals gather to sip wine that is subsidized with taxpayer money.

But we do have the power to vote.

We have the power to start speaking among ourselves to counter the ideology of violent leftism. Let a billion voices emerge against the scourge of leftism. No celebrity, no intellectual and no academic could possibly drown our collective voice.

Bhima Mandavi died because he was participating in our most noble democratic tradition. The policemen who were with him died in the line of duty. If we do not speak and vote against left wing evil today, we might be the victims tomorrow, every single one of us. Time to stand up and be counted.