Good thing there’s not much in the news right now. I am a little away from the internet. Will be back with a bang by Sunday. Take care folks!
Of late, there has been a lot of nervousness among the right wing regarding 2019. It is hard to believe that it’s been just a month since the same RW thought they were sailing towards victory.
First of all, the economy and the extreme overreaction to a drop in GDP in a couple of quarters. I am not a highly fashionable economist and so I will merely point out this simple thing:
Even the Right Wing has forgotten that in the Fiscal 2015-16, India had grown at its fastest pace in five years. Is it possible that all the big talking heads are missing out on the simple fact of the “high base effect”?
We’ll find all that out once the two difficult quarters : Apr – June and July – Sept pass. These were the two quarters when the economy stood still because of GST.
It goes without saying that the opposition will have a great time until we finally get to Q3 (Oct — Dec, 2017) of the current fiscal. But what you have to understand is that these few months are the best the opposition will ever get.
Have you noticed that the Congress didn’t actually oppose GST … they just desperately wanted it to be pushed back by another year? Why do you suppose that is?
It’s because they wanted these two bad quarters to happen in the last stretch of Modi sarkar before the 2019 elections. The problem is that (and they know it) over the next year, the Modi government will benefit from a “low base effect”.
Essentially over FY 2016-17, the government has paid the price for the economy growing at a five year high in FY 2015-16. Now, over the last two quarters of FY 2017-18, the government will actually reap the harvest for the slowdown in FY 2016-17.
The government knows this too. That is why they stuck steadfastly to the July 1 deadline this year. They wanted the difficult phase to pass well before the election year.
Let’s talk about the election now. As I say all too often, nobody can seriously predict an election 18 months in advance. What we can do however is look at the arithmetic and make an educated guess, like if Australia were playing Sri Lanka in a Test Match. Every election has its own dynamic, but the underlying arithmetic is always right … on average.
The BJP has three simple advantages going for it that will allow it to “dominate” politics for the foreseeable future.
(1) Among every caste, the BJP is at least second choice. Today a Hindu will typically look to BJP and Modi unless a specific caste or regional leader blocks the way. A Yadav in Bihar is not averse to BJP, he is just more loyal to Laloo Yadav. As such, whenever a regional leader does not look to be in a winning position, his voters will go with BJP. This lets BJP walk away with pretty much all of the incremental vote.
On the contrary, the Congress has been eliminated as a voting choice among many castes.
(2) BJP has a much bigger national bucket than the Congress. This is the key difference between Modi’s government and that of Vajpayee. Even during the Vajpayee years, the Congress was dominating India’s politics. The Congress had won many many more votes than the BJP in the 1999 elections and while Atalji ruled from Delhi, the Congress kept winning state after state. At one point, it had 15 Chief Ministers.
As such, when the freshness of a BJP government wore off and there was a slight change in the air, the Congress had a comeback in 2004. Today the Congress’ strongholds of yore have withered away. Their 2004 victory centered around a sweep of Andhra Pradesh. In recent bypolls in Andhra’s Nandyal, I think the Congress got around 0.2% of the vote. In absolute numbers, I think the Congress couldn’t get even 1000 votes.
The BJP has also cleaned up the Congress from the North East. The Congress has gone out of reckoning in urban Maharashtra. Remember that the Congress merely got 6 seats more than BJP in 2004. That six seat lead happened merely because of the Congress’ better geographical spread. Looks impossible now.
(3) Voter wants a stable government of 272+ : If there is one undeniable trend in Indian politics in the last 15 years, it is the voter’s decisive preference for a clear mandate. When Uttar Pradesh handed Mayawati a shock majority in 2007, everyone thought it was an exception. But no, the trend continued … weak coalitions were rejected everywhere. The Congress tally of 206 seats in 2009 was a huge step towards single party rule. That’s before the voter gave Modi a clear majority.
That trend has remained intact well after 2014 and in some ways has actually sharpened. One sided sweeps seem to be more common today than at any point I can remember.
The Congress isn’t getting a one sided sweep in 2019. That’s for certain. Then who will get that one sided sweep? Who else?
The BJP’s Achilees heel is, of course, Mahagathbandhans. Maybe I am a contrarian, but the 325/404 landslide in Uttar Pradesh terrified me. Hopeless opposition parties who think they have nothing to lose are the biggest problem for BJP. Because that’s when they enter into grand alliances … simply to survive.
When Yogi Adityanath was made CM, I read it as a near desperate move by the BJP to at least try and put up a fight in 2019. Because there’s no other way the BJP could beat a united BSP, Cong and SP combine.
To keep the grand alliances from forming, the opposition must feel like they have a real chance. If opposition leaders fight 2019 like a battle for political survival, they will make all the compromises needed to win. And they will win.
On the flip side, if the opposition thinks they have a real chance, they will each begin to push their own agendas. Only then will the BJP have the chessboard it wants for 2019, with the opposition divided in at least three crucial states : Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka. One should also count Assam and Delhi, perhaps Jharkhand and maybe even Haryana.
A Modi sarkar that looks to be under mild pressure is a Modi sarkar that faces a divided opposition in 2019. And a Modi sarkar that is all set for a second term.
I try my best to stay aware of stuff and cross check everything. But there is always something out there that I have heard so many times over that I have ended up believing it without checking.
To give you a small example, I used to believe in the popular fiction that the Amarnath cave was discovered by a Muslim shepherd. I think I heard that on Aaj Tak decades ago and never questioned it. The secular media all around us was naturally happy to leave this myth untouched.
It’s only when I came across @TrueIndology that I found out the truth.
But that’s just a small example. Here is something else that I believed without questioning : the idea that Mayaben Kodnani did actually lead the mobs during the massacre in Ahmedabad’s Naroda area on Feb 28, 2002.
Okay, there is a court verdict that found her guilty of this. When that verdict came, I welcomed it. Anybody who murdered 97 human beings deserves severe punishment.
Now, it is well known that we citizens do not enjoy the right to question the courts. I just hope it is okay if I can now express my surprise / sadness at that judgement and hope that the court reaches a different conclusion this time around.
When Amit Shah appeared as a witness for Maya Kodnani the other day and testified that he had seen her in the Assembly that morning of Feb 28, 2002, I had to investigate further.
And then I came across this :
You know I like to think of myself as a political junkie, but I cannot believe I am only seeing this NOW! How is this video not on every single channel playing in loop?
(By the way, I know I have gone after Anand Ranganathan in the past, but after all his tweets over the last month, all is forgiven 🙂 Ranga dada now has a fan in me! )
I had to rub my eyes. The clock in Gujarat Assembly clearly shows 8:40!
At 8:30 AM, she was supposed to be in Naroda, directing a riot.
Here is what the court had to say about this unassailable piece of evidence the last time around:
Then why did the witness for prosecution say that she was directing the riot at 8:30 AM?
I thought the credibility of a witness hinges on the ability to get details right.
I don’t know what the court will decide this time. But what I do know is that I should have known about this video earlier. I should not have accepted without question the media point of view that Maya Kodnani was 100% guilty as charged. And for that I am shocked, stunned and saddened.
I remember when Vajpayee was building the Delhi metro, the stupid Commie liberals called it a “bourgeois takeover of public space”.
That’s stupidity of such an extreme level that it can only be seen as its own parody.
Today, every city in India is dying to have its own Metro train. The seculars wanted Akhilesh to win the whole of Uttar Pradesh simply because he built a Metro train in Lucknow.
What we think today, they think tomorrow. One day, every state in India will be clamoring for a Shinkansen Bullet train. Mark my words.
Also, the Congress will one day market the Bullet Train as “Rajiv Gandhi’s dream”. Mark these words too.
For the last 3 years, I saw numerous potshots at Modi regarding : “Where are bullet trains? Where are smart cities?”
When Akhilesh lost Uttar Pradesh, one of his first taunts was at the PM’s Bullet Train dream, saying that voters probably wanted the Bullet Train more than his Lucknow Metro. Inherent in this statement was a taunt, a challenge… suggesting that Modi’s bullet train will remain a pipe dream.
But now they saw the Japanese Prime Minister come over to formally kickstart the project. The deadline has actually been advanced from 2023 to 2022. We even have a date : the first Bullet Train is supposed to run on Aug 15, 2022.
It is beginning to sink in among seculars that the Bullet Train is here and it’s going to be for real. Much more real than any of Rajiv Gandhi’s dreams.
So what do the seculars do? Of course they now abandon those earlier taunts and start bitching about the cost, the effectiveness, etc, etc.
First of all, let me tell you this. There’s a blistering fast Maglev train from Shanghai’s Pudong Airport to Central Shanghai. It covers 20 miles in just 7 minutes (can you believe it?) To my surprise, I found few people (other than eager tourists) ever want to ride the Maglev train.
Why? Because the Maglev train is goddamn expensive. That’s why!
The normal Subway train to Central Shanghai takes more than one hour, but everyone would rather take the cheap (and heavily crowded) alternative.
But you know what? It doesn’t matter. That Maglev train has paid for 10 times itself in raising the profile of China as an economic superpower. Every foreign correspondent who arrives in Shanghai … whether from Slate or the New York Times … tells the world about the blistering fast train at Pudong Airport.
I’ll tell you this : the Shinkansen train in Mumbai will shut up the ‘drain inspector’ types from the West who land regularly in India to complain about it. We may try to laugh off their efforts, but the truth is that their constant kvetching about India for 70 years has a serious negative impact on our economy.
It’s the same reason we need ISRO to land a probe on the moon. To leave the naysayers with their mouths wide open. And don’t forget how we inspire a whole generation of Indians to take pride in nation building through science and technology.
In the US, they had the “Sputnik Generation”. That was when America got freaked out by the Soviet leap into space. America did not rest until they put a man on the moon in 1969. The explosion of scientific and technical aspiration that happened in those decades gave the US a near unassailable lead in all things hi-tech.
We need our own “Sputnik generation” in India. Call it the “Bullet Train generation if you want.”
The naysayers can go suck a big one.
I found out today that Jawaharlal Nehru laid the foundation for Sardar Sarovar Dam in 1961!
When did the construction begin? In 1987! A full 26 years later! That cuts through the tenure of three Bharat Ratna winning Prime ministers from the Dynasty!
And we wonder how the Chinese left us so far behind.
On assuming power in 2014, one of the first things that Modi ensured was to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam. He deserved to inaugurate it on his birthday. Well done, PM and Happy Birthday to you.
Meanwhile, the “FCRA based dissent” can go to hell for all I care.
In Indian politics, never a dull moment. The madness of UP elections had only just passed. It’s only yesterday that I realized we only have 2 months to go before elections happen in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh!
Yes, the BJP will win Gujarat. I know that.
By the way, the BJP will win Himachal too and by a landslide. In case you are not keeping tabs on Himachal politics, the Virbhadra government has almost collapsed in the state. The Congress establishment in the state is itself fighting hard to ensure a defeat for Virbhadra Singh. It’s game over in Himachal Pradesh for Congress.
The big worry is Gujarat. It’s not that I worry about hitting a majority. That is guaranteed. I am worried that expectations are being set way too high.
The BJP is naturally saying in public that it plans to win 150 of the state’s 182 seats. That is not a problem in itself. Every party makes big claims of victory before every election.
The problem is that the ecosystem is believing the BJP’s bluff on Gujarat. Which means that when the results come in, BJP supporters could be in for a shock and the secular brigade could be celebrating.
Anything under 150 for BJP in Gujarat and seculars will declare “victory”.
In some ways, this is the scenario I hate most. When winning doesn’t count as winning! And over the last five years, the Congress and its ecosystem have become masters at finding “victory” in defeat!
Did BJP beat Congress 282-44? Don’t worry, because BJP got “only” 31% vote. For some crazy reason, they are still the “losing” side.
Did BJP sweep Uttar Pradesh with 325/404 seats? Never mind… it’s still 40% vote only. Which means ‘secular’ parties still won and BJP just got lucky due to first past the post system!
For a very recent example from Madhya Pradesh, BJP won 2/3rd of the panchayats. But Congress still “won” because it won 3 Panchayats in Mandsaur (where the police firing on farmers happened).
I’ll say this straight. This kind of reasoning on the secular side irritates the hell out of me.
And in Gujarat, the ecosystem is getting ready precisely for this kind of backbiting. Did you win 120/182 seats? Well, that’s still “defeat”, because if you draw 3 vertical lines this way and 3 horizontal lines that way on the map of Gujarat and take the far right corner, then BJP has lost 1 seat over there since last time. So Modi lost!
And I bet it irritates the hell out of Modi too. Remember that in his 2012 victory speech, he mocked at intellectual fools who were calling his 115/182 a “defeat” because it’s two seats less than the BJP’s 2007 tally.
But the same ecosystem is still around, except they are even more desperate this time. The next election after Gujarat will be in Karnataka, for which the Congress will pull out all stops. Right now, the Congress’ single biggest aim is to deny the BJP a favorable wind from its upcoming sweep in Gujarat.
The BJP therefore has to play a careful perception game and not let the “Target 150” narrative carry it away.
Gujarat is a tricky state with difficult caste equations. One has to remember two important things:
(1) Even though BJP won easily in both 2002 and 2007 at the state level, the verdict at the Lok Sabha level was weak, nearly a draw. Situation could reverse this time, with Gujarat ready to give Modi a 26/26 in Lok Sabha but only a small mandate to Vijay Rupani.
(2) Each time BJP has won in Gujarat at the Assembly level, the seats have come from different areas. For example, in 2002, the party actually suffered in most parts but swept Central Gujarat. In 2007, the situation reversed, with BJP doing very poorly in tribal Central Gujarat, but making up for it with gains in other areas. In 2012, the BJP’s victory came mostly from destroying the remaining strongholds of Congress in North Gujarat (this should be repeated).
Madhya Pradesh is actually a much more hospitable state for the BJP than Gujarat ever has been. BJP wins in MP have always been “uniform” in nature, spread out across the state.
I know there has been some CSDS survey predicting like 160 seats for BJP. But the party should not let this survey go to their head. The wily Sanjay Kumar is probably just hedging his bets after his disastrous flop show in Uttar Pradesh. I will never forget Sanjay Kumar mocking other pollsters a day before the election with declarations of “who knows what methodology these pollsters have used that they found BJP so far ahead”.
Once the results came in, Scumbag Sanjay Kumar had the most arrogant response possible. Apparently, CSDS is like Sachin Tendulkar and even Sachin makes mistakes. The difference of course is that Sachin Tendulkar was a gentleman; he would never have been this arrogant, especially after so miserable a failure.
So don’t believe Scumbag Sanjay Kumar. As on date, the BJP will probably get 110 seats or so in Gujarat. Touching 120 is a stretch. And then, there’s 2018 with 3 big tough elections : Karnataka, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. The BJP needs two out of these three to ensure a win in 2019. Brace yourself.
This is not to pit one murder victim against another. But it does grate when Hindu lives are taken so lightly in this country by everyone, even the right wing.
Here is my single point agenda today : search for Soumitra Ghoshal on social media.
Just do a search on social media and see what comes up. Don’t even expect anything from mainstream media.
I’m saying so because I did the search after I saw some stray tweets with the name. The pictures of the inhumanity that I saw are likely to give anybody nightmares. So don’t look at the pictures if you think you can’t take it.
I will not reproduce the pictures here. I can’t take it.
Such inhumanity. Such ruthless murder of a BJP booth president. And shocking silence on social media, let alone mainstream media.
What is happening in Bengal today has crossed all bounds of humanity.
Truth be told, this is not new to Bengal. Systemic endless violence was the hallmark of Communist politics for decades.
Ask me. Whenever I would go to Kolkata as a child, one of my favorite places to visit was my grandmother’s house (of course!). I would demand to ride Kolkata’s trams. Even though the bus was faster, my mother would then take me by Tram No. 24 to my grandmother’s house near Bijon Setu (one of Kolkata’s most famous bridges).
I did not know then that Bijon Setu was a place where the Communists once burned alive … in full public view in the heart of Kolkata … 17 followers of the Ananda Marga sect. No one was ever arrested for this. For 17 murders.
As Ravish Kumar would have said, things were different back then. Baagon mein bahaar thi…
And when Trinamool took over, the erstwhile Communist cadre joined the winning side and the violence continued.
And believe it or not, violence in Bengal is actually down. I hate to give Mamata Banerjee credit for anything, but truth is that the Communists were several times more brutal than the TMC.
Only a few dozen people died in Bengal the last time Panchayat polls were held under TMC rule. Hundreds used to die when same Panchayat polls were held under CPIM.
By standards of Bengal, violence is down. By standards that you should expect in a civilized and democratic country, Mamata Banerjee is running a reign of terror.
And now yet another BJP man has died a horrible death in Bengal.
We cannot seriously expect the mainstream media to report on this. The media has more or less openly declared its partisan role. Many commenters are not shy any more to openly say they don’t really care if BJP/RSS workers are massacred.
But what of the people on “our side”? The Right Wing on Twitter has barely said anything about this.
Let us face the truth that it is not only the left which devalues Hindu life, the right does it too! In an age of social media, it is fairly easy to get the media to focus their attention on something. But RW Twitter wasn’t bothered to stand up for justice to Soumitra Ghoshal.
And at some level, people of Bengal sense that. Ordinary people do question the commitment of right wing forces to Bengal. Is the BJP in Bengal solely to win seats or to genuinely emancipate the suffering Hindus?
“On and off” is not an option in Bengal politics. The BJP and its right wing family have to be there on every single issue, fighting tooth and nail against the ruling party. I don’t see that. Rather, what I see is that BJP is highlighting crimes in Bengal to energize its base in other states! The genuine commitment to uproot TMC is lacking.
And maybe that’s why Mamata keeps winning hands down.
Imagine my surprise (or the lack of it)
Only the other day mainstream media, Facebook and Twitter were abuzz with talk of Swami Vivekananda’s historic address in Chicago in 1893. The Prime Minister made it into an event, the people really got into it and a day was spent with Indians proudly talking about the ideals of one of our national icons.
How could the left stay out of the act and just let us be? After all, the man wore saffron robes. How could a leftist just let it pass without spitting at Hindus in the eye?
So left wing propaganda blog Scroll comes out with an article bashing Swami Vivekananda no less, this time declaring that his words laid the foundation for sectarian politics in our country!
Yes, the evils of Indian politics are all due to Swami Vivekananda.
Have you noticed how Nehru and his descendants are never to blame for anything at all? The Nehru dynasty just happens to be the innocent but incredibly lucky ones who just happened to benefit the most from Indian politics. The evils in our politics are all due to ‘others’… due to anyone but the Dynasty.
Even Swami Vivekananda. The article in Scroll itself is a hodgepodge of haphazard complaints, historical inaccuracies and overstretched analogies aching under the weight of the author’s despair to malign a much respected figure.
But the very fact that such an article would pass muster at the editorial desk of Scroll shows us a certain ruthlessness on the left that Hindus often fail to appreciate. See not the desperate, comical attempts of the leftist author to throw mud at the towering personality of Swami Vivekananda. Instead, look at the steely determination of leftists to take on any challenge, no matter how hard, in their quest to undermine anything that could make a Hindu feel proud about her/his place in the world.
For the leftist cause, every icon, every symbol, every idea that Hindus could hold dear is like a target to be destroyed. Because the left aspires to nothing less than total deracination of Indian Hindus, cutting them off from their history, their legends, their beliefs, their cultures, their celebrations, their icons and their languages.
The cry of Vande Mataram was once so powerful in its expression of will that the British banned it in the streets of Bengal. But in independent India, the leftist complex has worked on Vande Mataram constantly, eroding its iconic status to the point that ‘cosmopolitan minded’ Hindus would probably be ashamed to say it in public today.
The iconography of “Bharat Mata” as a Hindu goddess in Bankim Chandra’s novel Anandamath was ananthema to Indian leftists. So they worked on it till even we Hindus became embarrassed to say it.
A similar sense of shame has been injected into the observance of every Hindu festival on some pretext or another : it could be pollution caused by Diwali, the ‘terror’ spread by Kanwariyas during monsoons or even the ‘terror‘ spread by kids playing Holi. It could be the patriarchal undertones of Rakshabandhan. Or cruelty to bulls or even climbing too high on top of each other during Dahi Handi.
Every time the ‘civilized’ leftist is there just in time to save us Hindus from our own ‘barbaric’ culture.
No matter how stiff the challenge, the left never stops trying. Like turning Vivekananda into a hate figure.
Or turning Aurangazeb into a generous, fair minded, secular ruler. The left is unfazed. If they don’t succeed the first time, they try again. And again and again, until the common Hindu finally bows down to their narrative.
This reminds me of a time some 4-5 years ago when the nation was discussing the Nirbhaya gangrape. Out came The Hindu with a piece that related gangrapes to the masculine posture of Vivekananda in his posters, pictures and statues!
The left knows well that these one or two articles will not destroy Swami Vivekananda. The key is that the left never gives up and is continually testing the waters, pushing the envelope little by little, making small gains here and there every day.
And these tiny everyday gains add up as the years pass and the years turn into decades. ‘Cosmopolitan’ Hindus are probably ashamed of saying Vande Mataram today … 20 years from now they might well be ashamed of Swami Vivekananda in much the same way.
Perhaps one of the disadvantages of being such an old civilization is that Hindus have become too stoic. Our civilization really has seen it all and as such Hindu society is oddly comfortable, convinced that we will last forever.
Some people on Twitter told me that Swami Vivekananda is too great a figure to be tarnished by “dwarfs”.
But that’s too cozy a way of looking at things. There is no rock that can withstand forever the lashes of the waves breaking upon it. The same goes for ancient civilization surrounded from all sides by an angry, rising sea.
It is now established beyond doubt that certain dynasts are smarter than others. Rahul Gandhi took like 5 sentences to describe what Karan Johar had explained in just 2 words:
We have seen lots of images of entitled politicians heaping scorn on the ordinary people of India. But Rahul Gandhi sitting down with a smirk and laughing about how “India runs like this only” is in a league of his own.
Along with himself, Rahul Gandhi was eager to rub it in by dropping names of other Shehzadas … M K Stalin and Akhilesh Yadav and Anurag Thakur … to make his point. Two of them are his allies. As if that wasn’t enough, Rahul made sure we all understood by pointing out that “Ambani’s kids are also running their father’s business”.
It is good to know that the Dynasty admits that it runs a business and that it is passed down from father to son/daughter.
There we have it folks : Congress party is a private company.
On a side note, that should also answer folks who think National Herald was a scam.
What Rahul left unsaid of course is that the son of a chaiwala should also be a chaiwala.
Because this is how India runs. And this is how India has always run. And this is how feudal lords like Rahul Gandhi would forever want to see India being run.
Now we don’t know if Rahul Gandhi has a mind, but we do know that voters have a mind of their own. And voters will have to use it. After this statement, is there any remaining doubt that Rahul Gandhi endorses every single system of feudal oppression in the country?
Indeed, why would Congress ever want to change anything at all? The old India elected the Congress party for 57 years. Why would the Congress ever want to change a single thing about India?
The Congress and Rahul Gandhi would be fools to change anything at all.
Corruption? Who has it benefitted most? Why change?
Black Money? Who has it benefitted most? Why change?
Casteism? Who has it benefitted most? Why change?
Even the backwardness and poverty of the Muslim community. This backwardness has brought hundreds of millions of votes to the Congress party over 70 years. Why should they want to change a single thing about it?
India runs like this only …
You could not find a more ringing endorsement of caste privilege if you tried. After all, what is caste, other than social privilege passed down from father to son?
For most people, caste lives in their surname. For “upper” castes, the surname is the marker of the privilege.
Exactly what Rahul’s surname does for him. Rahul is a very common name. How many Rahuls do you know around you?
But when Rahul is added to “Gandhi”, the person becomes special. No matter how many times he fails, no matter how many elections he loses, he will always be over and above the rest of us.
He has that privilege. He revels in it. And he throws it in our faces.
The ‘intellectuals’ today are no doubt thrilled. Because they are generally the products of the same feudal system that produced Rahul Gandhi. Just that they are the kids of the lesser zamindars, the vassals who would pay tribute to Nehru.
Dig into their history and you will see the same privileged names tumbling out : Stephens College, Doon School and so on. They all knew each other. Their parents were appointed to positions of power and influence and prestige even as the remaining 99% of Indians struggled for one meal a day. At the peak of the Emergency, they would go to catch a movie at Rashtrapati Bhavan after a sumptuous brunch at the Prime Minister’s table.
You think those people aren’t thrilled today that Rahul Gandhi put the upstart chaiwalas in their place?
The intellectuals have been in the desert for three years now. They just needed to hear it from the Shehzada himself that India hasn’t really changed and soon enough, hopefully in 2019, India will be what it has always been. A paradise for those born in privilege.
You and I can go to hell.
These days state funerals are in the news. Because, in India of 2017 under Modi’s fascist rule, celebrity ‘dissenters’ receive state funerals. You know, just like it used to happen in other fascist regimes such as those of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro and Kim Jong Il (all of them were right wingers, in case you were wondering).
Even as the CPI(M) and the secular brigade are falling all over themselves to pay their respects to murdered journalist Gauri Lankesh, I am suddenly reminded of their reaction to another death that happened nine years ago. And I cannot help but compare their reactions. And wonder…
That was the death of a hero. The martyrdom of Maj. Sandeep Unnikrishnan who fell fighting terrorists during the 26/11 attack. Who among us can forget this picture of the mother, the son and the grieving nation?
The fallen hero, who lived in Bengaluru, was given a state funeral with full honors in the presence of Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa.
But there were some who clearly were not happy at this outpouring of grief and support for the 26/11 martyr. The neighboring state of Kerala, then ruled by CPI(M), decided not to send any representative to the funeral of Maj. Sandeep, despite the fact that the martyr was from Kerala himself.
Understandably, The decision of the CPI(M) government not to send a representative to Maj. Sandeep’s funeral came in for heavy criticism from the BJP. The BJP even reminded the CPI(M) that a hartal had been observed in parts of Kerala when Saddam Hussein had died.
It was at this point that Kerala CM V S Achutanandan was embarrassed enough that he turned up at the Unnikrishnans’ home to offer his condolences.
But Maj. Sandeep’s father refused to let the Kerala CM into his house. The grieving father explained himself thus :
The Kerala Chief Minister wasn’t going to have any more of it. It was bad enough that he, an honorable Communist CM would have to travel all the way from Kerala to Bangalore to show respect to a commoner killed fighting for India. He had to bow to the outrage of common people complaining about him not sending a representative to the funeral.
And now, the common father of the dead commoner was even insulting the Honorable CM, refusing to let the Honorable CM into his common house.
For the veteran Communist, enough was enough. It was time to show the common people their place.
How can a commoner ever forget his place? Especially when their son has just been martyred fighting for the country?
Here are the initial reactions from liberals, minutes after the news of Gauri Lankesh’s murder began to spread.
Does anybody see anything at all about trolls and social media? To me these look like fairly direct accusations of murder. One of them even says “The right wing strikes“. Not mincing any words.
Neither do I see anything about Right Wing trolls in this comment from Rahul Gandhi himself.
Then, a day passed and people began to notice that the ‘secular’ ecosystem was throwing out direct accusations of murder in a complete vacuum of evidence.
THAT is when the left realized its mistake and quickly decided to change the narrative. In an Orwellian sleight of hand, the left declared that their outrage had only been about right wing trolls who supposedly were saying mean things about Gauri Lankesh.
From accusing the right wing of murder to accusing the right wing of trolling! What a spectacular climbdown for the left!
It was like a memo had gone out and the entire left fell in line instantly. You can see here senior ‘journalist’ Ravish Kumar explain at the Press Club protest meeting (from 1:15 here) :
“Zyada reaction is baat se tha ki jaanch to hui nahin hai, hum nahin jaante ki hatya kisne ki hai, zyada reaction is baat se tha ki social media pe kis tarah ki bhasha ka istemaal hua hai” (The investigation hasn’t happened so we don’t know who killed her, the bigger reaction was about the kind of language that has been used on social media)
Now take another look at the screenshot of Sept 5 tweets from liberals on the murder of Gauri Lankesh. Read the words of Rahul Gandhi ji. And now keep repeating in your head the words of Ravish Kumar till you can force yourself to believe them :
“We don’t know who killed Gauri Lankesh, the reaction was all about the kind of language used on social media”
The Orwellian term for this is “reality control”. We are now supposed to believe that no accusations of murder were thrown at the right wing. Anybody who remembers otherwise is in the pay of the upper caste Hindu heterosexual males who control the Sangh Parivar.
This Orwellian circus of lies needs to be called out. The fact of the matter is that the Left wing has accused right wingers of murder and they have to give evidence in support of their claim. The burden of proof is on them.
Five days have passed and the Karnataka government has not been able to produce a shred of evidence that right wingers killed Gauri Lankesh. The police appears fairly silent. Could this silence be interpreted to mean that the available leads are pointing away from the conclusion that the left wanted to see?
I’m speculating there, but if Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh is entitled to his speculation, so am I.
What we are seeing right now is a panicked attempt by the embarrassed left to change the thrust of the story from the initial accusation of murder to studying the use of language by the 1800 odd people that the Prime Minister follows on Twitter. Already The Wire has decided to cast an even wider net and is now checking out tweets of people followed by all Cabinet Ministers, not just Modi. One can expect that in the coming days this will be further expanded to include any person followed by BJP Chief Ministers, then BJP Ministers in the states, then BJP MPs, then BJP MLAs, mayors, corporators, heads of various morchas and cells…
The left wants to send us on a wild goose chase on social media because it is unable to sustain with evidence its initial accusation of murder against the Hindu right. It is up to the people to hold them accountable. An accusation of murder has been made. The Left needs to come up with the evidence or tender a grovelling apology.