Chhattisgarh elections begin with Raman Singh batting like a star

I must begin today’s post with an expression of grief for the loss of Ananth Kumar. Shocking. No words. To lose a leader like that at the age of 59 years is huge huge loss for Karnataka BJP.

Meanwhile, even as I write, BJP cadres in the Naxal affected districts of Chhattisgarh must have hit the ground with gusto. The BJP is defending its 15 years in Chhattisgarh and getting ready for a fourth term.

That Raman Singh and Shivraj are likely to successfully defend 15 years of governance in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh respectively is amazing in itself. Also spare a thought for Gujarat, where BJP defended 22 years of incumbency last year. A feat which shows the truth in Amit Shah’s words: BJP ki sarkaron mein anti incumbency nahin hoti (there is no anti incumbency around BJP governments).

First of all, our thoughts today should go out to the voters of Chhattisgarh, thousands of whom will be risking their lives to come out and vote. These are the voters who refuse to be intimidated by left wing terrorism. And a salute to our valiant security forces who are defending with their lives the right of the people to vote.

I believe one jawan of the BSF was martyred only yesterday. Think of what it takes to put your body in between the left wing terrorists and the people. And think of how little their jobs pay. These security forces are the true heroes of our democracy.

Come tonight, the fashionable leftists will be on TV as usual, giving us lectures on free speech, decrying the Indian state. And of course, the leftists on TV will be maligning the same security forces that have spent all day trying to save the people from the bombs and bullets thrown by the leftists of the forest.

Let us now come to the electoral equations today. Of the 18 seats on offer, the BJP has just 6 and the Congress 12 at the moment. The 2013 result was the exact opposite of the 2008 outcome, where BJP won 12 seats and the Congress 6.

Today it is BJP’s turn to win in these 18 seats. Last time, the sympathy wave created by the dastardly attack at Jhiram Ghati was too much for the BJP.  I mention here the Late Mahendra Karma, the leader of Salwa Judum, who was martyred in the Jhiram Ghati attack of 2013. He was the only Congress leader I used to see as a hero.

In 2013, the BJP knew that they had done badly in the 1st phase. Modi knew that a loss in Chhattisgarh would be a huge blow to the Modi wave, which was still building up at the time. What followed in the week between the 1st phase and the 2nd phase was a terrific jugalbandhi. Modi and Raman covered every corner of Central Chhattisgarh with rallies and no voter was left untouched by the campaign.

The result? The Congress had gone into relax and celebrate mode after the 1st phase, believing in the wisdom that whoever wins Bastar wins Chhattisgarh. Unfortunately for them, Modi and Raman proved to be makers of their own destiny. Together they stormed the Congress held seats in central Chhattisgarh, generating a wave of local anti-incumbency against sitting Congress MLAs.

This time as the BJP is fighting incumbency in central Chhattisgarh, it becomes all about sweeping Bastar. The BJP has nurtured the tribal vote nationwide, with a heady mix of welfare schemes and big ticket development projects. Today they will reap rich rewards.

Even so, it is to Raman Singh’s credit that he has made this election look ‘easy’ compared to that in 2013. The Congress now has a clear disadvantage in arithmetic with the departure of Jogi. And with Jogi out, the Congress has no leader and no hope of matching Raman Singh. Does Congress seriously think that Bhupesh Baghel can be CM?

The BJP has kept the pressure on the Congress with calculated moves to devastate the morale of the opposition cadre. Only last night, we learned that the state vice president of the Congress has quit the party, showing just how bad the infighting within Congress is.  Some people were asking me on Twitter how this makes a difference because most voters have made up their minds by now.

Let me tell you it makes a BIG difference. And I am very sure this departure of state Congress vice president was calculated and planned deliberately for election eve. It’s not about voters, but cadres. It is the cadre which ensures the turnout of party supporters. Their morale, their booth management, is what ultimately carries the election. And in these 18 seats of Chhattisgarh, cadres will probably be risking their lives to ensure turnout of their supporters.

Now tell me what a high profile departure on election eve does to the morale of a Congress cadre? It sends a message that the party’s leadership is compromised, couldn’t care less about the election and doesn’t even want to win. Why should a Congress cadre risk his life and limb in dangerous Naxal affected areas of Bastar? What for? For a Congress leadership that may well be hand in glove with the BJP?

I will say this openly: I feel bad for common Congress cadres in MP and Chhattisgarh, especially Chhattisgarh. Why should they fight? Their own leaders are busy backstabbing each other like crazy. Is their leadership even backing them? No, the only cheerleading is coming from some Delhi propagandists who are being paid for their time. Those Delhi propagandists will send a full itemized bill after every election for their services, charging for every comma, every full stop and possibly for every blank space as well. Why should Congress cadre even try?

Meanwhile the BJP cadre is fully united under Raman Singh’s leadership and every cadre has the full backing of Modi, Shah and the wishes and support of millions of common supporters and sympathizers who don’t want even one rupee from the party. They are not paid to cheer, they take time out of their own common lives in the hopes of making a difference to an ideological cause. The BJP cadre knows it has a tough job on its hands and a need to deliver. Because so many people are counting on them. Who do you think will win this?

 

 

 

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How US Midterm Elections turned out to be a disappointment for liberals

You have to keep an eye on the US because it’s so fascinating.

Ok, I must clear the air on one thing. Do I support Trump? First of all, it doesn’t matter because I am not an American. On FB and Twitter, I have seen friends and acquaintances get into these endless fights over Trump and Republicans and Democrats and what not. I have no idea why. I would much rather worry about elections in Rajasthan.

Ok, now that we have that out of the way, let me point out that I do not support Donald Trump. Actually, that’s really easy. I used to like Bush a lot. People used to say that Bush was the guy you would want to have a beer with. I agree. A beer with Trump? *Shudder*

However, what I do enjoy is the swagger with which Trump makes the liberals cry. And because Indian liberals see themselves as world citizens (one of the many ways in which they are “better” than us), they take American politics really really seriously. Possibly even more seriously than what’s happening in India. And whenever Indian liberals are hurting, you bet your last dollar that I will be there to relish the show 🙂

Ok, so what about all the horrible and rude things that Trump says? Well, let me just say that liberals brought this upon themselves. You see, the liberals kept pushing and pushing with their political correctness garbage. You can’t say X and you can’t say Y, because it is … well… offensive. And people in America kept going along with it, because it seemed like the liberals were advocating for mutual respect among people, a laudable goal.

But liberals didn’t care about people being nice to each other. Liberals just wanted control. Declaring this or that “offensive” was just a way to shut others down and to secure for elite liberals the right to decide what people could and could not say.

The juggernaut of political correctness kept rolling further and further, until you had kids at American public universities being told that they couldn’t even use words like “boyfriend” and “girlfriend”. I’m not kidding. Turns out that “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” is too gender specific and transgenders might feel left out when people use them!

That’s the kind of thing that created a popular revolt against political correctness. That’s how you get the kind of stuff Trump says. People love him for it! Because rude speech, even genuinely racist speech, now feels like a heady thrill to most Americans. Because people just want to make the annoying liberals mad…

The midterm election season in the US began with a touch of 2006 in the mood. That’s when the Bush presidency was at its lowest ebb and the Iraq War was devastatingly unpopular. The left was confident of a sweep. They called it the “Blue Wave” (for some reason, Democrats are associated to Blue and Republicans are associated to Red).

First of all, one must be aware of a basic fact of American politics. In all except 2 midterm elections since 1910, the President’s party has always lost seats. So, the Democrats were supposed to do well anyway if 110 years of American political history is anything to go by. 

With a President that Democrats felt was as unpopular as Trump, they dreamed up a “Blue Wave”.

How wrong they were!

The rest of this post is written by our guest blogger Prof. M Vidyasagar. I thank him for sharing his wisdom here (and for several years in the comments). I will just quickly mention that I feel the two things that saved the day (relatively) for Republicans is the popular disgust towards feminists after the Kavanaugh hearing and the migrant caravan, which Trump exploited merrily to his advantage. And of course, don’t forget the economy.

 

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SOME REFLECTIONS ON THE US MIDTERM ELECTIONS

by Prof. M Vidyasagar

I. SOME HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

It is worthwhile to recall the 2012 Presidential election as that provides some background to the 2016 election. In 2012, Barack Obama contested for the second term with Joe Biden as his VP. He was opposed by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan (VP) on the Republican ticket. Obama won 332 electoral college votes as opposed to 206 for Romney.

In the 2016 election, the coronation of Hillary Clinton as the candidate of the Democrats was a foregone conclusion. The Republicans had a bruising battle, with as many as 16 candidates in the fray. In the end, Donald Trump emerged as the winner of the nomination process. To the surprise of almost everyone in the business of forecasting election results, Trump won 320 electoral college votes against 218 for Clinton. In other words, the result was pretty much a mirror image of the 2012 election outcome. If one were to exclude California, Trump also won the popular vote. So it is a myth that somehow Trump was an illegitimate victor.

As for the Congress, the Republicans held on to both Houses, despite slight losses (two senate seats and six House seats).

Having said that, I should also point out that Trump was much despised even within the Republican Party, and of course by the Democrats and the mainstream media. There were many Republicans who were known as “never-Trumpers”. Chief among them was Paul Ryan, the unsuccessful Republican VP candidate in 2012, who continued on as the Speaker of the House. Ryan continued to fancy himself as an alternate power center within the Republicans, and made it his personal business to block three signature initiatives on which the Republicans (not just Trump) ran in 2016, namely: Fixing the Affordable Care Act (Obama care) and replacing it with something better; reforming the immigration mess; and funding the border wall. This is why, despite Republicans being in control of all three organs (White House, Senate, and House), not one of these agenda items was acted upon.

II. OUTCOME OF THE 2018 MIDTERM ELECTIONS

Many commentators have been expressing uncontrolled glee that the Democrats have regained the control of the House, while conveniently ignoring the fact that they have seen reduced strength in the Senate. To put the performance of the Democrats in perspective, it is worthwhile to compare what happened during the Midterm elections of the previous three Presidents. I am comparing only their first-term results.

Clinton in 1994: Republicans gained 54 House seats and 8 Senate seats
Bush in 2002: Republicans gained 8 House seats ad 2 Senate seats
Obama in 2010: Republicans gained 63 House seats and 6 Senate seats
Trump in 2018: Democrats gained 31 House seats (thirteen to be declared) and lost 2 Senate seats (three to be declared).

So the performance of the Democrats was nothing to crow about. One of the very few thoughtful political commentators in the US is Mark Penn, and he nailed it in the video below. Penn points out that the public punished House Republicans for doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING on their three campaign promises, especially health care which is the single most important worry for almost all Americans. Apparently, out of the 241 incumbent Republicans, as many as 40, or one out of six, bailed out of the 2018 midterm elections, including Paul Ryan, the wannabe alternative power center. The House Republicans never overcame their revulsion towards Trump, and paid the price. Penn also points out that the Democratic Senators evoked widespread disgust and revulsion with their personal attacks and smears on Brett Kavanaugh. During those hearings, some of the “never Trump” Republican Senators began to line up with Trump, e.g. Lindsey Graham, and the Republicans put up a united front during the Senate races. This is why they gained and the Democrats lost.

III. GOING FORWARD

With the Democrats in control of the House, they are frothing at the mouth to investigate anyone and everyone, including an impeachment of not just Trump but also now Justice Kavanaugh. So in short, it will be a nonstop circus like the Kavanaugh hearings, but with two important differences. First, in those hearings, only one person was targeted. Now everyone and his dog will be targeted. Second, those hearings lasted only a few weeks, while these hearings will last two full years.

Even before the elections, I saw many of the senior Democratic Congress-persons who would be chairing various committees. I can say honestly that every single one of them is a certifiable nut case. But it is only recently that I understand why these nut cases rose to the top. Seniority is determined by the number of terms that one has served. Because the coastal areas (where most of the loony lefties reside) have been solidly Democratic for decades, the representatives of those are the senior-most. The middle of the country tends to alternate between the two parties. Consequently, even when a Democrat manages to get elected, he or she won’t be very senior.

My own prediction is that the Democratic-controlled House will be a total disaster, which will turn off most decent Americans. (And they are still the majority, even if they don’t speak much.) To compensate, the Democrats are trying to import huge numbers of low-skills immigrants, legally or illegally. There are some signs that the Democrats’ stranglehold on the votes of African-Americans is slipping, as also the Hispanic Americans. So they need to replenish their voter base.

One of the young persons who is making a name for herself is called Candace Owens. She criticizes the Democrats for keeping the African-Americans backward to retain them as a vote bank (sound familiar?). She also has a video where she says “Illegal is the new black.” It is well worth watching.

In the Senate, with greater Republican control, Trump will be able to push through his nominees for various senior administrative positions (such as a new Attorney General) and Supreme Court Justices.

In his post-election press conference, Trump was remarkably unconciliatory towards those Republicans who lost, saying “You didn’t embrace me!” I suppose he could have been conciliatory instead of bragging, but then that is Trump’s nature. In any case, it cannot be denied that Trump campaigned really hard, and that many candidates who were in a losing position won thanks to his campaigning. For better or worse for the Republicans, he has become the undisputed public face of the party. The remaining never-Trumpers (if there are any left) would have to deal with it.

IV. THE BROKEN AMERICAN ELECTORAL PROCESS

And finally, as an Indian, I could not fail to notice the contrast between the shambles that is the American electoral process, and our own modern, all-electronic process. The entire process of voter enrollment in the US is full of holes. It is ridiculously easy for anyone who is physically present in the US to become a voter. Often a driver’s licence is enough to get on the voters’ list. Since the onus is on the voter to get registered, in contrast with our system where the onus is on the government to maintain an up-to-date voters’ registry, the number of voters swings wildly from one election to another. (Not that our system is fool-proof, but at least we try; apparently they don’t even want to try to make it fool-proof.) There is no centralized Election Commission as we have. As a result, every state and indeed every county follows its own procedures — paper ballots, touch screens, punch cards, you name it — and takes its own sweet time to declare results. Tens of thousands of votes are suddenly “discovered,” as is happening now in Florida.

V. CONCLUSION

Harold Wilson famously said that a week is a long time in politics. So what can one say about two years? With that caveat, I believe that the next election is for Trump to lose. I find the Democrats to be too much in the grip of the loony lefties to appeal to anyone other than their committed voter base (including of course the illegal immigrants). Trump is doing a great job on the economy, and so long as that holds up, he will be on a strong footing.

 

 

PM Modi has drawn a straight line between Urban Maoists and Maoist Terror

This needed to be said.

All my life I have wondered. How come no leftist sitting in a TV studio, a university or a think tank is ever asked to answer for what left wing extremists are doing in this country?

On the other hand, the left has never been shy of connecting any transgression, no matter how small, committed by a right winger (real or perceived) directly to the Hindu right. Some right winger on Twitter posts an angry tweet directed at a woman. Within minutes the left wing propaganda news channels and websites are buzzing : Modi must answer.

Meanwhile, liberal terrorists are carrying out an armed occupation of large parts of the country. Literally hundreds of people are murdered by these liberal terrorists. But don’t you ask the oily liberal sitting in TV studio and lecturing us about democracy. Apparently we must learn to respect the difference between CPI(XYZ) and CPI(X) and CPI(XY) and CPI(XY)(Z) faction.

Total nonsense. Typical of terror outfits to conceal their hands behind a maze of political organizations.

Somebody needed to talk about the front organizations for liberal terror operating in our TV studios, think tanks and universities. PM Modi has gone to Bastar, the heart of liberal terror and drawn a straight line linking fashionable liberals to their terrorist arm.

The people of India deserved to hear this said out aloud.

Above all, the local people of Bastar needed to hear this. The liberals enjoy life in air conditioned luxury, send their children to study in America. And when (and if) they return, they have cushy jobs waiting for them, all provided by the liberal cocktail circuit. They are promoted as “intellectuals” and opinion makers in media and academia.

Meanwhile, the poisonous ideology flowing from the liberals in Lutyens is disseminated with pamphlets and guns to youngsters in Bastar. While the youth is sucked out of Bastar and sent to perish in the forests for a rotten cause, the liberal masterminds are sipping govt subsidized wine at the top clubs in Delhi. Occasionally, a liberal will actually grab some forest land from local Adivasis and build a nice bungalow where they can come and chill out for vacation.

During these vacations, these creative liberals will take notes about the “struggle” of adivasis against the Indian state. These notes are then polished for a global audience,  multi-million dollar book deals are struck and then the liberal flies around London and New York collecting adulation and awards.

Remember that TV media cried for a week when some “tribal rights activist” was put under “house arrest”, whatever that means.

Remember that Trilochan Mahato was an actual tribal. He was just an 18 year old boy. And because he supported BJP, the liberal goons murdered him and hung his body from a tree. It was all so brazen that liberals even wrote on his shirt that he was being murdered for supporting BJP. The liberal TV media barely even covered this story.

Tribal rights “activists” matter. An actual tribal doesn’t matter. See?

Today, more than ever, we need to be conscious of the danger of Urban Maoists among us.

Let me tell you why. Because after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the political collapse of overtly Stalinist parties in India, the left has made a crucial change of strategy. 

In the past, the left tried to enforce its ideology through armed invasion and occupation. In Bengal, leftists would break into the homes of dissenters, slaughter them publicly and then make the mother eat the rice soaked in the blood of her sons.

The liberals realize that those days are over. Their terrorism claimed thousands of lives but ultimately it did not manage to overthrow the Indian State. 

The left has now changed its tactics.

The left is now selling its ideology on the free market. Like ISIS. 

And remember that the free market is always the most efficient way to distribute something.

Instead of invading people’s homes by breaking down the front door, the sinister liberal has found a smoother way. They can just enter your home through your television, through the social media on your computer and the newspaper left on your front door. When your young son or daughter goes to school or college, there is a liberal waiting to teach him how to be a traitor.

In the language of social justice, of course. They have mastered the art of using the devices of the Indian state to destroy it.

The Stalinist of yesterday has become the human rights activist of today.

Dig into the histories of the liberals you see on TV. You will find their roots in college AISA and SFI unions. Some of the older liberals and their friends will openly tell you about the heady days of the 1970s when they dreamed of “revolution” and possibly worked for it.

Do  not be fooled. There is no such thing as an ex-Communist.

They have merely changed their strategy. But they still serve the same master. And their objective is precisely the same : the overthrow of the Indian state.

This is an information war. Like ISIS, the liberals understand advertising, PR strategies and mass psychology very well. They market social justice in the same way ISIS recruiters on the web package and sell the vision of an “Islamic Caliphate” to impressionable people everywhere.

The antidote is to tell people about the reality of the Islamic State, the atrocities they carry out and the horrors of life under ISIS.

Similarly, we can stop the Communist evil only by lifting the curtain and exposing the direct line from liberal intellectuals to Maoist terrorists. Like ISIS agents online, the urban Maoists offer utopian visions of a wonderful and fair world. The reality is that they want to recruit people to carry out mass murder in the forests of Chhattisgarh.

Every Indian deserves to know this.

Kerala High Court decides that “supporting ISIS ideology does not amount to waging war against Asiatic ally of India”

Recently, the top echelons of the Indian judiciary have issued several verdicts that can really help the citizens of this country understand both the right to Free Expression as well as the reasonable limits placed on it.

Here is another such landmark judgement, from the Kerala High Court today.

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As reported here by LiveLaw.in, the Honorable Kerala High Court has set aside the conviction of a woman under Section 125 of the Indian Penal Code. This Section of the IPC deals with waging war against an Asiatic power that is in alliance with the Govt of India and has provision for life imprisonment.

The woman in question is one Yasmeen Mohammad Zahid, who was arrested from Delhi Airport on Aug 1, 2016 while apparently trying to flee to Afghanistan with the aim of joining ISIS.

Earlier the NIA Special Court in Ernakulam had found her guilty of supporting and raising funds for ISIS and accordingly, convicted her under Sections 120B, 125 IPC and Sections 38,39 and 40 of UAPA.

In particular, the Honorable Court observed that:

Supporting an ideology of a banned organization of course is different from waging a war or attempting to wage a war or abetting to wage a war.

I am convinced that this judgement and the precedent set by it will act as a guiding light for citizens, media and the legal fraternity trying to understand the limits of freedom of expression in India.

Another recent decision of the Honorable Kerala High Court, may also help in this regard:

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So far over 3500 people have been arrested by Kerala Police over protests at Sabarimala, some 540 cases registered and around 100 are still in judicial custody.

As reported by the Hindustan Times:

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I am grateful to the Honorable Kerala High Court for taking a firm stand against the protests at Sabarimala. Now that the courts have prevented “wrong signals” from being sent, I do hope that the general public gets the message.

Of course, no article on clarifying the status of Freedom of Expression in India would be complete without referring to the views expressed by the Supreme Court after the arrest of five “activists”.

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I am not a lawyer nor a judge, much less a legal scholar.

I am nobody to comment on these judgments and views expressed by the courts. Even if I wanted to comment, I would not have the required expertise. Most likely because I do not happen to be an “eminent citizen” of India.

I just thought I would prepare a brief compilation of recent views of the honorable Indian judiciary which may or may not have an impact of how we the people understand Freedom of Expression.

Freedom of Expression is a complicated matter. Hopefully, people who read this article will get it now.

Cracker ban : RWs have celebrated too early, possibly walked into a media trap

So yesterday my Twitter timeline was flooded with two kinds of tweets, sharing the exact same “news” but with opposite interpretations.

(1) The heady, joyous right wingers: According to them, the people of every city had openly defied the various restrictions on Diwali crackers, thus teaching the liberals a lesson.

(2) The agonized, angry liberals: According to them, there was “mass contempt of court” happening all over the place.

Teaching the liberals a lesson? I don’t think that’s what happened at all. Quite the contrary, I think the right wing has walked into a trap laid by liberals.

For weeks now, the media has reported empty and shuttered firecracker shops, desperate traders reporting drops of 30-50% in sales (at least) and sometimes taking to the street to protest the loss of business. The reporting appeared to have been fairly credible. After all, nobody knows what the still legal “green crackers” even mean.

And now on Diwali night, we hear about “mass contempt of court”. From the same liberals mind you.

Both can’t be true. Unless Hindus have opened small scale cracker manufacturing units inside their houses, this much is for sure: if crackers weren’t sold, surely they weren’t burst.

The idea that “people defied the ban” is based on the sounds they heard and the lights they saw while standing on their balconies. It is nearly impossible to quantify and compare in such situations. Can you really hear and see the difference made by a 30% reduction in the number of crackers being exploded?

In my opinion, RWs only heard and saw what they wanted to. Because of the 10 pm blackout order, every distant cracker lit after 10 pm sounded like some kind of “victory”. You probably wouldn’t even have paid attention to this stuff earlier.

And out there on social media, the liberals were out in full force, reinforcing the right wing illusion that people were defying the ban en masse.

The question is why the liberals were so happy to reinforce the right wing illusion. Let me explain why.

It was a trap.

In doing so, the liberals have managed to smartly escape coming under the scanner for their false claims surrounding Diwali crackers. The liberals who were posting agonized tweets and videos claiming cracker armageddon work for news organizations: their reporters had been on the ground. They had seen the shuttered firework shops for themselves. They knew that the real amount of celebration with firecrackers had to have been hit very very badly.

Yet look at the language. This person compared Diwali cracker use to the holocaust!

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Suppose that the liberals had admitted that the cracker ban was in fact quite successful. You know what would have happened? Today right wingers would have been all over them, demanding to know why the air in Delhi is still not clean. 

This would lead to liberal claims being investigated threadbare. The truth would surface. And the fact is that Diwali crackers are just a twig floating in the sea of Delhi’s pollution. Or most other cities of India.

For liberals, it makes much more sense to pretend that the ban had no effect, that people exploded just as many crackers as before. That way, they can keep up the public offensive against this non-issue.

If you ask me, the right wing has walked into a media trap by conceding exactly what the liberals wanted everyone to hear.

Okay, now it is time for me to gloat a little for myself. My post the other day pointing out the environmental disaster that is beef riled quite a few feathers. I have posted numerous articles for Opindia but this one got under liberal skins like nothing before. The science on the beef question is settled. Liberal anger cannot change the reality ONE bit.

Here is the PNAS paper of which Ranga dada had posted screenshots last year:

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And just look at the bargraphs showing the relative impact of beef vs dairy or chicken

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#NotanRSSconspiracy

Dear liberals open your eyes. This is not your voodoo science that predicts something like Diwali crackers will cause comets to crash into the earth.

This is real science and it shows that your favorite food is destroying the world. 

Time for you to strike off beef from your menu and start agitating for a beef ban. I trust that you folks already know how to file a PIL.

Beyond the liberal vs RW social media wars, here is the biggest reason you should be against the cracker ban if you care about the environment. It takes away focus from the REAL issue of the environment and focuses public energy and attention on a non-issue.

People like easy “solutions”. But hard problems rarely have easy solutions.  And the environment is one such hard problem, perhaps the hardest that humanity has ever faced. The media’s anti-Hindu agenda is making them focus on the distraction of crackers. In the process, fair minded good honest people think they are making a difference when they are really not.

In fact, they are fooling themselves while the environmental doomsday clock keeps ticking for the planet. It’s like going to a witch doctor for treatment with cancer. The real harm is that the cancer keeps growing and spreading while valuable time is lost.

Congress is riding a tiger in Karnataka

So the same story repeated yesterday. Another bypoll and another loss for BJP. By now BJP supporters should have learned to take these results in stride.

If you remember carefully, you will realize that BJP’s misfortunes in bypolls began in June 2014 itself, less than a month after PM Modi was sworn into office. There were three Assembly bypolls in Uttarakhand and the BJP lost all three of them. Coming so soon after the Modi wave, this gave rise to the myth of CM Harish Rawat as “vikas purush” of Uttarakhand. The myth continued into 2017, as CM Rawat was seen playing “master stroke” after master stroke for nearly three full years. His last and final master stroke was contesting two seats in the Assembly Elections of 2017, one in his “stronghold” of Garhwal and the other in Maidan region of the state.

He ended up losing both seats. So much for master strokes.

This is a lesson for everyone who wants to read too much into bypoll results from Karnataka yesterday. Yes, the BJP lost in Bellary and that’s a big blow. Considering that Bellary has been a 15 year stronghold of the BJP. But even in Assembly polls the anger against the rule of the BJP’s Reddys had been palpable. The Congress won 6 of the 9 Assembly segments in Bellary in May this year. With Sriramulu’s sister contesting elections, she paid the price.

Meanwhile D K Shivakumar, the Congress Party’s “man of means” proved his worth to the high command.

The media understandably went overboard with joy, but they forget what happened in Karnataka just 6 months ago. The media had found their “folk hero” in Siddaramaiah, the opinion polls had given him a clear edge. And their JNU friends had told them that there was a wave in Karnataka against “North Indian Brahmanical Hindi speaking Modi”.

Never mind that Modi is not a Brahmin but an OBC. He is not from “North India” but from Gujarat. And that his mother tongue is not Hindi.

If you had asked the media, the election was sealed in favor of Siddaramaiah.

And then Siddaramaiah found himself without his Chief Ministership, without a portfolio and without friends in the Congress.

The liberal ecosystem wants to erase the memory of the shameful surrender of the Congress before the JDS in Karnataka. To feel better, they are grasping at straws and assuring themselves that BJP has been kept out of power in Karnataka.

What they don’t see is that BJP is “out of power” in Karnataka basically by choice. The BJP can come to “power” in Karnataka in about five minutes if they offer the CM post to H D Kumaraswamy. Can anybody dispute this?

They just choose not to because they see themselves as in the running for the real Chief Ministership in the state.

Meanwhile Congress is all too happy now to pretend that the coalition is clicking and that vote transfer is happening smoothly.

What they have forgotten is that Congress has no exit strategy from this alliance. Unless Congress decides to accept Kumaraswamy as their forever leader in Karnataka. They are riding a tiger and they can’t get off.

And as the Congress rides this tiger, it is losing significant amounts of support in its core areas while BJP is only gaining.

Take the Mandya Lok Sabha seat which JDS won yesterday. In 2013, this seat was held by Ramya herself, who is better known these days by her real name Divya Spandana.

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The BJP was so weak here that it didn’t even put up a candidate, choosing (unofficially) to back the JDS candidate.

In 2014 election, despite the Modi wave, the BJP barely made its presence felt in Mandya, getting just 7% votes and losing its deposit.

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Together the Congress and JDS polled 87% of the vote in Mandya in 2014.

But see the magic once the Congress and JDS allied in yesterday’s Lok Sabha bypoll.

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The Congress and the JDS had nearly 11 lakh votes in Mandya in 2014. Adjusting  for the lower turnout in bypolls (turnout was 54% yesterday compared to 71% in 2014), you would expect them to still get close to 8 lakh votes yesterday. Instead they got 5.69 lakh.

Now take the BJP’s 87000 votes from 2014 and adjust them as well for turnout to yield an expectation of just 65000 votes for them yesterday. Instead they got 2.44 lakh votes.

So the Congress JDS lost nearly 2 lakh voters in just one seat and these people headed straight to BJP.

One thing that a lot of people forget about Karnataka is that BJP has never existed in 60 of the state’s 224 seats. These are the 60 seats in the Old Mysore Region. These are seats where the BJP would be lucky to get 2-3% of the vote.

All that is changing. The Old Mysore Region was a direct contest between Cong and JDS. But now with the two parties on the same side, the opposition space in the area is completely vacant. The BJP is easily moving into this space.

Even the drop in voter turnout of nearly 20% in Mandya tells a story. The area has always witness a Cong vs JDS contest. Now that the two parties are together, why should the voter even go out to vote? This is like a BJP Congress alliance in Gujarat 🙂 Why even vote?

If the BJP’s surge continues, it will soon start picking up seats all over the Old Mysore Region. Meanwhile remember that Congress is riding a tiger and it cannot get off.

This bypoll thrill is going to end very badly for Congress. Take it from me.

 

Why BJP is safe in both MP and Chhattisgarh

It’s time to talk about the big assembly elections. I have been waiting patiently to see if there are any last minute surprises.

I am not an expert by any means. I never pretend to be. I am an amateur who has just been following elections for many many years. So please discuss anything you spot in my views that seems out of line.

Let me repeat this important distinction again. I have often made fun of opinion pollsters and journalists when their predictions go wrong. What happens if my predictions go wrong, as they have in the past (remember Bihar?) ?

Of course you can make fun of me 🙂 You can always make fun of me for any reason you want, not just predicting elections 🙂 I am always in the free speech camp 🙂

But please do not lose sight of the fact that I have never ever claimed to be an expert. I don’t do this for a living, nor make a single paisa off it. I am not an opinion pollster that I got paid to do a survey. I am not some journo who is getting paid to sit on a channel and share their predictions with the viewers. When they fail, it is severe professional incompetence on their part. The very fact that these journalists and pollsters never lose their jobs for their nonsensical predictions speaks very poorly of their occupation.

Okay, with that out of the way, let’s start with Chhattisgarh. Ironically, in 2013, this was the toughest state for BJP. And now it has transformed into the safest state in 2018. I don’t even see anyone in the secular camp predicting a win for Congress in Chhattisgarh.

The Congress is basically not even trying. Even if it tried, it wouldn’t have a face to match Raman Singh. And Ajit Jogi’s new party going with BSP has created a fairly strong alternative for voters in “pro-Congress” seats.

In fact, I think I wrote a post celebrating a win in Chhattisgarh the very next day after BSP announced a tie up with Ajit Jogi.

You have to give it to Raman Singh. He has managed both the BJP AND the Congress very very well. Where is the question of Congress winning when the state Congress is itself playing to lose? The state working president of the Congress crossing over to BJP was the last nail for any remaining Congress morale, sealing the election.

One must take note of the fact that Chhattisgarh therefore marks a historic surrender for the Congress Party. The tribal regions of Madhya Pradesh had been a Congress stronghold since independence. But a chance win for the BJP in 2003 transformed the state into a BJP fort. After 15 years in the opposition, the Congress has now given up trying.

At this moment, I think all BJP supporters must remember the late Dilip Singh Judeo, the man who halted the conversion mafia in tribal Madhya Pradesh. The state would have been swallowed by missionaries had it not been for him. It is the humble VHP workers who crisscrossed the state with little photos of Ram and Sita and gave one to each tribal home. Of course the BJP government gets credit for 15 years of popular governance. But remember that no election victory can come unless the demography is in your favor.

Let’s now come to Madhya Pradesh. Most opinion polls so far have forecast a tight race with BJP slightly ahead. There are at least 2 opinion polls (India TV-CNX and Times Now – War Room Strategies) that have given BJP really big leads. As far as I could find, only the Cvoter poll puts the Congress ahead by an inch. And we all know that CVoter’s record of predicting seats is probably the worst among all survey agencies (please note: I do not count CSDS as a survey agency but a propaganda arm).

So, let me explain my rationale for why I see a very clear win for the BJP in Madhya Pradesh. It’s not based on opinion polls. Rather it is based on my simple reasoning. I applied the same kind of basic reasoning when saying that BJP would be ahead in Karnataka despite the fact that every single opinion poll disagreed with me.

The BJP is entrenched in Madhya Pradesh. I think everyone from all sides will agree with me on that.

Now let us see. What does it take for an entrenched government to be uprooted?

It takes a wave.

In Assam, the Congress was entrenched after 3 terms. It got uprooted in a wave, with NDA’s voteshare exceeding Cong voteshare by as much as 10%!

In Maharashtra as well, Congress was entrenched. It took the Modi wave of 2014 to uproot them.

You can go back to almost any multi term government in history and see how it was defeated. It was always a wave. 

Go back to the history of Madhya Pradesh itself. Digvijay’s government was uprooted in a 2003 wave election. I believe BJP got 173 seats and Cong just 37!

In Bengal, the CPM collapsed in 2011 under a Mamata wave. Lalu Yadav was swept out of Bihar in a wave. Congress was swept out of Delhi in a 2013 wave.

So, all journalists and experts who are pinning hopes on “simmering discontent” against Shivraj Singh Chouhan are going to be really disappointed on Dec 11.

Sure, you can spot some discontent. You can sense voter fatigue. That is sure to happen with a 15 year old government. But can you spot the anger? Can you spot the wave?

No, they can’t. Even the BJP’s worst detractors admit that they can’t see a wave of rejection against the BJP anywhere. Waves are visible. You can sense them even on Twitter, sitting hundreds of miles from the state.

So, that means the election is settled. A multi term government does not fall in a small breeze of discontentment.

Just like Gujarat last year. Yes, the other side did wobble the BJP a little bit. But ultimately, there was no real, fierce anger against Modi or Gujarat BJP. So the BJP won.

Nothing is permanent in politics. Or for that matter in the world. Some day I am sure that BJP will lose Madhya Pradesh. And when that happens, the result will be Congress 170 winning 170 seats and BJP just 30-40.

A result like that would have been written on the faces of political leaders and voters and journalists by now.

So BJP is keeping Madhya Pradesh. Keep trying, seculars. Not happening this year.

Ban Beef, not firecrackers to save the earth

So a significant section of the online right wing has been complaining heavily about the recent Supreme Court decision to ban the use of firecrackers during Diwali, except for a small two hour window, usually 8 – 10 pm, depending on the state you live in. Believe it or not, there are now people actually getting arrested for playing with firecrackers.

 

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The arrested man could face up to six months in jail. For what? Playing with firecrackers!

Mainstream media has been trying to project those opposing such a ban as paranoid, ignorant and regressive. As people who somehow do not care about the world we live in, nor understand the importance of clean air, healthy water and the dangers of pollution.

Let us dissect this issue and explain the sentiment behind opposing the firecracker ban.

First of all, we have to look at the history of this ban. Last year on Oct 10, the Supreme Court placed a ban on sale of firecrackers that was to remain in effect till Oct 31. With Diwali 2017 falling on Oct 19, this effectively means that firecrackers are acceptable for every reason except celebrating Diwali. 

Is it so unreasonable if some Hindus felt targeted by a ban so narrowly tailored to Diwali?

For example, what if the Indian State had chosen to ban the slaughter of animals for “humanitarian reasons” for exactly one day each year, that day being Bakr-Eid? Would it feel like one particular community is being singled out and targeted?

This year, the Honorable Supreme Court has decided that the ban applies not just to Diwali, but to all other occasions, including Christmas and New Year Day. Which is slightly better at a technical level. But, on a practical level, it still amounts to narrowly tailored ban on Diwali crackers alone.

Why? Because the decision comes 2 weeks before Diwali. Which means that the “green crackers” that are still legal are not even on the market. And some people doubt whether such crackers even exist at all. Even those on NDTV admitted this much openly (see from 2:35).

The manufacturing, government certification and supply chain of “green” crackers simply cannot be completed in 2 weeks. It would take 2-3 months at the very least. Which means that those wanting to celebrate Christmas with crackers will have far better luck than those wanting to celebrate Diwali.

Now let us come to the other main objection. Not only does the ban singularly impact Diwali, one has to wonder why firecrackers are even coming into the discussion at all. There are much bigger sources of pollution, but the liberal ecosystem has been actively hostile to even the slightest government interference in such areas.

A simple anecdote may help. In June this year, there was news that the government was considering ordering AC manufacturers to set the default temperature to 24C. Note that the government did not impose on anyone’s freedom to use their home air conditioner as they chose. It was about setting a default, like keeping a tap in “off” position. You can just turn the tap on and get some water.

But the hostility from the liberal ecosystem was intense.

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Can you really blame an ordinary Hindu for complaining when he sees the same Nidhi Razdan on NDTV, appearing to cheer a firecracker ban?

Note that using an air conditioner is among the worst things you can do to the environment. They use greenhouse gases that can warm the earth at thousands of times the pace of carbon dioxide. Yes, you read that right. In fact, representatives from nearly 200 countries met in Vienna to try and put an end to the greenhouse gas emissions caused by air conditioners.

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In India where an air conditioner is still seen as a relative luxury, this also plays into all sorts of issues about class and wealth. Crores of common Hindus celebrate Diwali and few of them can afford an air conditioner. The government talks of setting a default temperature on ACs and privileged journalists make it appear as if the basic structure of the Indian Constitution is under threat!

So air conditioners are choking the world. What else?

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This comes from a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences(PNAS)  of the United States. For those who may not know, the PNAS is among the top candidates for the most prestigious journal in the world.  For most scientists in the world, a published article in PNAS is a lifetime achievement.

This is not an RSS conspiracy. This is real science demanding that Indian liberals must choose between their two most celebrated causes: eating beef and pretending to care for the environment.

And it just so happens that accepted science has proven beyond doubt that eating beef is a way to destroy the world. Even among all kinds of meat, beef is the absolute worst. Beef production uses 28 times more land and 11 times more water than production of pork or chicken.

So when are Indian liberals getting those PILs ready? Who wants a total ban on beef? Don’t you care about the environment?

But we have all seen the discourse around beef in India. How many news channels have run #RightToBreathe hashtags supporting ban on beef?

You want to really save the environment? Here are three things you can do.

Ban Beef. Ban Beef. Ban Beef.

Did you know that livestock produce 18% of the world’s greenhouse gases, more than all cars and airplanes put together?

The arguments for banning beef are exactly the same as those for banning Diwali firecrackers. With the happy exception that a ban on beef can actually save the world.

What bothers many Hindus like me is not that we might have to give up our favorite Diwali crackers for the wellness of the earth. What bothers us is the unfairness of it all. The air conditioners of celebrity journalists must work at full blast. Also the right to eat beef appears to be a fundamental right, even if beef is the No.1 way of killing the planet. Only Diwali crackers must go.

 

 

Would liberals prefer to build a 3356 crore Statue of Corruption?

Of late the figure of Rs 3000 crore has come to be much celebrated in the liberal circuit of Indian media. It comes up in every possible context involving people, money and government expenditure. For example :

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The reason of course is the Statue of Unity inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Oct 31 as a tribute to Sardar Patel on his birth anniversary, a monument that cost somewhere around Rs 3000 crore.

For the liberal ecosystem, that must have stung. Especially because the liberal ecosystem is running numerous Break India projects at this moment. From spreading hatred against Bihari laborers in Gujarat to gorging on Tinsukia terror attack to create division between Bengalis and Assamese.

For the last few days, liberals have therefore been coming back to the figure of 3000 crore for everything. How many schools, hospitals, space programs, IITs, IIMs, etc… could have been made for that money? How many roads, railways, airports, etc?

Interestingly, to my knowledge, I am yet to see any liberal counting the cost of the Statue of Unity in terms of the number of social “science” PhD students that could have been funded at JNU to study Africology. It’s almost like liberals already know which forms of spending generate zero value for society at large.

And that is why I have a question for India’s liberals: would you prefer to build a 3356 crore Statue of Corruption?

Where did I get this number from? See here:

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Where else would he have gone?

Just to remind people, Madhu Koda was an independent MLA who managed to become Jharkhand CM with the support of the Congress Party.  And he did exactly what you would expect an independent MLA who leads an unstable government to do. He made as much hay as he could while the sun was still shining.

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Of course, none of the blame for this attached to the “honest” government of “honest” Dr. Manmohan Singh. I wonder whether Narendra Modi would have faced any questions today had piles of cash been recovered from one of the BJP’s sitting Chief Ministers. But then, you can’t compare Modi to the “honest” Manmohan Singh, can you?

So how much hay did Madhu Koda make?

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Ah, 3356 crore!

Just one of the many “small expenses” that the nation was forced to incur during the secular rule of the UPA.

I mentioned earlier that I want to ask my liberal friends a question. Tell me, what could have the nation done with this Rs 3356 crore?

This should be easy for you. Only recently you have done the math for Rs 3000 crore in terms of everything from roads, schools, electricity, hospitals to IITs and IIMs. Just find a calculator and reel off the numbers corresponding to 3356 crore, will you?

Or would you prefer to build a Rs 3356 crore Statue of Corruption? As you can see, the dirty money was already being invested in real estate. So why not invest it into one single spectacular Statue of Corruption that will attract lakhs of tourists from across the world?

Come on, liberal friends, the Statue of Corruption can be a national memorial to all our scams and the “honest” Prime Ministers who presided over them. What say?

TMC begins vulture politics to ignite Assam vs Bengal divide after Tinsukia terror attack

Last night around 8:30 pm. About 30 km from Tinsukia town in Upper Assam. A horrifying terrorist attack, with five Hindu Bengalis lined up and shot dead.

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Prominent Assamese journalists known for their “liberal and secular” credentials were on the case instantly, dropping hints about the politics around the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

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These days, whenever there is death or destruction anywhere in the country, there is always a liberal waiting to see if it can be used to create a divide among the people of India.

It could even be a natural disaster, such as floods in Kerala. Liberals will find a way to divide.  And the birds of the ecosystem are known for their keen ability to identify the smell of death.

This is a terrorist attack, suspected to have been carried out by ULFA. Is it too much to ask that liberals stay away from the politics of dividing people when a terrorist attack happens?

Forget about journalists. The elected CM of Bengal waded right into the matter, playing the ethnic hatred card right away.

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From Day 1, Mamata Banerjee has been trying to project the NRC issue as some kind of ethnic conflict between Assamese and Bengali people of India. It is not. It is simply a matter of illegal immigrants who have wrongfully settled inside our borders. And whether the illegal immigrants have struck roots in India or been here for generations does not matter. They must go.

In public discourse, we need to have absolute clarity over the situation with illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. And I believe I can speak with some extra passion on this matter being a Bengali myself.

We had a Partition back in 1947. We did not ask for the Partition. The people on the other side asked for it. They got their separate country, their “land of the pure.” They need to respect that and stay on their side. We don’t owe them anything now.

But, from elected Chief Ministers to the PIL mafia, the liberal ecosystem, its leaders, enablers and handlers have been trying to confuse the public over illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

This is how the liberal ecosystem works. Who was running this country when hordes of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh came flooding into Assam? It was the great Bharat Ratna Prime Ministers of the Nehru-Gandhi Dynasty.

Naturally, the huge influx unnerved the people of Assam. There was violence everywhere. But the Congress had nothing to worry about. Remember that back in the day, it must have been super easy for illegal immigrants from Bangladesh to infiltrate the electoral rolls. Who do you think got their votes?

Then, in 1985, Rajiv Gandhi reached an agreement with the leaders of the Assam movement, known as the “Assam Accord.”

First of all, the Assam Accord of 1985 was in itself an unfair compromise into which the people of Assam were forced. The Accord legalized all foreigners who had entered Assam before a certain cutoff date in 1971. For the rest of India, that date is set at Jan 26, 1950, or the first Republic Day.

For the people of Assam, the upside of the Assam Accord was that the government would create the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

But the NRC promise was never kept. Not until the BJP government came to power in Assam in May 2016!

And now the liberal & secular ecosystem is opposing the NRC. They say it’s been too long since the illegal immigrants from Bangladesh have been here. That it’s some kind of humanitarian issue!

Who betrayed the people of Assam repeatedly from 1950 to 2016? The liberals and their leaders did!

Who delayed the NRC from 1985 to 2016? The liberals did!

Who now wants the illegal immigrants to stay for humanitarian reasons? The liberals do!

Who will get the votes if these illegal immigrants are naturalized as citizens of India? The liberals and their beloved Congress!

In fact, they don’t even stop there. Mamata Banerjee now intends to milk the sense of hurt and grievance among Assamese people to get more votes from Bengalis for the TMC!

At each stage, one generation of secular leaders betrays the people of this country. And the next generation finds a way to recycle this betrayal into political gains for themselves.

Now you understand why the Statue of Unity bothered them so much.