Media Omerta code breaks – II : Setting Arnab among the pigeons

As I was saying yesterday, only those who have lived through 2004-2014, suffering through every minute of biased coverage and blatant double standards, can appreciate how good it feels to see the media “intellectual” cartel ruptured by Arnab Goswami. Do you remember the Radia tapes? Do you remember how social media was on fire but it took 2 full weeks to get anyone in the media to even acknowledge their existence. Remember folks, this Orwellian system used to be in place barely 5-6 years ago. And now it’s broken. Remember the cash for votes scam? How many times have you sat in your living room staring at your TV or computer screen fuming at the nonsense, wishing there would be someone…anyone to express a counterpoint? How many times did you wish someone in the media would take on the left liberal blob?

I tell you: savor this moment. It was a long time in coming.

On reading my post from yesterday a second time, I felt there is a point that I had not emphasized enough. Even though the current bout is between Arnab and Barkha, it is not about Barkha Dutt alone. Barkha Dutt is just a symbol. She is a symbol of the corrupt, compromised, liberal Lutyens establishment that thrives on intrigues, ill-gotten favors and undeserved privilege. The real battle is with Mameluks at every single level…it is not just with Barkha Dutt and Sagarika Ghose and Rajdeep Sardesai…the battle is also with Bhupendra Chaubey (CNN-IBN), Zakka Jacob (CNN-IBN), Anjana Om Kashyap (Aaj Tak), Abhisar Sharma (ABP). These are just a few names I could reel off from memory. Remember people, these Mameluks are just the tip of the iceberg in a vastly corrupt ecosystem. If these specific people are exposed and discredited, there are thousands of mini-Mameluks waiting in the wings to step into their shoes. Does anyone remember small fry like that Raghav Chopra (was it CNN-IBN?) who put up morphed pics of the PM bending to touch the feet of the Saudi king? Those Raghav Chopras are ready to step in for Bhupendra Chaubey. It’s not about specific people…it’s about an ecosystem that needs to be wrecked.

And yes, there is an aspiring crop of writers on the internet who are waiting to fill bigger roles as the secular offensive spreads to the web. Websites like Newslaundry, Troll, DailyO, Catchnews, Wire, etc. along with the old ones like Kafila are breeding a whole new generation of Mameluks: it is not just Barkha Dutt we have to worry about, we have to worry that people like Shoaib Daniyal, Abhinandan Sekhri, Sandipan Sharma, etc are all aspiring to become Barkha Dutts of the future.

For a long time now, the ecosystem had been chafing at Arnab. He took a crystal clear nationalist stand on the JNU issue and repeatedly rebuked the fashionable secular crowd. They have been bitterly complaining about him for a while now:

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Arnab took their audience and spat on their agenda. Clearly, the frustration was building up for Rajdeep. Let me ask you a question Rajdeep. Watching Arnab Goswami breathe hellfire at JNU intellectuals in prime time TV, do you ever feel angry and powerless? Well, now you know how we felt when you refused to air the Cash For Votes sting… 

But, the killing of Burhan Wani was the last straw and Arnab set the proverbial cat among the pigeons with this monologue titled #ProPakDovesSilent:

The unkindest cut of all came when Arnab directly mocked people who talk about Burhan Wani as “the son of a headmaster” rather than as a terrorist! The queen of Lutyens  journalism was left stunned:

The ecosystem was left licking its wounds. Look who came out to join Barkha in her moment of grief:

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A Mahagathbandhan in the making 🙂

And, for comic relief, look who’s begging for some TRPs 🙂 🙂 🙂

You’ll always be a kid, Rahul. Maybe your curse is in your first name 🙂

One needs to understand why the ecosystem is so rattled. They are unused to criticism. Criticism is a weapon that they have used so far as a weapon on orders from 10 Janpath. Or as part of a palace intrigue where one Congi tells his friends in corrupt media to tactically hurt the image of another Congi and so on… 

The media complex is not used to people disagreeing with them. That’s why they are so enraged with social media. Millionaire journos working for Billion $$$ media corporations spend so much time vilifying smalltime Twitter users… and here Arnab brings the free market model to Mainstream media. The enemy is at the gates! See, they are even saying it directly. Arnab brought social media like dissent to Mainstream media:

Ha!

 

They can’t believe that someone would go against the consensus in left liberal media. I can bet that even Arnab’s bosses at ToI are rattled and unhappy. They just can’t do anything about it because Arnab is a star who is raking in massive TRPs. This is the power of the market, folks!

In their shock, they shuffled around looking for reasons why the ground slipped under their feet. Some of the explanations they came up with are truly hilarious:

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Awwww…he might not be able to travel to Pakistan! In Lutyens, that would be considered an unspeakable horror. Take the lollipop called Pakistani visa from someone like Barkha and she might start crying like a little girl…ROFL!

Poor Barkha Dutt, still unable to recover from her shock, decided to write a blog post explaining why she wrote her FB post against Arnab. ROFL! Mind you, Barkha, Arnab has just hit you once… and you are still convulsing.

Well, we know for a fact that Arnab Goswami does scare you, Madam … or else why would you move your show to 8 pm 🙂 ?

Now, about the “gagging” of journos. Did Arnab say that anywhere? Now that your show is at 8pm, you must have time to watch his really popular news show at 9pm primetime. He only said “expose them”. He didn’t ask anyone to intimidate, he only asked to expose.

But, you know what Barkha, you are right! Arnab didn’t say it explicitly, but it was obvious from his tone what he was really saying. He was saying that journos like you should be thrown in jail. Yes, I know you are clever enough to pick up the tone behind the words. Just like WE are clever enough to pick up the tone behind the words of your JNU thugs. Just like your JNU thugs never openly called for killing of CRPF and innocents by Maoists, but we can pick up from their tone what they are really saying. So just as you can accuse Arnab (perhaps rightly) of wanting to gag journos, we can rightly accuse your JNU thugs of supporting Maoists. Two can play this game, Madam…

Finally, I must make it a point to go on record about this: this post is not intended to be a paean to Arnab Goswami. I don’t know what Arnab really believes, just like I don’t really know what Barkha Dutt believes. All I know is that Arnab has decided to tap into the mass market which does not support “Bharat ki barbaadi”. It’s a business decision. Just like Barkha probably made a business decision to support …. through her reporting. What is her business model and who is funding it is something I leave to your imagination…

And Arnab is doing a damn good job. What is best is that he has understood the principle of maintaining minimum credibility. Transforming Times Now into a BJP mouthpiece like Zee News does no good. People just tune out. I am happy that Arnab brutally bashed up the BJP spokesperson last night over the traffic jam in Gurgaon. If you pick on BJP over the little things, you will have credibility when you bash the seculars on the big issues. The game of double standards has to played delicately. Well done, Arnab.

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PS: Here’s a little confession. As regular readers might have noticed, I didn’t blog on Thursday. I’d like to say that happened because I was busy, but that’s not the real story. The fact is that I simply chickened out 🙂 See, this whole Barkha vs Arnab thing was so juicy that I felt pressure. Pressure from all my readers to write something up to their expectations. I was scared of disappointing them. So, I chickened out on Thursday because I was worried my blog post wouldn’t be good enough. I’ve tried my best in the last two posts. I am hoping I have met at least some of your expectations. 

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Media Omerta code breaks Part- I : “An idea whose time has come”

Folks, it’s finally happened. The Indian media has finally been split open. In 1991, we got freedom from a Soviet style monopoly based economy. But many of the pillars of the Left remained standing, above all the cartels in academia, in media and in the so called intelligentsia.

For a while, the old elite class actually had it much better. With liberalization, a lot of new money flowed into the Indian economy and suddenly the rewards were much bigger. For the elites, oligarchy actually worked better than Communism. 

Now, Mameluk intellectualism has always been a lucrative career pursuit, as you can find out easily by reading Arun Shourie’s books. But as outrageous as those cases of systematic academic corruption were, you cannot help notice that the amounts of money were often in the low thousands of rupees. Even adjusted for inflation, the payoffs weren’t massive.

But, the post 1991 era brought real, big money into the economy. The ruling class was no longer handing out few thousand rupees scholarships to its water carriers, now the ruling class could offer glitzy foreign trips on government jets! When an initial bout of insecurity over liberalization brought down the Vajpayee government in 2004, the sun *really* began to shine brightly on these Mameluks. Now they could be dalals in billion dollar scams. One can imagine that the payoffs too would be massive! 

As I said, for a certain class of people, oligarchy was much more profitable than the Communism of old.

This dream went sour in 2014. The Prime Minister’s aeroplane went off limits for newstraders. This was only the flagship move of a deeper change in the power corridors of Delhi, as you can see Ms. Dutt complaining about bitterly here:

It is remarkable how openly Barkha Dutt admits that while RG and SG were “inaccessible” and had a terrible record on censorship, what really sucks is that Modi has cut off their “inside access” to the establishment. Of course Barkha brings up the PM’s plane ..and then immediately claims that it doesn’t matter. Surely it matters to YOU Barkha, or why else would you bring up  the PM’s aeroplane at all? ROFL!

The other remarkable part in this conversation is when Barkha tells Madhu Trehan that no one talks to journos any longer and then immediately admits “except for the Press Secretary” 🙂 Wh-what? So, the Press Secretary IS talking to you! That’s his JOB! He/She is doing his JOB! The Press Secretary is doing his job of talking to presswallahs like you and every other official is simply doing his/her own job. So, what are you complaining about? Ah, I know…you are complaining about the fact that other people are not giving you insider information like they used to. Ha, I read this somewhere:

When you get used to special treatment, equal treatment can feel like an imposition.

Yes, Barkha, you have become so used to special treatment that being treated like an ordinary citizen feels like censorship to you. You have gone so far down the road that you probably no longer realize that the government does not owe you a damn thing extra…your NDTV identity card does not allow you privileged access to any information. I am an ordinary Indian citizen and so are you. I do not expect top government officials to feed me insider information. Why should you?  Because you work for a private organization called NDTV? LOLOL… 

Get used to it Barkha. You are one of us. Yes, just one of 1.2 billion Indian citizens. How does that feel? Like a grave insult, no? Get used to it…

If you want special treatment Barkha, you will now have to go across the border where your admirers are waiting to roll out the red carpet (or green, as may be appropriate)

As I was saying, in the UPA years, the media got to keep its cartel like monopolistic quality. There were a zillion times when I sat looking at the television screen, fuming, wishing there was a way I, an ordinary person, could make my voice heard. But there was nothing I could do. There were millions of other Indians across the country who felt the same, helpless in front of a liberal media that spoke in one united voice on every single issue. And that united voice was always the same, more unfair stigmatization of the BJP/RSS worldview, more Muslim appeasement and the most blatantly unfair double standards on evaluating the political scene.

When the Radia tapes broke all over social media, I remember it was a good two weeks before any media organization made even a blurb about it. Meanwhile social media was on fire. And even then, Barkha got herself “acquitted”  with a mock trial on NDTV in front of her friends on her own terms. Please don’t think that this article is all about Barkha. If anything, I actually sympathize with her a little on the Radia story…at least Barkha Dutt was hit by a little mud. A lot of other journos got away scott free without the slightest taint. This was the Orwellian face of Indian media, united against the people.

Then, of course, there was the cash for votes scandal during UPA-I’s vote of confidence in 2008 and Rajdeep’s amazing charlatan act. A sting that they refused to air. A sting on members of Parliament being offered bribes to vote in a crucial confidence motion. Of course, it was a sign of the spectacular incompetence of the BJP leadership that they had given the story to CNN-IBN. What were you thinking, Advaniji? I can only imagine how hard they laughed in Lutyens that night.

More helplessness for the common Hindu. Helpless before big media and big government.

You have to have lived through those despairing years of 2004-2014 to realize how good it feels to see the media cartel ruptured brutally by Arnab Goswami. I wouldn’t say that Modi himself caused this rupture, I would just say that his arrival was a huge catalyst. The power of the Dynasty to give out favors being drastically reduced and their future looking real bleak, this had to happen.

Someone had to notice that with the gravy train from upstairs in Lutyens grinding to a halt, the media would have to go to the people. And media would have to work as a market instead of a cartel.

And that man was Arnab Goswami, right man at the right time. Honestly, I don’t even know what Arnab believes. I don’t care. All I know is that he is the first person (at least in English language media) to realize that if you want the masses to tune in, you will have to think like the masses do. No, the Indian masses do not cry buckets when some stone pelter or terrorist is shot down by the Army in Kashmir. The Indian people don’t actually give a damn about how Pakistan feels. Unlike media barbies, we do not have “good friends” in Rawalpindi and Islamabad and  Karachi. We do not get nostalgic and emotional walking the streets of Lahore because we have never been there and do not expect to find  anything there that is worth aspiring to. And we are not paid to hypocritically support Maoists in the jungles of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh while enjoying our bungalows in Delhi. So, we don’t care for your “Bharat ki barbaadi” chants. I went to college too. Fully paid by the government. I was focused on my career. I had neither the leisure nor the desire to sit there plotting the downfall of the Indian state.

It took a while, but the rupture in the media had to happen. The market has finally arrived. Update your bearings, Barkha. The PM’s plane will remain off limits in the foreseeable future. And there is NO MARKET for your anti-Hindu, anti-Indian bullshit here in India. The market always arrives and the market always wins. As Dr. Singh used to say, “No force in the world can stop an idea whose time has come”. 

It’s time to join us, Barkha and all you out there in Lutyens. It’s time to come join the rest of us and make a living on the free market. You’re welcome.

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Why I am planning to sue Moneycontrol and Firstpost for plagiarism :)

No, of course not! Just joking. But it does feel good to be proved right…And to see mainstream media finally admit what I said a long time ago 🙂

Here is my post on July 12, titled “Dear Swaminathan Aiyar, it is time to answer some tough questions of Rexit

(https://dynastycrooks.wordpress.com/2016/07/12/dear-swaminathan-iyer-it-is-time-to-answer-some-tough-questions-on-rexit/)

In this post, I demanded that Swaminathan Aiyar step up and tell us what happened to his prediction of a market crash following the exit of Purushottam Shri Raghuram Rajan. Well, “Rexit” happened. The same week, the world was rattled by the news of “Brexit”. Yet, Indian markets have soared, laughing off the fools who worried about Rexit. What happened to the predictions of “Billions of $$$ leaving India” along with Rajan? Mr. Swaminathan Aiyar had even estimated an outflow of $100 billion. Well, the $100 billion question today is: where are those “experts”? And it feels good to see this in Moneycontrol:

(http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/market-edge/post-rexit-markets-surgebackbillion-dollar-plus-inflows_7120781.html)

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What? Billion dollar INFLOWS, did you say? Ha!

Welcome to the party, Moneycontrol! You are more than two weeks behind me, but thanks for spitting right in the eye of liberal “analysts” by putting Rexit right in the title.

Let’s read Moneycontrol’s article:

During the buildup, some analysts had even warned that were Rajan not given an extension, it would lead to a crack in markets, and may even trigger outflows of foreign capital by the billions. But as it happened, the reality turned out to be the opposite.

Ah! Ah! Ah! Say it brother! Gosh…that feels good. Reality has taken a chokehold on the liberal liars…spin your way out of this one, you charlatans. This is not “intolerance” or “church attacks” that you can cook it up in TV studios …this is cold hard cash amounting to billions of $$$ that have flowed in. Deny this one, let’s see.

Let’s read this article for more unadulterated joy:

There was also a view that more than the equity markets — which draw cues from a number of other factors such as earnings — the worse hit would be currency and bond markets, where monetary-policy developments have an impact. ….But, the forex market showed a very mature reaction to the exit,” the note says. The rupee, in fact, has appreciated since the announcement.”
Slap it brother. Smack those liberal liars! In your face, you lying losers! So, the forex market reacted in a “mature” fashion. Guess who reacted immaturely? You guessed right 🙂

A similar trend is seen in the 10-year bond yields which have moved down sharply from 7.5 percent on June 20 to about 7.25 percent now.

Aaargh! Will reality be so unkind to liberal intellectuals? Oh…the humanity…Oh the cries of agony from Sonia’s slaves….

One of the big setbacks expected from Rajan’s exit was in terms of foreign fund sentiment towards India, thanks to his popularity with FIIs. However, here too, they have so far taken the announcement in their stride. Since June 20, net foreign fund inflow in equity has been roughly around Rs 7,863 crore …   “In fact, FII investments in government securities, which went through a slowdown in the first few days after Rajan’s exit announcement, also stabilised in July,

That’s a Rs 7863 crore slap on the faces of all Indian liberals. How much is Rs 7863 crore? It’s a LOT. Remember that all it took to purchase the entire Indian liberal establishment was Rs 526 crores… In fact, from what I am reading, it seems Kejriwal didn’t even need the full 526 crores, he purchased them all for substantially less…

On to Firstpost. 

We’re gonna read their article on Sidhu, but first you should read my post on why Sidhu joining AAP means that Kejriwal is dropping Punjab:

https://dynastycrooks.wordpress.com/2016/07/19/kejriwal-has-just-dropped-punjab-but-aap-is-definitely-sweeping-it/

In my post, I had argued thus:

there is a fundamental barrier for personality based parties to become national parties.  The  fundamental problem is that a party with more than one Chief Minister has, by definition, more than one top leader. This is a situation which no personality based party can tolerate. I am sure Mayawati would be happy to see a BSP government in Madhya Pradesh, but will Mayawati be able to share her supreme control of her party with someone else? Inevitably, a BSP Chief Minister in Madhya Pradesh would be a serious internal challenge to Mayawati’s authority. This is why personality based parties never spread outside a single state…. The chances of Sidhu agreeing to be a puppet of Kejriwal are near zero. Why should Sidhu listen to Kejriwal? He will be CM of a bigger state, he has his own base and his own nationwide name recognition.

And now this:

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And this coming from a Mameluk like Sanjay Singh. Let’s see what Sanjay Singh has to say:

Sources told Firstpost that there are far too many complications about Sidhu joining the AAP and be the party’s chief ministerial candidateFirst, Sidhu over the years has gained unmatched flamboyance and celebrity status, as a political campaigner, commentator, TV presenter, humorist, a master on Hindi couplets, phrases, idioms and so on. He has a following of his own. None in AAP has that kind of celebrity status and also a mass appeal than Kejriwal himself.

Ha ha…dear Firstpost, if only you were reading my blog, you wouldn’t need those sources. You just needed some common sense to see this coming 🙂

In AAP, Kejriwal’s word is law and no one else matters. Remember what happened to those who had an independent mind, the likes of Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav. AAP can’t take the same risk….

Again, thanks for being a week behind an amateur blogger in a small corner of the web. And finally, this:

Kejriwal can’t cede that ground to Sidhu. …Also, as chief minister, if at all, Sidhu wouldn’t beholden to Kejriwal and act according to his own heart and mind than on Kejriwal’s diktat.

Dear Firstpost, you could have just linked to my blog 🙂

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To the Lutyensites : some uncomfortable questions on “abuse”

It is now all too common: mediapersons demanding that “abusive” right wingers on Twitter and other social media platforms be crucified by the law.

For the sake of this post, I will ignore the double standards of Lutyensites on abuse, depending on who it comes from. It would be boring and uninteresting to dig through Twitter and find Congi and AAP handles  (including some sensitive celebrities) spouting the vilest abuses. That would be too easy.

No, I want to address the more difficult and fundamental issues around the legal and moral aspects of “abuse” and ask the uncomfortable questions.

First, let me say two things very clearly:

(A) I try not to use abusive language on this blog and request commenters not to use abusive language.

(B) I am a huge fan of abusive language and strongly wish to use abusive language. 

Huh? Contradiction, no?

Let me explain. I strongly believe that the so called abusive language, except in cases where it meets a very narrowly tailored definition of clear, imminent and plausible threats of violence, should totally be protected by free speech laws. In fact, abusive language and threats of violence have nothing to do with each other. One can easily make clear threats of imminent violence without any use of the so called “abusive language”. And I will go over and above supporting the right to abusive language, I will in fact go ahead and wish that everyone used it. Why? Because I believe that abusive language is a very powerful and honest form of self expression. You can see here the legendary George Carlin expose the social hypocrisy on abusive language in his famous monologue called : “Seven dirty words you can’t say on TV

The high point of this bit is when Carlin lists all the euphemisms we have for abusive language :

We have more ways to describe the dirty words that we have actual dirty words..Someone was quite interested in these words. They kept referring to them: they called them bad, dirty, filthy, foul, vile, vulgar, coarse, in poor taste, unseemly, street talk, gutter talk, locker room language, barracks talk, bawdy, naughty, saucy, raunchy, rude, crude, lewd, lascivious, indecent, profane, obscene, blue, off-color, risqué, suggestive, cursing, cussing, swearing..

So, yeah, I do not have one bit of patience nor respect for the politeness police and regard them essentially as fascists. I do not regard anyone as one bit superior for not using abusive language. I know they are thinking it. I won’t respect them for covering up their true feelings.

That said, let me come back to my point (A) where I said that I try not to use abusive language on my blog and request commenters not to use it either. Because I am scared. I am scared because I live in a nation without solid protections for free speech. I am scared that if I use abusive language, I will be dragged to jail due to some silly fascist law. And I am a common man without the contacts and resources to fight the system. This is the one and only reason I shut up. 

I don’t want to threaten anyone with violence. I just wish to express my political beliefs and opinions about certain people in the language of my choice. But every single day I am forced to bite my lip and shut up. Because I am not rich. Because I have no contacts. Because I am scared. If there is even one honest Lutyensite left, tell me how you square this with your liberal principles? No, you can’t, because you Lutyenistes are happy with the establishment. It works for you. You want people like me to shut up.

 

You Lutyensites will probably tell me that abusive language is not “essential”. That I can express myself just as well without abusive language. So what? Or as Mani Shankar Aiyar would have said, so bloody what? Why should I have to change my choice of words because YOU don’t happen to like it? I could easily argue that beef is not “essential” to survive. That you could survive just as well without eating beef, or even live on vegetarian food. But I respect YOUR choice to eat beef. Why should you not respect MY choice to talk the way I want? I have a choice not to join you in eating beef. YOU have a choice not to listen to me abusing you. Choice for everyone! Why bring in the force of law and the state?

Finally, I want to consider one specific word that a lot of Lutyensites seem to get very riled up about. The word is “presstitute”. I want to ask you some questions regarding this word and why so many of you seem to find it “abusive”. In life as on the internet, almost any word could be used as abuse: you will find words like “Indian”, “Pakistani”, “gay”, “Jew” all used for the purposes of abuse. But, whether these words actually feel like abuses to the person receiving them clearly depends on how this person perceives the group in question. For instance, a Pakistani could try to abuse me online by calling me an “Indian”. It wouldn’t bother me at all. Someone might try to abuse me by calling me a “gay” or a “Jew”. Again, these wouldn’t bother me at all, because I have no negative feelings either towards gays or Jews. On the other hand, if someone called me a “Pakistani”, I would be riled up! Similarly, I can understand that a Pakistani person might feel that the word “Indian” is an abuse.

So, let us dissect the word “Presstitute”. It seems to me an amalgamation of two words : “Press” and “Prostitute”. If you find the word “presstitute” abusive, it means that you have negative feelings either towards the “press” or towards “prostitutes”.

Now, if you feel that being called a “presswallah”  is an insult, I can understand. My sympathies are with you. No other profession in India is as lowly and disreputable as the press 🙂 🙂

But if you are enraged about the “prostitute” part, I have to ask you an uncomfortable question. What exactly is wrong with prostitutes? They are in a profession like anyone else. I thought all of you Lutyensites are progressive feminists living 2-3 centuries ahead of us. Isn’t it a patriarchal notion to think of a prostitute as a fallen woman or someone unworthy of respect? So why do you think that it is an insult to be  compared to a prostitute? I wonder…

If in the writing of this post, I have managed to offend the feelings of any person, or group of persons or community or species, whether living on Planet Earth, Planet Lutyens or any other planet, I would like to extend an unconditional apology to all, from the virgins of jannat to the demons of hell. I hope you can find it in your heart(s) to not have me dragged to jail. Thanks in advance.

Chaiwallah.

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Inspired by Mukul Kesavan : the magical India before 1991

I recently read Mukul Kesavan’s stirring article in the Hindustan Times about the India before liberalization. It made me truly nostalgic for the simpler times when we made a family trip to the wonderland called Nepal and walked the streets of Kathmandu greedily buying precious exotic Camay soap for everyone back home….

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/before-the-change-when-austerity-and-simplicity-ruled-everyday-middle-class-life/story-PuanuEB9aMkrD4doqtzI4N.html

And just as Mukul Kesavan says:

In cities like Delhi and Calcutta where the poor are a kind of landscape, the promise of liberalisation — that we will consume the world in real time like the denizens of the first world — can seem unpersuasive, even grotesque. For this reason, if for nothing else, it might be useful for policy makers to look back at a time when, for admittedly perverse reasons, consumption was constrained and austerity celebrated.”

So true. It is beautiful to see Mukul Kesavan wistfully look back at a time when austere living  and luxurious language with lots of big words was celebrated. I distinctly remember that India’s poor were much better off back then. They could happily die of hunger knowing that their “austerity” would be celebrated. Mr. Kesavan is right. It does not matter how much my life sucks as long as I am comfortable in the knowledge that life sucks for everyone else as well. This is the good, austere, socialist spirit that has brought humanity out of living in caves.

Fascinated as I was by Mukul Kesavan’s article, I decided to dig back into my own memories and those of the elders in my family to find out more about pre-1991 India. What I found left me with nostalgia and a deep sense of loss at the times we have left behind. As Mukul Kesavan puts it so nicely, India before 1991 was so different that it was another country altogether. 

First, about secularism. Back then, communal riots never happened. Hindus and Muslims lived side by side together as brothers and sisters in total harmony. The Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb ruled the day. Christians always felt safe and never ever as if they are on a “hit list”. Thieves would never break into any Christian schools to steal money. No gambler ever threw a stone at any church.

In those days, India had totally secular laws. All Indian citizens were governed by the same set of rules enshrined in the Constitution, irrespective of Hindu or Muslim or Christian or whatever.

Further, in those days, there was an explosion of creativity among India’s intellectual classes. Back then, there were no sedition laws and no curbs on free speech. It was a fantastic atmosphere of open exchange of ideas. No artist was ever sent to jail for writing a poem referring to PM Nehru as “Commonwealth ka daas” (slave of the Commonwealth).

Speaking of which, I forgot to mention that back then there was no Censor Board. Film makers would express themselves freely and without fear in their creations, with no interference or coercion from the ruling government. There were no laws whatsoever that permitted the banning / censorship of books/movies/cartoons, etc.

All this was enforced by means of a non-partisan government where all high ranking officials were picked on merit rather than political loyalties. In major national institutions and academic positions, genuine scholarship was encouraged and partisan hacks were severely frowned upon.

Ah! I almost forgot! Back then, there was no Article 356 and the Central Government had immense respect for federalism. No state government was ever dismissed by the Center in an undemocratic manner. And of course, no Prime Minister ever tried to impose Emergency upon the country nor tried to become a dictator.

In pre-1991 India, the ruling party had deep rooted internal democracy and no personality cult. All the ruling party’s leadership positions, right from party president to district committee head were elected in an open democratic process by party cadres through secret ballot.  Everyone in the party could freely express their views in front of the top leadership without any fear.

In those days, the personal liberties of every citizen were respected. There were no curbs on what citizens could eat and drink. Citizens could freely consume beef in every state of the country.

It goes without saying that women had a high place in society at that time. Injustices against women were promptly set straight. So much so, that even a poor 62 year old mother of five children from Madhya Pradesh demanding alimony from her husband could get instant justice from India’s Parliament.

Back in the day, the benevolent hand of the state dealt fairly even with criminals and terrorists. No one was ever killed in a fake encounter. Every accused was duly captured and produced before a court of law and given full opportunity to prove their innocence.

I saved the most important thing for last. In those days, there was no poverty in India. The most deprived sections were rapidly lifted into the middle class during the 50s and early 60s while Nehru was alive, due to a scintillating Combined Annual Growth Rate of 1.67%! The last vestiges of poverty were quickly washed away within a few days after Indira Gandhi rode to power in 1971 on the promise of “Garibi Hatao”. In fact, raising the slogan of “Garibi Hatao” magically made food and drink appear in front of people, unlike the fruitless slogans of “Bharat Mata ki Jai” that are in circulation today. Farmers were happy, workers were happy, women were happy, students were happy, minorities were happy; it was the idea of India. 

Thinking of those bygone golden days fills me with a sense of loss, a sense of foreboding, a sense of “knowing hedonism”  and lots and lots of big words that only  Mukul Kesavan knows about…

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How a united Hindu vote put “Deviji” on the run

Caste is the favorite topic of Break India forces. For Break India forces, it is the favorite form of historical injustice and  the only one that requires reparations. Because it is a stick to beat the Hindu right wing with. Never mind that the Hindu right wing has never really shown any interest in propagating the caste system and has, in fact, actively opposed it. Even the foundation stone of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya was laid by a Dalit. On the flip side, no Dalit has been allowed to enter the Politburo, the high temple of Indian leftism, for the last 50 years. It is quite evident who *actually* practises untouchability. 

Nevertheless, the Break India forces continue with their smear campaign against the Hindu right, accusing them of having deep seated casteist prejudices. So when the media, doubtlessly under the command of the “deep state” (we all know who runs that), recently managed to string together some random incidents to create a narrative of “BJP against Dalits”, these forces were thrilled. The Lutyens media was filled with a spate of articles declaring the end of the BJP campaign in UP and hopefully the BJP as a whole. I think I read two separate articles by Aarti Jerath and Ajoy Bose (if my memory is correct, they are husband-wife…but I could be wrong) triumphantly announcing the complete alienation of Dalits from BJP, that BJP is forever damned to be an upper caste party and what not.

Splat!

In your face, Lutyens! In your face!

So what happened on the ground there? Why did “Deviji”, who was just receiving all round praise from Madam’s darbaris for being such a formidable politician, suddenly on the run? Why did the swagger vanish so quickly?

Why Deviji, why? Where did all your aggression go?

Ha! Is it possible that Dalits rebuffed you on the ground? Is it possible that Dalits were sensible enough to realize that Dayashankar Singh, a hitherto unknown BJP leader, had been punished enough already? Is it possible that Dalits were smart enough to know that the profane remarks of one random Dayashankar couldn’t possibly be the stand of the BJP?

And here is the most scary part for Lutyens.  Is it possible that Dalits have developed a new sense of confidence so that one profane remark by one random leader no longer sends them into a paroxysm of insecurity? Is it possible that Dalits are seeking deliverance through prosperity, empowerment and achievement in their own lives? Is it possible that Dalits no longer get their self respect from watching the personal fortune of a certain “Devi” grow everyday through scam money? 

You must be worried, Deviji.  No one in this country is a bigger beneficiary of the caste system than you are. 

Make no mistake friends. A united Hindu vote has put Deviji on the run. Dalits have weighed the matter sensibly and realized that the offender Dayashankar has already received all possible reasonable punishment. And on the flip side, “upper” castes have become polarized against Deviji for her party’s crass attack on a 12 year old girl. That the demand to present the 12 year old girl for gangrape came from a peaceful Naseemuddin Siddiqui didn’t help matters at all.

I said yesterday that BJP is playing a high risk, high reward game in UP. They needed to show just the right amount of aggression. Get too aggressive and Dalits will revolt. Stay too tame and Deviji will squeeze them dry. To their credit, they played with finesse. The party stayed mostly in the background, let Swati Singh lead the way, providing only the subtext of “Beti ka samman”, a not so subtle reminder of peacefuls vs the honor of Hindu girls.

It worked. The BSP blinked.

Deviji is now facing an unconvinced Dalit vote and an angry “upper” caste vote. She needed both. I have written before on this blog that in UP 2017, both Deviji and BJP are fighting for a united Hindu vote. It was a sign of desperation and perhaps force of habit that Deviji tried to rupture this Hindu vote fabric. Now one section of Hindus is angry with her and the other section is unconvinced. 

Check. Your move, Deviji…

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BJP begins high stakes/high risk game in Uttar Pradesh

Chanting “Bharat ki barbaadi” at JNU and crying buckets for Kashmiri stone pelters didn’t work for the secular lobby. While the long term impact of sustained anti-national campaigning is certainly to be feared, the short term results are zero. So, for seculars, it was back to basics fanning good old fashioned caste wars and striking at the Achilles heel of Hindu society. Thus the made up narrative of “attacks on Dalits”. If it was “Church Attacks” in early 2015 and “intolerance” in late 2015, the weapon of choice before UP elections is “attacks on Dalits”.

It began with the Una thrashing of Dalits in Gujarat by “Gau Rakshaks” where the seculars who planned the conspiracy even forgot to make sure that all the “Gau Rakshaks” were even Hindus, let alone people from “upper”castes.

But the media decided to go in for the kill when one Dayashankar Singh of the BJP (never heard of this guy before) made some horrible remarks against Mayawati. Even though his remarks did not talk about caste either in express or implied form, it was enough for the media and Mayawati to jump on. Personally, I would say this is totally fair game. It’s Politics 101. If a Dalit woman leader of the BJP had been abused the same way, I would have recommended the exact same course of action for the BJP.

But victimhood is a card that has to be played delicately. The BJP reacted very quickly, kicking out Dayashankar Singh even before he had time to close his mouth. It was fair for Mayawati to try and milk the issue, with her party workers arranging massive protests at the Ambedkar statue in Lucknow. Personally, I actually wouldn’t call them massive protests, I saw the pictures, I saw the crowds, they didn’t look that big to me. Any political party worth its salt should be able to arrange a crowd like that. But, well, the media decided to call them massive protests and I am ready to go along with that. So, let’s say they were “massive” protests.

Mayawati however, faces FOUR barriers in trying to milk this issue:

(1) Dayashankar Singh is nobody. Nobody has ever heard of him before. Maya is looking for a Mohan Bhagwat moment in UP, but Bhagwat was RSS boss. Nobody in BJP could have disowned him. Trying to equate BJP with some Dayashankar Singh, who was unknown till last week, is simply a bridge too far.

(2) The BJP has acted remarkably swiftly against Dayashankar Singh, kicking him out of the party promptly. Maya, in fact, has been struggling to figure out what punishment to demand for the guy. They threw him out of the party within 4 hours  of the comment. Arun Jaitley himself personally apologized to Mayawati. Maya can’t hold BJP responsible for UP police not arresting the man. She sounded a bit desperate when she said BJP should have filed an FIR against Daya.

(3) There is a whole 7 months to go for the election. How much is 7 months? Well, it was 7 months from Sept 2013 to Apr 2014! That’s how much. Now think of everything that happened in those 7 months. It’s too long to sustain anger against one small BJP leader who was kicked out within a day from the party.

(4) This one may be the most significant. Mayawati needs Upper caste votes too!   Has she forgotten that? UP is not Bihar. Upper castes account for a solid 25% in UP, which is in fact more than the Dalit vote of 22%. In fact, a Brahmin-Dalit alliance brought Maya to power on her own in 2007. If she wants to win again, she has to rebuild that alliance.

It is understandable that Mayawati was alarmed at the saffronisation of Dalits. With her own core votebank slipping badly and defection after defection hitting her party, her first instinct was to defend her base and then worry about incremental alliances. But her extreme arrogance has come in her way:

Behenji, or should I say “Deviji”, I assure you this Devi comment will come back to haunt you. If you think today’s Dalits will vote for you because you are a “Devi”, you couldn’t be more wrong. If you think Dalits will not hold you accountable and ask what you have done for them, you are sorely wrong. 

Dr. Praveen Patil was right when he pointed out that Mayawati is the only politician in India  who has  not changed her election style in over 20 years. Staying true to fundamentals and playing to strengths is a good thing, but Mayawati will find out that refusing to make a single change in 2 decades is silly. She has learned nothing from her 2014 disaster, where all she did was ask for the caste of Ramdev baba and Narendra Modi.

BJP got an opening when a mob of BSP workers led by Naseemuddin Siddiqui chanted this, demanding that Dayashankar’s 12 year old daughter be presented for a gangrape:

And it surely helps the BJP that the main culprit here is Naseemuddin Siddiqui. Sorry, Mayawati ji, this is fair game too. You sent a peaceful leader to talk in such a disgusting fashion about a 12 year old girl, BJP will also seize this opportunity. The fact that you are actually blaming the 12 year old girl and accusing her of not condemning her father …my god!

She is in Class 7 Mayawati ji! What do you want from her? You really think that Dalits, or anyone for that matter will appreciate peaceful members of your party demanding that a 12 year old girl be presented to them for gangrape?

The BJP which had been lying low for two days, has finally sensed a break. The optics of Naseemuddin Siddiqui and peaceful mob vs 12 year old girl can’t possibly look good for the BSP. The BJP will be playing a high stakes, high reward game today in Uttar Pradesh. The BJP will raise the pitch against Naseemuddin Siddiqui in its campaign today, titled:

Beti ke samman mein, BJP maidan mein” (BJP in the field, fighting for the honor of daughters)

It’s a risky move and is fraught with the exact same risks that Mayawati’s plan had. The BJP ‘s victimhood campaign has to toe a very fine line. It needs to be a carefully calibrated attack with the peaceful BSP leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui as its main target, sparing Mayawati herself. The slogan of “Beti ke samman mein” fits in very neatly with the love jihad subtext of the BJP in rural Uttar Pradesh. The campaign here needs to be clinical, short and sharp. Stretch it too long and BJP will look anti-Dalit.

But its a bold move. I really hope Shah is keeping a steadfast watch on this. If they can turn this around into a Hindu girl vs peaceful mob thing, it will pay tremendous political dividends. If they mess up the messaging, this will hurt big time. High stakes, high risks and everything to play for…

 

 

 

 

Media compromises with Kejriwal over institutional murder of AAP woman worker

What can you buy with 526 crores? Just close your eyes for a moment and imagine if a BJP worker had committed suicide leaving behind a statement that she was being molested by BJP leaders. And that she had informed Narendra Modi about this. And that Narendra Modi had told her to compromise with her molesters. You know, something of the sort this female AAP worker said before committing suicide, that “CM saab had told her to COMPROMISE” with her harassers” (watch at 2:00)

Forget Narendra Modi. Imagine if it was any BJP leader at any level who had asked this woman worker to “compromise”. What if it was some non-entity like some Dayashankar Singh, whose recent remarks have put Lutyens studios on the boil?

Can you imagine how hard the sky would have come crashing down if a BJP leader had said this to a woman?

But Kejriwal did. He did tell her to compromise. And she committed suicide. And now close your eyes again and concentrate. That pin drop media silence you hear is what 526 crores can buy…

It goes beyond. The woman makes a dying declaration on her hospital bed that AAP leader Ramesh Bhardwaj has been harassing her. But the statement that “CM saab has asked her to compromise” comes much before she tried to commit suicide. It’s a much older clip.

Let that sink in. A woman said that she was being harassed by AAP leaders. That she had complained to the CM but Kejriwal told her to compromise with the molesters. That she was now seriously considering suicide. This clip has been available to the media long before this day when she actually committed suicide. But no mediawallah played it before, no one cared, no one even mentioned one word about this till now. 

Again, can you imagine if a woman had said on camera that she was planning to commit suicide because Narendra Modi had told her to compromise with her molesters?

That silence you hear is what 526 crores can buy for you.

Rohith Vemula tried to commit suicide after writing a note that said no one was responsible. Left wing activists never let anyone near to him until a long time had passed. We will never know if his life could have been saved. The event became an “institutional murder”.

Here, a woman went on camera saying that she was going to commit suicide because Kejriwal told her to compromise with her attacker. She appealed for help. Finally, she killed herself.

But whatever this AAP worker’s life was worth, for our media it was surely not as much as 526 crores. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, they would rather have daily 10 page ads paid for by taxpayers of Delhi..

A note to Bhagwant Mann: I knew Siddhu’s inclusion was a threat to your Punjab CM chances. You had to do something to get back in the news. But to get back the limelight, was it really necessary to reveal security positions inside Parliament to all terrorists who might be interested? Couldn’t you have just shown up to the Lok Sabha drunk, which is your trademark move…

A note to Navjot Singh Sidhu:  How do you like your life outside BJP, sir? Did you get your Punjab CM candidate announcement?  Don’t tell me they tempted you to come out and then turned their backs on you 🙂 Arvind Sir and Sunita Madam not giving you the time of the day 🙂 ? The joys of life outside BJP 🙂 Here’s an idea. Say sorry and go back to BJP.  Aur kitni beizzati karwaoge?

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How to burn Gujarat : a beginner’s guide

With Uttar Pradesh elections around the corner, the ecosystem comes alive. To add to that, there is a Parliament session in progress and something has to be done to block the GST Bill. They have to find a new Dadri.

For the first step, gather a bunch of random people, call them “Gau Rakshaks” and get them to beat up some Dalit tannery workers:

Now make this go viral and right on cue the “Dalit organizations” and “Dalit panthers” and all those groups that never actually win any Dalit votes will be on the streets demanding “justice”. Then, get some Congress workers to “attempt suicide”.

And there you have it folks, you now have a license to do the following:

(1) Burn Gujarat

(2) Block GST Bill in Parliament

(3) An issue to attack BJP in Uttar Pradesh.

In their hurry to manufacture another Dadri like incident, they forgot to even make sure that all the “gau rakshaks” were even Hindus.

Oops! Mistake…mistake …mistake… But they swooped in swiftly to correct this mistake.

Untitled

See? The Muslim boy was “forced” to join in beating up people. Does it sound like the lamest excuse ever made on this planet? Sure! But, the Indian Express will take it nevertheless.

And of course, the political vulture of Delhi will be coming to Gujarat tomorrow to show just how much he sympathizes with Dalits. And so will Rahul G, so that he can be “relaunched” for the 1000th time.

Once again, Dalit lives are being thrown under the bus by secular vultures to fight the BJP. Every time, every single time, seculars choose to put Dalit lives on the line for their anti-Hindu politics. It is poor Dalit students who are the No. 1 target for Commie brainwashing agents at universities. The tragic end of Rohith Vemula is of course the main case in point. They didn’t even let someone try to see if Rohith could have been revived, such was the Commie thirst for a dead body. All so that elite liberals could let out cries of ecstasy, like Sujata Anandan, political editor of the Hindustan Times, Mumbai:

sujata

Another Dalit life ends. Another liberal celebrates.

Dalits are made into cannon fodder for the liberal anti-Hindu agenda. And poor Dalits also have to be the worst victims of violence from the peaceful community. So, when Tuktuki Mondal in West Bengal, a mere schoolgirl, is snatched from her father and raped for months by a bunch of peacefuls, she can’t get justice. Another Dalit life that doesn’t matter to India’s liberals.

Of course, not one of these liberals would let a Dalit into their actual circle. As poor disillusioned Rohith Vemula said himself:

untitled

no Dalit is ever allowed to step into the Communist Politburo. Similarly, Mr. Kejriwal, who will arrive in Gujarat tomorrow to express his solidarity with Dalits, would never consider giving the MSc graduate, NET qualified brother of Rohith Vemula for anything more than a temporary Grade-IV staff job.

Will the elite liberals in this country allow Dalits to step into Aligarh Muslim University? Of course not! Even though AMU is paid for by public money, Dalits in our country cannot enjoy the benefits of reservation at AMU. Why? Because liberals see AMU as their property. And they can’t share any of that.

Ask the liberals and peacefuls to give Dalits their fair share at AMU and the threats become quite explicit:

Dear Rahul Gandhi ji,

If you want to show Dalits that you care, do not go to Una. Go stand at the door of Aligarh Muslim University and demand that Dalits should be allowed in. 

Dear Sujata Anandan, Dear Arvind Kejriwal, Dear Sitaram Yechury, Dear Rahul Gandhi,

DALIT LIVES MATTER.

It is time for Dalit brothers to realize the secular game. And I actually believe they are. It is time for Dalits to realize that the anti-Hindu politicians, the Dalit panthers and the so called Dalit organizations have done absolutely nothing for them. These front organizations of the Congress exist to break Hindu society.

Dear Mr. Yechury, may I remind you that while your Commie politburo does not admit any Dalits, the first brick for Ram Temple at Ayodhya was laid by a Dalit?

So, yeah, well, we all Hindus sink or swim together. Get that straight, Mr. Rahul Gandhi. Get that straight, Mr. Yechury and Mr. Kejriwal. Go ahead, do your worst. But let me tell you that Dalit youth are not with you. They don’t want to die so that you can rule. Keep trying.

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Kejriwal has just dropped Punjab; but AAP is definitely sweeping it

If there was any doubt whatsoever whether AAP will sweep Punjab next year, such doubts have ended with Sidhu joining AAP yesterday. The inevitable AAP sweep got even bigger.

And yet I will openly say that Kejriwal has made a giant mistake. There was absolutely no need for Kejriwal to bring Sidhu in. AAP was winning anyways.

Let me explain. I have always pointed out that there is a fundamental barrier for personality based parties to become national parties. The barrier has nothing to do with the challenges of setting up cadre, vote banks etc across state borders, even though these are extremely difficult tasks on their own. No, the barrier is much more fundamental.

The  fundamental problem is that a party with more than one Chief Minister has, by definition, more than one top leader. This is a situation which no personality based party can tolerate. I am sure Mayawati would be happy to see a BSP government in Madhya Pradesh, but will Mayawati be able to share her supreme control of her party with someone else? Inevitably, a BSP Chief Minister in Madhya Pradesh would be a serious internal challenge to Mayawati’s authority. This is why personality based parties never spread outside a single state.

In fact, we can observe this phenomenon clearly when big states are partitioned. Both RJD and JDU were major parties in the whole of Bihar, but as soon as the state was cut in two, RJD and JDU started evaporating from Jharkhand. Finally, as on date, both parties are at BIG ZERO in the Jharkhand Assembly. Why? Because a big RJD face from Jharkhand would challenge the authority of Lalu Yadav. A big JDU face from Jharkhand would challenge the authority of Nitish Kumar. The same phenomenon repeated in Uttarakhand. Neither Mulayam Singh nor Mayawati ever could put up a real fight in the state, despite the fact that it split off from their empire in Uttar Pradesh. Similarly, the Telugu Desam Party is a non-entity in Telangana.

One needs to understand how multi-state parties come into being. There has to be a background network that can override the individual egos of the state leaders. In the BJP, this job is done by the RSS. In the CPI(M), it is the politburo that keeps the discipline. The Congress degenerated into a family based entity long after it had spread to every corner of India. The AAP has appointed Kejriwal as lifetime president and supreme leader already.

As such, Kejriwal would have been better advised to become CM of Punjab himself and hand over Delhi to his wife Sunita. I know he is interested in Goa…maybe he can wait till the Goa polls of 2022 and try to make his daughter Harshita the CM face there. It really is the only way for him: because an AAP CM in Punjab is bound to be a challenge to Kejriwal’s control over the party. For Kejriwal the problems are even worse than they are for someone like Mayawati or Mulayam. Because the state Kejriwal runs is among the smallest in the country. Punjab is a big state, a full state and there is no reason for the Chief Minister of Punjab to see the CM of Delhi as his boss.

As if that was not enough, Kejriwal has made the worst possible move by picking Navjot Singh Sidhu, a man with his own following and popularity. The chances of Sidhu agreeing to be a puppet of Kejriwal are near zero. Why should Sidhu listen to Kejriwal? He will be CM of a bigger state, he has his own base and his own nationwide name recognition. By the way, I think the RW and BJP should hasten the inevitable by taking this line up aggressively.

AAP is now no longer Kejriwal’s party, it is now jointly owned by Kejriwal AND Navjot Singh Sidhu. How does that make Kejriwal feel, I wonder 🙂 🙂   ? 

Ok, Kejriwal hasn’t actually announced Sidhu as Punjab CM candidate yet. But, I really doubt Sidhu would just leave a Rajya Sabha seat unless he had received a clear assurance. In case Kejriwal goes back on his assurance now, there’s gonna be more fun 🙂