#SIMILivesMatter : Congress ecosystem becoming noose around Congress neck ?

If the Congress is seeing a shrink about its endless string of failures, it is hard to tell whether their therapist is actually treating them or actively encouraging them to commit suicide. Whatever convinced the Congress party that batting for SIMI terrorists was going to help turn public opinion their way? Already the Congress was under a cloud over its response to the surgical strikes and now this?

Of course, we cannot even begin to speak on this subject without first paying tribute to the head constable whose throat was brutally split as these terrorists broke out of jail in Khandwa. Let us pause for a minute, drop everything else and think of him and his family. Like all of us, they must have had plans for a joyous Diwali. But…

Zara yaad karo kurbaani. 

What was his name? Tell us, Madam.

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Now let me know if you notice anything.

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I don’t even want to spell it out for you. Yes, folks, this is India, circa 2016. This is where 70 years of poisonous propaganda has brought us. What’s in a name? Well, a lot. Remember this moment.

The Congress ecosystem went into autopilot, raising “questions” over the deaths of these terrorists. Keep in mind that this is exactly what they would have done with the surgical strikes, had the Modi government fallen into the trap of releasing the video. But this time I believe that the autopilot is sending the Congress into a deep nosedive. Here’s the Hindu:

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“Activists”. Come on guys, you can do better. You could have called them “students”. They put the hint in the name of the organization and still the bozos at the Hindu’s internet desk could not pick up on that. Pity.

Although it is not immediately known how many of the “activists” were mild mannered children of headmasters,  The Hindu was generous enough to put up their CVs for our perusal. A sample profile of one of these activists:

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A precious young life snuffed out. Where will the barbarism stop?

Coming back to my original point, the Congress ecosystem can no longer help itself. The Digvijays and the Nirupams take it from here and they go on, hammering the last nail into the Congress’ coffin. Should the Congress wish to take this issue “to the masses”, the BJP counter-campaign practically writes itself:

“Should we have fattened these terrorists on Biryani?”

The BJP leaders don’t even need to say that line aloud any more. The masses can already hear it inside their heads. The Congress strategy is so supremely self-defeating that it defies attempts at rational explanation. Except for one.

Cricket fans will remember the infamous “Sehwag no ball incident” from 2010.

Sri Lanka Cricket and offspinner Suraj Randiv have both apologised to Virender Sehwag for denying him a one-day century after a deliberate no-ball from Randiv ended the match and left the India opener stranded on 99, despite him hitting the delivery for six.

(http://www.espncricinfo.com/sl-tri2010/content/story/472780.html)

Is the Congress ecosystem pressing the self destruct button in a pathetic bid to deny Modi the satisfaction of building a Congress mukt Bharat? Is Congress destroying itself proactively out of spite? We will never know for sure. But, just like in that ODI game, no matter what the Congress “strategy” is,  remember that the result will still be the same:

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Cheers,

Chaiwallah.

Why the M vote matters less in Uttar Pradesh

I am a BJP supporter. Which means that I must often answer to myself, if not to others, why I would support the BJP. First of all, I am glad the answer is not in terms my caste or sub-caste, unlike what could be said for the vast majority of supporters of several major parties. Ok, so what’s the reason? Can I honestly say that the BJP doesn’t have people who are corrupt, rotten and slimy to the core? Of course not, especially these days with an increasing flood of political refugees from the Congress and other political filth washing up on the shores of the BJP, which is greedily and gladly giving them asylum.

Well, being a right winger, I am a big believer in the principle of “rational self-interest”. It means that people do best when working in their own self interest for obvious personal gain, rather that when they are motivated by abstract concerns such as the common good, humanity,  loyalty or even patriotism. Self-interest is the trump card due to which free enterprise beats socialist imposition every single time.

So, the reason I support the BJP is that I feel their interests are aligned with our national interests (and the exact reverse is true for Congress and other caste based parties). The BJP has a clear electoral dividend to harvest from a developed, modern India and the Congress has literally nothing to gain from it. You don’t need BJP to be honest, dedicated or even patriotic: all that matters is that a developed India helps BJP win more elections. So if you want a developed India, go for BJP.

Here’s why. Let’s see what makes Gujarat such an impregnable fortress for BJP? It’s not Hindutva. It’s not even Modi. It’s the simple arithmetic of urbanization. The 182 member Gujarat Assembly has 65 urban seats and the BJP has a stranglehold on them. Currently, it has 62 of these 65 seats! And no matter what, it will always have these seats. In Gujarat, the BJP always starts its batting from 60* not out and Congress starts batting from 0*. With the majority mark just ~30 seats away at 92, it is easy to see why BJP is quite simply invincible in Gujarat.

Let’s take Bihar, where the BJP recently lost very badly. How many seats does BJP have in the Bihar Assembly? Just 53. Do you know how many of these 53 seats are urban seats? 27! That’s right…more than half of BJP’s seats in Bihar came from urban areas. In fact, despite a completely united opposition, the BJP was actually leading in urban areas! That’s how strong  BJP is in urban India, especially now under Modi. Spare a moment here to look at Bihar’s sister state of Jharkhand. Although BJP usually dominates all Lok Sabha elections in Jharkhand, it usually never does quite as well in Jharkhand Assembly polls. But BJP has managed to stay the single largest party in Jharkhand ever since the state was established in 2000. Why? Because BJP wins all the urban seats in the state and unlike Bihar the urban seats are almost enough to guarantee largest party status to BJP.

Trivia: Jharkhand might be the only state in the Republic in which BJP has always been single largest party. Are there any others? I wonder…

So, what does this have to do with the M vote in Uttar Pradesh? Well, the key difference between UP and Bihar is urbanization. Uttar Pradesh is a lot more urbanized than Bihar and this will make all the difference.

Now the fun part. Yes, UP has a HUGE Muslim vote, like Bihar. But wait…this M vote is not equally distributed. The M vote in urban areas can go up to a formidable 35% but in rural areas it is more like 15%. Which means the M vote is not big enough to destroy the BJP in rural areas, while BJP is going to sweep the urban areas anyway.

 

To estimate how BJP might do in urban UP, let’s start from the BJP’s lowest point in Bihar. Even in Bihar, we know that BJP was ahead of the UNITED opposition in urban areas. Now, add in these factors:

(a) Opposition in UP is divided into at least two pieces, sometimes even 3 pieces.

(b) UP has a huge upper caste vote, unlike Bihar.

(c) UP has a long history of responding to Hindutva, unlike Bihar which is more of a Mandal state.

(d) Aura of surgical strikes around Modi.

It is now not difficult to see why BJP will simply SWEEP urban Uttar Pradesh. And urban UP accounts for a huge number of seats. Then turn to rural areas where there simply aren’t enough M voters to stop the BJP. And while Muslims are still confused about the strongest opponent of BJP, the news of Muslims looking to polarize is already common sense information for every Hindu in Uttar Pradesh. Those planning to polarize are still trying to decide who to polarize around, but counter-polarized votes know exactly where to go.

And these days, I believe there is a block of at least 5% that votes for “development”. These are the most informed and conscious voters (mainly youth), who are not thinking in terms of caste. In Bihar, the BJP had to share this vote with Nitish Kumar. In UP, Akhilesh could have got some of this, but this 5% segment I am talking about has already understood that he isn’t going to win. Mayawati actually could have gotten a bite of this 5% by showcasing her impressive law and order record. But she hasn’t done that….instead she is busy cravenly appeasing the M community. And this 5% block of conscious and informed voters finds that kind of politics simply abhorrent. So, rest assured that the BJP is getting this 5% in its entirety. In a state where the last two elections were won by the party that got a mere 30% of the vote (SP didn’t actually even reach 30% in 2012…they were 29 and some fraction), this means UP is already in the BJP’s bag.

At 30%, BJP will emerge as single largest party. Every additional 1% will give them 15-20 more seats. At 35%, they will be close to 300. I believe the BJP has already crossed the 30% threshold quite comfortably. With a base of 43% from the Lok Sabha polls and all recent opinion polls showing Modi’s popularity almost at same level as mid 2014, it would be surprising if BJP is anywhere below 33% at the moment. That’s my assessment. I will wait for one more survey… the one from Dr. Patil to be completely sure. Otherwise, this election is “done and dusted“.

 

How would you rate Modi sarkar?

This post is from our friend Enigma who gave the following ratings to Modi sarkar across various subjects. It is an awesome post and I thought it is best to ask all friends here how they feel about the government, now that it is only a heartbeat away from completing two and a half years in power. Here is Enigma’s awesome comment. Please enjoy:

So here are my thoughts about their performance in various areas(very long but do bear with me).So here goes:
1)Economy-8/10
Lot of good work done by the Government in this area.Jan Dhan Yojana,MUDRA,Make in India,Startup India,infrastructure building,electrification of villages,recovery of more than 60000+ crore black money.Also,a lot of reforms like GST,Bankruptcy Code,FDI reforms.RBI MPC,Real Estate Regulation Bill,Waterways Bill,etc.Ease of Doing Business ranking improved 12 places from 2014(will improve a lot next year after Bankruptcy Code is implemented and hopefully GST as well).Private Investment and exports are a concern though.
2)Foreign Policy-9.5/10
Without a doubt,it is the area in which most progress has been made.He successfully managed to bring all SAARC on his side and isolated Pakistan.He has also improved India’s relations with Indian Ocean countries like Mauritius and Seychelles and also Pacific Island countries and has begun the first step in trying to cut the string of pearls.He also managed to pull off a great move buy getting anti-India Nepali PM Oli removed and getting a more friendlier Prachanda installed as Nepal PM(he outwit China here).Relations with Italy,which were strained due to the marines issue now normal.Border dispute with Bangladesh also solved.Greater focus on Africa bringing most African leaders to India and improving economic ties with them.Arab World is still very pro-Pak but he is slowly pushing UAE away from Pak and bringing it closer to India(by the way,he was conferred Saudi’s highest civillian honour.I am sure that burnol sales increased due to high buying by liberals after that).He has moved closer to USA which IMO is a good thing(we need each other against China) but at the same time,has not moved too far away from Russia.Japan became an even greater friend of India(bullet trains,investment,upcoming nuclear deal) and Abe became Modi’s bestie.Getting International Day of Yoga recognized was also a great success and also the signing of the Chabahar deal as well.He has always brought back something tangible after most of his visits.His only setbacks are Pak and China.
3)Defence-7.5/10
Not a defence expert but Modi Govt has gotten Rafale deal signed,implemented OROP,demand for war memorial accepted,acquisition of S-400(apparently this is a BIG buy) and most importantly the surgical strike are big positives.However, the efforts to reduce the long time it takes to acquire weapons and to boost indias indigenous defence manufacturing don’t seem to have made much headway(correct me if I am wrong).
4)Internal Security-8/10
India’s 3 major internal threats are Islamic terrorists,Maoists and NE terrorists.Signed a peace deal with Naga terrorists ending their insurgency barring one faction(Khaplang).Maoists also suffered a major blow a couple of days back and many have surrendered in the last couple of years.However,Islamic terrorist problem is still a big one.Uri illustrated that.However,the Govt responded very well and conducted surgical strikes and apparently the number of terrorists in the valley now less than 180.Burhan Wani was killed which is a major success.And in thel ast 2 years,no big Indian city has suffered a terrorist attack unlike during the UPA days.Kudos to Rajnath Singh for that.He doesn’t get enough credit for it.
5)Law and Order-5/10
Many obsolete laws repealed but the Govt’s attempt to get NJAC through(collegium reform) failed.And the old problem of courts taking a long time to dispose cases still remains(though it is largely the courts fault).Haven’t seen any police reforms either.Ongoing tug of war between Govt and Judiciary.Hope Govt wins.Not much progress in this area.
6)Social issues-6/10
Beti Bachao,Beti Padhao a good initiative.Swach Bharat is a good initiative as well but it doesn’t seem to have taken off in a big way except at railway stations.Open Defecation also shamefully a big problem but it is being reduced.Modi a Dalit himself and despite what is being said in the media about BJP being supposedly anti-Dalit but Modi doing positive stuff for them like Stand up India and passing of SC/ST act.And a good point highlighted by 5Forty3 is that BJP is not making dominant caste person of a particular state as CM and empowering the non dominant castes as well(sort term risk but will have a good long term effect like he said)
7)Energy-8.5/10
Solar Power capacity being improved at a fast rate and Govt also building strategic oil reserves.Coal blocks also auctioned well and Govt actually now has a surplus of coal(deficiency during UPA rule).A major success is the international solar alliance idea mooted by PM Modi.Hopefully,India will achieve the Paris climate accord goals that it has set for itself.
8)Institutional Reform-7/10
Modi doing a good job(though not great)when it comes to institutional reform.One thing I have noticed is that he is using the services of IAS officers less(which is a great thing) and bringing in domain experts.Also digitizing govt recors and moving everything online is a great step.Non performers also being removed.And holding state elections simultaneously with the national elections is a good idea.However,the bureaucracy is still a plague as the NDTV textiles saga showed.
9)Corruption-9/10
A great positive from this Govt is that corruption at the very top has almost been wiped out.Digitizing and direct benefit transfers will also go a long way as far as reducing corruption is concerned.Low level corruption is still a problem though but largely happy with the Govt on this front.
10)Education-4/10
Haven’t seen much progress on this front.Hopefully,MOOC and Skill India will be a success.Hoping that Govt allows foreign universities to set up campuses in India in the future.
11)Health/Medical-6.5/10
AAYUSH(drugs,especially life saving drugs)at cheaper prices a very good initiative.Attempt to introduce compulsory Yoga in schools laudable.Also managed to make sure that Zika virus didn’t become a big problem in India.Also attempting Medical Council of India reform.And introducing helpline no.Acessoble India also a good idea.However Govt hospitals remain as bad as they were before and I haven’t seen any “big bang” step from JP Nadda.
12)Science and Tech-4/10
LIGO observatory to be set up in India which is great but do not know of other steps/progress made in this area.
13)Sports-3/10
Dismal progress in this area.Babudom in sports organizations still a major problem and sports other than cricket not getting the funding or attention that they deserve(reflected in the Olympic performance this year)
14)Tourism-7/10
Decent progress made here.Liberalization of the visa regime has helped boost international tourist arrival figures.Still a lot of work to be done.
15)Hindu issues and tackling minority appeasement-2/10
Worst area of the Govt.RTI still a problem.Only baby steps like citizenship act for Pak and Bangladeshi Hindus and attempt to introduce UCC have been taken.Good that Govt is against minority status of AMU.Lots of work to be done here but I do realize that it will take time.
16)People’s Trust-9/10
Very high.And you know why.

I went to the BJP website and read the 2014 manifesto again and I am pleasantly surprised to see that so many of the promised items have been done or are in progress and the Govt has just completed half of its term.Very happy that many of the manifesto promises have been made a reality so quickly.I am only 20 years old and only have a vague rememberance of the last days of the Vajpayee Govt.Have basically spent the”core” of my life during these 10 years of UPA and compared to UPA rule,this is Paradise.Happy to know that the country is now being led by a son of the soil instead of a foreigner.The country is in safe hands under Narendra Modi.I am confident and hopeful that he will lead the country till 2029 at least and if that happens,India will be a much more different place than it was in 2014.A much better place!

So those were my thoughts.Thanks for reading!Jai Hind!

Dear Sandipan Sharma, let me give you 40 minutes of my life for free

It seems Firstpost’s Sandipan Sharma recently performed a few hours of service for the idea of India watching a crappy Karan Johar movie. His rate, it seems, is just Rs. 390. Dear eNREGA authorities at Congress HQ, please take note. You might be overpaying.

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Umm…why?

Somebody had to do the same to the bullies who want films banned and boycotted, divide art in the name of country and religion. … I and my Rs 390 volunteered.

(http://www.firstpost.com/bollywood/watching-ae-dil-hai-mushkil-first-day-first-show-indian-patriots-owe-me-390-bucks-3078132.html)

Look man Sandipan, first Karan Johar conned you into thinking that he produces “art” and then you ended up buying your own propaganda of “intolerance” and lost Rs 390 in the process. You got scammed man and that too by your own…and I feel for you. Add it to the list of secular scams.  I told you that I feel for you. I see you everyday banging away an article or two in Firstpost, making a few bucks here and there shilling for the secular establishment. It sucks that they would so cruelly scam you and sell you some Karan Johar sh*t for Rs 390. You gotta love Karan Johar, he couldn’t make a decent movie, but he sure knew how to get suckers like you to buy tickets. Let this be a teachable moment for your Sandipan, never ever buy your own propaganda.

See how funny this is, Sandipan? YOUR bosses scammed YOU and you are mad at us, not them. And you even sound triumphant:

Indian keyboard warriors have an interesting history of fatwas. In the past, they have threatened to not watch many of Salman Khan’s films, outraged against Aamir Khan’s PK, not shop at Snapdeal and boycott Chinese products, an act of patriotism typed out on handsets made in China.

The Ayatollahs of India may want to ponder this: Their fatwas have invariably had the opposite effect. Salman’s films routinely gross more than Rs 200-crore, PK is among India’s highest grossers, Snapdeal’s bargains attract thousands of consumers

Hmmm…you seem pleased with yourself. FYI, you JUST got scammed by these guys and you are celebrating their success. How funny is that?

Anyway, coming to the “fatwas”. At this juncture, would it be rude to point the fate of liberal fatwas in this country? I don’t know if you have noticed, but the man who was the target of a liberal fatwa won 170 million votes and the biggest parliamentary majority in 3 decades… Ever since the man with a liberal fatwa on his head was declared the face of the BJP, it has gone on to win 8 state elections, installed 7 Chief Ministers and got its own majority in the Lok Sabha. Let me remind you: 73/80, 42/48, 26/26, 25/25, 10/11, 7/7, 5/5, 4/4, 9/10, 12/14, 31/4o, 27/29 …these are just some of the scores notched up by the man with the liberal fatwa on his head. Wonder whose fatwas are having the opposite effect, no?

LOL!

And who are you calling “keyboard warrior”, Mr. Sharma? From what I can see, you are little more than a “keyboard journalist” yourself. The people you call “keyboard warriors” are actually well settled in other professions and devote a few minutes each day as amateurs dabbling in your line of work. For free. YOU, on the other hand are employed full time in countering them! Those “keyboard warriors” are so good at their part time hobby that your entire full time professional life is not enough to beat them!

And so it was at a multiplex where I saw Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. I went there on an early-winter Friday morning half-expecting a group of slogan-shouters dissuading people….But, the only crowd of slogan-shouters visible was that of youngsters chanting: Bhaiyya, peeche ki seat, corner. Maybe, convinced by the prowess of our social media patriots, they too were expecting an empty theatre. But, most went back home disappointed….But, at the moment, pseudo-nationalism is getting bludgeoned by the Indian viewer

See? You were so scared of the prowess of keyboard warriors that you spent your own money and time trying to make sure they didn’t win. You know how I treat YOUR liberal fatwas? I am not even gonna go check if people right now are violating the liberal fatwa against crackers and fireworks on Diwali. I am THAT confident of the Indian masses bludgeoning your liberal fatwa 🙂 I know that PK was a big hit that one time in 2014, but Diwali you know has been a hit for hundreds of years and counting… Go, go out of your house right now and take a look outside and see what the public has done to your fatwa against celebrating Diwali 🙂 Let’s see who’s getting “bludgeoned”. I don’t need to check. Unfortunately I am not even in India this year for Diwali. But I can close my eyes and tell you confidently that Diwali has been a rocking success. And I can bet it’s gonna get rave reviews. What do you think, Sandipan? Has Diwali been a little bit of a bigger success than PK 🙂 ?

The film’s successful release would hopefully remind India’s fatwa brigade that in a democracy, it is best to leave everyone to decide what they want…

Really? You want to cause yourself more pain right now Sandipan by talking about what people want in India’s democracy? Didn’t you hear what they want? Really man, you want to gloat over Snapdeal getting “thousands of customers” when somebody defied the liberal fatwa and got 170 million votes?

if you love the Army, go and join it, fill up the vacancies that have existed for years, instead of firing from your keyboards…

And if you love journalism, go join it. Let’s see if you have the courage to be like Jagendra Singh who fearlessly kept reporting on the land scam of a Samajwadi Party minister until SP goons actually burned him alive for it. Instead of firing at the powerful from your keyboard.

In case they don’t, Dangal is coming.”

And in case you don’t love journalism, UP elections are coming. Full time keyboard propagandists will be needed to create another “intolerance debate”. You can’t let the part time keyboard warriors on the right win, can you?

Finally, let me tell you why I am giving away 40 minutes of my life to your for free, Sandipan. See, I can easily afford to pay the Rs 390 that a keyboard propagandist like you charges. But believe me, they don’t pay you nearly enough for you to buy me out of my hobby. Thanks.

Happy Diwali.

This Diwali, our armed forces are lighting up Pakistan

As the nation readies to celebrate Diwali, I thought it is best to spend today’s post talking about how our men in uniform have been celebrating Dussehra for several weeks now. Except that the monster of Pakistani terrorism has not ten heads but a million heads and cutting them all off will take a while. Not to forget that their hands of the monster stretch far across the border deep inside our territory, inside our institutions, our media, our intelligentsia and even …

But this is supposed to be a celebratory post, so lets just say Pakistan is going to need a lot of Burnol this Diwali. After all, our armed forces have only just begun to unwind:

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It has been only a few weeks since our men in uniform have been let out of their chains. They are stretching their arms and legs, getting a feel for their new independence. Every year, before Diwali, we have warnings on TV telling people to stay safe and play safe. But who is going to let Pakistan know the dangers they are facing this Diwali?

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Watch out Pakistan, this Diwali …that fire you wanted to light in our homes is going to burn your backsides. Have you noticed that every year there is a spike in populations of certain seasonal insects around Diwali time? They infest the whole place; you can’t turn on a light switch without thousands of them coming in and crawling all over. Then Diwali happens and they are all gone. This year, that’s YOU guys, dear Pakis.

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We didn’t want this. We respect all life, even that of an insect or a  terrorist. But YOU brought this upon yourselves by attacking sleeping soldiers in tents in Uri. Now, we would be doing those martyrs an injustice if we didn’t make you pay for this. Hope you are able to keep count now:

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The surgical strikes were more like a statement of intent, a way of giving fair warning to the enemy about what is going to come. You chose to deny it, you even took a busload of foreign journos to the exact spot where no strikes happened to prove that they didn’t happen 🙂 Wonder how you managed to pull that off…lol. Well, deny this…

Side note to Pakistan’s reserve column in India : you see that? Video footage…. Now stop putting your foot in your mouth.

Yes, we understand that Pakistan won’t stop waging war against India. Because then they would have nothing to do. In the last 70 years, there is nothing else that any generation of Pakistanis has ever taken any interest in. But understand that there will be costs.

To my great delight, just as the Army and BSF have decided to go super aggressive against the enemies on the other side of the international border and the LoC, domestic security forces have also decided to put a leash on the Commie terrorists inside our territory. A huge blow to JNU as far as I can see:

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Well done, our men in uniform. These people have had a party for too long. It’s time to hang them out to dry.

I have a question. Do Commies believe in 72 virgins too? Anyways…

This Diwali, light a diya for our soldiers on the border, but don’t forget to buy some presents for our friends across the border as well. Right now, they would really appreciate some coffins…

 

Modi sarkar finally acts to shut down Rana Ayyub

One thing that even Modi’s sharpest critics will concede is that Modi has allowed the anti-Modi ecosystem to survive freely, even thrive. Wait, scratch that. Modi’s critics are actually very vocal in saying that Modi sarkar is brutally cracking down on dissenters. Which means that Modi sarkar has actually been totally tolerant to dissenters, because if Modi sarkar had made the slightest attempt to actually intimidate them, these paid propagandists would have switched over to his side in a second! In fact, the less Modi has done to crack down on dissent, the more these people have screamed in protest. It is important to realize that bringing down Modi is only half of the agenda of the intolerance brigade. Their cries are just as much desperate calls for attention, an advertisement of the paid propaganda services they can offer and basically begging to be purchased by the new regime.

A couple of days ago, I had asked you folks to caption this photograph of Agent Ayyub in wonderland:

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Ah, Doha, Qatar! What is Agent Ayyub doing there? Perhaps she has gone to inaugurate a new exhibition of Prophet cartoons to showcase the tolerance at the heart of the “idea of Islam”? Let’s run through a quick checklist of all the great things about the wonderland of Qatar:

a) Form of government : Absolute monarchy.

b) Penalty for criticizing Islam : 7 years imprisonment.

c) Penalty for preaching any religion other than Islam : 10 years imprisonment.

d) Penalty for leaving Islam (apostasy) : Death

e) Penalty for homosexual acts : Death

f) Penalty for having sex outside marriage : Death.

Mashallah! This seems like the perfect setting for Agent Ayyub to go and complain about what an ugly intolerant place India is and how it is only getting worse under Narendra Modi. What a place for Agent Ayyub to spend some quality time away from “bigots and radicals”, no?

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Here is the official story : apparently she had been invited to speak on her “book” by one Indian Association of Bihar and Jharkhand that is “under the aegis of the Indian Embassy” in Qatar.

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For me, the most disturbing part of Agent Ayyub’s latest mission is that she was going to desecrate the memory of Dr. Kalam. And then, this happened:

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She had crossed a red line. Thank you Narendra Modi! Thank you Modi ji for reminding them that there IS a red line after all. That the red line is somewhere.  Often times, when certain agents are seen chilling with high ranking admirals during fleet reviews or trying to reveal sensitive military positions on live television, we begin to wonder if there is a red line at all. Thank you for reminding them all that there is a red line after all…somewhere. And of course, thank you for not letting Agent Ayyub sully the memory of Dr. Kalam.

And then she tweeted this, presumably from Qatar:

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You bet! Everyone should be scared of “the truth”. Because you know, like in Qatar, once the “truth” has been found, there is usually 7 years of imprisonment for criticizing the “truth”, 10 years of imprisonment for suggesting anything other than the “truth” and death penalty for anyone who stops believing in the “truth”.

A quick comment on this “Indian Association of Bihar and Jharkhand” from Qatar. I googled them, which took me to their website. And I had a quick look at their “Executive Members”.

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I won’t elaborate, but let’s just say the names might fail to reflect a certain  “idea of Bihar”…or Jharkhand for that matter. And yes, there is a reason why I had to make this screenshot 10 minutes ago by using the Internet Way Back Archive, instead of just from their website where I saw the list yesterday.

Coming back to Agent Ayyub, she actually has a point here:

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Okay, being invited to speak by the Indian Embassy isn’t actually a right, but she has a point nevertheless.

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Again, it is amusing for the RW to be suddenly referred to as “FoE warriors”. I thought we were supposed to be relentless fascists shutting everyone down. I thought you folks were the FoE warriors.  And I am puzzled to see “FoE warriors” being used as if it’s an insult. But then, in matters of hypocrisy, context is everything … 

Nevertheless, I told you she has a point. Why isn’t the left making more noise about this? I’ll tell you why. Because Modi sarkar seems to have drawn a red line here. The intolerance brigade senses that and therefore has gone silent. They are cowards first, next mercenaries and only then they are liberals. Didn’t I tell you that the more Modi is tolerant to them, the more noise they will make? If Modi shows the slightest sign of intolerance, they will be the first ones to kneel before him.

Anyway, caption this 🙂

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Yeddy exonerated : How Advani nearly destroyed the BJP and how Modi saved it

Before I begin my post for today, let me just say that going to crappy countries can sometimes mean no stable internet connection. And no blog post on Tuesday. That rarely happens on this blog.

Ok, so whats the good news? Well, say hello to the next Chief Minister of Karnataka

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I think B S Yeddyurappa’s exoneration today can formally be called the official end of the “Advani eclipse” in the BJP. What was the Advani eclipse? Well, let me remind you of a dark period in the party’s history from 2004-2013 when the BJP was a perpetual loser/whiner. That was BEFORE these heady days since 2013 when BJP supporters would be heavily disappointed if they managed to pick up anything less than 4/5 states in February next year. Some of the more optimistic BJP supporters haven’t even given up on Punjab. They are looking for a 5-0 blowout.

Gone are the days when BJP would call it a good day if it got 1 out of 5 and 2 would be icing on the cake. I distinctly remember the day when the results for these same 5 states came out in 2012. I actually happened to be on a night bus and couldn’t see the results as they were coming in. When morning arrived, I jumped off at my station and logged in to see what had happened. We had lost miserably in Uttar Pradesh but I never expected anything there. We had won Goa (O wow!!!). We had lost in Uttarakhand too, but by just 1 seat so that hurt less than expected. And finally, look at that: the NDA had defied predictions and retained Punjab, with BJP getting to play minor partner with just 12 seats in a 126 member Assembly! I remember feeling almost relieved. Things had gone better than I had feared. Pathetic? Yes, losing is a habit. Fortunately, winning can be a habit too 🙂

And then Modi came along. He raised our expectations from 20% to 100%! Can you believe that Bhajpaiyyas are actually looking out for Manipur? What a difference in attitude 4 years can make…

I am not saying this to mindlessly pile on Advani. I am not against Advani. I still regard him as the greatest electoral champion India has ever produced. No single event in India’s history has changed electoral politics as much as Advani’s Rath Yatra. For the last 7 decades, leaders big and small dreamed of creating a national alternative to Congress. Even the few who managed to establish themselves in politics could barely  go past 1 single state! India is THAT big! Most of them gave up their dreams and became embedded in the Congress ecosystem themselves. Seen in this backdrop, Advani’s achievement of establishing a party from UP to Gujarat and from Delhi to Maharashtra and all the way up to Bihar and even parts of Odisha is  unparalleled and possibly unsurpassable.

And let us not forget that Advani willingly made way for Vajpayee to become the PM face. And I will point out clearly that Modi today is batting on a wicket that was built by Advani. Modi is the man who is providing the finishing touches required for electoral dominance, instead of just electoral existence.

So, I am not kicking Advani because he is down and out now, all I am saying is that after 2004, Advani became a liability. This can happen and does happen all the time : a star player who is now too old to fire, but cannot be pushed out because of his towering personality and great achievements of the past.

For a party to keep living and keep the hopes and aspirations of its workers and sympathizers alive, it is necessary to identify what went wrong and what was the eventual cure.

After the shock defeat of 2004, the BJP went into a deep eclipse. Advani made the party almost indistinguishable from the Congress. If there were differences, it was in that the BJP would go into unnecessary sulks, such as on the Indo-US nuclear deal or end up endorsing regressive policies such as a ban on FDI in multi-brand retail. Some of these continue to be a source of embarrassment for Modi today.

What else did the BJP do that was shocking? The BJP under Advani consistently undermined popular mass leaders. The first victim of this was Uma Bharti. Had Shivraj not been such a capable administrator and had BJP not been historically so strong in Madhya Pradesh, Uma Bharti’s exit would have buried the BJP in 2008. Can you imagine where the BJP would have ended up under Babulal Gaur? In some ways, Shivraj’s achievement in MP is actually greater than Narendra Modi’s. Both Modi and Shivraj were brought in as last minute pre-election replacements and these things rarely work. But for obvious reasons, Modi became the beneficiary of an unprecedented Hindu consolidation in 2002. Shivraj Singh Chouhan actually had to get his votes the hard way, by breathing life into MP’s listless administration within a few months.

The other victim of the Advani years is from a state that is rarely talked about : Jharkhand. Even when an unprecedented Mahagathbandhan against BJP in 2004 reduced the party to dust in Jharkhand, Babulal Marandi won from Koderma quite easily. Even today, they will tell you in Jharkhand that Marandi was the most capable politician the state ever produced and speak fondly of the first CM of the state. But Marandi was sidelined and sidelined until he finally left to form his own Jharkhand Vikas Morcha. If there is a party in Indian politics that is untouched by corruption the way AAP claimed to be, it is the JVM. It is a bargain in which all sides ended up as losers: Babulal Marandi himself, the BJP and the people of Jharkhand.

The third big victim of the Advani years is B S Yeddyurappa. The BJP was super strong in Madhya Pradesh and got a stroke of luck with Shivraj. The BJP has always dominated Jharkhand. But it was really in Karnataka that the party paid a price for buckling under pressure from the Lutyens cabal. The huge defeat faced by the party in Karnataka in 2013 was a pure self goal and an electoral crime. By now B S Yeddyurappa should have been in his second term as Karnataka CM. Instead, BSY will wait to get back his chair in mid 2018, when he will be more than 75 years of age. A criminal waste of time and talent for the party and a loss to the public as well.

And we will not even talk about Vasundhara Raje, who could easily have retained Rajasthan in 2008. She lost by 95-78, the closest margin for an incumbent government in Rajasthan in a long time. A little less backstabbing and she would have been in her third term by now. Don’t forget the tiny state of Uttarakhand. I referred to how BJP lost Uttarakhand by 1 seat in 2012. Why? Because sitting CM B C Khanduri lost his own seat in Kotdwar, something that can only happen due to intense sabotage on the inside. First, Khanduri was removed and replaced with Pokhriyal (whose term is remembered as a nightmare by the people of Uttarakhand) and then Khanduri was brought back at the last moment. And he would have still led the party to victory in 2012 had he not been backstabbed in Kotdwar!

But this is what had become of the BJP from 2004-2013…too many dropped chances, always on the wrong side of luck. It is hard to count all the Assembly polls that the BJP “nearly won”, but lost due to some reason or another. Luck comes when you have a winning habit and a winning attitude.

Why are we going into all this? Because believe it or not, those days are approaching for Modi-Shah as well. Right now they are at their zenith, shining bright. But the day will come when they will become liabilities for the party, unable to perform in governance or in elections. This is why I keep talking of systems…procedures…protocols to ensure that the baton is passed in time to a deserving successor. Mark my words…big problems are coming. Amit Shah’s three year term as party president ends in Jan 2019 and you cannot change horses 4 months before the General Elections. Which means BJP will win 2019 under Shah (I have no doubt on it now!) and then you can’t replace a party president who just won you a General Election. So that’s minimum 8 years with Shah continuously at the helm. The road to lifetime presidents and all sorts of bad tidings begins right there. Be worried..

Which circus do we watch : UP or Punjab?

In the old days when STD call rates were high, we used to call all our relatives on Sunday and talk to them. We have discontinued the tradition, but some of the richest people in the country seem to be carrying on with it. Except that they refer to calling up their own relatives as “meetings of senior party leaders”

It would be interesting to know if there is even one “senior leader”, MP, MLA or former MP or former MLA in the Samajwadi Party who is not a relative of the patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav. There’s a whole bunch of names and relatives to keep track of: Akhilesh Yadav, Ramgopal Yadav, Shivpal Yadav, Archana Yadav, Dimple Yadav, Prateek Yadav…some are involved in running the party, some are involved in running businesses that benefit from the party, etc, etc.

But the broad contours of the quarrel seem to be about prodigal son Akhilesh Yadav getting tired of listening to a whole bunch of “uncles”. We all need our privacy, don’t we? We cannot all live our lives as characters in the movie Hum Aapke Hain Kaun… Let it go, Netaji…boys will be boys, right?

If there is anything more funny than the SP imploding spectacularly, it is the attempts of the Lutyens brigade to cover for Akhilesh Yadav. Sample this:

Yes, secular parties and secular leaders are always getting a “boost”, no matter how ridiculous they look.

No, really. They can’t see the mess that the Samajwadi Party has made of itself. They don’t see the extreme demoralization of the SP cadre. What do they see? They see balloons and ribbons and cakes and rainbows for Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Anything and everything that a secular party does is a masterstroke.

Instead, guess who should be worried according to media?

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Of course. According to media, how could anything ever be good news for BJP? I often wonder how BJP is still alive, considering that the party is always facing bad news for the last 3 decades, even as the secular strike keeps playing one “masterstroke” every day. Few days ago, we heard that BJP was not even in the game in Uttar Pradesh. How much more bad news could possibly be coming?

Not to mention that everyone’s drivers were agreeing enthusiastically that BJP is not even in the race.

And now it seems that amid the SP infighting, it is actually the BJP that is drowning in bad news, isn’t it? Let me tell you straight, my Lutyens friends. To borrow the words of one of your colleagues, said once with great relish in 2015: this election is done and dusted! All Modi has to do is look like a leader above the noise, which is what he did in Bundelkhand today:

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This election is done and dusted. All that BJPians need to do now is choose which circus to enjoy. There is another comedian making a fool of himself in Punjab.

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Kejriwal ji loves to talk. Surely he will agree, right? No, he wants to run…it is the chamchas who have to do the talking.

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Aur ye laga sixer :

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This is what happens when you think that Madam’s generals are as incompetent as the leaders of BJP Delhi.

By the way, caption this 🙂 🙂 🙂

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#IamHoneyTrappedHelp : Dear Varun baba, the door is that way

Such moments in life are few and far between so one should savor them to the fullest. Like when the vending machine accidentally gives you two candy bars instead of one. Or the waiter suddenly likes you enough to bring you a free beer on the house (happened to me yesterday).   Or when you come home one night in an oddly good mood and find that some problems in your life have solved themselves. And then you curl up with a favorite feel good movie.

Ta ta ta ta ta… tra la la la la la …

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Well, that problem took care of itself. I guess BJP can continue with its Uttar Pradesh campaign now without being dragged down by an incompetent dynast with a big ego and lots of friends in *exactly* the wrong places.

Well, Varun baba, you are now free to tap your Whatsapp group contacts and see what they can do for you. Perhaps you can launch a Twitter hashtag for journo friends to volunteer to rescue you: call it something like #IamHoneyTrappedHelp!

Look at the bright side, Varun. On the one hand, you ruled yourself out for the post of UP Chief Minister. I suggest a two minute silence for all the trees that had to die so that there would be posters all across Uttar Pradesh pushing for little Pappu to be made the CM face for India’s most populous state. But on the other hand, you Varun are now free to take up causes that are closest to your heart : such as protecting lying journalists from having a bad day on Twitter. Go take out a “Patrakar Yatra” from Noida to Gurgaon to bring to notice the problems faced by media celebrities.  The two biggest issues facing idea of India experts today are encroachment by the Government of India into Lutyens bungalows and encroachment by common citizens into the media space. I bet you can sit down with Nandita Das and Brinjal to put together a statement of their misery that will finally move the masses.

And Mata ji, you no longer have to embarassed by the ways of your support base in front of your high society friends. Chote Malik has already covered your good name with glory. Now you can take all that glory along with you in to the arms of those who share your good name. We are content to send you our salaams and pranams from a respectful distance. Have mercy on our poor souls and quit the party, please. We beg you.

I really feel for the media on this one. A sex scandal involving the BJP should have been on the frontpages by now. They should have been celebrating by now, relishing the discomfiture of bhakts and sticking it to them. But God has a dark sense of humor. To quote South Park,  God does not laugh at a simple knock-knock joke. God needs deep irony to have a laugh. A BJP leader is caught in sleaze and bhakts are loving it, while those in Lutyens rush to provide cover. Why o why…why could it not have been some other BJP leader?

You know Varun, Karma can be a …. Well, I could tell you what it can be, but then you would report me to the Whatsapp group and I don’t want any more drama. Let’s just say Karma can be a “honey” sometimes. Simply put, what I am trying to say Varun baba is that the door is that way. Don’t let it hit you on the way out.

What can we do about language controversies in India?

You know I was getting bored of writing every single day on the daily grind of the political mill. I was wondering about something more substantial to write about and that’s why this post begins with a hat tip to read Raghav who left this comment :

I have a similar concern when all our schemes are named in Hindi. Rest of the country does not understand what the god damn scheme is all about. Down south we feel we are totally irrelevant when the prime minister chooses to address the nation only in Hindi without any translation being provided simultaneously. Would like you to consider a post on this. BJP can think of growth in south only when the top leadership accept the need to communicate to the common man down south

Indeed, language is a tough issue in India. Earlier this year, when I went to China (yes that’s when I stopped blogging for two weeks), I was at a loss to explain to my Chinese friend how we communicate professionally in India.

Chinese Friend : So everyone in India speak English?

Me: No! Actually only a very small fraction does.

CF: So, how you speak in office?

Me: English, sometimes Hindi, sometimes even Bengali.

CF: But which language for office documents?

Me: English.

CF: But not everyone speak English, right?

Me: (quite miserable by now) Ummm…errr…

The conversation left me confused and a little disturbed. Even now, I am not sure exactly what is the language policy for my workplace. Are we supposed to communicate everything in English. Should we keep translations in Hindi? If so, what about the local language of the state? And wait, we wouldn’t want to make someone feel unwelcome simply because he/she does not speak English, Hindi or the local language of the area. Incidentally, the place I work in has not one but TWO local languages. As I say TWO, I feel like I am being unfair to a THIRD tiny local linguistic group. We have a surprisingly large number of colleagues in our office from that tiny group 🙂  Yes, I love my India. I am proud of it 🙂

In college, one of my closest friends was from a tiny village in Madhya Pradesh. He spoke no English at all. He really struggled in our first few semesters and confided in me that he couldn’t even understand the questions in the exam. I watched him struggle, day after day, reading English language newspapers word by word, letter by letter, fighting to grasp the language. It wasn’t until years later when I faced similar struggles with  French that I got a sense of how hard it is for an adult to acquire a new language.

So what is the coherent strategy? What language do we adopt as medium of instruction in schools? What do we speak at work? In which language should the government work? It seems like no matter what we choose, we are always going to end up being unfair to somebody.

Well, I am really nobody to say I have the perfect solution to this. Every language has its own amazing history and its own amazing traditions. Who am I to be so arrogant as to claim I know exactly how to reconcile all of them?

But here are my thoughts. I think not having a coherent strategy is the perfect strategy here. I think it is best that we do not write these policies down. Because we will never be able to write something down that does justice to everyone concerned. Any effort to write such a policy will only cause hurt feelings on all sides with no apparent benefit to anyone. The “jugaad” system works just fine here. Any two people faced with the challenge of communicating will find a way. Let’s leave it to individual decisions in every individual situation.

But there are some things that need to be written down and decided. Medium of instruction in schools, for instance. Personally, I believe that at least up to Class X, education should be done in the mother tongue of the majority of the students in the school. There is a significant amount of research indicating that kids simply learn better when taught in their mother tongue. Ideally, learning is a question and answer process.  A kid wants to know about the world and the world gives him answers. School education is supposed to facilitate this conversation with the world, helping the kid ask the right questions and understand the right answers. And that is why I feel it is best if school education spoke to the kid in the language he/she most understands. I feel this is best for bringing out the natural ingenuity of a child. I am really thinking of Science here, which is really a universal language. Why does pouring water on a fire extinguish it? Science learning should stimulate such questions in a child’s mind, without a new language providing an unnecessary degree of separation. Wait, will pouring water extinguish all fires? What is electricity? And what is fire anyway?

And yes, English is an absolute must, right from the first day in school. Who could possibly underestimate the use of English in the modern world? Each and every child in India needs to learn it in school. But at the same time, the English language in India deserves a demotion. Why can’t it just be a medium of communication? I believe 90% of the problems around English (and the heartburn it causes in many quarters) are because of a certain exalted status that we have given to the English language in our society. We have made English much more than  a language, we have made it into a caste. Those who have it are the “Brahmins” and those who don’t become the “untouchables”. We don’t have to get rid of English, we just have to get rid of our insecurities and our thinking about who can speak the language.

Wait, I almost forgot! I think it should be made compulsory to have four years of training in a  “South Indian language” of their choice for kids in the “North” and vice versa. Oh dear, exactly which states are “North” and which ones are “South”? Is Bengal really in the “North”? And …dear o dear…what about the North East? Now you see why it is so hard to step into this minefield… Again, it may help here not to put things in writing. Make it compulsory for schools to teach an “extra Indian language”. Based on demand and understanding of economic realities, I think those from the “North” will automatically opt for a “southern” language and vice versa…

One final note: why are we talking in terms of “mother tongue”? Why are we assuming that the country is divided into language silos that don’t intermarry? That’s silly, especially in the metros. “Mother tongue” and “Father tongue” could well be different and if I ever have kids, that’s exactly what’s gonna happen … lol.

Those are my humble views on language policy. Which probably means I have hurt somebody’s feelings, because it is so hard not to. I would love to hear your comments, friends…