Should the right be so scared of the left?

This is one of those posts where I am not certain of my own argument. I am only experimenting with a view that came to my mind earlier today as I was reading this article in Swarajya by The Jaggi himself. If you disagree with me or think I am being a fool, please please let me know since I am really looking forward to this.

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Even though the crux of this article is mostly clear from the headline, let me pull out some lines from it that I think were the most important.

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You may well agree with this view.  Since Viru paaji got involved, a cricket analogy seems apt. It’s not necessary to play a shot at every ball. Sometimes the best thing could be to just let the ball travel safely to the gloves of the wicket keeper. Heck, I think even I agree with this view almost up to 50%!

But please hear me out.

I think Jaggi’s view begins from a default sense of awe and fear of the left wing and their power to push a narrative. Jaggi fears that by picking up the Gurmehar issue, the Right has given a chance to the powerful left wing to paint them in “worse colors than the situation warrants”.

In itself, this fear is not unjustified. The left liberal establishment is a powerful beast. In fact, the whole purpose of this blog is to chip away, however slightly at the power of the liberal establishment.

But should we really be so scared? How many people actually watch NDTV? A few Delhi liberals along with Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shankar Prasad. Yes, they have a phenomenal network of “intellectuals” and “journalists”. But so what? Would Narendra Modi really have been PM today with 282 seats if the right wing had feared the narrative of the liberal establishment?

Jaggi seems to suggest that we should bat on the backfoot all the time. If that is the case, why have a BJP government with a comfortable majority in the Center and as many as 10 states? Jaggi’s  cautious approach possibly derives from spending a lifetime around the liberal elites. He has feared them his whole life. He is in awe of them. In other words, he has mental  baggage.

It’s similar to colonial baggage, really. My eldest uncle is 79 years old. He always says that we Indians will never be a tenth of what the British were. Incidentally, he is also the most vocal Congress supporter I know, so take that 🙂

I have no baggage. I am not so scared of the power of the liberal elite. I have been around social media and I can confidently tell you that the picture is vastly different from the narrative that NDTV is pushing and Jaggi is fearing. As I pointed out in yesterday’s post, Gurmehar Kaur’s FB post got 3000 shares in 5 days and a counterview on Opindia had 24,000 shares in 2 days.

The mainstream media may be pushing their agenda, but I don’t think the right wing defenses are that weak. The battle simply isn’t going the way the media thinks it is. In fact, I think Gurmehar Kaur is doing decidedly worse than Kanhaiyya Kumar. Because people have seen this movie before. The liberals cannot release it again to the same effect.

Perhaps its a generational difference. People like Jaggi grew up seeing the liberal narrative as unshakeable as the sky. Ever since I was old enough to understand politics, I have actually seen BJP win more Lok Sabha elections than the Congress! So my attitude to the power of the Congress establishment is different.

Let me come to the point where I disagree heavily with Jaggi. Let’s look at the same extract again.

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Naive and possibly idealistic? No No No No… a thousand times no! I am sorry I cannot dismiss her as “naive and possibly idealistic”. Again, this could be because I am much closer in age to Gurmehar Kaur than to Jaggi and so I cannot bring myself to dismiss her rubbish as “youthful indiscretions”.

But I think the real reason, again, is the company that Jaggi keeps. He has interacted with too many liberals. He may not be a liberal himself, but at some level, he sees them as good people with good intentions. Maybe he sympathises with them at some level. I don’t. I don’t see them as “naive and idealistic” at any level. I see nothing naive or idealistic about Commies. Because Communism is pure evil. When the fans of Stalin and Mao claim to be in support of free speech and democracy, I do not believe for a moment that they are idealistic fools. I see the Commies only as deliberate liars who represent pure evil. 

You know… 45 million people were massacred by the Commies in China alone. No youthful idealist growing up in a democratic society falls in love with the idea of massacring 45 million people. Only evil psychopaths do. AISA is not a youthful indiscretion. You know…the CPIML (of which AISA is a faction) was founded by Charu Mazumder and Kanu Sanyal, two dreaded terrorists from Bengal. 

Long time readers of this blog will know that I am an outspoken fundamentalist on the issue of free speech. I am happy that Gurmehar Kaur and her friends are speaking. The more they speak, the more the public at large will know how evil the Commies truly are. It would be a tragedy for civilization if these people couldn’t speak their minds. Because then people would forget the absolute evil of Communism. And I don’t want that.

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Yes, dear AISA, please spill out on Delhi streets in largest possible numbers. Tell us how proud you are of the massacres of Stalin and Mao. Tell us how awesome Pol Pot and Kim Jong Il were. Tell us how thrilled you are that Communists massacred 30,000 people in West Bengal. And finally, don’t forget to tell us how you plan to put people like me in concentration camps if your “revolution” succeeds. I already know what you want, but I would like everyone else to hear.

Remember, freedom always wins. This land of Bharat shall not go under the Communist yoke.

I have confidence in my democracy. I have confidence in the ability of the right wing to fight back the leftie narrative. Let the ideological wars begin. Bring it on…bring it on…

Do FB shares prove that media propaganda against ABVP is failing miserably?

A couple of days ago, a student of Delhi University, one Gurmehar Kaur, uploaded a photo on Facebook intending to begin some kind of campaign against ABVP following the well publicized fracas at Ramjas College. The liberal media sensed an amazing opportunity in the fact that Ms. Kaur happens to be the daughter of one of our brave soldiers martyred in Kargil.

Here was an opportunity for the media to talk about the “daughter of a Kargil martyr” which is several orders of magnitude more effective than “son of a headmaster”. The media fell over each other to report that her post against the ABVP has gone viral. Here is a screenshot from a simple Google News search to give an estimate of the extent to which she was promoted.

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Whoa! 1.66 lakh results for this! And look at all the headlines of all the news houses reporting on this story.

Suffice to say that liberal celebrities on Twitter began to relentlessly promote Ms. Kaur.

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She is expecting much better luck with this story than the time she had to promote the “son of a headmaster”. You can see the relief in her repeated tweets :

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The Troll in Chief was not far behind.

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From Barkha Dutt to Arvind Kejriwal, the entire leftie brigade on Twitter created a frenzy to promote Ms. Gurmehar Kaur and her post against ABVP. So much so, that when some people tried to disagree with Ms. Kaur, prominent tweeple began to abuse and spread offensive stereotypes about their regional background. So much for the “idea of India”.

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What is amazing is that other liberal celebrities actually stepped in to defend Rana Ayyub’s pure prejudice against an individual based on where he was born.

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With this frenzied level of promotion on social media, Ms. Gurmehar’s post going viral had to be a self fulfilling prophecy.

So, how “viral” was this post they are all talking about? Let’s check the number of Facebook shares.

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That’s it? Only a little over 3000 shares? With all those zillions of news articles churned out all over the web telling us how “viral”  her campaign has gone? With all those liberal twittter celebrities relentlessly promoting, those interviews on NDTV … and still a measly 3000 shares. Ha!

For comparison, our own Opindia posted an article on Saturday night by the brother of a martyr in support of ABVP.

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Let’s find out how Opindia’s post is doing. I scrolled down and here are the latest figures at the bottom.

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Whoa! That’s 24000 shares on Facebook. That’s like 8 times as much as the reach of the so called “viral” post by Ms. Gurmehar Kaur.

What’s happening here?

Here is a simple explanation. The media can make all the noise it wants, but it seems the general public has accepted the premise that the media is inherently anti-Hindu. The liberals can go around screaming in their echo chamber thinking they are making a huge impact, but the ground reality is that people have now developed a defense mechanism.

The media still believes … or likes to believe that people are happy to drink straight out of their propaganda tap. But for the public, media has become like tap water; they know it’s full of disease causing lies. They prefer to use a water purifier. And liberal propaganda is at the risk of getting filtered out.

Mangalore placed under lockdown as Sangh protests Communist Kerala CM

The hypocritical outrage of Delhi based Communists surrounding free speech is now a staple for the so called national media. The latest circus is at Ramjas College of Delhi University. Now, the ABVP has no place to give out certificates of nationalism. But, by the same token, one might well ask how the Communists … of all people … have been given the moral high ground to serve up sermons on democracy!

This “moral high ground” offered to Communists by media and the liberal elite is but a facade, a curtain to hide their actual crimes. The reason this faux outrage has risen to a fever pitch is to drown out the screams of the real victims.

Right now, Mangalore in Karnataka has been placed under a 36 hour lockdown.

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In recent times, Kerala has seen some of the worst political violence against the cadres of the BJP and the RSS. In the brutal atmosphere of Kerala, even a baby that is 10 months old can have enemies. This innocent child was paying the price for the political affiliations of his parents.

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That was last month. But there is no need to go back even that far. It has been barely 2 weeks since this happened.

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It has become difficult to keep track of all the murder and violence that BJP and RSS workers have been facing in Kerala. Here is another instance, this time from Palakkad.

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Thrissur, Palakkad, Kannur … any time you see a town in Kerala trending on Twitter these days, you can be sure of two things. First, some RSS/BJP worker has suffered another act of unspeakable violence, usually murder. Secondly, you can be sure that the keepers of India’s conscience aren’t going to sit up and take notice of this act of intolerance.

In India today, we have achieved the ultimate Orwellian jugalbandhi : Communists sitting in Delhi play free speech music, while Communists in Kerala pitilessly eliminate their opponents.

And while the free speech orchestra plays in Delhi, BJP and RSS workers in the south face a triple tyranny. The first tyranny is the “tyranny of distance”. The second tyranny is that of the Communist government in Kerala. And the third tyranny is that of the Congress government in Karnataka.

In October last year, an RSS leader Rudresh was murdered in broad daylight in Bengaluru. The killers had actually received formal training in Kerala how to kill with one stroke.

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A daylight murder at the heart of India’s cyber city that failed to shock the nation. The free speech and intolerance orchestra kept playing in Delhi as if nothing had happened.

Most of the online right wing will remember the death of Prashant Poojary, slaughtered in broad daylight in Karnataka’s Moodbidri (near Mangalore) in late 2015.

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Oops! I forgot to mention that he was “murdered for role in shutting slaughter house”. Nice headline there from Firstpost, possibly giving us a timely warning before we get too sympathetic towards this murder victim.

In fact, prominent liberals such as Rajdeep Sardesai came perilously close to saying so upfront when constant social media outrage forced them to open their mouths on Poojary’s murder.

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One wonders if the same liberal elite will buy the same “there is a political context” argument in the case of clashes between AISA and ABVP at Ramjas college. Will they care to examine all the violence that Communists have self admittedly used against their opponents? I don’t think so.

The Sangh right now in Mangalore has taken to the streets, demanding justice. Kerala’s Communist CM is visiting town, allegedly to speak at a rally for communal harmony. In reaction the Congress government has imposed Section 144, locked free speech inside a box and thrown away the key. Nothing to see there. Pass me the remote so that I can watch another TV debate on Ramjas College…

 

Did a media project to “secularize” the Shiv Sena fail to take off?

A few days ago, an article about the “resurgent Sena” appeared in The Indian Express. For a while now, the mainstream media has made a habit of adding the term “resurgent” before the name of any party or political leader left licking wounds after the NaMo tsunami of 2014. It is possibly an automatic feature that has been incorporated into the word processing software used by media houses to accommodate their wishful thinking.

From talking about Uddhav donating proceeds from his photography exhibitions to describing his new found sense of matrutva (exact words) towards his humble party workers, the article had it all.

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Not to mention that the use of the phrase “coming of age” suggests  the possibility that this article was churned out from a draft circulated by media houses for a different dynast. Was it? Just kidding …

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The Indian Express article can hardly be seen in isolation. The same media sentiment surrounding Uddhav Thackeray is also amply visible in this HT Mumbai article.

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More admiration for Uddhav “overcoming the barrier” and “succeeding with second generation leaders”. And that one comes directly from the desk of Sujata Anandan, who has been the political editor of the Mumbai edition of the Hindustan Times. A few months ago, Ms. Anandan wrote much similarly about another naturally mild mannered dynast who has been getting smartly aggressive.

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We are not sure whether to laugh or to cry at these efforts. Of course, when the first few results of the BMC started rolling out on Feb 23 and it seemed for a while that the Sena would end up with a huge win, the same theme appeared in this now much mocked tweet of “journalist” Barkha Dutt.

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Soft spoken, passionate about photography … we have all the essentials here. As I said, we are not sure whether to laugh or to cry at these efforts.

Other “thought leaders” of Indian secularism had similar sentiments in mind.

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It is not hard to imagine what would have happened if the Shiv Sena had managed a big win in Mumbai. The Sena almost certainly would have gone through a process of “secularization” in the elite media. In fact, mild mannered photography lover Uddhav Thackeray appeared to be well prepared for this prospect when he stepped out in the media glare yesterday for what had been planned as his coming of age party…

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As we can see, evolution by means of natural selection is a slow process, but in desperate times, there are ways to speed it up significantly. Someone posted this photo on twitter of Uddhav from not so long ago.

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Meanwhile, as the mainstream media puts the onus of Indian secularism on the shoulders of the Shiv Sena, we can only assume that the “idea of India” shall remain on ventilator support.

LOL! Never listen to an armchair analyst on the internet :)

So close! Damn…

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In the morning, the Shiv Sena was running away with the election. At one point, I think the Shiv Sena was leading on 95 seats and the BJP just about 56. The secular brigade on twitter was flexing its muscles and so was the Shiv Sena on the ground 🙂 Never mind the absurdity of putting the burden of Indian secularism on the backs of the Shiv Sena 🙂 These days, the desperate Congi crowd will celebrate anything, even if its a Shiv Sena win…

But I told you guys I am not a journalist. I am not a psephologist and I am especially NOT CVoter! So, I am not going to whine and say that the margin was a mere 3 wards…

A miss is as good as a mile. I got it wrong folks. I totally did… Go ahead and mock me, please.

My RW friends on Twitter told me Sena was ahead. From reports, it seems the bookies said Sena was ahead. The exit polls said Sena was ahead.  The commenters here said Sena was ahead. I didn’t listen. I guess I deserve this…

84 to 81! Damn!

But there’s no denying the fact that BJP has come out of nowhere and established the saffron flag all across the cities of Maharashtra. We have a draw in Mumbai and we always knew this would happen in Pune.

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Ha ha! The NCP stronghold of Pune tumbles and falls, right into the BJP’s waiting arms. Well done BJP! A week ago, there was one rally of Fadnavis in Pune that got canceled and the NCP/Cong went to town barking about how BJP was imploding in Pune. I guess they have their answer now.

But what happens next is more amazing. I said yesterday that a jump of 15% in voter turnout in Pimpri-Chinchwad couldn’t possibly be a vote for more of the same. And I got this one right. There goes the last urban stronghold of Sharad Pawar. And again BJP picks up this crucial municipal corporation.

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Who knew this day would come? Take a bow, Devendra Fadnavis! The demonetization of the NCP seems complete.

And here is Devendra Fadnavis again, finishing Raj Thackeray’s political career by snatching the MNS fortress in Nashik.

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Goodbye Raj Thackeray. The ponzi scheme of your pathetic politics had to end somewhere.

There is so much good news for BJP that I worried about forgetting and leaving something out.

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This was a totally unexpected win for Devendra Fadnavis. But the BJP has sent NCP packing in yet another place. The good cop-bad cop routine vis-a-vis Pawar has worked well. NCP voters have seamlessly shifted to the BJP.

Wait! Don’t go anywhere. Because the ruling Congress is going bye-bye in Solapur.

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They’ll never come back. Rest in Peace, dear Congress 🙂

Of course, the ruling Congress also got comprehensively kicked out of Amravati.

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More territory becoming Congress mukt. Meanwhile, the BJP had little difficulty holding on to its rule in Akola municipal corporation.

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We do not even need to mention that the hometown Nagpur of the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis saw a complete sweep by the BJP.

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Winning in the CM’s hometown, which also is the seat of the RSS, may not seem like a big deal. But it’s actually huge, considering the fact that Nagpur Lok Sabha seat used to be a stronghold of the Congress until Gadkari won it in 2014. The fact that the RSS never even dominated Nagpur (until now) shows how deep the roots of the Congress were in Maharashtra. And today the Congress has had some of its deepest roots dug out in Maharashtra and destroyed forever.

I know the right wing is on its toes worrying about Uttar Pradesh. But I appeal to take a step back only for today and enjoy the moment in Maharashtra. This is India’s second largest state. This is a state that Congress has almost always ruled. This is one of the states that catapulted the Congress to power in 2004. The other state was Andhra Pradesh.

In both Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra now, the Congress is finished. It is perhaps time to bury the ghost of 2004.

And now in the top 10 cities of Maharashtra, the BJP has won as many as 8 cities outright. They have drawn the game in Mumbai. The only city where the BJP lost is Thane..where a Sena victory was a foregone conclusion.

Out of 10 : BJP gets 8, Sena gets 1 and Mumbai is drawn!

The Congress probably never had it this good at any point when it ruled Maharashtra after the year 2000. But the man who has made it all possible for BJP is Devendra Fadnavis. This man is BJP’s biggest hope going into the future. Take a bow Devendra Fadnavis, take a bow! In fact, it is all of us who should be saluting you!

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With great power comes great responsibility. And with it there should come great humility. This man has it all.

Oh…and dear Congress… you are welcome to party with us. Don’t cry. You successfully pipped NCP in a tough battle to win the 3rd position in the state. For a while, I didn’t think you guys would make it 🙂

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Mock me tomorrow : BJP will win BMC

Wow!

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Now, 55% turnout isn’t great. Not even close to great. But by Mumbai standards, it is HUGE!

You can see in the screenshot of the Times of India article : the turnout was just 45.6% in 2012. A rise of 10% in  voter turnout!!! What is more, the turnout surpasses both the Assembly polls and the Lok Sabha polls.

I know that the theory of higher turnouts indicating anti-incumbency has long been discredited. So, I am not going to use it.

As I said in my post from yesterday, I am looking at the BMC polls through a bunch of simple thumb rules. A higher turnout indicates that the usually lazy and more affluent have come out to vote. And who do the more affluent people support? Simple answer : BJP.

It’s very hard to imagine that a solid 10% extra voters came out to support the hafta wasooli and negative politics of the Shiv Sena. Maybe there is some “emotional Marathi Manoos” factor that I do not understand. But, seeing a 10% rise in turnout, I am sticking to my prediction of an easy win for BJP.

Now, I am keenly aware that the exit poll by Axis puts the Shiv Sena marginally ahead of the BJP.

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Although, to be fair, Axis did give the same vote share to both parties.

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Beyond that, I have been told by right wing people on Twitter as well as commenters here that I might not understand the emotional connect between Mumbai’s Marathi voters and the Shiv Sena. That may well be. But I am not going to hedge my bets. I am going to bet 100% that BJP will have an easy and unprecedented victory in the BMC polls. 

On Twitter, I found someone who had posted a shot of this bit from Mid Day giving the voter turnout in the last few BMC elections.

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It used to hover between 44 and 46% and its suddenly spiked to 55%! So many people coming out to support instability in Maharashtra? I hardly think so… Something special has happened yesterday in Mumbai. I am trying hard to remember a previous election when turnout jumped suddenly by as much as 10% …

Another amazing voter turnout story unfolded yesterday in the NCP stronghold of Pimpri Chinchwad Muncipal Corporation (PCMC). The voter turnout jumped suddenly from 52% in 2012 to as much as 67%! That’s a breathtaking 15%! If all these people have come out in Pimpri Chinchwad to vote NCP back to power, that would truly constitute a bizarre result. Remember that Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad are the last urban strongholds of NCP.

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One more small point. I have said before that I don’t like to look at single data points. I prefer to see a bunch of data points and believe only what is common to all of them. Maybe the emotional appeal from Uddhav Thackeray touched off a wave among Marathi voters that led to an explosive turnout in Mumbai. But then, how do you explain the 15% jump in voter turnout in Pimpri-Chinchwad? Shiv Sena is not even in the race over there. However, BJP is a common factor in both of those places. A wave for BJP seems like a simple, common explanation to both events… instead of assuming two separate waves: one for Sena in Mumbai and another for NCP in Pimpri-Chinchwad.

So you can mock me tomorrow, but I will say that BJP is on course to win both in BMC and in Pune. It will also give the NCP the shock of its lifetime by snatching Pimpri Chinchwad. If you can’t wait, please start mocking now 🙂

Finally, you might have noticed that my article so far does not even mention the Congress party. Why should it? They are not in the race anywhere. The Congress party ruled Maharashtra for 60 out of the 64 years from 1950-2014. We are discussing Maharashtra today and I didn’t even need to mention the Congress party. Doesn’t this feel wonderful in itself?

Simple reasons why BJP should easily win the BMC polls

I must say I am nervous about writing this post. Mumbai votes today and the results are out on Feb 23 itself. If I get this wrong, there isn’t sufficient “cushion” for me to hedge my bets and pretend like I never said this 🙂

But the temptation of getting it right  trumps the fear of getting it wrong.

I am no psephologist. For me, political prediction is a matter of simple thumb rules. And if you apply these rules to the BMC polls, it comes out that the BJP should canter to an easy win. It has everything going for it. Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena has done everything to make the electorate despise them. They are going to get punished by voters.

Here are my reasons.

(1) Mumbai is as urban as it gets. As of now, the BJP has massive leads all over urban India. Post demonetization, the BJP’s lead has only grown and elections in urban enclaves such as Chandigarh have shown unprecedented, wavelike conditions for BJP.

(2) The Shiv Sena faces multiple term anti-incumbency. They have ruled the BMC since time immemorial. It would be really surprising if they are able to get incremental votes in these elections.

(3) Now, we come to the first reason why Shiv Sena will be punished by the voters. The voter is generally very severe on parties that play on BOTH sides of the fence, i.e., enjoying the red beacon fruits of power while continuing to sabotage the government. Parties like this come to be seen purely as negative baggage. I wonder if anyone can name a legitimate grievance that the Shiv Sena could have, beyond its obvious jealousy.

(4) The second reason why Shiv Sena will be punished by voters is their threats to pull down the Fadnavis government. The voter realizes that an emboldened Sena could result in heightened instability and mid-term polls. The voter doesn’t want instability and feels no urgency to bring down the fairly likeable Chief Minister. Barely a month after the 2014 wave, the BJP actually lost 3 Assembly bypolls to the Congress in Uttarakhand. The voter is too smart. Had those bypolls gone in favor of BJP, they would have certainly brought down the ruling Congress government. Even at the height of the Modi wave, the voter chose stability. Just an example of how much the voter despises mid-term polls. In fact, the only stable and obvious trend in Indian politics since 2007 is the urge to have single party majorities which ensure 5 year governments.

And if Shiv Sena is seen as trying to force mid term polls in Maharashtra, the voter will punish them for it.

(5) Today’s polls involve the BMC and a handful of other cities. We saw the results of the local body polls in most of the state during December and January, billed as the “mini-Assembly polls”. The BJP has done handsomely, catapulting itself from a meager fourth position to a comfortable perch at the top of the ladder. The big story of the local polls has been the collapse of the Shiv Sena across the state to fourth position. This story should repeat in Mumbai. The Sena, of course, won’t come fourth in Mumbai, but if the rest of Maharashtra is completely rejecting the Shiv Sena, why would Mumbai go out on a limb and be different?

(6) Coming to the demography of Mumbai, the North Indians who have traditionally voted more with the Congress now have no real incentive to do so. The Congress is nowhere in the race and Modi is immensely popular. At the same time, the North Indian voters have every reason to come out and stop the Shiv Sena. It would be surprising if these votes don’t shift wholesale to BJP.

(7) Then,  there are the core Marathi Manoos voters of the Shiv Sena. Other than emotional attachment, the Sena doesn’t really have anything to offer them. There is no evidence that Marathis have any kind of antipathy towards BJP. The RSS itself is a product of Maharashtra. The Marathis elected BJP to No. 1 position throughout the  state barely a month ago. The BJP has also been actively massaging their ego with the Prime Minister coming to Mumbai to lay the foundation for a grand memorial to Chhatrapati Shivaji.

This makes the arithmetic quite simple. The non-Marathi voters actively despise the Shiv Sena and want to keep it out of power. The Marathi voters might prefer Shiv Sena but have no real objection to BJP.

(8) Finally, the youth vote. It’s hard to see the youth going for Shiv Sena’s “hafta wasooli” politics and troubled relationship with Valentine’s Day (which, incidentally, was only 7 days ago). They are far more likely to go with the urbane, suave Devendra Fadnavis. He gave them free wifi across the city! Are the youth really going to get excited about the agenda of beating up “bhaiyyas” and South Indians and Jains and Gujaratis?

However, there is one way… only one way in which the Shiv Sena could win. If the MNS melts down and its voters move en bloc to the Sena, they would win. If you can think of anything else, let me know.

“Team Idea of India” changing horses as BJP leads in Uttar Pradesh?

Not too surprisingly, I have received a bunch of comments asking me to give my analysis of Uttar Pradesh so far. First of all, I am touched by the faith my readers have in me. But I am also amused and I must point out that I am just a guy with a keyboard and a screen. I don’t have really have any “sources” who can give me exit, nowadays generally renamed as “ground reports” to satisfy the ego of a power mad Election Commission. I have to go with the mood on social media and the “shifts” that I have noticed in the tweets of the seculars  from mainstream media.

So, here is what I gathered. It’s my impression and yours may be different. I believe that BJP has done quite well in Phase 1, though not up to its hopes, possibly because of the splitting of the Jat vote. However, in Phases 2 and 3 in the Yadav heartland, the SP has performed really really badly. Some of this can definitely attributed to the communal violence in Bijnor on Feb 10 and a lot of this probably has to do with Shivpal Yadav, who has tried to sabotage his nephew. Uttar Pradesh is a massive state and Akhilesh effectively formed a new party a little over 2 weeks before the election. There was bound to be rampant ineffectiveness in the organization. Worse, many of the booth workers were probably Shivpal’s men who would deliberately sabotage his party.

This has left the idea of India brigade deeply deeply worried. Sometimes you can observe  (and enjoy) their creeping desperation almost in real time.

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From the big Akhilesh wave of a week ago, they are shy of giving him even a 51% chance. But what happens to this same journo just a few hours after this tweet is simply precious.

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Funny meltdown this. No clue at all? I remind you that this person has been smugly predicting elections for months, spewing his “Jan ki baat” in the Navbharat Times in column after column. Look, dear NBT, this is what you got for your money. You got someone who admits he has “no clue at all” 🙂

And don’t forget to notice the quoted tweet of Shivam Vij, another secular slave of the dynasty. “Difficult to read” means things are not going their way. Everyone knows that much.

Here’s the mood on social media at least as far as I see it :

RW supporters : gung ho!

Seculars : Circumspect and nervous, second guessing themselves repeatedly.

The only logical conclusion is that the secular brigade from MSM, which is talking to politicians and likely also has access to exit poll data, is not getting the information it would like to hear. You can see Sharat Pradhan and the Aaj Tak crew openly talking about a change in Akhilesh’s manner ever since phases 2 and 3.

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Remember guys, that’s Aaj Tak. My guess is that they have access to Axis exit poll data. Meanwhile, Rajdeep has been quite upfront in admitting that BJP is winning Uttar Pradesh.

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It’s also massively likely that Rajdeep has access to Axis poll data.

Another symptom of nervousness is when the “idea of India” looks to change horses. When journos get disturbing information, they tend to go to their comforting “safe place” of the late 1990s. And they come up with the age old, outdated “wisdom” of bleating about how “BSP is getting underestimated”. When they bring up this old bogey, like Bhupendra Chaubey did yesterday, you should read it as a collapse of confidence.

When even Samajwadi Times (also called ET) reporters start hedging their bets, it’s time for Akhilesh to start worrying.

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Didn’t I tell you that BSP is the emotional safe space for secular journalists? When they see defeat written large on the wall, their favorite thing to do is convince themselves that there is a silent BSP wave 🙂

The secular media changing horses midway is excellent news from the BJP point of view. It will add to the confusion of the M voter. And that serves the M voter right because the M voter isn’t voting for progress or hope, but merely with a negative agenda to defeat one specific party.

The BJP this time around has done an excellent job of creating “hawa”, something that was sorely missing during Bihar. Maybe this “hawa” does not match the situation on the ground. Who knows? But the importance of “hawa” is that it often turns into a self fulfilling prophecy.

Like almost all RW, I also regularly follow the “ground assessments” of Dr. Praveen Patil. And I won’t lie : I am thrilled by his findings so far. However, it is very important not to take the findings of any one exit … sorry … ground assessment too seriously. You have to look at all available exit … sorry… ground assessments and only take whatever is the consensus view. Thus far, India Behind the Lens (IBTL) seems to have findings that match Dr. Patil. This is different from Bihar, where IBTL and 543 had findings that disagreed with each other. There are other people too. Can’t elaborate on this out of fear. After all, I live in a democracy. We don’t have a right to free speech.

Here you may ask a valid question : why should we believe you Chaiwallah? How do we know you are not as clueless as a dumb journo?

Good question. The answer is that I am not a journo or a pollster. I don’t get paid for my political insights.  I don’t claim to have professional expertise in predicting elections. I am just a guy with a keyboard and a screen who enjoys talking to friends 🙂

Lotus rising : BJP’s amazing sunrise in Odisha

The BJP’s winds have always failed to make landfall on the East Coast of India. You can observe this phenomenon very clearly in this NASA image of the Modi tsunami circa 2014.

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India’s East Coast : West Bengal (42 MPs), Odisha (21 MPs), Andhra Pradesh (25 MPs), Telangana (17 MPs) and Tamil Nadu (40 MPs, including Puducherry). That accounts for 145 Lok Sabha seats and you can count the number of BJP MPs on your fingers (possibly of one hand).

This lack of influence on India’s East Coast is a concern for the BJP both from a long term and a short term view. In the short term for 2019, the BJP’s massive mandates (over 90% strike rate) in UP, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Himachal and Uttarakhand are all subject to attrition. This makes it crucial for the BJP to break new ground.

In the long term, we see that the party that has the largest catchment area will be the one that generally stays in power. The most glaring example of this is 2004, which was a waveless election in which the Congress won 145 seats, merely 6 seats ahead of the BJP’s 139. How did the Congress manage this 6 seat margin? Because the Congress party’s larger national spread gave it seats everywhere from J&K to Tamil Nadu and from Manipur to Gujarat. Who can forget how much the BJP  as a party and India as nation paid for this 6 seat margin?

In the last 1 week, even as political animals have been glued to the gripping saga of Uttar Pradesh and 4 other states, a whole new horizon has unfolded for the BJP in Odisha. A sunrise in a large state with 21 seats is sweet music to the BJP’s ears. It is another smack on the faces of jealous critics still smarting from the BJP wave in the North East. The results of the first 3 phases of the Odisha Panchayat polls show that it is well and truly “Burre Din” for intellectuals who are struggling to reassure themselves that BJP is a Hindi speaking, Brahmin-Bania party of the cow belt.

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Whoa! That is a tremendous body blow for the ruling BJD which had been sitting pretty on as much as 77% of these seats! (see here) Back in 2012, the Congress was a  distant second with just 13% of the seats and the BJP had only earned itself a pittance of 2% of the seats. In these elections, Naveen babu’s BJD had everything going for them : they had won as many as 20 of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha and a brutal 117 of the 147 seats in the Assembly. And we all know that the ruling party generally enjoys a massive advantage in local polls, especially when it is totally dominant with 17 years of continuous rule under its belt. What happened in Odisha therefore, is a watershed moment in the politics of the state.

The BJP is also relishing the fact that it has now replaced the Congress as the main opposition in Odisha. In other words, Odisha is now “Congress mukt”.

The frustration showed well and truly on the face of the BJD when the first phase results came out.

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From the BJP’s point of view, a statement like this is not to be criticized, but to be savored and enjoyed. That was their reaction to the 1st phase results. By the time the results from the 2ndd phase came in, the frustration in the BJD camp had been replaced by outright anger.

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Indeed, there are no two ways about the fact that Naveen babu has come down with a fever after these results.

There is an additional layer of irony to the predicament of the incumbent BJD. Please note that these results here are “unofficial results”. That means the votes get counted publicly and everyone knows the results, but the Election Commission doesn’t actually announce “official results” until the conclusion of ALL rounds of panchayat polls. According to this Odisha TV report, the BJD was quite happy with this arrangement of TV channels announcing “unofficial results” of previous phases before the entire election was over. They were hoping to ride a rising wave of public sentiment with each phase. This has now totally backfired, because news of the BJP wave on television is sending BJD fortunes into a tailspin. The BJD can only gnash its teeth.

It is a tremendous credit to ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Jual Oram, to BJP’s workers and RSS karyakartas of Odisha that they have managed to create a whole new frontier for the BJP. They did it with all the odds stacked against them. With this, the tottering Congress has been finished in yet another state.

The congratulations came right from the top.

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The usual critics are bound to make fun of the Prime Minister for talking about a “mere Panchayat election”. They will see it as a sign of BJP’s desperation for electoral victory. Because they see only what they want to see. What they don’t see is that the Prime Minister congratulating karyakartas on the outcome of a Panchayat poll is arguably more important than even a state assembly election. These polls were contested by the BJP’s grassroot workers. It is their hard work that built the BJP brick by brick in every village, block, district and mandal. By letting the grassroot workers know that they are close to his heart, that their contributions are recognized and appreciated, the Prime Minister is setting the BJP up for success.

For the BJP, the state of Odisha has opened up at the right time. The buzz around the BJP has been generated a little over two years before the Assembly polls, just the right amount of time required for the party to work it up to a fever pitch. In the meanwhile, we can expect some realpolitik, as the last remnants in the Congress ranks desert their party and become force multipliers for BJP. An additional advantage is that the Assembly polls in Odisha are set to coincide with the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and Modi’s image will give the party an extra bit of wind in its sails.

The challenge for the BJP, of course, is to find a face that can match Naveen babu. As of now, Dharmendra Pradhan is the likely frontrunner by all accounts.

Just one final thought : as a wild card, don’t rule out Jual Oram for the post of President of India. 

 

 

For the BJP, 2019 is a must win election

I was scrolling down the Twitter handle of the Samajwadi IT cell (sometimes also called ET Politics) to see what’s the latest in the enemy camp. And then I saw this :

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Wow! The obsessive hatred that the media class has for the BJP is spilling out of every pore, so much so that journalists in official press conferences cannot stop themselves from asking internet troll level “questions”. Let’s forget about the fact that the so called “15 lakh promise” is itself a piece of propaganda that appeared several months AFTER the results of 2014. Some Congress or AAP troll quote mined a piece of rhetoric from a rally and declared it a “campaign promise” of Narendra Modi. The media did the rest. About 3 months after voting for Modi, the nation found out that he had promised each person a sum of Rs 15 lakh. And the public was asked to be angry about this “unfulfilled promise” that they weren’t even aware of. If there ever was an example of “post truth”, this was it.

But, as I said, forget this specific issue. I dare : is there a single journalist from Kashmir to Kanyakumari who will dare to ask Rahul Gandhi when the Congress party plans to fulfil its 1971 promise of Gareebi Hatao?

Of course there isn’t. Instead of Gareebi Hatao, Indira Gandhi gave us “Samvidhan Hatao” (get rid of the Constitution). But the journalists won’t point that out. What you will find instead are articles from journalists explaining why we should be grateful to Indira Gandhi, who was generous enough to give us a chance to vote her out.

Speaking of the immediate political scenario, is there one journalist from Kashmir to Kanyakumari who will dare to ask Rahul Gandhi what happened to his slogan of “27 saal UP behaal” from 3 months ago?

Of course there isn’t. Why? Because, quite simple, they hate us. They wish desperately to wipe us out. 

This post isn’t about about “15 lakh” or “Gareebi Hatao” or “UP ke ladke”. This post is about 2019. We in the RW talk a lot about 2019, but I think we still haven’t grasped the full importance of 2019. 

We must win 2019. Or they will quite simply finish us. Because “they” hate us with a passion that is difficult for us to match. 

Who’s “they”? Well, “they” are a class consisting of journalists, academics, intellectuals, rich lawyers, missionaries, NGO workers … basically the entire group that pretentiously calls itself “civil society”.

You can see them right now, bursting with hatred from every pore. We in the RW talk about “Congress mukt Bharat”, but our passion is nothing compared to theirs. Because I don’t get paid by the BJP. I am only an ordinary supporter. I want the BJP to win. But I grew up under Congress rule. If the Congress comes back, I will sigh deeply and try to embrace my old life.

Not so for them. Think about an elite person from St. Stephens or somewhere else on the cocktail circuit. His grandfather received high sounding titles and high office from the British. After independence, they switched their loyalty to the Gandhi dynasty. His father was given high office through loyalty and connections within the Congress ecosystem. In his own life, he has always lived in the privilege of Doon School and St. Stephens all thanks to the Gandhis. Other people stood in the brutal Indian summer in long lines for kerosene, for sugar and for rice. He spent the summer holidaying in England. Now suddenly Modi comes and he has to stand in a line for the first time in his life, along with servant / driver types. His luxurious life of sponsored lectures at “Thinkfests” has disappeared. Suffice to say that this person is now a fish outside water. Every single thing that he and his forefathers have enjoyed is now at risk because of Narendra Modi. We may hate the Gandhi dynasty … but our hatred cannot possibly match the hatred felt by this elite person for Narendra Modi.

We have all lived under Congress rule. I may have opposed it on an intellectual level, but I know how to live with it. My existence, my identity, my livelihood is not dependent on Narendra Modi. Not so for the elite. Every single thing they ever had in their lives was a gift from the dynasty. And as long as Modi sits in the PMO, every single thing they have in their lives is at risk of being taken away. So my dislike for Rahul is nothing compared to their hatred for Modi.

So here is what is at stake for 2019. If by some chance, the seculars get back power in 2019, they will simply obliterate us. Right now, they are fish outside water. For a long time, they underestimated the BJP. Until 2014 when they saw what could happen. If they get a chance again, they will dig up our roots and make sure we lose everything. They will come for our homes, our jobs … they will institute an inquisition to uproot every single BJP sympathizer at every level. They’ll do it : because they can live with CPIM and BSP and SP and RJD and JDU and whatever, but they can’t live with the BJP.

The BJP has been slated for absolute destruction. They hate us with a passion much more than we can ever imagine.

But the disturbing thing is that, they won’t just destroy the BJP is they get a chance again. They will destroy all of us!

If they get power in 2019, the elite aren’t going to take chances ever again. After the 70s, they didn’t impose another Emergency … they left the ordinary people alone. And ordinary people began talking to each other. Gradually the fear of the Dynasty subsided. Various social and political movements came to the fore. And the Congress got reduced to 44 seats. They will never make the same mistake again. This time they won’t leave the ordinary people alone…

As they say, it isn’t paranoia if they are really out to get you.