One last post before I’m back on April 10

 

This is a last minute post before I leave for two weeks. Will be back on April 10. See you folks ūüôā

If you are ¬†a news junkie like me (and even if you are not), you have probably found your mainstream and social media feeds overflowing with reports of Yogi Adityanath’s crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Here is just one article from leftist propaganda blog Scroll.in.

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Oh! Such¬†grief! How heartless of the modern Indian state to demand licenses … a whole gamut of licenses from the very finest among us¬†: the operators of illegal slaughterhouses. What is happening to the soul of our society? Such passion for unhygenic food has rarely been witnessed in the history of humanity.

What didn’t make it to “national” headlines is another Chief Minister in a different part of the country shutting down a different bunch of establishments because they don’t have the required “gamut of licenses”.

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Will we see mournful headlines about Mamata Banerjee’s “crackdown on education” ? I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Hundreds of schools are on target in Bengal. The education of thousands of kids, perhaps even hundreds of thousands of kids, could be on the line. And there is no doubt that schools run by one particular religious group are being singled out for the crackdown.

That’s where the cameras should be, covering the plight of young kids. But they’ve stuck us with debating whether this or that kabab shop in Lucknow was closed for an hour, a day, a week or whatever. Are their customers getting buffalo meat or are they stuck with chicken and mutton?

Presumably, that stuff matters more than whether 125 schools will have to close their doors in Bengal.

Not only is Mamata Banerjee out to close down 125 schools, her government is going out of its way to showcase the special status of Muslims under the TMC regime.

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You can’t have a more clear cut case of religious discrimination. Schools run by one community are hounded and asked to produce a gamut of licenses, while schools run by another are showered with taxpayer money. Even more money than the state of Bengal allocates for irrigation. More money than large industries, textiles and IT put together!

But that’s not worth talking about. Slaughterhouses first. Schools later. Across this nation, elite journalists are anxiously calling up their contacts in Uttar Pradesh, for a minute by minute update on the availability of Tunday Kabab. And social media is going with the flow of the issue of the day.

Somewhere out there, the Break India forces are laughing at us.

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Back on April 10 : Keep the faith

It’s almost hard for me to pass a day without blogging now. But I’ll have to be away from you folks for the next two weeks. Well, to be fair, this is *exactly* the time to be away. We’ve all enjoyed the Uttar Pradesh elections to the fullest, no? And we had¬†enough fun here for two whole weeks after.

Right now, the enemies are lying low, still under the spell of the verdict from Uttar Pradesh. The country seems rather peaceful. The big mouths that had worked overtime to malign BJP in every breath since May 2014 have gone somewhat silent.

On social media, it’s like the Right Wing has complete command of the skies at the moment.¬†Modi’s carpet bombing in Uttar Pradesh has the entire army of Congress crooks too depressed to talk.

Say it again with me folks! We won 325/403 ūüôā Say it again!

Trust me, they’ll find their voice again. But for the moment, they are hanging on to their Tunday Kabab stories.

Meanwhile, I looked yesterday at how this blog has been doing. Here is the full report since birth:

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You know what catches my eye? We are scheduled to go past 4 lakh views today ūüôā

Here is the month by month report :

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You can see the interest peaking in February 2017 at the height of the UP anxiety. If only we had a time machine, no? Instead of all the worrying, we could just have had ice cream.

In hindsight, it turns out that even if the BJP had withdrawn ALL its candidates in the last 3 phases of the election, they would still have a clear majority in the UP Assembly. THAT is how big the victory was.

Speaking of being away, have a good vacation Ms. Rohini Singh. We’ll miss you.

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Hope you get some much needed help on the “policy side” while you are away…

I don’t know when¬†Rohini will be back, but I can certainly tell you that I will be back on April 10. And that I will log in to the wifi at Delhi airport and let you know as soon as I clear immigration ūüôā

I leave you with this awesome little report from the Ahmedabad Mirror.

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A PM candidate caught up with preparations of civic polls? Is this Achche Din? Those faces say it all.

I have a word of advice for poor Kanubhai Kalsaria. You are an old BJP hand. Stop making a fool of yourself with this pathetic AAP joke. Go,¬†say sorry to Modi and beg for pardon. They’ll take you back. Nowadays they take everyone, in case you haven’t heard ūüôā

The question nobody asks about JNU

They demand Azaadi from the Indian state. For Kashmir, for Bastar, for Nagaland, for Bengal. Azaadi for pretty much any place except¬†JNU itself where they lead cushy lives of “revolution” at the expense of the same Indian state.

Which makes them objects of curiosity for the general population. Why is it that every anti-national duck with a quack finds an echo chamber inside their walls? Why do they fling their waste at us? Is it because they are mad, or just pretending to be mad? Is there a method to their madness? Are they stuck in a time warp or are they forerunners of the times to come?

For the general public, it’s an itch that needs to be scratched. JNU is the longest running and biggest hit reality show of our time. This is why JNU student body maintains permanent missions in every “national” media house on the stretch from¬†Noida to Gurgaon.

But there is a question that no one ever seems to ask : How did the red aliens of JNU get there in the first place?

They didn’t come to JNU riding on a meteorite. They crawled out of our own general population. Somehow. But how?

Let’s see. JNU has been a leftist stronghold since …. well almost since… liberals used to openly say that Communism is a good idea. The student body at JNU is refreshed rapidly every year with students from all over the country. There’s no question of a “vote bank” in a constantly shifting population. It is well known that the support base of Communist parties is an insignificant fraction of the general population. Yet year after year after year, JNU’s entrance procedure miraculously manages to pick out an overwhelming majority of radical leftists.

The odds of this happening by pure chance are so slim that we are better off going with the meteorite based extraterrestrial origin theory.

Somebody has to look at all these kinds of red finches that make the island of JNU their home : CPI, CPI(M), CPI(ML), CPI(ML)L … and tell us how they came to be.

Two clear possibilities emerge.

The first¬†is evolution, i.e. the incoming students had to adapt to become suited to their red environment. Unless they adapt and turn red themselves, they won’t survive. Because of the gaping power differential in a¬†professor – student relationship, this in itself should be sufficient grounds to initiate a detailed probe into the conduct of faculty members at JNU. Are vicious left wing faculty at JNU forcing their students to become Communists or perish?

The second possibility is intelligent design, the more disturbing theory. Is there someone directly tinkering with the admission process to favor cadres of a particular party? If so, this is an outright punishable offense and someone has to go to jail for it.

The reaction to the recent UGC notification is a telling sign.

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What happened. Well, the UGC issued a notification limiting the total number of MPhil and PhD advisees to around 8 per faculty member. This caused the number of available seats at JNU to drop precipitously from a typical 1000 to just 194!

What!¬†Putting a limit of about 8 students per professor led to an 80% drop in the number of available seats!¬†This can only mean that faculty members at JNU are currently ¬†“advising” far more students than humanly possible for any working scholar. It is conceivable¬†that the experimental sciences need more people to work the labs. But, experimental sciences form a tiny minority at JNU. How come social science faculty have such a staggering number of students?

Is it possible that some folks at JNU were hiring party cadres to pose as “students” ? The question needs to be asked.

If JNU was a ministry and JNU was hiring thousands of workers from the party of the minister, the media would have called it the “JNU scam”. And it requires a probe.

The task for the right wing is to impress upon the general public that the need for such a probe goes beyond any political or intellectual vendetta. The case of JNU pulling in an overwhelming majority of its students from a tiny fraction of the population needs to be investigated like a scam. Such as all the luckiest land deals in Haryana accidentally getting snapped up by one particular gentleman over and over again for a decade.

We know that large numbers of faculty members at JNU are Communists. And we see that Communists keep getting lucky at JNU entrance year after year. There’s no real difference between this observation and, say, a politician whose ministry keeps awarding tenders year after year to the firm owned by his family members. In both cases, we should smell a scam and we should have a probe.

And like any neta¬†caught on the wrong foot, JNU faculty subjected to a probe will scream political vendetta to try and save themselves in the court of public opinion. You can’t let that get to you. What India needs is a full investigation into the “JNU scam” to fix guilt and accountability. Someone¬†at JNU needs to go behind bars, but not for celebrity crimes like sedition. Perhaps someone at JNU needs to go behind bars for corruption.

Kababbandi still an unmitigated disaster

This is an article from the future. But, I am going to publish it today itself, beating Scroll and/or Wire to the punch.

It was the night of March 8, just after the end of the seventh phase of the Uttar Pradesh polls.¬†But the exit polls couldn’t be unwrapped yet, because¬†the Election Commission was¬†still to conduct polling for one seat each in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. As such, bored news channels had made up their mind to pass the evening with the usual parade of astrologers, tarot card readers and expert election analysts.

That’s when they were told to stand by for an important announcement by the Prime Minister at 8 pm. As Modi spoke, the nation turned to stone.

As of midnight on March 8, the old Tunde Kabab would no longer be in circulation. All Tunde Kabab outlets would remain closed the following day. Starting March 10, the supply of Tunde Kabab would slowly be restored to the public, as the meat from unlicensed, illegal slaughterhouses in circulation is replaced by the new legal meat.

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Despite the obvious problems with the logistics, as Aakar Patel points out here, Modi’s initial announcement was so powerful and energetic that he carried the public opinion with him.¬†Only two grassroots leaders, Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal, recognised the danger and opposed it.

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Kejriwal’s response to the decision consists of unprintable expletives. The only other person who¬†could anticipate the disaster was Shobha De, who tweeted this out in extreme anguish.

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But the full scale of the disaster began to dawn when the Tunde Kabab outlets reopened on March 10. Since then, we have seen every single day, long serpentine queues of Tunde Kabab lovers waiting for kabab that never arrives.

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Slowly but surely, Modi is losing the media narrative here. And ground reports from journalists confirm this, as seen in this tweet from the Associate Editor of Catchnews.

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At some places, the situation turned so bad that people had to downgrade to chicken and mutton. Congrats India, did you vote for Modi in 2014 so you had to be stuck with eating chicken and mutton? Is this Achche Din?

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Our correspondent caught up with 50¬†year old Umar Kanhaiyya standing in a queue before a Tunde Kabab outlet near Delhi’s famous Seculari Gate.

My daughter is getting married tomorrow. The invitations have long gone out. People have started arriving. All the guests have been promised Tunde Kabab. What am I supposed to do now? I have been standing in line since 3 AM but this line is still not moving.

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Another gentleman who was standing nearby chippen in, “Do you see anyone from an illegal slaughterhouse standing in line here? We are all honest people here, waiting for our hard earned Tunde Kabab.

Meanwhile, the government has decided to provide some interim relief by allowing Tunde Kabab from old slaughterhouses in special circumstances. The old Tunde Kabab will continue to be available outside Delhi media studios, JNU and NGO offices, including PETA & Greenpeace.

Everywhere across this land, it’s the same story of ruin.¬†With Kababbandi, the activity of transporting¬†bulls rescued from Jallikattu to safe homes in slaughterhouses has come to a standstill. Across the enclaves of Lutyens Delhi, there are heartbreaking stories of NGO workers returning en masse from Tamil Nadu after losing their jobs.

The BJP has begun to feel the pinch. As¬†the public moved from voluble support to silence to outright anger, there was palpable panic in the Modi camp. With the ¬†Panvel Tunde Kabab Cooperative Committee elections billed as the “real test for Modi” and “referendum on Modi”, there was a lot at stake.¬†And Modi’s worst fears came true.

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Modi has committed a self goal with Tunde Kababbandi. Only time will tell how high a political price he will pay.

And liberal journalists are celebrating already.

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Edited: Hat Tip to Kannan for suggesting this awesome ending ūüôā

What Modi has done right

Post the victory of May 16, 2014, there was an understandable level of restlessness in the right wing. For most of us (including me), a clear majority of 272+ seats was a gift straight from the moon. My own expectation was a little over 190, possibly kissing 200. That Modi would propel the BJP into the 272+ orbit was absolutely special.

Suddenly finding itself in the 272+ orbit, Modi was bombarded with expectations. The right wing wanted its core agenda implemented on the spot. But as Modi continued to play good cop, kept talking of “Team India” and went out of the way to give respect and courtesy to the vanquished, the frustration mounted.

I must say that I felt cold and uninspired a day before the name of the UP CM was actually announced. That’s when everyone was convinced that Manoj Sinha was taking over the reigns. I looked up Manoj Sinha, simple man, soft spoken, well educated and well meaning. But what does he have for me, a core BJP supporter? Basically nothing.

For me, saffron in Uttar Pradesh had just gone beige. The win had become so bland it tasted like defeat.

You know when somebody prepares a grand feast but forgets to put the salt? It ruins everything.

And then Modi goes boom and appoints Yogi Adityanath for Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. Suddenly, the Lutyens editors are squirming in their seats, rubbing their eyes in disbelief and there are boisterous scenes of celebration in Lucknow.

Victory finally feels like victory.

This smack on the faces of the elite is a symptom of a changing Modi, one who is slowly but surely ratcheting himself up.

We probably won’t know for sure until 2019, but Modi has consistently avoided falling into the traps that the Vajpayee government fell into.

I feel that by far the No. 1 decision that Modi made was the installation of Amit Shah as BJP president. In Amit Shah, the BJP has a President who is full time 100% committed to winning elections instead of hankering after a plum ministerial berth.

Contrary to this, during the NDA-1 government, all talent migrated completely to the government leaving the party and its organization in tatters. If my memory serves me right, they had people like Jana Krishnamurty and Venkaiah Naidu as party president. There’s nothing wrong with these honest well-meaning folks, but they weren’t the type who were particularly good at strategizing for elections.

During Atalji’s tenure, the party kept losing election after election in the states. At one point, the Congress reached a peak of 15 Chief Ministers or so. In fact, it was Narendra Modi’s 2002 win that put some brakes on the Congress’ victory march. Of course those were different times and Atalji had a very different set of challenges running his coalition government, but the fact remains that the BJP organization suffered during 1998-2004.

The second thing that Modi did masterfully is shed the “pro-rich” image. Well, to be fair, his real trick here was to go glacially slow on reforms, unlike the Vajpayee government (the most reformist government till date). So, that’s not much of a trick really. Nevertheless, labels have power and Modi’s opponents tried to hit him with the same club of “suit boot ki sarkar”.

This was the real achievement of demonetization. Modi’s statement of taking on the corrupt was so powerful that it took the imagination of the poor by storm. Of course, Modi could lean here on the lessons from Vajpayee’s experience. Don’t go too quickly on reforms, or you won’t be around to harvest the crop. Manmohan reaped all the credit for what Vajpayee sowed. It still hurts.

Of course, Modi’s opponents did him a favor by trying to hit him with the pro-rich jibe too soon. He realized what could happen, did a tactical retreat on the Land Bill and proceeded to build his own pro-poor image that may now be his strongest point.

Modi understood that he needed to win the states to “demonetize” the Congress party. He understood that the secular establishment had a back up plan. From academia to media to the judiciary, he needed to hit their citadels one by one. You can’t uproot a 70 year old tree in one fell swoop. You have to go slow.

So, that’s what he did. Modi has used his first term in power to build the national base for the BJP. He’s expanded the party into Maharashtra. He’s won back the lost ground in Uttar Pradesh. The Sangh’s dream of saffronizing the North East has become a reality. He’s also picked up Haryana, the only Hindi belt state that had puzzlingly never seen a BJP government. Only the city state of Delhi continues to confound him.

Modi¬†has now created a launchpad of about 200 seats from where the BJP will start in every election. The party’s previous peak was just 183 seats. Modi has now raised the floor to 200. From 2019 onwards, the BJP’s battle will be for the remaining stretch of 72 seats. It will win some elections and lose others … but BJP will be the dominant party of India for the foreseeable future with always a minimum of 200 seats.

Modi now feels safer with the reins of power.

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There will be more to come. A new Modi is emerging.

The other day Praveen Patil said that 2014 was NOT NaMo’s electoral Mount Everest. He’s right. The mistake liberals have made from Day 1 of the Modi government is that they have tried to stop BJP from repeating 2014. They never seriously considered the possibility that Modi aims to go far beyond 2014.

How the Hindu vote held together in Uttar Pradesh

The other day, I began to laugh when I saw this news.

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The “leaders” of the Jat “movement” sure are smart people. They know that it is best to withdraw when you don’t have any cards in your hand. Elections are over in Uttar Pradesh. In fact, elections in the Jat belt of Western Uttar Pradesh ended a long time ago. There is no room for blackmail any more.

The BJP has already done everything that could have been done. They gave a quota to Jats, but that was struck down by the Supreme Court. They filed a review petition against the SC verdict. That was struck down too. There is really nothing left to do at this point.

But the so called “Jat agitation” was never about quota or rights or anything for that matter. The single point agenda was to shake the new Jat voters of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh. This went with a very¬†determined media campaign to claim that Jats were furious with the BJP in Uttar Pradesh.

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Total nonsense. This is how media myths are born. Some newstrader¬†spreads a motivated rumor and before long, every media person doing the rounds of Western Uttar Pradesh on his motorcycle is filing “Jat anger” in his ground report.

Read this “ground report” from a typical¬†beat reporter for Navbharat Times and my response to him back on Jan 30.

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I am proud of the fact that not for a moment did I fall for the myth of “Jat anger”. Because Jats would not be angry with BJP simply because some of their “leaders” were paid to be angry. Or because some newstraders were paid to report on this alleged anger. The Jats had no reason to be angry. And under no circumstances would they have shifted their votes to the SP+Cong alliance, their tormentors during the Muzaffarnagar riots. Neither would they have voted for Ajit Singh’s tiny vote katwa party. I think the RLD won just 1 seat out of 403 in the final results. So much for all the reports on Jat anger.

Regrettably, at one point, even Praveen Patil, who coined the term United Spectrum of Hindu votes, fell for this myth. I am glad I didn’t. I know that “all’s well that ends well”, but Patil also did say that BSP was doing “better than expected”.

It shows that¬†even the committed right wingers are susceptible to fall for myths propagated by the mainstream establishment. It was downright disappointing for me to see Patil regurgitating the tired old “BSP underestimated” humbug like the ageing Communist ideologues at CSDS.

The BSP performed the most miserably of all, just as I was sure all along it would. I say this not out of arrogance about my prediction coming true. 

Why would I be arrogant? I have no resources nor presence on the ground. I am just a guy with a computer, typing away. My “predictions” can hardly be called “predictions”. They should properly be called “guesswork”. I guessed that Jats weren’t going to desert BJP and guessed that BSP would perform miserably. My guesses came true.

So, I emphasize this not to be arrogant, but as a warning to the right wing not to get unnerved by myths spread by the¬†establishment. Don’t get nervous because the¬†BJP’s new supporters from 2014 will stick with the party : whether it be ¬†the Jats, the non-Jatav Dalits, the youth or women.

As satisfying as it was to see the BJP sweep 325 of the 403 seats, it was more satisfying to note that the vote share remained practically the same since the Lok Sabha election. The erosion of votes was a mere 2%, which is unavoidable when you move from a national poll to a local state poll.

It wasn’t just about Jats. Remember what the media tried with Dalits? Anyone remember Una?

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Indeed, who is Jignesh Mevani and why did he become the toast of the town? Because, the media needed to find a Dalit issue to take on the BJP. And who can forget this?

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You know, I’ll bet that Dalits haven’t forgotten Rohith Vemula. Just not in the way the Left wants. On the contrary, Dalits have drawn the right lessons from the death of Rohith Vemula. Here was a young man who was asking the right questions: like why hasn’t a Dalit been allowed to enter the Commie Politburo for 5o years?

The young man tried to kill himself begging that¬†people should not be reduced just to votes. But, when they found him, they didn’t even check if it was possible to revive him. They desperately needed a dead body for their anti-BJP politics.

The Dalits saw that. When Rohith Vemula died, they saw who winced in pain about the loss of a bright young son of Bharat Mata.

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And the Dalits also saw who was celebrating Rohith’s death like¬†India had taken a wicket in a thrilling cricket match with Pakistan.

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That’s the political editor of Hindustan Times Mumbai edition. Dalits didn’t forget Rohith Vemula. That’s why BJP won and Mayawati lost. No, Dalits wouldn’t vote for the arrogant “Deviji” who sent goons to demand that Dayashankar Singh’s 12 year old daughter be “presented” to a violent mob.

This is Deviji’s face as she arrogantly told everyone that she is the goddess of Dalits.

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Who’s laughing now?

Is the Economic Times on a desperate mission to rescue Rahul Gandhi?

In the run up to these Uttar Pradesh elections, the Economic Times came to acquire a measure of notoriety, at least on social media, for its cheerleading of the Samajwadi & Congress alliance. This was mostly due to the troika from ET politics consisting of Aman Sharma, Rohini Singh and Vasudha Venugopal. Here is a typical fan post from one of them, showing the level of their fanatic adulation.

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Even in the final days of polling, when Samajwadi & Congress shoulders were clearly drooping, the troika went their merry way on Twitter, as if reality wasn’t happening at all.

The lead member of this pack appears to have been Rohini Singh, who became, in the sunset days of the UP election, some kind of a “Baghdad Bob / Comical Ali” for the Grand Alliance. Remember “Baghdad Bob / Comical Ali“, nickname of Saddam’s charismatic information minister who would appear boldly on Iraqi state TV every night and declare with a straight face how they were winning the war, even as American forces were destroying the last vestiges of Iraqi defenses?

Here is Rohini on March 8, even after the end of the 7th phase, mocking the BJP strategy.

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Incidentally, Baghdad Bob later told the Americans that all the “information” he used to dispense during the war came from “authentic sources — many authentic sources”.

The fall of Rohini Singh, in particular, is really a shame. Because Rohini is known to be a very “bright” journalist. She was the best performer at CNBC and then brought in¬†personally by M K Venu to join ET as an asset. Here is part of a¬†transcript, where Venu requests Nira Radia to help out this bright reporter on the “policy side”, since Rohini was getting ready to report on the finance ministry and some other key policies.

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She was supposed to be tutored by the best of the best, the people who handle TATAs and other folks whose activities have “policy implications”, you know…

It is sad that such a bright young mind, the best performer at CNBC and tutored by the best on the¬†“policy side”, was reduced to a target of ridicule on Twitter. Social media can be a dark, unfriendly place. She appears to have taken a much deserved vacation from social media since March 11, during which I am sure she will reflect on her downfall and bounce back with renewed vigor.

Most newspapers would be embarrassed to have¬†“reputation” that the Economic Times has acquired. You would think that ET would prefer to lie low after the results of March 11.

But, the Economic Times showed that we have moved into a “post-shame” era when it¬†managed to uncover a grand success for Rahul Gandhi in the results from Uttar Pradesh.

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Apparently, the Congress has seen a 51% increase in votes in constituencies where candidates were picked from Rahul’s “Dalit leadership mission” and this is supposed to count as a “success”. Somehow, ET forgot to account for the fact that the Congress contested alone in 2012 and in alliance in 2017. As a result, the Congress should see an increase in votes in almost every seat it contested in 2017.

This is common sense.

It appears that Ms. Nidhi Sharma of “ET Bureau” might need a little bit of help on the “arithmetic side” of things, considering that she is reporting on this stuff now.

But the Economic Times did not stop there. There was more to come from the revered “ET Bureau”.

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This time it’s one T K Arun explaining how Rahul is the golden boy who is the unsung hero of our times, always failing to take credit for the all the good things he did for all of us.

The Rahul of Economic Times is something of an unlucky¬†superman. He delivered¬†on economic growth, he learned from all his electoral mistakes, he was the one who “really” defeated Mayawati in 2012, he scripted the victory in Punjab, everything.¬†The only superpower he lacks is taking credit for his achievements. Which is why ‘India’s social media love to ridicule him’.

That might well be true. But I have a feeling that if ET continues down this path, they will soon be the most trolled newspaper in India. Jokes will circulate on every Whatsapp group about ET’s imbecilic antics and credentials. And it won’t be an accident.

Yogi as CM shows that Modi won’t give up 2019 without a fight

It is an irony that the BJP’s smashing victory in Uttar Pradesh might actually have made it more difficult for Modi to win in 2019. The bigger the BJP gets and the more states it wins, the more “Mahagathbandhans” will rise, making the path to victory in 2019 steeper and narrower.

On the contrary, the BJP’s big defeat in Bihar, which gave the opposition some breathing space, also made it easier¬†Narendra Modi. ¬†In Bihar, the BJP can at least¬†sit back and hope for the¬†alliance of desperate opposites to collapse under its own weight. Not so in Uttar Pradesh, where Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav will now march in lock step. There is another mahagathbandhan of Shiv Sena + Cong + NCP budding in Maharashtra.

So, you have there the equation for 2019. Three big Mahagathbandhans in India’s 3 of India’s 4 largest states : Uttar Pradesh (80 seats), Maharashtra (48 seats) and Bihar (40 seats). The other state in the big four is West Bengal (42 seats), where the BJP is still a bit player.

What was Modi supposed to do here? Become another Vajpayee and fade into the sunset, leaving the Dynasty and its NGO jackals to snap up the economic gains founded on his five years of hard work?

By picking Yogi Adityanath as CM, Modi has shown that he will play his best hand for 2019. He wont go down without a fight, like liberals wanted him to. The state of Uttar Pradesh will be run directly from the Prime Minister’s Office. Lucknow is too important for him not to deliver on his promises of development. But, honestly, what “vikas” could he possibly have given in (less than 2 years) that would have taken the BJP’s vote share from 40% to 51% so that he can fight the Mahagathbandhan? ¬†Let’s be real.

Modi needed a big face, a regional satrap who transcends caste. If you want to be really politically incorrect, you could say he needed someone who can unite the 80% against the 20%. Did he have another option that would give him a realistic chance in the fight against the Mahagathbandhan?

So Modi went for broke. He went with the raw emotion of the grassroot BJP worker. Anyone who witnessed the wild celebrations of BJP workers in Lucknow yesterday would know that he had made the right decision. He will need every bit of that enthusiasm to fight the Mahagathbandhan.

With Yogi’s coronation,¬†depressed liberals who had been hiding in the woodwork for a week, will now come out all guns blazing. Who knows, even the Samajwadi Times might start tweeting again. But why should Modi listen to the people who would never ever vote for him? Why not go with the man who was most popular among BJP workers and worked the hardest in the election? Should he be sidelined simply because some smug people suddenly claim to know the mind of the BJP supporters they didn’t know existed until a week ago?

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No, Modi went with the BJP worker. I trust Modi and Shah to know their mind rather than Barkha Dutt. Those who didn’t¬†have a single clue about the mandate ¬†until March 11 should not be in charge of interpreting the mandate.

Yes, Modi has gone with the BJP worker and rewarded the hardest campaigner and the biggest mass leader they have in Uttar Pradesh. Keshav Maurya, who was an inspired choice by Amit Shah as the party’s OBC face, has also been amply accommodated. The Modi-Shah team picked their top players, ran with their strategy and won big.

I would advise the right wing (not that they really need my advise) not to be perturbed by the outrage of liberals. Ha! Does anyone really think that liberals hate Narendra Modi any more today than they hated him yesterday?

Of course not. The liberals want the BJP dead and gone. Done and dusted. Finished. Destroyed. Buried so deep under the ground that they wont find a trace of BJP in a thousand years. The appointment of one Hindutva firebrand as CM does not change their view of BJP. If yesterday they wanted the BJP buried 6000 feet under the ground, maybe liberals today want the BJP buried 6001 feet under the ground. Does it matter?

Because liberals can live with everything, except BJP. They are happy to cuddle with Stalinists, but they can’t live with RSS. Do liberals really care about inclusive¬†politics? Ha! This, for example, is Shiv Sena for you.

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But this did not deter the liberal media from discovering that Uddhav Thackeray is a mild mannered photographer with a heart of gold. Right around the time of the BMC polls.  So, if you are a liberal and you are circulating speeches of Yogi Adityanath and pretending to be shocked, I am laughing at you.

Modi has begun the fight for 2019. And in order to fight this historic election, he has chosen to believe in his own.¬†And by making Yogi the Chief Minister, he has made it clear that he won’t let the enemy whisper in his ear while the battle is in progress.

 

Digvijay Singh : BJP’s No. 2 campaigner facing downfall?

We in the right wing might like to give all the credit to Modi and Shah for the spectacular successes of the party since 2013. But in our hearts, we all know that the Modi-Shah team benefitted from the stupidity of a particularly pathetic coterie of Congress leaders. At this point, these people can essentially be considered BJP’s moles within Congress.

Of course Modi was the right man at the right place at the right time to snap up an opportunity. But this level of national dominance takes a special combination of happy coincidences and we should all give due credit to the pack of Congress fools who made it all possible for us.

The leader among the pack is of course Rahul Gandhi. He’s No.1. And Digvijay Singh is an undisputed No.2. Digvijay Singh’s constant pandering to wild conspiracy theories, on every single subject from 26/11, to the fabled “Hindu terror” to Batla House encounter have all contributed immensely to the anti-Hindu image that the Congress officially blamed for its 2014 defeat.

The No.3 position is up for grabs, with several contenders like Mani Shankar Aiyar, Kapil Sibal and Renuka Chowdhury. Perhaps Aiyar should have this position because of his famed “Chaiwallah” ¬†remark. But there is no denying the fact that each time one of these scumbags appears on a TV screen, at least 100 people take a solemn oath never to vote Congress in their life.

Unluckily for the BJP (on a national scale), it seems like No.2 campaigner Digvijay Singh is about to face his comeuppance for his colossal failure in Goa.

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Two days ago, I made it explicit that I was against the manner in which BJP formed a government in Goa. More than moral considerations (come on, this is politics) my concern was about the image of Manohar Parrikar, which is a huge political asset.¬†Because Parrikar towers so¬†far above everyone else in Goa, I felt it was a mistake to put this image at stake by “managing numbers” for him in Goa.

In my typical experience, keeping the single largest party out of power is a gamble that never seems to work. When the Congress and JDS came to form a government in Karnataka in 2004, they ended up handing the state to BJP. The JMM and Congress made the same mistake in Jharkhand under Hemant Soren. In my opinion, the problem is that the public is very harsh in judging such governments and they never have a “honeymoon period”. They lose the narrative from Day 1 and by the time their Assembly term ends (or their government collapses under its own weight), the public¬†is ready to punish them.

On the other hand, the single largest party sitting in the opposition generally gets a large measure of sympathy. I was worried about BJP in general and Parrikar in particular being seen as the villain in such a drama in Goa.

Now I am quite happy to revise my view. Clearly, I had underestimated the ability of the Congress to bomb itself into oblivion. Far from sitting in the opposition in a dignified manner, enjoying the moral high ground and the sympathy, the Congress has come down with an ugly outbreak of infighting. The spat is so obscene¬†that it has taken the heat off the BJP “managing” the numbers. Far from giving the Congress some sympathy, the people are probably remembering all the reasons why they found the Congress so disgusting in the first place.

Let’s see. Given the murkiness of the situation, it is hard to construct a clear sequence of events, but here is a rough timeline:

(A) BJP won the confidence motion with 22 votes to 16 for the Congress. Why did the Congress get only 16 votes when it won 17 seats? Because Vishwajeet Rane disappeared during the vote.

(B) Digvijay Singh, who is the Congress in charge for Goa, accuses Rane of having “coffee” with Parrikar.

(C)  Another Congress MLA, this time one Salvio Rodrigues has now resigned, blaming Digvijay for the failure to form a government.

(D) Digvijay in turn says that he had finalized the pre-poll alliance with Goa Forward Party, but “certain Goa leaders” ¬†screwed up his arrangements.

For the uninitiated, Vishwajeet Rane is the son of Pratapsinh Rane, the last Congress CM of Goa. Vishwajeet was the likely frontrunner for CM if the Congress had formed the government. It can only be assumed that a large number of Congress MLAs in Goa owe allegiance to him and his father. For the Congress in Goa, this is nothing short of disaster. They have already lost 2 MLAs in 2 days. The party might melt down as early as next week.

With Digvijay facing the heat for being the “outsider who screwed up Goa for the Congress”, anything can happen now. It’s truly ugly out there. And Parrikar is really lucky. Instead of giving him¬†criticism and mockery, Goans are thanking their stars that this pathetic circus of a Congress party was kept out of power in Panaji.

On a side note, I’ll say the people of Goa kind of deserve what they are getting. In his big rally, Modi had urged the people note to vote for the tiny vote katwa parties like Goa Forward, MGP and random independents. He had called them “loktantra ke jebkatre” (pickpockets of democracy). But people didn’t listen. If they didn’t want BJP, they could have given the Congress a clear majority for a stable government. But, they handed the keys to these free floaters. What else did they expect? Did anyone honestly hope for MGP or Goa Forward to come up with an agenda for governance? They voted for horse trading and that’s exactly what they got.

And on a final note, I am happy that a hard worker from RSS ranks has been chosen for Uttarakhand CM, not some migratory bird. Trivendra Rawat now has a responsibility and a historic opportunity to become the face of the state, use his clear mandate to ensure development and end the cycle of rotating governments. Now waiting eagerly to know who Modi and Shah will pick to rule Uttar Pradesh.

 

 

The great Punjab heist

Flush with victory in Uttar Pradesh, a sweep in Uttarakhand and the joy of beating the Congress to the punch in Goa and Manipur, the Right Wing has mostly forgotten Punjab. Yes, we are trying not to think about it.

But if you ask me, something very sinister has just unfolded in Punjab. Not because Congress won, but because of the manner in which this victory came about. In hindsight, it seems to be a major success of media propaganda, which may well repeat in some form in other states.

I am sure I can speak for large sections of the RW when I say that we all thought Punjab was in disarray, in the grip of an anti-incumbency wave. This kind of thinking was sorely manifest even at the highest levels. Notice that Modi himself did just ONE rally in Punjab. And Modi is not someone who is known for putting in half hearted efforts. Clearly, that one rally was just a courtesy to the Akalis. In their hearts and often even in their public statements, the BJP leaders, workers and supporters had all decided that there was an anti-incumbency wave sweeping Punjab.

Did we really stop to think why a rather prosperous state like Punjab would experience an anti-incumbency wave of historic proportions? Of course there can be simple anti-incumbecy… a sense of restlessness among voters and a desire for change. Punjab has a long tradition of alternating governments and so NDA was probably going to lose anyway. But why an anti-incumbency wave?

What had happened in Punjab that was so bad that we all thought people were itching to throw the Akalis (and BJP) out? How did we convince ourselves that the election in Punjab was between Congress and AAP, with NDA out of the picture?

 

The votes are in. Far from being out of the picture, the NDA is clearly the main opposition in Punjab. The NDA is 8% behind the Congress but also as much as 7% ahead of AAP. In fact, the SAD alone contested 94 seats and still got more votes than AAP did by contesting 113 seats.

Consider the media campaign. First, there were the infamous “100 seat surveys” that showed AAP sweeping the state. There was even a big Bollywood movie made on the atmosphere of drug addiction and decay in Punjab. Dr. Praveen Patil called the movie a “special purpose vehicle”. The media kept up the pressure, with regular reports on how Punjab was staring into the abyss and all because of NDA.

 

And AAP, which really knows how to work the airwaves, used this very effectively to crush the right wing morale. Because of the BJP’s two failures in Delhi, the party and its supporters had developed a mental block against AAP. Again, the media sensed this fear and leveraged it extensively against us.

Look at what was really happening. AAP was nowhere and we were all worried sick about it.

Because of the AAP association with Khalistan, it is not hard to imagine that significant sections of the Hindu vote might have gone to Congress. And even if the BJP leadership did not do this as a matter of policy, terrified BJP workers on the ground might have shifted votes to Congress anyway.

This is why I say that the election in Punjab was downright sinister. You had BJP workers shifting votes to the Congress and even cheering the Congress on. Can it get more sinister than this?

 

In Punjab, we were happily destroying our own fortifications and cheering our enemy along. Because the media convinced us that there was an even bigger enemy attacking us from the other direction.

But there was no other enemy on the other side. It was a lie made up by the media.

 

Face it. The BJP was completely outwitted and outfoxed in Punjab. In retrospect, how did we fall for this?

*Facepalm*

I can imagine Capt. Amrinder Singh having a Patiala peg and rolling in laughter right now, with Bhagwant Mann by his side.

Can you believe BJP supporters voted for us because they thought AAP is for real?

That’s what Amrinder Singh is telling Mann right now.

The Congress is happy because it swept to power. Kejriwal is happy because the media hype allowed him to auction AAP tickets several times over for several crores each.

And the BJP is happy¬†because it found out that the AAP ghost isn’t real. Who is the fool here?