2017 is a year every BJP supporter should remember

Farewell 2017. We didn’t know how wonderful you would be to us.

Politics is always in the present, my friends. Well, for that matter, nothing lasts forever. But the sands of politics are so transient that political success is extra fickle.

Seems like just yesterday when Modi won Gujarat and began his victory march to Delhi. That was just FIVE years ago. Who knows how things will be FIVE years from now? I have said this before : I love it when people show me the map of India, with the saffron empire spread across 19 states. But to me, that map really represents how much hard work it took to get there … and how quickly it could all go away.

Time never stops, but at moments like this, when we leave behind the old year and ring in the new, we feel like time has come to a standstill ever so slightly.

It’s the moment when we look back and realize that 2017 was the greatest ever year for the Indian right.

If 2014 was the moment when the right took control of the country, it was 2017 that cemented it.

First of all, Uttar Pradesh. When the BJP lost power there in 2002, it left behind a huge gaping hole in the heart of every Hindu nationalist. Because this was the original ” Ram lahar” state, the state where Ayodhya is situated. To watch the BJP wither away from Uttar Pradesh was the most painful thing for Hindu nationalists. Losing an election is one thing, but BJP didn’t simply lose in Uttar Pradesh. The lotus dried up and died there. The politics of Uttar Pradesh became a BSP vs SP affair.

The BJP was built by a yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya. Without Ayodhya, the saffron soul was empty.

Until… 2013.  Who knew that by 2014, two sons of India from the land of Somnath would revive the lotus in the fertile ground of Ayodhya?

I’ll tell you : the joy of winning back Uttar Pradesh was no less than the joy of 2014.

And if circumstances go our way, as they appear to be, the BJP will have returned to Uttar Pradesh right in time to finally build the Grand Ram Temple at Ayodhya.

Then, there was Gujarat. I know there are people who complain about the size of the victory there, but I am not one of them. How touching : how touching that people of Gujarat would elect the BJP as many as SIX times in a row.

I am not so well informed about the smaller states in the North East, but I don’t think there is a state which Congress has won for even the THIRD time in a row in recent period. I think the last one would be Assam in 2011.

No, Maharashtra 2009 doesn’t count for the Congress, because the Congress didn’t get a majority over there. The majority mark in Maharashtra is 145 seats and the Congress has got only 65-80 seats in all three “wins” in 1999, 2004 and 2009.

In fact, the last time the Congress got a majority in Maharashtra was 1985!

Here we are talking SIX back to back full majority governments for the BJP  in Gujarat. A rare feat indeed.

All in all, the BJP has won SIX state elections  in 2017 : UP, Gujarat, Manipur, Goa, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

A historic revival in the first state, a straight sixth term in the second and a first time CM for the BJP in Manipur.

Now wait: You can’t leave out the fact that 2017 was the year of GST. Even decades from now, people are going to remember the biggest tax overhaul in India’s history after independence.

Two other things happened in the middle of 2017 that cemented the BJP’s pre-eminent position in Indian politics.

The first, indeed the first time ever, that a member of the Sangh assumed the office of the President of India. 

The second is that the Congress was surpassed as the largest party in the Rajya Sabha for the first time since independence. 

That’s the year it has been. That is how many words it took to list out everything that the BJP has achieved this year. Winning is a habit.

Who knows what 2018 will bring? But this is not a moment to worry about what’s coming, it is a moment to celebrate what was achieved.

Here’s a little laugh: see who this media Pidi mentioned as Candidate No. 1 for Person of the Year?

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So what if he has literally nothing to show for 2017? So what if he has absolutely nothing to show for his entire political career despite being born with the highest possible privilege an Indian could have?

In the minds of these media Pidis, he is always candidate no. 1. Gotta feel sorry for them.

By the way, a lot of BJP supporters might say that 2017 was also the year when the successor to Narendra Modi was appointed. You know exactly who I am talking about … But all that is only for the future to tell us…

Happy New Year!!!!

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Does the right wing react too much?

It is the end of the year and it is time to reflect. And few articles have made me think as much as something wonderful I read on Opindia yesterday.

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In fact I am surprised that I had not been reading from this author before. You know, you read lots of pieces, some you agree with and some you disagree with. For me, I actually enjoy reading the ones I disagree with just to get mad at them 🙂

But then, the best ones are those that make me think.

In this article, the author has gone off chasing the word “ecosystem” and frequent laments about how the right has failed to create one. I suppose I am one of those who lament.

And then the author talks about the complaints of how the right actually “creates” left wing stars by obsessively going after them. Best example would be that Bharat ki barbaadi guy from JNU. And we all know that fake claims of online victimhood are a short ladder to stardom on the intellectual circuit. Just ask that “Next Generation Leader” girl or that admin of a popular FB page that recently got deleted by Facebook.

So, is right wing rage counterproductive? Is it creating more left wing stars and defeating the right wing cause? I suppose Jaggi would be someone who worries about this a lot and I have both mocked him for it (and partially agreed with him later on).

But then, the author Mayur wrote something absolutely brilliant, something that spoke to my heart in a way a piece of writing has rarely done:

One reason why more mainstream journalists don’t understand this reaction business is that there is a very important difference between career journalists or columnists who cut their teeth in the environment of conventional media, and many social media writers of today who started off in completely different fields but came to politics because they felt the way of life as they saw it, was under attack. So for a lot of us (I too belong to the latter category), reacting to a contrary opinion was how we started off. My first article carried by OpIndia was in reaction to a Sunday Times column by Aakar Patel. My first article to cross 10,000 shares was a rebuttal of journalist Ravish Kumar’s open letter to union minister M J Akbar. Over a period of time, I have learnt to resist the impulse of going after every contrary opinion expressed out there, but the fact remains that it was the act of reacting that taught me how to construct an argument. I am sure a lot of writers who grew up in social media age would share my experience.

Every word there is a piece of gold. So genuine. So real. That line got me emotional because I recognized myself on the spot.

Mayur might just as well be telling my story, which I am sure is also the story of hundreds of other right wingers out there.

I was never groomed to be a right wing writer. I had my own career dreams and I am still following them. I didn’t spend any time in college with parasitic intellectuals who would train me to be another parasite like them. The left wing commenters on the other hand went to these Stephens and Doon school and JNU where they were systematically taught about bootlicking the dynasty as a lucrative career choice.

In my college hallways, we thought the way to a good life was a simple one : work super hard, get admission to a top US university and then work hard again. Then, you struggle on the lower rungs for a few more years and maybe you will make something of yourself. This was roughly the same as the conversations in our school hallways.

That’s probably not the conversation that happens in journalism and political science departments. They have a completely different model for success. Their celebrity professors like Irfan Habib and Romila Thapar led by example. They made hating India, hating Hindus and hating BJP into a way of life.

Perhaps without the right wing, Kanhaiyya Kumar would not have been a star. But so what? He would still have lived the good life as an India hater. Take Imtiaz Jaleel, who was embedded in NDTV for years before he decided to openly join MIM like a month before the Maharashtra election and become an MLA. Was Imtiaz Jaleel less dangerous when he was working unnoticed at NDTV? Would Kanhaiyya have been less dangerous as a young professor poisoning students minds against India?

Most social media writers are simply people who were going about their lives, chasing their dreams on the straight and simple path. Along the way, they could not help notice the bias of the Lutyens class. At first they felt powerless to strike back. But then, they noticed the internet was an open forum. They began fighting back, in some way, in any way … first through comments sections left open by media websites, then Facebook and Twitter and Blogger and Whatsapp.

It’s true. If the right wing hadn’t started “reacting”, there would be no right wing at all.

Me? I spent a decade silently fuming at Barkha Dutt and Rajdeep Sardesai before I started writing my blog. I like to think I have gotten better and less charged up as time progressed. But the fact remains that without my emotional outbursts in the beginning, I wouldn’t have been writing at all today.

Then, Mayur goes on with these golden words:

The communication channels are dominated by one side, the distribution is cartelized in the hands of one side and the centres of academic and intellectual discourse are ruled with an iron-fist by one side. In war parlance, this is the enemy occupying elevated position.”

Yes, yes … a thousand times yes! It is out of this sense of helplessness that most of the online right wing was born.

Building own narrative is not going to work for those below as long as the elevated position would allow the enemy to destroy them. In that context, going after the enemy’s guns might sound like a suicidal pursuit but ultimately if there is one tactic that even has a chance of win, it lies in destroying the guns occupying the elevated position.”

Say what you will, but social media was the first to create the space for an alternate view to be expressed in this country. And it gave ordinary people the confidence to stand up to the bullying by “intellectuals.” And while outrage on the right is often used by lefties to claim victimhood, it is also true that this outrage has in fact managed to move the coin a bit … just a little bit … but a bit nevertheless.

When the NGT verdict banning puja at Amarnath came out earlier this month, there was already a constituency of people who were speaking out against the relentless assault on Hindus by the judiciary. Result is that the NGT rushed to “clarify” its verdict. On issues like Love Jihad, the dominant intellectual narrative has had to bend. And campaigns like Award Wapsi and “intolerance” have been wrestled to the ground.

In an earlier era, Award Wapsi would have become a beacon of Indian leftism. Today, no liberal worth his/her salt dares mention Award Wapsi. Because the targeted mockery from the right wing worked.

These victories are not insignificant if you consider that the vast majority of left wingers are attacking the right as part of their full time day job, while vast majority of right wingers are fighting back as part of their evening hobby.

And here are the words that really shook me:

If you consider yourself as a soldier defending a lonely outpost in this civilizational battle, you have to acknowledge that we don’t choose our battles, our battles choose us and sometimes not engaging an enemy is the same as surrendering the post.

We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

There is despair in those words, but there is also a belief in ultimate victory. Whether the Ayatollahs of JNU like it or not, we are the first Indian right wingers in 70 years who actually have a voice. And that represents progress from the stranglehold of the Nehruvian years.

We shall never surrender. Especially now that we have come this far.

Narendra Modi, liberator of 8 crore Muslim women

In 1986, Rajiv Gandhi’s government passed the so called “The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act. The objective of this Act of “protecting the rights” of Muslim women?

To subvert the verdict of the Supreme Court of India and make sure that Shah Bano, a Muslim woman over 60 years of age at the time was thrown out by her husband without a penny to her name.

At that time, the Congress Party had 404 Lok Sabha seats.

Knock out the zero in the middle and you get 44, around a tenth of that number. That’s what Congress got in the 2014 elections.

And what did the nation get in return for knocking the Congress down from 400 seats to 40 seats?

The nation got Narendra Modi, who has now passed in the Lok Sabha The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017.

Unlike Rajiv Gandhi’s “Protection of Rights” bill for Muslim women, the name of Narendra Modi’s bill is not Orwellian. Triple Talaq has been criminalized. That means goodbye to things like this.

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Muslim women can sleep peacefully now. Meanwhile, the Islamist patriarchs across the nation are waking up to the new reality of women who can choose to sleep at night.

In an instant, Narendra Modi has become the liberator of 8 crore Muslim women of India. Just for comparison, if these 8 crore women formed a country, its population would be the same as Germany, the most populous nation in Europe.

And things have come to such a pass that Rajiv Gandhi’s son dare not oppose this bill to grant freedom to Muslim women. They employed some delaying tactics, made some demands to send the bill to a committee and all and some long time courtiers like Salman Khursheed made the mistake of publicly admitting the party’s real sympathies. But their bluff was called rather easily. The Bill still needs to go to the Rajya Sabha where the party of Rajiv Gandhi’s son is more capable of doing mischief, but chances are that he won’t dare.

That is what the people of this nation get for reducing the Congress from 400 to 40. This is not about Hindus or Muslims alone or about men or women. Bringing 8 crore Muslim women into the mainstream, empowering them is a bonanza for every Indian no matter what his/her identity. Like I said, 8 crore people is roughly the population of Germany. The liberation of 8 crore citizens is not only a moral imperative, but an economic blessing for us all.  A rising tide lifts all boats.

If you look at the numbers, what India has achieved today is nothing short of the end of apartheid in South Africa.

The stakeholders in the 70 year old establishment have projected it as a war on Muslims. That’s okay because these stakeholders used to benefit from things as they were. And they were okay with apartheid against Muslim women as long as it kept their benefactors in power in Delhi.

But it was *not* a war on Muslims. It was a battle against Islamist patriarchy. 

We are all victims of this Islamist patriarchy in one way or the other. It is the Islamist patriarchy that teaches children in Palestine to hate Jews and children in Kashmir to hate Hindus. It is the Islamist patriarchy that ties suicide belts around children who have been raised with TV shows that glorify the murder of innocents.

This same Islamist patriarchy carries things like the recent gangrape and murder of a woman in Jharkhand who refused to convert to the religion of her Muslim boyfriend, popularly called “love jihad”. The Islamist patriarchy carries out campaigns of subjugation against non-believers, particularly idol worshippers, such as the Sadhvi in Delhi who wants to sell her temple and run away. And yes, it was the same Islamist patriarchy that shot Malala Yousufzahi in the head.

And today, Islamist patriarchy has been shaken to the core by the passage of the Triple Talaq Bill. The Islamist patriarchy fuels paranoia in Muslim society about Jews, about non-believers, about America and what not. But, the real fear of the Islamist patriarchy is not one of these. Their real fear is liberated women.

For the Islamist patriarchy, this is the stuff nightmares are made off. The liberated women are coming!

Bengal bypoll results show just how difficult it is for BJP

So the other day, there was a significant bypoll in Sabang constituency in Bengal. Even at the height of Mamata wave in 2016, Congress veteran Manas Bhuniya had held on to his seat. Rather unsurprisingly, they saw no future with the Congress in Bengal and migrated to the TMC this time, necessitating the bypoll. His wife Gita ran for election from Sabang on a TMC ticket (I think Manas Bhuniya himself was accommodated as a Rajya Sabha MP by Trinamool)

So here are the big headlines.

(1) The TMC won massively in a constituency where they hadn’t done so well the last time.

(2) Congress Party which held this seat saw its vote collapse completely. They got like 9% of the votes in a seat they had won less than 2 years ago. In fact, Congress came in 4th position, losing their deposit.

(3) BJP came in 3rd position, with close to 19% of the vote, just behind the CPI(M)’s 20%.

Okay, so what’s the good news? The good news is that BJP’s vote share has soared from 2% in 2016 to 19% in 2017.

So, what’s the bad news? The bad news is that BJP is supposed to celebrate getting 19% of the vote and coming in 3rd position.

This is like the time we celebrated coming 100th in Ease of Doing Business rankings. Sounds suspiciously like Rahul Gandhi’s “moral victories.”

But what to do? Sabang shows you that BJP’s organization in Bengal is building up fast. But the party has started out from such a tremendously low base that a 17% increase in vote share is not enough to win. Not even enough to claim the 2nd spot!

It shows you just how difficult Bengal is going to be for BJP. The party might slowly be emerging as the main opposition in Bengal, but this is one tough climb. I can easily see TMC winning at least 2 more elections in Bengal before it becomes vulnerable.

And here is the scariest part. By the time BJP catches up to a more respectable 40% vote share and begins to throw a challenge to TMC, there might be no Bengal left. The demographics of Bengal might have changed forever. What is the Muslim % in Bengal now? Something like 27-30%. Ten years from now, it might be closer to 40%.

The Congress meanwhile … well… what to even say? It lost its sitting MLA, got just 9% of the vote and lost deposit in its bastion. But be honest and tell me, did the Congress *really* lose anything?

No! Because TMC will simply ally with Congress whenever needed. This is the new reality of Indian politics and the right wing has to get used to it.

A while ago, I wrote a blog about the Congress getting more and more valuable as it becomes a “5% party” in state after state. Since the party is in terminal decline, it does  not threaten any other political force. Most Indian elections are won or lost by a margin of 5% votes. Suddenly, the Congress party’s 5-8% vote share in every state becomes extremely valuable. The party will just rent out these votes to the local anti-BJP force and make them win.

In Bihar itself, we would have seen a BJP Chief Minister in 2015 had Congress not joined the alliance. In UP, there was a historic wave for BJP, but in the absence of a historic wave, the arithmetic for SP+Cong did look pretty good on paper.

This is now the story of Indian politics. Congress’ winning or losing a seat does not matter. Because every non-BJP force will declare support for Rahul Gandhi no matter what.

It might seem depressing and a bit unfair for everyone to gang up against the BJP. But, it’s a reality anyways.

Take Karnataka. If Congress wins the Assembly polls, then it wins. But if Congress loses the Assembly polls, then it *still* wins because it will simply ally with JDS during the Lok Sabha polls and it would take a miracle for BJP to beat that arithmetic.

We may mock Rahul’s “moral victory” claim, but in our hearts we know it is right. Victory in this or that election has stopped mattering for Congress.

The Congress is a private limited party run for the personal benefit of one single family. The Congress doesn’t care about its MPs or its MLAs or its organization.

We may mock the Congress for having only 4 Chief Ministers, but the question is this: does the Congress even care how many Chief Ministers it has? Congress’ sole aim is that Rahul Gandhi should be PM! In Gujarat, the Congress surrendered its entire organization at the feet of 3 random guys, two of whom didn’t even join the party. What kind of party would be willing to be such a doormat?

Because the Dynasty does not give a damn about Arjun Modhwadhia or Bharat Solanki or anybody else who have served Congress in Gujarat for decades. If Hardik or Jignesh can help Rahul become Prime Minister, they’ll take that.

Just like in Bengal. The Congress doesn’t care if it gets a single vote. It does not care if a veteran like Manas Bhuniya leaves and Congress loses deposit in a seat they had won 18 months ago. All that matters is that Mamata will help in the mission to make Rahul Gandhi the Prime Minister of India.

The BJP has a long, lonely battle on its hands. In Bengal and everywhere else in the country where it hasn’t traditionally won. Nobody wants to ally with BJP because BJP is too ambitious and too good and eating up everyone else’s support base. The BJP squished Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, it finished off INLD & HJC in Haryana and it has reduced Nitish Kumar to a pathetic figure in Bihar. Whoever allies with BJP will meet the same fate.

Get ready folks. 2019 is going to be super tough. Rahul can easily become PM if the Congress crosses 100 seats. In fact, they can do it even with 70-80 seats, as long as Congress is the largest non-BJP party in the Lok Sabha. But if BJP gets 271 seats, Narendra Modi will be Leader of the Opposition. Who will support BJP? Absolutely nobody…

Here’s a simple calculation. India has 29 states. Some are very large, so they compensate for the small ones. Give the Congress an average of just 3 seats per state. That comes to 87 seats. Rahul can easily be PM with 87 seats.

The only thing going for us is that if anyone can beat these odds, it is Modi and Shah.

Confessions of a Christian : Why Christmas always left me cold

This is a story narrated to me by the ghost of a liberal that I met behind a tree on St. Stephen’s College campus in Delhi. I remember recording it, but it turns out that you can’t record the voice of a ghost on tape. Just like you can’t capture the image of a ghost in a photograph. The following, therefore, has been reproduced from memory to the best of my ability.

My doubts over Christmas started early. On Christmas day, we girls would gather at school for a special blessing, followed by which we would all receive our special Christmas boxes wrapped in bright red. The Scottish nuns who ran our school told us that they were gifts from Santa for being “nice” during the year. And that we should stay off Santa’s “naughty” list if we wanted more gifts the next year.

I had heard the same spiel from my parents earlier that morning, when I woke up to find candy and oranges stuffed into the stockings near my bed.

“But what about the kids in Africa?” I once asked Mother Superior at the school, “Why doesn’t Santa bring them anything? Have they all been naughty?”

Somewhat taken aback, Mother Superior mumbled something about the need to be charitable towards poor kids in Africa. But I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted to know why Santa Claus wasn’t doing anything for them. At least on Christmas Day.

“My child, everyone is born with original sin. And for that they must suffer,” she told me after much pestering.

I couldn’t sleep that night. The thought that a merciful God would let babies be born with original sin from Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden filled me with horror. And the thought that unless they accepted Jesus into their hearts, God would throw them into eternal hellfire.

At our Catholic school, we were constantly taught about hell and about the Devil. I envied my Hindu classmates who didn’t have to go to Bible Study. While they played outside, we had to sit on uncomfortable benches in a semi-darkened room reading the same leather bound book over and over again. The book had no pictures and was written in small print. Worse, the teacher would constantly scare us with stories of burning sulfur and brimstone in hell.

I would shudder in horror when they told me that the communion wine was supposed to be the blood of Christ.

I didn’t think my Hindu classmates were going to hell. I had been to their homes where I was always very welcome. We played together and ate together and studied together. They would bring me delicious sweets on Holi and Diwali. Why would all these nice people go to hell, I would wonder?

As I grew up, I began spending more and more time with Hindu friends. I found their belief system fascinating. They had different gods, each with a different shade of character. There was Rama, the ever diligent good kid who always listens to his parents. But then there was also the mischievous Krishna, who went around with his friends stealing butter from the neighborhood. There was Hanuman, the hard working yogi but also Ganesh who seemed to enjoy the good things in life.

Their pantheon of gods was so lifelike. I felt I could relate to them.

And best of all, the Hindus also had female gods. Wealth was worshipped as Lakshmi, knowledge was Saraswati and strength was Durga. From wealthy to wise to a fierce warrior, the female could be anything.

These were times when I was just becoming aware of complicated power relationships in the world, between countries, races and genders. Lakshmi had skin that was white as milk, but Kali was dark as the night. Both were objects of worship.

In contrast, Jesus was always shown as a white man, his muscles, his hair, all conforming to white Western norms. And we only talked about his Father in heaven.

The only time we mentioned the feminine was during Christmas, with utmost emphasis on the idea of “virgin birth.”

I didn’t feel like virginity could define a woman.

Later on, I learned that Christmas as we know it today is actually an adaptation of the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia, the worship of Saturn. That and various other pagan festivals around the time of the Winter Solstice in Europe were co-opted into modern Christmas. Every tradition that I thought was associated with Christmas : from the Christmas tree to Christmas carols to the yule log that we put in the fireplace for Christmas, everything had been formed by fitting on a solemn Christian tag on pagan traditions.

Which was weird, because sitting in British era cathedrals at school during Christmas and putting on British manners to interact with classmates and teachers always made me wonder if we were still colonial subjects.

The one thing that I loved about Christmas was the Baby Jesus. Just as much as I loved the Baby Krishna. And I love the Mother Mary as much as I love our Bharat Mata.

Years later, when I married my husband, a Hindu Rajput, the issue of religion never came up. Ten years after marriage, I decided to become a Hindu, but there was no pressure from any side. I chose it myself. Now, I am a Christian and I worship Krishna and Lakshmi and Durga with great pride.

It makes me sad when I hear sermons about the need to believe in “one true God” and calls to the faithful to give up the so called “false gods.”

I don’t think these people understand what it means to be Indian. We are one nation and one people and we have this one life. Let’s live it with mutual respect and love for each other. Merry Christmas y’all!

Ecosystem still in Gujarat mode, pushing caste in everything

As soon as Jairam Thakur was announced by the BJP as the new Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, here is the reaction from Rajdeep Sardesai.

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The memo from HQ is clear. Focus on caste, divide the Hindus and bring Rahul Gandhi back to power.

First of all, I want to focus for a moment on the deep wickedness in Rajdeep’s tweet. See how he talks about “Political India” at the end of his tweet, trying to give a slightly “neutral” spin to his partisan tweet. If he was talking about “Political India” why did he only do a headcount of BJP Chief Ministers? Why not ask about the caste of India’s most secular Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee? What is the caste of the vast majority of members of the Communist Politburo that makes a good living in TV studios pretending to care about social injustices in the country?

By the way, you know who raised the issue of the Communist Politburo not admitting a single Dalit for decades? Rohith Vemula! Except that this fact was conveniently forgotten by media in the storm following his death.

What is the caste of the Congress President? Hasn’t he been boasting recently about his “janeu dhari” status? How much more blatant can the casteism get?

Let us count how many of primetime anchors in English language media come from a “lower” caste. Tell us, Rajdeep. Surely the liberal conscience keepers of the nation in English language media and the commentariat have made lots of room for accommodating the so called “lower” castes? So, when are we going to see a Dalit anchor as the face of 8, 9 or 10pm primetime show on India Today?

Don’t tell me that media in India is run by the Sardesais and Varadarajans.

Incidentally, Rajdeep has a history of jumping for joy whenever a fellow Goud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) gets appointed to a high position.

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But that was before the memo from HQ, presumably.

After the “morally successful” Gujarat model of getting young people to wear their caste names on caps on their heads, liberal India is clearly asking for more.

Early on the day of the fodder scam verdict, Shekhar Gupta was ready with this.

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Ready with a red herring to divert public discourse in case the verdict went against the interests of the Dynasty.

Then, the verdict came in and Lalu Yadav was confirmed as a convict. Or as janeu-dhari Rahul Gandhi would say, he was “morally acquitted” by the court. Here is Shekhar Gupta’s first reaction, which is now a pinned tweet on his Twitter timeline, a big lighthouse telling liberals how to spin away the corruption of janeu-dhari Rahul Gandhi’s top ally in Bihar.

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As the night progressed and the media had to keep reporting on Lalu’s conviction, one by one, the entire opposition began to pick up on this line. As for Shekhar Gupta ji, he continued to spread the worst kind of insinuations about the Supreme Court itself.

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Of course! Of course! The “issue” here is everything except for the fact that janeu-dhari Rahul Gandhi’s top ally has just been convicted in a corruption case. Let us go on a wild goose chase looking for the caste of every defendant in every other famous criminal case, the caste of the lawyers, the caste of the judges … everything.

Let us focus on everything except for the fact that janeu-dhari Rahul Gandhi’s ally is a convicted criminal, right?

And these people still complain that Narendra Modi in 2002 had dared to say aloud the full name of Chief Election Commissioner James Michael Lyngdoh.

Some months ago, Shivam Vij of Huffington Post had written explaining how liberals *must* focus on caste faultlines as the only way to derail the BJP. It was a stunning article, not because of its content (which we have always known), but because someone, an alleged “liberal”, felt both desperate and intellectually secure enough to put it out in writing before the whole world.

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What does this tell you? How did it become acceptable for media to publish clarion calls such as that by Shivam Vij to divide Hindus on caste lines?

Here is what it tells you : at liberal headquarters, it is a state of WAR! Absolutely anything goes as long as they can hurt their enemy : India’s Hindu nationalists.

They are sending a message, through their public pronouncements and their election campaigns. Nay, they are actually throwing a challenge to all Hindus :

We will divide you by caste and we will destroy you and we will subjugate you.

Question for Hindus is : are you up to this challenge?

 

Congress ecosystem divides the country with every breath, but still represents ‘idea of India’

Yesterday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath came to campaign for the BJP in Karnataka, addressing a massive rally in Hubli. The typical reaction of Congress workers? Showing class hatred towards migrants from UP who make a living in Karnataka doing what are apparently low level jobs.

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Oops! My apologies. Mr D P Satish is not a Congress worker, but a journalist, apparently even a Senior Editor for CNN-News18. I know the difference is irrelevant for all practical purposes, but still it must be pointed out in the interest of accuracy.

At one level, you have to understand the apprehensions in the mind of the Congress towards people who do low level jobs. I hear that a migrant from a village in Gujarat, who started off as a tea seller, managed to go to Delhi and snatch from a crown prince the job that he used to see as his birthright.

But what I want to point out is how the Congress, despite its openly expressed hatred towards the “lower class,” is miraculously able to position itself as the party for the poorest and weakest in society.

This is what should be called “secular privilege.” The amazing ability to divide the country in every single breath and still be able to claim copyright over the “idea of India.”

The next big state going to elections now is Karnataka. Right from the level of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, the Congress ecosystem is openly playing the “North vs South” card. The campaign for Karnataka has been in full swing for at least three months now and the Congress and its camp followers has spared no effort to insult those from UP and Bihar.

The amazing thing is that this campaign began barely a couple of months after Rahul Gandhiji proudly proclaimed himself as one of “UP ke ladke.” The poor migrant from a village in Uttar Pradesh who comes to say Bangalore to work as a security guard is insulted and mocked. The spoilt rich kid “UP ka ladka”, who has never worked for a living, also happens to be the Supreme Leader of the Congress Party. He is currently receiving all round praise merely for trying a bit harder than usual in a losing cause for his party in Gujarat.

But the migrant from UP who works as a security guard in rain and sun, making a meager living for his humble family back in Uttar Pradesh : well, that person gets mocked by the Congress ecosystem.

By the way, you know one of those places in UP that cannot create even “security guard jobs” because of which people have to leave their homes to make a living?

Amethi!

And Uttar Pradesh has been ruled by Congress and its allies right since 2004. In case you have forgotten, both SP and BSP extended their support to the UPA government. The Congress was allied both with the ruling party and the main opposition in UP from 2004-2014.

Similarly, the corrupt Lalu Yadav who drove Bihar to ruin is also a top Congress ally. That does not stop the Congress ecosystem from being able to make fun of UP and Bihar when fighting the Karnataka elections down south.

And who can forget Akhilesh Yadav’s “Gujarat ke gadhe” remarks? Or his shocking  accusation that nobody from Gujarat ever lays down their life serving in the Indian military?  What kind of a disgusting human being would turn over the bodies of martyrs of the Indian army and check their name tags for their caste, religion and state of origin?

 

The Congress and its allies pull off this lowest form of divisive politics without breaking a sweat. And all we hear about is how they represent the “idea of India.”

Take the alleged “youth leader” and Congress’ great hope in Gujarat.

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Wearing a cap with his caste “Patidar'” written on it. That is how Congress does “youth politics”.

I hope people fully absorb this. All of the secular ecosystem, its journalists, writers, artists, poets, all its so called intellectuals had been praying for months now that Gujarat should embrace the kind of politics where every youth goes around wearing his caste name written on a cap on his head. This is their vision of youth politics for this nation. This is the future they so desperately want.

Remind them of this the next time these same liberals tell you how “regressive” the Hindu right is, with its interest in beef bans and alleged obsession with stopping “love jihad.” Remind these “progressive” liberals that they wanted the youth of Surat to walk around with their caste written on their heads …

Patidar, Thakore, Dalit … how many kinds of caps did you want, dear “progressive” liberals?

In every state, in every corner of the country from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, the Congress has relentlessly played divisive politics. In Uttar Pradesh, Sheila Dikshit was made the CM candidate to appeal to Brahmins. That was before they decided to go with the Yadavs and dropped her candidature.

In India’s second largest state (Maharashtra), the Congress is fighting with the Marathas to stop the Brahmin CM. In Karnataka, it is fighting against Hindi speakers. Everywhere, the Congress fights for the rights of religious minorities, except in Gujarat where it tried to get the dominant Patel community to rise up against a Jain Chief Minister. In Haryana, the Congress is stoking the fires of Jat agitation, trying to cash in on the fact that the BJP has appointed a Punjabi Khatri as Chief Minister.

The North Eastern state of Manipur doesn’t get much attention, but earlier this year, the Congress tried to win over there by strategically creating eight new districts that would cause heartburn between the Naga and Meetei populations. The state burned for months. Google it.

But secular progressive India does not see these fires. Because the only thing they have the light of greed in their eyes. They are hungry for scraps from the high table of power. And they will do anything, just anything, to get the Dynasty back into power.

Those in the intellectual class, in the media, in academia, thinkers and public intellectuals, were supposed to represent the best of us. They were supposed to be visionaries, beacons of hope. Something very wrong has happened in India, with this class rooting for the return of the corrupt 70 year old feudal zamindari of one Dynasty. They are busy distributing Patidar caps and Maratha caps and Jat caps and what not.

It’s time for us, the little people to stand up with our India caps. Remember Lata ji’s divine voice:

Koi Sikh, Koi Jat, Maratha
Koi Sikh, Koi Jat, Maratha
Koi Gurkha koi Madrasi
Koi Gurkha koi Madrasi

Sarhad par marne wala
Sarhad oar marne wala
Har veer bharatwasi

When the Congress ecosystem hears this song,  they remember with a smile how a genocide of Sikhs gave the Congress its best ever score of 400 Lok Sabha seats. They reflect with satisfaction about how well the Jat and Maratha agitations are going. And how they plan to turn the South against the North. They are thinking about how Mamata didi successfully managed to subjugate Gurkhas to the majority Bengali will. And of course, Akhilesh Yadav sees this song as a vindication of his claim that no Gujarati ever dies for the country.

Don’t let them do this to us. Let’s take back the country. Jai Hind!

Gujarat elections : Ecosystem makes mistake by projecting Jignesh over Hardik

As powerful as the secular ecosystem is, it has its blind spots. As much as hatred for Hindus is the single factor that keeps the ecosystem running, this hatred is also their biggest weakness. This rabid hatred makes the ecosystem drift towards leftist loser JNU types rather than those who can actually make an impact on the public mind.

Let’s see. During the Gujarat elections, the media pumped up a trio of “youth” leaders out to uproot the BJP. The biggest name among them was Hardik, the one with the biggest and most engaged crowds. The second was an OBC leader, a moderate speaker with moderate talent and moderate abilities. The third and final one was a joke, one so called “Dalit leader” in a state with only 6% Dalit population and with zero base even among that Dalit population. A “Dalit leader” who depended mostly on Muslim votes to get him to win in the traditional Congress stronghold seat of Patan.

In the run up to the elections, the hierarchy among the three was clear in media perception:

Hardik > Alpesh > Jignesh

If you have noticed, something funny has happened after the elections. Hardik Patel’s star has sunk like a rock.

Instead, the ecosystem has thrown its entire weight behind Jignesh Mevani. LOL!

Why would anyone in their senses pick Jignesh over Hardik? Like I said, the Dalit population in Gujarat is a mere 6% and Jignesh’s appeal among them is also extremely suspect. Hardik on the other hand has drawn tremendous crowds wherever he has gone.

Those crowds did not translate into votes this time, because he was facing Modi who stood like the rock of Gibraltar in front of Gujarati people. But come 2022, Narendra Modi might not be Prime Minister and those crowds might very well translate into votes.

But the ecosystem has still gone for Jignesh Mevani. Why? Because he is supposed to be a “Dalit leader” with a JNU type tongue. Because he asked voters publicly to chant “Allah hu Akbar.” Because Jignesh says crap like this:

But the Muslim situation is much worse (than that of Dalits) — apart from having to be careful that they don’t become victims of the (sangh parivar’s) Love Jehad campaign, there is serious unemployment. (They are grappling with) existential issues. It is a battle for survival for them.”

Exactly. Jignesh doesn’t like Dalits. He hates Hindus and he hates Dalits for being Hindus. That is why the ecosystem loves him. Because Jignesh Mevani reminds them of their own young selves, full of hatred towards Hindus and India.

Because Jignesh keeps talking about Dalit-Muslim unity, the greatest hope of the Indian left. Something that will never happen outside JNU campus because Dalits are the No.1 victims of Muslim aggression on the ground. And you can’t get Dalits to chant “Bharat tere tukde honge …” Dalits have suffered discrimination, but with their political empowerment over last 2 decades, the sense of discrimination is getting replaced by sense of aspiration. Why would a Dalit want to give Kashmir to Pakistan? Why would a Dalit support Afzal Guru or a mosque at Ram Janambhoomi? It makes no sense.

Hardik Patel on the other hand would begin his rallies asking everyone to turn on the torchlight on their cellphones and sing the praise of Maa Durga.

What Hardik was doing was clever politics, Jignesh was not. If you have to appeal to the Gujarati voter, you must appeal to their Hinduness.  If you want to beat the BJP in Gujarat, Hardik Patel was clearly the best bet. But the ecosystem is going for Jignesh Mevani because they like his anti-Hindu credentials.  Which is extremely lucky for BJP because being anti-Hindu now seems to carry an electoral price in India, especially in Gujarat.

I have said before that hanging out with the extreme left will be the end of Congress. Whether the ecosystem likes it or not, the JNU types are extremely unpopular and in fact, they are vote repellents. Jignesh Mevani is one such vote repellent. And the more he speaks, the better for the BJP.

Gujarat elections : The urban rural divide

By now, this has been discussed at length and dissected by every analyst, especially the ones who hate the BJP. The big headline is that urban Gujarat voted comprehensively for the BJP by massive margins, while rural Gujarat mostly stayed away.

In one of The Wire videos, Padma Sri Vinod Dua takes great pains to explain that if you remove the four biggest cities of Gujarat, the BJP would have lost really badly.

Okay, I get that. I also understand that almost any party in the world can be made to lose almost any election by “removing” large sections of the electorate from consideration. Some 50% of Gujarat lives in urban areas … so yeah … if you “remove” 50% of the public from the equation, I guess you could change the outcome of the Gujarat election 🙂 This is brilliant insight for which Padma Shri Vinod Dua should definitely be given a Padma Bhushan.

Okay, so what is this obsession of intellectuals with “removing” the urban public? Their argument goes that having huge urban electorate is a situation unique to Gujarat. Other states have massive rural populations and BJP will be toast in 2019 if rural India is angry with them.

Before we inspect this argument, I have a little question to ask. Now why would urbanized electorate be something unique to Gujarat? Why is it that too many Gujaratis live in “gleaming cities” (as Rajdeep described them) and too few Gujaratis are actually living the hard life in the rural countryside?  Yeah…where is ‘vikas’ in Gujarat, right?

Of course intellectuals know the answer to their question, but they are too compromised to admit it. Because 22 years of BJP gave Gujarat its gleaming cities and wide roads and 24 hour electricity. Decades of Dynasty in Amethi … not so much.

Now to the crux of the matter. As the liberal elite desperately hopes, is rural India really up in arms against BJP?

This could not be less true. For one, the only place in Gujarat where BJP lost seats is the rural Saurashtra region. The BJP won literally the same number of seats in North Gujarat as 2012, literally the same number in South Gujarat and lost just 3 seats in the Central Gujarat region. It is in rural Saurashtra that 13 seats were lost, leading to a net decline of 16 from 115 to 99.

If there was a generalized “rural uprising” against BJP, this would have manifest itself in other parts of the state.  In my view (i.e., in hindsight, which is always 20-20) here is what let the party down in Saurashtra:

(1) First of all, Saurashtra is a freaking desert. It is during the Modi years that agriculture actually flourished there with some of the highest rates in the country. But that does not mean Saurashtra hasn’t seen 3 droughts since 2014.

(2) Second, the Saurashtra region is dominated by Patels. You had natural anti-incumbency of 22 years added to caste revolt added to back to back droughts.

(3) Although I don’t buy the whole arrogance argument (more on this tomorrow), I would make this limited point : while the BJP gave farm loan waivers in Uttar Pradesh, in Madhya Pradesh, in Rajasthan and in Maharashtra, it did not announce a farm loan waiver in Gujarat. Now, farm loan waivers are bad economic policy and if you ask me, it is basically looting the country. But surely, if farmers in all states around Gujarat can get a loan waiver, it is basic fairness that so should farmers in Gujarat. The only reason Gujarat farmers didn’t get a loan waiver is because BJP was sure of winning there under any circumstances. Basically, that is punishing Gujarati farmers for their loyalty to BJP. And that’s not fair!

But this combination of factors is rather unique to Saurashtra region. Even if one of these factors hadn’t existed, the BJP would have won Saurashtra.

The BJP’s enemies should make note of the fact that their famed “Patel anger” wasn’t even that much. Yes, the BJP lost some Patidar dominated areas like the 3 seats in Morbi, but that’s way too localized. In the final arithmetic, the BJP actually came out well ahead  in Patidar seats (which makes Hardik the biggest loser of Gujarat 2017 … again more on this in a later post).

But yes, when you combine a little bit of Patel anger with desire for loan waivers and with natural anti-incumbency due to drought, you get a loss of 13 seats in Saurashtra region.

But on the flip side, while rural anger in Gujarat is localized to a single area, urban support for BJP is not. It is widespread and covers every patch of urban area in India from Gurgaon to Gujarat to Maharashtra. 

The largest point emanating from Gujarat elections is that BJP is without a shade of doubt, the party of development.

Did you see Surat? All that talk of trader anger over GST and BJP absolutely sweeps the city. The margins in most places are even wider than 2012. Choryasi in Surat … won by over 1.1 lakh votes. Almost hard to believe that margins like this are possible in an Assembly seat. A Lok Sabha seat generally contains around 7 Assembly seats and those who can win by 1 lakh votes are considered big winners. Ha!

The urban nature of Gujarat essentially makes it impossible for regressive casteist forces to win the state. It follows that the more any state … or the entire country develops, the more urbanized it gets, the lesser and lesser will be the chances of the Congress ever coming to power.

This gives the BJP a direct electoral stake in the development of the nation. Even from a purely non-ideological point of view, the objective interest of any Indian is to align with BJP. Because BJP would like to see India living in gleaming cities like Surat and Amdavad. Because once India is full of gleaming cities, there would be no takers for the Congress party.

The Congress, on the other hand, has exactly the opposite interest. It wants as many Indians as possible to live in underdeveloped villages, doing sustenance level agriculture. Because those are the circumstances you need to play caste politics and keep people dependent on loan waivers.

This is the biggest lesson : Congress needs an environment of poverty to survive, while BJP needs prosperity. It’s fairly obvious why we need Congress mukt Bharat.

 

 

Gujarat Election : Holding the prasad to our heads

The Gujarat election verdict has left me very happy. At the same time, it has left me confused.

So, beginning today, I am going to do a long series of articles on how I feel about every aspect of the election : about the lessons for the winners, lessons for the losers, lessons for us right wingers, messages for 2019, fighting casteism, rural urban divides, farmers issues and where there was arrogance and where there wasn’t.

In short, I plan to be as confused (and as boring) as any “numero uno” pundit from Lutyens’ Delhi. So please bear with me.

It seems to me that the first and foremost reaction should be one of gratitude to the people of Gujarat. Last week I wrote about how election results are the “prasad” from the worshipping the people of this country. That anything above 92 is such a wonderful and humbling prasad that nobody should ever complain about the number being “below expectations” or anything. It is like complaining about the quality of sweets in the prasad. Complaining would mean disrespect for god.

A clear and comfortable majority of 99 seats out of 182, after 22 years in power, is one of the most remarkable expressions of confidence by the electorate in any political party since independence. That too, a vote share of 49.1%, which is in fact the second highest ever polled by the BJP in Gujarat (2002 was the only election where it was more).

This is prasad and it is like amrit. Touch it to your forehead most respectfully and with the highest gratitude.

We heard lots of things about Surat in this election. But when the results came in, every single seat in Surat went to BJP. In fact, in some seats like Choryasi, the victory margin was much bigger than last time and over 1 lakh votes. Winning by over 1 lakh votes in an Assembly seat is huge! Winning a Lok Sabha seat by a 1 lakh margin is a big thing … and here we are winning Assembly seats by 1 lakh votes.

This is why I said that traders are like the BJP’s family. This country has seen 70 years of Congress governments and all through those years traders have fought the odds to support the Sangh Parivar. Yes, traders were angry about GST, they had suffered losses and hassles, but ultimately they voted for the Parivar that is like their family.

It is not just about money. The Congress and its mercenary army of journalists, intellectuals and casteist rabble rousers will not understand the bond that BJP enjoys with this family of voters.

The job of Narendra Modi is now to return this affection with interest and make whatever tweaks are required in GST for the convenience of these traders. Ultimately, “one nation one tax” is for the supreme convenience of the trader. Sort out the compliance issues.

Beyond that, this election was about the Hindus holding together. In an ultimate expression of the maxim of ‘Divide and Rule’, they got together 3 casteist rabble rousers with conflicting interests and got them all to campaign for the Congress. Instead of admitting the true nature of the Congress campaign, the party’s water carriers in Delhi media propagated the Orwellian view that the deliberate contradictions were actually a good thing, because it made the Congress a “platform” for expressing views rather than a political party.

The things they say … absolute scum they are.

Yet, some 55% of Hindus (Hindus are 90% in Gujarat and BJP’s vote share was roughly 50% overall) turned up to vote their caste last and their nation first.

What was more funny, this 55% of Hindus made the son of the Dynasty run from temple to temple, bowing his head. And while they surely enjoyed the show, they weren’t fooled by it for one moment.

Be it the party highest highs or lowest lows, the Gujarati voter has always stood by the BJP. In 2002, the Congress party had 15 states and came to December 2002 hunting for a 16th. They vilified the little Gujarati as a murderer and rapist and they got a fitting reply. For the next 15 years, they mocked everyone and everything from Gujarat. Until the winter of 2017, when Rahul Gandhi came to bow before the same Gujarati voter. He walked away with another in the long line of his “moral victories” 🙂 May you enjoy more of those for many more years to come…

The Gujarati has stood by his beloved political party. From the booth worker to the party President, every single person has given his best. No, this is not the Left Front of Bengal that booths would be captured by goons and thugs. And FYI, counting of VVPAT slips in from randomly chosen EVM machines in each of the 182 constituencies matched exactly the EVM numbers.

We have won through sheer force of public support. Sixth time in a row. Hu chu vikas, hu chu Gujarat. I found this photo on Twitter the other day and planned to put it up on the day of victory. Dear Congress, try buying this sentiment …

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