Monday, December 31, 2007

"Mayawati worse," says desperate Congress

The gloves are coming off and the Congress is baring its claws at Mayavati. Well, this move was long overdue. Congress was, and still remains, a feudalistic party. Its inclusiveness is restricted to sloganeering and when being "inclusive" collides with its ruling dynasty's priorities, all bets are off.

Here, Congress proves with words and action that it remains thoroughly exclusive. It is for Aam Aadmi so long as the putative common man stays under the Sonia/Rahul umbrella. Any sign of independence and the same aam aadmi is quickly smeared as ugly Indian.

Now Mayavati is no normal Dalit leader. She has revealed that her ambitions are not limited to Lucknow but reach all the way to Delhi. Translation: She aims at Rahul's throne and is thus a potential threat to dynastic succession. Since her UP victory this yr., Mayavati has been quietly nursing her ambition, and that is hurting Congress. Sonia is hailed as the messiah of dalits, tribals etc., by servile MSM, but the elections are proving that Dalits no longer look towards Congress for succor, and would rather vote for their behen (Mayavati). This has cost the Congress few precious seats in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, states where it lost badly to opposition BJP. To cut it short, Mayavati is proving to be a party popper for heir apparent Rahul baba, and by extension the media minders who feed on dynastic largesse.

Mayavati is proving to be the proverbial cat among Nehruvian pigeons. Driven to desperation , Congress gunslingers lobbed a salvo at Mayavati, of course with the "high-command's" approval, "If Mulayam was bad, Mayavati is worse." It goes to show that the thin "inclusive" mask of Congress is giving in to political exigencies. No more niceties for this Dalit ki beti.

Tough luck Rahul baba aka Bubble boy. It looks like without wishing for your "sudden removal," your political career is increasingly doomed, fortunately.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Benazir Bhutto is Dead. It's effect on India: Zippo, Nadda

Benazir Bhutto was assassinated yesterday. The buzz is that democracy in Pakistan is doomed. Well, to most Indians, that's hardly a news. Democracy in our Western neighbor's yard has always been a sham, a cover for feudalistic patriarchs with the military thrown in for spicing things up. One military general is discarded, other uniformed clone replaces him to warm the military seat. One feudal clan gets booted out, its equivalent steps right in. There. That's pretty much the sum total of Pakistani democracy for you. There's no reason to get mushy over it. Stuff happens, though I sympathize with the Bhutto family for there complete loss - first the father, then brothers, and now daughter, the Bhuttos are wiped clean, and perhaps consumed by the monster they nourished.

Pakistan's instability is not really dangerous for India.

As irresponsible as it may sound, the two most feared outcomes of an unraveling Pakistan are non-events from Indian point.

First, that terrorists will sneak into India- they do so now too, big deal. Though the terrorists' primary concern will be to take over Pakistan and Afghanistan before turning their guns to India, in the opportunity-rich scenario post-Bhutto. They would want to seize the day too.

Second, that its nukes may fall into terrorists' hands. But the destination of those nukes will become West and other countries, unlike their current target addresses in India. That way, US might be forced to get rid of the Pakistani nukes, solving our problem.

The Thumpin': Significance of Narendra Modi's victory

Narendra Modi won. Yeah, old news you say. But, why did he win? And what does a Modi victory mean for India's future? I have an essay in works, should be ready tomorrow. Watch out for this space.

PS- Title credit goes to Naftali Bendavid's book by the same name, about Democratic victory in '06.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Thy nasty, Gujarat '07 aftermath- What about Sonia? And Rahul?

You heard it- what about Sonia? And Rahul?

Gujarat assembly results are out. Modi got a historic mandate and is all set to run Gujarat for next 5 yrs., except that he won't be able to, and will possibly have to move to center to answer his higher calling. The point that no one has so far surmised about is the after-effect of Modi victory on the mother-son duo. NaMo did win but the the tremors are being felt at the heart of 10 Janpath, right upto the dinner table.

Sonia gambled big time, and lost badly--notwithstanding the futile effort of friendly secular media to take focus away from the dynasty's failure. Sonia and Rahul did quite a few trips through Gujarat during the campaign season; poured money to complement their presence; had a docile media to play footsie, yet lost. There is the psychological outbreak and then their is the important trust factor. By now, Sonia and Rahul baba must have concluded that the people immediately around them cannot be trusted. They will also know that the media cannot be trusted either, since it keeps feeding them with gauzy stories about their outings, almost never providing reliable feedback. It is not exactly a secret that the clan keeps important decisions to itself, and mostly settles them on the dinner table with the daughter/sister as remaining participant.

With the calamitous results of their Gujarat adventure, which are bound to be compounded once Himachal vote is accounted for, the melancholic, paranoid clan, distrusting its coterie ever more is bound to withdraw further inwards. The fallout of which means increasingly, more important decisions will be taken with even lesser accountability, increased secrecy and will be based on feedback that cannot be trusted; which inevitably means those are going to be poor decisions. The trouble is, Sonia's clan, for now, remains saddled with making decisions critical to national security and its future, and we can ill-afford any sloppiness on their behalf. One can only hope that certain untoward things, like Chinese invasion on Arunachal etc., don't occur in the meantime. As NaMo quipped the other day- "It is better to be at the mercy of Gods that be at the mercy of Sonia." Yet, there we are --at the mercy of Sonia that is.

PS- Rather than worrying about Modi or Sangh Parivar, Telegraph India and Ashis Nandy co. should begin psychoanalyzing Sonia clan with acute urgency. A morose clan can really torpedo their 'secular' prospects.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Mahishasurmardini or Mooshakavardhini?

As Swapan presciently foretold yesterday, Congress has taken the high-route of denial and begun shielding its reader, oops leader, chairwoman and her bubble boy heir from any responsibility for the severe debacle in Gujarat.

While Sonia is deprived of the title she coveted, 'Mahisharuamardini' (killer of demon Mahishasura) she isn't. We think she instead is 'Mooshakavardhini' aka 'breeder of rats.'

To the elitist media, with love - a quintessential "Common Man"

This note is meant only for Shekhar Gupta, Vir Sanghvi, Rajdeep Sardesai, Yogendra Yadav, Naxal R, Harish Khare and the niggardly editor of Toutlook.

Though I strictly abjure expletives, this is one occassion which warrants invoking one such with gusto.

Yippee-ki-yay, motherfuckers _|_

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Alea iacta est

Within the next 6 hours Gujarat assembly elections will be out, and the die for next general elections have been cast. One obvious question that arises is if this focus is warranted. Certainly Gujarat is no ordinary state; it is a first world state in a third-world country-- its people are enterprising, well networked and uniquely gifted, when it comes to trade. But this battle isn't about Gujarat. It is about the claims on heart of India. Who rules Gujarat tomorrow(literally) will greatly influence who gets to rule India over the next decade. At no point of time in India's history have so few affected the lives of so many, in a positive way. Clearly, the focus is justified.

This election is also about Modi. Because the two principle claimants to central power gravitate around him in rival camps. If Modi looses the secularists, old-style patriarchs, media middlemen etc., rather pretty much the established apparatus would have won the battle, for now, and postpone the inevitable overhaul of the current asymmetric arrangement.

If Modi wins, he will galvanize the centre-right and launch an inexorably potent insurrection against the established consesus. His victory can potentially decimate the comfortable status quo that has prevailed in India for decades now. On ideological, economical and political front Modi can radically revamp the system which has sent some entrenched secularists scrambling for cover, and resort to the much reviled, but successful, divide and conquer strategy. Others, like one Sagarika Ghose, are sitting on the fence waiting to flip conveniently after the die is cast. Few others, like the indolent Vidya Subrahmanyam of The Hindu, won't know what has hit them, embracing for inevitable irrelevance.

Obviously, if Modi looses the establishment will breath easy and carry on with their game. As for Bubble boy Rahul, his part is set, win or loose.

We've some interesting times ahead of us. Let the games begin.

Nehru on Undergarments; why not?

TOI has this news report about Tricolor, Gandhi and Nehru being put on undergarments by a US manufacturer. Apparently this is offensive according to Orissa Congmen. Flags are commonly used on undergarments in West so that can be forgiven to be out of ignorance; Mahatma Gandhi was one eccentric dude so not sure he would've had problem with that; but Nehru? The self-confessed uber liberal, who didn't give a damn to superstitious beliefs, and single-handedly drove the Kashmir issue to TOIlet, that Nehru on undergarment! I say sure, why not?! Hallelujah.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Psephology or Voodoo-logy --Should 'exit' polls make an exit?

Come any election and vodoologist Yogendra Yadav comes out of woodwork proferring all sorts of baseless theories, which he inevitably retracts after the actual results are out(Ok he belabors when reservation issue is in vogue, but there, his standing remains diminished). The famous one being his outlandish poll figures buttressing the cause of his fellow clansman, Mulayam Yadav in the recent UP elections. Maywati's victory trashed any iota of credibility that this unkempt psephologist ever had but our social-cum-psephology-science hero remains unruffled as ever. The entity called 'Lajja' has been AWOL from sociology/media circles for too long to expect Yogendra to be an exception to the norm.

In fact, he has so perfected the routine that his inordinate projections and the hindsight explanations almost follow a script- they all begin with confident assertions and end with incoherent, unapologetic jeremiads. The presence of any genuine humility remains inscrutable in most of these postmortems. But none of this post-facto analysis seeps through his steeply prejudiced polling methods and the sad routine repeats itself, almost in a clockwork.

Anyway, his co-amateurs (calling them professionals would be a misnomer) have come out with all sorts of poll numbers after Gujarat's second phase of polling was over yesterday. From the figures, which vary from 90 to 110 for the Modi, and equivalent for Congress, based on which min. or max you take, one wonders if they really are based on polling or on a populist reading(manufactured by media no less) that the election is too close to call. The poll ranges provided sometimes don't even add up, as you can check here.

Though one silver lining out of this cross-the-board mediocrity is that people don't take these figures seriously anymore, and are perhaps less influenced by them than they used to be. Of course, none of that has not stopped secularist media from trying to influence the elections through dubious, and very often fabricated, reporting. Coming back to the original question: I guess exit polls are a necessary evil and us common folks, looked down upon as a clueless "aam-aadmi," will have to learn to live with it. Till then voodoo-logy will keep churning out bloviating, predatory "psephologists."

Monday, December 10, 2007

Flip-Flop-Flip, Congress-"Oopsie!"

Congress' sorry performance has continued unabated since the day Gujarat elections were declared. Supremo Sonia was undoubtedly gunning for Narendra Modi when she read 'maut ke saudagar' aka 'merchants of death' in her thick Hindi accent from her prepared speech.

When asked about the remark, Kapil Sibal, being the shrewd lawyer that he is, flatly denied that it was such. But, his fellow Congman, Abhishek Singhvi, high on "hyper-bole so nihal" spirit, not only admitted that Sonia said so but further dug himself in saying it could be easily verified from the statement. Clearly his bluster was aimed at Muslim vote-bank. But now with the election commission reading the riot act, euphemistically called 'model code of conduct,' Congress did a full 360 volte-face, flipped once again, and denied what it had assented to just 24 hours ago. While Congress won't be affected much by such verbal gymnastics, one has to pity its media minders (Chindu being the foremost) , who are left red-faced with the Supremo's lacluster performance.

After all, it is the media and NGOs that have been running its campaign in Gujarat, as Ashok Malik rightly observes here.

I wonder what Singhvi's excuse is going to be. Maybe this- "I was for the remark before I was against it." :-)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Did TOI goof up?

As is now known, the recent Sohrabuddin controversy started with a cheesy TOI report that Modi justified the "fake" encounter of the "alleged" terrorist, Sohrabuddin. After the media ho-ha, EC promptly sent a notice to Modi, to which he replied thus (only relevant portion reproduced here):
It is clear that Times of India’s article which began this controversy, invented my comment to the effect “Modi: Well that is what I did. And I did what was necessary”. The CD clearly indicates that this sentence was an invention of author and not the orator. The comments in the media that ‘Modi justified murder’ or that ‘he made confessional statement’ as being privy to murder or that Modi declared in the meeting that ‘Sohrabuddin got what he deserved’ do not find a mention in the CD. These are journalistic inventions intended to engineer a ‘Hate Modi’ campaign and not evidenced in the CD supplied by the Election Commission. My criticism in the media was concocted and engineered by this ‘Hate Modi’ Campaign. No where in my speech have I explicitly referred to the religion of any person. I have spoken against terrorism. It is not my speech but the complaint which assumes terrorism is linked to a religion.
This is exactly what you too will hear after watching the clip which TOI had put online with the first report. But, the liberal TOI took usual liberty with translation and fudged up the transcripts. If you watch the Modi interview afterwards you can see that he never says he was provoked but that Sonia started it. There's a huge difference between either contention. The question then arises as to why the media is being so unprofessional? Your guess is as good as mine. :-)