Thursday, October 30, 2008

Raj Thackerays violence may be a welcome development

Shocked? Wait, I'm not justifying violence, just trying to understand root causes. :-) Politicians across the party divide, in Maharashtra, seem to be sympathetic to Raj Thackeray's antics. The silent Marathi majority seems to be with him, if silently so. And in keeping in with the good traditions of secular politics they are speaking out in a way that's heard by the high priests of secularism. 

Not that it matters that the media are still turning a deaf ear to all that, but the persistent news coverage for Raj proves that he can't be ignored, which also proves than in secular India violence works, or perhaps is the only way that works. That is unless you've boatloads of money to bribe the fat cats, like the abominable crony capitalist, Amar Singh. 

Maharashtra has been an industrialized state for a while, naturally attracting laborers and others seeking livelihood. Like every place it has it limits. Somewhere this must have been breached, for the locals to find their identity threatened. For them to feel economically squeezed out. Else there's no explanation to the silent approbation from Maharashtrians unless you believe in conspiracy of silence.  

The root cause of this is consistent (mis)handling of the important Railway ministry by ministers from Bihar. Again, in keeping with good ol' tradition of cronyism, the Bihari Rail ministers packed every petty post with people from Bihar. It beats logic as to why you need to import someone from 1000 km away for class IV positions as a line guard or signals man or a ticket checker, jobs which a high-school dropout can perform with relative ease. With the lowered educational standards there's no dearth of high-school passouts, even graduates, either. Yet, these petty jobs go to someone who is somehow related to the Yadav clan or in good books(thru bribing) of some Laloo, Paswan crony. 

Nepotism is usually a recipe for social disaster. Nepotism on a policy-level is moreso. I doubt what we've seen here is nothing but the tip of iceberg, and the worst is yet to come. However, it still doesn't beat the brazen attempts to recourse India's foreign policy by lingual bigots of the Dravidian type. Raj Thackeray might just be doing his bit to unravel the secular socialist charade of harmony. It's getting ugly out there. That's why it may not be exactly so unwelcome, rather desirable.

P.S.- I feel really sorry for the 'secular' media, with the Islamic terrorists pooping their party yet again. Just when the fun was beginning with "Hindu terrorists" becoming the flavor of the day, this happens

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Polls can flop

Another classic example of polls going bust. There was a state proposal up for vote in Michigan for a constitutional amendment to ban affirmative action (a much milder form of reservation quotas in India). Several polls showed tremendous support against this proposal, upwards of 10 percentage points. Result: the proposal passed by 16 percentage points. The people told the pollsters what they wanted to hear--the politically correct thing to tell to show that you're not against blacks. But inside the booth they pulled the lever they actually wanted. 

McCain might still win next Tue. No one knows, certainly not the pollsters. Absolutely not the media.

(read first on Mickey Kaus's blog) 

Obama's presidency has some pluses

John McCain is a moderate Republican. He has almost always treaded a centrist path during his Senate career. But there is one issue on which he is conservative since the beginning: pro-life or anti-abortion. 

Though given his track record I doubt he'll want to pack Supreme Court with any more justices like the present conservative lot. Two SC justices are definitely retiring by most counts: Ruth Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer. Any new conservative appointments will hand the SC to the Christian fundmanetalists, at least when it comes to the issue of abortion. An Obama presidency will most certainly avert that. Barack Obama's presidency also shatters the glass ceiling for non-whites, and given the racial undercurrents that still run in American politics, that is an important achievement. And the danger of some charlatan who refuses to be American citizen for the larger part of hers/his immigrant life, and then desperately tries to make his way to the highest office also becomes real. But then I doubt Americans will ever let any such person get any close to the White House, except as a visitor perhaps. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

President of....?

The race is on...or so we may think. But political pundits have unanimously declared it over, even before the votes are cast, by Americans. Nov 4 is supposed to decide the fate of the decider: McCain or Obama. If we're to follow the conventional wisdom, one of the would be decider was done in by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers than anything else. If there's one person who benefitted most from the banking crisis it has to be Obama. 

The race was a virtual tie before the financial crisis a month ago. And then fate played a cruel joke on John McCain. The genesis of the housing crisis is not in Republican philisophy of less govt. but in the decidedly populist, and liberal, idea of spreading housing ownership, even to those who cannot afford it. 

It is most disconcerting though that rather than clearing the Augean stables what we're witnessing from the debris of financial rubble is a socialist America: universal healthcare, govt. paying for mortgages, Keynesian style unlimited govt. spending and what not. The possibilities for increased govt. ownership in virtually all aspects of life are just limitless. And that limit is being pushed like never before. 

But this is the side story. The hero of the moment is, of course, Barack Obama. Everyone, from Hollywood celebrity to third-world journalists, are raring to get on the Obama bandwagon. People who don't even vote in their country(including those who don't let anyone else vote in their little authoritarian backyards) have voted aye for Obama. For self-confessed global citizenry this obsession with imperialist America is quite ironic. 

From fear and loathing of Washington, D.C. to falling over each other for the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, this  volte-face by the global elite is no short of a miracle. Obama may well become the POTUS, but he is their President first and foremost. Or so they think. Now. 

Something tells me this disillusioned group is in for some serious disappointment. Obama has no option but to tread the centre-position on foreign policy issues. The surge in Iraq is not about to disappear anytime soon. The response to Russian, Chinese threat or Islamic fundamentalism can hardly be any different or scaled down, unless he wants to replicate the failed presidency of Jimmy Carter. The budget deficits are here to stay, and grow even further, if tax and spend wealth distribution of the Obama campaign gets any drift. 

President of world's liberal non-voting class might very well end up as a not so atypical President of United States. Exactly one week is a very long time in politics. 

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Catchy headline in a trashy newspaper:
 "Raj Thackeray a mental case: Lalu." 
Some chutzpah this, coming from a guy as it does, who honed his mental nimbleness amidst buffaloes.

When someone like Lalu calls you out on your state of mind, either you should be seriously worried, or that you should be commended for getting under the skin of the thickest pachyderm in Indian politics. I suspect Raj Thackeray will receive any accolades for the later, which seems to be the case, but that he deserves one here is not in doubt. 

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Made in India

In a not so atypical piece, Ms Shefali Vasudev has this one in Toutlook. If you or I i.e., common man (a sneering term as that can gain such acceptance only in the insecure yet snobbish  secular India) were to pen this piece, it would most probably incur the scorn of secularists with labels such as jingoistic getting freely tossed around.

Made in India: The Brand reeks of power. Its range and variations are unparalleled
Wow! Really? The question is, given a choice between Made in India and Made in US/Europe/Japan, which one do you think Ms Vasudev will opt for? :-)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Oh these mushy stories

Every so often some 'secular'  journo brings out these typical sadbhavna stories. TOI has this on this front page:
"When Rama took break to offer namaz." 
Hmm...but Allah couldn't wait for Rama, no? If Rama taking break for namaaz is secular, shouldn't namaaz taking priority over Rama be communal?

Unless you're a heartless communalist your heart should melt at these sort of stories.Counterquestioning is the last thing that's expected of you. Secularism is a one way street you see. The journo hack further exclaims...gasp..."Not a single protest was heard thereafter." 

Oy vey! Why our 'secular' highness expects a protest after a play I don't understand. Does she think that the local mortals cannot distinguish between act and fact? I don't know. Hey...but this is a well-travelled all-knowing secular journalist we're talking about. So, quit questioning her and savor what's dished out. The menu is secular after all.