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7-Most Important Things You Should Know About Narendra Modi

July 16, 2013 22 comments

Must you not know why you love or loath #NaMo – more commonly known by his full name Narendra Modi.

After you read these 7-Most important things about Narendra Modi you will no longer wonder why you loved him – or loathed him.

Clear your ideas about Narendra Modi.

1. From CM-to-PM

If Narendra Modi does succeed in his Prime Ministerial bid, he will India’s first Prime Minister (PM) who progressed from a party worker to a Chief Minister onto become the Prime Minister.

Narendra Modi’s move from CM to PM will not be an ‘accidental’ PM, as some of the other PMs. Like Deve Gowda (Karnataka-CM -11 December 1994 – 31 May 1996), Chandrasekhar (never a CM per Wikipedia), Choudhary Charan Singh (UP CM-18 February 1970 – 1 October 1970; 3 April 1967 – 25 February 1968), VP Singh (UP CM – 9 June 1980 – 19 July 1982), IK Gujral (never a CM per Wikipedia).

Narendra Modi’s kind of career progression, from party worker-to-minister-to-Chief Minister-to-probable PM candidate while logical, has never happened in India.

If it happens, it will open the minds of career politicians on possible career paths.

2. Modi’s Polity

How close is Narendra Modi to the classical Indian ideal of polity where concentration of power is impossible with wide dispersal of power, wealth and poverty – defined as Bharattantra by 2ndlook?

Narendra Modi is as far – or as near to Bharattantra, as any politician in India. After all, a fruit never falls far from the tree. Indian political parties, politicians, party workers are all part of the system – of which Narendra Modi is a product.

Narendra Modi’s activist, hands-on style makes it appear that he is more efficient – but as LK Advani pointed out, Gujarat is an already ‘efficient’ State. Modi ‘may’ lay greater ‘focus’ on agriculture, education, mega-projects, etc. Congress may ‘claim’ greater ‘commitment’ to ‘minority, women & child’ welfare, etc.

Is Modi likely to ignore ‘minority, women & child’ welfare? Unlikely, going by his sound bytes.

Is Congress likely to ignore agriculture, education, mega-projects? Unlikely, going by their manifesto and sundry noises made by talking heads.

More or less is the difference between BJP and Congress.

3. Modi As A Polarizing Figure

So, is Modi a polarizing figure?

More than 6 years ago, APJ Kalam, India’s erstwhile President suggested that India must move towards a 2-Party democracy – like the US.

This movement from multi-party democracy to a 2-party democracy calls for a kind of polarization that is now common across Desert Bloc. In Europe it is Social Democrats  (represented in India by the Congress) and Christian Democrats (which is BJP in India). In the US it is Republicans and Democrats. In Britain it Conservatives versus Labour. In the Islāmic world, it is Shia vs Sunni.

Only in India has there been so many political entities with a rainbow of ideologies. Till 1977 it was Congress and the Seven Dwarfs – Congress (O), CPI, CPIM, Forward Bloc /Republican Party, Jana Sangh, Praja Socialists, Swatantra Party. In 1977, Jayaprakash Narayan worked to create an amalgam of Janata Party – which managed to oust Congress for the first time. The amalgam melted under pressures of power-jockeying by the Janata Party constituents.

Nevertheless, the 1977 Janata Party victory unleashed a spate of regional parties, that made local issues centre stage. Now for more than 30 years, no single party has won a parliamentary majority on its own steam. In such a situation, political fluidity has forced a certain kind of national consensus that ensures whichever party is in power, has to follow a broad political consensus on national policy.

More than Congress, BJP is trying to break this mold, by polarizing voters – which it hopes will be at the cost of the regional parties. Congress with the momentum of being a party in power, sees less need for this polarization right now. But that can change. For now, it is BJP which is eager for this polarization.

What are the ideological underpinning to this polarization? Nil. Zero. Zilch. 零. Nul. Null. μηδέν. ゼロ. нул. cero. It is simple power-calculus by BJP-Congress to reduce the importance of the regional parties.

4. Will Namo Polarization Strategy work?

Considering the sheer number of issues that confront India, people will choose ‘specialist’ political parties to address specific issues. Can two-party system capture all the issues that bother the Indian Voter? For now, seems unlikely.

Modi instead of chasing coalition partners, is chasing polarization!

Will this polarization strategy work?

Modi has gathered around him many Indian-Americans and it seems like this polarization idea is coming out of an Brown YummRikan Hat. Much like how some Brown YummRikans crafted the India-Shining campaign, even the current Modi strategy seems to have significant Brown YummRikan inputs.

Many of these Brown-Foreigner voices are creating a red-herring agenda for Narendra Modi. In less than 10 days, two such foreign writers expected Modi to model himself on Reagan and Thatcher. Are these foreign-consultants influencing Modi?

For instance, this revealing statement

In a democracy there will be a polarization between Democrats and Republicans.

Namo’s inspiration from US, sounds much like Advani’s call for debate with Manmohan Singh in 2009 elections – just “like in foreign countries.”

Wonder why this preoccupation by Narendra Modi with taking direction from American democracy!

5. Namo’s Message

What is Narendra Modi’s agenda? If NaMo has no defining agenda, Congress will define it.

Like 2002. Or ‘Hindu Terror’.

He says Development. Modernization. What does this mean? Will words like development, modernization enthuse the Indian Voter to stand in a line and vote for Narendra Modi?

How many Voters will stir from their houses to ‘save’ India from dynastic politics? How many Voters share Modi’s concerns about dynastic politics.

After notching up more than 75 combined man-years of governance in 12 states and the centre from 1990-2013, does BJP have to answer silly accusations about ‘secularism’?

Will Modi get more votes, if he raises the debate pitch on ‘secularism’? In a nation, where people do not bother about their neighbours religion, will speeches about secularism brings votes or boredom?

In 2009 elections, Advani raised dead topics like:

  • Money in Swiss Bank (Why bother? I am not getting any of it?)
  • Television debates (I doubt if he has anything interesting?)
  • Terrorism (Bhai, yeh terrorism kya hota hai? Urban anxiety!)
  • Strong India (Looks pretty solid to me!)

Is this anything as simple and smart as ‘Garibi Hatao’? Narendra Modi agenda as PM and his campaign has, similiar-to-Advani lack of focus.

6. Modi The Reformer

While Narendra Modi keeps making sounds about ‘minimum government, he is also admiring how the Chinese State spends an amount far bigger than India on ‘educating’ Chinese.

While  data on Gujarat government has not been collated, it is also irrelevant. Narendra Modi’s policy-response as a Prime Minister are likely to be far different from his actions as  Chief Minister. The change in context will surely change the response also.

Apart from paying lip-service, Narendra Modi has made no policy outline on thinning or reducing the State. Of course, one must remember that the India State is the thinnest among all major economies of the world.

7. Modi & 2002

Which party organized communal riots in response to Direct Action announced by Jinnah? Congress!

India has long history of communal riots – and Congress has used this ‘tool’ – liberally and frequently. While this is public knowledge, no one penalizes Congress for being an organizer of communal riots.

Unlike BJP, Congress has managed to keep 1984 anti-Sikh riots out of limelight – and keep the 2002 riots in full focus. Even the horrific Godhra incident has been airbrushed out of the national RAM (random access memory).

Is this the first time communal riots have happened in India? No. Is it the last time. No, to that also.

Will communal riots happen in the future. Definitely yes. Just like tension and riots are happening in Belfast. Like the US police forces are readying for race riots after Zimmerman acquittal in the Trayvon killing case.

Assuming Narendra Modi did turn a Nelson’s eye to the rioting, in previous and subsequent cases (like in Assam) did riots happen without political connivance?

2014-The Bugles Sound

Clearly, the 2014 Election Bugle has been sounded.

BJP and Narendra Modi have time to clean up their confusion.

By early announcements by the BJP, Congress has been forced to drain their venom early. Will they have the bite left, by the time elections actually happen?

Anna-Kejriwal has seen their first defection. Kiran Bedi has thrown her lot with the BJP.

Interesting times ahead, folks!


Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) – Problem? Solution! Irrelevant?!

March 26, 2013 7 comments

It is time that Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) went to the BJP for some lessons in ideology.

RSS has been a favorite whipping boy of the Congress  |  November 2010 cartoon by R.Prasad

RSS has been a favorite whipping boy of the Congress | November 2010 cartoon by R.Prasad

Ihave no idea what kind of people Ram Madhav is hanging around with!

Me and the people I hang around with, seem to have no problems with women – and women who know us and deal with us don’t seem to be having a problem.

Who are the men that Ram Madhav thinks, who need to change that he is talking about?

Now…

So is Ram Madhav talking about?

  1. His set of people – of whom I know nothing
  2. My set of people – who are not a problem
  3. All Indians – in India, which has a low rape percentage by any world standards.
  4. Rapists – who are a small minority; and unlikely to affected by such silly statements or silly laws made by Lok Sabha.

Why fault an entire society or a gender for the actions by a few deviants?

BjP has built  a comprehensive, consistent agenda  |  August 2009 cartoon by Unny; source & courtesy - churumuri.wordpress.com

BjP has built a comprehensive, consistent agenda | August 2009 cartoon by Unny; source & courtesy – churumuri.wordpress.com

Earlier…

Regular 2ndlookers will recall earlier cases of such obscurantism from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

We had Mohan Bhagwat the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)  chief comparing and promoting the British Raj a little over a year ago.

Soon after an ex-editor of Tarun Bharat, the RSS publication, MG Vaidya was pushing Nitin Gadkari as the BJP chief. Why? Because Nitin Gadkari  is a Maharashtrian – and MG Vaidya suspected non-Maharashtrians to be anti-Maharashtrian.

Over the last 3 decades we have had the BJP build an enviable rightist narrative for India – at variance with the rather steamy Congress propaganda – overdone now for 60 years too long.

A geriatric RSS leaderehip with last century's narrative in an post-modern India

A geriatric RSS leaderehip with last century’s narrative in an post-modern India

A Past Dead & Gone

RSS with the Western chuddies, (copied  from Nizamshahi police uniform), their pseudo-martial Western marching music, hand half-raised, open-palm salute are all dated and irrelevant.

It is time that RSS went to the BJP for some lessons in building ideology.


Indian Polity’s Bigger Headache: BJP or Congress …?

November 13, 2012 5 comments

So-called internal matters of the BJP are in facts issues of importance. Global importance.

BJP after losing power has been a strange case of disintegration - compared to the BJP before gaining power  |  Satish Acharya cartoon on Wednesday, October 26, 2011  titled Gadkari wants to prove his political fitness...

BJP after losing power has been a strange case of disintegration – compared to the BJP before gaining power | Satish Acharya cartoon on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 titled Gadkari wants to prove his political fitness…

There Is No Alternative

From 1947 to 1987, for the first forty years of modern India, Congress was the behemoth that dominated Indian politics. For a brief two years, a combined opposition had managed to unseat the Congress in 1977-1979 – only to fall apart amidst power-jockeying.

Probably, one man changed that.

Cutting Edge

Lal Krishna Advani.

In 1986, Advani a second rung leader of BJP, was appointed president, though not much was expected from him. BJP then, under the shadow of a lone-star leader,  AB Vajpayee, was a fringe party in national Indian politics, that had been without power for nearly forty years.

At the cusp of a changing world-order, BJP under Advani became the force in Indian politics. Instead of Congress aligning with a declining Soviet Union, BJP proposed closer ties with the West. Slow-paced reforms after Bombay High, by the Congress was challenged by BJP’s agenda for faster liberalization. The Congress stance of apologetic secularism, after granting Pakistan to Indian Muslims, was roundly lampooned by the BJP.

Events were on Advani’s side.

Power competition has become a subject to regional-tribal instincts. Between Gujarati Modi and Marathi Gadakari.  |  Satish Acharya cartoon on October 26 2012

Power competition has become a subject to regional-tribal instincts. Between Gujarati Modi and Marathi Gadakari. | Satish Acharya cartoon on October 26 2012

When Things Go Right

Soviet Union collapsed. The Islamic world, under Western dominance rebelled. Starting with the Iranian Revolution under Khomeini, the Islamic world took a turn towards fundamentalism – unleashing a reactionary Islamic demonization by the West. Reforms and liberalization paid off – and Pakistan imploded.

A Partition-era refugee from what is now Pakistan, Advani had few pre-conceived notions on politics. Taking a leaf from an Andhra politician, NT Rama Rao, Advani went on his first rath yatra on Septemeber 25th, 1987. NT Rama Rao had earlier wrested AP from Congress strangehold with a nearly year-long mass-contact campaign, in his chaitanya ratham.

Two years after his rath yatra, BJP supported the formaton of a non-Congress government under VP Singh. BJP had arrived. Congress was decimated. After Advani, Congress has not won an electoral majority for 25 years now.

Post-Soviet World

Between 1986 to 1991, for the Indian Republic it was trial by fire.

In 1986, Advani became BJP party president and Rajiv Gandhi was a democratic dictator with a brute majority in the Parliament. ND Tiwari, Pranab Mukherjee and VP Singh were seen as dynamic Finance Ministers who were liberalizing India after Bombay High.

Licence Raj was being dismantled. Shoots of a new India could be seen – with Indian companies charging in all directions. Stocks markets were in a frenzy. The 1977 George Fernandes industrial policy was effective at buffering Indian companies from Big Brother multinationals.

Companies like HCL, WIPRO, pioneered Unix-based systems – among the first in the world.

Bofors and Soviet implosion changed India forever. Rajiv Gandhi lost the election in 1989 – with BJP helping form a minority VP-Singh government. In 1991, Soviet Union collapsed. Indian foreign policy lay in tatters. India itself was on the brink of a financial default.

Election results returned a hung parliament.

RSS seniors seem to feel threatened. After foisting irrelevant leaders on BJP, they wonder why BJP is revolting?  |  Cartoon by Surendra on November 19, 2011; source & courtesy - thehindu.com

RSS seniors seem to feel threatened. After foisting irrelevant leaders on BJP, they wonder why BJP is revolting? | Cartoon by Surendra on November 19, 2011; source & courtesy – thehindu.com

Crisis after Disaster

BJP under Advani’s leadership stablized a minority government. Finally, a BJP government was formed – from 19 March 1998 to 22 May 2004. These were crucial years. A stable coalition government, a first in India, lasted a full term. It presided over India’s affairs in a very fluid world.

It was during this period that India initiated, a different relationship with Russia. As the more stable partner, India defined this more equal relationship that saved Russia’s defence industry from ruin. In turn India itself benefited by getting defence products on the cheap, more suitable for India’s requirements.

India also created a global industry, in which semi-finished Russian armaments were fitted with advanced third-party technologies to make these products comparable to the best in the world. India’s frontline fighter, Su-30 MKI is one such example.

No surprises then when the Russian ambassador landed at Advani’s home, to wish him well on his 85th birthday.

Russian Ambassador to India Alexander M Kadakin bends down to LK Advani on Advani's 85th birthday on Nov 08, 2012 |  Image source  PTI; courtesy - outlookindia.com

Russian Ambassador to India Alexander M Kadakin bends down to LK Advani on Advani’s 85th birthday on Nov 08, 2012 | Image source PTI; courtesy – outlookindia.com

In a rare gesture, Russian ambassador to India Alexander M Kadakin today broke away from diplomatic protocol and touched the feet of BJP veteran L K Advani while visiting the leader to wish him on his 85th birthday.

Such a gesture is virtually unheard of in diplomatic circles as most diplomats and heads of state or government only go to the extent of folding their hands in a ‘namaste’ to wish an Indian leader. Shaking of hands is the norm in such meetings.

Kadakin, an Indophile, conversed in chaste Hindi with Advani throughout his visit at the Prithviraj Road-residence.

via Russian ambassador touches Advani’s feet – Times Of India.

The Russian ambassador is not a private person, who can claim indulgence. He is governed by diplomatic protocol – and represents his country. So, when he pays respects to Advani, it is a gesture of far-reaching symbolism.

On one side.

Rubber Hits The Road

On the other side, when events conspire to show a different side of BJP, it become a matter of national importance – even though BJP is not in power.

Ever since anti-corruption activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal trained his guns on Mr. Gadkari for the alleged wrongdoings by a company owned by him, there have been murmurs within the BJP that an influential section within is targeting Mr. Gadkari. However, it is for the first time that any one has pointed fingers at Mr. Modi.

The rumblings within the BJP surfaced after BJP Rajya Sabha MP Ram Jethmalani and his son Mahesh Jethmalani went public saying Mr. Gadkari should immediately step down from his post as the charges against him were damaging to the party.

The senior Jethmalani claimed the backing of other party leaders like Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha. The campaign within the BJP against Mr. Gadkari is widely perceived as a power struggle among senior leaders with an eye on the 2014 elections.

via The Hindu : News / National : Gadkari rejects ‘insinuation’ made by RSS member, says party united behind Modi.

In fact not just national importance – but international importance. Unlike what Congress says, these are not the internal matters of the BJP.

Envoys from 20 Arab countries met BJP President Nitin Gadkari today to discuss his party’s plan in the forthcoming Parliament session, it’s agenda on the internal and external affairs if it comes to power, and relations with the Arab world and India’s neighbours.

The diplomats led by Moroccan Ambassador Larbi Reffouh, who is the acting president of the Arab Group, met Gadkari at his residence here.

The Arab Group met Gadkari to discuss the BJP’s plans for the forthcoming winter session of Parliament that begins on November 22, as also the party’s vision on the present internal situation in India.

The grouping was also keen on knowing the BJP’s internal and external affairs agenda in case it is voted to power in the next general elections.

The ambassadors also wanted to learn about the main Opposition’s attitude on relations with the Arab World and India’s neighbours.

via Envoys from 20 Arab countries meet BJP President Nitin Gadkari – Economic Times.

The BJP-RSS combine, popularly known as the sangh combine, have projected themselves as proponents of an akhand Bharat (Greater India), movers and shakers of Hindutva, and ultra-nationalists.

Imagine the surprise, when a national daily reports

Competitive politics will have some road-kills - like Sanjay Joshi. This cannot become a rationale for negative politics of Gujarati vs Marathi  |  Manjul's Cartoon: Narendra Modi removes Sanjay Joshi's posters on 6.10.2012Competitive politics will have some road-kills - like Sanjay Joshi. This cannot become a rationale for negative politics of Gujarati vs Marathi  |  Manjul's Cartoon: Narendra Modi removes Sanjay Joshi's posters on 6.10.2012

Competitive politics will have some road-kills – like Sanjay Joshi. This cannot become a rationale for negative politics of Gujarati vs Marathi | Manjul’s Cartoon: Narendra Modi removes Sanjay Joshi’s posters on 6.10.2012

For several weeks now that there is a grand Marathi versus Uttar Bharatiya divide a la Bal Thackeray and Raj Thackeray within the RSS and its organisational wings, with RSS sarsnaghchalak Mohan Bhagwat believing that north Indian leaders are skimming the cream for work really done by Maharashtrian pracharaks in various states that brought them to power (for example: Sanjay Joshi versus Narendra Modi in Gujarat).

That is why Gadkari is still supported by RSS leaders but he should know by now that this is a fight to the finish for leaders like LK Advani and Modi, who still hope to be prime minister.

It is very clear that the anti-Gadkari lobby in the BJP is trying to make the RSS’s position on their choice of BJP president unsustainable by the day and I wonder how long it will take for Reshim Bagh to cave in. But the pro-Advani-Modi lobbies in the BJP are making a serious mistake if they think a little thing like foot-in-the-mouth disease or some as yet unproven allegations, however serious they may appear, is going to deter Bhagwat from his chosen path So I would watch Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar rather closely – yes, the very same person who had called Advani a `rancid pickle’

via A season of gaffes – Hindustan Times.

This entire speculation gained credibility, when MG Vaidya, a unofficial spokesman of the RSS joined the debate weighing in on Gadkari’s side. Vaidya, the Nagpur-based ex-chief editor of Tarun Bharat, the RSS publication, in his Marathi-blog asserted that the anti-Gadkari campaign started in Gujarat.

Original Marathi text

एकाच व्यक्तीच्या एकाच वक्तव्यात, गडकरींनी जावे आणि मोदींना प्रधानमंत्री करावे, असे उल्लेख आल्यामुळे, गडकरीविरोधी कारस्थानाचे केंद्र गुजरातमध्ये आहे, असा संशय कुणाच्याही मनात येणे स्वाभाविक आहे आणि गुजरात म्हटले की, मग नरेंद्र मोदी यांच्याकडेच संशयाच्या सुईचे टोक जाणार.

Hindi Translation provided by the author /publication on the original blog.

एक ही व्यक्ति के एक ही वक्तव्य में, गडकरी जाए और मोदी को प्रधानमंत्री करें, ऐसा उल्लेख आने के कारण, गडकरी विरोधी षड्यंत्र का केन्द्र गुजरात में है, ऐसा संदेह मन में आना स्वाभाविक है और गुजरात कहने के बाद, फिर संदेह की उंगली नरेन्द्र मोदी की ओर ही मुडेगी.

via RSS Veteran MG Vaidya blog article on BJP issue: भाजपा की अ-स्वस्थता: मा. गो. वैद्य | Vishwa Samvada Kendra.

English reportage

In his blog, Vaidya has said the “needle of suspicion in the campaign against BJP president Nitin Gadkari points to Gujarat BJP and Chief Minister Narendra Modi.”

He also noted that “Ram Jethmalani had in one breath said he is seeking the resignation of Gadkari and that he also wanted to see Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister in 2014.”

While both L K Advani and Gadkari have publicly stated that they don’t have Prime Ministerial ambitions, Vaidya, a former spokesman of RSS, said he “hasn’t read anywhere that Narendra Modi has denied reports of his ambition to become the Prime Minister.”

Vaidya today stood by his remark, saying, “It is my opinion and because Jethmalani has combined two things demanding Gadkari’s resignation and making Narendra Modi as PM, I think that the needle of suspicion goes to Gujarat.

“I did not say that, I just said that needle of suspicion goes to Modi and that raises suspicion if Jethmalani is entitled to his own point of view, I am also entitled to my point of view and RSS has nothing to do with it.”

via Vaidya blames Modi for “campaign” against Gadkari.

Narendra Modi may be a great demon or a superb chief minister. That question for this discussion is irrelevant. However, if his candidature is being decided on the basis of Gujarati vs Marathi axis, RSS deserves much greater contempt than what they have got till date.


Team Anna: Are they ready to campaign across 400 constituencies in 700 days

August 2, 2012 9 comments

Between a decrepit Congress and a paralysed BJP, we need an alternative. Anna can have my vote if he gives that choice.

Can Anna take on these entrenched forces? It has been done before.  |  Cartoon by Kureel on October 22, 2011; source & courtesy - iacpune.blogspot.in  |  Click for image.

Can Anna take on these entrenched forces? It has been done before. | Cartoon by Kureel on October 22, 2011; source & courtesy – iacpune.blogspot.in | Click for image.

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare has finally said that he is ready to give a political alternative to the country. Making the announcement at Jantar Mantar on Thursday, Anna has asked public for ideas on a political roadmap.

Making the announcement, Anna said, “Political alternative will be found, we will travel across the country for the next two years.”

Talking about the funds required for the purpose, Anna said that it was yet to be figured out.

He said, “We will have to see where the funds will come from in case we plan to give a political alternative.”

Anna, however, clarified that he was not willing to contest an election. He said, “I will not enter politics. Choosing the right candidate is important. Candidates will be scanned. Need to have the spirit of service, must be patriotic, and non corrupt.”

Following the announcement by the veteran social activist, Kejriwal addressed the gathering at Jantar Mantar saying the country needs people’s alternative to the government.

“Our movement is for the change of system and not change of government. Our movement is for decentralisation of power, power in the hands of the common man, power to people,” said Kejriwal.

Hitting out at the government for not accepting the demands of Team Anna, Kejriwal said the government was not willing to pass the Lokpal Bill.

He said, “This government is deaf and mute. They do not want to pass the Lokpal Bill. All parties are corrupt.”

However, Team Anna defended the decision with key member and Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan saying that the only option left with them is to bring revolution.

“When the government is showing arrogance of power, the only option left is to bring revolution,” he said.

Bhushan further said, “Existing political parties are corrupt beyond repair, so we need an alternative politics.”

The decision by Team Anna came after around 22 eminent citizens, including former army chief V K Singh, appealed them to end their fast.

via Team Anna ready for a political role, to end fast on Friday – Politics – Politics News – ibnlive.

Democracy is not like…

भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra – where kings ruling small kingdoms, without

  • A standing army
  • Many ministers
  • Large treasuries and bureaucracy
  • Prisons, courts and police
  • A Parliament

were able to create the most industrialized society for the last 2000 years – till we had the ‘glorious’ British Raj.

Promise and performance are two different things. To me winning a majority is performance. | TN Ninan cartoon on 20 Apr 2011 in Pune Mirror | Click for image.

Promise and performance are two different things. To me winning a majority is performance. | TN Ninan cartoon on 20 Apr 2011 in Pune Mirror | Click for image.

Cut out the glib talk

Democracy usually means:

1. Single Party democracies like China and Communist Russia – where lakhs of Party members choose leaders from among themselves.

2. Two-Party democracies like America, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany Japan, etc where leaders are chosen from thousands of leaders that belong to one of the two political parties. Using complex mechanisms, more than two parties are usually not allowed to survive or win elections in these two-party democracies.

3. Multi-party democracies – India is the closest that has come to this system. With Congress and BJP in shambles, we need a good Third alternative.

After Indira Gandhi in 1980, no one has gained an electoral majority in India for the last 30 years.

You can have my vote

If Anna can change that, he can have my vote.

Between a bad government by the Left in Bengal and a bad government by Mamata Banerjee, I will give Mamata Banerjee a chance.

How much harm can she do? Compared to the Left?

Similarly, compared to a bad governance by Mulayam Singh /Akhilesh Singh Yadav or Mayawati, I will choose Mayawati.

On the other hand, stellar performers like Nitesh Kumar and Chandrababu Naidu can get my vote anytime – based on a positive agenda.

Any day of the week.

Will Anna be able to change the rules of the game?  |  Cartoon by Manjul on July 31, 2011; source and courtesy - manjul.com  |  Click for image.

Will Anna be able to change the rules of the game? | Cartoon by Manjul on July 31, 2011; source and courtesy – manjul.com | Click for image.

700 days

Two years of hard work can win you an election.

NTR Rama Rao came from nowhere and trounced Indira Gandhi’s party twice – in Andhra Pradesh. YS Rajasekhara Reddy turned around the Congress in AP based on his two-year padayatra.

NTR’s Chaitanya-ratham morphed on the national scene as LK Advani’s rath-yatra. This rath-yatra re-floated the sunk-ship of BJP into an electoral victory – and a party of national standing.

So, Anna go for it

I know you have no agenda. I also know that you are very disparate lot – with Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal pulling in 75 degrees of each other.

You have some 700 days to contact important 400 parliamentary constituencies. It is a lot of work. If you do 2 years of mass contact work…

But you can do it. Eat well. No more fasts. Sleep well.

And give us a parliamentary majority.

PS

psst … like Rahim said many centuries ago

बिगरी बात बने नहीं, लाख करो किन कोय।
रहिमन बिगरे दूध को, मथे न माखन होय॥6॥

अर्थ: जब बात बिगड़ जाती है तो किसी के लाख कोशिश करने पर भी बनती नहीं है। उसी तरह जैसे कि फटे हुए दूध को मथने से मक्खन नहीं निकलता।

This Lok Pal is a silly idea.

One more policeman will not change anything. This system is broken – and it can’t be fixed.

Go the भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra way.


 

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