Crafting the Modi Mask – India Inc and the Big Media

AAP Rally in Gujarat. Courtesy Mukul Sinha
AAP Rally in Gujarat. Courtesy Mukul Sinha

Two things stand out for their sublime quality in the current round of pre-election campaigning. First, the danger to Indian democracy has assumed unprecedented proportions, and there is a clear sense of desperation in the air. The threat emanates, you guessed right, from a group of anarchists who are poised to take over Indian democracy.  This is perhaps the dirtiest and most dangerous election that India has ever seen – what with the bunch of anarchists ‘fixing the media‘, ‘spreading anarchy‘, ‘hijacking democracy‘, ‘taking foreign funds‘ for their election campaign (while the others, the impeccable democrats of the BJP and the Congress have to make do with ‘local’ capitalists like  Mukesh Ambani). What’s more, these people are ‘political mercenaries‘,  urban Maoists in disguise and they want to wreck the neatly and painstakingly built edifice of our hallowed democracy. This widespread love of democracy is touching. For someone like me who has closely watched (and participated in) politics from the mid 1970s, the panic evident in the tone of those attacking AAP is as unprecedented as it is revealing. It is revealing of the fact that the political class is thrown into disarray by this new way of doing politics that AAP represents. In BJP’s case, in particular, one can discern complete befuddlement – neither its hope to reap the benefit of the mass anger against the Congress, nor its tried and tested polarizing communal vocabulary seem to have any meaning any more.

Thus, during the days of AAP rule in Delhi, the official BJP state executive resolution came up with this claim:

“Delhi is currently being ruled by a bunch of political mercenaries hired, supported and controlled by Congress party. The words and action of AAP leaders expose the fact that it is a Maoist outfit.”

Of course, the Maoists are “hired, supported and controlled by the Congress”!

One of the BJP leaders repeated this point once again, recently. According to reports:

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Thursday accused Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of being “the gentle face of Maoism” and said they are trying to hijack democracy through anarchy.

“The way AAP has displayed anarchy and violence on the day election has been declared in the country. They are trying to disturb and vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in the country which could affect the free, fair and peaceful conduct of polls,” Naqvi said.

Naqvi expressed what has now emerged as a matter of consensus among major political parties – the Congress included – when he said that “they are trying to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in the country which could affect the free, fair and peaceful conduct of polls” – something that has never happened before in the country. The demolition of the Babri Masjid or the massacre of Muslims (on a routine basis) and of the Sikhs in 1984 (just before elections) are all nothing compared to the threat posed by the AAP anarcho-Maoists.

The consensus goes far beyond the political parties – it is a consensus that is shared by the Big Media as well. Thus, while Kejriwal ‘fixes’ the media in cahoots with Punya Prasoon Vajpeyi, the Big Guns of the Big Media join in the chorus of denunciation. The BJP’s chief-minister-in-the-future-anterior (the would-have-been CM) Mr Harsh Vardhan, now went one step further and revealed that Kejriwal was a CIA agent.

Following the unfortunate incidents during the AAP protest at the BJP’s office, where some stones and other sundry materials were exchanged, the BJP has now raised the demand for the de-recognition of AAP, on the grounds that it indulged in violence and is spreading anarchy. Its leaders who met the Chief Election Commissioner also took care to repeat their warning again:
The delegation also handed over a CD of Wednesday’s incident and demanded action against those working at the behest of “some foreign forces” that threaten the democratic system in the country.
Despite the clear-headed ignorance, often bordering on idiocy, of the BJP leadership that is on display in these quotes, we are perhaps not unjustified in asking what its new-found distaste of anarchy is all about. (Never mind, for the time being, the minor question of the conflation of anarchism with anarchy). Isn’t this the same party that promised before the Supreme Court of the country in 1992 that it would ensure that nothing would happen to the Babri Masjid and then proceeded to oversee its destruction? Its leaders who were present when their very own mobs destroyed, not merely the mosque but also the Constitution, in one fell swoop, were seen celebrating their ‘victory’. Hugging, kissing and distributing sweets.
That of course, was not anarchy. Nor was it anarchy when the incident was followed by large scale riots across the length and breadth of the country, leading to killings of hundreds of Muslims. Nor indeed was it anarchy when the same party under Narendra Modi’s stewardship presided over the massacres of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002? All that was done out of deep love for India’s democracy and its Constitution.
The threat AAP poses to business as usual is evident from the number of complaints filed before the Election Commission and with the police, and petitions in courts against AAP. For what? Use of microphones without permission, for instance. Two of the former Delhi MLAs still face a case in court for having allegedly spent beyond what the EC norms allow for – unlike all the others who, as we know, have always adhered to every single norm. It is a different matter of course, that their bills may be directly footed by their corporate benefactors and never enter the account books at all.
What is interesting is that the big media and its self-righteous anchors are lapping up and participating in this entire orchestrated campaign against AAP. Not one person, to my knowledge, has cared to ask whether, if creating anarchy is a problem, should the BJP not be the first party to be de-recognized;  nor has anyone grilled the BJP leaders on television for making this demand or spouting the nonsense listed above. 
Narendra Modi: The Mask and the Myth
The reasons are not far to seek. The media decisively changed its tone and tune from the time AAP raised its voice against the colonization of the natural commons by the Ambanis. But that is not the only reason. Now it is clear that the point at issue is not just Ambani – who will rule irrespective of whether it is the Congress or the BJP that comes to power; it is rather that the decision has been taken inside corporate board rooms that Narendra Modi must become the next prime minister. For quite some time now, this section has been ‘worried’ about what it calls ‘policy paralysis’ – that is to say, ‘needless delays’ in acquiring land and waiving environmental clearances for their projects. As opposed to the ‘weak’ character of the Manmohan Singh government, Modi is being projected before the country as the tough guy who can take tough decisions. And why not, for as Arvind Kejriwal recently pointed out (in the India Today Conclave 2014) Modi’s might be the only government that has two convicted ministers for corruption still in the cabinet – apart from having the dubious distinction of having Saurabh Patel, the brother-in-law of the Ambani brothers, in the ministry as well. This is a section of society that cares for nothing but its profits – what after all does the death of a few thousand Muslims mean, when thousands of crores of rupees are at stake.
This brings us to the second thing that stands out in this situation for its absolutely sublime quality. That is the careful designing of the angelic prime ministerial candidate of a big section of corporate India – India Inc, as they are also called. Designed as a Mask, Narendra Modi becomes as ubiquitous as he is inaccessible. As Arvind Kejriwal said in the lecture mentioned above, and many others have also noted, Modi neither addresses press conferences nor gives interviews. In public meetings he lands up straight from the air and disappears into it. All you have is the Mask – something that is meant to fill in for the absence of the Leader whose larger-than-life image can only be preserved as long as he is kept away from personal interactions with his public. With Modi, messages flow only in one direction. He only speaks. He neither listens nor replies to questions posed to him. Sure, Kejriwal can ask him about his stand on gas prices, there will be no response. The fact of the matter is that there cannot be any response. After all, Saurabh Patel, the Ambani brother-in-law, is no ordinary minister; he happens to be the Power and Energy minister of Gujarat. The most effective way of designing the Modi Mask then was to present him as someone distant, an Akash vani, whose utterances reach ordinary mortals but their noises don’t reach him. The only exception to this is the controlled environment of the “Chai pe Charcha” sessions that are planned as part of his campaign.
It is, in fact, well known that Modi has always run away from facing questions. The way his persona is designed now, is therefore, in keeping with this overall trait of his personality. Soon after he backed out from the “Facebook Live Talks”, the website www.truthofgujarat.com commented on it thus:

Narendra Modi has run away from yet another interview, this time he has backed out from the “Facebook Live Talks” event. The images of a profusely sweating Modi, desperately gulping down a glass of water, before making a run from the studio while being interviewed by Karan Thapar are still very fresh in everybody’s mind. It seems those images of 2007 are as fresh in Modi’s mind too as he has choked yet again and withdrawn his participation from the joint event hosted by Madhu Trehan of News Laundry and Facebook at the last minute.

Narendra Modi - the mast, courtesy Oneindia News
Narendra Modi – the mask, courtesy Oneindia News

Behind this face/ mask however, hides a megalomaniac whose ambitions and hunger for power know no bounds. That is why every journalist worth his or her salt knows, that if he were to become the prime minister, they are in for a bad time. His megalomania is not directed simply at his political opponents, for he is known not to tolerate any dissent or opposition even within his own party. In Gujarat, he is known to have marginalized and destroyed other leaders and senior leaders know they need to watch out.

Modi happens to be a leader of the BJP but he was not the candidate of choice of either the BJP or its parent organization, the RSS, as is well known. But it is he whom India Inc wanted – known as he is for taking ‘hard decisions’ of the kind mentioned above – taking over land and handing it over to corporations, suppressing dissent and running a paranoid police state in Gujarat. For the ramshackle BJP and its defeated organization, the possibility of a Narendra Modi becoming prime minister is nothing short of a disaster. However, given the sagging morale of the lower level cadre, the possibility of Modi-as-PM came as a godsend and pumped some life into its decrepit organization. The so-called ‘Modi wave’ was thus carefully manufactured by sections of India Inc and the Big Media and receives enthusiastic support from the lower level ranks of the RSS and the BJP.

Once it became clear that, thanks to the huge wave of anger against the Congress, the BJP could actually make a bid for power – however distant the target of 272 seats may seem – the RSS too fell in line. And so did the BJP leadership, all of whom are said to be extremely apprehensive about their own future in the party. And no sooner had this possibility of Modi steering them to power become clear to the RSS leadership, it started pronouncing on matters far beyond its ambit. Lovers – heterosexual and homosexual – were openly issued the next threat. RSS will not compromise on ‘moral values’ and with live-in relationships and homosexuality in particular. What that ‘no-compromise’ means is of course anybody’s guess. A sample from the RSS statement:

Joshi said that “in the past  year, two issues had come up for discussion before society — live-in relationships and homosexuality — which led to arguments, both in favour and against, on according legal sanction to such relationships”.

“Before extending legality to such things, we have to keep in mind the long-time deleterious effect it will have on our social life.

Clearly, in the RSS/ BJP view of the world, anarchy is the upsetting of order by desire that refuses to be confined within the limits drawn for it by the custodians of morality. So not only does it issue a threat to live-in relationships and gay sex but we can already see the marauding gangs of goons who go around attacking loving couples in parks and other public places, coming out to enforce their moral code. Modi’s accession to power, the RSS leaves us in no doubt, will be the end of every value we cherish. It is not just Muslims who feel anxious at the prospect of Modi’s accession to power. It is a huge and hitherto silent world out there – one that is never seen on the mainstream media – that will have to play – and I believe, will play – a crucial role in this election. The image at the beginning of this post, the crowds at the AAP rally in Gujarat, including Modi’s own constituency, indicates how many surprises there may be in store for us, given the fact that in this atmosphere of terror, people have decided to silently wait for the time when they can exercise their right to vote.
The Media Circus
The terror, by the way, is not just a Gujarat-specific affair, as we know. Recent months have seen increasing threats to senior journalists who are known for their opposition to Modi. Some like Siddharth Varadarajan, have had goons attack the guard at his residence because his employer dared to speak against Modi, while others have been forced to shut up or risk losing their jobs. Journalists not friendly to Modi generally express a feeling of suffocation and despondence these days. In anticipation, many others have started exercising self-censorship or, as one friend put it, sit closer to the fence, just in case they need to climb up!
As a result, we have the interesting scenario of witnessing the righteous anger of media persons and politicians alike at the alleged ‘media fixing’ by AAP. I had the opportunity of watching a discussion on CNN-IBN on the night of 10 March where, like in other channels, the ‘expose’ was made out to be the great revelation of the century. BJP leader Nirmala Seetharaman was beside herself with rage while Rajdeep Sardesai, who was anchoring the show was equally vehement in his condemnation of AAP. Till the point when former journalist Ashish Khetan, now the AAP candidate from New Delhi, actually challenged Sardesai and other TV channels to display the information on their websites of the financial assistance they have received from Modi and BJP-related sources (including advertisements). That was when Sardesai’s tone changed a bit and he turned his questioning to Nirmala Seetharaman. Rajdeep Sardesai’s interview of Kejriwal on the day he resigned from chief ministership of Delhi was also revealing – with Sardesai’s body language and his words reeking of arrogance as he hurled petty accusation after accusation at his guest, regardless of Kejriwal’s polite, low-key, hard hitting answers. Sardesai continuously talked down telling Kejriwal that his job was to govern – kaam karna padta hai!. He repeated, without any irony, BJP and Jaitley’s accusation that Kejriwal was an ‘urban naxalite’  – defending Ambani (the major stakeholder in his channel) in the process. The burden of his song too was that AAP should have stuck to ‘form’ and behaved responsibly. I doubt Sardesai will ever dare to adopt this tone with a Rahul Gandhi or a Narendra Modi or an Ambani – and I am prepared to wait for an occasion to be proved wrong
Ashish Khetan’s point is important not because of his defense of Kejriwal in the supposed ‘expose’ but because he raised a vital issue about media transparency. At Kafila, I have also argued, on an earlier occasion, that opinion makers who present their views as neutral often have their own interests tied up with powerful parties in the dispute. That is why we have demanded that editors and senior journalists too must declare their assets. If we can have politicians declare their assets and sources of funding before elections, the time has come to now ask media persons and media houses to also come clean with the different kinds of financial support they get from different quarters. It is also necessary to have television channels make public declaration of their own business interests, especially since they claim to be setting up public debates as neutral arbiters. Take for instance the following discussion on CNN-IBN, on the issue of gas prices and the FIRs filed by Arvind Kejriwal against Mukesh Ambani, Murli Deora and Veerappa Moily. Here Prashant Bhushan makes a point about how the actual business interests of the channel, owned largely by Reliance, are simply not brought up. The stakes and conflict of interests in debates like these need to be made public.
Both the Modi mask and the Modi myth are put in place by excising out crucial bits of information and past history. In attempting to produce a Modi who is a benefactor of Muslims, history is being re-written by roping in lapsed academics, propagandists and spin doctors.  Apologists have stepped up their campaign to prove that Modi was innocent as far as the violence of 2002 was concerned. However, here is a video of the sting well known operation where Babu Bajrangi speaks of how he killed, sparing none, women and children included. He tells how his release from jail was managed by “Narendrabhai” by “changing the judges”. Haresh Bhatt talks of how weapons are being made, training being imparted and how the judicial system was made to dance to Modi’s tune. Bhatt also tells us that Narendrabhai has done what no chief minister could have done: “he gave us three days to do whatever we wanted” – and of course, ‘we’ did it!
How real and dangerous to Modi is Bajrangi’s claim? Well, judge for yourself – in the short while since this video was put up, it has been taken down. However, segments of the same video are still available elsewhere on the internet. Hopefully, enterprising readers will locate them. Try http://www.truthofgujarat.com at regular intervals!
Kejriwal in Gujarat and the Media
It is this overall strategy behind the crafting of the Modi figure that seems to determine the media coverage of Arvind Kejriwal’s campaign trip to Gujarat. The best indication of how the media acted in this respect can be seen in the following report from The Citizen:
The national media, according to journalists from Gujarat, is following him but not telecasting what actually is the big news of the day, as this is the first time since 2002 that an opposition leader has dared to take Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on in his home turf. Local journalists told The Citizen that the entire media, national and state, was present when Kejriwal’s vehicle was stoned but although the news was carried locally, it was barely mentioned on the so called ‘national’ television and print media. In fact, the Gujarat police has not initiated any proceedings against those who attacked the vehicle carrying the former chief minister of Delhi, describing them as “miscreants.”
Similarly, in a comment and report on Arvind Kejriwal’s meetings in Gujarat, advocate and activist Mukul Sinha writes,

Few political observers had expected the enormous support and cheers Arvind Kejriwal received in Gujarat and Ahmedabad in particular. In fact, most of the knowledgeable people expected Modi’s Gujarat to give a cold shoulder to Kejriwal and tell him that he is just a local Delhi phenomenon that rode over the anger of people against Congress corruption. The massive support of people in the Maninagar constituency of the CM Narendra Modi, during his road show and the huge turn out in the Bapunagar rally, proved all the critics of Kejriwal wrong. Interestingly, the intelligence bureau of the state had a harrowing time since they had sent a report earlier that not more than 2000 persons were expected in the Bapunagar meeting. As the crowd swelled to over 25 thousands, the IB officers were sweating to explain their low estimate.

The situation is classic as far as the IB is concerned. The IB tells you what you want to hear – though very often it does not itself have any clue of the ground situation. Hence its estimates that the turnout in Kejriwal’s rallies would not be more than 2000. But the media? Is it also playing the IB role in this case? It seems unlikely. More likely is the fact that its interests – business interests, to be more precise – are tied up with the rise of Modi. Its stakes are different. Anything that even appears to play spoiler for Modi and his architects has to be rejected with all the vehemence and viciousness at their command.

For those on the other side of the fence, the game this time will be very different. We do not know what the outcome of the elections will be but all forces need to be directed to stop Mission 272+ from succeeding. Away from all the noise – the cacophony – of television studios, a different set of debates and discussions is taking place. The old grammar of electoral politics that has been in operation from the early 1990s will no longer be the only game in town. A new set of issues, a new alignment of forces and fresh thinking on politics itself is taking place today. That is where the immediate battle will be fought – irrespective of the actual outcome of the election. Politics can no longer leave vital decisions to economists, planners and corporate interests. The fundamental issue before us today is that of the commons and they cannot be privatized under any circumstances. Corporations and private capital will have to adjust to the simple reality that they do not own India. They can exist and do business just as everybody else does. They or their pen pushers cannot demand special favours by presenting their pursuit of private profit as a pursuit of the common good.

22 thoughts on “Crafting the Modi Mask – India Inc and the Big Media”

  1. I am neither supporting nor running down anybody. But I have noted with deep interest, not to mention amusement, that Mr Nigam is gleefully reporting the “unprecedented crowd of 25000” at Kejriwal’s rally while conveniently dropping any mention whatsoever of the crowds at many rallies of Narendra Modi which were more than ten times the size. What conclusions will Mr Nigam draw from them? I am keen to know. :)

    Like

    1. False on both counts (first line) hehe. Thank you for not mentioning your amusement, though. And while not rushing to Aditya’s defence, how is “ten times the size” relevant to what he was pointing out? Namely, the IB and most of the observers did not really expect a tenth of the number in the first place to attend. I am really not sure if Aditya could draw any conclusion. But I am hoping your keenness would be matched. But then again, why waste time on conclusions when you are neither interested in supporting anyone or running anyone down (aha, faint echoes of someone driving a car, er.. someone being driven in a car, and that someone running down a puppy, and even when that someone is not the same someone being driven, running down a puppy is really painful – for the puppy, one assumes).

      Like

    2. Crowds in Modi rallies can be explained by the fact that dozens of trains and hundreds of buses are hired by the Modi election machine to bring people to his rallies. I wouldn’t be surprised that the same people are being ferried by the BJP/Sangh all over the country to attend to project a larger than life image for the fascist!! Apparently, people are also paid to attend. I also hear that ‘special cameras’ are being used by BJP fellows that somehow enhances the image of the crowd for the viewer at home.

      AAP cant afford to ferry anyone nor does it have the money to pay people to attend.

      Like

      1. well said. In fact, it would make a hilarious short story if someone were to write it. Just think about it, this rent-a-crowd phenomenon works for all the parties. There could just be some brilliant guy out there worrying about how to allocate the masses to each party. Just like those brilliant guys who were offering to sell facebook likes. I wonder what happens when two rallies are held simultaneously. Would this wonderful manager then call up on his counterpart elsewhere and ask for a temporary crowd for the day? It could be a brilliant satirical piece, except unfortunately these days satire is what we see normally, even the irony is passe. What we used to joke about or comment about has now become reality. So much for education or progress. Bakra public, led by their noses. By the cattle, for the cattle and of the cattle.

        Like

        1. :-) To be fair though, i think its just the middle class television audiences who are fooled by these rent-a-crowds at Modi rallies.

          Like

    3. Sanjeev, some people always seem to miss the point. Your right to be amused stands nevertheless. But as Tejaswi points out, I was not discussing the turnout in rallies, be they of Kejriwal or Modi. I was pointing in one case to what outfits like IB do and in the other, to how the media conducts itself, especially when It chooses to play up some rallies and not others.

      Like

    4. I can tell you how the crowds are organised for Modi rallies. Each pach is givena target which he/she must achieve. transport and logistics are the BJPs headache. I checked that out in Goa for Modi’s rally and one Panch was more occupied with that than his business !

      Like

  2. one of the most comprehensive,insightful,revealing and accurate piece of essay i have ever read.Kudos to the writer for showing dare to say what is obvious

    Like

  3. It is important that people understand that BJP’s anti-menhgai (price rise) campaigning is foot-soon-to-be-in-mouth. For the simple reason, that Modi styled governance is bound to exacerbate the “menhgai” situation. While Manmohan Sing is a “slow” capitalist, Modi would be a “fast” capitalist. There is no difference in the way of their economic decision making, except for its speed of implementation.
    If Jyanthi Natranjan sat over few files, she didn’t wrongly so. How could you let the industries and infrastructure thrive at the expense of environment and loss of agricultural land? We just do not need capitalism, we need responsible and people centric version of it.

    Like

  4. A very insightful piece indeed Mr. Nigam. I have been watching the socalled national channels over the past couple of weeks carefully to understand their coverage of AAP and Kejriwal. Whenever Modi and Rahul Gandhi addressed rallies, the cameras panned out to show the entire crowd where as during the coverage of Kejriwal rallies the cameras focused exclusively on the stage. Of course, it does not help much that AAP is represented on the channels by the likes of Kamal Mitra Chenoy, who neither defends nor offends, but tries to play the good boy to the anchors. Kamal Mitra Chenoy has never been articulate except when he spoke about himself. He has never been convincing even while speaking about himself!

    Like

  5. The best way to do business is to do it through the government, and not the way Adam Smith proposed it should be done. Capitalism’s worst enemy is the capitalist. No, it was not only Marx, Baran or Luxemburg who pointed it out, but one of the latest duos to put forth this thesis are the Chicago boys: Raghuram Rajan (present RBI governor) and Zingales.

    Of course, not all capitalists can make the government work for them. For then, we would revert to Adam Smith’s world of no rents! The name of the game is for the government to collude with a few capitalists (see Bliss, Christopher & Di Tella, Rafael, 1997, Journal of Political Economy; Ernesto Dal Bo & Rafael Di Tella, 2003, Journal of Political Economy amongst others). An important question that this literature has left out is: How does the government choose which capitalist to collude with, or how does a capitalist choose which government to bring to power?

    The first part of the above mentioned question is easy to answer. The government can randomly choose a few from the set of available capitalists. Just as it was done say in Japan when the Zaibatsus were brought forth; or when the Congress chose the Tatas, Birlas and the Bajajs after independence. However, the second part of the question is more difficult to answer. How does a capitalist choose a government, when in fact the government is chosen through elections. It is here that India provides a rich case study. In particular, the case to study is that of the Ambanis who have, in the past, succeeded in “choosing” favorable ministers in elected governments, and who now may perhaps succeed in selecting an entire government. So how does one proceed in studying this case? A naive study would perhaps stop after establishing the fact that Ambanis have succeeded in doing so by buying up influential parts of strategic institutions like the media and bureaucracy. But this is simply a necessary condition, it is not sufficient. The crucial part is to select candidates (government) who would not only be willing to collude, but who are also “electable”.

    Modi is highly electable. Why? Because a sizeable population loves him? But why do they love him? Is it because of “development”, as the media or “economists” would like us to believe? Perhaps so, but I do not believe that it is the sole reason. Raman Singh, Shiv Raj Chauhan, Nitish Kumar and Man Mohan Singh have done more or less the same “development”, if not more.

    Modi appeals to most because he “successfully stood up” to the Muslims and did what he did in 2002. He showed Muslims their place in India (or what India in their perception ought to be). Modi is “the” Hindu leader with balls. What if he is a dictator? After all, he is their own Hindu dictator. “Development” be damned. At best it is an after thought. It is a “reason” to be put forth for his electability in politically correct discussion fora. Sure, it helps that he is a careful planner, is patient, is ambitious and is a meticulous implementer. Such traits are lacking in many Indian politicians, and perhaps many in the middle class are drawn to him because of these traits. But these traits are not sufficient in helping him win elections. It is the Hindutva stupid!

    p.s: Religious fundamentalism is quite attractive to crony capitalists in the US too. The saga of Bush – Cheney collusion with lobbies in the oil and financial sectors on one hand and their electoral mobilization through Christian fundamentalists is well documented.

    Like

    1. The problem is, we often find “Modi” and “Hindutva” as synonyms. While doing so, we forget the real development which happened in Gujrat during the last 10 years. Is it a crime for “aam Indian” to seek a proper leader to take the country out of misery? to get the currency at per with the international benchmark currency? (which it was, at the time of Independence and the congress govt. for most of the time after 1947 have, for their own shallow interest took it to today’s $1=Rs.62 ex.rate) to at least expect to have a square meal a day? to at least have the faith on the government to stand by them when in time of illness? to at least be assured to have a job for every educated person? to at least have education to all the residents? to at least have a roof over every family’s head?

      Well, 10 years is too small a time to provide all of the above to “aam gujratis” but Modi tried to do that and have succeeded overwhelmingly. The 2002 episode, which could have spread all over India, even could start a world wide “riot” have been controlled very strictly, which only speaks about his administrative capabilities. The other leaders in the BJP, though initially very reluctant to pose him as the national leader, ultimately had to bow down, why? because of his capabilities. Just for once, think of any alternative. Who comes in mind? Dr.Singh? Rahul ? Nitish? Bahenji? Didi? Amma? Kejriwal? Lalu? Mulayam?

      Is it a crime for Aam Indians to hope for a strong leadership through “Modi” ????

      Like

  6. AAP’s entry in India’s electoral politics on a platform that totally rejects the platforms and strategies on which elections have been contested in the last 50 years by the pre-existing parties (Congress, BJP, SAPA, BSP, TMC, Left Parties, regional parties), and its quick and enthusiastic acceptance by people all over the country has given much hope about this election. Unlike cliched pro-poor slogans and competition among parties claiming to be champions of the poor, AAP simply demands total removal of crony capitalism, the crony nexus between major parties and big industrialists, and the corruption, bribing and price fixing that they have been practicing at least since 1991, when globalized economy came to India. AAP wants fair pricing of products and services, not giveaways to the poor.

    Unlike the heavy caste-based appeals of some regional parties (SP, BSP, DMK, AIADMK) AAP has made absolutely no promises of reservation or special treatment to the masses of low caste groups. Unlike religion based appeals that talk of Hindus not getting justice by parties like BJP, Shiv Sena, or Muslim groups that demand reservation, AAP takes absolutely no stand on the basis of religion and despite pressures on it AAP has declined to make any religion based appeals. It simply appeals for justice for all. Its list of candidates for parliament have no consideration of quotas for minorities or for the majority community. It has not nominated Muslim candidates from Muslim population concentration constituencies, and Hindu candidates from Hindu population concentration constituencies.

    The very enthusiastic response of all people from various religious backgrounds to AAP shows that the people of India are really tired of the strategies of all parties, whether they are caste based or religion based or are based on parties’ sweetheart connections with big industrialists, or based on harping on poverty. Those failed policies have slowed development in the country and has considerably widened the gap between the poor and rich. Govt and media claim much economic development in the country but the number of people living below poverty line has remained about the same in the last 20 years.

    If as a result of this election AAP can force all parties to change their basic political strategies from their failed policies, that will be a very good thing for the nation.

    Like

  7. The manner in which the two national parties (BJP, Congress) have monopolized the mainstream print and electronic media at the behest of their big business masters, is simply amazing. The careers of all those pompous anchors and commentators who come nightly on major TV networks is so completely controlled by the big industrialists who are owners of mainstream media. The more education has spread among the common people and they have become conscious of their political rights, the more their rights have been taken away by the big industrialists. Because most media is always looking to their owners to tell them what policies to pursue; whom to promote, whom to cut down. The big industrialists have become like the robber-barons in North America in the 1920s-1930s. They are in total control of the lives and careers of ordinary people. Independent thought, all these universities are completely controlled and manipulated by the super-wealthy. On any given day you can see these pompous “Intellectual commentators” dining in five star restaurants in five star hotels, in New Delhi and Mumbai, claiming to be “objective thinkers”, while in reality they are “His Masters Voice” poodles. What is becoming of this nation!!

    Like

    1. individual rights are not subject to a public vote ,a majority has no right to vote away the rights of minority ,the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities that is about all rights of a human i.e human inane able by birth as such is inherited rights natural embedded insuperable as air water and food need

      AND plus http://www.youthforhumanrights.

      Like

  8. I have just come back to Chennai after a quick trip to the hills and cold of northern India. I left with a clutch of magazines to read on the train and felt terribly depressed reading commentaries of why Modi was good for India. If you are in a 2-tier AC compartment, everyone around you echoes those same sentiments. You push it, you feel you could be throttled…

    on the way back I spent time with an old, old activist who has cut his teeth in UP and Bihar, and knows this country from the ground upwards. He made me feel very good telling me about realities on the ground. It is most definitely NOT going to be a cakewalk for Modi and his chums in industry. They have put their money on the wrong horse. But what choice did they have??

    You put it very well Aditya, almost leaving it there like an abiding principle:

    “Politics can no longer leave vital decisions to economists, planners and corporate interests. The fundamental issue before us today is that of the commons and they cannot be privatized under any circumstances. Corporations and private capital will have to adjust to the simple reality that they do not own India. They can exist and do business just as everybody else does. They or their pen pushers cannot demand special favours by presenting their pursuit of private profit as a pursuit of the common good”.

    Like

  9. It would be interesting to find out, although no mainstream media is likely to do it, the response to Modi among rural, tribal Indians from all across India. I doubt if he is even a factor for this larger vote bank that has neither heard of policy paralysis nor cares about Hindutva

    Like

We look forward to your comments. Comments are subject to moderation as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s