A leaf from the illustrious life of the CM designate of Uttar Pradesh

Account of a ten year old story : Helps you understand the CM designate of UP

What happened in the eastern Uttar Pradesh town was not a conflict but violence unleashed by MP Yogi Adityanath and his henchmen 

If one tries to understand the developments in Gorakhpur and its neighbouring areas of eastern Uttar Pradesh (Poorvanchal) from January 26 to 31, 2007 through the eyes of the print and electronic media, one moves further away from the truth. It is a sordid story of a highly communalised media conjuring up a riot, collaborating with BJP MP Yogi Adityanath, a Bal Thackeray clone and heir to the Gorakhnath Peeth operating from the Gorakhnath temple. Adityanath is a BJP MP for ‘technical’ reasons and cares a damn for the niceties of party discipline because he knows that the party cannot dissociate itself from him. Though he mocked the party by holding a Vishwa Hindu Maha Sammelan at the same time as the BJP’s National Council meet in Lucknow, the party did not mind. It had earlier swallowed the defeat of its candidate in the Assembly election by Adityanath’s candidate. One should know that he is a Thakur; and a Thakur heads the BJP now . The Thakur spread across party lines ensures that Adityanath is allowed to have his own way in his fiefdom, i.e. Poorvanchal. He makes it a point to give calls for a Gorakhpur bandh whenever the chief minister visits the town. Continue reading “A leaf from the illustrious life of the CM designate of Uttar Pradesh”

Dining With The Cultured Hate Mongers

Should we criticise the organisers of the Jaipur Literature Festival for inviting two functionaries of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to this year’s edition of the annual festival? Murmurs in the literary circles seem to suggest that the organisers of JLF succumbed to pressure from the right wing. A mere look at the list of speakers and programmes makes it clear that there are a fair number of liberal and left-leaning individuals among the speakers. Why, even the general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Sita Ram Yechuri, is in that list. So a balance appears to have been struck. Continue reading “Dining With The Cultured Hate Mongers”

The Dwijitalisation of India: Satya Sagar

GUEST POST by Satya Sagar

For over a millennium one of the recurring debates among Indian philosophers was whether this world was real or a mere dream[1]. Paradoxically, those who preached most passionately that our senses mislead us and everything around was Maya or an illusion, went on to corner the largest chunk of material reality.

Behind the smokescreen of clever mythology, it was they, who grabbed the lion’s share of everything tangible over the centuries – from land, water, natural resources to hard political and social power. Worse still, using a mix of brute force and religious mumbo-jumbo, they consolidated the exploitation of those who work by those who merely cook up tall stories, through the nightmare of the caste system.

Today the politics of Maya is well and truly back in play with Narendra Modi’s ‘Mahayagna’ a.k.a. demonetisation promising a digital Moksha through the tapasya of a ‘war on black money’. Once again, as in India’s sordid past, the biggest losers of this devious push for a cashless economy are going to be those right at the bottom of the Indian caste hierarchy. Continue reading “The Dwijitalisation of India: Satya Sagar”

Economic Emergency – Notes From Sargana: Zaheeb Ajmal

GUEST POST by ZAHEEB AJMAL

Nothing remained normal after November 8. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that evening that Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes were to be ‘demonetised’ at the stroke of midnight (full announcement here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJYFE59rLhM). Not only were the high denomination notes held by people rendered worthless, but stringent limits were imposed on cash withdrawals. People were given time until December 30 to exchange their existing, now worthless, currency notes for newly-minted ones.

As everywhere else in the country, the announcement sent shockwaves across Sargana. People went into a tizzy to exchange their old high-denomination currency notes for new ones. Not only that, the limits on cash withdrawals meant that people began to worry about requisitioning cash for daily usage. Continue reading “Economic Emergency – Notes From Sargana: Zaheeb Ajmal”

Towards a One-Man Dictatorship: Santosh Rana

GUEST POST by SANTOSH RANA

It is a rare sight in Indian Politics.  On 23rd November, 2016, the Members of Parliament from almost all the opposition parties united in New Delhi to register protest against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetization policy.  To some, the atmosphere in the capital on that day brought back memories of the Emergency and the Bofors era.

This unique event took place under unique circumstances.  When all the democratic institutions of the country are being destroyed in order to establish one man’s undisputed control over Power, the event signified the first step towards a united resistance against these inauspicious developments.  Continue reading “Towards a One-Man Dictatorship: Santosh Rana”

The Sultan of Sophistry:Satya Sagar

GUEST POST by  Satya Sagar

 

It is early winter and a thick, grimy fog, black and white tinged with grey, hangs over Delhi much of the day. Morning visibility is bad, clears up a bit with a dull sun in the afternoon, before darkness descends again on the city.

A month after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his demonetisation policy, the gloomy weather in the national capital describes quite well the mood of the people here. Sullen but not angry, worried but not yet panicked, uneasy about the future but focused for the present on solving daily problems.

And yet somewhere deep down there is a growing feeling that we are witnessing the twilight of the Indian Republic – at least as we have known it for over six decades- a sovereign, federal, democratic nation, which with all its flaws, stumbles along intact. Few fully understand the real implications of 86% of the Indian currency disappearing overnight but there is foreboding it is a sign of many more drastic events to come. Continue reading “The Sultan of Sophistry:Satya Sagar”

Death by Demonetisation: Satya Sagar

GUEST POST BY Satya Sagar

The abrupt demonetisation of 500 and 1000 rupee notes by the Narendra Modi regime is a drastic move that is staggering in its scale, ambition and repurcussions. The only other figures in modern history one can think of, devious or stupid enough to attempt something similar, are the likes of Marcos, Suharto, Idi Amin and Pol Pot.

For all its audacity however, the decision could go down also as the grandest of blunders made by anyone in Indian political history. Poorly planned and implemented it is likely to prove disastrous not only for the country’s economy but – ironically enough,– for the BJP’s own electoral fortunes.

The abolition of the two currency notes – that make up 86% of all cash in circulation in the Indian economy –  has affected almost every family in the second most populous nation on the planet.  The harassment of the common citizen – particularly from the ranks of the urban and rural poor- through denial of access to income, savings and livelihood will not be forgotten anytime soon. Continue reading “Death by Demonetisation: Satya Sagar”