Tag Archives: BJP

India needs a third imagination

In a brilliant column in the The Indian Express, Pratap Bhanu Mehta (with whom I have much to disagree about reservations) calls the bluff of the “national” parties who want Indian voters to be wary of the ‘instability’ and impossibility of a third front coalition government. This argument, strangely posing itself in a nationalist tone, is unfortunately also bought by too many left-liberal intellectuals and activists who don’t want us to get out the non-choice of the BJP-Congress binary. Mehta writes:

Sometimes an ordered instability can be more productive than a comatose stability. It is said that a third front leadership is unlikely to have a national perspective. But the cringingly desperate way in which the leadership of the national parties have put their own survival above any principle makes you wonder what the charge of not having a national perspective is all about. The third front will make foreign policy hostage to regional interests. In a way, it already is. But the source of the problem is deeper. Even a supposedly national party like the BJP cannot get its act together on the enclaves agreement with Bangladesh. Why blame regional parties? The third front will be fiscally irresponsible. It is a risk, but no more than a risk with any political party. The Congress squandered the best of economic opportunities in a fiscally irresponsible way. It is something of an irony that the only Chidambaram budget described as a “dream budget” came under Deve Gowda. And many states have shown innovation in a kind of pro-business entrepreneurial capitalism and in social sector schemes. Many of the regional leaders who would make up the third front are autocrats. Indeed, many of them are. But that autocracy is more visible because the national parties can use the state structure in a very sophisticated way to further their ends. But they are articulate and engage with their constituents. In short, the constituents of the third front are as much India and Indian interests as anyone else. [Full article]

India needs a third imagination, and by constantly being told that it is not possible we are told not to imagine it. This is the argument of, as Mehta puts it, the ‘entrenched elites’, to save their privileges. The fear of the third front, of the ‘regional’, needs to be fought and defeated. We see this poverty of imagination thrown at us whether we’re talking of Nitish Kumar or Arvind Kejriwal or Mayawati by people who will do not think it necessary to subject the Congress and the BJP to similar scrutiny. This bias against the “regional” is remarkably shared amongst a lot of people across the ideological spectrum. Their bluff needs to be called.

Spew venom and enjoy life: Who scripted Mr Varun Gandhi’s release?

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“This is not a hand (Congress symbol), it is the power of the lotus (BJP symbol). It will cut the head of… Jai Shri Ram,” a PTI report quoted Varun Gandhi (29) as telling an election meeting in Pilibhit, his attack directed at the Muslims. At another meeting, the PTI report said, he said: “If anyone raises a finger towards Hindus or if someone thinks that Hindus are weak and leaderless, if someone thinks that these leaders lick our boots for votes, if anyone raises a finger towards Hindus, then I swear on Gita that I will cut that hand.”

(Varun Gandhi’s hate-Muslim speech makes his BJP squirm; Express News Service: Lucknow, Tue Mar 17 2009)

 Mr Varun Gandhi, BJP M.P. was all smiles when he emerged from the courts which had acquitted him in the second hate speech case. Expressing confidence in the Indian Constitution and India’s Legal System he said ‘truth has prevailed’. Only a few days ago another court in UP had acquitted him of the first hate speech case. It may be added that when extracts of the speeches he had allegedly delivered during election campaign in 2009 had appeared in a section of the press, the then Mayawati government had promptly filed cases against him and ordered his arrest and had to spend some time behind bars before bail was ultimately granted to him then. Continue reading Spew venom and enjoy life: Who scripted Mr Varun Gandhi’s release?

Free Naveen Soorinje

This is a public statement; names of signatories given at the end.

As editors and senior journalists representing a cross-section of the print, television and online media, we wish to bring to your notice a matter of serious professional concern for the journalist fraternity.

Naveen Soorinje, a district reporter with the Kannada channel Kasturi Newz 24, was arrested by the Karnataka police on 7 November 2012 for the role he played in covering the 28 July 2012 attack by Hindutva vigilantes on innocent boys and girls who were celebrating a birthday at a homestay in Mangalore. In the two months that Naveen Soorinje has been in judicial custody in Mangalore, his mental and physical health has deteriorated drastically. He was recently discharged from the jail ward of the district hospital after suffering a bout of chickenpox. Continue reading Free Naveen Soorinje

निनाद: कुलदीप कुमार

Guest post by KULDEEP KUMAR

जिन लोगों को यह ग़लतफ़हमी थी कि भारतीय जनता पार्टी हिन्दू धर्म और हिन्दुओं की बहुत बड़ी हितैषी है और व्यक्तिगत एवं सार्वजनिक जीवन में शुचिता की हिमायती है, उनकी यह ग़लतफ़हमी अब तो दूर हो जानी चाहिए. उसके शासन वाले राज्य उत्तराखंड में एक संन्यासी गंगा को स्वच्छ किये जाने और अवैध खनन को रोके जाने की मांग को लेकर अनशन करता रहा लेकिन पार्टी और सरकार के कान पर जूँ तक न रेंगी. गंगा का सभी भारतवासियों, विशेष रूप से हिन्दुओं, के लिए भावनात्मक महत्व है. अनशन भी शासन के विरोध में नहीं बल्कि एक सकारात्मक मांग को उठाने के लिए किया गया था. लेकिन स्वामी निगमानंद न तो राज्य सरकार का ध्यान अपनी ओर खींच पाए और न ही मीडिया का. जब उनकी ओर ध्यान गया तब तक बहुत देर हो चुकी थी.पंजाबी सूबे की मांग को लेकर अनशन करने वाले दर्शन सिंह फेरुमान की मृत्यु के बाद शायद यह पहला अवसर है जब किसी ने अनशन के कारण प्राण त्यागे हैं. Continue reading निनाद: कुलदीप कुमार

The Hidden Arm – Criminals for Hindutva?

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Anyone ever heard about Sudhakar Rao Maratha alias Sudhakar Rao Prabhune ? A hardcore rightwing criminal who was nabbed by the M.P. police few months back in Jhansi which seized a car, a revolver and five cartridges from him. In fact one of Sudhakar’s colleague Shivam Dhakad was already under the custody of Ujjain police when Sudhakar was apprehended. According to the senior police officers Sudhakar Rao was in touch with RSS Pracharak -Terrorist Sunil Joshi, who was shot dead in Dewas in 2007 under mysterious circumstances.

Hardcore right-wing criminal Sudhakar Prabhune alias Sudhakar Rao Maratha, who could throw light on the mysterious murder of RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi, has been arrested in Madhya Pradesh. The 26-year-old was wanted in connection with a string of murders of Muslims in Ratlam and Mandsaur. The state police claimed he was arrested on Tuesday from Bilkhiria when he was on way to Bhopal from Sagar. …

Rao took to crime when he was 19. His name cropped in the murder of Jafar Khan, who was shot dead in Chittorgarh. ’ (Right-wing criminal’ held, to be questioned in Joshi murder case, Indian Express, Posted: Thu Sep 30 2010, 02:50 hrs Bhopal)

Continue reading The Hidden Arm – Criminals for Hindutva?

Godmen and Conmen

Why the Criticism of Religion Should Now Come On The Agenda

The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man.

Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But, man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man – state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.

– Karl Marx, Introduction to A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy ofRight

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Sheltering fugitives from the law, laundering money, ‘arranging’ for government contracts, solving your financial woes or even bumbing off a pesky blackmailer – tasks which are normally associated with D company or their local level clones are today not their sole preserve. Spiritual gurus of the day who are a dime a dozen in this country have emerged as powerful challengers to their monopoly. And not only the newly emergent Sadhus, who are recent entrants in the sprawling spiritual bazaar, but even the old ones also seem deeply emersed in this morass of crime and corruption.

One can easily notice that hardly had the discussion around Icchadhari baba alias Shivmurat Dwivedi, who ran a prostitution racket which spanned many states, with his clientele reaching powerful bureaucrats and politicians, has died down, a sting operation by a leading channel has brought forth the different skills developed by the leading lights of this profession.

Continue reading Godmen and Conmen