How many people remember today Canadian-Syrian Maher Arar, a softward engineer, whose travails and tribulations at the hands of the US government’s extraordinary rendition programme had shaken many people then.
Just to recapitulate he was seized by CIA operatives during a stopover at New York in 2002 and was secretly sent to Syria.Lodged in a grave like cell in Syria, Arar was repeatedly tortured to extract information which he did not know. Ultimately his tormentors released him within a span of year and half without ever being charged with a crime. As we can gather Maher Arar became a victim of the Islamophobia manufactured by the likes of Bush-Blair in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.
All those people who are familiar with the stigmatisation and terrorisation of a people and a community in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 attack can recount many such stories of miscarriage of justice, innocents being lodged in jail for years together and the tragedies which befell their families.
The case of Maher Arar was unique in many ways in the sense that because of the tremendous uproar in the Canadian society over this issue, Stephen Harper, then Prime Minister of Canada sought public apology for the ordeal which Maher went through and for the role played by Canadian officials in the whole affair . Continue reading Can NaMo do a Harper – Yesterday Maher Arar, Today Akshardham Six !
Neelanjan Mukhopadhyay, author of a much discussed book on Modi, made few interesting observations about AAP’s (Aam Aadmi Party ) foray into the electoral politics of Gujarat. Underlining the fact that Kejriwal’s entry into the state – wherein he tried to put the government on the mat for its acts of omission and commission – did raise expectations, he maintains that the momentum did peter away slowly.
What is more important to note that when the electoral battle started the party did not field a single candidate from the minority community despite the fact that population of Muslims in Gujarat is more than nine percent. According to the state leadership of the party it did not ‘find any suitable candidate from the community’ to contest elections. Questioning this explanation Neelanjan says that it thus did not challenge the prevalent norm that ‘Muslims are not to be given tickets’ by the mainstream parties. (Modi ki Raah Chale Kejriwal, Deshbandhu, 30 April 2014).
Any neutral observer of the whole situation – who is familiar with the fact that there are places where AAP did field ‘outsiders’ to fight elections – would also be of the opinion that this explanation seems insufficient and perhaps there are deeper reasons involved in this decision. If at the political level it could bracket BJP as well as Congress at the same level by portraying their alleged proximity to the Adanis’ and Ambanis’ why did not it try to make another strong political point by giving ticket(s) to candidate(s) belonging to the minority community. (To put it on record, the BJP did not field a single Muslim candidate and Congress could muster courage to do it in only one constituency). Continue reading AK versus NaMo
‘Though this be madness yet there is method in it’
– ‘Hamlett’, Shakespeare
The 2014 elections aren’t merely about changing the government. The rhetoric ahead of the polls makes one believe that it’s an attempt at once to change historical narratives handed down to successive generation of Indians. And the man in the forefront of it all is the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
– 11/11/2013 Blogs-Hindustan Times
Wordsmiths of the world need to put in their heads or pull in their socks (you may say) to coin a new word which can rather resonate with what goes on in this part of South Asia in the name of political speeches. Should one call it ‘polifiction’ or ‘politainment’ or some similar word.
Perhaps a word exists and this poor pen pusher is ignorant about it.
Anyway, the matter has become bit urgent with the feverish preparations which are going on here for the battle royale which would take place in the year 2014 and the not so silent emergence of NaMo on the national scene and the daily dose of half truths, fiction and complete distortion which goes under the name of oratory. Continue reading An Idiot for PM ? : (Non)Sense of History in NaMo
Rural Indian Women (Courtesy India Post) and An Urban Indian Man (Narendra Modi)
I watched the television broadcast of BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s speech at the Japanese Park in Rohini in Delhi on Sunday morning with breathless anticipation and some trepidation. With the restless anxiety that he would spin at least half a new idea, that could induce some naive fence-sitters in Delhi, my city, to sign up behind his juggernaut along with the rest of his zombie horde.
Would his spin doctors have worked hard and tirelessly overnight to give their client a new teflon coating? Would his savvy advisers have given him a sharp new statistic to play with, an incontrovertible fact, a compelling argument that would persuade my fellow citizens? Continue reading Can Narendra Modi Apologize to Four Hundred and Five Million Rural Women in India?
Image Courtesy : http://www.truthofgujarat.com
It is now time for NaMo NaMo in BJP.
To quote a newspaper, Hindutva poster boy Narendra Modi has been declared candidate for Prime Minister’s post by the highest body of the Party.
As planned earlier there were celebrations at different party offices of the BJP spread over the country. It is a different matter that the party could not hide the fact that it was not a unanimous decision rather a majority decision. The ‘tallest leader’ or ‘mentor’ of the party L K Advani made his displeasure clear in a letter the very same day. And not only Advani till a day ago three members of the highest body – whose strength is 12 only – were vehemently opposing the proposal that the candidature be announced immediately and wanted it to be deferred till the assembly elections to five states were over. Two amongst them – Ms Sushma Swaraj and Murli Manohar Joshi – could be persuaded to join the anointment at the last moment only.
The comical part of the whole anointment has been the gentleman who had only a week ago declared that he would like to serve the state – where he was elected CM for the third time – till 2017, had no qualms in dropping all pretensions and rush to Delhi for the coronation. Continue reading NaMo NaMo or Namaste Sada Vatsale ..
Guest Post by M AKHIL: Listen to the flourish. The stage is set, the side-kicks are in place and the sycophants are scampering tirelessly to welcome their emperor. Narendra Modi has started his journey to the high seat of Indraprastha.
Curiously enough, his current ride is being celebrated as a victory lap by his ardent supporters. A bit too quick, don’t you think? Especially for a man who was only a few years ago, in terrible danger of being convicted for one of the most gruesome state-sponsored genocides in the history of independent India. Of course, he hasn’t been convicted yet, but many of his ministers and close aides have been. Babu Bajrangi’s confessions on record must be more than enough proof for Modi’s culpability. 1 Alas! Facts get twisted in the most unimaginable ways as they threaten to blow away an edifice carefully built by a dominant plutocracy with immense help from the ‘State-Temple-Corporate Complex’. 2 Here, I shall attempt to bust the Modi bubble which is being ridiculously pumped up by the holy nexus, even as you are reading this. After all, the BJP is possibly the party with the highest following among Indian netizens and the online publicity team of the current supremo is meticulous. An alternative view will be stark, but hopefully it will serve as food for thought for those among us getting nauseated by the dominant narrative. Continue reading Lies, Damn Lies and NaMo – Why I do not support Modi and why you shouldn’t either: M Akhil