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On MODIfying, Developing and Changing INDIA

There was a country, a country of spirited and adept men, finding itself in the path of recovery from the heavy blows of imperialistic pas...

Thursday, April 24, 2014

There was a country, a country of spirited and adept men, finding itself in the path of recovery from the heavy blows of imperialistic past, shaking the shackles and chains of misfortune off its limbs, showing promise of redemption and excellence. This country if played its cards right could end up leading the world which was its expected natural destiny, making the rest of the world line up behind it. It could acquire what once the World War Combatants desired: the indisputable global dominance, the god father stature.

Those were the times of the country where sentiments or rather nationalistic feeling was flaring high in hearts, the times where "What country did for you was unimportant when the question what you did to the country" loomed over monstrously in the conscience of citizens. Economy was not buckling towards an eventual free fall, streets were not rubble strewn and what could only collapse the bright future, if something has to collapse, was an act of stupidity, a stroke of naivety. That too seemed a possible danger in spite of everything.

Reason: the rulers, a bunch of lazy, dimwitted dullards who undid whatever blessings the fates showered.

What was needed was some grit, some will and an ounce of courage which the present rulers had none; they looked up to the world, the nether world of waning west which secretly envied this country. Change was the need of the hour; self respect was the need of the hour and so unflinching courage and solidarity. With the things precariously poised like a rock balanced on the edge of the cliff needing only a feathery touch to tilt to any side, he came.

Enter the man.

 They said he came because of the good fortune of the country, because of the past life good deeds, because of the lucky planets in the charts. He was equal to the task; he was ready to get his hands dirty in cleaning up the country. Some said he was undemocratic; he was a partisan or a sectarian. But people believed him and brought him to power despite everything. He industrialized the country and restored it to its former glory in no time.West felt threatened, west envied, west admonished and the West demonized this man, that country. He was aware of that, indeed that was exactly what he wanted, to threat, to intimidate, to strike horror, which was all he ever wanted, a chance to avenge, a chance to pay back what the West did to his country in 1920s in the name of Treaty of Versailles.

Yes, the country was Germany; the name of the Leader was Adolf Hitler.

I have started this post with a predicament and a passage including words like development, growth, grit and sectarianism. Now I guess it begins to sound more like Elections 2014 and apparently here I am viewing at the Elections, the political parties and the candidates for the most coveted chair. Given the above things and considering another fact that he is the favorite candidate, the lead horse in the race, it is only but fitting that I discuss Modi or rather BJP( which are essentially the same) first... Here it goes…

On MODIfying Indian

If the name Narendra Modi is brought in a sentence, dragged into a discussion then two words are sure to make appearance as if it is only natural: development and 2002 Gujarat riots. Of course we are not supposed to talk about 2002 riots as Modi has been given "Clean Chit". But I accept that one should consider themselves lucky when the saffron sympathizers parrot this fed lines than the most dumb reply one could ever expect: "What happened to 1984 Sikh riots?". (That is not an answer moron I want to yell, every time I come across this reply)

  I know, I said I will discuss about Modi but whom I am talking about here is saffron sympathizers or Modi worshipers – the ones who had renounced everything in their life to chant the Modinama which is NaMo reverentially and religiously. But there is a reason. If half of what Modi did or what he stands for puts off people the other half are pissed off by these so called sympathizers or Bhakths who multiply the uneasiness.

One thing I want to make clear is that I am not here to shower hatred blindly, if I did that then there will be no difference between me and the Bhakths, so let me start this from square one. Let us leave aside everything, the riots, the upbringing in the RSS, the saffron past, the sectarianism and the development model and if we ask someone whether Modi is the kind of person to whom you can close your eyes and hand down your and country's future then I think the answer will be no, at least I will say no. Of course, with no politician it is possible but with Modi or any other BJP candidate it gets complicated (except may be Atal Bihari Vajpayee who is somewhat gentle or at least he looks so).

The ugly episode between Modi and Advani and the drama of giving up the PM candidature when there was a possibility of confrontation says it all. (This is an all out game for both Modi and BJP, it is now or never) Modi deep down is a normal politician, one very smart and diplomatic at that, trying to realize the dream of other idea of India - which is India as a Hindu nation.

I think this very fact, that is the threat of leaving our future in their hands, led to BJP’s defeat in last elections despite the colossal mess up Congress managed in its term, the prime ministerial candidate for the last time Advani should have given nightmares to voters considering his past. You could only imagine the fear when people vote out to Congress and Manmohan singh for a second term to escape a BJP regime. To me nothing brings out the discredit people have on BJP than that.

But understandably people cannot be blamed; BJP’s past or let’s say the saffron legacy it inherits from its root is the source of this disapproval. Like the ugly past where Mrs.Gandhi family had switched alphabets to harness the advantage of the historical past, like the duplicitous and corrupt past of congress, the saffron organizations, too, have a similar history behind them.

Long story short: the saffron organizations started in the 1930s are essentially the Muslim league version of the Hindu community. The fundamentalists with a narrow view, fighting for a parochial cause inciting wrong ideas in people's mind. In fact the proponents of this kind of organizations like Veer Savarkar wanted it to be the direct rival to Muslim league where they emphasized the need for Hindu political nationalism in response to or similar to Muslim league’s religious political nationalism. If at all anything, I want to put them in the same bracket as separatist Muslim league of 1930s and reserve as much contempt as I would for the league.

And not incidentally, Veer Savarkar is looked upon today by the saffronists as the godfather of Hindu political nationalism who also coined the term ”Hindutva” which had turned into a mantra of some sort to the advocates of saffronization these days. And he does have a stellar past with him being linked to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination. Though he was acquitted in early 1950s a later commission set up in 1960s to inquire into the assassination said that the conspiracy involved in the assassination had very much Savarkar’s part in it. More worse these saffronists are secret supporters and admirers of Godse even into the 1990s but presently they have the need to whitewash the black past for a better image, to put on a less savage mask for political benefits.

Added to that, there are many of the masterminds of saffron organizations like RSS, Hindu Mahasabha who were said to have openly extolled Hitler’s Nazism and ethnic cleansing. This includes M.S.Gowalkar  and even Savarkar. (I think Kamal Hassan’s Hey Ram should have been protested more by saffron lunatics than congress secularist as all these facts are well presented and corroborated  in that movie– there is a scene where Hitler’s portrait hangs in the home of a Hindu fanatic who plots the assassination, there is a scene where Atul Kulkarni who is on a mission to kill Gandhi half pronounces Veer Savarkar’s name.)

These are the people and their ideas which BJP is keen to legitimize by falsely dangling a native identity or cultural identity before the young India.

Veer Savarkar was canonized( Andaman Airport was named after him, his portrait was unveiled in parliament) by the BJP government of 2000s where they claimed "India shines" famously and very incorrectly before digging their own grave in the next elections. In that regard though , it seems now BJP has awakened, they are promoting Vallabhai Patel(don't know how he would have felt about this had he imagined the possibility) nowadays which could be seen as a subtle way of dismissing Gandhi, Nehru and the Congress patrons of 1950s.

And coming to the ideologies, mainly the Hindutva, I am not sure how much pressing and how critical it is to present India when there are more severe problems that needs attention.(This reminds me only of the language issue Dravidian forces took up for political benefits in 1960s). Talking about “Hindutva” which is in no way a religious reference( as said by saffronists themselves) or in no way related to Hinduism(thank god) stands next to the word “Jihad” which from a meaningful “striving” or “struggle” had degenerated into a weapon of terror. Nowhere else does the language suffer a stark ignominy  than when it is brought down to the gutter by the religious fundamentalists.

And what’s more annoying is that BJP or the umbrella saffron organizations have smeared Hinduism distorting it to what it never was, from what people heard growing up. If Hinduism is the entity that suffers the disgrace in these mad men's hand, then Ram is the deity equivalent of this equation of ignominy. What these people do is everything but the tenets of Hinduism. If not anything, if not sinister or communal clearly the legacy of BJP is parochial, there is nothing idealistic about it other than the gloss of culture, nativity and Indianness they put on these ancient ideas.And tragedy of all is that the so called “Educated Young India” buying this parochialism and in a way strongly advocating it without mind.

Dear saffroinsts, thanks for your concern on indigenous identity but what we need is a nation with pluralism, with diversities of language, religion and ideas which India had been built upon and  not a Hindu nation which aims to topple all this. We want to be a nation first and rest of the things doesn't matter.

Coming to Modi, as I said I am not talking about riots, it doesn’t matter, Babu Bajrangi himself could shout from the rooftops but people believe what they want to believe. And as for the fact that Babu Bajrangi sting was recorded by Tehelka, it doesn’t prove anything, Tehelka is Pro-Congress and an establishment founded by the so called lift rapper, right? I happened  to write on 9/11 attacks of late and when I researched about 9/11 I came across materials discussing possible conspiracy by American government which let 9/11 to happen so that it can invade Afganisthan. At a certain point the theories became so crazy that some theorized that there was no one in WTC and the plane struck on 9/11 was a military plane and that the videos showing people jumping from the towers are graphically rendered. Similarly who knows there was no riot in Gujarat, it was the nightmare planted inside our minds like in Inception by secularists to smear Modi's and BJP's image.

In the movie "Hey Ram" Kamal Hassan returns to Kolkata after a year of the riots that is famously called Direct Action day, with the guilt of killing people and the loss of his wife burdening him. While he is lost in the memories and the streets of Calcutta he comes across a mob shouting at Gandhi and Bengal premier Suhrawardy. He enters the crowd and in his grip of anger in being made a victim he asks towards the balcony where the Premier and Gandhi stands "Were you not responsible as a premier for what happened last year?" "Were  you not responsible for making murderers out of ordinary men?". That sums up.

Regarding the claims of development , there is only one thing that is to be noted, Modi is as neo-liberal as any of his congress counterpart after 1990. For a throwback who proposes Hindutva it is quite an improvement but to the country one can not say so. And as far as the development fodder dangled in front of the voters, my response is the first passage and the predicament. That is all what I want to say: what good is development if the purposes are not good.

On Developing India

If Modi and BJP are one kind of threat like cyanide to the country then congress is another kind which is a slow poison that takes its pleasure in seeing the slow killing of its prey. Reiterating the earlier point, if there is one thing why a party like congress is enjoying second term in India then it is the lack of proper opposition . Though congress follows the imperial divide and rule policy playing the minority politics and pro poor card which is disgusting what is all the more sinister in it is its neo liberal policies.

Like how BJP has Hindutva, Congress has something: "Development".

What is development?
  • Development in effect to them is pimping out the resources of the nation to Corporates, big shots and billionaires. 
  • Development by definition is getting money from World bank and IMF accepting their clauses of Free trade there by cutting the subsidies to public sectors like Education, agriculture, health and leaving the people to their miserable fate.
  • Development in practice is looting thousands of crores of money in the form of any imaginable scam. 
  • Development is creating a big gap, a mammoth difference between the rich and poor, championing in promotion of inequality making the rich more rich and poor more poor. 
  • It is the yak that twenty rupees is enough for a family to eat for a single day setting the measure of poverty line so as to distort numbers.
  • Development is the big talk about GDPs, Economic growth et all starving ordinary citizens.
  • It is stripping last ounce of hope from ordinary men on the country, government and life pushing them to commit suicide like how millions of farmers did in the past decades.
  • It is setting up of more SEZs with more subsidies massaging the ego of middle class in getting votes.

Development simply is the government becoming the enabling body, a servicing entity for the corporates, for the men with money and for the white masters from the west. It is privatizing of everything. It is perhaps as the Veteran journo Sainath said," Privatization of everything including heart, intellect and soul".

When they say development read, privatization, corporatization, globalization, opening the gates of laws to allow Multi nationals to make more out of India there by crushing the local trade. Development is  Hindutva’s equivalent of Congress which also like Hindutav has got nothing to do with the real or uniform development. As with Hindutva, these proponents of development portray a sense of false image in the minds of citizens as if more SEZs, more IT companies, more malls are the need for the country.

Thanks to the Structural adjustments in 1990s by Manmohan (Surely Manmohan will go down as the most remembered personality of Indian politics) and Congress government, today the most striking feature of India is inequality, the much the number of Indian companies in fortune 500, the much the number of Indian Billionaires in the world Top billionaires list the more Indians below poverty line, the more Indian farmers committing suicide which the west dub as a genocide, GM genocide to be precise( The ban on Mansonto seeds are lifted back again now).

And to the dismay of the citizens even the BJP is also proposing the same development model, it is already known for heavy involvement with corporates, Reliance is big player in Gujarat, Tatas found no problems or whatsoever in getting their Nano plant started in Gujarat after their ugly incident in Singur, West Bengal.

The history of congress is known to all, emergency of 1970s, Indra Gandhi's regime and the 1984 sikh riots are most loathe some points in Indian political history before 1990s, before BJP took over with Ayodhya and 2002 riots.

Congress is also known for unabashed corruption, all the biggest scams that the country saw, happened in their regime. Their party prime ministerial candidate Rahul Gandhi, in a word, is commonly known for  immature, moronic statements. I think this is BJPs best bet to come to power with the lack of proper opposition and people's natural proclivity for an alternate and by chance if BJP lose this elections they might as well dissolve the party  go on a holy pilgrimage to Kashi forever.

When we see Congress talk about poor when the elections are near, it is only ironical, after doing everything in their power to enable the poor to stay poor. Nobody in their right senses will vote for congress and it is rightly so. And I don't agree with people who are anit-Modi or anti-BJP supporting Congress, it indeed is flawed to support congress since they don't want BJP. 

On Changing India

"To go on a hunger strike, to stage a dharna you need a stage, you need audience. These methods are theater that needs an audience" Arundhati Roy says on the requisites of protests these days. Though it is in response to Maosist methods it is very true. The emergence of AAP and its methods gain direct attention in this regard. Even during the days of Lok Pal that involved Anna Hazare this was the major allegation on these people.

The corporate do not want to spend crores lobbying, crores in bribing the government and hence they want something like Lok pal. And for that majority of the Lok Pal stunts were funded by corporate they say. Plus, in this drama surely audience is needed, without audience without crowd that nods its head at everything you do you can not have a political career, there comes the media in the picture. One of the important factor in AAP reaching the so called common man is Media they say, the corporate wing of capitalists.  

Leaving aside these things, its leader Arvind kejriwal is another counterpart who seem whimsical. After winning he said we will not make alliance with either of BJP or Congress but in subsequent days formed alliance with Congress who they admonished during the elections. If I am not wrong he said AAP did not look forward to Lok Sabha elections but here he is contesting. In fact his resignation after the 49 days stint as Delhi CM makes it look like he specifically did that keeping in mind the Lok Sabha elections.The height of mockery is him going on a dharna strike when he was a CM. It looked as if his days of activism were not behind despite the fact that he was a CM.

Like Hindutva,like Development Change is AAP's buzzword. When they talk about change we are not sure what kind of change is that and what the change wants to bring in.  How much of common man they represent is another question altogether.Though sometimes he raises correct questions he fails to connect to the common man, somehow it seems he is obscure and seems the one in the category where the country's future can not be left in his hands.

The feeling AAP or Kejriwal raises is one of skepticism and a tinge of blind discomfort.

Only good thing is, AAP is providing the alternative(we sure are desperate) to the BJP-Congress bi-party dominance in the national scene though it is not sure how good he or AAP is. Also there is no doubt that AAP is going to be a factor and claim its part of votes from the Anti-Congress wave that belongs to BJP and it is no wonder that BJP and saffron sympathizers took offence and started calling AAP supporters AAPtards before even Kejriwal became CM and showed his other whimsical face. The coming days will show whether AAP and Kejriwal are any different from the BJP and Congress counterparts.


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