Showing posts from September, 2014

Season of machinations and ugly plots

Starving national self respect to feed individual vanity is like a desperate disease requiring a dangerous remedy. Thus it is  that a political game  unfolding  on the chessboard of a city in Gujarat is seeking to dim the sheen of the 2014 mandate  that put Narendra Modi and the BJP in command with a clear majority in Parliament. And with unpleasant international ramifications. Why else are the  ethnic fires being stoked in Vadodara city of Gujarat just as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had embarked on his historic visit to US, a country which refused to give him a visa until he assumed charge of India?.This is a question that many people are asking here. There clearly are wheels within wheels, and many are up with their old, tired, and still lethal games. That includes some in the Sangh Parivar as well. The ghosts of the 2002 communal riots that followed the Godhra train carnage could take some rest for now. Moreso because, Modi is on a visit that is very important for the coun…

Even bypoll jolt can’t keep Modi down

A wise man gets to benefit more from his  enemies than a fool  from friends. And so with Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister. On September 16, 2014 all  manner of media craftsmen  went to work dissecting the result of 29 Vidhan Sabha seats spread over five states in India to  surmise that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s magic is on the wane. There are approx. 3826 Vidhan Sabha seats in the country and 29 would constitute a very distant fraction. He is the very same  man who secured 282 seats, largely on his own steam to give his party, the BJP a clear majority in the 543 member Lok Sabha in the 2014 general elections. Four months down the line he is careening downhill, is what the wisdom machines of New Delhi would have you believe. Modi knows the inner mechanics of the media too well to be perturbed by such pre-pressed, instant analysis that is hardly incisive and tends towards the facetious. Most tend to miss the woods for the trees, not used to dealing with a person  who defi…

How Sonia & Co. helped in the rise of Modi

The best way to remember your wife’s birthday is to forget it once. The surest way to show a penny pincher  political party it’s place  is a penalizing push to it’s posterior. The 2014 mandate  was just about that-a resounding slap to the Congress-notwithstanding that division of votes led BJP to majority with 282 seats. The BJP got 31 per cent votes and the Congress 19.3 per cent. This in effect means that almost  five of every ten votes cast in 2014 ignored both the national parties, the BJP and the Congress. The fact, however is that whether due to post-poll paralysis or a  self-induced  stupor, the Congress national leadership seems to be in a drugged trance, yet to find their bearings following the sound thrashing after a decade in the saddle. It could do well to look towards Gujarat, not because the one man  who singlehandedly masterminded their departure from Delhi hails from here  but also because the political events unfolding in India are but a manifestation of the a…

Anandiben image at the centre of Gujarat by-elections

What is so great about predicting a poll outcome when a landslide follows a ram battering. And yet the forthcoming by-elections to one Lok Sabha and 9 Vidhan Sabha seats due in Gujarat on September 13 acquires importance, both in national and state politics. Gujarat is  important today in the national political format because it is the home turf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. More so because Modi clobbered the Congress out of shape in three successive Vidhan Sabha elections in Gujarat and then broomed it off the national political shelf to usher in the first BJP majority government in history. Thus having hit rock bottom, the Congress has little to lose except it’s modesty in the coming by-elections. Paradoxically, the ruling BJP has quite a bit that hangs in the balance though it sits pretty comfortably poised in the ensuing elections. While the outcome of the by-elections in Gujarat will not materially alter the situation in any manner, this will be the first major Vidh…

Prohibition – Gujarat style; and all are tipsy!

One swallow is a singleton but two do not a summer make. Likewise, sip, swallow or gulp, one is not enough. But two in a tub can’t turn soggy wet into bone dry! The toast of the country is Kerala. And Gujarat is celebrating. It has company. Many have come and gone but Gujarat has walked straight and steady all along, over six decades. You know why? Because  we in Gujarat don’t drink and drive  other people nuts. We do it in the cool comfort of out homes. And quietly go off to sleep. Thats the secret of our endurance and off course, success! The intracacies of the booze business in Gujarat would require a bookful of balladry. A column corner wedged in an Indiawise space competition would hardly suffice. Nevertheless a few vignettes to enhance the taste if not fulfill your appetite should be in order. Born dry, liquor consumption in Gujarat is a non-bailable offence. And yet the state leaks liquor like a sieve. It is available aplenty-the brand you require, wherever you requi…

Sacking turned into a spectacle

A storm in a teacup is often stirred by people who sail in paper boats. Known for his pathological hatred for dissent and brute bulldozing skills finely honed during his over 12 year long tenure as chief minister of Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sacking of Mizoram Governor, Dr. Kamla Beniwal is nothing more than the proverbial storm in the political teacup. Neither constitutionally mandated nor Supreme Court approved-change of governments do not necessarily imply change of Governors-it goes on by precedents. The meaning however lies in the manner, and through it, the message that the sacking seeks to convey. Beniwal who took over as Governor of Gujarat in 2009 and served till recently when she was transferred to Mizoram was the only hurdle in Modi’s steamrolling ways as he sought to bypass constitutional norms. He had already snuffed out all dissent within the Gujarat BJP, through skilful use of veteran LK Advani, sending old stalwarts packing like former union mi…