Showing posts from October, 2014

Watchout, Modi Eating ‘States’ for Breakfast

Hope is a good breakfast but a bad dinner. And Congress realized this much to it’s chagrin when  an impatient India sent it packing and now waits expectantly while saffron replacement Narendra Modi lays the table afresh. For the moment he seems intent on clearing the gargantuan kitchen. Maharashtra and Haryana have just been swept clean of the Congress and NCP in the State Assembly elections held this month and are set to be replaced with a spanking new saffron set-up headed by Modi’s trusted men. Next year, 2015, is the turn of Bihar to go to the polls followed by Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala and Assam in 2016 and Uttar Pradesh, Manipur and Punjab in 2017 Congress is now reduced to ruling in only 9 of the 29 states in the country, five of them-Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Meghalaya-in the north-east, a junior partner in Jharkhand, besides Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Kerala. The Indian political ‘Plate’ has been seeing considerable seismic activity. …

For Modi, appropriation is the name of the game

When you hear hoof beats, think of horses. So, when the results of  Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strategic gamble in Maharashtra and Haryana  are the stuff of screaming headlines, it is  his  ‘hostile takeover’ and ‘acquisitions’ imagery , played with panache on the Indian political chessboard, that needs dissemination. An artful imagery is at work, and repeatedly so, inviting comparisons with late Prime Minister   Indira Gandhi in conjuring up a cause. Whether it was the abolition of princely privy purse, bank nationalization or the portrayal of her own party veterans of the Sixties-Morarji Desai, Atulya Ghosh and Sanjiva Reddy who formed into the Syndicate in the Congress-as archaic gasbags, she successfully portrayed them as old hats hindering her   progressive policies and ‘Garibi Hatao’ programmes, thus ensuring a mandate for herself for life. In some ways, Modi has done one up on Indira. He has not only carried forward the imagery, but even fleshed out the phenomenon…

Political interference hits milk co-op movement

Any jackass can kick down a barn but it takes a good carpenter to build one. It took V.Kurien, the father of the milk revolution, a lifetime to ensure that India becomes the largest milk producer in the world but only a few months  for then chief minister Narendra Modi to inject  the poison of politics into the body mechanism of milk cooperatives in Gujarat. Modi is now the prime minister and this ‘Gujarat’ model is  set to be replicated countrywide to ensure BJP control of milk cooperatives for enhanced  consolidation of political power. It was Modi who conspired to have Kurien ejected  from both the  Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) and Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) in 2006.The two never saw eye to eye. Kurien guarded his flock of  milk producers with steely resolve while Modi possessed an insatiable appetite for total control. The milk cooperatives of Gujarat with a captive vote bank of approx ten million  and fat finances was too juicy …

Muscle-flexing the media – the Modi way

Critics are like eunuchs in a harem: they know how it’s done, they’ve seen it done everyday  but only they’re unable to do it themselves. Journalists too are now in such a situation, thanks to the Modi era in Indian politics. This  scenario has never been so acute  as it is today, moreso in the country’s capital. Delhi’s boastfully bloated population of  know-all ,cats whiskers who possessed the legendary reputation of  worming their way into prized  woodworks and  spilling out  the gore and the goey along with the gut, find themselves having been barred access from all sides. The invisible’ hit-laxmanrekha’ lines carefully etched by Prime Minister  Modi is holding firm, keeping the ‘creepy crawlies’ out. Like it or not, that’s how most in the political power structure look at journalists-an unavoidable nuisance. As in politics, so in the media. Delhi has for long carried the reputation of  being a mercenary, no-holds barred news arena where countless principal combatants mee…