Showing posts from 2015

Validating Vendetta

Vendetta politics  is the art of looking for trouble ,finding it whether it exists or not ,and applying the wrong remedy, or so goes an oft repeated saying.
Cold Delhi was sizzled on December 15 as the Central Bureau of Investigations(CBI) sought to ‘marinate’ the Delhi Chief Minister’s Office in a controversial raid that saw temperatures soaring in Parliament  and fingers pointed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for resorting to such a practice. After Himachal Pradesh ,this is the second Chief Minister or his office to be targeted by the Narendra Modi led BJP government  in it’s less than two year long tenure. Interestingly just around the time that the CBI was pursuing the raid on the Delhi  chief minister’s office, far away in Gujarat’s capital of Gandhinagar ,a court was issuing a bailable warrant against minister Purshottam Solanki in an alleged Rs 400 crore fisheries scam during the time when he was a minister in the government headed by chief minister  Narendra Modi .…

BJP Homesick In Modi's Gujarat


 Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, for this time it tolls nearer home.
Delhi ,Bihar and now Gujarat .Billed as the semi-final encounter before the next State Assembly polls in 2017, the election results to 323 local self government bodies in Gujarat is cause for alarm to the ruling BJP and nectar to the ears of the Congress .Rendered comatose by Narendra Modi in his 13 year long rule of Gujarat ,the Congress has virtually risen from the grave within just eighteen months of his departure for Delhi .The results announced on December 2  is  bad news for the BJP in Gujarat .While the ruling party in the state has managed  to retain urban control ,the  Congress has swept  the countryside.
As for the results ,the ruling BJP retained control of  the municipal corporations of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot ,Surat,Jamnagar and Bhavnagar  and 40 of the 56 smaller town municipalities but  the Congress walked  away with a majority of the 31 district panchayats and 230 taluka panchayat…

Pulpy Pride And Painful Prejudice

Tolerance may be troubling but arrogance annihilates. The storm over the statements by the star Khans - Shahrukh then Aamir- fanned through televised debates and the abusive anonymity of the social media is troubling .What did they say that should make people yell bloody murder ?Are they being hounded because  they are public figures and muslims at that ?Does a star wife have no right to voice her insecurity ? What does the National Crime Records Bureau(NCRB) have to say? It states that every 20 minutes a woman is being raped in India .Nearly one in three rape victims is under the age of 18 and one in ten under 14.Since 2010 crimes against women has increased by 7.1 per cent .That Delhi ,Mumbai ,Jaipur and Pune  - in that order-are among the top unsafe  cities in India .And the most horrifying part is that 94 per cent of the offenders were known to the victim and her families .So where  does that leave us.
Statistics may trouble but insecurity grips the mind only when those a…

Milking Cash Cows In Political Pails


To err is human but to really mess up you require a design committee of bureaucrats headed by a politician.
How else would you account for  the government’s approval to cheap import of butter oil that puts Indian dairy majors-largely it’s milk cooperatives- in an avoidable stranglehold  at a time of glut conditions.
Indian dairy cooperatives have been shouting hoarse at the doorsteps of a government headed by a Prime Minister from Gujarat-the milk cradle of India- pointing out the hazards but so far to no avail. According to a report, 1300 metric tons (MT) of butter oil(ghee) from New Zealand has already landed and another 2500 MT is on the way. And of course, there is more in queue .The glaring price difference tells it’s own story. Imported at Rs 170 per kg it is ranged against a domestic product going at Rs325 per kg in bulk packing.
The  global milk market is ‘fermenting’ and the international dairy product prices are in free fall .There is a drop in currency rates aga…

Delhi,Bihar And Now Gujarat ?

More often than not ,victory  walks in on a bicycle when vanity is sanguinely sailing the skies .The cymbals have ceased and the soldiers are back in their camps: the one to savour success and the other to debate the debacle .But India ,after the battle of the ballot in Bihar will never be the same again .A  national political re-alignment has begun. Two crushing blows in a row-Delhi and now Bihar - has the garrulous Narendra Modi government  dumbstruck .Even as it seeks to brazen it’s way out of the cul-de-sac with hurried announcement of a long pending reformist  agenda ,a third  setback hovers menacingly on the horizon .Incidentally ,it was not Pakistan where crackers were burst after the BJP defeat in Bihar but in Amit Shah’s own Gujarat .And not in some isolated cases but  in most cities ,town and villages of the state! Modi and  party chief Amit Shah’s bastion ,Gujarat is under siege .Though State Assembly elections in Gujarat are due only in 1917,a two phase poll for …

Where Pettiness Rules & Prejudice Governs

Mindsets chasing mandates have a maudlin mentality .They put band-aid on a cut finger when seeking power but amputate from the elbow when safely settled. And, all in the name of public interest. Headed by a modern day prime minister elected on a landslide development mandate ,the BJP still needs  to fall back on crass communal polarization in the Bihar  State Assembly elections, brings out its total  bankruptcy of ideas .A party as old as Independent India which seeks to give a new vision to the country has  even failed to clothe it’s age old polarization formula in  more trendy wear .Many of us media persons ,had  watched  the polarization drama unfold in the 2002 Gujarat Assembly elections that followed the  Godhra train carnage and the statewide communal riots  thereafter. It was then personally led and spread by Chief Minister Narendra Modi through his  Gaurav Yatra launched from Phagvel in Central Gujarat on September 8,2002.His speech was all about the ‘daughter of It…

India In Anguish

India today is a sitting duck. Like a turkey voting for an early Christmas.
Let’s sample a recent day’s national headlines. It no longer informs. It screams. Hatred in Mumbai. Violence in New Delhi. Fanaticism in Bengaluru. Punjab on the boil. Protests in Kashmir. Trucker killed in Udhampur over rumours of cow slaughter. The reference is to the storming of  the Cricket Control Board meeting discussing an Indo-Pak cricket series by the Shiv Sainiks in Mumbai, Hindu Sena workers smearing black paint on the face of J&K legislator Abdul Rashid for ‘disrespecting’ the cow, in Delhi and BJP activists harassing an Australian couple for sporting a tattoo of a goddess in Bengaluru. For Rashid this is his second experience of violence. The first time over he was assaulted within the august Jammu and Kashmir Assembly by ruling BJP legislators themselves. The Shiv Sainiks have already done the smearing act with former L.K. Advani aide, Sudheendra Kulkarni. Re-wind by two days and …

Blows, Bruises And Scars

Wounds bleed. They also stain. The Patidar (Patel) agitation which began as a blow meant to bruise Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel is now a bleeding wound with a spreading stain inching forward to sully the crispy kurta of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Gujarat is facing the spectre of ethnic strife with the Anandiben Patel government  caught in a cleft-stick between the pro and anti-reservationists and the ‘leaders’ of the embattled police who have been at the receiving end, rolling up their sleeves menacingly. The problems stand further compounded by her BJP counterpart in Rajasthan Vasundhararaje Scindia  who on  September 22,2015 got the  State Assembly to clear two Bills providing five per cent quota in jobs and education to the Gujjars and some other groups under a new category of special Backward Classes besides 14 per cent for the economically weaker sections of upper castes-families with annual incomes upto Rs 2.50 lakh. The additional reservation came two …

Ban Meat And Beef Up Exports !

He that sleeps feels not the tooth-ache. An Indiain somnolent slumber after voting for development in 2014 may wake up to find itself saddled with an archaic agenda riding astride a society in strife.
For starters, take meat. As if on cue, state after BJP ruled state has suddenly woken up to the overarching religious need for keeping meat and fish shops as well as abattoirs closed on Hindu and Jain festival days. Maharashtra  took the lead followed by Rajasthan, Gujarat, Chattisgarh, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir. A similar ban had been placed in Karnataka when the BJP held power. No prizes for guessing where this  inspiration/diktat comes from. Obviously, Nagpur.
The Narendra Modi led BJP government is apparently frittering away a rock solid mandate for forward looking national governance befitting a robust, youthful country on archaic, delusional visions of ancient grandeur.
The Fadnavis government in Maharashtra soon found itself done in when their High Court intervened…

Master Mohan and Modi


Politicians and  pundits enjoy floating pretentious bubbles when chasing power and pelf. Once in, the remaining time is spent either in denial, deceit or demagogy. India’s Prime Minister, Narendra  Modi is no exception.
A political pugilist akin to Mohammed Ali, Modi as chief  minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014 had  also incorporated   the one time World Champion’s  classic slogan ‘float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’ into his style sheet. His repertoire of verbal aggression  was not confined to  probing  jabs and rulebook upper-cuts, but included lethal below-the-belt undercuts as he  punched, hooked and even head-butted his opponents all through his tenure as  head of  the west India state until he delivered the knock-out punch in the 2014  general elections.
All along, the soft spoken, two-term UPA Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh was derisively referred to as a  ‘puppet’, deaf and dumb(gunga-bechara) while Sonia Gandhi would be mocked as a ‘maharani’, the ‘uncons…