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Sunday, May 17, 2009

The RIGHT side of SAFFRON and the LEFT side of RED

Everything, it seems, is a question of hysteria, conversion and expediency. Does it naturally follow we are talking India: be it Cricket, Culture, Politics, Religion, Entertainment! The mandate - I thought long and hard - is not in favour of UPA or Congress or against BJP as people are led to think. The mandate is in favour of the ability of any person who is projected as an icon and possessing the ability to sway people's emotion than intellect. Example: Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Bannerjee... the list is long but not endless, because there are also failed icons and cheats. The example of former being L.K.Advani and the latter being P.Chidambaram. 22 Recounts? They recounted until the counting minds and hands tired and gave up, knowing Chidu's will to retain the constituency is stronger than the will of the others to gain. Power Play is the game of those who are afraid of losing, not hate losing. Look at what happened in the Sivaganga constituency. I am sure there is a scenario that transpired yesterday in Sivaganga that is similar to what happened in Florida in the year Cousin Bush recounted and won. So... 

In the middle of all this, the LEFT finds itself in a mess. Lalu issues a statement obviously repenting the wisdom of non-pre-poll alliance. Expelled speaker Somnath Chatterjee conveniently blaming Prakash Karat. UPA believing that they are more secular than others and hence they won! BJP claiming that there was oil all over the body but not on the mustache enough for dirt to stick on it: "Oh! But look at the seven states where we have done well!" 

The sum total of inability to convert the figures to form government is higher in ineptitude than the parts that constitute a whole new political dharma, dear Jaitley. It seems more than anyone else, the Fourth Estate, especially the TV News channels seem more bent on using the fall of BJP and the LEFT to their TRP best by vilifying the former and mourning the latter as though they finally moved Lenin from Dzherzinsky Square to the inner precincts of some seedy museum. Axes continue to fall through the press on figure heads who deem themselves culpably responsible for the fall of their bastions. In this context, I think, Mr. Advani must be either the most qualified drama person or the most naive politician. He says he wants to quit. He reminds me of the Soccer team managers who are either axed or take moral responsibility and quit because their side lost. Is he so naive to believe that he could have made the party's march to Parliament happen were others not to be there? He did realise years back that he was not as charismatic as Atal-ji. Barely had he said he wants to own moral responsibiity and quit, the idiomatic lip-service that he should not quit rose inside the party; but in just over three hours it died at the same speed it rose with and now they are already clamouring among themselves, WHO NEXT - You or me? 

The trouble with all those who are magnetic enough but not charismatic is that they lack that extra moderation. Atal-ji never did anything that was politically flamboyant. Manmohan never has either. Sonia doesn't too. The ability of a leader in India to retain the mass hysteria to their side, today, comprises of a certain quality to be in the middle and yet not get emotional. In some cases the lack of emotions or intelligence can also be helpful, which leads us to the burial of Left. 

More than anything else that happened in Elections 2009, it is not the so-called end of Advani that will be remembered, but people's faith in democracy and the eradication of superstitious belief that socialism can exist in India in the garb of communism.

Communism calls itself a rational and social way out of religious beliefs that generate superstitions and lack of thinking as well as gives rise to capitalistic inequality. Accepted, the commies have their right to whatever they want to think. After all, we believe in Freedom of Speech and Thought. Have people forgotten the old axiom that anything that is an "ism" is not very different from religion! They also seem to have not taken notice of the fact that since the liberalisation era India has been inexorably catapulting and inevitably spiralling downwards towards the nadir of a free market economy that would lead its Dow Jones and Hang Seng listings ultimately towards its own little share in the global meltdown of economy when it would happen. We may today say proudly that India was not as affected as other and developed nations. The lesser the share the less the damage, but... it did, didn't it not? 

We do live among a generation that believes in everything being material and everything is there to be questioned. More suicides and more harassments and more ills than positives. The other day I had an argument with someone about how there are more unhappy people in the current generation than ever. He said that statistically there are more happy people. It also statistically means that the population has increased several fold over a period faster than rabbits fornicate and profligate and populate! When the number of happy people increase, the number of unhappy people also increase by that same logic that where there are more people being born there are also more people dying, if you go by number theory; and where number theory comes into play, capitalism sooner than latter overhauls any other belief because it becomes the Right of the Might and not the Might of the Righteous. 

This is where Communism and Communist parties got it wrong. They thought that they had the UPA by its proverbial balls during their last reign. The Left blackmailed UPA with its one-point agenda of "NO to Nuke Deal" if it is from US! The UPA strongly proved them wrong. 

It looked, from the LEFT angle, only for a while. After all, the elections were round the corner and there's enough sluice gates that could be damaged across the country. Then again, the LEFT has not delivered to the people what the capitalists have not either. I strongly think the one single favour the Indian voters did to themselves in this election is that they threw the Left; but are they finally and totally out or just bloody and broken, not yet battered and defeated? The coming days would prove that. 

One thing is certain: Life is not that bad on the RIGHT SIDE OF SAFFRON as they still are the only other national party and they do have the best single majority this side of Congress and hence shall continue their seat-warming on the bridesmaid side. They have been the best Opposition party in the history of our 60 plus year old democracy and we need them in the opposition. If they are good enough to do positive developmental contribution economically and politically in their respective areas, there is no reason why they cannot have a better cheer next time around. Their statement that they are willing to be a constructive opposition seems earnest for the moment... unlike THE LEFT SIDE OF RED who are already sliming their heads together as to how they can dismantle their Third Front and go Back to associating themselves with a secular governement in the face of a fundamental opposition. To give a little twist to the Giorgio Moroder song of the distant past in what could become an NDA post-poll song of woe, "YOU ARE LEFT, SHE's RIGHT, I AM WRONG".

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Illogical Mandala of Indian Politics...

...and the sad plight of the Indian voter!

Yes... this must indeed be the saddest day in the life of an average voter of the world's most populous democracy!

Bharath is 2000+ years old. Hindustan is as old as the Moghul invasion. India is about 62 years old. In the middle of this confusion are caught millions of millions of people who do not know which concept justifies their geographical existence.

And today... it is all becoming very clear. The so-called world's largest democracy is after all the world's largest monarchy. Back up at the centre until the EIC came to rule us, we were always dynastic. Which ever way we look, our country had always had dynastic and monarchic rule. Down south, the Cholas, Cheras, Pandyas, Pallavas, Chalukyas... and now it is the Karunas. The fact that today the Indian voting majority has just about ended crowning Congress at the centre and the Tamils the DMK is proof of my proverbial pudding. Not that the BJP or the AIADMK are angels and the Congs and the DMKs are demons. All of them are the same flea abuzz the pee. But, the question is, are we the pee? or the peed? One good thing in the middle of this electoral melodrama is the Left is left behind and the Third Front has been put in its place. This just goes to show that if you desert those who depend and believe in you, Divine Providence takes over. The Mayawatis and the Karats and the Yechuris of the world can take a flying trip to moon and fall back or stay in the orbit. 

It is always my belief that an ideal state to have is a two-party system, where one ascends power for the development of the country and the other becomes the watchdog opposition that criticises constructively. Not that my belief is unique or invented. It is at the root of the spirit of democracy. So, it is good in a way that the Congress is retaining power and without this time having to resorting to the barter-minded pimps who are ready to sell their ideologies for the sake of key portfolios or minimum common programme in their or their party's or their state's interest; or for that matter this time Congress is not going to be blackmailed by two-timing commies who won't even be respected in a communist state. I am glad for Congress for this result. This is one reason I feel it was better that BJP must not come to power this time... for they would have come to power only with the help of such species as we discussed above, although in different name packages! Now the Third and the Fourth are just that in the Houses when the parliamentary sessions would begin. The debate would happen primarily between the Party in Power and the Respected Opposition. The Third and the Fourth cannot topple any motion or there won't be no more armtwisting at no-confidence motions. Good for them, good for us. 

Talking of the Opposition: yesterday, during my conversation with a long-time friend of mine, who also happens to be a psephologist - those guys who analyse elections and try justifying the statistics of ballots in retrospect! - I happened to mention that I had a feeling BJP would end up and must end up in the opposition because they would never get an absolute majority to go up the pedestal. Some of the reasons are: 1) Advani is not your ideal moderate head that is fit to be a Prime Minister of the country, 2) BJP is yet to come up with a prospective incumbent to that post (and Nitish is an ally, not an incumbent of the party and has also expressed his self-doubts), 3) the Mayawatis and the Sharad Pawars can only tug at the bit but not hold it - they are all too regional in their presence whatever said and done (and in Maya's case it has been proved so) and 4) the Congress orchestration is so fine-tuned and well-oiled a machinery that is almost 100 years old that they can sway sentiments and put together that vicious combination of pseudo-secular indoctrination and the image of Gandhi in the minds of the unsuspecting mass of the North... AND 5) they have too many more alliances to hammer up the 2/3rs majority that UPA requires. Look at what has happened. 202 out of 543 just by themselves. Give them another 3 months of campaigning time, they'll get 275 themselves!

How true! I have never been proved true thus in my entire life on any issue. I don't like the fact that UPA is forming the government, because I keep asking, albeit rhetorically, are these the choices before a voting Bharat-putra? The trouble with Indian politics is our Constitution. We need to urgently topple it over its head and scrap the IPC and build a fresh preamble and a constitutional rule book. We are stuck with the British colonial legacy, only we call it IPC. It could as well be EPC.  Who better than Congress to run the legacy! Are they not the ones who connived with the British and made us A NATION DIVIDED? And then went out of their way give separate existence to the two physically divided parts of our neighborhood Spiderman Pakistan? After all, these Congressmen and women of the Gandhi family are all Britain educated, no? I have to digress here...

Today, at my MYT workshop, there is this 9th standard kid who thinks the Gandhi - like a lot of uneducated people of India - in the Indira, Sanjay, Rajiv, Rahul etc. belongs to Mohandas Karamchand! I had to take her through a short course in history to clear where the Gandhi comes from! And there is someone else who has not heard of Win Chadda or Ottavio Quattrochi or the Italian antique dealer connection of Sonia. How much of history would Congress continue to dress up with 123 and Nuke Deal and Aam Aadmi and NREGA? I talked, also today, to a folk theatre activitist who gives me statistical take of how much of NREGA's 80 bucks a day reached the Aadmi. All this would look like Cong-bashing. So be it. They are not fit to rule even the come-full-moon submerging islands of the far coasts of Lakshadweep. Then again, neither is BJP. 

Coming back... if this is the case of the country's only two national parties caught in the regional party politics, what way out for you and me? We keep alternating between these two parties and most people vote for Cong because they hate BJP because they have been so glamorously indoctrinated against BJP for what the Sene and the Sena and others do. One doesn't understand how easily the allegedly educated (because being educated seems to be a sin and crime to me as we don't take anything but reactionary measures) and urban Indians fall prey to well-orchestrated press campaigns of breast-groping men in Sene outfit which gets equated with Bhartiya Janata Party that also incidentally shares the saffron colour with other religiously Hindu in belief outfits. Why is it that an average Hindu has to shirk from the very terminology that defines his existence because every one who is not a Hindu and in a position to doctor things through their access to press is power-mongering and thus rally behind any one else who is not a Hindu in the name of secularism? Is secularism only Hindu bashing in this country? When the sewerage goes into the Bay of Bengal or Arabian Sea, does it gets separated on the basis of Hindu shit or Islamic shit or Christian shit or Dalit shit? Why then should we vote on the basis of secularism or the lack of it? It just dawns on me that the average voter of the world's most populous democracy is no better than that shit he shits, according to these politicians. And we continue to vote... and we continue to believe in the democratic process that extradicts the Quattrochis and the CBI that abides by a Supreme Court decision that always favours Congress. Is the Supreme Court also Congress' hand-puppet? How does Congress continue to keep its stranglehold so long? Will the allegedly educated urban Indian who is more bothered about his space to fornicate with or without reason and choose to consider morality as a conveniently changing view point depending on his inebriation levels ever wake up to ask the right questions even if the issues that bother this nation does not touch (leave alone affect) him/her? Don't get me wrong! I am not asking you to vote for options open besides Congress here! What use is the choice we have? Only remember... because one doesn't like the deep sea one can't dive into the devil's mouth or vice-versa.  We need to create options, we need to take well-argued and analytical stand.  How do you do that, ask you! I hear. I shall give one small example.

On my way to cast my vote, at the gates of my electoral booth, I ran into a friend who came out having voted. I asked him casually if he had done with the process. Inspite of my not asking, he volunteered that he had voted for Congress. I asked him aghast when he is going to change his family tradition when he - who used to work high up in a leading Chennai newspaper and as opinionated as a jehadi can get about Indian politics - countered me by asking what is the option? I told him several, one among which was 49(O). He said he was not willing to compromise on his physical security since 49(O) requires that you should disclose your identity! Now, if you do, that is what taking a stand is! Assuming that the goondas of the parties of India would sorround your house like the NSG during the Mumbai Taj Siege and hence do not want to compromise on your security is what I call the spinelessness of an educated urban Indian! Do we think that the powers that be are watching us like the Big Brother of 1984 or the Overseers of Zamyatin's WE and send people to destroy all the 49(o) voters? How shallow can we get? For god's sake, this is a country of 1.2 billion and 49(O) as of today can't usher India-shaking changes. But at least, one would have taken a stand! I really do adore all those who voted for the Independent candidates because at least they chose an option, winning or not! This is probably how we could begin.

We have FIVE GOOD YEARS TO DO THAT STARTING TODAY... let's begin... NOW!