Key takeaways….


Bengal verdict is sound and clear. The highly intelligent voter has again proved, why she is the vanguard of democracy. The elections were made out to be bipolar. In reality it never was.

The punditry suggested that this time around, there will be a haddahaddi lorai, a fight to the finish.But the post 1967 tradition just had a new lease of life with the over the top majority for the TMC.

Here the equations of the alliance did not play out as expected. The so called political analyst had almost regarded the 39% Left-Congress voteshare erosion averse. It was assumed, that it is the TMC voteshare which is variable, not that of the alliance or tactical arrangement or whatever the name is.The punditry ruled out the point that voters in Bengal are no more servile.

The way the voteshare of the Left has gone down, with an almost written off BJP touching the double digit vote share, the index of opposition unity looks highly thwarted from place.

The same ‘analysts’ who concluded that the ascending BJP vote share in 2014 hurt the Left have been wronged. Rather, the ascending vote share of the BJP helped TMC lose Asansol, where Dola Sen was trounced by Babul Supriyo.

All the historic “hand in hand” gaffes to eloquently bat for the jot by ABP have proven to be out of place and severed from reality. The elections also show the media its place. 

Give news first, perhaps even views. But you are still a bit less important in my life than the Game of Thrones.

All the op ed pages and editorials have far lesser readership today than it had a couple of decades back. You may paint VYAPAM or SARADHA as corruption scandals, but it has zero impact if the voter at large is satisfied by governance.

Media lost the battle against Modi after 2002, the much hyped India Shining lost in 2004, the Ramnath Goenka dribble against the Congress perished in 1980. Overestimation of the power of the  prime time slot is perhaps born out of social media’s incessant political campaign.

But the tech savvy, fb or instagrammed generation is still a small puppy in comparison to the doughty, rural voter whose life gets improved by sops and freebies.

Economists living in opulent bungalows may point out at their undesirable effect on the economy, but they are surely desired by the villager in Samastipur suffering from nature’s fury. 

One caveat-these elections have proven leftism isn’t dead, it can’t be. Perhaps that’s why someone jokingly said on twiiter in February-Sitaram Yechury authored this year’s finance budget!

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Do dooni char


As we move slowly into the third year of Achche Din, the question of too many contradictions look to scratch Modi’s eventful reign. However, his personal report card should be a source of relief for a government carrying the liability as well as the responsibility of being a one man show-at least tangentially.

Controversies are a part and parcel of any government. In Modi’s case the issue is no different. The Vyapam and Lalitgate were talking points of every television news channel irrespective of national or regional variety about one year back.

It has not hurt the image of the Modi government or that of the Prime Minister himself. Unlike a nervous and fragile UPA II the government did not budge to the pressure that was being released by one group of the 4th estate and a highly inquisitive opposition.

Though the Prime Minister’s endeavours deserve credit, he has been unable to do a Vajpayee-make an extra effort to rope in the disgruntled elements. Besides, the tactical error has been to cede too much space to the Sangh Parivar. 

The FTII conundrum was highly avoidable with the government coming across as complicit and ambivalent. 

The issue of rewriting books based on the synonimity of hearsay stuff and tangible facts of history has made the educational policy more idiotic, mechanical and devoid of any logic.

However, even if the BJP has been losing elections and has made little headway in states where it never has had a solid ground, it is undeniable that the trust, but not hope on Modi is increasing every day. 

With the opposition more worried about the PM’s certificates, the people have already Made it clear that its trust will eventually lean upon Modi, who is still the 5 year long certified upholder of India’s tryst with destiny….

“Swamy & enemies”


The Congress Party is in a state of irreversible decline. This is the moot story one can hear in the lanes and bylanes of political grapevine. 

One can surely understand the condition of the party from a series of electoral setbacks and the Agusta Kickbacks have only legitimised the party’s ill famed mirage of corruption.

But the people by now are tired hearing of corruption as all political parties are brazenly involved neck deep in money laundering and other illegal as well immoral practises.

And the Congress Party is standing on the Dead Cliff. So even the people have no reason to stand  ‘wide jawed’ after hearing the allegations. The former Union Defence Minister has agreed to the fact that there was corruption in the #VVIPchopperScam.

And the BJP has chosen the right time and the apt person in its quest to bay for the Gandhis’ blood. The redoubtable Subramanian Swamy is more a mischief maker and has seldom made any headway in putting opposition political figures behind bars.

He failed to implicate  Chidambaram. The Gandhis for the time being can breathe a sigh of relief in the National Herald case. His truly ‘rubbish'(a word he uses frequently) remarks trying to draw a connection between Aamir Khan and other terror organizations give me enough reason to believe he is nothing more than a crackpot.

But he has been able to catch the pulse of the nation and the Mediagenic audience is making the most of Swamy’s gregariousness. The fall of the Gandhis from the citadel of infallibility has even forced the Swami haters to rally behind him for a common cause.

The Social media is the backyard  of the Right. And even trivial or fake information attacking the Gandhis and the Congress Party is going on the rounds. Many have cried foul mainly invoking the memories of media trial.

But there is a reason. For the last  seven decades, an inaccessible political family is suddenly being treated as a common entity, not a elitist one. The supra constitutional value of a family has now been devalued.

The fight of the Gandhis now is like the battle of any family trying to rinse off the stain. Their success or failure will decide the future course of Indian politics.

Till then like many others try to watch Rajya Sabha TV which recently has seen a jump of 900% in TRPs whenenever Swamy has fired his “unparliamentary” canons. News Channels are reaping windfall profits, the audience is getting entertained, those whose boredom compelled them to watch Sasha Grey in Parliament are sitting upright. Vigilance at last has returned. So Who complains?

Lolita, ask ‘her’ to leave today


See I want to permanently return to Kolkata after 2 years. And if Didi is still the Chief Minister, I shudder to believe what will be the consequences. Bengalis are known to lateback, their dna is full of indolence but brains morphed with politics.

The intellectual class mostly believes she is unbearable. True she is. Though I necessarily never subscribe to the propaganda of the ABP- Mamata has creates her own pitfalls. 

Bengalis have a rich past, a rich present and a hopefully a bright future. But what if talented Bengalis help a Maharashtra or a Karnataka increase its GDP as their home state lie high and dry?

In a recent interview in an election rally in Kolkata, she was being quizzed by the NDTV triumvirate- Shekhar Gupta, Dorab Sopariwala and the Probashi thespian Prannoy Roy. There was no connect between the questions thrown and the answers given.

The situation appears morbidly grim as most political commentators are clueless about the choice of the voters this time around. There is no clear cut picture which has led Mamata lose her senses altogether.

A Chief Minister must at least show grace even if she fails to qualify as a bhadromohila by middle class standards. A question was asked about the prospects of the BJP in these elections. But she in return talked about the ‘nuisance'(a word she is in love with it seems as she repeated it half a dozen times) of the Election Commission and the BJP government at the centre.

She has always been whimsical- a reason why the educated middle class never took her seriously. A polemical view of her administrative skills while she was the Railways minister today has fallen flat on the face. Mention I must, the facade of her great administrative skills was a manufactured product of the media only.

Jobs cannot be created by the brethrens of extortionists, by the partners of those who believe in the departmentalazation of bribery- from the Chokdas to the top notch ministers.

She dreamt of making Kolkata, an alter ego of London. What in return she has given the city is the worst example of colonial slavery. A highly discernible copy of Big Ben stands near New Town. Madame Tussauds has opened its office in the city only to reincarnate the Chief Minister’s idol.

The Left-Congress will go down in history as an awkward pair who tried to re-establish what vulnerability and fear can do to political parties. But who knows this is the best chance Bengal has in its path of revival.

Bengal must own up the model thrown by South Indian states where anti incumbency becomes so extreme every 5 years that a poriborton seems imminent.

The myth that a government with a huge mandate can guarantee political stability has not stood the test of time. The Left till 2011 had quite a comfortable majority. But the 3.5 decades of left rule saw infinite political deaths which cannot be chroniclised factually.

Who knows perhaps, a government with a slender majority, with a tight noose will face the greater pressure to deliver. As Kerala according to many has achieved stupendous success under Chandy, because the Congress was just past the halfway mark in the Legislative Assembly.

Till then lets hope, the new government can arrest this brain drain- otherwise the student speacials to Pune or Hyderabad or Bengaluru will not stop.  

2016 and beyond-a Factual analysis


If the CPM- Congress alliance strikes gold in this Bengal elections, it can actually mean doom to a number of political parties, especially the current ‘Modified’ BJP.

The Congress is content playing the second or the third fiddle with no desire to catch up. Their ekla cholo re efforts have not paid off in Bihar(2010) and UP(2012) and in 2014 it scored a duck in many politically relevant states like Tamil Nadu. 

But the question of sustainability of a khichdi sarkar in 2019 arises without any question. Though the Modi government has erred in a number of places, with its foreign poicy bereft of takers, it has fared well in policy enactment, which got botched up badly during the erstwhile regime.

But governance most of the times does not determine the political fate of a country whose political choice is highly divided.

But can the Bengal phenomenon repeat itself in all states. Not to forget that the Left in Bihar decided to go all alone leaving the BJP the opportunity to get some more seats. The Mahagatbandhan first lost Mulayam Singh and then had to let go Sitaram Yechury.

The experiment in Bihar could not be repeated in Assam. Even after the efforts of both Prashant Kishore and Nitish Kumar who according to Justice Katju should take Kejriwal as his deputy lest he becomes PM(yes you heard it right) tried their best to somehow bring the perfume baron Badruddin Ajmal and Tarun Gogoi on the same dias.

But they failed as an obdurate Gogoi decided to go it all alone. It is not a hidden secret that the Ahom CM deeply abhors the AIUDF founder. And the hands of 10 Janpath is still firmly on Gogoi. This blind, blunt faith of the the Gandhis has forced the Congress to pay a heavy price as its once potential successor to Gogoi, Hemanta Biswa Sarma defected to the BJP.

The eastern part of the country has seen many regional players calling the shots. But will the regional forces be able to forge any form of unity to challenge the much stronger BJP? 

The Bengal election to a certain extent has the answer. The RJD and JDU has chosen the Left over Mamata as their choice in Bengal. It can have wider repurcussions, as Mamata a few days back even indirectly hinted at betrayal of Nitish Kumar. In an aggressive tone, she said, “We supported them(RJD-JDU-INC) in Bihar.”

Though she by now must be mature enough to understand, give and take policy looks well crafted in human relationships, not in the hell of power. Mulayam plays the game of betrayal candidly. Sonia, Left, Mamata, Nitish all at some have at some point of time experienced Mulayam’s play of deception. 

2016 in every way is going to determine the fate of leftist politics, the future of the Congress Party and an overall effort to resurrect the destiny of the lost and orphaned UPA.

The Secret Diary of A CongRed


30/4/16-8:30 pm

Inqalaab Zindabaad! Was hearing Majrooh Sultanpuri. Zara hatke, Zara Baachke, yeh hain Bombay meri jaan. Ki bhalo ki bhalo. Marx thakle nije eshe dialectics poraten Majrooh ke. Pardon my Hindi. Though it is a bit better than the condition of my party.

I am a Communist and I am an opportunist. But why should I care? Is there any party in this country which can flaunt its ideology? The BJP is communal, the RJD, JD(U), SP and BSP are casteist,the Congress is a dynast.Then why should I care about ideology at all?

Yes we, always cried foul over the 1972 rigged elections. And privately may I add, according to many the only reason why we survived for 34 years was because we always reminded people of those 5 years between 1972-77. Incidentally the party which perpetrated us today are our alliance partners. No no, sorry not alliance but as Biman da said ‘tactical seat adjustment’. Though Biman da nowadays doesn’t have too many takers within and without the party.

And I must also quip that we have cut the fists of the Congress voters in 1990s. But did someone not say that everything is fair in love and war? We are socialists. And yes they were voting against us. So what should we have done? Teach them surplus value and the theory of state?

Now the situation is different. Things have changed. Earlier one call from me was sufficient to show the police its aukaat. But now. Dukkhor kotha kake boli. Who will listen to my sad tales! The same police squelches me by my jamar Collar! Imprudence!!

And we can’t win elections on our own stength. Anubrato is so dangerous! He threatens us everyday. He has taken my place. At one time, I used to exercise the same clout. But now? Only burnol for me. 

That is why we have tied our roots with the party of jotdar-zomidars, the party of landlords. Yes we will return to power. And follow Selim da’s advice of vengeance .For five years, my business of extortion has been usurped by Didi. How can I allow that?

I never had to work for 34 years to earn my bread and butter except during the elections. As a Communist, I should have be an atheist. But it was only by carrying on the legacy of multiple pujas in my locality, some real, some not so that I was able to buy my wife jewellery from Senco Gold’s Dhanteras Dhanvarsha. 

God knows, when will my party’s Great Easter come. Hopefully on the 19th. BTW, our General Secretary from Andhra,( “the name evades me..age catching up fast..) some “chury” also visited some Dargah. So we give zero ‘Marks’ to Marx for his opium of the masses.

And many people are taunting our alliance. Keno bolun to? We can have Dev as an actor, Atlaf Raja as a singer, A mass murderer as PM, but not Congress as our flirt?

That is why listen to my puditry. What if we have sacrificed ideology, given up ethics, have no alternative vision except sitting on Television with our chubby faces? 

We are the neo-communists, we will restore ‘democrazy’, and if time permits us also discuss about the viability of globalisation and the American conspiracy to undo our efforts! Markin samrajyobaad bole kotha!

Ebar jai. Aveek Sarkar called. Was convincing me to allow him to get hold of the land, which the TMC ruled KMC took away ‘forcefully’. Bhagyish hoyechilo eta. I am so glad it happened. Otherwise, we would not have got the silver spoon born capitalist as the chairman of the Congress-Left alliance. But I must warn Surjyo da. 

ABP changes its colour faster than a chameleon. Who knows, they may turn against us completely 2 years from now? Gache tule moi kere neoa- Taking away the ladder after helping someone get on the tree is something the ABP is a master at.

Vigilance required. We must not forget that they hyped up Mamata by over emphasizing on the good effects of each and every unfinished metro project when she was the country’s most useless railways minister. 

Sometimes even my ideal fed heart starts to churn. But suppress I must. Karon Khmotor jonno rajniti, rajnitir jonno khomota noy. 

Inqilab Zindabad!                                Bande Maataram!

Cometh the truth


There is an old adage in Bengali- Sin doesn’t even spare its father. Leaving the responsibility of admonishing the gender prejudice in the idiom to someone else, it is time perhaps to revisit the responsibility of truth and vice-versa.

Can my truth be loyal to yours? Can your truth be omnipresent? Can there be something between the lines? Am I being unnecessarily cynical by magnifying the ‘dubiousness’ of the lines? Or is it necessary to challenge a particular version of truth not for the heck of it, but to only skeptically materialise the pertinent and objective requirement?

The post colonial version of history has too many nationalistic tendencies which according to the Western pundits is based on wild imaginations. The concept of India was patronised by the British says the British. Is it megalomania, or an insecurity of judgement?

The different versions of historiography has different implications. Historical characters are often deified, often demonized based on political standpoints or ideological differences.

Bhagat Singh hurled bombs, because of which many books actually regard him as a terrorist. Though he accepted his revolutionarism as distinct from terrorism. Now can a freedom fighter, who is too a human being with his imperfections stubble over what constitutes permissible violence and what constitutes illegitimate, oppressive violence?

The view of history has been unchallenged for decades as we have been fed stale material authored by pale historians.There is also the school of thought of historians which egregiously blunders due to its conspicuous biases.

Can the Marxist school of history do away with dialectical materialism? Can Subaltern historiography ever give respect to the command of charismatic, famed or ill famed individuals disobeying its principle of making people aware of the contribution of an ordinary Hindu/Muslim instead of a Sher Shah or Ashoka?

The binding value of truth is relative, and dependent on your power to imbibe the virtues and vices of your choice. When a few months back a best selling author questioned whether chronicliasation was the only forlorn work of a historian, the otherwise communally polarised social media discussed the brains of the author for a change.

So who takes the responsibility and definition of the truth whose infidelity and elusiveness is worth persuing as a mechanism to objectify the boundless around us. 

Is it ‘sinful’ to have a different version of truth. Or do all truths have grey shades with extremes only the refuge of a scoundrel?