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….

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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!

Modi’s tryst with the Media-a factual analysis


“Portrayal of negativity is fine. But optimism is the oxygen we require so much.”-a BJP sympathizer told me yesterday. The direct sources of communication which the Prime Minister employs to connect with the republic is not only a euphemism of articulated democracy, but it only shows how the view of Modi towards the media has only forged greater indigence and lesser empathy. The name of Modi got scuffled with controversies, as the inner party mechanism sabotaged him as a trouble maker within Gujarat in the initial 1990’s after the historic Rathyatra. Modi was packed off to the national capital where he resided along with other pracharaks and ate in a common mess.

Modi got what he likes and he was made the go to man in the media cell. Rajdeep Sardesai in his book on the 2014 elections show the affinity they shared while Modi was in Delhi and Sardesai in NDTV. “I would call Narendrabhai, whenever we were freed of the pleasure of spokespersons of the saffron end. And invariably he would turn up.” The bonhomie which Modi inculcated with the media flagged of humour and light heartedness . On NDTV, in the show “the Big Fight” Modi pitched for the title of Islamic Terrorism. He lambasted Rafiq Zakaria, eminent Islamic scholar and Congress leader.

But there is a caveat or a corollary. Modi even then irrespective of his bonhomie attacked the “pseudo-secular media”. He roared,”It has taken so long for the pseudo secular media of India to acknowledge the existence of Islamic terrorism.” Siddharth Vardarajan, then with TOI also seem to take on the future PM. But Modi, with his rocky eyes seem to come out as the macho speaker in the otherwise sensitive, volatile debate. The charisma only seemed to better itself in the years to come. Interestingly, though Modi had great inhibitions against the left of centre NDTV pattern of media, he approached a person who flaunted himself as nothing but a pseudo-secular.

His name is Vinod Mehta. Modi, to believe the enfante terrible Mehta supplied the editor papers against Keshubhai, who had reportedly failed to carry on effective administration and relief with the Bhuj Earthquake. “The next thing I heard, was that Narendra Modi has become CM in Keshubhai’s place” tells Mehta in his memoir sequel- Editor Unplugged. The conflict between Keshubhai and Modi was well known. But the way the media seemed to have engaged itself as a party to the situation makes an interesting read.

If you consider these initial years of Modi and Media, you will find it a bit mismatched to the reality in the present. Like most politicians on power, Modi is not cushy towards criticism. But the media with its own vigour has reposed little morality, to take a larger ground on ethical magnanimity. The Niira Radia scandal has only proved how hollow journalism as a profession has become. Barkha Dutt, Vir Sanghvi, Prabhu Chawla as well as Vajpayee son in law Ranjan Bhattacharya are interesting characters in convoluted, power struggle the journos are part of today.

But here lies an antithesis. No politician discovered #Barkhagate as it came to be known on a then relatively new nascent Twitter. It was Manu Joseph and Vinod Mehta who exposed the hurly burly of power broking to which a largely self-interest driven media honchos are part of. Media has always been arrogant. Take for instance, what Dileep Padgaonkar said about his profession. “I do the second most important job in the country after that of the Prime Minister” he said, with greater snobbery and lesser self-restraint. However blaming Arnab Goswami is like comparing apples and oranges.

A man who exposed the CWG, 2G, JijaG was threatened to be censored by the erstwhile political dispensation under the Congress. He never budged. So to expect him to stay mum, while our Shiv Sena supported PM candidate (who now is in charge of the Lalit Mess) fails to practise propriety which she preached as LOP is unconvincing. To be intrinsically frank, both the Media and the Modi Government have flaws and favours-both have had their honeymoon. Now, we should look for grounds of ethical governance rather than mudslinging at each other. The cyber army of Modi must also be taught to express restraint, rather than abusing specific journos and celebrities who fail to agree with the Government on a number of issues. To call the Vice President a “jihadi” has to be condemned in the strongest of terms. If the Government fails to do it, voices of dissent must arise. To quote the “Flood of Fire” author, “what is left of free speech, if there is no space of criticism?”

Quota-my country’s political choice


Justice,equality,emancipation,belief-somewhere my life gets dull and lambasted when such heavy utopian phrases scribe in the air. For long, India has bragged of its stance of being the world’s largest democracy. The pulp of the fact being that about 800 days from now my country will go on to celebrate its 70th year of independence-a great feat for a country whose fate to disintegrate was coupled by the western pandits years back. But still,for me the idea seems to portray little of the great republicanism and loktantra we talk about in our addas of Kolkata. The right to vote has been granted to every individual irrespective of class,caste,creed. Even the barometer of religious choice which has produced havoc many a times has not been a factor as far as the right to universal adult franchise is considered. Though the great extra constitutional conscience keeper called Subramanian Swamy has vouched for not giving franchise to the Muslims if they don’t agree to their Hindu ancestry. 
The right to vote and right to education both have been superficially woven utopian verbatim. While children from the age of 6-14 have moulded the socialist pattern born out of the 42nd Amendment,1976-still the cause of creating a democratic nation creates a mental void. While the top institutes boast of meritocracy, typical reservations seems to flow as some kind of dole which a part of the population deserves even after 68 independent springs. While the Prime Minister gives a call for equality,while RaGa talks about farmer suicide,little do we feel obliged to take on the political whims of blatant opportunism and shameful dignity. The story of Ramsay McDonald’s Communal Award in 1932 august was quashed not by logical thinking,but by doubling the number of seats,being British sponsored to the Dalits through the Divide and Rule propaganda. As the country endowed itself the modern methods of liberalistaion and market economy post 1991,the political mileage regarding Quota-logy has remained ecstatic,lively and a cornerstone of controversy.
When my country is talking about facebook and twitter,following pics on Instagram you hear a certain Mayawati bluffing at Devyani Khobragade’s Dalit ancestry. How many of us knew that the controversial diplomat was a dalit before Behenji pitched on the issue? Isn’t that a coveted gesture of spiralling India into the tomb of fissures and aftershocks? The Dalit cause with a greater social base propelled a new political party called Bahujan Samaj Party under Kanshi Ram. The Congress has used this formula of –poor,Muslims and Dalits as a correct thesis in winning elections during the Indira period. Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate and eminent economist moderately attacked the myopic vision of the law makers as far as reservations are concerned. Most often, the candour of caste is taken into general view and consideration. But what about the class? The downtrodden Dalit woman who is labelled as a Dayan in 21st century India-what great prospect can the reservations and quotas paint about her?
Does she understand what reservation stands for? What great locomotive can she be provided so that she can fight against a social evil of indifference and backwardness? How can an educational quota ever help a family which gets displaced from their native village just because they refuted the diktat of discontinuing education? Can a social apartheid ever have a political solution? Aarakshan, a film by Prakash Jha showed how immodesty has crept into the idea of the educational system. The character of Manoj Bajpayi and Saif Ali Khan represented contrasting ideals, contradicting self-interests, but a monologous problem of identification. While the poster reflected the two Indias-50% for the open category and 50% towards the reserved,political onslaught looked inevitable. The Uttar Pradesh Government under Mayawati banned the film. The Badals of Punjab showed little traits of Ranjit Singh’s aggression fearing bloodshed and went for a ban. The Dalit fringes were ecstatic as they shared maximum visual space.
They seemed to boil in the fact that Saif Ali Khan’s royal background was misfit to cast him as a Dalit in a film. The JDU,the party for whom Prakash Jha fights every lok Sabha and loses invariably perhaps should also now critically ruminate-the great Nitish Kumar promoted a Maha Dalit to the post of Chief Ministership not again on the basis of merit or substance but on the account of vote bank politics. The BJP which is very preachy of the fact- Development for all, appeasement for none also is not averse to quota politics. During the period of Rajnath Singh’s stewardship in U.P sub quotas were made to accommodate the less priviledged.The Andhra Government has already made a world record of sorts by having a reservation of 2/3 in the state. The Tamil Nadu Government has reservations based on religion. Though, according to Smriti irani such religious reservations are not permitted in the bylanes of the Constitution. Even the UPA bill on Jat reservation was quashed by the Supreme Court.
Author’s crisp thought: The Delhi University first cut off for the undergraduate students are out. For changing a stream it has recorded a cut off eligibility of 100.75%. When we repent about the fact that not a single university excluding the IIT’s are featuring in the top list of world institutes,we have to blame the quotas and quota-logy for that. Well the Congress did try to implement its 4.5% quota for minorities even in the IIT’s. I will only say what Justice Sachar said post the congress genetical endeavour of dole distribution in the pre-election season 
“Such promises (Reservations) will not help the backward section of minorities. It is like befooling them. These people are making tall claims just to win elections.Instead of promising to give reservations, the government should focus on basic issues of improving administration and governance.”
 

Smriti Irani: empty vessels rattle much….more


Deadlock,revulsion,incompetence,snobbery,arrogance,cryptic-these adjectives summarize how my Human Resource Development Minister has performed in the last one year.When the party with a “difference” talked about a rejuvinated,rebuilt India,we bought their arguments,we bought their views,we bought their oratory,and above all we cultured around Narendra Modi,who was a “chaiwala” challenging the quid-pro-quo and stereo-types plaguing the system for long. The charismatic Tulsi of “Kyunki……” fame presented herself as articulated,humble yet a challenger hard to suppress. Yes,she was the woman who excreted vile on the Vikaas Purush after Godhra,yet she cloaked no apprehensions about admitting her “mistake”. Her great affinity to the Gujarat CM gave her a Rajya Sabha seat. It gave her greater marketing as being Modi’s right hand woman.

Smriti Irani took upon herself as the sole challenger to Sushma Swaraj as the lead female in Modi’s cabinet. What came forward? A typical DNA of enfante horribilis.Both today may slip out of their respected jobs-one for breaching the lakshman-rekha of ethical wisdom,other for allegedly not even being standardized to view the Lakhshman-rekha. Education ministry in the last one year has shown many instances of immaturity and diverse prospects of being cowed down by elements of Nagpur. As the PM was busy giving what now seems to be idealistic, hollow,superficial oratory,the position of Smriti is said to have become untenable. The country definitely deserves a better educational advisor than the short sighted, myopic individual called Dinanath Batra. Incidentally as he preaches on his bigoted history lessons based on hard Hindutva,a modern lady with a past of being a finalist of the leading beauty pageant seems to absorb them with ease and cheese.

As  you saw Smriti Irani cavalcading the BJP attack on the Newshour, you felt the fire that this woman possesses in her belly. You could loath on her sharpness of mind,on the intensity of her political will.Still,she seems to garner utter disappointment. The woman who had the courage to speak up against zealotised Sanjay Nirupam,did not utter a word as Giriraj Singh sang his usual obsolete,nonsense and in particular racist rant against Sonia Gandhi. See the history of see-saws. This same woman stood in the Parliament against Sharad Yadav when he lambasted his innocuous knowledge on busty South Indian woman. No body stood to support her on the floor. When later asked about this indifference of her own Party members in the Parliament,Smriti dodged it off. ‘I am not a Political Cinderella’-she said

If my memory serves me right, in KBC 2nd Season Smriti Irani came with Sakshi Tanwar to play the Amitabh hosted show. There she spoke of how an astrologer through his panditgiri had earlier invalidated her dreams of becoming an actress. Almost a decade later, Smriti Irani went to see an astrologer who to believe the tabloish tone, had predicted one day the HRD Minister will become the head of the state of India-to put it more simply she would be the President of the country. Introducing Sanskrit in place of German seemed to serve little purpose as entire education structure stared at hypermetric funeral. The saffron bumchums for the time being had to retreat. The ego and blatant robbery of humbleness seemed another problem as Smriti went after the secretaries of her department. A senior official in the Government says”Smriti madam,does not allow the officials to settle down. She lectures the secretaries on what they should do and what they should restrain themselves from. She does not like being asked or interrogated”.Smriti Irani reportedly has changed half a dozen bureaucrats from her department.

Coming to lecture part. Even today after being in the political dispensation for 12 years,it seems uncertain which was the institution Smriti can adjudge the title of alma mater to?

“She studied up to class 12 at Holy Child Auxilium School and discontinued further education.[7][8] Irani has herself provided conflicting affidavits of her educational qualifications. In 2004, she submitted that she had obtained a graduate degree in Arts (B.A, 1996) from Delhi University (School of Correspondence); and in 2014, she submitted that she had completed a part of a graduate degree in Commerce (Part I B.Com, 1994) from Delhi University.[9] Furthermore, a leak from the School of Correspondence, as reported by a newspaper, claims that Irani had enrolled in 2013, but had not written her examination”-this is what Wikipedia says about her educational qualification which seems to crucify the Modi Government lately.

B.A and B.Com don’t really share a honeymoon. A commerce and an Arts Graduate may add well to the documentation of Curriculum Vitae, but twin-in one production is limited till now to ice creams only. School of correspondence also seems to gel rather uneasily with Smriti’s aura. Smriti Irani volatilised the situation to the hilt,when she lambasted about having a degree from Yale University. To believe my eternal vigilance,it was basically a crash course which not only Irani but a host of other MP’s went through in 2013. The leadership programme lasted for 6 days where Irani’s counterpart was TDP’s S Ramesh. Democracy and nuclear non-proliferation were reportedly the topics exercised.How happy would have been my mother had she known a degree is nowadays available from Yale in 6 days!Infact 11 politicians from national and regional political parties participated in the crash course.

Now a Delhi court has found merit in the entire mango pickle surrounding the minister. A case filed by Ahmer Khan,a freelance writer and represented by lawyer KK Manan were successful in patronising the first big setback for the Minister. The otherwise intrinsically frank Smriti, got carried away while being asked about her qualification. Madhu Kishwar,another controversial Modi enthusiast had difficulty in accepting Smriti Irani’s appointment.Well life is not always a Uday chopra film-sometimes applying logic is an obligation more than a necessity.

Author’s crisp thought-Smriti ji try something constructive,rather than only competing in Amethi with the Gandhi scion……..