The BJP versus the jholawala

Read Tunku Varadarajan’s piece on the JNU controversy.

Varadarajan makes four points, all good ones. This bit, though?:

What will these citizens do now — those who voted for Modi, but who had no love for the RSS, the ABVP, and the other forces of Hindutva that seek to infiltrate all facets of Indian life? There is a danger that these non-Hindutva Modi voters will switch off from participatory politics. They are an increasingly homeless bunch. Where do they turn? The Congress party — a collection of witless nobodies, sycophants, and socialists — isn’t an option; nor are any of the other “national” parties, rooted as they are in the politics of caste and/or handouts. This presents Indian politics with a real crisis of civic engagement.

It makes you wonder. In 1991, Tamil Nadu voted for J Jayalalitha. She turned autocratic. In the next election, in 1996, the state returned the Karunanidhi-led DMK to power. The DMK’s corruption, and the rise of MK Stalin as a dynast in the true traditions of Indian “democracy”, disgusted the voters — who, in 2001, brought back Jayalalitha. Who then took corruption to a whole new level. And was defeated by the DMK in 2006 — only for that party to add administrative paralysis to corruption, for which they were roundly defeated in 2011, with the state opting for Jayalalitha again. (Caveat: Each of those elections turned on more than just the one factor — but there is no denying that on each occasion, the voters chose as they did not because they believed in the party they were voting for, but out of disgust with the party they had picked last time out).

And that is the danger, here — that the BJP stormtroopers will so disgust those who looked to Modi as a viable alternative that they will begin to think of the Congress — that collection of “witless nobodies, sycophants” etc that Varadarajan speaks of — as a credible alternative.

The prime minister has climbed back on his ‘poor me’ cross.

“You would have seen in the recent past, there is attack on me all the time. Some people are continuously at it. They are not able to digest how Modi became the Prime Minister, how a ‘chai wala’ became the Prime Minister, they cannot swallow it,” a combative Modi said addressing a farmers’ rally here.

The ‘poor chai-wallah’ needs to remember that he is now the Prime Minister. With an almost unprecedented mandate. He is no longer contesting for power – he is the power. He has proved the point that a “poor chai-wallah” can aspire to, and attain, the highest office in the land. He now needs to prove the other point: that he can govern.


“We said let it come but give account of the funds received. The moment we started asking for accounts, they all got together and said ‘Modi ko Maaro’, ‘Modi ko Maaro’ (hit Modi), he is seeking accounts from us,” he said..

Really? Which NGO said ‘Modi ko maaro’? That is incitement to violence, among other things — why then is no action taken against the NGO(s) in question?

Demonising the “other” is an electoral tactic. News flash: The elections are over.


Die! Kill!

Holding a press conference in Coimbatore on Saturday, BJP National Secretary H Raja said: “D Raja should demand that communists kill his daughter Aparajitha for her involvement in the JNU protests and shouting slogans like Bharat Teri Tukde Honge.”

That is a BJP national leader speaking.

Never mind that there is no evidence Aparajitha shouted the slogans ascribed to her. Here is the real problem: It is these leaders who drape themselves in the national flag and casually endorse violence against the “other” that empower, and are are responsible for, the goons we see out on our streets today.

And on the subject of enabling, there’s this:

On Saturday morning at around 9 am ASI Shaikh Yunus Pashamiya, 56, was surrounded by 200 men and beaten up by sticks after he was asked to hold saffron flag, parade and dance.

What was this man’s — this policeman’s — crime? That he supported JNU? Disagreed with the courts on Afzal Guru? Shouted anti-national slogans?

That he was a Muslim?

That he exists, and his existence affronts the flag-marchers?

Beef, redux

A preliminary probe has found “no evidence” to suggest that cow meat was served at the Aligarh Muslim University’s college canteen as was claimed by some right wing groups, police said.

Same playbook: Start a rumor. Involve local BJP leader. Gather a gang. Make a ruckus. Demand police action. Hope some of the muck sticks. If not, rinse, repeat, someplace else.

In fact, cow meat had been banned in this institution more than a century back by its founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, keeping in view Hindu sensitivities on this matter, he said.

A war on two fronts…

And meanwhile, other intrepid warriors are fighting for flag and country — by retailing fabricated evidence, destroying young lives and reputations, beating people up from behind the cover of the flag, looking for phantom beef in college canteens…

The ‘foreign hand’

Yes. Totally explains why, for instance, Haryana is burning; why journalists and others are being officially hounded, attacked, in Chattisgarh; why fabricated evidence is being used to tar and feather educational institutions…

The last person to use “foreign conspiracy” as a one size fits all defence was Indira Gandhi — just before declaring a state of Emergency.

And just to leave no turn unstoned…