Chaiwallah, redux

My earlier post on Narendra Modi — which was then carried by Scroll — elicited some kind words on social media. Thank you. It generated some abuse as well. Which was no surprise.

Alongside the kind words and the abuse were some questions — which, condensed, fell into two broad buckets:

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On the rule of law and due process

Found on Twitter (an occasional series):

A law student, with sound logic and common-sense, on rule of law and related issues.

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We are like that only

The news in brief: Pathankot is attacked. The central government sends troops. And shortly after, sends Punjab a bill. No chance, says Punjab, we are not paying this, it’s your problem.

The BJP shares power in Punjab and rules the Center — so this unseemly squabble over who foots the bill for “our brave soldiers” battling terrorism is strictly a domestic matter, and no concern of ours. Or is it?

 

 

How dare you speak of intolerance?!

Via Sportskreeda:

The student leader held forth in his speech on a variety of issues, including capitalism, caste hierarchies, hunger, poverty, which struck a chord with Raina. The Indian cricketer posted on his official social media pages: “#‎kanhaiya on @ndtv right now… Beauty!!! Can just feel the honesty in every word..Respect himtrue fighter and honest man salute you”.

Raina was most probably not prepared for the storm of opposition that would rain down on him for this statement. Many Indian cricket fans took to social media to say that they could not respect Raina as an Indian cricketer anymore.

Raina was called a communist, a Pakistani, a traitor, an anti-national, all within the space of the next few hours. The online abuse has only accentuated on Sunday.

Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed…

Just the other day, FirstPost carried an extended piece on the World Culture Festival being organised by the Art of Living folks, and the consequent risks to the Yamuna’s fragile ecosystem, and the possibile impact on Delhi.

Now, this — despite internal reservations, the army has apparently been ordered to build bridges across the Yamuna for the project.

So much for the politicians pontificating about “our brave jawans fighting on the borders” — when we treat the army like domestic staff and order them to do chores for assorted “godmen”, we demean them, we denigrate who they are and what they stand for.

The “hidden hand” problem

I totally love how the teaching staff — or at least, a sizeable segment thereof — at JNU has backed the students during the ongoing controversy. I also love how they’ve entered into the spirit of things, and are taking time, through the lecture series, to discuss with students the various shades of nationalism.

I wish though that Professor Jayati Ghosh, one of their number, hadn’t done this:

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Exclusively, Kanhaiya

In media parlance, “exclusive” means, merely, that the interviewee wasn’t speaking to anyone else while he was speaking to me.

Since his release on bail, Kanhaiya Kumar has figured in more exclusives than I can count — interviews in both print and on television where he essentially says the same things in almost the same words.

Not his fault, really — he is responding to the questions asked of him. And when all the effort is to “get” the interview, and very little time and mental energy is spent on what to ask him when you get him, the questions tend to be stultifyingly similar.

Someone should drop a word in that young man’s ear, tell him of the danger of over-exposure.