We reap what we sow

A bunch of local BJP leaders embarked on a cleanliness drive in Seoni, Madhya Pradesh. A bystander asked one of the leaders, a woman, when she will clean her own locality.

You will totally believe what happened next. (Apologies for the clickbait phrasing, and for the foul language contained in the video clip linked above, but you need to see the video clip for yourself.)

Man, someone once said, is the only animal that selects someone less capable to lead him.

H/T Saji Nair on Twitter.

And that reminds me: my DM is open on Twitter. And then there is the comments section here. Appreciate tips to stories that I should read and/or that you seek comments on. I’ll try to swing by at least twice a day to check.

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The domination game plan

This dates back to 2000 but is incredibly prescient and hence worth re-surfacing in the present context.

In a January 22, 2000 article, a soi dissant maverick wrote an explainer about the RSS gameplan for a total takeover of the country. He spoke of how an aging right-wing leadership, feeling that time was running out on them, planned to up the ante, to implement what the writer called the Final Solution.

The writer broke the plan down into a series of sequential steps. I’ll quote, extensively, with an apology to the publishers — the only reason I am doing this is because this piece, and the points it makes, needs to be brought back to the center of public consciousness at this point in time. Here it is, emphasis added where required:

THE first component of the game plan is to discredit the RSS’ opponents but protect its converts. The First Information Report in the Bofors case is a classic instance of this strategem. In that FIR, Rajiv Gandhi’s name figures in the list of accused (n ever mind the column). But those Cabinet Ministers who vetted and signed the deal, or had even held secret negotiations on the “financial parameters” with the Bofors company as representatives of Rajiv Gandhi, are prosecution witnesses. Naturally we can guess what they will say in the witness box….  The motto is: “Join us and be free. Resist us and see you in court.” By a series of such sham prosecutions and managed associate media leaks, the RSS expects to undermine the democratic Opposition in India.

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So hey, let’s talk about Kerala

Last night (Sunday, September 10) produced a remarkable display of histrionics by Arnab Goswami of Republic TV. In what was billed as a debate on whether the left or the right was more intolerant, Arnab focused his considerable energies on the ongoing cycle of political killings in Kerala. He referred to recent attacks that had led to the death of RSS workers, and segued into an attack on the “liberals”. Where was Sagarika (Ghose), where was Barkha (Dutt), where was Rana (Ayyub), he demanded.

He banged the table as he brought his peroration to a close. “Where were the Not In My Name people?”, he thundered as he flicked back an errant lock of hair.

It was an awe-inspiring performance that I watched with all the morbid fascination of a spectator at a train wreck.

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is not given to such infantile histrionics. Speaking recently to the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, the minister was calm and reasonable as he condemned the killing and segued smoothly into an attack on “liberals”.

“Why is it that all my liberal friends who speak so eloquently and so strongly against the killing of a journalist, perfectly so entitled to, or even maoists and naxalites, maintain a conspicuous silence when so many RSS workers are killed in Karnataka or BJP workers in Kerala?” the minister asked.

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The Center to the rescue

Just how insane is this?

A post yesterday spoke of how public sector banks, alarmed over the misuse of loans to the Punjab government, has put a stopper on further loans. Inter alia, I’d pointed at the Rs 10,000 crore scam, spread over three states, that has to do with food procurement.

So what does the Central government do? It will give the Punjab government a Rs 20,000 crore line of credit to perpetuate the scam. Because see, Punjab is doing what it is doing “in the national interest”.

Who was it who said we get the government we deserve?

 

 

Hello, Sir Humphrey

And to that end, I recommend that we set up an interdepartmental committee with fairly broad terms of reference so that at the end of the day we’ll be in the position to think through the various implications and arrive at a decision based on long-term considerations rather than rush prematurely into precipitate and possibly ill-conceived action which might well have unforeseen repercussions.

Remember that classic stall by Sir Humphrey Appleby, from the ‘Doing the Honours’ episode of Yes Minister? Now read the one below: (Emphasis added):

It is also gathered that efforts will now be made to prepare a draft action plan examining all possibilities of bringing back the famed diamond back to India from the UK museum.

That’s from a news story about the government’s ‘determination’ to bring back the Kohinoor. All that is missing is the laugh track.

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From the dept of ‘Hamam mein sab…’

The story, in brief: In 2014 the Delhi High Court ruled that both the BJP and the Congress were in violation of the FCRA when the parties accepted contributions from Vedanta, the London-based MNC.

The government appealed; the case is now in the Supreme Court. And meanwhile, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley slipped a clause into the latest Finance Bill by which he — with retrospective effect — changed the definition of ‘foreign companies’, so that Vedanta is now an ‘Indian company’. In other words, he changed legal definitions in order to make kosher what the court said is a criminal act.

The full details here, as reported in The Wire.

Keep this story and the implications in mind when you next wonder why the BJP, having made the many scams of the Congress its main election issue, is now dragging its collective feet on every single one of them.

From the dept of ‘now what to do’?

Maharashtra Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis says those who do not chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ should leave the country.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat says no one should be forced to say “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”.

Smriti Irani wants the national flag to be flown “prominently and proudly” at all universities in order to instil the spirit of nationalism.

The RSS number two Bhaiyyaji Joshi is ambivalent about the tiranga and makes the case for the bhagwa dhwaj — and also for Vande Mataram as opposed to Jana Gana Mana.

Now I am confused. And judging by all these remarks, so are the nationalists.

PS: Today is the big game: West Indies and England, in the final of the World T20 Cup. See you on Twitter for that one. In passing, here is the post-semifinal analysis I did for the Huffington Post a couple of days ago.

The irony of India’s batting effort was that through every phase of the game, we outperformed our par for this tournament. During the power plays, India has averaged 5.7. In this game, it was 9.1. In the mid overs (7-15), we averaged 6.8
coming into this game. Here, we averaged 8. At the death, we average 9. Here, it was 13. By any yardstick, this was our best batting performance in the tournament. Yet, the number that will hover over any post-mortem is “8” – the number of batting resources left unused.