True lies

At the ongoing India Today conclave Pratap Bhanu Mehta, president of the Center for Policy Research, on why the battle being fought today is not between the ideas of the right versus the left, but between truth and propaganda.

 

The false binaries of political discourse

I started out clipping bits from this article that I wanted to bring to your attention — and then realised I was clipping most of it anyway.

So read, in full, Amit Varma on Professor Makarand Paranjape’s JNU lecture, Kanhaiya Kumar’s off-point questioning, and the false binaries of our political discourse.

Also read — despite the enforced pagination — Tabish Khair on JNU, sedition, Kanhaiya Kumar and related issues.

Mind your language

This might seem an odd thing to fixate on, on a Monday morning, but there it is: this is the thing that stuck in my craw while scanning the media. So read the clip below, slowly, as many times as it takes, and then tell me what it means:

“In that comes the very strange pretext of a cover-up about departure on the basis of incorrect or illegal lookout notice and the totality of such circumstances raise serious question marks”, he said.

On the question of a farmer in Tamil Nadu, who took loan of Rs 3 Lakh for tractor, being attacked by cops and bank employees, he condemned the “highhandeness”.

“We do believe that highhandedness, throwing the rulebook and all kinds of procedures for a miniscule amount for a common man and allowing elephants to be swallowed as far as big people are concerned is a systemic problem”, he added.

 

Why is it so hard to understand that the key to politics is communication — simple, straight, to the point, intelligible?

In other news, seems a quiet sort of news day for now. Will be back later in the day with reading lists and suchlike.

A catalog of murder

This is CPM leader Pinnarayi Vijayan’s response to the story of the brutal murder of an RSS worker in full view of school children.

See what I mean when I said I don’t give a flying fuck anymore?

Call and (irrelevant) response

The news:

Suicide.jpg

The response (just one among dozens of such):

And below each such response, knee-jerk affirmation from the noddies, as at some profound statement.

In a sense, though, this *is* profound. Profoundly disturbing, that death means nothing more to us than an opportunity to play political gotcha. And no side is exempt — consider the enormous irony of the Congress “protesting” against the government of the day on the issue of farmer suicides.

Do as I say, not as I do

Dismissing the Congress president’s accusation that the NDA government was showing “obstinate arrogance” in Parliament and that it was a government by “one person”, Modi said, “Perhaps, she is referring to the fact that earlier extra-constitutional authorities were the ones really wielding power.”

He went on to say that power was now “wielded only by constitutional means”. If the charge is that “we are working through constitutional channels and not listening to any extra constitutional authorities, then I plead guilty to that charge”, he said.

Asked about the criticism that all powers were concentrated in the PMO, Modi responded, “Your question is loaded. It would have been better if this question had been asked when an unconstitutional authority was sitting above the constitutional authority and exercising power over the PMO.”

He emphasised that “the Prime Minister and the PMO are very much part of the constitutional scheme, not outside it”.

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A plague on both your houses

A worker of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS was pulled out of the autorickshaw he was driving in Kerala’s Kannur this morning by a group of men, who then attacked him with sharp weapons.

Huddled inside the autorickshaw and watching in fright were four children from class 1 and 2 who the RSS worker, AV Biju, drives every morning to school. Mr Biju was driving down the route that he usually takes, a short-cut between two main roads, when he was attacked.

It is barbaric (doubly so, given that that act of violence was perpetrated in full view of young children), it is horrific — and I don’t give a flying fuck.

Because who does?

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