Match fixing

This is just flat out funny — a cricket match between the UP CM’s XI and an IAS XI showcases everything that is wrong with government and its relationship with the bureaucracy. Watch the video — the expression on the face of the bureaucrat who bowls the CM is alone worth the price of admission.

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Deaths, foretold

News, now:

Two Muslim men herding eight buffaloes on their way to a local Friday market were bashed up and hanged to death from a tree by unknown assailants at Balumath forests in Latehar district, 100km from here, in the wee hours on Friday. The buffaloes were freed by the men and locals claimed the assailants were Hindu radicals.

The deceased Muhammad Majloom, 35, was a relative of Azad Khan alias Ibrahim who is around 15-years-old. The two had their hands tied together behind and their mouth was closed with a cloth. “The sight suggested that the two of them were subjected to extreme levels of brutality. It means that the assailants were moved by extreme hatred,” a police officer said.

In Jhabbar village of Balumath the sight of the hanging men engaged in cattle trade, sparked protests by locals. The protests turned violent when police tried to take down the bodies. SDO Kamleshwar Narayan and six cops were injured when locals pelted stones at officials who arrived in the morning to manage the situation and ensure that it does not take communal turn.

This is what happens when you inflame passions for your own narrow political ends. When you indulge in the politics of cheap populism. When you play the “religious sentiment” card to disguise the fact that you have nothing of substance to hang your politics, your appeal, on.

This is what happens when you let the genie out of the bottle. People die.

Trump, Modi and the “preference cascade”

If this is true, then in both America and India, beneath the veneer of sophisticated political discourse, there lies a primal core that cares about more basic things, like race and identity and so on. In fact, maybe the exact same impulse explains both Trump and Modi: the instinctive attraction for a strong leader who will lead our tribe well and shit on all others.

That clip from a beautifully articulated Amit Varma piece on the “preference cascade” as it plays out in realpolitik.

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?