Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Random thoughts on Indian Politics

Some thoughts on the current state of Indian politics and of course media interpretations:

  • UPA 2: This UPA 2 has again brought out the commi out in me. When UPA came to power, one of my few friends who were unhappy over the results (only 3) commented, 'Now we have to stay "aam aadmi" for another 5 years', which is what Congress promised to do anyway. But things look very different now. Looks like UPA 2 is full of the Stephenites and the IITians and the actions they have taken is very pro genX. For example, look at the budget. The only good thing for common man was tax cuts. Apparently only 2% Indians pay taxes. But the price rise of petrol affects even the poorest of the people. I am not saying that price rise of petrol is bad, but then there were hardly any actions to control the food price rise. How can the government even think of anything else when prices are so high? Ofcourse it doesn't affect our class of people, the ones who mostly eat out or pay so much house loan/rent that food cost < 10% of their costs. These are the people like Shobhaa De who made the comment "And who eats toor daal anyway." These are the same people who are in media and share same ideas. I thought Sonia Gandhi was populist, and yes I do agree that these decisions like the ones made in budget now *may* have long term effect on the future of the country but ignoring price rise.

  • IBN's obsession against Varun Gandhi. Has anyone paid them money to do it? All the headlines regarding Varun are so negative. In the latest news about Varun being oe amongst the tonnes of secretaries made a heading with the same alleged "hate speech" picture of his. Even NDTV while putting a nice picture of Hema Malini up there put in a rather angry picture of Varun out there. And then ofcourse there was the "Varun Hate Speech 2" headline where again allegedly Varun compared Sharad Pawar and Mayawati to Raavan and Shurpanakha. This can be funny, but no way hate speech.

  • I am utterly confused about NaMo (Narendrabhai). I do not agree with media's constant basing of Narendra Modi but I also do not understand that how come, every article about Narendra Modi with negative shades have so many "For Modi" comments on it. Are Modi followers really so many that they can flood any negative Modi posts? There are two things I do not like about Modiji and they have nothing to do with religion:
    a) Its a historic precedence to resign when something that nasty happens. So many rail ministers had resigned after any train accident. Were they responsible? No, but they took the moral responsibility. Same with Vilasrao Deshmukh and Shivraj Patil. If everybody does, why not NaMo? Is he above all these people? OOP concepts say "God Objects" are a bad idea. It's true for Politics too, methinks...
    b) It's a good thing to have so many corporates coming to the state. But is the basic human rights being taken care of? Again, the little commie in me thinks not even one step extra should be taken unless we cannot assure the basic rights to all the citizens. Many of these dev plans in Gujarat look forced. I am not sure how many of them are with consent of the "ALL" the people.

  • I am reading Ramachandra Guha's "India After Gandhi".
    It looks like Dr. Ambedkar was a really good man. He had a great vision. I specially loved his statement that- Gandhism (read non cooperation movements, strikes) are good only for a enslaved country. In a free democratic country, there are democratic ways to address this issue and these kinds of things are bad for democracy. I consider this a brave statement especially coming around 1949. Its just the present age politicians who are taking mileage out of his name and instead making people like us have a false prejudice against him.

Image Courtesy:
Varun: aurat.in


jimyshah912 said...

Confession: I am completely biased and FOR Modi. Nothing against the 2002 victims, but I have faced that situation myself so I believe it was entire Gujarat who suffered at that time.

Coming to the development plan, top business "Dons" say Guj government is THE most non-corrupt and proactive one. These development plans might not be made with everyone's consensus but majority is benefiting from it. I have seen this visual evolution myself.

I completely disagree with your idea on "not taking a single step unless all basic rights are assured to all citizens". That's just going to bring everything to standstill considering our broken judicial system. Again I do not say whether Modi was responsible for 2002 or not, but I personally believe that people of Gujarat (including myself) just wants to *move on*.


Sandipan Mitra said...

Hey Jimy,

Thanks for the comments. You may find this an interesting read then:


Essentially it says that why has Modi not able to get off his stigma, unlike Balasaheb or LK Advani.

Anyway, I know my views are extreme and impractical. Is he atleast taking a middle path, i.e. "pretending" to think about all sections.

jimyshah912 said...

I do not think your views are impractical, there are perfectly legitimate. I know this is the Modi outside of Gujarat. Just for fun I think I should write a blog about my views on Modi. It would be controversial but entertaining too :)

Thanks for that article link. I am going to surely read that article tonight.


Sandipan Mitra said...

Yup, definitely write one. It will be a great read for sure.

Nirmal Gunaseelan said...

The more I read your post or any other post on politics, I tend to conclude with a one-word summary - controversy. I might sound pessimistic, but I get a feeling that controversies are the main stay of Indian politics. Unless politicians talk something controversial, they don't seem to get media attention. And, Indian politicians seem to be doing that very very well. I do not want to go on record criticizing any single party/person, but where is pragmatism in Indian politics? Every decision seems to be deeply entrenched in populism or lobbyism or communal-ism or plain stupidity of show of power. Is it the apathy of the voters (who are supposed to be the most powerful) or the non-availability of true politicians or the effect of multi-party liberal democracy?

I do agree that other countries have the same issues, but India is unique. Being the largest democracy, unless such 'simple' bickering issues get resolved, the sheer number of such issues given the population will hinder growth. In the US, at the very least for media, politicians state 'I differ with that guy, but for America, I'll work with him on this issue'. Have you noticed someone every say 'For India' ever? All I hear is, aam admi, or this caste, or women or minorities yada yada..

Sandipan Mitra said...

Yup, very true. I thought, and the book I am reading states that on matters of foreign policy, we are united. On matters of Naxalites we are united.

Bottom line, I am hopeful. I strongly believe in democracy and I think it will take the right course in an undefined but finite period of time.

Nikhil Nemade said...

I agree with this most of this post (unfortunately!!!!)