I want Modi to win

No. I am not going to post that in Modi’s Gujrat the average daily wages is Rs. 129 while it is Rs. 493 in Kerala. Or that Wikileaks themselves have made it clear that the BJP’s official campaigners used the name of Julian Assange to bat for Modi as an ‘incorruptible leader’ in a fake Twitter message. Or about the gender violence in Gujrat as published by Open Democracy.

Why should I, while you – the so-called ‘non-partisans’ – are in search of reasons to like him despite the many myth-busters doing the rounds? Why, when the finance experts among you – while admitting that the statistics can be played out – bats for him with finance jargon?

I would rather play myself a Yesudas. I will tell you the stories of harmony, one god, one religion and all that. And how music can heal you. I should do that because in Modi’s India, I will be saved with all that good talks and not lose a fan in the name of my politics (with a most recent example of that lady who befriended me after hearing a song of mine and later quit accusing me of my ‘secular meter coming down’). Why should I be worried? The Sangh or Modi will definitely not rake up much of the Hindutva issues in their first term. In the next term, probably their first target is going to be Muslims and I am not a Muslim. Their second target could be the evangelical Christians and I don’t belong to one. Their third target could be the Dalits but though I would be proud to call myself part of a tribe who fought the oppression, I am not categorically a Dalit. I belong to a Church who, while the Christians were being burned and killed, said that Communism is a greater threat than Hindutva – simply because their educational business or their belief business was at threat. The same church who are as Hindutvavaadis as the real Hindutvavaadis in the name of ‘nativity’ while they seldom admit that their approaches are being labeled as a way to convert the natives by the Hindutvavaadis.

I want Modi to win. Really. I want him to be the prime minister. I know for certain that he can’t deliver what he promises. I know for certain he will not be a prime minister even for my class, the middle class, but for the Adanis and Ambanis, but I want him to win. I know for certain that he would blame his inefficiencies on the political alliances and compromises but I still want him to win. Because you deserve him. India deserves him so badly right now.

I want Modi to be your prime minister.

Meanwhile in Delhi…

The writer was searching for ideas to write a new book. By the time he had already used the themes he knew best – the upper/middle-class, elite educational institutions and middle-class romance – and didn’t know what to write next. He had no idea that Writer’s Block would be such a big deal. Happens to all great minds, he told himself. Yet, the pain was unbearable to him. ‘Help me god’, he prayed. ‘ Please do something like you did in my novel’. There was no answer. But just as he moved to grab a cup of coffee to serve the late night internet time, the phone rang.


‘Hello Ketan’, said the Dolby 5.1 voice on the other end.

OH.MY.GOD! Is this really happening? I never thought that something like this could really happen!’

‘What’s happening?’

Nothing. I’m just stuck with ideas. I’ve run out of topics to write. Tell me please, what can I do? What can I do?’. The writer was on the verge of breaking into tears.

‘Stop being a sizzy, Johnny Fontane.’


‘Nevermind. Open your eyes Ketan, and look around. What do you see?’

I see Arnab Goswami on TV!

‘You’re so hopeless, Ketan. Look around again.’

I see Arundhati Roy!

‘Bingo! Tell me now, what do you think you should do when you have nothing to write?’

Write about politics! Oh my god, I’ve never been clearer!

‘I know that part, but what do you plan to write about politics?’

Liberalism, Maoism, India-China friendship?

‘You’re being hopeless again, Ketan. That territory is already occupied’.

Hmm… How about going just the opposite side? Towards the right of the politics?

‘Well thought. But your fanboys are from urban India and they don’t know yet if they are on right, center or left.’

Now I’m confused!

‘Just like thy fans Ketan baby, but that’s okay. I will give you an idea. Write about something that is political yet you won’t be straight political, something so populist and appealing to the middle and elite class yet you will touch an emotional note with the rest, while ensuring you poke nose into someone more famous than you for a bit of TV time and in the effort you also get in the company of powerful people’.

Wow, that’s a lot to do, god! Is that even possible?

‘Like I said, look around you, boy. What do you see? Now don’t tell me the name of that Arnab fellow again or am gonna put you straight in an interview with him!’

Fair enough. Okay, I see Narendra Modi.


I see Amartya Sen and he is saying something about Modi.


If I write against Sen and support Modi, I will be even more popular and mine and Modi bhai’s target audience is almost the same!

‘Dumb, dumb boy. How do you then relate to the other class?’

Hmm… so should I speak on behalf of young Indians in general than myself?

‘Just because you have put an old photo of yours in that blue T everywhere from your book covers to Twitter background, doesn’t make you look young or the youngsters’ representative (get that T changed, BTW. You have Photoshop these days, you know).’

Then I will probably write against Sen saying he doesn’t know what the poor India wants.

‘Poor, of what kind?’

The ones who can’t attend a decent college or get a decent job?

‘And you know them because… you’ve spent your academics in IIT/IIM and then you got a job as an investment banker in Hong Kong and you stayed there for 11 years?’

But who’s going to think about all that? This is young urban India that we are talking about!

‘Super cool. You’re smarter than me.’

Kai Po Che! Gotta hang up now. Twitter time!


And so the writer began to tweet.


Of puppies and the Men-behind-the-drivers

The puppy is silly. He makes his passage not knowing that the next car on the road might just hit him. He may not have realized that the next car could be ‘the’ car. The car comes and it hits him hard and crushes him under the wheels. There is a driver. And there is a man behind the driver. He is asked by someone, “do you regret what happened”? Plain question. The answer could be a Yes, or No. But the man opts to draw an analogy instead. He does not say that ‘I should have hit the brakes before it happened, but I couldn’t’ or ‘I wish I could save the puppy’s life but was unable to do so’. He also does not say that it was the puppy’s problem altogether which could have revealed what he thought of the puppy’s action. Rather, he puts the analogy of another puppy.

The question of whether the driver or the man-behind-the-driver regrets what happened still hangs in the air. Even the person who asked the question doesn’t seem to have noticed that.

Ref: http://blogs.reuters.com/india/2013/07/12/interview-with-bjp-leader-narendra-modi/

The benchmarks of administration

Couldn’t have said it better, Nandita Das.

“It was during Hitler’s time that Germany’s best roads were constructed. These roads, even today, are considered to be the best connecting European cities. Germany got the best hospitals during Hitler’s time. He was a music lover, a vegetarian and non-alcoholic. But nobody, not even Germans, remember him for this,” Das said while talking to media persons.

Das was trying to counter the argument that the riots apart, Modi has been a good administrator who has brought considerable economic growth and development to the state. [Times of India – Actress Nandita Das draws parallels between Modi & Hitler]

Photo courtesy: Wikipedia

Hazare, the Hero

Anna Hazare

When I made the blog post about “The Anna Hazare Show” (courtesy: Open Magazine) yesterday, my focus was on the hypocrisy of the Indian middle-class for being selective in their so called activism and it is being celebrated as the rightful political activism. As the day passed, more stories kept popping up, some of them from the yester years, and they point fingers at the man himself – Anna Hazare.

What irked me from the beginning itself was the photo shown above from Anna Hazare’s fasting stage (courtesy: another blog). When I saw this photo, I felt that the so called Gandhian is reinstating the pseudo-nationalist concept of the nation as a religious symbol. The goddess with the India flag. The so called Bharath Matha that all the hardcore and softcore Hindutvavaadis have perpetuated right from the old days. The same symbol that sent M F Hussain in exile. But I didn’t write about it because his cause seemed more important at that moment. But then comes the following.

At first Anna Hazare was in praise for Narendra Modi. He said the Gujarat model “[…]should be emulated by all other chief ministers. I am saying this on the basis of the kind of works Bihar and Gujarat CMs have done in the field of rural development“. We have heard Modi being praised for “development” a lot but hear what another Gandhian, who is less famous than Anna Hazare and has spent 18 years working with tribes in the troubled Dandewara region of Chattisgarh, has to say. If Anna Hazare was garlanded by the media and several VIPs came out to support him, Himanshu Kumar was treated a bit differently for his work. When he took up the human rights cases against the police and the notorious Salwa Judum, his ashram was simply wiped away.

He spoke about how ‘Golden Gujarat’ is not so in tribal areas and in the villages of the state. He said that it is the Gujarat govt. that is now engaged in building dams in a river downstream and diverting the water to Narmada and industries around Miyagam Karjan and Ankleshwar. The fact that this will displace over 150 villages, does not bother the government.

Well, Hazare did not stop there. He went on to say this – “I have described these chief ministers as good only partially. I will call them 100 per cent good only when they also accept the Lokpal kind of system.” So the only thing that Narendra Modi is lacking to achieve the 100% good ranking by Anna Hazare is the acceptance of Lokpal system and nothing else? Later when his statement became controversy, the good Gandhian added what his non-Hindutva fans needed – “I am equally opposed to any form of communal disharmony“. What a good soul!

Manu Joseph, editor of Open magazine that published the infamous Nira Radia tapes, wrote something that the media bandwagon wouldn’t dare say. In his article aptly titled “The Anna Hazare Show“, Manu wrote this –

But what kind of man is he, really? Haima Deshpande, a senior political writer with Open, has met him several times. About 10 years ago, when he went on a fast to protest against corruption in the Maharashtra government, Deshpande covered the event. She was a bit surprised when he said that he wanted to end his fast because journalists from the English media were finding it hard to reach his village. He wanted to end it on a Sunday.

“Two reporters told him that since the Pune Cantonment elections were to be held on that Sunday there would be no space in the newspapers. So it was mutually agreed between the journalists and Anna that he would give up his fast on Monday at 1 pm.”

And that was what he did. Now, the media wants a revolution and there is a good chance that Hazare will not disappoint.

But that is not all. Hazare had sympathy for the MNS chief Raj Thackeray during his campaign against non-Marathis. But as usual, the media icon Hazare did not forget to mention that he did not support “everything that Raj Thackeray does”. But still not a straight forward “I-condemn-the-MNS-violence“, but merely that “If violent means are adopted by MNS, it will not be in interest of a united India.” If violent means are adopted – as if that is something he never heard of them doing.

That is Anna Hazare for you. The new Gandhi of the Indian middle-class. Well, you get what you ask for.