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A Quick Post (in a hurry)

May 16, 2009

Now, that the election results are out – Congratulations !! to everyone who voted/supported the UPA (even though unfortunately I couldn’t vote).  I am happy to see the BJP’s power and influence waning. Hope this trend continues. On one hand, I was elated to learn about the humiliating defeat of the communist parties in Kerala and West Bengal but was a little disappointed by the results in Karnataka.

Btw, does any of you think that India needs a law or constitutional amendment to prevent leaders like Lalu to contest elections from multiple constituencies ? If he had won from both constituencies wouldn’t he have to relinquish his seat in one? Wouldn’t it require wasting more resources to elect someone again from that constituency? I wish he had been defeated in both constituencies, but that’s a wish I would have to postpone for some other time 🙂

Will be back soon to answer the comments.

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43 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2009 8:39 am

    Congratulations to you too 🙂 This shows that the real kingmaker is the Aam Aadmi 🙂 We made Singh is King possible!!

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      May 16, 2009 2:41 pm

      Thanks and same to you.

  2. May 16, 2009 11:58 am

    Here’s to a stable government! 🙂

  3. May 16, 2009 12:56 pm

    Hi!

    I don’t know if this comes as a surprise to you that I preferred BJP to Congress despite my being an atheist. Partly, because I’m fed up of misrepresentation of facts by the mass media, which I consider to be in Congress’ control, and partly because of how efficient an administrator Narendra Modi has been (a fact largely overlooked by the same media). My knowledge of his acumen at governance comes from the fact that all my relatives live in Gujarat. Somehow, I wouldn’t like to enter an argument on this issue with you. I feel my stance is different from the majority’s in this matter because I feel, the majority has built its opinion on incomplete/distorted information. I know this (claim of more accurate knowledge of ‘reality’) might sound like overconfidence, but then I have my own reasons to be convinced. You could read some of my arguments on this issue on IHM’s blog. But the fact that Congress will indeed act pretty independent of the left front’s blackmail is a big relief. TC.

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      May 16, 2009 3:19 pm

      Well, I used to be a BJP supporter too at one point of time but their religion based politics and hardline stance is something I find abhorrent these days. Frankly, I don’t think economically or socially, India will be better under the congress or BJP but atleast India will be a little more secular (not to forget the sikh riots of 1984 thoough from which I think Congress has learnt it’s lessons)Not that my opinion matters since I cannot vote 🙂

      I understand your disillusionement with the media and I share your view but I think it stems from our expectation that the media is fair and balanced. Which it is not and I don’t think it would have changed much under the BJP. In fact, in the US Fox is unabashedly conservative while MSNBC is liberal. Media houses are business entities and I think once we treat them as corporations trying to increase shareholder value, we will find it easier to accept their sleaziness and ignore their biased points of view.

      Btw, I am not a big fan of the congress but as far as I understand or am aware I think they are a lesser evil than the BJP (even if slightly). As for Modi, yes I have heard he is pretty effective but we have to remember that so were a lot of fascists e.g. Hitler, Stalin (but at what cost). I am not sure whether he is one but his past actions don’t lend them too kindly in his favour. Moreover from hearsay, I am not sure how constitutional, legal or democratic his political actions are in Gujarat.

      Btw Ketan, don’t worry about arguments. It’s always good to discuss and it’s even better to have differences of opinion. We can see both sides of the story and it always makes us better. 🙂

    • May 21, 2009 10:59 am

      Buddy, Modi has built smooth roads on graves.

      Imagine a guy who sexually abuses his daughter. Then, to stop her from raising an alarm and calling in the cops, he gives her everything she possibly wants: chocolates, new clothes, jewellery, whatever. She is happy with all the stuff and he is safe from being arrested because the girl has accepted she would be better off this way. But one crucial fact is forgotten in the process: She has been molested, and there is a pedophile not behind bars.

      Gujarat is a little like that. People have accepted the reality and have taken the bait. They want roads, not social justice. Go read some history of nation-building. One pattern will emerge: nation states are not build on smooth roads. They are built on justice.

      It’s sad so many prefer personal marginal comforts to the suffering of others. In cases where remaining members of families saw their entire families burnt before their very eyes. Gujarat is turning a blind eye to that for now they can watch uninterrupted cricket on TV as they have 24-7 electricity. They (and you) have taken the bait.

      If you, at this point, say/imply that Modi is innocent, then you have another thing coming.

      • nitwitnastik permalink*
        May 21, 2009 3:24 pm

        Hey Siddharth, Welcome back !! Nice to see you around. I hope you had a nice break. I am leaving on vacation this week so may not be able to respond to your comment for a week. Will respond to it when I get back.

        • May 22, 2009 1:53 am

          Yes, it’s nice to be back NN! And a good start when I find someone supports Modi and needs some replying to! The reply was to “panchalke”.

          Nice to see you have changed the look of your blog. It’s much better now! 🙂

    • May 21, 2009 11:05 am

      Ok, before you try implying that Modi is innocent, I must say that I am as much vary of the media as you. NDTV/Times Now/IBN is NOT my source of information. In this case, an aquaintence of mine, working in the bureaucratic departments in the Gujarat then, is personally witness to Modi giving orders to stop any police action on the rampaging Bajrang Dal, VHP and BJP mobs. He will testify in court when the matter is up. And fortunately, it is.

  4. May 16, 2009 1:01 pm

    Yes, it seems illogical to allow a candidate to contest from two constituencies. It amounts to the candidate declaring that “it’s alright whichever place I’ve to serve, irrespective of whether I’m aware of the issues peculiar to that constituency, as long as I get a seat”.

  5. May 16, 2009 1:04 pm

    It might sound cheap, but considering you’re aware of a few of my ideas, I hope you’ll not see my stand on BJP v/s Congress as fanatical, and more so not an impassioned one. TC.

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      May 16, 2009 3:22 pm

      Hey buddy don’t worry about my opinions. 😀 Speak your mind. We will be better off in terms of knowledge at the end of the day even if we disagree.

  6. May 17, 2009 12:18 am

    See, the differences in majority’s perception about BJP and Congress stems from the fact that what all inflammatory speeches the small-time Congress leaders make against Hindus are never publicized (as media’s in Congress’ control). But how do I know that Congress leaders do that? I don’t have evidence that’d be admissible in court of law, but certain actions point very strongly to that possibility. I’ll enlist:

    1. Madrassas have not been banned or monitored in fifty years.

    2. No action has been taken against the cleric who’d issued fatwah against Sania Mirza

    3. No good attempt has been made to ban SIMI.

    4. Mohammed Azhar-Ud-Din, a tarnished cricketer, was pursued by the Congress to fight election. And he won! That too from a constituency where he’d never lived. Does this not amount to appeasement, and a total lack of ethics when it comes to widening the religous divide?

    I live in Maharashtra, and I can tell you that the infrastructure (electric supply, for instance) and financial situation have worsened to an unimaginable degree (much before recession set in).

    So, I’ve concluded that whatever the BJP does is amplified, whereas Congress does the same thing (of appeasing) in a much more subliminal, but detrimental fashion.

    Godhra incident had occurred 7 years back, and Modi has been in power since then. It wouldn’t have been too difficult to orchestrate another riot, but if didn’t. I’m not implying that he’s done a favor by not orchestrating one. Just that religious issues are just not on his mind! And that’s what differentiates him from Hitler and Stalin. He hasn’t indulged in a systematic genocide.

    Why I believe Congress is subliminally divisive:

    1. Furthered caste-based reservations. Some people have suggested economic-based reservation, but my convention is why any kind of reservation. Why not build good schools in villages, develop infrastructure and send there good teachers. Why not provide plenty of financial support to needy (caste or financial status)?

    2. Haj-subsidy, in spite of India being a ‘secular’ nation.

    3. Not bringing in a uniform civil code which allows exploitation of women in ALL communities

    It’s very tedious to type out repetitive messages from my cell phone, that’s why I suggest you go through my messages on IHM’s blog.

    TC.

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      May 17, 2009 9:20 am

      Ketan, Thanks for taking the trouble to post comments from your cell phone. I know it’s not easy. Also thank for being open-minded. Although given that you are an atheist like me, that is not surprising and that is why I think separates us from the god-bots 😉

      OK so lets look at the points you have mentioned

      1. Madrassas have not been banned or monitored in fifty years.

      I am not a big fan of madrassa education but in a secular state I don’t think we can ban any religious school be it a madrassa or a hindu/buddhist/christian seminary (which we also have in India), without having solid evidence that they are conspiring against the state or it’s people. Yes, we can monitor them but therein lies the logistical problem not to mention the futility. Do we have the means to monitor so many madrassas or religious seminaries of other religions (for the govt. to say that we want to monitor only madrassas would be similar to admitting that all muslims are terrorists, which would break the secular nature of India)?

      And even if we have the means, would we like India to turn into an east germany where the Stasi (east german spy agency) had files on every citizen. I am sure that a govt which can monitor madrassas will also be monitoring temples or even individuals. So where would our freedoms go? Also, how can we be sure that those muslim fundamentalists wouldn’t be conspiring or teaching their brand of radical islam elsewhere – which infact they have been doing in hyderabad and West bengal (those are some I know of). In fact, if you look at the profiles of members of SIMI or some of the muslim fundamentalists, they are often educated in convents or english medium schools and come from middle-class backgrounds. Very few of them, if any, have ever attended a madrassa in their lives. I remember reading somewhere that only 4% of muslim children in India attend madrassa( I am quoting from memory so can be wrong). So clearly our problem isn’t the madrassa. BJP can use it as an issue but if you think about it. It is a non-issue.

      2. No action has been taken against the cleric who’d issued fatwah against Sania Mirza

      The fatwa against sania mirza is again a non-issue and something which should best be ignored. I am not sure if there were any more fatwas but the one I am aware of only asked her to cover up. It did not instigate violence against her (correct me if I am wrong). We have to remember that muslims clerics issue fatwas almost daily – a fatwa is a ruling based on islamic law and need not necesarily instigate violence against someone as many people seem to think – but only the most sensational ones come out in the media. Btw, Many Hindu swamis or hindus in power also impose such laws on women. I remember, when I was in undergrad, a principal of a college asked one female student wearing jeans to wear a saree or salwar because according to him, wearing jeans was indecent. What would you say to that ridiculous claim except laugh? LOL 😀

      3. No good attempt has been made to ban SIMI.

      I am not sure what you meant by a “good attempt”, but as far as I know SIMI is banned and remains banned. If you mean enforcing the ban, I have no doubts the congress is not doing anything worse than what the BJP would have done. Since we do not know what our intelligence agencies are doing, we have to go by news reports and according to those, I don’t see any evidence to think that SIMI has congress’s tacit approval. Again let me iterate that I am not a fan of the congress either and I know that congress also engages in votebank politics but I have no evidence to suspect them at this point of making it easier for SIMI to operate. If you have any news article, please share it with me.I am willing to change my mind if I find evidence to the contrary.

      4. Yes, I am aware that Azharuddin was guilty of match-fixing and I think it was shameful of the congress to give them a ticket but shouldn’t we use that same basis to judge the BJP. In fact the BJP has the highest number of MPs with criminal records.

      http://www.samaylive.com/news/150-newly-elected-mps-have-criminal-records/627485.html

      In a country with 150 MPs having criminal records, in fact it is shameful on our part that we elect such people. It is upto us to decide whom to elect, isn’t it?

      Btw, I understand that in India every party plays vote bank politics so I am not sure how azharduddin’s win from a “constituency where he’d never lived …amount to appeasement, and a total lack of ethics when it comes to widening the religous divide” can you please clarify? I guess Shashi Tharoor also won the election from a constituency where he never lived. As an Indian, shouldn’t all Indians be allowed to contest elections from anywhere in the country ? And if we were politicians, wouldn’t we want to maximize our chances of getting elected (moradabad in the case of azharduddin). I actually don’t see a problem with it. I am sure if we look at the BJP we will see many people who contest elections from constituencies which are more saffron than the rest of india and where they have never lived before (e.g. Sushma Swaraj contesting from MP even though she had never lived in MP and knowing fully well that MP is more saffron than the rest).

      I live in Maharashtra, and I can tell you that the infrastructure (electric supply, for instance) and financial situation have worsened to an unimaginable degree (much before recession set in).

      Ketan, I am not aware of this and I cannot comment on it as I don’t live in maharashtra and have no solid evidence. However, we have to remember that economic downturns start much before actual recessions set in. Do you feel that there is something that the Congress has done which has accounted for it ? How can we be sure it’s not macroeconomic factors which have played their part rather than a political party? I will be curious to know what you think (btw even though I agree with you, we have to remember that opinion or perception cannot always be taken as evidence)

      Just that religious issues are just not on his mind! And that’s what differentiates him from Hitler and Stalin. He hasn’t indulged in a systematic genocide.

      I am not sure if I can give him a clean chit, even if he hasn’t indulged in any in the last 7 years. His speeches are enough to make me feel uncomfortable and doubt his motives. I am quite confident that had india not been a democracy, he would have gone much further than what he had. If someone’s past is any indication of one’s nature, I can see fascists tendencies in him too.

      Btw check out this video when you have time or when you can.

      http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6066705542348878697&ei=A0MQSuKmBpPaqAP73tCLBA&q=gujarat+riots&hl=en

      As for your opposition about caste based reservations, haj -subsidy and uniform civil code, I totally agree with you. I laud the BJP for speaking about them and I support their stance on these issues (although I wonder why they didn’t push for it when they were in power). However their anti-secular politics and their moral policing and their goal to create a hindu-rasthra is what I feel is even more detrimental to our country.

      Ketan, even though i would like to discuss these issues, I understand that it’s difficult to type from a cell phone so don’t worry, reply when you have time. I am pretty bad at using a cell phone to write anything so kudos to you for your patience 🙂 Btw I did read your comments on IHM’s blog but chose to reply to your on this post coments here.

      • May 18, 2009 9:40 pm

        And IHM is never able to respond like Nitwit Nastik can – logical and well informed. The video is shocking.

        • nitwitnastik permalink*
          May 19, 2009 7:10 am

          Thanks IHM for your kind words. Do you think I should post this video as a post. I thought most Indians may have seen it so never thought of posting it.

    • May 21, 2009 11:08 am

      I’m not a supporter of Congress, but SIMI is banned. It has been that way ever since I remember.

  7. vedagnya permalink
    May 17, 2009 1:28 am

    BJP’s power and influence waning? Not quite.They have held their own in Karnataka, Gujarat, MP,cHATTISGARH,Maharashtra and Jharkhand.Only in Rajasthan which was their stronghold, they lost seats.

    BJP has no presence in AP,TN, West Bengal and Kerala-alltogether 144 seats and dormant in UP which has 80 seats. Out balance 320 seats, if u expect BJP to win 272 or even 200 seats. Long haul indeed.

  8. vedagnya permalink
    May 17, 2009 1:35 am

    Further, how do u say that, under Congress, India will be more secular?
    Not all the hindus who support BJP are of the type who want mosques replaced with temple. How is allowing 4 wives to muslims secular? Are we running a modern secular India? Or we running an Islamic Caliphate where dhimmitude of non-muslims to be ensured?

    Why Taslima Nasrin, an atheistic freethinker, hounded out of India? Is this secular?

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      May 17, 2009 6:30 pm

      Vedagnya, i think the diference is in ideology. Congress is not perfect but atleast they are not trying to create a hindu rashtra which remains the goal of the BJP. I am not against uniform civil code but can you please tell me why BJP didn’t do anything about the muslim marrying 4 wives law when they were in power?

      • May 17, 2009 8:21 pm

        This is a question that occurs to me also. BJP should have made some effort to at least initiate the process. They just uses the UCC to create a feeling of victim-hood amongst Hindus, like what can be worse than being deprived of polygamy for any Hindu voter?

        Why is UCC projected like a punishment? Shouldn’t we be creating awareness about what a blessing it would be for all families, women and children – across religions, just like we create awareness about domestic violence and sex selection?

  9. May 17, 2009 6:53 am

    Yes, It was a good result and a relieving one at that – far from the cobbled together coalitions that were being predicted! Here’s to a stable, performing govt!

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      May 17, 2009 6:33 pm

      To a stable govt. !! Cheers !! 🙂

  10. May 17, 2009 7:10 am

    As for your question on politicians contesting from multiple constituencies, I believe it should not be allowed.
    1. They should have a core constituency which they have a responsibility to..
    2, Having multiple constituency is like hedging your bets – which does not sound right to me..
    3. Wastage of resources..
    Should definitely be banned!

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      May 17, 2009 6:34 pm

      Absolutely. I don’t see any reason why it is in the constitution in the first place.

      • May 21, 2009 11:12 am

        Maybe it was done for historical continuity or simply because it was in practice in other countries then. I’m sure our Founding Fathers had some justification. I am non commitmental about this until I hear both sides of the story. But yes, their justification will have to be a pretty solid one as I agree completely with all the points you mentioned.

        By the, way, Hi!

  11. May 17, 2009 10:44 am

    1. I could be wrong. But definition of secularism is not promoting any religious activity, and not siding with all religions equally. On one of the interviews I’d watched after the Parliament attacks, if my memory doesn’t fail me, one of the accused, and an engineer had stated that well educated people
    end up in terrorist acts, not for the love of their religion, but for money! By stating this, I’m not trying to counter your point, just recounting it here as that had surprised me. This is my speculation, and I have nothing to back it, but maybe it’s only the educated elites from organizations that resort to terrorism, that are from convent schools, what about the grassroot level workers? Maybe a slim majority or a sizeable minority that don’t get educated or do so in unconventional institutes are much more vulnerable to brainwashing.

    2. That’s my contention. Why have a Hindu or Muslim law? Why not just have a Uniform civil code? Sania Mirza must have (again a speculation) felt at least some fear on knowing about that fatwah. The principal’s orders that you pointed out, though illogical, were still in his power as he was the head of the institute. But the cleric was not related to Sania in that manner. Hindu clerics also extall various things, but they don’t enjoy a status of ‘law’ within the religion.

    3. This is totally from my memory. Some HC or SC (maybe within last 6 months) judge had declared that ban on SIMI was unjustified as enough evidence was not submitted by the central government, when the news next day in the papers was to effect that another SIMI activist had been held as suspect involving some threatening phone calls in Mumbai.

    4. When I invoked the point about Azharuddin’s not being from Moradabad, I was only trying to point out that Congress just cannot be considered secular. Why this assumes importance is because Congress is seen as secular, and BJP is not! I’ve not even tried to claim once that BJP is! The reason his case can’t be compared with Sushma Swaraj’s is that, at least for argument purpose, she’s is a seasoned politician and knows the ways in administration, but when one fields a newbie in such circumstances, it sends only one message: “vote for religion”. With regard to Shashi Tharoor, again he’s been an administrator and not a cricketer, but most important, if I’m not wrong, he’s a Malayali.

    Re: Maharashtra’s development, electric power is an issue of planning. Do you contest that?…

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      May 18, 2009 8:37 pm

      Ketan,Thanks for your comments. You have spoken eloquently however I think after reading your comments, I feel our point of disagreement stems from the fact that you feel that BJP is good for the economy and development although not secular in spirit, so you are willing to overlook it’s religious agenda. WHile, for me as an atheist and secularist that’s a big stumbling block. Since, I do not live in India, my only source of information is people like you who live in india and face it’s problems everyday, blogs and news papers. So I will take your word for it for the time being about development issues unless someone disagrees.

      If you are correct, I agree that BJP may have been more successful in furthering development. Although I cannot ignore the fact that the BJP came to power when India was riding a wave of prosperity. So I am not sure if BJP is the cause of such development or was it just serendipity/ an opportune time.

      Anyway let me briefly also try to answer your other points.

      1. Secularism means that the govt. won’t base it’s policies on religious grounds. That’s what the constituion says and which I support. Any party which disregards it or publicly speaks in favor of a religion is engaging in unconstitutional activities which I cannot bring myself to support. Btw, I don’t quite agree with anyone who says that jihadis do it for money. As a person who has read enough about ISlam and the Quran, I find that excuse simply ill-informed.

      2. In a free country, which I believe India is, no principal or mullah should have the right to control what dress someone else should wear. They can criticize it but wearing the dress of my choice, falls within my fundamental right of expression which no one has the right to control. Again for me it’s a non issue. If a mullah has asked sania mirza to cover up, I will typically ignore it unless they try to force it on her.Has sania stopped wearing skirts? If not why are we bothered?

      Again being secular doesn’t mean that a party cannot use religion to get votes. As long as it doesn’t favor a religion as a basis for it’s policies, I am fine. I know the congress is not absolutely, undeniable secular but I think it’s relatively secular than the BJP.

  12. May 17, 2009 11:21 am

    In Maharashtra free electricity has been given to farmers, which costs the state exchequer a lot. Though this sounds good on surface, the fact is most of that free electricity goes only to rich farmers, ‘cuz the really needy farmers don’t have pumps to use any! Mumbai had got 54 new flyovers with the previous nonCongress government, but with the current government the rate of progress has been very slow. True, economic slowdown is cyclical and much more indolent than its overt manifestations, but what about the fact that the people in neighboring Gujarat (coincidentally, again with a nonCongress governmment) are doing much better. The two states have comparable natural resources, in fact the former has had historical infrastructural advantage. Now I’ll tell you the reason for this neglect of Mumbai. It might sound like a fairytale, but I can expect you to take it more seriously than any other person. I’ve done my gradutation in a rural place, though am a resident of Mumbai. I’ve seen people of rural background being jealous of urban areas’ infrastructure. So, the Congress has been appeasing those voters not by bringing in improvements in rural constituencies, but by halting progress in the urban ones! What degree of investment a city/state attracts is an indirect, but very good index to amount of corruption a typical industrialist encounters. The doctors in Primary Health Centers (PHCs) don’t get their salaries for two-three months in Maharashtra. Also, because of the similar pay-related problems, many lecturers in medical colleges have left their jobs consequently, the Medical Council of India has derecognized many postgraduation seats.

    Now I want to state something about BJP’s policies, that might totally come out as lateral thinking, but still let me put it before you. Even though it says lot of fundamentalist things, they’re just poll planks (I’d call it bad marketing) and not to be taken seriously! When they’d come to power in Center, they didn’t inundate the country with temples. Rather their outlook towards economy as well as diplomatic relations with nations like the US (even in face of Pokhran blasts) had been quite progressive. Modi has made compulsory teaching English in all schools from first standard. There are embarrassing things that their allies do that they unfortunately have to support or oppose with a much diluted stand. When they come to power, they ignore religion as an issue…

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      May 18, 2009 9:10 pm

      So, the Congress has been appeasing those voters not by bringing in improvements in rural constituencies, but by halting progress in the urban ones!

      Frankly I find it hard to believe that a party would do something so foolish. And even if the congress does something like that, doesn’t it do it at it’s own peril of losing votes in the urban areas (since that’s where most people live these days). If it is foolish enough to do something like that isn’t it in our power to not elect such a party ?

      Even though it says lot of fundamentalist things, they’re just poll planks (I’d call it bad marketing) and not to be taken seriously!

      It very well maybe, but how can the voter know. We would have to go with what they say and take it seriously. Does it mean that their other promises are also poll planks. If that is the case how can we distinguish between what they mean and what they don’t?

  13. May 17, 2009 12:17 pm

    It’s this occurrence that had given me the impression that can on SIMI had been lifted, but the fact that home ministry didn’t submit enough evidence in the first place made me make that point about disinclination of Congress towards a ban. Though fortunately, the SC in its better sense reinstated the ban. Moreover, if BJP can be blamed for what Shiv Sena or some other extremist ally does, then Congress must also be blamed for what Lalu and SP leaders (the secular ones with whom Congress has always agreed on matters of secularism, but broke up with obviously not because of such irresponsible statements) have said about SIMI.

    My view on Gujarat riots had been identical to yours when they’d happened, but when I came to know (from an atheist cousin) of few ground realities that one could be privy to only if one actually witnesses those events, my views on causes and nature of such riots changed totally. (I can’t reveal the nature of those ground realities on a public forum, but if you don’t mind, do give me your email address, and I won’t mind mailing you when I get time). But, I developed a preference for Modi only after I came to know of his efficient administration from my relatives (in Gujarat). Corruption works on the concept of hierarchy. How much corruption you encounter at the bottom of the ‘food-chain’ depends greatly on the integrity of one at the top. And corruption even in smaller offices has come down greatly in Gujarat.

    There’s one huge flaw in my preference for BJP–I’ve equated it with Narendra Modi. I’d have preferred Congress had he been with them. I’d have still preferred Congress had they allowed efficient leader like Sheila Dixit to play some role at center. I’d have preferred it had P. Chidambaram been more powerful within the party. And I’d have been able to take Congress’ claim to secularism more seriously had they not allowed what happened to Kashmiri Pandits.

    Enough for today!

    TC.

  14. May 17, 2009 1:22 pm

    This is a link to what I’d posted on IHM’s wordpress blog also, but somehow didn’t get published. Not that you’ll get a lot of new opinions in there, just that if you apply the principle of ‘test and control’ trial, you’ll find that these states have worsened under Congress rule, but improved under BJP’s.

    http://lifeofanindianhomemaker.blogspot.com/2009/04/is-congress-really-lesser-evil.html

    • May 19, 2009 2:16 am

      Panchalkc that’s my old blog url, I moved to WordPress on 4th April. Please do repost the comment on WordPress, here,

      http://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2009/04/10/is-congress-really-the-lesser-evil/

      • May 19, 2009 9:49 am

        IHM,

        There is maybe some problem with your comments submission field or with wordpress. I’ve just submitted a request for you to copy+paste my blogspot comment to your wordpress blog, and I’m not getting the message ‘your comment is awaiting moderation’. I’m not sure if I’m encountering this problem because of using a cell phone, but it’d be nice if you could look into the matter.

        TC.

  15. Vedagnya permalink
    May 17, 2009 10:36 pm

    “Congress is not perfect but atleast they are not trying to create a hindu rashtra which remains the goal of the BJP.”
    Congress will end up craeting an Islamic republic. They r simply blind and do not care. How is Islamic republic better than a hindu rashtra?
    ” I am not against uniform civil code but can you please tell me why BJP didn’t do anything about the muslim marrying 4 wives law when they were in power”
    Precisely. Dont talk of UCC. Just amend the Indian Penal Code section on Bigamy.That is it.Call it as “decolonialisation” or “woman empowerment” exercise.
    And BJP is talking a myth that u have to scrap article 370.That is a long drawn Constitutional process.Article 370 permits the President to notify that the Artcle shall cease to operate from notified date. All this needs is pass a cabinet resolution and forward it to President. Wunder why they didnt do this when in power?

  16. May 17, 2009 10:42 pm

    Hi! I realized, I’d forgotten the link about SIMI’s revoked, and then restored ban.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Students_Islamic_Movement_of_India#Ban_and_Aftermath

    TC.

  17. May 18, 2009 10:38 am

    Nitwit,

    I think you didn’t get what I meant by raising issues of reservations, Haj-subsidy and uniform civil code. And that point is–Congress just can’t be considered secular! And when it suits them they also act of communally divisive lines (which would be a perfect antonym for ‘secular’ the way we’re using the word, right?).

    And when you ask evidence of Congress’ failure in Maharashtra, like the shifting of industries outside of Maharashtra to other states, and hence, employment opportunities, too, and the power supply situation, what’s the strength of evidence that you want? If we are to apply such stringent standards for evidence to judge which party to vote for, we’d never be able to acknowledge that corruption exists in Indian polity. How many politicians have we caught on camera accepting bribes? How many courts have held politicians like Lalu Yadav and Jayalalitha guilty of corruption? Are we to believe they’ve never indulged in corruption? So when I see dug up roads all around, construction of flyovers left incomplete for much longer times, Mumbai metro project hardly progressing (despite much more acute need as compared to Delhi), it’s evidence enough for me (in capacity of a voter, and not a judicial or investigative authority) that Congress has been less effective in administration.

    TC.

  18. May 18, 2009 10:59 am

    I’m not sure but maybe you didn’t get the context in which I told you of media being in Congress’ control. I’m not trying to call Congress bad for controlling the media, or the media bad for allowing the Congress to control. I was trying to point out that views (BJP v/s Congress) formed on the basis of a manipulative media are just not going to be accurate. The difference in US situation as compared to the Indian one with regard to partisan approach employee by the two media houses is that they’re on two different sides, and maybe with comparable penetration. But in India, all are on one side! Yes, again if you ask me for evidence to that effect, it’ll be difficult to recollect that much evidence, but more important, I wouldn’t like my views on this sensitive issue on public display.

    On a more personal note, do you think, I should be more circumspect about what views I’m airing considering I’m not as anonymous as you?!! Asking since you’re much more experienced and presumably better aware of the ways of the world!

    TC.

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      May 18, 2009 9:31 pm

      Ok I understand your point about the media, although I am not sure why there isn’t any media coming forward to support the BJP? I am curious. What do you think is the reason? Is it a PR battle which the congress has won?

      Btw, as for your opinions, I think that is fine as long as you don’t feel it will affect you professionally or put you in harm’s way. However if you want to comment anonymously, you can use a pseudonym and leave the website field blank and just use your real email id. That way Only I will know who it is.

  19. May 18, 2009 2:55 pm

    IHM,

    Those who prefer Congress to the BJP are claiming the former has best interests of minorities on their mind. That’s why it becomes imperative for those holding such preference to explain, how for instance, providing Haj-subsidy benefits the minorities more than protecting their women through UCC? And don’t you think calling UCC merely an instrument used by ‘jealous Hindu males’ sounds somewhat sensationalist? How do you overlook the fact that UCC would also be about freedom from express-divorces by mere utterance of ‘talaq’ three times in succession? It’d also mean freedom from compulsion of wearing burqas (or does it bother you that the ‘jealous Hindu males’ would want this only to letch at them)? That all this would empower them, let them get educated, get jobs for themselves, then promote an atmosphere of openmindedness in the subsequent generations? Do you think there’s some reason the Congress missed all these benefits of the UCC?

    Now please answer a few questions sequentially:

    1. Do you think the UCC would benefit and empower the women, and thus the community to which they belong? Here on, answer the next question in sequence only if your response to the current one is in affirmative.

    2. Was the Congress in power for nearly 50 years following independence? Proceed only if your answer is a ‘yes’.

    3. Was BJP the first to raise the issue of UCC? Proceed to next only if…

    4. All the Hindu males would have felt a consolation that no one in country could be polygamous if UCC were to be passed? At least that’s what you said BJP had calculated? And had they brought in the UCC, at least THEY FELT all the Hindu males (40% of electorate) would’ve voted for them? Proceed to…

    5. They still didn’t pass the UCC bill. Possible conclusions: a. BJP is strategically stupid to have missed out on such a large chunk of votes; b. BJP didn’t have interests of minorities on their mind. c. BJP didn’t want to lose minority votes!

    Congress:

    1. Couldn’t even THINK of UCC in the first place in 50 years. So, who had better ideas for upliftment of minorities? BJP with UCC or Congress with Haj-subsidy?

    2. Didn’t pass the UCC. Possible conclusions: a. Wanted sadistic pleasure of keeping ‘jealous Hindu males’ jealous? b. wanted women from minority community to enjoy the masochistic pleasure of being at mercy of their ‘proud manly minority male’ husband, roasting in burqas and staying uneducated!

  20. May 19, 2009 12:06 am

    Yes, you’re right about your doubt regarding what’s a poll plank, and what’s a real development-related promise. I’ve not used that point to convince others. In fact, even in my current discussion with you, I don’t expect or intend to turn you into a BJP-supporter. That’d be a totally useless exercise (more so if you won’t be able to vote 😉 ). The way to determine is their past performance and policies when they were actually in power. As I pointed out BJP’s major highlights were not building temples or subjugating the minorities, but they greatly accelerated the rate of progress. Don’t you think it serves to undermine their sound decision-making to simply call it a ‘wave of prosperity’? What’s the genesis of such a wave? What killed that wave of prosperity, then when the Congress came to power? You might say rising fuel prices. But then NDA too had its share of major problems–Kargil war and freshly imposed economic sanctions.

    Efficient administration needs to be appreciated for what it is. If I say, Sheila Dixit has performed well only because Delhi gets a huge budget allocation, and more so in light of upcoming Commonwealth games, would I not be undermining her performance?

    Yes, you’ve been very accurate in making out the basis of my preference for the BJP–viz., better economic and social policies, and cleaner governments (vis-a-vis corruption and rate of progress).

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