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WHY CONGRESS & Co LOST 2019 ELECTIONS

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    Finally, the mammoth festival of democracy has ended. It has brought about a number of beginnings and an equal number of endings. Tall, broad, victorious, Narendra Modi, is now well saddled to take India forward, in the next five years. To me, it appears, Narendra Bhai & Amit Bhai se BJP hai, BJP se woh nahi hain. Jahan woh khade ho jate hain BJP ki line wahin se shuru hoti hai. One can use any amount of adjectives … Tornado, Tsunami or any other to describe the Namo wave that was totally unexpected, or kept under wraps, about which the general public is not aware. 

    What astonishes me now is the tectonic shift that the election brought forth through its sensitive and knowledgeable voters. It in fact unsettled all calculations. There was a great hue and cry that Modi is now only a matter of months and days a perception largely created by the novice opposition and even the media, including print, electronic and social in utter munificence. Many prominent journalists, TV channels and Youtube operators now stand exposed, when it comes to their own personal integrity, professional acumen, and even their prowess as political journalist. Where, the pollsters by and large got it right.

    The media is abuzz with a plethora of thoughts and pointers, where, I would also like to join the bandwagon, in making my own thoughts known, even if, it is, a bit too late in the day. The great thing that has happened in this election is that Mother India has got the workhorse, in terms of a reliable, knowledgeable, and a resourceful ruling party with a majority to take India forward. But in the process it has inadvertently smothered the opposition. Opposition now looks pale and withered. And without an opposition, democracy looks incomplete. But then where did the opposition go astray. I have some viewpoints as a voter when it comes to Congress and other opposition parties.

    One, Congress party, which is the main opposition party, is perceived to be a pro Muslim party by a majority of voters. Ever since independence it has ruled with a soft corner for the Muslims. This was fine had it been for a sprint run. But Congress turned out to be a pro-Muslim party for a marathon run. This perhaps gave an uneasy feeling to the Hindu voters. As long as, there was no option, Hindu voters kept voting for Congress. But when a reliable option like BJP surfaced they shifted. The same analysis holds good for Samajwadi Party and other opposition parties. Congress did not rest with this.

    After independence like the British Raj it further divided and exploited the Hindu community through its policies into schedule caste, schedule tribe, and the upper caste just to corner votes. Since 60s Congress has allowed Bangladeshi immigrants into Assam, and now even Mamata Didi is doing the same. And, Hindus, wonder, why was Congress so comfortable with Muslims even when they happened to be illegal immigrants? The answer is very obvious—vote bank. Where, they exploited the language nationalism of Bengalis.

    Two, opposition says, polarization was done largely by the BJP. But voters have come to realise a more comprehensive and covert polarization was done in the long years when Congress ruled, when they gave incentives to Muslims, divided the Hindu community into upper-caste, backward-caste, schedule-caste, and schedule tribe. All for vote bank politics. Congress exploited the divide that existed between Hindus and Muslims that originated at the time of partition. The opposition even during the campaign kept exploiting this by telling the Muslim minority that if BJP comes to power they will be finished. This was totally wrong. Especially, when, even in the long years of Congress and opposition rule the plight of Muslims has not improved.

    Three, opposition criticises the ideology of Hindutva. They say Hindutva is the poison, churned out by RSS, Jansang and now BJP. But the moot point is, if all was going so very well under the Congress regime why at all, did Hindutva, flourish in the last two decades or so. Perhaps, at the time of partition, a divide, or a suspicion did exist between Hindus and Muslims, which the Congress never tried to address in a comprehensive manner.

    Four, if Hindutva was cherished and nourished by BJP and if Hindutva was a cuss word for the opposition, why and how did BJP reach a full house from 2 seats in the parliament. Most opposition leaders have mocked at the grace of Hinduism by attacking Hindutva which they thought was some form of Hindu uprising, and that perhaps has hit the sentiments of most Hindus. A similar analogy can be made about Samajwadi Party. The perception of this party too is a Muslim-Yadav combine. Most police stations of U.P. are packed with Yadavs. So then what is left for the other castes in the state? One could say it is silent polarisation.

    Five, there was never an issue based criticism of BJP by the opposition during the election campaign. Anything and everything that BJP did was wrong including national security. Does a country work like this? Rahul Gandhi whose UPA was drenched in corruption was openly sloganeering, ‘Chowkidar chor hai.’ Which the voters of India didn’t accept. Then you have Mayawati and Mulayam Singh with cases of disproportionate assets, so with what face were they attacking BJP. It was like the pot calling the kettle black. The opposition needs to realise that they are now dealing with educated voters where their silly ways will not cut ice anymore.

    Six, a majority of the opposition parties are family shops, biggest being Congress. Where, everything happens at the diktats of the political-lala. Just as people look for corporate and government jobs and don’t like working for a lala company in the same manner the learned voter especially the young voters want a grand political party now, to rule India and not a bunch of local and parochial leaders. Where, BJP fits the bill.

    Seven, BJP won because it worked on the ground. It had the grip and pulse of the voters including better booth management. Where, opposition was totally divided by their petty vision. The only thing that united them was ‘Modi hatao.’ Congress offered rupees 72,000 per annum to the poor but still it did not find any traction and that speaks a lot about Congress. Mamata, was full time into minority appeasement, and fierce federalism, yet BJP made healthy inroads in Bengal.

    BJPs performance was somewhere below and somewhere above the benchmark, yet they played their cards pretty well. With an average literacy rate of 74% in India political parties cannot bull shit anymore. Social media has made casting of vote a fad, a prestigious duty. In times to come you will have more of educated voters and less of vote banks.

    What may have worked for NDA is that it succeeded to a large extent in turning this election into a referendum in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Where, opposition parties appear to have helped BJP in the process as their campaigns were primarily about ousting Modi, rather than offering any positive and alternate visions of what they will do if elected to power. It’s a smart phone world where opposition needs to play it better.

   The opposition was fragmented all along and offered no PM candidate, this only cemented the concept of TINA (There is no alternative) factor, in favour of Narendra Modi.

    Just as, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has rephrased, the slogan, ‘Sabka sathsabka vikas’ to ‘Sabka sath sabka vikas and sab ka vishwas’ even the opposition needs the vishwas of the majority community.

    Therefore, the opposition needs to get back to the drawing board to reinvent their respective parties that has an agenda for all communities and not just their own brethren and caste. There is a saying in English, that goes as follows, ‘Words on the street is that elections are already over, only the polling is left.’ If the opposition is vigilant to these words they will get the pulse of their victory much in advance.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

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SONI, SELJA DIG IN HEELS, WON’T VACATE BUNGALOWS- Such unwieldy politicians likely to fade away from the Indian political map

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

ambikaselja

Once upon a time American and European fuel guzzling cars were very popular all over the world because there was no other choice. Then came, the fuel efficient Japanese cars that took the car markets by storm where some of these companies faced the threat of closure and some actually closed. Finally, to survive every car manufacturer had to manufacture fuel efficient cars. They say global trends are more powerful than national and national trends are more powerful than the local.

Indian political market is somewhat heading in the same direction where the culture of VVIPISM is frustrating the Indian population as a whole. Prime Minister Narendra Modi keeps harping about the strength of the young Indian population which happens to be under the age of 35 and is 60% of the Indian population. And this population will soon be up for grabs if they don’t find employment in other sectors, and they will turn into politicians and that will be only good for the Indian Political Market.

For this new breed of politicians will be lean, wieldy, needy and talented, and putting it more appropriately–fuel efficient. Like the Sonis and Seljas they won’t require Bungalows to reside in, vehicles and drivers to cart them, secretaries to communicate, peons to lift their baggage and security guards to protect them. They will be confident and self-sufficient.

And they will be ready to operate out of small residence, carry their own luggage, drive their own cars or move in public transport without security guards and operate their own laptops; pretty much, away from the hulky and unwieldy syndrome.

Looking in the manner the current generation of politicians is frustrating India through VVIPISM; the talented young India is seeing an opportunity in this. And this may happen quite soon. Arvind Kejriwal came quite close to this methodology but for some reasons moved away. But the younger generation is still contemplating the opportunity and it will require only 5-10 young crusaders to announce this new kind of politicking; and will become the new hero of new India—the lean Indian Politician.

Read the TOI column, Thursday, May 21, 2015

New Delhi: Former Union ministers and Rajya Sabha MPs from Congress Ambika Soni and Kumari Selja have slapped privilege notices on the urban development (UD) ministry for asking them to vacate their official bungalows.

The ministry served them eviction notice on the ground that they were no entitled to the ministerial bungalows. Both the MPs have contested the claim and have dubbed the notice as a breach of their privilege as parliamentarians. The UD ministry has been intimated by the Upper House.

“The two have given privilege notices to the urban development ministry in response to its eviction notice served on them for vacating their Type-VIII bungalows.” said an official.

Soni and Selja are staying in 22, Akbar Road and 7, Moti Lal Nehru Road, respectively, which are allotted to them when they were ministers in the previous UPA government. The UD ministry claimed they were entitled to accommodation meant for MPs as per their seniority but not ministerial bungalows.

This came even as all MPs staying in the Ashoka Hotel have vacated it. “Dushyant Chautala of INLD was the last to vacate the hotel.” an official said. At one point, 120 newly-elected MPs were staying at Ashoka Hotel.

FOR A CHANGE MPs FROM U.P. SHOULD UNITE- TO SAVE THE FOODPARK IN RAE-BAREILLY FROM GOING OUT FOR THE PRESTIGE OF UTTAR PRADESH

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New Doc 63_1

When Pratibha Devi Singh Patil was contesting President’s election, Shiv Sena decided to vote for her enbloc, even when she was a Congress candidate, just because she was a Maharashtrian.

They say ethnic food, language, and minorities have tremendous potential to unite. Unfortunately UP (Uttar Pradesh) has none even when it happens to be the biggest state of India. Its mere name is Uttar Pradesh which means the northern province and does not denote any form of ethnicity. Its mother tongue happens to be Hindi. So what, everyone speaks Hindi—sab bolte hain, and so it still doesn’t create that fusion amongst UPites as it would in case of Tamilians, Maharashtrians, Bengalis, Gujaratis or Punjabis to cite a few examples.

It even does not have that ethnic umbrella of food which by sheer name hyperlinks you to the concerned state like—Idli, Dosa Sambar connects you to Tamil Nadu, fish to Bengal, Chole Bhature to Punjab and Dhokla to Gujarat to name a few. It has ordinary Dal Roti, Saag, Sabzi, Kabaabs and Mithai to mention a few which most states of the north have, so there again there is no pull. And so the underground connect that some the other states have by virtue of language, food and ethnicity is largely missing in this state.

Though UP was and still is the livewire political capital of India with 84 seats in Lok Sabha and 31 in Rajya Sabha it was always a case of chirag tale andhera. It never developed like other states and always basked in the comfortable backyards of Delhi. And, sadly the MPs from UP only bickered with each other across party lines and the trend goes on, even when every other state of India is fighting tooth and nail to get new industries and investments into their state. And, so can we expect giants like Narendra Modi, Sonia Gandhi, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Rajnath Singh, Mayawati and Rahul Gandhi all from UP, ever coming together for the cause of U.P? The answer is big no.

Eight of India’s fifteen Prime Ministers were from Uttar Pradesh: Jawahar Lal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Charan Singh, Rajeev Gandhi, V.P.Singh, Chandrashekhar and Atal Bihari Vajpayee apart from various other senior union cabinet ministers who have represented U.P. But still it is a laggard state. And no one knows whom to blame, whether the political class of the state and so also the citizenry.

For some Prime Ministers it was understandable because they had short stints and came in much later in the day but some had long initial stints post India’s independence and still couldn’t provide that initial desired impetus of industrialization and development.

In fact Mrs Indira Gandhi coolly handed over the Integral Coach Factory tipped for Allahabad to Kaputhala in Punjab while Punjab agitation was at its peak to please Sikhs not realising how bad Uttar Pradesh must have felt especially when Phoolpur-Allahabad was Jawahar Lal Nehru’s constituency; and all her life Mrs Gandhi fought elections from Rae-Bareilly in UP.

After Indira Gandhi now Rahul Gandhi the scion of Gandhi parivar is taking Rae-Bareilly for a ride by not taking the food park project seriously when it was sanctioned to him in 2010 and with all the influence at his command he could have seen the project through and got so many in Rae-Bareilly employed. And therefore I fail to understand why Congress Party tries to take Uttar Pradesh for granted.

And looking at the plight of U.P. it is important that the MPs of Uttar Pradesh unite for a change and not let the food park go out to some other state. Even Aklesh Yadav’s government should provide all clearances asap. For one food park or a coach factory will not make any difference in the life of Gandhis, but will certainly make a tremendous difference in the lives of a common man from Uttar Pradesh.

TOI news item- ‘UPA refused cheap gas supply to Rahul project.’

Aadab Lucknow … fond memories

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Picture of ‘Aadab Lucknow … fond memories’ book launch in Lucknow literary festival in 2014. A fiction written around city of Lucknow is all about homecoming of a group of friends that had left Lucknow and showcases the culture of ‘brotherhood’ between two major communities namely Hindu and Muslims that reside in Lucknow.

The e-book is available across the world through Partridge Penguin, Barnes & Noble, flipkart and Amazon and print copies are available with Variety Book store, Connaught place, New Delhi, Advani Booksellers Lucknow and Universal Book Depot Lucknow. You could also write to us for a print copy. Charges would be Rs 375 + Rs 25 courier charges in India.

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