Will Congress Admit     Dawood Ibrahim?

Naresh Agrawal
    Naresh Agrawal welcomed into BJP

THERE WAS A TIME when Bharatiya Janata Party was believed to be  a party with a difference – a party of principles which it  would not compromise.

That, it seems,  is history.

All political parties contest elections   to  win and come to power (except perhaps those who  contest just a few seats to retain  their registration).  But then winning elections becomes an end in itself — an end guided by  ‘pragmatic’ decisions and ‘electoral compulsions’.

Jaya Bhaduri Bachchan, MP    

Amit Shah has brought to the party politics of manipulation.   ‘Winnability’  is  the  main criterion.  ‘Practical considerations’ have nothing to do with what the party stood for.  Ideology takes a back seat.

For Congress  power – and wealth which came with it — became the only consideration. It took to casteism and minority appeasement, would not think twice about  giving ration cards and citizenship overnight to refugees just to build vote banks. Its  dynasty. politics promoted sycophancy and ‘darbaris’

The Congress fell because winning was all it wanted — winning so that its leader could enjoy the fruits of power. Most of them  have become multi-millionaires if not billionaires. And ‘scam a day’ was common.  That was not expected of BJP which is supposed to be ‘remote  controlled’ by  the  Rashtriya  Swayamsevak Sangh ideologues,  consisting mostly of old men of learning and wisdom  who sacrificed their lives for their ideology.

And yet it admits an old Socialist Party leader of Uttar Pradesh, Naresh Agrawal, who left his party in a huff when denied ticket for Rajya Sabha. That he was a bitter critic of BJP, supported the SP-Congress alliance a few months ago, and just a fortnight ago attacked BJP for demonetisation, did not seem to matter, as he was expected to bring with him a substantial following from SP as well as his community vote,

That is the  new face of the “pragmatic” politics of today. Rita Bahuguna-Joshi, once UP Congress President, could be admitted to BJP and made a Cabinet minister. The party could  take in Narendra Tewari, Congress CM of two states and a governor who had to quit over womanising even when facing a paternity case from a son he bore out of wedlock. It could induce defections in other states and continue to have alliance with Shiv Sena despite all is attacks —  in the name of pragmatism and electoral requirements.

So what is wrong if tomorrow Indian National Congress admits Dawood Ibrahim under the (mistaken) notion that it  could win Muslim votes for the party? Is this the new reality and pragmatism of Indian politics?

Agrawal’s  derogatory remarks against Jaya Bachchan, the Socialist Party MP,  touched off an outrage as he called her someone who dances and sings in films. I always thought Jaya was something more than just an actress (not just because her father, T.C. Bhaduri, who was a senior journalist and author, brought me into the profession) but someone who always asserted herself on women’s issues. 

Unlike most of the ‘decorative’ ‘glamour faces’ from the entertainment industry inducted into Parliament by the Congress,  Jaya has been an active parliamentarian.  Agrawal’s  attack on her came only when the Socialist Party preferred her  over him for  Parliament seat.

If it been his stand that such ‘glamour girls’ had no place in Parliament, he should have said it when he was still in SP.  Just as all the senior Congress parliamentarians kept mum when Rekhas, Tendulkars and Lata Mangeshkars, eminent in their own fields but misfits in politics, were brought in by their  party, Agrawal too was silent when Jaya  was first inducted.

One welcome aspect of the  controversy touched off by Agrawal is that among those who criticised him for is derogatory remarks were leaders of the BJP itself, including senior Minister Sushma Swaraj and Roopa Ganguly an actress-turned-MP., who defended Jaya Bachchan, who herself refused to comment.This is something unheard of in  Congress. Renuka Choudhary, known for her ‘Shurphanaka’ guffaws, was silent.

‘Behenji’ Mayawati too came to Jaya’s defence, but obviously this  was prompted only by the new electoral  understanding between her Bahujan Samaj Party and the SP,  entered into by the parties  when  the political fortunes of both declined drastically.

Agrawal’s entry could mean the exit of ideology from BJP political horizon.


A People’s President

Caste is all

RAM NATH KOVIND HAS BEEN ELECTED THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA WITH A HUGE majority. The ‘communal’ upper-caste  BJP had made another ‘Dalit’ the President.

Meira Kumar, put up by the ‘united’-(only over 130 cross votes)-Opposition for her caste (belonging to a ‘Dalit’ or oppressed caste) and her dynasty (daughter of Jagjivan Ram, for long THE face of  the Dalits in Congress party and a minister for decades) has proved, by getting over 34 per cent votes, that caste still counts, but is not the determining factor.

The political culture the  Congress party nurtured has made it a dominant feature of Indian politics. So it was no surprise that a photograph that went viral over social  of media (see above) mentions the caste of senior BJP leader Advani (expected by many to be next President), the President-elect and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It did not matter that 1,581 voters with a criminal record voted in the election. Out  of them 3,640  are “crorepati MPs” (millionaires). The Association for Democratic Reforms has revealed that out of the 4.852  MPs/MLAs eligible to participate in the election  1581 (33%) members have declared criminal cases against themselves in self-sworn affidavits.

The role of big money in “democratic” elections everywhere need not be stressed. Add to this the coercive power of those with musclemen working for them and the three ‘C’s of Indian politics – Caste, Cash and Coercion – become evident.

In earlier posts I called writing on politics “scavenging with pen”. As a journalist I hated to be known to Ministers and those in power, though contacts  matter in the profession. And yet many of my posts are about politics – mostly Indian. Politics pervade every aspect of life in this developing country.

Reason, ideology and welfare of the majority have no role in it.  According to Congress Modi is the Prime Minister of the BJP-led coalition and not India. Opposition it thinks, has to support China or even the terrorists. Electoral politics have fallen to this level.

Will Kovind be a “People’s President” in these tragic circumstances?

‘Ideology’ of Caste and Dynasty

BJP’s Dalit candidate Ram Nath Kovind

MEIRA KUMAR, THE CONGRESS CANDIDATE FOR the upcoming President of India election says her nomination by the Opposition “united” against the ruling National Democratic Alliance was a ‘matter of ideology and giving it a communal or caste colour was unfortunate.

If you don’t take it as the joke of the decade, you may ask:What is the ideology involved?

The NDA announced its candidate, Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit (belonging to oppressed and downtrodden castes) first. Till then the “united” opposition was speaking in different voices. THEN it announced the name of Meira Kumar whose qualification is the daughter of Jagjivan Ram, for decades the face of the Dalits in the Congress.

Meira Kumar


Both caste and dynasty qualifications fulfilled.

Earlier the “united” opposition toyed with the idea of putting up Dr. M.S.Swaminathan, an eminent scientist and father of India;s green revolution. A victim of North-South politics when he was director general of    the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (popular as Pusa Institute) from 1972 to 1979,  he became the Director General of the International Rice Research Institute (1982–88) which is located in  Philippines by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN  as India, the rightful claimant as the major rice-producing country, did not show interest and pursue the matter.

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