Money, Muscle, Caste Cast Votes

Courtesy: Santabanta.com

FORMER CHIEF ELECTION Commissioner T.S. Krishnamurthy has said that the upcoming elections to the Lok Sabha will be marked by money power, violence and hatred’.

He is quoted in the media as saying that “every conceivable complication will take place because of the way the political parties are fighting. This, he said, makes the implementation of the model code of conduct as big challenge to the Election Commission.

Today a friend sent me a message (in Kannada) which says: Price of a buffalo – Rs,80,000, Bull – Rs 50,000, Goat – Rs,10,000, Dog of a good breed – Rs 5000 to 6000 and Pig – Rs. 3000 to 5000. The price of a man who sells himself (his vote) is only Rs.500 to 1000, the post adds.

Earlier there was a story about a politician who offered Rs.500 for a vote to a man who said he would, instead, have a donkey. The politician went searching for a donkey and found that the minimum price demanded was Rs.2000. So he went back to the voter and said he could not get a donkey cheap; instead, he offered to pay Rs.1000 for the vote.

“So, I cost less than a donkey?” the voter asked.

Yes, the donkeys who vote for other donkeys for money, under threats of musclemen, because the candidate belongs to his/her caste or religion definitely are very cheap, We get donkeys or puppies to rule us. And even then there is donkey trading which the media calls “horse” trading and anyone who buys the largest number of donkeys becomes the ruler.

In a “progressive” state of India, the Chief Ministership went to the party which secured the LEAST number of seats and the party which secured the highest number (though a little short of a majority) sits in the Opposition.

India, it must be admitted proudly, has a democracy – unlike most of the newly independent and most Muslim countries. But almost 72 years of independence has not helped us evolve a healthy political culture in which voting is done on programmes and policies, NOT caste or religion, money, muscle power and vote-bank politics of sheepish voting to whoever the ‘mukhia’ (chieftain) asks you to vote.

And the party which ruled the longest, the Indian National Congress, has to bear a large portion of the blame for this. The Bharatiya Janata Party, which once boasted of being a party with a difference, a party of principles, seems to have fallen in line with the dynasty-ruled Congress and seems to value electoral victories more than principles. The party whose leader, the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee once showed a bipartisan attitude and described his rival, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as ‘Durga” for the courage shown in liberating Bangladesh, is now accused of taking credit for action against Pakistan for terrorism and even of ‘faking’ the Pulwama terrorist attack killing 44 of its Jawans, for electoral gains.

Bipartisanism has lost the poll to “electoral compulsions.” Perhaps we deserve only to be ruled by a dynasty or its puppies.

Ira Pande On Kashmir

By Ira Pande (Republished by Someswar)

The author of the piece below is an erudite, illustrious lecturer, author, editor and daughter of the well-known Hindi novelist of yesteryears, Shivani.

Ira Pande retired as the Chief Editor from the Publicity Division of IIC, New Delhi.

Her article amply highlights the dilemma of our ‘intelligentsia’, which has NOT been able to rid itself of the pernicious vestige of decrying Indian heritage and legacies

_________________________

‘Kashmir is an integral part ofIndia‘. I have heard this line parroted by leaders of all political hues.

It has always sounded like an arbitrary statement designed to rebuff Pakistan, and to reaffirm India’s military might over a coveted geographical area.

Recently I came across facts that have totally changed my perspective on Kashmir. facts that have astounded me, but more than that baffled me, for they reveal glaring lacunae in the history we have been led to believeso far.

It is understandable that the British established a syllabus for us that was designed to obliterate our glories and inculcate shame in us for all things Indian. But, 70 years past independence, we are guilty of still toeing their line.

Why?????

Thesee facts are proof that Kashmir is the fountainhead from which flows our culture, in fact, everything that defines our identity as Indians.

Due to my education at an elite school, I had considered myself reasonably well informed.

Yet, I had no clue at all about the significance of Kashmir vis a visIndian history and

— that it was home to Panini, whose Ashtadhyayi is considered the most scientific and flawless treatise on grammar in the world… –

— and of Patanjali, who gifted to humanity his Yog Sutra.

— Sharangdev, considered the father of both Hindustani and Carnatic music is from Kashmir

— Acharya Abhinav Gupt, one of the greatest scholars of all time, who wrote 46 literary classics, including the renowned Abhinav Bharti was Kashmiri.

His principles of Ras (emotions) are taught in 80 universities around the world.

Kashmir was considered the abode of Saraswati, the highest seat of learning in India and was also referred to as Sharada Peeth.

So much so that when students graduated from Kashi, they took four symbolic steps towards Kashmir, denoting their aspiration for higher learning.

Almost the entire body of Sanskrit literature has its origins in Kashmir.

Rajtarangini, an authoritative historical tome on the royal lineage of Kashmir, written by Kalhans in the 12th century, outlines the greatness of King Lalitaditya, possibly the most powerful Indian Emperor of all times, whose kingdom in the 8th century extended from the Caspian Sea in the North to the Kaveri basin in the South, and included Assam in the East.

How many Indians have even heard his name???

How many of us know that Srinagar was established by Ashoka or that Mahayana Buddhism was spread across mid-Asia, China and Japan by Kashmiri monks?

Who are the ‘educationists’ who deliberately withheld such vital slices of history from our textbooks?

How will the present as well as future generations realize that Kashmir is the keystone of our heritage through millennia, finding mention even in our oldest scriptures?

It is not just a piece of land. It is the abode of the soul of India

‘Kashmir is an integral part of India’ now has a new meaning for me. It is no longer a political statement, but an impassioned understanding of its importance

🙏

I reproduce this because many who read it were surprised that they never knew these facts. Now ‘liberal’ ‘intellectuals’ of ‘tukde tukde’ gangs may say she is wrong and that Kashmir belongs to invaders from abroad who conquered peace-loving people.

That may get them votes, for which they care more than for India.

By George, What a Life

THE COCA-COLA MUSEUM at the company’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, did not show one major event in the history of the world’s biggest beverage company – or I missed it in multiple visits to it over the years.

George Fernandes, the Socialist leader who passed away today, Jan.29, 2019 at the age of 88, had made the Coca-Cola shut down its operations in India in 1977 when he was the Industries Minister in a coalition government at the Centre. The dynamic trade unionist, who had won an election from jail, was living a vegetable existence for the last few years due to Alzheimer’s. He was so much out of public eye (with our media busy reporting only the diaper changes of Taimur Ali Khan) that many may not be aware that he was still alive.

As I had mentioned in several posts on this blog on the deaths of eminent persons, I refrain from writing about their lives already published and stick to personal experiences about them. It is known that he was one of the main accused in the Baroda Dynamite Case hoisted on him by Indira Gandhi while imposing the Emergency, along with a journalist friend Kotamraju Vikram Rao and CGK Reddy, General Manager of The Hindu daily, as they were all followers of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, but not many would know that charged along with them was Chandru (as we used to call him), manager of The Hindu’s bureau office at IENS building on Rafi Marg in New Delhi.

Chandru and dynamite? Many who knew the bachelor and affable retired journalist, always helping others, would have protested if told that Chandru had hurt a fly. His ‘offence’ was that he had sheltered Reddy in his house when the latter went ‘underground’. With the legal system as it was during the Emergency, all the accused would have been convicted and some, mainly George and Vikram, may have been even hanged – had Indira Gandhi not believed the sycophant intelligence agencies to lift the Emergency, only to lose the elections.

What brought George Fernandes into national prominence, however, was his becoming a ‘giant killer’ by defeating S.K. Patil in the Lok Sabha election of 1969 from South Bombay. Patil, a Union Minister, was known to be one of the strongest candidates with big money power and had an iron grip over Bombay Pradesh Congress Committee.

As one of those involved in the Patil Vs Fernandes campaign in Bombay, I remember how ‘Netaji’ Ladli Mohan Nigam of MP and sometimes Madhu Limaye of Bihar used to plan what Fernandes was to speak the next day. An excellent speaker in English, Hindi, and Marathi, Fernandes executed the script brilliantly. The strategy was planned at the meetings and Fernandes was just the performer.

With an eye on the large Muslim vote of Bhendi Bazar area in the constituency, Sadoba Patil one day issued a statement supporting the choice of a Muslim as the next the President of India. The next day Fernandes addressed a public meeting in Bhendi Bazar. Welcoming the choice, Fernandes spoke of how Ahmed would live in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, with its dozens of rooms and famous halls with dazzling decorations, while ‘Abdul Rehman of Bhendi Bazar’, (a fictitious character) lived in a 10X10 room with his large family and get up at 3 a.m. as drinking water taps opened only then for one hour in that area which had restricted water supply.

Fernandes’ imaginary camera repeatedly spanned from the luxury of Rashtrapati Bhavan to the harsh realities of Bhendi Bazar and almost brought tears to many eyes. It was a campaign that would have made a better book than Theodore White’s ‘Making of The President’ series about the Presidential campaigns in the USA. And even today Congress relies solely on minority vote-bank politics.

South Bombay had some very rich areas, as well as some Gujarati pockets, both believed to be pro-Patil. George Fernandes addressed several small meetings on terraces in those areas. His victory parade that night, with hundreds of affluent youth joining the labour whom Fernandes led as a trade unionist, was memorable.

George, born in Karnataka, came to Bombay to join the trade union movement which was then led by another Mangalorean like him, who happened to be externed from the metropolis then. So he stayed in the Bombay Labour Union office. Others in the union found his stay, with many people coming to meet him, disturbing and threw him out after some days. So for a few days, he slept on the footpath on a newspaper till he could make alternate arrangements.

During the campaign, I heard stories of how some young women, one of them a prominent writer, were enamoured of him. Yet he remained a bachelor till late, when he married Prof.Humayn Kabir’s daughter Leila and had a son.

Being more of a performer than an original strategist, he did not make much mark in Parliament. When the non-Congress government came to power at the Centre, he was given Defence, Railway and Industries ministries at different times.

It is tragic to see parties led by Dr. Lohia and George Fernandes – some born out of the Emergency which he opposed so strongly, now join hands with the Congress which they all fought – just to win elections and come to power – to be led by a dyngasty.

No wonder Bihar Chief Minister Nitesh Kumar of Janata Dal (U) broke into tears speaking on George Fernandes’ death.

C Copyright – All Rights Reserved

Politics – A Dirty Game

Dirty communal Cong politics against ‘communal’ BJP

At Gwalior Gurudwara, Sikhs have recently honoured the chief of the party which marched the Army into the Golden Temple and organised the genocide of Sikhs after the murder of Indira Gandhi, who had imposed Emergency. And the Sikh state had voted Congress to power. This is politics!

And the party, which believes ONLY Rahul Gandhi or his Italian mother can contest for Congress president’s post, to quote Mani (Chaiwala) Shankar (neech aadmi) Aiyer, as they being to the dynasty, and ñone of the others in the party are intelligent enough. That is dynasty politics!

It will definitely come back to power, by building vote banks of religious minorities and some ‘dalits’ – both kept deliberately poor and backward by it.

It’s leader in Lok Sabha says ONLY the Gandhi family had fought for India’s freedom and not one of the ‘dogs’ (all other freedom fighters) lifted a finger for it.

A college suspended a student within 2 days for organising a meeting to celebrate Bhagat Singh’s birthday but will take 20 days to ‘investgate’ her crime. Politics can distort history..

Hardly anyone in Telangana read about a Muslim journalist who laid down his life opposing inclusion of Hyderabad state of Nizam in Pakistan as those who killed and cut his hands were secret allies of Congress. That is poltitics of convenience.

Politics are supposed to be for good governance and ideology. But they just remain means of amassing wealth and power.