Ummah firster vs. Dharma firster

People, in general do not have the fortitude to digest Pankaj Mishra’s million word masterpieces. Thanks to Omar we now have a primer so to speak. But what is still needed is a pithy  picture-in-a-box. We have described this epic fight for India’s soul as one between the Ummah-firsters and Dharma-firsters.

The Ummah firsters are firm in their conviction that the masses will any day rise in revolt against the diabolical ruling class composed of upper-caste baniyas and brahmins (this is also the view of leading thinkers such as Pankaj Mishra and Arundhati Roy). A lower caste-Muslim alliance will bring back the fading glories of the Delhi Sultanate. These people need to study carefully the case of Jogendranath Mandal. To make a long story short, during Partition I, Mandal betrayed his fellow Hindu “enemies” and was in turn betrayed by his Muslim “friends,” his community of low-caste (kaibarta) Bangladeshi Hindus would either face genocide (in Partition II) or ethnic cleansing in the coming decades. 

The Dharma firsters basically want to apply the old-fashioned Abrahamic principle to all minorities: re-convert or die. In doing so they disavow the Hindu rule book which does not allow for re-conversion (caste will remain indeterminate, so the newcomers can only be out-castes). As far as mass killing goes, India is clearly not China. There will be plenty of massacres but nothing that will make any dent in the demographics. Minorities will not only grow in India, at some point (just like in the USA) the minorities will turn into majorities in Bengal, Axom, and elsewhere. If the BJP wants to become the natural ruling party of India (taking over from the Congress) then it will need to find a way to seek muslim votes without inflicting pain (or fear of pain).
…….
Ummah Firster view: Modi’s
election marks the beginning of a dark period of Indian history. Modi is
a fascist, who has every tendency to become a dictator. He is a
bedfellow of corrupt tycoons like Ambani and Adani. He is a leader of
khaki wearing, stick wielding gangs of the RSS (modeled after Hitler
Youth). Those who are celebrating Modi’s rise to power should remember
that Modi is after all a member of RSS, the organization that was
responsible for assassinating M.K. Gandhi, the father of independent
India. Let us not forget that Hitler was once elected by the German
people. The rest is history. Those who don’t learn from history are
condemned to repeat it. My heart bleeds for India. I hope India survives
Modi.

…………….
Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/05/16/indias-election-isnt-as-historic-as-people-think/

……..

regards

0

Epicycles of the Elite Left; The Price is Too Damn High..

First published at 3quarksdaily.com
This was to be an article about the latest outbreak of
Blasphemy-mongering in Pakistan but after several friends brought up Pankaj
Mishra’s article about the victory of the BJP in the Indian elections, I
decided to change direction. I think far too many educated South Asian people
read Pankaj Mishra, Arundhati Roy and their ilk. And I believe that many of these readers are good, intelligent people who want to make a positive contribution in this world.  And I believe their consumption
of Pankaj, Roy and Tariq Ali (heretofore shortened to Pankajism, with any
internal disagreements between various factions of the People’s Front of Judea being ignored) creates a real opportunity cost for liberals and leftists, especially in the Indian subcontinent (I doubt if there is any significant market for their work in China or Korea yet; a fact that may even have some bearing on the difference in development between China and India).
In fact, I believe the damage extends beyond self-identified
liberals and leftists; variants of Pankajism are so widely circulated within
the English speaking elites of the world that they seep into our arguments and
discussions without any explicit acknowledgement or awareness of their
presence. In other words, the opportunity cost of this mish-mash of Marxism-Leninism, postmodernism, “postcolonial theory”, environmentalism and emotional massage (not necessarily in that order) is not trivial.
This is not a systematic theses (though it is, among other things, an appeal to someone more academically inclined to write exactly such a thesis) but a conversation starter. I hope that some of you comment on this piece and raise the level of the discussion by your response. And of course, I also apologize in advance for any appearance of rudeness or ill-will. I have not set out to insult anyone (except, of course, Pankaj, Roy and company; but they are big enough to take it).
The argument is more or less on the following lines:
1.    There are some people who have a consistent, systematic and well thought out Marxist-Leninist worldview (it is my impression that Vijay Prashad, for example, is in this category). This post is NOT about them. Whether they are right or wrong (and I now think the notion of a violent “people’s revolution” is wrong in some very fundamental ways), there is a certain internal logic to their choices. They do not expect electoral politics and social democratic reformist
parties to deliver the change they desire
, though they may participate in
such politics and support such parties as a tactical matter (for that matter
they may also support right wing parties if the revolutionary situation so demands).  Similarly, they are very clear about the role of propaganda in revolutionary politics and therefore may consciously take positions that appear simplistic or even silly to pedantic observers, as long as they feel that such a position is in the interest of the greater revolutionary cause. Their choices, their methods and their aims are all open to criticism, but they make some sort of internally consistent sense within their own worldview. With these people one can disagree on fundamentals or disagree on tactics, but either way, one can figure out what the disagreement is about. In so far as their worldview fails to fit the facts of the world, they too have to invent epicycles and equants to fit facts to theory, but that is not the topic today. IF you are a believer in “old fashioned Marxist-Leninist revolution”, this post is not about you.
2.   But most of the left-leaning or liberal members of the South Asian educated elite (and a significant percentage of the educated elite in India and Pakistan are left leaning and/or liberal, at least in theory) are not self-identified revolutionary socialists. I deliberately picked on Pankaj Mishra and Arundhati Roy because both seem to fall in this category (if they are committed “hardcore Marxists” then they have done a very good job of obfuscating this fact). Tariq Ali may appear to be a different case (he seems to have been consciously Marxist-Leninist and “revolutionary” at some point), but for all practical purposes, he has joined the Pankajists by now; relying on mindless repetition of slogans and formulas and recycled scraps of conversation to manage his brand. If you consider him a Marxist-Leninist (or if he does so himself), you may mentally delete him from this argument.
3.   The Pankajists are not revolutionaries, though they like revolutionaries and
occasionally fantasize about walking with the comrades (but somehow always make sure to get back to their pads in London or Delhi for dinner); They are not
avowedly Marxist, though they admire Marx (somewhat in the way “moderate
Muslims” admire the Prophet Mohammed, may peace be upon him. Tribal loyalty is there, but it does not stand in the way of living a modern life. The prophet is more or less an icon, and the prophet’s hardcore followers have serious doubts about the “moderates” bona fides); They strongly disapprove of capitalists and corporations, but they have never said they would like to hang the last capitalist with the entrails of the last priest. So are they then social democrats? Perish the thought. They would not be caught dead in a reformist social democratic party!
 Pankaj Mishra Photo: On Being/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
4.   They hate how Westernization is destroying traditional cultures, but every single position they have ever held was first advocated by someone in the West (and 99% were never formulated in this form by anyone in the
traditional cultures they apparently prefer to “Westernization”).  In fact most of their “social positions” (gay rights, feminism, etc) are anathema to the “traditional cultures” they want to protect and utterly transform at the same time. They are totally Eurocentric (in that their discourse and its obsessions are borrowed whole from completely Western sources), but simultaneously fetishize the need to be “anti-European” and “authentic”.
Here it is important to note that most of their most cherished prejudices actually arose in the context of the great 20th century Marxist-Leninist revolutionary struggle. e.g. the valorization of revolution and of “people’s war”, the suspicion of reformist parties and bourgeois democracy, the yearning for utopia, and the feeling that only root and branch overthrow of capitalism will deliver it; these are all positions that arose (in some reasonably sane sequence) from hardcore Marxist-Leninist parties and their revolutionary program (good or not is a separate issue), but that continue to rattle around unexamined in the heads of the Pankajists.
The Pankajists also find the “Hindu Right” and its “fascism” and its admiration of “strength” and machismo alarming, but Pankaj (for example) admires Jamaluddin Afghani and his fantasies of Muslim power and its conquering warriors so much he promoted him as one of the great thinkers of Asia in his last book. This too is a recurring pattern. Strong men and their cults are awful and alarming, but also become heroic and admirable when an “anti-Western” gloss can be put on them, as long as they are not Hindus. i.e. For Hindus, the approved anti-Western heroes must not be Rightists, but this second requirement is dropped for other peoples.
They are proudly progressive, but they also cringe at the notion of “progress”. They are among the world’s biggest users of modern technology, but also among its most vocal (and scientifically clueless) critics.  Picking up that the global environment is under threat (a very modern scientific notion if there ever was one), they have also added some ritualistic sound bites about modernity and its destruction of our beloved planet (with poor people as the heroes who are bravely standing up for the planet).  All of this is partly true (everything they say is partly true, that is part of the problem) but as usual their condemnations are data free and falsification-proof. They are also incapable of suggesting any solution other than slogans and hot air.
Finally, Pankajists purportedly abhor generalization, stereotyping and demagoguery, but when it comes to people on the Right (and by their definition, anyone who tolerates capitalism or thinksit may work in any setting is “Right wing”) all these scruples fly out of the window. They generalize, stereotype, distort and demonize with a vengeance. You get the picture…or rather, you do not, because there is no coherent picture there. There are emotionally satisfying and fashionable sound bites that sound like they are saying something profound, until you pay closer attention and most of the meaning seems to evaporate. My contention is that what
remains after that evaporation is not that far from what a “bourgeois” reformist social democrat aims for..
. Pankaj and Roy add no value at all to that discourse. And they take away far too much with sloganeering, snide remarks, exaggeration and hot air.
5.   This confused mish-mash is then read by “us people” as “analysis”. Instead of getting new insights into what is going on and what is to be done, we come out by the same door as in we went; we may have held vague but fashionable opinions on our way in, and if so, we come out with these opinions seemingly validated by someone who uses a lot of words and sprinkles his “analysis” with quotes from serious books. We then discuss said analysis with friends who also read Pankaj and Arundhati in their spare time. Everyone is happy, but I am going to make the not-so-bold claim that you would learn more by reading “The Economist”,  and you would be harmed less by it.
6.   Pankajism as cocktail party chatter is not a big deal. After all, we have a human need to interact with other humans and talk about our world, and if this is the discourse of our subculture, so be it.  But then the gobbledygook makes its way beyond those who only need it for idle entertainment. Real journalists,
activists and political workers read it. Government officials read it. Decision
makers read it. And it helps, in some small way, to further fog up the glasses
of all of them.  The parts that are useful are exactly the parts you could pick up from any of a number of well informed and less hysterical observers. What Pankajism adds is exactly what we do not need: lazy dismissal of serious solutions, analysis uncontaminated by any scientific and objective data, and snide dismissal of bourgeois politics.
7.  If and when (and the “when” is rather frequent) reality fails to correspond with theory, Pankajists, like Marxists, also have to come up with newer and more complicated epicycles to save the appearances; and we then have to waste endless time learning the latest epicycles and arguing about them. All this while people in India (and to a lesser and more imperfect extent, even in Pakistan) already have a reasonably good constitution and, incompetent
and corrupt, but improvable institutions. There are large political parties
that attract mass support and participation. There are academics and
researchers, analysts and thinkers, creative artists and brilliant inventors,
and yes, even sincere conservatives and well-meaning right-wingers. I think it may be possible to make things better, even if it is not possible to make them perfect. “People’s Revolution” (which did not turn out well in any country since it was valorized in 1917 as the way to cut the Gordian knot of society and transform night into day in one heroic bound) is not the only choice or even the most reasonable choice. Strengthening the imperfect middle is a procedure that is vastly superior to both Left and Right wing fantasies of utopian transformation.
I personally believe that the system that exists is not irreparably broken and can still avoid falling into fascist dictatorship or complete anarchy (both of which have repeatedly proven to be much worse than the imperfect efforts of modern liberal democracy) but you don’t have to agree with me. My point is that even if the system is un-fixable and South Asia is due for huge, violent revolution, these people are not the best guide to it.
Look, for example at the extremely long article produced by Pankaj on the Indian elections. This is the opening paragraph:
In A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth writes with affection of a placid India’s first general election in 1951, and the egalitarian spirit it momentarily bestowed on an electorate deeply riven by class and caste: “the great washed and unwashed public, sceptical and gullible”, but all “endowed with universal adult suffrage.
Well, was that good? Or bad? Or neither? Were things better then, than they are now? That seems to be the implication, but in typical Pankaj style, this is never really said outright (that may bring up uncomfortable questions of fact). It also throws in a hint that universal adult suffrage was a bit of a fraud even then. But just a hint. Because on other occasions he wants to be free to valorize that very system while claiming to be defend it against “fascism”. Anyway, I doubt if any two readers can come up with the same explanation of what he means; which is usually a good sign that nothing has been said.
There follows a description of why Modi and the RSS are such a threat to India. This is a topic on which many sensible things can be said and he says many of them, but even here (where he is on firmer ground, in that there are really disturbing questions to be asked and answered) the urge to go with propaganda and sound bites is very strong. And the secret of Modi’s success remains unclear. We learn that development has been a disaster, but that people seem to want more of it. If it has been so bad, why do they want more of it? Because they lack agency and are gullible fools led by the capitalist media? If people do not know what is good for them, and they have to be told the facts by a very small coterie of Western educated elite intellectuals, then what does this tell us about “the people”? And about Western education?
Supporters will say Pankaj has raised questions about Indian democracy and especially about Modi and the right-wing BJP that need to be asked. And indeed, he has. But here is my point: the good parts of his article are straightforward liberal democratic values. Mass murder and state-sponsored pogroms are wrong in the eyes of any mainstream liberal order. If an elected official connived in, or encouraged, mass murder, then this is wrong in the eyes of the law and in the context of routine bourgeois politics. Those politics do provide mechanisms to counter such things, though the mechanisms do not always work (what does?). But these liberal democratic values are the very values Pankaj holds in great contempt and undermines with every snide remark. It may well be that “a western ideal of liberal democracy and capitalism” Is not going to survive in India. But the problem is that Pankaj is not even sure he likes that ideal in the first place. In fact, he frequently writes as if he does not. But he is always sufficiently vague to maintain deniability. There is always an escape hatch. He never said it cannot work. But he never really said it can either… To say “I want a more people friendly democracy” is to say very little. What exactly is it that needs to change and how in order to fix this model? These are big questions. They are being argued over and fought out in debates all over the world. I am not belittling the questions or the very real debate about them. But I am saying that Pankajism has little or nothing to contribute to this debate.  Read him critically and it soon becomes clear that he doesn’t even know the questions very well, much less the answers… But he always sounds like he is saying something deep. And by doing so, he and his ilk have beguiled an entire generation of elite Westernized Indians (and Pakistanis, and others) into undermining and undervaluing the very mechanisms that they actually need to fix and improve. It has been a great disservice.
By the way, the people of India have now disappointed Pankaj so much (because 31% of them voted for the BJP? Is that all it takes to destroy India? What if the election ends up meaning less than he imagines?) that he went and dug up a quote from Ambedkar about the Indian people being “essentially undemocratic”. I can absolutely guarantee that if someone on the right were to say that Indians are essentially undemocratic, all hell would break loose in Mishraland.
See this paragraph: In many ways, Modi and his rabble – tycoons, neo-Hindu techies, and outright fanatics – are perfect mascots for the changes that have transformed India since the early 1990s: the liberalisation of the country’s economy, and the destruction by Modi’s compatriots of the 16th-century Babri mosque in Ayodhya. Long before the killings in Gujarat, Indian security forces enjoyed what amounted to a licence to kill, torture and rape in the border regions of Kashmir and the north-east; a similar infrastructure of repression was installed in central India after forest-dwelling tribal peoples revolted against the nexus of mining corporations and the state. The government’s plan to spy on internet and phone connections makes the NSA’s surveillance look highly responsible. Muslims have been imprisoned for years without trial on the flimsiest suspicion of “terrorism”; one of them, a Kashmiri, who had only circumstantial evidence against him, was rushed to the gallows last year, denied even the customary last meeting with his kin, in order to satisfy, as the supreme court put it, “the collective conscience of the people”.
Many of these things have indeed happened (most of them NOT funded by corporations or conducted by the BJP incidentally) but their significance, their context and, most critically, the prognosis for India, are all subtly distorted. Mishra is not wrong, he is not even wrong. To try and re-understand this paragraph would take up so much brainpower that it is much better not to read it in the first place. There are other writers (on the Left and on the Right) who are not just repeating fashionable sound bites. Read them and start an argument with them. Pankajism is not worth the time and effort. There is no there there…
PS: I admit that this article has
been high on assertions and low on evidence. But I did read Pankaj Mishra’s
last (bestselling) book and wrote a sort of rolling review while I was reading
it. It is very long and very messy (I never edited it), but it will give you a
bit of an idea of where I am coming from. You can check it out at this link: Pankaj
Mishra’s tendentious little book
PPS: My own first reaction on the
Indian elections is also at Brownpundits. Congratulations
India
Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, the prime ministerial candidate for India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), shows his ink-marked finger to his supporters after casting his vote at a polling station during the seventh phase of India's general election in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad.
Graphic of election results in 2009 and 2014
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Get the White dude to analyse us

I find it pretty odd that the most consistent political analyst I’ve found expounding on the Indian election is William Dalyrmple.
It’s the the director Boyle winning acclaim for Slumdog Millionaire.
Desis are a gifted people and dime a dozen in the West, when did our stories & our news fail to translate outside the Subcontinent?

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Mr Modi, please tear down this wall

A timely appeal from the (real) Gandhi family scion. We generally approve and the recommendation to address the southern (also eastern) deficit is well taken.
…………….
When some spoke rashly and derisively of your having been a “chaiwala,” I felt sick to my stomach. What a wonderful thing it is, I said to myself, that one who has made and served chai for a living should be able to head the government of India. Far better bearing a pyala to many than being a chamcha to one.

But, Mr. Modi, with that said, I must move to why your being at India’s
helm disturbs millions of Indians. 

You know this more clearly than
anyone else that in the 2014 election, voters voted, in the main, for
Modi or against Modi. It was a case of “Is Narendra Modi the country’s
best guardian — desh ka rakhvala — or is he not?” The BJP has won
the seats it has because you captured the imagination of 31 per cent of
our people (your vote share) as the nation’s best guardian, in fact, as
its saviour. It has also to be noted that 69 per cent of the voters did
not see you as their rakhvala.
They also disagreed on what, actually, constitutes our desh. And this — the concept of desh —
is where, Mr. Modi, the Constitution of India, upon the authority of
which you are entering the office of Prime Minister, matters. I urge you
to revisit the idea of desh.

 In invoking unity and stability, you have regularly turned to the name
and stature of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The Sardar, as you would know,
chaired the Constituent Assembly’s Committee on Minorities. If the
Constitution of India gives crucial guarantees — educational, cultural
and religious — to India’s minorities, Sardar Patel has to be thanked,
as do other members of that committee, in particular Rajkumari Amrit
Kaur, the Christian daughter of Sikh Kapurthala. Adopt, in toto, Mr.
Modi, not adapt or modify, dilute or tinker with, the vision of the
Constitution on the minorities. You may like to read what the
indomitable Sardar said in that committee.


Why is there, in so many, so much fear, that they dare not voice their fears?


It is because when you address rallies, they want to hear a democrat who
carries the Peoplehood of India with him, not an Emperor who issues
decrees. Reassure the minorities,
Mr. Modi, do not patronise them. “Development” is no substitute to
security. You spoke of “the Koran in one hand, a laptop in the other,”
or words to that effect. That visual did not quite reassure them because
of a counter visual that scares them — of a thug masquerading as a
Hindu holding a Hindu epic’s DVD in one hand and a minatory trishul in the other.


In the olden days, headmasters used to keep a salted cane in one corner
of the classroom, visible and scary, as a reminder of his ability to
lash the chosen skin. Memories, no more than a few months old, of the
riots in Muzaffarnagar which left at least 42 Muslims and 20 Hindus dead
and displaced over 50,000 persons, are that salted cane. “Beware, this
is what will be done to you!” is not a threat that anyone in a democracy
should fear. But that is the message that has entered the day’s fears
and night’s terrors of millions.


It is in your hands, Mr. Modi, to dispel that. You have the authority
and the power to do that, the right and the obligation as well. I would
like to believe that, overcoming small-minded advice to the contrary,
you will dispel that fear.


All religious minorities in India, not just the Muslim,
bear scars in their psyche even as Hindus and Sikhs displaced from West
Punjab, and Kashmiri Pandits do. There is the fear of a sudden riot
caused with real or staged provocation, and then returned with
multiplied retribution, targeted very specially on women. Dalits and
Adivasis, especially the women, live and relive humiliation and
exploitation every minute of their lives. The constant tug of unease
because of slights, discrimination, victimisation is de-citizenising,
demoralising, dehumanising. Address that tug, Mr. Modi, vocally and visibly and win their trust. You can, by assuring them that you will be the first spokesman for their interests.


No one should have the impudence to speak the monarchist language of
uniformism to a republic of pluralism, the vocabulary of “oneness” to an
imagination of many-nesses, the grammar of consolidation to a
sensibility that thrives in and on its variations. India is a diverse
forest. It wants you to nurture the humus that sustains its great
variety, not place before it the monochromatic monoculturalism of a
political monotheism.



What has been taken as your stand on Article 370 of the Constitution,
the old and hackneyed demand for a Uniform Civil Code, the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, and what the media have reported as your statements about “Hindu refugees” in
our North and North-West and “Muslim refugees” in our East and
North-East, strikes fear, not trust. Mass fear, Mr. Modi, cannot be an
attribute of the Republic of India. And, as Prime Minister of India, you
are the Republic’s alter ego.

A historic win it has been for you, Mr. Modi, for which, once again,
congratulations. Let it be followed by a historic innings, which stuns
the world by surprises your supporters may not want of you but many more
would want to see you unfurl. You are hugely intelligent and will not
mind unsolicited but disinterested advice of one from an earlier
generation. Requite the applause of your support-base but, equally,
redeem the trust of those who have not supported you. When you
reconstitute the Minorities Commission, ask the Opposition to give you
all the names and accept them without change. And do the same for the
panels on Scheduled Castes and Tribes, and Linguistic Minorities. And
when it comes to choosing the next Chief Information Commissioner, the
next CAG, CVC, go sportingly by the recommendation of the non-government
members on the selection committee, as long as it is not partisan. You
are strong and can afford such risks.



Mr. Modi, there is a southern deficit in your India calculus. The
Hindi-belt image of your victory should not tighten itself into a
North-South divide. Please appoint a deputy prime minister from the
South, who is not a politician at all, but an expert social scientist,
ecologist, economist or a demographer. Nehru had Shanmukham Chetty, John
Mathai, C.D. Deshmukh and K.L. Rao in his cabinet. They were not
Congressmen, not even politicians. Indira Gandhi had S. Chandrashekhar,
V.K.R.V. Rao. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why the UPA did
not make Professor M.S. Swaminathan and Shyam Benegal, both nominated
members in the Rajya Sabha, ministers. There is a convention, one may
even say, a healthy convention, that nominated members should not be
made ministers. But exigencies are exigencies. Professor Nurul Hasan, a
nominated member, was one of the best Ministers of Education we have
had.


Imperial and ideological exemplars appeal to you. So, be Maharana Pratap
in your struggle as you conceive it, but be an Akbar in your repose. Be
a Savarkar in your heart, if you must, but be an Ambedkar in your mind.
Be an RSS-trained believer in Hindutva in your DNA, if you need to be,
but be the Wazir-e-Azam of Hindostan that the 69 per cent who did not
vote for you, would want you to be.



With every good wish as you take your place at the helm of our desh,


I am, your fellow-citizen,



Gopalkrishna Gandhi

……


Link: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/an-open-letter-to-narendra-modi/article6022900.ece
…….

regards

0

No smoking please (Rani madam)

Kangana Ranaut is our favorite actress (we are also fans of Vidya Balan and Kajol Mukherjee). Just like many of her co-actors Kangana has played different roles with aplomb, we really liked Queen, the most recent release is Revolver Rani, which we did not like quite so much (the reviews are mixed, see below: no spoilers).

What is not on is pictures of the beautiful lady* while smoking. We thought this sort of thinking went out of fashion (for men at least), but apparently if a girl has to be shown as edgy then those little wisps of smoke make all the difference. What a pity.
.

Revolver Rani establishes Kangana Ranaut as the most fearless actress in
Bollywood. After winning our hearts as the achingly naïve dumped bride in
Queen, she does a 360-degree flip in this film. As the psychotic, murderous,
sexually ravenous dacoit turned politician Alka Singh, she is frankly ugly,
literally and figuratively.



Alka is the lone woman warrior in the Chambal region, a land overrun by
corruption, misguided machismo and guns. Naturally, she has to shout louder and
shoot harder than the boys. It’s a startling performance that goes almost over
the top, but Kangana reins herself in and expertly balances madness and
vulnerability. She alienates and yet keeps us invested.



The people around Alka are nasty too. Quite deliberately, debutant director
Sai Kabir gives us no one to root for.
Revolver Rani is co-produced by
Tigmanshu Dhulia and echoes his own films, like Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster, in
which scorpion-like characters try to out-sting each other. On Alka’s team is a
selfish, philandering, greedy boy toy named Rohan, played very well by Vir Das. 

….
The performance to watch out for is Piyush Mishra as Alka’s Machiavellian
uncle,
a man willing to destroy her life to preserve their power. Kabir, who
has also written the film, piles on the betrayals and counter-betrayals. There
are goon-like politicians, sting operations, a hilariously hyperactive TV news
anchor, and relentless shootouts — just in case you forget that the film was
called Revolver Rani.



Some of this works and some of it doesn’t. But what keeps Revolver Rani
together are the performances and the sly humour. I particularly enjoyed the
two testosterone-filled duffer politicians whose only aim is to kill Alka. If
you like uplifting, cheerful cinema, then this isn’t the movie for you. But if,
like me, you can enjoy bad people doing bad things, then Revolver Rani will be
fun.

Revolver
Rani establishes Kangana Ranaut as the most fearless actress in
Bollywood. After winning our hearts as the achingly naïve dumped bride
in Queen, she does a 360-degree flip in this film. As the psychotic,
murderous, sexually ravenous dacoit turned politician Alka Singh, she is
frankly ugly, literally and figuratively.
Alka is the lone woman warrior in the Chambal region, a land overrun
by corruption, misguided machismo and guns. Naturally, she has to shout
louder and shoot harder than the boys. It’s a startling performance that
goes almost over the top, but Kangana reins herself in and expertly
balances madness and vulnerability. She alienates and yet keeps us
invested.

The people around Alka are nasty too. Quite deliberately,
debutant director Sai Kabir gives us no one to root for. Revolver Rani
is co-produced by Tigmanshu Dhulia and echoes his own films, like Saheb
Biwi Aur Gangster, in which scorpion-like characters try to out-sting
each other. On Alka’s team is a selfish, philandering, greedy boy toy
named Rohan, played very well by Vir Das. The performance to watch out
for is Piyush Mishra as Alka’s Machiavellian uncle, a man willing to
destroy her life to preserve their power. Kabir, who has also written
the film, piles on the betrayals and counter-betrayals. There are
goon-like politicians, sting operations, a hilariously hyperactive TV
news anchor, and relentless shootouts — just in case you forget that the
film was called Revolver Rani.
Some of this works and some of it doesn’t. But what keeps Revolver
Rani together are the performances and the sly humour. I particularly
enjoyed the two testosterone-filled duffer politicians whose only aim is
to kill Alka. If you like uplifting, cheerful cinema, then this isn’t
the movie for you. But if, like me, you can enjoy bad people doing bad
things, then Revolver Rani will be fun.
– See more at:
http://www.hindustantimes.com/entertainment/reviews/movie-review-by-anupama-chopra-revolver-rani-s-sly-humour-is-fun/article1-1212377.aspx#sthash.oghptMS7.dpuf

………….
Link: http://www.hindustantimes.com/entertainment/reviews/movie-review-by-anupama-chopra-revolver-rani-s-sly-humour-is-fun

Revolver
Rani establishes Kangana Ranaut as the most fearless actress in
Bollywood. After winning our hearts as the achingly naïve dumped bride
in Queen, she does a 360-degree flip in this film. As the psychotic,
murderous, sexually ravenous dacoit turned politician Alka Singh, she is
frankly ugly, literally and figuratively.
Alka is the lone woman warrior in the Chambal region, a land overrun
by corruption, misguided machismo and guns. Naturally, she has to shout
louder and shoot harder than the boys. It’s a startling performance that
goes almost over the top, but Kangana reins herself in and expertly
balances madness and vulnerability. She alienates and yet keeps us
invested.

The people around Alka are nasty too. Quite deliberately,
debutant director Sai Kabir gives us no one to root for. Revolver Rani
is co-produced by Tigmanshu Dhulia and echoes his own films, like Saheb
Biwi Aur Gangster, in which scorpion-like characters try to out-sting
each other. On Alka’s team is a selfish, philandering, greedy boy toy
named Rohan, played very well by Vir Das. The performance to watch out
for is Piyush Mishra as Alka’s Machiavellian uncle, a man willing to
destroy her life to preserve their power. Kabir, who has also written
the film, piles on the betrayals and counter-betrayals. There are
goon-like politicians, sting operations, a hilariously hyperactive TV
news anchor, and relentless shootouts — just in case you forget that the
film was called Revolver Rani.
Some of this works and some of it doesn’t. But what keeps Revolver
Rani together are the performances and the sly humour. I particularly
enjoyed the two testosterone-filled duffer politicians whose only aim is
to kill Alka. If you like uplifting, cheerful cinema, then this isn’t
the movie for you. But if, like me, you can enjoy bad people doing bad
things, then Revolver Rani will be fun.
– See more at:
http://www.hindustantimes.com/entertainment/reviews/movie-review-by-anupama-chopra-revolver-rani-s-sly-humour-is-fun/article1-1212377.aspx#sthash.oghptMS7.dpuf

Revolver
Rani establishes Kangana Ranaut as the most fearless actress in
Bollywood. After winning our hearts as the achingly naïve dumped bride
in Queen, she does a 360-degree flip in this film. As the psychotic,
murderous, sexually ravenous dacoit turned politician Alka Singh, she is
frankly ugly, literally and figuratively.
Alka is the lone woman warrior in the Chambal region, a land overrun
by corruption, misguided machismo and guns. Naturally, she has to shout
louder and shoot harder than the boys. It’s a startling performance that
goes almost over the top, but Kangana reins herself in and expertly
balances madness and vulnerability. She alienates and yet keeps us
invested.

The people around Alka are nasty too. Quite deliberately,
debutant director Sai Kabir gives us no one to root for. Revolver Rani
is co-produced by Tigmanshu Dhulia and echoes his own films, like Saheb
Biwi Aur Gangster, in which scorpion-like characters try to out-sting
each other. On Alka’s team is a selfish, philandering, greedy boy toy
named Rohan, played very well by Vir Das. The performance to watch out
for is Piyush Mishra as Alka’s Machiavellian uncle, a man willing to
destroy her life to preserve their power. Kabir, who has also written
the film, piles on the betrayals and counter-betrayals. There are
goon-like politicians, sting operations, a hilariously hyperactive TV
news anchor, and relentless shootouts — just in case you forget that the
film was called Revolver Rani.
Some of this works and some of it doesn’t. But what keeps Revolver
Rani together are the performances and the sly humour. I particularly
enjoyed the two testosterone-filled duffer politicians whose only aim is
to kill Alka. If you like uplifting, cheerful cinema, then this isn’t
the movie for you. But if, like me, you can enjoy bad people doing bad
things, then Revolver Rani will be fun.
– See more at:
http://www.hindustantimes.com/entertainment/reviews/movie-review-by-anupama-chopra-revolver-rani-s-sly-humour-is-fun/article1-1212377.aspx#sthash.oghptMS7.dpuf

…………

regards

0

The patron saint of the neo-Hindus

Full credit for the first ever BJP victory in Tamil Nadu goes to a Bengali Kayastha named Narendra Nath Datta (who shares the same first name as the new Badshah of HINDU-stan).

Now we know why Pankaj Mishra has been so much up in arms about  the rise of the neo-Hindus, by which he means the Shudras and the Dalits who have voted for the Party of Manu and against their co-brothers (muslims). Normally such behavior makes no sense – as per the traditional Hindu rule book these folks are considered as lowly people. In Marxist lingo this is explained by the theory of  false consciousness, whereby poor, deluded people vote against their self-interests.


Except that this is only a partial truth (and Pankaj knows it). The deeper picture is that the super-castes have lost control of both RSS and the BJP and it is the Shudras who are on the ascendant. The Shudras voted for their maximum leader (who relentlessly claimed his OBC status in public). The Dalits voted against Mayawati because she gave support to the Congress/UPA (this explanation according to Mayawati herself). The rejection was so utterly-butterly complete that the BSP was completely wiped out. The middle class voted against Congress because of the taint of corruption.  

As far as the effect of polarization is concerned, yes, it was very much on evidence…on both sides. The neo-Hindus mobilized against the neo-Muslims (who threatened that another partition is forthcoming if Modi comes to power). So who is going to lead the new movement of Mohajirs and where are they going to go? Pakistan has (for decades) steadfastly refused to absorb a (relatively) small population of Bihari muslims from Bangladesh, who still languish in ghettos and are despised by their fellow Bengali muslims as quislings and traitors. We should ask these poor souls if the golden dreams of ideological movements have been worth the personal sacrifice that they have made. If they are also infected by the virus of false consciousness, they will probably reply in the affirmative. Thus it is necessary to destroy (muslim) villages to preserve the (muslim) nation, a direct message from the Bhagavad Gita (Pankaj can check this out).

So, what explains then the victory of the BJP in Kanniyakumari? We have several friends from Thirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, which is about 100 km away from Vavathurai (land’s end). Our friends used to be staunch DMK voters, this time to a man they have voted for Amma. But things are different in Kanniyakumari. For the RSS this place is holy land, in line with the wishes of Swami Vivekananda (PM duly fingers him as a major villain) and in opposition to the Christian fishermen who populate the area. The back-story from Wiki is excerpted below.

The RSS mobilized in Kanniyakumari in a way it was unable to achieve right next door in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala (see comments below). That is in part because the Left did not lose control over their OBC vote-bank (Ezhavas) in the way Mayawati lost her flock. But the Left is dying and the time will come when the neo-Hindus make their mark in Kerala as well. It is just a matter of time (and being patient).
………..
Vivekananda Rock Memorial is a monument and it is a popular tourist attraction in Vavathurai, Kanyakumari, India. The memorial stands on one of two rocks located about 500 meters east off mainland of Vavathurai, India’s southernmost tip. It was built in 1970 by the Vivekananda Rock Memorial Committee in honour of the visit of the Hindu spiritual teacher Swami Vivekananda to Shripada Parai during the month of December 1892.
It is claimed that he swam to this rock and meditated. It is said that
he attained enlightenment on the rock, and henceforth became a reformer
and philosopher.



 
A meditation hall (Dhyana Mandapam)
is also attached to the memorial for visitors to meditate. The design
of the mandapa incorporates different styles of temple architecture from
all over India.
It houses a statue of Vivekananda. The merger of three
seas – Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean can be seen from these rocks.


…..
In January 1962, on the occasion of Swami Vivekananda’s birth centenary,
a group of people formed the Kanyakumari Committee whose objective was
to put up a memorial on the rock
and a pedestrian bridge leading to the
rock. Almost simultaneously, the Ramakrishna Mission in Madras had
similar thoughts.

……
However, this news was not taken in good taste, by a sizable
population of the local Catholic fishermen. They put up a big Cross on
the Rock, visible from the shore.



 
This led to protests by the Hindu population who said the Rock was a
place of worship for Hindus. A judicial probe ordered by the Madras (now
Tamil Nadu) government stated in unequivocal terms that the rock was
Vivekananda Rock, and that the Cross was a trespass. Amid all this
acrimony, the Cross was removed secretly in the night.
The situation
turned volatile and the Rock was declared a prohibited area with armed
guards patrolling it.



 
The Government realised that the Rock was turning into an area of
dispute with Hindus claiming it to be the Vivekananda Rock and
Christians that it was St. Xavier’s Rock.
It decreed that although the
rock was Vivekananda Rock, there would be no memorial constructed on it.
The then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Shri M. Bhaktavatsalam, said
that only a tablet declaring that the rock was associated with Swami
Vivekananda could be put up,
and nothing else.



 
With government permission, the tablet was installed on the Rock on
17 January 1963.
But the voices clamoring for a full-fledged Memorial
on the Rock did not die. In May that year, those seeking vengeance for
the removal of the Cross, demolished and threw away the tablet into the
sea.

….
The immediate obstacles were Shri Bhaktavatsalam’s stand that he
would not allow the memorial to come up as
Shri Humayun Kabir, the Union
Minister for Cultural Affairs, had said that the natural beauty of the
Rock would be spoiled. Shri Kabir’s constituency was Calcutta.
When Shri Ekanth Ranade
publicised in Calcutta, that it was Shri Kabir who was against the
creation of Memorial of one of the greatest sons of Bengal, there was
such a hue and cry that Shri Kabir had to do a volte-face. 

However, to
prevail over Shri Bhaktavatsalam, only the Prime Minister Jawaharlal
Nehru’s support would do. To that end, on Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri’s advice, Shri Eknath Ranade
camped in Delhi. In three days, he collected the signatures of 323
Members of Parliament in a show of all-round support for the Vivekananda
Rock Memorial,
which was presented to the Prime Minister. 

Shri
Bhaktavatsalam had no option now but to allow the construction of the
Rock Memorial.



Shri Bhaktavatsalam had given permission only for a small 15’ x 15’
shrine. Knowing his reverence for the Paramacharya of Kanchi Kamakoti
Peetham, Shri Eknath Ranade approached the latter for suggesting the
design of the Rock Memorial.
Shri Bhaktavatsalam unhesitatingly agreed
to the larger design (130’-1½” x 56’) approved by the Paramacharya!



….
Once all the political hurdles were removed, construction was
underway.



 
The biggest and ever present challenge, however, was that of financing
the whole operation.



Shri Eknath Ranade believed that as the Vivekananda Rock Memorial was
a national monument, every Indian should be invited to contribute to
its construction. He approached (and succeeded) almost every State
government and asked for their contribution, making a special effort to
go to the north-eastern states of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh
so that
they could also feel a part of the national endeavour.



 
But the bulk of the contributions came from the general public. Shri
Eknath Ranade launched the campaign of one-rupee folders throughout the
nation,
which were used to mobilise the donations of the common man,
starting from as tiny an amount as a rupee. Thus so many people visiting
the Rock Memorial could feel with justified pride that they too had
contributed to that monument.



 
Ultimately, within the unbelievably short period of six years, the
Vivekananda Rock Memorial was inaugurated in 1970,
and dedicated to the
nation. Without the leading role of Shri Eknath Ranade, it is extremely
doubtful that this grand national monument could have been built.

……..

regards

0

“Prime minister of people of all faiths”

The old colonial masters (of divide and rule) have a quiet word of advice for the tsu-Namo. 

In brief: switch off the religious  talk (it has served its purpose), now concentrate on the economics. We are cautiously hopeful that this will be the case, though we cant be sure. Some weapons (polarizing people for material gain) are too good to be left unused. Also, there are too many elections to be won down the road, starting with the most important ones in Uttar Pradesh and in Bihar.

That brings us back to how exactly it was possible for the British empire to rule India for two centuries with (mostly) enthusiastic native support. The divide and rule policy worked because Indians were hugely divided to begin with. It only required a few subtle tricks to raise the issue of sub-nationalism(s) which diluted the case for freedom from the British (they were just standing by in order to protect the minorities from the majority).

It would seem that the only divide in India worth talking about is the Hindu-Muslim divide or the Upper caste – OBC – Dalit one. Not so. There is huge on-going acrimony between Hindu Bengalis and Hindu Nepalis over formation of a new state in Darjeeling. In Telengana, the fight is between Telegu speakers (mostly Hindu) from two regions (Andhra, Telengana). The fight over water between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu is probably more bitter (if it was possible) than between India and Pakistan.

There is however an advantage in reducing every problem to a Hindu: Muslim issue- advantage for the Hindus. Given the demographics in India/South Asia and also in the west – Gujaratis are 45% of all Indians in the UK and close to 50% in the USA – and taking geo-politics into account, the Hindus will lose a few battles but win the war.  

Take a trivial example (not so for many millions of fans). The top three cricketing powers- India, UK and Australia have now joined hands to ensure that all power is concentrated in their hands. This sort of OPEC cartel like behavior should be normally unacceptable (especially for people who are supposedly from democratic traditions). But it looks as if all the small countries are sort of OK with this arrangement (money talks). So what is the chance of Pakistan getting a fair shake from this gang? Will any of the highly talented Pakistani players ever get to play for IPL (where you can earn real money)? Will the ban on playing international cricket inside Pakistan be ever lifted? Some people will say that this is what payback looks like – if people are prepared to live by the sword, then they should be prepared to die by it as well. But amidst all this back-stabbing a beautiful game is lost and that is a real tragedy.

Moving on to larger issues on the global stage, it is quite true that Hindus (and Jews) are not considered a threat by the people who are in charge- the West and now China. And while the Islamic civilization is certainly a formidable super-power (by the numbers as well by wealth), it will not be able to shake-off a pincer attack from the two dominant power centers, as is about to happen in Nigeria.
……………….
Britain’s
foreign minister for India Hugo Swire has said India’s new Prime
Minister Narendra Modi’s biggest challenge will be to prove “that he is
the prime minister of the whole of India and of people of all faiths”.


Calling Modi “a man we can surely do business with”, Swire said, “Modi
will have to silence critics and shrug off the anti-secular image. By
the numbers it is clear that Modi has been voted into office by people
of all faiths and religions in the biggest ever electoral exercise in
the world. He has now the enormous task of being a leader for every
faith.”

Swire admitted that Modi’s “enormous victory” took Britain by surprise.

“Our initial analysis was that Modi will do extremely well. But in the
initial stages of the elections, his support looked strong though
lacking in some parts of India. However the sheer size of the mandate
has caught us by surprise. It’s been a unanimous victory,” Swire said.

Talking about the debacle of the Congress party, Swire said “The
Congress has been in power for a long time. Political parties get tired.
Indians wanted change and they showed that in overwhelming numbers.” He added that since BJP has now got the majority “a single party government is always ideal”.

Swire said, “It’s almost in over three decades that India will have a single party government which is always ideal.” He added, “A decisive election is always good. We went into coalition
in Britain because we did not get a majority and our country was on dire
economic states. We are fighting the elections and intend to win by a
large margin as a single party government is ideally better.”

In March 2013, Swire had met Modi in Ahmedabad to sign a 20-year deal to supply liquefied natural gas to Gujarat.

He said, “I have met Modi a few times in India. He has now the enormous
task to translate the magic of Gujarat to the rest of India and bring
it back to the growth rates of 1990s. If he can do so India will be in a
very good place. Britain is home to 1.5 million Indian diaspora of
which 45% are Gujaratis. They will be following the election results
very closely.”

…….
Link: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/UK-minister-Modi-will-have-to-shrug-off-anti-secular-image/articleshow/35316374.cms
…..
regards

0

Minority rights in Telengana

The Telegu Desam Party wants a re-think on Hyderabad. They have won 9 out of 24 assembly seats in Greater Hyderabad zone and plan to call for Hyderabad to be recognized as an Union Territory (and as a shared capital of two states). We feel that this is an eminently fair demand and should have been considered right from the beginning (except that Congress would not get any political benefits by doing the right thing). This would help create a sense of assurance of minorities against an aggressive, expressive majority.

The Telegu Rashtriya Samity (TRS), the new ruling party of Telengana are in a fix. If they oppose too strongly then the BJP will strangle them by withholding funds from the center (BJP is a partner of the TDP).

This is another reason India should aim for maximum decentralization as soon as possible and proportional representation for voting. Both are secular demands and both will achieve the desired protection of minorities – in this case Telegu speaking people (from Andhra) from the majoritarian impulses of Telegu speaking people (from Telengana).  

We are mostly used to Hindu-Muslim divisions (and talking about it) but the above problem (which seems incomprehensible to an outsider) packs a lethal punch as well.
…..Worried
at the growing bonhomie between the TDP and BJP and fearing that the
new government at the Centre might try to impose restrictions on the
status of Hyderabad, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president K
Chandrasekhar Rao has reportedly asked TJAC to prepare for another
struggle, albeit a different kind this time around.



Sources
close to KCR say the TRS president has “credible information” about TDP
president N Chandrababu Naidu trying to prevail upon New Delhi to make
Hyderabad either a permanent common capital for Seemandhra and
Telangana, or give it a Union Territory status, neither of which is
acceptable to the pink party.

The TDP coming to power in
Seemandhra and BJP getting a thumping majority at the Centre have upset
KCR’s calculations as he was expecting a YSR Congress Party government
in the residuary Andhra Pradesh and a hung Parliament, in which case he
had planned to work in tandem with the YSRCP, experts said.

And
with TDP keeping its stocks even in Telangana has only queered the
pitch further for KCR who has asked his trusted Telangana vanguard, the
Telangana Political Joint Action Committee (TJAC) to meet on Monday and
prepare for some post-bifurcation drama. “The TDP-BJP combine is a cause
of concern as there are many loopholes in the AP State Reorganization
Act, which they might try to tinker with. We are ready to fight it out
in the eventuality of any restrictions imposed on the status of
Hyderabad. And we will back the state government headed by TRS to fight
against the Centre,”
said M Kodandaram, TJAC chairman, a day before the
crucial meeting.

Senior TRS leaders said they are wary of the
TDP influence in Telangana as apart from winning Seemandhra, Naidu’s
flock has a strong hold on Hyderabad after winning as many as 9 Assembly
segments of the 24 in Greater Hyderabad.

“We definitely are
concerned about the fact that the party like TDP is in alliance with the
BJP ruling at the Centre. Even people of Telangana are apprehensive
that the Centre might behave in partisan manner. But, we hope the Modi
government would be magnanimous,” said K Kavitha, KCR’s daughter and
newly-elected MP from Nizamabad.

While she said her party was
ready to fight it out in the event of the Centre’s decision going
against the interest of Telangana, Kavitha called upon the Telangana TDP
MPs to ensure their party does not make any such move. “The TDP MLAs
have a great responsibility in this context. They must make sure the TDP
will not act against the interest of the people of Telangana,” Kavitha
added.

But constitution experts do point out that loopholes in
the AP State Reorganization Act 2014, might just get the Centre to seek
fresh amendments and make Hyderabad a Union Territory.

According to K V Dhananjaya, a senior Supreme Court counsel, there is no
provision under the Constitution to extend the status of common capital
to Hyderabad without making it a Union Territory (UT). “If it is
proposed that Hyderabad should act as a common capital to the newly
carved out states, it should be designated as a Union Territory.
Currently, there are seven UTs in India and a new entry at Number eight
will have to be made in the name of Hyderabad,” Dhananjaya said.

The Telangana BJP unit too is watching the developments with
apprehension and party leaders hoped that Narendra Modi would not be
prevailed upon by any anti-Telangana elements. “The TDP might try to do
its bit and be a spoilsport in Telangana. But we are sure that Modi will
not be get carried away when it comes to protecting the interest of
Telangana,” said G Kishan Reddy, Telangana BJP president.

……
Link: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/lok-sabha-elections-2014/news/TRS-fears-Naidu-will-tinker-with-Hyderabad-status/articleshow/35318842.cms
…..

regards

0

What Modi has done for Pakistan

Has established, without any shadow of doubt, that the Quaid, in his infinite wisdom, made the right moves for the Muslims of India.

Pakistan is the sanctuary for the now precarious millennia old Islamic tradition while our brethren Muslim Indians will cower in their ghettos waiting while their special privileges (special status for Kashmir, Muslim family law) steadily erode to eventually become the Palestinian citizens of Israel.
Pakistan for pity’s sake should enact a right of return for all Urdu-speakers & perhaps settle them in the failed city of Gwadar?
0