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Kumar Ketkar

Has Nirav marred Modi’s name?

Kumar Ketkar

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The tide against the so-called omnipotent Modi government seems to be decisively turning. The Nirav Modi affair could be the last straw (rather last diamond) on the proverbial back of the NDA. Not only the last name of the scamster is Modi, but both the namesakes seem to know each other so well that even in the exotic Davos, they could embrace each other and appeared in a common photograph.

But that the tide is turning is also evident from the fact that the admiring (and sycophantic) columnists have begun to express doubts about Modi becoming Prime Minister again in 2019. Chetan Bhagat went to the extent of advising Rahul Gandhi and his handlers as to how and what he should do to come to power. True, he put in a caveat saying that Modi is still invincible! Then there is the famous corporate intellectual Gur Charan Das, who is worried that the issues like beef and strident anti-Muslim campaigns could undermine the good and great work of the Modi government. Though he cited a few achievements (though questionable and dubious), he was afraid that the voters are turning away from the communal and intolerant BJP led by the Hindutva gangs of the RSS.

Even the renowned and redoubtable Swapan Dasgupta who was hugely forgiving to Modi, for his sins of omission and commission, wrote a column expressing serious doubt about a victory in 2019. Lord Meghnad Desai, once a comrade in his youth and later a liberal (and now neo-liberal) columnist expressed disappointment and added that the people are getting disillusioned. He has been a strong advocate of Modi so far. The famous, self-declared right-wing columnist Tavleen Singh is writing almost every week that Modi is not carrying out economic reforms and allowing the “fringe” fanatics to usurp the political agenda of the BJP.

Swaminathan S Ankakeswar Aiyar, known for his fierce individualism and support for genuine right wing (even neo-liberal) policies, and a strong critic of the Congress policies (particularly of Pandit Nehru and Indira Gandhi), has now launched a blistering attack on Modi’s protectionist policies that resemble Nehru’s (obstructive and regressive) socialist approach. Aiyar too had hoped and thought that Modi is a reformer! There were fence sitters and anti-Congress commentators, who thought and wished Modi to make India corruption-free and Congress-Mukt! But when they saw the BJP on a recruitment mission of those very congress leaders whose corruption record was well known, even they started logging out!

For almost three years these and others, not only “Bhakts” but other naive well-wishers of Narendra Modi were sure that Modi will be Prime Minister till 2029, winning both, 2019 and 2024 Loksabha elections. Congress era was over, Nehru-Gandhi dynasty is heading for oblivion and new (Hindu!) India has begun to emerge which soon will become superpower was their belief. Their conviction was that Modi will surpass all icons like Nehru, even Mahatma Gandhi. That is why they did not find anything odd when they saw Narendra Modi on “Charakha” weaving yarn, in the same place as Gandhiji on portraits and calendars.

They vehemently and even viciously attacked and regularly trolled those who disagreed with them were on March to erase not only last 70 years’ history but even the freedom movement itself because it was led by Gandhiji and Nehru. They are trying to replace Nehru with Deen Dayal Upadhyay. They want to replace Gandhiji after “winning” 2019 election. Till then the Mahatma is supposed to be the brand ambassador for the “Swachhata Abhiyan”! Once the Gandhi-Nehru hurdle is out, the space will then be open for Hedgewars and Golwalkars. Then not only Ram Mandir at Ayodhya will be built, there will also be “Nathuram Mandirs” across the country to honour Nathuram Godse for the great work done of killing the Mahatma.

The changes in the Constituion, to remove terms like secularism and socialism, and replacing them with Hindu Rashtra will have to wait till the victories of 2019 or perhaps 2024. Earlier both Modi and his Sancho Panza, Amit Shah, were so confident of 2019 that they were projecting 350 to 400 seats in Loksabha. Even a large number of opposition leaders began to say that in 2019, Modi victory is assured. Modi wants to cross the highest Congress figure of Nehru, Indira, and Rajiv.

The so-called success of demonetisation and a landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh assembly election, their confidence level reached cloud 9. The clouds began to dissipate during the Gujarat campaign. Most BJP leaders began to say that Gujarat results were a stunning setback. The BJP which wanted and hoped to win 151 Sears in Gujarat could not even compete century as they ended up at 99. That was just seven seats more than simple majority.

That shocked the so-called “unconquerable” Amit Shah. He was similarly humiliated when Ahmad Patel won Rajya Sabha seat. In fact, Ahmad Patel had thrown a gauntlet at Amit Shah and challenged him for assembly election. Shah, in his own delusion of his massive election campaign, had ignored the warning. It is said that whosoever the campaign volunteers were, they were told that Modi’s charisma and Shah’s war machine will move heavens but will win Gujarat with 150 plus seats.

But as they saw Rahul Gandhi’s campaign succeeding, they began to develop cold feet and the results shattered them. Now they have begun to fear reverses in Rajasthan (where the BJP lost all by polls), Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh where elections are scheduled at the year-end. Before that there is Karnataka. Apprehending that the BJP cannot get its majority in Karnataka, Shah has struck a deal with Deve Gowda and his son, Kumaraswamy. According to the MoU between them, Kumaraswamy will be made chief minister in the Karnataka ministry which the BJP will join, even if they have more seats.

The level of desperation is written large on the faces of the Sanghparivar. They will lose at least 100 seats to bring their tally from 282 to 182 in the Loksabha. In that scenario, who will be the Prime Minister? The names of Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj are tossed around, but there are also contenders emerging like Nitish Kumar or Chandra Babu with the BJP support. Sharad Pawar will be an eternal candidate for the top job,

The point is that the stage is getting set for the most dramatic (perhaps violent) developments in 2019, which no one can predict. Suddenly the tide has turned and the Modi-Shah duo has begun to realise that they too are political mortals like the rest.

Kumar Ketkar

A 50 years of BJP rule?

Kumar Ketkar

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Modi

Despite all these monumental achievements under the Modi-Shah rule of 55 years (2014 to 2069) some skeptics wanted to know, will there be a conflict and power struggle between Bhagwat and Modi?

Addressing the National Executive meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party, president Amit Shah said that not only the grand victory in 2019 is certain, but the party will also decimate the Congress totally and vanquish the so-called “Mahagatbandhan”! Then like Oracle, he proclaimed that the BJP will rule for next fifty years. That is at least till the year 2069!

But this is not a new prediction. According to the ardent “Bhakts” of Narendra Modi, Nostradamus had predicted five hundred years ago, that he would become Prime Minister of India. India will then rise to great glory. Once Modi becomes PM, prophesied by the legendary French philosopher, India will have not just “Acche Din” but fantastic “din”! Amit Shah did not quote Nostradamus but went on to see his own crystal ball.

The entire leadership of the party gathered in Delhi to the war cry for the campaign for 2019, was thrilled by Shah’s prediction. They could not visualize themselves to be in Hastinapur in 2069. But they could believe that Modi and Shah were immortal and could keep winning elections till 2069. They are not power hungry and will take “Sanyas”, that year. They will renounce all worldly pleasures? But what about the other mortal BJP MPs?

However, they felt relieved that in 2069, there would be no Gandhi-Nehru dynasty. That biggest hurdle to the Hindu Rashtra will have long gone. Sri Sri Guru Golwalkar will be the “Rashtrapita”. The geography of the region will have undergone major changes. “Akhand Bharat” with Afghanistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nepal will have merged in the “New Hindustan”. There would be no Pakistan. The question of sending Muslims in India to Pakistan would not arise. They would either have migrated to some Arab countries or be dead. “Akhand Bharat” would be the world leader.

China will be reduced to a secondary power and America will have been disintegrated as USSR did in 1991. Donald Trump was the last president of the United States. He had reversed everything Abraham Lincoln had achieved. The country was divided in North and South. Trump’s efforts to restart the slavery system, had succeeded but led to the Civil War! Modi and Mohan Bhagwat had advised Trump to follow Manu Smriti instead of the American Constitution, but he refused. India, on the other hand, had reclaimed its ancient glory, thanks to Manu Smriti.

But all that was rather a distant future and some skeptics raised questions after the eloquent futurist speech of Shah. Those skeptics were invited to the 36th chamber of “ Shahlin “.In that chamber, there were ways to silence the skeptics. Even skeptics of the stature L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were silenced. So those doubting Thomases were also convinced of Modi-Shah strategy of eternal rule! Particularly after the skeptics were shown files of the Enforcement Directorate, IT and CBI.

So they realized that fifty years from now, Amit Shah will be 104 years old and still as energetic as in 2018. (The skeptics will have retired from politics or jailed or dead) Shah was born on October 22, 1964. Narendra Modi would be 117 in 2069. But there is a slight dispute about his birthdate. According to his election affidavit, he was born on September 17, 1950, but some other biographers say he was born in 1949.

The skeptics who were not convinced after the national executive meeting said that the futurist scenario painted by Shah does not take into account the future of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and of Mohan Bhagwat, who actually began the process of creating a Hindu Rashtra. Bhagwat had appealed from Chicagoan 2018,  that the Hindus of the World must unite. The impact of his speech was such that all the Indian Hindus in the US and in many other countries got united.

The initiative for that unity of the Hindus was taken by those thousands of software engineers, who went to the US during the nineties. The Vedic and Hindu management courses started in the IIMs, set up by the First Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had changed the syllabus to incorporate courses in Vedic HRD, ancient space travel logistics, and Ramdev Baba’s Yoga. There were regular tours to Moon, Mars, Venus, and Brihaspati-Guru.

This Universal Space travel programme was started by Narendra Modi in 2018. NASA was now an Indo-American space research institution, named as Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Vishwa Avkash Kendra.

The JNU was renamed in 2019, soon after the Congress was permanently demolished, as Atal Behari Vajpayee Vidyapeeth of Eminence(ABVVE). The ABVVE had become global university eclipsing Harvard, Stanford, Yale. In fact, Yale University was renamed as Smriti Vidyapeeth, because Smriti Irani had studied there many years ago.  Native Americans were now re-identified as Ancient Indians. This is how the process of disintegration of USA began.

Despite all these monumental achievements under the Modi-Shah rule of 55 years (2014 to 2069, some skeptics wanted to know, will there be a conflict and power struggle between Bhagwat and Modi? Will the RSS and the Modi-Shah-Doval clique be able to work as one team?  But then the skeptics were firmly told that the RSS would be dissolved and Bhagwat will be irrelevant. Then the decks will be clear for Modi, Shah and Ajit Doval. Arun Jaitley, Piyush Goyal, Sushma Swaraj, Nirmala Sitharaman, Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari will be in the new Margadarshak Mandal. But then some rebellious skeptics raised other questions.

The Margadarshak Mandal had proposed to build two statues, that of Modi and Shah, one in the liberated Pak Occupied Kashmir and the other near Ram Setu in the oceans linking India and Sri Lanka. These statues will be taller than that of Vallabhbhai Patel, which itself was taller than the Liberty Statue and Shivaji Maharaj Statue in the Arabian Sea. ( But by the way, the Arabian Sea was named as Hedgewar Hindu Mahasagar ).

Thus, by 2069, the world will have transformed so completely that Gandhiji would not even recognize the country which achieved independence in 1947. That was, of course, the partial independence. Therefore, Rashtrapita Gandhiji’s 200th birth anniversary will not be celebrated. Narendra Modi will be known, by ordinance, as “Akhand Hindustan Pita”. There will be no statue fir Bhagwat in India. It will be erected in Chicago, where Bhagwat had issued an appeal for the world’s Hindus to unite.

Valmiki wrote Ramayana before Ram actually arrived on the scene. Valmiki was a criminal-robber before becoming the great poet. That also proved to be a perfect and divine coincidence in history when Modi and Shah jointly scripted the “Narendrayana”.

This is a story and history of the next fifty years, which will be now part of the history textbooks. Not only geography of the world will have changed, but also history and even the Glimpses of World History, which will be freshly written by two Maharshis of the twenty-first century, Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.

So tighten your belts as you enter this Time Machine and begin the great journey to 2069. We will complete the journey in just eight months. So relax and enjoy the magnificent adventure which was started as a small step by the Mumbai-Ahmadabad Bullet train in 2019.

The End!

Since everything about Modi is in doubt, even his age, therefore, is slightly doubtful. His so-called valid graduation certificate is not available. Arvind Kejriwal’s RTI query on Modi’s graduation details (his college, university, subjects for BA and later his claimed post-graduation, etc) could not be obtained. Press reports said, that information about his academic qualification could not be revealed or perhaps even obtained because it is a security issue.

In one of the candid interviews with Journalist Rajiv Shukla, Modi had said, off the cuff, that he never went to any college. So like his birthdate, his exact qualification remains a mystery. So does his marital status. In 2002 and 2007 election affidavits, he did not write that he was married. In 2012 he just stated that he was married. But nobody knew who and where was his wife. When a curious journalist went to Gujarat and located her in some school, working as a teacher, that journalist was whisked away, with camera and notes. The journalist was warned never to visit Jasodaben again.

She was not invited to the swearing-in ceremony of Her husband in Delhi on May 26, 2014, where many celebrities and Hollywood stars including Salman Khan were prominently present. It was natural that she felt upset, but soon she realized she was persona non grata as she was never ever invited to the Prime Minister’s House.

Feeling humiliated, she came to Mumbai, to the famous Azad Maidan, where all protests are usually held. She carried a placard which described her plight. But within a few hours, she was whisked away by the police. Most of the electronic media did not carry these stunning visuals. Except for a couple of newspapers (which carried the news item deep inside the pages), nobody even published the news. It speaks volumes about our media, for whom Prime Minister’s wife’s plight is not even worth a mention.

Courtesy: National Herald

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Kumar Ketkar

Leaders may perish but not their legacy

Kumar Ketkar

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deaths

In college, in our logic class, the simple syllogism used to be taught to prove the validity of deduction as a method for arriving at “truth”. The most popular syllogism worldwide was: “All men are mortal, Socrates is a man and therefore Socrates is mortal.” I did not understand why mortality of poor Socrates was invoked to show that the “a priori” statement can be taken to its “logical consequence” and proved right.

In the last three weeks, that syllogism came to haunt me. Suddenly death was becoming a “normal” news. If indeed it was necessary to remind us that we are all mortal, that reminder was served with unusual frequency. For most politicians, who live life and play power games as if they are immortal, the warning of mortality came in such rapid succession, that they were rattled to the core.

Kalaignar Karunanidhi’s death was followed by Atal Behari Vajpayee, both in their mid-nineties. So it was considered “natural” to die. Also both were ill and in hospital for long. But not so the vibrant Gurudas Kamat who was just 63. As if to keep the continuity of series of death, the wonderful human being Ajit Wadekar passed away at 77. He was not a politician, but he kept mortality “alive” in the media. Then came the sad news of energetic Kuldip Nayyar. He too was in the mid-nineties.

These and some other, not so famous, but important persons in their own right too left this world. The politicians and the celebrities, know in their hearts that they are all mortal. But such quick reminders of the inevitable gave rise to private, hush-hush conversation of who are in the queue now.

Often, such deaths are seen by other seniors in the Party as opportunities for changing the line, strategy or alliances. Many in the same party look forward for a better position in the Party. Those who keep nursing private jealousies and envies in fact are even cynically happy at such deaths. Those in other parties also have a vested interest in such mortalities.

We have seen very recently how after Jayalalitha’s death, the AIADMK went for a free fall. A few years earlier, we saw how NTR’s death led to turmoil in the Telugu Desam. Or we are witnessing how after YSR’s accidental death the whole Congress in Andhra Pradesh disintegrated. Over forty years ago the Janata Party had fallen apart even before Jaiprakash Narain passed away.

Of course, Vajpayee’s passing away is the unlikely to change the equations in the party. Narendra Modi had effected the changes, much before Atalji took last breath. So he and Amit Shah are not particularly bothered about who else is in the departure lounge of life.

It would be unethical to list the names. But all of us know who they are. Some of them are on life support system, some in coma and some others apparently healthy but in the twilight zone.

They played their innings, practiced skulduggery, betrayed or backstabbed, made headlines in the media, were controversial, achieved grand success, won awards but often thought that they would continue to be in limelight, even would remain young and charming. They do not realise that the Socratic syllogism will hit them too.

The scientific research on ageing and man’s eternal desire to conquer death have made most even common people to feel that they can beat the nature. The number of cases pending in the courts, often change the the course of the conflict by sudden deaths.

In case of industrialists, deaths can crash the markets, split families and companies they Inherit. We know how one leading celebrity family in industry went through huge and vicious corporate fight between the two brothers. Frequently the internecine or fratricidal war within continues till the company and family is destroyed. This happens very routinely. But in some cases, the death in the family closes the chapter for ever.

Despite these issues existential realities, the societies mourn deaths, political parties pay rich tributes to the departed soul and some enthusiastic supporters start planning monuments. Poor statues stand somewhere in utter loneliness, till a next generation or further. Next one comes and slowly starts wondering who the character was and what he or she did for whom!!

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Kumar Ketkar

Is Hindu Rashtra turning into a reality?

Kumar Ketkar

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Hindu

The iconic Red Fort in Delhi is still “Red Fort”! Maybe if Narendra Modi is back as Prime Minister next year, he would want it to be known as “Saffron Fort”. The city of Allahabad is renamed as Prayag, the railway station Mugalsarai as Deen Dayal Upadhyaya junction. Aurangzeb Road as APJ Kalam Marg. Mumbai’s Elphinstone Road station as Prabhadevi.

There is also a proposal to rename Taj Mahal as Tejo Mahal! Recently the Supreme Court admonished the Modi government for neglecting the magnificent monument of Taj Mahal and letting it get ruined by lack of maintenance and pollutants. The Court said, “if you don’t want to preserve it, demolish it, but don’t neglect it”. After all, some fringe Hindutva fanatics had said soon after the destruction of the Babri Masjid that there was no reason for the Muslim architecture to be there in Hindu India.

So when Narendra Modi addresses the nation for the last time of his “first term” in office as Prime Minister from the ramparts of the Red Fort, he could very well signal the New India that he envisages. He need not plan Hindu Rashtra, de jure, when he has already achieved it de facto. There is no necessity to change the constitution. Within the current framework, the RSS can bring about the Hindu Nation.

Ban on beef, even non-vegetarian food, in many parts; the tendentious debate on triple Talaq and polygamy, the introduction of National Registration of Citizenship, branding all “unwanted” Muslims as illegal Bangladeshis and campaign for throwing them out, with violence if necessary, sustained and inhuman demand to let Rohingyas die or disappear from our nationalist soil, removing all chapters in history books relating to Mughal period, rewriting history of Tipu Sultan by calling him a vicious villain, undermining, even erasing the glorious era of emperor Akbar—are all reflections that the Hindu Rashtra has arrived, without changing even an alphabet of constitution.

You can pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi, even as you eulogise Nathuram Godse, you can destroy the Gandhi Samadhi, even as you create “Nathuram Mandir”, you can isolate inconvenient constitutional provisions while proclaiming from housetops that Modi regards Constitution as true Indian religion, you can celebrate Dr Ambedkar even as you quietly undermine his legacy.

Then why will the Red Fort remain Red and not become Saffron? It too is the architectural grandeur of the Muslim rule. No less but Aurangzeb himself issued his diktats from there. Now the Hindu emperor named Narendra Modi issues ordinances from there. (And indeed, Narendra means the Emperor on Throne). Why don’t we change the calendar too? Why should we follow the Christian calendar and celebrate January 1 as the first day if the New Year? Already there is a demand that we should introduce the Hindu calendar. We will have Modiwahan Shak from 2019!

Narendra Modi had promised “New India” and he has brought it in his very first term. In his second term, with 350+ seats, he says, India will replace China and even America as the global superpower!

For being a superpower, you don’t depend on French Rafale planes, F-16 US planes, Russian Kalashnikovs, Israeli intelligence-gathering equipment. You don’t have to plead and beg for membership in the Nuclear Supply Group or for entry in the Security Council, support for South China Sea diplomacy or for Doklam military management.

You can’t be a superpower when your 35 per cent of people live in abject poverty, when two-thirds of India is on rural economy and when your science and technology research is pathetic. You can’t be a superpower when almost all your neighbours taunt you, insult you or do not care for yours.

Even Nepal, with a population of just three crore people can challenge India. Sri Lanka with two crore people can politically confront India. Pakistan has about 19 crore people. Our one state of Uttar Pradesh is demographically larger than the whole of Pakistan (including Sindh, Punjab, Baluchistan and frontier region) and yet the aspiring superpower India is obsessed with Pakistan’s military and political challenge.

The so-called rate of growth of the economy, even if you ignore simulated statistics, does not attract Foreign Direct Investment. The planners are constantly worried about the flight of Foreign International Investors. The rupee is falling incessantly vis-a-vis dollar and it could go to even 80 one 90 rupees a dollar. Modi had said that when he comes to power, the dollar-rupee rate will be ₹40 a dollar.

You can’t be a superpower with thousands of your farmers committing suicide. You can’t claim even to aspire for that status with the army of the unemployed expanding at two crores an everyday year. You can’t be a superpower with your education and health expenditure is at the lowest, even lower than during the UPA.

And yet a vast mass of the educated middle class in India is not only enamoured of Narendra Modi, they think he is the Messiah. With such mediocrity in the “intelligentsia”, India cannot be a superpower.

What India can surely achieve is changing of names of the airports, railway stations, erect statues, run down or destroy institutions built over 70 years. So what if Red Fort becomes Saffron Fort?

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