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Kumar Ketkar

State of Mind by Kumar Ketkar: Propaganda Vs. Policies

Kumar Ketkar

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The advances in science and technology in the last three decades, and particularly in the last decade, have been able to predict, more or less accurately, the coming storms, twisters, cyclones and hurricanes. The governments and civic authorities often take either preventive measures or prepare themselves with their disaster management plans.

But so far, there has been no scientific effort to predict the social or political anarchy, coups or catastrophes. Intelligence agencies, with their expertise in destabilisation games and regime change strategies, often keep a detailed account of minor and major upheavals in societies and political systems. Sometimes they succeed in their skulduggery and disruptive games. Sometimes they even create anarchy so as to play their vicious games in that confusing atmosphere.

I would not venture to suggest that the rising crescendo of anarchy in India is a part of such a conspiracy hatched within and outside the country or the inevitable consequence of the centrifugal forces operation in the country. But I must warn in this column that we must tighten our belts as the country is heading into extreme turbulence and perhaps dangerous convulsions.

The coming anarchy is at once political, social, cultural and economic. How much damage it will cause, how much disruption it would lead to and is there a way to contain it, is difficult to say. One can predict atmospheric cyclones but not stop them from coming. It is perhaps going to be a worse situation in the socio-political anarchy.

The main reason is the rapid institutional decline and destruction of their ethos and legacy. Propaganda has replaced policies, media management has taken over actual governance, slogans have no substance except loud rhetoric. All this is not without direction. The direction is ominous.

The frenzied attacks on not only Pandit Nehru and the legacy of the Gandhi family but also on great and magnificent institutions that were built over the years have begun “Dismantling Modern India” itself. The consequences of this pervert and even violent politics could be extremely dangerous. The slogan “Congress-Mukt” Bharat is a camouflage for undermining and destroying the ethos as well as values inculcated by the Freedom Movement itself.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) had always suffered from a complex that they were not part of the freedom struggle and had indeed compromised with the British Rule. So they have neither respect nor even concern with the history of the independence struggle. That is why their destructive attitude towards all institutions which carry Pandit Nehru stamp or Indira Gandhi imprint.

Therefore everything from Planning Commission to Nehru Memorial Trust, from Jawaharlal Nehru University to Non-Alignment Movement, from the secular values to liberal and free media, from an integration of progressive Indian culture to regressive traditions of so-called ancient glory.  From scientific temper to utterly primitive faiths. Much that was achieved over a hundred years has come under vicious attack from this government. It is almost as if the anarchy is pre-ordained.

They want India actually to be “Mukt” from all the progressive civilisational past from 1857, history of which is replete with Hindu-Muslim unity, and want India converted into Hindu Rashtra. They do not realise that, this could lead to a disintegration of our society, if not the country itself. We have a neighbour who tried to carve out a nation based on religion and that led to that country’s partition.

The religion could not and can never create a modern nation. By making Mahatma Gandhi, a brand ambassador for the so-called Swachh Bharat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought him to the level of the Bollywood stars. He may pretend that he is implementing Gandhiji’s vision, but in reality, he is insulting his ideas of human vision, which was beyond national boundaries.

From Khan Abdul Gafar Khan, more known more as Frontier Gandhi to Nelson Mandela to Martin Luther King were the flag bearers of Gandhiji’s philosophy. Now the government is pretending to celebrate Gandhiji’s 150th birth anniversary on a grand scale.

All through the years since setting up of the RSS, they have hated Gandhiji, his values, his politics, just as they hated even Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. There is ample evidence of their hatred towards Gandhiji and Dr Ambedkar, in their writings and publications. But suddenly they have found glory in Dr Ambedkar. This kind of hypocrisy is the hallmark of the RSS and its Pradhansevak-pracharak.

If indeed the Prime Minister was sincere about “Swachh Bharat”, he would have paid attention to those “disposable people” who, the “safai Kamgars” who enter into the drainage, gutters, clear filth, horrendous garbage and try to keep our cities clean. They are the worst paid, hugely neglected, utterly insulted and humiliated and work on outsourced contracts, where the contractors earn grand profits and exploit this class, the lowest of the lowest class of people in the Hindu caste hierarchy based on the Manu Smriti.

These safai Kamgars are hundreds of thousands all over the country and suffer worse discrimination, almost like apartheid. These workers have appealed to state and central governments and even judiciary, but have not been given justice, even minimum ages, forget dignity.

Not a day passes, without advertising onslaught of Swatch Bharat on all media. The budget and the money spent on this advertising could have easily upgraded these workers’ lives. There is no money for them, not even social attention. The urban rich and even the middle class has criminally neglected these workers, often even blamed them for filth in the cities. If the Prime Minister and his party or his alma mater the RSS, were serious about “ Sabka-Saath-Sabka- Vikas”, they would have paid top priority attention to these workers.

We are living in truly Orwellian era, where lies are truths, violence is peace, illusions are reality, speeches are dialogues and demagogues are ideologues, fake surgical strikes are glorious wars, fall of rupee is a reflection of a healthy economy, rising prices are achche din and hugging and embracing world’s heads of states is creative foreign policy!

I had met a foreigner who was touring Gujarat. He was enamoured by the propaganda of the so-called Gujarat Model and was disappointed. He said he was looking for an Eye and Ear specialist. I told him there is no such category as Eye and Ear specialist doctor. There is Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor, not Eye and Ear. I asked why. He said he has a problem, he cannot see, what he hears about the Gujarat Model!

How long will people live in this deceptive and even vicious make believe? But when they will wake up from this hallucination, India will have been deeply damaged. The struggle to restore values of the freedom movement, the greatness of the Mahatma and restoration of Nehruvian worldview and scientific temper must begin now. If we fail, we will fail India.

 

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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