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Kumar Ketkar

What is the future of Congress?

Kumar Ketkar



What will happen in the 2019 elections? Will the Kashmir gambit help Modi to polarise the national mood again? What is the future for Congress? Indeed is there any future for Congress? Will Modi be Prime Minister again? If he doesn’t, who will? And what will Modi do if does not become PM? Will he be the BJP leader in opposition? He is a fighter, but fighter does not mean winner? When such questions arise, many a politicians and even media turn to astrologers!
Astrologers are not different. They are just like our political parties. Or Pollsters. Or Political pontiffs in TV debates. They never arrive at a consensus. And yet they have some transient credibility. Even respectability. Most parties and most leaders have their trusted astrologers, who advice them on everything—from when to file nomination to when to take an oath. And of course election victories, even margins.

Actually, the stars and the planets in the sky move in a very perfect tandem. Their movements are mathematically predictable and their stellar positions defined according to the laws of astrophysics. There is no disagreement about this among scientists, even if they have strong differences on the theories of Big Bang and Steady State and multiverses and string theory.

Astrology is supposed to be basing its observations, assessments and predictions on astronomy. Ideally, therefore, there should be consensus, if not agreement on their predictions. In fact, the leading lights of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the RSS believe in the “science” of astrology. The HRD ministers of the BJP have often argued and even implemented in some universities, the elaborate courses on astrology. It is part of restoring the ancient wisdom to make India Great Again, they argue.  Donald Trump copied the slogan from them.

Indeed, even the date and time of Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Resham Baug and meeting with Mohan Bhagwat was decided by the “official” Astrologer in Nagpur. However, there was a difference of opinion between the horoscope readers at the PMO and at the HQ at Nagpur. That is why it seems neither Narendra Modi nor Amit Shah made any comment on the supposedly historic meeting of the former President with the current Supremo of the Sangh.

Did the power-duo also suspect that the Nagpur summit was an effort to work out an alternative plan for 2019, in case Modi fails to get the majority for the BJP? There were also reports that some corporate invisible hand was behind the summit. Even the corporates have their recognised astrologers! The Indian TV anchors and talking heads also thought that Bhagwat-Mukherjee summit in Nagpur was more historic than Trump-Kim summit in Singapore!

At least some embedded TV channels thought so! They praised Pranabda’s sagacity and Bhagwat’s flexibility. But even they could not interpret the silence of the Prime Minister and Party President, who have been through the khaki drill in Nagpur. Modi went for the Yoga-gymnastics instead! In any case, Modi and Shah’s physique is so gym-fit that they don’t need to do any lathi drill in Shakhas.!

Be that as it may. The question that is posed at the beginning of this piece is why astrologers do not agree on predictions, though all astronomers agree on the cosmic star position. Some of them have added even Pluto and Neptune in their horoscopes configuration. But none have been able to penetrate the Black Hole of Indian politics.

There are astrologers who are predicting, quite confidently that Narendra Modi will NOT be Prime Minister next year. Some say that the BJP under him cannot win even 200 seats. Some say he can’t cross 150. But then there are others, who say, complimenting Amit Shah that Modi will be PM, and with stunning 350 seats for the BJP. Others feel that the BJP will win just around 225, but that is enough for Modi to become PM as he will manage the NDA which will get over 300 seats.

Which is more scientific? Astrology or psephology? The CSDS-Lokniti and some independent pollsters have begun extensive surveys. Will the Index of Opposition Unity be in favour of the Non-BJP parties? The eminent commentators like Raghav Behl and Swaminathan Aiyar are warning Modi of the impending defeat.

Suddenly, Rahul seems to have redeemed himself. But the question that is dogging the pundits is: will the growing discontent against Modi regime be translated in the Electronic Voting Machines? Are the EVMs reliable or just whipping toys of the defeated and frustrated opposition? Has Congress acquired credibility even if the BJP is beginning to lose? Will the opposition unity last even next six months?

Almost all political observers, however, agree that Narendra Modi must be having something up his sleeve to lure the electorate. Most of them feel and fear that he will just do anything, dramatic or even catastrophic, in the final hour to sway the voters. They all agree that he will not just go away, defeated, and have an easy transfer of power.

However, if the BJP emerges single largest party, with about 180 seats (The Vajpayee threshold!), will it change the guard? And choose Nitin Gadkari or Rajnath Singh or someone close to the RSS? Or will Modi stop anyone else from the BJP emerging as his successor? Many in his party, from Arun Shourie to Shatrughan Sinha say that Modi is so egotist, narcissist and dictatorial that he will not let anybody to take charge from the party.

Nobody has any idea as to what alternative plans  Modi, Shah or Ajit Doval have for 2019. The campaign teams, the trolling armies, the foot soldiers and booth managers of the party and the RSS have all begun their war preparations. Notwithstanding the fact that there are fissures in the Sanghparivar. Not all in the Saffron camp are comfortable with Modi becoming PM again. Many analysts say that it is the ruling party that often defeats itself.

Indira Gandhi lost, along with Sanjay Gandhi in 1977, with the Congress getting just over 150 seats, down from over 350 seats in 1971. That defeat was primarily because of the discontent within the Party. But that discontent was concentrated only in the North. In all the southern states, Indira Gandhi had swept the poll. So the anti-Emergency vote was only in the Hindi belt.

But the transfer of power to Janata Party was rather smooth, without rancour and reservation. So it was from the Janata Party to Indira Gandhi again in 1980. In fact, that history is being quoted, fearing it will be repeated. The opposition unity will collapse even if they defeat the BJP and Modi, and that will bring back Modi with vengeance!

But Modi is not Indira Gandhi, though it is fashionable these days to compare their style and substance. The polarisation that Modi has brought about has subtle but sinister Hindu-Muslim dimension. Though Modi has still a strong vote base in the urban middle class, he has hardly any admirers or supporters in the artists, writers, intellectuals, scientists and such communities. The whipped up media and social media support to Modi could delude even the PMO and his campaign handlers.

One thing is sure. The parameters of electoral prediction for 2019 are beyond the pale of astrologers, psephologists and pundits. The spectre of uncertainty and catastrophic possibility has begun to haunt and the nation waits with bated breath.

Kumar Ketkar

A 50 years of BJP rule?

Kumar Ketkar




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




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




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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