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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Insiders as outsiders

First, a clarification.

There was an understanding between the organisers and the participants of the Thinkers Meet held at the Rambhau Mhlagi Prabodhini last week that the exchanges would remain private. This was not a decision-making meet but one that would facilitate an exchange of ideas and positions. The speculation that the meet debated the succession issue in the BJP and even came to a decision is entirely fanciful. As a participant, I can say without any fear of contradiction that we discussed ideas and philosophy. The BJP was not the subject of discussion, although it did feature tangentially.

Second, a diatribe.

I read in the Sunday editions of Pioneer and Tribune about an attack mounted by an editorial in the BJP's Kamal Sandesh on hitherto "friendly journalists" who have of late been critical of various aspects of the party. The Tribune feels this is a reference to Arun Shourie and me, and I have received numerous phone calls from fellow journalists and BJP activists saying "you have been attacked by Prabhat Jha".

Whether Prabhat Jha, Rajya Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh, is responsible for the editorial is irrelevant. It's the ideas that matter, not who penned the original article (which, being in Hindi, I confess to not having read). Even if Jha did write the piece doesn't sour my personal relations with him, just as my sharply critical articles doesn't alter my perception that RSS is a key factor in modern Indian nationalism.

Open polemics and debate are a good idea and must be encouraged in public life.

To get back to the issue under debate. I have been viewed as a sympathiser of the BJP, what the liberal media calls a "saffron journalist". That perception is real and I have never made any secret of my voting preferences. In addition, I have helped the BJP in many ways. These include helping some leaders with their speeches and statements, giving inputs during election campaigns and sharing ideas with individuals.

Yet, I have always maintained a functional autonomy from the BJP. I will not support it blindly. Neither will I be hamstrung by my apparent "insider" status. The fact that I have privileged information (which I don't use indiscriminately) is neither here nor there. My sense of what is right or wrong isn't determined by the preferences of either Ashoka Road or Nagpur.

I am sorry that the editor of Kamal Sandesh has been disoriented by the criticisms of those he regarded as "insiders". His priority is, understandably, the party; I am driven by my sense of what is good for India. The ideas may often converge but he should not presume it will always be the same.

What is revealing is that an official BJP organ now feels it imperative to announce to party members that sympathisers should not be treated as insiders and be elevated on a pedestal. This suggests a closing of mind and an inability to deal with contrarian views. It is the nearest thing to an expulsion order for those who don't come under the disciplinary purview of the BJP.

I presume Kamal Sandesh has implicitly advised BJP members to neither read nor be influenced by what the neo-heretics say.

Thank you Mr Kamal Sandesh editor for showing us our place and pointing to the door. You have freed me from the inner pressure to treat the BJP as a body I identified with and felt for--a part of my intellectual parivar. Whether I do so or not is another matter altogether.

My best wishes to you for the future but I promise to remain a nuisance and disturb all your pathetic certitudes.

With loyalists like you, the BJP doesn't need enemies.

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Samudra said...

Swapanda, Do not take this criticism from Prabhat Jha too seriously.

But you have to be a little patient with the BJP and not expect quick fixes.

Balaji said...

Swapan da,

I don't think you shud be perturbed at being "shown the door". Its not you or Kulkarni or Jaswant who have left the Conservative movement. But its the BJP which has returned to the lunatic movement run from Nagpur.

Look at whats happening in Washington. And what a fellow journalist like Glenn Beck is doing. For the first time in ages, its the libertarians and the fiscal conservatives who are rallying on Capitol and not the Jesus freaks and the gun totters.

Please stop trying to synthesize your conservative ideas with the fascist Hindutva ideology. Even if you believe in some personal interpretation of Hindutva, let that be your spiritual and private concern. I urge you to vociferously promote the cause of Conservatism in India.

Let India learn abt Hayek and Edmund Burke, Mises and Friedman, Thatcher and Reagan, Churchill and McCarthy, Rajaji and Piloo Mody from the might of your pen.

offstumped said...

Stinging words for what is increasingly appearing to be an inward looking and insecure BJP low command. Its time someone from the second rung of Leadership stood up and initiated a debate on "ballot versus backroom" to institutionalize a transparent process by which all issues will be settled from succession to policy to platform.

Swapan da - anything to add to this comment posted on Kanchan da's blog

rone said...

are your thoughts and beliefs,the core principle so irrevelent that you take issue with a silly matter like a line on kamal sandesh.
You are Swapan das gupta,the pillar of the movement.Dont you beleive in you.
Please do not belittile yourself.

charuvak said...

I sincerely hope you are a nuisance, Swapan da.

rone said...

you are in a key position of group, that every body including me look forward to that will come up with ideas for the party and for the country
and you complaining Kamal sandesh is writing this and that..
You are above this,you have a major part to play.
dont get distracted.

Siva said...

Very unlike you a long time admirer of yours, I'm disappointed.

Prediction - this little diatribe of yours will by tomorrow morning make its way into the liberal media as the latest 'intellectual saffronite' to openly criticize the BJP, and be shown the door from the party - indeed ur blog hit piece does little to disabuse that notion, it must be said. When the media glosses over the fact that you are not a member of the BJP, it will come out as another disaster for the party in terms of the non hardcore RSS BJP men being kicked out, and will further strengthen the notion of the 'RSS take over of the BJP', 'Breakdown of BJP','Hindutva-ising the BJP' etc.

I can understand what you feel about your loyalty to the party for 18 years being questioned. You are justifiably angry. But there are far better ways to express ur displeasure than to lash out at the party so violently.

Until the paragraph "I am sorry.....always be the same", I agreed with most of what you said. After that, you just went crazy ranting against Mr. Kamal Sandesh Editor - expulsion orders, neo-heretics, Loyalists like u BJP doesnt need enemies etc. Let me guess, you hit the 'Publish' button immediately after typing it out, when your emotions were high.

I think you could have taken a more circumspect view. GIVEN THAT YOU HAVENT EVEN READ THE ARTICLE, you should have atleast found out what exactly was said about you. Through your contacts, you could have found out what exactly they meant. And you could have been civil in rejecting whatever was said instead of jumping into this political theatre.

Let me explain how this feels to unknown BJP sympathisers like myself. Your article is not unlike Arun Shourie's "RSS should take over BJP" interview. I am grossly disappointed, and angry at both of you for berating the party (note, criticizing is OK, berating is not) publicly like this. Now that doesn't mean I doubt your commitment/loyalty to the BJP. Its just that if you have (personal) dirty linen to be washed, dont do it in public.

Like I started of, articles from you are usually sober and well thought out, and not random diatribes, like this one is. Hopefully you would have cooled down by tomorrow morning and will recognize that.

Anonymous said...

I do not know Prabhat Jha and I have never read Kamal Sandesh. Mr. Dasgupta is cleary personally hurt. Those of us who are not aware of the various pulls and pressures of the BJP and the parivar do not know what the implications are. My advise, cleary uncolicited, to Mr. Dasgupta would be to continue to speak his mind. While not all of us will agree with each other on everything, the exchange of ideas to strengthen the nationalist forces is very important.

Coming to one idea of Mr. Dasgupta that I want to endorse whole heartedly. Ideology is a millstone around any party's neck. What you stand for is amply and more stuitably articulated through the stand that is taken on issues. The FIRST right step for the party would be to stop talking about ideology, to not even entertain any question about ideology, and to start taking sensible positions about the larger issues at hand.

Arun said...

Well, now maybe a good time to ask yourself - should Hindu nationalism start and end with BJP? I am hoping Yashwant Sinha and you will evangelize a new party that will work with BJP and will have some affinity to RSS and hopefully even some support from them. The new party hopefully will spread and trample upon the political space currently occupied by BJD, JDU, NCP and TDP

ŠĦÅŠĦWÃT said...

Kamal Sandesh article, both in English and Hindi:,com_banners/Itemid,485/

Kenny Chauhan said...

Dear Swapan,

I symphathise with you and would have reacted the same way as you did.

I think we are back to square one. Things stand today as they were on May 16th. The 'nasty jolt' should have triggered a debate, not for berating anyone, but for the good health and the future of the party.

What do we find instead? Good men being 'booted out' or 'shouted down'. Reasoning is indiscipline! Being an 'Indian' is a taboo. Democratic spirit is forbidden. The 'other' thoughts are meant to be silenced.

What can you expect when people to be judged are the judges themselves?

Kenny Chauhan said...

Dear Swapan,

One more thing. The RSS is doing what the BJP did not. It is listening, atleast. The very fact the RSS invited the journalists for discussions, is a true sign of democracy. Take different views. Decisions will not matter.

The BJP should learn from the RSS. Instead, it has taken an opposite stand, as in Kamal Sandesh.

You have every right to feel the way you do.

Samudra said...

Unlike Arun Shourie who used bad language to criticise the leaders ( a lot of it was deserved), you have never used bad language but just issues.

You have openly come out against RN Singh and maybe this Prabhat Jha dude is a chamcha of the totally ineffective RN Singh.

A new leadership will be in place and what is important is that we all be loyal to the ideas and the end goal and not be loyal to the cabal who runs the BJP.

It is abundantly clear that RN Singh was a joke and it was also clear that some of the RSS top level folks were taking part in factional politics of the BJP.

I just hope that the new leadership inspires confidence and keeps BJP as a force in national politics.

The only thing I would say is that the point is made and no need to further berate the party in public.

Anonymous said...

This unwarranted emotional outburst on petty issue is an attempt to increase hit on his blog. I'm happy likes of you r being shown door. Hurrah!

Swabhimaan said...

Assuming that the editor meant it so seriously, then he should also know that not all BJP supporters are BJP members. They look upto people like Swapan.

Nothing to worry if the editor didn't really mean it.

Anonymous said...

BJP is finished. If you close your minds and doors, that is the beginning of the end.
Sirji, refresh your memory with the comments made by the late Sitaramji Goel about these idiots. As usual, he was ahead of the time. It is indeed the largest collection of duffers in the history of mankind.

zoomindianmedia said...


Hope you realise that fashioning a party in one's image is dangerous usually bcoz individual perceptions can be narrow and false.

Now if Chandan Mitra had done a bit of due diligence he would have recognized Yesu Samuel Reddy as someone whose christian commitment was not loose or purchased the canard that AP natives committed suicides in droves.

Many native Indians in AP especially in Rayalaseema area indeed felt that justice had been served on a rank proselytizing xian fundamentalist that deployed deceit. He would have realized that YSR trusted xians both for his security (wesley) and administration (subramaniam, a crypto christian).

BJP/RSS would be better off doing quiet brainstorming with professionals in organization building/strategizing rather than dilettante journalist politicians whose connections to ground realities and perceptions of ground facts are seriously suspect.

I am not saying no to engagement with journalists. But having them set agenda is stupid and poor politics.

Reverting to Prabhat Jha's fulmination, entire parivar edifice is weak, requires re-engineering something Mohan Bhagwat seems to understand and probably wants to fix with a clear plan.

While Prabhat Jha's salvo contains nothing personal, it is your post which seems to come across as both personal vitriol and in an unwarranted way acerbic out of proportion with what Prabhat wrote.

Anonymous said...

This says all:

VIRENDRA KAPOOR: Slighting Yashwant for no reason

Is the BJP leadership bent on rejecting another educated leader from its ranks? Or creating conditions which force him to leave in frustration? Now, LK Advani may not be fond of Yashwant Singh but that cannot be reason enough to slight him. Sinha is a thinking man's politician, has won his own Lok Sabha seat by working hard in his predominantly rural constituency in Jharkhand, can hold his own in policy debates inside and outside parliament. Yet he has failed to find favor with the entrenched party leadership. Not only has he not been given any organizational post, but, worse, he has been completely bypassed in the nomination to various parliamentary committees.
Sinha, at least, ought to have been nominated to head either the parliamentary standing committee attached to the Ministry of External Affairs or Finance. Sushma Swaraj, who is now sitting pretty as the nominated deputy leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, has nominated herself as the chairperson of the committee on External Affairs while Murli Manohar Joshi has been nominated to head the standing committee on Finance. Neither Suhma nor Joshi has the requisite experience and background in matters relating to either ministry. In the fitness of things, Sinha was a natural choice for either committee. But the BJP leadership completely ignored him.

True, Sinha had written a letter soon after the poll debacle questioning the decision to promote Arun Jaitely and Swaraj as the leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha and the deputy leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha. That letter was leaked by people close to the party president Rajnath Singh; Sinha did not leak that letter. But it was Advani who insisted on sidelining Sinha since he had along perceived him to be close to the former prime minister Vajpayee.

But that is being petty, isn't it? In sharp contrast to Advani, Vajpayee was a generous man. A small example would suffice. Even though Vajpayee was unhappy with Jaitley for talking incessantly about his alleged weak spot for the Hinduja brothers vis-à-vis the Bofors investigations, when it came to nominating Jaitley, or later making him a minister, Vajpayee did not hold Jaitley's innuendos against him. He duly recognized Jaitley's talents as a good debater and a clever strategist and made him minister in both the NDA governments.

Advani, on the other hand, seems to wreak vengeance on Sinha, even though it is recognized that the latter would be an asset in parliament. Being in thrall of small-time sycophants and, particularly, of a not-so-bright but arrogant kin seems to have made Advani bitter and petty in his last few months as arbiter of BJP.

Samudra said...

Modiji has delivered a victory in Gujarat bypolls.

Pseudo secularists who were thinking that Modi is down have been delivered a rude surprise.

And for BJP supporters who have had nothing to cheer about for a while, this is a morale boosting event.

Hope, this lifts the spirits of BJP workers in Maharashtra.

BJP did not do very well in the LS elections because of turnout and now that the turnout was good, BJP is beating Congress in Congress bastions.

KR said...

BJP did not do very well in the LS elections because of turnout and now that the turnout was good, BJP is beating Congress in Congress bastions.

Well...there's also the open questions about the EVMs for the Lok Sabha polls.

Anonymous said...

Swapan da, always reserves his diatribe for RSS/BJP Sympathizers like Arvind Lavakare or Prabhat Jha but he never utters a word about the bigots in the liberal media who call him a member of the BJP (???) or a BJP ideologue (???) and grills in TV channels on a weekly basis. Great!!!!!!!!!!!

You have close relations with the hostile-biased media but in none of your blogs you come with any conclusive suggestions to counter effects of a biased media (apart from a realistic clarification that its not possible to start and run a TV news channel on our own), rather than that u always blog about useless issues like dropping Hindutva etc etc which the actual voter is least bothered about.

Its time you either join the BJP and have formal tag of member of the BJP (like Chandhan does) in TV channels rather than the ‘Senior journalist’ tag used or

Make it clear that you are an independent journo sympathetic to the ‘right’ movement like all other journo’s in our country who are sympathetic to the congress’s views. (Vir Sanghvi in spite of all his sycophancy towards Sonia Gandhi is never questioned on his perceived neutral ness.)

Decide what you want…………………. This will put a full stop to all personal attacks on you from other BJP writers. (Who don’t have access to the liberal media and hence perceive you to be an odd man out in ‘right’ writing)

Anonymous said...

Good news on by-eletions in Gujarat and Uttrakhand but it should also be concerend with the continuing setbacks / losses in Saurashtra!

Anonymous said...

And, the results of two by-elections in Uttrakhand clearly indicates the internal sabotage to get Gen Khandoori out. You can not win local elections if CM was so bad or unpopular.

Srinath said...

Swapan da, always reserves his diatribe for RSS/BJP Sympathizers like Arvind Lavakare or Prabhat Jha (whose recent editorial, which I do accept is foolish) but he never utters a word about the bigots in the liberal media who call him a member of the BJP (???) or a BJP ideologue (???) and grill him ‘left, right and center ‘on a weekly basis. Great!!!!!!!!!!!
You have close relations with the hostile-biased media but in none of your blogs you come up with any conclusive suggestions to counter the effects of a biased media (apart from the realistic clarification that its not possible to start and run a TV news channel on our own), rather than that u always blog about useless issues like dropping Hindutva etc etc which the BJP in reality doesn’t adhere to and the actual voter is least bothered about.
I have great respect for you and your views and accept most of them, you have been a towering figure in the journalist establishment who stood by your stand in spite of peer group ostracism but you are clearly troubling yourself by being neither here (BJP Spokesperson) nor there (neutral political commentator sympathetic to conservative views).
Its time you either join the BJP and have formal tag of member of the BJP (like Chandhan does) in TV channels rather than the ‘Senior journalist’ tag used or
Make it clear that you are an independent journo sympathetic to the ‘right’ movement like all other journo’s in our country who are sympathetic to the Nehruvian view. (Vir Sanghvi in spite of all his sycophancy towards Sonia Gandhi is never questioned on his perceived neutral ness, why are you not able to maintain such a distance??????????)
Decide what you want…………………. This will put a full stop to all personal attacks on you from other BJP writers. (Who don’t have access to the liberal media and hence perceive you to be an odd man out in ‘right’ writing)

No Mist said...

Dear Swapan da,

it is never going to be easy. you will be heckled by 'insiders' for not being insider enuff and by 'outsiders' for not being totally outside. it is the insiders who are a bigger nuisance as outside critisism is always welcome. inside criticism is also welcome but this is not criticism, this is groupism ...

i sincerely hope that u do not be misled by such nuisance and do not give in to the idiots who just want a clear field. it is not a question of BJP ... we care about India not BJP, not advani, not RSS, not hindutva, not religion ... everything else is secondary .. today in the face of increasing therat from china/pak nexus, we have to keep up the vigil ... for it is Mother India which demands this ... and we will not stop.


venkatesh said...

I dont think it is appropriate for us to advise Swapan on how to handle his professional responsibilities.

It is fair to comment on his ideas and there is no harm in conflicting ideas, but I dont think there is a need to start personal attacks based on purely speculative opinions.

We hear Swapan's views on issues and we can provide him ours. No need to get personal and sometimes the posts are quite offensive. I think it is time that all the bloggers showed some maturity

mpanj said...


these attacks on you only bring greater credibility to your positions.

You (and the Conservative movement) have greater challenges ahead.

Kamal Sandesh is best ignored till BJP is reconstituted.

Indian Nationalist said...

I had said before this man needs to join Congress.

For us right /left/ centre or minorityism whatever english word you need to call, call it - Hindutva it is what we want.

Arun Narendhranath said...

This was what I wrote to Swapan on 6th Aug on Modi's impact in the LS elections. Time and again Modi's national appeal has been questioned after the LS defeat, I have put reason as theory of rationalization. This is no fake theory this was the conclusion after interacting with a substantial number of voters and karyakarthas.

Part A:


Modi's has been written off in the last 70 days by every tom, dick and harry in the media. The two major points they have raised are

a) BJP lost in most of the seats Modi campaigned in.
b) Modi despite all attempts lost the Junadagh municipal polls (a place which was once a strong hold of the BJP).

This has brought a lot of cheers among the members of the congress party, congress leaning dynastical press & media and the Modi-baiters
in BJP. The rebuttals to these charges are

A)Coming to states where Modi was incharge.

• Gujarat is his home turf and he was expected to deliver atleast 20 seats but he failed. This is because Modi/BJP tried to include few more social groups into core vote bank and the Congress used opportunity to pit Modi against the Leuver Patels and they temporarily
succeeded. Always temporary success does not last (muslim votes for SP, Marathi votes for MNS – if you closely observe the Maharashtra
assem elections, you will find that Marathi in Mumbai, Thane, Nashik belt who voted for MNS are now coming back to SHS. Uddhav is generating a lot of hope in the Marathi voters. Observers will also find that P Ambedkar (vidharbha dalit man), Raju shetti (sugar price politician), PWPI all are leaning to Sena-BJP). The temporary success of the congress in Gujarat has made congress party and its affiliated media groups to turn a blind eye to the long-term success awaiting BJP in Gujarat.

Arun Narendhranath said...


Coming to Maharashtra, we have to acknowledge the fact that Sena votes did not get transferred to the BJP because of MNS. It is too much to expect from Modi to nullify MNS effect with his 20 minutes speeches. If someone doubts Modi’s popularity in the state, he/she should been to his rallies in the state. Modi provoked interest in the people of the state but could not translate interest into votes as he was not the PM candidate.

• Whenever we look at the larger picture we tend to ignore the minute details. Looking closely at the victories in Daman & Nagar Haveli and the tight finish in south Goa, Modi’s critics will acknowledge the deep popularity that Modi enjoys among youngsters. All these seats till last elections were cake-walks for the congress but now Modi has turned it around. Interesting unlike Maha (Pawar + Sonia + MMS Vs Advani + Uddav + Modi) these seats had a lot more influence of national leaders (Modi Vs Rahul) in the results outcome. Also state leaders had till role in these UTs (Maha already has heavy-weight
state leaders).

• Finally coming to the overall impact of Modi in the general elections. Modi was so powerful that he ended up damaging Advani whereas Rahul supplemented Rahul. This is because people were well aware that MMS was the gulaal of the family and Modi had no control over Modi. Modi travelling across the country only left despair in BJP-leaning voters (why is Advani not passing on the mantle to such a capable leader like Modi) ultimately damaging the party. We normally
assume that Modi supporters will vote for BJP, it is not true and can be explained by the theory of Rationalization/ decision making. (Read the below article on decision making).

Arun Narendhranath said...

Part C:

B) If the congress and media think that Lok Sabha results and the JMC results are the beginning of the end of Modi then they are grossly mistaken. Infact these results are bad new for the congress, the results have thrown a challenge to Modi. The fact is that Modi becomes
stronger after every challenge (earthquake is a case point). Had Modi won 22 seats in the LS and JMC he would have had no challenges. The moment Modi gets a challenge/ problem he comes out with flying colours. The only situation in which the congress can defeat Modi is when Modi faces no challenges. Congress walas- the tip to defeat Modi: is never pray god asking him to trouble Modi with peroblems.

I hope (with my broken English) I have come half way in rebutting the theories floating around Modi’s end. I can only recall what Swaminathan Iyer wrote on capitalism few months back. “In my youth, the Communist Party politburo would meet after every recession and declare "capitalism is now in its final death throes." Infact,capitalism re-invented itself and grew constantly stronger, while the recession-free communist system collapsed.” He argued that more the number of tests capitalism faced, stronger it become. I think the same applies to Namo also.

Prasanna said...


I hope the bypoll victory in Gujarat does not provide a window of opportunity for Advani-Rajnath etc to claim that BJP'S fortunes are now on the upswing & use that as a reason to perpetuate their presence

Gujarat election if at all clearly establishes 3 things-a)People tend to vote for ruling parties in bypoll b)Modi is unchallenged in his home turf 3)2009 LS verdict was unambiguous and unequivocal rejection of Advani's leadership and not BJP as a political formation.Shocking that Kulkarni types egged on by their media benefactors uncharitably tried to suggest Modi's vigorous campaign was responsible for BJP's adverse performance nationally.In my opinion Modi's campaign neither adversally or positively affected the outcome

Organisationally its clear that BJP 's future lies in it becoming a lossely federated national party comprising powerful regional cheiftains

Also i think we are placing too much emphasis on who dons the mantle of central leadership .However 2 thing needs to be done surely 1)electorally rejected Advani has to go He has unfortunately come to epitomise eveything that ails 2)BJP should ensure that it dosent continue the trend of making disastrous choices/eminently forgettable for party presidentship-R N Singh/Jana Krishnamoorthy/Naidu/Laxman

Dream scenario would be Modi-Parrikar combine.It will high on probity/performance and address the issue of social balance.I am sure Modi has no plans to quit Gujarat but i think he should take over the Leader of opposition and Parikar as party president.Modi i feel is overstaying in Gujarat.He should take the plunge now

Arun Narendhranath said...

Part 4:

Theory of Rationalization:Why we don’t always choose our favorite option

If you are like many people, you enjoy chocolate and eat it frequently. That’s okay, you might think. After all, chocolate has antioxidants and it boosts your mood. Although this may be true, it is not the real reason why you eat chocolate: it is just a line of reasoning you follow to feel less guilty about eating something high
in fat and sugar. People often rationalize in this way, telling themselves stories of sometimes dubious merit to justify their behavior. New work by Timothy Feddersen (Professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences at the Kellogg School of Management)
shows how rationalization—once studied mainly in psychology—impacts choices and can help economists understand why people make decisions
that violate standard economic theories. “People have preferences. But they cannot choose any old thing they like because they have to be able to rationalize the choice,” explained Feddersen, who collaborated on this project with Alvaro
Sandroni (Professor of Political Economy and Professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences at the Kellogg School of Management)
and Vadim Cherepanov (an economist at the University of Pennslyvania). He invoked the basic economic principle of constrained optimization, by which individuals seek the greatest possible benefit given the limitations and demands of a situation. “Rationalization means that people are constrained optimizers, and one of the constraints [in the way of choosing a preference] is that they have a psyche that requires a rationale,” he said.
In 1920 Sigmund Freud described the id, ego, and superego in his seminal essay “Beyond the Pleasure Principle.” He introduced the idea
of defense mechanisms, which humans use to quell anxiety created when we feel we cannot do what we want and still be rational. While Freud was the first to describe the concept of defense mechanisms, it was one of his colleagues who identified one defense mechanism in particular a few years earlier. In his 1908 article "Rationalization in Every-Day Life,” Ernest Jones wrote, “Everyone feels that as a rational creature he must be able to give a connected, logical, and continuous account of himself, his conduct, and opinions, and all his mental processes are unconsciously manipulated and revised to that end.”

Everyone feels that as a rational creature he must be able to give a connected, logical, and continuous account of himself, his conduct, and opinions, and all his mental processes are unconsciously manipulated and revised to that end. The “Warm Glow” Model Feddersen has spent much of his career examining human conduct and
opinions as expressed through voting behavior. He has explored why people continue to show up at polls even though each individual vote
has little impact on the larger election. Feddersen and Sandroni developed an “ethical voter” model, which states that people feel
personally validated by voting for a candidate they feel is morally or ethically superior.

Prasanna said...


Cant you get away with the regulated comment mechanism in your blog.Its make participation very difficult

Arun Narendhranath said...

Part E:

From this model they developed what they call a
“warm glow” model, suggesting that people vote because being a responsible citizen simply feels good. Some economists have struggled to explain behaviors that violate standard choice theory, and wondered if the warm glow model could
explain such anomalies. According to this theory, a person has a set of preferences. He prefers X over Y, Y over Z, and therefore should
always prefer both X and Y over Z. But sometimes he might choose Z anyway. Feddersen and his colleagues did not think that the warm glow
argument provided the best explanation for such violations of standard theory. So they began to look at rationalization as a way to understand this seemingly odd behavior. To put a human face on the mathematical proofs they describe, Feddersen and colleagues tell the story of a woman named Dee. Dee decides to leave work early to celebrate with her friend Sally, who just got a new job. As Dee prepares to leave the office, she gets a call from her coworker, Kathy, who is in the hospital and would like visitors. Dee then calls Sally to tell her she can no longer celebrate because work is pressing and stays at the office. This common type of behavior violates standard economic theory. Initially, Dee seems to prefer Sally over work. When a third option is introduced—the hospital—this preference for Sally over work should not
change. Even if Dee ranks her preferences as (1) hospital, (2) Sally, and (3) work, she should still never choose work over Sally. Yet that
is exactly what Dee chose, work instead of Sally, in violation of standard theory. No Rationalization, No Decision Feddersen’s rationalization model provides an intuitive explanation for Dee’s behavior. “We can understand why—when we introduce this third alternative—Dee can’t visit her friend Sally. She can’t rationalize it,” he said. That is, a decision that cannot be rationalized is a decision that cannot be made.Dee can always find rationalizations to stay at work—work is pressing.And she can also rationalize leaving work early to visit Sally because friendship is sometimes more important than work. This is the
rationale Dee originally uses. But once she learns that Kathy is in the hospital, Dee can no longer rationalize visiting Sally because Kathy needs her support more. This new information, having made it impossible to rationalize her original preference to have fun with Sally, leaves Dee with only two options—stay at work or visit the hospital. Because she prefers staying at work to visiting the hospital, Dee chooses to stay at work. Feddersen’s work illustrates how an inability to rationalize a preference can constrain our ability to pick a favored option.
Moreover, “rationalization theory reveals a unique preference order in a variety of cases when standard theory cannot,” wrote Feddersen and colleagues. This is important to economists and policy makers who can only observe behaviors and choices, from which they must infer people’s preferences. According to Feddersen, the research raises two questions for the future. First, why are people rationalizers? And second, how does a group decide which rationales are acceptable? “We’re sometimes constrained to choose what we would like by our inability to rationalize. And the question is, ‘Why would we be limited by that?’”

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Dasgupta,

I appreciate the forthrightness with which you spelt out the relationship between you and the BJP. Journalists like you are a rare breed -- no sarcasm intended. Several years ago, during the NDA rule, I watched a Congress "journalist" pontificate on the telly that he supported neither the BJP nor the Congress -- that man, and "journalists" like him, are the ones I despise very much, because unlike politicians they have no excuse to lie.

Having said that, the fact remains that you did involve yourself with the BJP, including writing speeches for its leaders. It stands to reason then that you cannot claim the immunity applicable to a "detached critic". You also are accountable for the party's ups and downs. Straddling both worlds -- the insider-counsel and the outsider-critic -- is the source of the problem.

None of which is meant to say that Mr Jha & Co have all my loving. They don't.

Resident Indian

mpanj said...


what is happening on the border with China?

As Pakistan implodes and China can no longer use its Pakistani puppets - its seems to be resorting to more direct action.

Also, as the Chinese stimulus package winds down and its impotence is exposed, China may resort to jingoistic nationalism to redirect public anger toward an external (but soft) target - India.

BJP must act very carefully here. Any attempt at drawing political mileage will be punished by Indians across the board.

This is not the time to take UPA to task, no matter how justified it may be.

Now is the time to stand firm, offer support and hold the govt. to a higher standard.

BJP must tread carefully.

Kanchan Gupta said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kanchan Gupta said...

Kanchan Gupta has left a new comment on your post "Insiders as outsiders":

Swapan: I had first thought of not commenting on this issue, and then decided to do so. Three points. I don't think (though I can't vouch for this) the alleged 'editorial' is aimed at you; it's directed at Shourie. Second, Faraz Ahmed's 'interpretation' of what appears in Kamal Sandesh can't be the touchstone of taking a call on whether you are with, against or indifferent to BJP. He has a bee in his bottom driving him crazy about anything 'Hindu', in this case BJP. More to the point, he has a major gripe against Pioneer where he used to once work and to which he fetched sufficient disrepute. After the paper changed hands and Pioneer Ltd ceased to own it, he, like all other employees, got his compensation package and ceased to be an employee of the paper. Strangely, the Minorities Commission issued the new management with a notice regarding 'termination' of his employment. Nothing came of that as the premise was incorrect. Since then, he has meandered his way from paper to paper, and perhaps found the right place to park himself in the Tribune. He has done quite a few stories directed against Chandan, you and me in the Tribune, each one of them crudely worded, unfounded and attributed to 'sources'. In one of them he claimed I had been attacked by Shourie, slyly hinting Shourie had told him so. I picked up the phone and confronted Shourie, who had certain not-so-polite things to say about Faraz and Tribune. I subsequently spoke to HK Dua who, it seemed, wasn't even aware of what was appearing in his paper. But he promised to put an end to it. I say all this to explain why your response to what Faraz has written on the basis of the alleged 'editorial' in Kamal Sandesh is perhaps hasty. Third, when we identified ourselves with the BJP and the broader ideological movement, we did so consciously. You would recall how we were the odd men out in a sea of 'secular' journalists and had to face more than just recrimination by peer group. True, a lot has changed since then. But that should not, ideally, change our views. There will always be those who gripe and whine and bitch and crib, irrespective of whether you are an 'insider' or an 'outsider'. Which party is free of such malign elements? Yes, it hurts when individuals are spiteful, often needlessly so.

Balaji said...


But I find it funny Kanchan da or perhaps even Swapan da think they are in the same situation as Shourie. Shourie is no longer a journalist. He is a politician. Infact its Shourie who claims your gang of six is running (rather ruining) the party.

The Kamal Sandesh article talks about how people like Kanchan da, Swapan da etc who claim to be outsiders but have access to the highest echelons of the party. Considering the intellectual bankruptcy of the top BJP leadership, the opinion of these journalists severely impacts party policy.

Not to mention Chandan Mithra. The hypocrisy of an active politician editing a paper must be unique in the history of journalism.

I no longer identify with the BJP and infact hope that it dies quickly and is replaced by a true conservative party sans Hindutva. But even a dying party will do well not to include outsiders in its internal affairs.

Limbaugh, Beck or Coulter are independent pro-right voices. But they don't sit on the Republican National Committee. Swapan da and Kanchan da are welcome to emulate their behavior and stay out of party affairs. Infact you guys can emulate Swaminathan Aiyar who stays away from party politics and is tireless promoting fiscal conservatism.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I have gone thru Kamal Sandesh - both Hindi and Eng on BJP web - but did not find any such editorial. May be, that edit is in the one to be out?

Samudra said...

This Faraz Ahmad dude really seems to be a totally anti BJP guy. He finds fault with anything and everything about the BJP.

Btw, does anyone think that Arun Shourie's attacks had tacit blessing of the Sangh since they want to change the leadership at the center.

Communal said...

While the country has been kept busy with this austerity and other such bull crap, Chinese are happily encroaching into Indian territory. This news has been duly swept under the carpet.

"The firing in an area identified as Kerang in northern Sikkim took place a fortnight ago but has been kept under wraps. It was confirmed on Monday by a highly-placed intelligence source, who is not authorised to give information to the media. ITBP officials at its headquarters in New Delhi declined to confirm the incident. "

Kamal Sandesh said...

This Kanchan Gupta may not be the one that we know (Agent Provocateur). Notice that, using the Name/URL, anyone can assume any name (like I am doing here). The guy did this, instead of commenting directly from his blogger ID.

charuvak said...

Swapan da, I would love to hear about your views on Gujarat Assembly by-elections.


Mr. Spade a Spade said...

Aila ye kya ?? Dada aapne kanchan da ki comment delete kardi ?? Aap dono mai fight chal rahi hai kya ??? Can anybody tells me what Kanchan da had written previously ? What was so obnoxious in his comment that he u deleted it ??

Anonymous said...

Shashi Tharoor's decision to travel "cattle class" is the best thing to have happened since the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911. I hope this will even encourage him to travel ugly indian class (aka 3ac), dirty indian class (SL), indians and dogs class (general compartment) and the monkey class (the roof) as well.

Anonymous said...

Sangh offers BJP Hindutva legroom

A caveat: she is one of the leading BJP-baiters of long standing so take this with a kilo of salt.

Anonymous said...

The Right Conservative movement of this country needs people like Swapan Dasgupta. At the end of the day it is people like Swapan Dasgupta and Chandan Mitra who face a volley of questions on issues ranging from the Ishrat Jahan encounter case to the future of the BJP, from a hostile media, on national television. But nevertheless they hold their ground and give a fitting rebuttal to the politically motivated analysis of these issues made by pseudo secularist hypocrites who masquerade as politically neutral journalists. It is not everyone’s cup of tea to go on national television and put forward the views of the Right in front of a left liberal media. If the BJP wants to establish itself as a "broad church" then it will have to accommodate people like Swapanji. It is only with the presence of people like Swapanji, who engage in constructive criticism of the party that the roots of the BJP will be strengthened. Varoon

Swapan Dasgupta said...

@Mr Spade a Spade. There were some things in Kanchan's post that HE did not want published. Unfortunately, my system does not permit editing. Hence it was deleted and re-posted without those three sentences. @Kamal Sandesh has detected a conspiracy in this innocuous act!

Anonymous said...

Here is a partial list of editors who were memebrs of LS, RS or state assembly:

MJ Akbar - Congress MP
Chandulal Chandrakar - Congress MP
Narednra Mohan - BJP MP
Lala Jagat Narain - Congress MP or MLA
JL Darda - Congress MP
BL Purohit - Borh BJP and Congress

There is a long list of editors of regional papers who were in politics while being editors! So why is it hypocritical of Mr Chandan Mitra to do that? If anything, Pioneer is a more plurist paper than most of the self-styled liberal newspapers such as The Beijing Daily of Chennai.

Samudra said...

Swapanda, What is your take on Arun Shourie?

I feel that he seems to be a supershrill dude. Must be really difficult working with a guy like that.

KR said...

+ K P Nayar, former Congress MP who wrote for Telegraph while he was MP. Or maybe that does not matter since Telegraph is an acknowledged Congress newspaper.

Regardless of this, there should be a law where media companies and writers are made to list their political affiliations, like how cigarette packs have statutory warnings.

mpanj said...

"The Beijing Daily of Chennai"

Hahaha.....made my day.

We should have appropriate names from each of these ELM clowns. Based on their true affiliations.

Any ideas:

NDTV India = Sonia Darshan

Swapan Dasgupta said...

@KR. KP Nayar was never a Congress MP. He has been a journalist--and a highly regarded one at that--for as long as anyone can remember.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Swapan.
KP Nayar is one of the truly independent and mostly bias-free columnists in our Englsih media - a very rare specie indeed.

KR said...

Yes, you are right. I had him confused with Kuldip Nayyar.