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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Is the honeymoon with the Crown Prince over?

There are odd moments when apparently trivial incidents portend larger trends. In early 1989, the Patna station of All India Radio was at the centre of a bizarre controversy. During a live broadcast of a children’s programme, the presenter invited kids from a studio audience to recite a short poem. When it came to his turn, a small child, barely out of kindergarten, blurted out something that had caught his fancy: "Gali gali mey shor hai, Rajiv Gandhi chor hai."

Indignant loyalists were quick to detect a "sinister conspiracy" behind a child’s fascination with a slogan he had heard around his mohalla. But few dared to draw the obvious conclusion from the embarrassment: that questions over the Prime Minister’s integrity (badly affected by the Bofors controversy) had become a part of everyday discourse in households.

Last Wednesday, hours after the bomb blast in Delhi High Court, Rahul Gandhi encountered a hostile crowd as he made the mandatory political visit to a hospital. A crowd, waiting anxiously for news of their seriously injured family members, booed the Congress’ heir designate and shouted hostile slogans.

The regime did its utmost to underplay the incident and some TV channels even suggested it was the handiwork of "political activists". But as with the AIR broadcast, the implication of the heckling was glossed over.

That 2011 is fast turning into the UPA government’s annus horribilis is obvious. Yet, the Congress has comforted itself into believing that the steep fall in the government’s popular standing has not rubbed off on Rahul. It has been presumed that the Congress general secretary’s detachment from everyday governance would lead to a situation whereby the dynasty was perceived as the most obvious saviour in the country’s dark hour. The calculation was that any craving for change would be internalized within the ruling establishment.

At the risk of over-reading the implications of the hospital kerfuffle, it would seem that the strategy is not working out. Rahul’s "game changer" speech that he read out to the Lok Sabha last month failed to galvanize India. On the contrary, he was mocked by the pro-Anna Hazare crowd at Ramlila Maidan for his lofty aloofness and his unwillingness to engage with real issues on a sustained basis. At a time when people cried out for upright and deft political management, Rahul cast himself in the role of a not-terribly-profound pontificator.

In just over a fortnight, the popular mood has changed dramatically. Opinion polls that indicated residual faith in the Congress despite fierce dissatisfaction with the government’s performance, are now recording rising support for the opposition and BJP in particular. For the first seven years of his political life, the crown prince was showered with popular (and media) indulgence. They forgave his indiscretions and failures, ignored his all-too-frequent withdrawals into private life, boisterously celebrated his occasional successes and worshipped his ‘potential’, both real and projected. Congress cheerleaders painted him as the "youth icon" and foretold a future dispensation of young inheritors—well-spoken, well-groomed men and women from pedigreed political families, the proverbial babalogs.

The honeymoon seems to be finally over. There are still some 32 months before another general election, and 2014 could miraculously turn into annus mirabilis if a smug BJP decides to fall back on day-before-yesterday’s slogans, techniques and leaders. If Rahul continues to falter, the custodians of dynastic rule may even be inclined to whip out its secret weapon— Priyanka Vadra. In 2011, the plot is still unfolding and the conclusion is still many episodes away.

But 2011 is nevertheless an important landmark. Historians may characterize these turbulent months as the time India shed its deferential submissiveness towards the ‘first family’. The Gandhis will remain the adhesive that joins a disparate Congress family. At the same time, a mood of rebellious individualism is threatening to unsettle the cosy world of entitlement on which dynastic politics rests.

The boy who unsettled the airwaves in the final months of Rajiv Gandhi must be nearing 30. Did he unwittingly kick-start a new age of insolence in which ordinary people can raise their voices and talk back at those who imagine they were born to rule? We live in exciting times.



Sunday Times of India, September 11, 2011



16 comments:

Anonymous said...

"....2014 could miraculously turn into annus mirabilis if a smug BJP decides to fall back on day-before-yesterday’s slogans, techniques and leaders ".

Indeed yes.

It is time Indians understand it is Congress that is the most communal & arrogant party of all.Ditto for its allies like Leftists & DMK.

Earlier I did have ambivalent feelings towards the much maligned Narendra Modi owing to certain reports of tehelka. Seeing the imperious way Congress continues to tinker in Gujarat & Tamil Nadu my mind is made up.

BJP should not only avoid Arnab Goswamis & Sagarika Ghoses but also jettison Indian avatards like art of living SSSRavishankars , Icchadari Babas etc.

This SSSSRavishankar has goaded his sycophantic biographer Francois Gautier to work behind the scenes audaciously claiming it was SSSRavishankar who was the architect behind this anti corruption drive by Baba Ramdevs & Anna Hazares. Ravishankar the most politically correct fence sitter unlike the naive Baba Ramdev has changed his tune after detecting anti Congress sentiment among the masses.

Predictably after a bomb blast we Indians become hysterical thus forgetting to question the very same SSSRavishankar who claimed with his hyperventilation petitely termed * Sudarshan Kriya * "all wars of the world would come to an end as people would be spraying water guns on one another".

I am also grateful to plucky Mamata Banerjee on refusing to cave in where water sharing with Bangladesh came up.

It is time we look after our own interests.Bangladeshis not only infiltrate but also proliferate thus demanding larger share of resources. Let them check their population growth in tandem with this alleged "cracking down on extremist elements". All kinds of extremism originate in resources sharing including water.

Arab countries do not hesitate AT ALL in punishing and/or deporting Bangladeshis for crimes & misdemeanours in the name of shared religious belief systems.

Anonymous said...

Some Indians are picking on Kiran Bedi for her self styled ridiculing of Indian netas.

We cannot be that amnesiac in forgetting the downright uncouth antics of Jayanthi Natarajans & kindred sycophants of Congress when they shouted in high decibels with sarees hitched up,dishevelled hair "we want Soniajeee , we want Soni..AAA...AAA".

And Rajdeep Sardesai who had the temeritous gall to compare Sonia Gandhi with Sri Ram who willingly goes into exile to fulfill King Dasaratha's promises made to Kaikeyi.

Is there anything horripilatingly dignified regarding the routine laddoos stuffing , marigold garlanding & dancing to tambourine beats after election victories??

The dignity of our democratic institutions gets nurtured by the quality of people therein. I was appalled to hear Fareed Zakaria maligning Indian Police egged on by the consistently infuriating Sagarika Ghose.

It is Congress party & the rest including Mayawatis , DMK , Left that have systematically shorn our Police & CBI of autonomy & dignity.

Anonymous said...

Some Indians are picking on Kiran Bedi for her self styled ridiculing of Indian netas.

We cannot be that amnesiac in forgetting the downright uncouth antics of Jayanthi Natarajans & kindred sycophants of Congress when they shouted in high decibels with sarees hitched up,dishevelled hair "we want Soniajeee , we want Soni..AAA...AAA".

And Rajdeep Sardesai who had the temeritous gall to compare Sonia Gandhi with Sri Ram who willingly goes into exile to fulfill King Dasaratha's promises made to Kaikeyi.

Is there anything horripilatingly dignified regarding the routine laddoos stuffing , marigold garlanding & dancing to tambourine beats after election victories??

The dignity of our democratic institutions gets nurtured by the quality of people therein. I was appalled to hear Fareed Zakaria maligning Indian Police egged on by the consistently infuriating Sagarika Ghose.

It is Congress party & the rest including Mayawatis , DMK , Left that have systematically shorn our Police & CBI of autonomy & dignity.

Anonymous said...

Tavleen Singh gets it right in her column " A yatra going nowhere ".

That people's anger is not just towards Congress but most Indian politicians.

Some of the comments in regional newspapers ( Tamil) are extremely telling. Many Hindus yess HINDUS are NOT condemning Afzal Guru. Their reasoning being :-

" Afzal Guru targetted the real criminals of India ..hence does not deserve to be hanged...."

" Our only grouse is Afzal Guru failed in his mission...".

Much earlier I recall Varsha Bhosle citing one such comment from a HINDU citizen of India who wrote to her:-

" Had I been present there , would have tossed my cigarette lighter ..."

As it was reported bombs did not explode due to shortage of igniting material.

By censoring , muzzling free speech & arresting people in the guise of ill understood "national interest , patriotism" Indian Establishment can never sustain itself leave alone command respect.

Hitendra said...

A true assessment. RG's days are over. But the show has just begun...

Pavan said...

You spelled it wrong. It is Clown Plince, not Crown Prince. And I still share the dread of most right-thinking Indians that this dimmest of dim bulbs is going to be over PM one day.

Jitendra Desai said...

While crown prince could stew in his own soup,BJP has failed to take full advantage of this confusion and chaos in Congress.
This is the time for BJP to focus on 2012 state elections.Based on this performance BJP will have to initiate the process of expanding NDA for 2014.
As you have written elsewhere,BJP/NDA will have to come down to specifics wrt Security,Economy,Justice,Reforms and so on, to convince the voters that their votes in NDA's favour indeed will make the difference.
Starting a yatra or getting drawn in to debates on PM etc are not the right moves or indications of statesman like approach to the fast changing situation.

Deep Mkerj said...

Sir, as you have very rightly pointed out, the writing on the wall is very clear for the Congress. But that doesn't mean things are good for BJP either - they have lost all sense of direction after Shri Atal Behari Vjapayee's retirement and for some strange reason seem hellbent on embracing the "secularism" which Congress practices (synonymous to anti-Hinduism).

The Voice of Youth is no voice at all, but a dud, and as you pointed out "the honeymoon seems to be finally over". He and Congress need to prove themselves, and not merely by "strongly condemning" terror attacks, which is probably the only post-terror attack measure undertaken so far. But now that Madam-ji is back from Europe, things might take a different turn. Exciting times.

Anonymous said...

" custodians of dynastic rule ".

I simply love this phrase of Sri.Swapan Dasgupta.

There is a crying need for no nonsense leaders like Sri.Narendra Modi & Smt.Jayalalitha. Wimps like Advani should retire instead of desperately trying to hog the limelight.

The insidious threat posed by the converted christians of India abetted by parties like DMK & Congress cannot be overemphasized.

Take the case of IAS oficer Uma Shankar a converted christian who according to reliable reports embraced christianity to avail himself of quotas becoming a protege of DMK. Threw his weight around decreeing Hindu Temple Tower emblem should be removed from all co-optex stores.

Fortunately has been shunted by Jayalalitha pronto.

The riots & vandalism in Paramakkudi along with Police being targetted violently - all triggered by converted christians & allegedly backward castes. Who were all pampered by DMK.

Indians should ensure none of these parties ever get a chance to usurp power again. If need be let us do away with electronic voting machines that can be manipulated.

nick griffin said...

dada, your next article should be on your buddy mani shankar aiyar's comments regarding hansraj college. if mani is right, then sonia gandhi also does not write letters that use big words, since she did not even go to college!

Anonymous said...

As Kanchan Gupta pointed out, Palestinian ambassador praising terrorists who bomb blasted ISRAELIS WITHIN Indian soil as (sic) "shahids" was not censured & shown the door.

Who on earth is going to feel for us when we face the same bomb blasts? Let us NEVER forget it was timely help from ISRAEL-AMERICA that got us a semblance of victory during Kargil war.

Apropos the gems of wisdom tossed out by Fareed Zakaria & Sagarika Ghose on CNN-IBN , I am sick to the gills of hearing the same anaemic excuse that " muslims of India are wounded ...in dire need of healing touches & therapy for Babri Masjid coming down... Gujarat..." yadayada.

We the idiotised Hindus should learn from these alleged victims to outshine them playing the same victim card. How many Hindu Temples were pillaged , treasures looted ?? Every day , every nano second we are legitimately entitled to demand healing touches from the perpetrators. 365 days we can & SHOULD recall in vivid detail the atrocities done keeping our muted anger & memory alive.

Including Godhra Train Arson.

If they kill it is "Insha Allah". If others retaliate how can it be termed " Hindu terror/Zionism"?? By their own reasoning "Gujarat riots & Babri masjid razed down" are all INSHA ALLAH !!!! This will silence Fareed Zakarias & Sagarika Ghoses. Should they insist on feeling perennially wounded we should be ready to send them to Saudi Arabia for good including Shabana Azmis.

It is now or never for us Hindus. We ought to abide by the laws of various countries we chose to live & work. BUT WITHIN India we the Hindus should reclaim our rights. Secularism is intrinsic to Hinduism. Whatever religious freedom our constitution granted has been thoroughly abused by most of these Indian citizens .

Swami Vivekananda was absolutely right while pointing out the "converted" invariably is hostile & inimical to the faith he spurns or renounces".

When Islamic countries have strict laws about their belief systems why should we the Hindus be the suckers in our own country?

Keeping all these facts in mind we should ensure none other than Sri.Narendra Modi & BJP gets elected.

Subramaniam Swamy was right in asking for disenfranchising Indian muslims. For the simple reason they manipulate & intimidate as & when it suits them.Which suits communal parties like Congress & DMK.

If Hindus can live well in Arab countries so can the "converted" muslims in INDIA.

Anonymous said...

On many occasions Swami Dayananda of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam has emphasised the dire need for lot of amendments to our constitution.

Recently Praful Goradia also wrote about such a need in Pioneer.

It is time we give up referring to Ambedkar & various people ( which very much includes Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi ALSO) who cobbled Indian constitution in such ultra deferential tones. The phrase " our founding fathers of constitution " grates on my nerves much more than " we condemn this dastardly attack".

They were no Vedic Seers to be worshipped by us. Are we not beings endowed with intellect & alive in contemporary India? We need to calibrate & amend not just constitution but also our Hindu Temples administration.

Where our Temples' management is concerned Hindu Aacharyas ALONE ought to decide. As they have an all encompassing grasp on Dharma Shastrams.

What business do "converted" Indians have in our Temples ? Whether it is outsourcing of Tirupathi laddoos making or financial control. That includes crypto christians also like Samuel Rajasekara Reddy mercifully dead now!

Our Kaanchi Shankaracharya categorically spoke against photographing & looting of Sree AnanathaPadmanabhaSwamy Temple Treasures in Kerala.

The Presiding Deity ( Deities) are very much Consecrated Entities.Not inert Statues and Icons.

For burning of limp effigies of politicians the police resort to baton blows. What to speak of statues of Indira Gandhi & her sons , of EVR and cutouts of Stalin that were given 24 hour police protection all over Tamil Nadu... Then will follow posters of Khushboos & Rajnikanths.

Anything is possible in this utterly chaotic anarchic India.Unless we the people question refusing to comply.

We don't need Anna Hazares & mutiple SriSriSriSris self anointed dubious Ravishankars as our representatives.

Anonymous said...

Very Important.

When it comes to empowerment & entrusting of responsibilities one's CREDENTIALS & INTEGRITY alone matter. Not one's religion.

This is the reason India deservedly faces lots of problems. It would be a gross travesty of Justice to say all Indian Muslims or those Indian Muslims apprehended by Police & thrown into prisons are all terrorists/anti hindu/unpatriotic/mullah indoctrinated.

Truth never reaches the aam janata. Or gets disregarded arrogantly as the nation saw in the notorious Aarushi murder case.

Police brutality among Indian Police is a reality. As in Kolkata, one Idris Mian was "eliminated" to protect Forward Bloc's Kalimuddin Shams.

Among many Hindu Monks also I have seen the same trend. I do hold Swami Dayananda of Arsha Vidya in high esteem. However I was shocked to see him felicitating along with Abdul Kalams & several celebs this charlatan SRISRISRIRavishankar in his ultra opulent birthday bash in Bangalore.

A non saffron clad aam janata like me could easily see through this SSRavishankar putting two & two together.Same thing happened with Nithyananda. Several American bloggers were so brilliantly exposing all these duplicitous faux messiahs. YET , many Hindus stoutly defended them calling it a (sic) "Christian conspiracy".

This is why I wish these learned pundits , scholars & Monks should finetune their allknowing intellect with one of Sri.Ramakrishna Paramahamsar's Parables where on being tossed aside & grievously injured by an Elephant , the terribly upset devotee is told by his Guru:-

" Why did you not heed the Mahout's words urging you to step aside. Does not The Lord reside in the Mahout "?

I don't want us the citizens of India to be divided & governed on the basis of religious belief systems alone.

While living in Coimbatore serendipitously I came across a Muslim miller extremly poor living in pathetic squalour.He was somehow managing with his wife grinding spices , rice , turmeric etc as a means of livelihood. What impressed me was that they LISTENED. They were absolutely TRUSTWORTHY. They were the ONLY ONES who had separate machines for grinding chillies & spices & separate one for grinding gramflour , shikakai etc used for bathing infants & washing hair by many Indian women.

I had done my due diligence thoroughly. Overwhelmingly hindu millers only CLAIMED to have separate machines but the ground flour burnt. Ditto in Chennai also. When I chose this muslim couple the hindus of the locality branded me a "muslim supporter".

I rest my case.

Incidentally many Indian muslims ARE living in indescribably poor & pathetic conditions in India I noticed. Only proving Congress/DMK in short all the artificial sheen manufactured by Indian media is never to be believed.

Anonymous said...

Very Important.

When it comes to empowerment & entrusting of responsibilities one's CREDENTIALS & INTEGRITY alone matter. Not one's religion.

This is the reason India deservedly faces lots of problems. It would be a gross travesty of Justice to say all Indian Muslims or those Indian Muslims apprehended by Police & thrown into prisons are all terrorists/anti hindu/unpatriotic/mullah indoctrinated.

Truth never reaches the aam janata. Or gets disregarded arrogantly as the nation saw in the notorious Aarushi murder case.

Police brutality among Indian Police is a reality. As in Kolkata, one Idris Mian was "eliminated" to protect Forward Bloc's Kalimuddin Shams.

Among many Hindu Monks also I have seen the same trend. I do hold Swami Dayananda of Arsha Vidya in high esteem. However I was shocked to see him felicitating along with Abdul Kalams & several celebs this charlatan SRISRISRIRavishankar in his ultra opulent birthday bash in Bangalore.

A non saffron clad aam janata like me could easily see through this SSRavishankar putting two & two together.Same thing happened with Nithyananda. Several American bloggers were so brilliantly exposing all these duplicitous faux messiahs. YET , many Hindus stoutly defended them calling it a (sic) "Christian conspiracy".

This is why I wish these learned pundits , scholars & Monks should finetune their allknowing intellect with one of Sri.Ramakrishna Paramahamsar's Parables where on being tossed aside & grievously injured by an Elephant , the terribly upset devotee is told by his Guru:-

" Why did you not heed the Mahout's words urging you to step aside. Does not The Lord reside in the Mahout "?

I don't want us the citizens of India to be divided & governed on the basis of religious belief systems alone.

While living in Coimbatore serendipitously I came across a Muslim miller extremly poor living in pathetic squalour.He was somehow managing with his wife grinding spices , rice , turmeric etc as a means of livelihood. What impressed me was that they LISTENED. They were absolutely TRUSTWORTHY. They were the ONLY ONES who had separate machines for grinding chillies & spices & separate one for grinding gramflour , shikakai etc used for bathing infants & washing hair by many Indian women.

I had done my due diligence thoroughly. Overwhelmingly hindu millers only CLAIMED to have separate machines but the ground flour burnt. Ditto in Chennai also. When I chose this muslim couple the hindus of the locality branded me a "muslim supporter".

I rest my case.

Incidentally many Indian muslims ARE living in indescribably poor & pathetic conditions in India I noticed. Only proving Congress/DMK in short all the artificial sheen manufactured by Indian media is never to be believed.

Anonymous said...

Strictly speaking, I also do not feel Afzal Guru deserves to be kept in prison and sentenced to death.

He did not target the guard. The guard came & caught the bullet.My condolences to the bereaved.

There are lots of politicians , policymakers , doctors , Sikh pogrom perpetrators , lecherous N.D.Tiwari & several such who run prostitution to drug cartels among Indian politicians.What about DMK's track record replete with murders & rapes ?

Afzal Guru or Dawood Ibrahim for that matter whose name Advani is so fond of mentioning NEVER took any oath of serving the people of India with fairness blahblah.

Whereas these "elected representatives" wantonly brazenly RENEGED on their promises made. Let them face punishment. They are in the queue first.

I personally feel Afzal Guru deserves to be pardoned. I would NEVER be able to bay for his blood branding him a "terrorist". Enough is enough.

Anonymous said...

Strictly speaking, I also do not feel Afzal Guru deserves to be kept in prison and sentenced to death.

He did not target the guard. The guard came & caught the bullet.My condolences to the bereaved.

There are lots of politicians , policymakers , doctors , Sikh pogrom perpetrators , lecherous N.D.Tiwari & several such who run prostitution to drug cartels among Indian politicians.What about DMK's track record replete with murders & rapes ?

Afzal Guru or Dawood Ibrahim for that matter whose name Advani is so fond of mentioning NEVER took any oath of serving the people of India with fairness blahblah.

Whereas these "elected representatives" wantonly brazenly RENEGED on their promises made. Let them face punishment. They are in the queue first.

I personally feel Afzal Guru deserves to be pardoned. I would NEVER be able to bay for his blood branding him a "terrorist". Enough is enough.