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Indian Elections

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Trooper, May 7, 2014.

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  1. Threadmarks: Indian Elections 2019
    Trooper

    Trooper Order Member

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    I really did NOT want to create another thread for the Indian Elections again, so I'm reviving/Necro-Posting the 2014 thread.

    If the mods could just change the title to Indian elections, if possible, that'd be swell.

    So today was the last voting day of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019. The elections were conducted in 7 phases this time. And some assembly elections were simultaneously held as well. ~900 Million voters. Almost 65-75% voter turnout. With some very problematic areas in West Bengal having a whopping 85% turnout.

    So no three cornered fight this time. Its just Narendra Modi Vs Everyone else, lol. And I think that point, which he's made very sure to capitalize on, will very much win him this election. The opposition should really have announced their PM candidate this time. Anyone apart from Rahul Gandhi that is. Seriously. They once again made this election about Narendra Modi. And he's very popular even after five years of incumbency.

    While normally, Lok Sabha elections are about national issues, it was kinda personal for me this time. So I voted for Narendra Modi while thinking 'fuck you' to both the Congress and the regional JD(S) here in Karnataka.

    In conclusion, I hope Modi wins.

    And the exit polls seem to agree with me. With some of em even predicting 350 seats for NDA.

    The final counting is on 23 May 2019.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  2. Nazgus

    Nazgus Chief Warlock DLP Supporter DLP Gold Supporter

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    As someone who knows next to nothing about Indian politics, why was this one personal for you?
     
  3. Trooper

    Trooper Order Member

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    @Nazgus
    Eh. Bit of a long story...

    But two reasons mainly.

    First is economic. See all my personal assets/funds/savings are within the formal economy. I make this point to differentiate from my dad's generation where after their per-functionary investment in a PPF (Public Provident Fund), most people from my dad's generation either invested in gold or saved up cash to invest in real estate. My savings, modest as they are, are pretty much in the form of PPF/Bonds/Equity/Fixed and recurring deposits/Etc. As in, they're completely taxed and white.

    This becomes especially true for a scheme for my daughter, the SSY account. She's 2 years old right now. The scheme is basically Modi's brain child. It is specifically designed for female children. Where I invest about 1,50,000 Rs (with minimum amount being 1000 Rs) every year, Tax free in my daughter's name and get about 8.5% quarterly Rate of Interest with govt. of India backing. I cannot touch this investment after the fact. Only my daughter can access this when she turns 18 (50%) and 21 (100%), for whatever she deems worthy. This is the highest return I'm getting on any of my investments apart from equity, which is volatile more often than not.
    Honestly this feels like I'm doing something solid for my daughter.

    The Modi government has for the past five years consistently maintained an inflation rate of 2-4%. In real terms, I'm getting something like 4-5% extra value for the money I'm saving for my daughter.

    Now in comes Rahul Gandhi with his proposed NYAY scheme. Where he says he will directly transfer Rs 72,000 (~1000$ US) per year to India's poorest 20% population. He's not saying he will subsidize essential products; He's not saying he will provide benefits/essential services for free; He's not suggesting he would provide free healthcare worth that money; He's not even saying he'll provide the money's worth of jobs for the poor. I would be okay with any of those.

    Its basically infusing a ridiculously whopping amount of cash into the economy with no discernible source for said money. Keeping aside that this will actually create more poor people...
    Even a watered down implementation of this scheme will take the inflation rate to its previous Congress-era (2013) levels of ~11%.
    Now imagine my savings with a highest 8.5% return. I would actually be losing money.

    I don't want to face a situation where I have to hear "I told you so" from a lot of my older relatives who insisted I invest in gold. As a side note, there's more to the "invest in your daughter's gold" narrative than just economics. As in Marriage connotations. While that is a rant for another time, its another reason why I hate that narrative.

    So, no. Fuck that noise NYAY scheme. And fuck Congress for suggesting it.
    I like living in the formal economy, thank you very much.

    Second reason is actually an incident that happened in March. 15th I think, it was.

    There was a Rahul Gandhi speech or event or whatever in Manyata Tech Park in March. People unfamiliar with the situation need to understand that the area is generally filled with IT people. Basically people associated with the software industry. Not goons or political workers in any way.
    I was there as well. Some of the younger crowd decided to raise Modi slogans, when Rahul Gandhi's cavalcade passed by . Basically just chanting Modi's name. I repeat, they were just chanting his name, nothing more. No Violence, No aggression, Nothing. They were actually treating it as some sort of joke. ( As a side note, this is how popular Modi is on the ground level. This chanting starts up in the most random places. Weird/surreal as shiet to experience. This one is in Yeshwantpur Railway Station I think). Getting back to the point, the people who were raising slogans that day and some bystanders including me were lathi Baton-Charged by the police and roughed up by Congress party workers. Some beaten and some arrested. I barely got out with a light tap on my back. One of my not-so-lucky acquaintances has a baton/lathi shaped swelling on his arm.

    What is sad is, this used to be par for the course in the 80's and 90's with all the rampant thuggery in politics. I do NOT want it to be so now.

    This(local news)is the news coverage of that day.

    And we're told by the media that Modi stifles freedom of speech? Really?
    No, Fuck you Congress.

    And salt on the wounds was the Karnataka (state government) Chief Minister Kumarswamy's reaction to this incident. He basically chastised BJP's head Amit Shah to teach BJP workers to not be rude.
    What BJP workers? we were regular working folk there minding our own business. If the Congress head doesn't know how to deal with benign opposition, then that is his effing problem.
    Whats worse is I voted for this Douche of a Chief Minister in the Assembly Polls thinking his party was Pro-farmer. Fuck you JD(S), you ain't ever gettin my vote again.

    Tl;dr I'm emotional this time. I'm freakin pissed off.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  4. Faun

    Faun Second Year

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    With the number of parties in the NDA its not really Modi vs everyone. The Prime Minister is likely to get a second turn, but I hope the BJP does not cross 272 mark.

    This was the most boring election season in India. The BJP didn't campaign on anything they had done worthwhile, whereas the INC ran a campaign on a non-issue. Issues like unemployment, rural distress, electoral reform, rising violence etc. were absent. The worst part was the Election Commission which turned its model code of conduct into a joke.
     
  5. crimson sun06

    crimson sun06 Unspeakable

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    Well Modi is the only man in the current national scenario who has any idea about what he's doing. The reason he will win, however, is because the others are too busy trying to find ways to defeat him rather than win themselves, which serves his purpose rather well.

    Say what you will about the man but his political acumen is impeccable. He has controlled the narrative so well that he left his opponents no choice but to play his game on his terms.
     
  6. Trooper

    Trooper Order Member

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    It is Modi Vs Everyone though. Almost all the parties in the NDA are irrelevant. Almost 40% of the others in the spectrum are even ready to provide outside support depending on the numbers (Jagan Reddy, Navin Patnaik, etc).
    You said it yourself. Noone is raising any issues. Its just Modi marketing himself and the opposition negatively marketing Modi. There was literally nothing else apart from that Rafale joke the Congress played on itself.
     
  7. Nazgus

    Nazgus Chief Warlock DLP Supporter DLP Gold Supporter

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    Thank you for the in-depth response!

    Sounds like you have plenty of reasons to be upset tbh, hopefully things improve soon.
     
  8. calutron

    calutron Unspeakable

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    Meh. Modi knows what he’s is doing politically, which in this case means making sure there’s clear battle line whether that’s caste, religion, or region.

    His governance on the other hand has remained provincial in outlook and capricious in action. Whether it’s demonetization in a country that’s 70% small farmers, politicization of the military, or gross negligence of states where his own party has no electoral interest.
     
  9. Trooper

    Trooper Order Member

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    I do wonder about this though...
    While there's no doubt that there's the usual Caste/Religion/Class arithmetic that's usually there...
    I mean every party does that now. I'm sure BJP has their own numbers game as well.
    (For the unfamiliar, there's memes a plenty like "Indians vote their caste rather than cast their vote").

    No, what piques my interest is the huge swathes of people voting beyond caste/religion lines. Even during 2014, there were dozens of Muslim Majority constituencies (mostly in UP and several elsewhere) that voted for BJP. These are areas where its near impossible to win without Muslim votes. The media of course treated this as a one time aberration.

    But the optimist in me sees this as the Indian electorate finally moving beyond those simplistic lines. This election will be the litmus test for this assumption. Seeing as the SP+BSP Mahagatbandhan combo puts up the ultimate Caste arithmetic, the BJP's fortunes in Uttar Pradesh will give a definitive answer about this.
    The opinion poles are also giving the BJP an edge in several Muslim Majority areas in the North Eastern states. This, after that fiasco with the citizenship bill.

    There's been some real inside talk of how both the youth and women will vote for Modi, but the older generation men will vote for the mahagatbandhan. There's also talk of how the Lipstick under the burqa will be lotus colored.

    This will be very interesting to observe on 23rd May.
    --- Post automerged ---
    @Faun @calutron
    Also, to people saying the election commission somehow capitulated under the BJP for MCC... what world have you been living in? This Article while sensational with its headline is absolutely worth reading.
    Every instance it lists there to make a point is absolute fact.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  10. Innomine

    Innomine Headmaster ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I don't much respond to these threads, as I don't know enough about the topic to contribute. But as someone who is half Indian, was born in India, and spent 5 years there as a kid, I highly appreciate your insight here.

    Just wanted to let you know.
     
  11. Faun

    Faun Second Year

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    Calling allies in the NDA as irrelevant is a bit of a stretch. JD(S), SAD, AIADMK, Shiv Sena etc. are not irrelevant parties. The BJP got a bigger role in the alliance by pushing out their allies like TDP.

    It remains to be seen if we have really moved past the caste and religion politics. Whether 2014 was a fluke or Modi managed inspire people to vote differently remains to be seen. Modi in 2019 didn't have the same message of inclusive development as Modi in 2014.

    Opindia could have done a more thorough job and pinned everything on Nehru. But, I am more concerned about 2019 and elections to come than whataboutry.
     
  12. Trooper

    Trooper Order Member

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    How is it a stretch? Which policy decisions do you think any party in the NDA has any say in? When was the last time you heard of any politician from the SAD or Shiv Sena say anything independent of Modi? Lol, as a matter of fact, I half included BJP itself when I said parties in the NDA are irrelevant in the face of Modi and Amit Shah.
    When people say Modi is dictatorial within his party, it is legitimate criticism. But it is also fact that f you remove Modi and Shah from BJP, the BJP will not even get 150 seats across India. Shiv Sena is fighting an existential crisis in Maharashtra itself. SAD would be wiped out if the Congress wasn't so incompetent. JD(S) has what 20-30(?) seats at the state level.
    Again, what relevance are we talking about?

    Please stop bringing in Nehru as a red herring in every conversation. It really gets tiresome.
    We're talking about 3 national elections directly preceding 2019. As in the Lok Sabha Elections of 2004, 2009 and 2014.
    BJP as a national party with 100 MP seats and 3 chief ministers almost gets banned in 2007 and yet CPIM gets a hand wave with 3-4 MP seats and nothing else, repeatedly. You see nothing wrong in this?
    A congress loyalist who was indicted for excesses during the emergency is shoehorned in as Chief Election Commissioner in spite of repeated complaints against him by 3 of the previous election commissioners and the previous CEC himself. You see nothing wrong in this?
    The ruling Congress government makes repeated calls to dictate the Election schedule in a EC meeting that is supposed to be closed doors. These calls seem to coincidentally match with the almost 8 bathroom breaks the previously mentioned known Congress loyalist takes, says nothing to you?
    This is Whataboutery?

    Okay. Even considering that bullshit, take the 2019 elections.
    Modi's Biopic is banned, but Udta Punjab is released during Punjab elections.
    That Yogi gets punished 50% more than Mayawati for the same mistake;
    That repeated violence against BJP in West Bengal happens as a matter of fact but the EC does nothing, in fact the EC actually punishes BJP when clearly the TMC was at fault;
    Suddenly Modi following his own faith after taking EC permission is breaking of MCC, but millions of pics of state leaders going to Sabarimala or some other famous temple exactly at the time of elections isn't;

    That there was actually a Supreme Court Case against the EC, for not taking action against Modi's supposed hate speech; wherein the SC summarily dismissed the case and actually reiterated EC's decision that it was NOT hate speech;

    Is the Supreme Court rooting for the BJP as well?
    How in hell does all this sound like the EC was not upholding the MCC?

    I'm beginning to suspect you're just angry at that lulzy Akshay Kumar interview....
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  13. Faun

    Faun Second Year

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    When was the last time this government consulted anyone on a policy decision? Most of the time the members of the government do not even know that a policy decision has been made. How the BJP manages their internal matters is upto the BJP.

    I don't know what are you talking about the BJP almost getting banned. Banning a political party in India isn't that simple. If it were then Indira Gandhi would have banned all of them but one.

    Apart from the BJP and the INC all political parties are regional parties. Even the other so-called national parties are de facto regional parties. But that doesn't make them irrelevant. Regional parties do not have a national agenda, but they can cause cause a repeat of 90s when neither of the national parties had enough numbers to form a stable government.

    There should have been election petitions for the violations during past elections. I am more concerned about the present one.
    Are really drawing parallels between a biopic of the sitting PM and a black comedy?

    Did Yogi Adityanath and Mayawati used the same words?

    West Bengal is a cesspool of political violence. The Government should have imposed Art 356 during the last panchayat elections. Whether TMC is at fault or the BJP is unclear, but the ECI did fail in ensuring that elections are peaceful.

    The PM has the same freedom of religion as any other citizen, but there is a problem when temples, cows and religious chants take centre stage in an election campaign.

    The Supreme Court had asked the petitioner to approach the ECI and later asked her to file separate petitions against the ECI order. The SC cannot do ECI's work for it and procedure has to be followed.

    The ECI did not issue speaking orders as to why the PM Modi and Shah were not in violation of the MCC whereas others were for similar utterances.

    How is Akshay Kumar's interview of any relevance? It was a non-political engagement of the PM.
     
  14. Trooper

    Trooper Order Member

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    Apart from the fact that the core 5-7 members always know the policy decisions, that's exactly what I'm talking about. Coalition partners exist in name only. Hence their irrelevance. The only point in which the regional partners become active for the NDA is during assembly elections. This is what I said in the first place. That they're irrelevant in this lok sabha elections.

    The ECI recognizes and de-recognizes political parties based on certain criteria. It also recognizes parties as National and regional parties based on their performance in Lok Sabha elections.
    To be a National Party, any registered state/regional party must satisfy one of the three conditions:

    • It has to win a minimum of two per cent of the seats in the Lok Sabha from at least three different states.
    • In General Elections, the party must manage to win six per cent of the votes and win at least four Lok Sabha seats as well.
    • The party is recognized as a 'state level party' in four or more states.
    SP, BSP, JD, CPIM, etc apart from INC and BJP are all National Parties as well. Being a National Party gives you certain privileges, like a national election symbol. Here is the full list.
    That second rule above was specifically modified to allow CPI(M), BSP and NCP to retain their status. The ECI went out of its way to change that. Their vote share had gone to 0.8%- 4.1% in 2014. Here's the article for further reference. Here's the ECI page for Recognition and de-recognition.

    In 2007, BJP was called in for a de-recognition hearing by guess who? The same congress loyalist I talked about in my previous post. A Mr. Navin Chawla.

    I am. I don't think anybody can deny that the drug abuse problem and the SAD association with said problem were the topic that decided that election. In my opinion the insinuations made in the movie were incredibly relevant. But I can see how this might not be the same for everyone. So, sure,I might well be wrong on that one.

    In so much as the meaning within those words, yes. Mayawati asked Muslims to not vote for congress, so as not split the votes. In response to which Yogi said that if they have faith in Ali, then he has faith in Bajrang Bali. I mean, I'm no fan of Yogi (I hate his politics really), but he probably thought that was some kind of catchphrase.

    That's exactly it though. The ECI actually had the power to do it. To control the situation that is. If they had capitulated under Modi, they would have done it. Sending scores of CRPF is not a big deal anymore. They do it in J&K and a smaller response would have been easy. But who gain by this? Modi of course. And today we would read articles that Modi has CEC under his thumb. Oh wait, we're doing that regardless.

    .
    I'm sorry, but then you have a problem with every election since 1947. You also have a problem with the framing of our constitution, beginning with the arguments between Pandith Thakur Bhargava Das and Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. Even if you exclude everything in the past before 2014, you would still find problems. The Congress Manifesto for MP has Cow slaughter laws proposed in it. Every regional satrap, especially in the South, visits Temples with chants even when the MCC is in effect. The sheer amount of Money wasted by South Indian Politicians in pleasing gods could fill state coffers for a decade.
    The Media crowd has a problem with Modi doing it because he has a much greater influence on the people. But it is NOT against the rules. Nor is it ethically wrong.
    And procedure was followed. The ECI did not issue speaking orders. But the Lavasa letter shows why.
    This in no way removes my point.

    That was a joke. XD
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  15. The DarIm

    The DarIm Groundskeeper

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    Well, as far as I am aware, the problems in WB began when some 600+ voters in one village, who identified as Hindu, raised complaints that they were forcibly prevented from casting their votes, proving it with the lack of the blue ink on their index fingers. Simultaneously, the polling booths had votes that were being ascribed to the same voters.

    I don't support violence in any form, but I can definitely sympathize with the frustration of those people. Then the following news coverage pretty much forgot those people and focussed only on the violence. Which is like adding insult to injury.

    Regarding this, wasn't it Congress, and specifically Rahul Gandhi, who opened that particular circus for this election?
     
  16. Faun

    Faun Second Year

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    When you put it like that then most of the political parties are irrelevant. Particularly in this election where the BJP might not even need the alliance.

    I know that ECI recognises and derecognises political parties. I wasn't aware of the hearings, but reading through the articles published at the time anybody can tell that the ECI had no case. That was a major overreach on the ECIs part and letting Chawla on the hearing was a major procedural lapse, enough to vitiate the entire proceedings.


    The West Bengal situation is more on successive governments of India that first let the Communists do as they pleased and then the TMC got a free pass. The ECI could have done more, but its past that now.

    It's true that the BJP isn't the only political party that mixes politics with religion, but I had hoped they would have been able to move past that. 2014 General Elections had pushed the BJP in a position to transform Indian politics for good, but they didn't. 2019 has been a step backwards and a major disappointment.

    I know elections in the South are more expensive with politicians seeking favour of voters and the divine in the same breath. But that's true for all the states except the small less diverse states where similar vote Bank politics as the rest wouldn't work.

    The INC can still file their petition, but I don't think the SC will grant them any relief. Politicians and activists have made it a habit to institute frivolous litigations.
     
  17. crimson sun06

    crimson sun06 Unspeakable

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    As much as we all want it, you cannot really remove religion and caste from Indian politics. So can't really fault the BJP for playing that game either. Too much is at stake to let someone like Mayawati, Lalu or god forbid Rahul Gandhi take the reins.
     
  18. Genghiz Khan

    Genghiz Khan Order Member

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    At the end of the day, the major reason why people frame arguments against the BJP is because one, and perhaps the most important, they're more divisive than any other party out there today. Enough people ascribe this to Modi and Shah in particular, and I'm inclined to agree because the BJP under Atal Bihari was much more restrained. Choosing Sadhvi Pragya and Yogi Adityanath as important members of your party is, well, I dunno. Indicative might be the best word?

    Second, the BJP's economic record is spotty. I confess I don't have enough microeconomic training to be able to completely parse all the numbers and validate a bunch of stuff, but even I know that the implementation of the GST was a bit shit and demonetization was an exercise in futility at best, and a wannabe tyrant gone trigger happy at worst.

    Third, credibility of India's statistical institutions and the RBI is lower than it was under Manmohan Singh, at the very least. That's concerning. India's statistical offices have been held in high regard since independence, and to see them push out GDP numbers we all know to be false (for many reasons, one of which can be found here) makes me slightly uncomfortable, to put it mildly.

    Overall, however, as a friend pointed out to me once, this is nothing new. The Congress has done similar stuff in the past. There have been incompetent policy-makers and idiots on every side of the aisle. The issue is that the atmosphere of this election is the most communally charged I have ever seen in my short life. Invective from both sides is, well, extremely vulgar (if I am to be redundant). There is a certain gravitas which PMs like Atal Bihari and Manmohan made me used to which Modi seems not to hew to. I prefer my PMs to be Statesmen if they can manage it.

    To kind of boil it all down, I'm uncomfortable supporting a party backed by the RSS. In particular, any organisation which follows the precepts of Hindutva as laid down by Savarkar makes me nervous. To be quite honest, ideologies like Hindutva remind me too much of the rhetoric of tyrants like Orban, Netanyahu and Erdogan. As Sanjay Rajoura once said (I love this guy's interview but it's 45 mins long. I recommend watching the whole thing), if we want to be a religious state (a Hindu State in our case), then we can be assured of our future by looking at our Muslim State neighbors (no offense meant, of course). Pakistan is a Muslim state. Iran is one. They're not exactly paragons of development now, are they?

    To summarize, the BJP would be okay if they weren't Hindutva. I personally don't like Modi's speaking style, but that's just me. Maybe it works for other people? And none of this means I believe that Rahul Gandhi is the next coming of Christ or that all actions of the Congress were above-board. I am fully cognizant of the fact that had the Congress been a better party and had our leaders delivered the progress millions of Indians were hungry for in the past and remain hungry for today and been better stewards of our institutions, we wouldn't be having this argument. The BJP walks a well-paved path.

    I'm afraid that it might just be tempted to stray.
     
  19. crimson sun06

    crimson sun06 Unspeakable

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    There's little danger of India turning into a Hindu state as it's a factor mainly in the Hindi heartlands of UP and Bihar. Other than a stray incident here and there the South is mostly insulated and so is the north-east.

    Being a statesman did not help Vajpayee get a second term and Manmohan was a puppet at best.


    There will always be checks and balances and at the end of the day we just need to have faith in democracy and in ourselves as voters to make sure we don't stray too far.
     
  20. Genghiz Khan

    Genghiz Khan Order Member

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    I'm not as concerned about India turning into a Hindu state as I am by what happens even if we attempt going down that route. India has the world's second largest Muslim population. By and large, they've mostly been peaceful. If India creates an environment in which radicalization becomes a better option than remaining peaceful we're all going to be in big trouble. I do not suggest a policy of Muslim appeasement which has been followed by the Congress and a lot of other parties. However, implicating Muslims in cow slaughter, subtly turning the environment against them, creating a paradigm in which the PM remains mum on statements made by his own party people which are blatantly anti-muslim is definitely not part of a Muslim-neutral strategy. I don't ask for appeasement, I don't ask for repression. Just treat them like any other community, that's all. The entire shindig of erasing muslim names from cities, erasing the contributions of the Mughals to Indian arts, culture and history. I dunno, it just doesn't sit right with me. Calling these things stray incidents, imo, is downplaying just how significant they are.

    And more than that, things like erecting a statue of Sardar Patel, the entire Ram Mandir thing, gau mootra, anti-Romeo squads, and possibly a host of other things I don't know about doesn't really work for me. I get it. You're pro-Hindu. Why not show it by creating prosperity for Hindus? Metro stations, not mandirs (to be tongue in cheek)!

    You know, I'm not sure it hurt Vajpayee either. And as for Manmohan, again, being a puppet or not has nothing to do with being able to speak well. He won elections, did he not? Jawaharlal Nehru was his own man. He won elections by the bucketful. His language was very clean and pleasing to hear. One does not need shocking language to be heard.

    I really hope this is true. For both our sakes, I hope you're right. But looking at how democracy dies in Hungary, how it's being pulled down in Poland, in Turkey, in Brazil, the USA, and how the far-right is surging all over the world, I don't really feel very confident. Call me a pessimist, but I'd rather be actively worried than passively content.
     
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