Wanting a lean cabinet is one thing, but the selection of ministers does not invoke confidence.
Narendra Modi will be handling Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space. Given the secretive nature of India's nuclear establishment, and the very serious apprehensions regarding several existing and proposed nuclear plants, the ability and intent of Modi to demand and examine accountability and risks with regard to safety rather than merely push for more nuclear plants becomes paramount. I don't know if it exists. If he puts his mind to it, I imagine it will be a very good thing, but the pollution in Gujarat as well as interest in health doesn't look very promising.
Nitin Gadkari gets Road Transport and Highways! Sheer brilliance. Ideal Road Builders thanks Modi. Like Modi was lucky for Adani, Gadkari was lucky for IRB to the point of giving Gadkari's company interest free loans. There is good money in tolls we hear. Ask the guy who campaigned for Modi who has a habit of vandalizing them.
Arun Jaitley, whose grouse against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was that he was not elected will control the country's finance, corporate affairs and defense after losing the election he contested in. That too, to a Congress candidate. So, at best, it is a "let us see how he does".
Smriti Irani, who lost the election she contested in as well will be handling HRD, which includes education. Smriti Irani is 12th class pass, as Madhu Kishwar and Ajay Maken pointed out. While, as Swapan Dasgupta said "Someone remind me. Did Rabindranath Tagore go to university? he certainly established one & had enlightened views on education" is true, it doesn't immediately follow that every uneducated person is a potential Rabindranath Tagore who was a polymath, while Smriti Irani hasn't been associated with intellectual pursuits as far as I am aware. Worse, she apparently has lied about her education on an earlier election affidavit. Nor was Rabindranath Tagore given the responsibility of handling the Nation's education and I don't think he'd lie about his qualifications either. I am no educational snob, and I don't necessarily see India's graduations as a qualification, so for me at least, this isn't a minus as much as a wildcard. Not something you know enough about to expect performance.
Uma Bharati, the 6th class pass and with 13 criminal cases against her, and a key player in the Babri Masjid demolition gets Water resources, river development and Ganga Rejuvenation. On the good side, she had been demanding fighting pollution and illegal quarrying on the Ganga. Considering that much of the sand mafia has BJP blessings, she may actually be able to do some good by pulling them up - or covering up... but for all the undesirable qualities, Uma Bharati does not come across as deceitful. I actually respect her for that. So I am hoping for the Ganga at least. Looks like she gets to put her money where her mouth was. I imagine if she gets sentenced in her cases, Modi will do a Maya Kodnani rerun and pretend ignorance.
Sanjeev Balian, Muzafarnagar riots accused, is Minister of State and Modi's second opportunity to claim ignorance in the future if he fails to protect him.
Inderjit Singh Rao, Minister of state for Planning (Independent Charge), Statistics and Programme Implementation (Independent Charge), and Defence had been accused by the BJP in the Kandivli Defense Land Scam. Dr. Kirit Somaiya had called it Adarsh II. Rao Inderjit Singh was then Union Defence Minister of State for Defence Production, and as per Dr. Somaiya, he had directed his personal secretary to ask the military authorities in Mumbai to hand over the defence land to Kalpataru builders. Dr. Somaiya was BJP National Secretary and Chairman Scam Expose Committee for BJP. I assume he wasn't just doing false accusations, right?I suppose doing such things as a part of Congress was the problem. Now that he is BJP, he may proceed? Seriously? Adarsh II is now Adarsh the role model?
Former Army Chief, the controversial V K Singh is Minister of state for the northeast. I can't imagine north east with its serious grievances about the AFSPA will really find a representative in a former army chief, thought the government will likely count on his experience as well as be influenced by his views on the key issue.
I haven't been through whole list yet, but this cabinet looks like putting the cat in charge of guarding the milk. I imagine with no fear of the media and no opposition to name as such, one doesn't really have to bother about election promises of ending corruption and such for another four years at least.
As Modi's war on India reaches its final stages, skilled professionalism carefully wipes out any specks on the elaborate facade.
Mukesh Ambani sues the government for his oil prices, seemingly without waiting for a BJP rule, just in time for elections. In an astonishing display of media independence, all of Indian media refuses to serve his interests even if he owns major stakes in several of them, and plod along determinedly covering cliches. They, with their ready intellectual panels don't lift a finger to help his interests. Yeah. Right. Because gas prices are hardly a national issue! Why should they cover when the election circus is cued for broadcrebuttingast? At best, this is to create a perception in the minds of people that Ambani isn't counting on Modi to lay golden eggs. The timing of the reminder is very elegant too. Day after campaigning ends in Varanasi, so no question of anyone reminding which MLA controls which portfolios in Gujarat and since when, on the ground in Varanasi.
Carefully scripted news interviews to known supporting journalists have served to project a facade that Modi has answered critics transparently, when he wasn't criticized at all on the interviews. Interviewers have managed to not ask him anything that will get him nailed. Some of this has been so blatant, that the India TV interview was ridiculed for having an applause track in the form of a worshipful audience the way comedy shows have a laughter track - regardless of what he said. This saw Qamar Waheed Naqvi, editorial director resigning in disgust, though Rajat Sharma seems to not understand what was wrong with the interview. After all, it was live, no?
Print interview carefully authored by someone not Modi, in language way beyond anything Modi has shown competence with carefully plaster over some of the more skillful perception juggling that Modi probably couldn't handle in person. Thankfully, this interview finally upgrades the Modi trolls from the Subramanian Swamy issued "Naxals" to "Maoists" apart from the perception mongering of Modi as a moderate leader. Incidentally, this is the same Modi that called "trophy" "toffee" in a speech attended by thousands. "Anachronistic" and "detriment" used by Modi? I haven't heard him speak English that well ever, and not even his Hindi speeches cover the meaning of these words in the manner used in the interview. Would like to hear the audio recording of the interview to believe it isn't paid media.
Within two days, Modi appears before the usually shouting, now silent Arnab, manages to speak uninterrupted for as long as he likes and fixes another major criticism of Maya Kodnani being on his cabinet saying there were no charges against her when he appointed her. Right. An FIR 12 days after the riot couldn't result in charges in five years, is what he is saying, in super efficient Gujarat. So which one does it mean? Super efficient at preventing criminals from coming to justice or so efficient that entire fact finding committee reports couldn't make the Chief Minister aware of the grave acts of Maya Kodnani? Arnab lets it pass like the lamb that he is.
The interview with Arnab actually goes a step ahead and claims Modi to be the victim of media not reporting things he says. This is rather rich, speaking on a channel that officially ran tags mud slinging his opponents using interpretations worthy of being issued by BJP trolls themselves and on the same day as Modi hogging Prime Time TV as per CMS media analysis was the other important headline related with him. And he actually says "When I made her a Minister, she was not facing any charges, for your information. But still, I feel she has the right to get justice for herself from many courts. As a citizen, she has that right. Let her have it." Has he forgotten that Maya Kodnani was convicted? He still doesn't seem to think there was any mistake in appointing her to power. Lucky for him, Arnab is such a tolerant fellow.
These are just some examples, but the final stage of the Modi make up is basically to collect all criticism and answer it in a way that fools all but those aware of issues with open collusion with the media. The task now is to present plausible explanations for as much criticism as possible before people press buttons on EVMs - whether the explanation is true or not.
Maya Kodnani, once the woman RSS, the proof of the pudding.
"It wasn't hard to see why. Kodnani's star was on the rise after the riots. Mentored by none less than party patriarch LK Advani, she won the 2002 elections that followed the brutal riots by a thumping majority and by 2007 had been elevated to MoS for women and child development." -How will Modi explain his minister’s role in the riots? Firstpost.com
In December 2002 Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi gave Maya Kodnani ticket to contest State Assembly elections, even after serious AND true charges against her for 10 months since February. And He gave her the chance and the prize of a Gujarat Government Ministry yet again in 2007, that too ironically the "Women and Child Development" Minister!
Why did she win 2002 elections? Why did people still elect her?
What made the people of Gujarat keep electing Maya Kodnani, even the next 2007 term in the next 7 years even when there were grave charges against her including those that people saw her leading the mobs?
What GOOD that Sinner COULD do and did by winning and winning elections again?
What did the Gujarat Government do until she was convicted and put in jail by Supreme Court monitored SIT, for 28 YEARS?
After so much simple evidence before the Strong and Stable Gujarat Government chose to appoint her Women and Child Welfare Minister.
Are you kidding me?
Just because Kodnani was STILL winning by LARGE MARGINS! The usual banter goes with the countering of public anger at mis-governance through denials. Tell me if you haven’t had enough of those sorry-it-didn’t-happen (because it would shame our administration) defences from all concerned, liable authorities ever since independent India has been governed. It works to shrug off when your guilt is collective, dividing the shame, emboldening the lie. But if you forego those I’m sure you’re deathly bored... sorry, furious at the denial tantrums of the UPA government for last 10 years, which feels as if we’re so immature as a democracy that we had only the British Raj just before that to have had that misfortune.
Fans come out and profess Modi didn’t know! He wasn’t supposed to know all that, what goes on under him! It’s the job of the courts and the police not the Government!! Yeah Right, Kindly read on!
So why are you angry with UPA’s 10 year stable government? The same God forsaken logical reasons, they won’t act on the apparent wrongs in the regime! Deny Deny... Deny Deny Deny... (To rhyme with a pithy character from Inglourious Basterds)
Please, Understand THIS:
Maya Kodnani won elections 3 times in succession, including 2 times after her Criminal involvement in 2002 riots (As Anti-Hindu act as it can get).
AFTER her 3rd time winning, and being elevated as a Minister by her ‘ignorant’ mentors, she WAS convicted for facilitating the riots in Naroda Patiya and the massacre of 96 innocent lives (35 children!). [Fan: What Bullshit! Godhra train massacre called for it!] Congratulation! You don’t want justice for that, but to be equally, rather, more evil. Remind yourself, it began with the date of December 6, 1992.
Kodnani’s conviction, 28 years in prison, proves that WINNING elections doesn't prove ANY person innocent, voters can't give Clean Chits! And No INDIVIDUAL or PARTY can claim so (all established parties bat for it) citing 'WINABILITY'!
The "Innocent Until Proven Guilty" argument doesn't help innocent victims like you and me under the grave charges such as Murder of 96 people of which 35 are children. Law may well take its course, but not at the cost of civilisation. You have to demarcate line of accountability, before someone proliferates the injustice reaches your own doorstep. Look at Pakistan, we, as in the rest of the world, hold it accountable for its own misfortune because “we know” it abetted the denials it sought for the wrongs in their own backyard.
What does it Say about the people who buy into the above argument by the vested interests? They fall prey to the propaganda of false opportunism of misinformation and when it gets too hot to handle the indefensible; they are discredited and distanced from the pompous commotion of greed disguised as a public service. Wait for your turn to be Ramesh Pratap Singh, Pawan Pandey... .
"Kodnani’s name came up in witness testimony immediately after the massacre ended. The fact that she was eventually convicted 10 years later came as no surprise to anyone in Gujarat.
Even if the evidence required for the charge sheet was only gathered by 2009 thanks to the Supreme Court-monitored SIT,
THE FACTS about her involvement ought to have been known to Modi in December 2002, when he gave her a ticket to fight from the Naroda constituency, and in 2007, when he brought her into his cabinet.
IF THEY WERE NOT, this shows, at best, that his administration lacked basic administrative and intelligence gathering skills.
A LEADER that INCAPABLE of SIMPLE ADMINISTRATION, of knowing what goes on in his CONTROL?
HOW SAFE do you feel?
More on ‘Capacity’ of Control later.
Because HE’S BUSY, Modi gave an "explanation" in a (soft) ANI interview that he HAS NOT seen (even after a whole week?) Amit Shah's Hate speech that got the latter BANNED by the EC, along with an EQUALLY guilty MAN on the OTHER SIDE of the fence, Azam Khan. Shah is the right hand man of Modi, their public identities are interlocked in so many ways for Mr. Modi to overlook such shame to be banned by EC to hold public meetings.
Modi is the undisputed Election Campaign Manager of the BJP, has personal stake (wannabe PM), and yet he gives away such an explanation to the nation? AMIT SHAH was his Home Minister in Gujarat before being 'BANNED' from there, and Modi DOESN'T THINK it necessary what his MAIN GUYS are doing or are accused of? That's his LEADERSHIP?
AND THAT IS THE MOST BASIC QUESTION MR. NARENDRA MODI HAS SO CONSPICUOUSLY BEEN AVOIDING:
WHAT LED YOU, Mr. Modi, to believe that Gujarat, in 2002 riots and later, with its Strong – Stable Government DID NOT have worthy evidence to investigate and charge Maya Kodnani for her crimes instead of rewarding such a sinner with productive political career?
Rahul Sharma’s evidence, contribution and persecution:
Why don’t the judiciary take suo moto cognizance of the apparent direct relations of the case involving the obstruction of evidence and subsequent persecution after the fact that the same evidence held the prime accused, Then Minister Maya Kodnani, guilty of massacre?
One of the things all Indians, including Modi voters, should be ashamed of is how we have allowed Modi to treat Rahul Sharma. This brave Indian Police Service, or IPS, officer tracked the movements of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) thugs who participated in the rioting. He did so by going to mobile phone operators and securing data from their signal towers to track cellphones. This is how we came to establish that Modi’s minister for women and child development, Maya Kodnani, was involved in the murder of 97 Gujaratis, among them 33 children and 32 women, in Naroda Patiya, Ahmedabad.
The evidence and the reasons for Maya Kodnani’s conviction for 28 years in jail were so obvious and basic that the Gujarat Government’s ‘inability’/’incapacity’ to suspend her and allow the investigative proceedings to fruition. INSTEAD, IT TOOK SUPREME COURT Monitored SIT to facilitate further investigations THAT GOT HER to be punished, NOT GOVERNMENT whom you’d expect.
It’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you. Batman Begins, 2005.
It is an axiom that will ring a bell for aficionados of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.
It is also a maxim that effectively defines leadership. In politics, it is not just what you do but also what you do not or fail to do that you are defined by eventually.– indianexpress on UPA’s Manmohan Singh. I’m sure you’ll like it :-/
So you know what Governments, this or that, have on stake. Unless we make them accountable to “We The People”, we are at a loss. Sigh :-/
Investigation and Apparent Justice, another case:
Why the SIT is considered limited in its findings were the same obvious reasons listed elsewhere and similar to the 1984 Sikh Massacre during the MOST Strong and Stable Congress regime:
“Ironically, I have been hounded for 25 years. A number of cases have been filed against me on flimsy grounds. They do it even today... the politicians, the senior bureaucrats. Their role came under question.” Police used political clout to stop my probe - http://www.tehelka.com/police-used-political-clout-to-stop-my-probe/ (Ya that’s a “Congi outfit”, there T-Team. Surprised?)
So cheer the Strong – Stable Leaderships that can do so much!
The war that was brewing on the internet since 2009 seems to have been unleashed on the country at large, and it is increasingly looking like the rotten framework of India is powerless to withstand it. A defeated, demoralized Congress cowers from the consequences of its own choices and is too busy navel gazing to see the larger picture beyond the "alarming" rise of the right wing. Liberal elites are content with posing opinions from the high perch of a supposed neutrality.
On the ground, the country is savagely sabotaged and enslaved in the worst of ways with the political collusion of the Congress that would rather protect itself from accusations by not provoking BJP. The demon of communal fanatism that the Congress let thrive in order to point at it and look angelic has cannibalized the Congress, the BJP itself and is headed for the country.
That BJP saw a winning horse in the success of the 2002 riots is hardly a secret, no matter how much "development" it is coated with. The relentless exploitation of every weakness of the system to cover up and present a facade of noble ideals has led to an unprecedented war on India from within. Defended staunchly when exposed, otherwise sinking into obscurity and letting the "development story" unfold.
While most of BJP supporters appear to be moderate, educated and supposedly law abiding, they have stood the test of time, never deviating from seeing Modi as the ideal, no matter what inhumanity gets exposed.
There is abundant evidence that the Gujarat state rewarded those guilty of riots and did its best to defend them. Maya Kodnani, responsible for several deaths and inciting mobs into murder got the Ministry for Women and Children. That bubble burst only with the dedicated efforts of activists (who were continuously painted as enemies of India). Babu Bajrangi's sting that shows a chilling insight into the matter-of-fact butchery. This ought to be enough for anyone who puts country over religion, political party or community to shun the BJP. But those accusing Muslims of putting religion over country are consistently doing it themselves. Very very few BJP supporters stopped being BJP supporters because Hindus killed Muslims who were Indians too.
This pattern repeats over and over. The Ishrat Jahan case showed clear extra-judicial murder. With complete disregard for the law and complete lack of apology for disregarding the law, BJP supporters insist that she was a terrorist, and that is why it is ok. Her being a terrorist is disputed, and even if she were a terrorist, a custodial killing faked as an encounter is cold murder. The acceptance of the Hindutva war machine disguised as the arms of the state replacing the judicial system makes a mockery of claims of patriotism.
Vanzara's letter from prison after the arrest of Asaram makes it clear that he had abdicated his duty to the country and had pledged his loyalty to the dictator in waiting and that the fake encounters were indeed fake. Aseemanand seems to take pride in his role in Hindu terror and is clear on the approval he got from the top leadership of the RSS. Revelations such as these get dismissed as "political conspiracy" even when they fit the facts better than the evasions and excuses BJP makes. Aseemanand's case is even more strange. His statement before a magistrate is apparently fake. His sting interview is apparently fake. Why? Because his lawyer says so. While Aseemanand himself consistently says something else.
The lack of convictions of BJP's guilt, when the state machinery being systematically misused to prevent justice and destroy evidence is abundantly on record. Cases transferred out of Gujarat have done better. It is no coincidence that Modi's sidekick Amit Shah was forced to leave Gujarat to protect the trials.
Over the years, BJP has successfully woven a story of its dictator in waiting being a victim of a false conspiracy to malign him and that he had tried his best during the riots and other bullshit, when Babu Bajrangi's video clearly states Modi's approval.
Modi's own speeches during his election campaign after the riots make no hint of any apology and in fact endorse the riots as a justified response by a majority to traitors within. This too is parroted by his followers by presenting "proofs" of Muslim duplicity, while Modi's speeches are conveniently wiped from public memory. The original videos are taken down from youtube - this is not possible without media collusion, because copies can be removed citing copyright violation, but the originals, uploaded by media channels must be deleted by the channels themselves. Yet content has a way of never dying on the internet, and the award winning documentary "The Final Solution" on the Gujarat riots (dismissed as a conspiracy) contains footage of the speeches (which cannot be dismissed as did not happen):
This, in no way sounds like Modi had any intention whatsoever of preventing the riots, as BJP likes to claim. Not only are BJP supporters keen to take whatever stand allows them to continue supporting Modi without embarrassment - however flimsy - they have over the years contributing to inventing his innocence through sheer repetition of their preferred interpretation and discrediting anyone who says otherwise. This has nothing to do with logic, but then critical thinking is the first victim of mental colonization.
This is clearly the formation of an alternative force within the country that follows its own laws and considers the country's laws and constitution to be optional, while creating a huge noise about patriotism.
There is no alarm that a woman was put under comprehensive surveillance, including surveillance of those she met - a deployment of security forces completely off the record, for the personal interest of the Chief Minister. The man she met, has - independently of this sting - been implicated in cases filed against him by the state government and he is appealing to the Supreme Court to investigate call records of an another Reliance number Modi used to verify his claims of being framed. BJP dismissed this sting with a letter from the woman's father that he had asked for the woman to be protected. BJP doesn't seem to have any problem with the idea that a Chief Minister uses state security for personal reasons without any record. Even if offered at her father's behest, why would protection have to be secret, so that the supposed person at risk doesn't know there is help if she needed it?
But then the BJP has consistently endorsed absolutely every show of force against minorities in recent times and every illegal action by an entity affiliated with them - no matter how illegal, inhuman or unpatriotic it is. BJP ruled states have consistently been soft on criminals supporting BJP terrorizing and assaulting citizens. The only exception is backing off on allowing Sri Ram Sene (of the pink chaddi, pub attack and hoisting Pakistan flag on govt building fame) leader Pramod Muthalik when reactions were impossible to defend against. Supporters who were horrified quickly got over their horror and purred that the BJP listened to them, quite ignoring that BJP did not see anything wrong with inducting him in the first place.
It is war, and it is psyops and disinformation and strategic use of force and whatever it takes to win it. "Truth" is whatever strategy for this win determines it is. An unaccountability is generated by keeping mouthpieces "independent" and "apolitical" as far as possible. Thugs are "unaffiliated". Other than bursts of spontaneous violence, violence that is congruent with the BJP views (and defended by BJP supporters and enjoys impunity in BJP ruled states) usually happens as the actions of random Hindu groups and not BJP - ideally, even RSS will claim to not be affiliated, though they may express approval and pride - as in the Mangalore homestay attack. The guy who assaulted Prashant Bhushan three years ago is now officially in BJP and distributing pamphlets of Kejriwal as Osama Bin Laden at last report. At that time BJP was pretending to support the Jan Lokpal Andolan and he was "unaffiliated".
This election has been a season where the masks fall off and it is too late to do anything about it. The media is already trained to juggle serious accusations and manipulate them into oblivion. Particularly the TV channels. Newspapers are more difficult to control. The internet is impossible to control, and it is here that you find abundant criticism and stripping of this party of treachery of India. But the penetration of internet for news in India is so miniscule, that the counter narrative rarely reaches those on the ground. The stage is set for the large machinery to swing into action, using seemingly unlimited and incomprehensible funds that are not explained by what they declare to the Election Commission.
The BJP propaganda machine claims a wave. And there is indeed a wave in propaganda. Modi stares at you from hoardings, from newspapers, from your TV screens, from internet websites you visit, from pamphlets slipped in your newspaper. The radio tells you to vote for Modi too. The money spent on this is a mind boggling 5000 crores. Yet, the BJP chooses to employ unethical means of disinforming the voter to dissuade them from other possible alternatives. Pamphlets declaring Kejriwal to be a terrorist are circulated in Varanasi before Modi calls him AK49 in a speech. Stories that expose wrongs by BJP are swiftly killed by a media that can spend hours of prime time discussing the imlications of a 10 year old blog post and toppled metal detectors, but not video tapes where "service providers" offer to trigger riots in the country or discredit Rahul Gandhi by spreading rumors that he participated in the gang rape of a woman just before the elections. Hours can be spent discussing a "fingertip rape" where the absolute of guilt is unequivocally discussed, but not the Muzaffarnagar rapes, which served to unite the Hindu vote in favor of BJP uniting dalits and Jats in an eerie echo of the Gujarat riots. Media glosses over those accused in riots getting honored in public ceremonies and getting tickets to contest elections, while the side kick of "Development Man" Modi goes around evoking the riots, claiming the aggressor as the victim and encouraging them to take revenge through the polls. Not unlike Modi's election campaign after the Gujarat riots, where he gave massive speeches explaining how Hindus had been wronged. He won those with a massive margin.
This too is not enough. BJP is so confident of a Modi wave in the population, that they and their allies are putting up fake candidates to sabotage chances of competitors. Media cannot see this as relevant to elections. Complete blackout. But then media themselves are using doctored surveys to project "people's opinion" to favor who they want to encourage people to believe some parties to be more popular and others less popular than they really are, and thus influence voting patterns with classic middle class Indian "everybody thinks". Why would they expose affiliated processes?
It is amazing that the AAP support continues to grow on the ground in spite of a sustained vicious campaign against them aimed at showing them everything from corrupt to terrorist, opportunistic, rapists, rioters and worse. It would seem that the real problem with a 67 year old India is a party that was formed 2 years ago. BJP clearly sees AAP as a sustained threat remaining after the Congress is rather visibly defeated.
And we have the final assault on the country. Aam Aadmi Party representatives have reported compromised poll booths at 110 places in Gurgaon with the nature of compromise ranging from some fake voting during parts of the day to completely BJP controlled booths with mobs of supporters outside, BJP volunteers pressing buttons on the voting machine on behalf of voters, non-secret voting with threats to voters, AAP agents forced to leave and more. This is the open assault on democracy - no matter what party does it and apart from stray reports like INLD in Mewat, it is clear that BJP is massively engaging in electoral rigging. Media has so far maintained complete silence on this. The toothless Election Commission appears to be severely compromised as well.
Given the BJP's sustained insecurity and methods employed to ensure success, it becomes clear that BJP does not care for democracy or India, and is merely interested in controlling the country to profit its undisclosed investors making expenses comparable with the country's.
In my view, a BJP win is still unlikely given that the BJP themselves appear to think that they need to use illegal practices to win. However, what is clear, is that BJP has declared war on India that it intends to win with any means possible. The idea of people of India having a right to choose is not a consideration, just as the rights of the country being attacked are not a concern for invaders . An immoral media is already on the side of colonists, before they have won, encouraging the people to believe that the entity that is actually silencing their right is what they need.
Regardless of the results of this election, India is entering a phase that will make or break it. BJP losing this election will likely expose this further (but not stop it). BJP winning this election will put us firmly on the Pakistan path, only with a "superior and tolerant" religion.
India has hardly faced such attempts at takeover for the first time. The Maoists tried it and were eventually banned as a party and became open about their not recognizing the Indian state as their government and have proceeded to capture parts of the country. BJP on the other hand has not made the mistakes the Maoists made in their bid for the takeover. They have successfully captured the media and business cartels before making their play. This is not unlike what the Congress did for years (which is also how they could "kick the Maoists out" of the legal stakes for representation), if only in a more subtle way, which leaves the government powerless to confront this takeover without wading through their own skeletons.
Not to mention the Congress being exposed in scams without adequate action has lost them support of people, and the little inadequate action they were forced to take has lost them support of the business cartels. They are effectively in a place of "dhobi ka kutta na ghar ka na ghat ka" that is going to be very difficult to recover without complete reinvention - which they so far seem unable to face. They are still clinging to the defaults that left them wide open to corruption for the sake of the support those cartels get - which has already left for other pastures, nicely persuaded by the media machine that the Congress is a corrupt party whitewashing the others in the process and ignoring that the UPA is the only power in rule since the RTI was passed - which is at the root of most disclosures. On a stray note, the Gujarat government was sitting on 14,000 unanswered RTI queries this time last year. That is one way of preventing scam exposes and looking honest, I guess.
BJP is hardly the only party to realize that no information to public is no exposing of self as all six National Parties ordered to institute a Public Inormation Officer by the CIC have simply.... not appointed them. So there is literally no way of getting information on who profits from the bullshit being fed to the country, who supports the spread of this bullshit and how much money goes into facilitating all this.
The Aam Aadmi Party is still young and powerless. Even if they won the elections with a sweeping majority (which they are unlikely to), they cannot match organized thug power that is entrenched into the very fiber of the country through sustained sabotage of democracy when the pillars of democracy themselves have been infiltrated.
And at this point, there is little difference between BJP and Modi. Senior politicians are sidelined. Opposing views sabotaged. The Modi cult prevails, the others must survive or exist. One only needs to look at the leadership within the BJP and the respect for diversity and differences to get an idea of what India is in store for - whether the BJP wins this election or not.
Regardless of who wins this election, India is in for a period of class struggles and violence - whether physical or economic. And we only have ourselves to blame for seeing only what we wanted to see till too late. A BJP government will result in India's undeclared Emergency and BJP not winning will result in immediate riots and less immediate attempts to topple whatever government forms. Whatever funding they have demonstrated so far is not going to sit idle and be okay with BJP not being in power. Return on Investment will demand that the piper be paid.
As the election fever hots up, the BJP - seen as the front-runner across most opinion polls - is dishing out a campaign which is a heady cocktail of Hindutva and promises of development. Having comprehensively failed in 2009 when it tried to make the Advani-Manmohan Singh fight a personality, rather than an ideology contest, the BJP this time seems to have wisened up.
Though, like Advani, Modi's campaign too projects him as a larger-than-life figure, with the most recent slogan 'Har Har Modi' giving him the place of 'Mahadev', his PR machinery is usually quick to balance such outward expressions of Hindutva with something more palatable for the urban masses - such as economic growth. Most recently, the focus has now shifted to women's safety, which in post-Nirbhaya India is yet another urban buzzword.
While supporters hail Modi for the development Gujarat has witnessed under his stewardship, critics often say that his 'development messiah' image is an organized effort to wash off the stains of 2002. The BJP usually cites the clean-chit given to Modi by the SIT to rubbish such claims, but his image isn't spotlessly clean across all parameters. In the context of women's safety, nothing can be a bigger indictment of the 'Modi Model of Governance' than the conviction of former Gujarat cabinet Minister for Women and Child Development - Maya Kodnani - in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre.
One would imagine that the fact that Modi not only defended, but also assigned the WCD portfolio to a woman who later went on to be convicted of orchestrating the massacre of several innocent women and children, and the embarrassment that he faced in the Snoopgate scandal would make Modi a pariah when it comes to women's safety - but apparently PR, and collective amnesia around election season work wonders!
Not only is Modi not seen as a man who does not take the safety of women and children seriously, we are now seeing the emergence of a Ramboesque image of NaMo in this regard as well! But how serious is Modi about Women's safety indeed?
Let's give Modi the benefit of doubt and look beyond the Kodnani verdict though. Let's examine what he has done for the safety of women in Gujarat post 2009. Here, two prominent initiatives standout - both of them being helplines - the first being '1091 Police HEART Helpline for Women and Children' launched in 2013 and other being 'Abhayam Women's Helpline - 181' which was launched just last month. The focus of this post is the latter but before that let's examine the initiatives pertaining to the well-being of women that were present before Abhayam.
Gujarat, prior to the launch of Abhayam had already launched a widely acclaimed 108 Medical Emergency Helpline in 2010, which is run by GVK EMRI (which as the press release for Abhayam claims is also present in 16 other states in India). While 108 wasn't a women centric service, there were positive reports that suggested that the services were being utilized majorly by tribal women. Soon enough, Modi launched an additional service named Khilkhilahat which utilized the phased out 108 vans in conjunction once again with GVK-EMRI in 2012. And finally the HEART Helpline was launched early 2013. Between 108, 1091 HEART Helpline and Khilkhilahat, one can say Gujarat has a sufficient number of women-centric services. Which brings to the question - why another helpline?
One might argue thar Abhayam is merely Gujarat's installment of the 181 helpline mandated by the centre post-Nirbhaya. But that is where the question of whom it plans to benefit emerges. While the 108 helpline follows a PPP model across the country, 181 is essentially meant to be run by the State Government, as was the case in Delhi. The Government of Gujarat, on the other hand, adopted the PPP model in this case as well, by roping in GVK-EMRI once again. While GVK has successfully run medical emergency helpline services across the country, the question to be asked is what expertise did GVK bring to the table with regard to women's safety? None at all. In fact, if insider information is to be believed, the development of the helpline protocols, and the training for the employees was outsourced to external NGOs and institutions like the Tata Institute of Social Sciences by GVK. This makes GVKs involvement in the whole project questionable.
While it is true that the centre had directed each state to introduce a helpline service for women, Gujarat could have done without one, given the numerous helpline services that already existed. In fact, even a cursory glance at the press releases of 1091 Police HEART Helpline and 'Abhayam Women's Helpline - 181 reveals an extensive amount of duplication of services.
For example, both HEART and Abhayam promise 'rescue in emergency situations'. While the press release for Abhayam states that it will be synchronized with the existing helpline services, it appears that both helplines have independent rescue services. While HEART is essentially a Police helpline, Abhayam's idea of 'rescue-officers' is rather vague. Further, the HEART helpline clearly mentions that the location of the caller is tracked automatically, regardless of the phone being used. Abhayam's stance on the same is not clear. However, if a service which purports itself to be a counselling helpline does track the location of its callers, while at the same time promising "that information given at the time of call will be kept undisclosed" we are heading back towards Snoopgate territory.
But that's not the only way Abhayam makes Modi's committment towards these issues suspect. While the helpline went live only in February 2014, recruitment for the same happened as early as October 2013 (see image). Insider information reveals that the recruitment and in fact the entire training process for approximately 50-60 staff members was completed within the month of October itself. In other words, the helpline could very well have been launched as early as November 2013. However this could not be done as Narendra Modi was on the campaign trail. In other words, an additional project which essentially duplicates a service already in place was delayed by 4 months as Modi was unavailable to inaugurate the service. What's more is that Modi himself did not inaugurate the service in the end!
While the BJP criticized the Aam Aadmi Party for the shutting down of the 181 Helpline in Delhi, despite Kejriwal's claims that he had sanctioned payment for the helpline staff till 31st March 2014 - one wonders how the BJP justifies keeping 60 idle staff members on payrolls for 4 months.
If one were to calculate the cost to the taxpayer for the salaries paid to these staff members for the 4 months they were idle, it works out upwards of Rs. 30 lakhs (the salaries for approx 60 helpline counsellors are believed to be around Rs.15000/-). While 30 lakhs is small change around election season, it is still a waste nonetheless. On the other hand, if the employees were not paid until the helpline began, that would be grossly unjust as the delay was not a fault on their part. At the same time, while GVK-EMRI claims to be not-for-profit initiative, there is no clear information with regard to the amount paid to GVK for these initiatives.
Abhayam also has a bizarre age cut-off for access of its services (14 years and above), and initially will launch only in Ahmedabad city, Surat City and Gandhinagar District. The helpline however is being touted as a 24*7 state level free helpline.
While the intention is certainly noble, the fact that (yet) another PPP has been handed over to GVK-EMRI which has no demonstrable experience in women's safety, the launch of HEART helpline merely a year ago and the utterly limited scope of Abhayam - makes one wonder whether Modi is serious about Gujarat, or about the well-being of women at large, or whether the helpline is yet another pre-poll publicity stunt!