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Lalu Prasad Yadav's candid remark on "Even Hindus eat " appears to have shocked Sushil Kumar , and he's asking Sonia Gandhi and Nitish Kumar for explanations, as though there is something difficult to comprehend about a four word sentence.

While the is busy rewriting and and science and textbooks to studiously insert belief everywhere and anywhere, and undermining organizations of learning by installing carefully mediocre (read incompetent) people to key positions, surely the supposed gatekeepers are not unaware of the fact that Hindus can and do eat beef.

I personally know several Brahmins who have eaten beef. I know plenty of Hindus abroad who eat beef. My first taste of beef was a can of corned beef on a trek - brought along by someone whose father was a senior leader of a BJP affiliate party. That too a girl. And this is the Brahmins. The supposed vegetarians, all mentioned so far. Plenty of non-vegetarian friends eat beef. In my late teens and early twenties, I went to the bhendi bazaar almost religiously every Friday, to pick up cheap and interesting things - particularly art materials. One of the friends on the group - a CKP - a meat eating considered very upper caste and equals of Brahmins was a total beef fan. If he went to Bhendi bazaar, it was impossible to get him out without eating beef in one of the restaurants there - I forget the name now. I have had beef several times with him, though at that point I was mostly a vegetarian and lived in a Brahmin society, so these experiences came largely in the company of other meat eaters - not just beef, even chicken or other meat.

Kerala BJP leader Surendran enjoying parotta and beef
Kerala BJP leader Surendran enjoying parotta and beef
Over the years, I have heard of countless Hindus eating beef. Perhaps Sushil Kumar Modi is not aware, but there are photos of BJP leaders eating beef as well. In Kerala. In 2013, BJP Tribal leader Devlal Dugga sacrificed a cow to a tribal deity in his native village of Khadka in Narayanpur district of Chattisgarh - against the wishes of local villagers and in a place where animal sacrifices had been banned. As recently as a couple of weeks ago, BJP leader in - Khurshid Ahmed Malik (probably not Hindu unless gharwapsied) threw a beef party protesting the beef ban in Jammu and Kashmir and invited Hindus and Muslims. In 2012, dalits organized a beef eating festival in protest of a beef ban imposed on the college campus at Osmania University. ABVP activists even gatecrashed and got violent there, so it isn't as though BJP didn't know. If you look at the campaign page of the beef and pork eating campaign at JNU, you will notice that most of the profiles listed sound Hindu.

Beef is happily eaten in the northeast tribes, in West Bengal. Countless Hindus have openly stated on various social that they do eat beef in the last few days. Like waving "hello! Hindu here. Eats beef."

And this is hardly a new thing.

Here's Savarkar for you.

When humanitarian interests are not served and in fact harmed by the cow and when humanism is shamed, self-defeating extreme cow protection should be rejected…(Samagra Savarkar vangmaya, Vol. 3, p.341)

This is Vivekananda:

If we did not eat beef and mutton, there would be no butchers. Eating meat is only allowable for people who do very hard work, and who are not going to be Bhaktas; but if you are going to be Bhaktas, you should avoid meat.

The Brahmins at one time ate beef and married Sudras. [A] calf was killed to please a guest. Sudras cooked for Brahmins.[Source]

There was a time in this very when, without eating beef, no Brahmin could remain a Brahmin; you read in the Vedas how, when a Sannyasin, a king, or a great man came into a house, the best bullock was killed; how in time it was found that as we were an agricultural race, killing the best bulls meant annihilation of the race. Therefore the practice was stopped, and a voice was raised against the killing of cows.[Source]

Vivekananda is even alleged to have eaten beef himself (though he has also given contradictory quotes claiming no Hindu eats beef - worth a separate article to examine what he said and to which audience).

So, either an organization claiming to speak about Hindus is ignorant about Hindus, or it pretends to call everyone it can lay its hands on as Hindus, but in the end will only recognize its core upper caste cartel as real Hindus. BJP has to decide whether beef eating castes and tribes it claims under Hinduism are Hindu or not. It has to decide whether the Buddhists it calls Hindu are Hindu or not. If yes, then Hindus most certainly eat beef. If not, they must stop lying in election campaigns and propaganda about the holy cow and Hindu Rashtra. Though of course, Sushil Kumar Modi may not think of beef-eating dalits as Hindus, given how his name was implicated in support to murderers of dalits from the Ranvir Sena. Surely a son of wouldn't endorse of Hindus like some invading Mughal?

Surely the messiahs of Hindus wouldn't do the most harm to Hindus with beef bans?

Because, even Savarkar had the nature of upper caste zealotry nailed, and himself being atheist and uneasy with and had explicitly said:

…When humanitarian interests are not served and in fact harmed by the cow and when humanism is shamed, self-defeating extreme cow protection should be rejected…(Samagra Savarkar vangmaya, Vol. 3, p.341)

Ring any bells about Dadri and zealot leaders recommending murder on national television?

But then that is exactly what BJP is doing, no? Creating an artificial "truth" of Hinduism, that excludes non-upper-caste practices and herds everyone into following the "dharma" their leaders are best at defining for everyone - with carrot and stick?

Regardless, at least at this date, it cannot be denied that Hindus do eat beef, which BJP is trying its hardest to deny and prevent. One wonders why, if BJP is supposedly pro-Hindu. One wonders why BJP claims to care about Hindus at all, when its agenda is Hindutva, affiliates of which are happy to Hindus who don't conform to their zealot agenda for India. When the poison fed by nationalists and their profiteering hits the roof so bad that retired veterans are assaulted by state controlled , and BJP leader's son incites a murder by lynching with a manufactured accusation of beef eating - against the family of an Air Force warrior of India, where the Air Force chief is moving the family threatened by the murderous rage unleashed by BJP's insanity to its own secure base to protect them.

You can wake up one who is sleeping, not one who pretends to sleep. You can reason with one conflicted over information, not ones seeking to interpret anything and everything and photoshop where not available to incite civil war in a country they pretend to love. Where they report to an organization giving open calls to people to have arms in their home. When there is massive political profit to be reaped from threatening the safety of people and winning by polarizing the greater number of people in a direction you represent, what is the small sacrifice of truth, safety, life?

Is that not the plan? To raze India to the ground and build a Hindu Rashtra on its carcass?

What does it matter that fundamental rights be overruled, bitter hatred be spawned among communities, violence warp Hindu minds till they think of nothing beyond hostility to Muslims. What does it matter? Riots win elections. That is all that matters to abject greed. BJP leaders will be unable to see Hindus who eat beef. They will redefine Hindus, attack them as "not real Hindus" or "anti-Hindus", recommend murders for "secularists", anything, everything to avoid that four word sentence Lalu Prasad Yadav threw out. "Even Hindus eat beef."

It is true.

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In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way

The above quote is popularly attributed to former U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, but not verified. Nevertheless, it echoes my own belief that there are no coincidences in politics – only the illusion thereof, to paraphrase the graphic novelist Alan Moore. This belief was reinforced today by the way the Jayanthi Natarajan episode has spun out.

It began with The Hindu carrying her letter of November 5, 2014, to Congress President Sonia Gandhi. The letter, which has been called a bomb, carried several implications, which may be broadly summarized in the following points.

  • That Ms. Natarajan was a long-time loyalist who had for reasons unknown fallen out of favour with the Family and seemingly begged to be restored to that position.
  • That her actions as the former Minister for Environment & Forests were stymied by directions from the office of none other than party vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
  • That although she had been asked to resign on Dec. 20, 2013, it took her nearly a year to overcome mental anguish and, presumably, summon enough courage to put these questions to the party president, from whose presence she had apparently been banished.

The fact that her letter of Nov. 5 did not become public knowledge until Jan. 30, 2015 – or nearly three months later – pushes out of the background several interesting facts, of which the most crucial seems to be that the CBI had been asked to investigate her activities as MoEF - a fact first reported by the Economic Times on Oct. 29, 2014 – or a mere week before her impassioned plea to Congress High Command.

What is equally interesting is that within a month of the CBI investigation being mooted, Ms. Natarajan supposedly met BJP President Amit Shah, who by now has earned the reputation of bringing into the BJP’s fold defectors of all shades and stripes. Among the revelations in Ms. Natarajan’s letter was her singular refusal to attack, prior to the General Elections of 2014, Narendra Modi on the surveillance scandal that became famous as Snoopgate. As the journalist Nikhil Wagle asked on Twitter, was the meeting with Mr. Shah about this, rather than, say, a possible swapping of political colours?

Nikhil Wagle on Jayanthi Natarajan meeting Amit Shah
Nikhil Wagle on Jayanthi Natarajan meeting Amit Shah

 

All this was an unnoticed swirling that came to a heady climax on January 30, 2015, with Ms. Natarajan announcing her decision to quit the Congress within hours of her letter being publicized. The Hindu’s Editor Malini Parthasarathy called the publication of the letter “a scoop”, but given how conveniently timed it was vis-à-vis Ms. Natarajan’s resignation from the Congress, it appears more likely that The Hindu simply made space for not just the letter to be published, but to give Ms. Natarajan wide-ranging coverage.

 

Malini Parthasarathy on Jayanthi Natarajan letter published in The Hindu
Malini Parthasarathy on Jayanthi Natarajan letter published in The Hindu

The ruling BJP’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had been the first to react, calling for the current MoEF (Prakash Javadekar) to “relook” at Ms. Natarajan’s decisions during her stint, while also jumping the gun in suggesting he had no clue if she was due to join the BJP. The party also later claimed that Mr. Shah had never met Ms. Natarajan, nor had any other leader. The Congress, as reported by PTI, called Ms. Natarajan’s allegations “serious”, but pointed to her “new political masters” as being motivators for the same.

PTI_Cong_CorruptionPTI_Cong_Masters

Another journalist, Nitin Sethi, interviewed Ms. Natarajan and subsequently shed more light on her alleging that while neither Sonia nor Rahul Gandhi had asked her to do favours, other Congress ministers did so. The latest news suggests that while the Congress is for the most part no longer commenting on the issue, the CBI too seems indifferent in terms of launching an immediate probe against her. Whether the issue has any political fallout for the beleaguered Congress, and whether we will see Ms. Natarajan, despite her own statement, join the likes of Kiran Bedi and others in migrating to the BJP, remains to be seen. The Kashmiri political commentator Ibn-e-Battuta’s tweet may be seen as the last word, thus far, on the issue.

PTI_Natarajan_NoPlansIbnEBattuta_Bedi_Natarajan

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This morning, I woke up to a serious Twitter brouhaha which emanated from The Hindu carrying a letter by former Min. for Environment & Forests Jayanthi Natarajan to Congress President Sonia Gandhi. The letter was originally dated November 5, 2014, which made me wonder why it was being leaked at this later date. However, as the day progressed, and more news links from the past floated on Twitter, the episode became abundantly clear. Here’s a friendly timeline, with links, for those who came in late, or don’t see the big picture.

Oct. 29, 2014: Economic Times reports an impending CBI enquiry into Natarajan’s tenure as MoEF under UPA-II.

Nov. 5, 2014: Natarajan writes her now public letter to Mrs. Gandhi, published by the Hindu today.

Nov. 27, 2014: Natarajan meets Amit Shah, as reported in this news clip by India News.

Jan. 30, 2015: Arun Jaitley calls for new MoEF to re-look decisions taken by Natarajan, but claims no knowledge of her joining BJP.

Jan. 30, 2015: Natarajan quits Congress

Now waiting for the last act: her actually joining BJP. Expect it to happen today or tomorrow, but don’t hold your breath!

 

PS: I have no plans to join any other political party after such bitter experiences: Natarajan says (PTI reports)

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There seems to be a perception of a massive change for the better with Modi getting elected. It will be interesting to see how it unfolds, because all I am seeing is that a political puppet that got exposed and thus rendered useless got discarded for its alternative. Or perhaps more accurately, one out of two political puppets got exposed and rendered useless and got discarded, leaving the full weight of the masters behind one.

I had brought this up when the scam exposes started, triggering the UPA2 spiral into the abyss. It was the government getting exposed and rightly so, but the absence of scrutiny on the other side of who was profiting from the government corruption was a telling indicator that long back. The absence of scrutiny from the opposition was easily covered up with big dramas to media and outrages in Parliament, but rarely over anything that did not get exposed in other ways already, and almost never with legal action and accountability (they have since *acquired* Subramanian Swamy for a fig leaf on that).

It is no coincidence that media buried the paid news report either. It is a larger part of the corporate media puzzle, where the free speech of media hasn't been muzzled, but prostrated. You are not supposed to see the non-audience facing side of the set.

While there were two corporate puppets, with the traditional "rulers" leading, the stakes weren't as high. It was important that the puppet win, but it was okay if the other one got chosen as well. When that ended, the stakes grew higher in making the remaining puppet win.

The India that imagines that Gujarat is actually some kind of Shangri-la that will spread India wide is in for a rude awakening. People from Gujarat still end up in Maharashtra for work. The promises and methods of the BJP offer nothing that would give a different result from the UPA2.

All that we have got is a fresh face with its make up in tact, unlike the UPA2 with its running mascara and ugly scars showing. For a while, the facade will last, then the stories will seep through, because neither in Gujarat, nor in its manifesto is anything that will actually prevent the government from misusing its power, which is already happening in Gujarat.

All that we will have is a government better able to fool the people into trusting it, and you'd damn well expect so, given the kind of money being poured into convincing the people of the promised land!

At the end of the day, it is business as always as far as India is concerned, only with the side effect of the other risks that come with this puppet.

There is no end to dynastic politics. The Modi wave has swept UP carefully around the rulers. Both the Gandhis, supposedly much hated by BJP made it without any particular visible intent by BJP to rout them other than a token Modi rally in Amethi after Kumar Vishvas started making a visible challenge and dividing the anti-Congress vote became important. Where Aam Aadmi Party didn't have the resources to mount a big challenge, in Rae Bareily, Sonia Gandhi breezed through without any particular challenge from the BJP either. "Mullah" Mulayam Singh Yadav, much reviled by BJP, won from both seats he contested in a state where the Modi tsunami was on, Dharmendra Yadav and Dimple Yadav won too. What is stunning is the win of Akshay Yadav - entering politics for the first time, pitted against a BJP MP who was earlier in the SP and with a massive Modi wave backing him. The Modi wave did not harm him either, even as it decimated both Congress and SP otherwise.

Its job of electing the next emperor done, media is emerging from its Modi haze to now raise questions about him. Possibly because alarmed journalists too are realizing that this isn't an NDA government, or even merely a BJP government, but a BJP government without even a proper opposition. And journalists who toed working briefs now have to look at what they have wrought and are not so sure this is what they had set out to achieve.

It does not matter. If questioning couldn't stop the UPA, which at least had the sense to deny or apologize for wrongs in public, it is not going to matter at all to the BJP which has long made a virtue of public claims of innocence and victimization while deploying other tracks of communication to actually defend its actions and show them as in the interests of India. The media has been rendered mostly irrelevant in a system carefully crafted to maintain impunity for the powerful. By the time the media will be needed again, there will be a nice lull to erase memories and anyone with too many neurons will be shuttled away to where they can't be heard.

For the rest of the country, it is going to be life as usual, interspersed with some nice goodies to keep them aware of how their lives are transformed, while the very country gets eroded from under their feet in invisible ways. Do contact me if living actually becomes easier for you by next year because ab ki baar Modi.

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For those who laughed at Arvind Kejriwal's accusations about Congress, BJP and Samajwadi Party collaborating in UP, here is your stunner. Sangh Parivar SWEPT all seats in UP - except - Gandhi parivar (Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi), Yadav Parivar (Mulayam Singh Yadav, Dharmendra Yadav, Akshay Yadav, Dimple Yadav) and two Apna Dal parivar (NDA) seats, one of them, the daughter of the founder (who probably taught Akshay in Amity or maybe not).

And such precision has been achieved with gaps of 50 thousand votes or more in all but 6 seats and over a lakh in 80% of the seats. Apparently, in Uttar Pradesh, there is not just a people's consensus on voting for BJP, there is a people's consensus on not finding BJP attractive if one of the parivars is available, and the people are very clear about this.

So much for Modi ending dynasty politics. No non-BJP political royals got through in UP and no political royals from the holy trinity got left behind, not even the oh-so-new 25 year old Akshay on his first entry into politics. Not even photos of Rahul Gandhi next to EVMs and news channel broadcasts of him near polling booths could jinx this. Amazing Modi wave. What precision. Drenches some in its benevolence, leaves others dry.

Bahujan Samaj Party that scored a stunning zero in this election is in second place for over 30 seats. Guess they got beaten either by genetics or by not being Hindu enough.

Considering the gaps between polled votes and counted votes, it is anyone's guess what all went into this much needed stunning result for BJP.