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7

Growing evidence shows that India is serving interests of foreign influencers at the cost of the well being of Indian citizens. Demonetisation is just one in a long list of moves that benefit big money.

Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, said something interesting when he addressed the Digi-Dhan mela today. He said that Bill Gates told him that more than 100 Cr have mobile phones, 109 Cr have Aadhar cards, digital economy will boom in India.

This had many people puzzled. What does Bill Gates have to do with anything that he's been quoted out of the blue? Why would Bill Gates be the source of information on how many mobile phones or Aadhaar cards are in India for the Finance Minister with access to National statistics? For example the Assocham Deloitte study that says that internet connectivity is still out of reach for 950 million Indians? A few others, who had been paying attention to the news remembered Bill Gates endorsing the demonetisation last month and then denying much knowledge of it and limiting his endorsement to the digitisation of the Indian economy.

But what does Bill Gates have to do with India's demonetisation that he was even asked to comment or endorse it at all or that made headlines on the subject twice and a month later the Finance Minister used data allegedly provided by him to support the viability of this insane venture? 100 crores is 1 billion - in a country of 1.2 billion, with 22% of the population (264 million!) below an absurd poverty line. You'd need to hand phones to babies on birth to get that kind of penetration! That alone should tell you that the number is useless for anything more than propaganda. It is the total number of SIMs sold. Of them "active" - used once a month at a minimum - are 900 million. This number would also include dual SIM phones, SIMs used for non-phone devices (air pollution measuring devices, for example), multiple SIMs used for businesses and so on. This really tells you nothing about the kind of penetration that would allow cashless transactions. Far more accurate statistics with relevance to demonetisation are available for India that make it clear that India has 220 million (100 crore is 1 billion) smart phone users (not all of them have internet enabled).

For that, we must rewind a bit, to something I've mentioned briefly in previous articles and explore it in more details.

Worldwide, as banks fail to manage their money responsibly, we are seeing them flounder. Powerful companies and people writing and influencing monetary policies are encouraging cashless transactions - supposedly to improve the government's coverage for taxation, but in reality, in a country with 70% of its population only owning 10% of its wealth while the top 1% own almost 60%, the cost of digitizing the vast majority of citizens is not even going to be covered by anything that can possibly be recovered from their meagre income that is way below taxable limits. It doesn't take a hotshot economist to know that in a country where 1% of the population pays taxes, the "tax net" is unlikely to get any substantial benefits from being thrown over 100% to see who gets caught. The costs of such an exercise would outstrip any benefits.

What going cashless actually achieves is providing a lifeline to banks by:

  1. Getting most of the nation's money into them and shoring up their failing liquidity
  2. By generating an income for them from the routine transactions of every citizen's day to day living.
  3. Preventing withdrawal of cash from banks by people who want to make more economical choices instead of paying commissions for every use of money.

This happening in India is of a great deal of profit to the global banking elite as well, as credit card services, banks invested in India and other financial service providers generate an income for banks based outside India with their shares of the seemingly small transaction charges on day to day use of money in a country of 1.2 billion people.

There is a great deal of effort put into "encouraging" countries worldwide into adopting cashless transactions by the global financial elite and governments stumped by failing banks and the lure of improved tax collection are capitulating, though none fell as hard and recklessly as the Indian government.

The Quint had correctly reported that the USAID had launched the “Catalyst: Inclusive Cashless Payment Partnership”, designed to scale digital payments systems in India in partnership with India's Ministry of Finance on the 14th of October. This is the press release on the official USAID website. So it is unclear why The Quint updated its article to remove this information and instead add an update that it was initiated jointly by USAID and GOI, but commissioned on the 15th of November as though it didn't happen till it was commissioned. Regardless, this explains what Bill Gates was doing there at all to be commenting on the demonetisation - that should have been a domestic issue. Among the organizations partnering in the Catalyst is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Also included in the list is the UN fronted Better Than Cash Alliance that India joined on the 1st of September 2015. To quote their website, "The Alliance is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Citi Foundation, Ford Foundation, MasterCard, Omidyar Network, United States Agency for International Development, and Visa Inc. The United Nations Capital Development Fund serves as the secretariat."

So, Bill & Melinda Gates, Omidyar Network, Mastercard and Visa participate as themselves as well as as part of the Better than Cash Alliance. USAID participates through the BCA. World Economic Forum participates directly. Many Indian banks, and surprisingly PayTM as well as phone networks are included.

Way before anyone in India articulated a need for cashless payments beyond the normal use for convenience - and there was an existing natural rate of adoption, USAID and its allies seem to have got the bright idea that India needed to go cashless and moved to get India to participate. Not one, but two organizations created in their need to "save" India from itself. One wonders why. The economy was doing well, the government was already undertaking means to improve access and inclusion of more citizens in the banking system - for example, the Jan Dhan Yojana, the expansion of the DBTL scheme (both of which put citizen's money into banks, the second mandatorily) had both been launched before the government joining these groups for promoting a digital economy in India.

Given the catastrophic results of the demonetisation, and the complete absence of consulting with anyone in the country - the government's own economists, RBI directors or security agencies included, it becomes important to ask just who was consulted and the quality of information that was provided and whether it influenced decisions adversely for the country.

There are reasons to believe that there may have been influence against National interest:

  1. Jaitley's direct quote of incorrect statistics allegedly provided to him by Bill Gates, that he used in order to justify the demonetisation at the Digi Dhan mela, even as all statistics of any reputable source point to the opposite. The RBI's data even shows that while the number of card transactions at PoS has increased (out of necessity), the value of transactions has actually gone down, clearly indicating a reluctance to adopt cashless transactions more widely than what was going on naturally.
  2. While in opposition, the BJP itself has pointed out that the CIA works through the USAID programme acting through philanthropic foundations to destabilize countries. There is considerable evidence to support this that BJP were already aware of. USAID has been implicated in covert operations to support subversive activities in countries from Cuba to Pakistan and notably the backing of Al Qaeda affliated rebels in Syria recently.
  3. Ford Foundation grants have in the past preceded at least two major political upheavals in the country - the Janlokpal Andolan and the creation of the Vivekananda International Foundation (which backed it and later ran subversive slander campaigns undermining the newly emerging AAP) were both preceded by grants by the Ford Foundation to their founding members or organizations. The Jan Lokpal Andolan discredited the government then in power. The Vivekananda International Foundation masterminded the rise of the current government, discredited the Aam Aadmi Party that was on the rise and now has an extraordinary number of members appointed to government positions, including the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, under whose "able guidance", India's regional foreign policy has collapsed. There are allegations that he influenced a controversial supercession in the appointment of the next Army Chief.
  4. Contributed by reader Prem A (in comments below): The conflict of interest doesn’t stop there, Dr Nachiket M. Mor is the country directory of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and he is also one of the directors of RBI.
  5. Usual sources of reliable advice and information to the government appear to have been bypassed in this apparently "well planned" demonetisation, indicating that other sources of information were likely used - the government may potentially have been misled to use information that was not in national interest. This needs investigation given the mounting damage being inflicted on the country.
  6. Strangely, neither the government's joining the Better than Cash Alliance, nor the Catalyst were reported in India at all. For a government that proudly publicizes its every sneeze and hiccup that is dutifully given maximum publicity by a subservient media, if this were indeed a move that would benefit India, it is unclear why the Prime Minister would not proudly declare it.

1

There seems to be a fringe theory floating around about a larger international conspiracy (CIA etc) influencing Indian politics using the Ford Foundation (among other things). The Great Game India blog (linking to blog because too many interlinked posts to link individually) has been with this train of thought for a few years now. That the RSS creation VIF is manipulating Indian politics and that they started the India Against Corruption movement and so on. They link the Aam Aadmi Party with this larger political conspiracy.

Some of it is verifiably true. The Vivekananda International Foundation was indeed formed in the year after the Vivekananda Kendra got a grant from the Ford Foundation. Manish Sisodia, Kejriwal and others have got grants before the IAC movement and so on.

Some of it is only to be expected and verifiable through sources outside the country for example the US and CIA specifically not being interested in manipulating  a country the size of India makes no sense given their actions world over. There are leaks involving spying. The Great Game India Blog itself has provided considerable evidence of Mossad activity in India based on reports in Indian media including diamond mafia links and raising questions about Israeli role in the 26/11 attacks.

While there are many gaps in the logic that don't allow me to agree with many questions they make, the sheer effort they put into to reference their claims makes it important to at least consider the question with an open mind when they ask "Was AAP victory in Delhi Elections Planned?". The claim being that it was a larger part of a game plan all through to have Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister and Arvind Kejriwal as the Chief Minister.

My views on this are mixed.

Observations that point to the possibility of scripted wins in Lok Sabha Elections for Modi and in Delhi Elections for Arvind Kejriwal

Both these results would not have been possible without the self-destruction of the other just prior to the polls.

It is likely they would still have formed governments, but If the Aam Aadmi Party had not collapsed so thoroughly after discrediting the Congress, the landslide win for Modi would not be possible. The run up to the Lok Sabha Election saw the Aam Aadmi Party pretty much drop everything to find God and criticize Modi.

And the BJP returned the favor for the Delhi Elections. We saw Narendra Modi and Amit Shah go out of their way to "snatch defeat from the jaws of victory" as a disgusted supporter put it. Would the Aam Aadmi Party have won anyway? Probably, but 67 seats out of 70? Highly unlikely.

Is there any advantage to these sweeping wins in terms of manipulating India? Definitely. Complete lack of opposition leaves one entity controlling what is done without question.

"Kejriwal for CM, Modi for PM" slogan

This slogan is fascinating, because BJP supporters had used it to woo AAP supporters during the Lok Sabha Elections, and AAP supporters almost used it to woo BJP supporters in the Delhi Assembly elections. The Aam Aadmi Party actually put it up on their website before outraged volunteers made them take it down again.

Kiran Bedi as CM candidate

While many paint this as a move to get some credibility to a discredited BJP, it is impossible that those who crafted the IAC had no idea just how absurd and damaging to credibility Kiran Bedi can be. This was a calculated move to demoralize the Delhi BJP leaders. Dr Harshvardhan, who had been a face of credibility was available and unused, so to say, while Satish Upadhyay did not even get a ticket.

BJP's "abandonment" of the Sikhs

Arvind Kejriwal had reopened investigations into the 1984 ant-Sikh riots. The BJP had made vague and unc0nvincing comments. This definitely lost them Sikh votes. Yet yesterday, a day after the results of Delhi election, the BJP government in the Center announced another SIT (Special Investigating Team) to probe the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. If this was their intention, it is rather astonishing that they did not do it before the Delhi Elections.

Religious alienation

There seemed to be a checklist of religions to alienate. Muslims were easy, with the "Ramzadon and Haramzadon" stuff. Churches were vandalized. Sikhs were ignored and BJP's most dependable vote bank - Hindus were achieved with absurd dictates to Hindu women to produce 4, 5 or upto 10 children (depending on which idiot you happened to hear). It was almost the exact reverse of BJP's calculated propaganda to target identities to con into supporting.

Why BJP may want to lose Delhi Assembly Elections 2015

There is an article by this name circulating. This article is fascinating, because of several reasons. It outlines a diabolical game plan to make Aam Aadmi Party responsible for its own failure and eventual decimation by making delivering of promises difficult from the Center. The intent being "The media spotlight on Kejriwal government will allow Jaitley to quietly to push through unpopular reforms — disinvestment of PSUs, budget cuts in health, education in his attempt to cut budget deficit." among other things. Do read. A fascinating article. Also probably untrue for the Delhi BJP and supporters at the very least - the Modi cartels in the center apart.

My guess is BJP Delhi is discovering what Nitish Kumar, Shiv Sena, Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathan, Telangana and many others discovered after raising Modi to his lofty Lok Sabha victory. What Vidarbha is discovering after bringing BJP to power in Maharashtra. The goals and agenda of those "driving" the BJP have little to do with those of supporters or even their expectations when they supported.

There are other smaller pieces of information from news reports and more that fit into these patterns. Like information for exposes on Delhi BJP leaders coming from leaders within the BJP itself.

What do I think?

In my view, politics is rarely so black and white with a single agenda playing out. Where there is power, there are grabs. Is there a longer game plan involving the VIF? I believe so. Is Aam Aadmi Party a part of the plan? Not so sure.

The Aam Aadmi Party, in my observation was formed when BJP tried to bottle the IAC genie before it got too inconvenient and expected them to not be corrupt as well. Till then, the IAC had the strong backing of the RSS and BJP. For all its claims of being an apolitical movement and it probably was, in terms of the leadership of the movement, the amount of support on the ground it got from the RSS and BJP cannot be denied. In many places, "IAC" protests were organized by BJP offices, often right outside the office, where most of the speeches made a point of praising the BJP while criticizing UPA corruption.

Was Anna Hazare complicit? Many in the Congress claim so. Particularly after he praised Modi before hastily withdrawing his statements. He may have been influenced by the support rather than doing the influencing.

However, it cannot be denied that there was an abundance of VIF-RSS-BJP support, which eventually led to an ideological clash. Those in the IAC who were not willing to exempt the BJP would have to find other means of going about their agenda, because they could very likely no longer count on the support of the BJP machinery to hold nationwide protests (which took Anna and Kejriwal by surprise initially).

Thus, the Aam Aadmi Party being a VIF-RSS-BJP creation sounds a bit outside the realm of probability. However, it is almost guaranteed that there were people planted in the party right from the start. It is simply how the RSS operates. These people may have been able to influence the actions of the party to a greater or lesser degree or simply attack from within at inopportune times. So AAP actions could have played into a larger game plan UNKNOWINGLY - for example during the aftermath of the Ambani FIR and subsequent resignation of the Arvind Kejriwal government or the Lok Sabha Election.

We saw AAP leaders and volunteers "defect" for no apparent reason. The stated reasons of a lack of internal democracy or whatever the accusations were, were hardly something to have cropped up at specific times - they would be a part of the party culture that they didn't appear to have a problem with till the time to leave - within days of each other. So it looks more than a coincidence. Given the complicit media promoting all and sundry quitters as "ex-AAP leaders" and in one instance calling an "ex-AAP leader" a representative of AAP in a programme that had no one from AAP on the panel, it seems to be organized and given visibility in a time when media was openly called "Modified".

Also, AAP being a US-Israel conspiracy seems a little more improbable, because I cannot recollect offhand the last time these forces empowered "communist" ideology to empower their agendas. It is counterproductive to the US-Israel agenda for people who don't like "imperialists" to get too much voice - which is a sentiment often shared by Aam Aadmi Party supporters - while they are not actively against, they have a perception of being unwilling to bow to imposed interests or disproportionate or unjust appropriation of national resources by big business.

Thirdly, the US-Israel lobby almost always rattles up countries by empowering the right wing. We also see this in action with the occasional comments of right wing leaders that are in agreement with these two countries as well as the larger tendency - for example being fine with attacks on Hindus by the right wing Buddhists in Sri Lanka or on Rohingya Muslims in Burma or even a VIF member meeting the top right wing terrorist influencer in Pakistan and endorsing him on Indian television channels. A lot of the anti-Muslim propaganda arguments and methods used by the Hindutva brigade are extremely similar to Israeli propaganda. Right from selective history to demonize, to organized social media propaganda.

There are no such "behavioral" corelations with the Aam Aadmi Party that I have noticed so far. There is disproportionate weightage to Ford Foundation as funding anti-national interest. While it would hardly be surprising that the CIA uses front organizations or makes opportunistic use of genuine organizations, it is a little extreme to imagine that all its funding is proof of destabilization. The same with the Magsaysay awards. Only a complete idiot would imagine that P. Sainath is somehow working to further US imperial capitalist interest in India given how much time he has devoted to deconstructing such influences.

Of course, it could "all" be astroturfing. But it isn't useful intellectually to believe something that goes contrary to observable dynamics just because it is possible.

This of course does not exclude the possibility of influencing or otherwise manipulating.

Role of Shanti Bhushan

Shanti Bhushan is a respected lawyer and ex politician of BJP and close to Jaitley as well as one of the founders of the Aam Aadmi Party. He made a donation of one crore rupees to the Aam Aadmi Party, but almost every time he has come to attention since then, it has been for damaging the interest of AAP. Just before the Lok Sabha Election, an article "by Shanti Bhushan" was published in India Today, which he claimed to not have written and it was subsequently taken down. Many of the things said in that article continue to be attributed to him in recent interviews, though he denies writing it.

A "breakaway faction" or "collective of ex-supporters" of Aam Aadmi Party, the AVAM, which has made news with absurd allegations against the AAP appear to enjoy his support. More recently, in answer to some questions I asked after a stray remark by an AAP supporter caught my eye, several AAP volunteers shared privately (since they cannot provide proofs and he's a respected and senior member) that he had been in favor of AAP's overreach in contesting in the Lok Sabha polls, which was possibly the single biggest factor in AAP's defeat.

Whether Shanti Bhushan has an ulterior motive or whether he was simply easily influenced by inconvenient narratives is difficult to say and irrelevant at this point, but he does appear to be a consistent source of damage for AAP, including often reported disapproval of Arvind Kejriwal as the leader.

The curious case of Shazia Ilmi

If there is anyone who topped Shanti Bhushan in damage to AAP, it is Shazia Ilmi. The only two "sting" videos to do real damage to AAP credibility involve her. The first appears to show her providing methods to make donations to AAP off the record. The second is where she supposedly asks Muslims to be communal. Whether these were genuine mistakes and she was targeted for stings because she was observed to be careless with words or if she was corrupt or if she was setting AAP up cannot be said. But other common factors seems to be an inopportune exit, affiliation with the "apolitical" AVAM (the RSS is apolitical as well, for a benchmark), new affiliation with the BJP - incidentally a party she leveled outrageous insults at, including personal insults aimed at Modi - some of which even me, an open Modi critic would cringe at.

Binny seems to be more of an opportunist who wanted a way to easy power and got his hopes dashed, who later found enough "appreciation" from BJP. BJP is unlikely to ever give him a cabinet seat either.

All this is water under the bridge. merely stating as an example of how while the AAP as a party may not be "in" on any conspiracy agendas, there is no telling how many people committed to other agendas are embedded inside, who influence or sabotage the actions of the party to suit.

The RSS machine is an expert at subversive strategy and poor at accountability. Sooner or later, disillusionment was inevitable, because there is only so much you can tell people that Acche Din are here, if their lives don't get easier or actually get more expensive. They are smart enough to deploy propaganda at key times and let disillusionment happen in the interim.

So can the Aam Aadmi Party government be trusted?

It would be the height of gullibility to blindly trust ANY political party. Whether the AAP has an ulterior motive or not is irrelevant. It has abundant gaps where more refinement of policy is needed in order for their actions to not harm people's interest. The bottom line always ought to be whether the ACTIONS are helping people or not - regardless of motives or intent.

The AAP has some protection from outright damaging citizen's interests simply because it cannot stand without its volunteer base, and it is impossible to have a conspiracy large enough to include thousands of volunteers and still keep it secret. So even if there are foul agendas at play, implementing them would be an uphill task. That said, it wouldn't be impossible, and only the foolish would believe that all that it takes to receive good governance is casting a vote.

The Aam Aadmi Party government has been entrusted with making Delhi a happier, safer place where all its citizens can thrive. This is a tall order. And if the AAP is honest, spotting mistakes and objecting on time will HELP their objectives. If it is not honest, spotting mistakes on time and objecting may improve chances to prevent them.

Regardless, citizens should not trust governments, but hold them accountable, relentlessly.

2

BJP making ad hominem accusations is hardly a new thing. Anyone who opposes BJP is subject to vile and unsubstantiated accusations. Unsubstantiated, to non-BJP people, but perhaps in the eye of BJP, they are true when they evaluate people according to what they know as "truth".

When you show someone a scalpel, a barber may recognize it as a shaving tool, a surgeon may see it as a surgery tool, a murderer may see it as a murder tool. Every scalpel is not a shaving tool, just like every computer isn't a gaming toy. We comprehend the world through the lens of what we know. It stands to reason that a party that doesn't believe in the Indian constitution understands all criticism as "anti-national" or a party that taps foreign funding imagines other entities being foreign funded and harming India on the say-so of some foreign agenda.

The nature of the unconscious mind is such that the more we deny something about ourselves to appear to be good, the more we imagine those we hate to be shamelessly doing what we deny out of shame. If coughing is a way I use to avoid answering something or a distraction from lies I tell, I imagine someone I dislike to be lying i they cough, while claiming to always be truthful myself.

Our shadow aspect manifests in our perceptions of the world. The things we deny about ourselves are those we overreact to.

Here are several things BJP criticized loudly, only to be found to be doing it later.

N D Tiwari shows the character of Congress... or not?

Rajnath singh sitting with N D Tiwari
N D Tiwari endorses Rajnath Singh as candidate for Lucknow

When the scandal with N D Tiwari's son blew up, BJP's Social Media teams were all over it with crude jokes about his character, and by extension the morality of Congress. So now Rajnath Singh is being endorsed by N D Tiwari. What does that say about his character and by extension the BJP? Does BJP really think N D Tiwari's character is bad enough that they shouldn't associate with him? Will BJP distance itself from his endorsement of Rajnath Singh as their candidate for Lucknow? Don't hold your breath.

Who got Ford Foundation funding?

BJP accuses AAP of being foreign funded - particularly from Ford Foundation, believing Ford Foundation to be a CIA front. Now here's the deal. Ford foundation provided funding to the NGO Kabir for three years from 2009-11. This lets BJP supporters claim "AAP" is supported by the Ford Foundation, when AAP was not even formed, let alone getting funding. AAP maintains that it has not received any foreign funding. Ford Foundation or otherwise. AAP does not see Ford Foundation as an extension of CIA destablizing India.

Ford Foundation maintains that it has been funding humanitarian projects in India almost since independence. The Ford Foundation website shows grants to GEER, in 2002, the chairman of which is Narendra Modi. Everyone knows that the Gujarat riots happened in 2002, under Narendra Modi's watch. Not to mention that unrest backed by the US of A usually supports right wing extremists (even at the cost of empowering Al Qaeda), but not communists. So is that what BJP is saying? That because a Modi led organization got funding to destabilize India, that means AAP must have got it for same reasons? They can chill. So far AAP hasn't shown any interest in destabilizing India.

Unless of course BJP counts as India the corporations funding their high voltage off the record bling election campaigns.

Who does Ansari support?

Mukhtar Ansari had offered support to AAP, which AAP did not accept. BJP claimed that this was proof of AAP and Kejriwal's mafia connections. Then, Mukhtar Ansari's brother Afzal Ansari praised Narendra Modi and said Muslims would be safe under BJP led by Modi. Was this proof of BJP-Modi's mafia connections? Modi or BJP have not refused or distanced from this statement to the best of my knowledge.

 Are Indian Muslims Pakistan supporters?

BJP often insinuates that this is so. From not so subtle allegations to indirectly target Muslims by speaking about "Miyan Musharraf" post Gujarat riots, to Giriraj Singh's statement that Modi critics will have to go to Pakistan when Modi comes to power. There are countless social media trolls making far more direct accusations and spreading hate. BJP disinformation propaganda routinely shows Muslim flags as Indian Muslims hoisting Pakistan's flag in India. Or they show Pakistani Muslims hoisting Pakistan flag or burning Indian flag to be Indian Muslims. It is not ignorance, as any effort to correct the disinformation is studiously ignored and the hate deliberately incited about Indian Muslims.

But is it Indian Muslims hoisting the Pakistan flag?

On 1st Januart 2012, someone hoisted a Pakistani flag in front of the Tahsildar office at Sindagi in Karnataka. There were protests in front of the Tehsildar office about this anti-national action. Yet it turned out to be Sri Ram Sene activists who were arrested. Sri Ram Sene is a pro-Hindutva organization, whose leader Pramod Muthalik (also famous for the pub attack) also got briefly inducted into the BJP a few weeks back till the embarrassed BJP had to refuse him membership from the outrage and ridicule they faced. But wait. That is not all. Shri Ram Sene seniors spoke off the record saying that those arrested were not their members, but those of the RSS, but the police were under pressure for keeping the RSS name out of the picture. In any case, it were Hindutva zealots raising Pakistani flag, not Indian Muslims.

Are AAP Maoist supporters?

BJP claims names like Prashant Bhushan, Soni Sori, Binayak Sen and Sabyasachi Panda to claim that AAP is full of Maoist supporters. Strangely, BJP seems to never be harmed by the Maoists. The Congress leadership in Chattisgarh was conveniently wiped out in time for Assembly elections, but no record of a BJP leader coming to any harm. Modi toured the same region and gave 7 speeches with massive. BJP and RSS cadre mobilized to encourage voting. No attacks in spite of BJP being the ruling party and closer to crony capitalists in the region. Twitter reports indicate that BJP campaigning in Gadchiroli went better than expected. I imagine they dislike the Maoists of Odisha and Andhra and such, but then the regular people there hardly like BJP any better.

For BJP, speaking of any wrong done against the Maoists is being a Maoist supporter. They may campaign for you, frame innocent tribals for opposing crony capitalist exploitation, brand a free legal service for framed tribals languishing in jail as "Maoist supporters", Maoist affected districts in Chattisgarh may double under their rule, leaders may hob nob with businessmen with known links to Maoists (including one being arrested while in a BJP leader's car..., but others are evil if you talk about rights of tribals opposing crony "development" framed as Maoists. Because everyone knows, the real danger in a Maoist is not illegal actions, but being seen as a human. Hain na?

Do only other parties rope in religious leaders for vote banks?

If you listen to BJP propaganda, you'd imagine the only vote bank in the country is Muslims. The majority religion is too disrupted and disinterested in survival, so BJP will make it live, whether it wants to or not. Yet the Hindutva issue has constantly been BJP's vote bank. Get people paranoid and voting for BJP to save themselves from Muslims. Ramdev was recently caught on camera speaking with BJP leader Mahant Chand Nath. BJP leader Chand Nath clearly talks about money with Ramdev in a slow pitched volume, the Yoga guru is heard carefully whispering to Nath to not talk about all this here as they were surrounded with cameras and recorders which can record their conversation. So not only does BJP leverage religious beliefs to promote themselves, they also do it with supposedly non-BJP religious leaders with money involved.

This, of course is apart from the active and criminal participation of religious leaders in the organized and criminal Babri Masjid demolition - which continues to be a BJP election issue and is included in the manifesto.

Does Congress take India's border security lightly?

Probably, but the BJP has hardly done any better. It has released terrorists in return for hijacked Indians. Same terrorists who went on to attack the Indian Embassy and murder Daniel Pearl among other attacks. They explain this as necessary to protect lives of Indians held hostage by terrorists. There is no similar explanation for the lack of retaliation after the Kaluchak Massacre (google it) in spite of needling the UPA government repeatedly over not taking an aggressive stance (read war) after 26/11.

If this were not enough, the Operation Westend saw BJP willing to endorse a non-existent product for the Indian Army to make a corrupt profit and the Kargil coffin scam saw a willingness to profit from dead soldiers too. So once more you have BJP accusing others of what they are guilty of, but defiantly claim own character to be above reproach.

Does BJP respect the Army?

A BJP troll taunting anyone bringing up issues of human rights abuses by the Indian Army is a common sight. What is less visible is their insulting view of the Army as an inherently cruel and illegal organization, where the shame of human rights abuses done by a few who are breaking protocol must be borne by all soldiers - however upright. Apparently, it is like the "religious support" - law abiding members of target group - whether religion or Army are tarred with the same brush as criminal zealots.

But is that really respect?

In Jammu, Modi ridiculed the UPA governance as "Jai jawan, mar kisan" implying that soldiers get favor that is denied to farmers - or in other words, disproportionately more. But is the Army really the recipient of more than its due? Normally, BJP would scream NO and blame UPA for ignoring the Army - unless it was a speech addressing the people of a place that has endured cabin fever from Army presence for long. Then it is very convenient to use "Jai jawan" as sarcastic criticism. One off, you'd think this was merely a misunderstanding or an evil person like me choosing the wrong interpretation. But more recently, Modi spoke with Traders, indirectly encouraging them to risk the global market saying traders are better at risk taking than the Army - a completely unrequired [second] unfavorable comparison of the Army within a month.

What about FDI in Retail?

In theory, BJP opposes FDI in retail. Yet is it about opposing RTI in Retail being chalked up as a UPA2 achievement or will they continue to oppose the FDI in retail if they come to power? There are considerable indications that this is a cash cow Modi is interested in (as long as it isn't the UPA profiting from it). It is less about the impact of FDI in retail on Indian traders and more about the rivalry with Congress in getting credit for a major source of foreign investment for India. Walmart was already in partnership with Bharti in wholesale in Gujarat when the ruckus on FDI in retail blew up. And the plans for expansion continue unabated (now for retail as well).

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The list is endless, and will most likely keep getting updated, since I haven't even scratched the surface of BJP duplicity.

Feel free to add your favorite ones in comments, so other readers can read them. I will add as many as I can when updating this post.