Tuesday, August 20, 2013

THE INSEPARABLES 


We learned a story in childhood. It is that of a Priest carrying a goat, throwing it away after four thieves brand it “as another animal”. I feel in politics this feat is repeated with active connivance of the Media by all parties. “Call a goat by another name number of times, people tend to believe it” In warfare, before the final battle with arms is fought various tactics are employed by rivals to demoralize the enemy. This is very well depicted in the “Mahabharata” when Lord Krishna, knowing fully well war is inevitable proposes 'peace' with the sons of Dhritarashtra, in the process sufficiently unnerving the enemy camp by adulating the prowess of the Pandavas and sending confusing signals.

So, when on the 14th of August, the mighty challenger to the ruling party threw a gauntlet to the PM in more rhetoric than content, it was part of an electoral war strategy. The gamble worked. For, part of PM's speech reads like this.

“There can be no place for narrow and sectarian ideologies in a modern, progressive and secular country. Such ideologies divide out society and weaken our democracy. We should prevent them from growing. We need to strengthen those traditions of our country which teach us to promote tolerance and respect for thought processes different from ours. I would appeal to all political parties, all sections of our society and the public at large to work in this direction.”
It is clear whom he was referring to. He had to take it! (This was the view of an Editor of a National News Paper) A constitutionally elected PM does not have the luxury of naming people from the Red Fort. (CM s too have certain limits and Modi followed them to the letter as a political challenger) So PM sent a veiled message to his vociferous opponent who challenged him a day earlier. Then Modi  retorted in many words and in fact, challenged the PM for an open debate on issues mentioned by him and no more. It worked. Most Congressmen were on their feet to attack Modi, in as much as one leader called him “Khalnayak”. His purpose of unnerving the opponents served, Modi remained silent. A recollection of Mahabharata here draws an analogy to the “ten thousand Karnas can not face an Arjuna” in the war field. In fact, Karna is considered a better archer than Arjuna. But the unnerving part of it is more important. (The analogy is only for purpose of the art of “warfare” and none is Kaurava nor the other Pandava here. In my view they all belong to the same political class that rule us democratically). Even Sushma jee was critical of PM's speech, but was not given much coverage.
But a remark by- the -now- acknowledged -ambitious- leader- in BJP Mr. Advani on the lines that it was not apt to go personal on a National Day got immense Media coverage. The reason is obvious. Congress leaders were again before the mikes saying “we have been warning BJP about this. BJP requires a moderate face like Advani Jee!” (He was very radical till Modi emerged on the scene!) This again is a war strategy by Congress. To draw a dividing line in the opposite camp. There is nothing wrong in it in electoral battles. Mr. Advani nor Modi retorted. Media Pundits discussed, re discussed and the ultimate conclusion was “BJP is a divided house”. Congress strategy worked. Even today a friend tweeted me a link to a column in a news paper about this. What was lost upon the Media  was that Advani could have stopped Modi in his tracks on 14th August itself by raising a hue and cry. He could have at least dampened the spirit of Modi if he wanted. He did not do it because he did not want to do. It was a tacit endorsement of Modi's strategy, I stress as my own opinion. For, in a democracy each one draws his own lines and reads between them. Pen is mightier than sword.
Customary "At Tea" followed in Rashtrapathi Bhavan. Photos of all congress leaders shaking hands of all BJP leaders and the top most leader of Congress in jovial mood talking to Advani Jee; Sushma jee, all smiles while talking to Congress stalwarts and the Chief Justice of India shaking hands with Arun Jaitely Jee were given prominent place in the Media. They read “between the lines”. One columnist wrote with full of sympathy for him saying these jealous BJP leaders and the dynasty supporters in Congress(???) have one agenda “to see Modi does not enter the Delhi Club”. So, the author called the fairy tale “goat” "not a goat". It was repeated many times by many so much so that even staunch BJP supporters started believing it. In AP, if you hear news channels, by evening you are left confused who is colluding with whom to thwart Telangana. Such is power of Media and unsupported “loose sources”. The author also quoted the bonhomie in the President's tea party and the photos and supported the view that Modi was in fact a “taboo” in the Delhi Club. In a customary get together in the President's Palace, people smile. They do not show rancor. It is a fact for 66 years and will be a fact for 660 years more. Why read in between? The agenda is clear. Try to unnerve the opposite camp. Media is always a tool for ruling parties. Their independence is a myth, in a world of competition.
Now, see how I view it. I read in Advani Jee's statement more a castigation of the PM's speech for his veiled reference to Modi Jee as a divisive force, than that of Modi. I produce strong evidence in the form of his praise of Modi's speech in the Parliamentary Board meeting as a “very balanced”, one or two days later and I stress it was an endorsement of Modi's Independence day speech too. I too have a right to read “Between the Lines”. I stress there are no groups in BJP and Advani Jee's blessings as well as other leaders' blessings were with Modi Jee. Who can stop me from surmising what I surmise? Critiques might criticize or abuse me for this “nonsensical” thinking, for they strongly believe BJP is a divided house and as long as Sun rises in the East and sends light to the Moon, Congress can not be defeated. I hold the exact opposite view. There is no stopping me from what I say as long as I remain within “parliamentary limits” in my use of words.

About the photos too I hold an opposite view. I see Congress leaders cozy up to their counterparts in BJP to see that the Food Bill is passed without hitches and they got re elected, as it would be a game changer for them. I can say they want to convince the other BJP leaders to ignore Modi who overtly opposed it. What they talked, great columnists like the one I mentioned only know. So it is always a two-way theory as long as we have no 'first person' account of what happens. There is no 'clairvoyance' to study minds of others. It is a deep subject.
I believe what I believe, as long as I believe what I believe is right. A priest kills his pet mongoose mistaking the blood on her mouth as his baby's instead of verifying the fact that it killed the snake that was about to kill the infant. This is called “Apareekshikaritwa” in Panchatantra, by Vishnu Sharma. ( It means jumping to conclusions without verification). 
Every time elections are around, clouds of words hover on the horizon making all blind. Once the battle of ballot chimes are rung the clouds clear and a “Sun” or “son” comes out. One section waits for the Sun to come out bringing with his rays all missing files and the other section waits for the son to come out and hide more files. Till then we, the voters grope in the darkness. It is for us to see with the eye of “wisdom' and choose the right one, be it the Sun or the Son.
In the meantime, let us recall Mahatma Gandhi's words. “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

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Note: This blog was inspired by @Dr. Bhavaa on Twitter who loses no opportunity to send links to me of good, readable blogs, columns and articles. They refresh the mind though I may differ in views. The column I referred was a good read, but as a change monger from the present system, I differ in views. Hence, this blog is written with due respect to the author.

Disclaimer: I have no specific opinion of any of the two leaders of BJP or that of the Congress PM aspirant. I am a change monger. Before the system collapses totally, it is our duty to bring a semblance of purity to our electoral system. A two/three party system helps us in this direction. There will be stability and a right to voter to throw out the non-performer. If BJP wins and does not perform, we always have an option to replace it with Congress and vice versa.