Here are two good articles on Shri L. K. Advani's memoirs, first by Pratap Bhanu Mehta, and second by Swapan Das Gupta. Both have their merits.
Swapan Das Gupta is naturally more sympathetic to the memoir, but he has limited the scope to focus on Kandhar episode. This episode of course put national security credentials of BJP under permanent question mark. Blaming secular establishment for being fifth column, while theoretically with merit is for political purpose futile. The only way to reclaim the credentials is to accept the mistake and formulate a coherent and strong security policy with firm commitment to follow through.
Pratap Bhanu Mehta's review of the book is more edifying, in emphasizing Advani's role in transforming Indian polity in fundamental way. Ram Janam Bhoomi movement altered the political landscape permanently by creating a political awareness among Hindus as Hindus thus ensuring the discourse at least at political level will have to take cognizance of Hindu identity.
Of course this is hardly the end of road for cultural right, as I have pointed out earlier much of intellectual discourse as well as information dissemination and education infrastructure is still a secular monopoly and which must be dismantled before nationalism as a project may succeed.
This goal doesn't sit easy with demands of electoral politics, that and absence of substantial debate are the reasons why BJP finds itself in an intellectual stasis.
A glaring example being this fascination with Gandhian socialism, which contradicts even the earliest position of Jan Sangh which was pro market.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Here are two good articles on Shri L. K. Advani's memoirs, first by Pratap Bhanu Mehta, and second by Swapan Das Gupta. Both have their merits.
Dear minions, I am ashamed to admit that for once I find myself in agreement with insufferable Jerry Rao when he argues that best way to conserve tiger is allowing its commercial exploitation
Sometime last year the fallen one had raised essentially the same point, at that time I vehemently disagreed. Looking back, I can't figure out my reason for doing it, but I kind of feel stupid about it.
On the other hand Ritwik has disagreement with it and makes a convincing case.
There is a good case that George Fernandes should be kept in margins, somehow he seems to relish it. Behold George firing on all cylinders. Flip side ? Well it gets really nasty when he turns on his side.
"India has surrendered to China and is not taking any bold stand on the independence of Tibet," Fernandes said, while speaking at a function organised by the Regional Tibet Youth Congress, in Vadodara in Gujarat on Sunday.
"Over a dozen policemen, including Superintendent of Police and ASP Bijnore Gyan Singh and Man Singh Chauhan, were injured in Sisoli village when police tried to arrest Tikait, who had made derogatory statement against Mayawati at Kisan Swabhiman Rally held in Bijnor on Sunday," Assistant Director General (Law and Order) Brijlal told media persons in Lucknow.
An FIR had been registered against the BKU leader under the SC/ST Atrocities (prevention) Act (Emphasis mine).
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
I have been meaning to address a minor point raised by xyzji in this comment. The point was that Mahatma was a clever politician. To be sure, I have heard this comment many times earlies, but never agreed with it, for one, Congress before independence was more of a platform for freedom movement and less of a political party, but even where there was political side to Congress there is hardly any evidence that Mahatma was involved in political process and maneuvering. He was not concerned with organizations or elections as well. His involvement in Congress was mostly restricted to mass mobilization. i.e. as a movement leader.
Now its true he did intervene in rare cases, but that was hardly for political reasons and more due to ideological ones. In fact his action of nuking Subhash Chandra Bose betrays absence of political sensibility.
Now there is another charge less often heard which has some merit, that Mahatma was a demagogue, nevertheless it is also incorrect. While it its true that the movement led by Mahatma was a mass movement, one which supplanted the earlier middle class he never pandered to the masses. If the masses followed him it was because they were attracted to his ideals, not the other way. In fact as the example of Chauri Chaura shows he stood up to the masses when he felt that they were on wrong path.
I think my earlier analysis stands. Mahatma was a fanatic but not necessarily of any ideological bent, but consumed by desire for spiritual cleansing, a desire which turned his outlook increasingly self focussed, to the exclusion of any other perspective. A common failing for a Hindu.
Retrieved from Deep Freeze
I intended to write this earlier, but kept postponing it Ah ,well.
It is hard not to feel disappointed with this clamour for Kosovo best exemplified by this article, written disappointingly, by Pratap Bhanu Mehta. This does however represent the general position in that it is lacks any convincing argument or even an insight. I admit I am not unduly alarmed by Kosovo independence. Sure these is a possibility that Kosovo might join Caliphate, but Kosovo is hardly the country which is going to scare the beejuses out of me. Or even the fact that this development is in all probability going to cause unpleasant business.
What galls me can be stated as following.
One. There is no international law involved in this case. Sure there can be scope of understanding, but the question of nation formation is more a case of history, identity and balance of power than some universally agreed upon principle.
Second. Related to first, there is a curious (and also irritating) subtext that Kosovo has repercussion on territorial integrity of India, the argument goes that principle of self determination that is employed for Kosovo can be used to support succession of various disgruntled regions from India (Kashmir, North East, Galt's Gunch etc.). This is pure bunkum. Whether India survives or not depends upon ability of Indians to both establish a unifying narrative as well as her military strength, principle international or otherwise, doesn't enter into it.
Third and final. The argument opposing Kosovo independence belongs to the tired liberal ideology best summarized in phrase "holiday from history". Indeed it is frustrating to see Mr Mehta stretching his case for sake of a vaunted multi ethnic and secular nation democracy. Why should Kosovo remain in an arrangement it doesn't wish to , or is not even forced to. It is erroneous for Mr Mehta to conflate how a nation is formed with how a nation is governed. As stated earlier in the post, former is a function of socio-cultural identity and essentially decided with flow of history, the matter of governance on the other hand is matter of political philosophy and its aims constrained by existing circumstances. Therefore it is not so much as Europe has failed in her ability to form stable multi ethnic nation as a product of her history which resolved in present situation, with diverse territories of Austria-Hungary Hapsburg and Ottoman empires disintegrating to form homogeneous democracies. Similarly relative stability of India isn't a result of liberal project but her history and culture and it is that which is responsible for her success. To assume otherwise is fallacious and yet this is what liberal establishment assumes, and peddles as the incontrovertible truth.
Friday, March 21, 2008
“Myself and my daughters would never like Sarabjit freed in exchange for any hardcore Pakistani terrorist lodged in Indian jails,” Sarabjit’s wife, Sukhpreet Kaur, told PTI.* (via the fallen one)
No amount of eloquence can express the gratitude for this one person who displays the courage and honour which sadly is too lacking in our nation.
PS. I don't know whether it is possible, but may be we can contribute to the brave lady to express our appreciation for standing up for India. Does anyone have any ideas ?
This is to inform dear minions that benevolent dictator is at present in Lucknow. Blogging will be at pleasure.
Meanwhile, obligatory Holi Song.
HOLI HAI !
Arthur C Clarke (1917 - 2008)
He will think of something... (2001: A Space Odyssey)
Saturday, March 15, 2008
(Due to incessant demands by Sriram yet another post on Obama)
I am shocked, shocked to find racist bigotry goes on in my church. *
I have just realized that SI doesn't have any unit for stupidity, which makes it necessary for purpose of standardization of measurement to create a new one, which is AVU meaning Amit Varma Unit*. On this new unit, this article by Jug Suraiya, the establishment clown from TOI will fare very well.
Now the facts of tragic death of Scarlett Keeling are hazy at best, but to best of my knowledge the case is this the girl was drugged, assaulted and raped. How the legalization of drugs would have the changed the sequence of events is not at all clear to me, unless the contention is that legalization of drugs would have resulted in complete elimination of criminal activity criminals, which to me appears a very stupid thing to say, and hence it is fair to assign 1 AVU to the idiot from TOI.
*Although to be precise it should be display of stupid behaviour by supposedly well read people. In Hindi succinctly summarized as Padhe likhe bewakoof.
Update 1: Ok, there can be a more plausible scenario. Perhaps the girl was looking for drugs, and the perpetrators of crime were drug peddlers, which means that if the drug were available in kirana store, then she wouldn't have come in contact with peddlers and would have been alive. There are two problems first there would still be criminals who no doubt will make use of drugs to trap people and second the girl was a minor and in all probability selling drugs to her would still be illegal.
One other point. Not every Hindu smokes Charas and it is harmful.
One final point. To put things in perspective this article is still better than the lunacy where it was argued that it was kerosene subsidy which killed Manjunath, while in reality it was IIM-L which killed him. I fear for Desi John Galt.
Update 2: This story for the more plausible scenario.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Welcome our Chinese overlords. Of course it is all right to protest against US hegemony.
Suffer ye' fools. Oh I do know that you people suspected I was evil. But you can't even fathom the depth of my depravity and inhumanity. Tell me, did I ruin your weekend.
"Why should we try to impose something that is actually impossible to impose, which also causes little bother for others and for a certain group actually means much pleasure?", he said.
Mr van Grieken stresses that tolerance to "cruising" gays, aimed at protecting homosexuals from violence, will have "strict rules attached"."Thus, condoms must always be cleared away, it must never take place in the neighbourhood of children's playgrounds and the sex must be restricted to the evening and night-time," he said.
However some people are not happy,
But Amsterdam's dog owners are less impressed. The new park code of conduct will set out stiff fines for dogs that are allowed to run around the Vondelpark off the leash."Research showed that many people find this disturbing," said Mr van Grieken.One dog owner protested: "As long as the park has existed, we've been allowed to let our dogs run freely. It's outrageous that we will be punished from now on but public sex won't. If they can drop their trousers, why can't I let my dog loose?"
Soon they will legalize bestiality, then this goat lover can migrate to Netherlands.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Redundancy is not a fluid, or else there would be a minor flood.
I must ask, how in world can one possibly prefer Revenge of Sith over King Kong ? Peter Jackson rocks !
I am very very disappointed. I hope you see the error of your ways.
PS. I confess. I can't stand Star Wars.
PPS. Climax of King Kong is one of the most poignant moments in films for me, though I would have gone with, "It wasn't the airplanes, It was the love that got him"*
PPPS. Have you read this story by Wilde, if not, read it now.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
India is still a nation of dhimmis. Regular programming resumes now.
Brought to you by your neighbourhood Hindutva Fascist.
I commute to my office via Mumbai-Banglore bypass. As an exception which proves the rule (to Pune) the road is good, traffic easy, which means commute is mostly hassle free. Or used to be, because some moron in Traffic department had a brainwave, or possibly acid reflex (it is difficult to tell with these babu types) and decided to install traffic lights at Baner crossing. Result, chaos, traffic jam, and a ruined start of day.
Anyway, I have decided that I am converting. From now on I am an Anarchist Capitalist Libertarian*. Capitalism is my religion, Government my eternal enemy, Ayn Rand the seal of Prophet, and wearing lime green underwear affirmation of my faith.
*Though I must ask can't the powers that be think of a easier name. I don't want to play spoilsport but the name is not very marketable, I guess.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Prachanda : Indo-Nepal treaty to be abrogated, India an expansionist force.
Hey but at least Nepal is a secular country. Long live secularism.
PS. How long before China pulls Nepal as a satellite country, like Pakistan.
Vatican church : Pollution is a sin. (via)
Update : How could I forget the other sins. (via)
1. "Bioethical" violations such as birth control
2. "Morally dubious'' experiments such as stem cell research
3. Drug abuse
4. Polluting the environment
5. Contributing to widening divide between rich and poor
6. Excessive wealth
7. Creating poverty
Jokes aside, I am a bit disappointed at this "compassionate catholicism"
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Michelle Obama is the new Hillary Clinton
Update 1: Obama is the new Sanjaya ? Now that's just mean !
Update 2: And if you thought that Obamania was creepy, you wouldn't be wrong. I mean, what else could you say about a phenomenon which manages to channel Seinfeld and Stargate at the same time !
Update 3: Obama is Lisan al-Gaib ? Hmmm ...
Update 4: Building a religion, Feat. Obama.
George Orwell once described fascism on the lines of anything someone doesn't disagree with.
By that criteria accusation of homophobia is the new fascism.
1. In real life, are there any scenarios where there is a clear cut difference between problem of collective action, and problem of free loading ?
2. When Indian bloggers say, "Institutions matter", do they realize, what they are talking about ?
This is not a rhetorical question as a) I myself didn't know what it meant and b) let's face it Indian blogdom is full of buffoons like this.
Saturday, March 01, 2008
craps writes. Why ? Somewhere a village livemint is missing its idiot star
Just came to know that Justice H. R. Khanna passed away last week (via disreputable blog). He was one of the few members of Indian judiciary who had the courage to oppose the tyranny of Indira Gandhi during the darkest hour of democracy when most of our honourable judges were too eager to do sashtang before her.
One of the most depressing books I ever read (whose name I can't recollect, not surprisingly written by Arun Shourie) described in detail the political and even judicial rhetoric in support of emergency. The enthusiasm with which likes of Indrajit Das Gupta and Priyaranjan Das Munshi embraced the emergency and applauded it as historical necessity to thwart American Imperialism and fulfill the onward inevitable march of class struggle, was more than depressing, it was positively frightening to realize how the well entrenched classes connived to subvert the republic and impose a progressive fascists regime, and how closely we escaped from that eventuality.
Update: The book was The Parliamentary System (via Dirty Old Man)