OPINION

Monthly Archives: APRIL 2017


The Beginning Of The End (Part III)
03.04.17 - observer with opinion
The Beginning Of The End (Part III)



Let us observe closely the nature of some of the cracks in the RSS-BJP edifice that an overload of political success has ironically brought out into the open if only we care to see them.

Now, here's the rub in the game of one-upmanship between Modi who likes to be seen as being the strongman in total control of the Party as well as the Government, with RSS also well under his control because of his magnetic personality and his irreplacabilty in the position that he is in, at least for the moment, and his mentors the RSS who are already keen to groom his successor, maybe even a quiver of them to choose from as when the occasion arises or the time feels right. 

In this context it is interesting to observe the secretive process of the choice of the Chief Minister of UP, the excessive amount of  it took as compared to the immediate decisions about the CMs of Uttarakhand, Goa and even Manipur, and the spooky, Sphinx-like silence of the Modi-Shah duo, who were not even reported as having publically or privately congratulated the surprise candidate who finally made the grade and effectively upstaged Modi's choice for the post, MOS Railways, Manoj Sinha, who has very tenuous links with the RSS and who as an IIT qualified engineer would have been both efficient in delivering Modi's promise of Development and better Law and Order in UP and at the same time obedient to the Modi-Shah combine which is the "Party High Command" of the BJP.

While Keshav Prasad Maurya, the UP BJ P chief and its EBC of face who was one of the probables in the race for of UP CM was hospitalised in Delhi presumably out of shock when he realised he'd been bypassed, (and later got the consolation prize of the post of Deputy CM along with Dinesh Sharma, Mayor of Lucknow, a Brahmin) there was a spooky silence from the normally effusive PM and his office, usually so prompt in its tweets even when cricket matches are win by India.

As the newly elected MLAs emerged from their closed door meeting, cries of "Har Har Yogi" rent the selfsame air which during the campaign had resounded with "Har Har Modi". The instinctive reaction of people besides surprise was to say spontaneously that

a) the BJP's development mask was off revealing its hardcore Hindutva agenda and its true RSS face ,

b) Modi 's successor in 2024 if not earlier has been anointed by the RSS responding to the popular majoritarian sentiment

c) Ram Temple in Ayodhya would definitely built in Yogi Adityanath's CMship given his Matth's three generational active commitment to it
and

d) An inflection point had been reached in RSS's journey towards the Hindu Rashtra 

When a haggard-looking Modi turned up during the swearing in ceremony in Lucknow, it was his moment of sympathetic whispered communication (perhaps commiseration?)  on stage with SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, the stalwart recently upstaged  by his own son and successors Akhilesh who went on to lose the election, rather than with the official star of the show, Mahanth Yogi Adityanath, the brand new CM of UP, which caught the attention of the cameras and became the defining image of the historic day. Modi, who seemed to have turned totally grey overnight, had clearly lost his usual effusiveness and aggressive energy, and appeared uncharacteristically subdued and quiet. The moment was reminiscent of the Goa Conclave of the BJP in which Modi decidedly upstaged Advani, and became the Man of Destiny as BJP's PM candidate. The wheel had turned full circle and the new Enfant Terrible of Hindutva had arrived on the National stage. The so called lunatic fringe had been mainstreamed with a vengeance. Shah, by the way , be seen standing closer to Yogi, with even a smile on his face, in the ceremonial pictures being flashed from Lucknow on that fateful Sunday the 19th of March which will be etched in India's collective consciousness as a day of destiny, when the nation's journey took a momentous turn towards the extreme Right.

When the Yogi came to Delhi on 21/3/17 and entered the Lok Sabha to give his farewell speech as a five- time MP he was greeted by slogans of "Bharat Mata ki Jai" by BJP members- an unprecedented occurrence. The House and the nation listened with rapt attention to his speech which was uncharacteristically respectful, soft sentimental and urbane, full of warmth, hope  and humour - but the PM was not there to listen to it. The Yogi with his arms full of flowers and with a disarming smile on his youthful face, went to call on the PM, who seems to have greeted him with an uncharacteristically awkward reserve. The body language of the two leaders in those televised moments and in still photos of the meeting speak volumes. 
 
This was not the Modi who had rushed to the tarmac in a bright orange shawl to effusively embrace the leader of the Free World and arguably the most powerful man on earth, his "friend Barack" on his arrival in Delhi for the Republic Day celebrations in January 2015, or shown off his monogrammed Savile Row suit over an intimate shared cup of tea on the plush lawns of Hyderabad, during the heyday of his undisguised delight at becoming PM of India. Dressed completely in ghostly white, with white locks to match, and a pale look on his face, Modi can be seen sitting well back in a corner of his office sofa, with both hands held tightly locked before him while the Yogi leans in his seat with a charming smile, holding his hands relaxedly folded, leaning eagerly towards his wary host. Perhaps Modi's basic training as a mere prachaarak puts him in awe of the Matthadheesh of a 600 year old Order of Ascetics. One can't act familiar with the Pope or the Shankaracharya, after all. But Modi's posture was also of reluctant surrender before the inevitable march of Time, of the defeat of advancing age by careless vigorous Youth. And here the anointee also had the approval of the Patrician Mentors of Nagpur, Modi's own patrons and masters.

Interestingly, the Yogi also called on Advani with a bouquet of flowers for the head of the Margdarshak Mandal and one could see, after a long time, a broad smile and a genuinely cheerful look on his face. It appeared that he for one did certainly believe that his Biter had been bit, and Karma had caught up with his ungrateful disciple in the shape of his vibrant visitor from Lucknow via Gorakhpur, who would surely take Advani's interrupted Rath Yatra to its logical conclusion. Soon after that one heard that a rare phone call of sympathy and good wishes was put in by PM Modi to the RJD Chief Lalu Yadav, who had memorably stopped Advani's inexorable Rath at one point in history, ostensibly because the Bihar leader had suffered an accidental fall from a ceremonial stage and been hospitalised for a brief spell. Ironies abound in the history of Indian politics.
 
As Yogi was leaving for Lucknow after these ceremonial visits, he got a call from Amit Shah, whom he had neglected to visit. His own sense of self worth as a power to reckon with in UP and as a Matthadheesh whom even RSS patricians are forced to treat as equal probably did not let it even occur to him that he should have called on the BJP party President, something no other BJP CM would have forgotten to do. The Yogi quite naturally feels entitled in his own right, and is beholden to none, not even to the RSS who had to concede UP to him as right , not as a favour, especially if they wanted the Ram Mandir to be actually constructed in Ayodhya, and save face in the next general elections, given the fact that the Yogi, his Guru, and his Guru's Guru have been extraordinarily committed to the Ram Mandir cause and have played important roles in the history of the campaign to have it built. The Yogi immediately turned his carcade back and obliged Shah with a visit, but the very fact that Shah had to prompt him to do it gives a lot away about the changed dynamics now operating in the RSS BJP universe.

It is also educative to analyse the way Corporate Media, Print and TV, reacted to this indubitably unexpected development in UP politics, which threw them so out of kilter to begin with, say between 6 to 9 pm on Saturday the 18th of March , that some of their reactions were atypically spontaneous and gave the game away The Corporate TV Media, half of which is controlled by Modi 's chief financier Mukesh Ambani, and most of the other half by BJP RS Member Subhash Chandra of Zee, also deeply obliged to the Modi Shah duo who helped  manipulate his dodgy election from Haryana, also most newspapers, which are controlled by BJP votaries or opportunistic allies, has been wary in its reactions. Starting off with shock, and incredulous "this cannot really be happening " expressions of denial, and moving quickly into "this is just not done" mode, a few comparatively liberal anchors, who thought their masters would react adversely to this coup staged by the RSS power centre against the Modi-Shah duo, could soon be seen changing their tune, presumably after orders from owners, and the chorus then turned into "this is a master stroke of the RSS BJP for keeping up the intensity of the UP election campaign to win the 2019 election on the provenly successful Hindutva card".

This volte face occurred because  , whatever be the inside story, in public perception, nationally and internationally, the  one thing that the Modi- Shah duo could under no circumstances be seen as doing, was losing control. Till 5 pm on the evening of 18/3/17 evening Modi and Shah were to be seen running a tight ship, with everything firmly under control, deftly balancing the Sangh 's Hindutva agenda with the Party's Development and Anticorruption spiel, with Modi as the Vikas Purush as well as the Lauh Purush of modern India, a sort of Vajpayee and Advani mix, or Nehru and Patel rolled into one, with dashes of Deendayal Upadhyay, Ram Manohar Lohia, and even Savarkar and Golwalkar thrown in. After all what was Modi basically. but an RSS Prachaarak risen from the ranks, blessed with a gift for demagoguery, and more ready than most to break a few eggs to make an omelette figuratively speaking; he just happened to have cultivated corporate friends with benefits, very specifically the Ambanis and the Adanis of Gujarati origin, for himself, for the party and who knows, when needed, for the Sangh too! And he had found a dependable conduit in his Man Friday, Amit Shah, also an RSS man, for this purpose- not that Shah did not have other useful talents as well, which was a bonus. Fifteen years of practice in Gujarat made the duo more than ready for the national stage in Delhi, with the Sangh's wholehearted approval.

By 6.30pm on 18/3/17, the whole world knew that the situation had changed, definitively and irrevocably.

The Spirit of India had found its own way to reassert itself and start the beginning of an end that carries within itself the seeds of a new beginning

Long live the innate power of the untameably unpredictable, dynamic, and various universe of Hinduism, and the madness with a method, that chaos with a life and a logic of its own own that is the eternal and infinite embodiment of the Idea of India, and the irrefutable, undefeatable, ever-changing, ever- evolving system, self-correcting, self-balancing, unkillable, self renewing, unique form of socio- political organisation and cultural richness that is the spirit and essence of Indian democracy - that people's power which
"moves in a mysterious way its wonders to perform"!

( End of Part III )




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The Beginning Of The End (Part II)
03.04.17 - observer with opinion
The Beginning Of The End (Part II)



A discerning observer might have quoted Tennyson there and then to say:

"It is the little rift within the lute
That by and by will make the music mute
And ever widening , slowly silence  all "
(Idylls of the King)

For those who have doubts about the tacit RSS approval for AAP and Kejriwal, with their soft Hindutva agenda, one would point towards the suspicious lack of a clearly spelt out ideology of this amorphous issue based SUV, which is now unravelling by trying to be all things to all men, and losing its core identity as an anti- corruption, transparency-advocating campaign subtly targeting the then entrenched liberal UPA dispensation. What is Kejriwal's or AAP's stand on reservations? Dead silence. What is Kejriwal's stand on secularism? Patronage to Sri Sri Ravishankar, sharing of stage with Baba Ramdev. What kind of poetry does AAP's Kumar Biswas spout? Typical Rashtrawadi, anti Pak, Marwari Yuva Manch or Hasya Kavi Sammelan stuff, with now and then a commercial genuflection before generously funded Mushairas in Dubai and other such lucrative jaunts.
 
Where did Kejriwal's partner on Anna Hazare's stage , Kiran Bedi land up?  In mainstream BJP. And she was amply rewarded for switching from Team B  to Team A, from Kejriwal to Modi, by the Modi-Shah combine. Why did Kejriwal 's AAP not contest elections this time  in UP or Uttarakhand but did contest in Goa and Punjab? To take the Sikh and Christian vote away from Akalis and the Congress as a first step towards moving it to the BJP? Or because there were signals from the RSS to leave the big boys alone to deal with the big battles in the big states? Why is Kejriwal contesting in Gujarat? So that the anti-incumbency against the Modi-Shah led BJP in their home state, which is no longer fooled by them, doesn't go to the Congress but falls into the B team share. "Thaali ka laddu tootey bhi toh thaali mein hi girey".
So,really, one need not have any  doubts on the issue of AAP being RSS's B Team for Hindutva (Many would argue Congress in its various manifestations and spawn such as the NCP the TMC as well as JD (U), SP, AIADMK, BJD and even the SAD or J and K PDP are its C Teams, or co-opted partners.  It is only the hardcore Atheist Left which is beyond the pale, but fortunately from the RSS point of view, and unfortunately for the nation, even Left parties have been hijacked by upper caste leadership, and in any case are hopelessly divided, and fast disintegrating or imploding)

In Punjab, the real subterranean tussle was that while RSS seemed to be tactically and tacitly supporting the B Team, the election-strategy-deciding , purse-string-holding,  largely Ambani-financed, Reliance-guided Modi-Shah-led BJP plumped for the C team i. e. the INC and the worldly wise, Hindu-royal-family-network-allied, ED-CBI-Swiss-Bank-compromised and therefore manipulable Captain Amarinder Singh.

Why Modi hates Kejriwal while the Sangh casts a benevolent eye on him is clear and very much in keeping with simple human nature. Who wants to be an option rather than an irreplaceable essential priority to his boss or master ?
 
That visceral hatred of Modi Bhakts- and not deeper more mature RSS acolytes-is very visible on social media, where "Aaptards"  are almost as viciouly trolled as "Khangress's sickular libtards" . Another vital difference is Kejriwal being completely independent of and often bitterly critical of the Ambanis and Adanis, who have placed all their bets on their favoured Modi, with Shah as their trusted conduit. (Ever wondered why BJP has no Treaurer and the Party President acts as the Treasurer as well? Wonder no more. It's best not to trust too many people with your core interests - and Shah guarantees judicious efficient investment, while Modi delivers maximum bang for the buck)
 
While RSS has many varied channels of funding in India and abroad, the Modi-Shah duo is highly dependent on Reliance - and the Ambanis do not want an anti-corruption crusader who has been an Income Tax officer, and criticises them openly to become too powerful, while the RSS doesn't mind that at all and likes to keep its options open and enjoys keeping its protégés on their toes by applying checks and balances lest any of them get too big headed.

It is in this clear divide between the ideologue and cadre master RSS and its current privileged SUV of first choice in its pursuit of the Hindu Rashtra ideal, the BJP, which at the moment can scarcely be pictured in the public mind without the predominant Modi-Shah (one might add another hyphen and then Ambani) combine, that gives hints of the fierce fight for succession and probable messy transition or even partial disintegration and loss of dominant political power of the RSS BJP duo which could lead to huge and destructive chaos in the life of the nation if not anticipated, analysed and planned for, from now itself by the insiders as well as the outsiders of the game.

It is surprising and unfortunate that clear-eyed, matter-of-fact knowledge and authentic information of AAP's RSS origins and soft Hindutva goals is so notably absent from the public domain and therefore from most media, social media, academic and street-corner discussions across the length and breadth of the country, though the Congress and SP duplicity in harbouring closet majoritarianism is now being quite widely discussed. This speaks volumes for the success of the RSS strategy of snatching and retaining power by keeping the general public and even gullible analysts deliberately confused. This information needs wide publicity in the public sphere and deep penetration in the hinterland, so that informed discussions can take place on a more factually strong platform, on more realistic grounds, and citizens cum voters can take informed decisions at all levels.

The Indian liberal's leaning towards AAP sometimes even while knowing that it is as closet-Hindutva as the Congress, maybe more, shows the helplessness of the common man, isolated and disempowered, before the corporate-funded election machines of the corrupt-to-the-core and history-burdened established national and regional parties. The lazy lily-livered liberal would vote even for a cardboard cut out which gave him an alternative to all these options, even AAP, and many vent their frustrations by going NOTA way. This is just not enough. Liberals have to learn to organise, to resist and to fight for what they know is right. And hijacking of Indian democracy by Ultra Right Majoritarian Hindu Fundamentalists amorally, venally, calculatedly and selfishly funded by crony capitalists abetted by profit- seeking global capital in turn supported by their governments for advancement of their geopolitical hegemonic, military, strategic and economic goals, against the larger interest of the larger part of common Indian citizens is certainly not right by any standards. 

One attraction of AAP, hinted at above, is that "at least it is not funded by corporates"- specifically not by the Ambanis. Kejriwal is the only important political leader in the country today who has dared to speak against Reliance and the Ambanis though he's less vocal now than before he won in Delhi, when Anil Ambani's Reliance racket of steep electricity pricing and overbilling in Delhi was one of his major targets in his campaign speeches, and he has hit them where it hurts and got lower tariffs for Delhiwallahs after coming into power. Of late, and prior to the UP election, he's been a bit subdued on the "Reliance on Reliance" subject. Why? Was it because of RSS-BJP and here RSS is the operative part leaned heavily on Reliance especially Reliance JIO not only for funds where each vote cost them an average of 800 rupees, but also for spreading whatsapp messages and memes against Congress-SP and Muslims and in favour of BJP-RSS free of cost to millions of voters in the hinterlands of UP and Uttarakhand.

Perhaps Reliance, itself on a roll on arbitrage with government patronage, and a rabid unchecked monopliser (both brothers, each in his own sphere), manipulator of stock exchanges and unchecked drainer of banks via the heavy loan default route, is directly funding RSS too, but it's major beneficiary is the BJP and its main conduit the Party Chief cum Treasurer, Amit Shah.

The whole shady business of demonetisation, going hand in hand with the demonisation of the minorities, during the exact period of preparations for and Conduct of the 5 State Elections from 8 November 2016 (the day of declaration of the result of the American Presidential election in favour of Donald Trump) to the day of the end of the electoral process in 13/3/17 (the exact date on which restrictions on cash withdrawals from Indian Banks were withdrawn), after installation of Mukesh Ambani's friend and ex head of Reliance's business development wing, shows the incestuousness of the whole cosy relationship among Modi-Shah and the Ambanis. It is now clear how cash hoarded for elections and purchase of poached leaders of other parties by the opposition parties was rendered useless while stacks and stacks of it were recovered from BJP leaders and sympathisers, most which till date have not been traced to any bank branch on the basis of their serial numbers, and which much-maligned and therefore angry bank employees suggest were directly spirited from RBI 's printing presses to the fund managers and bribe distributors of the BJP.
 
The tentacles of this Octopus are spread wide but their nucleus is the Modi-Shah-Ambani combine. For the BJP government, this nucleus is key. For the RSS, with its much larger " cultural" project, much bigger time horizon, and much more amorphous structure and goals, it is only one fortuitous convergence for a limited period of time. It is a relationship of convenience for the present for all parties concerned not necessarily a meeting of minds. And as for it being a meeting of hearts, the principal players of this game have none. Loyalty is only for a purpose and incest is far from taboo. Scruples have no place in this matrix. Weakness is not an option, And defeat is death. Which is why the emergence of cracks in the edifice and contradictions that even the all-powerful Sangh may not be able to contain ( given the peculiarly mutinous, incomprehensibly various, intractably complex, rebelliously independent, and ultimately unpredictable nature of the beast that is Indian popular perception and politics ) becomes so very, very interesting.

( End of Part II )




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The Beginning Of The End
03.04.17 - observer with opinion
The Beginning Of The End



" In my beginning is my end"
.....
" In my end is my beginning "
(TS Eliot, The Four Quartets, East Coker)

The ominous auguries of the inevitable beginning of a long drawn out and predictably painful end of the Modi-Shah dominated Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) era of Indian politics, though not yet perhaps of the RSS project of the Hindu Rashtra, Akhand Bharat and Vishwa Guru Bharat, are casting their looming shadows over a widely and variously divided India already, and need to be objectively analysed, intensively studied and widely discussed to prepare us for potentially tumultuous times to come in the foreseeable future of our increasingly brittle and fragile Nation State at a crucial juncture in World History. 

The sudden meteoric rise of Yogi Adityanath on the horizon of Right Wing politics in India is problematic in more ways than one, for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Party President Amit Shah, for the BJP as a national political party, for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), for Uttar Pradesh (UP), for Corporate India, for the country in general, for the future of peace in the Indian Sub Continent, for political, economic, and strategic equilibrium in the Asian Continent, and for the balance of power in the world as a whole, in that order.

The shocked disbelief, upon Yogi's sudden elevation, among the minorities, not only of UP, but of the entire nation was matched by that of most liberal secular Indians, as also of many not-so-secular but otherwise liberal Hindus who staunchly support Modi and the BJP.

There was palpable discomfort in the political establishment in Delhi at what was clearly a decision taken in Nagpur, which was echoed by many sections of the media, mainstream as well as social, and among the sophisticated business circles of Mumbai, which gave a very low key, subdued response to the coronation of the Yogi after a fiercely fought election that many believed was carried on the shoulders of the charismatic Modi, who certainly gave his all to the high intensity election campaign, and the organisational skills of the redoubtable Amit Shah, who was never short of funds, strategies or men to make BJP 's hegemonic dream of painting India saffron from shore to shore, come true.

But there is little doubt that it was the RSS which was the real long-term architect of the victory with its 75 years of organisational work across the country, and it was RSS whose workers brought voters to the booths, besides providing the vital underpinning of a well crafted and tirelessly propagated ideology of muscular Hindutva. And Modi's mere acknowledgement of it in his victory speech at the Party Headquarters in Delhi, and his tributes though rich and fulsome, were just not enough recompense - far from it.

Modi, more aware than many in his nationwide audience of the Juggernaut that propelled him  and the BJP to the famous victory, nay the triumphal conquest, the clean sweep of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, the very heart of India, was  eloquent, and his words had a resounding relevance for his masters in Nagpur as well as the rank and file of its prachaaraks and volunteers, when he said on 12/3/17 in the saffron party's headquarters, in a speech beamed live across the length and breadth of India, and later played on loop by all news channels for nearly twenty four hours, the following momentous words :

" Chunaao jeetna ek baat hai, lekin BJP ki Sanskriti ko desh ke kone-kone mein pahunchaana, doosri baat hai. Chaar peeddheeyaan Khap gayeen iss karya mein, tab jaakar aaj ye sapna saakaar hua hai"
("Winning Elections is one thing but to take the BJP culture to every corner of the country is quite another thing altogether. Four generations have been used up before this dream could be fulfilled today")

Since BJP,  which morphed out of Jan Sangh, the Hindu Mahasabha and the Janata Party did not even exist that long ago, it is the RSS that the Prachaarak in him was harking back to.

But how could mere words satisfy  the RSS which had already waited in the wings for three quarters of a century for this very  hour, and which has painstakingly but swiftly "normalised" its open emergence as the real power behind the ruling dispensation in Delhi over the past two and a half years, in what would have seemed an alarming, ominous, almost menacing extra-Constitutional control over an elected even as recently as in 2015. The people's mandate for development, the corporate mandate for "economic reforms", and perhaps in some cases for a soft Hindutva, was taken over by RSS's Hardcore Hindutva agenda of the Hindu Rashtra. Through a raucous purchased media helping to mould fickle and shallow "public opinion" into the Nagpur Consensus, through its suddenly violently aggressive Student Wing, the ABVP, through its multifarious loosely-affiliated vigilante groups of Gau Rakshaks, Anti- Romeo Squads and other often even armed Senas (one of which the Hind Yuva Vahini was formed by Mahant Yogi Adityanath ) or even the saffron terrorist "revolutionary" outfits inherited from pre-independence days, such as the infamous 'Abhinav  Bharat', now openly patronised by the Central Government, and by Governments of BJP ruled states, they have taken over the dominant narrative in the popular psyche, and intensified it to a point of no return.

BJP and Modi are now riding a tiger. The virulent forms of harder and harder Hindutva, more and more fanatic, more and more violent, less and less concerned about any adverse consequences, foul-mouthed, reckless, impatient, completely entitled and completely uncivilised, the A++ teams of Hindutva, such as the Shiv Sena , the Maharashtra Navnirman Sewa, and now the Yogi's Vahini have taken over after snatching the initiative from a relatively cautious and mature Modi, who clearly prides himself on being a man of the world, the darling of the NRIs and PIO, and even fancies himself as a jet- setting global diplomat, lionised as he is by the corporates, especially his cronies, hungry to exploit his powerful leadership for personal profits, and ready to invest heavily into his all-conquering  Ashwamedha Yagna Yatra across the length and breadth of the country.

Unfortunately, in an Ashwamedha Yagna it is the brave free-running Sacred Horse himself, who after his signal conquests, has to be offered up as sacrifice in the sacred Yagna Fire. Modi, well versed in the arts and crafts of his parent "cultural organisation" and well aware of the ruthless cold eyed "cruelty-for-an-over-weening-collective cause" that characterises its celibate patriarchs, suddenly felt the cold tap of imminent political or even Gandhi like-Death on his yoked 56 inch shoulders. " Sangatthan se badaa koyi nahin": No individual however great, is greater than the organisation (read the Sangh and its sacred cause of the Hindu Rashtra).

"For at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast Eternity"
(Andrew Marvell)
The fate of the Lauh Purush of the BJP, Modi's mentor in the BJP, he of Rath Yatra and Ram Mandir fame, the canny LK Advani and his colleagues like Murli Manohar Joshi, put out to graze in the Parlok Sabha of the Margdarshak Mandal, a retirees club  waiting for the Dark Horseman, away from all mischief right under the watchful eyes of their erstwhile protégé, emasculated of patronising power, teeth pulled to eliminate any stray or random thoughts of interference, in a sort of earthly purgatory .

"Because I could not stop for Death
He kindly stopped for me
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality"
(Emily Dickinson)

After all, a man cannot serve the Nagpur Masters and the Delhi Meddlers at the same time, even though he may dodge the Lok Sabha and ignore the Rajya Sabha, and in fact treat the Parliament with the contempt he thinks it deserves.

To come back to Modi's hour of glory on 12/3/ 2017, after the declaration of the UP and UK poll results, and power in Goa and Manipur was very much within reach of money power and masterly manipulation, it was literally "Roses Roses all the way, with ne'er a spray of Yew" for the tired but jubilant Modi, the Superhero and Rock Star of BJP's Right Wing politics, and its undisputed single biggest vote catcher, crowd puller, demogogue and election winner in the entire history of the saffron Party.

But alas, earthly fame is always fickle, public memory is notoriously short, all good things must come to an end, and into each life some rain must fall.

After being feted as God's greatest gift to India that is Bharat for the Holi Festival week from the declaration of 5 State election results on 11/3/17 through the successful moneyed and manipulated BJPisation of the fractured but still clearly pro-Congress mandate in Goa and Manipur, before the euphoria among workers and fans evaporated, the Modi-Shah duo and their backers did a clear eyed assessment of losses as well and set about creating a narrative that would keep their infallible image intact so that all- important corporate funding and international (read American mostly) backing for Modi-Shah led BJP should not falter or start to hedge its bets by subtly shifting some backing to other emerging or re-emerging forces.

In this context, the first exercise in damage control by the Modi-Shah combine was to claim credit for the Congress win in Punjab for the BJP by spreading the word that it was BJP read Modi Shah who dog-whistled their urban Hindu voters to vote for the Congress rather than for the Aam Aadmi Party when they saw that the Akali-BJP combine was collapsing under the weight of two-term anti- incumbency and the misdeeds and corruption of the Akalis, particularly the Badal family. This could be true but it could equally be at least in part a planted narrative for BJP with a mere 6% vote share in the Punjab elections, so that the Modi -Shah could claim control and even patronage over the winning Congress, a party they recognise well and know how to deal with and defeat, rather than the maverick AAP which has been a thorn in their flesh in Delhi. The typical Modi Bhakt in Punjab as in the rest of the country lapped up this narrative which allowed their twin Teflon warriors to come out of the Punjab debacle (blamed totally and conveniently on the irredeemable Akalis, and not on their partners in crime the BJP ) with their egos and their all -powerful, infallible, ever-victorious image, aura and haloes intact even after a thorough drubbing in the border state.

There is however another side to this conveniently neat story. Two other sides, rather. One, the manipulation in Punjab was done by the canny, powerful Akalis and not the puny and forgettable BJP. The Akalis prefer the Congress to AAP, and the Badals prefer their cousin Captain Amarinder Singh to the unknown quantity Kejriwal , because under the Congress, they have less of a chance of being sent to jail, and even if they are, the Captain will ensure that they get their Diet Cokes and Colour Cable TV during their few days of convenient confinement, unlike Kejriwal and his ilk who were publicly rubbing their hands in vicious glee at the thought of sending the Badals to jail especially for drug production and sales .

Yet another coexistent angle to the real narrative of AAP's defeat in Punjab is that India Against Corruption, Kejriwal's original organisation, was in fact a creation of the RSS in consultation with now National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval, meant to discredit the Congress, and Kejriwal's decision to take part in electoral politics and bring riff- raff into the party increasingly without properly verifying their credentials, led to the party getting  divided with stalwarts like Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan breaking away to form Swaraj Abhiyaan. AAP is the B team of Hindutva and Kejriwal an alternative to Modi in case a softer Hindutva strategy has to be fallen back on, or Modi gets too big for his boots, which is why Modi hates him and wants to destroy him and his party completely, while RSS maintains a studied silence about their jousts with one another, in New Delhi. So it may have been the BJP's game plan but not that of the RSS, to shift the Hindu vote of Punjab to the Congress by invoking separatist Khalistani movement fears.

The first signs of a rift can be seen right here.
 
( End of Part I )




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