Reality Check India

Varun booked under NSA, no bail

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on March 29, 2009
Attempt to murder

Attempt to murder

It appears that Varun Gandhi has been booked under the stringent National Security Act for his VERBAL outbursts. The order was delivered in jail on a Sunday night so he has no chance of getting bail tomorrow.

New Delhi: BJP leader ’s political career plunged into deeper trouble on Sunday night with the Uttar Pradesh government deciding to book him under the National Security Act (NSA) for inciting communal tensions which may result in him being under detention for upto one year.Varun Gandhi

Source : IBN Live

 

 Here is a list of accusations against him,

Varun, who is in judicial custody, has been booked under sections 147, 148 and 149 (rioting and related charges), 307 (attempt to murder), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 336 (doing any act that endangers human life or the personal safety of others) and certain sections of IPC and public safety and certain state acts for the violence around the district jail here, they said. 

Source : TOI

 Just a few hours earlier, the Pilibhit District Magistrate Ashok Chauhan ruled out NSA being applied on Varun .

“An order issued hy Pilibhit district magistrate Ajay Chauhan invoking NSA on the BJP nominee this evening has been served to Gandhi, who is currently lodged in the district jail,” Additional Cabinet Secretary Vijay Shanker Pandey said.

 

Some key points :

1) The CD was released a full 9 – days after the event. There was obviously no communal riots during the interim or even after the English Language Media pumped up the story non stop.  So either the speech did not happen or the speech fell flat and did not result in a riot. Anyway you look at it, the incitement to riot is bogus. 

2) Varun cannot be held responsible for the behaviour of a huge crowd of his supporters at the time of his arrest.  So this is bogus too.

3) Varun himself has said that if he could he could undo certain things he said. That ought to be enough in a country like India where even seasoned veterans hold out divisive promises of first claim on resources.  Varuns rookie status must be considered.

4) This is election time and even a fool knows we still have some work left to do in this country. These major issues need to be highlighted to the public. This is the medias responsibility- yet they are taking on the collective task of destroying Varun. They and the UPA fully know that this will drive up Hindu anger and Muslim insecurity.  To an onlooker it might even seem like they are out to start a communal riot where none exists.

5) The punishment must match the crime.  Sweethearts, DIVISIVE policies is the bread and butter of this country.  Furthermore, merely delivering a divisive speech cannot be more offensive then creating a divisive policy.

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Reality Check’s appeal to those who are outraged by the invocation of NSA.

Please bottle up your emotions for a minute.  The “dominant political force” thrives in muddy waters and a high voltage environment. Ordinary muslims have nothing to do with this. In fact, the governments actions will have the effect of increasing insecurity amongst muslims.  No one likes to live like this in a constant state of fear and insecurity. Again, do not hold our Muslim brothers responsible for this. Let me also throw in the fact that they do not control the media either. They merely have surrogate seculars in the media who project themselves as their protectors.  

Direct your anger against the government and its support structure via the ballot box.

Vote the Congress led UPA out of power for sowing the seeds of division in this country.

Do we need this rusting artifact of history in this new century ? You decide.

Comment on BJPs dangerous game

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on March 29, 2009

I happened to read this post on the Retributions blog.

http://retributions.nationalinterest.in/bjps-dangerous-game/

Unfortunately, the retributions blog software refused to take my comment saying something like “Your comment is too long or too short – split it into multiple comments”

So I am posting my comment here, this way I wont lose it. I will retry posting it later on his blog when I have some time.

 

Wow !

If Varun is in jail today for not controlling his emotions, we Indians also need to be in locked up for voting on the emotional issue of Varun and not on policy.

A political kid bursts out emotionally in front of a huge crowd who came to hear exactly what he said. As distasteful as his speech was, this cannot be allowed to become the dominant election issue in India. It only shows how much growing up we have left to do. If the BJP throws Varun out of the party, who is going to bring in substitute headcount to replace those who were cheering for him. 

Who is going to balance the strain in society created by Manmohan Singh by his “first claim on resources” speech ?  By throwing Varun out of the party, the BJP would have automatically relegated itself to a trash can because they have officially accepted a title of “MUTANT” vis-a-vis other parties like the CPI-M ( Madhani) and the DMK (called Hindus = Thieves). 

 Varuns *speech* may have been divisive, but the Congress Party led UPA governments *actions* have been no less divisive. What do they say : Actions speak louder than words.

Does anyone recall that five years back we did not have a Religion column in any of the bank forms ? I dont think Varun created these forms.

I call upon the Indian voter to punish divisive policy (ie action) first.  This will allow Indian society to evolve to a level where divisive words automatically create nausea. You cannot pursue divisive policy and forcefully bottle up reactions to it using the media.

Does anyone even care that the PM and the former FM refused a probe into the spectrum scam ?

Under EC Scanner .. for

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on March 27, 2009

BJP Lok Sabha candidate Ananth Kumar Hedge (Uttara Kannada) is under the EC scanner.

For what :

Three-time BJP MP and the party’s Lok Sabha candidate from Uttara Kannada in Karnataka Ananth Kumar Hegde has come under the Election Commission’s scanner following complaints against him for “using caste and communal factors” during campaigning.

Source : Samaylive

My question is :

How do they manage to receive this complaint without breaking out into peals of laughter ?

Congress manifesto – free agents please read

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on March 26, 2009

Here is an interview with Mr Jairam Ramesh, the brains behind the Congress Party’s manifesto.

I am going to cut right to the meat.

As mentioned ad nauseum in this blog, the defining characteristic of India is the Quota Without Data system.  Big ticket issues such as farmer suicides, economy, education, infrastructure, security are all electorally irrelevant as long as this distorted perversion of social justice remains.

Read how Mr Jairam Ramesh lays out the future of India if his party is elected.

Q: Too much of reservation — minorities, women, poor…?

But ours is a quota society. Reservation has become a permanent feature even if founding fathers did not see it last beyond a few years. There is a case for quota for poor among non-SC/ ST/OBCs. Ultimately, baggage of 3,000 years (read discrimination) can’t go away with 60 years of development.

For reference purposes, 3000 years is the age of the earliest Harappan and Mohenjodaro excavations. Jairam Ramesh might think he is very clever, after all he has put the entire policy of quota beyond rational scrutiny and under the firm control of life stories. Mr Chidambaram put the number at 5000 to 10000 years, so maybe you should thank Jairam Ramesh.

Q: So much, but you could not clinch private sector quota promised in 2004?

Yes, we have not been able to get it. But the good thing is that it has sensitised industrialists to talk about Affirmative Action. Now, there is a CII committee under J J Irani to look into it. AA means many steps and quota is one of it. The manifesto for 2009 promises ‘supply quota’. It is a forward-looking measure, on the lines of what is done in the US, to stimulate entrepreneurship among SC/STs.

Source : TOI

We must understand the purpose of this item in the manifesto. What they are really doing is promising more benefits down the pipe as a reward for voting for your narrowest interest !

This is how it works.

Once benefits are secured to a narrow interest group, the population becomes complacent. Thereby undermining the political setup.

There  are two tendencies that can work against the political forces :

(a) To defect : If the benefits reach a dead end – then members might defect. In this case vote for a larger interest. (Two examples : Hindutva is a larger interest than Yadavtva or BrahmantvaVoting your displeasure on the SEZ policy is a larger interest than voting to thank  for your central government employee hike in DA )

(b) To not participate : If the benefits are secure with nothing new on the horizon. The population might not participate in voting, secure in the belief that their benefits are entrenched and placed beyond scrutiny.

The Congress Party has made it clear in its manifesto where it wants to take the country. Schemes like NREGA are just giant sponges placating various groups and sundry officials. There is of course no mention of the spectacular Spectrum Scam, the numskull Nuclear Deal, the SEZ free for all.

If all goes well, the Congress will have divided India into ad hoc groups and tied them to various benefits. If you are lucky you might have your group benefiting too – without the burden of measurement or data. Then it would of course be extremely hypocritical of us free agents to ask you to defect.

As far as free agent voters are concerned , think very carefully before you vote. Do not get swayed by bollywood or by the media hyping up a kid’s outbursts out of all proportion. Here is a mini question for you.

The question is :

Do you want the population of free agents to be further compacted and big ticket issues made even more irrelevant at the polls (if that were possible).

Lets try that again :

Is Varun Gandhis outburst enough to overwhelm your stand on the free agent population being compacted ?

Indian election reality check

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on March 23, 2009

The media has been completely preoccupied with Varun Gandhi for a week now. His speech is juvenile and is not unique. In any case, divisive policies that create citizenship categories are far more evil than mere words. You can also argue that it is exactly these policies that create demand for leaders who speak such language. If the media continues this for a few more days, I can almost guarantee we have a future leader in Varun Gandhi.

You may wonder, “Doesn’t the media  have anything else to talk about ? I mean this is the worlds largest democracy with the biggest problems. Surely, there must be some issues that are worth talking about with only a few weeks to go !”
Truth be told. There really is nothing to talk about.

There are no issues that are important enough.

The election is going to be largely

  • an enumeration of the strength and concentration of narrow interests.
  • an enumeration of the population that can be attached to a narrow interest in the next elections.

It is “counting” stupid –  not “voting”.

To prove me wrong is not easy. You would have to show me an issue that can make even the most chauvinistic  voter  endorse a larger interest when they have a narrow and exclusive choice.  Case in point :  The  Sri  Lankan  Tamil issue is  a non starter  even amongst the loudest Dravidian voting groups.

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PS: Please go out and vote. If you are a free agent this is the only way you can register your presence. Again pardon my cynicism, but this voice has to be heard. There are plenty of blogs and media sites which are currently celebrating the great Indian democracy.

IPL in South Africa or England

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on March 22, 2009

Are you ready for this farce ?

Chennai Vs Bangalore in Durban !!

It seems like this is going to be a reality.

The IPL Twenty20 tournament, which proved to be hugely popular in its inaugural edition last year, will be played this year in another country, probably England or South Africa, in the wake of a tussle between the Government and the BCCI over security issues.

Source : PTI

Today on TV, Lalit Modi shows up and exposes just how clueless he is about the national context of the tournament. Perhaps all the bollywood stars and easy money went to his head. The tournament was good because it was held in India, we fans filled the stadiums, we rooted for home teams, our companies went on outings to the game, Sivamanis drums, Hariharan, and the whole atmosphere made it special. Chennai Super Kings had massive home support when they played in Chennai and Bangalore had support in Bangalore. The same matches played in empty stadiums will have no viewership and undermine the actual reason you want to move it out of India (ad revenue).

Remember, the BCCI has been given a privileged position by the country. The elections are important , either postpone the tournament or quit and let the ICL (Indian Cricket League) to take over. BTW : I consider the ICL to be a textbook case of Indian style capitalism.

So anyway, I watched Lalit Modi on TV today. Here is a sample exchange that caught my attention.

“Can you imagine the complexity of conducting the tournament in South Africa and Englan. We need 500 top hotel rooms every night. We need flights to criss cross the venues. blah blah … “

I bet he does not even realize that he is really working up the economies of cricketing venues in South Africa and England. While our hotels are suffering from low occupancy rates and our airline industry struggling – he is actually boasting about organizing such a major event in a foreign country. Apparently, the economic linkages of the IPL to the local economies seems to escape him.

the BCCI President Shashank Manohar told a press conference that they were forced to take the tournament out of the country because of the government’s attitude.


That hurts ! Here we are thinking the government helped you crush the ICL – who were the original innovators in India. Did they not ? I guess they were your friends then. I bet the ICL could have done equally well if the courts had forced you to share your venues and not prevent young ICL players from representing their country.

Final thoughts

Stay in India.

Agree to the dates

If foreign players are scared go ahead with Indian players

Dont make a laughing stock of India in SA and England. Seriously, no country has ever done  this !

The entire world will draw inferences about the security situation in India from your laughable action.

Do we want to hear this “Imagine how the security situation in India must suck, they run to South Africa and England to conduct their popular domestic sports event”

Finally,

Let us say we have a warlike situation in this country, would you conduct the tournament in West Indies ? Are the dates and pampering foreign players that important ?

Die IPL !


Indian elections : Mutants will be destroyed

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on March 8, 2009

The media and the blogosphere is awash with articles celebrating the upcoming great Indian democratic exercise. I had an argument yesterday with a gentleman who was gushing about the democratic process and how the transfer of power was without bloodshed. I asked him how it was then we had completely screwed up in the last 60 years. He had just shelled out a small fortune and undergone an ordeal for a kinder garden seat. He lives in a locality with no sewage system or piped water or roads or footpaths. To top it a garbage dump nearby burns 24×7 spewing toxic stinking fumes. We are talking about the upper middle class here. So you can imagine the rest. Celebrating the technicalities of the electoral process alone is naive and tiring after a while.

Chewing is only the first part of eating. The objective of eating is to nourish your body and not to chew. Anyway, he was sufficiently annoyed and pointed to our neighbours. “Hey, at least we are not like them” – he said. Yeah, do you feel proud everyday of not being a drunkard and wife beater ? We changed topic shortly afterward.

Here is a case study

BJP-BJD split

In a major blow to the Bharatiya Janata Party -led National Democratic Alliance, on Saturday, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) snapped its 11-year-old alliance with the BJP in Orissa after both parties failed to reach a consensus over seat sharing for the forthcoming Lok Sabha and assembly elections.

Source : DH


First the ground rules are not what the BJP seems to think. Not what the “middle class” seems to think. We are playing hockey not cricket. The BJP and Congress must not aspire to be anything more than providing escrow service to the various narrow interests. You can roughly think of BJP and Congress as being like Mastercard or Visa and the various narrower interests as the banks actually issuing credit cards. The third front might be a wannabe like Discover ! The Congress fully knows this and will reap the benefits at the polls. Just consider the complete independence granted to entire ministries and its demonstrated commitment to protecting the national secret. Readers of this blog will know that the narrower interests have congealed around the compromises made to equality. In this environment,  the BJP continues to look like a straggler on the bus. The Congress has masterfully pulled the rug from under the BJPs feet. Imagine getting shot down for talking about larger interests (from price rise to national security). Unfortunately, the Congress’ will eventually get swallowed by its own creation.

The offstumped blog briefly hits the core of the issue before quickly getting diverted in the wrong direction.

The regional allies of the BJP who have far less in common with it on economic philosophy and have far more in common with the Congress on politics of entitlement, have found it easy to expand their social base to grow at the Congress’ expense. They are able to do so by being a more sensitive local substitute for the Congress that can pander to the entitlements of these social groups.

Source : Offstumped blog

I do not agree with the ‘economic philosophy’ part. For I think there is none. The big difference between the two groups is that BJPs inclination to support creation of non-rival economic goods, in contrast with the Congress’s tendency to create rival goods.

So why must a leader representing a narrow interest, which itself could be a temporary arrangement of even narrower interests, prefer the Congress over the BJP ?

One of the frequently cited costs of aligning with the BJP is that now you have to swim the media against the current. Why, because the media itself has interests to protect primarily due to historical links with the Congress. But even this can change in time if the BJP can look more and more like the Congress. So, I dont think the media is a problem. The bigger problem is the BJPs constant talk of working for larger national interest. Now, this really sends shivers down the spines of the leaders representing narrow interests. So, am I saying the JDU in Bihar secretly wants to switch places with Lalloo ? It is highly likely.

So the number one question is :

Is the Congress a SAFER federation of narrow interests ?

Lets sharpen that question ;

Do the leaders representing narrow interests consider the Congress to be a SAFER federation ?

I think they do. I also think they are correct.

In this election the larger coalition wins. There are very few seats where I think the free agents can make a difference. Unfortunately you cannot educate a voter out of human nature. I also think the left will support the Congress after the polls. So one wonders what the people in Kerala and WB are voting for ? The choice in front of these two states seems to be mango ice cream in a cup or mango ice cream in a cup !
Fortunately, the half life of this political setup is short.

Unfortunately, it wont be a pleasant ride for those not involved.

So, is the only hope for the BJP is to dump its campaign of large interest and instead act as a holding company of narrow interests ? Yes it appears to be the only way out for them. The situation is hopeless because once the narrow interests are in power – they will not expend energy for a larger interest. This is human nature, you do not need to be a Mancur Olsen fan or even an independent think tank to understand it. So what got us to this point ? Forget about the western world, cant we atleast provide a dignified living to our citizens comparable to Thailand, Turkey, Brazil, or Tanzania ? No one knows really.

This is what happens when you put the basic building block of modern political systems, the equal treatment of citizens up for trade. Of course, social justice is a valid reason to take a detour, but without data it is like a stock market.  At election time brokers trade in ‘entitlement equities’.

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Please bear with the cynical tone of this post. I have zero interest in the technicalities of the electoral process. There are millions of positive takes on the web anywhere you look. So it may just be me.


Election time is here

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on March 5, 2009

The election season is around the corner. The “free agents” who are increasingly getting compacted into irrelevance want big ticket issues to be back on centre stage. They probably know this already but once again,  it is not going to happen this time.  This government has shown the way ahead for this country. There are great rival gifts being dangled in front of group interests.  There is nothing to be dismayed or surprised about it.  If you invented the vacuum cleaner, would you be surprised if you turned it on and it sucked ?

Meanwhile in the life nurturing swamp, various amoeba like lifeforms representing this or that narrow interest are busy merging or splitting with other lifeforms.  Mutant amoeba which refuse to merge or split will slowly be eliminated from the ecosystem because others would have watched the mutants die and learned from it.

Our buddy Rohit has an article up in the mint titled “Indias missing think tanks

It is a good article and well written of course.  I dont want to knock it in any way. But..

Think tanks are useful but not essential to ‘democracy’.  Let me turn it around.  If we fix the basics, think tanks will automatically form and get citizen participation.  If we do not fix the basics, big picture think tanks will just cause annoyance to an establishment which can be characterized as a federation of narrow interests. They can usually put up with the annoyance but  when the rim meets the road sparks fly. What follows is usually not a pretty sight.

We need more free agents. Social justice cannot be used as a tool to subvert the political process. Delivery of social justice must be automatic, targeted and monitored. In fact the actual quantum of social justice does not matter as the way it is administered. We simply cannot walk away from this fundamental flaw.

Meanwhile, here is a picture of a tank we all need this summer. Enjoy !

Tank

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