Where are the citizens’ groups now? Where is their anger? External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said, “We have received information from our High Commissioner in Islamabad that they (Pakistan) have started the process. Let us see how much time they take.”
This is a bit too cute. Or is there something else? The Mumbai carnage became a focal point; the world was at our doorstep; everyone was getting hot and bothered; so many candles were wasted; obfuscation tactics were adopted; we suddenly realised that we had been damaged.
Now, after blaming Pakistan unofficially, the man who is in charge of such things is going to wait and watch?
When asked if Pakistan was testing India’s patience, he said, “It takes time. Diplomatic performance cannot be like switch on and switch off.”
So, India hands over some papers, asks for investigations “in a sincere, transparent and verifiable” manner, expects that to happen and sits back.
The citizens of India want to know what those “some papers” are. We want to know how the foreign minister is talking diplomacy in a situation that calls for action, whoever it might be against. We want to know the exact role of the United States in this.
Now that the tamasha of ‘enough is enough’ has died down, all those people are back wrapped in their winter holiday mood, having made their appearance in glossies. They don’t have the courage to ask the tough questions.
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The fallout is that the industry bigwigs are running the BJP campaign. Narendra Modi’s Gujarat has become an asylum for their factories. This is sickening. I had already talked about how Ratan Tata’s Nano was the smartest move going. The rest will follow.
With such backing, these powerful people will easily manage to get all those Gateway of India wallahs to vote for the Hindutva parties. Poll analysists will go on about anti-incumbency. Hogwash. This is all strategy. The moneyed class has always decided. This time they have come out of the closet.
Let us be clear: Since the tragedy struck Mumbai, it is not outsiders who have made any massive gains politically. Pakistan is in bad shape. But we have conducted an election campaign all along – politicians, business community, socialites, and acitvists. Everyone has got a whole lot of mileage.
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Sanjay Dutt was approached by the Samajwadi Party after 26/11. Why? He has a criminal record, but fielding him from Lucknow, accompanied by his Muslim wife, is a smart move. We are back again to the Muslim vote bank with a dose of Gandhigiri.
It is difficult to imagine Amar Singh in the role of kingmaker, but he is a wily man willing to stoop to any level for his regular 15 minutes of weekly prime time on TV.
There is nothing wrong about film stars entering the poll fray; Sanjay, however, is being used and he is using the opportunity to get some legitimacy, not only for himself but also for his wife. In a country where politics is a gharelu muamla (home cottage industry) this ought not to surprise us. Yet, the people will be left with very little choice.
Many might vote for Munnabhai, a fictitious Robin Hood like character, and not the individual with absolutely no experience in any kind of social commitment.
Asked who he would nominate as his ‘Circuit’ (his loyal sidekick in the film series) in politics, Jaya Bachchan – SP’s Rajya Sabha nominated member – piped in, “We all are his Circuits.”
Sure. We know about the opportunistic heritage where the state of Uttar Pradesh became this family’s stomping ground to garner all awards possible.