and a dash of Modi...
|Kejriwal at the protest|
This time I am with Kiran Bedi because I know where she stands. Whatever be her personal motives, she was right in not joining Arvind Kejriwal’s protest on Sunday. To those analysts who believe that he is targeting the BJP, take a chill pill. If the party dangles a carrot before him during the general elections meal, he will happily make a halwaa of it.
What we are witness to is political acrobatics. Team Anna has already announced its decision to form a political party. It should go about its business instead of taking to the streets:
The activists are demanding resignations of the PM and Gadkari and the cancellation of all coal licences following the CAG report that estimated a loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore to the public exchequer.Does it mean that each scam will result in just such a show of strength? What about the ones in the past? Why don’t they file a PIL? This is indeed an issue, but why does corruption only mean that which grabs media eyeballs?
The activists led by Arvind Kejriwal reached the residences of the PM, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Gadkari three hours before schedule, setting the pace for a manic nine hours for a harried Delhi police that never quite got its grip on the situation.
Kejriwal said, “Our intention was to show the nation how the BJP and the Congress were hand-in-glove over the coal allocation issue. We have done our job, it is time we go back.”
Oh, sure. You create havoc, try and force an ‘alliance’ between opposition parties to show how ‘balanced’ you are and you expect people to believe you?
Addressing the crowd, he said:
“When the ruler is afraid of its subjects, it means that democracy is dead. What wrong are we doing? We are just sitting quietly on the footpath. At least we should be told why we are being detained.”
What they did was not democratic. They just follow another form of autocracy. It never was and cannot be a “people’s movement” when you need to wear Anna T-shirts. The caps seem to have been replaced. Is this what young India wants?
|Kiran Bedi, Anna and the goddess|
Kiran Bedi’s stand is “realistic” (My piece on her dance and symbolism is here). As a TOI report states:
She had opposed IAC’s plan to target and gherao BJP president Nitin Gadkari’s house on the coal block allocation issue, arguing that the activists should not forget the support given by leaders like Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, L K Advani and Gadkari during their bid to get the Jan Lokpal bill passed.Kejriwal just wanted to play drama queen until things hot up and he will have to sit and help formulate something called a party manifesto that goes beyond corruption that is already being exposed by others. This is, as I have said so often, a BJP vs. RSS diversionary tactic, and he is so comfortable in such a scenario where one acts as the foot soldier with righteous indignation and the other is the moderate.
“Arvind and the Bhushans had several meetings with them (BJP leaders). And they agreed to support in some ways. But at least they were not dismissive as the ruling party. Why must we forget this. End of the day, if we paint all black who will get us what the country needs now and in the near future. India needs honest political leadership and I look forward to widespread changes. But we got to be patient and inclusive. Without losing possible quarters of support even if we have ideological difference with them.”
See you in saffron in 2014, Mr. Kejriwal.
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|Modi maange more|
There are several websites singing his praises, uploading his speeches, capturing his every move. So, why does Narendra Modi need another channel?
Cornered by a relentless onslaught from a rejuvenated Congress and a buoyant Keshubhai Patel, chief minister Narendra Modi is planning his biggest ever media blitzkrieg. An internet protocol channel (IPTV), most likely to be named Namo Bharat, will be launched soon to arm the Gujarat CM with a potent propaganda tool.
“The name itself makes it clear that this is personal projection not just for the assembly election but bigger things that lie ahead,” said a source.
Namo is the name the mainstream English media gave him, just like they did Saifeena (for Saif and Kareena), which was copied from Brangelina. This is also what stores and companies with two partners do – add parts of each name and run shops.
"Bigger things" is a loaded phrase. And adding Bharat does not mean a thing, because even Manoj Kumar used the name for his characters in films. This won’t make Indians more interested in him as potential prime minister. In fact, he will appear so limited, stuck to his “5 crore Gujarati” obsession in the big pool. Good. Perhaps, there is a typo in the name. Is it ‘Nano Bharat’, little India?
(c) Farzana Versey