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Last updateSat, 16 Jun 2018 7am

Politics within news tracker

Kar‘natakam’ – The Electoral Drama In Karnataka

Kar‘natakam’ is a witticism (‘kar’, which means, to do, and ‘natakam’, a drama) doing rounds in social media groups, a statement on the spectacle of electoral drama being played out during the run-up to the legislative assembly elections in 2018 in the State of Karnataka in India.

The lively electoral donnybrook is often dubbed as a ‘celebration of democracy’, the battle rink of political ideologies. But with each passing day we witness politics stoop to new lows. Politics has never been an arena of the idealistic and manipulation and power play are intrinsic to the game, has been so since time immemorial. In recent times however we see even the bare veneer of value-based politics on which parties were supposedly founded has been abandoned, all but reduced to unprincipled wranglers of illicit means. This debasement was to be witnessed in its full nakedness in the campaign for the shortly concluded Karnataka elections.

From the time that elections were announced on March 27, all major parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Janata Dal – Secular (JDS), Indian National Congress (INC), began their pitch to gain an upper hand in the campaign. Parties fielded candidates on considerations of caste, creed, religion, money or muscle power, several of them with cases of corruption and criminal records against them, all but considerations of capability and integrity. There was an unabashed show of opportunistic politics with as many as 30 of the seats being allotted to people who had jumped across the party lines and switched loyalties to different parties just before the election. Since the election code of conduct came into effect, Rupees 81 crores in the form of cash, 65 crores worth other incentives and a further 25 crores worth of liquor were seized, meant to buy votes in favour of some parties. According to the Election Commission,the value of seized goods and cash far exceeded that in the 2013 elections. And according to some projections even these seizures amounted to merely a drop in the ocean compared to the actual amount of money estimated to have been in circulation during the campaign. Obviously political parties have found that siphoning off State funds from the system meant for development works and using it to enrich themselves and as doles to the impoverished, disempowered, unconscious masses to buy their votes and remain in power, a far more profitable enterprise.

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Declaration of Ceasefire in Kashmir During Ramzan and India’s Official Policy of Wilful Abdication of Sense

Following a suggestion of the Mehbooba Mufti government, the Ministry of Home Affairs yesterday directed Indian security forces to halt operations in J&K during Ramzan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, “to facilitate the peace-loving Muslims in the Valley state.” While the statement from the ministry clarified that “the forces shall reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people,” the reasoning for giving in to the request of the Jammu & Kashmir Government (GoJ&K) ought to be scrutinised.

Needless to say, Mehbooba wholeheartedly welcomed the ceasefire for the period she termed “Ramadan” using the Arabic word (the Indian word being Ramzan), but did not reciprocate with any safeguards from her side that Muslims in her State too would eschew violence. And with good reasons. But before we go into those, let us explore what could possibly be the grounds for the government at the Centre to yield to her wishes, just a couple of days after Defence Minister Sitaraman stressed on the “need to be firm with terrorists.”

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Was the concession preceded by any positive gesture from the Kashmiri Muslims or GoJ&K? Not even ten days are past since an innocent Indian tourist was killed by a stone-throwing mob of Kashmiri Muslims in Narbal, Budgam. Even if the scores of military personnel routinely killed and maimed each month by stone-pelters are nothing more than numbers for them, did BJP at least ensure that the culprits who killed 22-year Thirumani are arrested and face prosecution? On the contrary, the J&K CM announced amnesty for them without a murmur from their coalition partners in power at the Centre.

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Enemies outside or enemies within – who is more dangerous?

Enemies outside or enemies within

Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi is in the news for the wrong reasons, yet again.

The university named after the man who, what history teaches us, was a freedom fighter who dreamed of a prosperous India and happened to be the first PM of independent India, today epitomizes the institution where curating and execution of “anti-national activities” are taking place.

The corridors of the university named after the man who gave the slogan of “Poorna Swaraj”, today echoes “Bharat ki Barbadi tak, Jung Jaari hai”.

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The great Hindu revolution of Narendra Modi

The great Hindu revolution

All these clever journalists got it wrong: true UP voted for Narendra Modi – but more than anything, they voted for a man who works 17 hours a day, who puts the country before himself, who is bold enough to take a huge gamble- demonetisation- because he believes it is necessary for India. A man who fights against corruption without fear and is the Prime Minister of all Indians, though once more, it is the Hindu vote which elected his party the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

This election may also have signalled the beginning of the end of caste politics, another cancer that gnaws at India’s entrails – and Mrs Mayawati had become a champion at it, taking a leaf from the Indian National Congress, who for 70 years, mostly got elected on the Dalit & Muslim vote.

Many newspapers and television channels blazed across the headline: “Saffron wave in Uttar Pradesh”. This is another ill-advised coin word, that wants to sensationalize and demean, but which falls flat. What does ‘saffron’ mean? First saffron is mainly cultivated in Kashmir – and that by Muslims – so it’s a wrong comparison. Secondly, in Hinduism, saffron is the color of renunciation, a beautiful and noble tradition, that has been followed all over the world, by Buddhists, Jews, or Sufi saints. Mr. Modi and many of his ministers, such as Manohar Parrikar, have renounced many of the worldly pleasures to work for their party and their country. When will Indian journalism stop being small, petty, untruthful, without any depth or vision? The mastery of English does not make an Indian better than a simple country folk of UP or Tamil Nadu, who lives more in his or her heart than these arrogant journalist and intellectuals. I was most of the day, when the election results came, on the WION TV studio, with different panels of journalists. Most of them were of the old Nehruvian-Marxist mold, dinosaurs, who do not realize that they are out of sync with reality and are clinging to an obscure and anti-evolutionary path. One of them, from the Hindu newspaper, even said that demonetization was ‘communal’! Can you imagine how biased the guy can be?

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Why Kashmir’s Mainstream Parties And Separatists Are Uniting Against General Bipin Rawat

Why Kashmirs Mainstream Parties

By taking a stand in support of stone-pelters, the “mainstream Kashmiri leaders have only added fuel to the fire and further aggravated the situation”.

One can only hope that good sense would finally prevail and the people of Kashmir would stay away from the encounter sites.

This would help the Army and paramilitary forces in conducting anti-insurgency operation in an effective manner and restore peace and normality.

The 15 February warning to stone-pelters in Kashmir that those who would attack security forces during anti-insurgency operations would be considered terrorists and dealt with accordingly, has not gone down too well with both the separatists and the so-called mainstream political parties.

On the other hand, Army Chief Bipin Rawat’s warning got fullest support from the Union Home Ministry and the Director General of Police (DGP), Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju defended the Army Chief and said there should be action against stone-pelters as “national interest is supreme”. The J&K DGP warned that stone-pelters would be “destroyed if they refused to stay away from the encounter sites. It happened for the first time after years that the Army Chief, the Union Home Ministry and the J&K DGP spoke in one voice and it was quite understandable as the provocation was very, very grave.

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Either Act or Resign Madam Mamata Banerjee – An Open Letter to Mamata Banerjee

Madam Chief Minister, 

Disturbing reports have come from West Bengal in recent days. There have been reports of continuous riots – anti Hindu riots in Dhulagarh, Howrah perpetrated by Jihadis who want to convert West Bengal into Bangladesh. And there are also allegations that you have failed to uphold the rule of law because of your biased appeasement politics wherein you are alleged to protect such anti social elements for appeasing the community to which they belong.

What shocked me most was the blatant way in which West Bengal police and govt acted against Zee News Editor Sudhir Chaudhary et al. Have you been able to arrest those riot perpetrators ? If not , how come your Police act against the media for reporting the truth? This is the age of the social media. Everyone with his/ her smartphone is a reporter and can expose governments. So if you think you can gag the media with your state machinery , you are mistaken madam. We do know that 90% of the so called main stream media is with you for political reasons yet social media exposed you and your farce. You must realize you are living in 2016.

Well madam Chief Minister , I don’t belong to Bengal yet I have spent some of the best days of my life in Kolkata and I love the city of Joy. I love the state of West Bengal. And I must say you have disappointed us. 

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West Bengal Is Turning Into A Communal Tinderbox, Thanks To Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Is Turning Into A Communal

West Bengal is slowly, but steadily, heading back to its gory past when Hindus and Muslims were at daggers drawn and communal clashes and riots were frequent. And Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee is solely to blame for this.

Banerjee’s blatant appeasement of Muslims is not only causing acute heartburn among Hindus, but has also emboldened the minority community to attack Hindus at many places. These attacks have been mostly unprovoked ones and with the sinister motive of driving away Hindus from their hearth and homes with the intention of taking those, as well as their livelihoods, over.

Her administration has been playing the role of a passive onlooker and the state police have been venturing into riot-torn areas only after the damage is done. The reason: Banerjee does not want her administration to take any action against Muslim rioters because she feels that doing so would alienate her precious Muslim vote bank without which it will be impossible for her to cling on to power in Bengal.

Take the latest such communal riot that broke out in a village at Howrah’s Dhulagarh area, about 28 kilometers west of Kolkata, last week. According to this report, Muslims brought out a procession complete with loudspeakers blaring Hindi film music on 13 December to celebrate Eid-e-Milad (the birthday of Prophet Mohammed), which actually fell on 12 December and was a public holiday. On 13 December, Hindus at Dhulagarh village, like in the rest of the country, were observing Margashirsha Purnima.

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