The Crooked Cockroach

Who is the BJP’s Humpty Dumpty?

Posted in Uncategorized by cready on August 25, 2009

After Jinnah, now Humpty Dumpty has come to haunt the BJP. Seems ghosts of real persons are not enough to scare the BJP. What it needs is cartoon characters! These days I wonder if it should even be called a national party with all these clowns hitting the headlines for their antics and making up so much for apna Amar [Singh]’s absence. Watch this video if you are curious to know who’s the Humpty Dumpty in the BJP according to Arun Shourie. Man, the feminine way in which he says ‘Humpty Dumpty’ made my day!

And he’s so bang on target about the name, isn’t he? If you don’t know what I’m saying, just get a load of these two pictures; then you’ll know –

humpty dumptyrajnath singh

The scalps of the two dudes taper so similarly at the top. Makes me want to curse myself for never having thought of this nickname. I so wanna blast the mischievous genius that Arun Shourie is! There’s one hitch though; I’ve never heard Humpty speaking. I just wish he’s as nasal as Mr. Singh, if not as much as Himesh.

But Humpty fans, don’t you worry. It seems after all that our BJP Dumpty is going to dump for Shourie for name-calling and fun-poking. So watch out for a punched Arun-bhai on your T.V sets in the next 48 hours. Or maybe, with so many party seniors rebelling, Humpty Dumpty himself might have to resign. I guess party members will be singing this mockingly at his farewell party –

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses,
And all the king’s men,
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Humpty, I’m waiting with bated breath for that great fall [;)].

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The return of the Jinnah(ahaha!)

Posted in Uncategorized by cready on August 22, 2009

Hasn’t it been the best week for Indian politics in recent times? Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m just so damn happy thanks to the abyss that the BJP has become. You might be amused by my crooked utterances, but I felt just so damn refreshed when their ‘intellectual’ chintan baithak fizzled out like this in the most public way possible. But I do feel bad too. I genuinely feel sorry for the victim of the moment, Mr. Jaswant Singh, who on most occasions has been the more moderate, the more restrained and the more educated face of this ‘party with a difference’.

And kudos to Jinnah, the man who continues to rock the media decades after his death, who continues to haunt this party again and again. It seems last time he didn’t scare LK Advani enough and returned this time only to kick some more ass. He must be going “Muahahahaha!!” up there in heaven with his wicked, wry, icy looks! Look at him, just look at him go with that cold-blooded stare [;)]! No wonder we Indians call him the villain of the sub-continent’s partition.

Return of the Jinnah(ahaha!)

Return of the Jinnah(ahaha!)

Yes, but all is not lost for Mr. Jaswant Singh. He might have almost cried on T.V and questioned the BJP’s decision in the most polite way possible in characteristic Jaswant style, but this report says that his book has been selling like hot cakes all over India and even abroad. The book has already become a best-seller in India with 40000 copies sold in the first week. In an age of celebrities writing books with sensational accusations and/or claims and the junta mocking their cheap attempts to sell their books [most recently by John Buchanan], this is no mean achievement for Mr. Singh. Not just because this has sparked off genuine interest in his product, but also because as he himself claims [and as Rajdeep Sardesai claims here], it is a book of considerable scholarship with an extensive research of 4-5 years. So it ought not to be ignored.

But the BJP seems to be in a major hurry to ban this book. After reports of Narendra Modi banning the book in Gujarat, a BJP leader has demanded that the book be banned all over India because supposedly, the book denigrades Sardar Patel as well. Duh. What a moron. I mean, this is outrageous. What is this nation? Some sort of communist country or Talibanic nation to ban freedom of thought? What about the thousands of times you stereo-typed Nehru as a chela of Mahatma Gandhi and criticized him? Now isn’t he too, a national icon? Mind you, I’m not taking sides here, but just pointing out that the more you speak against something, the more heat it generates, and the more importance it receives. And what the BJP has done here by banning the book is simply create a greater ambiguity about Sardar Patel’s contribution in the minds of the people, which in fact, is a greater insult to his legacy. This book might have ended up in dusty libraries where no one went, but now the BJP is making this book ‘The Satanic Verses’ or ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ of India. Jaswant Singh rightly suggested that banning writing is banning thought and banning thought will be against Indian democratic principles. If the thought is wrong, it will be discarded by the nation eventually. India is not that stupid anymore. So, it might be right to expel him because ‘he violated party ideology’, but banning thought is unacceptable. And that’s what’s wrong with the BJP. It’s members have a misplaced sense of self-righteousness in matters of religion, patriotism and the like. And what surprises me is that in spite of the same types of mistakes, they never seem to learn! It is a party entrenched so deep in historical matters that the future seems unimportant to it.

If there’s something the BJP wants to learn from it’s arch rival, the Congress, it should read this brilliant article from The Hindu about how the Congress accommodated Shashi Tharoor in spite of his pointed criticism of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty in his 1997 book India : From Midnight to the Millennium and Beyond. Here’s an excerpt from the book [from the article] :

Had Indira’s Parsi husband been a toddywalla (liquor trader) rather than so conveniently a Gandhi, I sometime wonder, might India’s political history have been different?

Something to think about, I bet. Time for some chintan baithak, Beemar Jhand Party, eh?

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Two books, two consequences: Shashi Tharoor on Congress icons

Vidya Subrahmaniam

A Jaswant-Tharoor comparison shows the Congress to be far more accommodating of internal criticism.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s justification for expelling Jaswant Singh is that his appreciation of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and alleged denigration of Sardar Patel constituted an attack on the party’s core beliefs, which it could not condone. Said Arun Jaitley: “No political party can allow any member, let alone a frontline leader, to write or express views against the core ideology of the party …Sardar Patel’s contribution to unifying India can be undermined by none.”

Mr. Jaitley and others in the BJP might want to read Shashi Tharoor’s 1997 book, India : From Midnight to the Millennium and Beyond. The book, which Mr. Tharoor updated in 2007, is sprinkled with critical references to the Gandhi-Nehru dynasty. Yet the Sonia Gandhi-led Congress offered Mr. Tharoor a Lok Sabha ticket in the 2009 general election. The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government went a further step and invited him to join the External Affairs Ministry as a Minister of State.

The “party with a difference” has always prided itself on its inner-party democracy, never missing an opportunity to attack the “authoritarian and dynastic” Congress. Yet a Jaswant Singh-Shashi Tharoor comparison would show the Congress to be far more accommodating of internal criticism. If anything, Mr. Tharoor took greater liberties than Mr. Singh, venturing with gusto into areas that the BJP would surely regard as taboo.

Consider what Mr. Tharoor had to say about one of the Congress’ greatest icons — Indira Gandhi. “Had Indira’s Parsi husband been a toddywalla (liquor trader) rather than so conveniently a Gandhi, I sometime wonder, might India’s political history have been different?”

Further, “Mrs. Gandhi was skilled at the acquisition and maintenance of power, but hopeless at the wielding of it for larger purposes. She had no real vision or program beyond the expedient campaign slogans; “remove poverty” was a mantra without a method …. Declaring a state of Emergency, Indira arrested opponents, censored the press, and postponed elections. As a compliant Supreme Court overturned her conviction, she proclaimed a ‘20-point programme’ for the uplift of the common man (No one found it humorous enough to remark, as Clemenceau had done of Wilson’s Fourteen Points, that “even the good Lord only had ten.”) Its provisions … remained largely unimplemented. Meanwhile her thuggish younger son, Sanjay (1946-1980) emphasizing two of the 20 points, ordered brutally insensitive campaigns of slum demolitions and forced sterilizations.”

Mr. Tharoor did not spare Rajiv Gandhi either, though he acknowledged that the former Prime Minister’s first year was exhilarating for people like him “who were swept up in the unfamiliar excitement of having one of our own as Prime Minister”: Instead of the “visionless expediency that had been his mother’s only credo, Rajiv offered transparent sincerity and conviction.” But then, said Mr. Tharoor, “the rot set in …Compromise followed sellout as New Delhi returned to business as usual. Charges of corruption in a major howitzer contract with the Swedish arms manufacturer Bofors tarnished the mystique of the dynasty; little children sang, Galli-galli mein shor hai/Rajiv Gandhi chor hai: ‘Hear it said in every nook/Rajiv Gandhi is a crook.’…”

The current Minister of State also took gentle digs at Sonia Gandhi, pointing out that she went to Cambridge to study English, not political philosophy. Referring to Ms Gandhi’s “renunciation” and her nomination of Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister, he said, “A builder’s daughter from Turino, without a college degree, with no experience of Indian life beyond the rarefied realms of the Prime Minister’s residence, fiercely protective of her privacy, so reserved and unsmiling in public that she has been unkindly dubbed ‘the Turin Shroud’ leading a billion Indians at the head of the world’s most complex, rambunctious and violent democracy? This situation, improbable if weren’t true, is proof again of the enduring appeal of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.”

Mr. Tharoor had a reference to Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra too. Speculating on the reasons for Ms Sonia Gandhi taking charge of the Congress, he said: “And then there is, after all, in true dynastic tradition, the need to think of the aspirations of the next generation … Their [Rahul and Priyanka] father’s seat must, observers suggest, be kept warm for one of them — and who better to nurse the Amethi constituency he so successfully nurtured than Sonia herself?”

The BJP had the Tharoor example before it. It could have taken Mr. Jaswant Singh’s book in its stride, and appeared large-hearted, as the Congress did with Mr. Tharoor. Instead, it chose to show its illiberal side.

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