Friday, May 31, 2013

Multiple Organ Failure

The last major political leader from the Congress to die of natural causes was Vilasrao Deshmukh in August 2012. While Deshmukh seemed quite active in the months prior to his death it was a surprise to find he was ailing so seriously and a last minute liver transplant was also aborted because the donor died before the operation. Other than the scams that he was accused of Deshmukh was quite a popular leader in Maharashtra. Final reports on his death indicate he was suffering from liver failure which led to kidney failure which led to lungs failure and all of these led to heart failure. That sounds like total chaos, a lot like the Congress and UPA which are suffering multiple ailments. 

For 16 consecutive days now our media has been soaked in the IPL scam with just a pause for minor news items like naxal attacks or ministers resigning in Andhra. All of them just want one thing; N. Srinivasan to resign as BCCI president. TimesNow has gone a step beyond NDTV, CNN-IBN and HeadlinesToday, the channel is now calling it “Crusade for Cricket”. When George Bush used the term “crusade” after the 9/11 attacks for the war against terrorism he quickly withdrew that term and settled for ‘Operation enduring freedom’. I hope the liberals and Islamists don’t attack TimesNow for carrying out a “Crusade” for Cricket. All of them want Srinivasan to resign on moral grounds. It’s a fair demand but the political leadership from which most morals flow in public life has long dumped morals. The last time morals were seen in Indian Cricket was when GR Vishwanath recalled Bob Taylor for a wrong dismissal in the 1979-80 Golden Jubilee test. Well, Taylor went on to score a century and India lost the match. Since then it has been “law will take its course”. But the IPL scam reporting was helping bury many a Congress-UPA crime but when organs fail, they are bound to give a rude shock. The Chattisgarh naxal attack of May 25 was one massive heart attack to the Congress, BJP and the media.

Now that more details of the Maoists attack trickle in it seems quite obvious that the attack was a conspiracy hatched by a politician or a group of politicians. The Maoists seemed to know who will be there in the convoy and sought out specific politicians as targets and killed them. Their main target was Mahendra Karma, who supposedly founded the Salwa Judum, but they allowed Kawai Lakma, a close associate of Ajit Jogi, to escape. Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Manmohan Singh all rushed to Raipur. Amazing! 14 Congress lives and 7 security personnel were killed. I’m quite sure these three Congress heads didn’t rush to Raipur for the security personnel killed.

At the Governor’s meet over the incident, where neither SoniaG nor RahulG had any right to be present, RahulG kept asking “who is responsible”? Funny, isn’t it? A man who is responsible for nothing and to no one in this country asks that question. A man whose own constituency Amethi has failed on most development index and who is an “Eid ka chand” in parliament talks about responsibility. This was the guy who was partying after 26/11. This is the same Pappu who said “Congress supported BJP during Kargil”. Responsibility? Chest-beating at best! Never mind! And Minister Jairam Ramesh screams “we will win the war against naxalism”. How he proposes to do so, nobody knows.

Contrast all the drama of the trinity from Congress to the deadly attack on CRPF and Police personnel in April 2010. 75 were ambushed and brutally killed. SoniaG, RahulG or MMS didn’t rush to Dantewada. It seems only when their party men are attacked that wakes up politicians. This must make the naxals feel that targeting politicians pays better dividends. The moronery and hypocrisy of MMS and his party wasn’t more visible than in the fact that in October 2009 he grandly stated naxalism “is the greatest internal threat to India”. Well, what has he done about it? We don’t know. Hundreds have died since then. That statement by MMS wasn’t made at some security meet it was made to reporters at a function of the National Centre for Performing Arts. Very artful indeed! The horrible fact is that the GOI has no clue, no policy on how to deal with the naxals. And they reward convicted Maoist sympathisers like Binayak Sen with positions in the Planning Commission.

The MSM was forced to reluctantly report the Chattisgarh killings only to return to the IPL scam all over again. One fails to understand why this obsession with a betting and fixing scam which is relatively petty when compared to other issues of importance. Let’s not complain too much. In between there were some other issues too. RahulG, continuing his moronic utterances, made a grand statement to his partymen “My mother is lenient but I am strict” he said. Very nice! And following this stupidity NDTV held a debate on who is the tougher boss, SoniaG or RahulG. I’m not joking, take a look yourself. For NDTV that’s a serious issue to be debated as it is a serious concern for voters.  

It also helps that the IPL scam coverage helped to completely ignore the indictment of Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit by the Lokayukta. She has been indicted for misusing 22 crores of public money for promotions and has been asked to repay 11 crores. And while the IPL coverage was on and was brutally interrupted by the Chattisgarh disaster the Congress continued to run Bharat Nirman ads. Irony! In the commercial breaks while reporting the deadly Maoist attacks TV channels were running a “minority appeasement” ad under Bharat Nirman. The ad claims 1.65 lakh crores worth of loans/scholarships to 65 lakh minority students. I wonder how they arrived at these figures. In another ad the Congress claims having started 27 new central universities in print and 11 of the same in the TV ad. Why these differences? Media usually doesn’t debate content of commercial ads as a policy. But the BN ads are not mere commercials. They are govt and political ads whose content needs verification and analysis. The amounts involved are far higher than the IPL betting scam. The BN ads on TV and in print have conflicting numbers in many ads and our media won’t verify or question it. Why should they? After all, they are the beneficiaries. There must be a warning from upstairs: ‘No negative news about Congress, else no BN ads for you, so behave’!

Amidst all this the Telengana issue has started to burn again. A senior Congress CWC member, Keshav Rao, has quit the party in support of Telengana and joined the TRS party. I guess the politicians will push Telengana to a stage where it will create more Maoists and then will sit and discuss strategy. RahulG will ask “who is responsible?” and our media will be happy to show sensational scenes of riots and self-immolation. And while the Chattisgarh attacks happened our Home Minister happily extended his stay in the US. His reason for extension was an appointment with an eye doctor on May 28. Sushil Kumar Shinde’s casual approach is quite reflective of the failure of the Congress party and its govt. So while there is tall talk by the Congress on its achievements it seems the Indian colleges, hospitals and doctors are simply not good enough for their party members. It’s always US or some foreign country. (Read An Idiot’s guide to Bharat Nirman) Remember, during the December 2012 agitation over the Delhi gangrape Shinde famously said... let me just quote him:

"It is very easy to ask the Home Minister to go to India Gate and talk. Tomorrow if any other party's demonstration goes on why should not the Home Minister go there. Tomorrow Congress and BJP will demonstrate, tomorrow Maoists will come here to demonstrate with weapons,"… Shinde said the people should understand the government's role and the government should not go anywhere. This will happen tomorrow, for any government. Why should the government go anywhere"?  There, that should tell you how Shinde views Maoists but it proves that MMS, SoniaG and RahulG wouldn’t have rushed to Raipur if the Congressmen weren’t killed. And today, May 31, when Shinde did manage to visit Chattisgarh he again made the most moronic statement: “This Maoist attack is worse than any terrorism”. The Congress didn’t feel so when the 75 jawans were killed in Dantewada.

The latest to play the victim is Aruna Roy. She has quit the private durbar of SoniaG called NAC because she is unhappy the govt is not implementing policies for the poor (that she wants?). In short Aruna Roy is telling us: Govt bad, SoniaG good! Surprising, since the Bharat Nirman ads claim they have done a lot for the poor. Congress has even given a darshan of Metro rail in Delhi to village bumpkins. What more do you want? In a chat with NDTV (who else) Roy mentioned she would now like to work from the “outside”. Really? When exactly was she working from “within”? The NAC is not a part of the govt so she was anyway an outsider in SoniaG’s coterie trying to legislate for the parliament. So like it or not even a Darbari from SoniaG’s coterie is not happy with govt’s work for the poor.

In conclusion, one has to make the sad comparison between the final days of Vilasrao Deshmukh and his party itself. It is now a party and a govt that is suffering multiple ailments of a serious nature. Many critical parts have failed beyond repair and it makes a bad picture.

SoniaG, MMS, RahulG, Ministers, Policy paralysis, foreign policy failure, economic sluggishness, corruption of media, never-ending number of scams, low morale of army and police, and it goes on and on and on. When Deshmukh died he must have at the very least left a fair bit of assets for his family. Each failure of the Congress results in worsening shock. When the UPA2 dies, the nation will be five years older and deeper in debt and our media friends will still be chasing Srinivasan. Cause of death: Multiple organ failure

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Barkha Fails to Evolve Imran Khan

My gut feeling says nobody in India gives a damn about elections in Pakistan except for a general knowledge of the final outcome. Some party that Nawaz Sharif heads won the elections and he will be sworn in PM. There are exceptions though. The only ones who care about what happens in Pakistan are in the GOI, the track2 establishment, some power-mongers in our news media, the Scotch circuit and Bollywood. And then there is the “Evoluter” Barkha Dutt. She is a specialist in “evolving” leaders and personalities. I’m sure readers of this blog remember her “Evolution of Rahul Gandhi”. She has tried very hard with the “evolution of Imran Khan” too and failed again.

So it’s not just Barkha Dutt (BD) but Rajdeep Sardesai (RS) also wants us to learn lessons from Pakistan. I would rather you read the book ‘Leadership secrets of Attila the Hun’ but never mind. So both RS and BD turn to the mother-ship of their ‘Unholy Trinity’, Hindustan Times, to write on the lessons to be learnt from Pak elections. RS calls it “Bowling a dot ball” and BD simply calls it “Lessons from Pakistan”. Considering RS is a Cricket lover his title is natural and considering BD is a Pakistan lover her title is natural too. But when you look at the content, both are deceptively identical. That’s their talent – deception. What both are trying to do is to draw lessons from Imran Khan’s failure to win and equate it to another forceful personality in Indian politics. Do you really want me to name that Indian personality? I don’t think so and these two propagandists don’t name him or anyone directly either.

But on an overall assessment Rajdeep does make a lot more sense than Barkha. It’s merely because  when he is off TV RS puts a lot of thought behind what he writes or says and I have said this often. Here’s something critical that RS writes in his piece:

Imran’s cheerleaders genuinely believed that the youth of the country was fully behind him. The social media campaigns were seen to be a critical element of this age group’s desire for change. Imran was able to harness social media effectively and draw new faces into his political party, but when it came to the crunch it became clear the ‘youth’ factor was a little exaggerated as was the appeal of a twitter and facebook generation. The social network universe will always be lesser than the political universe. In the heat and dust of the countryside, it doesn’t really matter how many followers you have on twitter. These followers can create an echo effect across media platforms; what they cannot do is influence voting patterns across a diverse population”.

Fair enough! But who in hell ever told RS or any MSM person that SM claimed it would influence elections? Nobody did, except the fakes in the MSM. Secondly, the lesson that RS draws is truly applicable to Arvind Kejriwal & his party rather than the “other person” that RS is targeting. The other person that RS targets with his comments has worked his way up from scratch and has proven electoral success against the severest propaganda, vilification and witch-hunt by RS & Co. In contrast, Imran Khan has received tremendous bootlicking from the media, including Indian media. That’s a major difference. So it has nothing to do with SM. The awful truth is that anything that TV and MSM hype falls flat on the ground. But RS has been largely fair in his assessment. So let’s get to BD for whom Pakistan is second home as it is for her channel, NDTV. Take a look at these pics. They are all from all the interviews she has held with Imran Khan in the last two years, at least 4 of them.

These are four of them and there could be other interviews that I may have missed. Then just before the elections when Imran was injured BD found a substitute in his sister Aleema and interviewed her in the hospital that treated Imran. The first pic (with BD in green) is where Barkha mentioned the “evolution of Imran Khan”. I’m not joking you can hear it on Youtube. This is when she was talking about his autobiography and so enamoured was she that she was even discussing his hairstyle. Is that all? No! After her September 2012 interview with Imran, NDTV headlined that he would like to borrow from Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. Ah yes, Nitish the “secular messiah”.

I get a feeling Nitish Kumar might get a scare if he finds out Imran borrowed from him and failed. And she claims Pak media pays him too much attention. And after all the swooning over him BD writes:

As the eventual outcome shows one man (Imran)  had overstated his performance without a trace of self-doubt; the other (Sharif) ended up being so cautious that the scale of his victory came as a surprise even to him…. Imran Khan's innings are proof that media googlies aren't enough to bowl out an old-style veteran of politics. The media in Pakistan had virtually anointed Khan as victor before the votes could be cast or counted”. Really? But does the media anywhere learn any lessons? Has Barkha learnt any lessons from her evolution of the Gandhi prior to UP elections? It doesn’t seem so. Why else would she and her channel be so heavily addicted to Imran Khan? And all these googlies were only from Pak media and not from her? Laugh till you die!

Now let’s see what she concludes and then what Rajdeep concludes. It makes quite interesting reading:

BD: For us in the media there is also a message in what happens when you script a complex political battle as a clash of personalities. It's a global news instinct and one that makes for better copy. But at the same time it often defies the arithmetic of what makes a party win in a parliamentary democracy. Elections in our part of the world are not a contest between personality cults. The face-off between the Rahul Gandhi vs Narendra Modi camps, online and offline, may have precious little to do with the reasons for victory and defeat in 2014.

RS: Finally, Imran’s mixed results in these elections reveal the limitation of charisma in sub-continental politics. Yes, there have been film stars who have achieved some success in electoral politics. MGR and NTR truly stand out in this context, cinematic legends who were able to transfer their celluloid power onto the political stage in spectacular fashion. But MGR in particular had a strong AIADMK network to assist him; his folk hero image was a bonus. Other ‘star’ politicians have realised that politics is more than just dialogue delivery and good looks.

I cannot help believing that these two people never look in the mirror. Who scripted the Rahul-Modi combat? No one except the media! As far as I know and even genuinely honest observers will admit Rahul is a total non-performer, has shown no accountability and his utterances are so full of stupidity that any comparison to Modi is even comic. But the media does this to protect the queen, Sonia Gandhi as I have said repeatedly. The media is willing to make RahulG the sacrificial goat against Modi while making sure they keep all the weaknesses, drawbacks and incompetence of Sonia Gandhi cloaked from exposure. 2014 is not a battle between Rahul and Modi as our media morons keep repeating deceptively like a parrot. It’s a battle between Modi and SoniaG. I would say even Imran Khan is a better political leader than RahulG any single day. He has proven leadership at least in some endeavour.

Lastly, both RS and BD peddle this atrocious fallacy in their articles in different words. Let me use BD’s words: “Finally, in the absolute decimation of the party that the Bhuttos built is a message that lineage and ancestry only carry you so far in politics and no further. Misgovernance, inefficiency and corruption will be punished by voters, no matter how glamorous or brave one's pedigree is. Assumptions based on privilege; charm and charisma; media endorsements - none of these are accurate clues to the mind of the voter. So beware all those who claim to know what will happen in 2014”.

Both RS and BD demonstrate a fear that the Gandhis, that they have so faithfully served all these years, may meet the same fate as the Bhuttos. But they mislead when they say that lineage and ancestry carry you only so far. Coming from a slave media that is the worst untruth you will hear. Nehru, Gandhi, Gandhi, Gandhi and again another Gandhi is what has ailed India all this while. A mature media should have been instrumental in getting the people out of the clutches of slavery to lineage and ancestry. In contrast, both RS and BD have the deepest contempt for the guy who rose even when he doesn’t have such lineage and ancestry and started life as a “Chaiwalla”. So both these media celebs continue their proven hypocrisy.

It is not Indians who need to learn a lesson from Pakistan but Barkha who seriously needs to do so. She must learn that all her propaganda has failed electorally. She failed to evolve Rahul Gandhi and she failed to evolve Imran Khan. Does she have it in her to learn and change tracks and serve the cause of genuine reporting? Evolution awaits her

Thursday, May 23, 2013

An Idiot's Guide To Bharat Nirman

Someone wisely said "If you can't blind them with brilliance, then bedazzle them with bullshit..." This works fine for our media folks. For the eighth straight day yesterday they continued to fool the people with the distraction of IPL Spotfixing issue. This is not to suggest that they shouldn’t cover it but it certainly doesn’t deserve the 24X7 coverage that it is being given. Perhaps there were orders from upstairs that the GOI didn’t want adverse coverage of its non-performance on Rajiv Gandhi’s death anniversary and particularly so on the 4th anniversary of UPA2. Both these events passed with minimal assessment of the UPA and Congress performance. The most corrupt govt in the history of the democratic world and the most non-performing one too. That is how I would summarise the govt of Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh. The latter is easily the most insipid PM this country has ever had. There was another event that the GOI may not have wanted to spoil; the Chinese Premier’s visit.

So Spotfixing was handy for the media to fool the nation. And there was enough incentive too. The spate of Bharat Nirman ads by the Congress with public money has pushed all other ads into back of the mind position. Some have compared it to the “India Shining” campaign of BJP in 2004 which backfired. But the Nirman ads are being viewed in the age of Social Media (SM) which doesn’t hesitate to call BS when it sees it. A couple of news media houses have debated the Nirman ads but other than that most news channels are just happy to enjoy the luxury dole that has dropped into their lap. Why complain! The other big difference from 2004 is that the Congress cannot help making you believe that everything in this country was brought to you by the Nehrus and Gandhis, the rest of India are just passengers who ride their train. You know, like if you travel on national highways of the Golden Quadrilateral the pics of AB Vajpayee have been removed and replaced by Sonia Gandhi. It’s like ‘Made by Sonia Gandhi’ even when she had absolutely nothing to do with it.

The core Congress message of these Bharat Nirman ads are: 1) You are a bunch of idiots and you can be fooled over and over again. 2) You are not smart enough to notice our hypocrisy. 3) We have nothing brilliant to show for performance so you we are going to bedazzle you with bullshit.

So let’s look at a couple of these Bharat Nirman ads and see what the Congress and the GOI really want to communicate to us. The first one is about the great educational institutions their govt has created so that your kid never has to go abroad (Video 1.01mins)

Voila! Move over US and Japan! Our kids have now made robots that serve tea to guests. I can believe that part definitely because Indian kids have proven themselves to be smarter than many others in the world. But for all the screaming about so many great institutions the Congress has created so that your children don’t have to go abroad, where do the ‘motor mouths’ of the Congress have their kids going? You have unauthorised spokies Digvijaya Singh and Sanjay Jha of the Congress thrilled being in New York for the graduation of the sons and nephews. Of course, their party boss doesn’t trust any Indian doctor or hospital at all. Nobody knows her illness but whenever she sneezes she rushes off to New York, Amsterdam or Rome or wherever ‘Veni Vidi Vici’ will take her to be treated. So these institutions are created for desi bumpkins by the Nehru-Gandhi clan, so be grateful and vote for Congress.

As a marketing person, I can tell you, one of the first things in selling a product is to imagine a picture of who your customer is. Preferably even draw a sketch of that customer or group. You will find that exercise quite enjoyable. The Congress is a master at drawing this picture. In other words they are quite clear who their voter is. This is a good thing for any political party. They are even better, they ensure their customer stays the way he has always been; a perfect village bumpkin or a village idiot. Keep them permanently in low education levels and low development of their villages so that they marvel at the wonders of the world the Congress creates. This village bumpkin explains how he saw magic stairs that go up and down. He describes how this that magic thing goes “Trrrrrrr” above ground and “Trrrrrrr” underground and how it has magic doors that open and close. Whoa! What could that possibly be? And the other village bumpkins are stunned and wonder if the Bumpkin No.1 has gone crazy or senile. Watch (0.34mins):

The political tactic of the Congress is stark in the ad. Keep them uneducated, keep them in unemployment. Then the white-skinned ones will come and deliver “magic” to them and overawe them with a basket of doles like NREGA or FSB and make them feel “look at what your mai-baap have done for you”. If after 65 years of independence our villagers have to be still overawed by metro trains then it speaks a lot for how pathetic our govts have been, mostly the Congress govt. Considering the first metro started in Kolkata around 1986-87 you can calculate how far behind in time other cities are. And even the urban transport system is named JNURM after Jawaharlal Nehru. So there you go, if you have BRTS or better buses in your city, it’s a gift from Nehru. Be grateful, bumpkins! While the media does analyse whether these Bharat Nirman ads are “image make-overs” they don’t look at how clinically deceptive they are. Why would they? After all the Gandhi name spells money all over.

Lately, the Congress has been screaming the Opposition is “anti-poor” because the Food Security Bill (FSB) wasn’t passed in the last parliament session. That was washed out over Ashwani Kumar and Pawan Bansal. How long can you sustain the poor with doles and overawe them with metro rails? Well, as long as you “walk the dog” and make sure the crumbs are delivered to the poodles in time. Considering the PM and Sonia Gandhi are so concerned for the poor, how does it explain an expense of over 140 crores over the last 3 years on various anniversaries? 

There are many newspapers and channels which survive purely on the govt doles. Not surprising! This is why I once wrote “Saving Shekhar’s Express” on the ads doled out to the paper. That is just the official spend. If you add up other state expenditures and other surrogate ads the total could go well over 300 crores (Do read “The Gandhi Septology”). Now on top of all these comes election and boom-time with Bharat Nirman. Do you really expect the poodles to be honest? Naturally, the media doesn’t challenge it when RahulG and SoniaG go around stating “RajivG brought computer to India” or “Nehru brought gas to India”. These statements are now the butt of jokes on the SM. That’s how Bharat was Nirmaned!

The Chinese Premier was recently here after the Ladakh incursion. Seems peace was made and that just reminded me of something; an old story. When the Chinese and Japanese made peace after the world war the Chinese decided to present the Japs with a gift. They presented them with a 1mm thick and one-metre long pure-Gold thread. The Japs accepted it but were stunned how the Chinese could create such a marvel. So they got together their best engineers to find out how they could do better. The Japanese finally got it and they drilled a hole right through the 1mm gold thread and presented it to Germany. The Germans accepted it but were rattled that the Chinese and Japs could be better than them at such marvellous engineering and their govt couldn’t rest till they had outdone those two. So the German govt employed their best scientists to make an improvement to the thread. Finally, the German engineers created an even thinner golden thread and passed it through the thin hole in the 1mm gold thread given by the Japs and tied a knot at both ends. The German govt was thrilled and told the Japs and Chinese what they had accomplished.

Years later the Germans presented the golden thread to the Indian govt. Our govt didn’t waste any time calling engineers and scientists to add value to it. The big boss just ordered that it be named as “Rajiv Gandhi Golden Wonder” and the village bumpkins came and marvelled at this wonder. That is how Bharat Nirman happens. Anything that is done, anything that is created with people’s money and energy is courtesy some Nehru or Gandhi. Build anything, dole out anything and just put a stamp on it: “Made by Gandhis”. Bharat Nirman

Update: This post quoted some figures from a Newslaundry report on advertisement figures on May 21 Rajiv Gandhi death anniversary. The site has since reported those figures being inaccurate and therefore the figures quoting them have been removed.