September 29, 2019

Howdy Modi

Posted in Chit Chat, Politics at 12:52 pm by వసుంధర

Leaders are born, not made. Every leader will have his own style.

Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a born leader and presently there is no match for him.  And the present media style suits him very well.

He is a man of action and never waits for doing things he believes. Demonetisation, triple talaq and now the abolition of article 370 – all require immense courage. He showed courage.

His recent trip to the US, hailed as Howdy Modi, is a testimony to his personality. Imran Khan, PM of Pakistan, said so many things, many of them irrelevant, to throw mud on the country punctuated by personal attacks on the Indian PM. Like Gandhiji, who chose nonviolence as a weapon to wage a war, he  had chosen silnce to throw back all the mud on the perpetrator with more force. 

The nation expects more and more from this gifted leader. 

The article (given below) by Sagarika appeared today in the Times of India is an objective analysis of the situation.


December 11, 2016

Analysis sans Emotion

Posted in Politics at 7:29 pm by వసుంధర



Source: Dec 11 2016 : The Times of India (Hyderabad)
Title: SWAMINOMICS – Don’t eulogise Amma for her freebie politics
Authoritarian leadership, big corrup tion, and endless freebies for the masses.These were the hallmarks of Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa (pop ularly called Amma) who died last week.

mourning, she has been praised by even In this week of mourning, she has been praised by even her bitter political foes. Yet this political correctness must not distort her electoral record.

Since the 1970s, power in Tamil Nadu has oscillated between the DMK and Amma’s AIADMK. The big exception was in 1984, when M G Ramachandran was re-elected.After that, every incumbent was voted out. So, when Amma was re-elected earlier this year, analysts called it spectacular, and attributed it to a record list of freebies and subsidies that supposedly won her the undying love of the masses.

That’s rubbish. Far from winning the undying love of the masses, Amma’s vote share actually crashed from almost 52% in 2011 to just over 42% in 2016. This huge anti-incumbent swing should normally have meant crushing defeat. But, luckily for her, the DMK was so confident of winning that it failed to bring small but significant parties into its alliance. The anti-incumbent vote was split, with the Third Front and PMK winning almost 11% of votes. This allowed Amma to squeak through with tiny margins in many seats. The outcome was more a DMK blunder than a great Amma victory .

To put the figures in perspective, the vote share of Amma’s alliance in her earlier victories was 59.8% in 1991, 50.1% in 2001, and 51.9% in 2011. So, the crash to barely 41% in 2016 is not evidence of some fabulous rapport with the masses. Yes, she had a core of fanatical supporters. But when I covered the election campaign, one female voter said, “Where does Amma get all this money for freebies? From the people, of course. If she then gives back some of it, should we be grateful?“ In any case Amma had no monopoly on freebies, which were espoused by all parties in the state. The DMK over the years also advocated free electricity , canal water, colour TVs and housing schemes. In the election earlier this year, it offered free WiFi connections and the waiving of farm loans.

Compared with northern states, Tamil Nadu has always enjoyed a good economic climate and government services, despite deep corruption. Fast GDP growth in the liberalisation era brought rising revenues and ever-higher freebies from both parties. But state voters proved too smart to be purchased. Despite freebies offered by both sides, voters persistently voted out incumbents for corruption and misgovernance.

This echoed the historical all-India trend. Having won India independence, the Congress dominated elections till 1989. Slow GDP growth in those pre-liberalisation days meant there was no correlation between economic growth and electoral victory . The Congress found victory as easy or difficult in fast-growing Maharashtra as in the slowgrowing BIMAROU states (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand).

Politics became a business. Governments extorted huge sums while in office, and then offered freebies to voters and bought off minor parties and vote banks to form wining alliances. Yet this did not guarantee reelection: three-quarters of all incumbents lost.

The big change came in the 2000s, when economic reforms launched by New Delhi in 1991 facilitated record growth. A new breed of chief ministers came up, mostly in the misgoverned BIMAROU states. These CMs focused on better governance and infrastructure, not freebies. Corruption and subsidies did not vanish, but cleaner politics and purposive development sparked record GDP growth. Bihar and Madhya Pradesh were in some years the fastest-growing states in India.

The electoral consequences were dramatic. Naveen Patnaik in Odisha won four elections in a row. Others won three elections in a row -Nitish Kumar in Bihar, Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh, and Chouhan in Madhya Pradesh. So did Narendra Modi in Gujarat.

Suddenly anti-incumbency was replaced by proincumbency . The trick was to shift (though not entirely) from freebies to cleaner government plus economic development. Where the government was not clean (as in several regimes in Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh), economic growth was slower and CMs did not get re-elected.

BIMAROU chief ministers chalked up far better electoral records than Amma ever did. So, even as we mourn her, let nobody think she proved that popularity is best bought by freebies.

Correction: Swaminomics on Nov 19 said 3 million Indians filed tax returns and less than 2 million paid income tax. The correct figures are 3 crore and 2 crore.

October 21, 2015

Return of the Awards

Posted in Politics at 8:21 pm by వసుంధర

It seems literary awards are connected to the elected governments. Somrtimes the recipients may decide to return the awards given, after a change in the government. Then the government may also resort to asking the recipients to return the awards given by the previous governments. Sounds logical!

the times of india

Oct 21 2015 : The Times of India (Hyderabad)

second opinion – Return ticket

 A pioneering protester who gives back unreceived awards by Jug Suraiya

In the wake of a spate of writers returning their awards to protest against growing intolerance in Indian society , a hit herto unknown literary personage, Kavi Kaviraji, made news by being the first such person to return awards he had not rece ived. Second Opinion interviewed this pioneering protester.SO: You’ve returned in protest a Sahitya Akademi award which you never got?
KK: I’ve not only returned in protest the Sahitya Akademi award which i never got, but now i’m in the process of also returning in protest the Man Booker Prize, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Pulitzer, and the Nobel Prize for Literature, all of which i never got.SO: But how can you in protest return all these prizes and awards you never got? Don’t you actually have to have something before you can return it?
KK: Not at all. Haven’t you heard of the old saying that it is better to return than to receive? After all, pre-emptive return is the price we pay for protest.

Indeed, why should one only stick to returning literary awards and prizes? I’m now proposing to return in protest the Padma Shri, the Padma Bhushan, the Magsaysay , the Filmfare Award, the Oscar, the Grammy , and the Emmy , all of which i never received. Hey , how about the OBE, the Order of the British Empire?
Whom do i return that to? Buckingham Palace?
SO: But don’t you think that by returning in protest all these awards which you were never given in the first place you’re dishonouring them?
KK: Dishonouring them? Certainly not. On the contrary, by returning them in protest without ever having got them i’m actually honouring them by ensuring that they get even more publicity than they got before.

SO: I suppose that’s one way of looking at it. So you’re returning all these awards, which were never given to you, in protest against the growing intolerance in our society towards intellectuals, rationalists and freethinkers?
KK: Of course not. Who cares about such altu-phaltu types? I’m returning the awards in protest that i was never given them. That’s what i’m protesting.

SO: In which case, let us all wish you many happy returns of the day … http:blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.comjugglebandhi

SO: In which case, let us all wish you many happy returns of the day … http:blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.comjugglebandhi

January 25, 2015

Some ‘More’ Please

Posted in Chit Chat, Politics at 10:40 am by వసుంధర

Some biographies are information. Some are history. Some are political. If they are to be drama, you need some ‘More’.

Moro the same – After Soniaji’s ‘dramatised biography’, the PM could have one as well

January 23, 2015, 12:00 am IST in Juggle-Bandhi | Edit Page, India | TOI

The PM seated at desk in the PMO. Enter Amit Shah.

Amit : PMji, that Spanish fellow is here, wanting to meet you.

PM : Spanish fellow? You mean the Spanish ambassador, wanting to borrow my Swachh Bharat campaign and turn it into Swachh Spain?

Amit : No, not the Spanish ambassador. It’s the Spanish author, Javier Moro, whose dramatised biography of Soniaji, The Red Sari, has resulted in a bestseller.

PM : You mean the book has become a bestseller?

Amit : That too, because Congress has bought all the copies so that no one can get a chance to read it. But, more importantly, Moro’s dramatised biography has made Soniaji into a bestseller. After the last elections both Congress and Soniaji were beginning to look like has beens. But now, thanks to Moro, both Congress and Soniaji are back in the limelight.

PM : You mean Moro’s book is that good?

Amit : No, Moro’s book is that bad. Or, rather, that banned. Congress had the English translation of the book banned in India. So now that it has been published here, everyone wants to read it to see what’s so bad — or so banned — about it. And now Moro wants to do a dramatised biography of you, because he says you’re the perfect subject.

PM : What’s a dramatised biography?

Amit : A biography in which dramabaji is disguised as fact.

PM : Dramabaji disguised as fact? Hey, that sounds just like my election campaign. Come to that, it also sounds just like Swachh Bharat and Make in India.

Amit : Exactly. That’s why this Moro chap feels that you’re the perfect subject for a dramabaji biography. It’ll make for a great bestseller. It’ll make you a great bestseller.

PM : But i already am a great bestseller.

Amit : Too true — but you could become an even greater bestseller, a bestestseller, so to speak. Moro’s even suggested a working title for your dramabaji biography: From Chaiwala to PM’s Chairwala. And to advertise the dramabaji biography, we could do a marketing slogan: Ab ki baar, Moro sutradhar. How’s that grab you?

PM : It grabs me good. Send the fellow in. Yeh dil maange Moro.

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.

November 17, 2014

Wow Modi!

Posted in Politics at 9:22 pm by వసుంధర

From: Naveen Gupta
Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2014 3:44 PM


Subject: RE: Swachch Bharat vs The Transformation – An Experience


Swatch Bharat campaign is joked off most of the time. It however, reminds me of a childhood joke. Many of you must have heard it prior to coming to NDA

Ten years after independence, on Nehru’s invitation prince Charles came to India to see the progress India had made. They took the night special train from Delhi to Bombay. On account of jet lag, prince Charles got up early and decided to go in to the corridor and take some fresh early morning Indian air. Within minutes he ran back to Nehru and showed him the squatting along the track. Nehru was indeed embarrassed. An year was the reciprocal visit of Nehru to UK and they were travelling from London to Edinburgh. For the same reasons Nehru decided to have some fresh British air. Within minutes Nehru was back to prince Charles with a big smile. Prince Charles felt embarrassed but asked for his binoculars. After a careful look he was back to Nehru ‘Oh that is the Indian Ambassador’

After sixty years of a dynastic rule, the story still hold true. Why?

Now et me tell you a recent Incidence (no story). I was travelling from Canberra to Sydney by train . At a small station there was a change of the engine driver which took a minute. The relived driver walked down the platform and came across an empty coke can on the side under a bench. He picked it up and put it in the bin near by and moved on as usual. I thought to myself, would it happen in India. Why not?

On a more serious note, now let me tell you my experience I had at the Indian consulate in Sydney yesterday. I had gone their for the life certificate. I was amazed at seeing the transformation in that office since my last visit:

  • The man at the reception asked me even before I could say anything ‘sir have you come for the life certificate’. I said ‘Yes’. He asked me to give him the documents, take coffee and have a seat
  • Some guys were already sitting and some kept coming. After some time, the councillor came out (I was told later that he comes out every half hour), called out the names, made them sign the certificate, signed it himself and handed it over. I was off in half an hour when the web site says it will take one day
  • As though this was not enough, there was an old Anglo Indian pensioner from Railways – William D Fransis on a wheelchair accompanied by his grand daughter. Frail and unable to speak. The consular saw him and asked for his form first. With the form in hand, he went to him and said ‘Sir from next year onwards, please do not come here for this certificate. Just go to your treating GP (Doctor), he will sign this certificate. After that please post it to us along with a photo copy of your passport. You will get it back in  a day and if you desire we will also send it to your paying office
  • All pensioners present were amazed at the transformation. As though in unison, they all said ‘I am going for Modi’s public appearance next week’

Being a bit curious, I stayed on and started asking the receptionist about this noticeable transformation. He told me the following:

  • We have to send to MEA, a monthly report highlighting the problems faced by visitors to the consulate and what actions have been taken to remove or reduce them? This is the result of that
  • I asked him to tell me a few other improvements. He started off with an whole list. Let me tell you one of them. They have started a new emergency service. Say  after office hours one learns that ones father has passed away. You SMS your visa request on a given number. If the officer on duty considers it to be an emergency request, he will call you back and speak to you and in all probability for such a case give you a visa the moment you are able to reach him with your passport. I remember my sons tears when he pleaded for a visa to get home after my wife’s death. While the Indian embassy tried its best to delay it, his Australian boss in Canberra had to intervene. My eyes are flowing with tears as I remember it while trying to bring this transformation to you. Only one thing has changed since then in the consulate – the PM. The same building the same staff
  • I left the consulate with my chest high – 56 inches

Guys, this is a National Opportunity for us to redeem and rediscover ourselves. Let us contribute in the effort and not derail it. The least we can do is to have patience. Things are happening

Please do pass on this First Hand Account of Transformation to those who may not be knowing and to the media which will never publish such good deeds of the man. From my side, I sent an immediate e mail to the PMO with a copy to the Consular and the Ambassador

Best Regards


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