2019 general elections
(This is a reprint from NewsBred).
Facts are facts. They are the referee, the guiding principle, in a dispute. When both sides are represented, it’s called ethical journalism. When only selective facts are published, that is yellow journalism.
Once it became clear that BJP-NDA would romp home in 2019 General Elections, Indian Express has made much of dissent of one of the three Election Commissioners, Ashok Lavasa. On a few occasions when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was examined if he had violated the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), Lavasa was the dissenting voice in the house which cleared Modi of such charges.
After keeping Lavasa’s dissent alive on its front pages, Indian Express has published a long interview with Lavasa today. The lame headline: “Sought prompt action after Supreme Court frowned on delays: Lavasa” was a giveaway on spun charges – a kind of propping up a dead man behind wheels. The story just doesn’t move.
Lavasa laments that his dissents haven’t been recorded. But then Election Commission never does it. A majority takes a call which in this case decided in favour of Modi. So what’s this fuss about?
Lavasa thus decided to stay away from the last MCC meeting (Lavasa/Express projection is as if he recused himself midway) . By May 16, 2019 General Elections were more or less over. If he had felt stifled, he should’ve done so much before. Even now Lavasa can resign and ignite a serious debate in public and help an Election Commission which he could be heading in 2021.
If he stays put in Election Commission, Lavasa must respond to public scrutiny as he expects his own institution to be. A few facts are in public domain and are grossly unsavoury. People have a piece on him which Lavasa needs to respond as quickly as he could. It says that his wife, Novel Singhal Lavasa,became a board director in 12 big companies after he became secretary in environment and finance ministry from 2015 onwards. It questions whether he dealt with the files of these 12 companies during his tenures? The article then digs up instances which are construed as his closeness to various important ministers, including P. Chidambaram. Now that Lavasa could be our next Chief Election Commissioner, he must submit himself to public probity and upholds the dignity of EC which he has lowered, perhaps unintentionally, in present case.
Personally, I am for recording dissenting voices. Like they do in judiciary. But I certainly abhor when I suspect agenda. To me this looks like tainting a historic repeat for BJP in 2019 General Elections, if it comes true on May 23. When the projection is that institutions are muzzled, the next corollary is democracy is in danger. That’s what they do with Russia, China or even Iran. All of them are straining under economic and tariff sanctions.
The game is much bigger than a mere dissent. First, drum up instances. Two, feed global network. Three, ratchet up public opinion. Four, the “custodians” of free world intervene (never mind they don’t bat an eyelid on Pakistan or Saudi Arabia). Five, crippling economy sanctions follow.
A nation is thus destroyed like it happened in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Remember the “Arab Spring” which was unleashed in Middle East this decade? It’s no longer talked about for it has served its purpose—replace many regimes such as ones in Egypt, Tunisia etc.
I conclude by drawing the attention of readers to this piece in OpIndia. It mentions a former Election Commissioner Navin Chawla against whom once his chief wrote to President of India, asking for his removal for allegedly taking instructions from the ruling party, in this case Congress. This is the same Chawla who was indicted for his excesses during the Emergency. Yet, the 2009 General Elections were conducted under him.
In this article instances are quoted how despite their miserable showings in 1999 and 2014 elections, parties such as SP, BSP and Left were allowed to remain “national parties” by the benevolence of Election Commission. How despite 100 plus seats, BJP was nearly banned in 2007.
It’s important readers take a call and question their newspapers. Treat it as a matter of life and death. Have complete and not just selective facts. Only responsible readers can make their newspapers accountable. Else, your own nation could be in ruins and your future generations exposed to resultant horrors.
In the wake of Kairana elections, and a loss in Noorpur by a whisker, Home Minister Rajnath Singh made a statement which escaped the attention of most political observers: “One has to take two steps backwards for a giant leap,” he said.
Now the delusion of this “deep state” within India—read it as Lutyens Media, Left-Liberals, ChristoIslamic forces—was understandable. After all, last four years have been a nightmare to them. The cloak of respectability has been torn off their break-India agenda. Celebrations have been few and far between. They have every right to wet beaks in their otherwise parched political landscape. But the disappointment of Right Wingers too seems to have drowned the import of this statement of the Home Minister.
An educated guess is that Rajnath Singh through his quip was hinting at a consolidation of Hindu voters in the light of Kairana reverse. He was echoing what Sujoy Ghosh so brilliantly elucidated in OpIndia. Around 15 per cent who voted in the 2014 Lok Sabha and 2017 state assembly elections, stayed away from Kairana bypoll while the margin of victory for the opposition’s Tabassum Begun was only 4.6 %. Impressively, no less than 77 per cent of Hindus voted for BJP in Kairana. What happens when these missing 15% and the remaining Hindus do turn up in the 2019 General Elections? Another impressive analysis in SwarajyaMag reasserts the impression.
Make no mistake, Hindus in Kairana would be smarting in anger. The same is the mood in Karnataka where despite 104 seats, BJP and the people of the state are watching the tragic comedy of Congress-JDS alliance. This groundswell of anger is bound to help BJP.
Rajnath Singh is known to be a man of few words. But when he says “two steps backwards,” it suggests a great strategy of Hindu consolidation being put in place by the BJP. That perhaps might also explain why Gorakhpur and Phulpur weren’t fiercely protected. The idea is for Hindus to be mindful that they could be overwhelmed in their own country in 2019. Not only BJP cadre and supporters, but even common Hindus must not lull themselves into a false sense of security. This heightened Hindu anxiety would only end up in consolidation for BJP.
It would be utterly foolish on opposition’s part to believe Modi-Shah have been cornered. Their last four years have shown, if anything, that they invest a lot of time in strategizing and ruthlessly executing their designs. They are utterly capable of winning affections of people by a dramatic measure: It could be Ram Janmabhoomi; Income Tax abolition; money in people’s bank accounts or the long-pending Hindu issues of owning temples and Right To Education (RTE). Even an idiot would know that Modi-Shah, in the home run to 2019 General Elections, would have an ace up their sleeves.
So while opposition has shown its card—alliance and understanding at all cost without an ideology or a Prime Ministerial candidate to project—nobody knows what aces BJP has up its sleeve. A party which went into 2014 General Elections with 4 states today has 19 of them. In just four years such an expansion has come about because of BJP’s skin-in-the-game. The micro management of an election, from the local issues to booth management, nobody does better than BJP.
So when Rajnath Singh says “two steps backwards for a giant leap,” opposition must stop in their tracks and ponder. They have walked into a trap and are more discredited than ever. Their game is out in the open even as they are clueless on the next move of Modi-Shah duo. They would have nowhere to run but to their doom, come 2019 General Elections.
It’s now given that attacks on judiciary would hog the front pages of newspapers and prime time television till the 2019 General Elections.
Newspapers would speculate on the “allegations” whether the Chief Justice of India ought to be impeached or not but you would never see them beat one’s own brains whether the four “dissenting” SC judges have themselves invited an impeachment motion on their press conference earlier this year (as opined by former SC judge RS Sodhi).
You would see these presstitutes flagpole government’s apparent delay in confirming the appointments of judges, initiated by the SC Collegium, but you would never see them brainstorm if government’s demand for a more transparent appointment system is justified given how a particular judge, belonging to Collegium itself, was ordered by the SC itself to undergo mental “stability” examination!
The Lutyens’ Media would run up any given lampost to browbeat the NDA government for trying to “encroach” upon the judiciary but you would never see them admit that a Law Minister was always the part of the judicial appointment system till the Collegium came about in 1993.
(That “enroahed” system got a judgment against the sitting Prime Minister of India by a Allahabad High Court judge. That “encroached” system produced judges of the caliber of Justices Vivian Bose, Hidayatullah, JS Verma etc. What Collegium has produced, well…)
These despicable hacks would drown you with the noise that government is taking over the judiciary. They would never clarify as to how the “A.J. Raja acquittal” or Bapu Asaram guilty pronouncement then came about.
The crooked media would never tell you why sexual harassment charges against judges are dismissed on less-than-convincing grounds.
The deceitful pen-pushers wouldn’t tell an opaque system encourages judges to be manipulated—or why else most of the Supreme Court judges end up getting lucrative post-retirement jobs—and that it must be done away with.
The shameless mainstream media wouldn’t encourage dismantling the opaque system even after names of corrupt former CJIs are presented in a sealed envelope in the court. It would not question a Kapil Sibal why he didn’t asked for “impeachment” motion in above allegations of corruption and sexual misdemeanours against the honourable judges.
Best of all, you would never see the gutter media present the fact that after all this, NDA has cleared the appointment of more judges than ever per year.
So cram up the facts and be ready with answers when propaganda hits your face next time.
The other day, having a conversation with a senior Congress leader, I smelled the smoke of a pyre that has burnt itself out. Skin, veins, eyes, organs, blood all reduced to ashes; dying embers long dead. Yet here was this man, almost a ghost, preening on his party’s excellent future.