Thursday, January 31, 2008

political science

I want to ask all of you a question. I recently read in an Express editorial that in a recent address to his party, Rajnath Singh was talking about the burdens of EMIs on the ‘aam aadmi’. And since I recently bought my own car, and have now entered the new world of car loans, EMIs – taxes – I stopped in my tracks. Now, if elections are held in 2009, who would I vote for? The Congress, which has been nothing but disappointing – the PM’s idea of a communal budget to me is appalling and probably the last straw – but can that disgust really make me vote the BJP way? I’m not so sure I’m really to ignore the RSS affiliation but the Congress doesn’t present itself as an attractive alternative anyway.

Ok, so let’s get back to a conversation I was having when Modi won Gujarat. Oh no, cried the defenders of secularism, this is the beginning of the end. But there was another thought that struck me at the time. If he really is the strongest candidate in the BJP, but realizes that he needs to earn the loyalty of other members – and not in a grudging manner – then will he change tactics and leave Moditva (of the communal kind) behind, and just concentrate on the economy? I can’t believe I’m quoting SRK here, but something he said that one of the award shows made sense – his appeal to politicians to not take bribes, because if we get on with it, we will all do well. It’s true though, I’ve never understood why the hell someone wants Rs 100 crores for a personal bank account? What can you possibly do with that kind of money, except probably ensure your grandspawns will be drug-addled wasters? But, as always, I digress. But before I try and assess if I could ever vote BJP (not for Modi – he should defend his actions of 2002 in a court of law), let’s just figure some others things out first.

Mayawati. If you read my blog (and at this point I apologize for not writing but trust me, this new job was hardly inspiring although it’s picking up momentum now) you know that I was impressed by Mayawati’s win, and especially her social experimentation. Ok. But the other day I was sitting with people who know the lay of the land better than me – and I asked them if her obsession with big cars, big houses and security wasn’t going to alienate her people, and I was told no. She wears gold because dalits were historically now allowed to wear gold, and she is trying to be symbol of what they can achieve. Oookay. But I don’t know, arrogance is arrogance. Someone who came over for dinner was telling me this story about how they were in Dubai (?) with Mayawati, one of the previous times she was CM. They didn’t know her, but being in the civil service, were introduced and went shopping and had lunch with her that day. She went shopping with a bag filled with cash -- $100 notes. And the overriding sense by the end of the meal? “She’s very petty”. The frequent calls for even more security make me agree. Actually, the other day I had an emergency at work and needed to get to the mall PRONTO! The road was closed because Maywati cavalcade was passing by. I decided to run along the road anyway, and got stopped by the guard. I can’t tell you how many big cars she had following her, it would put Khan Market to shame! Since I don’t know her game plan – vendetta politics seem to be top of the list – I can say right now, she seems like she’s losing the plot.

See, this is my question. What demographic am I? Upper middle-class? And then if that’s it (friend tells me, with your phancy Chanel glasses, you certainly are), then what is my ideal party? I’ve been thinking about it. Maybe if I was a practicing Hindu, I’d be able to wrap my head around the BJP a little more. I don’t know though. I keep thinking; nothing is static. I don’t see Rajnath, Jaitley or even Modi (despite Godhra, but that’s because it seems to have been politically motivated) too Hindutva-centric. I’m not supporting or defending Modi here at all, but what I am saying is, perhaps the younger generations will move away from religious politics. Perhaps. It’s a tough question. Can my conscience ever allow me to vote BJP?

Another conversation I happened to be sitting in the middle of. Should reservations for lower castes be allowed across all religions? Which is to say, SC/ST reservation be extended to Christians, Muslims etc? Can we, once and for all, admit, that despite some of these people having converted to escape their lower status, they never really did? And perhaps the Congress can come out of this strange, strange, vote-chasing politics they have succumbed to? It makes me angry. Why didn’t they call the Left’s bluff and call a re-election based on the nuclear deal? Word has it that at that time they were not sure of the numbers, which they feel they would have by next year. Well, actions speak louder than words, my friends, and you are losing even more votes as you go along! And what of the younger generation of Congressmen. Ironically, if the jump is made from Madame to Jr, doesn't that leave out an entire generation of Congressmen in the middle? The 50 yr olds??? What does that say about what the Congress stands for. Sychophancy? If nothing, the BJP is far more democratic!

I’ve gone round in circles. So, no really, who would you vote for?

P.S. More and more people I talk to, prefer to get their news from Doordarshan. No fluff.

9 comments:

rossoneri said...

oh how one would love to go back to the days of doordarshan. Of all the things that need some soul-searching I think media tops the list.

mahima said...

Oh trust me.. I have, I have. Esp since I'm at a new channel aiming to be .. finally ... 'quality' and not married to the 'exclusive' ... aa we shall see... in the meantime, check ths out..

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2248602,00.html

Nirvikar said...

Mahima,

Not bad !! a new tv , a new car seems you are on a shopping spree like Mayawati, its just that she shops for a house on SP Marg or an Aircraft ,( You see the dalits never had an aircraft, its all about equality)and let me assure you, she lost the plot ages back. sometimes i really wonder when will it be enough for people like her? and ofcourse her new aspiration to be protected by the Special Protection Group (SPG) which is meant exclusively for the Prime Minister. I seriously wonder , is she really intrested in the upliftment of the people she claims to stand for?

I was recently with a very senior officer of Gujrat Cadre who has had an oppurtunity to work with Modi very closely, he said ,if you take out Hindutva from Modi he is an excellent chiefminister (adminstrator)to work with, but i guess Hindutva is so intrenched in him that it can never be taken out!!!

But i guess, the people's verdict is final , Mayawati and Modi despite just about everything they should not have done are the new torchbearers of Indian politics. What can you and i do about it except getting stopped at traffic intersections to let their red beacon vehicles passby?

Well the whole issue of reservations on the basis of religion is becoming a very complexed one ,Sachhar commitee has definetly opened a pandoras box and you cant ignore the fact that muslims are a huge vote bank any political party would like to have, so why blame the congress?

As far as your question of choosing the party ? I seriously believe (hope i'm not being too idealistic)that our country is passing through a transistional phase from single party to two party further graduating to coliation era and now regional parties well at the moment its all very confusing .

one thing which is very certain is that we need a statesman, a visionary, a thinker a person who knows India and puts India first, at the helm of affairs, it dosent matter which party he comes from , does that mean a presidential form of Government?

IR said...

the bjp was started as a party for the middle class, but they have the lost plot.what the congress and the bjp have to understnad is that the india of the next 5-15 yrs will reside in tier 1 ,2, 3 cities and not in the villages.they should formulate thier policies accordingly.

if you are not a hindu , then you should not get reservation on the basis of your ex religion caste,but our politicnas will do anything.

abt mayawati, you know this is so hypocrticial, tell me how many more dalits ( aprt from those in her own family) have know seen gold , or leave alone getting a house in sp marg, have been able to send their children to school , and then i will tell you whther she is a community leader.

i deal with people in gujrat for work, i cant tell you how big supporters they are of modi, he has developed gujrat like nobody else , he won his elections dispite the best efforts from the english lang new channels ,

its in times like these that i miss dd, the best part abt their news was , the video clippings never had any sound and were always 4 seconds in length !

but i have to say you are not the only one i know who is shifting towards the bjp , hmmm

egg style said...

There is political science and there is non science (or "signs" as sometimes pronounced in Gujarat). There is a European brand of crystal balls called Krystall Nachd that helps you look into the future and crystallise your voting preference or non preference.

mahima said...

I googled Krystall Nachd ... no luck....!! Am I a sucker?

Barney said...

Did you know that Mayawati's wealth is being managed by a bulge bracket wall street firm? Infact her portfolio took a material hit last quarter as her bankers had invested heavily in securities backed by subprime mortgages. The joke here is...Maya's portfolio is a disguised indian soverign wealth fund!!!

As for the excesses of Indian politicians..we can only call it a needless drain on the country's exchequer.

Greed is good...on wall street and in Uttar Pradesh!!

mahima said...

hmm who is handling her portfolio?

Anonymous said...

excellent points and the details are more precise than elsewhere, thanks.

- Norman