Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A new old start

In the run up to the elections, more than ever, I’ve had people come to my blog to accuse me of being elite or not talking about “issues”. I want to explain something to all these wonderful people. This is MY blog. Perhaps you find me “elite” because by sheer twist of fate I went to a good school, then with a whopping 92% got into Stephens, managed other schools, grad schools and ended up working with brands like The Indian Express, Al Jazeera, PBS. Perhaps you would also be livid to know that I am currently doing a course at NYU to hone my editing skills.

Call it what you want. I work hard and most of the time, I get good work. Sometimes, I don’t – that is the risk. But I do my thing. Hopefully, I do it well.

And when I write on my blog, I write about the world as I see it. I don’t grudge other people their opinions. But I guess it is what it is, it does make for interesting reading.

Anyway, I actually flew out the day before elections. I voted for the first time – well, I was under 21 the last time we went to the polls. It was a great experience, especially the proud smiles everyone gave each other.

I was hoping this government would continue. My father had a very different view; he believes Manmohan Singh is a weak PM. I have my reasons, but mostly, I find this alternative better. I had a minor debate with another blogger recently about (again) how I was elite-baba log for not supporting Mayawati. I told him, I have no issue that she is doing well (not so much, as this election revealed), but I am not ready to have her represent me on an international stage.

I’m pretty bummed out I missed the countdown. I had booked my tickets a while ago, and hadn’t paid attention to the dates.

I had personally predicted a Congress win (although it was based on a feeling) because of one simple reason. I have no data to back it up. I traveled a bunch all of last year, and one thing I noticed in equal measure all over the country was that there was construction everywhere. Seriously. And that told me that people saw some movement in their lives. And if the going is good… why mess with it. This time, there was a lot of talk about development. A former colleague of mine from the Express told me that some people were worried that Nitish Kumar would not be voted back because he was developing the state. Why, I asked. She said that when people’s expectations rise, another guy will come and claim that he can take it further. And people might be tempted to work for the one with the maximum promise. A few weeks later, in fact, on the way to my polling booth, my father was talking about anti-incumbency. I told him, in my opinion, that concept did not really exist anymore, and people would not vote for the sake of it. I can say that because Delhi has voted for Mrs Dikshit only because of all the work she has done. It is so visible! And taking that logic further, when I saw work everywhere I traveled, I figured it must prove favorable to the government of the day.

There is another thing. I thought the political situation in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks was handled quite well – Chidambaram as Home Minister, and also out diplomatic discussions with Pakistan. I was not one of the people who wanted to see a knee-jerk reaction.

So I’m a happy camper for the moment.


Roy said...

Dude...you are paying too much attention to criticism. Most of the people enjoy your writing a lot, keep it going.

PS: I was hoping for a BJP victory (sans RSS, shiv sena and the like)

mahima said...

I know Roy, just sometimes people BUG you.. anyway I've had my little outburst and now I'm happy!

I'm going to DC in 10 days so will be watching American politics with a keener eye...!

Roy said...

please do, I have started to dislike obama since his interferences in bankrupcy proceedings and other populist policies...he is going the social democracy way (aka facism; conditions too are quite similar)

mahima said...

yeah, everyone is saying the same thing here.. the banks own the govt so really, what is he doing to do about that? i'm keeping my eyes and ears open.. although right now its all about lighting techniques and camera settings!

IR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
IR said...


i think the congress won because of 3 reasons :

1) the bjp completely failed to prove itself as a viable alternative , they wanted to come to power but conducted their election campaign like a opposition party.Not one mention how they were going to improve the economy or whatever was in correct during congress rule.
it was their election to win ( just as the assemly polls in delhi ) but since they spoke like an opposition party , they got a mandate to do just that

2) the bjp failed to project a team , who was going to be the finance minister if they won ? last govt candidates dont inspire much confidence, while the congress has a full team

3) people got scared that some m/s third and fourth front candidates will become PM ( 6 months to each of course ) !

there is nothing wrong if the urban young population does not find the reigonal front walas their representative. they are not representing anyone , they talk about being party for the poor , but in reality they are partnership firms with a billion dollar in asstes and turnover !

i thought the minimum voting age in india is 18 ?

now that you are moving to the us , maybe you will put in an american prespective to all the happenings

Bahniman said...

Well I guess it is the Government that is owning the banks and not the other way round!! Obama is being perceived as anti Wall Street and anti Capitalism. However, no one knows what the truth is. Watch the "Obama Deception" documentary to get confused further :-)

The link:

mahima said...

hm, ure right.. i was in montreal the last time i could vote! i keep thinking i'm younger.. better make peace with the fact that i'm close to 30 now than 20!!!

egg style said...

Hey, had no clue about this editing course thing!! Rather sudden, no, this switch to the Big Apple from the Blue Cherry…? Okay, so that’s not what anybody calls Delhi, but at the rate this amazing lil fruit’s influence is spreading, it could well come to that.

Critics are critics, respond to them with a shrug and pinch-of-salt. Your blog rocks. Self confidence is half the game won, the rest is sharpening the stuff.

Keep on blogging. A view on America under Obama would be interesting, inbetween lighting techniques and camera settings etc. While on the New Prez (ref Roy’s comment above), am not sure if the semantic resonance of ‘social’ with ‘national-socialist’ should lead the well-educated observer to any conclusions on dangerous trends; if an alarm is to be raised anywhere on the planet, it should be by i) a rank ordering---conditioned by a particular ideal of genetic superiority ii) an apparatus---for the drastic alteration of relative rates of gene perpetuation iii) a specific application---of the latter to active rejectionists of the former.

Phew!! Sorry about that. This comment was meant to be short. This blog rocks, keep up the good work, stay a happy camper. And have a good stay in NY.

Shantanu said...

Hey, keep blogging. I enjoy your views, even though your posts are few and far between. While the Congress for now was the best bet foward, I think what was more important is the defeat of the Left and BSP which should leave the Congress with some room to operate. If only Mamata can stop being a better (or rather worse) Left than the original.