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Monthly Archives: FEBRUARY 2018


J&K – RAM MADHAV LEAVES SPACE FOR MEHBOOBA’S POLITICS
Three years on, PDP-BJP alliance sailing smooth; Ram Madhav makes room for Mehbooba’s domestic constituency
25.02.18 - S Pal & Nischay Pal*
Three years on, PDP-BJP alliance sailing smooth; Ram Madhav makes room for Mehbooba’s domestic constituency



AT A TIME when the BJP and the PDP are taking diametrically opposite positions on some of the most crucial questions and issues faced by Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP today committed itself again to the alliance, calling it smooth.

"(I)n spite of (all the) ideological and issue-based differences, the two parties have been able to run affairs quite smoothly," Ram Madhav, BJP's general secretary in charge of Jammu and Kashmir, has said. Madhav is largely known to be the architect of this alliance.

In a wide-ranging interview to the Indian Express, Madhav, who is the BJP's pointsman for not just J&K but also the insurgency hit states in the North East, said, "One can always say we could have done better. But in J-K, the situation is always changing... you have challenge after challenge. Today, we have been able to bring peace to the Valley. Barring attacks by militants, the Valley is peaceful."

"The two parties are working in perfect tandem. No alliance is easy, most have small issues… you have seen it in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh. Even traditional partners have issues. Compared to that, the alliance has had smooth sailing," he said.

But it was Madhav's response to CM Mehbooba Mufti's publicly expressed view of advocating talks with Pakistan to stop the frequent terror attacks in the state that is being seen as an example of extreme pragmatism in politics.

"Talking or not talking to Pakistan is not for the Jammu and Kashmir alliance to decide," Ram Madhav said, adding that the Centre will decide it. But he left enough room for Mehbooba to cater to her domestic constituency, saying, "Mehboobaji can have a view, because she feels that if the two governments talk to each other, there could be de-escalation of violence. But the alliance cannot take a view, its view is limited to the affairs of the state."
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Madhav's response to CM Mehbooba Mufti's publicly expressed view of advocating talks with Pakistan to stop the frequent terror attacks in the state is being seen as an example of extreme pragmatism in politics.
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"Having said that, there can be a view that talks are necessary for restoring peace along the LoC. This does not mean that Pakistan will get away with all the wrongdoing," Madhav said, adding, "If the CM feels India-Pakistan talks will help contain infiltration and bring peace in the Valley, allow her to have her view. But she is not going to decide it."

Madhav's comments, coming at a time when the alliance is marking its third anniversary and many see it as cracking at the seams, is an indication that the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo is determined to persist with it for the next two years.

In fact, so keen has been the BJP to ensure the survival of the alliance that barely a couple of months after Ram Madhav said the Centre will never talk to separatists who use 'Kashmir as guinea pigs,' he made a somersault and said the PDP-BJP government as well as the Modi government were open a dialogue with all stakeholders, including separatists. (https://goo.gl/3wtxJh) 

A political analyst who has reported from Kashmir for more than a decade said the BJP would not like to be seen as breaking the alliance.

"There are twin reasons for it. First, it knows that pulling out of the alliance will leave space for either the National Conference, which is committed to never working with BJP again, or the more militant forces. Also, it will push the PDP to pick up a harsher strain of politics in its zeal to prove that not an iota of saffron has rubbed on it," the analyst told Punjab Today.

Also, he added, the BJP is keen to make an argument that it can work with the most difficult of the alliance partners, and if completes its term with the PDP, then it will always have an argument against any Shiv Sena or Akali Dal that it knows how to be accommodative. 
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The BJP knows pulling out of the alliance will make space for the National Conference, or the more militant forces, besides pushing the PDP to pick up a harsher strain of politics to prove that not a grain of saffron has rubbed on it. Also, the BJP is keen to show it can work with most difficult of the alliance partners. 
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With the PDP, Ram Madhav said the BJP did not have any major contradiction "as far as governance issues are concerned."

But the BJP knows it cannot be seen a towing the PDP line on filing FIRs against perceived guitly army officers.

"As far as naming of the Army official in the FIR is concerned, we said it’s a wrong step," Madhav said, but seemed wary of being seen as pulling the rug from underneath the CM's feet.

"But you must remember, an FIR is not a statement of guilt. When any congnisable offence takes place, police are bound to file an FIR… This FIR only says so and so officer led a battalion of the Army through that area when the incident took place...Legally, remedial measures will be taken. But if one says FIR should not be there, the law does not permit it," he said.

Clearly, the BJP is largely sticking to its narrative that there is no rift in the BJP-PDP alliance government, a line Ram Madhav had propounded in April last year, and later reiterated.

In May last year, Ram Madhav had met CM Mufti at her residence amid growing differences between the coalition partners over several key issues, including talks with separatists. Even at that time, the alliance seemed to be at a breaking point.

Speculation about the PDP and BJP heading for a break-up never died down all through the alliance (https://goo.gl/x3aUCM), and incidents such as strapping a civilian to an army vehicle as a human shield against stone-pelters on the day of the Srinagar by-polls had sparked an open spat between the two.
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Is the PDP-BJP alliance one of opportunism, or a beauty of democratic politics where rank opponents can find space to work together? After all, in Punjab, the Akali Dal, wedded to the idea of "Sikh Ikk Vakhri Quom," is in alliance with a party that says "Garv Se Kaho Hum Hindu Hain." The contradictions haunt the Badals often, and some see they have become a little saffron in the process. 
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Senior PDP minister Altaf Bukhari had taken strong exception to Ram Madhav justifying the human shield incident by saying "everything is fair in love and war”.

Bukhari had called it a sympton of "a hyper-nationalist environment." 

The real reason, said a senior Srinagar-based journalist, is that the PDP was worried it has lost much ground in the Valley because of its coalition with the BJP. 

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy’s tweet about de-populating the Valley and sending Kashmiris to refugee camps in Tamil Nadu to curb protests never found a strong repudiation from Modi-Shah-Madhav trio.

Another senior journalist, Vipin Pubby, a former resident editor of the Indian Express and someone who has closely tracked Jammu and Kashmir and reported from ground zero, said the PDP-BJP alliance government's failure to have "an internal dialogue among Kashmir stakeholders" was a major failure.

PDP needs to push its saffron partner to work on its Kashmir-centric poll planks, including taking up the "internal dialogue" venture, talking about demilitarisation of the Valley and re-thinking on stance towards talks with Pakistan, he said. 
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In Punjab, Badals can be hailing Justin Trudeau for Canada's commitment to freedom of speech and his government’s close ties with the Sikh community, while Amarinder Singh can be a partner in the nationalist BJP's snub to anti-India activities in Canada. So, who is whose partner can sometimes be very confusing. 
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But Madhav's latest reiteration of the solidity of the alliance with PDP does give hope that the two parties are determined to salvage what can be from a bad situation. Their success or failure will determine if the PDP-BJP alliance was one of opportunism, or a beauty of democratic politics where rank opponents can find space to work together.

After all, in Punjab, the Akali Dal, which is wedded to the idea of "Sikh Ikk Vakhri Quom" is in alliance with a party that says "Garv Se Kaho Hum Hindu Hain." The contradictions haunt the Badals often, but they have managed to work alongside the Big Brother, though becoming a little saffron in the process. 

Democracy, as they say, is a negotiation in a contested space, and whether or not Mehbooba Mufti will be seen as having been saffronised in the process will be decided more by domestic politics and less by Pakistan. 

In Punjab, Badals can be hailing Justin Trudeau for Canada's commitment to freedom of speech, and Amarinder Singh can be a partner in the nationalist BJP's snub to anti-India activities in Canada. So, who is whose partner can sometimes be very confusing. 

Around this time last year, Mehbooba Mufti had pitched for the revocation of AFSPA, arguing that it was needed to create a "window of peace" but Madhav had hit back, saying AFSPA was not imposed out of fun. 

As PDP-BJP mark the third anniversary of their wedding, it does seem that for the moment, Ram Madhav is a partner of CM Mufti. 

(*With contribution by freelance journalist Chakshan Charun) 
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

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Deconstructing Trudeau in Punjab
A visit that helped Amarinder complete a journey
23.02.18 - S Pal
A visit that helped Amarinder complete a journey



PUNJAB CHIEF MINISTER Amarinder Singh finally did throw a spanner in Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau's India visit plans, and while he did meet the dignitary, the Congress leader emerged as a strong nationalist voice dedicated to the territorial integrity of India, ready to wrestle anyone to the ground over even a whiff of Khalistani talk.

Meet Amarinder Singh, the Chief Minister of Punjab. Of the many shades of turban that he wears, I do not recall seeing him sporting saffron, but saffron is what he eats, drinks, sleeps and talks now.

Public memory may be short, but contemporary history comes back to haunt faster than politicians wedded to expediency realise.

It was natural for the media to fish out Amarinder Singh's pictures circa 2005 from Canada's Dixie gurdwara with a Khalistan Zindabad inscription banner behind him. The BJP was then in the forefront of those demanding resignation, rather removal, of Amarinder Singh as chief minister of Punjab.

In his second term as chief minister, Amarinder Singh possibly has had a change of heart that has moved him much closer to the BJP and the RSS. While he ostensibly leads a Congress government, the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo could not have asked for a better ally in Punjab.

Between Narendra Modi and Amarinder Singh, who do you think went to the press to claim that Rahul Gandhi is not as mature as his mother to lead the party?
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In his second term as chief minister, Amarinder Singh possibly has had a change of heart that has moved him much closer to the BJP and the RSS. While he ostensibly leads a Congress government, the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo could not have asked for a better ally in Punjab.
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Amarinder Singh, of course. Modi and Shah consider Rahul Gandhi too important and invariably focus their attacks on him. It was Amarinder who wanted Rahul Gandhi to wait.

In July of 2016, when the Kashmir valley was on the boil, Amarinder wrote an article in The Tribune saying the Government of India "must allow freedom of action to the Army." (https://goo.gl/vDuL9A)

"The directive must be just one: Bring a situation in the state where the writ of India runs and not that of the ISI. Yes, in the ensuing clashes collateral damage will take place," Amarinder wrote, his words much closer to a die-hard Bajrang Dal leader than even a seasoned BJP leader. It is a pity journalists did not ask Rahul Gandhi of he agreed with his Punjab leader.

When an Army major thought it prudent to truss up a Kashmiri citizen on the bonnet of his jeep to be used as a human shield and paraded him for hours along the valley's roads, Amarinder's line of action was more saffron than Nagpur's prescription.

Not satisfied with his statements hailing the army officer, Amarinder Singh took time out to write a long article for the Indian Express, arguing that "tough situations warrant tough reactions, and dangerous situations often, if not always, merit daring actions."

He called it unfortunate that "there were not many willing to pat his (the army major's) back for his remarkable presence of mind" of coming up with a brilliant idea to pick up a Kashmiri at random and tie him to the bonnet of a jeep to use him as a human shield. (https://goo.gl/Jt7qwa) 

He actually advocated "a tooth for a tooth and a nail for a nail", said he cares little if it "sounds a crude way of putting it."

"Does an army officer not deserve a reward for saving lives?" Amarinder Singh asked. Good question! It's a pity he didn't announce one to be given by the Punjab government.
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Amarinder Singh has been announcing his new ideological affiliations, every statement of his almost perfectly aligned with the BJP's political line. Three Paistani heads for every Indian soldier martyred, bravery medal for Indian Army major who tied a Kashmiri citizen on the bonnet of a jeep as a human shield, a completely free hand to the army in Kashmir & all resultant casualties as collateral damage,  & those questioning Operation Bluestar & India’s human rights record as enemies of India’s integrity – Amarinder Singh’s hardline stance could have been scripted at 6A Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg.
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But he clearly did announce his new ideological affiliations. Every statement of his is almost perfectly aligned with the BJP's political line, including his initial stance on the movie Padmawati. Days passed before he modified his views a little bit on the issue. He is the sole Congress leader who issued a statement that he wanted three Pakistani heads for each Indian soldier beheaded, a perfect echo of Sushma Swaraj’s comments that she made when she was the Leader of the Opposition and which she does not repeat now. (They have Amarinder Singh for that. https://goo.gl/AjL4j4) 

Amarinder Singh has no views to offer on Umar Khalid, or Kanhaiya Kumar. His party leader Rahul Gandhi lands up at Hyderabad University for a Rohith Vemula, but Amarinder Singh does not speak in sync with his leader even though Umer Khalid draws crowds in Punjab. But he rushes to defend the army major who uses a Kashmiri citizen as a human shield.

It is in that context that we need to see Amarinder Singh's sudden enthusiasm to emerge on the forefront of the battle to oppose any discourse even remotely touching the subject of India's territorial integrity.

For a man who signed the Amritsar Declaration and remained wedded to the Akali Dal's politics revolving around Anandpur Sahib Resolution, it was quite a journey when Amarinder Singh had refused to meet Harjit Singh Sajjan, the Defence Minister of Canada.

Much has been made of the pro-Khalistan sympathies of certain Canadian politicians. The facts are somewhat more sombre. Much of the Sikh Diaspora's concerns have to do with a perceived lack of justice in India following the anti-Sikh violence of 1984. 

The Operation Bluestar and the decades of national narrative that painted Sikhs as separatists, the culture of fake encounters, the extra-ordinary powers enjoyed by a police force that is virtually unaccountable, the abominable role of the state-backed human rights commissions, the obstinacy of the Indian state to revisit the atrocities and fix responsibility, and the near political consensus over letting the past be past -- all of this ensured that generations of Sikhs and many right thinking people of India and elsewhere remained very skeptical about India's claims of being a democracy.

Time heals. Unfortunately, it also solidifies distances, and normalises cynicism.
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For a man who signed the Amritsar Declaration and remained wedded to the Akali Dal's politics revolving around Anandpur Sahib Resolution, it was quite a journey for Amarinder Singh cold shouldering Justin Trudeau or refusing to meet Harjit Singh Sajjan.
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Northern America now has a significant population of Sikhs, with a younger demographic that was born and brought up there. They are well versed with the progressive discourse about civil liberties and human rights, and they are well aware of their own contemporary history. These are the people who ask difficult questions, and they look upon Indian politicians and political parties as stakeholders who let them down.

Unlike India, they have umbrellas like the First Amendment under which they can raise difficult questions without being branded separatists, secessionists, or worse, terrorists. In India, these terms are used like synonyms.
 

The idea of a student asking his academic guide, a professor of political science, if Khalistan could have survived as a viable country, given the geo-strategic realities in the region and from an economic view point, is taken as conformation of the young student having separatist ideology -- a perfect ruse for the local SHO to pick him up and administer some time-tested police dose. 
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BJP’s Ram Madhav travelled to Canada for a meeting with separatist Sikh groups, arranged by UK-based Jasdev Singh Rai of the Sikh Human Rights Group, in November 2016. Rai was to join Madhav again in Toronto but Ottawa never allowed that to happen. BJP has been miffed since then, and wanted to deliver a snub. Amarinder Singh acted as the courier boy, with a Mera Bharat Mahan placard.
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Unsurprisingly, it works. Our students hardly ask any questions, a fact top academicians often bemoan. Those who ask can be branded. Try asking any question about how and when India became a nation state, or cow became holy, or why dalits remain where they are, or why BJP does not give a ticket to any Muslim, or why the Akali Dal, a party that claims to represent a minority, does not raise its voice when powerful people in the government openly spew hate speech against Muslims, and you will be branded.

They are not branded in Canada. So they ask questions. It is not a discourse that New Delhi likes. It moves on two fronts: first is to open direct, behind-the-scenes links with these so called separatist elements, an exercise it undertook under the BJP regime in 2016 which it successfully kept under wraps. When that did not work, it fired the other cannon, with Amarinder Singh happily playing the Centre's fiddle.

THE 2016 Khalistani-BJP Talks Initiative

As the Hindustan Times of February 22, 2018 brought out in a sensational expose, BJP's top pointsman Ram Madhav opened talks with leadership of separatist Sikhs elements among the Diaspora in 2016.

Journalists Rezaul H Laskar and Prashant Jha, well respected for their credible journalism, wondered if possible intervention by Canadian Sikh politicians, including Harjit Singh Sajjan, to sabotage the talks could be the reason behind the frosty reception accorded to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his visit to India.

It now turns out that Ram Madhav travelled to Canada for a meeting with Sikh groups, arranged by UK-based Jasdev Singh Rai of the Sikh Human Rights Group, in November 2016. Rai was to join Madhav again in Toronto because the US Sikh leaders had agreed to meet the BJP leader only if Rai participated in the talks.

Rai, who had travelled to Canada at least 25 times, always used to keep the Canadian Security Intelligence Service in the loop about his contacts with the Sikh groups, but this time, Canada did not clear his visa.
-----------
Given the current bonhomie between Amarinder and Modi government, it is inconceivable that Amarinder would create a problem for New Delhi by threatening not to meet or welcome Trudeau. Amarinder played hard, and later soft, in perfect sync with New Delhi. The choreography is outside the scope of Amarinder’s CMO. This is New Delhi at work.
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As a result, Ram Madhav kept waiting for him in Toronto, while the Sikh groups refused to meet him for talks in the absence of Rai. It was a mission that failed, and the BJP considers Harjit Sajjan and his ilk responsible for not letting Rai join the talks. Rai has confirmed it. 

"Trudeau should stop pretending that he is defending freedom of expression of Khalistanis and come clean that his government has obstructed the peace dialogue process between the Modi Government and Sikh separatists,” Rai was quoted by the HT as saying.
 

New Delhi wanted to deliver a targetted snub. Modi not receiving Trudeau at the airport, or even tweeting about his arrival, fits into a pattern. 

Given the current bonhomie between Amarinder and Modi government, it is inconceivable that Amarinder would create a problem for New Delhi by threatening not to meet or welcome Trudeau. 

Amarinder played hard, and later soft, in perfect sync with New Delhi, eventually meeting Trudeau and making much about handing over a list of people wanted for anti-India activities.

The Canadians, on their part, messed up their own India venture by extending an invitation for dinner to Jaspal Atwal, an Indian-origin businessman with ties to the Khalistan movement. 

Once Trudeau is back in Canada, he can undo the damage by issuing a couple of statements about his country's track record on the freedom of speech. In fact, with his Indian visit ending in a train-wreck, Trudeau would be going back smiling to a domestic constituency of Sikhs rolling out the red carpet for him. 

In the process, the India, Canada relationship has been struck a bloody blow by a PM who hugs, and does not; tweets, or does not; and a CM who refuses to welcome, and then does.

The fact that Akali Dal has an alliance with the BJP is a mere technical truth. The Badals wanted to welcome Trudeau, but when Modi needed a minister at the tarmac at Amritsar airport, he did not ask Harsimrat Kaur Badal to do the honours, fielding Hardeep Puri, instead.

But with all of this, Amarinder has permanently walked into the BJP fold. It does not matter in which party he is technically. It is the ideological journey that he has made – from putting his signatures on the Amritsar Declaration to emerging as the frontline fighter for Bharat Mata, becoming a leader who sticks out his neck against anyone trying to question India's human rights record, civil liberties, or territorial integrity, and wants the Army to be given a complete free hand and considers the resultant body bags as collateral damage. 

I am sure Amarinder still wants a medal for the major who used a Kashmiri as a human shield, but am not sure if he does not have a saffron coloured turban in his sartorial collection. Rahul Gandhi will be now better educated with the colour preferences of his man in Punjab.
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles: 

JASPAL ATWAL CONTROVERSY: Mr. Ujjal, will you throw some light on this too?   

Yes, Ease of Leaving was announced by Jaitley in LS      

SHEKHAR GUPTA'S HALF-BAKED TRUTHS 

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES - Karze Ne Layee Ikk Hor Kisan Di Jaan...

BREAD & CIRCUSES Readying a saffron generation     

PNB Scam: Who is Nirav Choksi and what he is doing In the name of God?

Legal Status To Cannabis Usage: Can We Afford It? 

Congress upset due to Priyanka’s cleavage on calendar 

RENUKA'S LAUGHTER: Thank you for your guffaws. We needed this non-violent weapon.

RISE ABOVE PERSONAL VINDICATION, MR SURESH KHUMAR. FOR PUNJAB.

PAY YOUR INCOME TAX? What an idea, sir jee! 

PADMAVATI - KARNI KYA & KATHNI KYA! 

PADMAVAT – FIRST DAY, FIRST SHOW IN DAVOS

TV DEBATE EXPLODES WITH REVELATION ABOUT PB&H HIGH COUR

MR CLEAN to PAKKE DHEETH: How Punjab’s Congress hurt Brand Rahul Gandhi? 

MANJIT SINGH CALCUTTA– THE DISSENTER

RANA GURJIT RESIGNS, BUT AMARINDER MAY HAVE LITTLE RESPITE

PUNJAB FARMERS AND IPL CRICKETERS - Finally, they can stand like equals

GOVT NOW DEFENDS MANSA FUCTION AND 6-FEET LONG CERTIFICATES

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION. My teacher is not alive, but you please call it off!

SELF GOAL BY AMARINDER GOVT ON VAISAKHI HOLIDAY 

AMARINDER, BADALS, KHAIRA, AROOSA ALAM & A JOURNALIST OF TRIBUNE

BUT AAP WON'T GET IT. TUM TO THEHRE SHEHARI 

AMARINDER, BADALS, KHAIRA, AROOSA ALAM & A JOURNALIST OF TRIBUNE

BUT AAP WON'T GET IT. TUM TO THEHRE SHEHARI 

NAPOLEON PAINTING ROW: Punjab Govt insists on riding its high horse

PLAYING WITH SIKH SENTIMENTS: Punjab Govt’s ad depicts Tenth Sikh Master astride Napoleon’s horse

HOW DHUMAL WAS ASSASSINATED POLITICALLY, BY THE BJP

SUKHBIR IS RIGHT – On 97th anniversary  Panth Khatre Vich Hai. Where does this threat come from?

SHIROMANI AKALI DAL – Abhi to party shuru huyee hai...

MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS IN PUNJAB: How Congress, SAD, AAP have framed issues  

DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT

VIDEO - CLASS 5 STUDENT THREATENS REVOLUTION

CHAI PAR SUICIDE? Meet Mankar. Sorry, he’s dead. Modi met him, though - for Chai Pe Charcha

1984 - A RIOT OR A GENOCIDE? Controversy explodes in Canada again as Hardeep Puri tweets

PUNJAB VIDHAN SABHA: They are publishing a new book, so please go read an old one

JAANE KYA DIKH JAAYE! Rajasthan, where they write poems hailing Shambu Lal Regar 

'IF NOT VANDE MATARAM, then will you salute Afzal Guru?' 

LAHORE NU SALAAM – LAHORE CHODD AAYA - Prof. Randhir Singh

THE LOOT THAT RAJASTHAN COMMITTED – An insult bigger than Bollywood’s Padmawati! 

TRIBUNE’S HARISH KHARE SHATTERS EDITORIAL SILENCE OVER CARAVAN REPORTAGE  

THE DANGER OF RENAMING A COLLEGE 

ARNAB GOSWAMI WATCHES PADMAWATI, KARNI SENA IS HAPPIEST

DESH CHORR DO – VANDE MATARAM MAN TELLS SIKH LEADER TO LEAVE COUNTRY

DYAL SINGH COLLEGE TO VANDE MATARAM MAHAVIDYALAYA - A DESIGN NEFARIOUS?

HONESTY CERTIFICATE TO MAJITHIA TRIGGERS CRISIS IN TRIBUNE 

THE FINAL HONESTY CERTIFICATE: ISSUED BY THE TRIBUNE

WAS IT MEANT FOR TRUMP? OR US?  – Bush, Obama said this on Diwali

WALKING IN STEP, HAND ON THE SHOULDER Aye Bhayee, Bina Dekhe Chalo

CHALO, PATAAKE CHALAYEN – CM Amarinder Singh & Parkash Singh Badal Jee

NO TIME TO READ THIS STORY? – That’s OK - Please do not feel guilty 

ELECTION COMMISSION - YOU FAILED TO CONVINCE. TRY AGAIN.

THIS IS WHY ELECTION COMMISSION DID NOT ANNOUNCE GUJARAT POLL DATES – Decoding the mystery 

BJP TO EDUCATE FARMERS ABOUT AGRI & RELIGION LINK – Will tell them Modi did so much 

AYE BHAI, BINA DEKHE CHALO –  Walking with the blind in Chandigarh

BAD, BAD WOMAN! – Punjab’s top playwright slams woman complainant against Langah

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL – On Amod Kanth’s badge of shame

OPEN SALE AT GNDU – Have Rs 25,000? Get your compartment cleared. Rs 50,000 for two subjects

SUCHA SINGH LANGAH : KAMAAL JAARI HAI... Sucha Singh Langah wins, even in his darkest moments

ABEY TU BAHAR NIKAL, CHOWK MEIN AA   The 10-yard-radius protest

PATIALA, VIA PANCHKULA. HAIL DEMOCRACY! Halaat kharaab nahi hone chahiye!

PEHLU KHAN CASE   Will Govt Now Compensate The Magnificent Six? The Nation Needs to Know

MR HOME MINISTER, WILL YOU BE VISITING FAROOQ AHMAD DAR'S HOUSE? 

THE RYAN DEBATE: HOW INDIA MISSED THE GREAT CCTV ANGLE?  Not covered by cctv, so not covered by tv either

POLITICAL ECONOMY OF RETIREMENT AGE ROW   What’s wrong with retirement age policy?

THE GORAKHPUR DEAD SPEAK TO PUNJAB  From Patiala to Gorakhpur, the tale of the dead

WE WILL KILL 40-50 – Haryana BJP, Govt calculated death toll before firing first bullet

RELAX! ALL 30 WERE DERA PREMIS – Panchkula says something stinking about its conscience

LET'S KILL PAASH – Dr Sumail Singh Sidhu on the importance of Paash

A DOKLAM IN EVERY FIELD: Farmers not only produce food. They produce peace.

SURGICAL STRIKE YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT: When Indian jawans killed everyone at Pak post

PUNJAB: AN IDEA IN SEARCH OF WORDS: Punjab, more than a poster boy of progress or a renegade from modernity

_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT








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Comment by: Kanwaljeet Singh

Brilliantly put. Amrinder singh is technically in congress but being more useful to the Right wing than, technically, its actual partner. But, it should also be noted that it is not only Amrendra singh, is not congress' soft hindutva posture, on nearly all issues where it was expected to contrast up, itself creating a room for nearly everybody who sees majority as toned with a nationalist wash, to drift into this powerful current of right? This also must be analyzed, maybe in some other peice. Thanks

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BREAD & CIRCUSES
Readying a saffron generation
20.02.18 - Latha Jishnu
Readying a saffron generation



BREAD and circuses kept the people happy and distracted in the twilight of the Roman Republic just before the rise of the Roman Empire. Satirist Juvenal called it the panem et circenses (bread and circuses) way of governance: providing cheap wheat while mounting costly shows at the Coliseum to retain power. In today’s India there’s plenty of fun and games to distract people even if bread for the needy is drying up because of a new rule that excluded tens of thousands from getting subsidised foodgrains. But there is spectacle enough to divert attention from the daily reports of starvation deaths on the one hand and massive crony-capitalist scams on the other.

As details of one the biggest banking swindles came to light, a scandal involving one of the prime minister’s charmed circle of business friends, Narendra Modi was putting on another of his rockstar performances in Delhi, this time for the benefit of a stadium full of schoolchildren rounded up for advice on how to beat the exam blues. There was glitz, music, freebies and a strong dose of nationalism even if the children, who are about to write the board exams, got barely any tips on how to cope with the stress.
---------
As details of one the biggest banking swindles came to light, Narendra Modi was putting on another of his rockstar performances in Delhi, this time for the benefit of a stadium full of schoolchildren rounded up for advice on how to beat the exam blues. 
---------
Modi’s extravaganzas where he charms audiences, usually non-resident Indians, with his potent mix of hyper nationalism and grand promises of a resurgent India are becoming a regular feature at home, too, as his government fails to tackle the deepening economic problems. But if there is one thing that his regime excels at it is managing public perceptions and making people believe that it is working for them instead of actually doing so. After all, Modi was able to persuade most Indians that the disastrous demonetisation exercise was for their good and in the national interest even though it deepened the economic crisis and inflicted needless hardship on the poor.

 Keeping the citizenry distracted appears to be what the BJP’s ideological mentors, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh expects from Modi these days while it goes about quietly pushing its agenda of creating a Hindu India. Although it is widely known that the RSS has infiltrated practically every government department, academia and cultural organisations, recent interviews given by Hindutva scholar Shridhar D. Damle have revealed the extent to which the organisation is succeeding. In at least one crucial sector, education, the RSS is all set to capture the mind of the young, completing an ambitious project that started with schools several decades ago.
----------
2014 election was fought not for Modi, according to Damle, but only because the RSS felt the time was right. Modi was only a by-product, groomed by the RSS well in advance because of his mass base.
----------
Damle told The Telegraph of Kolkata: "What the media and others are ignoring is how skilfully and sublimely the RSS is working in the field of education. By 2024, it would have raised and readied a new generation of educated Indians who understand and believe in the philosophy of Hindutva. All the vice chancellors of major universities are partners in this project.”
It’s not as if the RSS went about this task clandestinely. In March last year, the RSS think tank Prajna Pravah had summoned 700 academics, including the vice chancellors of 51 universities, to a well-publicised workshop in Delhi to include an Indian perspective and a nationalist narrative in higher education. Prajna Pravah describes itself as "a nationwide intellectual movement rooted in Bharatiya ethos and traditions”. But few analysts bothered to follow up on the RSS’s surgical strike on higher education.

What is apparent is the tightening noose around universities where academic freedom is being stifled by rigid controls on what can be taught or even discussed. The ‘culture of protests’ is frowned upon and so is the innocuous practice of staging cultural festivals because that is supposedly alien to India’s real culture. The subversion is clearly visible in the way the globally related IITs or Indian Institutes of Technology function these days. For instance, IIT-Madras which was hosting a global conference on cancer research had featured a yoga guru as the chief guest until the US sponsor baulked at it.
---------
This appears to indicate that Modi is expendable. Damle says unambiguously that Adityanath, the hardcore Hindutva priest who was made chief minister of Uttar Pradesh state in 2017, will be playing a larger role in the future. 
---------
Damle is co-author of classic The Brotherhood in Saffron: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Hindu Revivalism. Published in 1987, the book provided the first inside account of the parent body of the BJP since Damle has close connections with the RSS. A sequel to the book is in the works and Damle has made some startling disclosures about what is happening behind the scenes after Modi was swept to power. He says the RSS has now realised the importance of power and its benefits unlike in the past when it claimed to be a purely cultural outfit. It will not countenance losing power.

The 2014 general elections was only the second time the RSS is said to have actively taken part in the BJP campaign, the first being the post-Emergency elections in 1977. But the 2014 election was fought not for Modi, according to Damle, but only because the RSS felt the time was right. Modi was only a by-product, groomed by the RSS well in advance because of his mass base.

This appears to indicate that Modi is expendable. Damle says unambiguously that Adityanath, the hardcore Hindutva priest who was made chief minister of Uttar Pradesh state in 2017, will be playing a larger role in the future. What if the BJP loses the 2019 elections because of its poor record? The RSS is making sure all its forces are ready for the next big battle.
---------
What if the BJP loses the 2019 elections because of its poor record? The RSS is making sure all its forces are ready for the next big battle.
---------
Every one of its three dozen odd organisations covers important segments of the population from the tribal folk to the scheduled castes and it is a formidable line-up. The shakhas, or the daily meeting of RSS volunteers, now number close to 60,000, with the brotherhood having grown exponentially in the last two years. Here highly indoctrinated boys and men practise calisthenics and armed combat, swearing loyalty to the organisation and nation.

When RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat claimed last week that he could mobilise this force in three days flat unlike the Indian Army which would take six months, the opposition slammed him for defaming the army. They missed the woods for the trees. Bhagwat was merely stating a fact. The RSS presence in various trouble spots over the decades has proved his claim is no empty boast. That should have given the opposition food for thought.

 
  
 
The writer is a journalist based in New Delhi.
ljishnu@yahoo.com
This article first appeared in Dawn.

 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

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PUNJAB: AN IDEA IN SEARCH OF WORDS: Punjab, more than a poster boy of progress or a renegade from modernity

_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT






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ONE NATION, ONE POLL
Flattening Democracy In The Name of Good Governance
12.02.18 - Vipin Pubby
Flattening Democracy In The Name of Good Governance



STATE ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS are due in five states this year, in double that number of states besides the Lok Sabha elections next year, in three states during 2020 and in six states the following year. There has been no year in the recent past when elections were not held in one state or the other.

That’s one of the major arguments taken by the votaries of those who are seeking simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha as well as state Assemblies. They claim that the top political leaders, and consequently the governments they run, remain constantly in election mode and this ‘diverts’ their attention from developmental works. They also claim that the frequent enforcement of model code of conduct also derails progress and governments refrain from taking harsh decisions with election prospects in mind.

The latest to make a case for simultaneous elections are none else than President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. BJP has always expressed itself in favour of holding simultaneous elections and had even said in its 2014 manifesto that it would "evolve method of holding Assembly and Lok Sabha elections simultaneously”.

Although the party leaders maintained a studied silence on this issue over the last four years, the re-emergence of the issue in the wake of reports that the Modi government may go in for early elections to Lok Sabha to cut down on anti incumbency, has led to a debate on the feasibility of the idea.

Other political parties have remained divided over the issue. Congress had opposed the proposal on the grounds that it was ‘impractical’, the left parties too doubt its feasibility while the Trinamool Congress had called it "undemocratic and unconstitutional”. Some of the regional parties like the AIADMK and AGP had backed the BJP stand.
------------
Also apart from the gigantic practical task of holding simultaneous elections, which would need setting up of over 7,00,000 polling booths, deployment of staff to man these booths, security arrangements and the procurement of double the number of existing voting machines, several factors would make it an unworkable task.
------------
While the country had witnessed simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and Assemblies till 1967, a variety of factors such as early dissolution of Lok Sabha, dismissal of state governments or fall of some governments, had led to disruption of the schedule. Another major factor was that it was virtually a one-party rule in the country with the Congress dominating the scene. Much water has flown down the Ganges since then and other parties, including the BJP and a host of regional parties, have emerged stronger.

Also apart from the gigantic practical task of holding simultaneous elections, which would need setting up of over 7,00,000 polling booths, deployment of staff to man these booths, security arrangements and the procurement of double the number of existing voting machines, several factors would make it an unworkable task.

But even more important than these factors would be the impact it would have on the federal structure of our nation. India is a "Union of States” and its strength lies in its diversity. Each state has its unique identity and priorities. These have their own dynamics besides regional identities and aspirations. It can’t be a one-hat-fits-all situation and would be clearly an anti-democratic measure.

Such a provision would place huge powers in the hands of the ruling party or coalition at the Centre which enjoys power under Article 356 to dismiss state governments. It could take various pleas to dismiss governments and make them face elections. Then there is the question of keeping states under prolonged Central rule to await simultaneous elections. What would happen if state governments fall due to splits and political dissensions or if the government at the Centre falls. To reduce frequency of elections, there could be minor tweaking to ensure that wherever elections are due, these are held just once in a year. Even currently the Election Commission clubs together elections due in six months.
-----------
While it is true that top political leaders remain constantly in election mode and have elections at the back of their mind, the very idea of simultaneous elections militates against the federal structure. 
-----------
However, the federal structure conceived by the members of the constituent Assembly and enshrined in the constitution would come under tremendous strain if the government goes ahead with the idea of holding all elections simultaneously or even in mid-term slabs of two and a half years each. Fortunately such a change would require a constitutional amendment and the current government is not in a position to push it through on its own.

While it is true that top political leaders remain constantly in election mode and have elections at the back of their mind, the very idea of simultaneous elections militates against the federal structure. The pros of the current system far outweigh the cons. Let the governments and leaders remain on their toes and face electorate from time to time. Their performance must be put to test at the altar of democracy. We must trust the voters whose mandate must be earned and respected by all political parties. The ill conceived idea of simultaneous elections after five years must be dumped for good.
 

 

 

*(The author, a freelance journalist, is a former Resident Editor of Indian Express, Chandigarh, and reported on the political developments in Jammu and Kashmir, North-Eastern India, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab in his long, illustrious career. This article was also published by lokmarg.com and is being published by Punjab Today under special arrangement with that portal. - Ed)

 

 


 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles: 

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES - Karze Ne Layee Ikk Hor Kisan Di Jaan...

RENUKA'S LAUGHTER: Thank you for your guffaws. We needed this non-violent weapon.

RISE ABOVE PERSONAL VINDICATION, MR SURESH KHUMAR. FOR PUNJAB.

PAY YOUR INCOME TAX? What an idea, sir jee! 

PADMAVATI - KARNI KYA & KATHNI KYA! 

PADMAVAT – FIRST DAY, FIRST SHOW IN DAVOS

TV DEBATE EXPLODES WITH REVELATION ABOUT PB&H HIGH COUR

MR CLEAN to PAKKE DHEETH: How Punjab’s Congress hurt Brand Rahul Gandhi? 

MANJIT SINGH CALCUTTA– THE DISSENTER

RANA GURJIT RESIGNS, BUT AMARINDER MAY HAVE LITTLE RESPITE

PUNJAB FARMERS AND IPL CRICKETERS - Finally, they can stand like equals

GOVT NOW DEFENDS MANSA FUCTION AND 6-FEET LONG CERTIFICATES

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION. My teacher is not alive, but you please call it off!

SELF GOAL BY AMARINDER GOVT ON VAISAKHI HOLIDAY 

AMARINDER, BADALS, KHAIRA, AROOSA ALAM & A JOURNALIST OF TRIBUNE

BUT AAP WON'T GET IT. TUM TO THEHRE SHEHARI 

AMARINDER, BADALS, KHAIRA, AROOSA ALAM & A JOURNALIST OF TRIBUNE

BUT AAP WON'T GET IT. TUM TO THEHRE SHEHARI 

NAPOLEON PAINTING ROW: Punjab Govt insists on riding its high horse

PLAYING WITH SIKH SENTIMENTS: Punjab Govt’s ad depicts Tenth Sikh Master astride Napoleon’s horse

HOW DHUMAL WAS ASSASSINATED POLITICALLY, BY THE BJP

SUKHBIR IS RIGHT – On 97th anniversary  Panth Khatre Vich Hai. Where does this threat come from?

SHIROMANI AKALI DAL – Abhi to party shuru huyee hai...

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DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT

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Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT

 


 







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RENUKA'S LAUGHTER: Thank you for your guffaws. We needed this non-violent weapon.
11.02.18 - By Sanehead*
RENUKA'S LAUGHTER: Thank you for your guffaws. We needed this non-violent weapon.



I AM SO GLAD Renuka Choudhury laughed and laughed uninhibitedly, laughed loud and long, at Narendra Modi’s extraordinary claims in the Parliament.

I am glad, even if sounded like a cackle, or seemed hysterical - for it was a full throated mature woman's honest, instinctive and uninhibited reaction, to what she found utterly ridiculous.

For it not only was the most natural, intelligent and instinctive human response to the vitriolic bombast but it also, at the same time, punctured the self important delivery like no words would have. It forced the demagogue to descend from his flight of fanciful anger to the level of bathos that was the real level of meanness he often embodies

I'm glad it evoked the indignation of the Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu whose attempts to chide Renuka Choudhury as if she was a schoolgirl and he her class teacher were themselves punctured by his master Modi's mock request- rebuke invoking the laughter of Ravana and the Rakshas and Rakshasis not in the actual epic Ramayana but befittingly only in its celluloid version in the TV serial of that name produced by Ramanand Sagar which was one of the factors that helped create a tinsel Hindutva unification and revival that propelled BJP into political power on the basis of a majority vote from an ill informed nation

I am delighted that it has exposed the innate misogyny and chauvinism of so many of the male intellectuals and shown just how many of these supposedly liberal men are simply insecure males repulsed and disgusted by a mature woman's full throated laughter.

For nothing deflates and destroys an insecure male ego like mocking female laughter.
-----------
I am delighted that it has exposed the innate misogyny and chauvinism of so many of the male intellectuals and shown just how many of these supposedly liberal men are simply insecure males repulsed and disgusted by a mature woman's full throated laughter.
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Duryodhan in Mahabharata was infuriated by Draupadi's laughter when he was taken in by the mirages in the cunningly built new royal palace and slipped and fell down. The foolish angry insecure male warrior sought revenge against the carefree uninhibited instinctive laughter of a beautiful woman and that finally led to the enormous destruction of the Mahabharata.

There is no episode of any woman laughing mockingly at a man in Ramayana. In the case of Tadaka, Vishwamitra got Rama to kill her because he was scared of the destruction she could cause. In the case of Surpnakha, it is Rama and Lakshman who make fun of her and cut off her nose, for daring to propose to them, and her disfiguration and the violence done to her as well as the insult leads her to complain to her brother Ravana, who then abducts Sita leading to the war between Rama and Ravana which forms the main substance of the Ramayana, leading to the death of many, including Ravana, and victory to Rama.

If he was not making a general reference to demonic laughter from Rakhshasas in the Ramayana, then this was one more example of Modi's crass ignorance, where he cannot even tell the difference between the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
----------
There is no episode of any woman laughing mockingly at a man in Ramayana.
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Given his dependence on hearsay and the false oral history that RSS preaches, it would not be surprising to find that he has not read even a single literary authentic version of either of the classic epics on which modern Hinduism to a great extent depends as scripture- nor would a single one of his blind supporters thumping their desks in Parliament after his cheap attempt at humour and a put down to counter the sharp ridicule of his lying diatribe by the lady Member of Parliament , which made the rest of his speech even more adversarial, combative and bitterly defamatory.

Renuka Choudhury may at best have been guilty of an impropriety but Narendra Modi is guilty of the crime of outraging the modesty of a woman by his remarks and would have been liable under section 498 A of the Indian Penal Code as well as for sexual harassment of a woman in her workplace while she was at work.

His privileges as an MP protect him from action under these laws but then he is open to action for breach of privilege of a fellow member of Parliament with his insult, jibe and mockery by name against "Renuka ji."
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Yes, she laughed. Out loud, full throatedly, and for a good few seconds. In Parliament. At a royal buffoon telling royal lies making royal boo-boos.
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The Vice President and Chairman of the Upper House Venkaiah Naidu is guilty of undermining the dignity of his chair by naming Ms Choudhury and singling her out for rebuke amid the general ruckus by opposition MPs simply because she laughed.

Yes, she laughed. Out loud, full throatedly, and for a good few seconds. In Parliament. At a royal buffoon telling royal lies making royal boo-boos. Like saying Indira Gandhi signed the Simla Agreement with Benazir Bhutto in 1972 when Benazir was a 19 year old college student accompanying her father Prime Minister Zulfikaar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan who actually signed the Simla Pact with the then PM of India. Like saying Nehru and not Patel wanted to give Kashmir away to Pakistan when facts were the other way around. Like forgetting that Congress fought for the Independence and unification of the country and saying instead that it was responsible for breaking the country into pieces.

For lying through his teeth in Parliament, on issue after issue, minute after minute, trying to mislead the house, and the nation which was listening. Even succeeding perhaps with some. But punctured, deflated, like a balloon by a beautiful woman's uninhibited laughter which could be heard above the din of other protests, and over the meaningless cacophony of words. 

Disruptive laughter. Effortlessly rebellious laughter. An immediate instinctive and effective retort to Modi's painstakingly constructed rhetoric of saffronised lies. A retort that halted him in his tracks and forced him to react. A retort that immediately made itself felt at every level of the discourse that hit straight at the consciousness of each and every member of the audience whether watching in Parliament or via television. Entering the public consciousness at a level much more basic even than Modi's insidious hate filled rhetoric designed to hit the lowest common denominator.

Modi does not live with his family of whatever variety. He is feared in his party and his office. It is safe to conclude that nobody has laughed at his pompous speeches so openly, so publicly, so fearlessly, so naturally for a long, long time.

This is the antidote to the evil gospel of  false hatred being preached pompously: let the nation laugh it out of countenance.
---------
Let a million Renukas laugh at anyone peddling unauthentic stuff. Let them learn from that laughter.
---------
Gandhi ji would have loved this non violent protest, this instant demolition of dangerous lies and poison. Laugh at their banal evil. Laugh them out of court. Laugh them out of the collective consciousness, the collective subconscious and unconscious of the Indian mind by showing up their mean petty ridiculous lies.

Let a million Renukas laugh at anyone peddling unauthentic stuff. Let them learn from that laughter.

Bravo, Renuka Choudhury, the laughter warrior of India. Thanks for bringing back laughter to this grim and humourless era of Indian politics. Thank you for reminding us to laugh when we want to. Let the nation laugh with you. More laughter please, fellow Indians. God knows the nation needs it.

By doing so, Renuka Chowdhury freed something in my soul. She reminded me that I still live in the India where Tagore had prayed the mind would be without fear, the head held high, and where the tireless striving stretch their arms towards perfection.

Long live the laughing Renuka Chowdhury! 

Long live Free India where we may laugh freely for many millennia to come!

*(The author is a retired IAS woman officer.)
 



 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

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Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT

 


 






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