My Stance

47 Comments

Vulturo asks me to spell out my position on Laloo Pradad Yadav (LPY). A commentator on my last post accuses me of being ambivalent like any politician as my previous post vacillates from pro-Laloo to anti-Laloo and back again.

So let me make things more explicit. To me LPY is an anthropomorphism of the filth that is politics in India today—a system where people with criminal backgrounds are actively sought, where education decreases your chances of being successful, where the level of debate is on the lines of what you might expect in a brawl in some desi liquor adda , where corruption is flaunted extensively (yeh mera baap ka rajya hain…now screw me if you can) and where people are not immoral but amoral.

But LPY is more than this. He is a monster created by a media which despises and idolizes him in equal degree. Which is perfectly fine with LPY, who being a shameless megalomaniac and a canny politician loves the media play he gets.

He understands that a concomitant of the airtime he gets is that he has to play up to the image of a country bumpkin—hair coming out of his nose and ears, an idiotic haircut and speaking Hindi in a thick Bihari accent. We watch LPY for the same reason people watch “Jerry Springer” in the US—-because he looks like a clown, he is a freak— repelling and yet oddly magnetic. And his constituency can also empathize with him as their “dear son”.

It is this carefully cultivated image that has morphed him into a kind of genial teddy bear—–which is why sisters gift their dear brothers with a picture of Laloo, foolish, rural but yet oddly lovable, on it.

In reality, he is hardly that. Running Bihar by proxy like his personal fiefdom, he is a malignant presence under whom kidnapping has emerged as Bihar’s premier industry. The reason the fodder scam investigations fell through was because buildings housing evidence bizarrely suffered spontaneous combustion, witnesses vanished and officials found themselves transferred.

Though he is not the only one to blame for this, LPY has reduced Bihar to a barren wasteland that lies at the bottom of the list of Indian states when judged on various indices of progress. And he blames everyone but himself for that.

But then there is the other point—what was in my last post interpreted as “support”.

LPY is not the only bottomfeeder out there—he is part of a much larger problem. LPY’s only significance is that he is the most potent symbol of all that is wrong with the system.

However the demerit of LPY’s overpowering image is that other politicians, who are not as flamboyant or shameless, are able to pass underneath the radar.

As an example from my last post, when Lata Mangeskar brought out a CD singing songs of poems written by AB Vajpayee the media stayed silent. Why? Because the gesture maintained a veneer of propriety.

When Jyoti Basu’s biographer got a plum post (a VCship if I remember correctly), there were only minor rumblings from some media outlets in Bengal.

And then when some enterprising person composed Laloo Chalisa in Bihar and got many tangible blessings from Bihar’s first family , everyone went to town—laughing and shaking their heads at the shamelessness of LPY and his bunch of sycophants.

However in spirit, all three are the same. Yes the last one is more crude—but all of them concern “kissing ass.”

This is not support for Laloo. What I wanted to say was that “Yes LPY is bad but there are several who are equally bad if not worse. Except that they use polish to exalt themselves”.

The reason I say this is that many people may be rejoicing at LPY’s defeat. They should not. There are LPYs everywhere all over India—–except not all of them have 8 children and not all of them can milk cows and not all of them come on prime time talk shows. In Bihar itself, much of Nitesh Kumar’s support base contains disaffected members of LPY’s fan club. So it is rather naive to expect that anything will change.

As an example of the perpetuation of Laloo-ism, one of the first policy decisions that the Nitesh Kumar government makes is to remove references of LPY from Bihar school textbooks. Frankly, is that the principal problem in Bihar’s education system as of today?

What this points to is a bigger problem: the government is, in the coming months, going to spend an inordinate large amount of effort to diminish LPY’s persona through such poorly-prioritized initiatives rather than deal with more urgent challenges facing the state of Bihar–namely law and order and education.

I made a mistake. LPY and Rabri Devi will not be “back”. Because they never left Bihar in the first place.

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47 thoughts on “My Stance

  1. Hi Greatbong
    Why do people elect bad people? I think that in part, they win by default. Good people tend to think, “Oh no, I could never win in an election.” And of course, you cannot win if you do not run, so they don’t win. And people continually complain about the ones who do.

  2. Since your last two posts relate to the same topic I am quoting my comment on your last post. This comment of mine was addressed to one Mr/MS 4WD : “All that Greatbong is trying to say thru his sarcasm is that it does not matter who is at the power, things will remain pretty much the same for the people – especially for the poor. Greatbong to me is not a fan of either Laloo or Nitish nor has he ever claimed anywhere to be a “political-analysis-stud”.” I am glad that you spelled out in clear English what you tried to say in your last post about LPY since not very many people can understand the subtle exasperation about blatant corruption, nepotism and all other evil deeds associated with our politicians. Barring a very few, all politicians in India are despicable – it is just a matter of varied shades of their evil deeds.

    Congratulations on your TOI online post on Ganguly.

  3. LPY is a deamon who has corrupting influence in Bihar. It’s good people have thrown him out this time. Now media should reciprocate by cutting his airtime.

  4. Hi Greatbong
    That is nice that you got a piece in TOI, congratulations. I know you have many more pieces on Rediff and I like Rediff much better than TOI (TOI has pop-up windows from hell).

  5. can i just say that i agree with michael higgins – he has already said it so well! as have you great bong – very clearly spelled out 🙂

    except that i liked vajpayee and his poetry 😦 but nevermind that for now.

  6. Well said Arnab! Sourav Ganguly is a symbol for all of us, Bengalis, and its about time the rest should take notice of that. I am sure the Royal Bengal Tiger in him will hook the so called “ihateganguly.com -ers” outside the boundary for a classy sixer.

    Debu N.

  7. Yesterday I started reading your blog. Liked it very much and have been thinking over so many things the whole day. Let me make my personal comments as there is some freedome provided by this site.

    I think at this age and at this stage of life where Lata Mangeshkar is, the last thing she vehemently needs is flattery of Vajpayee. I did not read Vajpayee, but “somehow” my feeling is his poetry may not be that bad. He may not make a Joy Goswami, but you know, after all, to write a good poetry you need only the desire, some intellect and a reasonable command over the language. And given the “poetic” weightage of the hindi movie songs that Lata has sang throughout her life, I do not think it is so bad idea that brand Vajpayee can naturally meet brand Lata. After the song, did lata get any favour like Suravi Banerjee got for Jyoti Basu’s biography? Was the Bharat Ratna award for Lata a precurser to Vajpayee’s songs?

  8. dear friend,
    i don’t question ur visdom of judjement but u neet to look at ur own personal gratification.
    LPY as you say was thrown out by one of biggest conspiracy in indian politics hatched at highest level influenced by sangh brigades.
    1. Supreme court reserved the judjement and release it just 15 days prior to election about dissolution of assembly.
    2. A petition challenges the election as Ramadan and many other first fesivals. Ramadan is 30 days long. When a large percentage of voters r muslims how could it be held .Our supreme court keeps mum.
    3.Bwefore Election the EC idetity paper system is enforced , when larger numbers of people are illeterate.how could the EC emegined Election would be fair.The aim was to debar the backwards and downtroddens.
    4.A large number of voters names are missing from a perticular community and classes.
    The mistake was that congress could not clamp its claws on EC and Supreme court. Mrs Gandhi may be a very good and humble human biengs india politics demands onother Indira Gandhi.
    –Jai Hind

  9. I think Arnab’s article was pretty nice. Cricket has become a really politicized game today where the team and spirit of the game comes last. What takes over is petty politics and personal agenda of some selfish human beings, be it Dalmia and Sambaran or Chappel. Sourav Ganguly has hit the all time low in terms of performance. The man also needs some lesson in tact and diplomacy. It’s good to be blunt but there is a fine dividing line between being blunt and outright rude. But he still doesn’t deserve to be treated with such unhealthy disdain by some people.

    As for Bengalis being parochial, I would love to see how Maharashtrians react if Tendulkar is treated in a similar fashion. Sachin has also not been at his best always. I have seen outrage in Bangalore when Kumble was not included in the team. We Bengalis don’t name roads or circles after Ganguly, thankfully, like they have done in Bangalore. The “Anil Kumble circle” never ceases to amuse me. So the point I am trying to make here is, not just Bengalis, everyone is passionate about a representative of their state in the Indian cricket team.

  10. firsat of all i’d like to say to all you benbgali freaks that sourav ganguly is a loser. yep! I’m saying that as a bengali.

    As for lalu, a common joke does it’s rounds in Cal. Here it is, if you don’t know already…

    One day, Lalu comes to America and visits the ‘humble’ abode of a US Member of Parliament, apparently someone who is high up in the government. Lalu is genuinely impressed by the feel of the place, and his expressive face betray his feelings.

    he asks the man how he indulges such a lavish lifestyle. The man jocudly takes Lalu to the balcony, and points to a high-fy bridge at yonder point, saying- ” You see that bridge?” He then pats his pockets primply and sasys “10% of that belongs to me.”

    a few months later, the same American MOP comes to India and visits Lalu’s equally ‘humble’ abode. The man is shell-shocked to see lalu’s extravant lifestyle, which surpasses his own. He cannot hide his jealous curiosity, which is generally hidden beneath his suit and benign ‘personality’. Lalu then takes the flabbergasted man to the balcony of his room, and points at an empty space at yonder point- ” You see the bridge there?”- he asks in broken English.

    ” What birdge?”- enquires the man and rightfully so, as Lalu is pointing at a barren tract of land. Lalu too, jocundly pats the fold of his dhoti, lacking a pocket and says- “100 percent.”

  11. I think this problem of the populace getting attracted to seemingly stupid people in the highest echelons of power is a malady thats surfaced worldwide, more specifically here in the US as well with our great president george w bush’s (former) popularity. And I think the reason for that is, an average idiot voter would like to think that if given a chance, he could have the potential to be president too. Which is why the empathy and attraction for these idiots.

  12. Hi Arnab,Does the “ganguly” debate continues?I think i read somewhere that u love arguing.If the debate continues can i request u to mail me,If u could?
    Looking forward to your mail in my mailbox.

  13. Tarun,

    Dude!What an atrocious request. Let me tell you a few things about GreatBong. He is a PhD in Comp Sc and he did that PhD in a very short time. He is also a top notch techie. By techie, please dont confuse his job with Tcs kinda job. They are code writers, hes a software architect and more. He works hard during the daytime to bring new technologies to your computer…of course yahoo, google etc get the accolades, but there is the a hint of greatbong in every small innovation you see. Also he has to write journal papers and other stuff. Plus hes a very social person and recieves at least a 1000 date offers per day from various etnic groups like Caucs, Af Ams , Japanese , Indians etc etc. Still he manages to give us his readers some mind bending experiences thru his blog posts. He has therefore no time to indulge in an argument with you. Whatever he has had to say on that particular issue, he has said. You would therefore do well to go to the Indiatimes website and read it.

    However if you are hell bent on some kind of memorabilia from Arnab, have patience…we are in the process of setting up a PO box number…for a nominal subscription rate, you will get picture poastcards signed by GB himself. Till then have patience…and try to get a job!

  14. Very well written.

    I have two Bihari full-time helpers in the house. And the stories that I have heard from them about Bihar..will make every hair strand on your body stand. These guys miss their village alot…but thanks to atrocities done by the Laloo government…they prefer living in the cities.

    At times…we metro people need to feel grateful that we have lesser-assholes than Laloo and his reginment.

  15. I’d like to know which parochial bong reporter put this oxymoron/s article on Indiatimes… n then you talk og Chappell having friends in the media…

    I’d also like to know why this oxymoron has created ids like yourfan and yourfan2 to praise himself on his own… another bong trait…

  16. Hello Greatbong!

    Have been reading your posts on your blog regularly. No, I don’t have one. You have posted several noteworthy posts in the past and therefore, should be ironical that I respond to this one.

    Personally, (can I safely say, this is how it should be largely felt), this post (or clarification) was unnecessary for the following reasons:

    1. For anyone reading your past posts, there should be no ambiguity on what your stance on LPY is.
    2. To stop press and issue a clarification post – very uncharacteristic of you. MSM effect, eh?

    Blogs are best at their effusive selves. So would you stop pausing and move on…

    We are waiting…

    Regards,
    Madhu.

  17. Another Indian, your use of the word oxymoron (“I’d also like to know why this oxymoron has created ids….” in this context is unique, fabulous, completely revolutionary. I’ve just realised how we were wasting this amazing word on describing a mere technicality. Very oxymoronish behaviour, I admit.

  18. thanks Mr. Marauder’s Map…

    but my comment won’t stay here for long… mr oxymoron makes it a point to delete my comments as he can not reply to them…

    what a moron I am… I still keep on posting!!!

  19. @another indian: I am definitely NOT Greatbong in disguise. I am a lady. Greatbong is a man. Your assumption of “ids like yourfan and yourfan2 to praise himself on his own… another bong trait..” is indicative of your insecurity and jealousy.

    By the way where did you see me praising him on this post? All I said about this post is that I did understand his points and my points tally with his. Of course in one post I have praised him e.g. I praised him for not deleting the negative comments (like a lot other bloggers do – it happened to my comment on some other person’s blog). If he did delete then I won’t be having this encounter/mulakat with you! I also praised him for his self-deprecating style – it takes a lot of courage and self assessment to be self –deprecating.

    A bit of advice to you: COOL DOWN. You have every right to disagree with an opinion on an article but DON’T SHOW YOUR JEALOUSY.

  20. mr yourfan2/yourfan/greatbong

    whoever you are… if this oxymoron is a PhD in comp sc and has done it in a couple of hours… or if he is a top notch bong techie (another oxymoron)… or if he is a hard working bong (one more…)… or if he receives a million date offers per day… that doesn’t take away from us lesser mortals the right to express our views… get it??? better get it!!!

  21. yourfan

    what to do??? you write in oxymoron’s language… you agree with him… u even reply like him… anyone will mistake you for him… anyways…

    and please dont be under any illusions…
    mr oxymoron has deleted many blog (mine as well as others)… so he is not a saint…

  22. hi Anonymous

    thanks for the road named after sourav in Birati… comment…

    and as far as south Indians and Maharashtrians are concerned… they dont give a damn about Kumble or Dravid or Sachin… coz they have better things to do… and coz they have other role models to look upto… unlike bengalis who just have the pauper of kal-kata ganguli…

    as for oxymoron’s(I love this new name… thanks another indian)… comment on Lata getting Bharat Ratna becuase she sang paens to Vajpayee… or sang his poems… is a disgusting remark… I wonder what he thinks about Tagore who sang paens to the prince of wells by writing Jana Gana Mana…

  23. thanks north indian

    I agree with what you wrote… may be thats how Tagore got his Nobel…

    and may be greatbong should change his id to oxymoron… but I can’t take credit for this popular id… an indian invented it…

  24. hi

    please let us keep great people like Tagore and Mangeshkar. let us concentrate on ganguly and lesser mortals like Sachin n Dravid.

    now to those people who ask “why can’t Ganguly be compared to Sachin?”, I’ll ask “Can an ass/mule be ever compared to a Horse?” NEVER!!! before some ass**** tries to be oversmart, let me clarify that Sachin is the Horse here. for heaven’s sake why dont you compare ganguly to Sehwag or Yuvraj… why only Sachin?

  25. oh yaa

    our oxymoron(I am also for this id) has done his PhD in a very short time. 5 years… hahahaha now thatz too short a time… may be other bongs take/took more than that…

  26. hey north Indian

    it was not oxymoron who made that disgusting comment on Lata Mangeshkar… it was Kaushik…

    I would love to hear them respond to the Tagore issue…

  27. @Michael: Good people, by virtue of being decent are simply unable to make the kind of compromises it is necessary to become part of the political process in the first place. As an example, all Indian parties patronize criminal elements and provide them tickets to run for office. Now a good person by joining any party is by default sharing the podium with criminals.

    @yourfan: Thanks

    @Mayank: They should indeed.

    @Michael: Thanks..

    @Prerona: 🙂

    @willtorecord: Thank you for reading.

    @Anon: Hope so. I dont think you need to go that far—look around the comment section of this post and you will see visible tangible proof of the exact thing I wrote about.

    @Sudipta: Yes I was asked to write something on Ganguly for Indiatimes.

    @Kaushik: My question to you is that Vajpayee has been a poet for so many years. How come all the brouhaha about his poetry only took place when he was the PM…not before and not now.

    @Anon1: LPY thrown out by a huge politicial conspiracy…err…

    @Anon2: The topic of this post is not Sourav so I shall reserve making comments.

    @Pipsqueak: Hey Pipsqueak—try to do better than recycle jokes from KSingh’s book…..will ya !

    @gawker: LPY is not an idiot—he merely pretends to be so.

    @Tarun: I would have loved to do that but frankly I have said enough on this Sourav issue. A lot more than maybe I should have. And I do not want to get into an arguement especially when one sees the name-calling that your friends (I know you havent but by friends I mean people who support your point of view) are indulging in.

    @anya: maybe I should.

    @yourfan2: Whoa ! Maybe I have been affected by the sarcasm-challenged trait of a few of my readers but your eulogy to me was sooo… mmm.. eulogistic that maybe there was a case for sacrasm tags there too? For instance, whats the deal about the 1000 date offers?

    @Vulturo: Thanks

    @Sakshi: Yes we should feel helpful. And this was the land that had the world’s first universities….

    @Madhu: I dont look on things as MSM vs bloggers–this entire “vs” thing is a bit childish.

    Issuing a clarification may seem MSM-ish but I find nothing wrong in it. I reply to my comments in all other posts—that is sometimes a kind of clarification. Only here the comment would have been so long that I felt it deserved a post of its own.

    @Mmap: Haha…says a lot doesnt it.

    @Rest: You are free to keep calling me a moron, oxymoron. As for deleting comments, my policy is ” I will delete hate comments”. Criticizing me is fine but regional hate speech is not tolerated. On the other hand, its fun keeping your hate comments only because it supports my point. Plus I kind of like your impotent rage and fury….while you log in during work hours from your office in the Software Technology Park of India (where some of the abusive “IP”s come from) and get pleasure from calling me an “oxymoron”, Indiatimes publishes (actually asks for) my post on Ganguly and in the process gives oxymorons like me “wideeeee publicity”.

    However if comments get worse, they will be deleted.

  28. yes yes, I said “seemingly stupid people” … even if the guy’s not an actual idiot, he can rise up to stardom by pretending to be an idiot so that people can empathize with him and relate their own idiocy with his (pretense) idiocy.

  29. Yourfan ~ Dudette. Give it bloomin up, for the love of god! What is your problem with me?

    Since you’ve already denied that you’re le grand bong’s alterego, i wont make that accusation. But dudster. let it go. I already apologised for the last.

    You’re acting like one of those women, who when they sit in your car, are not content with just sitting. Before every turn, they’ll say, “slow, left, ok, now speed up.” let the man drive, for gossake.

    and about the “political-analysis-stud”. I never said that he said that. i said HE WILL SAY!!!! jeez. Can you unstick that from your medulla oblongata please now? see, everyone makes mistakes. we live and learn.

    even assuming your comments are out of pure, unadulterated love, one thing you and some others never considered was that my slightly inebriated tirade could be inspired by the fact that i might be bihari. I may not be, but you didn’t even consider it.

    Bong handled it well and said, “all good”. thank you, we can have a drink sometime, except i wont drink much around him.

    But you. If you get divorced/ broken up tomorrow, you’ll say, “all because of that 4wd”. jesus h christ.

    Bong, sorry for using this place to rant unconnectedly.

  30. @ Greatbong, sorry for using this place unconnectedly but I want to reply to 4WD.

    @4WD: 1. Good that you won’t accuse me to be “le grand bong’s alter ego” anymore. You are not the only one who has done that. I don’t like being called anybody’s alter ego just because I agree on some points of his. I am quite comfortable being who I am.

    2. “I said HE WILL SAY!!!!” about the “political-analysis-stud”: I would like to read constructive criticism from any body – not insinuation. Let him claim something first and if that is not the case – then criticize.

    3.” assuming your comments are out of pure, unadulterated love,” My comments were purely based on objectivity not out of any emotions. Emotions are not that easy – boss.

    4. By reading your comments how will I know that your comment is not “–slightly inebriated tirade” or a serious one?

    5. “If you get divorced/ broken up tomorrow, you’ll say, “all because of that 4wd””. Don’t give yourself so much importance – boss.

    At the end I must appreciate your honesty to accept your inebriated state at the time of writing that infamous comment. May be some day we can have a drink just to prove that I have no “problem” with you..

  31. Aristotle (over 2000) years ago said “Petty theives are hanged and the great ones are chosen for public office.”
    Politicians aren’t meant to be goodie goodie without any self interest.I think we start thing of classify some people into new species “Politicians”

  32. What rubbish are these posts by Anonymous and indian and what not ?
    This is a great blog where lot of debates are carried out, but will people please nt fall to such cheap levels ?
    What nonsense…speaking about Tagore and Saurav and Bengali’s and what not in an unrelated post.
    This is not a place to fight on regional matters.
    You guys are like the Shiv Sena man – find regional issues in absolutely bizarre places.
    Crap.
    Greatbong should delete these irrelavant malicious posts.

  33. another parochial bong soham falls to cheap levels and comes to the rescue of his fellow oxymoron.

    Soham says This is a great blog where lot of debates are carried out I’ll ask him to tell one thing about bongs that he does not find great…

    and bongs can comment on Lata and Chappell and sachin n Dravid… but no one else can comment on tagore… wow…

    staying in Pune and commenting on Shiv Sena… God shave you as bongs say it… don’t forget that you are in Pune (or Bangy or Chennai) as there is nothing to do in kal-kata…

  34. Anil Nair’s editorial in cricinfo is another stupid piece of ignorant and parochial journalism. This time it’s just not West Bengal and the Left Front that’s raising it’s voice against the injustice, it’s the entire Indian nation. Indeed, 77% of Indians polled said the sacking of Ganguly was wrong. And by the way, why would Ganguly not refuse to go. If he is performing, which he proved at the Kotla test by being involved in two partnerships of 121 and 81 runs in the first and second innings, respectively, then does he have to go? Just because he is Ganguly and he is from Bengal? How stupid can Anil get? And speaking of Ganguly’s weakness against short-pitch stuff, Anil speaks as if the other guys who will be opening for India are past masters at handling the short-pitched stuff. If Ganguly was so inept against short-pitched deliveries, how come he has scored more than 15,000 runs in international cricket? Is it because the bowlers decided not to deliver the short-pich deliveries at him in the early part of his innings, instead deciding to bring out this “lethal” weapon against the inept Ganguly when they could not stand his presence at the crease anymore? Give me a break! Look at Ganguly’s record and that of the folks that are supposedly better than him. A slump in form does not take away class. His record in international cricket speaks of sheer class, notwithstanding his slump in betting form recently. But then again, captaining the Indian team is a burden that has reduced many a master to an average player. Remember Sachin Tendulkar, and Bishen Bedi? It’s to Sourav’s credit that he continued with the captaincy even after the burden was affecting his batting form. Freed of the shackles of captaining Team India, we should give him a clear and honest opportunity to prove his worth with the bat. Not a sham chance of playing in one Test and having to prove his mettle. So stop the parochial, south-india driven, lunatic rant and give Ganguly a break. He, of all Indians, deserves it!

  35. @Neel,

    Much as I appreciate your sentiments—I think calling this a “South Indian” conspiracy is not called for. Let’s not stoop to regional name-calling—we cannot call others parochial and at the same time use regional identifiers targeted at others !

    I have criticized Cricinfo for its biased reporting before also—but I oppose this “South Indian”, “North Indian” angle just like I oppose being associated with Sourav just because I am Bengali.

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