New Niyams

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[Picture courtesy DNA]

Now that the Narendra Modi will never become prime minister in the multicultural cauldron that is India and there is no Modi wave cards have been conclusively trumped, it is but inevitable that the Modi rule will end India will be turned face-up onto the deck. In that vein, I have been reading, with more than a slight bit of amusement, the slew of “open letters” and predictions of dystopia from our intellectuals, otherwise normally so against the concept of fear-mongering (being a most fascist trait, or so are told). While one respectfully appreciates their point of view (not doing so would be most fascist, or so we are told), one does feel the need to lay down a few niyams, in the manner of Bill Maher’s famous “New Rules” segment in Real Time With Bill Maher.

New Niyam: You have got to stop using Hitler as the metaphor.

I have written before on how logically well-founded the whole  “Modi is a fascist” banshee shriek is and so I won’t go into it again for, let’s accept it, no one likes to repeat rules. But if you are going to equate him to a Fascist dictator, then you have to start using names other than Hitler, like Mussolini or Franco. And if we move beyond fascism as an European political philosophy and embrace a wider meaning of the word i.e. “genocidal dictator who enforces absolute obedience” may I suggest Stalin, Idi Amin or Pol Pot, all of whom I can assure you are sufficiently terrifying. But Hitler? Come on. That’s such a cliche that they have a Mithun Chakroborty movie by that name.

New Niyam: You have got to stop using spurious logic to cast doubt on Modi’s legitimacy as India’s Prime Minister.

When you use per-centage maths to show that Modi somehow does not represent popular will, what you are doing is not expressing an opinion. No. You are talking horse-shit and I am being polite. Here is a detailed analysis of why but the point is when you try to question the legitimacy of Modi’s rule by essentially questioning the first-past-the-post-system that you were entirely fine with when your favorite candidates were winning, you not only call your intellect to question but reveal yourself, if that can be done, to be an even more petulant sore-loser than you already are.

And if you are going to do that whole per-centage thing, here is a suggestion for another alarming statistic.

Modi claims to be a leader of the future. The children are our future. And Modi’s vote-share between zero to eighteen is a shocking 0%.

How can Modi’s spinmeisters not talk about this? How can they?

New Niyam: You have got to stop making demands you would not make to any other politician.

In a open letter written by Gopal Gandhi, who I suppose is the other Gandhi trying to leverage his last name for relevance, and published in Hindu, he says:

When you reconstitute the Minorities Commission, ask the Opposition to give you all the names and accept them without change. And do the same for the panels on Scheduled Castes and Tribes, and Linguistic Minorities.

There is a Bangla phrase for this. Mamabarir abdaar. A loose English translation would be “The kind of demand you can make at your uncle’s house”.

No intellectuals. You cannot make unreasonable demands like asking Coke to sell 2 cans of Pepsi with each crate, and then when it is not accepted, cry “fascism” and “dictatorial”. If you never expected the UPA government to have Opposition decide on their committees, then you have no friggin right to expect it from the BJP one.

In the same open letter, Gopal Gandhi says:

Mr. Modi, there is a southern deficit in your India calculus. The Hindi-belt image of your victory should not tighten itself into a North-South divide. Please appoint a deputy prime minister from the South, who is not a politician at all, but an expert social scientist, ecologist, economist or a demographer. 

Well one needs to ask Gopal Gandhi why he is not concerned about the eastern deficit? Or the North-Eastern deficit? Or where the “South” starts? Not to pick on the revered Gopal Gandhi here, but there are other such demands. For example it seems Modi has to appoint 50 per cent of ministers as women. Has such a demand made to the UPA? Ever? I don’t think so. Of course no one expects 50% of his cabinet will be women because his set of MPs is not 50 per cent women. But yet this demand is made, knowing fully well the inevitability of it not being met, just so that the “intellectuals” can beat their chest and say “See Modi is a patriarchal Hindu despot”.

New Niyam: You have to understand the notion of freedom of speech

You make a Facebook post calling Modi a Nazi. It’s the exercise of your freedom of speech. But then realize that people can comment on your Facebook post and oppose what you said, given that they too, strangely enough, should have freedom of speech. It is not “fascist suppression of your rights and a foreshadow of things to come under Modi’s rule” unless that protest includes threats of physical violence or actual acts of it.

Get it?

New Niyam: Be honest

Just say that you are throwing a hissy fit cause your guy didn’t win. Now if making unrealistic demands, and casting doubts on the legitimacy on Modi’s victory, or having a virtual pity party with like-minded Facebook Likers about impending gas chambers for minorities and the end of India as you know it helps you cope, I am all for it.

No one likes to see the other guy win and as a lifetime Kolkata Knight Riders supporter, I know exactly how losing feels.

But please be honest about your true motivations and then others will gladly let you wallow in your sadness.

Not that you need to for there is always in Indian politics a next time. And that always comes quicker than you thought it would.

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23 thoughts on “New Niyams

  1. Yours is a voice of reason. 🙂

    I don’t think these rules will be followed anytime soon. But going by the indications Narendra Modi has given in term of governance, I hope the “intellectuals” will be asking very different questions in a few years from now from their Government and the parties as well..

  2. GOPAL = PAGOL. I have been a fan of Gopal when he was the Governor of Bengal, However, reading this article the other day I realised the aforesaid.
    Having said that, he has his rights to express his views and I respect that.

  3. Great article.
    They just need a person to throw stones at and then project themselves as the true well wishers of the society. About the minority thing my mother says ”it is always the smallest kid in the house who is pampered the most, listened to most and cries the most”
    Would definitely love an article on AAP party’s fine drama and Shazia Ilmi quitting.

  4. Arnab, can you point me to some of these Modi-bashing pieces written post-election? I am trying hard but found only a couple – Gopal Gandhi’s piece and Pankaj Mishra’s piece in Guardian.

  5. New Niyam: WE HAVE WON. THEY HAVE LOST. WE HAVE TO STOP OUTRAGING!

    They are now irrelevant. We don’t have to acknowledge opinions of losers. Yet BJP supporters are still in outrage mode, outraging at every retarded opinion piece by left liberals. Have leftists changed their colors anywhere else in the world? So why do we expect them to suddenly become rational and talk sense.

    We have won the big war..and won it big. They have been decimated. Let the losers whine in the little corners they have built for themselves. By acknowledging them, aren’t we magnifying their worthless bullshit, and indirectly giving it a legitimacy it doesn’t deserve?

  6. Can’t understand your frustrations, frankly. Now that your ‘beloved’ Mr Modi has won and IS the PM, can the Modi bhakts now stop forcing ‘OMG he is so awesome’ down everybody’s throat?
    As far as I can remember, no one was doing the same when the Congress won last time…there were criticisms after the results that time as well, but no one forced anyone to accept Manmohan SIngh as the almighty leader of ALL of the Indians. Then why this sudden insolence ? Surely you can’t force everyone into becoming faithful followers of the Modi cult. And surely Mr Modi too has to face criticisms, fair, unfair even crass, like he used to dish out to his opponents so regularly, so far. Why should anyone follow any ‘niyams’ when Mr Modi didn’t follow any in his campaign rhetorics ?

    • I wish I could “upvote” this a few hundred times. As a political independent, I am happy that Modi has won the election as I think that the previous government was mis-managing almost everything. However, the election results have been interpreted by some as “we will do whatever we want because our guy has won the election, and anyone who vocally opposed Modi before the elections will be punished”. This is stupid behavior to put it in polite terms; and the arguments are generally of the form “the others do it too”. In which case I would point out that if your best behavior is based on what others did before you, then you are as bad as them – in fact, worse because people voted for you because they did not like the way others were behaving before this.

    • You sound like an AAPtard.

      Yeh article ek track pe hai, and you are on some another track..

      I didn’t find any ‘OMG he is so awesome’ sentiment in the article. From where did you get the impression that the article was advocating putting Modi on a pedestal and demanding that he be made immune to criticism. Asking left liberals and AAPtards to not use spurious logic to deny him legitimacy and to understand properly the notion of freedom of speech is not glorifying Modi, nor is it forcing anyone to becoming follower of any cult.

      • Why are you whining about AAP? AAP never won much anyway, they were never any kind of a force. This is one thing I will never understand where AAP is scarier to BJP supporters than Congress. Even now, when AAP has barely won 5 seats.

        Somehow the corruption issue is scary for people.

  7. It is not understood why many people have the habit of relating and taking up on their own whatever is written/spoken. Let other people also have the same freedom! Related to rules, I think it is all said in lighter vein. People are serious about this because it seems they have lost the sense of humour. Secondly try to know your rights, laws of the land and decide and do not follow blindly what is said but use discretion, knowledge and information to form individual opinion. We must forget the habit of blind following as we have now education, knowledge and information.

  8. A longer list of rules can be imposed on the modi-bhakts…first and foremost pls stop assaulting us with further crass posts that seek to project modi as some super-hero and ridicule his opponents in the vilest possible terms.

  9. GB, its ironical that so many of my friends are applauding the victory of an old nationalistic right-wing politician over a youthful adversary with foreign origin.. In 2012 US elections most of them were on Occupy-mode and merrily basing their opinions on whatever Jon Stewart or Matt Damon was saying. But its also the same people who now lash out at “secular” arguments of Mahesh Bhatt and the anti-free marketeer Arundhati. I have not figured out how can one change core political views based on the setting. I remember you had a post sometime back about how freedom of speech does not mean the same thing in India as in the US. Wish you can write a similar post about this discrepancy.

  10. I shared the piece.Very “laughable” really.Hence, I shared.This is all that I could write, though.

    Yes.Finally.Narendra Bhai has been coronated along with his ministers.In this moment of royal happiness a laugh or two while being intellectually satisfying over “teley Bhaja(fries), Mudi(flaked rice), and chaa” would be quite the thing. Marx could wait.And so can the unseen movie of Ray. Adda.Let it begin.

    Bong style it shall be.
    Very “aantel”(bong slang) a homonym for a toff.

    Read on then..

  11. very nicely put GB…hopefully this time the self proclaimed left liberals/intellectuals who used their freedom of speech to come up with insane theories of what may eat this country on Modi becoming India’s PM will get to see some positive change for real which they adverised was not possible. The difference between only saying things and actually doing something about it. Less government and more governance.

  12. As someone has pointed out that people cheering for Modi are from same crowd which likes Maher and Stewart’s joke, which implies a false equivalence of Dems and Congress(i) and BJP and Republicans.The major difference some people likely liberals like NYT miss is that Congress policies are based on economic subjugation and arbitrariness of the state or in other words a totalitarian , paternalistic state, which is embodied by the first Amendment, the first of about 80 in 60 years , moved by Nehru ; that word secular was inserted by an illegitimate government, affirmed by the judges which ratified the illegitimacy or were appointed by Mrs Gandhi.Problem in India is too much socialism, and its post 91 avatar is that of kleptocratic state, run by oligarchs with conflicting interests.And before anyone brings out the 377 canard, SC messed it up, it needs to get its act right and this government messed it up by putting up 2 affidavits as well. Economic freedom is precursor to freedom of speech. And lastly liberals is misnomer to be applied to the various groups tom-toming that tag, they are nothing but marxist who dont believe in democracy .Kudos to an excellent piece in classic Bill Maher style.And nice that someone has added the latest rule about the outrage industry needs to cool.

  13. Modi fans need to calm to their tits and keep their wits. In my opinion everything under the sun falls under the gamut of criticism and ridicule. It seems like people now love and worship Modi more than India. This ridiculous blind bhakti has to stop. It only adds to the insane expectations from Modi govt. Whats alarming and amusing is the paradigm shift of English News Media houses. Why cannot they stay neutral instead of resorting to hagiographic coverage of any new Govt.
    I agree that Hitler reference has been been over abused. It is a highly exaggerated comparison and very offensive to the victims of Nazi rule. I’m no Modi fan, but I do realize that the man has a progressive vision for India and I only hope we all get there together with his help.

  14. I agree it is offensive to the victims of Nazism to compare Modi’s rule as it now stands to Hitler’s time in Germany as there is an obvious difference in scaling.

    But I find too many similarities and parallels between the early period of Hitler’s rise in Germany and the present situation in India.

    This latest bout between the VHP and Modi’s people is all too reminiscent of the battles between the SA and Adolf Hitler. The SA under Ernst Rohm saw itself as the real leadership of National Socialism and it advocated open-ended violence to achieve its goals. Hitler saw SA as a threat as it undermined his image in the eyes the German Army and industrialists who were steeped in the traditions of the Prussian aristocracy and thus valued rule of law and public order over all else. Matters came to a head when the SA demanded the the German Army be put under Ernst Rohm’s leadership and the Army said no. This prompted Hitler to launch the Night of the Long Knives.

    At the time the Night of the Long Knives began, the SA was the largest single component of the Nazi party and possessed unquestioned street power and superb influence. In order to put down the SA, Hitler’s supporters used a variety of media warfare techniques including accusing the SA of planning a coup and fabricating evidence that the SA was being paid by enemies of the Nazi party to destroy it from the inside.

    This is uncomfortably close to what one sees in India right now. As of three hours ago Madhu Kishwar has made a twitter post accusing the VHP and others of being “Congress Agents”.

    I think we can argue if India will follow the exact same event cycle as depression era/post Versailles Germany, but there is sense in seeing that India is hitting all the same points on the German trajectory.

  15. You might want to review this particular piece in light of recent events. The comparisons to Hitler might yet be unwarranted, but I would be surprised if you still shared the same optimism regarding this government.

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