Moditards versus AAPtards…

We’re living in Interesting times! Most of the the wise men i know, don’t take a public stand about their political preferences. The not-so-wise ones and below that – are super vocal about their stance, ready to fight, ready to be offended – almost treating the other side as jokers. 

Am amazed at the amount of noise from both sides on twitter – the AAP and the BJP. Congress is reduced to a spectator 

The world is split between Modibhakts / Moditard/ Sanghis following a Feku and AAPtards eulogizing ItemgirlKejriwal – and together, they’re making enough noise to drown out the real issues and voices of reason. 

You’re obliged to endorse 100% of what your leader is saying / doing and attack every single thing about the opponent. Immature benchmarks for the opponent, knowing full well that you’re not blemish-free either. Shades of grey. Let’s live with them. 

Elevate the discourse – talk real governance issues. How employability will grow and how we’ll make Indian SMEs competitive in preparation for FDI in multi-brand retail. How women will feel safer and justice made speedier.

Screw the charter plane and govt. bungalow and get the real questions answered. 

Give AK some time, stop censuring him for snoring too loudly! He’s got a lot to learn and figure out. At some point he has to move beyond accusations and start delivering value. Let’s see what happens then.

I’m in the league who’ll vote for AAP in Delhi and for Modi at the Center. Both of them deserve a fair chance at showing what they’re capable of. And both of them have done way more for India than you and I have – so let’s reflect before we use words like feku and itemgirlkejriwal again. 

I’d keep petitioning the Delhi govt. for better urban planning in my locality and will gladly support a suicide squad if Modi acts funny on the religious front.

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The generonosity of the farm loan waiver!

I didn’t think I was going to write on specific political topics, because it’s usually not possible to conduct complete research to be able to address all arguments. And without research, I can’t critique, but only allege.

I’ve been discussing or hearing about the farmer loan waiver issue, that’s been seen my some of my naive friends as a generous large-hearted move by our dear congress government! Decided to explore a lil bit, got some understanding from my political guide, and rest was easy to figure out, to let me have my own view on it.

In a nutshell, to me, it’s like giving fish to people, never teaching them how to fish, so they’ll keep coming back to you to get fish every day. Simple loyalty till perpetuity! So the congress makes sure the poor stay poor and keep voting them back to power! (No wonder, they don’t care so much about their urban taxpayer or educated audience, we’re irrelevant!) Appropriately, the congress webpage on this issue, is titled

CONGRESS KA HAATH

ANNADATA KE SAATH

Seems ironic to me, that the hand seems to be holding the annadata back from making any progress, in 60 years of independence. A waiver, is spent money written off, not like a better system for the future.  I’d not be surprised, if we find ourselves in a similar need-to-write-off situation again in a year or two!

My friend has a somewhat crass way of putting it across. Go outside a random temple and give 100 bucks to a beggar, in all probability, in three days, he’ll be again begging at the same spot.

The Congress on its website says, since the economy grew at 9% per annum under their able leadership, it was rather easy to pull out 72,000 Cr. to waive off these loans.  Perhaps it was loose change lying in their pockets! Something I did really like about the whole thing, was the simplicity, again from AICC website :

There is no application, no certification, no documents to be attached, nothing.

Easy, come and take it. Now, it’s only left to the imagination, how much of the 72,000 Cr. really reached the farmers! Of course, the banks in the game, made a fortune, by including the loans that were repaid, into defaults. And there’s no audit on the process!

The loan waiver could only affect people who had access to institutional credit(23% of all farmers), and the ones commiting suicides are the ones who had borrowed from local moneylenders at high rates and whose lives were made miserable by these lenders day in and day out.

No wonder the suicides continued at their own pace 7 farmers continued to kill themselves each day, even after the waiver announcement.

And lets not talk about the farmer who felt like a fool for having repaid the loan in time, when everyone else got away with a waiver! As a rule, no farmer shall want to repay a loan anymore, (Haath haina) entirely destabilizing the prospects of the entire farm credit sector.

And we have our oh-so-sweet Rahul Gandhi taking an oh-so-noble stand

Freedom from poverty is not a matter of charity or luck; it is a right – Rahul Gandhi, AICC General Secretary

So while the economists were completely confounded with the fiscal profilgacy, the taxpayer felt helpless, my naive young friends, who felt disturbed by the farmer suicides, feel proud that their leaders are generous enough (at the taxpayer’s cost of course, unless congress has a goldmine in its backyard) to take good care of the poor Indian!

And well, it’s not just me talking, if you really want to have an informed opinion about it,

This is what Rediff picked from Business Standard

And, here’s a really nice one from the guys at Mutiny.in

And GVL Narsimha Rao writes the Bottomline in mint, to bring out the truth, that the move was to appease the unhappy farmers, who were unhappy for the wheat import at exorbitant prices!

And for a somewhat politically neutral pavilion, you might read Offstumped

So what happens next, the congress might have won the vote bank of the farmers, so it can comfortably ingore the itch that the tax payer felt with its largesse. And anyway, there’ll be some large hearted people who’ll buy the congress reasoning and vote them back!

If you’re convinced, with me or any of the links I posted, please spread the word. Unfortunately, there are quite a few ill-informed educated people in our country! The congress is appeasing it’s vote bank and till the sensible tax payers get together to call their bluff….

It’s time YOU need to act!

Can Educated India be politically relevant?

Much as there are a whole bunch of things I don’t like or understand about democracy, I won’t engage in arguing for or against it, simply because Democracy is here to stay, whether you and I like it or not.

What we do have in our hands, is the implications. Of divisive politics, and of caste based vote banks and the choice for us to become ‘relevant’

The underlying fact is, each of us, by himself, only has one vote and inadvertently allow vote banks to be created on the lines of caste and religion. One leader from an XYZ community can promise a few thousand votes of his people, knowing full well that they stand behind him. He can bargain for anything, including reservations, or other kinds of personal favors, or cash.  He won’t even shy away from taking to the streets or outright hooliganism, knowing that the politician dare not displease him and his vote bank.

And then, of course, there are the businessmen looking for their share of the pie out of the thousands of crores of government spending on various projects. They can fund the candidates’ campaigns, and money can then buy numbers. Don’t we all know of the several instances of country liquor, saris, biryani and other things distributed to buy slumdwellers’ votes.

And if you can get a vote ‘bank’ by any move, it’s anyday preferable to collecting individual votes, it’s a much better Return on Time Invested after all.

On the other hand, if as Responsible Indians, we were to come together and take collective political decisions, there’s a lesser chance that we’d be manipulated by short term poll tactics. We could constitute a vote bank, that means business and can’t be fooled. I’m not asking for blind following, or denouncing individual choice and freedom, just a more collective approach.

Simply put,

Why can’t a Tax Payers’ association stand up and make demands, that we’ll vote for the government that shows better transparency with the way tax revenue is spent?

Why can’t an IT professionals’ association stand up and say that we want better educational institutes ?

Why can’t a Youth Group, promise a few thousand votes for better attention to youth affairs – employability and vocational education?

Because we’re too busy to unite. We’re too busy to lend our voices to such causes. And, often, we have personal interests, that rise above the interests of our group or even the nation. (one of my most disappointing personal experiences, to note this in a young professional, who was too busy to help, but was keen do it for money.)

The trouble with smart people is that they’re really smart. We’re extremely difficult to convince. We’re too smart to follow the words of any leader. We have endless questions. We’re wishful thinkers who can enjoy a political discussion in the drawing room, but leave it at that. And we’re supremely cynical about the politics of the country.

And We they stand alone. One smart guy doesn’t easily trust the judgment of another smart guy. Even after he is convinced, none of us can claim to represent the political preferences of even a close friend circle. Because we’re shy of taking a public stand. Because we fear defying group behavior. We can’t step out of the herd. We’re afraid we’d be judged.. We’d stand out, we’d lose social approval……

The essential Mantra, is United we stand, divided we are irrelevant.

It’s time to waken the voice within and add weight to it, to become politically significant!

So lets stop taking the holier than thou approach, and start getting our hands dirty to clean up our home!

It’s time to start talking politics.

To Join Hands! To Ask Questions!

It’s akin to the freedom struggle, the quest this time, is the redemption of the nation!

P.S. This is an entirely politically neutral post! The change I want to see in the world – Hear a voice, irresepctive of political preferences! And this pursuit must continue, even after the elections are over and the powers are established. Whichever way. The Change will not be overnight.

I’m Politically Active! Are YOU?

Having a status message, “Getting Political, Working with BJP! Wanna Join?“, evokes interesting reactions from people. From surprise to disappointment, to excitement in Joining in the effort!

So well, here’s my story!

Middle Class thoughts and dreams!
Brought up In a middle class value system, I grew up to see my peers talk of politics as the last resort of scoundrels. A family intimately involved with the Sangh gave me the first ideas and also in rebellion, a chance to question what I did not believe in.

Today, having fulfilled the middle class dream of going to an IIT and an IIM, I have a greater belief in my own sensibilities and a greater willingness to question and understand things that are playing a key role in this country.

I can’t not participate in the political process that are going to shape the future of my country, and my world…

I had to do more…poltu1
Have been witness to, and sometimes participated in countless sessions of politician bashing, blaming corruption and so on.. As I grew up, I no more sign online petitions because I see them as impotent. I didn’t participate in candle light vigils, because that couldn’t proxy for REAL results that I wanted. I couldn’t consider my responsibility as over, just by taking these steps.

I wouldn’t do this to absolve myself of the guilt coming from being apathetic or uncaring.

Not the Easy Way Out!

I am not going to take the easy route of saying that everyone’s bad and nothing can happen of this country. I will get in, understand things the way they are, and initiate change the way I see feasible and practical. It’s not an overnight journey. Rome wasn’t built in a day. I’m not asking to be made PM tomorrow.

More than One Silent Vote
I could choose to be a silent voter, in favor of whoever I choose. But this vote, would be more than canceled out by an uninformed/ careless or misguided voter. I don’t feel shy about having taken a political stand. I’ve taken a stand, and I’m vocal about it. I wear my choice on my sleeve.

At least I have made a choice. I’m not sitting on the fence.

Today, when I take a side, I am attempting to ‘Be the change I want to see in the world‘ . Young and yet mature, sensitive, educated blue jeans – white kurta politician, who may not KNOW everything, but has the will to deliver and the desire to make a difference.

History shall not forgive me, if I hide away behind the veil of busyness, and let the country go to the dogs.

I know I don’t have to fight for my bread as hard as my previous generation at my age had to. So work’s no excuse.

I am NOT afraid of the questions that people will ask, or what they will say, or will they look down upon me. What I can do, how much difference I can make, shall guide me more than the fear of what people will say.

But then why BJP?

On a sarcastic note, I wasn’t born a Gandhi, or a Scindia, or a Deora, or a Pilot , so I pretty much have no chance of making a sensible entry into Congress.

I don’t think BJP’s perfect. I don’t agree with everything each BJP leader says or does. There is NO Black or White in this space. And BJP, to me, seems a lighter shade of grey.

It’s consistently been fashionable to claim to be driven by secular values, and disregard BJP, while being the silent spectator to whatever else has been done, in the name of secularism.

I believe, there’s a better chance to bring about improvements here and be heard by the powers that be.

I’m going to write more  in the next few days, explaining my choice. I’m NOT a fundamentalist. Trust me.

So What am I doing for the BJP?
Having seen things from multiple angles, I do trust my intelligence and know how much the media loves to hate BJP, filling the whole generation of my intellectual colleagues, with nothing but hatred for a ‘communal’ party.

I am going to try to INFORM people better.

And then, everyone has opinions, ideas, issues that he wants raised, heard and responded to by the leaders.

I want to enable this to happen.

In a simple way, I’m looking at getting the educated youth to be politically active. And it doesn’t end with voting. It does shape in being vocal with your vote, and then playing an active role with the government at different levels.

It’s a citizen’s war, to choose their leaders, and I feel ashamed to know that 9% of eligible urban youth had voted in the last elections.

So would you like to participate in the WAR?

Join me, and we’ll rock. Join my enemy, and we’ll enjoy the fight. Just don’t be a silent witness.

Write to me at ankur.gattani(at)bjp.org and we’ll talk about what YOU can do !

And I do know you have a LOT of questions to ask of the BJP leadership, before you even consider them, please leave your questions here, and we’ll try finding the answers from the horses’ mouths!

Cheers!