Saddest Day Of My Life


My political leanings are well known; I’ve all but yelled it from the rooftops.

And for those of you who were concerned about my state after this…er… shock, I’m fine 😛 even expected such an outcome, though not like this.

So, anyway, the following bits are to justify the title. I wanted to actually make it ‘Say it’s not true’, after the Queen+Paul Rodgers song for World AIDS Day, but then this Advani phrase suits it better.

My first concern has been about this evil of reservations. And that there is an order of priority according to religion, to claim the country’s resources. If all goes well in the next three months, and for six-seven years following that, I’ll be free of all this nonsense. But what about the rest of the country? The heart bleeds.

The next thing has been about the blatant selling of our national interest. The N-Deal for one. It should have been renegotiated.

The most important thing however is the security issue. I’ve come close to getting blown to bits, but thankfully escaped.. once was at Forum Mall, another was at Army School. Both places they detonated bombs. And then there was the frenzied set of phonecalls to relatives in Mumbai and those in Delhi. I can (thankfully) only imagine the levels of anguish folks who’ve lost loved ones in terror attacks go through. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. I can’t bear to watch millions of innocent lives being compromised for cheap motives like staying in power.

And then there’s the issue of Assam and the North-East. The place is overrun by illegal immigrants, a potential security threat. And everyone concerned as of now, apart from the BJP and maybe the AGP chooses to look the other way, or even encourage it for electoral gains. Separatist movements are on full swing, violence is a daily occurrence. No one else seems to have reached out to these separatist groups, tried to begin a peace process. And integrate the North-East with the rest of the country. That is one region which shares more border with other countries than with our own. And China is encroaching on the borders, and Manmohan doesn’t seem to be having sleepless nights about that.

Freedom of worship is yet another thing. Proselytization has reached new heights, and is slated to continue. A minister of state calls our gods names and no one says a thing? And he doesn’t bother to apologize?Symbols of our faith are encroached upon, and no one seems to turn a hair. The levels of polarization society is seeing now has had no precedent.

I don’t care if the people in power are young or old. I don’t give a damn if they are rich or poor either. They can be illiterate for all I care. All I ask for is some amount of patriotism. Of what use is competence when you don’t look at the country and your countrymen with love and a feeling of belonging? I find that sorely lacking in the UPA and the Left, who put party and self interests above national interest. And who don’t seem to take pride in being Indian. They have the ‘We are a third-world country’ mentality instead of a ‘We can/need to be a first-world country’.

So for five years, I’ve been hoping for a change in governments, cringed at all the injustice meted out by the establishment,  and have seen an increasing number of people turn anti-UPA. But, well, I guess my sample space was localized… as is seen in the near-sweep of BJP in Karnataka, and the whole of Bangalore Urban. I was surprised Sangliana and Jaffer Sharif got beaten. And that Ananth Kumar was trailing for quite a while.

They say it’s good the Left is out… but now there’s nothing to stop Manmohan bending backwards to US demands, and considering it’s Obama, he’s surely going to demand his protectionist pound of flesh. And have his own solutions for the Kashmir problem.

On a more positive note, now the Congress can’t hide behind the excuse of the Left preventing development from taking place. It’s also good to see a non-fractured mandate, though one hopes it isn’t Amar Singh the Congress allies with. And now that their position is secure, hope they concentrate more on development than on nurturing votebanks.

On a lighter note, searches for ra_hul_ga_n_dh_i_s_girl_fr_iend are up again. Not scheduled to go down anytime soon, I guess. Folks say they are looking for the image of the future bahu of the nation, and by extension, the future kingmaker of the nation.

The folks at mind dry dot in have the best accuracy/resourcesUsed ratio w.r.t exit polls . Maybe Mr. Yogendra Yadav (not the one featured in this video) needs to take a leaf out of their book.

And for so long, the BJP’s slogan has been “Advani For PM”. Now that they have to sit in the opposition, it’s going to be “Advani Against PM”.

PS: On a personal note, I didn’t stick around watching the counting unfold (I can’t watch India lose a cricket match, d’you think I can bear to watch it lose its pride, wealth, and everything else?) and so I actually managed to get stuff done. Not everything went my way, but my laptop mysteriously came back to life this afternoon… (it had died a week or so back) hurray!

About wanderlust

just your average books-and-music person who wants to change the world.
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8 Responses to Saddest Day Of My Life

  1. vikrams3 says:

    With reference to your statement in the last paragraph: “I can’t watch India lose a cricket match, d’you think I can bear to watch it lose its pride, wealth, and everything else?”

    Priya, you are definitely entitled to your opinions, but I don’t think doubting people’s mandate (whether they have voted for a party that is patriotic) is the way to go about opposing Congress and its policies. My attitude is that both BJP and Congress have the best of Indian interests at heart, but they differ on ideology and policies best-suited for India.

    Vikram

  2. mindryin says:

    Even I wanted LKA to be PM. And I too want a strong right of centre nationalist party. But I have to admit that at the end of yesterday’s counting, I wasn’t as disappointed as I was in 2004. Maybe, at some level, their campaign didn’t connect even with a core voter like me. Maybe it was also due to the absence of someone like Atal.

    And now for my 2 cents on why BJP lost.

    It maybe wisdom in hindsight but not many elections have been won by a party that was fighting openly in public just a month before elections. Neither are elections won by a party that takes more than 2 years to come to terms with its defeat as was evident by BJP’s boycott of Parliament on one issue or the other for nearly 2 years.

    While BJP was seen as a party that was responsible for better Indo-US relations, on the nuclear deal it didn’t communicate its position clearly. While Advani’s rational views were largely ignored by the party, people like Rajnath sounded liek Left’s B-team. Instead of getting the credit from the middle class for having done a lot of ground-work for the deal, they became near-villains who opposed everything for the sake of opposing it.

    And their anti-terror campaign. Necessary and relevant as it was and is, they failed to communicate properly even there. I haven’t spoken to many people, but even those educated people like you and me whom I have spoken, what I get to hear are, “POTA did not stop terror attacks”, “Even Kandahar happened during NDA. Why blame only UPA for not hanging Afzal”. BJP, from what I heard and read extensively, never countered these easily-counterable claims. POTA doesn’t prevent terror, it deters terrorism. This simple point wasn’t made clear by BJP. Congress mounted a massive flashback campaign regarding Kandahar, but the BJP didn’t communicate to the people the difference between handling a hijack and hanging a convict. You can say media was against them. But who stops their ground-level organization to inform people of these things. Who stops their highly articulate leaders to go to people and tell these things. Having nice websites and blogs don’t win elections in India just yet.

    The apparent ineffectiveness of their communication is even more glaring in the fact that the recession-hit-middle-class didn’t find appealing the various tax breaks the BJP promised. Not just that, the whole manifesto was more ‘inclusive’ than the Congress’s. Yet they lost.

    In hindsight, maybe attacking Dr. Singh might have got him voter sympathy like the way mout-ka-saudagar rallied people even firmly behind Modi. And regarding Modi, it’s high time he indulges in symbolism. He says Gujarati Muslims are better off even according to Congress’s Sachar Report. Won’t it be more credible if the same thing comes out through a prominent Gujrati Muslim leader. There was apparently a prominent Ahmedabadi Mullah who supported Modi. Why don’t you use those people in giving out those facts? Why didn’t you indulge in symbolism like the one Ram Guha suggested yesterday on TV of going to airport and greeting Irfan Pathan or someone who helped India win in Sri Lanka?

    In defeat, the BJP might find it easy to blame the media. But why didn’t the same media not come in the way of their string of victories over the last two and a half years in various state assemblies including the landmark victory in Karnataka?

    And the ideology itself. If BJP thinks going to saffron goondas like Yogi Adityanath in UP is going back to their ideological roots, they are completely mistaken. The ideological course correction for the BJP is to go to a leader who can play the role that Atal did in presenting the BJP as a right of centre nationalist party that cares for India. Maybe Sushma Swaraj could be a good bet since she also has the advantage of a woman who has moved up the ladder in a male dominated polity apart from being a good orator and a well educated person.

    It’s not sufficient to have good intentions but you need to do some hard work to be perceived as having good intentions. BhaJaPa failed there in my opinion. For a party that scored well on perceptions and in communicating its ideas to people, these are real tough times. And last but not the least they need to expand big time in states like AP, TN, Orissa and revive very quickly in UP without losing the base in Bihar to Nitish.

    End of my more than 2 cents on why the BJP lost.

    Tumba blade jaati aytu ansutte. This comment is longer than your post I guess.

  3. harish says:

    The previous comment was by me. Not mindryin. Ee google sign in problem. Eno togonDbiDutte user anta.
    Yaak clarify maaDide andre ee whole thinking or the lack of it ge credit nange. 😛

  4. wanderlust says:

    @vikram:
    it’s just that most of the rest of india have used metrics different from the ones i consider important to cast their vote. it’s just like some people want a spouse who is rich, some want one who is capable, some want a gallant gentleman/lady… but some others just want someone who loves them.
    i find it hard to understand how allowing of illegal immigrants, fuelling separatist tendencies, dividing society on caste and religious lines, having a soft approach to terror, opposing for the sake of opposing… i can go on…. is in the national interest.
    @harish:
    spot on.
    though, i beg to differ about ‘nice websites and blogs’.
    the campaign seemed half-hearted to me. they did not make an issue of any of the many points they could have taken against the UPA. Advani is a behind-the-scenes man, not a rockstar, fine. But once you’ve stepped in, you’ve got to go the whole hog. it didn’t even seem like he was trying.
    he writes a book, doesn’t publicize it adequately. he could have created a few controversies around it, pushed up sales, but nope.
    he begins a blog, doesn’t make any hard-hitting statements, which he could have without the media distorting it. he doesn’t even publicize it anywhere… hardly any newspapers carried reports about him blogging.
    if the online campaign bit had been outsourced to me, im pretty sure even i would have done a much better job, me who has absolutely no experience in promotional campaigns.
    avara book-alli ashtondu justifications, logical arguments ella kodtaare, what’s the problem with just reiterating that a zillion times in his speeches? it would have been a sight better than the case now.
    they really need a lot more enthu to actually win an election decisively.

  5. Srikanth says:

    Great post and very valid comments (by Harish). I agree with the assessment that Advaniji and BJP erred when it came to communication. The media is NEVER going to be pro-bjp — they should accept that, ignore the media, and concentrate on the grassroots. BJP has never been good at creating election-time hysteria and sustaining it (except the Ram Janmabhoomi movement). BJP’s forte is the quiet mass movement — a campaign where people are educated about the national issues and how BJP’s policies are better suited to solve them. Giving them facts and figures, winning people over with their honesty. Put any RSS-trained BJP leader in front of a common man, and he is bound to influence him with his honesty and passion. But, for this type of campaign to work, you need two things: Time and committed volunteers.

    1. BJP had the time in its hands, but they didn’t use it well. They should have mounted a sustained campaign long ago, but they waited for the elections.
    2. Years ago, BJP had access to committed volunteers from RSS, ABVP, VHP, etc., and BJP’s campaign strength came from them. However, in recent years, especially since the time of Ku. Si. Sudarshan-ji, BJP and RSS haven’t got along well. RSS resents BJP’s corruption, and rightly so. The dirty linen was washed in public. BJP lost its huge pool of volunteers (the size of RSS shakhas have also shrunk big time!). So has grassroots workers base has eroded. If they are to win again, they need to build a base again.

  6. Arjun says:

    “Tumba blade jaati aytu ansutte.”

    Ee jaati mata maatadiddrindle nim BhaJaPa sotiddu.

  7. Swati says:

    I dont know if I am repeating things said in the previous posts since I did not read them..though the thing I am really happy about is the Left getting ousted in both WB and Kerala. The govt can function much better without their intervention. The markets have given the new govt a BIG thumbs up..so I am good!!

  8. wanderlust says:

    @srikanth:
    you’re quite right. but bjp should also move with the times. people now have short attention spans. they want rockstars, not people who ask them to think… thinking takes time and energy!!
    that apart they could have taken up on so many valid issues… they let those opportunities all slip.
    @arjun:
    eagle-eyed arjun 🙂
    but i disagree… they hardly if ever spoke about anything, much less made it an issue. adikke sotiddu.

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