The Great Indian Rope Trick – Election 2009

Updated: For people that want to understand the manifestos of the key parties, this single page PDF from The Hindu is a good source. Some people on Twitter seem to think we didn’t read the manifestos.

The biggest circus of 2009 – the Indian Parliamentary Election – has ended. The decisive mandate has left many stunned & speechless. I measure my feelings by the Richter scale – so I’m – devastated. We are inundated by claims from Talking Heads that Indians have voted for Stability, Secularity or Pro-Nuclear Deal. All that bunkum has left me slightly nauseous.

To my utter consternation, Sukumar Rajagopal is pleased as punch. Since our reactions are on the opposite ends of the spectrum, in the true spirit of democracy, we had a discussion to understand each other’s perspective. For Parliament literally means, “Speak Your Mind”.

Priya: I’m extremely depressed by the election results. But inexplicably, you’re as happy as a sun-bathing cat.

Sukumar: This is a positive vote for Stability. It allows the Congress to pursue their policies without being hobbled by the Left. What bothers you so much?

Priya: Well, I expected a change. So many things are hopelessly wrong today. And now, tomorrow won’t be any different. Doesn’t corruption bother people any more? Billions of $$ were gobbled up by the DMK goons in Spectrum Allocation. Congress let Quattrochi escape – and here’s the cropper – our Prime Minister almost apologized for putting him through “all the trouble”.

Sukumar: I agree, corruption is an endemic problem in the Indian system. I wonder if anyone can clean it up. As for Quattrochi, what did the BJP do when they were in power for 5 years? They could have easily put all the Bofors scamsters behind bars. What prevented them from doing it?

Priya: So, nothing will clean up India – short of a miracle? I don’t know, I think there are clean leaders in India, that can make a difference. Such as Modi or Nitish Kumar. How about Homeland Security? Terrorists attack us with impunity. Take the ghastly attacks in Mumbai, the nerve center of India. I think Congress – while not exactly soft – isn’t hard enough on terror.

Sukumar:Terrorism is an international scourge. There’s no easy solution. What did BJP do during Kandahar, Babri Masjid or the Godra riots? That doesn’t inspire confidence, at least not mine. Will wonders never cease? You – of all people – are rooting for Modi? Talk about a volte face!

Priya: About Kandahar – BJP freed some terrorists to save 184 passengers. What would you have them do, let a bunch of innocent people die? I don’t have to be a trident wielding, saffron clad Hindutva activist, to appreciate Modi’s administrative prowess. He has indeed reduced corruption in Gujarat. As an honest person that longs for a cleaner government, its hard not to appreciate Narendra Modi for that. But yes, I’m unable to shake the bad taste in my mouth that the Godra riots have created.

Why do you support Congress? What have they done?

Sukumar: If Modi is loved in Gujarat, how did Congress win more seats in this election than in 2004? Even the margins of victory for BJP have come down in Gujarat!

You have to remember, Congress came to power on the Aam Aadmi plank. Their NREGA is  a damn good program, that guarantees employment for the rural poor. But what is more heartening to me is – they continued Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan – BJP’s well-thought out education program.

Priya: Now that you mention it, Praful Patel has performed stupendously by privatizing airports. Laloo Yadav turned the creaking, groaning, inefficient Indian Railways around.

Sukumar: Patel did that in the face of severe opposition! Turning around Railways was thought to be an impossible task. Almost, a Labor of Hercules!

Priya: Still, they had strange bed-fellows. They made CBI their hand-maiden, so that murderers like Shibu Soren could go scot-free. And how about the two-faced Communists. According to them, supporting the United States is unpatriotic. But, they’ll readily sell us to China! “Isms” of all shades disgust me. Not to mention the despicable DMK. Congress never even let out a squeak when Karunanidhi insulted the sentiments of the Hindu majority, by stating that Ram & Sita were siblings. Just so a DMK minister could execute the Sethu Samudram project & line DMK pockets. But, no one was taken to task.

Sukumar: Yes, DMK shouldn’t have done that. You & me, we are non-believers, but we respect the beliefs of others. But, DMK? They are just hypocrites who wouldn’t dare question the beliefs of the minority. I’m certainly glad that they don’t trample on the sentiments of at least some pockets of the society!

Communists were the fly in the ointment for the Nuclear Deal. That’s another achievement of the Congress-led UPA. They resisted all attempts by the Left to sabotage the deal. They stood their ground.

Priya: I still have some grievances around River Water Sharing. Mainly, Cauvery Water. They couldn’t enforce the Supreme Court’s order on Karnataka. They were impotent even when SM Krishna’s Congress government was in power in Karnataka. What’s the use of a National party, if it won’t abandon petty regional interests?

Sukumar: Could BJP make it happen, when it was in power? No one wants to jeopardize their vote banks. I’m happier with a moderately competent government, that is peace-loving & non-threatening to communal harmony. Rather than a potentially competent – yet, rabidly communal government! The latter can cause severe harm to India’s stability as a society.

Priya: Let’s cut the bull, Sukumar. The lower strata of the society voted in droves. When I spoke to some of them, they didn’t even realize that voting for the Parliament (Center) & the Assembly (State) were different. None of them knew about the Nuclear Deal. Most didn’t care about corruption. So how did BJP botch this election? They snatched defeat from the jaws of victory!

Sukumar: I don’t think the Common Men & Women are too disillusioned with Congress. BJP mismanaged their campaign. Advani never proposed good schemes. He didn’t attack the astronomical prices of essential commodities – even though their prices have gone up by 30-40% or even 100-200%, thanks to galloping inflation. That’s a hot button issue for the lower strata. BJP never addressed such basic concerns. Instead, they reopened Ram Janma Bhoomi! Clueless of them.

Priya: I guess you’re right about the Center. But, what about the state? Why didn’t people reject the puke-worthy DMK? I’m shocked that they didn’t face a stronger anti-incumbency wave. Their blatant, shameless promotion of their family members is scary. When Azhagiri’s faction reportedly burnt down the Dinakaran (Newspaper) office, 3 innocent people died. No action has been taken so far – Diddly Squat.

Sukumar: Yes, that is indeed deeply troubling. However, there has been a significant swing of 15% against DMK. Unfortunately 10% of that went to DMDK, Vijayakanth’s party – whose sole reason for existence seems to be to split the ADMK vote! What was Jayalalitha thinking, when she gave so many seats to PMK, MDMK & the Left? Had ADMK contested on those constituencies, it might have changed the outcome of this election, at least in Tamil Nadu.

Priya: I’m grief stricken that the anti-incumbency vote in Tamil Nadu was only 15%. Law & Order has gone to the dogs. DMK distributed money openly to buy votes. Electricity or lack of it in Tamil Nadu, has been nothing short of a disaster! So many small industries went bankrupt thanks to the inept handling by Arcot Veerasamy, the Electricity Minister. How did people forgive DMK?

And while we suffered from Inflation, Terrorism, Rowdyism & Shortage of Electricity, the DMK Supremo fasted for foreigners – Srilankan Tamils. I’ve never felt more insulted before.

Sukumar: IMHO, the most important reason for ADMK’s failure is Jayalalitha’s inability to propose solutions that provide hope. Right now, she merely criticizes DMK on every single thing under the sun. I would accuse BJP of the same foible. Neither parties had a proposal that could galvanize people to rally around them & vote for them.

Priya: When will this change? Are we doomed to put up with Congress & DMK?

Sukumar: BJP & ADMK have their work cut out for them. They have to understand the pulse of the Common People, think of Bold Policies to energize the masses. BJP has the unenviable task of finding a replacement for Advani. Will it be Modi? They better get cracking on cleaning up his “Minority Baiter” image. Not that Advani has a clean image either, what was he – an innocent bystander when Babri Masjid was destroyed?

Readers – What do you think? We’ve reached an impasse. Is there any hope for India? Is BJP our ticket for better governance? Or is it the Secular Congress? Tell us! We’d love to hear from you.


  1. Quote

    The ultimate goal of the vatican is stated by the Pope himself when he visited india in 1999..

    “Just as the first millennium saw the cross firmly planted in the soil of Europe, and the second in that of America and Africa, so may the third Christian millennium witness a great harvest of faith on this vast and vital continent,


    In the first millenium, europe was made 100% christian, by destroying all pagan religions.. In the second millenium, americas were made 100% christian by destroying, inca & mayan civilization and by genociding red-indians..

    and when they say the third millenium witness, great harvest of faith, i need not say, what they intend to.. history shows the example..

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