Missed target

Modi thought his Bangladesh visit would help the BJP in Bengal. But every action has multiple effects in politics.

BJP had made ‘illegal infiltration’ a big issue in Assam. Shah built his entire campaign attacking AIUDF leader Ajmal for supporting infiltrators.
Modi’s sweet talk in Dhaka blunted the edge of Shah’s emotive plank. His attacks on Ajmal sounded hollow as AIUDF leader tweeted and wished Modi a pleasant stay in Bangladesh; requested him to discuss the deportation of illegal immigrants, border sealing to stop infiltration.
Modi has not raised these issues. Congress was uncomfortable with Shah’s focus on AIUDF, now feels Shah’s blusters on Ajmal sound like a joke.

BJP’s 8-phase polling for Bengal also helped Congress as it could delink Kerala allowing Rahul to enter Bengal later. It thanks BJP.
Silent push

Baghel is working at the grassroots, made several trips since his appointment as party’s observer in January. Jitendra Singh & Baghel have until now done a “good job” helping a “deeply divided” party mount a strong challenge; silently activated grassroots.
Baghel reportedly deployed his own team of around 400 people; he held many small meetings, interactions and roadshows to connect with voters, wooing them with the good things his government has done for the farmers and for income generation.
Most importantly, Baghel tells voters that whatever the BJP is “selling” today was “built” by Congress, to counter the BJP’s claim that no development took place during the Congress rule. Win or lose, Baghel’s silent push to boost the party’s prospects have to be acknowledged.
Harsh truth

Rajagopal recently left BJP leaders squirming as he attributed the 90 per cent literacy in the state as the reason why his party was not growing there. The remark came just days after his admission of a Congress-BJP-IUML understanding in the 1991 polls.
By now Amit Shah has perhaps realized that there is only so much he can do in Kerala without a full grasp of the issues; Repeating what his state leaders have been saying; hardly moved away from the Sabarimala or the more recent gold smuggling cases.
Unlike Rahul Gandhi who makes it a point to address audience in English, jumps into sea waters; gives Aikido tips to students, Shah sticks to Hindi and harps on the same set of issues.

The BJP’s ‘Chanakya’ seems out of his depth when stuck in unfamiliar political territory.
The above thread provides a gist of some election-related points of a recent editorial in The Telegraph dated 28 March 2021.

The elections in 5 states entering the crucial stage, with BJP’s usual dramas, actions combined with its aggressive, bulldozing, manoeuvring politics.
With BJP’s full display of power throttling all independent institutions and fake news, paid news playing their part, everything looks hazy. Further contrasting signals are planted, proliferated to confuse the voters and people. Making sense out of them is becoming difficult.
I do see BJP losing its grip on the political situation and strategies. Some nervousness could be seen from the actions and reactions of BJP leaders. We are to wait and watch.

Your comments, opinion are welcome.

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More from @ganesan312

1 Apr
Making sense of confusing signals is becoming a difficult exercise with the widespread use of communication tools and the internet.

Some think they are smart to read between the lines. But they should also be aware fake news and falsehood are also planted between the lines.
Falsehood diffuses significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth.

Identifying and eliminating what is irrelevant and fake is not so easy even for the so-called educated, literate or semi-literate individuals with worldly knowledge and experience.
If this is for educated, one should not come to the conclusion that poor and uneducated cannot make sense of what is right and wrong.
They may be simple and unsophisticated but they apply their intuitions and heart. Their subconscious discerns the right and wrong characters.
Read 7 tweets
30 Mar
Excerpts: Rahul’s brilliant interaction - with Prof. Ashutosh Varshney, faculty, students...

Part 5 -Topic: “Stop and look at yourself” Gandhiji.

It covers how Rahul looked at himself, the criticisms heaped on him by Modi/ BJP/ RSS; how their attack on his sense is a gift.
You said something really extraordinarily beautiful. But I think, this is you and ‘not necessarily the Congress party’. You have replaced the idea of Swaraj with the beautiful idea of shunyata and I want to know...

No no. You would be surprised, very very surprised.
There are hundreds and hundreds of Congress workers who had this idea. The problem is they are not in power. They are there.
I can tell you name after name after name who is sitting there, literally doing harakiri, right - political. He is eating himself.
Read 12 tweets
29 Mar
Excerpts: Rahul’s brilliant interaction - with Professor Ashutosh Varshney, faculty, and students...
Part 4 - Topic: Understanding Gandhiji, Swarajya, Shunyata, Giving up power.

This is an interesting exploration, explanation by Rahul. Many may not be aware of. So sharing it.
Q - Leela:
Mr Gandhi, the concept of Swaraj self-rule was of course a rallying cry for the Congress party in the early decades of the 20th century it was a slogan for independence from Imperial rule and as well as the source says, M K Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj.
It expressed a highly original, ethical, spiritual vision of Indian democracy in which simply the powerful give up the right to rule over, dominate, oppress, injure the powerless, therefore men or women, the Hindu majority over various religious minorities, the rich over poor.
Read 10 tweets
26 Mar
Excerpts: Rahul’s brilliant interaction - with Professor Ashutosh Varshney, faculty, and students...
Part 3 - Topic: electoral autocracy.

Here I am presenting the gist or essence of this conversation without diluting the spirit and beauty of its contents.
Two of the leading non-governmental agencies that rate or assess democratic health in the world the Freedom House and the V-Dem Institute in Sweden, both have downgraded Indian democracy. Freedom House calls India now ‘partly free’; V-Dem terms it as ‘Electoral autocracy’.
V-dem Institute following political science & its own research says that when democratic polities start attacking civil liberties, then civil society Institutions and then independent Institutions then the next step is typically an attack on the integrity of elections itself.
Read 12 tweets
25 Mar
This thread is another brief extract of Rahul’s online interactions with Professor Ashutosh Varshney, faculty, and students...

The contents are very valuable, important to reproduce and record in text format.
Such contents will help to educate people and perhaps many INCians.
Q: Assault on institutions -
Are you, in particular, referring to the Judiciary or some other independent institutions?


I am telling you every single institution. There is not a single institution that is not under this type of assault.
To give you some nuance, my mic is switched off in parliament. In the middle, while I am giving a speech it is switched off. So the essence of parliament is that I am allowed to speak, the essence of parliament is that when I am speaking the country can see what I am saying.
Read 10 tweets
24 Mar
This thread is a brief extract of Rahul’s online interactions with Professor Ashutosh Varshney, faculty, and students...

Rarely one comes across an impromptu, spontaneous interaction that contains such a brilliant, concise, unadulterated truth, full of sense and nothing else.
You argued ‘politics in India have become a fight for India not just a fight for power’.
Biden before elections in 2020 argued ‘it was not about a change in power in Washington it was about soul of America’.
Is your claim similar to Biden’s claim or substantially different?

To me, India is many different diverse viewpoints, many different languages, different cultures, different histories, different ideas. Modern India to me is essentially an ongoing negotiation between those ideas, those cultures.
Read 12 tweets

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