Kanchan Gupta Profile picture
Chairman, Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation, Kolkata | Member, PM's Committee on Netaji 125th Anniversary | India https://t.co/CafK5gPMke |
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8 May
In guise of angst, anything goes.
Removal of Article 370 was first demanded by Bharatiya Jana Sangh; SP Mookerji died for it. It has been a constant in BJS and later BJP manifesto.
Ram Mandir was a VHP issue in 1987-88. BJP adopted it via Palampur Resolution in 1989.
What would angsters have done had they been around when #BJP was down to 2 MPs in Lok Sabha?
Or even earlier when BJS was decimated and party lost nearly all legislators in Rajasthan after Bhairon Singh declared support for zamindari abolition?
Or when a young LK Advani spurned a (then) promising alliance with Ram Rajya Parishad because Swami Karpatri Maharaj openly advocated casteism and untouchability?
Or, when a nascent BJS bravely confronted the powerful Swami Narayan sect over temple entry?
Read 5 tweets
4 May
My father passed away this morning. He was #COVID positive.

नैनं छिन्दन्ति शस्त्राणि नैनं दहति पावकः। न चैनं क्लेदयन्त्यापो न शोषयति मारुतः॥
ॐ शान्ति।। 🙏
His last days were on a hospital bed, on oxygen.
He spent his working life setting up oxygen units at hospitals. His work at PGIMR Chandigarh in mid-1960s drew attention of Tatas. He shifted to Jamshedpur where he set up O2 unit at TMH and other hospitals. It was his passion.
My father was rarely home. My early memories of him were of endless tours of outstation hospitals to install, check, repair O2 lines. He and his labour gang would rush out at odd hours to attend to leaks and blocks. The phone at home would usually receive urgent calls from TMH.
Read 8 tweets
2 May
So why did they delete tweet? Are foreign missions hoarding oxygen? NZ High Commission @NZinIndia
must make public statement if any NZ diplomat or NZ staff posted in Delhi is down with @COVID19 and @MEAIndia did not respond.
In absence of statement we must assume it is hoarding. Image
But for whom is @NZinIndia trying to "arrange for oxygen cylinders urgently"? Who needs them?
Was @MEAIndia contacted? Image
Did @NZinIndia open its gates? The New Zealand High Commission must tell
1. Whom did they ask the oxygen for?
2. Did they contact MEA prior to public appeal?
3. If yes, what was MEA response?
[I won't even ask where are IYC folks getting O2 in Delhi even as ICUs are running dry.] Image
Read 5 tweets
27 Mar
Point of departure between Indira Gandhi and AB Vajpayee was Jana Sangh’s demand for immediate recognition of Provisional Govt of Bangladesh.
ABV and BJS fully acknowledged Indira Gandhi’s role in liberation of #Bangladesh. So did PM @narendramodi in Dhaka. Read
India’s support to Mukti Bahini was covert. India took in 10 million refugees fleeing Pakistan Army genocide. Indira Gandhi launched a global campaign. India’s military intervention began Dec 3 and ended Dec 16 1971. #India immediately recognised #Bangladesh.
Untold story of 1971 is how #USSR dilly-dallied over backing #India on #Bangladesh Liberation War. Kremlin and CPSU were split. There was great hesitation in Moscow as many did not want to upset US-Soviet detente. #US was backing #Pakistan and ignored genocide.
Read 5 tweets
26 Mar
'Academics' just don't realise that the Internet has radically changed the world and 'knowledge' is no longer their preserve, privilege and prerogative.
Jana Sangh rally in support of recognising Bangladesh 25 May 1971. Courtesy: AP Archives.
Do share freely.
PM @narendramodi mentions his participation in Bharatiya Jana Sangh rally of 25 May 1971 in support of recognising #Bangladesh in a book be wrote in 1978. 'Scholarship' is slightly more than copy-pasting from sarkari archives or regurgitating known stuff.
'Scholarship' is not about turning up your nose at documents that exist beyond your charmed little circle of know-alls. Govt of #Bangladesh in this citation acknowledged the role of Atal Bihari Vajpayee as president of Jana Sangh in supporting #Liberation War.
Read 5 tweets
21 Feb
There was no optimism in 1991 through 1996 on account of PV Narasimha Rao's reforms. Indian (crony) industry formed 'Bombay Club' to oppose pro-free market reforms. Unions were protesting in the streets. Harshad Mehta was scamming a fake bubble market. Inflation kept shooting.
Congress did not rally behind 1991 reforms. A Congress intellectual now close to Nehru Darbar had floated the line that the reforms would serve India's 'Coca-Cola Class'. Media went to town over undisclosed IMF conditionalities. Congress lost elections in State after State. 2n
To foist the claim that the 1991 reforms "spread optimism and hope across India" is a travesty. Had there been "optimism and hope" then Congress would not have lost the 1996 Lok Sabha election. Such bogus claims can be made because public memory is short. 3n
Read 7 tweets
1 Feb
When my Twitter account, along with that of @ShivAroor and others, was blocked by Congress/UPA under draconian Section 66A, several 'journalists' supported Govt's order. A senior UPA Minister told me some of them had collaborated with Govt in drawing up the list. 1n
More. A digital free speech activist, who receives handsome foreign funds, sat in on meetings to help Congress/UPA Govt justify its patently unjustifiable ban. Later, he had the gumption to tell me how he had fought tooth and nail. Which, of course, was bunkum. I told him so. 2n
When confronted about the ban in Washington, DC by prominent mediapersons and lawmakers, India's then Ambassador to US brazenly justified the ban. The diplomat's colleagues in MEA were appalled. 3n
Read 5 tweets
30 Nov 20
Media salaries used to be protected by Government of India appointed Wage Board which fixed and periodically revised wage rates based on circulation figures. Journalists (and press workers) in big papers would get paid more for same work done by journalists in small papers. 1n
To cheat on salaries many big papers would either submit fake lower circulation figures or float separate companies and hive off editions. One big paper was believed to have set up two separate companies for City Edition and Late City Edition. 2n
Govt Wage Board also ensured no journalist or press worker could be sacked or workforce reduced. This became a problem for newspaper owners as old printing tech began to give way to new tech, starting with photo typesetting replacing hot metal typesetting. 3n
Read 10 tweets
22 Nov 20
My interest in water and its role in national development and security was sparked over many visits to #Israel. The silent revolution triggered in #India by PM @narendramodi 's Jal Jeevan Mission which will take potable water on tap to 190 million homes has me hooked. @Vidurji 1n Image
Work done by Jal Jeevan Mission is huge. 30% of 190 million rural homes have potable water on tap in first year of NJJM's launch. Amazing use of tech to ensure a better life for people in #India This is a 'boring' story, so no media reports it. I'll do a thread and update it. 2n
Today, PM @narendramodi launched Vindhya Water Supply project in #UP covering Vindhyachal. The project cost is Rs 5,555 crore. To be completed in 2 years, it will provide assured tap water to homes in 3,000 villages. It will benefit 42 lakh people. 3n
Read 8 tweets
15 Aug 19
Bharat Mata
~Abanindranath Tagore, 1905.
দুঃস্বপ্নে আতঙ্কে রক্ষা করিলে অঙ্কে
স্নেহময়ী তুমি মাতা।
दूस्व्प्ने आतन्के रक्षा करिले अंके
स्नेहमयी तुमि माता।
In nightmare & terror You protected us
Compassionate Mother of mine.
[Rabindranath Tagore, Jana Gana Mana]
#IndependenceDay 🇮🇳
Bharat Mata
~ Shobha Singh, 1947.
Bharat Mata
~Raja Ravi Varma, Oleograph.
Read 10 tweets
9 Aug 19
Which Indian journalists, academics, intellectuals were the beneficiaries of Fai's ISI-funded largesse? Who were the regular guests of the 2 Families and feasted on wazwan paid for with money stolen from people? Check their names. Now check who are crying hoarse over #Article370.
Who are the intel officers, including certain top guns, now retired, who had access to limitless GoI funds for their 'work' in #JammuAndKashmir ? Was an ex-RAW person helping ABV (and later MMS) on #Kashmir or running a transfer-posting-promotion racket?
Who received 'loans' from J&K Bank? What are the bank's NPA details? Who fronted for beneficiaries? To cleanse Kashmir of malcontent, make details public. Also publish list of journalists who are regular visitors to Pakistan High Commission and residences of Pakistani diplomats.
Read 15 tweets
1 Aug 19
Orthodoxy made #Hindu Samaj non-inclusive and created deep faultlines for others to exploit. For orthodoxy, the 'mlechchh' is as much a non-Hindu as a Scheduled Caste person. #Orthodoxy never strengthens society or faith. Reject orthodoxy like Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar did. 1/n
Laughable that you can't accept food delivered by a non-Hindu because it is #Shravan. Does the food come certified that it has been cooked and packed by Hindus? A true #orthodox would cook his food, wash his utensils, carry his water. You are not even true to orthodoxy. 2/n
History tells us orthodoxy has inflicted incalculable harm to #Hinduism and #Hindu Samaj. Orthodoxy defended sati, child marriage, putrid casteism, purdah. #Orthodoxy opposed Hindu Code, women's education, equal rights, temple entry. Examples abound. 3/n
Read 5 tweets
6 Jul 19
Bengal's Durga tradition is integral to the Ramayan narrative in the east: 'Okal Bodhon' or unseasonal awakening of the goddess by Sri Ram to seek victory over Ravan. Prof Sen should read Bhabatosh Datta's 'Rabindranath Tagore on Ramayan and Mahabharat'. He has all the time.
Part of Durga tradition in Bengal is Sandhi Puja when 108 lotuses are offered. Popular narrative: Sri Ram decides to offer 108 'blue' lotuses (Bengal water lillies?) to propitiate Durga. Finds he is short of one lotus, so offers one of his 'lotus eyes'. Devi is propitiated.
While it is true 'Jai Sri Ram' as a greeting or slogan was alien to Bengal, Sri Ram and the (Krittivasi) Ramayan narrative were integral to Bengali life. The latent has become the active assertion of resistance. Or, to use Prof Sen's favourite expression, 'dissent in democracy'.
Read 4 tweets
28 Jun 19
Nehru did not create IITs. Dr BC Roy, CM of West Bengal, set up first IIT in Cal in 1950; it later moved to Kharagpur. IIT Kharagpur Act came in 1956. Soviet Union set up IIT Powai; US set up IIT Kanpur; Germans set up IIT Madras (all of them with trade surplus and aid).
We learned this in junior school as compulsory GK. I guess General Knowledge is dangerously Right Wing shyt now, so declared by our Left Liberals. What to do? #IIT #Nehru
Just in case @madversity is interested, the idea of setting up Indian institutes of technology took shape in 1946 with Humayun Kabir leading the way and Nalini Ranjan Sarkar Committee preparing a report. Extant records do not mention any role played by Nehru. So.
Read 4 tweets
23 May 19
Thread on some #KeyTakeaways from #LokSabhaElections2019 results:
1. There was always a #Modi wave but the #LeLi Commentariat insisted it was an undercurrent against Modi and #BJP.
2. Losses in Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh in 2018 were an aberration and not a trend. 1/n
3. Vote transfers do not happen between historically hostile parties. Anticipated vote transfer did not happen in #UP. SP-BSP #MahaGathBandhan was nonstarter.
4. Never mind the bunk peddled by pop political analysts. #India would prefers Government with single-party majority. 2/n
5. Mamata Banerjee underestimated Hindu backlash to her brazen Muslim appeasement and pandering to illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.
6. She overestimated the ability of party goons to strike fear among voters. It took 34 years for LF to unravel; TMC less than 10 years. 3/n
Read 11 tweets
8 May 19
Not an accusation. There was media coverage of Rajiv Gandhi's 'Blue Lagoon' holiday. INS Virat was indeed used, as were naval helicopters. India Today carried a lavishly illustrated story. indiatoday.in/magazine/india…
Excerpts from Anita Pratap's report on Rajiv Gandhi's 'Blue Lagoon Holiday' (Lakshadweep) published in @IndiaToday issue dated January 31, 1988:
I am sure @tavleen_singh would be able to tell a lot more. What I do remember is HY Sharada Prasad, then media advisor to Rajiv Gandhi, calling up CR Irani and 'expressing the hope' (Irani's words) that 'your irascible Assistant Editor (me) will not be writing about this'.
Read 6 tweets
2 Apr 19
National Conference's demand for restoring posts of Wazir-e-Azam & Sadar-e-Riyasat in #Kashmir is untenable. #India came dangerously close to accepting pre-1953 in 1995 when PM Narasimha Rao said Congress was willing to concede "anything short of azadi".
Narasimha Rao's offer to restore Jammu & #Kashmir pre-1953 status was surreptitiously made from Burkina Faso. Nobody got the sinister implications of "anything short of azadi" except LK Advani who raised a storm. Rao had to retreat. One of the many reasons why Rao hated Advani.
PV Narasimha Rao is least remembered for the enormous damage he inflicted by sucking up to America and letting Robin Raphel, Pakistani agent in Clinton Administration, walk all over him. It was she who was running #Kashmir affairs in alliance with jihadi separatists.
Read 5 tweets
27 Mar 19
Huge win for #India's scientists and technologists at DRDO. Successful anti-satellite (ASAT) missile system test. A low earth orbit satellite is targeted and destroyed. After #US, #Russia and #China, India fourth country to acquire this space capability. #MissionShakti
A quantum leap forward into the 21st century. Space is the future and #India is there. #MissionShakti is no less tectonic than #OperationShakti -- proud to be Indian.
Those asking whether #MissionShakti merited address to the nation by PM @narendramodi : Elections come and go, national achievements are forever. This is a big day for #India , a very big day.
Read 5 tweets
14 Mar 19
Problem is we expect too much from the world and do too little to stand up for our national interest. #China will never allow UNSC sanctions on #Pakistan-sponsored terror groups. Nor will Beijing allow New Delhi to join NSG. Expecting China to stand by #India is outright stupid.
As a nation we have always sought shoulders to cry on and shoot from. We think we are being clever. We aren't. We are what we are: Willing to strike but mortally scared to wound. This happens when we let a circus called #Lebu Media with its #LeLi Commentariat influence policy.
Power flows from the barrel of a gun. But greater power flows from a Chinese weapon the world has come to fear. That weapon is called Economy. #India will have its way the day Indian economy has muscle and clout equalling or exceeding China's. Be ruthless in pursuing this goal.
Read 8 tweets
14 Feb 19
Let's get a few things straight.
Terrorism is not an act of 'cowardice' or 'desperation'. It is an act of cold-blooded terror. Politicians who keep repeating the same hackneyed lines are basically trying to avoid responsibility by disowning failure to crush terrorism. #Pulwama 1
It would be best if politicians representing the Government and the Opposition keep quiet after terrorist attacks. Anything they say is unadulterated bakwas. Nation is tired of glycerine tears for shahid jawans and insincere promises of retaliatory action. #Pulwama 2
Jammu & Kashmir is effectively under Central rule. Today's suicide bombing resulting in horrific deaths of jawans indicates an abysmal failure of intelligence agencies. Responsibility devolves on Modi Sarkar. Bluster cannot hide this fact. #Pulwama 3
Read 12 tweets
28 Jan 19
Pending court cases in #India

Supreme Court 57,346
High Courts 47,19,483
Lower courts 2,96,93,988
Total pending 3,44,70,817

[As on 28.01.19.] #Judiciary #Justice #ConstitutionalMorality
It will take 324 years for lower courts in #India to deal with the case pile-up. #Judiciary #Justice #ConstitutionalMorality
Details of 57,346 cases pending in the Supreme Court of #India. #Judiciary #Justice #ConstitutionalMorality
Read 6 tweets