ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

BJP-PDP alliance: What did it accomplish?

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picbjppdp.jpgMuch awaited break-up between BJP and PDP finally happened, albeit oh! so abruptly. Skeptics doubted the longevity of the tie up at the time. Honestly, I am surprised it lasted this long. The political ethos of two parties are so far apart.

The question is, what did the alliance accomplish? I don’t see the situation in J&K any better than it was 3 years ago, security or otherwise. Are there more jobs? Are there less terror activities? I really don’t understand what happened these past 3 years.

An honest assessment would be, the experiment was a monumental failure. But I don’t see supporters of either party ready to admit this. Ok, I might be too naive to ask this. Still it calls into question the intent of BJP and PDP. What was it they wanted to accomplish of the alliance? Other than the power of course.

Funny thing, the reasons behind the breakup are also unclear. BJP did it coz PDP was about to it. But why? Ever since the partnership began, both parties have been accused of selling themselves out. How could BJP tie up with Afzal sympathetic PDP whom they have accused in the past of being anti-national? How could PDP tie up with BJP whom they have accused of being the communal outfit working against Muslims? At least such questions would be posed no more.

Maybe that’s the intent behind the sudden breakup. For BJP it’s the start of 2019 election campaign. They are trying to minimize the stigma. Either that or the party has failed completely to convey it’s accomplishments in J&K. Many have already predicted and I agree to a large extent that 2019 will not be an easy task for BJP.

Opposition parties are coming together with nothing in common other than the desire to beat BJP. Grand opposition alliance, if it happens, would be as fragile and void of ideology as the BJP-PDP’s.

I am not one of those who dance at the failure of Modi Govt. I am just sad at the lost opportunity in J&K and losing opportunities nationwide.

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Written by arpitgarg

June 21, 2018 at 3:51 am

Posted in Political

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Are elections a myth? Curious case of Modi and Obama

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vote-1024x683.jpgIf you look back last 10 years, politicians across the globe have risen to power on the promise of change. Let’s take for example Obama in US and Modi in India. They both come from different ideologies (Left vs Right) but both won historic elections. While Obama became first African-American president of USA, Modi came to power with absolute majority after 30 years. Their elections were fueled by hope.

However much we admire the leaders, one cannot but feel a sense of underwhelm in their performances. Obama’s first term was hampered by the financial crises that was in the making from Clinton and Bush era. He never recovered from that. Most of the issues he ran for, he never got support from moderate democrats (even though his party was in majority in Congress as well as Senate), hence never able to implement his agenda completely. Not until late in his 2nd term when he started using Executive powers. Still he came to power with so much promise but left with little accomplishments.

Same goes for Modi. Although he has stemmed the flow of corruption in the Government. But there has been no substantive change in jobs, security and growth. People have gone scot free in 2G scam, which has put a big question mark on the Govt’s integrity. Call it political compulsions of continuous election cycle in India, he has but remain a pale shadow of himself. Demonetization failed to fulfill the political motives when 99% currency was returned to the banks. New financial scams and lack of improvement in law/order and judiciary has been a dampener for people who rid the Modi wave. With an year left in his term, he can no longer call himself a beacon of change.

Ever wondered why is this the case? Has our system become so rigid and pervasive that elections and regime change can’t make much difference? If we believe that intentions of Obama and Modi were good, it can be the only reasonable explanation. They both were the victim of the system that they intend to work with. Whatever change they promised was under duress to win the election, knowing fully well that they won’t be able to deliver on the tall promises.

I hope my depressing hypothesis is proven wrong. For it defeats the purpose of hope.

Written by arpitgarg

April 5, 2018 at 11:56 pm

Posted in Political

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Modi and Kejriwal: A fresh perspective

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kej_modi.jpegGiven that Kejriwal’s image has taken a beating over last few months, not many people would like to take his name in the same vein as Modi’s. This is a far cry from couple of years back. Kejriwal’s supporters have struggled to understand why he is hounded if AAP cozies up with SP and RJD, while Modi is given a free pass when he closes up with same SP and RJD.

Here is where a fresh perspective is required. Modi was chosen to govern by people fed up of policy paralysis. Nothing was moving and Modi promised governance. He never was a messiah of propriety. Unlike Kejriwal who fought on probity and anti-corruption. It was always about governance for one and corruption for the other.

Governance can’t be judged short term and is hard to quantify. Corruption on the other hand is nakedly visible. Hence Kejriwal’s infractions are amplified compared to Modi’s. Modi is not judged if he hugs Lalu or attends marriage at Mulayam’s. But if Kejriwal does the same he is rightly hounded. Similarly, Kejriwal would be given a free pass on governance if only if it were that simple to measure.

Five years of Modi will be up soon and people will start judging governance. Kejriwal can hope for a redemption if Modi slips on that front.

Written by arpitgarg

March 15, 2018 at 9:27 am

Posted in Political

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Why so much attrition in the White House?

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AR-170729920.jpgI am not writing this from a partisan point of view and must be read in that spirit. There have been too many resignations and replacements in current White House administration. Lot has been attributed to President Trump and his reality show mindset. I beg to differ.

In light of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson getting replaced today, let’s try and assess the situation. As per reports Tillerson and Trump didn’t agree on Iran deal. While Trumps’ position on the deal is well known, Tillerson had an opposite view. Similar was the case with handling North Korea. And herein lies the real reason.

Most of the people who have left the White House or have been let go, they differed with President on matters about which Presidents position was widely known. And these people while accepting the job very well knew the policies that Trump campaigned for. Either they misled the President when they accepted the job on their own position or they remained quiet. Or President never asked them clearly.

Maybe they thought Trump will be a typical politician who will throw the campaign promises under the bus once elected.

Maybe it’s the President’s credibility issue. His appointees see him as an opportunist who didn’t mean what he campaigned for. And that they can impose their own ideologies.

With time President Trump will get smart and will appoint people who believe in him and his agenda (Good/Bad/Ugly). Sooner done the better. For so much upheaval does not augur well for the leader of the First World.

Written by arpitgarg

March 14, 2018 at 4:25 am

Posted in Political

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Why Pakoda failed while Chai won

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pakoda_chaiRecent remarks by BJP leaders that Pakoda seller be considered employed caused a stir in political circles. Opposition thought it found its Chaiwallah moment. Ever since Mani Shanker Iyer made the infamous remarks against Modi and his chai seller origins, BJP has been milking the issue (no pun intended) to its maximum. Rather than a CM aspiring to be PM, Modi used the chaiwallah barb and turned into a tea-seller aspiring to be PM. Rest is history.

Opposition latched onto Pakoda remark and thought to stick it to the leading party. But they have failed miserably and how. The sad part is they are still trying pakoda politics, not realizing the failure of the issue. This brings me to the question, Why Pakoda politics failed but Chai politics won?

Well, the answer is very simple. Chaiwallah barb denigrated tea sellers. It meant that chaiwallas can just sell tea and can’t become PM. While with Pakoda remark, leading party in a bid to justify low employment numbers said pakoda sellers should also be considered employed. Opposition retorted by saying BJP is creating pakoda selling jobs. Hence in turn ended up denigrating Pakoda sellers.

Chai wallah remarks hurt the aspirations of tea sellers. Pakoda remarks gave respect to the Pakoda sellers. While the agitation against Pakoda remarks ended up insulting pakoda sellers with modest earnings.
Not every issue is milkable.

Written by arpitgarg

March 7, 2018 at 8:47 am

Posted in Political

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Maldives doing an Indira Gandhi

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prisionerReading today about the emergency declared in Maldives by President Abdulla Yameen was sort of a déjà vu. If you think back to 1970’s, India was a similar country and Indira was a similar leader. She also declared emergency amidst a war on judiciary.

There is a sense of oneness when it comes to such autocratic leaders. They portray themselves to be strong but also as a victim. They claim that world is against them, everyone is conspiring and they alone are standing strong. It’s only they who stand between the glory and the peril of the nation.

To this date sycophants justify the emergency using highly imaginative reasons. I recall one theory. But for emergency, western intelligence agencies would have run riot and destroyed India. We would have been left as a radical land just like our neighbors. To keep the ‘imaginary’ adversaries out, Indira had to declare emergency.

Yameen is doing/will do the same. Opposition and courts are in cahoots with foreign powers who want to destroy the nation. Only he alone can save Maldives and its population. What else is new?

Maldives is a strategic partner to India and given the emergence of highly active China, India is forced not to make too much noise on the developing situation there. Ethical thing is to criticize Yameen’s actions and work with other countries to bring back normalcy in the country. Given that China will then side with Yameen, India seems helpless.

Since we have our own checkered past, who are we to preach anyways?

Written by arpitgarg

February 9, 2018 at 12:43 am

Posted in Political

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The Man from Earth: Holocene: Movie Review

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oldmanWith great expectations, I sat to watch the sequel to 2007 movie, ‘The Man from Earth’. Popcorn and all arranged. The original movie has gone on to attain a cult status. A story of a man who is 14000 years old, who was Jesus, hung out with Buddha and what not. Story told in a fairly scientific manner with proper research. I had many expectations with the sequel.

However, I found the Holocene underwhelming to say the least. First of all, it didn’t add anything to the story. Seemed more like a filler. I understand low budget and all, but the story was missing. Even the first movie was made on 200k budget, but had a solid plot.
Holocene is built upon nothing. 4 students at Johns new college find out his true identity and then he slips away. Writers tried to add a bit of religious discussion to it, but nothing substantial. I so wish they would have left the movie alone and never created this sequel or whatever it was.

Post credit message suggested they want to take it forward as a TV series. But that is no justification to leave the only new plot mystery unexplained. Not only Oldman’s starting to age destroys the soul of the first movie, but not explaining the reasons behind was pure cheating.

If the idea was to explain it in next movie or TV series, it should have been introduced towards the end. You cannot open with him starting to age and then leave it a mystery after 90 mins.

Much as I admire the first movie, I have no feeling towards the sequel. I don’t love it, I don’t hate it. I love the character of John Oldman so much, I would have liked even a fan service movie. But this was not even that. This seemed to be a 90 mins long snooze fest which served God knows what purpose.

Written by arpitgarg

January 27, 2018 at 6:37 am

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