ArpitGarg's Weblog

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Posts Tagged ‘modi

The Era of Right Wing Populists

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trump_modi.jpgSometime back I called the current decade as the decade of right wing, across the globe. From Japan to India to US. But I would like to add a bit to my stance. It’s the era of right wing populists. Normally right wing politicians are known for fiscal control and anti-populism. The current crop of leaders from Abe to Modi to Trump are from right wing parties but the leaders themselves are populists. This mix of right wing and populism has lefts and liberals in a lurch.

What is to come in future is something to be seen, but I see some good at present. They are beyond the classical mold of right or left. Their parties are right but they themselves have no clear ideologies. They all like claps from the audience, hence populists. They shed the hardline approach of their parties and tread a middle path.

What this has done is broken the barriers. For long politicians in democracies has reaped benefits of a divided electorate. Liberals and Conservatives in US, Nationalists and Seculars in India. Political class likes to keep the people divided in these artificial silos. This fight helps them get elected over and ove. Due to this the Gandhi dynasty in India has prospered and so did Bush/Clinton dynasties in the West.

Modi and Trump, controversial figures in themselves have made people realize this division and how political class has benefitted from it. Don’t get me wrong, in destroying these old barriers, they have created their own. Hindus/Muslims in India to Black/Whites in US. We will have to wait and watch how it evolves.

Next question is, how does the right wing populism pan out. These leaders, since hard liners are able to take decisions which liberal/secular Govt. would never have taken. Currency ban in India to potential poll promises of Trump. In a sense right wing populists are able to take tough decisions. And it’s the decisiveness that people cherishes in them. In itself these leaders are tainted. But in toto they do what none dares.

As with other things, the effects of this right wing populist wave will be evident 10-15 years down the line. Maybe good, maybe bad. Currently we are in a transition era which comes once in a lifetime.


Written by arpitgarg

November 25, 2016 at 5:24 pm

Posted in Political

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500/1000: A Modi political master stroke

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modi_1000_500.jpgA lot of us would be discussing the unprecedented move in recent Indian politics. I was born in mid 80’s and have not been witness to a full majority PM. Now I know what decisions look like when majority Govt is in power.

I would like to discuss the political aspect of Modi’s move to illegalize 500/100 currency notes. There are profound economic and social aspects too, but will discuss those some other time. Of late Modi was being questioned about 15lac rupees he promised to put in every citizens account. Given the man of high integrity that Modi has created his persona on, it was becoming embarrassing for him and his party. ‘Jumla’ excuse was falling short.

What Modi has done to answer all of the criticism is affirmative action. It’s not that Modi never took steps previously to curb black money. Jan-Dhan, Direct Debit, Income declaration, were some of the steps he took. But they were not that perceptible to general public, who voted for Modi in huge numbers in 2014. This current decision will be perceptible to all and sundry. Most of the voters will have to go to the bank to exchange old 500/1000 note. All of us will know that Modi has done something regarding black money. It is a perceptible action. No more talk of 15lac.

Hence I call it a political master stroke. With the Trump win today, the bull run of outsiders continues unabated, resulting in such out of the box decisions.

I personally feel that Govt. will recover much more than the 15lac per person that Modi promised. By the time the dust settles on 31st Dec, even a 10% non-return of currency notes, leads to huge profits for the Govt. Each note not returned due to it being black money, means that much earning for the Govt. I would like to see RBI calculations in Jan. Knowing Modi, we know those figures will for sure be made public.

Modi was given a presidential mandate, and his performance equals that.

Written by arpitgarg

November 9, 2016 at 3:54 pm

Posted in Political

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Kejriwal and Modi: Drama Queens or Geniuses?

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Kejriwal MOdi awkward handshake.jpgRecently Kejriwal claimed that BJP and Modi are conspiring to eliminate him. Felt déjà vu to me. A lot of leaders when in opposition have claimed the same against the Govt of the day. One of the most prominent politicians to do it was Narendra Modi. Now I see Kejriwal doing the same. People called Modi Drama Queen then; people call Kejriwal Drama Queen now. What is the truth?

I don’t agree they are Drama Queens, I believe they are sheer Genius. One of the best ways to gain public support and energize your supporters is to play the victim card. “I am working for you so they are trying to kill me”. The motive is to make other side look dirty. Believe me it works; Modi as PM and Kejriwal as CM are shining example of the same.

Feb 20 2014: Congress keeps looking for chances to kill me: Modi

Jul 27 2016: Arvind Kejriwal says PM Narendra Modi may try to get him killed

I remember Mayawati, Mulayam Singh, Jayalalita, Mamta Banerjee and most of the regional leaders have made this claim some time or the other. Below are few references to the same. You can find a lot more on web.

19 June 2013: Mamata Banerjee alleges CPM-Maoist plot to kill her

Aug 7 2004: SP conspiring to kill me: Mayawati

Jan 10 2008: Mayawati plots to kill Mulayam, alleges Amar Singh

Oct 31 2008: Jayalalitha claims ‘murderous attack’

Written by arpitgarg

July 29, 2016 at 4:00 pm

Posted in Political

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Useless Napping debate

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parliament_sleeping.jpgLet’s agree on one thing, it’s not just the media, we all like controversies. Media likes it earn money, we like it for discussion and time pass. What else can explain why we have been discussing “Rahul Gandhi Napping” for last few days, when there are other pressing matters at hand.

I condemn people who create and propagate such worthless controversies. And paid accounts that flood social media with such bull crap. This takes away from the real issues and move towards absurdity. While we should be holding Rahul Gandhi accountable for the plight of Amethi or the disintegration of Congress party, we are stuck with this silly debate. That too a spilt mode pic.

Each and every politician will have a similar split second picture where he or she looks napping. Maybe he is, maybe he is not. The point is that discussion itself is useless. Mere slander. Also it takes the lime light away from serious and real issues.

I did a simple google and found out the collection of similar pics for the many leaders across party lines. Maybe they were napping. Or were just deeply in thought. Who cares. We should debate serious issues and leave the Parliament aside with such trivialities.

Written by arpitgarg

July 21, 2016 at 3:27 pm

Arnab interviewed PM: Others Journalists please accept with humility

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journalist.jpgEver since Arnab’s interview with PM aired, a lot of journalists are running scorned. Why Arnab, why not us, is their question. “Oh he was soft as butter”, one of them said. Others, who are not saying it so openly, are shooting from behind the cloak. “Arnab is PM’s spokesperson” to “Arnab sold himself” are other things I heard. My only request would be, please accept with humility. It’s not PM’s problem if we have 100 news channels today. He picked the English News channel with highest TRP to reach out to maximum people. Simple!

I remember a famous Hindi Channel Journalist ran blank screen to protest against Arnab’s diatribe once. It amazed me then. It amazes me now. If Arnab didn’t have the TRP’s on his side, the same journalist would not have protested then, others like him would not have been scorned now. It’s not the interview or Arnab they are miffed about; it’s about the TRP’s, the advt. revenue they are worried about. They suspect falling TRP’s for their own shows, which in turn amounts to less bonus and eventual cut in pay. I hope they be honest and admit this. If/when they admit this fact; I wouldn’t have anything against them. I have issue with their double speak and their hypocrisy.

Be honest; say that we are only scorned due to surging TRP of Arnab’s show and eyeballs that he gets. I had a lot of respect for ‘blank screen’ journalist, but since that episode, how the mighty has fallen. It’s PM’s prerogative whom to give interview to. Accept this with humility. In fact I would go a step further, had Manmohan given an interview to Arnab say 3-4 years back, there would not have been this hue and cry. Can you guess why? Simple, Manmohan couldn’t have brought so much TRP and eyeballs. Modi brings with him, the TRP’s and advt. revenue and hence the diatribe.

Sore losers are never respected.

Written by arpitgarg

June 30, 2016 at 1:02 pm

Posted in Media

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Arnab Goswami is de-facto lead journalist now

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arnabgoswami.jpgI have been open about my views on Arnab Goswami. I hate his over the top approach which is driven by TRP’s rather than ideology. That he has taken yellow journalism to its darkest shade is something which I don’t like. But what I admire about him is he is not biased and caged by his political leanings. For him TRP’s come first, rest all is second. Hence he remains equally harsh on all political parties and leaders, unlike other well known journalists who are shamelessly biased towards Congress or BJP or Left.

I believed he was journalist in an English News Channel, which has limited audience in India and hence does not represent the popular view. For me he represented the view which urban elites liked to hear and hence provide TRP’s. Well let me admit I was right and I was wrong. I was right in saying he has urban elites as his audience, but what I failed to grasp was, these very people are the ones that define policies. His audience comprises of top notch of society. Judges, Doctors, Engineers, Teachers. His audience comprises of influential people, who lead the society.

When I say Arnab has a small audience, I mean in number as compared to 130 cr population. In comparison to other English News channels, his audience is obviously more.

Couple of incidents happened that made me realize the import of what Arnab and his audience represents. A judge recently appointed a lawyer to a case after he saw that lawyer in a Panel discussion on Newshour. How I came to know was, that same lawyer thanked Arnab for inviting him and getting him noticed. He did that on live TV during a subsequent discussion.

The next major thing was Narendra Modi interview. That an astute politician like Modi decided to give his first Indian interview as PM to Arnab speaks volumes of the strength of Arnab’s audience. The audience which is less in number but lists the Who’s who of Indian society. Arnab is right when he says he sets Nations News Agenda on Newshour. Everyone else just plays catch up.

For most elites of Mumbai/Delhi, news is what happens 9-11 PM on TimesNow. Arnab is the pied piper of urban India.

Written by arpitgarg

June 28, 2016 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Media

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What Kejriwal is doing wrong and Modi is doing right

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Yesterday I was reading writeups by two of my friends on ‘Describe yourself’ and suddenly it came to me. The difference between Modi and Kejriwal. What Modi is doing  right and Kejriwal is doing wrong.

The difference is showing level of maturity. I have long stopped believing that politicians do/say things because of ideologies. I believe that every politician do/say things what he/she think will look better to the electorate. This is what Modi, Kejriwal or for that matter any politician does. And I don’t have any issues with that.

Modi is PM now and has control of Central Govt. What he says today is different from what he used to say in 2014 election rallies. Earlier he was not PM but a desperate contender. He did what he had to do to win. Same with Kejriwal. Even now whenever there are state elections Modi switches to election mode. The issue with Kejriwal is apart from Delhi he does not have anything. He is desperate to win Punjab. So he is in election mode all the time.

His approach towards election is to point out the failures of other contenders, which is understandable. But where he is lacking is how he takles Delhi. There is no doubt that Central Govt is not letting him function but then why should they? They have Constitutional powers and are using them. Initially when Kejriwal berated Modi for not letting Delhi work, we had some sympathy. But same thing repeated again and again started sounding boring. He has started sounding less mature and repetetive.

He has to solve the issues himself. Either go to court or get some political accumen. Don’t come crying to public every other day. If court can’t also help you then function within the realms of reality or try something else. Modi asked for vote in 2014 berating Gandhi, Vadra, Lalu, Mulayam and others. He did the same in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand. When he did that in Bihar too, people had had enough. He course corrected in Assam and results were there for everyone to see.

I feel the cries have gone one for long now. You saw the support dwindling in MCD by-elections. It’s time now to spread positive publicity by your good actions. Take the public welfare to next level and let people compare facilties in Delhi with that in their own state. If you continue to choose crying path, you have the right, but you would be going in wrong direction. The support would dwindle. If you still wan’t to point out the BJP negatives, let your surrogates do it. Don’t do the dirty deed yourself. It takes away from your personal positives.

I would like you to learn from Modi in this regard. After the bad PR of his high profile foreign visits, Madisson Square or drum beats, he has made his travels low key affairs. He has let state units fight state elections after Bihar fiasco. He didn’t even put Vadra or Pawar behind bars as he needs Rajya Sabha support. You also have to find other ways to function even if Central Govt is not letting you to function. Preempt the repurcussions rather than come crying to public. We have only so much tissues to offer.

Written by arpitgarg

June 26, 2016 at 6:52 pm

Posted in Political

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