ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Posts Tagged ‘politics

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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Political Discussion: Something people are avoiding

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avoidGiven that open discussion is the essence of democracy, it’s scary to find that people today avoid discussing about politics. I found it at the college campus at least. Given the polarized times we live in, it’s hardly surprising. Lack of discourse is something that makes the election results seem surprising and makes the society even more polarized.

It is the cardinal rule of human emotions, if we keep things pent up inside, they tend to blow up sooner or later. Same goes with discussion about politics.

Society has become so fractured that people have started living in their own silos. Everyone think his/her own beliefs are the absolute fact and others are wrong. For example, let’s compare a Hillary and a Trump supporter. There is so much hatred for each other that real issues and need for discussion goes out of the window.

Hillary is the evil or Trump is the devil. It’s either or with nothing in between. If we think rationally, we would realize it’s not practically possible. Each person Hillary or Trump will have mixed personality, some good, some bad with shades of grey.

But given the broken communications and deep hatred, no one is ready to discuss the details. People are only concerned about the headlines, which are binary. What newspaper you read, will decide what news you get. If you read CNN, you would feel that Trump is an abomination. If you watch Fox news, Hillary is the personification of Satan.

If the media is so polarized, then what would you expect of the common folks? It’s time for some open and honest discussion to make democracy strong. If Trump does something wrong, call him out and do the same with Clinton. If they do something good, that must be acknowledged too.

To begin with, people should boycott biased media such as CNN and Fox. Once they lose eyeballs, they lose everything. If we aim for balanced news, they discourse will become balanced.

Else the democracy is in peril and it is because we are running away from discussion.

Written by arpitgarg

January 19, 2018 at 3:16 am

Posted in Media, Political

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चुनावी हवा

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चुनावी हवा कुछ ऐसी चली पिछले दिनों,
जनता ने पूछा कि कहाँ गया विकास,
तुमको देना होगा २२ साल का हिसाब,
ये सुन, झांके बगलें, ढूंढें जुमला साहब|

चुनावी हवा कुछ ऐसी चली पिछले दिनों,
जनेऊ पहन मंदिर जाने की लगी दौड़,
तिलक लगा के शहर भर में छा गया,
हो जाओ बगल, नया पुजारी आ गया|

चुनावी हवा कुछ ऐसी चली पिछले दिनों,
चौबेजी बनने चले जो, छब्बे भी न बन पाए,
हुंकार जो मिलकर बोली आंदोलन की,
सत्ता के विष ने, सबको जा लीला|

चुनावी हवा कुछ ऐसी चली पिछले दिनों,
क्या चाचा भतीजा, क्या बेटा क्या बाप,
अपना सुख नापें, सब आपों आप,
हाथ किसी के न आया कुछ भी|

चुनावी हवा कुछ ऐसी चली पिछले दिनों,
वादा था, सब घोटालेबाज जाएंगे जेल,
पर शब्दों का मोल सत्ता ने हल्का नापा,
सब एक ही है परिवार, बच्चे मम्मी पापा|

चुनावी हवा कुछ ऐसी चली पिछले दिनों,
जितना कर लो विश्वास, टूटना ही है आखिर,
सत्ता के सब भूखे हैं, आत्मा से सब सूखे हैं,
है रीत पुरानी सदियों से, क्यूँ रोये तू||


Written by arpitgarg

January 12, 2018 at 6:28 am

Posted in Hindi, Poetry, Political

Tagged with , ,

Presidential Polls: Congress still stuck in dynasty

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dynasty.jpgNot to take anything away from Meira Kumar, but the choice of her candidature shows Congress and the entire opposition is still stuck in Dynastic era. They fail to understand that hatred against dynastic politicians among common man has been one of the major reasons for Modi’s rise and Congress’s fall. It’s not that the opposition can’t find any first generation leader, it’s that they don’t want to. The cabal is so naturalised and deep-rooted that if any of such leaders read this article, they wouldn’t be able to understand what the fuss is all about!

Since the poor were kept poor for far too long, the poor now revolted. How long would they have waited for prosperity from family politicians? Family identity, which used to be a boon in politics, has slowly become the bane. The surnames have become synonymous with loot and plunder and Swiss bank accounts. “Dekho aa gaya chor aur chor ka poora khandaan!”

Politicians that were born out of Emergency, Mandal and other such movements, abandoned the movement and hence the dearth of next generation leaders in their parties. They have only their offspring to fall to. It’s ironical since 20-30 years ago, those very politicians used to badmouth Congress as a dynasty.

I had some hopes from AAP to emerge as a national opposition alternative, to keep the checks and balances of democracy, but those hopes don’t seem to materialise anytime soon. Not that it is BJP’s or Modi’s doing, but a weak opposition is never good for a democracy.


Written by arpitgarg

July 1, 2017 at 1:56 am

Posted in Political

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JNU: No To Politics but Yes to Dissent

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sedition.jpgI have been very vocal against politics and strikes in Colleges and Universities across India. Specially when they are being subsidized by the taxpayers. Education and not politics should be mantra in Campus. If education is hampered, it erodes the nation building.

There are a lot of ways to control politics. Student body elections can be abolished. If not, then students getting only Top 1% marks should be allowed to contest student body elections. This will incentivize students to study more, if they want to run for elections. And there are numerous methods by which politics in Colleges can be controlled so that Education stays Supreme.

At the same time, I am also an advocate for dissent at Colleges, if students do not cause physical harm to anyone. What has become of JNU over the years is a mockery of Education. But there is a reason why Police do not enter Colleges and College authorities are the first responders and adjudicator for most issues.

College is a place where most students are developing their identities and gathering their beliefs. College years are the formative years when students search for what they want to be. Students decide what they want to become in life, they decide their political ideology, they decide which economic school of thought they want to follow etc. Students become part of heated debates; dissents etc. to open up their thoughts, get 360 degree view and enhance their understanding in life.

If students at JNU were in touch with sleeper cells or Hafeez Saeed then it is one thing, but the anti-national slogans by students does not mean sedition. They are coming to know of most things that were not known to them. They are understanding the concept of nation, democracy and many are struggling to decide what they believe in. It is an internal upheaval which they are going through. Do I support anti-India slogan. No. But I don’t think it should be sedition for students. To disagree with the Democracy, Constitution and our Nation is also a democratic right. More so for students for whom these are years to explore these concepts.

If there is a proof that students were colluding with terrorists, please take action and put them behind bars. But if it’s a case of slogans and dissent, I would rather say no to police action. Our constitution of which I am great believer, allows us the right not to have faith in it. Not having faith is not akin to committing a crime. Anti-national slogans should not be akin to sedition. Not at least at College Campuses.

Suppressing the peaceful dissent is akin to saying we live in a perfect world with no room for improvement. It’s akin to destroying the space for discourse.


Written by arpitgarg

February 16, 2016 at 5:46 pm

What is happening at JNU is not education

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Students-College-And-Politics.jpgWhat is happening at JNU is not education. Students are being exploited for political gains. Students with political ambitions and teachers with an agenda, are destroying this temple of education.

I don’t remember any political activity happening in my college, leave aside such anti-national rallies. I remember once a pro-swadeshi speaker addressed a talk and the organizer students were cautioned soon after that no such things will be tolerated in the college. I was angst then but now I understand the importance of that reprimand.

I think its time to take a stand. What should the colleges stand for in our nation? Should they be the research wagons taking India forward or should they be ring of political slugfest. It saddens me to say that I see no solution to this epidemic. This situation is going to go grave.

Democracy which was meant to bring power to the people, hasn’t served its purpose. Not just in India but across. What it has done is progress such illicit activities by people wanting to gain power for themselves. Let’s not be too naive to fail to see this is all to win elections one way or the other by all and sundry.

Rule of law has become just an after thought amidst all this conundrum. We can only hope this goes away. However I highly suspect that.


Written by arpitgarg

February 12, 2016 at 1:50 pm

Posted in Political

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Population Explosion: Root cause for intolerance

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population.jpgThis is a clear case of looking at the wrong place. Right wing extremist ideology was blamed for intolerance by self proclaimed liberals and leftists. Then these liberals and leftists themselves went overboard and came out as more intolerant. People kept hurling abuses at each other amidst a polarized atmosphere. But what is the real reason?

Well, the reason behind such confrontations is the population explosion. The root cause! Imagine if India had population of say 2-3 crore. Everyone was wealthy with lots of food, good education and what not. Would we have seen such issues? I think No!

People want more attention and larger piece of the pie. Hardly anyone wants to do social service. Everyone has an agenda. There is no other fight other than the fight for more resources.

The biggest act of intolerance people commit is denying food/house/respect to the poor. But since poor have no voice, there is no talk about these intolerance’s. Instead we see people with full stomach crying from their rooftops that no one respects them anymore, no one likes them anymore. People evoking controversial issues on facebook/twitter and then crying wolf when trolled by equally useless full-stomach people.

We are sick and tired of all this. If you want to help, give all your money to poor. And then we can talk. But I know you will not as I for one will not. I am too selfish. I might cry intolerance to get more attention and bigger piece of the pie. And I will be a hypocrite and not admit it. Even the trolls opposing these cry babies are the same. They hate to see others trying to hog limelight and thus berate them.

Mind you they also do nothing for the problems that ails our country. Just sit in an AC room, eating popcorn, on their macbook and tweet tweet tweet, as I am doing right now. And I can tell you why they like it.


Written by arpitgarg

February 5, 2016 at 2:00 pm

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