On the Canmpaign Trail-5: Journey from Karnavati to Varanasi

After the Gujarat election concluded on April 23, where I had the privilege to campaign in Junagadh district and partly in Karnavati (Amdavad), my calling was for Uttar Pradesh.

I reached Varanasi almost at midnight on the 29th, flying to Lucknow early in the morning and then taking a train to Varanasi which took 10.5 hours instead of scheduled eight hours. Why I had to go though Lucknow is another story.

i had very warm welcome and assistance in Lucknow from Nishant Mishra, a young volunteer of Ekal Vidyalaya. He accompanied me from the airport to the railway stationed and stayed with me till I boarded the train (Ganga-Sutlej Express).

Lucknow Railway Station⬇️⬇️⬇️


With Nishant Mishra at Lucknow railway station

My ticket was purchased at a very short notice by another Ekal Vidyalaya adhikari- Ramchandra Ji. Such is the power of bonding of selfless organizations that draw inspiration from Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sanmgh (RSS.)

NEXT: First Day of Campaigning in Varanasi

If Trump shot Michael Cohen in broad daylight, here’s what Republicans would say…


It is hilarious except that if these were to happen these would be the reactions of Trump’s enablers.


Making America Great Again, One Conviction at a Time

August 21, 2018, will go down in the history of the USA as the beginning of the slow but sure end of Donald Trump. A day when his former campaign manager Pual Manafort was convicted on eight counts (five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failure to disclose a foreign bank account,) which together carry a long prison sentence.  As if that was not enough of a bad news for Mr. Trump, his personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations. In doing so, he revealed that he had made hush payments to a porn star and a former Playboy Playmate on instructions of Donald Trump, a clear violation of campaign laws. Special Counsel Robert Mueller III who has worked diligently and silently in spite of repeated and willful insults and provocation by Donald Trump deserves the gratitude of American people. Fact that he has secured five guilty pleas, 32 indicted individuals, 187 charges revealing evidence of Russia’s 2016 attack on our democracy, puts to rest Mr. Trump’s constant refrain of a witch hunt.

From today, the army of liars and crooks like Rudy Guliani, Chris Christie, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, the Fox News, and Donald Trump himself will go to town spinning this bad news, explaining how this doesn’t affect Trump. Spineless leaders like Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan will utter the same nonsense as before and in essence declare their full support to “our” President.  40% of the voters, mostly Christian rights, Evangelists, gun-toting rednecks and White supremacist racists will rile against the justice system since they have been on ‘Trump can do no wrong’ dope for too long. Even many Hindu NRIs will still support him, mainly because, he is anti-Muslim.

Yet the fact remains that Mr. Trump is on a downward slide from where there is no turning back. I have lived through Nixon and Watergate times and Nixon who had won the second term and seemed invincible was fell by his own hubris. Mark my words- Trump’s end will be the same, though he will not leave without being dragged kicking and screaming.  America is in for a rough patch ahead but at least, the constitution is still intact and the judiciary is independent.   Stay tuned.

The title of this blog, Making America Great Again – One Conviction at a Time is courtesy of a comment in the New York Times by Louis from CT.

India Abroad Newspaper Owes an Apology

The Report “Rebel attack leaves eight dead in Indian Kashmir” in India Aboard (January 1, 2918) uses the phrase  “Indian Kashmir”  in the headline and then goes on to say “Indian-administered Kashmir”.  It says, “Kashmir was divided between rivals India and Pakistan at the end of British colonial rule over the subcontinent in 1947.” All these are factually incorrect and should not have a place in a newspaper owned by NRIs and one that claims to represent Indians Abroad.  have you heard of American Kansas or USA -administered Texas?  Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India and one of its 29 states. Kashmir was never divided between India and Pakistan as this report claims. That Pakistan is illegally occupying parts of Kashmir is entirely different matter. Indian Parliament has categorically resolved that the whole of Kashmir including the Pakistan Occupied territory is part of India.  India Aboard shouldn’t blindly reproduce reports from foreign Press agencies which are inaccurate and patently mischievous. India Abroad should make its position clear on the status of Jammu & Kashmir as an integral part of India and print a correction.  India Abroad owes its readers and all Indians an apology.

Gaurang G. Vaishnav

Edison, NJ, USA


मधर्स डे- दुसरो को नीचा दिखाने से आप महान नहीं बन सकते।

A post circulating in Bharat about Mother’s Day and my response.  – Gaurang Vaishnav

विदेशो में एक महिला 2 या तीन शादी करती है और पुरुष भी। इसलिए उनकी संताने 14 पंद्रह साल के होने के बाद अलग रहने लगते हैऔर उनके जैविकमाता पिता अपनी अपनी अलग अलग जिंदगी जीते है।इसलिए बच्चे साल में एक बार अपने माता या पिता से मिलने जाते है क्यों कि
उनके माता पिता तो साथ रहते * *नहीं है इसलिए माता को मिलने का अलग दिन निर्धरित किया है *और उसी तरह पिता से मिलने का अलग दिन।
जो मदर्स डे और फादर्स डे के नाम से जाने जाते है।
भारत में हम बच्चे अपने माता और पिता के साथ ही रहते है और वो दोनों भी पूरी जिंदगी अपने बच्चों के साथ रहते है।
इसलिये यहाँ हर दिन माता पिता का है।

उन्हें साल के एक दिन की जरुरत नहीं है।
माँ को याद करने के लिए किसी “मदर डे” की जरुरत नहीं , हिन्दू धर्म में तो माँ के कदमो में ही स्वर्ग बताया गया है।
यह मदर डे के चोचले तो उनके लिए है जो साल में एक बार अपनी माँ को याद करने का बहाना।



दुसरो को नीचा दिखाने से आप महान नहीं बन सकते।
यह बात इतनी सरल नहीं है जैसे की इस पोस्ट में बताया गया है| पश्चिम में हर व्यक्ति एक से ज्यादा बार विवाह नहीं करता| संतान भी उच्च महाविद्यालय का शिक्षण संपूर्ण होने पर ही अपना घर बनाते है; जो संतान उच्च महाविद्यालय नहीं जाते, वो आजीविका का प्रबंध होने के बाद ही विभक्त होते हैं| यह एक सम्पूर्णत: मुर्ख निवेदन है की Mother’s Day और Father’s Day पर ही संतान अपने माता या पिता को मिलने जाते है| औसत: विवाह होने के पश्चात भी संतान और उनका कुंटुंब माँ-बाप को मिलने के लिए समय समय पर आते ही रहते हैं| कई घरो में संतान विभक्त होने के बाद भी उनका शयन कक्ष उनके लिए ही आरक्षित रखा जाता है और जब भी वो घर आते है तब उनका निवास वही होता है| मैं ऐसे परिवारों को जानता हूँ जहां वृद्ध या अपंग माता/पिता की सेवा के लिये पुत्री अविवाहित रही हो|
यह बात नहीं कि यहाँ के समाज में कौटुंबिक समस्या नहीं हैं| यहाँ की समस्याऐं भारत की तुलना में अधिक गंभीर है पर हमारे समाज का समाधान हम उन पर थोप नहीं सकते क्योंकि दोनों समाज की अवधारणा में मुलत: भिन्नता है| पश्चिम का समाज अधिकाधिक व्यक्ति-स्वातंत्र्य को महत्व देता है और पूर्व की संस्कृति संयुक्त कुंटुंब को प्राधान्य देता है जिस में व्यक्ति-स्वातंत्र्य को गौण माना गया है|
अमेरिका में ४६ वर्ष के निवास के पश्चात मैं इतना शीखा हुं कि कोई भी समाज व्यवस्था से परे रह कर या उसे जिये बिना उसके लिये सामान्यीकरण (generalization) करना नितांत बालोचित (childish) है| 
मुझे बड़ा दुःख होता है जब मैं यह देखता हूँ कि बहुधा हमारा समाज अन्य देश, अन्य धर्म या अन्य समाज व्यवस्था को किसी माहिती या अभ्यास और चितन के बिना ही नीचा दिखाने मैं विकृत आनंद लेता है और ऐसा करने से ही भारत की सर्वश्रेष्ठता प्रतिपादित हो जाती है ऐसे भ्रम में राचते है|  
यह सच बात है की भारत को पश्चिम के रीत रिवाज और उत्सव-दिनो को अंधतापूर्वक अनुकरण करने की कोई आवश्यकता नहीं है पर यह भी कटु सत्य है कि  social media में भारत के और हिन्दू संस्कृति के अथाग गुणगान होने के  पश्चात भी लाखो माँ-बाप या तो वृद्धाश्रम में है या उनके संतान उनके क्षेमकुशल की चिंता नहीं करते|  
वैश्विकरण की विपरीत असर तो हो के ही रहेगी| यह हमारा दुर्भाग्य है की हम अभी भी पश्चिम से अनुशाशन, समय का सन्मान, वाहन चलाने में आत्मसंयम, ग्राहक के प्रति संवेदना, स्वछता, अन्य की असुविधा का विचार, मातृभाषा का गौरव और दैनिक व्यवहार में उपयोग,एक राष्ट्र भावना, लोकशाही का संवर्धन आदि अच्छे गुण हमारे वैयक्तिक और सामाजिक जीवन में आत्मसात करना नहीं चाहते हैं पर कॉलेज डे, चोकोलेट डे, रोज़ डे, वेलेंटाइन डे, मर्स डे, फाधर्स  डे, सांता क्लॉस, क्रिस्टमस और आंग्ल नव वर्ष का उत्सव, विवाह के पहले ही कौमार्यभंग, समलैंगिकता, नशीले पदार्थों का सेवन, इत्यादि को बिना सोचे समझे अपना रहे हैं और इस में गौरव भी लेते है|  अस्तु! 
गौरांग वैष्णव 

Trumpy at the Bat by Socrates


This poem appeared as a comment on New York Times’ Editorial  
The TrumpRyanCare Debacle  on March 24, 2017

Socrates is a trusted commenter Verona NJ

Trumpy at the Bat

From ten thousand Fake News hamlets there rose a lusty yell;
it rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
it knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
for Trumpy, mighty Trumpy, was advancing to the bat.Ten million angry eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands in slogans;
five million tongues applauded when he shouted ‘repeal Obamacare’.
Then while the pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
defiance gleamed in Trumpy’s eye, a sneer curled Trumpy’s lip.And now the Obamacare ball came hurtling through the air,
and Trumpy stood watching it in his detail-free universe.
As the sturdy batsman stood still in stupidity.
“That ain’t my style,” said Trumpy. “Strike one,” the umpire said.With a smile of fake Christian charity Trumpy’s pumpkined visage shone;
he signaled to the pitcher, and once more Obamacare sailed;
but Trumpy still ignored it, and the umpire said: “Strike two.”

“Repeal Obamacare!” cried the maddened misanthropes,
As the sneer faded from Trumpy’s lips, his teeth now clenched in hate;
he pounds his empty head upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball and he lets it go,
and now the air is shattered by the force of Trumpy’s trumpery.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
the sick are tended, and healthcare rights are safe again,
and somewhere an average American can see a doctor again.
American humanity is restored again,
but there is no joy in Trumpville — for mighty Trumpy has struck out.

Ujjal Dosanjh: Dear Donald Trump, you are an illegitimate President-elect;


Dear Donald Trump, you are an illegitimate President-elect; you will be a less than legitimate President

By Ujal Dosanjh

(Dosanjh is former Premier of British Columbia, and former Canadian Minister of Health.)

Dear Donald, you and your surrogates have been noxiously complaining that the US Democrats are raising the bogey of Russian hacking into the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to delegitimise your electoral victory and undermine your presidency. I am a citizen of the increasingly smaller world: A Canadian citizen; and by heritage an Indian of India. I am baffled how one undermines something already illegitimate. I thought I should let you know well before your swearing in that as far as many Americans and people across the world are concerned your Presidency is void ab initio. You are an illegitimate President-Elect; and you will be an illegitimate President. Stop complaining about it. Just grin and bear it.

And you may ask why?

Where do you want me to start?

For beginners, as one who had sought to undermine the Presidency of a duly elected Barack Obama by leading the most disgusting chorus of the Birther Lie against the first black president in the history of the USA, you don’t deserve to be the President, and that too as the standard bearer of the party of the slayer and abolisher of slavery, Abraham Lincoln.

You campaigned on “draining the swamp” of the rich and powerful in Washington. That appears to have been another one of your grotesque lies because your proposed cabinet is full of billionaires and multimillionaires quite at home, and used to swimming, in the swamp of which they are an integral part.

Your electoral college victory was founded upon a campaign of hate and racism against Muslims and Mexicans that appealed to the latent racism of quite a significant section of white Americans still undoubtedly harbouring racism, fear of the other and economic anxieties afflicting them leading them to buy your snake oil of how everything will be fine when you ban all Muslims from entering the country, set up a mandatory registry for American Muslims, instantly deport 11 million Mexicans from the USA back into Mexico and build a wall on the border with Mexico. You lied to the American people that you will make Mexico pay for the wall which you are now asking Americans to pay for. And we are happy that it will be less than a wall; but still another lie.

To make matters worse you have told scores of other monstrous, consequential and inconsequential lies in your lifetime and in the campaign. So much so that it compelled James Warren writing in Vanity Fair to label you “the least honest politician alive”. And even after getting elected you haven’t stopped lengthening the already too long a screed of lies.
I confess Hillary Clinton was not the greatest opponent you could have faced. She had excessive baggage from years of being in the public and political domains: the history the Clinton Foundation, her own emails from her time as Secretary of State and much more. According to the report of the US intelligence, in came the Russians with the clear intent to sow distrust in the US election process, hurt the Clinton candidacy and help yours, their preferred candidate. The Russians hacked the DNC and other Clinton related emails and conspired with the Wikileaks to strategically release such materials during the campaign. The drip-drip of the Russian hacked and Wikileaks released material effectively damaged Clinton’s chances of beating you; Russia put its thumb on the scale to help you, their favourite candidate; you became Russia’s “Manchurian” candidate. Russia didn’t interfere with the voting machines or the tallying of the votes. But it certainly did interfere with and influence the election in your favour. With Russia’s clear and covert help, you defeated Clinton.

There are as yet unsubstantiated claims that the Russians possess a dossier of compromising personal and other information on you with which, if true, you could be subject to blackmail endangering the national security of the United States of America. The intelligence chiefs felt the information, though unproven, was germane enough to their duty to protect USA and its government that they briefed President Obama and you on it. The briefing material was leaked but according to the intelligence chiefs not by them or their organisations. You had a hissy fit during what the Guardian described as a train wreck of a press conference, and compared your intelligence chiefs to the Nazis. Such irresponsible conduct is more proof that you aren’t fit to be the President of the most powerful country on earth.

Mind you, Russia isn’t unique in the world in trying to subvert other nation’s politics and governments. American governments have been no international angels. They have encouraged countless coups and revolts and interfered in elections all over the world. The government s your country helped come to power in other countries were equally illegitimate, be it the Shah of Iran, Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines or Augusto Pinochet in Chile.

Russian interference and influence in the US election in your favour, more than the lies and hate you spewed, has certainly meant the demise of your presidency’s legitimacy at its very beginning. Your campaign of lies, hate and racism along with the well documented help you received from the Russians in damaging your opponent has made yours an illegitimate presidency.

But you, your supporters and surrogates argue the fact that you have been elected should be the end of discussion; perhaps so, particularly because the American electorate has never been considered to be well informed and aware anyway. As the late Gore Vidal once lamented, “Half of the Americans have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half”.

So the world is the poorer for having to live with your less than legitimate Presidency. Do us a favour: Just grin and bear it.

The views expressed by the author are personal. Dosanjh is former Premier of British Columbia, and former Canadian Minister of Health.



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