Daily Archives: June 6, 2011

IAIF CONDEMNS FORCEFUL EVICTION AND ARREST OF BABA RAMDEV AND TORTURE OF PEACEFUL PROTESTERS IN DELHI

INDIAN AMERICAN INTELLECTUALS FORUM
Tel: (718) 478-5735/(718) 271-0453
Katarian@aol.com

Narain Kataria in New York

PRESS RELEASE:
ndian Americans are deeply disturbed and shocked at the forceful eviction/arrest of Baba Ram Dev and attack by 5000 policemen on thousands of peaceful Indian citizens in Delhi. They consider it a dangerous attack on democratic setup in India.

Baba Ramdev’s intent behind this movement is to bring back approximately 9 trillion dollars stolen from poor Indians and stashed in foreign countries; and he is determined to reverse this awful trajectory.

The petulant arguments advanced by the corrupt Government for its diabolical action against peaceful volunteers that Baba Ram Dev’s campaign against corruption would have caused a law and order problem does not hold water, and is an insidious attempt to cover up its hidden agenda to crush the movement.

That thousands of people from all over India should respond to the call of Baba Ramdev for removal of corruption from India, and come to Delhi and fast, is symptomatic of a deeper malice afflicting 1.2 billion Indians.

Baba Ramdev’s allegation that there was a sinister conspiracy to kill him has to be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The reign of repression let lose against thousands of peaceful men, women and children by 5,000 Delhi policemen should be vehemently condemned with the contempt it deserves. It is a naked fascism as practiced by dictators in Middle Eastern countries.

Recently, India’s home minister, P. Chidambaram, said that more than 900 people, including almost 600 civilians were killed in Maoist-related incidents in 2009.

Since 2005, Islamic terrorist attacks have killed 780 people in India. (http://islamicterrorism.wordpress.com/2010/02/15/islamic-terrorist-attacks-have-killed-780-in-india-since-2005/)

It is a matter of great regret and shame that deadly Islamist-Leftist combine carrying on a corrosive covert war to destabilize and deracinate India is treated with kid gloves, and peaceful nationalists like Baba Ramdev are treated like a criminal!

It is not only unbecoming but also below the dignity of some politicians, who, in their eagerness to please their Queen, are using unparliamentary, dirty, disgusting and foul language against Baba Ram Dev who is adored by millions in India. These politicians have been marked by Janata (people) and will have to pay heavily in the next elections for their misdemeanor against a Saint.
Sonia Gandhi and her cronies will rue the day they chose to heap the brutalities on hapless and peaceful Indian citizens who were exercising their fundamental right to express their legitimate opinion against their rulers who have indulged in the massive plunder of India since Independence. Sonia Gandhi should also remember that India is not the fiefdom of her family.

If, by inflicting savageries on peaceful but united Indians, Sonia Gandhi Government believes that it can demoralize and consequently terrorize Indian citizens into submission, she is sadly mistaken.

We know that Sonia Gandhi is a devout Catholic. She rules India through remote control and with an iron hand. Indian tradition and culture enjoins on Indians to respect her religion. At the same time, it is incumbent on her not to misuse her political authority to crush peaceful Indians who demand accountability for billions of dollars stolen from them! Sonia Gandhi has been completely exposed by now. According to Rocky Saggoo’s blog – posted on February 22, 2011, Wikipedia says that Sonia Gandhi has $18.66 billion in Swiss Bank accounts. She should see the writing on the wall otherwise she may have to quit India.

The Indians are determined to take back Government of India from their corrupt rulers. Make no mistake; they are waking up silently, slowly but surely. And they are not going to stop till the goal is reached.

The Dharm Yuddh (the battle for righteousness) started by Baba Ramdev on June 4th, will result in the decimation and doom of corrupt Dynasty in the next general elections. The world will soon witness the spectacle of rapid and inexorable rout of Sonia Gandhi and its cronies. The corrupt ruling politicians and their buddies will suffer cataclysmic consequences for their egregious violations of Human Rights against humanity. They will be bundled out and thrown in the dust bin of History like other tyrants who unleashed unprecedented atrocities on Indians.

The writer can be reached at Katarian@aol.com.

Narain Kataria
President

Democracy in Danger- HAF Press Statement

Democracy in Danger: HAF denounces Indian Government’s violent expulsion of Baba Ramdev and peaceful protesters
Washington, D.C. (June 6, 2011) – The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) strongly denounced Saturday night’s brutal police attack in New Delhi on a peaceful gathering of fifty thousand people led by the world renowned yoga guru Baba Ramdev. Shortly after midnight, on the orders of India’s ruling Congress Party led UPA government, police officers used batons and tear gas on the unarmed crowd, including women and children, which had gathered in a yoga-inspired anti-corruption protest to demand that the Government of India account for billions of dollars in “black” money. “Black” money, gained through corruption schemes, is commonly believed to be hidden overseas by many politicians and businesses.

Scores of Hindu Americans were also participating in symbolic fasts this week to support Baba Ramdev’s call for a “satyagraha” against corruption, echoing Mahatma Gandhi’s own method of peaceful, civil disobedience.

“The first and foremost responsibility of any functioning democracy is to protect the civil rights of its citizens, even when they speak against the sitting government,” said Rishi Bhutada, a member of the HAF Executive Council. “When a government acts contrary to that principle, it risks ruling by tyranny, as seen in the actions of a government that would attack one of India’s respected Hindu religious leaders and his unarmed supporters.”

The ruling Congress Party of India recently became the subject of investigation after under the table sales of India’s 2G mobile network connections led to the loss of almost $40 billion in revenue for the central government. Rampant bribery and embezzlement during the lead up to the XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 also made international headlines, and a prominent Congress Party leader was arrested in connection earlier this month. Most political observers hold the current Manmohan Singh government culpable for gross negligence, while some have claimed that the practice of storing laundered wealth overseas runs right up to the doors of the Congress Party headquarters, and its leader, Sonia Gandhi. Baba Ramdev had called for a hunger-strike and the current protest, reacting to this unprecedented string of high-profile scandals that involved high-level politicians within the UPA government.

“The gratuitous, middle-of-the-night attack on Baba Ramdev and tens of thousands of peaceful supporters was revolting to witness, and clearly an attempt to detract attention from the sitting government’s unwillingness to curb corruption within its ranks,” said Jay Kansara, HAF’s Washington, D.C. based Assistant Director. “HAF has called attention to similarly brutal attacks on peacefully gathering Hindus in Malaysia before, and is closely monitoring persecution of Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh–it is an utter shock to see the Congress-UPA combine emulate such tactics.”

A well respected spiritual leader both in and outside of India, Baba Ramdev has traveled many times to the United States, delivering discourses on yoga and holistic lifestyles attended by thousands. In 2009, he laid the foundation to jointly explore with MD Anderson Cancer Institute potential naturopathic treatments for cancer. Though his message is apolitical, he began speaking out forcefully against corruption five years ago and rose to prominence as a critic of the sitting government, especially since the recent scandals.

“Baba Ramdev touches the lives of millions of people everyday through his message of peace, wellness, and enlightenment, and his non-violent movement to end corruption resonated with the ideals of a healthy democracy,” added Bhutada. “Just this past March, HAF leaders were testifying in support of India’s human rights record and history of democratic dissent in front of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. It is a sad irony that Saturday’s attack is contrary to our words in India’s support, and we call upon the UPA government to reaffirm its commitment to religious pluralism and democracy in light of this week’s events.”

The Hindu American Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, non-partisan organization promoting the Hindu and American ideals of understanding, tolerance and pluralism.

Digvijay singh today is what Jaichand and Meer Qasim were past in the history

INDIA’s money stashed away in swiss banks

Posted by: “AK Agarwal” ceo_ak@hotmail.com   akaindia

Mon Jun 6, 2011 3:55 am (PDT)

arresting / kicking / throwing out the demanders of INDIA’s money back in Ramlila Maidan, Delhi yesterday – A knee-jerk reaction out of panic by a weak prime minister, who does not even fight elections, neither votes

In usa, a person can become President only if he / she himself, and his/her parents are born in usa. Thus, they have at least, pro-usa nationalist feelings, and they can force swiss banks to give them the info that usa wanted

Unlike INDIA, where sonia is more bothered about quattrochi & rahul, and rest of her coitere is busy hiding their personal moneys in swiss banks, including her ex-husband rajeev gandhi

when sanjay gandhi had died in air-crash, indira gandhi had personally went to safdarjung airport police station and tried to serach & collect sanjay gandhi’s watch which contained his swiss bank a/c no., but was told that meneka gandhi had come earler than her, and had already taken that watch away

Digvijay singh today is what Jaichand and Meer Qasim were past in the history.

AK Agarwal

BJP presses for Afzal Guru’s hanging

May 28, 2011, 01.13am IST
NEW DELHI: Opposition BJP on Friday raised the pitch for hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, and argued that the government is not bound to go by sequence while dealing with pending pleas.

“When will Afzal Guru be hanged, and how long will his mercy petition be delayed? On August 4, 2005, the Supreme Court had rejected his appeal. It has been six years since then. The review petition was rejected on May 14, 2008,” BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

On Thursday, the President had rejected the mercy petitions of Devinder Singh Bhullar, convicted in the Youth Congress office bombing here, and M N Das, who killed a person while out on parole.

Prasad maintained that the government was not bound by law to go by the order in which mercy petitions were received. “Which law authorizes the Government of India that consideration of mercy petitions would only be in sequence? Cases of serious crime are fast tracked. The Supreme Court has fast tracked the 2G case though thousands of cases are pending. Afzal Guru’s case was fast tracked,” he said.

The BJP cited that had the designs of Guru succeeded during the Parliament attack of December 13, 2001, then nearly the entire top political leadership of the country would have been wiped out.

“You cannot go inside Parliament even with a small blade. Had even one terrorist entered with an AK-47, the entire leadership of all the political parties would have been killed,” Prasad said.

He recalled the controversy a few months ago when then home minister Shivraj Patil had allegedly asked Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit to delay action on Guru’s file.

“It is a copybook politics of vote-bank politics. BJP demands that the mercy petition should be rejected at the earliest, and action be taken against Afzal Guru as confirmed by repeated decisions of the Supreme Court,” Prasad added.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-05-28/india/29594437_1_mercy-petitions-afzal-guru-review-petition

Time for International Action Agianst Sonia Raj

It is time for international actions against the animals in Sonia Raj. We need to have massive protests in front of Indian Consulates, bring international awareness, file hundreds of lawsuits within and outside India, approach international human rights organizations (for whatever their worth) and the leaders of the international community to the plight of India which is now ruled by Italian Mafia cursing most Indians to poverty and disintegrating, destroying India.

For those Indians who are pusillanimous to act, it is now or never. For those Indians who are too selfish to see what is going on, think what you are going to leave behind after your death.

Regards,
Satya
(hitaya123@gmail.com)

Protest the anti-Hindu ‘Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill, 2011’

Protest the anti-Hindu ‘Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill, 2011’

Introduction – What is this bill and why to protest ?

Apparently ‘Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011’ is brought to curb the riots taking place between majority and minority communities. After the alleged post-Godhra riots in Gujarat, the so called secularists are going pillar to post to bring this enactment. So called social activists like Teesta Settlewad, Asgar Ali Engineer are the people involved in pushing this draft bill.
O Hindus, please study the draft, think, awake and send your suggestions to the National Advisory Council at wgcvb@nac.nic.in and also use comment section to send your comments/opinions to NAC. The last date to sent the comments is 10th June 2011, so please act fast and fulfill your duty towards Hindu dharma and Nation.

Download : Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011

English Version Hindi Version
Participate in the online signature drive to protest against Draconian & Anti-Hindu ‘Communal Violence Prevention Bill, 2011’ –

http://www.hindujagruti.org/activities/campaigns/religious/communal-violence-bill/

The draconian provisions of the new Law

1. Protection to religious or linguistic minority and Scheduled Castes and tribes – It is directed to punish the offenses done or anticipated against a group which essentially comprises of a religious or linguistic minority and Scheduled Castes and tribes (Sec 1 (e)). Nobody else is given protection. If in certain area, hindu population is minority and attack is targeted against them or where the minorities themselves start organized attacks and riots, this law wont help to Hindus. Such is the viciousness of the draft bill.
2. Curbing freedom of expression by terming it as Hate propaganda – Even publishing, communicating or disseminating of opposition may be termed as Hate Propaganda u/s 8 and is may extend to 3 years and/or fine. Again, it is targeted against the Hindu literature and and not anti-hindu literature.
Section 18 makes anything said or expressed against the minorities may be taken up as offence under this Act. The Govt. is to keep a constant vigil on this as to who is criticizing minorities, even fair criticizing may invite action by state else the public servant will be prosecutes – Sec. 18 – This provision may be misused widely even in the time of peace, for it is a continuing process.
3. Offenses to be non-bailable and cognizable – The offenses under the act are summarily non-bailable and cognizable even if they are not so under I.P.C. by virtue of (Sec. 11 and 58)
4. Government machinery will be made a slave to the minorities – Under this Bill, public servants will be under constant supervision and torture- dereliction of duty and it casts vicarious liability on them(Sec. 12 to 16). As also the victim can at any point of time gets a right to know the stage of proceedings and can complain to the National authority against the Govt. Machinery.
5. Obeying orders is not a defense – Apart from the vicarious liability, the order obeying police etc. can not say that they obeyed the orders. Even if one obeys an order of his senior, he also is a accused. In the times of riots or attacks, controlling the same will be too much difficult because of this. (Sec. 16)
6. Creation of a post – Defender for Justice and Reparations. – (Sec. 56) It appears that his sole activity will be to press for the rights of minorities.
7. Creation of National Authority for Communal Harmony, Justice and Reparation
It shall have separate investigation agency with a Director General of Police GP. (Sec. 29)
It’s advisories and recommendations will be binding on the State and Central Govt. (Sec. 32 (a) and (d) read with Sec. 29)
It can interfere in the Court proceeding ( SEc. 32 j and k)
It will have the status of a Civil Court.
8. The public servants like District Magistrate or Police Superintendent made directly answerable to the National Authority. (Sec. 72,29, 69, 71, 4138,39)
9. Presumption of guilt and burden of proof on the accused (Hindus) – The accused will have to prove innocence ( Sec. 74) This changes the entire legal proceeding against the hindu accused people.
10. More than one third of public prosecutors will be from the religious or linguistic minority. ( Sec. 78)
11. Provision for funds – There will be funds diverted from the Consolidated Funds of India in addition to the fines collected under this act which will be disbursed to the alleged victims.
12. Apart from punishment the convict will have to pay to the victim – Whatever is given to the victims are in turn subrogated from the the persons allegedly responsible for the loss of property, life or liberty (Sec 110)
13. Protection of action taken in good faith – All the persons acting under this Act will have blanket ‘protection of action taken in good faith’. ( Sec. 130)
14. This act is in addition to any other laws that are in force at present (Sec. 138)

We, Western Yogis Must Extend Support to Yogi Baba Ramdev

by Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya

Aum Tat Sat. Vedic India is the spiritual mother of the Earth. She was, at one time at least, the land of yogis, of sages, of philosophers and of saints. Today, sadly, after over 60 years of anti-Vedic, crypto-Marxist misrule, India is now infamous as one of the most corrupt nations in the world. Swami Ramdev has revived an age-old tradition of wise and selfless yogis leading the way from the evils of government corruption and despotism, to the re-establishment of Dharmic governance, and the honesty, prosperity, freedom and justice that such Vedic governance ensures. Like Chanakya Pandita, Swami Vivekananda and Srila Prabhupada before him, Swami Ramdev has shown us that, when our politicians have abandoned the people and have all become scoundrels, we are to then look to the yogis for leadership. As the Middle-East has experienced its Democratic Spring with the fall of one long-standing dictator after another, now the beginning stages have been dramatically set in place for India, Bharat Mata, to have its own Freedom Spring, and to reverse over sixty years of crypto-Marxist totalitarian corruption. When the politicians have become an enemy of the people, the saints will lead us toward the light.

There are 20 million yogis in America, and tens of millions in Europe. Yet, sadly, very few Western yogis are even aware of the fact that, until only recently, Yoga faced the possibility of extinction in India herself – the very birthplace of Yoga. Almost no Western yogis are aware of the fact that since her independence in 1947, most Indian national governments have been atheist regimes that were radically dedicated to the eradication of Hinduism, Vedic spirituality, and Yoga practice. Up until just a decade ago, more people were practicing Yoga in the American state of California than in all of India combined! Sri Swami Ramdev changed all that. Almost single-handedly, Swami Ramdev revived Yoga practice in the birthplace of Yoga, encouraging tens of millions to begin practicing Yoga for the very first time. Now he is leading a peaceful social reform movement to remove rampant corruption from despotic government institutions and practices. For his courageous efforts, h is life is in now danger. Tens of thousands of peaceful yogis and meditators have been violently attacked by government thugs, and this selfless servant of truth was temporarily arrested. His crime was sitting in meditation, fasting, and calling for ethical integrity in government. With his unimaginable arrest and persecution at the hands of a viciously despotic government, a spark of peaceful outrage has been ignited that has not been seen in India since the days of Mahatma Gandhi. Sri Swami Ramdev has shown the world the quiet, dignified power of Yoga in action. He has shown us that Yoga is so much more that merely a series of physical asanas, and that Yoga has the power to make our entire world better in every way.

We Western yogis must extend our unwavering support to our brother and sister yogis in India. We must now translate the peace, joy and wisdom that Yoga has gifted us with in practical terms in our desire for a better world – a world of freedom, justice and peace for all living beings. India will be free. India will re-embrace her divine heritage of Vedic civilization. The world will taste the bliss of liberation. The Yogis shall lead the way. Welcome to the Dharma Revolution. A revolution of love. Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti.

– Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya
dharmacentral@yahoo.com
http://www.dharmacentral.com/

A repression the rulers will rue

June 6, 2011:
Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad, says an ancient proverb. This is what comes to mind in the context of the Government’s unprovoked resort to Operation No-Holds-Barred in the early hours of June 5 against Baba Ramdev and his followers at the Ramlila maidan.

While creating an impression of responding to the call of the Baba against corruption and black money, the Government had already drawn up a full-fledged Orbat for neutralising the Baba. For the meticulous planning, stealthy preparations and thorough-going execution, even the colonial, Imperial British can learn a lesson or two from Independent, democratic India’s present-day powers-that-be.

Coming to think of it, there are many uncanny similarities between the crushing of the Quit Corruption movement by the Manmohan Singh Government and two other defining moments of modern Indian history: The Quit India movement of 1942 and the infamous Internal Emergency of 1975.

The Quit India gathering at Bombay on the fateful night of August 9 was also peaceful. Mahatma Gandhi had, no doubt, called upon the British to Quit India, warning them of a ‘mass struggle on non violent lines on the widest possible scale’. But, at the same time, he had expressed his intention to first meet the Viceroy to explore a decent way out of the impasse.

As in the case of the Quit Corruption movement of Baba Ramdev, well past midnight a huge contingent of Imperial police force swooped on the Congress leaders and dragged them post-haste to railway trains standing at the ready on the platform and spirited them away to unknown destinations. One white Inspector of Police had the barbarity to bodily pull and shake the 73-year old Gandhiji so as to wake him up, and directed the blinding blaze of a five-cell torch on his face from close quarters.

REVOLTING CASES

The Internal Emergency too was similarly sprung on an unsuspecting Jayaprakash Narayan, Acharya Kripalini and other noble heroes who fought the British, putting up with unbearable privations, suffering and sacrifice.

A thousand leaders — outstanding patriots all who had served the country with distinction for far longer periods than Indira Gandhi — were ruthlessly rounded up well past midnight and lodged in jails at places far away from their home States, keeping their kith and kin in the dark about their fate. Even after the names of their prisons were made public, their close relations were made to undergo the mental, physical and financial torture of having to travel long distances at heavy expense to unfamiliar places if they wanted to exercise their right of meeting the detenus at prescribed intervals.

Thus, in all the three revolting cases, the fact that saintly figures (Gandhiji, Jayaprakash Narayan and Baba Ramdev) were leading the movements was of no consequence to the cruel rulers.

In all the three cases, the common ruse employed was to strike well past midnight so that the media did not get wind of the loathsome repression, and the rulers had a respite from public outrage for at least 30 hours.

In all the three cases, the rulers tried to stamp out movements demanding purity in public life and protesting peacefully against monstrous evils (slavery, authoritarian suppression of civil rights, and corruption-cum-black money) which were making a farce of the Constitution and democratic institutions.

In all the three cases, the rulers justified their indefensible excesses by resorting to calumny and vilifications against those speaking for the people.

In the case of Quit India, the British painted it as a ‘deliberate fifth columnist conspiracy’, for strengthening the Axis powers; in the case of Quit Murdering Democracy, Jayaprakash Narain was almost physically eliminated; and a sustained character-assassination of the Baba followed his launch of the Quit Corruption campaign.

What an atrocious irony that those fighting corruption are sought to be traduced and evicted from their legitimate spaces, whereas those who should have been stripped of all their unmerited positions and ill-gotten possessions and thrown into prison for good are indulging in loot and plunder with impunity, right under the noses of the UPA Government!

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/columns/b-s-raghavan/article2079373.ece

Is this a Nazi rule?

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/why-the-congress-wooed-and-then-shooed-the-baba-away-2-20840.html (Why the Congress Wooed and then Sheed the Baba Away by R Jagannathan Jun 6, 2011 in http://www.Firstpost.com)

According to the above article, the brutal midnight assault by police order came from Sonia Gandhi herself.   Reward from this fascist woman who was once making a meager living as an au-pair (escort woman) in UK with only primary school education, now she is living in trillions of dollars, with all her family members living a very high life, flying private jets all on the skeletons of hundreds of millions of Indians.  Per Dr. Swamy, her sisters are deciding what jets that are worth billions of dollars will be bought by India.

This woman who ran away to Italy during 1971 war, lives surrounded by such level of security that is costing poor Indians daily thousands of dollars, not by Indian men, but by Italian men,  uses brutal force on innocent men, women and children sleeping in the middle of the night.

Is this a Nazi rule?   Does Indians have rights?   What is going on with this country that we are putting up with this?   This is a curse on the nation for its  lack of unity, lack of understanding the enemy.    There is something in the gene of this nation that it is not able to ward off Mohammad Ghaznis,  Robert Clives and now Sonia Gandhis.

It is time there is a movement to force her to QUIT INDIA.

Regards,
Satya

<hitaya123@gmail.com>

Why the Congress wooed and then shooed the Baba away

R Jagannathan Jun 6, 2011
When Baba Ramdev was bundled out of Delhi unceremoniously, it was a
forceful message from the Congress-led UPA government that it was not
going to vacate space for civil society to muscle in on its turf — unless
the civil society members happen to be Sonia Gandhi groupies.

It is also an indication that orders for the crackdown on the Baba came
from the political power centre – Sonia Gandhi herself. It marks a new
assertion of party over government in order to seize the political
initiative from a bumbling Manmohan Singh.

But it is worth understanding what really transpired these last few weeks,
when the government first started humouring the Baba, held detailed
discussions with him, and then hit him on the head – metaphorically – with
a club when he was least expecting it.

Who betrayed whom? Was it the government, which came out waving a paper
saying the Baba went back on his promise to call off the fast? Or was it
the Baba, who found the government closing in on him, and decided to back
away from a deal he knew was not good for his future?

I believe it was the government which decided to pull the plug on the Baba
deal. It flows from the answer to the question: why was the Congress
schmoozing with the Baba in the first place when it knew he had deep Sangh
Parivar connections?

The Congress has a problem in the north, where the BJP is a potent threat
everywhere, except Uttar Pradesh. This is where the Baba comes in handy.
Reuters
The answer: the Congress wined and dined him precisely because he was
close to the Sangh Parivar. It was not something they discovered later,
when Sadhvi Ritambara turned up at the Baba’s fast-fest.

In the Congress book of dirty tricks, this is old hat. Whenever the
Congress sees a looming political threat, it backs a rival in the same
camp to break away and undercut the original threat.

To deal with the Akalis in Punjab, Indira Gandhi backed Bhindranwale. To
destroy the Shiv Sena, it backed Raj Thackeray, and won the last elections
purely from this vote division. To undercut the National Conference, it
broke bread with Mufti Sayeed’s PDP in the last decade before it dumped
the PDP again for the National Conference.

Of course, the Congress also reaps the whirlwind when it sows the wind
(Indira was killed by Sikh extremists, and Rajiv fell to the LTTE’s
suicide bomber), but that’s another story.

It is also worth recalling that the Congress won the last elections in
Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu precisely because a third player (Praja
Rajyam in Andhra, and Vijayakanth’s DMDK in Tamil Nadu) ate  into
opposition votes and brought the Congress (or the Congress alliance)
victory. But for these spoilers, Chandrababu Naidu and AIADMK would have
won in 2009.

So who do you need to fix before 2014 in the same way? While there are
obviously a whole range of regional and sectarian parties who are local
threats to the Congress in various states, the only national threat is the
BJP, which, despite being rudderless over the last seven years, is the
only party capable of upsetting the Congress’ apple-cart.

Within the BJP, the biggest threat is Narendra Modi, who has shown that he
can get the measure of the Congress, and has the potential to galvanise
the party and the majority community to action — given the right political
circumstances, which, admittedly, don’t exist for now. But who knows what
will be the scenario in 2014?

It explains why the Congress is using activists like Teesta Setalvad and
the National Advisory Council (NAC) and other one-dimensional secularists
to fix him – whether in court or through a blatantly communal Bill to
tackle communal violence. The Bill is specifically targetted at Hindu
organisations, and no one else. It will never see the light of day, but
that does not stop undemocratic NAC members from trying to force it down
our throats.

But, at another level, the Congress has a problem in the north, where the
BJP is a potent threat everywhere, except Uttar Pradesh. This is where the
Baba comes in handy.

How? In Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and also in the rest of the Hindi belt,
the Baba could cut into BJP votes if he floats a political party. He
doesn’t have to win any seats. If he merely takes away 4-5% of the BJP
vote, it is enough for the Congress to win.

This is the primary reason why the Congress has been humouring the Baba
and talking of doing a deal with him on corruption. Unfortunately, the
deal fell through, either because the Congress was trying to be too clever
with him, or was trying to fix him in other ways – and he balked at the
prospect. This is what forced the midnight swoop – something the Congress
had not planned for when it began talking with him.

The second reason why the Baba was useful to the Congress was his
unwillingness to let the Anna Hazare group run off with the
anti-corruption agenda. The Baba’s ego would not let him be a supporter of
the Hazare camp, which had eminent lawyers well-versed in the art of
drafting laws. It also had the support of the middle-class. The Congress
egged on Baba with his rural and small-town clout to stymie the Hazare
group.

The Congress had no reason to let Anna & Co dictate the new Lokpal bill,
and the Baba’s political ambitions proved useful to drive a wedge between
the two camps. While the midnight action has temporarily allowed the two
camps to kiss and make up, the two cannot ultimately work together.

Since the Anna group has lost vital momentum, it is now possible for the
Congress to impose its own Lokpal Bill with some minor concessions to
civil society and reclaim the agenda.

A perceptive comment by K Raman on Firstpost shows how the Baba has been
neutered, and Anna sidelined: “A man who owns a private island in
Scotland, has an annual turnover of Rs 1,000 crore and flies around in a
private jet would obviously have a few skeletons in his cupboard… In the
next 10 days, one after the other the skeletons will tumble down… The Baba
could be fixed in that way..”.

As for Anna & Co, Raman says: “..the government has clearly sent out the
message that if they mess around, then they too will meet the same fate as
the Baba. Shanti Bhushan’s statement that the Prime Minister and the
government has to resign is not helpful, to say the least…Now with what
face will this team go back and discuss with the same government on Lokpal
Bill?”

Clearly, the Congress used the Baba and discarded him when he did not toe
the line. The BJP need not be too unhappy, too. The Baba was meant to cut
it down to size. So while it may fulminate against the government for its
midnight “Jallianwala Bagh”, it should be secretly happy that one
potential rival for the Hindu vote is out of the way.

The Congress has won – for now. While the Baba did not serve its
short-term purpose, the party may still hold the high cards when it comes
to getting him to float a party to cut into the BJP vote.

But just as a week is a long time in politics, such political manoeuvres
are not enduring. The only question is whether, when it is politics as
usual, the ordinary citizen has lost out. The upsurge of grassroot support
when Anna Hazare began his fast has died down. Cynicism rules. Congress
gains.
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