January 24, 2009

Anywhere else

Leave aside arguments about the development of a state: who was responsible, when it happened, how real it is, all that. For example, if there's a claim about unprecedented investments, there's the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy (CMIE, read one report here) to suggest that "unprecedented" is not quite right. Nobody is going to agree on it all, so leave it aside.

Leave aside questions about a man's participation in, or blind eye to, great crime. Like with development, if there are those who point to testimonies and affidavits, there are others who say, there has not been a single conviction. Nobody is going to agree on these things either, so leave them aside too.

Take instead two events we can agree on: About sixty Indians were torched on a train in late February of 2002. Across the state where this happened, over the following days and weeks, something like a thousand more Indians were slaughtered.

We agree on that much, right? You and I?

If so, let me submit: Anywhere else in India, anywhere else in the world, an episode like this would qualify as a colossal collapse of law and order. It is the single worst breakdown of law and order in India in the 21st Century. Measured by Indian lives snuffed out, it is the single worst outbreak of terrorism in India in the 21st Century.

Yet people speak of the man who was in office during the killings of 2002, the highest elected official in the state then as he is today, as a potential Prime Minister. Why?

After all, remember the slaughter of 175 Indians in Bombay two months ago. That tragedy caused great outrage over the collapse of law and order in the city. It triggered the resignation of the two highest elected officials in the state -- the Chief Minister and his Deputy Chief Minister -- and the resignation of the elected official at the Centre directly charged with administering law and order in the nation. India's Home Minister, no less.

After what happened in his state in 2002, why have we not applied the same standard to the Chief Minister of Gujarat?

So leave aside foreign investment, the Nano, a visa denied, the numbers of equally venal politicians elsewhere in this country, praise from prominent businessfolks, two election landslides won, accusations and counter-accusations, excellent roads and infrastructure in Gujarat.

Focus instead on just one thing: while this man was Chief Minister, his state went through a blood-soaked convulsion like it has never seen. Like this country has seen only once or twice in its history.

Why is he still Chief Minister? Indeed, why would we want him to be Prime Minister?

***

One effort to raise this question is this petition. Take a look.

26 comments:

Nilu said...

Did he not kill Moslems and therefore make the nation richer, per capita? I am merely relying on Sachar Report.

Aninda B said...

Q: Why would we want him to be Prime Minister?

Ans: May be, just to piss you off along with your ilk and wipe that smug feeling of being somewhat superior than mere mortals like us.

Regards,

Shuvro Aikath said...

Modi shud be prime minster because he showed muslims the lesson abt how to behave in a secular contry. nobody other politician had guts for this. it is ok if some people was killed in this, it is for good of nation.

Prakash M Kini said...

Dilip,
*nitpick starts*
Your second paragraph asks the reader to leave aside questions about a man's participation in, or blind eye to, great crime
And then you end your note with while this man was Chief Minister, his state went through a blood-soaked convulsion like it has never seen. Like this country has seen only once or twice in its history
I am now confused whether we are to set aside *anything* remotely good and look at the tragedy you so voluminously and voraciously wrote about. Fine, I am a confused person anyway. And thats a good thing, per my professor.
*nitpick ends*

Seriously though, in a country like our India, you very well know how things operate. That, newtons third law is very very strictly true and more. That, the State has so little, if any, control over what happens.

You imply Modi was a defunct CM. Yes true. But so was anyone else. Or are we leaving aside that point too. On a lose note, it is only by chance that such a tragedy didnt happen elsewhere. (Assuming it didnt- perhaps we must send Rajdeep Sardesai to parts of Jharkand, Bihar etc)

The barbaric tragedy was really a sad thing. But wasnt the development he atleast tolerant of? Can you show me a Rahul Gandhi or a Mulayam Singh Yadav or Deve Gowda or Karunanidhi being able to do that? How about you yourself? Why is it that quibbling is such a part and parcel to our lives? Why dont you, if you think you could be the one whom you described in your previous post? You will have my vote!



Dilip, we all have Utopian views of our future, we tend to live in denial. Why would yours be better than mine?

Dilip D'Souza said...

that smug feeling of being somewhat superior than mere mortals like us.

If I wonder why an act of terrorism goes unpunished, if I wonder why the man who was CM at the time faces no political repercussions for it, I've got a "smug feeling of being somewhat superior"?

So be it, then.

nitpick starts...

What's the nitpick? I'm saying, OK, people have different views on whether Modi instigated or turned a blind eye to the killing. Fine. Leave that alone. But the killing itself happened, did it not?

the State has so little, if any, control over what happens ... so was anyone else ... Can you show me a Rahul Gandhi or a Mulayam Singh Yadav or Deve Gowda or Karunanidhi being able to do that? [etc]

None of which makes any difference to the central point. There was a breakdown in law and order. Why did the person elected to the highest office in that state not pay a political price, just as the person elected to the highest office in Maharashtra paid a political price after last November?

we all have Utopian views of our future, we tend to live in denial. Why would yours be better than mine?

I have no idea what is "yours" that might be better than "mine". It doesn't particularly interest me to rack up whose views are "better" anyway.

I'm just looking forward to a day when we hold those we elect accountable for their failures, and not instead say "well, what about that other guy's failures?", or "well, you know how things operate", or "it was a barbaric tragedy, but what about development?" and the like.

Because when we say those things, we only allow those we elect to escape accounting for their failures, which is precisely what they want, and which is the best guarantee of ever more failures.

a traveller... said...

I recently had a discussion with someone who is a Modi-supporter, in his words. He was talking about the development that has happened in Gujarat, the roads that have been built, the hospitals, etc. He mentioned how a temple was pulled down so that a road could be built.

My father had a very simple question: He sanctioned pulling down of a temple, great. But if the Congress had done so, how would the BJP have reacted?

Prakash M Kini said...

What's the nitpick? I'm saying, OK, people have different views ........killing itself happened, did it not?
The nitpick - You asked the reader to leave aside, Modi's involvement/ turning the blind eye in the riots. And then in the end, the killings happened. So, if I ignore the former, and given we all know how much the State is in control of the happenings, you have absolved Modi! (well, per me atleast)

None of which makes any difference to the central point. There was a breakdown in law and order.
Yes indeed. And Indians are used to it. We elected Governments which have been proven failures beyond doubt! Why Modi? Why is it that people love him so much? I hate the publicity you guys provide him (sic).

On a side note, when can I expect a note on the similar lines against the Gandhi dynasty?

Why did the person elected to the highest office in that state not pay a political price, just as the person elected to the highest office in Maharashtra paid a political price after last November?
1. Culprit. People who burnt down 60 people were, in the eyes of the voting population atleast, Muslims. And riots were a reaction to it. Some may say natural, but I will 'leave it aside' for now specially since the reaction was not only one-sided (any sided, in fact). And Modi didnt speak against the apparent culprits.
In the second case, that of last November, again in the eye of the people, the culprit was Pakistan. And R R Patil spoke against the victims, in a way.
Isnt India still Democratic? ;)

2. R R Patil - this name isnt synonymous with growth, denial of a US visa, online petitions and the like. whereas Modi is popular becuase of the publicity we all have provided him. And in India ... oh well.

I'm just looking forward to a day when we hold those we elect accountable for their failures, and not instead say "well, what about that other guy's failures?", or "well, you know how things operate", or "it was a barbaric tragedy, but what about development?" and the like.
That is the problem, perhaps. (All) We do (is) look forward a lot.

I was not, in any way asking you to overlook the failures of Modi. But then, you have to speak in context. You know how hard it is in our country to exercise any sort fo control. How much control do you think Modi had over anythign during that time? For that matter how much control could anyone, say a Congress CM, have during that time?

And then again, In any balanced article, I expect a neutral stance (as your title says 'not a rightist, not a leftist...'). But I see a strong anti- BJP fervor in your posts. You have time and again brought up this issue of "holding people accountable" specifically against BJP. One of your posts immediately afetr the Mumbai tragedy showed Advani and Modi(?) with army personnel with sophisticated weaponry while the people actually fighting the terrorists lacked them. You perhaps forgot to show what the soldiers guarding Sonia and Laloo carried. That is the reason why I asked you about the other guys failures.

Which brings me to my next point- If not Modi, then who? Again, any article after its fair share of quibbles is bound to make recommendations about the alternatives. And unless you speak of Rahul Gandhi compared to Modi, it doesnt auger well for me when you start anti-Modi-ism; especially your conclude that perhaps Modi isnt a fit enough person to be a PM. We are choosing lesser evils (dynasties, whatever).

Because when we say those things, we only allow those we elect to escape accounting for their failures, which is precisely what they want, and which is the best guarantee of ever more failures.
Precisely. But then you never had problems 5 years ago. Why onyl Modi.

Side note: My 'Utopian' view: Arun Shourie is the best fit to lead our nation. Modi being the Defense Minister.
Yours (from what I see from you article): Modi ISNT the best person suited to lead our country. Questions: (1)Who is (better than him/ why)?


@ a traveller (hope you dont mind, Dilip)
He sanctioned pulling down of a temple, great. But if the Congress had done so, how would the BJP have reacted?
Couple of comments:
1. http://ssksurya.blogspot.com/2009/01/missionary-zeal-of-ysr-evidence-speaks.html Sorry but am posing your questions back to you - How DID the BJP react?
2. (The what-you-wanted-to-listen remix) Yes true. BJP would have created a ruckus. So, we must probably have them in power and have all of 'em temples pulled down.

Prakash M Kini said...

*correction:
......but I will 'leave it aside' for now specially since the reaction was not only one-sided (any sided, in fact). And Modi didnt speak against the apparent victims.

Dilip D'Souza said...

nitpick...

I have absolved Modi? It's a simple point: the killings in the train and across Gujarat happened while he was CM. Why has he paid no political price for that, just as Deshmukh and Patils did?

when can I expect a note on the similar lines against the Gandhi dynasty?

When you choose to read and remember, that's when. I have long got used to people trying to make out that I haven't written about something or the other, when I have. Nor am I particularly interested in pointing out where, because the next time some discussion like this happens, the same question will get asked.

R R Patil spoke against the victims.

It's a pretty perverse leap to suggest that Patil was asked to resign because of his remark about small things happening in big cities.

He was asked to resign because of the widespread perception that he had failed in his job, which is to guarantee citizens' security.

(All) We do (is) look forward a lot.

Some of us do more than look. Maybe it's time to find out what.

How much control do you think Modi had over anythign during that time?

Fine. How much control do you think Patil and Deshmukh had over the entry of terrorists into Bombay, and their slaughtering spree? As far as I can tell, none. (Would you agree?) Why then did they resign, but not Modi?

I expect a neutral stance (as your title says 'not a rightist, not a leftist...'). But I see a strong anti- BJP fervor in your posts.

I don't write to satisfy people's expectations of one kind of stance or another. My subtitle is there for you to make whatever you feel like making of it.

I have no problem if the BJP follows a right-wing agenda. In fact, I have argued before that India needs a true right-wing political space. That's the meaning and flowering of democracy.

But all I see the BJP pursuing instead is temples and the same abhorrence of justice that the Congress has given us for half a century. That's not right-wing, that's just emptiness. That's why I find the BJP unsavoury.

"holding people accountable" specifically against BJP.

Off the top of my head, I've asked for these people to be held accountable over the years: Sukh Ram, HKL Bhagat, Sajjan Kumar, Thackeray, Jayalalitha, LK Advani, Kalpnath Rai, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Mayawati, Sudhakar Naik. (This is a sample).

No doubt the are all "specifically" BJP people.

But then you never had problems 5 years ago.

I don't know what you mean. Ever since 2002 I've had problems with the absence of justice for all those who died in Gujarat. 2002 is 7 years ago.

Modi being the Defense Minister.

After presiding over what you yourself describe as a "barbaric tragedy"? Well, at least we know just what that defence of the country will look like.

Prakash M Kini said...

It's a simple point: the killings in the train and across Gujarat happened while he was CM. Why has he paid no political price for that, just as Deshmukh and Patils did?
So, after VRD and RRPatil resigned, did ANYTHING change? More importantly, how much more safe did you feel after they resigned? And on similar lines, are you saying that if Modi resigned, thigns would have been any different? Only worse, I believe.

When you choose to read and remember, that's when......because the next time some discussion like this happens, the same question will get asked.
And we still dont see the importance of context. Alright. I wont go into the dephts of explaining what this really means to an average person reading your blog.

It's a pretty perverse leap to suggest that Patil was asked to resign because of his remark about small things happening in big cities.
Dude, Pakistan, as we saw it then as I do now, attacked India. And then this comment. Maybe he didnt mean it the way it appears put. If nothign else, he had to resign because of his stupidity.

He was asked to resign because of the widespread perception that he had failed in his job, which is to guarantee citizens' security.
I repeat: Mention things that have changed since he resigned. And if it is 'perception' that you are talking about, mine was different (a la stupidity as above). For one, Congress would have been doomed if they let him continue.
Also, do you want me to write out the perception post-Godhra train burning?

Fine. How much control do you think Patil and Deshmukh had over the entry of terrorists into Bombay, and their slaughtering spree? As far as I can tell, none. (Would you agree?) Why then did they resign, but not Modi?
Thats my whole point! Resignation of VRD and RR Patil means nothing. We do treat brain cancer with medication for hair-loss a lot these days.

I don't write to satisfy people's expectations of one kind of stance or another. My subtitle is there for you to make whatever you feel like making of it.
All am asking is to refrain from being so multi-dimensionally critical of one group AND claim to what it literally means. Operative word: AND.

I don't know what you mean. Ever since 2002 I've had problems with the absence of justice for all those who died in Gujarat. 2002 is 7 years ago.
What I meant: A CPI-Congress coalition to keep "communal forces" at bay!

Off the top of my head, I've asked for these people to be held accountable over the years: Sukh Ram, HKL Bhagat, Sajjan Kumar, Thackeray, Jayalalitha, LK Advani, Kalpnath Rai, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Mayawati, Sudhakar Naik. (This is a sample).
.....and we have had CPI-Congress rule for the last 5 years at the centre.

After presiding over what you yourself describe as a "barbaric tragedy"? Well, at least we know just what that defence of the country will look like.
Better than what it is now! Perhaps by a pair of balls, atleast. Aim the tragedy at your enemy. And, more importantly, move on!

Dilip D'Souza said...

after VRD and RRPatil resigned, did ANYTHING change?

The question is not "did anything change?" The question is, when a horrific collapse of law and order happened while a man was CM, why is he still in office? After all, when a horrific collapse of law and order happened when Deshmukh/Patil were in charge, they had to resign.

Resignations don't change anything; and in fact I happen to have a deal more respect for RRP than I do for Bhujbal.

You don't demand accountability with the rider "did/will anything change". You demand it because accountability must exist, period.

I wont go into the dephts of explaining what this really means to an average person.

Fine, but perhaps you can explain to me what you mean, because I'm completely lost.

Also, do you want me to write out the perception post-Godhra train burning?

Please do. That's just the point, in case you hadn't got it till now.

When Bombay suffers terrorism, there's a widespread perception that law and order has collapsed, and three senior elected officials have to resign. When Gujarat suffers terrorism, is there a different perception? If so why? That's the point, once again.

being so multi-dimensionally critical of one group AND claim to what it literally means.

I wish you'd stop talking so cryptically. I have no idea what's meant by the few words after your "AND".

Perhaps by a pair of balls, atleast.

The same pair that was unable to protect Gujaratis from terrorism in 2002? Or another pair?

Prakash M Kini said...

You don't demand accountability with the rider "did/will anything change". You demand it because accountability must exist, period.
Interesting. So we dont care if the security lapses arent fixed. All we want is blood?

Fine, but perhaps you can explain to me what you mean, because I'm completely lost.
It means that (only) BJP was leeching on countrys resources, hile our armed soldiers were without proper ammunition to deal with the crisis. What you didnt (intentionally/ unintentionally) also show was how much cover was provided to MMS/ PC/ Sonia Gandhi and the ilk. Why you chose just LK Advani, Modi and Rajnath Singh is what you may want to exaplain (or not).

K-boy:Also, do you want me to write out the perception post-Godhra train burning?
Please do. That's just the point, in case you hadn't got it till now.

The perception, was that a group of Muslims burnt down the bogie containing Karsevaks. And that this was a pre-planned attack. And I have reason to believe that to burn a whole bogie down (and for 'stupid' Karsevaks to be fried in it) you had to have atleast intent. And that, they deserve payback.

When Bombay suffers terrorism, there's a widespread perception that law and order has collapsed, and three senior elected officials have to resign. When Gujarat suffers terrorism, is there a different perception? If so why? That's the point, once again.

About Mumbai: Whose perception are you talking of? The Congress high command? The average electorate- I wouldnt think so? Give it like 6 months and hold elections in Mumbai and I am pretty sure 26/11 would not be a major issue. For my part, I am pretty sure I made it clear that atleast VRD resigning was totally rubbish. It didnt solve anything. Nor did he make any mistimed comments.

About Gujrat: A major chunk of people believed that reaction of people against those burning trains is justified.

I wish you'd stop talking so cryptically. I have no idea what's meant by the few words after your "AND".
Ok. claim to what it literally means 'it' refering to your sub-title. You said you dont write to satify peoples' expectations. I wasnt asking you to. I was only asking you to refrain from being so multi-dimensionally critical of one group AND stand by what your sub-title claims. Operative word: AND

The same pair that was unable to protect Gujaratis from terrorism in 2002? Or another pair?
The one post-2002 riots. The same ones, which were awarded best CM in India by India Today (of all the magazines) and you know what Rajiv Gandhi Foundation had to say about them. Ah, I forget, they are also the ones which brought the perpetrators of the recent bomb blasts in Ahmedabad to knees even at a time when CM's of most other states were still preparing thier condolence messages - those ones.

Dilip D'Souza said...

we dont care if the security lapses arent fixed. All we want is blood?

Nice. But no dice.

When someone fails in his duty to the public, you don't say "will anything change with XYZ who might replace him? If not, we don't change." You say, "this guy failed his duty. He doesn't deserve to be in office."

If the replacement fails, he gets tossed out too. Etc. Eventually you get someone who will do his duty, not fail it.

If you don't toss them out, you don't get any fixes for security lapses. Because that way, you are rewarding failure. That's what's happened with Gujarat.

Why you chose just LK Advani, Modi and Rajnath Singh....

Ah, I see, another failure to read and remember. The first piece I had published about the attacks spoke of RR Patil's appearance during the crisis at the Trident, in a convoy of ten cars filled with cops and some trotting cops as well.

But of course, that will be forgotten in favour of suggesting that I "chose just" LKA, Modi etc.

Whose perception are you talking of? The Congress high command? The average electorate- I wouldnt think so? Give it like 6 months... [etc]

Are you trying to tell me there was not a widespread perception in early December last year that there had been a serious failure of law and order between Nov 26 and 29? What were those angry folks shouting about at the Gateway, to pick just one example?

stand by what your sub-title claims.

My subtitle claims things only to people who want it to. Are you also asking me to "stand by" the phrase "in there like swimwear"? If so how? If not why not?

A major chunk of people believed that reaction of people against those burning trains is justified.

Which is just the point.

More importantly, if a "major chunk" believes this, it doesn't make it right, in any sense.

I have reason to believe that to burn a whole bogie down (and for 'stupid' Karsevaks to be fried in it) you had to have atleast intent. And that, they deserve payback. [Emphasis added]

Now we're getting to the meat of it, aren't we? A thousand or so innocents were slaughtered who had zero to do with burning the bogie. You believe these innocents deserved to be killed?

Why do guys like you find the Osamas of this world offensive? They talk the exactly same language as you. Down to the use of words like "payback" and "deserve".

Prakash M Kini said...

If you don't toss them out, you don't get any fixes for security lapses.
So then this logic must also be directed at the Defense Minitry, PM, Naval Forces and ATS and Maharashtra Police too. Wonder why only the CM/ Dy CM were targetted? Any comments?

Because that way, you are rewarding failure. That's what's happened with Gujarat.
Yeah right! The same state that recorded 10% growth rate, was awarded the best administered state by atleast a few observers, including the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation! Yup, that is some serious fialure we see in Gujarat (since people did not displace Modi).

The first piece I had published about the attacks spoke of RR Patil's appearance during the crisis at the Trident, in a convoy of ten cars filled with cops and some trotting cops as well. But of course, that will be forgotten in favour of suggesting that I "chose just" LKA, Modi etc.
Yes sir, thats the same (sic). I givvup. Nicetri though!

Are you trying to tell me there was not a widespread perception in early December last year that there had been a serious failure of law and order between Nov 26 and 29? What were those angry folks shouting about at the Gateway, to pick just one example?
I seriously dont know. I would have liked to ask them what it is that they wanted afterall. And, yes please- my point with respect to the 6 months, I still hold on to.

My subtitle claims things only to people who want it to.
Oh, I thought you took it seriously too.

Are you also asking me to "stand by" the phrase "in there like swimwear"? If so how? If not why not?
Please do! How? How about a nice picture or something?
On second thoughts, are you claiming that you dotn standby what you wrote? Or are you saying yo uwill write whatever you wnat and people can interpret the way they want and not expect you to mean what you wrote?

Which is just the point. More importantly, if a "major chunk" believes this, it doesn't make it right, in any sense.
So, what does? And who tells me what is right? And why?

A thousand or so innocents were slaughtered who had zero to do with burning the bogie. You believe these innocents deserved to be killed?
How do you know everyone who were slaughtered had zero to do with the burning of the bogie?
Answer to your question: No. I dont. But did the first 56 deserve it either? Did any innocent that ever died deserve to die? But they did, didnt they? So, perhaps we must stop our mortal quibbles and stop people burning down trains.

Dilip, I would like to know why do you suddenly assume that I think the riots were justified? All I have been saying is (apart from a wake up, smell the coffee) in a real world, unless people stop treating cancer with medicine for headache, this will happen. If you want to refute me, please prove to me the following:
1. that the thousand who died would still have met their ends if the train bogie was not torched down.
2. ANY State in India has as much power to control a mob -the major chunk that.

Why do guys like you find the Osamas of this world offensive? They talk the exactly same language as you. Down to the use of words like "payback" and "deserve".
If you think there was no fault of America in exploiting Afghanistan against USSR you are, in my opinion, still wrong. People of Afghanistan were wronged against. And the World must have held America responsible for this and made them repent it.

Having said that, that does not justify Osama murdering innocent (the turn-on word) people. But before you shame him for using the words 'payback', 'deserve' (and 'Islam', I guess the most conviniently forgotten word), you will perhaps have to look back and say, hey, I didnt crib when he was wronged agaisnt. So, perhaps I stand no right when he is in the wrong. (Or I can choose to be a hypocrite)

Finally, you are free to assume things the way you want! Everyone has his fantasies - I have mine too.

Dilip D'Souza said...

This must surely qualify as beating a dead horse into the ground, but nevertheless ...

this logic must also be directed at the Defense Minitry, PM, Naval Forces and ATS and Maharashtra Police too.

Of course it must. What do you think some people are trying to do? It's like I said a few comments earlier: "Some of us do more than look. Maybe it's time to find out what."

Yup, that is some serious fialure we see in Gujarat [etc]

Nice again, but no dice.

I wasn't talking about the performance of the government since 2002, I was talking about the failure in 2002. (You know it). No government that allowed such a massive collapse in law and order to happen deserves to stay in office. That remains true regardless of subsequent performance.

are you saying yo uwill write whatever you wnat and people can interpret the way they want and not expect you to mean what you wrote?

I will write whatever I want. People naturally can interpret it the way they want. They must expect me to mean what I write. Make of that what you will.

How do you know everyone who were slaughtered had zero to do with the burning of the bogie?

It seems overwhelmingly likely, wouldn't you say? For example, a few dozen were killed in the village of Dehlol. I would love to know what connection you found between them and the burning of the bogie. Please explain.

did the first 56 deserve it either?

Not in the least. Their deaths also speak of a profound failure of the Guj Government.

So, perhaps we must stop our mortal quibbles and stop people burning down trains.

Indeed we must stop them. What steps have we taken to do that? But more importantly, how does asking for justice for people killed, whether in Godhra or Dehlol or Ahmedabad or Baroda, qualify as a "mortal quibble"? Please explain.

why do you suddenly assume that I think the riots were justified?

I never did think anything of the sort. I tend to start by assuming that the person I'm arguing with, even if I completely disagree, is sickened by massacres like I am sickened by them. That's the assumption I had about you.

But then you floored me by saying you believe, and I quote you, "they deserve payback".

Who deserves payback, the thousand or so killed after Godhra?

Like I said, this is exactly the same language the Osamas (and Stalins and Hitlers and Pol Pots and Hutu leaders and take your pick) use.

you will perhaps have to look back and say, hey, I didnt crib when he was wronged agaisnt.

I have no idea about wrongs that Osama in particular feels, nor am I interested. But plenty of us cribbed plenty about some of the things you mention, re: Afghanistan. Please don't assume that because maybe you didn't, nobody else did either.

And that's about all the beating into the ground I plan to do on this.

Suresh said...

The same state that recorded 10% growth rate, was awarded the best administered state by atleast a few observers, including the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation!

I have no desire to engage with you and your obnoxious views but the above excerpt keeps coming up so frequently in Hindutva-inspired postings that I must issue a correction. For the record, the Rajiv Gandhi foundation did not say anything about Gujarat being the best administered state. What was done by the Rajiv Gandhi foundation (under Bibek Debroy) was to compute an index called economic freedom. Basically, this is about things like how easy it is to start a business in the state, how friendly the state government is towards business and the like. On this index, Gujarat happened to come on top. You have to be truly stupid to interpret this as being an index of administrative efficiency.

The fact that Gujarat was ranked on top in something by the Rajiv Gandhi foundation immediately made news. I think very few bothered to check to see exactly what was said in the report. Smelling an opportunity, Narendra Modi and others in the Sangh parivar immediately misinterpreted - possibly deliberately - the report and proceeded to ¨thank¨ Sonia Gandhi. Sonia Gandhi then responded with some idiocy of her own by asking Bibek Debroy, the Director of the institution to submit all papers for vetting before release. Debroy chose to resign. The following article gives a brief overview of the events leading to Debroy´s resignation:

http://www.rediff.com/money/2005/jul/06bibek.htm

GBO said...

Maybe the silent majority got tired of being pushed and pushed and prodded and poked and punctured, and finally provoked, hit back?

And having done that, realised that it works, so as long as the bad guys know it, life goes on?

After all, more people die on local trains in Mumbai, do we shut down Indian Railways?

Dilip D'Souza said...

the silent majority got tired of being pushed and pushed and prodded and poked and punctured, and finally provoked, hit back?

Pushed and prodded and poked etc, by whom?

"Hit back" at whom?

Why should the same reasoning not apply to, picking one, Osama?

more people die on local trains in Mumbai, do we shut down Indian Railways?

Not at all. But we make efforts to hold people responsible for the accidents and conditions that cause those deaths.

And after all, we do have a precedent: Shastri resigned as railway minister after a serious rail accident in the '60s.

Prakash M Kini said...

this logic must also be directed at the Defense Minitry, PM, Naval Forces and ATS and Maharashtra Police too.
Of course it must. What do you think some people are trying to do? It's like I said a few comments earlier: "Some of us do more than look. Maybe it's time to find out what."


Sorry man, I am completely lost. I didnt see your post decrying the Defense Ministry, PM, Naval forces, ATS and Maharashtra Police. Care to show me where you asked that 'they' be removed from their posts so as to hold them accountable for Mumbai terror?

As to why removal is more important than fixing the problem, I still dont know - you feel Gujarat was a failed state in 2002, They still maintained thier CM and even yo useem to agree that they are better off than any other in India currently. Which brings me to the next point you make..
I wasn't talking about the performance of the government since 2002, I was talking about the failure in 2002. (You know it). No government that allowed such a massive collapse in law and order to happen deserves to stay in office. That remains true regardless of subsequent performance.
If I may remind you - in the interest of beating a dead horse to the ground that is, I was trying to say that here is a state, that despite of the Governments failure to control the riots in 2002 votes it back in power and the state is doing pretty well - that removing VRD doesnt mean anything.

It seems overwhelmingly likely, wouldn't you say? For example, a few dozen were killed in the village of Dehlol. I would love to know what connection you found between them and the burning of the bogie. Please explain.
Probably they didnt. I was only asking you as you seemed to be certain that not one among the 1000 that died was in anyway involved in the crime.

Not in the least. Their deaths also speak of a profound failure of the Guj Government.
And until now, I thought the Railway police was managed by the Railway Ministry!

Indeed we must stop them. What steps have we taken to do that? But more importantly, how does asking for justice for people killed, whether in Godhra or Dehlol or Ahmedabad or Baroda, qualify as a "mortal quibble"? Please explain.
Sure, I happen to love cutting-n-pasting:
1. that the thousand who died would still have met their ends if the train bogie was not torched down.
2. ANY State in India has as much power to control a mob -the major chunk that.


I never did think anything of the sort. I tend to start by assuming that the person I'm arguing with, even if I completely disagree, is sickened by massacres like I am sickened by them.That's the assumption I had about you. But then you floored me by saying you believe, and I quote you, "they deserve payback".
Let me cut-and-paste what I wrote:
The perception, was that a group of Muslims burnt down the bogie containing Karsevaks. And that this was a pre-planned attack. And I have reason to believe that to burn a whole bogie down (and for 'stupid' Karsevaks to be fried in it) you had to have atleast intent. And that, they deserve payback.
First off, the "my belief" part ends with the reason I had to believe the whole bogie down required atleast intent. The "they deserve payback" was about the perception of the major chunk of people.
Notwithstanding that part, show me how my comment above, justified riots. I said they (meaning the group of Mulims that burnt the bogie down) must be made to pay for their crime. If you are saying that those people must not be convicted - I rest my argument.

I do think that the Indians (as you may object if I say they were Muslims) who burnt that train down, do need to be punished; Paid back (if left to me, in the same coin). Yes, that isnt the job of a mob but I dont blame them (a major section of the society) either for the perception they have - that matters need to be taken into their own hands.

I have no idea about wrongs that Osama in particular feels, nor am I interested.
And you still chose to equate him with me. You apparently didnt care to read what i tried to say nor are you apparently interested in Osama's feelings - and you comapre us! Now we are getting somewhere (sic).

Suresh,
For the record, the Rajiv Gandhi foundation did not say anything about Gujarat being the best administered state. What was done by the Rajiv Gandhi foundation (under Bibek Debroy) was to compute an index called economic freedom. Basically, this is about things like how easy it is to start a business in the state, how friendly the state government is towards business and the like. On this index, Gujarat happened to come on top. You have to be truly stupid to interpret this as being an index of administrative efficiency.
Hold on! "happened to be"? So are you saying that the state Govt has NO role whatsoever in making a state business friendly, to facilitate investment in a state? Here is something you may want to chew on: The study defined "economic freedom" as "absence of government coercion or constraint in production, distribution or consumption of goods and services beyond the extent necessary for citizens to protect and maintain liberty by itself". He was also voted the most efficient CM in India by India Today...Or was that Sangh Parivar propoganda too? How about the growth rate in Gujarat?

Ever heard the quote: "Artificial Intelligence is no match for natural stupidity"

My last comment:
Dilip, may I recommend you to watch SouthPark Season 9 Episode 8 ("Two days before the day after tomorrow").

Suresh said...

"Economic Freedom" undoubtedly has a role in administrative efficiency but it is not the only thing that matters. It is not even clear that "economic freedom" is the main or the most important component of administrative efficiency. Hence, to interpret "economic freedom" as being a good indicator of administrative efficiency is being stupid.

Note also that all we are told is that Gujarat came on top in this index in comparison to other states. It certainly does not indicate that there was absence of government coercion or constraint in production, distribution or consumption of goods and services beyond the extent necessary for citizens to protect and maintain liberty by itself. Performing well in comparison to other states is one thing but for a better perspective, one might want to see how
Gujarat performed in relation to some place like Singapore or Hong Kong.

For a critique - not that this will matter to you - see Mohan Guruswamy's article:

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2005/06/27/stories/2005062700200900.htm

Incidentally, where was Modi's famed efficiency during the 2002 "riots"? Oh wait...perhaps that was efficiency at work. What was it, 1000 or more killed in three days of "efficient action"?

I'll end by noting that Modi does seem to have got some things right. See Laveesh Bhandari's article on this, the link for which is given below. Two notes. One, note the qualification right at the top of the article. Second, note Modi's methods - breaking or ignoring the law - which even if they brought dividends for Gujarat leaves me at least, more than a little uneasy. However, his initiatives on the social sector front do seem worthy of emulation.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/riotseconomic-growth/228419/0

Blueshift said...

Great article Dilip. I liked the responses.

Alaphia said...

For people who defend Modi, the question is very simple. Where is your humanity? What is your measure of "development"? You can kill my neighbour as long as you give me bijli, sadak, pani?

What strange universe is this where killing people seems to outrage so few?

Dilip, thanks for the article.

Vistasp Hodiwala said...

Dilip: You were easily one of my favourite columnists back in the days of The Sunday Observer and I am so happy to find your blog on the net because you don't seem to be appearing in mainstream publications any longer (or maybe I do not subscribe to the publications you write in). I was much younger then (or maybe as Dylan says: I was so much older then, I am younger than that now....)

I share your absolute revulsion of Modi and the halo that the rather respectable section of our corporate world has for him but I confess I too did not deem it fit to sign the petition. For one, I am a bit tired of well-meaning tokenisms which don't move even a small mound of sand, leave alone heaven and earth. Also, I feel a bit defeated because most people I converse with seem to have bought into the Modification process completely; especially the State I come from - Garvi Gujarat.

Have you read the piece by S Anand in the recent issue of Tehelka critiquing the petition? Not that I entirely agree with it, but it makes for an absorbing conversation. The parts about Gandhi leave me rather cold, but I would love to know your take on it.

Here's the link: http://www.tehelka.com/story_main41.asp?filename=Op310109misleading_gandhigiri.asp

Vistasp Hodiwala
Mumbai

Anonymous said...

Dilip,
But he got re-lected didn;t he?
He has got people's mandate.
An election was conducted, he has won the election.

Now, your only choice is to preach to the people of Gujarat.

Anonymous said...

WELL THIS IS A DEMOCRACY AND INDIA IS WORLDS MIRROR FOR DEMOCRACY OR YOU CAN SAY A POSTER BOY FOR DEMOCRACY BUT IT IS REALLY SHAMEFULL THAT FOR THE WHOLE 60 YEARS OF INDIAN DEMOCRACY WE DONT HAVE A MUSLIM PM.AM I RIGHT? TELL ME?
http://nodahej.com

Anonymous said...

CHECK THIS UNIQUE SITE
www.nodahej.com Matrimonial Site is the worlds only Matrimonial Site for peoples who don't want to take and give dowries for their marriages.its total free site.Add your Free Matrimonial Profile Now.
http://nodahej.com