- We are still alive in 2017! So many died in 2016. As my libby friend says “Say a silent prayer for those souls liberated from Modi’s rule and ATM deaths!”
- Despite dire predictions of riots (by no less a luminary than the Chief Justice of India), starvation, destitution and what have you, demonetisation went off very well. On the last day of 2016 was able to draw money without difficulty, 100 Rupee notes too. All ATMs, at least near where I live, were well stocked and had no souls floating around except the security guard. Some Liberals inform me that the ghosts of those dead due to demonetisation are floating around ATMs. I would take that with a sackful of salt because Liberals lie all the time (it’s a global phenomenon). They claim they are atheists and should not therefore believe in ghosts and because all ‘demonetisation deaths’ are the creation of the fertile imagination of Fiberals. Any death within 10 km of a Bank branch or ATM qualifies for Death by Demonetisation.
- All maids, drivers, cooks etc. who serve the toiling celebrities, were finally able to buy the provisions and vegetables so badly needed for keeping their family alive. These families had been starved by Modi for 50 days due to his thoughtless act of demonetisation. Incidentally, my maid only got delayed by an hour on one day for drawing money during the 50 day period. It is only maids, cooks and dhobis of celebrities who were not able to draw money. (Am rather surprised that labourers and farmers were the only ones that had to stand in queues every day for drawing money. Wonder if they earn that much.)
- Modi did not serve any surprises in his year end speech which benefited people buying homes, pregnant women and senior citizens. So those inclined to tipple did so without inhibitions. In fact so relieved were many men that some went on a grope binge on Brigade Road in Bengaluru. Only the cameras of Times Now caught them in the act. All the CC TV cameras installed by the Police could not capture the group grope better than Times Now. This allowed Navika to do an Arnab impression by saying “You saw it first on Times Now!” (Before someone shouts Misogynist, let me assure everyone that I am as anxious as anyone else to find the gropers.)
- My milk supplier and cable operator finally accepted cheques in payment. Thanks to Modi! Digital India or not, we had Cheque Payment India.
- The ATM in my apartment complex progressed from not having any money to having only Rs 2000 notes.
- I finally got the hang of PayTM and used it for the first time to pay my Uber cab today. I can now buy vegetables without having to say “Cash illa, aameli koduthini!” (No cash, will pay later!). Yes my friendly neighbourhood vegetable vendor accepts payment through PayTM
- The bakery on the Main Road near my place has applied for a POS machine and will soon accept cards.
- Ma Banerjee and Kejri went mad with grief when all their ‘donations’ evaporated in a trice. Their protests against demonetisation flopped as they could not ‘rally round’ their followers because their cash had turned to instant fertilizer.
- I can still touch my toes and see my chappals when I look down, as my middle age spread has not spread too far (for all those who think this is nothing, wait till you turn 64!). This is because of all the running around I did walking to my bank 3 km away! The collateral benefit of turning 64 is that I could stop singing the iconic Beatles song When I’m 64, as one looks pretty silly singing it when one has turned 64! For those who have not heard it, here it is! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAzaOZfgf0M
On 8th of November, at 8 PM, our Prime Minister announced that all Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes would cease to be legal tender from midnight of that day. He made it clear in his telecast to the Nation that the move was aimed at hitting at black or unaccounted money and to curb terrorism that thrives on illegal funding. He also mentioned that our neighbours have been sending counterfeit currency to our country and this is being used to sabotage the economy and also to fund terrorists.
This is a very welcome move. The incidence of black money commenced with corruption of bureaucrats and politicians and took wings with funding provided to terrorists, and their active and tacit supporters in the political class, as well as bureaucrats and policemen on the take.
Let us now see the magnitude of the problem. Most of the currency in India, at least till midnight of the 8th was in the form of high denomination notes. As per the Finance Minister, 88% of the notes in circulation are high denomination notes. These notes are used freely mainly by people unable to convert black to white, or accounted money. Let us assume that X is a bureaucrat who receives regular bribes in the course of his work. The bribes may be direct or indirect. Similarly, X could well be a politician vested with enormous discretionary powers to make or break a project that a businessman has invested time and money in.
For reasons of convenience, the money has to be paid in high denomination notes. The volume of bribes received by many officials is so huge that they often have no place to store the money. This money either fuels the sale of items such as jewelry, real estate or many things that are part of conspicuous consumption such as high end music systems, cars, crockery and others. These items are invariably purchased in cash and are in the names of third parties, mostly relatives. I remember that a raid was conducted in the Sub Registrar’s office in Bangalore a few years back. The staff threw their bribes out of the windows so that they would not be caught with tainted money. They were obviously willing to forego their booty for the day, as there would be a never ending supply once the raids were over.
While these events are not likely to stop, their continued presence is a blot on an honest Government. In addition, there are other corrupt people. We have smugglers, black marketers, hoarders and several others who thrive on a tax free cash fueled business.
However, the biggest threat to the safety of our country is terrorism. Terrorists are sent with fake currency from across the border of our Western neighbor, Pakistan. There is also a fake currency industry operating from Malda in West Bengal. It is no coincidence that there is the involvement of a number of Islamists in this racket. Malda is a Muslim majority district close to the Bangladesh border. Here’s what Wikipedia says about Malda: –
“Malda is believed to be a hub of a fake currency racket. It is reported that 90 per cent of the fake currency that enters India from Pakistan via Bangladesh comes in from Malda which borders the neighbouring country.”
We come back to Pakistan as the source of fake currency. So, the fake currency manufactured by Pakistan comes to India through Bangladesh’s porous border with us. It also explains the extreme distress demonetisation has caused to Ms Mamta Banerjee, the honorable Chief Minister of West Bengal. We do know that Ms Banerjee, like those from many ‘secular’ parties is an Islamist appeaser. Unfortunately, her appeasement has gone beyond ‘accepted lines’ as she is now, to all appearances, in cahoots with traitorous elements in her state who have no qualms whatsoever, in debasing the Indian Rupee, by flooding the market with Fake Indian Currency Notes aka FICN.
Let us see the effect this currency has on our market. If the price of say Sugar is Rs 40 per kg, an infusion of 10% FICN will see the cost jump up by around Rs 4, as per a very rough estimate, assuming that the supply does not change in any way. This is because an additional 10% of rupees would be chasing the same 1 kg of sugar. You and I, dear reader, have earned money the hard way, paid taxes on this amount earned, and buy whatever we need for the household form the tax paid money. However, those who have FICN in their possession have no taxes to pay and could potentially have an unlimited supply of cash.
In addition, those who have acquired money through dubious means by being corrupt, are also chasing the same goods with the huge amount of money in their purse. For such people, price is no object. Don’t be surprised if the same sugar goes up in price to Rs 50, thanks to the corrupt.
Here’s one more scenario that is being played out every day. The corrupt people take bribes in cash and in high denomination notes. They cannot know if they also receive a small part or much of their bribes in FICN. Even if they were able to detect fakes, their lack of integrity would not prevent them from buying goods with the fake currency.
Why is it possible to slip in FICN into the economy? There is a history behind it. We had outsourced printing of notes to overseas European and American companies. A lot of the history is provided in this link. Bottomline is that we have the same supplier of currency paper as Pakistan and there has been a compromise involving the printing equipment and Pakistan is flooding our economy with fake currency.
As can be seen, for various reasons, our currency integrity has been compromised over the years. Hence, the only way we can rid ourselves of fake currency is by going ‘cold turkey’, viz. by a one shot solution that deals a body blow to these fakes.
On the 8th of this month, Narendra Modi, our honourable Prime Minister, dealt this blow by announcing demonetisation of currency notes of value Rs 500 and Rs 1000. Predictably this caused a big furore. As I write this, both houses of Parliament have witnessed raucous scenes. The Opposition that believes it is their job to oppose, may well be within their rights to protest thus, actually have no leg to stand on. This move of Modi has exposed all people who oppose the demonetization as those with a lot of unaccounted money who are scrambling to save their shekels.
To top it all, they invoke their ‘god’, the forgotten common man! Here’s what the people think of Demonetisation.
In some places the immediate reaction was unfavourable, bordering on hostile. Mostly though, the public has borne the change with fortitude and are with the Government on this.
Obviously, this move would have some negative effect on businesses that depend on cash payments. How many of us who carefully pay our bills in stores and restaurants with cards, see some carrying wads of cash and paying for their purchases with it. All this, at least in the near future, would be a thing of the past.
Fallout of the episode has been a big spurt in mobile transfers of funds such as PayTM. Some vegetable vendors have installed Point of Sale (POS) machines to help customer without cash.
Or this one, the video is in Tamil, but the actions will tell it all
Overall, there has been a positive effect on people who feel that the Government has taken the right step for eliminating Black Money. The only people who are ‘blue’ are those with huge piles of useless cash lying in their homes, money that was acquired through loot, corruption or paid for aiding and abetting terrorism. Such people are singing a (unsolicited) dirge for the common people, who, to their intense discomfiture, appear to be perfectly happy with demonetization.
Let us see one more reaction, by a 73 year old gentleman from a posh area of Bengaluru, when asked what he felt like for having to stand in a long queue. Here’s what transpired: –
“A great reply by a senior citizen on the present scenario.
A person was standing in queue in front of kormangala HDFC bank to have his hard earned money deposited.
Then he asked reaction of 73 old senior citizen on how he is feeling about the government who made him to stand in a long queue.
The reply was really simple and amazing..
“If I can stand in a long queue to have a 1 minute Darshan at Tirupati Balaji Temple and hope that everything in my life will be good after this , although there is no 100% guarantee for that, why can’t stand now where I know it is definitely going to do good for my Nation INDIA.”
A great motivation for our new generation……Again a lesson coming from our elders …”
Tweet by @Frustitute
Having got all these reactions, there are a few relevant questions that have been asked about black money and demonetization that need to be answered.
- Will this step remove black money from the system?
Answer: Our PM says this is the first step. (This step has met with a great response from the people, never mind the rudaalis (professional wailers) of the media!) Obviously, much more needs to be done, such as tracking and confiscating property acquired in false names by the corrupt. There is also a huge amount of money that has been remitted abroad to tax havens. This needs to be traced and brought back.
- What about allegations by some politicians that demonetization was known to some businessmen in advance?
Answer: I will deal with one allegation made by a gentleman (and I use the term advisedly!) who has been called a lot of names and is famous for ‘shoot and scoot’.
This person said that the demonetization move was leaked to Mukesh Ambani, who used black money to fund his ambitious Reliance Jio project. In case you have been living like a hermit in a cave far away from wifi and mobile internet, Jio has provided free wifi to all users till 31st December 2016. Coincidentally, as per this politician, the last date for exchanging old notes is 30th December 2016. Hence, all revenues that accrue to Jio from 2017 would be in ‘white’ as against expenditure in black money.
One could call the politician in question a moron or worse. Fact is that he has a constituency of totally lamebrained followers who hang on to every word he speaks, believing it to be truer than the Gita, the Bible or any other religious text.
To answer this, we must say that Ambani must be remarkably prescient to know that Modi would ascend the PM’s seat in 2014 and demonetize high value currency in 2016, because Reliance Jio was conceived more than 5 years ago and work started on the project five years agao, when Modi was still CM of Gujarat, preparing to fight an election to give him a third term of office as CM of Gujarat.
Here’s what my take on demonetization. The reason it was done was only partly to remove black money cash from the system. It was, in my humble opinion, done only to stop funding of terrorists and their supporters in India. A lot of fake Rupees in high denominations has flown in through Bangladesh from Pakistan. The modus operandi is to use diplomatic bags to smuggle FICN to Bangladesh and then send it to India through Malda. This money is used for paying say stone pelters in Kashmir, terrorists coming into India through the Bangladesh border or through Kashmir. Sometimes this is given to terrorists from Pakistan in that country. Overall, it is a devious plot to weaken India, a country that Pakistan can never compete with in any field of human endeavour.
Hence, demonetization has dealt a death blow to terrorist funding. It also shows that since there are no riots despite long queues in banks for exchange of notes, something that was easy to arrange for scumbag politicians, all disturbances were created using black money or FICN to pay rioters. Note how the entire opposition is in total disarray, unable to pay the crowds that come to their rallies, unable to fund their election expenditure and unable to come to grips with the changed situation.
In one swoop Modi has endeared himself to the people, destroyed black money that funds elections and made crooked businessmen run for cover. In addition, he has already pushed a number of people into the banking system, through Jandhan accounts. Small vendors are now using mobile transactions to get payments from customers. This has been a massive step towards financial inclusion and in due course, more people will have to pay taxes. It is possible to use a banking transaction tax to fund the budget. That’s another story!
For the moment, I am loving it! Seeing crooks being beaten Black and Blue!
It is perhaps strange that this post started with the grammatical error of using a lower case for first letter of a proper noun. I do it with good reason. Unlike Wodehouse’s character Sir Jasper ffinch ffarrowmere, in the story of Mulliner the inventor, who deliberately used small letters for his last name, my premise is that tipu does not even deserve to be mentioned except in the lower case.
To my mind, tipu was a tyrant whom we have no business to deify. The corrupt and anti National types, of whom I tweet on and write at length in my blog from time to time, do it. In fact they talk of tipu as a great freedom fighter. Here is one example of how tipu demonstrated his ‘patriotism’
Here is his ‘kindness’ to his subjects
Kindness to his troops
Why British wanted to befriend him
All this taken from actual reports in The Times dating back to the 18th century, indicates that tipu was a cruel and barbarous person whose main function in life was to convert people to Islam or kill them if they disobeyed.
Sandeep Balakrishna’s book describes in detail the kind of tyrant tipu was. Here is one article by Sandeep where he recounts in detail the tale of tipu’s several atrocities across Karnataka and Kerala. Thanks partly to the conversion spree of tipu, Kerala has a significant Muslim population.
On a personal note, I would like to mention how tipu’s men, on the orders of tipu, killed a large number of people from my small community of Mandyam Iyengars.
On Naraka Chaturdashi, Deepavali day for most Hindus, Tipu’s men massacred around 700 or so people, men, women and children, who had gathered in a temple in Srirangapatna, for prayers and bhajans. Although some accounts say they were beheaded, the probable correct version, which I heard in Melukote a few months back was that the temple was surrounded, doors locked and the temple set on fire. This temple was not opened for over 200 years. This was the Mandyam Iyengar holocaust. The barbaric act was perpetrated by tipu to take revenge on Tirumale Iyengar and Narayana Iyengar, his dewans whom he suspected of perfidy. To this day, we Mandyam Iyengars belonging to the Bharadvaja gotra do not celebrate Deepavali on Naraka Chaturdashi.
Whatever happened was Godhra on a much larger scale. There was no justification for the barbarism of tipu who had destroyed and continued to destroy many temples. The only temples he spared were those of Ranganatha. When he was on one of his rounds, he came across a temple. On inquiring he was informed that it was a Ranganatha temple, although it was a Srinivasa temple. This temple stayed intact and is still referred to as Biligiri Ranga.
These are only some of the atrocities committed by tipu. Sandeep’s book Tipu Sultan, the Tyrant of Mysore will provide the details. It is available on Amazon and Flipkart
It is a pity that CM Siddaramaiah is planning to hold tipu ‘Jayanthi’ on Naraka Chaturdashi. Rubbing salt on Hindu wounds is par for the congressis who are worried only about their diminishing Muslim vote bank. One hopes that there is some sanity restored and this farce of deifying a tyrant and a scoundrel like tipu is halted permanently.
The brouhaha on conversions started because a few Muslims apparently became Hindus. This resulted in Parliament being stopped by the opponents of this conversion. However, when the Government volunteered to bring in an anti conversion bill, the opposition was not in a mood to relent or support the bill. This beats my understanding. If one is opposed to the conversion of foreign religions to Hinduism, you must be opposed to the reverse flow. Right? No, wrong apparently! This tells you a whole lot of how much the opposition parties, discredited and shunned in the Parliamentary elections of 2014 and in the Assembly elections before and after this watershed event still hang on to the coattails of secularism! Hoping against hope, these worthies think that their idea of secularism will find resonance among the Christists and Islamists of their flock.
The media, severely compromised, excepting for honorable persons such as Gaurav Sawant, never ‘realized’ that there were mass conversions happening in several parts of the country. They never were aware that the entire North East has become predominantly Christist. Christists there are fanatic to the extent that they disallow tribals who are not converted to celebrate their own festivals. But the media is blind to this. Is it because the media and press are funded by the enemies of Hinduism? Every possibility, as the evidence points to this fact.
My blog post of 2011 has more than hinted at this and has been endorsed by @mediacrooks who has come out with this more recent article in his blog. Then we have one more article. http://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/et-commentary/conversion-a-new-breed-of-evangelical-groups-that-are-like-hyper-growth-startups/
by a person who should know the corporate world very well having worked in Infosys, one of the giants among IT companies in India. Mr. Mohandas Pai is a financial wizard who has worked as CFO for Infy and also as head of HRD.
Here are my simple conclusions about conversions. The fact is that conversions are part of a multibillion dollar enterprise that is also trans-national in nature. This is as bad for India’s religious fabric as trans fats are for the human body. In the case of any legitimate business enterprise, there is a hierarchical structure and a desire to maximize growth in number of customers as well as profits. In order to grow customers there are two routes, one to build a new set of customers who are first time users of your products. The other is to recruit the stars of a competitor and poach customers of their earlier company. This is a practice frowned upon in public and encouraged in private. Companies have got wiser and are tightening their processes and system security to ensure that information does not leak out. For instance, in a bank that I was a consultant to, I provided the keywords that could help in detecting information leaks. Further, emails were monitored to ensure that what went out was not a company secret. Hinduism is like a company which is still in the nineteenth century, a point I shall expand in the next paragraph.
Why are Hindus such an easy target for poachers? It is because we have not built a defence against such poachers. The Hindu way is one which accepts many paths leading to the Divine. The difference between Hindus and two faiths originating in the Middle East is that these faiths believe in one true God and that ‘their’ God is the only way. Hindus are a little too simple and cannot even envisage that there are poachers out there who want to convert and create enemies of Hindus. Building a defence comes when you realize that there is a threat and that you need to find ways and means to counter it.
We have two main religions converting Hindus and, in a few cases, Sikhs as well. The reverse conversion occurs rarely and when done with some fanfare results in a ‘Sicko backlash’. The logic is that it is fine to convert Hindus to desert faiths but not okay for them to return to their native faith. Why have we reached this kind of situation when anything favouring Hinduism is an RSS conspiracy or majoritarianism or saffronisation? The worst thing is that the idiots who try to thrust this logic down our throats are mostly Hindus. Correction, they are HINOs or Hindus In Name Only. Worse still, all that money flowing into India must also flow to members of Press, Media etc. who are either ‘entertained’ lavishly or simply bribed with money or favours.
Let us hark back to a time when Dalits converted en masse to Buddhism on the urging of Dr. Ambedkar. There never was a big hue and cry to the best of my knowledge, barring a few cluck clucks. Main reason was that Buddhism was considered a part of Hinduism and not an ‘alien’ faith. For that matter Jains and Sikhs have no inhibitions in going to a Hindu temple. Year before last, I celebrated Janmashtami in a Gurudvara in Dubai. There were Krishna bhajans sung by all and a statue of Krishna was decorated and worshipped. Lastly, Prasad of Kalakand was distributed to all present. One of the most beautiful shrines is the Gurudvara in Jebel Ali in Dubai. You will see more Hindus there than Sikhs. All worship there. Many Hindus recite the Gurbani and participate in the Langar, helping with the cooking and serving hundreds of devotees who flock to the Gurudvara. Let me also say that I found a peace in the Gurudvara which made me think that the shrine was not of an alien faith but our very own. You will not hear of a Hindu trying to make a Sikh a Hindu or vice versa. Both know that the other is really not another!
Not quite the case with desert faiths like Islam and Christianity. Both these faiths have a different agenda as their objective is not merely conversion to their way of worship, but to alter the culture of the convertee. Simple things like changing the name, creating new social customs, asking those converted to bring in more into the faith and also making them destroy the vestiges of Hinduism. One of the pastors exulted in some new member of his flock destroying the idols he used to worship. This is something which has come about as a second wave and is apposite for the Kaliyuga, where money power plays a prominent part.
It is unfortunate that we have not built a strong defence against religious poachers. This has to be tackled in a multi-pronged way. There really are no shortcuts.
Let us take possible strategies to tackle the menace of conversions. We should start by understanding what is the threat posed by conversions to Christianity and to Islam. Next we should observe and understand tactics and strategies employed by the convertors. Thirdly we must create a counter to each of their strategies.
As one can see, Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma is the enemy and the desert faiths are clear about the strategies they need to employ for getting people into their faith.
Here is a video by Dr Subramanian Swamy that tells you the true story of why Sanatana Dharma has withstood the efforts by marauders to convert the populace to their religions.
There is a combination of three factors that ensured against Islam getting a majority of Indians converted to their faith.
- The first was a strongly rooted to tradition populace that were averse to abandoning their faith
- There were many wars fought against Muslim marauders including the Moghuls and vast swathes of land were outside their rule. Further, Indians love heroes such as Rana Pratap and Lakshmibai , who fought valiantly, even if they did not win.
- Third was a lack of a central authority, such as one book, one god etc. So destroying thousands of books in Nalanda, for instance, did not matter in that there were many other books elsewhere. Similarly destroying one temple or destroying the deities in the temples did not create a spiritual void in the hearts of devotees.
Actually Hinduism is a monotheistic faith in that we have “Sarvadeva Namaskaram Keshavam Pratigacchatthi.” (loosely translated all prayers to different Devas finally go to Keshava). However, it is a highly decentralised system.
Hinduism is a highly evolved faith, which provides for a graded ascendancy to merge with the Supreme. It also lays down at least four paths to the Supreme, which allows all people to aspire for a higher existence. It says that we are all God, “Aham Brahmasmi” but have not realized it yet. Desert faiths have God as a third party directing things from above! Surely one needs an anchor to guide one in times of difficulty and the idea that a supreme God sits somewhere and guides you to the right path would be comforting for simple folk.
Unfortunately, the question of God soon deteriorates into “My God is better that yours!” with desert faiths. However, in the case of Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma as it should be called, the recognition of diversity of faiths is built in and thus there is no attempt to ‘convert’ people to Hindus. One can say with absolute conviction that those who have adopted the path of Sanatana Dharma from Christianity or Islam (on rare occasions) have done so from conviction rather than compulsion. As a matter of fact, compulsion is totally alien to Sanatana Dharma.
Let us now come to, what I believe, is a well organized conspiracy against the culture of India. This has been going on for quite a few years and has been subtly used by India’s enemies. The fulcrum of Hindustan’s social existence is the Family. The family is matriarchal in nature de facto, and is patriarchal in name only. One can see the conspiracy against the Indian family by slowly letting the germ of an idea spread that it is okay to have live in relationships and ‘gay’ lifestyle and so on. Let us understand that being homosexual is something private and it is not part of Indian culture to flaunt it into the face of society. The bedrock of India is a monogamous heterosexual marriage and children born out of such a union are part of the family.
However, for the minions of media, this family is primitive and the West has a more open and liberal society where open marriages, live in relationships, gay marriage etc. have been accepted. We also know how dysfunctional their entire society is. In this regard, I went through a defence of Section 377A by the PM of Singapore and his speech is very illuminating. Remember that Singapore is a far more Westernised society than India but is still not prepared to accept an openly gay lifestyle. Here are the concluding remarks of his speech: –
“So, we will let others take the lead, we will stay one step behind the front line of change; watch how things work out elsewhere before we make any irrevocable moves. We were right to uphold the family unit when western countries went for experimental lifestyles in the 1960s – the hippies, free love, all the rage, we tried to keep it out. It was easier then, all you had were LPs and 45 RPM records, not this cable vision, the Internet and travel today. But I am glad we did that, because today if you look at Western Europe, the marriage as an institution is dead. Families have broken down, the majority of children are born out of wedlock and live in families where the father and the mother are not the husband and wife living together and bringing them up. And we have kept the way we are. I think that has been right.
I think we have also been right to adapt, to accommodate homosexuals in our society, but not to allow or encourage activists to champion gay rights as they do in the West. So I suggest, Mr Speaker, and I suggest to the Members of the House, we keep this balance, leave section 377A alone. I think there is space in Singapore and room for us to live harmoniously and practically, all as Singapore citizens together. Thank you very much.”
The conservativeness of India is something that has evolved over the years and despite a lot more of openness, our society is still based on family values. Please note that the society of Muslims and Christians is not very different and they have similar family values to that of Hindus. Despite some rhetoric about polygamous marriages, the vast majority of Muslims still have one wife and do not exercise a Shariah given right to marry four times!
Hence, the attempts by media, by Bollywood and its rootless stars, to make a more bohemian lifestyle the norm, have encountered serious resistance from our conservative society. Our society is still rooted to the values of family, of thrift and a virtuous life.
There are serious inroads being made and this is a Neo Macaulayian attempt to make India ashamed of its heritage and knowledge. Let us recollect what Lord Macaulay said
“We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect. ….”
This is less malicious than this quote wrongly attributed to Lord Macaulay
“”I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.”
While this is the stick used to beat Macaulay with, it is something which has been taken seriously by the denizens of the media, no doubt helped by the ‘cultural indoctrination’ they have been subjected to by the likes of Prannoy James Roy and other suchlike characters who have tried their very best to demonise Hindus and to promote desert cults like Islam and Christianity with zeal envied by several missionaries. Why would they not do it? They are no doubt well funded through back channels. How else would a channel like NDTV survive even when making huge losses as per their own financial statements?
Ever since Narendra Modi became PM and started India on the road to development, Christian persecution became the theme. This started when President Barack Obama made this speech adding in it something about ‘religious tolerance’. Of course, none of the media Einsteins reminded him that there is no such thing as ‘religious tolerance’ in Sanatana dharma. There is only acceptance of varied forms of worship.
The Hindus are the most accepting people. They are ready to accept different Gods. For instance, my apartment has a Ganesh temple, but we regularly go the ISKCON temple as well. My pooja room has varied forms of Vishnu and Ganesha as well as Shiva in Dakshina Murthy form. We have a Shivalinga and a Saligrama, even if we are Sri Vaishnavas who do not normally worship Shiva.
The problems arise only when the desert faiths proclaim that their god is the only god. Hence, there is an attempt to convert ‘non-believers’ to their way of worship. This has resulted in families being torn asunder. One of the maids who worked in my house was named Padma, but she was a Christian. Her husband continued to be Hindu and did the Ayyappa pilgrimage annually, even as his other family members went to church. This is just one instance of conversion causing schisms n the family and breaking up society. This happens when a community is converted and some people stick to their native faith.
The Presstitutes never see any of these things. For instance, when the recent earthquake took place in Nepal, they never saw the selfless service rendered by the RSS, as the RSS is considered a ‘Hindu chauvinist’ outfit.
When Shri Mohan Bhagvat, the Sarvasanghchalak of the RSS mentioned that service needs to be done without trying to convert and made an oblique reference to Mother Teresa’s motives, the entire media headed by that super prime Presstitute Arnab Goswami went to town on Bhagvat, as if Mother Teresa were the purest of saints with no motive. Here is a quote attributed to her which exposes her love for suffering and poverty in others!
“One day I met a lady who was dying of cancer in a most terrible condition. And I told her, I say, “You know, this terrible pain is only the kiss of Jesus — a sign that you have come so close to Jesus on the cross that he can kiss you.” And she joined her hands together and said, “Mother Teresa, please tell Jesus to stop kissing me”.
Fact is that MT had absolutely no powers to do anything but mouth platitudes!
The Christian padres are an insidious force supported by foreign funds and from people who come on tourist visas to India and try to convert as many as possible. Here are a few examples sourced from Twitter
Indian Missionary targeting Uttrakhand , they converted but are keeping “Hindu” names , to fool People ?? https://woh.org/work/ministry/garhwali …
Swami Vivekananda said that we do not just lose a Hindu when someone from Sanatana Dharma converts to Muslim or Christian, but we add an enemy.
Lastly, here is a wonderful and brilliant article by Rajeev Srinivasan, a true account of why conversions are taking place and why the ante has been upped by American missionaries and why their poodle #Presstitutes are on their side. Worst thing is that many of the #Presstitutes are ostensibly Hindus. But our country has a long history of traitors. Two come to my mind immediately, one was Jaichand and the other Mir Jafar.
The worst enemies of Hindus are not Muslims and Christians. They are the Presstitutes and other useful sicko idiots, mostly Hindu, even if in name only!
As usual it is that time of the year when the Finance Minister has had his say on the proposals for garnering revenue and the expenditure. To me it makes little difference on where the money goes and as is usual for politicians of any hue, the proposals are based on political considerations and the immediate exigencies of political life.
Be that as it may, my concern is more on the revenue side and in that lies the answer of how the Government hopes to bring in the moolah to fund various schemes that it sets itself to conclude to fruition.
Here is an extremely short version of what the Govt hopes to do
(Rs in crores)
|2014-15||2015-16||Increase over previous year||Percentage Change|
Every budget is simply a statement of what is to be extracted from the populace and what is to be spent on them. There is an element of injustice in that people that the Govt. spends on are generally those who do not contribute to the exchequer, directly. But that is the price one pays for living in society. There is another injustice in that the Govt. plucks only low hanging fruit, namely the salaried class that has no escape from the amount of tax deducted at source. On the other hand a businessman has the choice of first charging all his expenses to the business and then paying tax, if at all, on the net income. So his car expenses, the interest on his car loan and who knows, his home loan as well are all paid for by Jaitley uncle, who in turn extracts the money from toi et moi! All his expenses on food, whether at home or outside becomes entertainment expense. His new BMW is a part of corporate purchase and he uses it happily for his personal purposes, ferrying his children to school and the memsahib to the club or the mall or wherever! This is because he is supposed to be taking a ‘risk’. Well, the only risk is with the bank that has so happily lent money to this person or his company. When his company goes belly up, there are some assets in his wife’s name or minor children’s names and are thus untouchable.
The above list is merely illustrative rather than exhaustive. The salaried class people are the biggest suckers and will still vote for the BJP or Congress or whoever. Nonetheless, the congress never ever tried to cater to the middle class, concentrating on the Muslims, the dalits and adivasis as also others considered poor.
Here the BJP has totally betrayed the salaried class. What else can one say if there is not single sops for the salaried class except, the you save and you save tax kind of nonsense? Still, they have managed to fool the commentariat who believe that this is a ‘balanced’ budget. All budgets are balanced, in the sense that the two columns of income and expenditure add up to the same amount. The entire budget is built on smokescreens and illusions. For instance, the reduction of corporate tax to 25%, fine print saying we will do this over five years. 2019 is a big illusion. BJP may or may not be in power after that election! The new Govt. will always try to do just the opposite of what has been done by the BJP.
To me the BJP should have addressed the asymmetry of taxation loaded against the salaried class. They should have spread the burden to everyone, except those who are really poor. To illustrate the asymmetry, please go through the next para.
We have a total population of 1.2 billion people, of which roughly 50% are below the poverty line. So that leaves us 60 crore people who can pay some taxes. You have an Aadhar card which will become compulsory. Filter out all those who are BPL. Here is an analysis of how many Indians pay taxes and how much (thanks to Mr Arun Prabhudesai for this nugget http://trak.in/tags/business/2012/04/30/income-taxes-paid-indians-overview-numbers-graphs/) : –
And here are the figures of how much is collected from people in various tax slabs: –
|Slab||(Rs. in crores)||Percentage of tax collected|
So we are dependent on a miniscule 1.3% of taxpayers to pay 63% of the taxes. Most of these people must be salaried and cannot escape taxes. What of the vast unwashed who buy the BMWs and still come in the first two categories.
To me, it is impossible that only 1.3% or roughly 4.21 lac people are in the top bracket. In India paying taxes is a mug’s game. Let us start concentrating on those who earn substantial monies like the chaatwala who owns two houses and five plots or the panwala or the kirana store guy. Most of these persons pay no taxes. They would form at least 20% of the population. Create a presumptive tax of RS 6000 or Rs 500 p.m. for each of these worthies. Renewal of licences can be made dependent on payment of presumptive tax. This proposal itself would fetch Rs 72000 crores. Suppose we are able to get a tax base of roughly 25% of the populace or 30 crores. Going by the Pareto principle, 80% would fall under the lowest bracket. That is 24 crore people who have incomes that can be covered by presumptive taxation. The revenue yield will be 1,44,000 crores and this is a new stream. Create three slabs, one lowest or 6000 p.a., second 12000 p.a and a third of 24,000 p.a. Assuming an yield of 18000 p.a. on an average from the remaining 6 crore people, the total tax revenue would be 2.52 lac crores. The total individual income tax budgeted for the current year is Rs3.27 lac crores.
This is only one small illustration of the possibilities of collecting taxes from the untaxed. However, we are still keeping a large portion of people out of the direct tax net. And there is a painless way by which all people will pay tax and without cribbing. It is entirely possible to abolish income taxes and other claptrap such as service tax, sales tax, excise duty etc.
I was fascinated by Baba Ramdev’s proposal of a Banking Transaction Tax or BTT. So I did a bit of research into the feasibility of imposing such a tax. To begin with, it is a tax that can easily be computed and collected as the onus would be with the banks that do the transactions. The amount per transaction can be calibrated such that the maximum payable amount would not be in excess of say 5% of the debit and credit legs of one transaction. Here is an illustration. Let us say a person gets an income of Rs 50,000 a month. He or she would pay Rs 500 on the credit to account, if BTT is fixed at 1%. Per annum this would be Rs 6000. Assuming the person saves RS 10,000 p.m., the amount spent would be RS 40000 p.m. on which there would be a BTT of Rs 400 p.m. Hence, the tax payable would be Rs 10800 p.a. At current rates of taxation, the tax payable would be Rs 25000. This does not include indirect taxes that are levied on whatever goods or services purchased by him or her. Assuming that is 10% on an average, he or she ends up paying a total of Rs 4000 p.m. or Rs 48000 p.a. as tax
Point that arises is whether the tax collected thus will be adequate for compensating the revenue lost from direct and indirect taxation? For this I took the figures of banking transactions only of RTGS, ECS and NEFT. This excludes the figures of cash transactions in banks, transfers, clearing etc.
As an illustration, I collected the figures regarding Banking Transactions, only from ECS, NEFT and RTGS. The total transactions as per RBI’s site http://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/NEFTView.aspx are as under (until January 2015 this fiscal): –
Total ECS Transactions Rs 309000 crores
Total NEFT Transactions Rs 9496000 Crores
Total RTGS Transactions Rs 123233000 crores
Total of ECS, NEFT and RTGS till January 2015 Rs 133038000 crores
Expected Transactions till end of current fiscal Rs 159645600 crores
Transaction Tax at 1.5% of transactions Rs 2394684 crores
Transaction Tax at 1.1% of transactions Rs 1463418 crores
Total Central Taxes Budgeted for 2015-2016 Rs 1449490 crores
This illustrates why a completely new paradigm is necessary for collecting taxes. The current machinery is grossly inefficient and also prone to corruption. While the presumptive tax can replace personal taxation, the BTT can replace all other taxes. Now, no VAT, no Sales Tax, no Service Tax etc. would need to be collected. All these would just vanish. This money can be collected easily and without hassles. Give banks three to four months to get their systems compliant for collecting BTT and automate the collection process as well as submission of returns.
Imagine how easy it becomes to move goods around without having to worry about this and that tax. How much time would be saved by businesses? Further, the tax on banking transactions has only covered electronic transfers. The vast transactions through cash in banks and clearing transactions have not been mentioned here as there are no dependable sources of information on these transactions. But these will also yield a big bonanza. My estimate is that a BTT will result in revenue of over double the current year’s fiscal budget
The government can work on exceptions such as subsidy transfers for people below the poverty line etc. The surplus revenue gained from all these transactions will be more than adequate to fund infrastructure and create employment for all.
The question therefore is whether the Government will implement such an idea that makes collection of taxes easy and allows the people to breathe freely. Moreover, since the burden of transaction tax collection falls on the banks, submission of returns etc. by the lay public etc. will be unnecessary. Since the taxes are themselves not onerous, there will be very little resistance. Further, black money generation will also get reduced.
We now come to the trillion dollar question on what to do with the vast bureaucratic army that will now become redundant virtually overnight. Here is one possibility, let them handle arrears of taxes and clear all backlog in the next two years. You will still need some people to handle the returns, do audits of banks for proper compliance etc. One will also need to start educating the lay public of routing all transactions through banks.
The second phase should see a reduction or elimination of other duties such as stamp duty. This would reduce undervaluation of properties and other evils. Ideas for what to do with excess staff are welcome.
If the Government does not seriously work on elimination of virtually punitive taxation and create a mechanism as above to create a genuinely easy to comply taxation, thus eliminating a plethora of useless bureaucrat enriching and expenditure bloating system, we voted for this Government for no reason at all!
As for the rest of the budget, just a few things tell me this is a Babu ka Budget.
|2014-15||2015-16||Increase over previous year||Percentage Change|
Out of Rs 1671223 crores collected as revenue, 92% is revenue expenditure! This is an improvement over that of the previous year where revenue expenditure exceeded revenue collected. What this means is that the revenue being collected, including non tax revenue goes to fund daily expenditure.
There is an increase in debt to the extent of Rs 6.16 lac crores. I still remember Nani Palkhiwala’s lectures on the budget at the Brabourne Stadium that I attended three times in the late 80s. The one thing he repeated year after year was the debt position where he warned about how debt would consume the country.
There should have been one proposal, to provide an avenue for people to invest their savings over the long term for infrastructure. This should come through the banks that in turn should be able to lend the money to borrowers who take up long term infrastructure contracts through a BOT mechanism. India’s homemakers are big savers and need to be respected and complimented. A Govt. guaranteed scheme for lending for the National infrastructure development can only be a win win for all. There has to be some kind of training to bankers to appraise long term financing for infrastructure projects.
Stupid thinking is never accidental. The Government looks at everything from the prism of enhancing complexity and thereby the power of the establishment. Putting a lawyer in charge of the Finance Ministry is also an idiotic step. Here is why. A lawyer thrives on arcane knowledge of the law and anything that makes it intelligible to the vast unwashed will make him or her redundant. One needs to put someone like Dr. Swamy who thinks that income tax is an unnecessary burden on the salaried class as the Finance Minister.
Oh Dear! If only wishes were horses…..
First let me say that I am an unabashed voter of BJP from the day I first cast my vote. And I have supported the Jan Sangh before the BJP was even formed. Further, to me, Narendra Modi is the best administrator that Gujarat had since its formation. Lots has been written about Gujarat and how development, from the most basic requirements of adequate water and uninterrupted power, to better roads and highways has been made a possibility. Further, this example indicates how NM governed Gujarat in an efficient manner making people work and produce results.
The original blog authored by well known writer Sandeep Balakrishna (@sandeepweb) is now not available.
This is not about Gujarat. It is about how some transformations have taken place in governance. Shall keep this short and mention only two examples. In one I quote verbatim from an email received from a friend of mine. This relates to the Indian Consular Office in Sydney and the transformation since NM became PM. It is self explanatory.
“———- Forwarded message ———-
From: NARAYANASWAMY RAMANATHAN >
Date: Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 6:58 PM
Subject: Fwd: The Transformation in Govt offices overseas – An Experience
Let me tell you the experience my friend had at the Indian consulate in Sydney yesterday. He had gone there for the life certificate and was amazed at seeing the transformation . Excerpt from his email from Sydney.
• The man at the reception asked me even before I could say anything ‘sir have you come for the life certificate’. I said ‘Yes’. He asked me to give him the documents, take coffee and have a seat
• Some guys were already sitting and some kept coming. After some time, the councillor came out (I was told later that he comes out every half hour), called out the names, made them sign the certificate, signed it himself and handed it over. I was off in half an hour when the web site says it will take one day
• As though this was not enough, there was an old Anglo Indian pensioner from Railways – William D Fransis on a wheelchair accompanied by his grand daughter. Frail and unable to speak. The consular saw him and asked for his form first. With the form in hand, he went to him and said ‘Sir from next year onwards, please do not come here for this certificate. Just go to your treating GP (Doctor), he will sign this certificate. After that please post it to us along with a photo copy of your passport. You will get it back in a day and if you desire we will also send it to your paying office
• All pensioners present were amazed at the transformation. As though in unison, they all said ‘I am going for Modi’s public appearance next week’
Being a bit curious, I stayed on and started asking the receptionist about this noticeable transformation. He told me the following:
• We have to send to MEA, a monthly report highlighting the problems faced by visitors to the consulate and what actions have been taken to remove or reduce them? This is the result of that
• I asked him to tell me a few other improvements. He started off with a whole list. Let me tell you one of them. They have started a new emergency service. Say after office hours one learns that ones father has passed away. You SMS your visa request on a given number. If the officer on duty considers it to be an emergency request, he will call you back and speak to you and in all probability for such a case give you a visa the moment you are able to reach him with your passport. I remember my son’s tears when he pleaded for a visa to get home after my wife’s death. While the Indian embassy tried its best to delay it, his Australian boss in Canberra had to intervene. My eyes are flowing with tears as I remember it while trying to bring this transformation to you. Only one thing has changed since then in the consulate – the PM. The same building the same staff
• I left the consulate with my chest high – 56 inches
Guys, this is a National Opportunity for us to redeem and rediscover ourselves. Let us contribute in the effort and not derail it. The least we can do is to have patience. Things are happening
Please do pass on this First Hand Account of Transformation to those who may not be knowing and to the media which will never publish such good deeds of the man. From my side, I sent an immediate e mail to the PMO with a copy to the Consular and the Ambassador.”
The second experience is my own. It was the simple act of getting my passport renewed as I had run out of pages and I expect to be travelling shortly. To put things in perspective, I would like to preface this experience with the events of the last two times I had to get a passport.
The first time was in 1994 when I had to get one for my wife. The process was to get an appointment at the time of getting the form and then standing in queue in front of the passport office. Since the form I had obtained was prior to this rule of appointment as a prerequisite, the gentleman at the door refused us an entry into the premises. Some arguing and we got in. When we reached the counter inside, the clerk refused to take the application on the same grounds that I did not have an appointment! Again some arguing and a threat to barge into the Passport Officer’s cabin did the trick. This was not all. We waited and waited till around 2 PM. When my wife’s turn came the counter was banged shut in the sensitive way that Government officials treat the hoi polloi. The clerks at the counter sat in plain sight of people waiting who were trapped within the office and had their lunch. There was no canteen or any way that we could eat. Finally, at 3:15 PM, our turn came and 5 minutes later we were on our way. To get the passport, we had to do a haziri at the passport office after a few days and just a day before the deadline for applying for my wife’s visa expired.
The next time was in 2005 and this time a similar experience awaited us when we applied for passport s for my wife and son. The passports arrived just in time for travelling to Singapore on a family holiday.
Contrast this with my experience a week back. The start was a little more propitious. No getting form, just filling up a simple online application, uploading the application onto the passport authority website and getting an appointment for a personal appearance at the passport office. The last part took a couple of days as there were holidays in between and one has to log in at 16:30 hours to pay and get the appointment. Since I applied for a tatkal passport, the appointment was given two days later. I paid half the fee online and the tatkal amount was to be collected at the passport office.
On the day of my appointment, I landed at the passport office more than an hour before the time given. Since this was in the morning, I had time for a darshini breakfast and went to the office. At 9 AM I was let in, no queue desperately waiting at the door as had been the case a few years ago. The office itself is spick and span. It is manned by well trained executives who are familiar with information technology. There is a nice cafeteria inhouse and public conveniences such as drinking water and washrooms. But I had no occasion to use the facilities as will be evident from the next two paragraphs
The appointment was at 9:45 and one of the employees first went through my documents for address proof and also the old passport. Since I am a senior citizen (I use that status when convenient!), I was called within 10 minutes and had to go through a four stage process, the first of which was issue of token, second was scrutiny of my documents, submission of self attested photocopies, taking a photograph for the passport (no submission of passport sized photos now), payment of fees and obtention of biometric data. The third and fourth stages were to verify all the form data and ensure it is in order. Lastly one is given an acknowledgement for ones application. Last time the old passport was taken by the passport authorities. This time it was cancelled and returned to me.
I was out of the door by around 10:20 AM, well before time for the family lunch at my sister’s home to celebrate my Mother’s birthday. Took me a lot longer to get back home about 10 km away!
After the appointment, I was kept posted through email and SMS of the status of my application. The next day, I was informed that the passport had been sent for printing and would reach me after it was quality checked. On the third day, I got the passport to my hand through Speed Post. Less than a week from the time I uploaded my application, the new passport was with me. I do have one complaint though! As the photograph for the passport is taken at the passport office, it is a pretty ghastly looking me on it. Maybe I do look ghastly now! But I will take this over having to jostle with the great unwashed.
Both examples given by me of improvement of services to the public, one abroad and one in India, relate to the Ministry of External Affairs. This Ministry is headed by Ms Sushma Swaraj. Big thanks to her for the improvement in the working of offices under her. And for ushering in Acche Din!
There is no way that a TRP hungry biased and crooked media will highlight the good. So this is my contribution to disseminating information about good work done in a quiet and efficient way by our own Modi Sarkar! And by Sushmaji who is making the least noise among the Ministers in office! Am sure we will see more transformations in days to come and a much better India in 60 months.
There is a scene in The Lion King, where Scar tells little Simba where not to go. You bet little Simba went there and the consequences were almost fatal. Here is a little test for you. For the next one minute, try not to think of a pink hippopotamus. You can bet that you will not only think of a pink hippo but, if your imagination is active, you will probably see more than one pink hippo.
There are a lot of people who have managed the difficult feat of screwing up things in India after 2004, when the NDA left an economy bursting with activity and boasting of healthy indicators. To not only manage to damage the economy and the country but to virtually handover the Govt. on a platter to the NDA took some doing. There are several Match ke Mujrim or those who are guilty of having facilitated the ascent of Modi to the Prime Ministership. The media (no doubt funded by the Government directly or indirectly), various persona involved in scamming the country belonging to the Congress party and its allies, various NGOs, scribes, TV talking heads and so on.
My experiences have made me believe that negative affirmations result in bringing the opposite of what one desires. The negativity that has been spewing out of TV channels, the Press and assorted NGOs has helped drive Modi home to the head of Government in New Delhi. A caveat though, is that Modi could never have ridden to power without the backing of his performance, something which the talking heads of TV and the scribes tried very hard to deride and deny. Precisely though, all this only made NaMo stronger.
In my last post I tried to fathom what the rivals of Modi had to offer and found that it was virtually nothing. Modi’s rivals kept beating the drum of secularism, talked of Modi’s ‘divisive’ politics (unproved as Muslims in Gujarat have done very well economically in his state, Gujarat!). Their message in effect was ‘Don’t vote for Modi’. But negativity can only take you so far. What negativity does is to almost drive the idea of Modi in the minds of the voters. One of the principles I learnt in the course of my life is “What you resist persists.” The human mind, especially the subconscious mind is a literal minded creature. It does not register the negative part of any sentence. For instance, you tell a small child, “Don’t climb on the table!” What the child hears is “Climb on the table!” The consequences could be harmful for the child but communication occurs at two levels. The conscious level is “Don’t do this, don’t do that”. At a subconscious level the message that reaches is Do this and Do that.
I have a healthy respect for the people of my beautiful country, India. They have an abundance of brains and this is evidenced by the numerous discussions that occur at tea shops and street corner, village squares and drawing rooms. However, they are also influenced by the communication coming to them subconsciously. In the past twelve or so years, the media and the Press have been relentlessly painting Modi as a bogeyman. What they did was to provide mindspace to Modi in the collective consciousness. Modi himself has acknowledged this many times in the interviews he has given in the recent past to TV channels. He said that if the TV channels had ignored him, he would no doubt have been like any other Chief Minister of a state, working in anonymity. He is a smart man and has figured out what I say here!
Would just negative communication have sufficed to push Modi into collective consciousness? No! What Modi realized was that the entire media and the Congress was ranged against him and there was no way he could fight their negative perceptions. What he did therefore was to create a positive perception in the minds of the people of Gujarat, which he has served for the past 13 years. He is in any case a workaholic and a scrupulously honest man. So he set about providing good and clean governance to the people he served. During the past 13 years, Gujarat has seen enormous development. Some of the things that are conspicuous by their absence in the rest of India are good roads, perennial and quality electricity supply, good infrastructure, clean water available on tap, good public transport, personal security, and safety for women. Modi has ensured that the people have all this and also piped cooking gas for homes, easy processes for accessing Government services and a very good grievance redressal system. Gujarat is one state that has used Information Technology in many innovative ways to make life easier for people. This has spanned the entire economic spectrum, whether it is the farmer looking for the best price for his produce, the middle class person who needs to pay his taxes and prefers to do this online, public wifi for all, and broadband in almost the entire state. Modi has ensured that growth has created opportunities for employment and the growth of industry, agriculture etc. has been impressive.
Best communication, experts will tell you, is through word of mouth. Gujarat employs people from all over the country and these people are the ones who have spread the word far and wide. That Modi was like a rockstar when he campaigned across the country was because the people believed that he would transform their lives for the better, and they flocked to his rallies in great numbers. Modi’s communication was direct and to the point. He merely pointed out what people were missing and he mentioned what he had provided to Gujarat. This resonated in the minds of voters and they gave a massive mandate to the alliance led by his party, the Bharatiya Janata Party. Leading by example, putting in punishing hours of work during the elections, and sometimes addressing five rallies a day across the country was one more highlight of Modi’s campaign. This was Modi.
On the other hand Modi’s main rival, the Congress Party, led by a hapless mother and son team, were hamstrung by a series of scams and swindles that had resulted in a large flow of illegal money out of India. Fearing no doubt that an impartial investigation would not spare members of their party involved in the scam, the campaigners had only one main message to the electorate, Don’t vote for Modi as he will create a cleavage of religious groups. The riots of 2002, horrific as they were, did not recur due to excellent law and order in Gujarat. Further, attempts to link Modi directly with the riots have failed, with the Supreme Court of India having exonerated him after extensive and thorough investigation. As mentioned earlier, the effort expended in demonising Modi only helped to entrench him firmly in the public mind. The people also sense fear and lies. What the campaigners of the Congress party managed to convey to the people was that they were scared of Modi coming to power and they had something to hide. This is what negativity does. It creates a positive impression of the one you wish to negate.
One other rival of Modi was Arvind Kejriwal. His Aam Aadmi party (AAP), which was an offshoot of a movement called India Against Corruption or IAC, started off with the laudable idea of fighting endemic corruption in the body politic of India. This party won a large number of seats in the election for the Delhi assembly. Their premise was that the Congress and BJP were both corrupt and that their party was the only honest one. However, the party failed to cobble up a majority and ended up in second place to the BJP in Delhi. Nonetheless, Kejriwal managed to get the support of Congress party members and ran the State Government for a total period of seven weeks. It would appear that Kejriwal’s heart and mind were not in it, as he was perhaps eyeing greener pastures. This lead to him resigning on some specious grounds and pursuing the Parliamentary dream. He also chose to fight the Parliamentary election against Narendra Modi, the PM candidate himself. If Kejriwal had offered a clean alternative and a track record, he could have hoped to put up a bit of a fight. But his effort was in pandering to the lowest form of communalism and virtually begging for the Muslim vote. But Kejriwal’s efforts were ab initio to show Modi in bad light and to claim that there was no development in Gujarat. Never mind that one of his able lieutenants, Ms Meera Sanyal had been on a visit to Gujarat a year back and had been quite fulsome in her praise for the development in the state.
Kejriwal also tweeted that there was no development in Gujarat, using free wifi provided by the Gujarat Govt.
What happened with all the negative propaganda unleashed against Modi was cognitive dissonance in the minds of the voters. On the one hand they could see very positive signs of development in Gujarat, bolstered by the stories told by their relatives and friends based there, and on the other they were told that there was no development or that the development had not trickled down to the poorest. The message of the Congress and other opponents of Modi, who ganged up against him, was ‘Don’t vote for Modi’. If everyone else gangs up and tries to deride one person, it creates a credibility gap. This is precisely what happened and the people were convinced that Modi was being derided wrongly.
Modi knew that to counter these opponents, he had to use positive messages. Communicating across India with its varied terrain, different languages, culture etc. is a very difficult process. The strategies employed by Modi involved nonstop rallies taking him from one corner of India to another during a single day, addressing five rallies per day on most days. In addition he used a 3D hologram of himself to reach where he was unable to be physically present. He also communicated through Chai pe Charcha, a virtual teashop where people gathered around teashops across India and actively interacted with him. Brilliant though the communication methods were, only someone who had complete credibility could pull it off. People had total belief in Modi’s ability to take India forward. Conviction was evident in the fact that Modi spoke spontaneously without referring to notes.
In conclusion, one has to accept that there was strong performance behind Modi’s victory but the negativity of his opponents brought him a larger majority.