The Modi Hyderabad Show
As TV cameras panned on the crowd at Lal Bhadur Shastri Stadium assembled to hear Narendra Modi at his first inaugural election campaign in the South, commentators of different TV Channels estimated that one lakh people were there. They had come after paying Rs5/- which was for aid to Uttartahand disaster victims.
Viewers too could see the massive throng of people. But what was the treatment given to reports of the Modi function by TV Channels and newspapers? Most political news items are measured for their importance by the scale of each Channel or newspapers’ leanings. One large-circulated, multi-edition English daily buried the news in its inside page, the report itself being brief and moreover the fact that there was one lakh strong crowd was not mentioned. Do the editors and proprietors believe that their poor treatment would persuade voters to defeat Modi? He might lose otherwise but not by the paper’s short shrift of the report.
One former editor of the Times, London aptly said “Don’t have illusions of destroying senior political leaders by under-reporting him. The only way they can be destroyed, if you print proof of their moral turpitude or taking bribes.” Its a good lesson!
Moves That Alarm Congress
It is supposed to be a secret but all those interested in the General election know. Sources confide that Narendra Modi’s elevation to the chairmanship of the Election Committee and his messages through emissaries has persuaded BS Yeddurappa to fight the next election along with the BJP.
It is not known whether he would merge his party with the BJP or enter into seat allocations. If he merges his party, he is sure to be made President of the BJP. This all has been done keeping Ananth Kumar out of the negotiations. He was used reportedly by L.K. Advani to edge out Yeddurappa resulting in the BJP losing power in the State. But that is said was a matter of no regret to the veteran leader, allege sources.
A further development, it is said, is that as a consequence of Yeddurappa aligning with the BJP, JD(S) of Gowda got cold feet and he has also indicated that his party would join, BJP/Yeddurappa combine.
If this happens, Congress can forget the contribution of the State to the Lok Sabha.
Is MMS Determined To Meet Nawaz Sharif?
The reams of paper in heaping ridicule and accusations against the Prime minister and Defence minister A.K. Anthony for the motivated lie that terrorists killed five Indian Jawans wearing Pakistan Army uniforms has had no effect on Dr Singh. It is said that he is determined to meet Nawaz Sharif when he goes to New York. It is said that both Dr Singh and the NSA, Shiv Shanker Menon, believe that there is no other way except to continue dialogue and secondly it would help strengthen Sharif’s position. This they feel is necessary because it is better to negotiate with a democratic government than to deal with the Army Generals.
There is some logic in this. But, what impression would it give to the families of the Jawans who have been killed and generally to the jawans in the Army and Veterans? Unless Dr Singh is able to extract some deal wherein perpetrators of the killings of five jawans are punished, Dr Singh would lose lakhs of votes for the Congress Party.
But is he bothered about the Congress in the next election?
Its still a rumour in the corridors of power. But in Delhi more than often such speculations roll into reality. Rumours are that Islamabad is planning to reduce its staff in the High Commission in Delhi. The Commission would not be downgraded, like by recalling the High Commissioner. But the downsizing of the staff, if true, is not a good signal.
Pakistan has persisted with ceasefire agreement and in this year over 59 violations have taken place, and in recent weeks LoC has been activated, with incessant firing incidents. But downsizing of the staff does really take place, it only means that diplomatic level activities are expected to be less. Nothing more should be seen in the move.
The Fun Starts Here
The Psyche of Gen Kayani: Defence Minister A.K. Anthony is being roundly criticised for lying that the five Indian jawans were killed by terrorists in Pak Army uniform. This gave funsters a cue;
It is said that Pak soldiers have been severely affected by Saint Anthony’s statement. Once they get ready to go out on their duty they stand before a mirror and pinch themselves asking, Am I a terrorist or Pak soldier?
Even Gen Kayani, who laughed at India giving him the leeway to escape any censure, was ultimately affected. He dressed to leave for his office and was going towards his car when he stopped and went to his wife. “Begum, is this me the General Kayani or a terrorist?”
A stunned Begum said, “You don’t drink. Are you ok? What’s wrong?. Of course you are my husband Gen Kayani!”
“Its that damn Indian. He has cleverly and mischievously psyched us all.” So now stop abusing the Saint.
Culprit Or Scapegoat
When the communal riot broke in Kishtwar on Eid, the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah blamed parties interested in creating communal inferno. Not much was known. But slowly facts have seeped out and the game plan behind the riots came to be known, there was shock—sinister design was behind the riots.
This is why internet, TV, every means of communication was blocked and Arun Jaitely stopped from going there. Reports filtering in allege that a procession was taken out on the Eid day wherein pro-Pakistan slogans were raised. This led to instances of stoning. Two people died.
The violence spread in which six people were injured! It was alleged that the intension was that with further escalation, a process of ethnic cleansing could be started similar to one in the valley in which Kashmiri Pandits were driven out. Omar Abdullah hinted that BJP was behind the riots. The game plan is said to start with ethnic cleansing in Kishtwar area, then force migration from Ramban, Doda and finally Poonch. Later reports alleged that Sajjad Kichloo, Home Minister in Abdullah Cabinet had encouraged some elements. The rumour picked up and Kichloo quit from the Cabinet. He sent his resignation to Chief Minister Abdullah after opposition parties openly alleged that he was in Kishtwar during the violence. The situation continues to be grim. With violence spreading curfew was imposed in the entire Jammu region, Udhampur, Rajouri and Samba were also brought under the curfew.
It is hoped that the Centre would not play electoral politics and deal with the situation firmly and judiciously.