Left, Right and Centre

picture-1Everyday morning in Africa India, a gazelle wakes up and heads over to a nearby pond, opens up a bottle of Maanpaal Palpodi and washes his teeth. At that very moment, a lion wakes up and heads over to the same pond and after some stretches and mane scratching, gargles. The gazelle, who really should be running for his life at this point, says instead “Wassup Simba?”. The lion then ambles towards the gazelle, at a velocity distinctly lower than the slowest gazelle in the herd and clears his throat. For those of you who have not heard an adult male lion clear its throat, it is, as the expression goes, a “sound to behear”. Imagine 2 tectonic plates sliding over one another, making love, and climaxing.

“Goin’ ok”, Simba said. He wanted to add “My dear”, but did not because he had higher standards for puns.

“Herd there’s going to be an election in India”. The Gazelle, on the other hand, did not have very high standards for humour.

Yeah.

So who do you think is the front runner?

Cant say anything right now. The BJP particularly are leaving no stone unturned. LKA has gone full tilt Web 2.0

You mean he has resorted to Large fonts, Slowly loading pages, Tag clouds, fluff and hot air to spread his message?

No. He now has a blog. As does Murli Manohar Joshi, who apparently “reeks of decency when he speaks his high-brow mind

picture-2

Isn’t high-brow a slightly negative word?

Yes. So is “reeks”. Perhaps he was going for the double negative there. Their party also tweets now.

Wow, so how many followers do they have?

Right after the first tweet, they had 400 thanks to this lovely trick. LKA also has banner ads that appear everywhere, even on Pirate Bay, right along side the Caucasian looking 23-year old who for some reason, claims that she resides in Chepauk.

So what’s their electoral strategy this year?

Hmm. Nothing new actually. Right wing politics has a pretty standard format world over. Here is the guide to being an Indian rightwinger. The formula is simple

  1. There is a complex reality
  2. Take that and make a dangerous oversimplification
  3. When presented with a potential rebuttal,
  4. Dismiss it using either historical revisionism or bullheaded stubbornness. If you are not good at revising history or do not possess bovine willpower, don’t worry. Dismiss the rebuttal as “pseudo-secularistic minority appeasement”

You can apply this to pretty much anything. Here’s an example

  1. With globalization, the influence of other cultures, both good and bad, is a reality we have to face with maturity
  2. Pub culture is western and against Indian values
  3. But western culture has given us technology and engineering as well
  4. No. India had nuclear power in 2000 BC. Ravana’s son Indrajit launched depleted Uranium shells at Lakshmana who had radiation sickness. The Sanjeevani herbs were actually boosters of the immune system which helped him recover. Then Rama went on to use a thermonuclear Brahmastra against Ravana

Here is another one

  1. India is a melting pot of many religions, cultures and art forms
  2. Ghazals are Islamic and therefore against Indian culture
  3. But muslims have been an integral part of Indian culture. What about Khayal, Qawwali etc?
  4. No. Hindu culture was much superior before it was debased and destroyed by Islamic invasion.

Actually, here is a useful, printable chart for quick reference. I’m surprised that the right wing establishment in India does not circulate this.

So what about the Congress? They are more of a centrist party right?

Um. Not really. The Congress are perceivably centrist thanks to some simple statistics.

How so?

You take the rabid, frothing at the mouth types who will riot, maim and kill innocents (especially those wearing turbans) all in the name of the party leader and add to that, those who still swear by license raj and divide by 2, you get what in statistics is known as a “mean” (and also an adjective that has negative connotations), and that is how the Congress is “centrist”. They have been giving the country “the hand”, literally and figuratively for the better part of India’s existence.

So you are saying that there is really not much of a difference between the BJP and Congress.

Yeah. I would go so much as to suggest that the BJP could be called “The Congress of the Cow”

But what about the Congress track record of economic development?

You mean, the development of Urban Metropolitan Middle Class India?

Um yes. Which then brings us to the Left.

You mean the leftovers.

Ah yes. The CPI (Moshaibabus) and CP (Menons). The ones who believe e.e.cummings was the ultimate communist because he abhorred the capital.

Ah yes, the Third front. With so many leaders who wish to be PM that if they do get to power, we will only have PMs and no cabinet whatsoever.

And then there is the Yadavs’ Fourth front.

Yes. Like a trilogy in 4 parts. A marriage live-in-relationship one-night-stand slam n’scram of convenience.

Indian politics is so paradoxical, is it not?

Of course it is. Is that a problem?

Um. Aren’t paradoxes problematic?

Of course not. Indian politics is not about ideologies, or about political positions. It is about the paradox. In fact, it is the paradox. Clarity is the enemy of the  collective political psyche in India. The Congress is religiously secular. They love the Sikhs while still doing many bad things to them. The BJP hates minorities while still loving them. They love Hindi while still getting into bed with the Hindi-hating Dravidian parties. The Communists embrace Marx while still continuing to stab him repeatedly in the back with the knife of capitalism. The AIADMK and DMK are sworn enemies and yet have absolutely no ideological differences. The Shiv Sena supremo loves everything Marathi, except of course his own anglicized surname “Thackeray”. India is both shining and dimming at the same time. And finally, the fourth front is back.

There is a Zen koan that reads – “Two monks were arguing about the temple flag waving in the wind. One said that the flag moves. The other said that the wind moves. They argued back and forth and could not agree. Hui-Neng, the sixth patriarch, settled the issue. He declared that it is neither the wind nor the flag that moves. It is the mind that moves”. Now, where do you think Hui-Neng learned his wisdom?

So let’s stop worrying about Varun Gandhi, Vaiko, Lalu and their ilk. Feroze Varun Gandhi loves Muslims, even if he wants to indulge in some hand amputations. Vaiko loves a bloodbath, but only because of the water shortage in Tamil Nadu and Lalu wants to crush Varun with both a roller and a bear hug of paternal love. We love our paradoxes. Elsewhere in the world, a pro-choice, liberal, gay Taliban commander might sound odd, but in India, the real question would be – is he an independent? Can he be bought?

At that very moment, the rising sun came up and a horde of elephants on bicycles waving lotuses and hands came charging towards them, campaigning for votes, and right then, it doesn’t matter whether you were a lion or a gazelle, you’d better be running.

57 Comments

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  1. At the outset I wish to confirm that Hindu Unity is aware of the seriousness of the charges we are levelling against Rahul Gandhi (aka Raul Maino) son of Sonia Gandhi (aka Antonia Maino). Members of Hindu Unity in Lucknow and Amethi have confirmed the news and will soon come out with necessary evidence to nail Rahul Gandhi and his friends. The following is the information that Hindu Unity has gathered. The photograph was obtained from the girl

    I am shocked…

    Source:http://election.rediff.com/report/2009/apr/12/loksabhapoll-not-aversive-to-joining-politics-says-priyanka-gandhi.htm

    scroll down for topic breaking news ..

    I love rediff 🙂

  2. LOL!
    Another one long due!

    As they say, whether a gazelle or a lion. No matter who gets up, you gotta be running.
    (Either Away, or for the elections)
    😀

  3. At least you have to give some brownie points to LKA for being the most tech-savvy politician. But since most of the PR work on the net is being done by someone else on their behalf, it will not take long to see someone red-faced (ala Hugh Jackman’s tweeter incident).
    Already there are signs in this direction, I mean what greater irony is there when you see LKA ads in hate blogs from neighbouring countries.

  4. Hey, the koan is the one quoted in GEB ,in “The 3-part Invention”, in the Introduction. You have taken a strand from the EGB (Eternal Golden Braid), and woven it into this political satire !!

  5. Very funny!

    But seriously though, time and again, we are facing a situation where voting for the ‘least worst’ party is the only (rational) way out.

  6. Following Ramachandran’s insight above, I would christen this piece of marvelous writing as GEB with a twist – ‘General Election Banter’.

    What a start to the day! Thank you so much… 😀

  7. The Indian election is the best horror story ever. Dracula and Friday the 13th are Grimm Fairy Tales in comparison.

    How does an Indian Political Party change a light bulb? It saws through the floor supports, brings the house down, and now that the bulb is easily reachable by hand, changes it.

    I loved the Samajwadi Party manifesto. They want to go back to an agrarian economy. But that’s only for starters. The election after that they will be pressing for an arboreal economy (you might recall that a few generations back, our ancestors used to swing from trees). Eventually we will be little unicellular organisms swimming in the primeval slime. Glory be!

  8. Lovely start to a day. And just as i type, Manmohan singh is at the hotel across the street. and ofcourse, the road has been cordoned off and the secuity is at the height of its bent, and the world is moving in slow motion ! just like the man himself.

    But hey, i think i better be running as well !!

    Lovely read !

  9. election time in India.. This post was expected from KA.. politics became polyticks..if simbu has commented on ur politics post ” Pirichu maenjuta” 🙂

  10. Been waiting for an update for long. Well worth the wait 😀
    You nailed it again. Especially the last line 😀
    Pls keep ’em coming. I need it to survive work, the elections, the IPL and NDTV

  11. I propose a challenge to fellow commenters…(or is it commentators?)
    Based on the topic and timing of the post, please include your guess on the number of comments that this post will garner, along with your appreciations, rants, raves, “thalivaaa”, “SMNYGYPA” etc etc.

    Nice one KA, but by your own definition this is a Rightwing post ’cause this is a Dangerous Oversimplification!!
    Over to you for the pot. reb.

    Comments Estimate = 72.

      1. I hereby title you the “Jon Stewart” of Chennai. Or “Jaani Suttuwar vaazh”.
        Not just for the humour, comedy, cynical view of politics/main stream media, critical observations of everything etc etc etc, but also pretty much having a very similar line of defense (Hey I am the funny guy on basic cable, my lead in is a puppet making crank phone calls)

        JS iskku Oru Ooo podu

  12. Abt Dr. MMJ’s site – the only thing the site reeks of is an accurately interspersed mix of ‘high-brow words’ and the ever so many typos. None as inexplicable as the one in the title bar.

    “Welcome To Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi – Fromar HRD, Science & Technology and Ocean Development minister of India:”

    Fromar? No way u can typo Former into Fromar.

    So much for ‘mallow’ wisdom.

    1. I have this pet theory that English will eventually diverge into multiple dialects, such as Chatspeak (2 b or not 2 b, tat’s te kwestion), Leetspeak (2b0rn0t2b) etc. Likewise, India will have Bureaucratese (The aforementioned party who shall hereinafter be referred to as the Prince of Denmark is contemplating filing an application form in triplicate, duly notarized, to consider the termination of his aforementioned life). The dialect used on MMJ’s site is an early version of Cowbelt English, that will have it’s own “Ran and Martini” grammar tome and it’s own spellings. So, leddies and Jantalmens, please casht yuvar vote far Dr Joshiji, the fromar minshter from the Bhaajpa.

      Honestly, all this obsession with “correct” spellings is silly and unproductive 🙂

  13. @KR, thanks for playing!!

    But with a Tuesday morning score of just 24 I am thinking I might have overestimated my estimate of 72.
    I know it is the political season and there is enough “matter” to inflame the passions of both the BJP & Congress supporters, but may be las KA’s pie chart shows most of the readers apathetic to the state of the Indian Politi (or may be the just started running & did not have time to comment?)

    Here’s to hoping for a holiday bump..Iniya puthhandu vazhthukkal all.

  14. The congress being centerist logic reminds me of a joke,

    A distribution of statisticians go hunting, they see a lion, get out their guns & start shooting, first one shoots misses: 5 feet to the right, second one shoots misses: 5 feet to the left. They all start hi5-ing, “We totally nailed the lion (on average)”

    1. To continue this story a little bit…

      Having only nailed the lion “on average”, the statisticians were shocked to suddenly discover a correlation between gunshot that missed its mark and an angry lion that does not like being fired at in general. The mean lion went into aggression mode and eventually caused a regression in the population of statisticians.

    1. Mallow is short for marshmallow, a popular sweet.
      DMMJ’s wisdom is as sweet & popular hence the term “shallow” oops I mean “mallow” wisdom.

  15. //No. India had nuclear power in 2000 BC. // 🙂

    rAsikkal peddler on late night TV : “ulagathin mudhal aNu vignAni Bogar.” I unsuccessfully waited for him to say the Neils BOgar only for it to get into a sidhdhargaL alchemy tangent.

    Not going to run as advised though. Shall stay and answer the knock on the door so SS Chandran can try his charming grin on me.

  16. Hey i was wondering about the twitter followers for BJP.
    So that is how they managed to get some much of followers uh …

    LK has only one more thing to copy from Obama i.e using the Blackberry.
    Lets see . ..
    Nice post.

  17. @Anjana : if the Indian woman was voted to power, they would feel fine — it was their decision. If the Indian lady grabbed power in a coup, it would be bad. Sonia is part of our democratic process, well within the law. We have an Indian-origin Governor of an American state, and Indian-origin MP’s and lords in UK.

    1. I agree with Ramachandran. Birth is not a choice we make, and therefore deciding a person’s fitness to run for office purely based on that is rather immature. Yes it’s true that even the US does it, but that does not make it right. And I also think there’s way too much being made about dual citizenship and Sonia’s alleged continuing”connections” with Italy. Why must somebody not maintain ties with one’s original cultural heritage while still respecting and cherishing the culture one is living in right now?

      1. The aforementioned “somebody” is free to maintain ties with one’s original cultural heritage, but the masses (and people of the other “classes” too) will never view it as politically correct. Besides, one’s allegiance to one’s country of adoption is also brought into question here. I mean, if the people of Italy find out (after the elections) that the Indian woman they elected not only speaks bad Italian, but also lies (in bad Italian), besides placing the country’s defence procurements in jeopardy, it would be too much to take. Right?

        NOTE: I’m not making any accusations against any political figure here, just speaking hypothetically, okay? 😉

  18. @K Ramachandran-
    An MP or Governor by no stretch of imagination enjoys the power SG has right now. And i respect what you have said, but it is sheer speculation. What happens when the actual scenario plays out is something we will just have to wait to see.

  19. @Krish
    I have no problems about her “respecting and cherishing” her culture in India. That was not what I was talking about.

    Anyway, let me take this opportunity to carefully avoid a political debate and to say that your graphjams are truly brilliant. :))

  20. quite brilliant. as all indians, however paradoxical we might find the political system(?), u just prove we love the whole deal!

  21. KA – I know you are among the set of people who believe that this entire minority bogey that the BJP raises is pure humbug which perhaps leads you to be far far more anti-BJP than anything else (easily discernible from your witty posts).
    I dont think this video may change your views entirely but here’s a start.

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