Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby kapilrdave » 22 May 2014 14:54

Atri wrote:There are no parallel words for liberal OR conservative or leftist or rightwing in Indian system. Just as dharma is not religion, leftism is not something that Indian ppl (those who are referred to as leftist) want.

The right dhaarmik word which is right substitute for emotion which Indian leftists wish to convey when they say the word "left" or "socialist" is coined by acharya vinoba Bhave - the word is "Sarvodaya".

Or may be "Antyoday" by Deen Dayal Upadhyay. Leftists "supposedly" care only for poors.

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby Yagnasri » 22 May 2014 15:33

This is reported:
Home secretary Goswami, for instance, dwelt on security challenges such as “revamping intelligence agencies” and a proposal for the return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley.

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby SanjayC » 22 May 2014 15:35

^^ Sending Kashmiri Pandits back to Kashmir (especially women) would make them sitting ducks for Jehadis. Better to arm them for self-protection, on the lines of Salwa Judum.

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby Cosmo_R » 22 May 2014 15:42

This should be x-posted in the Secularism thread but I could not find it.:

" On May 17, Narendra Modi revisited Varanasi to witness a pooja performed at the Kashi Vishwanath temple. After the ritual at the temple, he moved to Dashashwamedh ghat where an aarti was performed along the river. The aarti was more than a spectacle. As a ritual, it echoed the great traditions of a city, as a performance it was riveting. As the event was relayed on TV, people messaged requesting that the event be shown in full, without commentary. Others claimed that this was the first time such a ritual was shown openly. With Mr. Modi around, the message claimed “We don’t need to be ashamed of our religion. This could not have happened earlier.”

At first the message irritated me and then made me thoughtful. A colleague of mine added, “You English speaking secularists have been utterly coercive, making the majority feel ashamed of what was natural.” The comment, though brutal and devastating, was fair. I realised at that moment that liberals like myself may be guilty of something deeper."

This guy has nailed it—regardless of whether I can agree with his other liberal views.

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/ho ... epage=true

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby negi » 22 May 2014 16:11

^ Read the complete article ; he has cleverly then come up with a defense for their $hite citing some western examples as to how some chruches were converted to post offices . His article is basically trying to say that Modi has cashed on communal hindus when the reality is Hindus have consolidated for the first time because they finally found a man worthy enough to represent them across caste and regions.

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby sum » 22 May 2014 16:14

Congress young guns revolt against Rahul Gandhi's think tank

But the former MP, who takes pride in his achievements, still can't explain his defeat. "In Ajmer, I got a new airport, 43 new trains, two new railway lines, one central university and a girls' college. It's the only district in India where every school has computer, printer, scanner and internet connection through satellite. It's also the first city to be declared slum-free," Pilot recounts what he has done for his constituency, rueing that all his achievements were swept away in the 'Modi wave'. He admits that it was tough for him to lead the party in the state after the disastrous Assembly election results in December 2013 when it got just 20 seats in the over 200-member Assembly. "I had very little time to manoeuvre anything," says Pilot, who was appointed Rajasthan Congress chief in February.


He gives full credit to the BJP Prime Minister for "sustaining a well-orchestrated, well-managed and well-funded" campaign for such a long duration. He has best wishes for Modi and BJP and hopes he would lead India to better days. "He is the elected prime minister of India. He must be given respect and treated the way a prime minister deserves."



The same day, a day before flying out to Delhi, his party colleague and former minister Milind Deora posted a photograph of his guitar on Twitter saying: "In Delhi, packing-up my favorite belongings and saying goodbye to the rest. The unpredictable lives of MPs." Thirty-seven year old Deora plans to take a brief sabbatical before getting back to the dust and grind of politics. "I may go abroad. But certainly I will spend more time with my band Tight Rope. I also want to get involved in the business of music," he says.

Perhaps that could help him get over the defeat in the polls. He has no qualms in admitting that his party was swept away by the 'Modi wave'. "It was a vote for Modi. He showed leadership which our party could not project. Our leadership was seen as indecisive." He doesn't directly blame Rahul Gandhi for the debacle saying that the performance of a leader depends on the team he gets. "It's good to have people who are good at statistics and analysis, but they should not be allowed to take strategic decisions."


Dressed in politicians' white, RPN Singh, 50, relaxes in the lawn of his Lodhi Estate bungalow. He assures his friends over phone that he is doing fine and inquires about a flat he wants to take on rent. His number of votes increased by over 75,000 since 2009, yet he lost by 85,000 votes from Kushi Nagar constituency. He has no regrets though. "Politics is like that. You are not always in power."

He attributes his loss to two factors-the omnipresence of Narendra Modi and misrule of Samajwadi Party. "From 3D to internet to LED screens, Modi used technology in the best possible way to directly reach out to people. He was everywhere, even in remote villages, people were listening to Modi."

The royal scion believes that Samajwadi Party's constant pandering to Muslims without actually doing anything for them resulted in an unprecedented polarisation of Hindu votes in Uttar Pradesh. "BJP captured this resentment well and the united Hindu votes resulted in 71 seats for BJP."


Singh admits that Rahul Gandhi should have communicated more with voters. He is in favour of a complete restructuring of the party and CWC wherein leaders like Ajay Maken and Shashi Tharoor, who communicate well, are given bigger roles. And, he adds, the Congress must rid itself of NGO-wallahs. "A political party cannot be an NGO. It's fine to have people with degrees from best colleges, but if they don't have grassroots connect, they cannot be decision-makers. We must get rid of them."


The younger INC-wallahs seem a lot more sensible and in-tune than baba

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby vic » 22 May 2014 16:33

SanjayC wrote:Rahul Gandhi inciting people in Amethi: "If Modi doesn't listen to us, we will set everything on fire." This is when the retard hardly stepped inside his constituency in the last 10 years.



Probably the junkie is referring to the fact that he will fire up his Chillam! He meant aag laga denge Chillam ko!

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby krishnan » 22 May 2014 16:35

they did set things on fire :mrgreen:

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby Singha » 22 May 2014 16:38

sachin pilot and scindia jr sound far more capable and sensible than this guy...although thats not saying much given the low bar.

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby Yagnasri » 22 May 2014 17:04

At least they seem to be not perpetually HIGH. Pappu as per rumours has not gone abroad during PM dinner but have very HIGH and could not come. It is also being His 30 second "press meet" on defeat was carefully controlled by mafia queen for that reason only.

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby Lilo » 22 May 2014 17:27

Any reliable estimate on the election expense of BJP?

I wonder if the new govt really owes "that" much to the corporates as is being alleged.

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby Arjun » 22 May 2014 17:29

Some very good articles coming out from the West in support of Modi: Modi’s Triumph in India Is a Stroke of Fortune For the Democratic World

The decisive victory of Narendra Modi, 13-year chief minister — governor — of Gujarat State and candidate of the Bharatiya Janata party, is seen by the international Left as a victory of a semi-fascist sectarian implicated in the massacre of up to 2,000 Muslims in 2001, and by the international moderate Right as India’s ticket to ride more quickly and comfortably into prosperity than China.


All of us who remember the country’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, sitting in the garden of the sumptuous Edward Lutyens–designed official residence in New Delhi, fondling a rose and explaining in his Harrow and Cambridge and Inner Temple accent the moral superiority of India precisely because of its teeming poverty and the resulting virtue of the country’s disregard for materialism, will be relieved to see the unprecedented defeat his Congress party suffered last week.

That sensation will be more intense for those who also remember Nehru’s daughter, Indira Gandhi, fondling a rose off the same bush and parked in the same chair and giving essentially the same claim to moral exaltedness despite the squalor and corruption of her country, which her policies (like those of her father) did little to alleviate. The Congress party and the Nehru-Gandhi family clung to the headship of that vast country like limpets for all but about twelve of the 67 years of Indian independence.


Inevitably, the international Left is deeply distressed at the prospect of serious economic progress in India. The New Statesman, London’s upper-middle-brow far-left magazine, ran a lengthy report from William Dalrymple (whom I banned from London’s Telegraph newspapers twelve years ago for rampant, foaming-at-the mouth anti-Semitism in Middle East reporting, in his Islamist enthusiasm) detailing the massacre of the Muslims in Gujarat twelve years ago. On the magazine’s cover, the Dalrymple piece was headlined “India’s Worst Nightmare? Narendra Modi, neo-fascism and the making of a tyrant.” The tired, punch-drunk London journalistic Left adheres timelessly to its ancient subterranean standards of fair political reporting, and the lengthy article within was an appropriate farrago of leftist bigotry.


The appeasement of Muslims has not been a successful policy in the recent past, and some degree of reciprocity toward the widespread Muslim official hostility to Christians, Hindus, and Jews, though unedifying in the abstract, might be a better bet than the groveling to Iran and Pakistan that the Obama administration and much of the West have engaged in so fruitlessly.


As Europe wallows and dithers and America retrenches, the arrival of India as the next Great Power in the world will be a providential stroke of fortune for the forces of democracy and of resistance to Islamic extremism and to the aggressive tendencies of the Russians and Chinese. This is the real importance of last week’s Indian election.

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby Rahul M » 22 May 2014 17:44

Cosmo ji, just as I am completely against the use of the word chankian to describe stupid ventures, I oppose the use of the term liberal to describe the wide range of people ranging from hypocritical elitists, loony lefts to the plain rabid anti-hindu and anti-Indian.

I am a liberal. people like shiv vishvanathan who apply their liberalism selectively, are not. and I must object to the misuse of this word.
there has been nothing more illiberal in this country than the ideology propagated by left-cong ecosystem.

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby member_28025 » 22 May 2014 17:46

Basically, I think "liberal" means "live and let leave" at least that is the principle I follow.

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby Anantha » 22 May 2014 17:56

Swearing In food menu is here:
Dhokla, Surti Khaman, undhiu, Patel Kadi, katiawadi shaak, bakri Roti, Chas, sitafal rabdi

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby member_28025 » 22 May 2014 18:00

Anantha wrote:Swearing In food menu is here:
Dhokla, Surti Khaman, undhiu, Patel Kadi, katiawadi shaak, bakri Roti, Chas, sitafal rabdi


Sounds yummy. I hope "bakri roti" is not "goat roti". :wink:

I'm sure people like my hubby and my brother would groan, they being pakka non-veggies.

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby kancha » 22 May 2014 18:02

pradeepe wrote:
When left leaning "intelligentsia" naturally assign themselves the liberal tag, It also means having a right of center view is automatically illiberal (is there a word like that) or intolerant.



Someone pl tweet this!

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby Singha » 22 May 2014 18:03

finally a change from the dosafication and punjabification of indian cuisine.

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby Patni » 22 May 2014 18:11

Shamlee wrote:
Anantha wrote:Swearing In food menu is here:
Dhokla, Surti Khaman, undhiu, Patel Kadi, katiawadi shaak, bakri Roti, Chas, sitafal rabdi


Sounds yummy. I hope "bakri roti" is not "goat roti". :wink:

I'm sure people like my hubby and my brother would groan, they being pakka non-veggies.


LOL for goat roti! am sure you know it is suppose to be Bhakri :) very common in Maharashtra and Guj/Raj.

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby merlin » 22 May 2014 18:13

Shamlee wrote:
Anantha wrote:Swearing In food menu is here:
Dhokla, Surti Khaman, undhiu, Patel Kadi, katiawadi shaak, bakri Roti, Chas, sitafal rabdi


Sounds yummy. I hope "bakri roti" is not "goat roti". :wink:

I'm sure people like my hubby and my brother would groan, they being pakka non-veggies.


That would be bhaakri, probably made of bajra.

Not fair :((

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby member_28025 » 22 May 2014 18:20

merlin wrote:
That would be bhaakri, probably made of bajra.

Not fair :((


Nawaz Sharif will probably think it is bakri as in goat (at least one non-veg dish) and will be thoroughly disappointed to see bajra bhaakri. On the other hand, as a revenge, he might invite Modi to Pakistan and serve only non-veg. :((

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby Saral » 22 May 2014 18:25

Shamlee wrote:
Singha wrote:as matter of principle I always object to jeeva hatya on the occasion of anything auspicious. I had limited say in my marriage so they served non-veg food also and the mob back home expect it. but once i setup my own household and got control, we have been veg on such occasions like moving into new house, kids bday etc.


Singhaji, it was your marriage and you had limited say? So who had the unlimited say? SHQ or parents? :)


To keep the peace no non-veg at home. SHQ will go nukular. I indulge when I eat outside (rarely). Veg at home is decent though.

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby KJo » 22 May 2014 18:28

I think we should stop promoting Taj Mahal as our symbol. It's a symbol of Hindu slavery.

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby RamaY » 22 May 2014 18:32

KJoishy wrote:I think we should stop promoting Taj Mahal as our symbol. It's a symbol of Hindu slavery.


Once Modi develops Varanasi river front then it will be the icon of new India.
Until then we should use "Jagadiswara Temple" in TN. Jagadiswara = Lord of the universe :)

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby member_28352 » 22 May 2014 18:32

^^^^I second that KJoishy garu. Tirupathi should be symbol of India.

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby Murugan » 22 May 2014 18:34

Patni-ji

Bhakri is made up of Wheat flour and is unlike Maharashtrian Bhakri, which is made up of 1) Rice flour 2) Nachani 3) Jwar

Shamlee Tai
Gujarati Bhakri is 3/4 times thicker than chapati and is roasted applying weight. Dough is given lot of mohan (flour is given good amount of oil and later water is added) and make dough thicker/drier than paratha. You can add black pepper or any other masala that can pair with wheat flour.

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby Murugan » 22 May 2014 18:37

Subramaniam Swamy on Invitation to SL

http://m.ibnlive.com/news/indian-tamil- ... 2-128.html

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby member_28025 » 22 May 2014 18:44

Murugan wrote:Patni-ji

Bhakri is made up of Wheat flour and is unlike Maharashtrian Bhakri, which is made up of 1) Rice flour 2) Nachani 3) Jwar

Shamlee Tai
Gujarati Bhakri is 3/4 times thicker than chapati and is roasted applying weight. Dough is given lot of mohan (flour is given good amount of oil and later water is added) and make dough thicker/drier than paratha. You can add black pepper or any other masala that can pair with wheat flour.


We also have bajra (we call it baajri in Marathi) bhaakri in Maharashtra. My late mom used to make them and they were delicious.

I hope to get to taste these dishes during my next Gujarat visit.
Last edited by member_28025 on 22 May 2014 18:47, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby Singha » 22 May 2014 18:47

its good. a fading gogoi at the helm is good for BJP to overhaul the congis finally

Sonia refuses to accept Assam CM Gogoi's resignation, to meet MLAs

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby Singha » 22 May 2014 18:48

Somnath temple or Vrihadeshwara temple are both distinctive and will send the right message than the necropolis.
Stupa at sarnath, golden temple, statue of Gomateswara, again all distinct and easily identified.
if at all a muslim structure is needed in the mix, I would suggest fatehpur sikri (atleast it had its use as a city for some time) or the jami masjid(still in use today) or gol gombuz the necropolis of adil shah which will subtly undermine the mughaliya congi sultanate.

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby krishnan » 22 May 2014 18:55

Image

and these guys are against SL attending function

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby gakakkad » 22 May 2014 18:56

Arjun wrote:Some very good articles coming out from the West in support of Modi: Modi’s Triumph in India Is a Stroke of Fortune For the Democratic World

The decisive victory of Narendra Modi, 13-year chief minister — governor — of Gujarat State and candidate of the Bharatiya Janata party, is seen by the international Left as a victory of a semi-fascist sectarian implicated in the massacre of up to 2,000 Muslims in 2001, and by the international moderate Right as India’s ticket to ride more quickly and comfortably into prosperity than China.


All of us who remember the country’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, sitting in the garden of the sumptuous Edward Lutyens–designed official residence in New Delhi, fondling a rose and explaining in his Harrow and Cambridge and Inner Temple accent the moral superiority of India precisely because of its teeming poverty and the resulting virtue of the country’s disregard for materialism, will be relieved to see the unprecedented defeat his Congress party suffered last week.

That sensation will be more intense for those who also remember Nehru’s daughter, Indira Gandhi, fondling a rose off the same bush and parked in the same chair and giving essentially the same claim to moral exaltedness despite the squalor and corruption of her country, which her policies (like those of her father) did little to alleviate. The Congress party and the Nehru-Gandhi family clung to the headship of that vast country like limpets for all but about twelve of the 67 years of Indian independence.


Inevitably, the international Left is deeply distressed at the prospect of serious economic progress in India. The New Statesman, London’s upper-middle-brow far-left magazine, ran a lengthy report from William Dalrymple (whom I banned from London’s Telegraph newspapers twelve years ago for rampant, foaming-at-the mouth anti-Semitism in Middle East reporting, in his Islamist enthusiasm) detailing the massacre of the Muslims in Gujarat twelve years ago. On the magazine’s cover, the Dalrymple piece was headlined “India’s Worst Nightmare? Narendra Modi, neo-fascism and the making of a tyrant.” The tired, punch-drunk London journalistic Left adheres timelessly to its ancient subterranean standards of fair political reporting, and the lengthy article within was an appropriate farrago of leftist bigotry.


The appeasement of Muslims has not been a successful policy in the recent past, and some degree of reciprocity toward the widespread Muslim official hostility to Christians, Hindus, and Jews, though unedifying in the abstract, might be a better bet than the groveling to Iran and Pakistan that the Obama administration and much of the West have engaged in so fruitlessly.


As Europe wallows and dithers and America retrenches, the arrival of India as the next Great Power in the world will be a providential stroke of fortune for the forces of democracy and of resistance to Islamic extremism and to the aggressive tendencies of the Russians and Chinese. This is the real importance of last week’s Indian election.



one of the best articles from western sources...

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby krishnan » 22 May 2014 19:02

Image

mother offering her son , sweets before he left for delhi, also gave him 101 rs as Shagun

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby JE Menon » 22 May 2014 19:09

That article is written by Conrad Black. Wiki this dude. He's one of the old style barons. Done everything, including prison time.

Valuable endorsement for Modi in some circles. :twisted:

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby Jarita » 22 May 2014 19:45

SanjayC wrote:^^ Sending Kashmiri Pandits back to Kashmir (especially women) would make them sitting ducks for Jehadis. Better to arm them for self-protection, on the lines of Salwa Judum.



Please send the retired armed forces first

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby Jarita » 22 May 2014 19:49

Lilo wrote:Any reliable estimate on the election expense of BJP?

I wonder if the new govt really owes "that" much to the corporates as is being alleged.



Yes please. Can someone validate

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby SRoy » 22 May 2014 19:50

Jarita wrote:
SanjayC wrote:^^ Sending Kashmiri Pandits back to Kashmir (especially women) would make them sitting ducks for Jehadis. Better to arm them for self-protection, on the lines of Salwa Judum.



Please send the retired armed forces first


Without arms?

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby Yagnasri » 22 May 2014 19:52

Jarita wrote:
SanjayC wrote:^^ Sending Kashmiri Pandits back to Kashmir (especially women) would make them sitting ducks for Jehadis. Better to arm them for self-protection, on the lines of Salwa Judum.



Please send the retired armed forces first


Do you really think the governament of NM will allow attacks on Pundits this time. Further onus of protection is also there on sicular politicos and any attack on Pundits may serious respose on Kashmiri peaceful students and others living else where. Remember what happend to the Paki supporting students in UP university and Omar was weeping. Sending Pundits back and giving them honor is a must for any Indic leader and that is what is being done. Peaceful people were making lot of politically correct noices about return of pundits and now they have to behave.

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby rsingh » 22 May 2014 19:52

Shamlee wrote:
Pratyush wrote:Does he get to boss around the house with you are a dutiful obedient puppy. If yes, then he is the SHQ. Else he is the MIT as described by Lokesh C


Can't find the post of Lokesh C. What is MIT.

I called him SHQ because I am the one who is on BRF and he is the one complaining.


Pardon.......does he "warns you and invites you to sleep" late evening,while you are busy analyzing strategic implications of coup in Maldieves? You get the answer.

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Re: Narendra Modi vs the Dynasty: Contrasting Ideas of India

Postby SanjayC » 22 May 2014 20:14

The Economist falling in line:
India’s strongman
Narendra Modi’s amazing victory gives India its best chance ever of prosperity
THE most important change in the world over the past 30 years has been the rise of China. The increase in its average annual GDP per head from around $300 to $6,750 over the period has not just brought previously unimagined prosperity to hundreds of millions of people, but has also remade the world economy and geopolitics.

India’s GDP per head was the same as China’s three decades ago. It is now less than a quarter of the size. Despite a couple of bouts of reform and spurts of growth, India’s economy has never achieved the momentum that has dragged much of East Asia out of poverty. The human cost, in terms of frustrated, underemployed, ill-educated, unhealthy, hungry people, has been immense.

Now, for the first time ever, India has a strong government whose priority is growth. Narendra Modi, who leads the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has won a tremendous victory on the strength of promising to make India’s economy work. Although we did not endorse him, because we believe that he has not atoned sufficiently for the massacre of Muslims that took place in Gujarat while he was chief minister, we wish him every success: an Indian growth miracle would be a great thing not just for Indians, but also for the world.

From lackey to leader

Government is at the heart of India’s failure. The few strong governments India has had—always dominated by the Congress party, a Nehru-Gandhi family fief—have had rotten economic agendas. Reformist politicians—like the outgoing prime minister, Manmohan Singh—have lacked the clout to implement their policies.

That is partly because India is an extraordinarily hard place to govern. Much power is devolved to the states; the fissiparous nature of its polity means that deals have constantly to be done with a vast array of regional and caste-based parties; and a colonial and socialist past has bequeathed India a bureaucracy whose direction is hard to change.

Mr Singh, who was not much more than a Gandhi family retainer, had little chance of doing so. Mr Modi, by contrast, has huge authority, both within his party and in the country. The BJP’s victory owes something to good organisation but most to its leader’s appeal. Not since Indira Gandhi was assassinated in 1984 has India had such a powerful personality in charge.

Mr Modi has an outright majority—282 of the 543 elected seats in Parliament’s lower house. Only Congress has ever won a majority by itself before, and it has not had one for 30 years. The combination of parliamentary clout and personal power means that Mr Modi has a better chance of getting state governments to go along with him than Mr Singh did. Congress, meanwhile, has been routed, retaining just 44 seats. The joke goes that until last week India had no government; now it has no opposition.

Mr Modi has a mandate for economic reform. Although his core supporters are religious nationalists, steeped in the glories of a Hindu past, it was the votes of the young, urban and educated that won him the election. They were turned off by Congress’s drift and venality, and its preference for welfare handouts over fostering opportunity. They want the chance of self-advancement that Mr Modi, a tea-seller’s son, both represents and promises.

His first task is to stabilise a fragile economy. He must clean out the banks (bad loans are preventing a recovery), sort out the government’s own finances (chronic deficits are at the root of India’s inflation), cut subsidies, widen the tax base and allow the central bank to pursue a tougher anti-inflation policy.

His second task is to create jobs. Labour laws are rigid, land for factories often impossible to acquire at any price, and electricity patchy. Mr Modi must launch sweeping land reforms, crack heads in the misfiring coal and electricity industries and make India more of a single market not just by improving roads, ports and the like, but also by cutting the red tape that Balkanises the economy. A national sales tax would help here, replacing myriad local levies. Such relatively straightforward steps could make a powerful difference, raising the Indian growth rate by two or even three percentage points from its current 4-5%.

Reaching out to Pakistan would bring economic as well as security benefits. Trade between Pakistan and India is currently negligible, and there is huge scope for growth. As a leader from the nationalist right, Mr Modi is well placed to bring about a rapprochement, rather as Menachem Begin could make peace between Israel and Egypt. The initial signs are good: Mr Modi has invited Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, to his inauguration.

One rule for all

There are three main dangers. One is that Mr Modi turns out to be more of a Hindu nationalist than an economic reformer. He has spoken of “bringing everyone along”. But while he has already worshipped at the Ganges since his victory, promising to clean up the river sacred to Hindus, he has not brought himself to mention Muslims, who make up 15% of the population.

A second danger is that he is defeated by the country’s complexity. His efforts at reform, like all previous reformers’ efforts, may be overwhelmed by a combination of politics, bureaucracy and corruption. If that happens, India will be condemned to another generation or two of underachievement.

A third is that Mr Modi’s strength will go to his head, and he will rule as an autocrat, not a democrat—as Indira Gandhi did for a while. There are grounds for concern. After years of drift under Congress, some of the country’s institutions have rotted. The main police investigator is politically directed, the media can be bought, the central bank, which does not have statutory independence, has been bullied before, and Mr Modi has authoritarian tendencies.

The risks are there, but this is a time for optimism. With a strong government committed to growth and a population hungry for it, India has its best chance of making a break for prosperity since independence.
Last edited by SanjayC on 22 May 2014 20:17, edited 3 times in total.


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