Friday, February 13, 2015

Wow !!! Congress faces funding crisis ...

As I opened the morning papers ...I was delighted to see Business Line reporting that ' With big business tap shut, Cong faces funds crisis'. What a wonderful news !

Nobody pays you when you can't work for them anymore - and certainly not business men. Donations to political parties are investments ...or protection money or both. So, it is natural that the Congress will find no money from big business ...who clearly see that this party will be unproductive for atleast the next five years. But businesses keep on investing ...and logically now, money is flowing somewhere else.

But, think a little more and we immediately realize that if only the congress party had relied on people directly for funds, it would be unlikely that they would be facing such a crisis....small granular contributions don't dry up easily . We are told that the Kerala unit of the party does it....and the Congress has a strong presence and now weild power in the state. But, if they had indeed done it across the country , the Congress would have worked hard to ensure that they serve the people - who would have been their paymasters. In part that explains why politicians in Kerala are -at least outwardly - humble and accessible .

When big business is your paymaster , you do what they bid you to do....but you can throw your weight around and ride fortuners and boleros. You sell the idea that big business and big investments naturally mean development and welfare. To aid you in this proces is the big media (also owned by big business ). And , when it is election time, when it is big money that is supporting you, you can buy votes.

Coming back, we realize and it is obvious there is big business money that has now flown into the saffron party ....and hence it is natural that we will see pro-big business policy action by the government...and naturally all these need not be pro people. One of the first evidences of this is the Land grabbing ordinance...and other such ordinances. Unless the saffron party actually broad bases itself and approaches people directly, we can only see policy for big business and preachings for the people....broad basing will require a humongous effort and change in mindset - which is unlikely.

Over time, I don't expect the saffron party to be any different from the hand that passed on the baton of governance to it, for, as they say ,  எல்லாம் ஒரே குட்டையில் ஊறிய மட்டைகள் (they are all from the same marsh).

Interestingly, this probably explains why the AAP , which has not raised money from big business yet (that two crores is small change when compared to donations for other parties and even they don't seem to be from any big corporate house), is labelled as left of center, the emerging left, extreme left and what not.

Parties know that big money is hot money and as long as they pursue policies that favors big business, and also sell it people as reform and development, they will be able to swim in it. When polices don't come forth or when people don't buy the story ...the model collapses. We are delightfully seeing it happen to the Congress and I hope it happens to the saffron party as well. I hope that this model collapses so many times that parties dump it once and for all. Only then will we have true democracy ...until then we will have to suffer this kleptocracy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

அரங்கத்தில் அம்மா Money திட்டம் !

அழகிரி அங்கென்னா
அரங்கத்தில் அம்மாங்க - நம்மள
அம்மாவும் அய்யாவும்
மாறி மாறி ஆண்டாலும்
கட்சி கொடி கலருலதான்
வித்தியாசம்  இருக்குங்கோ !
கொள்கையெல்லாம் ஒண்ணுங்கோ..
அது ...
"ஆம்புட்ட வரை அள்ளுங்கோ" ...
கணக்கில்லாம அள்ளுனத
கணக்கு பாத்து தாராங்க
ஆளரவுங்க தாராங்க
ஆளாத கட்சியாரும்
ஐந்நூறு தாரங்க !!
கருக்கலில வாரங்க
கதவைத்  தட்டி தாராங்க !

ஆமா !

யாருங்கடா சொன்னது
PDS சொதப்பலுன்னு ....
இரண்டு பேர அனுப்புங்க
இங்க வந்து பாக்கட்டும் - எம்மா
கச்சிதமா நடக்குது இங்க
அம்மா money திட்டமுன்னு ...

ஆஹா !

எந்த மடையன் சொன்னது
சனநாயகம் நடக்குதுன்னு ?
வந்து இங்க பாக்கட்டும்
நல்லாவே வெளங்கிடும்
ஊரல  செழிப்பா  நடக்கறது
பணநாயக ஆட்சியின்னு ..

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

AAP win : Hard work, aided and abetted in no small measure by the BJP

Call them naxals, anarchists , the mango people or the zamanaat zapt party or call their leader muffler man or a quitter or whatever, the fact - and yes , it is real hard for a lot of people to swallow is that the man and his rag tag team has won 67 constituencies i.e, 95% of the seats with 54 % popular vote . Now Delhiites are portrayed as nuts, people who don't understand basics, how the national capital is populated by people who want freebies etc and some have even told that they are anti-national !!! Whatever ...a lot of people think that Delhiites usually exhibit a level of confidence that borders on arrogance - and yes they have given the AAP a confident 'Yes' and the BJP an arrogant 'No'.

AAP :......This party quit running the state - or a glorified municipality as some call it -  in 49 days ( although it was on principle), much to the irritation and anger of people who voted it in. People naturally felt cheated. It looked like these fellows are capable of only dharnas - and not of governance. They were reduced to rubble in the parliamentary election and ended up looking like jokers contesting in 400 seats and losing deposit monies in over 90 of them . And though they managed to actually increase their vote share marginally and sent 4 people to the parliament, a lot of us wrote them off. At least I did.

Kejriwal was a butt of jokes...and AAP were labled as AAP tards...its sympathizers labelled as anti nationalists - the logic for which was simple. You wont want to do anything with a scam ridden Congress - and so you have to be with the only alternative the BJP- and being with BJP was being nationalistic and if you are against it, you are anti-national. The media had shifted its focus off to more interesting things ...Modi and the BJP.  And in what seemed as perfect master stroke, Modi pulled Gandhi from the Congress and the broom from AAP and launched the Swacch Bharat Mission. ... For most of us it looked that the AAP was a failed experiment for others it was thankfully a failed experiment. From there to bounce back with such a massive majority no mean act.

To my mind this is a combination of AAP's own effort and the huge effort put in by BJP.

I am personally pleasantly surprised by the way Kejriwal made a comeback. If you had faced failure, you will know that failure can be very painful..and a massive failure combined with huge amount of ridicule can kill people - or their morale. Pulling up from that level must have been really really tough. And going around asking forgiveness and seeking another chance is not something is easy. And motivating and keeping together a bunch of people who came together kicked by an idea to form a fledgling party that  subsequently faced a rout - would have been a stupendous task.

These guys actually went about doing that...they reached out to people, connected with them in a way that no politician has done in the recent past. The volunteer force which was basically a group of rag-tag , disorganized group was slowly built into a structure... This connect with people helped the party to clearly identify priorities, think of solutions and come up with a clear action program as a manifesto. From a party that was identified with a middle-class that was disenchanted with corruption and obsessed with a Jan Lokpal etc ..they moved wider and deeper, linking up with the urban poor - without upsetting the middle class. Their manifesto is well thought out and actionable. They spoke of development with equity in the Mohalla meetings... So what helped the AAP was

  1. Kejriwal going out and saying sorry for quitting and seeking another chance
  2. The paanch saal Kejriwal slogan ...that was an assurance that they will not quit this time
  3. A better organized structure 
  4. A longer preparation time (in part granted to them by the BJP)
  5. An ability to connect with people across various classes
  6. The memory of the 49 days rule when power tariff was lower , water was free and petty corruption disappeared ...Yes this did seem to have mattered ...if at all , this was the only proof of concept that the AAP could talk of. 
  7. A clean, and man- next door image. 

But then, the BJP contributed to the victory in no small measure.

  1. They stretched the time for election to over 8 months valuable time for the AAP to reorganize and rework. It was plain stupid to do that. 
  2. The 4 M strategy - Modi, Money , Mud and Majoritism just did not work. Modi was not able to connect with the people. The 'Move ahead with Modi' story is no longer exciting enough. The massive contingent of MPs and Ministers campaigning - just showed that the party was getting jittery. The mudslinging and mid night hawala etc failed again as it backfired terribly. It only made Kejriwal stronger... people clearly saw that this as a smear campaign. And I guess nobody was bothered about Majoritism. 
  3. Lack of clarity and then a wrong CM candidate . First they ran 'Vote for Modi sarkar campaign' - with Modi as the face and when the first rally failed, they removed Harsha Vardan who was the familiar face and imposed Kiran Bedi... Bedi was a terrible mistake. She managed to rub both the voters and the party folks on the wrong side. She was seen as a turncoat ( and she indeed is. Till yesterday she was saying that she was a responsible person ....blah blah and today, she quickly said that it as she has given her 100% , the party will need to introspect for the defeat)
  4. And there was over exposure of Modi , on photos, in posters,  in news papers , over the radio ....just all over was just Modi Modi Modi..... Modi appeared to be almost narcissistic - with name-stripped coats and all that. The party is just refusing to grow up.
  5. An all talk and no concrete delivery track record for the last 8 odd months - for the people who mattered. For the man on the street, it was all vague announcements and pronouncements ...nothing else.
  6. An aggressive pro-big corporate image that the BJP created - with the Land Grabbing ordinance ...sorry Land Acquisition ordinance , changes to labour laws etc... Well that clearly showed that growth trajectory that BJP was taking was not inclusive. 
  7. The BJP did not paint itself in glory with all the ghar wapsi dramas that the sangh parivar enacted ....and psychotic blabber from some the parties clearly alienated the minorities...and moderates . And with the Congress giving up even before the election, they moved to the AAP. ...(and AAP did the smart thing of rejecting the Imam's support - else it would have given the BJP a chance to play the majoritism card).
  8. And finally, nobody wants a lecture on culture, lifestyle and dressing, on the number of children you have and where to send thrm to etc ...least of all a Delhiite ....and the BJP MPs..not just the Sangh and its gang went about just doing that ...playing moral police. 

When Modi addressed the rally in Delhi, he said 'Jo Desh ka mood hai - wahi Dilli ka mood hai'... In time, the converse will also be true.. Wonder if the party will introspect ( as Bedi wanted it to do) and rework its strategy.