Greetings, O loyal and cherished Reader; I bring glad tidings.
At last the glorious day has dawned—a day that you fervently hoped and prayed would never dawn.
Today is the day when I present to thee, and to the rest of long-suffering humanity, my prediction on the outcome of the Lok Sabha elections of 2024.
The broad theoretical elements of my research are presented in the form of two graphics, whose various components have been filched, misappropriated and/or lifted and morphed with all the usual care from an array of unaccredited online sources—to whom I am deeply grateful.
The BJP-led NDA will be totally erased from the Lok Sabha in 2024!
Defections from Congress and other Opposition parties to the BJP–led NDA will soon reach a Critical Mass; whereupon, the defectors and defecators will take over the NDA’s DNA through cellular-level dynamic transformations that are as effective, inexorable and deadly as the processes by which a virus takes command of a healthy cell.
1. How a migrating/invasive virus or bacteria takes over a healthy host cell
2. How migrating/invasive Congress-led members take over host BJP-led NDA cell
My detailed research report is currently under review by a joint peer group of scientists from two of India’s most infamous, calumniated and globally disavowed academic institutes: the Indian Institute of Fundamentalist Sciences (IIFS), Delhi, and the Institute of Lactile Sociodynamics (ILS), Kanpur. It might be worth recalling (or perhaps it might not) that IIFS discovered two fundamentalist particles— Secularon and Minoritron—that are as important to sociologists as the electron and the Higgs boson are to primatologists; while ILS discovered the Regresson – the Backward-spinning cerebral particle, which has helped in formulation of the famous Creamy Layer Postulate regarding OBC Reservation that forms the bedrock of India’s affirmative action policy.
Disclaimer: This report is based on my independent de jure research and largely theoretical interactions with senior members of the political parties mentioned as well as other unmentionables, and backed by my professional knowledge acquired as Adjunct Liber Scholar with Master’s Degree in Prevarication & Associated Obfuscation from the globally disreputable Rannoy Poy–Khadka Butt Institute of Unhinged Psephology, New Delhi. Any inaccuracies, baseless allegations, errors, misrepresentations or incomplete data that might have crept in through deliberate inclusion are entirely my irresponsibility.
Under Aam Aadmi Party, Delhi has plumbed spectacular new depths in crime monitoring, water contamination and air pollution
This short report is about Delhi, where I’ve lived for over 28 years now. It’s been written between November 16th and November 30th 2021, when the air pollution levels have consistently exceeded the danger levels by 600% to 1000%.
The report focuses on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government of Arvind Kejriwal.
Well… The AAP government has presided over the Capital since 2015, and hence must take its share of credits and debits as well as bear overall responsibility for Delhi’s accrued virtues and vices during the past six years.
Besides, while glancing through my dusty archives of political writings during the past decade or three, I find that I’ve directed my words of admiration and admonition primarily at BJP, Congress, CPM, CPI, the Dravida duo, RJD, and Samajwadi Party. It strikes me that AAP might feel hurt at being left out. Hence, I focus this report on examining the initiatives and achievements of Kejriwal-bhai and his co-AAPted party workers and shirkers in managing three critical domains that impact daily existence in Delhi: law and order, water quality, and air quality.
But at this point, an important disclaimer.
I hereby declare and solemnly swear, with all the necessary swearwords, oaths, and imprecations, that I have been a votary of AAP since 2013.
I support and vote for AAP – at least in the Delhi Assembly, not because of any particular public good it’s done for the people of Delhi, but because—unlike the earlier Congress and BJP governments which did nothing for the people of Delhi but only ignored, abused, exploited, pillaged, plundered, ravaged and otherwise looted us in disgustingly casteist, communal and communist ways—the AAP too has done nothing and continues to do nothing for the people of Delhi, but it does nothing in an admirably secular way, i.e., it ignores, abuses, exploits, pillages, plunders, ravages and otherwise loots us irrespective of our caste, class, religion, or ethnicity.
By doing nothing for the people of Delhi, good or bad, AAP gives us, the citizens, the liberty and licence to do pretty much what we the people of India in general and of Delhi in particular are talented at doing and love to do the most: namely, pillage, plunder, exploit, ravage and otherwise loot one other in secular, communal, communist and other politically and socially accepted ways with no interference from our wise AAP government.
And now, I proceed to summarize the evidence of AAP’s incredible and indelible achievements so that all of us can gasp in wonder, even as we gasp for the last remaining traces of oxygen in Delhi’s air.
Thanks to AAP’s capable and culpable governance since 2015, Delhi continues to maintain its top position in the country – if not the world – in many spheres of socioeconomic, academic and cultural inactivity.
Here are a few prominent Medals of Dishonour that AAP has won for Delhi:
The most lawless and crime-infested city in India.
The most corrupt city in India.
Ranked consistently among the top three dirtiest cities in India
The capital city with the worst air quality on Earth for the eighth year in a row.
The Yamuna river is among the most polluted on Earth
But now I must pause. I realize it is cynical and unfair to say that AAP does nothing for the people, good or bad. I herewith apologize and respectfully amend my statement: AAP actually does one thing very well.
AAP has proven itself to be a master and/or mistress at Monitoring & Measuring (M&M) the many problems that have plagued Delhi since Independence (and quite possibly, since the time of Indraprastha).
Consider violent crime, that plagues our beloved city. Thanks to the tireless efforts of our AAP government, over 410,000 new CCTV cameras have been installed since 2015 across the city as of August 2021. Admittedly, these CCTV cameras haven’t stopped violent crimes—in fact, violent crimes continue to happen at accelerating rate. But these lakhs of new CCTV cameras have provided a wonderful M&M mechanism for street crimes, and a much larger number of the violent crimes are being recorded live. This enables the AAP government to compile much more accurate statistical dataon violent crimes, thus providing a solid authenticated foundation for Delhi to claim and retain its top position among Crime Capitals of the World. The CCTV footage and statistical data are also being provided by AAP to the main-scream TV news channels on ongoing basis for national and global-level entertainment.
AAP has also taken pains to point out—through sustained year-round advertisement campaigns costing several thousand crores of taxpayers’ money year after year— that it has greatly improved public security by installing many thousands of new streetlights in crime-prone areas.
Some anti-AAP people (most probably nasty BJP and Congress-wallahs with hidden agendas) complain about the fact that over half the installed CCTV cameras have been imported from China—that too during the military stand-off between India and China at Galwan in 2020. They jeer at the fact that the CCTV cameras don’t capture criminals; they only capture their crimes. They even allege that the new streetlights are only helping the criminals see their victims better and plan their crimes more efficiently.
However, AAP correctly responds that:
Catching criminals is the job of Delhi Police which reports only to the Union Home Ministry and is thus controlled by those ☠@!##$%☠ BJP-wallahs;
A large number of CCTV cameras are being stolen and/or damaged on ongoing basis – most probably by dalals and stooges of those same ☠**%&☠☠ BJP and Congress saalas who want to give AAP a bad name.
There is nothing wrong about importing CCTV cameras from China, because India believes in the spirit of vasudaiva kutumbakam.
The newly installed streetlights have not only improved the quality of the CCTV footage on violent crimes; they also enable the common Delhi citizen to take night-time selfies where night-time selfies were not possible before, to spot criminals sooner and have time to run like hell for safety before being caught, and to see and avoid pot-holes, open manholes, heaps of garbage and other hazards while running.
Managing Water Quality
Another important area where the AAP government has achieved remarkable landmarks through enhanced M&M capabilities is water quality; specifically, contamination of the Yamuna by untreated human wastes (commonly known as shit).
Now, we all know the Yamuna has been filthy since probably the time of Qutubbudin Aibak. But the BJP and Congress governments did nothing to clean it up, and so when AAP came to power one of its promises was to clean up the Yamuna and make it fit for bathing in by 2020.
At this point, a little gyaan. According to norms of WHO and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), river water is unsafe and unfit for even bathing in if its faecal coliform count (i.e. a measure of how much shit it contains) is more than 2500 (per 100 ml water)
When Kejriwal’s AAP took charge of Delhi government in 2015, the maximum measured faecal coliform count at Okhla was close to 5000,000 per 100 ml (i.e. 2000 times the danger level).
By 2019, the faecal coliform count at Okhla had increased by leaps and bounds to over 9500,000 per 100 ml (i.e. 3800 times the danger level).
In March 2021 the Delhi Pollution Control Committee reported that the faecal coliform count in Okhla was 45,000,000 per 100 ml (i.e. 18,000 times the danger level) [data from DPCC lab report here].
Thanks to scientific M&M under the AAP government, and bolstered by the AAP government’s sustained ‘Clean Yamuna’ campaign, the faecal coliform in the Yamuna has increased by leaps and bounds: from 2000 times danger level in 2015 to an amazing 18,000 times danger level by March 2021.
Instead of being thrilled by this remarkable AAP achievement, the usual gang of AAP-haters and baiters (all BJP and Congress chamchas, for sure) complain that the Yamuna’s astronomically high coliform count only shows that the river water is now at par with the stuff we flush away in toilets. They add bitterly that if the current trend continues (as it will, if AAP remains in power for another term or two as seems likely), the Yamuna’s faecal coliform count will become so high that the river will solidify into a sludge of…well…shit.
AAP is unfazed by the criticism. Flushed with enthusiasm (so to speak), it has vowed to continue its ‘Clean Yamuna’ initiative. On November 19th, Chief Minister Kejriwal declared that “the Yamuna will be cleaned by 2025”.
Managing Air Quality
Nowhere is AAP’s uniquely dismal aptitude (AAPtitude?) in governance more clearly visible (at least, on the 5-6 days in the year when an object 2 metres away is clearly visible through the smog) than in managing the quality of Delhi’s air.
The AAP’s sustained, hyperbolic and mutually contradictory efforts at combating air pollution during the last six years essentially boil down to the following:
Strenuous advertising campaigns that urge the Delhi citizens to use public transport like buses and Metro instead of private vehicles.
Reducing the fleet-strength of the city bus operator Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) from around 6000 buses in 2015 to 3000 buses as of today. [AAP’sRationale: these old buses are inefficient and add to air pollution! Result: more people buy scooters/bikes and cars, adding more to air pollution.]
Opposing the expansion of the Delhi Metro’s Phase 4 corridor. [AAP’sRationale: the Metro Phase 4 construction will require felling of several hundred young trees planted during AAP’s afforestation campaigns, mainly on wastelands. Result: as above. ]
Strenuous, continuous and almost completely useless efforts over the last six years to purchase 8000 new CNG buses (so that the DTC fleet can be increased to 11,000 buses). Not one new bus has so far been procured. However, as a sign of great progress, AAP recently announced (November 6th, 2021) that 190 new CNG buses ‘will be inducted’ starting next year, i.e. 2022.
Setting up two ‘smog towers’ (in Connaught Place and in Anand Vihar) at a cost of Rs 40 crores while ignoring all warnings and criticisms including mine. These smog towers have proved to be a complete farce, as predicted. For instance, on November 6th, the smog tower at Connaught Place delivered ‘clean air’ which had a PM 2.5 level of 453 (against the maximum safety level of 60). See the report here.
Blaming previous BJP and Congress governments for not doing enough to clean up Delhi’s air, thus burdening AAP with a ‘legacy’ of air pollution
Blaming the BJP-ruled Union Government for not giving enough money to the AAP government of Delhi to fund its essential public-interest advertising campaigns in electronic and print media by which it attacks the Union Government for not giving adequate funds to the AAP government of Delhi to help combat various problems such as water and air pollution
Blaming the BJP-ruled governments of the neighbouring states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for encouraging/allowing farmers to burn post-kharif harvest stubble in their fields and create smoke that adds to Delhi’s air pollution.
The plain and bitter truth is, Delhi’s own traffic alone contributes to anything between 65% and 85% of all air pollution including particulates, depending on the time of year. Hardly surprising, considering that Delhi had nearly 12 million registered motorized vehicles on its choked roads as of March 2021.
The Delhi NCR’s own industry and construction sectors contribute most of the remaining air pollution throughout the year. Stubble burning contributes a maximum of only about 30%—that too for barely three weeks in a year! Likewise, the admittedly noisy and smoky but much-maligned Diwali crackers contribute no more than 10–12% of air pollution—for three days in the year!
The scientific studies are all out there, in public domain.
O Gentle Reader, just imagine 12 million vehicles on jam-packed roads day after day, all that diesel and petrol and CNG burning, the CO2 and CO and particulates shooting out of those millions of exhaust pipes…
Yet, we Delhi-wallahs dare blame the farmers for stubble burning?
Who among us has the courage to call a spade a spade (instead of a spatially challenged diamond) and blame ourselves for spawning this choking horror that hangs over the city?
A word of praise is due to the media, for providing enthusiastic support to the AAP government in blaming everybody but the citizens of Delhi themselves for Delhi’s air pollution. Particularly noteworthy is Times of India’s ‘Let Delhi Breathe’ campaign, under which the most creative headlines, well-spun graphics, cunningly twisted data and plain fake news are combined to create a narrative that Delhi’s air pollution is entirely due to all those nasty stubble-burning farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and western U.P.
For instance, today (30th November), stubble burning contributes barely 2% to Delhi’s the PM 2.5 load. In other words, 98% of Delhi’s air pollution is of our own creation! But instead of headlining this, TOI obligingly plays up the stubble burning through crafty graphics and a headline that reads ‘Smoke without fire: AQI very poor’.
Enough. Bus ho gya.
I have, after years of thought and dilly-dallying (Dilli-dallying?) resolved to move out from Delhi. Inshallah, by 2023…assuming I survive 2022.
Even as I write this, the prospect of leaving Delhi brings a wave of deep sadness; so deep that I wonder whether I should explore the Dark Web for a small but effective dose of potassium cyanide.
I gaze out the window at the dismal, grey-brown murk enveloping the sky…a darkness at noon … and then I cackle in glee.
I don’t need potassium cyanide to end it all.
All I need do is open the window and breathe deeply….
I present below the complete text of a weird yet strangely interesting ‘Pilot’ project proposal for bank finance from India Bulls & Ghotala Bank; I found it in an envelope lying near Reserve Bank of India on Parliament Street, New Delhi.
I’m not sure whether to take it seriously or not…and I can’t seem to locate this India Bulls & Ghotala Bank either. What do you think I should do?
Application for Small Business Loan—Sole Proprietorship
A. Personal Profile
1. Nameof the applicant
MADHUSUDAN NIGONI PERIALINGAM
2. Residential address
Same as my business address (see 8 below)
Heterosexual; 2 to 3 times a week
4. Whether applicant belongs to SC/ST/EBC/OBC?
[Attach copy of Caste Certificate as applicable]
Not sure. However, I can arrange to submit any number of SC/ST/EBC/OBC certificate(s) as required by Bank
5. Technical qualifications
2018-19. Double Diploma in ‘Creative Accounting Practices’ and ‘Advanced Fabrication Techniques’ from Diamond Institute of Business & Fabrication Technology, an affiliate of Nirav Modi Global University, Antwerp. [Address: D.I.B.F.T. Delhi Campus, Room no. 163, 4th floor, next to A-1 Photo Studio, Laxminagar, New Delhi – 110092]
2016. Discharge-cum-Good-Conduct Certificate issued by Superintendent, Tihar Central Jail, Delhi on Authority of 3rd Additional Metropolitan Magistrate, Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi
1977. Certificate of Lifelong Unemployability issued by National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), New Delhi
6. Line of Activity/Business
I have over 41 years’ experience in Hospitality Sector, as Certified and/or Institutionalized Inmate as well as Visiting Fellow in various public and private Mental Hospitals.
8. Business Address
Same as my residential address (see 2 above).
B. Project Outline
(Explain the gist of your project and how and why it is technically feasible and financially viable; detailed documents, excel-sheets, charts etc. may be annexed as required)
The proposed Project is a new venture in a hitherto-untapped realm of Hospitality Sector that promises assured, highly attractive financial returns on investment at minimal risk, while also serving public good by supporting welfare of elected People’s Representatives and strengthening Democracy in India.
The project involves setting up and managing a DedicatedLuxury Resort for MLAsthat will offer secluded, secure and supremely salubrious accommodation for MLAs from across the country who are being targeted and/or lured to defect to other political parties.
The last few decades of India’s political history has witnessed an interesting phenomenon. In the wake of almost every state assembly election, the newly elected Members of the concerned Legislative Assemblies (i.e. MLAs) are frantically herded together by their respective party leaders and transferred swiftly to Hotels and Resorts (often located very far away), where the MLAs can be strictly monitored and prevented and/or protected from defecting to some other political parties. A few examples:
Currently (August 2020), several score Congress MLAs in Rajasthan are suffering untold agonies in a 5-star Hotel in Jaipur where they have already been corralled for over two weeks.
Karnataka, clear leader among all states, has seen its MLAs whisked off to resorts across India in 1983, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2019.
In 2016, Uttarakhand MLAs were herded and flown into a resort in Jaipur
In 2019, MLAs from Maharashtra were relocated to a resort in Jaipur. In 2002, the Maharashtra MLAs were spirited away to hotels in Bengaluru.
Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh too are energetic players in the MLA-Hide-and-Seek game.
2. The Need & Opportunity
While the process of herding and physically transporting the MLAs has matured into a smooth and well-oiled machine (especially with the induction by all parties of fleets of private jet aircraft at public expense), it is very difficult to find enough rooms for all MLAs in any single Resort or Hotel. Usually, the MLAs have to rub shoulders (and occasionally, other limbs and appendages) with tourists and other kinds of aam aadmi riffraff in these 5–star establishments. This poses a grave security risk for all concerned, especially the concerned political party’s future. Also, the available Hotels and Resorts usually do not provide adequate security infrastructure for MLAs against snooping sting-seeking journalists, spies from rival parties and so forth. These and other factors cause great distress and hardship to the herded MLAs and their party Minders, as well as great financial distress and biological stress to senior party leaders. The overall effect is detrimental to Indian Democracy as envisaged by our Forefathers and Foremothers.
Clearly, there is a huge need as well as opportunity for setting up a dedicated luxury resortexclusively for MLAs in each and every state in India, where the MLAs can be provided with all the comfort and resources— physical, psychical, and moral—that they might need during such times of crisis.
The applicant proposes to set up a Dedicated Resort for MLAs in the National Capital Region of Delhi. The Resort, tentatively named “Vishaal Ghudashaal” (English: “Magnificent Horse-Stable” to convey a sense of stability as well as the pleasant atmosphere of horse-trading) will have a capacity to accommodate up to 84 MLAs at a time. It will provide 7-star facilities to its illustrious guests even while ensuring that a Z++ -level security ring prevents any unseemly, uninvited or untoward surveillance or intrusions by reporters, photographers and other outsiders that might disturb the tranquility of the guests.
The Resort is proposed to be set up as a ‘Pilot Venture‘ (inspired by recent events in Rajasthan following the exit of Shri Sachin Pilot, MLA, from the Congress party). In the long term, it is hoped that this Project can be scaled up to establish similar Resorts in other locations across the country.
[Detailed analyses attached at Annexures 1–18]
Occupancy level of the Resort is critical to the financial viability of the Project. Here, the occupancy prospects are extremely encouraging, with as many as 10 states going to assembly polls between 2020–2023 to elect 1260 MLAs, a large proportion of whom are likely to seek refuge in the proposed Resort.
Current Assembly lapses in
No. of MLA seats
J & K
State Assembly elections due between 2020-2023
Historical data and reports show that a Resort-bound MLA typically receives an incentive of Rs 10–20 crores for remaining loyal to his/her parent party or for switching loyalty to another party [e.g. see this report. This provides an assurance as to the liquidity of the guest-MLAs and their respective political parties, and thereby strengthens and assures the financial viability of the Project. [Thus, even at 50% occupancy in the proposed 84-room Resort for a few weeks at a time, the increased liquid assets of the 42 guests would be in the range of Rs 420–840 crores—please see Annexure 9(c)].
The Project requires a capital investment of Rs 875 crores towards construction, finishing and commissioning of the Resort, including ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ infrastructure creation. To meet this amount, the applicant will contribute Rs 87 crores (10%), and seeks a term loan of Rs 788 crores (90%). The applicant will bring to bear his considerable expertise and experience in the Hospitality business to ensure the success of the venture.
The Resort is expected to be completed and launched within 36 months of release of the Term Loan.
The entire Term Loan of Rs 788 crores, along with interest, is projected to be repaid in full within a maximum of 12 months of launching the Resort.
The Term Loan may be viewed as a ‘Revolving Fund’ that will mirror the ‘Revolving Door’ dynamics of MLA defections, and enable the financing of more such Resorts in the long term on a sustainable basis.
Credit facilities required
Setting up and running one 84-room high-security Luxury Resort in NCR Region, to accommodate MLAs with high defection potential from all political parties across India
Term Loan of Rs 788 crores
Within 12 months of commissioning the Luxury Resort
Cash Credit of Rs 30 crores
I/We certify that all information furnished by me/us is true; that I/We have no existing borrowing arrangements with IB&G Bank; that no legal action is currently being taken against me/us ; that I/We shall furnish all other information that may be required by you in connection with my/our application, that this may also be exchanged by you with any agency you may deem fit; and that you, your representatives, or any other agency as authorized by you, may, at any time, inspect/verify our assets, books of accounts, etc., in our factory and business premises.
However much we dread the Corona Virus, we cannot mask ourselves against the truth that the virus reflects the spirit of true Indian Secularism in the way it infects all people irrespective of their race, religious belief, caste or class.
Covid-19 might not be good for one’s constitution, but in its own humble way it respects the Indian Constitution. It shows us that we are all truly One.
Which, for no apparent reason, brings us to the question: how can one teach Evolution to Indian schoolchildren?
Now, you might think the answer’s simple. You might answer as follows:
“Just write up – or better still and in true Indian tradition, plagiarize—a simple summary of Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’; enrich Darwin’s ideas with Gregor Mendel’s insights into inheritance of characteristics; lead on to Erwin Schrodinger’s insights into the molecules that must make up life, and explain how his ideas and the work of Oswald Avery, Linus Pauling and others inspired the discovery of DNA’s structure by Rosalind Franklin, Francis Crick and James Watson…sparking off a vast amount of research and expansion in our knowledge of how all life on Earth is linked, so that we know today that all humans are descended from the same ancestral mother who lived somewhere in the African continent.”
Of course your answer is correct, O learned reader. Alas, translating your answer into action is not simple, because nothing’s simple in India. It’s especially hard to introduce the flavours of Truth and Rationality, seasoned with Scientific Temper and Honesty and laced with a few dashes of Fun and Adventure, into the horrifying tasteless khichdi that masquerades as our Education Policy.
Consider, gentle reader, two of the simple statements just made up there somewhere:
All life on Earth is linked.
All humans are descended from the same ancestral mother who lived somewhere in the African continent.
Now, imagine that we propose to set out these statements as the Learning Outcomes of the chapter on ‘Evolution’ in the NCERT textbook for, say, Class 10. Assuming further that we are not lynched on the spot by an all-party delegation of MPs and MLAs, these are the kinds of responses we might expect from two of our political parties, the BJP and the CPI(M):
BJP: It is quite correct to state that all life on Earth is linked. But our textbooks must also emphasize that these so-called discoveries of Evolution by these Darwins and Sharwins, Watsons and Whatnots, were actually made 11000 years ago by our Vedic ancestors who summarized their insights into the concept of ‘vasudaiva kutumbakam’ – One Great Family. We must also mention that Indians ruled the entire Earth in ancient times, for which evidence is everywhere to see, in our ancient epics as well as in today’s world. For example, Argentina derives its name from Arjun-Sthaan, clearly evidencing that Arjuna, the great warrior of Mahabharata, had visited this South American region in his search for divine weapons…
CPI(M): In very simple words, we see this attempt to introduce Evolution into our school curriculum as nothing but another manifestation of Brahmanical Hegemony masquerading as pseudo-rationalism to preserve and strengthen the existing class-hierarchical model of social exploitation ; a diabolic and communal attempt by bigoted Hindutva-worshipping self-styled scholars to saffronize our school curriculum and brainwash young and innocent minds into believing the despicable lie that all Indians are equal—thereby denying the hundreds of millions of underprivileged Backward Castes, Minorities, Dalits, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, women and other oppressed communities their just rights for reservation of jobs, educational quotas, subsidies and other forms of affirmative action under the various reservation policies. We will oppose this Hindutva proposal tooth and nail; we shall leave no stone unturned or Molotov cocktail unflung in our peaceful street marches calling for Revolution against Evolution…
After all, over two months have passed since the CAA was enacted and the anti-CAA sit-down protest began in Shaheen Bagh, December 15th 2019.
Two months…with not even one decent-sized communal riot to reward the sincere and strenuous efforts that have been made by political parties Left and Right, along with their captive journalists and intellectuals, to spark off riots.
Oh sure, a few score Delhi Police personnel—men and women—have been beaten up or pelted into coma with stones or stabbed or shot from time to time. But then they don’t count…who cares about cops, right?
[Aside: is attacking police personnel considered ‘Secular’ or ‘Communal’ violence?]
But now at last, on 25th February 2020, hope blazes in our hearts, like the fires blazing in North-East Delhi.
Hope, that for the first time since Gujarat 2002, we can all get to watch real-time large-scale Communal Riots on Prime Time.
For the looming Riots, we must thank our beloved political leaders who always have the strengthening of Human Riots uppermost in their minds – like Kapil Mishra of BJP and Waris Pathan of AIMIM.
And unlike in the primitive days of Gujarat 2002, when people didn’t even have mobile phones (imagine that! How Jurassic!) we can not only follow the Riots as they unfold but safely participate in the Mobs, too! Thanks to Social Media.
We can create and spread poisonous rumours, we can ignite murderous rage, at the speed of electrons, without messing up our hands with blood and gore …yucccckkk. And without any danger of getting caught by the police, either…assuming there are any police left to catch us, of course…Ha Ha Ha.
Hail the glory of WhatsApp! Oh, the joyous anonymity of end-to-end encryption!
And hail the wondrous power of Instagram too! Don’t you just love those multi-media Instagram ‘Stories’ that self-destruct within 20 seconds so there’s no evidence left? Stories that you and I can create and forward to spread the most unspeakably violent videos and messages, the most cruel propaganda, secure in the knowledge that in less than half a minute the Stories will vanish with nothing to show the stories ever passed through or even existed in our phones? Or in anyone else’s phones?
Forgive the flippancy, gentle reader…but the situation today merits graveyard humour.
Because the danger is real…especially to the ‘young’ who more or less live in the virtual worlds of their mobile phones and Social Media.
Because Social Media does give each one of us the wild, untrammeled irresponsibility of the Mob member.
And Mobs are frightful.
The very nature of a Mob can transform us, however rational we might think we are, whatever be our social and economic status, into creatures capable of terrible violence.
A Mob offers anonymity and provides a feeling of security by its sheer numbers. It removes our sense of individual responsibility, and thereby dismantles the elaborate codes of ethics and morality that govern ‘normal’ conduct.
Nobel Laureate Elias Canetti viewed the Mob as a ‘biological entity’, something qualitatively different from the simple sum of its parts. His description of how a quiet street-corner gathering develops into a violent Mob is chillingly familiar. [quote from a 2002 edit-page article I wrote on Gujarat riots ]
“Nothing has been announced, nothing is expected, but suddenly the street is transformed. Windows are thrown open, people come out of doors and alleys — streaming in from all sides as though streets had only one direction. At first the only noticeable property of this composite creature is its urge to grow. It wants to seize everyone within reach. Anything shaped like a human can join it. It knows no limits and admits of no restrictions. It does not recognize houses, doors or locks, and those who try to shut themselves in or deny its hunger are immediately suspect…
‘‘As long as the crowd is growing, it feels secure. But as soon as growth becomes restricted, as soon as it runs out of its natural food, it gets irritable and develops a sense of persecution. It becomes hostile and then it starts to break things. Windows of shops and houses, windscreens of cars are the first to go because they provide such a satisfying sound. Doors, gates and fences, anything that represents a boundary, become the next target and are torn down and trampled underfoot.
And finally comes fire. Of all methods of destruction, this is the most impressive. It can be seen from far off and attracts even more people. It destroys irrevocably; nothing is the same after a fire. A crowd setting fire to something feels irresistible. It is. The quiet evening street is now a district in riot, an environment inhabited by an organism that is out of control…”
The rioting Mobs of Delhi 1984, of Bombay 1992-93, of Gujarat 2002, left thousands dead, tens of thousands maimed, and a nation in despair. But who were the Mob members? Who were those tens of thousands who pelted stones and firebombs, who fell upon their fellow Indians and beat them, molested them, raped them, killed them?
Within hours, within a day or two, they were all back to their ‘normal’ selves — lawyers and laundry-owners, teachers and traders, students and shopkeepers, professors and paan vendors, bankers and businessmen, writers and rickshaw pullers. Nice ‘respectable’ people, young and old.
People just like us. Their faces are our faces.
And what of the evil men and women who sowed the seeds of the Mobs, who broke the reservoirs of violence with whispered rumours and words of poison?
They vanished without trace, as they always do.
As have vanished the evil men and women who planted the seeds of communal violence in Shaheen Bagh.
This is about the ongoing anti-CAA protests at Shaheen Bagh, New Delhi.
I visited Shaheen Bagh on Friday the 31st January 2020 between 10:00 and 14:30. I wanted to find out, for myself, whether the anti-CAA protest going on here is indeed ‘spontaneous’ as claimed by Left-leaning media and their cohorts; or whether it is ‘manufactured’ as claimed by the Right-leaning media and their cohorts.
What I learned and experienced confirms my worst fears about what’s going on in Shaheen Bagh and where it will lead us—fears that I summarized in this photo (apologies: I might have already posted this to some of you on 31st January via WhatsApp and Instagram).
I firmly believe the Shaheen Bagh protest is as spontaneous as a forest fire started by ‘tourists’ who first doused the helpless trees with petrol, then set the trees ablaze starting with the young ones … and now visit the fire every evening during Prime Time TV hours with fresh supplies of petrol and other inflammatory materials to make sure the fires don’t die out.
I expected to find a sea of protesters, singing and chanting slogans of Peace, Harmony, Patriotism, Insaaniyat. I found barely 70 to 80 people in all. About a dozen women were in their tent, near the makeshift stage; the men stood around outside in little clusters, tense, conversing in low murmurs. Barring a couple of Mentors and one Minder who stood out by their suspicious glances towards me, their confident, persuasive tones and carefully careless attire, all were locals. My few conversations with the local men were short, their nods were brief, smiles strained. They were courteous, I wandered around and took a few photos unhindered. But there was fear in their eyes, in the air. The fear fear that took me back to Bombay, 1992, when men turned into monsters and the stench of blood and burning human hair and death hung over Dharavi and Mahim and Jogeshwari…
I joined one group; they were anxiously discussing the young Muslim man who had been shot at by another, a Hindu, outside the Jamia Millia the previous day. “It might happen here!” was their refrain. A Mentor reassured them that it wouldn’t; urged them to remain courageous and continue their ‘andolan‘.
Aside of the Mentors and Minder, there was only one other non-local like me: a middle-aged bearded man wandering around with a camera. Where are the crowds, the speeches and shows? he asked a little plaintively. The Minder, who was built like a mini-truck, was gruff: “Sham ko ao…tabhi log aate hain.”
Come in the evening: that’s when the crowds are here.
Shaheen Bagh is designed for Prime Time.
I reiterate what I voiced in an earlier post: that each and every political group in India—Left or Right, AAP or non-existent Centre—is yearning for large-scale communal violence to divide the masses along Hindu vs. Muslim lines. Because the Ayodhya issue that has sustained all of them for over 30 years has finally been resolved honourably by the Supreme Court, much to their chagrin; henceforth, Babri Masjid and Ram Janmabhoomi can no longer be flogged by them for votes.
And so, all political parties are doing their best—and their worst—to create a new long-term issue for Hindu vs. Muslim polarization. They all hope to gain by sparking off communal violence in Shaheen Bagh. And they are being aided and abetted in their efforts by their respective captive media and ‘intellectuals’.
I firmly believe the locals of Shaheen Bagh and of nearby Abu Fazal Enclave – the majority of them hapless working class Muslims —have been terrorized by Evil Teachers into believing that because of CAA it is only a matter of time before they, and all other Muslims in India, will be identified as ‘illegals’, carted off to detention camps by the police, and then ‘deported’ – if not murdered by RSS-led Hindu mobs.
I now know for sure who these Evil Visiting Teachers of Shaheen Bagh are, too. I think you too won’t find it hard to identify them even without visiting Shaheen Bagh – some of the posters are a dead giveaway (see below).
No words can convey my rage and sadness at what is being done at Shaheen Bagh…at the venality of those who have made its impoverished people scapegoats in a Pilot Project for scaling up to nation-wide violence.
The Shaheen Bagh Project is already showing signs of success. Anti-CAA has already morphed into anti-NRC, anti-NPR, anti-Census. Young women and men undertaking routine social indicator surveys in rural areas – Bengal and U.P come to mind – have been severely assaulted because of the Project’s most effective and toxic CAA Awareness Programs.
The Right to Citizenship has already morphed into the Right as a Citizen to Remain Anonymous and Invisible – without of course surrendering any Rights to receive state largess due to caste, religion, and so forth.
The first guns have emerged. The protests against the Shaheen Bagh protests are getting more edgy…even as Delhi’s Assembly elections are days away.
The secondary fires from Shaheen Bagh now spread across India – even as Assam, the only state where the presence of about 2 million Bangladeshis is not disputed by any but the chronically insane, remains tense but calm.
Thereby hangs a tale.
The outer barriers – easily crossed, just one police gypsy with a few bored constables who didn’t bother me