Atanu Dey On India's Development

Endorsing the BJP

| 22 Comments

Governance matters because how a society functions is clearly determined by how it chooses to govern itself. I have my doubts about democracy as a good form for organizing society — smacks of majority rule — but it’s better than many of the available alternatives. Democracy is, in my opinion, a first-best solution applied haphazardly in a second-best world. But given the world we have rather than the world we would like to have, democracy is the best we can do for now. So when it comes to choosing between the least unpalatable of a wide number of unappetizing options in a second-best world, I have chosen to support the BJP in the upcoming Indian elections.

My colleague Rajesh Jain today published his reasons for his personal support of the BJP. Here are my reasons for supporting the BJP.

The first and foremost reason is that that the BJP is not the Congress party. The Congress party is responsible for what India is today — a desperately poor country of 1.2 billion people. For most of its history since its political independence from colonial rule, India has been ruled by the Congress party. For decades since 1947, it had a near absolute control of the country. All the promise and potential that was India was squandered recklessly though decades of misgovernance. It essentially reduced India to a kakistocracy — government by the most corrupt and the least principled.

The Congress party appears to have one aim: to be in power. Its insatiable appetite for power drives it to adopt the most heinous of politics. It divided the country along caste, creed, and religious lines. It fractures civil society, it destroys institutions. The most despicable act has been its wanton destruction of the education system — which, mind you, wasn’t much to write home about anyway. Its policies are calculated to keep the population poor, uneducated and dependent on the government. It does whatever it can to restrict freedom — individual, political, and economic. The license-quota-permit-control raj is the monstrous bastard-child of the Congress party.

In my considered opinion, supporting the Congress party in any of its incarnation is an act of treason, if not an act of senseless ignorance. Those who vote for the Congress after what the party has done to them are either ignorant (like the masses who only need the “Gandhi” name to vote for the party) or are pathologically self-serving who would ride any train that would get them to power, never mind that it is anti-national, anti-development, anti-growth, anti-anything good and reasonable.

The second reason I support the BJP is because it is not wedded to a dynasty. Dynastic rule is worse than democracy because it does not allow competent leaders to emerge. I feel that the Congress party would like nothing better than to have the system that North Korea has. North Korea, as Christopher Hitchens puts it, is a necrocracy (government by the dead). There they have as the titular head of the state Kim Il-sung who died in 1994 but still rules. He rules though his son, Kim Jong Il.

Nehru died a few decades ago, and so did his daughter, and so did her son. But though they are dead, they live on as rulers.

I traveled from the Rajiv Gandhi International airport to the Indira Gandhi International airport to be at an event of the Indira Gandhi Open National University and took the Sanjay Gandhi flyover to spend the afternoon at the Nehru park before going to the Jawaharlal Nehru University for a discussion on the Sanjay Gandhi Yojna . . . Actually, I cannot separate the names of all the places and institutions I had to visit in the last week or so but that is understandable because all were either Nehru or Gandhi.

Rule by a dynasty is a nasty idea, whether in North Korea or in India.

In states that are not ruled by dynasties, at least there is a reasonable chance that policy will be dictated by competence, and not by people whose only qualification is how sincerely they sing the praises of the dynasty. Lest you think that I am making this up, just take a look at Dr Manmohan Singh. He declared that the NREGS is a gift from his dear leader Sonia Gandhi to the nation. It seems that he believes that the thousands of crores of rupees came out of the personal checking account of the Gandhi family and not the taxes of citizens. That’s loyalty. Loyalty to the dear leader’s family matters. Here’s a bit from a blog post from April 2004:

India’s democracy is at best a cargo cult democracy. Here is a brief news item from today’s The Times of India page 3. The Maharashtra Congress Committee vice-president Anant Gadgil plans to switch to the Shiv Sena because he did not get a ticket for contesting the elections. He wrote to the chief Sonia Gandhi and said:

Our family is known for its loyalty to the Nehru-Gandhi family, and to the Congress since independence. We always remember the recognition given by Indira and Rajiv Gandhi to my father for his utmost loyalty. Please let me know whether loyalty has no meaning left in the Congress party.

If those words don’t epitomize what Indian democracy is all about, I don’t know what does. Here is a person who wants to represent the will of the people, his constituency. And all he has to show for his qualifications for that task is his loyalty to a particular family. He does not plead that he has served the people of his constituency competently, he does not point out that he is capable of helping his society do better, he does not say that he understands the problems that his people face and that he has solutions, etc. Most likely he has not done any service nor is he capable of doing anything for the people. In keeping with the prevailing customs of the political parties in India — especially that of the Congress Party — all that he has to show is that he and his father have always been loyal lap-dogs of the of the ruling family.

Mr. Anant Gadgil may be an ignorant wanna-be. But he is not alone. His sentiments are shared by practically all “leaders” of the Congress party, from Messers Manmohan Singh and Narasimha Rao to the lowliest party worker. All they have to demonstrate is unquestioned loyalty to the Nehru-Gandhi family and they will get the nod. As self-interested rational individuals their stance cannot be faulted. The tens of millions of ignorant illiterate voters will vote for the Congress party simply because they recognize the Gandhi name. Therefore all Gadgils and the Singhs and Raos have to do is to plead their loyalty and they will get a ticket and therefore get elected.

The third reason is related to the previous one: I believe that the BJP is capable of building institutions. Institutions matter, not personalities.

Institutions matter because they are rule based. They are not dependent on subjective arbitrariness — the whimes and fancies — of personalities. Institutions persist and outlast individuals and therefore have a longer memory. They are also less likely to be hijacked by narrow personal interests and can pursue socially beneficial objectives.

When institutions are hijacked by personalities, they decay. The Indian National Congress was a worthy institution until the Nehru-Gandhi family made it into their personal fiefdom. The tranformation was tragic and it will continue to be a dysfunctional political party as long as it persists in elevating personalities over the institutional character of the party.

One can conjecture that it is the legacy of our feudal social system that is the cause of our dysfunctional emphasis on personalities rather than on institutions. After all, the raja ruled at his pleasure and did not bother with constitutions. The serfs realized that the law was basically whatever the raja said it was. Survival in this sort of a system depended on unquestioning loyalty to a person.

A modern highly complex economic system requires the rule of law, rather than the rule of men (or women). Arbitrary decisions based on personal prejudices cannot in general lead to socially beneficial outcomes. One can imagine an enlightened benevolent dictatorship but they are rare and rarer still is the possibility of a long succession of benevolent dictators. The odd raja may be good personally but his successors are likely to be rapacious murderers.

Sadly, rajas continue to exist in India. They go about in cars with led lights flashing. They consider themselves above the law (just another institution). They hand out or withhold favors depending on whether they personally gain from the deal. The license-permit-quota-subsidy raj is the only institution that these rajas find worthwhile.

I cannot guarantee that the BJP will build institutions but of this I am sure that the Congress party has destroyed institutions and is incapable of building institutions because it is personality based.

All things considered, I am supporting the BJP in Elections 2009. Though I will not be voting (never voted in India), I will make sure that my family and friends understand why they should support the BJP. I hope to do my little part in seeing that India develops a bit. The first step is to remove the biggest hurdle to India’s growth and development: end the dynastic necrocracy of the Congress party.

  • http://www.sundarmail.com Sundar

    Dear Atanu,

    I did read history of rulers of India in over 2000 years. Many of the Rajas had far better system of governance, codification of laws and rules and they were implemented in letter and spirit. Also there was healthy competition between Kings and wanted to develop their area better. No doubt, there were quite a few bad Rajas, too many wars and lavish lifestyle.

    I feel comparing Congress Dynasty with Rajas is doing great injustice to the Rajas. Congress is worse than colonial rulers in many ways.

  • pankaj

    It would be wrong to support any party unless there is a new party which is a tall order,BJP we should not forget now is making big noises about terrorism but it was the one that released the hardcore terrorists relating to kandahar hijacking and now we are made to look foolish in the eyes of the world that we are giving back the terrorists and now asking back for them.My opinion is all are the same there is not going to be a little bit of change for the better for the india at large.

  • BShantanu

    Atanu: Great post…(as always!)

    I have posted some links on Rajesh’s post and would like you and your readers to have a look at them too. There is a lot (and I do mean a lot) of stuff happening in the background on political reform and governance… Pl. have a look when you have a moment.

    http://satyameva-jayate.org/2008/11/06/changing-india-step-1/

    http://satyameva-jayate.org/2008/11/25/changing-india-step-2/

    http://satyameva-jayate.org/2009/01/13/appeal-for-help/

    In particular, I would like you and others with deep interest in politics (regardless of your idelogical affiliations) to have a look at FTI: http://freedomteam.in/?file=main

    and I would like to bounce some ideas off you – if you have the time and availability…Pl. email me at jai.dharma AT gmail.com

    More on me here: http://satyameva-jayate.org/2008/10/30/who-is-b-shantanu/

  • http://www.deeshaa.org Atanu Dey

    Pankaj:

    The Kandahar hijacking and what followed culminating in Jaswant Singh accompanying the terrorists to get the hostages released is a sordid tale.

    Amit Verma pointed out that Kanchan Gupta has a piece from Dec 24th, 2008 in the Pioneer titled “The Truth behind Kandahar.

    I mention this only for more background information. I am not suggesting that what Jaswant Singh did was right. I think he was out of line, but that is just my opinion.

  • rishi

    Atanu,

    You have said that the Congress is a dynastic party. However that is more a function of the age of the party (>100 years) than any other reason.

    The BJP on the other hand is a much younger party and has had fewer chances to establish such a long dynasty as the Gandhi’s. They are also fortunate in that their two biggest leaders (Vajpayee and Advani) have no obvious heirs. However, there are many many leaders at the state level who are (in this short time) establishing their sons and daughters into politics.

    If you want a party free of a dynasty, you will have to look outside both the BJP and the Congress.

    As to the third reason –
    I cannot guarantee that the BJP will build institutions but of this I am sure that the Congress party has destroyed institutions and is incapable of building institutions because it is personality based.

    As discussed before, the BJP is also dynasty based. It just has not got enough time to build one.

  • http://www.deeshaa.org Atanu Dey

    rishi, so what you are saying is that the age of the party explains why it is a dynastic party. Perhaps it is so. But how do you go from there to the position that therefore BJP is also a dynastic party? By conjecturing that when the BJP is 100 years old, it will also be a dynastic party and therefore there is no distinction between the Congress and the BJP today?

    I am sorry but I am too dense to follow your logic.

    I am simple minded. I do understand that there is an explanation for everything that happens under the sun. My simple mind says that what I have is a party that thrusts a dynastic rule on India today, and there is another party which does not have such a device. I don’t understand why I have to equate both the parties. Please do explain.

  • amity

    “However, there are many many leaders at the state level who are (in this short time) establishing their sons and daughters into politics.”
    -

    rishi, would you like to give some concrete examples with the official positions of [parent]-[son/daughter] in the BJP party? Thanks.

  • nobelHubel

    I grew up disliking the Congress and was glad when the NDA came to power. However, I have mixed feelings about the BJP, in particular with their handling of Godhra and the riots that followed. And now with Modi being used extensively in campaigns across the country, I am increasingly disinclined to support them. While the general mood in the parts of the country where the BJP is in power is favorable towards this man, I just do not think I will ever forget his complicity in the killing of my countrymen.

    Another point of worry for me is the general increase in the activity of certain undesirable right-wing elements in NDA/BJP ruled states. The kind of moral policing, vigilante justice and harassment of people for having different religious or social conventions, makes me wonder what kind of institutions the BJP will inspire.

  • Nikhila

    @ Atanu and Amity

    To deal with your carelessly argued second reason first: the BJP is replete with dynasties, with a long history of sons and daughters being established in politics. Manvendra Singh, the son of Jaswant Singh; Dushyant Singh, the son of Vasundhara Raje Scindia and nephew of Yashodhara Raje Scindia, who in turn, are the daughters of Vijayraje Scindia; Karuna Shukla, Vajpayee’s niece, Ranjan Bhattacharya, his foster son-in-law and Pankaj Singh, son of Rajnath Singh are some, to name a few. So your argument that only the Congress has a history of dynastic politics is a joke.

    And rishi is right, the BJP simply hasn’t been around long enough to present a viable second generation. The INC has been around for much longer (remember they got us free and made us a republic, while the RSS was sitting around watching the fun) Besides, it’s strange passion for wheezing male geriatrics as prime ministerial candidates or leaders e.g. Vajpayee, Advani, Singhal and successive RSS heads means that it has remained a party dominated by angry old men who have spent their entire lives dreaming of ever-elusive power and who are stuck in a cultural time warp. It is also notably sexist, as the recent attacks in Mangalore and earlier such attacks on us women in UP, MP and Goa testify. Hardly the sort of environment for ambitious youngsters wanting to emulate papa, when papa is desperate to sit on a gaddi even if he is plugged into a ventilator. But the above examples prove that BJP families are game for dynastic politics even then.

    Now to come to the first tenet of your argument, that the BJP is not the Congress. Now the Congress is not my favourite party, and it is certainly inept. But let me take your own sentences and rephrase them a little.

    “The BJP appears to have one aim: to be in power. Its insatiable appetite for power drives it to adopt the most heinous of politics. It divided the country along religion, creed and gendered lines. It fractures civil society, it destroys institutions. The most despicable act has been its wanton destruction of the education system — which, mind you, wasn’t much to write home about anyway”.

    To add, it perpetuates an educational system through its religious schools that seeks to deny the child the right to learn English (The global lingua franca and your preferred language of communication Mr. Dey, and the one that got you where you are), explicitly promotes the supremacy of one religion over another (the Hindutva equivalent of the madrassa) etc. Let us not forget what Murli Manohar Joshi wanted to do to the IITs and IIMs, some of the bits of our educational system that are functioning rather well.

    You say kakistocracy, I say the alternative you propose is a Hindu theocracy (with kakistocrastic bits thrown in, remember Bangaru Laxman and Narendra Modi?). The choice to vote, of course, is yours. And mine. But wait, I don’t have a choice, according to you.

    “In my considered opinion, supporting the Congress party in any of its incarnation is an act of treason, if not an act of senseless ignorance”.

    Treason, Mr. Dey? You consider voting for a political party millions of Indians vote for an act of treason? It is not called treason, it’s called democracy. Get used to it. Maybe you are a closet American Evangelical or an LeT member, Mr. Dey, in Hindutva disguise. Or maybe a Blackshirt or a Brownshirt, remember them? They all liked the T word a lot. We all know how that ended. And that’s precisely what people like me worry about the most. And that’s why we are willing to risk voting for relative ineptness than intolerant closet fundamentalism. Because much as we would like to vote for an alternative to the Congress, we won’t when that alternative is so frightening, especially for a woman like me.

    But maybe you don’t quite understand that. Because you don’t vote in India! Wow.

    Though you imply that perhaps some other places are good enough for you to vote.

    Come back with something better next time, if you want to convince millions of committed, pragmatic, centrists like me. We vote, you see, unlike you. And we are always willing to listen to a well argued post. This one isn’t it.

  • Pingback: Elections ‘09 — at least two people support the BJP at Blogbharti

  • rishi

    Atanu,

    My point is that even though the BJP has had only a few years of rule, still it has established dynasties as mentioned in Nikhila’s post.

    It is then quite easy to believe that if they get power this dynastic culture will only increase and it will not usher in a merit oriented culture as hoped by you.

  • http://www.worldisgreen.com worldisgreen

    Atanu:

    I agree with you.

    Remove the congress party and then we can talk about some development.

    I hope somebody can vote on my behalf! Or Can I Vote from Australia?

    Suhit

  • amreekandesi

    If the Congress could rise out of its blind devotion to the Gandhis, they might prove a little useful to the nation.

    People had high expectations from BJP a while back, which didn’t really live upto the promise.

    So really it seems like choosing the lesser of the evils. None of these parties have distinguished themselves in recent years.

  • Kumar_N

    Atanu,

    The pity is that BJP’s support seem to come from mostly people who don’t live in India, or even if they live here, don’t have a vote and/or not even planning to register as a voter.

    Makes me wonder – how about internet voting for all those voters who don’t live in India, or those who live in India, but unable to visit the polling booth? The EC could charge Rs.100 per vote, and it will more than recover the cost of setting up the system.

    Nikhila,

    There is no political party in India that is immune from the evil of dynastic politics.However, dynastic politics are much less in BJP and the Left parties, compared to Congress, and the sundry regional parties.Congress in fact is wedded to this idea so much that, as Atanu points out, all that is needed for a Congress politician to thrive is to demonstrate loyalty to the dynasty.

    And what kind of a dynasty is it?Hardly any member of the dynasty have distinguished themselves in any field of note, leave alone social service.It is almost as if they are a monarchy in the guise of democracy.Doesn’t India deserve better leaders than the dynasty?

    Also, it is not true that the Congress alone got us freedom.In any case, the INC of 1947 has hardly any resemblance to the Party today.

    I am happy to see that you describe yourself as a pragmatic centrist.I am a centrist too, and I feel that given today’s circumstances, and the Indian national interest at heart, we need to engage with the BJP, and ensure that when it is their chance to govern, we act as a pressure point.Going by the earlier NDA rule, I don’t see any danger of BJP converting India into a Hindu theocracy. And as for Narendra Modi, let us not make the mistake of judging him by 2002 riots alone.Please read this article below from HT (an avowedly Congress mouthpiece):

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?sectionName=LifeStyleSectionPage&id=73e68942-f792-44ab-9791-abbe6c432239&&Headline=The+Prime+Minister+of+Gujarat

    I agree we don’t have the ideal situation and an ideal leader today.But at least we are having these discussions, thanks to technology and new media.All of us have India’s interests at heart.And even without debating it, I can say that there is a broad consensus among the educated, civil society (us) that we need to step in now and influence the direction of the polity.The BJP seems more open and malleable for positive influences than the Congress.And hence, this conditional support for a BJP-led Govt at the centre.

  • http://www.debashish.com debashish

    My first ever comment on your blog Atanu. Before I state my points, I am not a fan of any political party and am certainly not a left-ist, online tests say I am more of a centrist  (read, malice towards one and all). It pains me to see that influential and educated people with a scientific bent of mind, like you and Rajesh, are taking sides and declaring affiliations.

    My points are only few rebuttals:
    1) The new economic policies, that you support, were brought in by Congress. The party has also given us the ablest of the PMs so far. I wonder if we could name any in BJP apart from Vajpayee.
    2) Which party or politician doesn’t want to be in power? Would Mayawati, Pawar, Lalu or even Shibu Soren say no if offered PMship?
    3) Which party in India doesn’t play caste politics? Does it really matter who sets the ball rolling?
    4) Political legacy, Dynastic rule: Which party is averse? Are we forgetting Rajnath Singh’s son, Badal junior?
    5) Roads & institutions names: It would need lots of effort to take stock of such things names after “Dindayal Upadhyay” in MP and after “Ambedkar” in UP.

    Lesson: the whole pond is filthy. Let us stop patronizing politicians and parties. Lets scout Educated, Intelligent, Qualified people no matter whichever party they belong to. Because Individuals can bring the change, parties cannot.

  • zenil

    I think long term its good for the nation if BJP comes back to power,atleast just this time. Power was and will be a moderating influence on BJP. Minorities have the most to fear if BJP doesn’t regain power. Its rhetoric is going to get shriller,its going to be more divisive,its going to rake up every issue to divide the people.

    From a development standpoint, there wont be any quantifiable improvement. BJP has as many duds as Congress. Vasundhara Raje kicked out in the recent election, Yediyurappa paying for his faustian bargain with the mining mafia,a PM candidate who should be in retirement..Look at their record in opposition..Last 5 yrs, they haven’t raised/sheperded one single issue of importance..regarding education,corruption..They were sleepwalking through their role,just waiting for 5yrs to end.

  • sj

    Hi Rajesh and Atanu

    I am a fan of issue based politics – not identity politics, personality, or party politics. Since you chose to declare your support to the BJP – lets keep them in focus as we talk about the various issues:

    Kashmir:
    I support the BJP position – no special status for Kashmir.

    Uniform Civil Code:
    I support the BJP position – uniform civil code
    I have a stronger position – the state should get out of civil affairs like marriage, divorce, and inheritance – if I want to have multiple spouses of whichever gender – it is a matter of how I negotiate that contract between the interested parties. The state should be the one to support the enforcement of these contracts – once agreed upon by consenting adults.

    Violence:
    You are known by the friends you keep. With friends like the RSS, Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena, and other assorted lunatics (I would call them jokers, but they frighten me), I find it hard to support the BJP.

    Action:
    The BJP did not stand up to anyone during the Kandahar, Kargil, Akshardham, or the Parliament attack incidents. They did not do anything after the bombs went off in Delhi markets.
    Vajpayee spoke of Raj Dharma after the Gujarat riots, but took no action against Modi.
    The BJP has a history of not standing up to it’s enemies, or friends.

    Institution Building:
    Nehru built the IITs, the Space program, the Nuclear program, various Dams, kept religion out of the state, ensured that the army stayed under civil leadership. Indira continued this in her ways (she was less tolerant of dissent than her father). She took tough decisions – nationalized banks, created Bangladesh, eliminated the privy purse, and other privileges given to royals, …
    Sardar Patel integrated the smaller nations into what we take for granted – a single indian nation.

    Mind you, this has little to do with tenure, the IITs were conceived in the first term that Nehru enjoyed as PM.

    The BJP has been bereft of ideas that challenge any of these, they did not build any institutions when they were in power – either as the Janata Party in 1977, or various stints later. Like the Babri Masjid, they destroyed everything they touched, and did not
    build something newer and better. It is disingeneous to state that even though they failed as part of the coalitions, they should be given an opportunity to do it alone!

    Murali Manahor Joshi’s stewardship of the IITs and IIMs left a lot to be desired.

    License Raj:
    I agree that this was a failing of the congress. But it is easy to do this with 20/20 hindsight given the complete victory of the capitalist system. (Wait a second – the laissez faire capitalists were not proved right – they just lasted longer than the soviets)

    But you have to remember that the Jana Sangh, RSS, and others had no
    agenda related to dismantling the license raj.
    The Janata party did no steps in this regard when the congress first lost power. In fact, it was Rajiv Gandhi, and then the Narasimha Rao
    administration that took bold steps to reform the economy, and get it
    kick-started again.

    Greed for power
    This has been demonstrated time and again in the entire political class, and spans all party borders.

    Dynasty rule
    It is easy to hate dynastic rule, but it is much harder to get rid of it. It is visible in all political parties in India, at / close to the top – examples have been listed in comments on your blog.
    Here are some causes:
    A politician trusts his family implicitly, and more than other politicians.
    (Would you trust a politician who was not family? :-) )
    A voter treats the political family as a brand – as a guarantee that they will groom, and train their young right.

    This happens in movies (Kapoors, Khans, Bachhans, …), business (No qs asked over appointments of sons to management positions in public ltd. companies), religion, sports, etc.

    The failed / failing democracies have had a choice of dictator / coups & dynasties.
    Even in more celebrated democracies – it helps to have a last
    name that is Bush, Kennedy, or Clinton.
    Even amongst some communists – it helps to be a “Castro”.

  • sj

    My comment has already become too long :-(

    It is better to push all politicians towards doing the right thing for the country on each issue that you care about than to support any party – they are all flawed.

    It is even better to enter the fray yourself (and not as a party person) and move the country towards a better path.

    Trust that you and rajesh will do what is right for the country…

  • kedar

    Nikhila:
    “remember they got us free and made us a republic, while the RSS was sitting around watching the fun”

    That was fun!
    Nice joke.

  • http://oshantomon.blogspot.com baransam

    @ Nikhila
    I enjoyed your post (as much, if not more, than the original blog). I do agree with some of your points but disagree with others.
    I score one better than Atanu with regard to voting. I have submitted my form-6 through http://www.jaagore.com. Hopefully will get to vote this time.

    Here goes the rest of my thoughts:
    Disagreements:
    ==============
    1. You said “INC got us the freedom and made us a republic”. This statement is naive. Opinion is divided on who/what made us free. One can not deny, though, that INC was a powerful organization throughout our independence struggle. However, equating pre-independence-INC with Congress(I) where ‘I’ stands for Indira is again naive.
    2. You seem to have something against wheezing-male-geriatrics. To me, age is dont-care. I respect Manmohan Singh a lot and he is an old man (though may not exactly be of wheezing type).
    3. Recent mangalore attack on pub and BJP. Pray what is the connection? Ram Sene is a hindu extremist outfit. BJP government (I am going purely by newspaper reports here) has allowed law to take its course against Ram-Sene. So why implicate BJP over the attacks?

    Agreements:
    ===========
    1. Dynastic-politics/sycophancy is not congress(i)’s forte, as you have correctly indicated. Left-front is possibly the only party relatively free of dynastic politics (may not be of sycophancy though).
    2. BJP does not have stellar record in handling the education policy when they were in power. I found Murli Manohar Joshi quite unsuitable. I agree with you there. However, BJP at least, did not push through quota-reservation in their tenure.
    3. Kakistocracy. Agree with you. BJP surely can not hurl corruption charges against congress with a straight face.
    4. Atanu using the word treason. Agree with you again. “One who supports congress should be accused of treason” seems a very an-Atanu-ish line of reasoning. I believe this statement was used more as a garnishing-element.

  • http://idlinginc.blogspot.com idlinginc

    Nikhila,

    (1)
    95% of Indians do what their parents and grandparents did. Anywhere between 60 – 70% of Indians live in villages and they really do not do anything different from what their forefathers did. If one were to take your argument seriously, we’ll arrive at the conclusion that ALL of India is dynastic.

    Faulty comparison. Atanu is talking about the TOP level, not the intermediate levels.

    (2)
    Whether Atanu is a citizen is irrelevant to the argument. Assume, Atanu IS a citizen of India or the same reasoning is used by another citizen, what becomes of your argument?

    Before you engage in debates, please look up ad hominem (personal attacks) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem), where the matter in dispute is *transformed* into something else.

    “Ad hominem argument is most commonly used to refer specifically to the ad hominem as abusive, sexist, racist, or argumentum ad personam, which consists of criticizing or attacking the person who proposed the argument (personal attack) in an attempt to discredit the argument. It is also used when an opponent is unable to find fault with an argument, yet for various reasons, the opponent disagrees with it.”

    ‘pragmatic’ (your claim, not mine, hence the scare quotes) you may be, but polite, you are not.

    Might I suggest a careful reading of fallacies? And then re-read what you commented.

    Regards,
    Idler.

  • http://bengalvoice.blogspot.com BengalVoice

    Dear friends,

    All Indians must know what is store for them tomorrow if they do not act today.

    Looks like Mughalistan is going to be the future of India – unless we act NOW:

    http://www.bengalgenocide.com/mughalistan.php