2014 : The Elections that changed India

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By Rajdeep Sardesai

I just finished reading this book. Yep… am on a roll. I guess it is a choice between reading and watching crap series. Yes… I have really fallen back on series watching. I have to sacrifice one for the other.

Anyway. The book is about the elections of 2014. They were one of the most important elections we have had till date. Who would have thought democracy means electing a mass murderer as PM?

Yep… am anti Modi and anti BJP. I have a problem with any party which preaches/stands for a religion… any religion. I am ruffling a few feathers but these feathers should go and read Indian history. Our forefathers were creating a secular country… that is what the constitution mentions. At no point of time was this supposed to be a ‘Hindu’ dominated country. In fact, our forefathers (Gandhi/Patel/Nehru/Ambedkar) went out of their way to make that very clear. Of course, over the years people have conveniently forgotten that. What was unique about this election was that BJP and most parties stayed away from talking about religion. What we, the people, care about is development and inflation. Religion be damned.

Someone might bring up 1984 riots during Congress rule. I have 2 things to say:

– I am not pro Congress either

– For those who have been saying that the court has given Modi a clean chit… what about Sajjan Kumar? Lets just agree that the court giving a clean chit to someone does not mean he/she is not guilty. It just means there is no evidence.

If I have to choose a PM among 4 people… the first thing I would do is eliminate the mass murderer and then pick the best among the balance worst.

3 other points I want to highlight before talking about the book:

– Godhra riots. I was in the government hostel without access to phones (no cell phones in those days), TV, radios. During our attendance at night the warden asked us to not move outdoors the next day since something had happened. The details were unclear. In fact, we didn’t even know what happened. The next day I had to meet someone and I left early… around 7 am. This person… lets call him X did not turn up even till 9 am and I was getting anxious. It was eerie how silent everything was. I could have waited some more or returned. I decided to return back on my 2 wheeler. The roads were deserted… and it was scary. I drove as fast as I could. On the way I came across mobs… one at Satellite… another one closer to the hostel. They did not have weapons (atleast I don’t think they did) but were looting shops of Muslims. At that point I didn’t know what was happening… all I did was drive. There was not 1 cop on the road… no where. It took me around 20-30 mins to get to the hostel and I crossed posh areas but not 1 cop. After a few days in the hostel, I moved to my parents’ friends’ house in a’bad. Once things settled down my parents came to pick me up. The entire state was shut was atleast a month. It wasn’t like Mumbai which is back on its feet the very next day. And it was another month before my parents let me go back to college and hostel. Everytime the electricity went off in the 2 months, there was a fear… a fear that something bad was going to happen.

– It is a proven fact that riots do not happen because the police could not control the rioters. They happen because the police and administration/government do not want to control them. The only city where Sikhs did not die was Calcutta in 1984. Why? The West Bengal CM Jyoti Basu ordered the police to maintain peace.

– Gujjus are anti Muslim. I am from Gujarat and have met enough of them to generalize it. And their support for Modi means he is anti Muslim. In fact, he has never gone out of his way to make amends with that community.

Coming to the book… The book is not anti or pro Modi. It is a balanced view of things as seen by Rajdeep. He has been a journalist and editor for a very long time… has reported on every major event and interviewed many politicians. He has the inside dope which is in the book. And the book focuses on every politician who was a player in the elections- Rahul, Modi, Kejriwal, Akhilesh, Mayawati, Mamta, Jayalalitha, Jaitley, Sonia, Smriti… everyone.

Worth a read.

And I am blocking comments for the post because I don’t want fanatics spewing hate on my blog. Please do not defile this holy space.

 

 

 


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