Saturday, October 20, 2007

When Rome was burning

...Nero played his fiddle.

Now I very much doubt if Chief Minister Narendra Modi can play the fiddle, so that was probably not what he was doing - when Gujarat burned in 2002. But I wonder what he was. Most neutral (and you know how hard it is to find one) observers seem to agree that he was playing the cheerleader performing cartwheels while hundreds of Hindus and Muslims were murdered in the state.
Now everybody hates the US, and why not? They've been screwing around with the world way too much of late. Thankfully, it is not too rarely that the liberal section of the American media calls Bush a War Criminal.
The Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was let in to the US and paid a (now infamous) visit to Columbia university. Modi, on the other hand was refused a US visa. Do you think the US measured them using the same scales? I do - this is probably the closest one can get to an observation by someone "Neutral" - if anything Americans feel far more strongly about Mahmoud the Mad... and the implications are obvious.

I hear that Modi might just be the person to replace A B Vajpayee at the helm of BJP...and given his meteoric rise from a RSS backroomer to where he is right now, along with Mr. Vajpayee's obviously failing health, I fear this will not be too far in the future.

In an interview Karan Thapar, Modi listens to 4 questions related to the Godhra riots before walking out of the interview - the first time I have seen this happen. I was quite puzzled by this, let me explain why.

Karan Thapar is irritating as doubt. When interviewing politicians, he seems to come to the interview with a fixed agenda... and is unwilling to listen to the most well constructed arguments. Of course, Indian politicians rarely have the capacity to offer well constructed arguments, and he thrives on this. To see what happens when one does, look no further than his interview of P Chidambaram.. on an issue as volatile as OBC reservations no less.Thapar was made to look ridiculous... and exposed for the hard headed brawler he really is. It also pisses me off awful how Thapar schmoozes up to industrialists. In an interview of Ratan Tata, he asked not one question on the Small Car factory in Bengal.

In any case, he does a commendable job of making most politicians supremely uncomfortable with his unpretentious name calling and mud slinging.

Well, it seemed to me that Modi could not give a damn about clearing his name off the Godhra murk. He seems to be confident - almost arrogant, that people have accepted him for what he is. A very capable administrator, a Chief Minister whose state has consistently been named the best administrated and on a fast track to economic prosperity - with higher foreign investment than the more hyped Andhra Pradesh or Karnataka. And why should he not be, his blatant hindu fundamentalism has only won him admirers and votes. The Godhra riots and the US visa rejection, are no longer unwanted baggage.. I suspect - they serve as symbolic medals of honour, in his war for Hindutva.

Is this a little scary?

A man of immense personal strength who led his country to the pinnacle of its economic and military might. Who revolutionalized the administration of his country to make it the most efficient in the world. A man whose power over his people was derived from, above all, a personal and political pogrom against a certain minority peoples. I am of course, referring to dear Adolf.

Or am I.

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