Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Hindu creates a "furore" where there is none.


The following article was written for MyInd Makers. Pasting it here for reference: 

On July 1st, the Prime Minister of India made a significant announcement, while addressing the Chartered Accountant (CA) community. 48 hours before GST was launched, a whopping 1 lakh companies have been de-registered. Data mining from demonetization has helped achieve the elimination of these many bogus companies with “one stroke of a pen, in just one minute”.
On July 3rd, the usual suspects were at it again. Here is a big report in The Hindu today (pasting the image to show you the importance they have given to this report)
So, what is the furore about? Please allow me to present another image, from the same report, that summarizes the “furore”, and highlight the first point.
The newspaper report says – “This seems more like a veiled threat to all the companies to comply with the law,” said an expert, requesting anonymity given the sensitivity of the issue as the Prime Minister himself had made the statement.
Veiled threat to comply with the law”? Goodness Gracious!
Modi government’s intolerance is reaching heights taller than the Mount Everest. How can the Prime Minister tell companies to comply with the law? Is this the Idea of India? Is this the freedom companies have in today’s India? This warrants a full-fledged debate – how can the head of the Government make “veiled threats” to “comply with the law”?
The report also states this:
Sources pointed out that there is nothing unusual about striking off names of companies from the ‘register of companies’.
Of course, there is nothing unusual about striking off names of companies. One doesn’t need “sources” to tell you this! The “unusual” event here is the striking off a One Lakh companies at a time – also something that we didn’t need “sources” to tell us, because the Prime Minister himself has announced this!
The sequencing of the report gets more bizzare.
The CAs and lawyers contacted by The Hindu said they were waiting for a list of companies and the reasons for de-registration,…”

Whether under the provisions of the Income Tax Act or Companies Act, the companies are always given an opportunity to respond before any action is taken against them, including striking off the names, the sources said,
They dedicated another full paragraph to just explain that the procedure demands that the companies typically get an opportunity to respond.
This gave me, the reader, the impression that the Modi government didn’t give them any opportunity to respond. It felt as if, Modi woke up one day and decided that today is the day 1 lakh companies get de-registered because he felt like it! The last line of the report told us a completely different story.
In April this year, the government (RoCs in several States and union territories) had issued show cause notices to over two lakh companies under the Companies Act for striking off their names. The country has over 15 lakh registered firms.
Whoa – in April this year, show cause notices were given to over 2 lakh firms! Then what is the “furore” about? Where were the “sources” of The Hindu who wanted to see the list of 2 lakh companies? The rules say that companies get 30 days to respond, and if not satisfied with the reply, government can de-register. April to June is definitely more than 30 days time!
Basically, here is the sequence- data mining happened; companies were sent notices; the “unusual” decision of de-registering one lakh companies was taken; and all along the “sources” were fast asleep!
The report simply put, is baffling. The report is also the standard template that the English language media follows – first, come up with some vague argument and attribute it to “sources”; then, weave an entire article around it; finally, come up with a jazzy headline that will confuse the reader further. Or create further “furore” in people’s mind. If “comply with the law” is creating a “furore”, then so be it!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Here is what Ramnath Kovind is accused of by the Liberal Elite...


The following article was written for MyInd Makers. Pasting it here for reference: 
It’s been a couple of days since Amit Shah announced the name of Shri Ramnath Kovind as NDA’s candidate for the post of President of India. Since then the English media went into a tizzy. Leading the way was The Wire, edited by the controversial journalist Siddharth Varadarajan.
Let’s begin with their most popular and profound analysis – “Kovind’s past as a defense witness in the Bangaru Laxman corruption case is at odds with the BJP’s official position on corruption.
The basis of this conclusion is evident from their headline below:
This news item was used by Congress handles, extensively on social media. Let’s take a look at what Shri Ramnath Kovind actually said (I didn’t have to do any research for this. I just had to bother to read the links provided in the article!).
  • “He deposed that he knows Bangaru Laxman for last 20 years.” (Shocking!)
  • “He deposed that Bangaru Laxman is a straight forward, simple and honest person, who became President of Bhartiya Janta Party.” (It this this line that the gang is picking up! What is wrong in this – is it such a horrible thing to assume that many members of the BJP saw Bangaru Laxman as simple and honest?)
  • “He deposed that in the meeting of National Executive held in January 2001, Bangaru Laxman had delivered presidential speech.” (Shame on Ramnath for mentioning this fact!)
  • “He deposed that he had met Bangaru Laxman, who told him that he was framed.” (So merely repeating what was told to him, meant “backing”?)
  • “On being cross examined on behalf of Ld.Special PP, this witness stated that he does not know as to whether Bangaru Laxman had accepted a consideration of Rs.1 lakh.”
  • “He denied the suggestion that after the telecast, a meeting was held of Senior BJP Leaders and as damage control exercise, it was decided that this amount should be shown as party fund.” (He denied! Yet another sure shot way of knowing he “backed” Bangaru Laxman.)
How does merely appearing as a defense witness, and stating general facts and an even more generic opinion on the nature of a person, amount to being “at odds” with official position of the party? It is one thing for political parties to put forward such childish arguments, but for the media to go overboard is amusing.
Not happy with a mere court appearance, The Wire brings in a bigger fish – WIKILEAKS!
The author of this piece in The Wire reaches an awesome conclusion based on these “wikileaks” – “Kovind toed the the Sangh parivar’s political line, which prefers reforms in the caste hierarchy as entrenched in the Hindu puranic system, instead of a complete annihilation of caste as advocated by Indian leaders like B.R. Ambedkar.
Ramnath Kovind toed the Sangh parivar’s line! Shocking that a member of the Sangh parivar will toe the line of the Sangh Parivar!! Stop the presses immediately, we have the biggest breaking news ever!
Wikileaks, are documents written by US officials, to their higher officials in hierarchical chain. Let’s see what they have to say about what Kovind’s views are:
  • Ram Nath Kovind, himself a dalit and a BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh, expressed a more positive view, stating that "open" discrimination against dalits has decreased dramatically over the last decade, while the number of persons who genuinely care about helping dalits has increased.
  • …that current legislation has to a large degree been successful in protecting dalit rights, but that India still has work to do to end discrimination, citing increasing dalit access to primary education as a place to start.
  • …commented that the true basis of discrimination is economic in nature rather than caste-based, as the "haves discriminate against the have nots" and use the caste system to perpetuate differences between economic groups.
  • Caste factors are now used to protect jobs and livelihoods more than anything else
  • Kovind predicted that caste-based discrimination will exist for at least the next 50-100 years in India.
  • He suggested that since the Hindu religion condones caste, it will take longer for the GOI to end caste discrimination in India than it will take to eradicate racial discrimination in the US.
  • Kovind stated that the BJP favors reservations in the private sector and will pressure the UPA government to institute them.
One would assume that the gang might pick up the last argument – the BJP favors reservations in private sector! Instead, all they chose to focus is that Kovind’s views match with Sangh parivars’. And if the above arguments are indeed Sangh Parivar arguments, can someone please enlighten as to what is exactly wrong in them? (Except of course the reservation in private sector).
Actually, The Wire started their series of articles with the this heading:
Oh boy, the language! Modi must flaunt “socially inclusive” credentials – what kind of days have befallen on us, that Prime Minister who himself has risen to position from acute poverty, has to find somebody to “flaunt socially inclusive credentials”! We are also told that – “in 2010 he was quoted by IANS as saying Modi was a “law-abiding chief minister” and the party “was proud of him” –“. What is this with Ramnath Kovind toeing the party line every time he speaks? Surely such a bad quality to possess!
And as usual, they also use the garb of “sources” to say whatever they want. Sample this – “”He has proved himself to be a pliant man in the party, something which the Union government wants in the top constitutional post,” said the BJP leader, who did not wish to be named.” So, for all that we know, this is the author’s view and he might be simply dramatizing it!
All that the media has could find on Shri Ramnath Kovind is that he deposed as a witness; a mis-quotation, and mention of his name in wikileaks documents!
Through Social media we also came to know now that the English media never wanted to take any byte from Shri Ramnath Kovind.
If these are his only shortcomings in all these years of public life, then Prime Minister Modi must be commended for making an excellent choice for the President of India!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Agenda of Scaremongering...


The following article was written for MyInd Makers. Pasting it here for reference:

he Hindu published three articles, in their “Left, Right and Centre” section of the Op-Ed. The topic – the ever so predictable – “Is the media under siege?”
Well, the very fact that they can publish such a headline shows they are not under “siege”, but let’s park that argument aside for now.
The first article is by Krishna Prasad, former Editor-in-Chief of ‘Outlook’ magazine, and a member of the Press Council of India. Predictably, he is representing the “left” side of this debate. He begins his article by telling us a conspiracy theory but not giving us any names.
Late last year, an editor whose employment was ended under the ‘tatkal’ quota met a media owner whose exit had been similarly fast-tracked a few months earlier.
“Who was making the [phone] calls?” the latter asked. When he heard the names of a couple of Union Ministers, the ‘malik’ snarled: “Oh, wasn’t that glib RSS chap in the BJP amongst them?
The story has remarkable similarities to what happened in the offices of The Hindu, in 2013. Siddarth Varadarajan was sacked as the editor of The Hindu, and Malini Parthasarathy was appointed as the editor. N.Ram gave an interview in which he alleged that a story related to Robert Vadra was held off from being published, for a very long time.
So, if we were to go by the anecdote provided by Krishna Prasad above, the media was definitely “under siege” by the UPA government in 2013. Krishna Prasad was the editor-in-chief of Outlook magazine then, and did not bother to tell us then that “it is not just the media that is under siege, but the very “Idea of India”.”
He goes on with his agenda of scaremongering, and invents a new phrase – “weaponised trolling”. What does this even mean? That I hold a gun to your tweet and blow my computer screen off? Or I hold a knife to your Facebook post and stab my monitor? What kind of pleasure do these editors get by using dramatic phrases that are nowhere close to reality?
Krishna Prasad goes on to make another accusation – “Putting the same man in charge of the Finance and I&B Ministries in 2014, therefore, was a masterstroke. After all, the government is the biggest advertiser.”
Guess what! The “same man” is not in charge of Finance and I&B anymore. Since 2016, it’s a different man. So where goes this theory now? Are these editors simply assuming that the people of this country do not know who their current Finance and I&B ministers are? The insinuation is merely a reflection of the uneasiness they are feeling at their repeated failures.
One statistic the liberal cabal has continued to throw at us, is some ranking called the “World Press Freedom Index”. In Krishna Prasad’s own words – “Little wonder, India now stands at 136 on the World Press Freedom index, down from 133”.
What Krishna Prasad (and the cabal) doesn’t tell you is this - India’s ranking was 105 in 2009 and 140 in 2013 – a staggering drop that never gets highlighted in the media. India’s ranking was 140 in 2013; 133 in 2015 and 136 in 2016. However, I am not sure the parameters through which these rankings are arrived at (because for example the “drop” in the rating in 2016 is attributed to “the rise of Hindu nationalism”) – hence, never bothered about these ratings. But if the cabal insists on following these rankings, then we might as well get the entire picture and not the skewed one!.
 “The Indian media has often acted more like a lap dog than a watch dog. On Modi's watch, it's tamer than ever.” – this is one of the tweets by Sadanand Dhume in his latest avatar as a troll.
If it has “often” acted like a “lap dog”, why pray didn’t these people raise a voice “often”? Why did they get the courage to speak up only now?
In 2015, at the peak of the debate on “intolerance”, Rahul Gandhi read out a speech in the Lok Sabha. He thundered:
“Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi are shot dead in cold blood by fanatics. The Prime Minster has nothing to say.”
Narendra Dabholkar was a doctor, rationalist and author. He was murdered in Maharashtra in 2013. Rahul Gandhi is right – the Prime Minister of India in 2013 had nothing to say. Neither did Rahul Gandhi want him to say anything. Kalburgi was shot dead in Karnataka – a state that is ruled by Rahul Gandhi’s party. It is one thing for political leadership to remain quiet – the question no one bothered to ask then was why is the “lap dog” silent?
The IT department filed a case against NDTV in 2008, and began to seriously pursue it in 2013. In 2017, NDTV releases a clarification in which they emphatically claim – “Shame on the IT department.” If they could write so in 2017, and not in 2008 or 2013, then during which regime is the media under “siege”?
The Indian main stream media is as free or as “under siege” as it has been for many years – the increased scrutiny it has begun to face, once social media has become active, is pushing these “liberals” into a corner. The resultant outrage is because of being questioned – something they are not really used to!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A fact-check on ‘NDA govt schemes are just copies of UPA schemes’ claim


The following article was written for OpIndia. Pasting it here, for reference: 
Last month, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s longest river bridge – the Dhola Sadiya bridge – that connects Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, and named it after the legendary Bhupen Hazarika.
This was enough for the social media handles of Congress folks to go into a tizzy on Twitter. This was their grouse:
They went on and on about how the foundation was laid in 2010 by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and all that Modi did was to take credit for Manmohan Singh’s work.
But then Social Media is an evil place to be. It soon emerged that the go-ahead for the design of this bridge was given by the Prime Minister of India in 2003, and I don’t have to remind you, the enlightened reader, who the PM was in 2003!
So essentially the bridge was announced in 2003, foundation laid in 2010, construction started in 2011 and inaugurated in 2017 – the story of any project in India.
Nonetheless the issue here is this claim by the Congress party and the ecosystem. This “allegation” has been a trend ever since the Narendra Modi government started rolling out welfare schemes. The Congress party (and the English media) have constantly been saying that all the programs are a mere rehash of old UPA programs.
While researching to write this article, guess what I found? An article in 2001, in India Today that said – “Most of the rural development schemes announced by Vajpayee are merely repackaged versions of populist programmes of past prime ministers.”
In the aforementioned article, only 4 schemes are mentioned and only 2 are in continuum, and more importantly note how despondent that article sounded on what would eventually become one of the biggest successful infrastructure programs – the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (which incidentally is *not* a repackaged program!).
Guess what I did not find? Any headline, from 2004 to 2014, that says – “Most of UPAs schemes are repackaged versions of NDA”.
Only fellow tweeter “thinkerspad” exposed this thievery of the Congress party, way back in 2013, here.  And Prime Minister Modi touched upon this in his speech here (from 8:16 minutes onward, for about 3-4 minutes).
So, essentially, this is a media template. And I can just stop here and blame it all on media bias and propaganda, and I will not be wrong. But let us still look into the facts about welfare schemes by the Narendra Modi government, and whether they are mere rehash of some old Congress/UPA schemes, as is being claimed on Twitter by a few these days:

JAN DHAN YOJANA

The accusation is that the Jan Dhan Yojana is a mere rehash of “Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account (BSBDA) with max publicity”. First of all – how did the UPA even want to propagate this program with such a complicated name? Imagine a customer who doesn’t know English going to a bank and the executive telling him/her that there is this awesome “Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account” that will change your life!
This claim was made by no other but former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram who wrote in 2015 that this BSBDA, started in 2012, was basically an extension of “No Frills” accounts introduced in 2005. He goes on to claim that 24.3 crore accounts were opened under this scheme, without any boasting or advertisement. Safe to assume that he means they opened 24.3 crore new accounts in a period of 9 years.
He further goes on to tell us that there was a big problem – “Most zero balance accounts had a zero balance and no activity whatsoever.”
Enter Jan Dhan Yojana. The name is instantly connecting with people. It now includes an added insurance cover, and interest on deposit. It now includes the bank officials going to the homes of people to get them an account.
Within no time, it creates a Guinness Record – 27 crore accounts opened in ~2.5 years; 75% zero balance accounts have now become ~28% zero balance and nearly INR 65,000 crores have come into the banking system.
So basically, all the shortcomings of earlier schemes were effectively addressed, new benefits were provided, and most importantly, some exemplary implementation guaranteed unprecedented success.
To say that Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana it is merely a repackaged version of BSBDA is like saying that motorbike is just a repackaged version of bicycle.

NEEM COATED UREA

Here is the accusation: “Neem coated Urea started 13 years ago. Modi Govt increased the production ceiling fm 35% to 100% and that’s it.”
That’s it”? Let’s quickly understand what this Neem coated urea is all about. As per the website of National fertilizers limited: (emphasis added)
Agronomical trial on Paddy and Wheat crops with Neem coated Urea as source of Nitrogen has produced significantly higher yield at research and farm level.”
National Fertilizers Limited, in the year 2002, standardized the techniques for production of Neem Coated Urea in situ, at its Panipat Unit.”
Looking into the potential of Neem Coated Urea and its acceptance by the farmers, Ministry of Agriculture in July 2004, included the Neem Coated Urea in FCO.”
Let’s just focus on two timelines – standardization of technique in the year 2002, and adoption in July 2004.
Now, urea as a fertilizer is widely used and because of this, it is (was) also one of the highly pilferaged fertilizer in the country. Urea that was supposed to land in the hands of the farmer, often ended up with chemical industries or even rogue elements that used Urea to prepare adulterated milk.
So – it’s a open-and-shut case – move all Urea production to 100% neem coated, both to increase yield and stop the pilferage and misuse.
What did the UPA do? Mysteriously decides that only 35% of it will be neem-coated.  Why the 65% free takeaway was allowed, is anyone’s guess.
For a full ~10 years, only 35% Urea was neem-coated. What did NDA do after coming to power? Made it 100% mandatory. It doesn’t take a genius to guess what “industries” have been hurt because of this.
At various fora, the PM and his ministers have highlighted this monumental change – at one such forum, when this was being highlighted, Rajdeep Sardesai cut short the minister and asked him, “Are you a suit-boot ki Sarkar?”

ELECTRIFICATION DRIVE

We now move on to the next (hilarious) accusation – “RGGVY  (Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana) renamed as Deen Dayal Upadhya gram jyoti yojana for Piyush Goyal to boast tall fake claims.
RGGVY, introduced in 2005, had the aim is to electrify all villages. By when? By 2010. [pdf] Quite obviously, that target was missed by a WIDE margin.
But was it some innovative program when it was introduced in 2005? Turns out that the NDA-1 government, under Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had an “ACCELERATED RURAL ELECTRIFICATION PROGRAMME”.
Now, my head is spinning to understand who usurped whose idea?!
And by the way, in three years, India has become a power surplus and net exporter of electricity for the first time in 2016-17.

HOUSING SCHEMES

Seriously? Such schemes have been in vogue in India since 1985 at least. If successive governments haven’t been able to achieve targets, the incumbent government obviously has a responsibility towards plugging the loopholes, and achieving the new target of housing for all by 2022.
It is pertinent to mention here that Narendra Modi himself has said many times that if the country can just focus on finishing already approved projects, a lot of development is possible. Towards achieving this goal, he personally chairs a “PRAGATI” meeting every month and tracks the progress of all these projects.

PENSION SCHEMES

The accusation is “Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana started in 2007 became Modi’s Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana.
I guess such statements are made simply assuming the reader is not intelligent enough to decipher outright visible differences. Here is “Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana” and here is “Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana”, and below is a quick table comparing them:
Insurance schemes UPA vs NDA
Just the name was changed?
Both the yojanas exist today, but it is anybody’s guess which one people will prefer to take! And the user conveniently forgets to mention the other insurance scheme – Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Bima Yojana – Life insurance of 2 lakhs with a premium of 330/- per annum. And as always – the NDA government put in a lot of efforts into spreading this information to the citizens of the country.

BETI BACHAO BETI PADHAO

Some are claiming that the “National Girl Child Day” of UPA was renamed to “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” [pdf] program of the NDA. This is even more specious comparison than the insurance schemes – to compare the celebration of a day to a mass campaign program like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao!
However, this is not result of some lack of understanding. There is a clear agenda. To make these lazy accusations multiple times so that people start believing that they are true. An influential part of the media is complicit in fanning this narrative.


Also, one can’t help but notice the utter lack of in-depth coverage of unique flagship programs like MUDRA, Make in India, Ujjwala, Startup India, Digital India et al. Latest coverage was an article written in The Indian Express about Make in India, calling it a flop show, and guess who wrote it? P Chidambaram.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Congress has been a lazy opposition to Narendra Modi since 2014


The following article was written for MyInd Makers. Pasting it here for reference:
The Modi government has completed 3 years. In the run-up to this event, the Congress party looked clueless on how to counter the government. My observations began with this tweet of Shashi Tharoor on the 27th of May.
Govt electrified 73% of 18,452 villages identified in 2015, but only 8% of these included all households (Govt data) “
I was extremely amused to read this! 18,452 villages have never even known what electricity looks like. On a war footing, the government has electrified these villages. It is common knowledge that electrification doesn’t mean 100% electrification of all houses – Shashi Tharoor has been in the government and jolly well knows these facts. Getting electricity to the village and then to the households is work in progress, and is something that the state governments are involved in too. Aashish Chandorkar shreds to pieces this facile argument in this data laden Swarajya piece, so let’s move on to the next criticism by the Congress party, via Shashi Tharoor.
So we need to elect a government to tell us to get ourselves a job?”
This was about an out of context report by Hindustan Times.
Not possible to provide jobs to all, so we promote self-employment: Amit Shah
Why is this out of context? One of the key schemes of this government has been the MUDRA scheme (Read more here: https://www.myind.net/Home/viewArticle/pm-modi%E2%80%99s-stamp-micro-finance-banking-sector-%E2%80%93-mudra-bank). This was intended to promote entrepreneurship and is also one of the major success stories of the government. I have heard Amit Shah speak on this topic, more than once. He has very clearly said that encouraging entrepreneurship will create more leaders in the society in addition to jobs getting created. Self-employment is a good thing, so it beats me why the Congress party wants to rely on twisted tweets of news media to criticize the promotion of entrepreneurship.
And then Rahul Gandhi steps in. He tweets:
When they fail to deliver they divide & distract. But anger and hatred will not convert into jobs or solutions
The Congress party has been harping on this rhetoric from Day 1. The people of this country have time and again demonstrated that this rhetoric is getting boring. For years, Congress party thrived on divisions in our society and yet – the party somehow miraculously sticks to this argument to somehow show that there is an attempt to divide the people of this country. And post this tweet – Rahul Gandhi has been missing in any action.
No article on the Congress party is complete with talking about what Kapil Sibal says. He wrote a long op-ed in The Hindu, quoting the Prime Minister widely from pre-2014 days. Let’s now take a quick look at some of his strange arguments:
Petrol and diesel prices continue to be raised with shocking regularity. “
In June 2014, petrol was ~71 rupees per litre in Delhi. Today, it is ~68 rupees per litre. Diesel was Rs. 57 in June 2014. Today it is ~55. How these numbers amount to “raising with shocking regularity” – only the genius of Kapil Sibal can answer! By the way, just so that we refresh everyone’s memory – Petrol price rose from Rs. 47 to Rs. 73 from 2010 to 2012. But we digress, so let’s get back to Sibal’s arguments.
Industrial production is down, the rupee is down and somehow people have stopped believing in GDP figures that this government relies upon.”
Rupee is down? During UPA 2, in a very short period, it slumped from 53 to 69, against the dollar! No explanation has been given for this slump. In June 2014, rupee was around ~60. Today it is ~64.5. If this is the most concerning aspect to the congress party, then media should stop wondering why people don’t take Congress party seriously! Also, the rhetorical - “somehow people have stopped believing in GDP figures” argument sounds so childish as if Sibal ran out of arguments to write!
There has been an increase — by 67% — in complaints received of corruption in various government departments.
I find it absolutely stunning that Kapil Sibal thinks that increase in number of complaints is equal to increase in corruption! Perhaps, just perhaps, Kapil Sibal should have taken this argument into consideration – people are complaining now, because they are more confident that action will be taken?
Kapil Sibal also quotes other statistics in his lengthy article. He has mostly based these on selective numbers focusing on the years 2014 and 2015! Just in case he forgot, we midway into the year 2017!
As one can see, the Congress party has been lazy in its attempts to be a strong opposition party in the country. One recent example to exemplify their laziness. A video of Kerala Youth Congress folks slaughtering a cow was out on Saturday morning. Until Rahul Gandhi reacted to this “incident” on Sunday night at ~10pm, no one in the party even squeaked about this. Why does it take so long to even condemn such a ghastly crime?
All along, the Congress has either resorted to lofty rhetoric (which the people keep rejecting) or have resorted to selective quoting of numbers that don’t help in getting any message across.
The two images below are enough to tell why the Modi government is riding high on a wave of popularity, and why the opposition is finding it difficult to put up a brave front.

Sagarika Ghose caught spreading unrest again


The following article was written for MyInd Makers. Pasting it here for reference: 
I would like to begin with a confession. Since about one and a half years or so, I have begun to lose interest in worrying about the inanities of the (primarily) Delhi based English media journalists (I was still concerned about the Chennai based English media though). I felt stupid countering their never-ending stupidity. Their incompetence was so brazen for everyone to see, that their dwindling ratings were proof enough of how even a vast section of the country has begun to ignore them.
Occasionally, I felt angry. The rare times that they chose to focus on policy, my mind boggled at their understanding (or the utter lack of it) of simple issues too. I also secretly applauded them for not letting umpteen setbacks affect them – they were caught lying, faking, shrieking, campaigning – yet they stuck to their core message – try to create unrest in the country.
The latest in this series was that shocking tweet (now deleted) by Sagarika Ghose.
As much as I would love to write more about the many attempts made by Sagarika Ghose to create communal unrest in the country (Yep, this is not the first or second time she did this; and am not sure if this will be the last time either); as much as I would love to write more about the many lies she perpetuated to her viewers/readers – I would like to mention that she is not an exception to the rule, but she embodies the rule. She does not represent a mere symptom, but she represents the malicious disease.
Let me cite a very recent example. On May 21st, NDTV’s Vikram Chandra tweeted that he was doing an interview with Nitin Gadkari (the transport minister of the country), and invited readers to ask questions. He even retweeted some of them, and promised that he will ask the Minister the questions received.
Post interview, what does he highlight?
“In his interview to me @nitin_gadkari slams vigilantes, calling them "uchakas" and saying they don't represent the party or the RSS.”
And retweets NDTV’s tweet:
'All for Gau Raksha, but vigilantes don't represent us': Nitin Gadkari to NDTV
Am sure if I show him this, he will ask us to go see the full interview. However, my point is this – the very fact that he chose to highlight this on twitter (of the many things he could have), and nothing about actual transport ministry, speaks volumes about the intentions of the English media. They will repeat ad -nauseum the same question to any Minister they will interview and play it in a loop.
Pick any interview during any of the Modi government anniversaries. I even documented their incompetence during the first anniversary (and would like to highlight one key point below that summarizes the article):
“Ananth Kumar was explaining about how the government has bought in neem-coated urea to avoid pilferation of the subsidised Urea. Out of nowhere, Rajdeep brings in the “suit-boot ki sarkar” jibe of Rahul Gandhi into the picture and seeks a yes-no answer from the minister. At another instance, Rajdeep wants an assurance from the minister that the Urea prices will never be increased in the next 4 years. The minister assures him, but Rajdeep says not enough! Rajdeep repeats the suit-boot ki sarkar jibe more than the sum of all Congress spokespersons put together!
Of late, they seem to be bored with portraying the same intolerance stuff, so they have now begun to try to link two totally unrelated incidents and portray a picture of gloom and doom. Am I exaggerating? What else can explain this headline?
Now, you may be tempted to ask – why bother about these people?  Here is why- Because for all we know, Sagarika Ghose is part of a whatsapp group that has a senior cabinet minister in it. Because The Hindu is prescribed syllabus to all the Civil service aspirants. Because this cabal is given disproportional coverage in the international media, and what do they chose to highlight? “Intolerance”, “trolls”, and “freedom of press”. Barkha Dutt tells Siddarth Varadarajan that they screwed up on the coverage of the church attacks, in front of a minister – and yet is free today to spread more lies. Sagarika Ghose is still free today to continue showing her favoritism towards lies.
I was hearing an NPR show recently, and was aghast at the anchor calling J&K as “Indian-occupied Kashmir”. The anchor then called up their “Delhi correspondent” and she went on and on with the exact same inanities that the English media spouts here.
The world at large is gets to know our country through the jaundiced eyes of the Vikram Chandras, Siddarth Varadarajans, Barkha Dutts and ofcourse the one and only Sagarika Ghose. It is therefore important that these noises be countered by saner voices. It is important that these lies be countered as effectively as possible (ignoring these lies would mean that we must live with people like Arvind Kejriwal in positions of power). And if it takes 100s of boring articles like this, then so be it!