Every year, at Drishtikone, we analyze the coming year for three nations – Indian, US, and Pakistan. In my view, for our purposes, these three nations are very important. One, because it is the Indian perspective that this blog shows while discussing and talking of Hinduism. US, because it is the most important country in the world. And Pakistan because it is the nation that had had and will have far reaching consequences for the region and the world.
This year, I wanted to use this video to discuss my thoughts.
India: Crossroads and Misfires
2014 will represent the most important elections in this generation and the next. As Congress – and its allies – who have ruled India for most of its independent era and certainly in the last 10 years prepare to go away, as it will certainly lose; two powers are on the horizon. Aam Aadmi Party and the BJP.
Back in 1975, after emergency and as Loknayak Jayprakash Narayan led the movement against the mess created by the Congress; a new dispensation of very motivated youth emerged. The party was called the Janata Party. Bharatiya Jan Sangh, Bharatiya Lok Dal, the Congress (O), and the Socialist Party joined hands to form the Janata Party. On 24 March 1977, as Jayaprakash Narayan and Jivatram Kripalani led the newly elected Janata MPs to Raj Ghat with the hope of a new dawn, a new power was born in India. Most of these guys were young and enthusiastic and had come together with the hope of creating an India that was different from how Congress had made possible.
But very soon differences emerged. And the Government lasted only 2 years. Post that Congress came back again.
The lesson from that time are many. One, is that Congress plays a long term political game. Many MPs and leaders of the Janata Party were co-opted by Congress and along with the media, Congress had sowed seeds of dissent in the whole outfit. Second, you cannot form a Government of people having different economic ideologies. You can have people with two different religious mindsets, but not two economic ideologies. When an “anti-establishment” revolution happens, such diverse mindsets converge due to their convenience. It looks romantic, but it is self-defeating.
AAP is where Janata Party was in 1977 in many ways. The diverse pot of minds that are in AAP also have the same range and extremes that Janata Party had. It has been able to draw in Nationalistic and Socialist minded people. Those who swear by Free and Open economy and those who won’t hesitate to go after the businesses – as Arvind Kejriwal has done in Delhi.
Such fissures are very easy to harness to break up the revolution.
And, indeed it is very interesting that the Government which mitigated and destroyed two large Peoples’ movements – one for the Rape victim and other anti-corruption one, has let Arvind Kejriwal succeed and come up the way he has in the last few months and since then. Congress and the Media in India has had a close liaison on many things and has worked hand in glove. It still does.
Liberal dosage of media time and praise of AAP by media is a part of Congress strategy to create a counter against BJP and Modi.
Because fundamentally, Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) and its subsequent avatar, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – has been the opposing force to Congress. In Indian polity, if Communists have been on the far left – economically and politically, Congress has been on Left of Center and playing all sorts of games on every side of the aisle. BJP, on the other hand, has been Right of Center. Not as right as it is made out to be.
The regional and casteist parties have been between Congress and the Communists.
So, if one looks at the whole political spectrum, Left side of polity has been more dominating. This is so because the politics of doles and vote bank promises has been the way to win votes. And, the public has been gullible. During the elections, freebies – from Laptops, to Blankets to clothes to Booze is given freely. And post elections all sorts of promises are made. These promises are somewhat met by looting the exchequer and benefiting the constituency in some way, but more than that, the money from the Treasury taken out for populism has lined the pockets of the parties making such promises. This has made Mayavati - a poor school teacher pre-politics to a multi-millionaire in dollar terms today.
In this business BJP comes as an oddity. It is not that BJP does not have any corruption. It has. But at the level of Governance, in most of the states and at the Center, its Governments have shown remarkable restraint in terms of corruption levels. During the Vajpayee Government’s tenure from 1999 to 2004, people in the main departments were more upright and did deliver a good level of growth. Major initiatives like Divestments of PSUs, National Highway Development Project, and engagement of the NRIs via Overseas citizenship of India and Pravasi Bhartiya Divas and Samman. The Nuclear Blasts that happened during Vajpayee’s time were not to demonstrate Nuclear capability of India but to bring the global focus to the proliferation bazaar and network bring run by Pakistan and China. It is very interesting that before the Nuclear Blasts by Pakistan, General Musharraf was in China for over a week. Immediately after that, the “Nuclear Proliferation Bazaar” of AQ Khan was “exposed” by US. And George Tenet called that his greatest achievement. Everyone knew how it all even started, but they feigned that India’s nuclear blasts were about jingoism.
2013 Assembly elections and 2014 General Elections
The 2013 assembly elections ave brought in a “new kid on the block” – the Aam Aadmi Party started by Arvind Kejriwal. The party grew out of the Anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare, supported by Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal, last year. This was the political fork of that movement.
It is instructive to note that the movement by Anna Hazare and others, despite having struck chord with so many in India and helped them rise up against the corrupt regime of Congress; was beaten down and the anger was brought down substantially in activism by the combination of Media and Congress in a spectacular way. Had this level of uprising happened against any other party or Government sans the back up by the Media, it would have led to jailing to the most corrupt and even executions of some given the level of treason and plunder that happened in the last few years!
But nothing happened.
However, strangely, when the AAP came up, when the image of Congress – because of its plunder, not just corruption – was at its lowest and handling Narendra Modi-led BJPs popularity was tough, and Media played it up. The very media which had completely dismantled a national movement led by Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal, and Kiran Bedi; not only didn’t puncture the AAP but also helped play it up as the alternative to the National Politics.
AAP coming in this year and being promoted by the media so well seems deliberate. Media is surely in the hands of the Congress. We had seen it in the way Janata Party and other alternatives have been brought down over the years. More over, afterall the combination – Media + Congress – defeated the Anna Hazare/Bedi/Kejriwal despite the whole country backing them last year. And yet, the world thinks that AAP’s victory this time and the growth is some kind of “Real” victory.
If the Media-Congress combo wants, AAP and Kejriwal will be biting dust within 15 days! Interestingly, the ONLY person to fight that successfully has been Modi. And THAT is who the M+C Combo is after very clearly.
As for AAP? It will go the way of Janata Party of 1977. If Modi doesn’t come in 2014, AAP will destroyed by 2016 and Congress will come back with a thumping victory.
And, all those who are jumping at AAP’s rise will be hiting their heads on the closest stones they can find… for they would have benefitted the GREATEST plunderer since Babar!
What do we see happening?
Modi-led BJP will have a highest seat tally in history. AAP will also grow tremendously in specific constituencies but not across India. The way Modi’s popularity has grown, it is not inconceivable that Congress-led mafia may attempt to assassinate him through some Jehadi contacts.
If Modi-led BJP is able to form the Government, then there will be a further turmoil as well as the new Government unearths the treason and plunder that was underway. The well entrenched Media clique will fight tooth and nail to bring down Modi because its own turf will be in danger. This entire group has messed up the country in many ways. The only way will be to throw light on the dirty deals and financial investments done that some of the Media giants have been indulging in.
Also, new players will come in Media once the playing field is leveled. And that is a good thing.
Pakistan: Down the slide
We have been told again and again by so many Pakistanis as to how the country’s soul is changing and how the old Jehadist agendas started by Zia-ul-Haq are no longer prevalent there. But if you were to look at the narrative by the Pakistani analysts, one would see that the words and the whole articulation is the same. Check out the discussion by Amarullah Saleh, after Najam Sethi – the Pakistani journalist – walks out to catch his flight.
Before we discuss the coming year for Pakistan in some detail, let us understand one event that will impact Pakistan in this year. US is withdrawing from Afghanistan! And that one event is being watched with bated breath by many in Pakistan and Afghanistan, including India. The GHQ in Rawalpindi is already working to make sure all the pieces are in place to get back to the business that it was on before 9-11. Basically, when US withdraws, and ISI and Pakistan Army gets back into Afghanistan via Taliban (as per their plans), they would be laughing at literally having their cake and eating it too! Having orchestrated 9-11, 7-7, 26-11 and still back to the drawing board of Afghanistan creating the next level of terror infrastructure. Now let us look at the context this is going to happen.
There are a few things that have happened in the last few months which are very significant for what happens this year in Pakistan.
Elections in NWFP: In the Federal and Provincial elections last year in Pakistan, had a new “kid on the block” of their own – Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-insaaf (PTI) led by Imran Khan, the former Pakistani Cricket Captain. They had agitated against corruption for quite sometime. So, he was the darling of many an intellectual. One thing that these guys, didn’t figure in was that Imran Khan is also beholden to the Jehadis. He tries to show openness, but scratch a bit of his surface – like it happened on his pronouncements on Ahmediyas - and he falls right in the line with the Jehadis.
So plan one for the Pakistani Jehadi group in their quest for Afghanistan occupation via Taliban post 2014, was to get someone “friendly” in NWFP. Interestingly, PTI didn’t win anywhere else – as many seats – as it did in NWFP. So, PTI – with its love for Jehadis intact – is well in in that province.
Deep Talibanization of Pakistan: The process of Jehadi infiltration of the Pakistani is well under way. This is visible in the persecution of the religious minorities – Shias, Hindus, Christians and the Ahmediyas. Numerous bomb attacks on Shia community areas and mosques, killings of Christians and Hindus fleeing into India from Pakistan is very common now. Despite the efforts of some of the “liberal” Pakistanis to challenge the Jihadization of Pakistan, the hold of Jehadis is becoming stronger and stronger. As is obvious from the discussion by this person’s articulation of the issues within his society. He is a regular on the national TV. Despite many standing against him, he, and even ex-ISI General Hamid Gul. keep on with their tirade against India and even Israel. What he saying is that India orchestrated 26-11 on their own and unless India is globally insulted, India will not stop from orchestrating future terrorist attacks on their ownself.
Talibanization and Terrorism will break and dismantle Pakistan
It is very certain that the Talibanization and Terrorism growth from Pakistan will further dismantle and destroy its society. It is moving very fast towards the state where Afghanistan was under Taliban. But before it reaches the total disintegration, it will inflict heavy damage on India, Afghanistan and the world in general. (Pakistan – not Osama – was the Mastermind of 9-11 Attacks on the US)
The damage inflicting property of Pakistan’s Jehadi combine will be in practice in the coming year. Drishtikone believes, that given the sharp increase in the terror mindset in the country and need to boost the relevance of their ideology in the country and in the network of the Jehadis, it will be important for the Jehadis in the establishment to orchestrate a major event. And, the Ground Zero of that major event could be India or a Western country. 2014 could therefore see a major terror event.
USA: The curse of Division
This year will be a year of economic growth in the US. That is what the economy shows. The greatest issue that is visible is the divide between Republicans and the Democrats.
For all practical purposes, unless the democrats play it really badly, Democratic Party has the key to elections in its hands. Republicans can win if over 74% of the Whites vote for them. In the last elections, the figure was 70%. And progressively the White population is going down in proportion to the others. Specially the Latinos. And, given the immigration policy that Republicans have had, Latinos and other immigrants are not very happy with that party much.
So, in the coming years, it will be very tough for the Republicans to conceivably have a real chance of winning the Presidential elections in the coming decades. Unless they sabotage the nation’s very functioning by blocking Democratic Government in a way that the incumbents seem really really bad!
And, that is the strategy that they seem to be going for. The leaders have become more and more stringent. Ted Cruz for example brought the entire country to a halt recently during the shut down. Although the Republicans later went about bringing him down, but that is not enough. Such darlings are still swinging around along with the Tea Party leaders.
So, the bane for US – is the stringent right. It will bring the country to a halt with its divisive politics.