Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Blame game begins in BJP; knives are out!

[Update posted at the end.]

The blame-game has begun in the BJP. Those who are directly responsible for the party’s disastrous electoral performance are desperately trying to blame others lest their role comes under scrutiny.

The proverbial knives are out. On Wednesday (June 10) evening the ‘core group’ of the BJP met at LK Advani’s residence. There is nothing called the ‘core group’. Membership is extended (and/or withdrawn) depending on whether the ‘core group’ is supposed to massage bruised egos, indulge in collective hand-wringing, participate in self-flagellation, provide for limited expression of contrarian views, or snuff out voices of dissent.

On Wednesday, the ‘core group’ met for a bit of everything, so those who met were quite representative of the BJP as it is today, which is like a fish that has begun to rot head downward. [When we Bengalis buy fish, we check the gills; hence my choice of this metaphor.]

What was discussed at Wednesday’s meeting is really irrelevant and inconsequential. At the end of the meeting, everybody decided to meet again. As always, no decisions were taken. So much for the slogan, “Determined Leader, Decisive Government”. It’s not surprising that voters were not persuaded by it.

Jaswant Singh has made bold to raise the three ‘P’s – Prabandh, Parinam and Puraskar -- which should have engaged the party leadership after the May electoral debacle, but shall never be discussed.

Meanwhile, Sudheendra Kulkarni, 'Political Advisor, BJP', who undid the BJP’s election campaign in 2004 with the ‘India Shining’ slogan and fashioned the 2009 campaign which has taken the BJP to a low of barely-above-100 mark, has written an article for Tehelka, the magazine which tarred the NDA Government, causing it irreparable damage, and is now the favourite perch of those who inhabit the BJP’s inner courtyard, blaming all and sundry except those who are to blame. [Anil Chawla, his classmate at IIT Bombay, has circulated an 'open letter' by way of a rejoinder to Sudheendra Kulkarni's article.]

Sudheendra Kulkarni has made the following points:

. Everybody should own up for the party’s defeat, collectively and individually.

. Disunity among the party leaders contributed to its electoral failure.

. The Parivar (I wish he had shown courage by naming RSS) hobbled the campaign and made LK Advani look weak.

. Negativism ruined the BJP’s chances.

. Hindutva is the real obstacle between victory and defeat.

. BJP has failed to expand its ‘limited’ social base.

. Allies have been abandoned and new alliances haven’t been forged.

Here are my responses:

. The moral responsibility for the defeat is entirely that of those who led from the front. If they failed to enthuse voters, it is because they did not come across as inspirational leaders. The reasons for the credibility-deficit do not merit elaboration.

. Having abandoned the practice of collective leadership and placed individuals above party, not to speak of promoting those who thrive on divisions, groupism and factionalism, no purpose is served by pointing a finger at ‘disunity’ at the top.

. The RSS – as well as the greater Parivar – did nothing to hobble the campaign. The Sangh endorsed LK Advani as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, instructed affiliate organisations to join the campaign, and made every effort to bolster him through word and deed.

. Negativism was the core of the campaign fashioned by Sudheendra Kulkarni and his team vested with over-riding powers. [They came up with a real election-winner: After coming to power, LK Advani's Government will gift a smart phone to every BPL family.]

. Hindutva is the new bogeyman. So blame it for everything wrong under the Sun. There’s a problem though. Even if the BJP were to abandon Hindutva – the Hindu ethos which once made the BJP stand out from others, the pride in India’s cultural heritage and civilisational identity, the unifying concept of nationhood – Muslims wouldn’t vote for the party. Not even after reading 'Advaniji at a glance (in Urdu)' and finding that all mention of Vande Mataram has been erased from the BJP Website by the 'laptop brigade' which was supposed to lead the party to a stunning victory, but instead led it to a humiliating defeat. Fiction: Muslim disquiet with BJP can be resolved. Fact: Muslim hatred of BJP is visceral. Problem: How do you work around it?

. BJP’s failure to expand its social base is directly linked to its Pavlovian response to forging alliances. In every State the BJP has forged an alliance, it has moved from nothingness to nothingness, and not strength to strength. It began with Uttar Pradesh (BSP gained at BJP’s expense). It has been seen in Andhra Pradesh (TDP used BJP’s vote share, weakened the party and then abandoned it). In Orissa, BJD used BJP to consolidate its base and then cast it aside. In West Bengal TMC used BJP, plundered its organisational base and then denounced it as ‘communal’. In Punjab BJP has suffered on account of Akali Dal’s politics. In Bihar we shall witness a repeat of all this and more before the next Assembly election when JD(U) dumps BJP. The best way to stop new leaders emerging from the ranks (and thus posing a challenge to the entrenched leadership of the BJP) is to stump the party in the States by forging alliances and forcing local leaders to don sack cloth and ashes and become grovelling supplicants in the courts of the allies.

Elections come and go but parties remain, at least those who are in politics for more than power at any cost, now or never.

The BJP’s leadership is suffering from a disease called ‘last bus syndrome’: If it can’t catch this bus to power, then it will never get to be in power.

I am tempted to recall what LK Advani once told me, many years ago, before another general election: “As things stand, we could win enough seats to come to power. But I often ask myself, are we prepared for power?”

* * * * * *
[This blog post was reproduced by with the headline 'The knives are out in the BJP' on Thursday, June 11. The reader response is revealing. The BJP leadership would do well to glance through them, since those of the respondents living in India are voters.]


When I found that the link to 'Vande Mataram' had been dropped from the redesigned official Website of the BJP, I had immediately contacted Sudheendra Kulkarni (whose team oversaw the sprucing job) on telephone as well as sent him an e-mail. He expressed great surprise ('How can this be possible! We will immediately have it restored. Don't worry') and was gracious enough to promise early action.

That was about two months ago. Regrettably, nothing was done.

I pointed out the omission in a couple of my articles and column, but I guess the powers-that-be in the BJP were too busy to take note. Then I mentioned it again on this blog post.

Coincidentally, I happened to meet some office-bearers of the party on Thursday (June 11) evening, and one of them, who had seen my post as well as the version published by, raised the issue. Everybody was aghast; some were livid; one senior office-bearer said he would raise the 'distortion' at the National Executive meeting.

Instructions were obviously issued subsequently to restore the original link to 'Vande Mataram'.

On Friday, lo and behold, the home page of the BJP Website had a link to 'VANDE MATARAM' -- the all caps display was touching, but not sufficiently so. When I clicked on the link, I found the text had been truncated to less than the 'official' sanitised version (broadcast by AIR) and curiously omitted the words 'Vande Mataram':

Sujalam , Sufalam, Malayj Sheetalam,

Sasyashyamalam, Mataram !

Shubhrajyotsna Pulakitayaminim,

Pullakusumita Drumadal Shobhinim,

Suhasinim, Sumadhur Bhashinim,

Sukhadam, Vardam, Mataram!

This makes no sense. In fact, it is a mockery of India's National Song.

Or does it reflect the hesitation of those in charge of the Website (I am told it is still being overseen by Sudheendra Kulkarni and his team) to post the full text and link it to an mpeg file of the traditional version, as it was in the earlier site, lest it offend the mullahs and blot the party's 'secular' credentials?

I am now told that a hunt is on for the original post and the related files. Let's wait and watch.

June 12, 2009.


Arun said...

There are two aspects to the defeat:
1. The election campaign
2. The 5 years as Opposition party

More than the flaws in the campaign, the party needs to investigate how it discredited itself in its role as the principal opposition ('Foolish Opposition', as R Jagannathan termed it). The party hardly mobilized support on critical issues and relied solely on disrupting the Parliament proceedings.

I once read a report that small traders, BJP's age old support base, were taking the support of CPI(M) in opposing FDI in retail. Many of you brush aside the SJM type Swadeshi folks but I feel they should be used in a new political formation as a BJP ally. The new party will be to BJP what NCP is to Congress.

Anonymous said...

Good diagnosis and I do agree with you on the problem areas but I must take issue with 2 things. Criticism of Sudheendra Kulkarni is patently unfair. If anyone must take responsibility for the campaign it must be the Leadership. You dont pass the buck to the Campaign Manager after the election. If the Campaign Manager was so out of whack with the rest of the movement, then the time to address it was before the election. If the Leadership reposed trust in the Campaign Manager through the election then the buck stops with the Leadership. If all it took to win elections was great Campaign Managers then why dont we just put the Campaign Managers on the ballot, what do we need leaders for ?

I think Mr. Kulkarni is fully entitled to air his views through the media, others must do as well. The debate must be open and transparent and the healing must be through a grassroots process by which the next mass Leader and his platform are "elected" rather than selected via backroom consensus or by diktat of High Command.

Anonymous said...

Offstumped, You are horribly wrong about Sudheendra Kulkarni, someone who obviously lacks integrity and shamelessly passes the buck.

Your IITB alumni-hood or personal connectivity should not bias you to defend an individual patently undeserving of any defense.

I dont know what makes you think his choice of media to vent his feelings and lack of integrity are worthy of defense. He writes "Yes, I made mistakes", to provide a perception of reasonableness while not outlining a single one of his many blunders in his performance. And the same sudheendra kulkarni is extra ordinarily specific when he comes to outlining what he thinks as BJP's shortcoming - Varun Gandhi, Modi, RSS are specifically pointed at.

Bloomers in performance indeed must be pointed out. I dont understand why you want to make Sudheendra Kulkarni a holy cow. Unfair indeed! You must be out of your mind to say criticism of Sudheendra Kulkarni is unfair.

You mention that Kulkarni is entitled to public air his views. Do you realise the choice of the medium his neandral intellect selected? He could have as well created a blog and shared his inputs.

He is among the vermin responsible for incoherence in BJP's position.

You also mention that if the campaign manager was out of whack, it should have been pointed before the elections. I cant resist pointing out that my criticism of Sudheendra Kulkarni BEFORE the election in your blog was censored.

Yes! leadership must take blame. For not showing the door early to mal performers like Sudheendra Kulkarni.

Anonymous said...


Your inclusion of Anil Chawla's response to Sudheendra Kulkarni is pertinent though he has been very mild in his criticism.

BJP leadership indeed need to provide clear answers why by sucking up and flattery (karmayogi indeed!), rogue communists were allowed to infiltrate BJP.

Indeed, roots of BJP's present malaise lie there. It is a serious issue for which we need straight answers.

Swabhimaan said...

Good one Kanchan. Just a point here...I was part of the BJP online campaign but I used Hindutva to make people think about the BJP..and it did happen. BJP haters were neutralised. I am sure they won't bad-mouth Hindutva anymore as long as they can be assured that BJP also has its focus on development. You got to talk about it to make it win and not cover it up. I am deeply disappointed with the way BJP handled the Varun Gandhi episode. They never talked about CBSE = Madrasa education..Wow!!

Swabhimaan said...

Sudheendhra Kulkarni was not completely right and not completely wrong. Atleast when he talked about acceptability of RSS or Hindutva..I think he means well. The RSS needs to think about the way the Sangh reacts to situations..particularly how the Bajrang Dal behaves on 14th Feb. But I don't think he is right in blaming Varun or Modi for loss of allies or poor performance. Varun Gandhi episode did create a negative image but that was because the way the BJP mishandled the issue. For the last 10 years, what has the BJP leadership done to strengthen the organization? They need to look into this.

Anonymous said...

People who write blogs on political morality and then associate themselves with a faction of BJP which loves people like Neera Yadav and Sudhanshu Mittal have no right to criticize others.

Anonymous said...

Rajasthan is a state were Mr. Sudheendra Kulkarni or Mr. Jaitley had nothing to do with. Madam Raje (Rajanath Camp) was leading, Sudhanshu (Rajanth's Favorite strategist) was incharge and it was RSS home turf.

What did they end, hope Kanchan writes a blog on the failure of his camp(Dr. Joshi & Mr. Rajanth)also.

Anonymous said...

Rajasthan is a state were Mr. Sudheendra Kulkarni or Mr. Jaitley had nothing to do with. Madam Raje (Rajanath Camp) was leading, Sudhanshu (Rajanth's Favorite strategist) was incharge and it was RSS home turf.

What did they end up with? Hope Kanchan writes a blog on the failure of his camp(Dr. Joshi & Mr. Rajanth)too!!!

Anonymous said...

This debate shows why young leader is a must. When leaders are too old, it is so easy for outsiders to get into their good books and hijack the organisation, the ideology, the everything. To us, it is very clear that the selfish considerations of top leaders proved BJP's undoing, because they allowed outsiders to dominate.

Deependra Jha said...

I would have been happier had the BJP worked hard during the last five years, when it was in opposition, and won the election. But I am not sad that the party did nothing to improve its tally of 2004 and so was reduced to a consoling number of 116 in the present Lok Sabha.

If I were to ask a question that where does the BJP stand today, don't excuse me if I am wrong, there simply cannot be found a single reason or two. Party leaders can count so many raison d'être for the BJP's poll fiasco.

Still no one seems to have the guts to come ahead and say, look, enough of these chintan-manan baithaks. We cannot undo the results this time but we will make sure next time we have the numbers and we will form the government.

But no. Unless the party has some Rs 100-plus crore in its coffers, no one gives a damn. Many of the party's top leaders have done nothing for the BJP and just want the party's brand name to be associated with themselves to move further.

But as they say, naam ka daam kab tak?

The writing on the wall is very clear and one really does not need a convex lens to see it. The BJP has failed to retain its base, forget about improving the tally. And more importantly, it was the second time in a row that the projection of the party's top brass bombed. After the 'India Shining' fallacy, this time it was a baseless calculation which gave them goosebumps to have led from North and South Blocks even before the election.

Take a fag if you feel like a Titanic disaster, but note my words. It appears almost certain that the next general election will be whoever Vs Rahul Gandhi. And the ground for the young Gandhi is being prepared in a way that it may look like a 'no-oppostion show', of course if nothing unprecedented takes place. The formation of the present Cabinet and so much stress on the term 'governnce' indicate this.

So, what we are left with is revival of a rejuvenating and refreshing BJP. How it will happen and when it wil happen remains to be seen. I can only hope that it happens before the 2014 general election.

By the way, just during the election there was a Tata Tea advertisement on television channels which tried to provoke voters to vote -- 'Jaago re'.

I wish BJP leaders could take a cue from this.


Anonymous said...

Kanchan blatantly shows his Rajanth affiliation when he attacks BC Kanduri.

I would advise kanchji to look into NES survey were NES has found out that satisfaction with the state govt. was highest (top 3) among all states in India. Uttaracand behaved eletorally in a manner similar to Kerala were the people felt that the party's central leadership was the stumbling block for the good government provided by their CMs.

Rajnath is very similar to Prakash karat. In Kerala Karat sidelined VS and the party paid a proce for the same and in Ucand it was the same.

It would be great for the BJP, if it can throw out Rajnath & MM Joshi who are trying to divide the party for their individual gains.

BJP_supporter said...

Offstumped: Party insiders and campaign managers have no right to take their criticism to media in the name of openness. I will paraphrase Deve Gowda here - you dont walk around naked in the name of openness.

This is congress culture of pretending 'no responsibility' - congressmen and their friends in media lament our miserable development, bemoan our poverty, ask all of us to be ashamed of illiteracy, speak of only 10 paise of a rupee reaching, toast slumdogs etc. They have been in power for 50+ years, so where is the sense here? If you agree that it is shameful for congressmen to indulge in this, it is equally shameful for BJP insiders to be doing this.

On the other hand, a commenter in a previous post said friends of BJP site is heavily censoring comments. You might want to get that addressed.

Sharad Aggarwal said...

Everyone is making his own observations, analysis and drawing conclusion and putting it in public.

I have read number of articles on subject like this. However, no one is speaking about the shameful role played by Media, especially electronic Media.

Electronic media had been criticing all the time BJP. For this electronic Media, issues like varun gandhi were more important rather than a critical review of how actually UPA government has performed in the last 5 years; how effectively they had implemented the schemes. For this media, it was of major concern to show that Nose of Priyanka Gandhi looks like Late Indira Gandhi. Issues like 2002 Godhra Riots, 1984 Sikh riots were major issues this election for Media.

it wont be wrong to say that media raised completly irrelevant issues during full 3 months of campaign, and earthed all those issues which really matters for AAM ADMI. Issues like terrorism and black money were referred as politicied issues; issues which was being used by Advani to win the elections. All those issues which mattered for common man and raised by BJP were refeered as political drama.

We cant forget that it is same media which was continously asking public during general elections of 2004 if the rise of stock market shows any India Shinning....... surprisingly, this time same media was mum... As if it got instructions from someone, what to speak and what not to speak..

BJP has its own some problems,,,, which caused defeat... but Media is cheating Indian Public.... and sooner or later, Media will pay price for it.... whether it is loss of media credibility or its goodwill or emergence of new and genuine news channels....

Anonymous said...

Sir, what are your views on who should lead the BJP? with my limited knowledge of things, I think Arun Shourie should be the parliamentary board leader, and Modi should be the party president (next PM candidate).

Shourie - None of the other BJP leaders have shown any ability for legislative action - framing laws, work in parliamentary committees etc. Sure they all have ambitions, even some of the very old ones. When they get busy crying about ideology and Hindutva-millstone, there is a lot of work in the Parliament that can be done by an opposition, that has nothing to do with these. They are just not capable of that - except Shourie.

And I can not think of any leader in BJP who can rebuild the party other than Modi. Only issue can be finding a successor for him in Gujarat who can retain the state in next election. said...

Party elections, primaries to select candidates for elective posts - these two acts will cleanse the party of many sins.

BJP_supporter said...

What is the formal, highest, decision making body of BJP? Why would they resort to such 'core group' invitation only type machinations, if they are doing that?

The senior leaders need to acknowledge that they lost a chance to lead the party to power, and voluntarily sit out. Dr Joshi will be 80 by next election. Jaswant Singh will be 76. What is the point really?

Anonymous said...

Your latest post is excellent. Many people have been pissed off that Sudheendra Kulkarni went to tehelka to publish this. Thanks for bringing it up also.

I have just one point to make. You had mentioned that Jaswant Singh has got fire and still fighting. But he has been traditionally against Hindutva. He & his son (in Barmer) have done Muslim appeasement. His son was playing with many Islamic Madrasas in Rajasthan to get a "secular" image. Jaswant Singh has done some good work as foreign minister (no doubt on that). He belongs to the coterie of Advani which says "Good governance doesn't need ideology". He has gone on record saying that he opposes Operation Parakram. Jaswant has written that he worked to cool down Indian reaction/anger after 2001 Parliament attack. He also wrote that India (Indians) should not get angry after Parliament attack. At every opportunity he takes a jibe at RSS.

But he also rushed to ndtv to give an interview on poll debacle and tell Barkha that BJP has to be “current”. (Indirectly hitting at ideology, RSS etc as usual) Yashwant Sinha has done that already. Already Brijesh Mishra is in ndtv saying Varun Gandhi & Modi are responsible for the defeat. Brijesh Mishra says “negative campaign didn’t work”.

Want to know what the hell is this “negative campaign didn’t work”. Talking about weak government, indecisive government, its failures in security, economy, and food issues are “negative”?

A former NSA says taking about failures in security are “negative campaign”. Now you know why there were some security failures/ attacks during NDA. One of the first guys to start this idea (defeat is because of “negative campaign”) was Sudheendra.

The problem is BJP took on lot of congress/ congress ideology guys in it ranks and top posts. Brijesh Mishra’s father was the Congress chief minister of Madhya Pradesh. Brijesh Mishra himself was a Nehru family person. Yashwant Sinha came to BJP suddenly in 90’s after being in Janata Dal and he also doesn’t want Hindutva. Sudheendra case is well known. All these people (Jaswant, Yashwant, Sudheendhra etc) want to appear nice in the “secular” media and want certificates from “seculars”. Why they want these certificates? – They want to be become leaders through media and not by actually working in field.

Swabhimaan said...

I think the BJP will win the next elections by praising the Congress no end :) That sure will be a positive campaign and a positive win!

Ajay said...

Now we learn LKA was to blame all along for his dictatorial style relying on coterie.

The question that comes to mind is, what was cadre based RSS doing all along when this personality building was going on?

There seems to deep rot inside BJP. Let this failure be used to rebuild the party from bottom-up.

"Top rung", "Core committee" and everything below it should be staffed by people who have grown from grass-root level, and are representative of ideas, vision and efforts of ground workers.

This defeat brings a window of opportunity for BJP to re-invesnt itself, and it should do so for betterment of this country

Anonymous said...

Mr. Kanchan, I urge you to quickly answer this for the sake of your own credibility.

When and in what way Vande Mataram was erased from BJP website. Where there legacy links to the song/lyrics that BJP booted out.

There is still a link which talks about Vande Matharam in BJP site:

While the thrust of your argument is valid, we have to be factual.

We hope to see your early response to this.

senthil said...


Good piece of writing.. i agree with you..

We need to address one important issue.. the indulgenge of RSS in BJP's affairs.. they are virtually exporting their incompetency to BJP through Rajnath singh and their other RSS persons..

Modi ji was one exception, where he took on VHP and RSS, eventhough they are his ideological masters.. Dharma is different from loyalty..

When MODI won the Gujarat election, there was national wave emerging,.. but that spirit was lost, the moment advani was announced as PM candidate in a hurry..

had we projected Modi to the centre stage at that wave, the party could have rose to higher level, and even won comfortably..

I am saying this, because even in tamilnadu, where the party has meagre presence, there was a cutout for modi, even in fairly remote areas..

Modi has galvanised with his single win, which when utilised by the party, would have enabled him revive the party single handedly..

harini calamur said...

Hi Kanchan
i came here via rediff.
at the outset, i will tell you that i have never, ever voted for the BJP and this time was no exception.

I don't reject the BJP because i am Muslim (i am not); nor because i am secular (tolerarnce i understand; cosntitutional separation of powers - i understand - but the Indian polity's of the word, i do not) - but because I am a Hindu !

For most Hindu's - Hindutva or the Hindu way of life includes caste -and people knowing their place in society, includes women at home, knowing their place. And the BJP's celebration of something - whatever that something is - that is a part of our ancient history, without it being brought into our immediate past is frightening. they say Hindutva, and i comprehend it as Manusmriti :( To be a party for Hindu's, they need to address issues in the socio-cultural system.

so, if the BJP has to be electable, even amongst Hindu's, it has to address multiple issues within 'Hindu' society. That includes caste discrimination; it includes caste panchayats; it includes speaking up for people's right to worship whomever they want or no one atall. it includes equality for everyone including religious, linguistic, ethnic, sexual, and any other minority that you can talk about. They have to take the moral high ground, and not the moralistic high ground.

The smug, self satisfaction with which they address issues needs to go - and be replaced with substance. For example, they cannot be campaigning against a dynsaty - and pick up that very family's idiot child, and make him the poster boy. They have to show leadership.

Unfortunately, in their current mode they are unelectable. they have only bluster, and no policies.
As a woman, they scare me.
as a Republican, their entire disregard for the Consitutional process - frightens me.
As a citizen who is tax paying, and hopes for a better tomorrow - they repel me.

And, it is sad - because India needs another national party. A single national party opposed by multiple regioanl party - is dangerous for the Union.

I apologise for such a long response. I agree with both Mr.Chawla and your article.

Kanchan Gupta said...

Harini, I wish you would further elaborate on the three why-I-don't-vote-BJP points she has made. It could be useful to understand why the BJP fails to convince voters.

BJP_supporter said...

you say
"they say Hindutva, and i comprehend it as Manusmriti "

Dont you think it is your problem if they say one thing and you comprehend another?

Did you find out if Hindutva was meant to be Manusmriti? And how much of the Manusmriti (or any of the other ancient Hindu smritis) have you read?

Here is my challenge - no matter what BJP does or does not do, you will never vote for the BJP. That is because of your own conditioning.

Kanchan Gupta said...

Zoomindianmedia: Please see the update I have posted today (Jun 12). This should answer your query. The 'Vande Mataram' story is long enough to merit a full blog post, which I shall write once the issue is sorted out. I have been promised the 'omission will be amended'. Let's wait and watch.

Kanchan Gupta said...

Anonymous: I am truly sorry to disappoint you. No, I do not belong to any camp or faction or group. I don't need to because my association is with the party and not individuals. I have a full time job as a journalist and writer for foreign papers. Even while I was working full time for the party (1996-1998) and had an office at the party headquarters, I was known to abjure campism, factionalism and groupism. Nowhere have I commented adversely on the quality of governance in Uttarakhand. On the contrary, I have repeatedly pointed out in various posts/articles that if good governance was enough to win you elections, the BJP should have won all five seats in Uttarakhand and BJD should have been wiped out in Orissa.

Swabhimaan said...

Read your update: Sudheendhra Kulkarni should be out of BJP then! No apologies should be accepted for this kind of conduct. Enough is enough.

Anonymous said...

Ever since Sudheendra Kulkarni began rising in the BJP, fortunes of the party have been on the decline. This began with the "India Shining" campaign, pushed by Sudheendra himself. Since them, the party has failed to find its bearings and continues to be disoriented. Moreover, his closeness to LKA has ensured that no one but LKA himself is the most powerful and criticism is promptly quashed within the party. BJP has been reduced to being all about LKA and no one else.

It is time Sudheendra and the coterie close to LKA and indeed LKA himself be put to test on their commitment to the party and ideology. Better yet, they must be made to exit the party and a new guard be out in place via a process much like the US presidential primaries.

Inquiring Mind said...


Everywhere i am seeing lot of fuzzy discussions on whether hindutva should be left or not..

But i really dont understand, what Hindutva is, in practical terms?

In political angle, Hindutva is about Uniform Civil Code, repealing article 370, etc.

But often, hindutva is being described as way of life.. But i dont exactly understand what is hindutva way of life?

I have one big question..

Suppose, tomorrow our party wins the general election, and gets to power.

Can we hold the ceremony in our traditional bharateeya way of "Pattabhishekam" reciting vedas, and taking oath to protect Dharma.. (as opposed to taking oath in the name of god, which is a christian way)

Is it a Hindutva way of political life?

harini calamur said...

@kanchan thank you.

a) as a woman i find the BJP non representative. Sushma Swaraj & smriti irani are possibly the only two females, I can recall, in the BJP. So, there is a scarcity of women in the BJP, and a drought in the RSS. For all their faults, the Congress seems to have more women - at least in the public eye.
(There are Uma Bharati and Sadhvi rithambara - but i am not sure whether they really count or are repersentative of the BJP or the Sangh anymore. ).

Furthermore, when Ram Sene and the moral police start beating up women - and the state governments (BJP) a) do nothing b) are seen to do nothing, it creates a disonnace. I vote primarily for security. Also, in states like Maharashtra (my home state) – the BJP is allied with a party that does much the same.

As a party in power –the first thing that the BJP is supposed to do is to protect my constitutional rights. Every thing else follow – including culture.

Bad Behavior is not Hindu.
b) as a Republican – someone who believes in the Republic of India - their ability to resort to violence or not to be able to control the violence is scary. It started with Ayodhya – the thought of an Elected Member of Parliament leading a mob to break a structure, protected by the Court. That was the starting point. There is a long litany of these. But, the final straw was their collective behavior in the last Parliament. They are our representatives. They are opposing bad Govt. Policy on our behalf – they can’t be throwing tantrums and walking out and disregarding the process. It is the petulance with which they behaved – that possibly cost them the elections.

c) As a tax paying citizen who wants a better, more secure tomorrow – it was sad to see the BJP behave in an obstructionist manner all the time. The Nuclear Deal for one. The Ram Sethu project for the other – science, technology, jobs, economy – was it possible for them to find a solution rather than be a barrier.
The BJP socio economic policies are in disarray. Are they free market, are they closed economy – what are they – I really don’t know. Where is their equivalent of resurrecting or supporting local level economies? Where do they stand ? Small businesses have been their traditional base – where are the policies for SME’s. Are they for price support mechanisms for farmers – or are they not. When we talk ideology – even these come out of ideology.

I have friends in Gujarat – who are hardcore Modi supporters- who voted Congress because they wanted the economy to improve :(.

i once again apologise for a very long response  but I think that trying to speak or write in ‘sound bytes’ leads to confusion

Inquiring Mind said...


If you had decided to go only by the media news, probably, there is no use in further discussion..

Regarding the Ram Sena issue, the Media persons have prior knowledge of the incident, and hence they could arrive at the scene, well before..

They could have alerted the police to prevent the incident right? why did not they do it?

Secondly, in the so called congress rule in delhi, under a women chief minister, there is the most number of Rapes, and violence against women happening..
Those things doesnt come to your mind, because they are not reported by the media..


As a tax paying citizen, how much you know about Nuclear Deal? Only then, we could decide if the deal is good or bad..

Do you feel, those experts who raise concerns are not interested in the country?

harini calamur said...

oops typo - the line should have read - they are our (people's )opposition in Parliament - opposing bad govt. policy & supporting good ones.

Inquiring Mind said...


You fundamental stance itself is not agreeable..

First, by citing that there is no women representative, you try to project a racist kind of situation segregating men and women.. Cant a man represent a woman, or viceversa?

Secondly the very attitude of the people, to vote only based on the benefits they get from the government is what the bane of our country.. This is the very reason, why people vote by getting cash, and later justify it..

Only when people think in terms of the country rather than their self, the real democracy will flourish india..

Balaji Chitra Ganesan said...


hats off to you. I agree with everything you have said, although I have voted for BJP and its allies everytime I went to the polling booth! Just that I do not have the heart to vote for socialists.

the most important point which you have mentioned is Manusmriti. I'm sure you'll thrashed here and elsewhere (like one offstumped is already doing) for mentioning Manusmriti.

Hindutva = fascism
rss = brahmanism.

the above two are absolute certainities but nobody here will agree becos most BJP supporters who loiter online are upper caste rich males.

Manusmriti and its propaganda version Ramayan are the epitome of brahmin racism and male chauvinism, but everyone here gets their kicks from them.

Kanchan Gupta said...

Harini: I think I will respond to your comments in detail. If only to try and remove misconceptions. :)

Dhruv said...

A lot of negative energy has seeped into BJP because of the defeat ... The entire leadership should go for a while to Haridwar for Baba Ramdev's Pranayam sessions ...

Once they are back they should all unanimously elect Modi as their leader and the party's only Agenda should be Development , Security and Justice for all ..

There is hardly anytime for 2014 elections .... time the party start preparing for it at the earliest .. and yes they need to buy a media house at the earliest to send their message across to the people ...

Bhavananda said...

This is truly unbelievable. Of all people, the BJP had to come to this? Honestly, right now with MMS marching troops into Arunachal and BJP removing Vandemataram from its webpages, it is slowly seeming that the Congress will fully engulf the right-of-centre space from the BJP. If this continues for a couple of years, BJP will cease to be a national party anymore.

The RSS desperately needs to step in, outrightly remove the incompetent Sudheendra Kulkarni types and make a fresh start.

NR said...


But, the final straw was their collective behavior in the last Parliament. They are our representatives

If this was the criteria, I think congress must be the first party on your list to be booted out for bringing the parliament to its biggest shame- the biggest scandal and then wash it off.

On the whole your points do make it clear that how the vested interests have managed to stamp the BJP with negativities on all issues and congress with positivity by clearly over playing out any negatives seemingly associated with BJP and perenially underplaying negatives associated with their bosses, so that what remains in the short memory of people is negativity of BJP and so called token positivity of Congress.

But this does clearly mean that men manning BJP propaganda and media cell are incapable of handling it.

Anonymous said...

I am aghast at this development. Sudhindra Kulkarni seems to be a communist/christist plant in the BJP. I don't know what other things he will come up with.

If BJP goes on jettisoning all that is well and good in it, it deserves to lose, and that too, grandly.

Anonymous said...

Balaji - Pls check your facts before putting words in my mouth :)

Dear Shri Kanchan Gupta - The issues you raise lose credibility if they are reduced to a personal vendetta and conspiracy theories.

What is worse they shift focus away from the kind of exchange that you have been able to engage folks like Harini here.

More such engagement is necessary and that can only happen if these conspiracy theories are put to rest.

I hope you give thought to this.

Anonymous said...


Many thanks for the update. Indeed as we see from the webpage, the rot is deep insider the BJP.

Undermining its core base is not just arrogance, but it is plain stupidity in political terms.

This focus on Hindutva, I am inclined to believe is to deflect focus from the mal performance and to obfuscate the real reasons and individuals responsible for BJP's failure.

Readers who do not appreciate the seriousness of this issue would do well to watch the following (vandemataram original version) and read the accompanying description:

Later on efforts were made to undermine the song by Bharatbala kind of islamist jokers who in the name of reinvention sought to undermine the song. The subsequent fake vande matharam versions not just tinkered with the beautiful lyrics but also lacked the quality of Hemant-da's/Raag Desh traditional renderings.


Kanchan's pointing facts is not an allusion to conspiracy. Two months plus to fix the problem after acknowledgment reflects either shoddiness in performance or deliberate mal-intent.

Such serious mistakes need to be faced, acknowledged and fixed not swept under the carpet. BJP has to be true to itself - its nationalist identity.

harini calamur said...

Hi Kanchan
i look forward to it :) And, thank you for making me feel welcome on your blog. i was terrified of posting - the last time i tried posting on someone whose ideology is different from mine - it derailed into a slanging match :) That was some three years ago.

@BJP supporter - i have read the manusmriti'
- the one good thing is that smriti has always been considered societal and not divine. it would be good to see the BJP spread this and destroy some of the more virulent aspects of our society. caste equality is not just reservation. it is a way of behavior - in all parts of society - towards those who are not 'upper caste men' . And the BJP can build a whole constituency by addressing this.

@right angle - it is one of the problems that i have conversing most people from the other side of the spectrum - it doesn't have to get offensive or rude or personal.

My fundamental stand is not agreeable to whom ? To a party - whose natural constituency i am ? Maybe, it is that arrogance that is costing votes. I am not married to the Congress, it is not my father's party, why can't i have an alternative that is viable. And, sooner or later that Party will come into existence. it can be the BJP driven by ideology of belief, as opposed to ideology of convenience - or it can be some other party. The vacuum exists - someone will fill it.

the BJP in Parliament, on the Nuclear deal, opposed something that it would have signed under Vajpayee. that is the difference between Mr.V and Mr.A. Mr. V put the country first.

Inquiring Mind said...


Your fundamental stance is NOT agreeable, in terms of national perspective..

I am not attacking you here.. but i am just expressing an alternate point..

The english media, and the pseudo secularist used to divide people like dalits, higher caste, lower caste, men , women etc.. that's the kind of psychological war they are doing, for which most of the middle class indians (who have no alternative news source) tend to believe in to these..
I was one such, and later started realising the truth..

That's why i pointed out, that the concept of "Women should represent women" has a kind of racist tone..

We need to think of "WHat nation needs" rather than "What we need"..

Inquiring Mind said...

regarding the nuclear deal, the question is not whether nuclear deal is to be signed or not.. But, the way in which it is signed, the clauses included etc are not good for our country, as expressed by various experts..

BJP would have signed the nuclear deal.. but it is expected to have finalised the deal with advantageous position w.r.t india.. (as opposed to current blatant caving in of congress, where the details of deal is not publicised to the people..)

BJP_supporter said...

You pointedly invoke 'upper caste men'. This is like the american style political correctness, where white american male with a decent job has to keep apologizing for what he is. This shows the level of your prejudice that clearly does not have any use for facts.

Please name the upper caste Men chief ministers in India today. Please go by the caste lists of the central/state Backward classes commissions when you try to do this - otherwise you will want to list all BJP chief ministers as 'upper caste men'. For a start, Nitish Kumar - is he upper caste male? Narendra Modi, Karunanidhi, Yeddiyurappa, Achuthanandhan, YSReddy, Mayawati, Omar Abdullah, Shivraj Singh Chauhan.

what more 'way of behaviour to upper caste male' you want the BJP to work on, that these chief ministers and political leaders (some of them in power for years now if not decades) were not able to do?

You will almost certainly start off on a harangue of the upper caste male keeping everybody else in slavery until this year. Some of our greatest poets and thinkers thru Hindu history are not upper caste male - Valmiki, Thiruvalluvar, Avvaiyar, Vyasa for a start.

In an election, an important consideration for vote is the incumbent's record in governance, security, corruption. If you voted congress this elections because times of india only reported on the mangalore pub brawl, you will never vote another party in your life time.

Anonymous said...

Namaskar Kanchanji,
A real big dhanyavaad from me for writing the blog frequently and with full conviction. Also, it is really rare to see a senior journalist like you actually interacting with commoners like us through this medium.

Kanchanji, You seem to have a lot of distaste for the Sudheendra Kulkarni type of people. I am trying to understand what is the course of action that you would like the BJP to take. I read your previous blog posts, but I am still trying to see how a commoner like me ( no connections to the party and a person going to the shakhas irregularly) can do something?
Is it time to take down the whole party structure and while doing so cleansing it and rebuilding it. or some surgical cuts would be enough?
Harini: How much do you read and think about current issues? it is not something that I ask to confront you,but to understand how people make conclusions. I read your comments regarding mangalore pub attacks and other stuff. What i wanted to know was did you look up the female membership of the BJP? Sewa done by RSS for women? or when you talk of the mangalore stuff, you said did not do anything or did not seem to be doing anything. Can you please let us know what should have been done and was not done? Also can you share your thoughts on Ashok Gehlots pronouncements on the same day about couples holding hands in malls. Please let us know your thoughts on these.

Anonymous said...

If BJP can not effectively engage and convince people like Harini Gargi Calamur (who seem thinking types) that shows two things.

1. MSM's success in negatively stereotyping BJP
2. BJP's inertia in effectively addressing how they are seen on the ground. This is more of a perception management issue.


You would be aware that BJP won a mighty victory in Karnataka, ground zero of Rama Sene. It swept all the three urban seats in Bangalore and Mangalore. I am of course not alluding that BJP won bcoz of Sene. The reality in Karnataka was, people could see through that Rama Sene was a congress I (islami-isai) stooge and a clumsy attempt to split Kannadiga vote.

In Mumbai, Maharashtra, MNS, another congress I lackey successfully did the dirty work for them scaring north Indians to vote congress and splitting Marathi votes.

We have our reasons to oppose congress I and God knows they are valid ones.

Congress I (Islami-Isai) after perpetrating divisive politics, poverty for 60+ years, will use new faces and peddle the Goebellsian lie that it is pro poor, pro development, pro harmony party. This is the fourth generation of nehru/gandhis who are thus fooling us. Nehru’s socialist lies, Indira Gandh’s garibi Hataao, Rajiv Gandhi’s Dalaal Hataao is being followed by Raul Vinci’s, Mera Haath Gareeb Ke Saath lie, and I bring the change India needs, deceit. A facade of havan, taking tea in a poor person’s home, project these using corrupt media is what it takes to fool native Indians. Indeed institutionalisation of poverty is essential for congress to sustain its vote bank.

Many of us had rather die than vote for such a party.

If you want a no holds bared factual analysis on elections 2009 visit
(It is quite elaborate with multiple links to substantiate its position)

We are conceiving Dharma (principles) based models to provide a right of center paradigm.
Offstumped Yossarin has done inimitable work in this regard.

Of course our thinking is tempered by the thought that thru their long lies indira khan gandhi and jawaharlal nehru buried Swatantara party while the commitment to native traditions of India has kept the Jan Sangh/BJP going.

harini calamur said...

@right angle :) i shouldn't have a conversation on politics before my first cup of coffee.
i don't mean i want a woman represnting me. I really don't. I mean representative in terms of the diversity of the Nation. that includes women.

Upper caste - useually refers to the top three castes in the varna system - Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishya. The Shudra is today's OBC and the Dalits were outside the the Hindu varna system. Also there was something referred to as the Stree Jati - whose roles and responsiblities were different.

NOw all these groups are part of what we refer to as Hinduism, and more importantly they have an equal vote as anyone else. It is all very well for us, city bred people, to say Indian. But, go into the villages - as i have for the last eight years on various documentaries - and your eyes will pop out to see how important caste is as identity. it shocked me beyond belief. i knew it existed, i knew it was banned, i knew everyone spoke against it - but it was larger than life, in your face.

I am not for a moment saying that the BJP should create or perpetuate votebanks - but it needs to be representative of the elecotrate . It needs to make every citizen of this nation believe, that they stand for them. The congress somehow manages. The BJP did that once under Vajpayee - but even that was a fractured mandate. You need to move beyond Mandir and Masjid, and look at Indian society today, and what you are going to deliver constructively to each and every constituency !

Now, i wiil give you simple elecotral maths. SC/ST is 24%, OBC is estimated at 52% (Mandal). That is 76% of the audience that is not represented in any great numbers in the party. I don't believe in tokenism, but i believe that any National Party that leaves out - is is perceived to have left out almost 3/4ths of the audience is in for trouble. Similarly how many Tamilians are there in the BJP, how many Sikkimese, How many Bengali's. India is a diverse nation and a diverse culture - where is this diversity in the Party. The examples that exist today are tokenism - to win the BJP has to be more broadbased.

And finally, What are the issues that Hindu's face? food, clothes, shelter, roads, water, electricity, jobs, security, . Pretty much the same as any other Indian faces. Address those, in the context of your ideology, and maybe the next time the results would be different.

Anonymous said...


You are way off the mark on BJP's electoral base.

Your assertion that 76% of the audience (52% OBC+ 24% SC) is not represented in any great numbers in the party is plain wrong.

BJP does not play caste politics. But if you look at its leading lights, its core voter base and also its prospective next leader, these are who you would call OBCs.

There are those who think BJP to be essentially an OBC party. While BJP and the man himself does not like to stress this, do you know that NaMo is an OBC. Do you know Vasundhara Raje's caste. Or Shivraj Chauhan's? (And by the way, percentage wise during lok sabha elections, BJP gave more seats to women than what either congress or communists did. Perception - manufactured lies by MSM would give you a different picture)

One of the serious strategic mistakes BJP did was to compromise its electoral base in number of states for the sake of allies. Its base in Orissa, West Bengal, UP and AP were eaten away by allies as its Delhi Leadership benignly looked the other way.

For the sake of your own credibility please try to be factual rather than go by MSM nurtured false perceptions.

Anonymous said...

An allusion to Sikkim, North East and the BJP.

Sikkim has a strongman Pawan Kumar Chamling, who can teach bjp a thing or two in electoral politics.

In the 1994 elections Pawan Kumar Chamling from the Sikkim Democratic Front becoming the Chief Minister of the state. The party has since held on to power by winning the 1999 and 2004 elections.

The SDF won all the 32 seats of the state assembly in the the 2009 assembly elections crushing all opposition. Most candidates of SDF were fresh faces.

Incidentally BJP's star candidate and sitting MP from Arunachal Kiren Rijiju lost by thousand odd votes. He did file a complaint on mal practices which the EC rejected. Competence and electoral winnability correlation in India is not exactly positive.

You can see Kiren speaking his mind in Mumbai here:

Deshabhakta said...

Thanks Kanchan ji for such contstructive criticism of BJP. I hope BJP listens to your views and actionizes them the way they did it with the 'Vande Maataram' link issue.

Deshabhakta said...

@Swabhiman, i totally with your point that Hindutva with development should be the way to go. We dont need a BJP without any one of these.

bjp_supporter said...

Harini - I am not city-bred. Not that it matters to you. you do not really care for facts even if they are pointed out to you.

best of luck with those documentaries.

do you think much? if you do - think about this - you complain of caste discriminations. Which party was in power for more than 50 years? and it becomes whose responsibility?

this is a rhetorical question - do you like it very much that congress princes complain of only 10 paise out of a rupee reaching the masses?

Kanchan Gupta said...

Harini, Saturday is a rushed day for me as I have to work in advance for Monday (Sunday is sabbath!). I will respond in some detail, promise. Meanwhile, on the point about women and BJP, the party does need to do something about projecting itself as a gender sensitive organisation. Some statistics that might interest all of you: Of the 61 women elected to the 15th Lok Sabha, 23 won on the Congress ticket, 13 on the BJP ticket and four each for the Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party tickets. Congress is way ahead of the BJP. But nearly a quarter of the total is not a bad tally either.
More importantly, what do all of you think the BJP should do on this front?

Kanchan Gupta said...

Offstumped: I have nothing personal against anybody and take a rather detached view of life, events, individuals, barring those with whom I share an emotional bonding and I do not write about them. Nor am I fond of conspiracy theories. I rarely suffer from either 'angst' or 'anger' and try not to put pen to paper (or punch keys on the keyboard, if you like) when I am upset. I could have written a lot more, but have exercised restraint, to try and keep the focus on core issues that are of larger relevance. I am using the 'Vande Mataram' issue as a metaphor -- no more, no less. The debate/discussion/deliberation should be all-encompassing, so please carry on.

Kanchan Gupta said...

A certain 'Anonymous': No, your snide, libelous, presonal attacks shall not appear on this blog. That has nothing to do with free speech -- obviously you do not understand what 'free speech' means. That would require 'critical thinking'.

Bhavananda said...

Dear Kanchan da,
Thanks very much for your engaging replies to various posts. For a popular blog as your, it was very important that the author engages the commentators. I hope that the feedback that you get will be conveyed to appropriate leaders in the BJP on how the "upper middle class" feels.
Please keep up the good work. With the leaders strongly disconnected from the masses (or don't care), it relies largely on people like you to convey our feelings.

Arjun said...

Dear Kanchan,
Can you please comment on what the thought process is regarding Narendra Modi. He is at once the BJP's biggest asset and liability. The baggage he carries presents a huge obstacle in the BJP being perceived as a centre right party. Shekhar Gupta recently stated that Vajpayee could not take the Modi issue to its logical conclusion due to factors out of his control. He did not disclose those factors due to confidentiality. But he made it amply clear that Vajpayee did not see Modi in a positive light. So if we use Vajpayee as a reference to understand how the BJP can expand its electoral base, it seems obvious that Modi would be the wrong choice. What is your view? please comment.

Anonymous said...

Sirjee..Ok u keep deleting my posts. Fine. But since at least reply to comments try and respond to this.

What is a party's most important communication document during elections? The manifesto, right?. Who took lead in preparing it for the BJP? Sirjee. Since the BJP lost, u shd take some responsibility, at least morally. Right? Where have u done it? Even a passing mention, somewhere?

When u point a finger at others, three point at you.

Inquiring Mind said...


I am replying to your comment on caste system..

Usually, its the business of the english media and the congress party to divide indians based on caste system.. i was surprised, that a middle class indian also now doing the same..

There are lot of things unknown about indian caste system, which i am listing below.

1. Most of the OBC's, MBCs & BC's are once the rulers of this country. Gujjars are now fighting for ST status, but they were once a jat rulers. It is the britishers, who made those castes as OBCs.

2. Many of the SC's in North India trace their lineage back to Rajputs.

3. The education system in india was available to all castes. In Madras presidency, during a survey in 1830's, it was found that there were 1 lakh schools, and only 10-25% of students were brahmins, and all others constitued different castes.

4. Untouchability is NOT a higher caste vs lower caste issue.. rather its a universal issue. Even different castes within SC's practice untouchability with one another. However, the british, who controlled indian education for 200 years, twisted the fact and made this in to a higher caste lower caste issue, which actually existed only in England.

There are many other unknown truths about caste system in india and definitely those who are in urban areas will never going to understand this.

For more details, please read extensive documentation done by a gandhian Dharampal, uncovering scientific past of india too..

His six volume books are available in the following website.

So, please understand that there are lot of hidden truths, and that the opinion that a typical indian is forming is a manipulated and artificial one..

Its time for you to understand india, in its true perpective and NOT from what you hear from English language media.

harini calamur said...

Hi Kanchan
hope that you have a relaxing Sunday.
To be a serious national contender the BJP has to be 'conservative' party. the 'c' being small rather than capitalised.

i think that while 'hindutva' can be its meta level philosophy, its focus on the ground should be the family unit - and how it can work towards empowering that unit.
the moment it puts the family at the core of its policies - it will move women to the centre stage.

Today's woman - even the stay at home woman - wants a better future for her family and children. Address those aspirations. education, safety, security, jobs, prices - in the context of 'family values' - which are civilisational values.

The second thing is look at a lot more women in public - talking for the party, who aren't the bimbette variety :) , who are representative of the electorate -smart yet rooted.

The third thing I would say is look at tomrrow. We all know that we had a great civilisation millenia ago. Tell the elecotrate how you are going to give us that greatness today and tomorrow. and, that is not by harping on bridges and temples, and giving away mobiles to BPL homes - it is food security, it is job security, it is education, it is taxes, it's real everyday things.

the last thing is that crack down -in the States that are governed by the BJP- on on people who break the law, even if they are members of the extended parivaar. Show that the rule of law is the most important thing, and if the exttreme elements - what ever be their religious/social/cultural/ affiliation - disturb peace, they will pay the price. That is Ramarajya - not the debate over structures, but the quality of life for citizens !!

Anonymous said...


Sekhar Gupta is a moron. Dont take his utterings seriously.

He unnecessarily obfuscates issues to camouflage his biases.

Like most pseudos, we is allergic to Hindu organizing. And has abused Modi no end. His observations on Modi were way off the mark. Modi's Hindutva governance has resulted in what is the greatest improvement in social and economic indicators any state has seen in History of independent India. It is nehruvian pinko hypocritical secularism which resulted in 2-3% economic growth and failure to enhance social parameters.

So dont take the long liars and intellectual pygmies like Shekhar Gupta.

Inquiring Mind said...

Please read the following gurumurthy's article on dharampal, when he died.

Kanchan Gupta said...

Arjun: I wouldn't give any credibility to the claim that Atal Bihari Vajpayee had/has a negative view of Narendra Modi and wanted to take the 'issue' (I presume you refer to the 2002 riots) to its 'logical conclusion' -- whatever that means. I have the timeline details of the riots which I will dig out and post here some day, if only to place on record facts that have been repeatedly controverted by the media, especially ELM (both papers and television), repeatedly to creat a contrarian impression.
Is Modi an asset or liability? He is undoubtedly an asset.He connects with young India. He is squeaky clean. He is ideologically firm. He has inexhaustible energy.
Then why didn't he pick up seats during the campaign? Ah well, that's another story. This was not a Modi election (much as many people had wished it were) but an Advani election. So that's the way the cookie crumbled.

Kanchan Gupta said...

Sirjee: Whoever you are, this comment of yours shall remain. See, there's no need to be nasty, is there?
Yes I drafted the Manifesto, as I drafted it on earlier occasions. Yes, I would have felt 'morally responsible' although I am not a part of either the formal structure or a courtier hanging on to the pajamas or dhoti of any leader or a member of any coterie or cabal, had the Manifesto been 'communicated' and used by the party. It was printed, released, and then suppressed to promote cockamamie 'Vision Documents' to project the leader. Alas, the voters were not convinced! The Manifesto, happily, had nothing to do with those bogus 'documents'. What to do, voters are like that only. Blame them for ignoring the 'vision' or the 'visionary' and his storm troopers. (:

Balaji Chitra Ganesan said...


You have made a valuable point on the Family unit. Shivraj Singh Chouhan for one seems to have realized this. He tells mothers in his state that he'll be the uncle to their daughters and ensure their well being.

Successful BJP state governments appear gender sensitive and have strong women leaders in their state.

Modi has his girl child education initiative, Anantiben is number 2.

Chouhan - ladli lakshmi and the uncle rhetoric. Sushma Swaraj, Sumitra Mahajan, Yashodhara and (earlier) Uma Bharati.

Yeddyurappa - Bhagyalakshmi yojana, Shoba Karandalje is number 2.

Compared that to states where BJP is dead and buried. UP, Delhi, Haryana. These state party units have remarkable male hegemony and take up issues that'll scare women away. Anita Arya couldn't even get a ticket this time!

Kanchan Gupta said...

Harini: I will be happy to debate points raised by you in your last post and previous posts. But first please have a look at these lengthy excerpt from the party Manifesto. No, they have nothing to do with 'Hindutva' or 'caste' or Pramod Muthalik. And yes, they are not as exciting to read as the anti-BJP propaganda put out by 24x7 channels and ELM. If you make the effort to read these excerpts, I am sure you will find some of your questions answered. The remaining, I shall answer in detail. K.

"Put in place a low tax, low interest regime so that people have more money and their purchasing power increases, which in turn will serve as an impetus for the economy.
Exempt income up to Rs 3 lakh from Income Tax. Women and senior citizens will receive an additional exemption benefit of Rs 50,000.
Income of all senior citizens by way of pension will be exempt from Income Tax.
To incentivise savings, all interest earned on bank deposits other than by corporates and those who have business income shall be exempt from tax.
Dispense with clubbing of agricultural income with other sources of income for determining tax liability on other income.
CST will be abolished and GST will be rationalised between 12 and 14 per; FBT will go. ESOPS and MAT tax regime will be rationalised and made equitable.
Firm action will be initiated to minimise the presence of black money in the national economy. We will take determined steps to bring back the money (estimated at Rs 25,00,000 crore and Rs 75,00,000 crore) illegally stashed in Swiss bank accounts and tax havens, and use it for infrastructure development, housing, health and social welfare schemes.
Arrest the loss of jobs and reverse the trend of joblessness which is far worse than unemployment by making massive public sector investments in job-generating infrastructure programmes, especially building of roads and highways, and linking of rivers."

"There are other key areas where the BJP will focus its attention to empower women..."

Read the rest here:

Anonymous said...

Harini, your prescription for BJP on targeting famiy is bang on. This is something they are doing, and can significantly improve.

I want to point two things.

You write "We ALL know that we had a great civilisation millenia ago. Tell the elecotrate how you are going to give us that greatness today and tomorrow".

You are probably a so called upper caste lady that is reasonably well read and has seen the world outside India at least to an extent.

Most do not know about our heritage - the pinko (congis) and reds (commies) have made a sincere attempt to obliterate any conscious pride on our heritage.

I also want to take issues with the semantics of the word OBC. It is condescending and in many ways offensive. I do not understand why we accept such pejorative terminology.

Arjun said...

Dear Kanchan,

Please do place whatever facts you have at your disposal regarding the riots. Even in the recent Brajesh Mishra interview with Shekhar Gupta, Mishra clubs Modi and Varun Gandhi together!!So did Vikram Chandra of NDTV when he was asking Swapan Dasgupta a question?! Swapan was of course offended. Knowing Swapan, you and others who support Modi, there is no way you all would back someone who knowingly supported any carnage. There seems to be an absence of facts in the public domain that is totally irksome so any light that you can shed on Modi's actions will be most helpful. He of course has my full support and vote come 2014.

Anonymous said...

Arjun - Simple google search can enlighten you. Find below assorted stories between Feb 27th 2002 and March 2nd.

But that is not the issue and to debate it endlessly is to play into the leftie progressive media's trap.

Issue is of legitimacy, credibility and moral high ground. Mr. Modi needs to focus on them perhaps by being a true Karma Yogi and renounce power as a first step to rebuilding the movement as a detached moral leader.

I had tweeted on this earlier as well most important to note that action-reaction comment was a a canard and wrongly attributed to Modi, it was Acharya Giriraj Kishore who said it that too before the riots.

According to a PTI report, Border Security Force personnel have already been deployed in the troubled cities of Gujarat. A total of 26 towns in the Gujarat state are now under curfew following violent clashes, arson and looting.

The government on Thursday dispatched around 1,000 paramilitary personnel to Gujarat and asked the army to be on standby to maintain law and order in the state,

The Army began flag marches in the worst-affected areas of Ahmedabad, Baroda, Rajkot and Godhra cities and the `shoot at sight' order was extended to all 34 curfew-bound cities and towns in Gujarat

VHP international vice-president Acharya Giriraj Kishore said.
Asked to elaborate, he said, "Do I have to say that for every action there is a reaction?

Bhavananda said...

Kanchan da, when you say on Modi - "Then why didn't he pick up seats during the campaign? Ah well, that's another story." -
Well, thats an important story too. Without any doubt, Modi is the tallest leader, for whom I've greatest support. But, for all his aura of great leadership, I think he needs to add a bit of humility in addition to between his display of strength. Plus, he needs to be a bit more populist - giving sops to diamond workers and free rice, electricity and so on. And, finally he needs to harp a bit more on ideology - he's all about development, which is good. But, over time it looks like he's forgetting ideology. If he wants to get out of Gujarat, he needs to build his rapport with the RSS guys.

Arjun said...

Offstumped: Thanks for your inputs. I do wonder though what the political future holds for Modi. I wonder what sort of damage the lefties have succeeded in doing to his image amongst the middle class of India to the extent that he might not be a viable candidate come 2014. Of course, if he decided to become the true karma Yogi that you have suggested, then this issue is irrelevant. I also agree that debating this issue with the lefties is a Cul De Sac. But the concept of cultural Nationalism and service to the nation as espoused by the founders of the RSS, you will surely agree, has tremendous value in the political arena as in other spheres of life. In that regard, Kanchan's statement on Modi is spot on in that Modi is ideology in action and in these gloomy times for us nationalists, that is a some succour. So what i would like to know from you, Kanchan and others is:

1. How much Damage has the leftie media succeeded in doing to Modi?
Is a image makeover required?

2. Can you, Kanchan and others speculate on how Modi can make himself a viable candidate for 2014.

3. What do you think his political appeal across the country is?

4. Finally, what can we do to aid this process?


Anonymous said...

Sirjee..I take ur repartee in good spirit :)

We all worked with good intentions, I am sure. I was offended by you going on too much abt Kulkarni. He is damn good soul and means very well both for our party and country. Hope you two will patch up and work together in the future.

Anonymous said...

Arjun - As I have said on Twitter this whole debate on specific names and a focus on 2014 is misplaced and counterproductive.

The focus must be on rebuilding the movement to regain the trust of the people. Electoral dividends will follow after that.

Makeovers are the absolute wrong thing, they will always be percieved as cosmetic.

As you have rightly said it is time for Ideology in Action at the people's doorstep with credible moral detachment from fruits of power.

Rest is destiny's will.

BJP_supporter said...

To comments on Modi renouncing power - he is the democratically elected Chief Minister of Gujarat. The people there elected him knowing him to be the candidate for Chief Minister. He should continue in that office as long as he is eligible to do so. If he wishes to move on to any thing larger, that will be his decision.

There was another opinion that there need not be debate on specific names. An organization needs a leader and the present confusion can not continue. But focussing on 2014 is meaningless. There are more urgent things to be done.

Anonymous said...

Looking back, the former RSS chief was absolutely right in demanding that older leaders, specifically Vajpayeeji and Advaniji, should step aside. He said this in an interview in April 10, 2005. Link

Advaniji's trip to pakistan and the timing of it - Musharraf had visited India only during April 15-18 2005. Advaniji had a standing invitation since october 2004, and he went there in May 31 2005. A need for an official visit by leader of opposition so soon after Musharraf's visit to India is not clear. The rest is history.

The party did not take the right direction, was led in a totally unnecessary discovery of Jinnah's secularism. This time could have been used to bring in leadership changes and preparing the party for the future.

Was that all a deliberate attempt to side step the crucial leadership issue that was raised in April 2005?

The 2009 election approach of the BJP had no margin for any error - there was no Plan B. Going to an election with a 83 year old leader and having no clear succession plan. The fallout of that is what we are seeing now.

The RSS has been blamed for interference and worse. But with this April 2005 interview, the RSS chief proves that he was right on the most crucial question, and he had read the importance of age in 2009 elections spot on.

As an outsider with no direct knowledge of either the RSS or the BJP, as one who has seen a lot of criticism of RSS Interference etc floated thru the media, I now tend to think RSS needs to step in more.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - You have confused the import of both points :) the reference in both was to "next prime ministerial candidate".

Balaji Chitra Ganesan said...

trying to defend Modi on Gujarat riots is shameful.

Even for the sake of argument, if we assume that Modi did try his best to stop the massacres [which we all know isn't true], what prevented him from punishing the perpetrators?

Even few years after those massacres, he did nothing when Sohrabuddin's wife was burnt alive. Worse he even used it to win 2007 election when he could have easily played the development card.

That Modi is a mass murderer is beyond question. However I'm willing to believe that he realizes the blood on his own hands. Or he atleast acts in that fashion.

His distancing from the Sangh, his fearfulness to talk about the riots and his perceived victimhood at the hands of the liberal media, his emphasis on good governance may well be the actions of a reformed man who wants to pay back or the excellent acting of a 2-paisa politician who wants the Delhi gaddi. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Balaji - Media myths and urban legends dont make for sound debate.

There has been more justice delivered on Gujarat 2002 than on 1984 and Bhagalpur put together.

That however does not mean the job is done.

Any claim to moral leadership to remake the movement will have to begin with this question of Justice delivery.

Balaji Chitra Ganesan said...

huh, gimme a break. More justice has been done in Gujarat becos of Teesta Setlvad, Harish Salve, Supreme court, Sreekumar and more importantly CNN-IBN, NDTV and Tehelka.

Balaji Chitra Ganesan said...

and how funny people quote Bhagalpur and Mumbai to counter Gujarat. it was the Sangh which committed half the murders in those riots too.

congress should be punished for 1984. and by that yardstick Sangh should be punished thrice as severe.

Anonymous said...

Balaji the paradox as usual conducts debate with generalizations and oversimplifications.

As I have said before, "any claims by anyone" to moral leadership of the movement must begin with addressing the question of "Justice Delivery" unambiguosly head-on.

Unless of course Shri Balaji is purporting that Teesta Setalvaad and Harish Salve claim moral leadership to the movement, in which scenario I rest my case, Shri Balaji wins the debate.

Balaji Chitra Ganesan said...

Balaji the paradox?

hmm, this has been the problem, aint it? simply becos I support the BJP, you expect me to support the rabid hindu fundamentalism of the Sangh.

and if you think by using verbal gimmickry ("moral leadership", huh?), you can spin inhuman hindutva traits into western conservatism, then good luck with that.

this intellectual dishonesty among Sangh supporters is very tiring. why do guys need the BJP mukhota to hide your religious fanaticism? and why do you also want to use and besmirch well meaning voters who choose to vote for BJP because other parties are far worse.

i vote for BJP becos conservatism, humanism and to some extent nationalism sound good to me. On the contrary, the barbarism of the Hindutva crowd, Brahmanism of the RSS, socialism of the congress scare me. Communism is not practical anywhere and what CPM pedals is not Communism anyway.

So I can lump Sangh with people like Atalji, Sushma etc, remain cynical and not vote at all or I can try to make the best out of the situation. thats what I'm doing.

Anonymous said...

Balaji - Forget the debate at hand, having listened to you over the years I can only say you need to reflect on your extreme mood swings and idiosyncratic application of labels.

You can make yourself heard and appreciated without the need for either.

Take this as a personal note, keep them coming for of all the internet bravehearts you are one amongst a few who has walked the talk and I will always respect that.

Dhruv said...

@Balaji wrote
"That Modi is a mass murderer is beyond question"

@Balaji, if you call yourself a BJP supporter, then god help BJP.

How have you come out with such a silly conclusion?

Whom do you believe in democracy? I guess the courts ... Has he been indicted by the courts yet ?

Or you have also fallen for the ELM propaganda, the stupid Indian media who is a musibeet for Indians everywhere.
Whether it is reporting about the Australian racial incidents or reporting about the Indian cricket team … Everywhere the Indian media spread negative energy. Have you seen how Modi has handled the Australian issue and how our reckless , TRP hungry media is handling it? Can you see the difference between a leader and the media jokers? One is trying to find a solution by meeting the Australian High Commissioner, the other keep on creating bad blood for the Aussies in India and Indians in Australia? Will overplaying such issue in the media help the students or the NRI s settled in Australia? Have they ever asked the NRIs in Australia who are settled there for ages and have family and friend in Australia as to whether they find this bhadkao reporting helpful?
This incident definitely needed to be reported as it was an important incident, but in a matured, balanced and constructive way …

The point is don’t trust every word of what the cunning media reports.

Wait for the courts before jumping on to wrong conclusions on a living legend called Modi. India never had, possibly will never have again such a leader.... whether Atalji, Advani, Nehru, Gandhi or whoever you would like to compare him with..

Modi is India's only hope, and as a BJP supporter if you cannot wait for the courts decision before labelling him as a mass murderer, time you stop pretending to be a BJP supporter ... Freedom of speech is good, but if you are not consistent in what you write it is a disservice to the very party and the people you are trying to help.

harini calamur said...

@right angle
thank you for referring me back to Dharampal.

did you know that the major publisher for this work is claude alvares of the 'other india bookshop' - his imprint also has many other gems - do check them out when you have the time

i came across Dharampal's works about a decade ago, when i first read it.

i am currently re-reading it from the point of making a series of documentaries around it - on the 'wonder that was india". I especially liked the bits on education, independence and local self govt. , and science - we seem to think that all of those were gifts from the west !!

if you know of any funding agencies - do let me know :)
i am serious !!

@kanchan - will try and read the policy documents over this weekend - the week looks crazy !!

Inquiring Mind said...


Pls dont play the double game of calling yourself as BJP supporter, and at the same time mocking at it every moment..

The case of Modi is at the court, and the court had not given any verdict.. Its completely unfair of you to spit venom on him..

Very recently, the SIT has found teesta stalvald of forging the documents, and misleading and manipulating the victims.. the SIT found that the victims never know what there was in affidavit, and they have denied what was produced in the court..

You are accusing Modi, as though all other perpetuators in India had been brought to justice, and its only MODI who did not take any action..

Godhra was a communal riot, started by train carnage..
Why is there complete silence on train carnage, and the secular talibans of Lalu prasad had went to the extent that the kar sevaks burned themselves..

The secular fundamentalism and the secular extremism has been the most dangerous thing that india faces..

Balaji Chitra Ganesan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Balaji Chitra Ganesan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inquiring Mind said...

Mr. Balaji,

You have exposed who you are, and your hypocrisy by your one statement..

You are saying because the kar sevaks, misbehaved, the muslims burnt them alive,

So according to your views, if any one mis-behaves, they can be burnt alive..

You are proving my earlier stance, that secular talibans are the dangerous creatures for india..

Anonymous said...

"BJP after its defeat: Hand-wringing is not introspection:"

"BJP president Rajnath Singh at least has had the courage to state publicly that there were "certain flaws in the working and decisions of our party". Other notables have merely said, "The mandate is for us to sit in the Opposition... we will behave like a responsible Opposition." We would have been in the dark without such profound observations."

For once i agree with Kanchan's praise for Rajnath. Yes Rajnath was right when he mentioned there were few flaws, the most important ones among them were (a) having a president like Rajnath (who wants to survive by divide and rule theory) (b) having senior leaders like MM Joshi (In the last five years has been trying to undermine Advani to become the PM candidate & now wants to be the leader of opposition).

Kanchan and Swapan (who rarely agree)have for once agreed and now profess that Hindutva & RSS provide the moral support for the BJP and hence should work together. But RSS & Bengali writers should also appreciate the fact that RSS should dump garbage like Rajnath into the party. What has been Rajnath achievement in the party?. Apart from creating factionalism, he has been bring people like Sudhanshu Mittal and Neera Yadav into the party fold.

Its high time RSS backs people with probity like Arun Jaitley for the post of party president.

Kanchan Gupta said...

Balaji: I would request you to self-moderate your choice of words. And I am sure you will do so. Debate, no matter how intense, should not become vitriolic. That way lies the path to an endless slanging match. Please do not tread that path.

Kanchan Gupta said...

Anonymous: Your incapacity to understand English is a limitation I cannot deal with. But let me try and explain this to you all over again, in simple and precise terms:
Any further messages that reflect your obsessive compulsive disorder will be removed. Free speech does not mean scurrilous speech. If that upsets you, so be it.

Kanchan Gupta said...

Harini: Just to make it easier for you, here is excerpt on what BJP has to offer Muslims:
Capital assistance in new educational projects, both for basic and technical education, in low-income minority areas. Each project will be vetted for viability by a team of professionals within a maximum of six months.
Cash incentives for the education of the girl child, based on attendance and performance. Incentives will rise for those girls who get admission into recognised colleges for higher education.
Computer centres will be set up in low income urban areas and the most backward districts of the country.
The Ministry of Minority Affairs, today a stagnant source of toxic politics, will be revitalised into a hub for economic projects specifically targeted towards employment creation. There will be special emphasis on crafts and small-scale industries that have been traditional employers of minorities. The neglect of the Congress-led UPA Government was evident in the fact that even monies allotted for minority welfare programmes in States like Maharashtra were largely, if not wholly, unspent.
Youth are the owners of the future, and it is our duty to make them a dynamic social and economic engine for upliftment. The young do not live only in cities. In districts like Murshidabad in Bengal, young girls are being forced by poverty into making bidis on pathetic wages. Dynamic intervention is needed to improve income levels where such jobs exist and to create fresh avenues of employment where they do not. The unfortunate phase of confused loyalties in some minority sections is over. Generations have been born in free India who are as committed to the nation as the nation is committed to them. The success stories of Muslims in sports, cinema, industry and a host of other fields, as individuals and team players, makes every Indian proud.
Terrorism does not have a religion. Those who espouse terrorism have stepped outside the moral code of their religion into barbarism. We must lift community-relations from the morass of misunderstanding.
A vibrant, modern India can have no place for either the perpetrators or the exploiters of fear.

Kanchan Gupta said...

Harini: Here's BJP on women:
Introduce the Ladli Lakshmi Scheme, which has been a big success in Madhya Pradesh, at the national level to encourage girls to attend school up to at least pre-college level. Under this scheme, each girl child from disadvantaged families will receive Rs 2,000 on reaching Class 6; Rs 4,000 in Class 9; Rs 7,500 in Class 11; and, Rs 1,10,000 on completing 21 years of age. From Class 6 onwards, she will get a stipend of Rs 2,400 per year till such time she remains in school.
2. Adopt the Bhamashah Vitteeya Sashaktikaran Evam Naari Samriddhi Yojana, conceived by the erstwhile BJP Government in Rajasthan, to financially empower women from Below Poverty Line, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes families and those of small and marginal farmers. Under this scheme, bank accounts will be opened for the beneficiary women and they alone will be able to operate the accounts through specially designed smart cards. An initial deposit of Rs 1,500 will be made in the bank accounts. The scheme also envisages job creation through opening of banks in remote areas and counsellors to help the beneficiaries to manage their accounts.
A national programme will be launched, in cooperation with State Governments, to provide bicycles to girls from Below Poverty Line Families who attend school.
Review and revamp women’s participation in local self-governance, especially panchayati raj bodies.
Adopt a National Policy on Women’s Economic Empowerment to ensure every woman has access to livelihood and enhance the income of all categories of working women. Gender discrimination in wages, whether in organised or unorganised sector, will be eliminated.
Remove all remaining gender disparities in property rights, marital rights and cohabitation rights.
Support for programmes like ‘Swavalamban’ and ‘STEP’ (Support to Training and Employment Programme), which promote self-employment and entrepreneurship for women through self-help groups, will be greatly enhanced. Technical and management services for those engaged in handicrafts, food-processing, handloom, garments, etc, will be strengthened. Added focus will be provided for implementing these programmes in the North-East, Jammu & Kashmir, and areas affected by Maoism.
Enterprises promoted by women, or employing a large number of women, will be given ‘fast track’ facilitation. They will get loans at preferential rates of interest.
Laws to check female foeticide, dowry, child marriage, trafficking, rape and family violence will be reviewed, strengthened and strictly enforced. The CrPC will be amended to ensure the rights of victims of rape are not diminished and the guilty are not able to tamper with evidence or escape the law of the land. A special programme will be launched, in cooperation with State Governments, to ensure full security for women.
Programmes aimed at helping indigent women and women in distress will be strengthened with the cooperation of State Governments.
Every effort will be made to expand and improve upon the existing network of working women’s hostels.
The current extremely low salaries of Anganwadi workers and helpers, who are the backbone of the Integrated Child Development Scheme, will be doubled.

Balaji Chitra Ganesan said...


yes. I do have strong views on some issues. anyway I have deleted couple of my comments above, lest it derails the debate here.

Anonymous said...

Sirjee..dude..that was a different Anonymous. :)

But the other guy, got info! Gotta accept

Inquiring Mind said...


There are some efforts going on to translate dharampal books in tamil, for which funding is badly needed.. It seems, a co-ordinated effort is required towards this fund raising objective..

Mulayam Singh said...


Please give yourself a name. Kindly use Name/URL option.

That will make life easy for the rest of us. THANK YOU!

BJP_supporter said...

Right Angle, I would like to contribute to the efforts at translating such works in Tamil. Please let me know if there is a project page with details for contribution.

Inquiring Mind said...

BJP Supporter,

Thanks for your interest in dharampal books..

Please fill out the following form, and we will contact you.

Inquiring Mind said...

The above link seems to be not working..

Please click here to access the form..
Fill Out this form

Bharath Subramanyam said...

Harini: Regarding funding for documentry on Dharampal's work, please email me at :
bharath.subramanyam AT gmail

Would like to discuss this offline.

Arjun said...

Dear Kanchan,

The reason why we are having this debate is because there is an ideological and strategic divide in the BJP as well as amongst its followers as obvious from the reasonably thought out comments in your blog. It seems to me that after Vajpayee, the BJP has not found anyone who could bridge this divide through leadership and stature. In that sense, Advani has been a failure irrespective of his poor attempts at filling the Vajpayee void. So at this juncture, the BJP must ponder over who can fill the vajpayee void. The type of BJP that emerges in the future will be a function of the leader it selects. The reality is that it was Vajpayee that took the BJP from low 100s to 180+. Is this a point that should be considered Vis-a-Vis Modi? Do you think Modi can take the BJP back to the 180+ zone? Offstumped is suggesting ideological cleansing followed by grass roots ideology in action. I fully agree with him but I want this process well managed. After all, the BJP did do a lot of things right over the last two decades and hopefully can pick p the threads as it reinvents itself.

maverick said...


What according to you should be the top ten priorities (of the people incharge) to save the institution BJP?

It would be great to understand your perspective. The ideas could be by placing you in the shoes of the party president. "If I were the party president?......."

Inquiring Mind said...


I found the following vande mataram song in youtube..

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...


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