I thought I will pass and not write about the first “dialogues” event that “The Wire” held in Delhi on July the 4th, 2018. Yes, Krishnan and I paid money to hear about the fault lines that Ram Guha has supposedly discovered and he shared them with some prodding from the perpetually-sneering Karan Thapar. Kabir had found out about this event and he came along as well.
What a gathering of self-proclaimed intellectuals with impeccable English it was.. momentarily I thought I was in London. I missed Dr. Shashi Tharoor, who am sure would have found some grammatical fault lines in the rather “desi” English that the self-proclaimed historian ($%&@*) Ram Guha used. Karan Thapar spoke flawlessly in my limited understanding of the language. I dared not to speak a word in plebeian Hindi lest I prove my humble origins and my low brow Kendriya Vidyalaya schooling.
Anyway, whatever be my humble origins, courtesy the past twenty years that have been spent in the Lutyens Kingdom (as distinct from the country India), I do possess enough confidence and the right attire to take anyone on. I wore the Durbarpet cotton sari from Chinnalampatti, so I could wax eloquently about the poor weavers of our country in the same sentence where I gushed about King George V’s visit to his colony India, in 1911 and the creation of this particular border by Nalli’s as a gift to the monarch. And yes, I wore plain flat shoes from Skechers to complete the picture. Kabir was offended that I, his step-sister, forgot to wear my diamond ring… well, it didn’t fit the occasion nor my fat finger. Humph !!
Why am I writing this blog now ? Well The Wire inspired me, with this sick tweet a couple of days back –
The Wire is worried about not enough SC/ST players in the cricket team and they are supposed to be taken as an independent news agency/news shop/e-magazine, whatever… Sure.
Let me first tell you about what got discussed in the “Dialogues” – Mr. Guha stuttered right through and to give the devil (Karan Thapar) his due, he called Mr. Guha “eloquent” without smirking, smiling or sneering. Kudos. He must be a good poker player. Mr. Guha called out three fault lines that run through our great country – Modi, Narendra Modi and Narendra Damordas Modi. Everything that is wrong in our country today is because either Mr. Modi did something or as the self-confessed non-economist Mr. Guha said, “Mr. Modi has done nothing”. The World Bank felt generous one day and decided to move India’s position by 30 places to the 100th spot in its “ease of doing business” index. Just like that. Its the World Bank for God’s sake, they can do as they please, statistics be damned. Its also by the grace of Nehru’s spirit that 5 Crore poor women got free gas connections under the Ujjwala scheme, no thanks to Mr. Narendra Modi. That the rich gave up their subsidy to enable this probably hurt Karan’s fine sensibilities because you see, he goes to London during New Year’s just to start the year in a civilised country. India is so uncivilised for his taste.
And that silly Jan-Dhan yojana, ohhhh, they opened a few bank accounts because Mr. Karan Thapar’s distant relative Mrs. Gandhi nationalised all the banks. No one can really understand the brouhaha over this silly statistic and what does the Guinness Book of World records have to do with that ?
What??? 318 million bank accounts opened till date? And they transfer every penny of the state-given subsidies directly to the poor? Hey, Mr. Guha is not an economist. He won’t get it. Mr. Varadarajan who started The Wire and his wife feel the heat – they understand that these accounts spell “death” for their movement – both are deeply committed to keeping the tribals and the poor, tribal and poor. Any movement out of poverty and their business will be wound up. No wonder Mr. Varadarajan had to start The Wire in 2015 to peddle fake news and to constantly try and create new fault lines in the social fabric of India. Thanks to Vivek Agnihotri’s book “Urban Naxals”, my understanding of this cabal of anti-nationals is stronger and I am able to recognise these urban naxals.
Guess what, The Wire has been given a grant by this foundation called “Independent and Public-spirited Media Foundation” which also has been setup in 2015, like The Wire. One of IPSMF’s trustee is Mr. Guha and some of the folks who have donated to them include Mr. Aamir Khan (who feels uncomfortable living in India, but can earn money here) and Ms. Kiran Majumdar Shaw who didn’t have the gumption to speak out against Dr. Pachauri of TERI and stepped down as soon as the sexual harassment case came up against him. Pachauri continues to cool his heels and other parts of his body in the relative comfort of his home. Sexual harassment be damned. The IPSMF has also given grants to other e-magazines that may be termed more right-wing politically, so it seems to be playing it safe. Waiting to see how this foundation develops because some very moneyed and powerful people seem to be its donors. With the Modi government clamping down on FCRA and foreign funding of NGOs, the gravy train that fed the naxals has dried up.
This tweet about SC/ST players in the cricket team is a dead giveaway of The Wire’s intentions – foment trouble, create new fault lines, breakup the country – all to ensure Mr. Modi doesn’t win in 2019. There is no substance to their resistance except that Mr. Modi is trying to bring development to the poorest of the poor, who are the cannon fodder for the Naxal movement. Am sure Mr. Varadarajan and his wife would have downed a bottle of expensive liquor when they read the following news –
As Extreme Poverty ends, Extremism based on Poverty will also end. Down another bottle Mr. Varadarajan and wire your filthy anti-national mind shut too… Can you refund the money we paid that day ? We didn’t get to hear about any fault line. It was just Modi-bashing which we don’t have to pay for – its free, on social media and elsewhere.
What a waste of time … and we went with an open mind. I have never understood what left and right means politically or who are termed liberals and conservatives. All that I am concerned with is the development of my country that is inclusive and fair to all sections of the society. The Wire doesn’t share that thought, so am plugging out. I was also glad to see the average age in the room was around 50 …the young Indians probably understand these things better. But some like the young slam poet who shared her anti-government poem with the audience seem to be veering the other way. Just hoping they grow up with an open mind as its too early to form their ideology either way.