No mountain is too high for Swamy

Why did Subramanian Swamy go all the way for the Mansarovar Yatra?

True, this is not the first time he has gone on this trip. In fact as he tweeted he had inaugurated the first yatra 35 years ago. But this time he had a point to prove. Supporters of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who has been under attack from the wily Harvard professor have been saying, quietly of course, that Swamy cannot become a Minister in the expected cabinet reshuffle as he is already 75. This they say is actually the cut-off date to become margdarshaks in the BJP.

This is what the seniors in the BJP, more precisely L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were told when Modi was chosen to lead the charge in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

But Swamy and his legion supporters on social media have been telling everyone that there is nothing like that in the BJP Constitution. In a no holds barred attack on Jaitley, one of his tweets says Advani at 88 is much fitter than Arun Jaitley at 66 who cannot even deliver his budget speech standing.

So the war we had predicted is now in the open. When Subramanian Swamy had been nominated to the Rajya Sabha this columnist had reported that his main target would be Jaitley.

He started by attacking Sonia Gandhi and A K Antony on the Agusta helicopter files but he also alleged that Jaitley was a Congress ‘bug’ and was not taking the initiative to arrest the Congress party president.

Swamy then hit out at the RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan (R 3) who is waiting for approval for a second three year term. Jaitley kept his silence initially but when asked about Rajan in one of his rare trips abroad he said that it was not fair to comment on these issues publicly.

This remains a developing story…...

Why is the foreign media sacrosanct?

Which brings us to a very clear case of discrimination ‘Teri Kakeez Teri Kameez se Saphed Kyon’ between the way the Modi Government deals with the media at home and abroad.

When the beef controversy sparked by the Dadri incident was at its peak last year with many of the literary stalwarts returning their awards to protest against the growing cult of intolerance the PM was silent. there was not a word from our very voluble Prime Minister whose Bhakts keep referring to his predecessor Manmohan Singh as ‘Mauni Baba’ for not reacting publicly to important issues.

Incidentally those who are now charging the intellectuals with taking sides would do well to remember that President Pranab Mukherjee had also voiced his anguish about the growing tendency to give a communal flavor to every incident and advocated sanity and preservation of the diversity of the country’s culture. And he must have said this at least three times if one remembers correctly.

However on his own Modi maintained his silence on this issue and no one from the media dared ask him about it. But he could not control the media in London where he was asked about the intolerance debate on the day he landed there. A smiling Modi told the media that things were perfectly normal in India and asked them not to trust everything that was published in the newspapers!

Following suit Jaitley who has refused to respond to Swamy-isms in India on the RBI Governor broke his silence on this issue abroad. The media here also knows its limits and those who do not are told to behave by the PIB Director General Frank Noronha who conducts the official press conferences.

It’s time really for the Prime Minister and his Ministers to become swadeshi in there approach to the media here as well. We wait for the first press conference.

Celebration or punishment?

Has the Modi government really performed as miraculously in two years as its websites and press conferences are making out?

The telecast of Modi’s programme at India Gate where of course the crowds were missing was the high-light of its celebrations telling the world that it has out-performed the UPA II in every field and it touted figures and statistics to prove that they were authentic and transparent.

It was a coincidence that the election results in five states gave the BJP much to celebrate as it had uprooted a Congress Government in Assam and the UPF in Kerala.

But ministers in the Modi cabinet are wondering if Modi really believes they have delivered or are they being punished for their inefficiency.

The reason for this is that on May 26 when the NDA completed two years all his ministers have been asked to tour the country and each minister has to hold at least 200 meetings in two weeks all across the country.

Some senior ministers reported sick but this is not an excuse that will hold.

What a celebration Sir jee!

Standing ovation to Anurag Kashyap

For the first time a filmmaker has shown politicians their place.

In a country where nothing seems to move without the intervention of politicians or so we are made to believe it’s very brave of Anurag Kashyap the producer of ‘Udta Punjab’ to tell the BJP, Congress and Aam Aadmi Party to let him fight his own fight with the Censor Board.

The controversy regarding the title of the film which deals with the problem of rising cases of drug abuse in Punjab seems more due to the Punjab assembly elections due next year than any real concern for the pride of Punjab.

The ruling Akalis have protested that the film denigrates the good name of Punjab. It alliance partner the BJP has not openly intervened but its caged parrot Pahlaj Nihalani Chief of Censor Board has concurred and proposes to drop Punjab from the title.

The Congress says the problem cannot be ignored by pretending that it did not exist. In the elections in Punjab Rahul Gandhi had become a butt of jokes for saying that a very high percentage of youths were drug addicts. He lost the elections but he was proven right.