Thursday, July 25, 2013

A most suitable boy? Not Narendra Modi!

After a month of two, and sometimes even three, posts a day, yesterday I blogged only one.  Partly because I couldn't care. Partly because I know well that the cosmos couldn't care.

It is not as if the blog readers care either--there is no pile of emails inquiring whether I am alive.  Heck, not even one!

It is not that there was nothing to write about.

A couple of days ago, I composed an email to a friend.  It was related to Narendra Modi. (I am confident that by now the occasional truly American reader has moved away from my blog, and has been replaced by a bottom-feeding Modi troll!)  The last few days have had so much news about Modi that, to some extent, I am happy that I am not in India--else, I will be so consumed by the news!

The Kanchi Shankaracharya apparently supports Modi.  WTF!
Narendra Modi is a man of great qualities. Considering that everyone else in the system is bad and dirty, Modi is a suitable candidate, and he has my blessings. ...
Everything should be done in a dharmik manner. Trying to get Muslim and Christian votes in the name of secularism is wrong. Everyone should believe in their faith and work together to get God's blessings.
A man of great qualities?  Is this like when Bush remarked that he looked deep inside Putin's soul and found that Putin is a good man?  Is it like when Chamberlain returned to London assured that Hitler was for peace?  And when did the Shankaracharya become a political pundit?  Oh, I forgot--it is a long-standing tradition for the Kanchi religious leader to make political statements.  Give him a television channel and he can be India's Pat Robertson.

Even more disappointing it was to read that Jagdish Bhagwati supports Modi. You too, Bhagwati?  After writing so much that philosophically aligns you with libertarians, you are so keen on trading-off that philosophy in favor of a dirty politician because he is more pro-economic growth than the rest?  Growth and trade matter to you more than anything else?  Have you become senile, Professor Bhagwati?  Or, have you become so bitter that you haven't been awarded the Nobel that you have started tossing grenades in every direction?

I agree with Bhagwati's arguments that we need a better understanding of the "Kerala model" that has been lavishly praised in the economic development literature.  That state is a money-order economy, and not a self-sustaining one. Keralites flee the state and are to be found anywhere and everywhere on the planet because nothing has been going on there other than strikes and protests.  But, therefore, support Modi?  WTF!

The other Indian economist whom Bhagwati often targets, Sen--who immensely admires the "Kerala model"--has also wandered into this Modi issue.  In the first place, I was confused with Sen's comment that began with "as an Indian citizen ..."  Really?  Sen is an Indan citizen?  Even if so on paper, how much an Indian citizen is he after a life that has been spent outside India?  Maybe he is one of those "overseas citizens of India," who do not have any voting rights?

Bhagwati and Sen are, to some extent, offering the academic arguments on the possible economic policies of a Modi government versus whoever-it-will-be. It is one of those long-running debates in economic development.  I am betting that Ramesh, with his preference for the China-model of development, will side with Bhagwati.  That academic discussion is one thing, but a support for Modi is completely different.  But, I suppose it is not unrealistic to match the academic arguments with the ideas espoused by politicians and, therefore, Bhagwati overlooks Modi's horrible communal track record.

Meanwhile, Modi's supporters have been busy lobbying the US government to reverse its stand and allow Modi to visit the US.  Yes, the same US government that has killed plenty of people all around the planet, however innocent they might have been, has ruled for a few years now that Modi is a worse killer.  All because the US is the richest and most powerful country on the planet, and Gujarat is not.  No wonder that Modi wants to rapidly grow the economy--you can make your own rules when you are rich.

The rest of us can merely blog about all these. And nobody cares about what this blogger has to say because he is neither rich nor powerful. As a friend often--annoyingly often--used to say back in Bakersfield, "money talks, and bullshit walks!"

That reminds me--time for me to go for my walk! Especially to walk off the wonderful eggplant dish that I made and over-ate last night ;)


Ramesh said...

Are you alive ?
Are you alive?
Are you alive?
Are you alive ?

See; you now have four enquiries :)

And I care about what you blog. (not what you Tweet or "Facebook" !!!)

Because, my friend, you have something unique to say and you say it well.

And lots of people have the same opinion as me. Like the guy who emailed you yesterday.

Sriram Khé said...



Thanks, Ramesh.

BTW, will do a post later on how the Modi maniacs automatically re-tweeted my post, without bothering to read through and find out that I was critiquing Modi. The internet doesn't have very many smart people, it seems like ... muahahaha

Shachi said...

so what is the issue against Modi :)? Is all the rage about Godhra?

Sriram Khé said...

Godhra is the biggest issue re. his US visa, yes.

the overall worries about Modi are triggered by his continuing communal rhetoric ...

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