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Would Sardar Patel have dealt Kashmir situation better than Nehru?

Well, I think popular answer to this question is resounding YES! That's what most of the kids (or should we say most of the Hindu kinds!) hear from their relatives, how Nehru blundered in Kashmir and how Sardar was someone who could have done better. And hence what PM Modi said in Parliament today (7-2-2018) about Sardar Patel and Kashmir might not even worth noticing, because that's what most of us have implicitly agreed upon. 
But that's half truth, as correctly remarked by Tharoor. Yes, Nehru committed the blunder by taking the question to UN. But Kashmir wouldn't have moved to India if it wouldn't have been for Kashmir. For detailed analysis, please read M.J. Akbar's 'Kashmir"Behind the Vale'. Yea, M.J. Akbar, who is in BJP and Minister of State for External Affairs, you read it correctly. Akbar builds up considerable evidence to show that Patel most likely had written off Kashmir. And Patel was simply being consistent. He most likely had though…

Naxalites in Bhima-Koregaon aftermath?

Analysts sympathetic to RSS have expressed their suspicion about involvement of Maoist extremists in the Bhima-Koregaon agitation. This suspicion was based on strategic use of violence that was evident in the whole period from Elgar Parishad in Pune to 3rd January 2018's Maharashtra Bandh. Dalits in Maharashtra, even when intellectually more awoken than Dalits elsewhere were not known to exhibit their political nuisance value in such organized manner. So the observed sense of timing, sudden agitations on 2nd January and agitators appearing at unexpected locations like Thane or western suburbs contrary to the expectation of Eastern Mumbai an epicentre, have made analyst hypothesize the presence of naxalites.               The suspicion has turned more solid as ATS has caught some alleged maoists involved in Bhima-Koregaon violence. (News here) Regional newspapers have not revealed the name of anyone, but ToI news has the name of leader.            Naxalites is the worst…

What's happening in Supreme court?

Like most of us, I am puzzled by the press conference of 4 supreme court judges. Based on the excerpts of the letter published in the newspapers, I am trying to make some observations. 

1. I think apart from some naive believers in democratic institutions, most of us with practical angle to things around us to not assume that judiciary is actually independent of ruling majority. Independence of Judiciary is much more than let's say RBI, but it is delimited by executive, which is based on majority will. A strong leader, who command his ministers, party and public opinion and with agenda of her/his own is likely to interact closely with judiciary. The interaction will have multiple shades: influence, suggestion and interference. Like many of us, I believe that political leadership exerts influence on all institutions of democracy and judiciary is no exception to it. At the same time, judiciary is one institution which has some overlap with executive function of government. This makes…

Shock and Awe: Emerging current of Dalit Anger

There is a ripple of life among Dalit activists whom I observe on social media after the Gujarat election result. The win by Jignesh Mewani have breathed a new hope into political aspirations of these activists. Then in two weeks, Jignesh Mewani was asked to speak at an event organized at Shaniwarwada, Pune to commemorate the Bhima-Koregaon. The choice of Shaniwarwada and city of Pune itself signals a strategic acumen. Pune district is Maratha stronghold while Pune city, is associated with Peshwa, who were prime minister and de facto decision makers of Maratha empire. Peshwa period is part of historical narrative which Hindu right groups like to boast about, going to length of painting defeat at Panipat as moral victory.  Even more surprising was apparent unanimity of different Dalit and other organizations in using Jignesh Mewani as a face of whole event. The popular perception of Dalit politics is of leaders who are pawned by dominant political parties as per need, by using various…

भीमा-कोरेगाव २ जानेवारी २०१८ आणि पुढचे राजकारण: काही मांडणी

१ जानेवारी संध्याकाळपासून भीमा-कोरेगाव येथील कार्यक्रमात काही हिंसक घटना घडल्याचे सोशल मिडीयावरून कळत होते. मग वृत्तपत्रांच्या वेबसाईटसवर थोड्याफार बातम्या येऊ लागल्या. आणि मग २ जानेवारीला ऑफिसात असताना मुंबईतही ट्रेन आणि रास्ता रोको झाल्याचं कळलं. २ जानेवारीला संध्याकाळी बाळासाहेब आंबेडकर ह्यांनी ३ जानेवारी २०१८ला महाराष्ट्र बंदचे आवाहन केले आहे.
भाजपाविरोधाच्या राजकारणात, २०१९ च्या निवडणुकांच्या आधी भाजपाला कोंडीत पाडण्याची रणनीती चालू आहे त्यात हा बंद महत्वाचा असणार आहे. शिवसेना, भाजप किंवा कॉंग्रेस ह्या पक्षांपेक्षा मुंबईतील दलित राजकीय संघटन संख्येने आणि क्षमतेने दुबळे आहे असाच समज आहे. अर्थात घाटकोपर येथील रमाबाई नगर हत्याकांड, खैरलांजी हत्याकांड ह्यानंतर मुंबईत दलित संघटनांनी आवाज उठवलेला होता. कल्याण-उल्हासनगर येथे डेक्कन क्वीन ट्रेन पेटवायची घटनाही घडलेली आहे. पण दलित संघटनांचे मुंबईत उपद्रवमूल्य नाही हाच सार्वत्रिक समज आहे.
३ जानेवारी २०१८ चा बंद ह्या समजाची तपासणी आहे.
२ तारखेला झालेल्या ट्रेन, रास्ता रोकोने पोलीस आणि प्रशासन यंत्रणेला बेसावध अवस्थेत पकडलं असंच म्हणावं लाग…

Game of spies: Kulbhushan Jadhav situation

One way to model it:- 
India and Pakistan actually agreed to detailed security checks for the meeting, but India never made it public (strategic as it could have been politically uncomfortable and would have made future outcry impossible)
Why security checks? 
Most likely Kulbushan Jadhav is a spy. But noway India can agree to this fact. Since meeting is the only possible contact, India would try to communicate with Jadhav, in whatever manner possible. Pakistan knows it and India knows that Pakistan knows (like complete knowledge in Game theory). In fact, both countries know that real game is to agree to security checks and even then try to breach them when it is in one's interest. 
Pakistan lost the PR battle when they didn't make public the agreed security checks right when agreement took place. 
India tried some communication, which rightfully got caught (not unexpected) (But may be some signal would have still reached to Kulbhushan Jadhav, we don't know yet!). 
Then came the…

Myth of tolerant and secular India: ‘ubiquitous Christmas’ edition (courtesy NYT)

NYT has run this myth peddling piece on India. It certainly reeks of very shallow journalism and even hints at some prejudiced position. I am not saying that the story is a lie, far from that. But to represent the worrisome situation, a wrong counterfactual has been provided.               The news is about ‘Christmas celebrations in India’ which are marred by fear. The news tries to capture environment of fear by developing a suggestive narrative about how Hindu right groups have been interrupting the Christmas celebrations that used to happen hitherto without any trouble. I agree with this part. There is a quasi-state apparatus functional in India for which every individual act is open for scrutiny, remedy and punishment and this apparatus serves as in independent regulatory institution, without any check from the state. In fact, current rulers owe a lot to this apparatus and hence they pretend to check this apparatus only after apparatus has served it’s goal. The goal of the appara…