MALLIKA SARABHAI: “BJP was also plain lucky”

Narendra Modi’s detractors in Gujarat and elsewhere might be squirming at his victory, but one of his most vocal and visible critics, Mallika Sarabhai, says the fineprint is actually encouraging. The Ahmedabad-based dancer and activist, daughter of the renowned space scientist Vikram Sarabhai, and an MBA and doctorate from IIM, Ahmedabad, has been on the wrong side of Modi since the Gujarat riots of 2002.

She was made to pay for this, when in 2003 a dancer in her troupe filed a case against her, alleging that she had cheated her in not taking her on a promised US tour. For more than two years, Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, which Mallika runs, was routinely targeted by the Modi regime on the basis of that case. It was evident that the complaint was politically motivated and the charges were finally dropped for lack of evidence in early 2006.

Mallika continues to strongly oppose Modi’s brand of politics, but is not all cut-up with his recent victory. She tells VINUTHA MALLYA why:


VM: How does it feel to see Narendra Modi back as chief minister for a third term?

Mallika Sarabhai: Initially, I was very depressed, but after watching the election analysis, I am feeling much better.

VM: And why is that?

MS: The victory margin by which the BJP has won in many seats is very narrow. In some seats it is as little as three votes! In the state capital, Gandhinagar, BJP has won 81,000 seats against the second candidate who got 79,200 votes. The BJP has won narrowly in as many as 70 seats. So, it is not as disastrous as we thought. They have won hugely by luck.

VM: What is your interpretation of verdict 2007?

MS: Just because Modi has won does not mean all of Gujarat is behind this man. It is just not true to assume that. The margins also show that not every single person in Gujarat is ‘brainwashed’. So, I believe that this election has in fact shown encouraging results.

Photograph: courtesy Darpana Academy of Performing Arts

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29 Responses to “MALLIKA SARABHAI: “BJP was also plain lucky””

  1. Alok Says:


    Straw clutching among the whiny left-liberals reaches a new high with this interview…

  2. Aashadaboothi Says:

    I am seeing shooting stars on the churmuri screen do you guys see it as well. This is very distracting and a strain on the eyes. Churumuri blog designers please take note.

  3. prasad Says:

    just as the whole of gijurat is not with Modi , the same way WHATEVER Mallika Sarabhai says does not become the TRUTH Just because she is the daughter of Vikram Sarabhai or because she is a dancer.We need opinions of bar dancers and pimps and bootlegers also , who patronise the congress.

  4. shreeram Says:

    pure hottekicchu avalige modi mele….. atleast accept defeat with grace and respect the victorious…. learn from sportpersons on how to accept defeat graceously… what does these poor dancers know about sportsmanship… they always feel jealous about others….

  5. wanderer Says:

    At least accept defeat as gracefully as you Dance !!
    Jia Shree Ram !!

  6. Gireesh , Trivandrum Says:

    Narendrabhai’s victory is a great morale booster for the hindus in Kerala.His potent mix of development oriented policies and zero tolerance towards islamic terrorism has made him a nationalist icon.No wonder that even his detractors see him as the man who can one day lead the BJP to victory at the center.

  7. Aatmasakshi Says:

    Ms Sarabhai might like to take note of a famous Nike ambush marketing line: “You don’t win silver. You lose gold.” That’s what this is.

  8. Sathya Says:

    Was it MOdi who had filed a case against her? No, a person whom she had promised and did not keep her promise filed the case. What has that to do with Modi winning in this election? The margin is decided by many factors – the percentage of votes poled, the correctness of the voters list, the machinery etc etc. Now Modi should dance to the beats of dancers. It is not important whether you are an MBA, Ph D etc .Wisdom and qualification are two different things.

  9. jeevarathna Says:

    i vaguely remember this lady making bollywood debut in a film called Himlay….. with Sunil dutt as hero and she had complained about Dutt making a pass at her….. and that was virtually the end of her Filmi career

  10. Kandarp Says:

    So far as she says that Modi’s victory doesn’t mean entire Gujarat is behind him, Mallika is right. But then she is wrong in her reasoning. BJP has won many seats with narrow margins. However, Congress has registered some very narrow victories as well. The narrowest victory has come to Congress’ account, where the candidate has won by sheer 14 votes.
    Having said that, all the critics of Modi, should try to analyse and criticise his politics instead of character. Godhra and post-Godhra riots will never be erased from our memories. But it should be remembered that post-Godhra riots was not the only time Gujarat had seen communal violence. In fact, the peace that has prevailed post-2002 is unprecedented.
    It’s time to analyse politics of Gujarat in the right perspective and stop cashing on misery and plight that people of gujarat want to forget and move on.

  11. Anonymous Guy Says:

    yeah jeevarathna i even remember that exchange.

    Seems Sunil Dutt came to her hotel room after shooting and took her hands in his and said to her, “Your hands are too cold”.

    So she replied,”Yes it requires a man to warm it”.

    But it was her version of the story of course…

  12. Anonymous Guy Says:

    BTW Ms. Sarabhai was (and probably is) some looker too:


    I think that is falling snow to go with the festive season. It doesnt allow me to cut and paste into the window too…

  13. Anonymous Guy Says:

    The first link would be:

  14. Goldstar Says:

    The Lefty-liberals should at least get the facts right. It seems they have not yet recovered by the hurricane.

    There was no seat that had the BJP won by 3 votes. The least margin was a victory 17 votes that too by Congress.

  15. Bhaskar Chatterjee Says:

    Modi already answered this question (BJP gets barely 50% odd vote in Guj) asked by wife of Congress leader Salman Khurshid in The Hindustan Times summit few months back.

    Describing Modi’s win because of “Communal Agenda”, or “purely luck” shows people like Jyoti Basu/this dancer don’t have ideological capacity/courage to confront BJP’s agenda.

    The alrenate they propose is rallying muslims/minorities religiously thro’ disastrous steps like Communal budgeting in 5 year plan (Nehru must be turning his head now seeing 15% religious quota in his dream project), and dividng Hindus politically along caste.

    Psuedos will loose even bigger.

  16. SumneNeeve Says:

    anon says: some looker too:

    Yup, she is a hottie :)

  17. Sanjay Guha Says:

    Narrow margins or no, Gujarat’s electorate has rejected Congress. Modi did some constructive work in the last five years while Congress mostly sat and shed crocodile tears on 2002 riots. You cry foul about your opponent and you have no great agenda to go to the electorate with, you get get booted out. That’s what happened.

  18. Andy Says:

    Hmm…not sure if BJP is plain lucky but certain that Mallika is plain stupid

  19. verybleedingheart Says:

    According to the Ahmedabad-based dancer and activist the margins also show that not every single person in Gujarat is ‘brainwashed’. What seems to be unstated is that 49.4% of the electorate (who voted for Modi) are ‘brainwashed’. Which is a pretty bad, alarming mental situation.

  20. Not A Witty Nick Says:

    She wouldn’t be any lucky.
    For her and her ilk, it was a choice between devil and deep sea, because majority of riot hit areas had congress MLAs who were mostly Hindus and what the hell were they doing during riots? they didn’t mutter anything, all the noise was generated by only these activists.

    Even in this election, lots of Congressmen and pissidents of BJP swapped places.

    If at all these people cared about elections and democracy, they would stand in elections themselves or support some other credible persons.

    They would rather go to a 24×7 channel to talk their hearts out for a few thousand Rupees!

  21. Sanjeeva Says:

    I did a quick check on the 2004 Loksabha Elections in Gujarat. Remember, this was the election in which Congress won 145 seats and thought that the whole of India gave them a mandate!!! BJP, incidentally won 138 seats.

    Now comes the interesting part. In 4 constituencies, the margin of victory was very low for congress. How low?

    Amreli 2,030
    Jamnagar 5,593
    Mehsana 14,571
    Banaskantha 6,920

    In all these constituencies, the person who came third polled more votes than this difference.

    Going by the harebrained suggestion given by this lady, had BJP won these 4 seats, then their tally would have gone upto 142 and congress would have come down to 141. Correct??

    Had that been the scenario, would congress have had the gumption to form govt? We dont know. We can only guess. And guesses are not good anywhere, more so in politics.

    So Mallika, please stop consoling yourself with these kind of thoughtless thoughts and accept the reality that BJP won fair n square.

  22. gaby Says:

    Sanjeevanna numbers a bit trickier than what they seem. Lets take the Lok Sabha constituencies you mention:

    In Amreli the SP got 9583 votes and in Mehsana, Junagadh, and Banaskantha the BSP polled 10222, 11752 and 8258 votes respectively.A substantial number of these would have otherwise gone to the congress and not to the BJP- thereby increasing the leads for the Congress if we think logically.

    In the same Gujarat in 2004 there were Dohad, Porbandar and Chhota Udaipur where the BJP won by 350, 5629, and 6794 votes respectively and in these seats the CPM polled 16300 in Dohad whilst the BSP got 7297 in Porbandar and BSP+ SP got 30068 in Chhota Udaipur- if you do the maths logically you can see that these seats were a matter of polling luck you see.

    In electoral democracy that is how it is Sanjeevanna- pure chance and very little space for merit and lots of cribbers- in 2004 it was a loud Sushma atthe in Delhi and now its a beautiful Mallika Chikkammma in Ahmedabad!

  23. Hoysala Says:

    Hey guys! In a democracy there is freedom of speech. Any one can offer comments from classical dancers to lap dancers! One can see that the lady is spinning yarn on the strength of her surname.

  24. Gururaj Says:

    While Mallika Sarbhai is on numbers and margins, let me ask how much majority Congress got to rule this country ? Did the people want Congress and Communists to come to power together? Was that the mandate of the people? Same is the case in Karnataka. Janata Dal (Secular – yuck) with least number of seats held on to power for three years while BJP, the largest party was kept out. Is this democracy?

    The problem with some artists / poets / journalists / TV anchors in India is that

    1. They genuinely think they are intelligent than others.
    2. They think they can change people by quoting high sounding words.
    3. They do not know much about anything but have ipoinions on evrything.
    4. They look at India from the eyes of a westerner.

  25. Sanjeeva Says:

    Gaby baby, no one knows how the electorate would vote. So cribbing that the margin of victory is more or less is not done. Correct?

  26. Gaby Says:

    Cribbing is always done – that’s not the point- but cribbing about margins of victory in an electoral democracy- that too in a system of first past the post makes the cribber a bad loser! Satisfied?

  27. myshanks Says:

    Some people (and media) never looses a wink in calling BJP communal. But lets see whats happening in congress. It is communal to the core, yet no paper have written a column about it. A tiff between 2 politicians is given a cast color. How sad it is for the country and the media is happily talking about Gujarat and not about this. Can there be any more episodes as blatantly as this to call ALL other parties communal?

    Is media listening (or reading?)

  28. Indian Says:

    She sheds crocodile tears and is a big opportunist. Maybe she wants to enter politics! In that case Modi will help him too as he is also very depressed as there is not strong leader in Congress which he has to face. Modi is so unlucky Isnt he??? ;)

  29. wanderlust Says:

    a bad dancer blames the stage.

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