When a general election is an ‘agni pareeksha’

Photo Caption

The Congress candidate for the Davanagere Lok Sabha constituency, S.S. Mallikarjuna, walks over somewhat smouldering, somewhat dying coal embers during a pit stop as part of campaigning in the central Karnataka town once renowned for its textile mills, on Monday.

In true Congress style, which Rahul Gandhi says he wants to overthrow but cannot quite come around to doing it, the constituency was earlier represented by Mallikarjuna’s father, the education magnate Shamanur Shivashankarappa.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

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16 Responses to “When a general election is an ‘agni pareeksha’”

  1. Shemej Says:

    NDTV survey shows that NDA may get an absolute majority in the coming Loksabha election. This is mainly because of the gain NDA getting in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. In Andhra Pradesh, BJP is not improving its vote share. What is happening in Seemandhra is, Reddy votes are split between Kiran’ new party, Congress and jagan Reddy’s party. Reddys are the main caste group in Seemandhra. But the backward caste votes are not divided and TDP is gaining. If TDP stay with NDA, that would be an unexpected plus for NDA after the election.

    In Uttar Pradesh, according to the recent survey by NDTV, BJP alone is making huge gains. As I discussed earlier, All other three parties were supporting Manmohan Singh govt at center and that created a political vacuum. BJP occupied this space and emerges as the main party to the election to Loksabha.

    Secondly, BJP has organized all other castes other than Yadavs and Muslims.

    Thirdly, it was successful in organizing communal riots in Uttar Pradesh and the society is polarized on communal lines. When both Amit Shah and Azam Khan, obviously Hindus rallies behind BJP and Muslims rallies behind SP. This helps BJP only.

    One problem is, the vote share is slowly coming down for BJP in Uttar pradesh compared to the last survey by NDTV. Also the vote share of BSP is slowly rising. If this trend continues, BSP may win many of BJP votes when the polls are held.

    But one thing is obvious– Where ever the congress is contesting, it is getting routed. Congress is going to be history by this election. Which ever party is perceived to be helping Congress are also getting defeated by voters.

    If these trends are correct, BJP is going to form a coalition govt after 2014 Loksabha elections.

    In Gujarat, BJP tried dirty games to emerge as powerful single party to form its own govt after tasting the power along with Chimanbhai patel. We have to wait and watch what disasters this experiments can bring to india.

    The clear winner of the game is Mukesh Ambani.

    Interestingly, the entire South, and Eastern India is voting against BJP. In fact, its vote share is declining in many areas.

    Another sad truth is, in states like Bihar, voters clearly think Nitish Kumar is the best Chief Minister and they all want to vote Janata Dal (U) in Assembly election. But in Loksabha, they want BJP.

    This is true in many other states. The vote share for the BJP at Loksabha election is much higher compared to its vote share in Assembly election surveys.

    People of India do not like “Kichdi” govts at center. Unfortunately, all Third group coalition govts that came to power at center were minority govts supported by either Congress and BJP. When these parties withdrew support, the govts fell down and people think third groups can not provide a stable govt at center.

    The fact remains that, the BJP and Congress vote share and political presence is fast declining in India. This will be obvious in the Assembly election which are going to be conducted immediately after loksabha election. Sooner or later people may have to elect “kichdi” govts at center. Such experiments will have its own problems. Compared to Single party govt by Yeddyurappa, the coalition under Kumaraswamy with BJP participating in it was thousand times better. Even BJP leaders admit it.

  2. Vinay Says:

    Interesting to see Shemej changing his views on election results like a chameleon month after month. Funny indeed.

  3. Shemej Says:

    “Interesting to see Shemej changing his views on election results like a chameleon month after month. Funny indeed.”

    A chameleon, that is myself, is expected to keep saying:

    In 2002 — “BJP Will win. NO doubt”
    In 2004 – “BJP will win. No doubt”
    in 2009 – “BJP will win. No doubt”
    In 2013- “BJP will win. No Doubt.”
    In 2014 – “BJP will win. No doubt.”

    And chameleon, that is myself, should never read newspapers. Never watch TV. Never visit states. Never discuss with different people. But should keep repeating the same words again and again.

    Consistency is the virtue of an ass or a mule. During the last 8 months, there is a big change in people’s mood. I am not happy the way the trend is going. But I dont think I should close my eyes and repeat meaningless propaganda sentences.

    This doesnt mean I will change my stand on Modi and his evil ideology.

    Many years back, (perhaps in 2007?) I posted a comment in CNN-IBN website: I said something like this then (may not be same words):

    “Albert Einstein once said: –This world is a dangerous place to live not because those who commit evil, but because of those who watch them and let them happen. —Just because he is democratically elected, he can not say what ever he has done is endorsed by people. Let me remind Modi that Adolf Hitler too was a democratically elected mass leader. Narendra Modi may become the Prime Minister of India someday, thanks to Congress and its Neo-liberal policies. When people get frustrated with Congress’ Neo Liberal policies, they may vote BJP to power. But as a individual who is born in a Hindu family, I have greater responsibility to fight with tooth and nail against the evil politics of the evil leader Narendra Modi, even if that means I am persecuted for that.”

    I stand by these words. If I am consistent on anything, that is only on principle.

    When I posted these comments in CNN-IBN, they took a part of my comment, and presented as a “CNN-IBN Editorial”. As far as I can remember, that is the only one instance, CNN-IBN presented an editorial like that. I am not sure of recent years. (I remember, it was that Maharashtra girl Anubha Bonsle, who presented that editorial.)

    Why I am repeating this now?

    After nearly 7 or 8 years, India may (I still doubt the possibility of NDA getting the absolute majority- they may not get as many number of seats from UP as the NDTV and other surveys predict. BSP may win large number of seats which otherwise would have gone to BJP. ), ….. well, after 7 or 8 years, now, there is a good chance of Narendra Modi becoming Prime Minister.

    And I am NOT GOING TO CHANGE A SINGLE WORD FROM WHAT I HAVE SPOKEN AGAINST HIM AND HIS FASCIST IDEOLOGY. I am going to work physically, by writing, in what ever democratic way I can, to fight against this dangerous ideology, along with millions of good thinking people.

    Will any elected leader try to attack some Neighbouring nations, most likely China? (because Congress can not open their mouth because of Neville Maxwell papers? ( See http://www.nevillemaxwell.com )), to rally the whole nation behind the leader?. Or will some group create some big emotional issue to divert people’s attention? We dont know. But even if such worst things happen, such tricks will work in the short span only.

    Any way immediately after the election, Natural Gas price is going to go up (from USD4 to 8). It was Narendra Modi’s Gujarat which demanded 14.2 Dollars to help Mukesh.

    I dont believe in rhetoric. However, let me humbly say, it is my responsibility to clarify (because millions of people are worried, for real reasons), that I will never, never stop fighting this evil person, evil ideology– Even if that means the worst that can happen to me. Thank you.

  4. Vinay Says:


    Don’t be a drama queen. Stop pretending to be some great courageous sacrificing knight.

    It takes no courage to rant against Modi. Thousands of people have been doing it and earning their bread and butter for nearly 12 years now.

    The way you dramatize things, as if you are speaking out against Hitler in 1943 or Mao in 1965 or Stalin in 1933. People like you know very well that nothing is going to happen to you, no matter what you rant against Modi.

    Time will tell how good Modi will be in terms of administration and governance, and how good he will be for the economy. But it is pretty certain that nothing is going to happen to any of you self-obsessed socialists with inflated sense of self-importance.

    And finally, don’t overestimate your importance, no one cares about you or what you rant on blogs and comment sections of papers. There are millions like you.

  5. harkol Says:

    >Consistency is the virtue of an ass or a mule.

    You said it sir.

    If you search these very forums (some 3-4 years back), I would have said something like –

    – I hope this nation doesn’t come to a pass where someone like Modi will be its PM.

    – I voted for Congress, for MMS (2009)

    – Anna Hazare/IAC/AAP are the way forward.

    But, congress proved me wrong. AAP economics scares me now.

    Modi still hasn’t proven me wrong on some fears, but my hope that country won’t need someone like Modi has been proven wrong. We do need someone with development focus like him.

    I now believe, Modi to be the best bet for finding some solutions to our economic morass. It’s not all for the good, there are risks in having someone like Modi head us. But, you only deal with choices given to you.

    AAP, Congress both are Socialist/Communists who will ruin economy (even if AAP will do so with good intentions). We can’t afford another decade with next to NIL job growth. We have 25cr youth entering job market in next 10 years, and will need to create massively large industrial base, cities, infrastructure and jobs to accommodate them.

    Handouts won’t do.

    Only person who is talking about this challenge is Modi. And only person who has reasonable chance of making a stable and efficient government at center is Modi. So, why would I vote for UPA/JD(S) or even AAP?

    Consistency is indeed the virtue of an ASS.

  6. Gaby Says:

    The real Agnipareeksha would have been when the man in question waxed his legs ;) After that walking on fire would be easy peasy.

  7. Gaby Says:

    Albert Einstein once said: –This world is a dangerous place to live not because those who commit evil, but because of those who watch them and let them happen. —(sic).

    I wonder why he said that only once…….

  8. Gaby Says:

    All States that were called fascist, were governed by parties that called themselves Socialist!

  9. harkol Says:

    Gaby: You nailed it.

    Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Indira Gandhi, Kim are all socialists of varying degrees and different denominations.

    However, there are exceptions. Plinio Salgado was a right wing fascist, who did not subscribe to socialism, even though he was influenced by the ideas of Mussolini.

    But, the tendency for fascism is very high with socialists. A strange co-relation.

  10. Shemej Says:

    “Modi to be the best bet for finding some solutions to our economic morass. …”.

    AAP, Congress both are Socialist/Communists who will ruin economy (even if AAP will do so with good intentions). We can’t afford another decade with next to NIL job growth. We have 25cr youth entering job market in next 10 years, and will need to create massively large industrial base, cities, infrastructure and jobs to accommodate them.”

    Only person who is talking about this challenge is Modi. And only person who has reasonable chance of making a stable and efficient government at center is Modi.”

    Harkol Avare, I know you are a gentleman.

    And you know I am NOT an economist.

    But can you give me a chance, to prove you are wrong on all the above three points?

    I am not going to utter a single sentence about Modi’s communal ideology and politics. I will discuss only about how Modi’s economics (if he has got any) wont be good for creating jobs in India (except in the very short span).

    And even in that “very short span”, Congress’s government can create more jobs– I can give valid points to support my claims. NOT JUST VALID POINTS. I CAN CONVINCE YOU. (not because I have some good debating power. Why only one child screamed that the King is nude? I dont think that child in the tale, has got great debating skill. For anyone who wants to examine, these facts are already there. But media is refusing to publish it. That is all. )

    And I can name one mediator. One referee. That referee can point out if my arguments are flawed. I will COMPLETELY ACCEPT HIS JUDGMENT IF MY ARGUMENTS ARE FLAWED OR NOT. — that judge is noone but Harkol himself. Yes, I am ready to accept him as my debating opponent and mediator- both.

    BUT HE CAN ONLY POINT OUT IF MY ARGUMENTS ARE FLAWED ONES OR NOT. He can NOT use his position as mediator and DECLARE UNIVERSALLY ACCEPTED ECONOMICS PRINCIPLES AS WRONG. And I will not quote any Marxist/ Socialist economists to support my claim. Is it okay with you?

    BUT MY CONDITION IS- My respected friend Harkol avaru, should respond to each and every point I raise. He has to either say, that argument is wrong for these following reasons. Or he has to say, my arguments appeared right, for these following reasons.

    I know, Harkol may keep mum if he is confused. ( I wont say, he will run away. He may just keep quiet. That is like pouring cold water on the argument.) That wont help me to debate this point. I want my good friend to say, either I am right or wrong, on each main logical point.

    If our gentleman friend Harkol accept my this condition, I can prove that Narendramodi’s declared policies wont help creating jobs in India (except in short span), But it will actually destroy lakhs of jobs in the long run.

    Now kindly tell me. I am asking with humility. And I am taking big risks by appointing you as the judge during argument. But, I can easily prove Narendra Modi CANT create jobs.

    Are you ready? Please accept my condition, at least this will serve purpose of providing information to public.

  11. NS Rao Says:

    Why is there not an article on Diggy Raja and his extra-terrestrial activities? Churumuri – are you there?
    Or, is this forum reserved only for bashing BJP and its allies?

  12. Shemej Says:

    Noone asked. But here is my seats projections. (By tomorrow evening, Exit polls results may start appearing. If NDA wont get majority, a lot of BJP sympathisers would lose money in Stock market. There can be massive agitations against Gas price (which would come to effect immediately after election). I guess there could be agitations against ADANI group and the land allotment etc.

    I know all major surveys are predicting absolute majority for NDA. And BJP claims more than 300 seats.

    NDA – 230 -245 (BJP – 193-208), TDP – 15, SS- 11, AD -5, DMDK+PMK – 2, LJP and others – rest) UPA – 120 -130, (Con-102-112, RJD – 12-16, IUML- 2, JMM – 1, PPP/KCM and others – 1-2, ) Trinamul – 26-31, AIADMK – 21-26, SP – 19 -22, BSP- 16-21, BijuJD – 14-17, YSRCong- 13-18, DMK- 11-15, AAP – 6-10, JDU- 4-7, JDS – 3-4, JVM -1-2, AGP – 1, Left – 20-26 (CPM – 16-20, CPI- 4-6, others & Ind – 2-4), AUDF etc – 2

    I have a feeling that BJP may get slightly lower number of seats in Uttar pradesh and Bihar, than what is predicted. In these states Anti Modi votes may get consolidated behind other opponents. (the Surveys can only predict the current mood. It can not accurately predict the results if there is transferring of votes to defeat leading candidates in individual constituencies.) Please read —

    Surveys which predict BJP/NDA victory, interestingly, indicate that, BJP may perform unexpectedly well in the states Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra. That means, if BJP fails to get 30 seats in Uttar Pradesh alone, that is, if the predictions go wrong in one single state, the BJP will face big set backs politically, and markets too would face the big losses.

    People dont vote in favour of a party. But they vote against a party. BJP emerged as the main opposition of Congress only because of this tactical transferring of votes to the main opponent party at National level. But that very process has created other frictions at regional level. Now there are small groups– caste groups and religious groups— who NOW WANTS TO DEFEAT the already emerged leader party. The second level of re-alignment takes place as a response to the first level of re-alignment.

  13. Shemej Says:

    NDA/BJP has won Loksabha Elections. Though I sincerely wished that BJP should never come to power, it was inching closer to the victory during the last 6- 8 months, mainly because of the 10,000 crore campaign and Visual media coverage.

    This is a complete victory for India’s Corporates and Corporate media. Now that BJP has got absolute majority, no one can blame leftists in India for not having development in India. Unless and until the West and USA improve its Business growth, it is impossible for India to improve its Software and Garment exports. In this context, India can expect huge flow of speculative capital to India, especially because China is facing a worst performance in recent history.

    Other than speculative capital flow, there would be huge investments in Natural gas, Coal, Mining business. There can be some Real estate boom for some time due to speculative capital flow.

    India will witness massive looting of India’s natural resources by foreign companies. That means, there would be a negative impact sooner or later.

    This means, NDA can ensure good growth in Stock exchange for 2-3 years. But will USA economy improve by that time? And will India get large number of Software export orders? No one can say.

    There would be big inflation and corruption.

    I congratulate all BJP sympathisers now. I admit my complete failure as I am always opposed to BJP and its politics. In 1971, Indira Gandhi went for war. Soon she had to declare emergency, and that marked the starting of the downfall of Congress. RSS was in the opposition now. Defeated with 2 seats. And right now it is a big set back for all progressive minded people of India. And this is not the last day in Indian history.

    Thank you all my friends. And congratulations, our BJP fans.

  14. harkol Says:


    One doesn’t need to be a BJP fan to vote for it. Just as one doesn’t need to be congress ‘fan’ to be voting for a congress candidate.

    I voted for Sangliana (then congress candidate) in 2009, though he lost. My logic was to support Manmohan Singh, who had just delivered a Indo-US nuclear deal opposing the communists, and it was also an vote for the most honest candidate in my constituency.

    That didn’t mean I liked congress one bit. My vote went to BJP this time, that doesn’t mean I am a BJP fanboy!

    We select from choices provided depending on circumstances and promises made by parties. They may betray, but what else do we vote for other than promised plans?

    In 2009, when BJP lost badly I had written the same – it takes decades to build strong institutions like stable political parties. It’d be sad to lose them.

    So, I sincerely hope Congress recovers from this and finds a new leadership (other than dynasty) so we can have two strong parties to choose from. BJP is bound to get arrogant and make mistakes along the way and we need to have a reasonable party as alternative.

    Congress under Gandhis is not that alternative. I will never again vote for congress under their leadership. So, my hopes are that INC will regain its independence from dynasty.

  15. Vinay Says:


    Though I appreciate the grace you have shown here (unlike several people I know), your economic analysis is flawed, as usual.

    You make a lot of assumptions about what kind of money will enter India and what it will be used for. What if I say that the money will go towards Infrastructure and manufacturing? Will you then complain that India is being “torn away from Gandhian roots”?

    Why don’t you wait for a few months and see what schemes are announced, what reforms are made, and what sectors investment is happening in? Would it be too much to expect you, who has just suffered the ignominy of massive miscalculation, to be a little circumspect and wait for a while before making prophetic predictions?

    And leftists will still be blamed on a case-by-case basis. The BJP is not free of leftists. And there are a fair number of cowdung capitalists and cow piss connoisseurs too. The above mentioned bugs, and left-leaning babus will still be blamed on occasion, if the blame is justified.

  16. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Vinay, Shemej’s problem is not miscalculation! It is a lack of basic commonsense on his part to stick to some voodoo “Khadi-Nirodh” economics while he draws a slew of wrong analysis on corporates, hot-money and so on. Let me quote one example where Shemej even makes a good economic development a bad one. ..”Other than speculative capital flow, there would be huge investments in Natural gas, Coal, Mining business. There can be some Real estate boom for some time due to speculative capital flow…” Going by Shemej’s logic a huge investment in Natural Gas, Coal, and Mining is a bad thing!

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