Eastern Ladakh, Pakistan, emergence of Taliban in Afghanistan, a spike in targeted killing in Kashmir were all threatening enough. Reports of attacks on Hindu places of worship in Bangladesh are a multiplier to the menacing clouds gathering all around. What is happening is dangerous and sad.
It was a horrendous tragedy in Lakhimpur Kheri which first grabbed primetime attention. But the fact that the cameras have stayed on Priyanka for so long eventually helps the channels and Narendra Modi.
Why does a media owned by industrialists and controlled by the ruling party, heap such generous attention on the Gandhis? Because they are no threat. Anything of a Leftist hue, with the capacity to mobilize the people on a platform of roti, kapda, makaan, healthcare, universal free education, must be thwarted. By this criteria, the Congress is no threat.
By not moving out of the way, the Nehru-Gandhi family is holding up political movement, a churning, shuffling by which the regional parties will have a stake in an accommodative central unit which is not obsessed with the unrealistic desire to revive “on its own”.
“Globalization” may not have been part of the discourse 45 years ago when Indira Gandhi shelved civil liberties after declaring the Emergency but it is not possible to sketch that bleak episode on a wide enough canvas without touching such disparate points on the world atlas as Latin America and India’s cow belt.
A passionate appraisal of the widespread anger at George Floyd’s murder by a white policeman that newspaper columns are full off, inspires no lasting change in race relations. Establishments have entrenched themselves too securely.
It is heart breaking to receive messages of concern from friends and relatives overseas whenever Hindu-Muslim riots break out. Most painful by far is the query from relatives in Pakistan: “Bhaiyya, are all of you safe?”
The BJP President Amit Shah’s game is straightforward. He is eager to do a Tripura in Kerala. The Tripura results were the biggest shock I had experienced in 50 years of covering politics.