Illustration by Soham Sen | ThePrint
Illustration by Soham Sen | ThePrint
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Campaigning is at its peak for five assembly elections. Are we missing something this time? In fact, it is three significant things.

We give you a few moments to guess. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and all key members of his cabinet, especially Amit Shah, are campaigning full-time, as if the fate of their government in Delhi depended on it.

This is one thing we know about their approach to politics: No prize is too small, not even little Puducherry. And every election must be fought as if it is the last battle. Nothing is ever left to chance.

But then we started out telling you that three important things are missing this time, and it is uncharacteristic of the BJP. Let’s answer the riddle: The three missing pitches in the Modi-Shah campaign are Pakistan, Bangladeshis and terrorism.

In fact, we could take it a step further. This is also a campaign for key states with no foreign factor featuring, nor national security.

Please note that even in the relatively distant Karnataka elections of 2018, Modi had spoken often about how his troops had stood up to China at Doklam. And how Jawaharlal Nehru had apparently humiliated Gen. K.S. Thimayya, a brilliant and brave son of Karnataka.

In Bihar in 2015, it was said that if the anti-BJP alliance won, it would be celebrated with firecrackers in Pakistan. In the 2017 Uttar Pradesh election, the breathless spirit of the post-Uri surgical strikes guided the campaign.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal and Assam, Bangladeshi infiltrators (ghuspaithiye), who were eating our roots “like termites” and were going to be “thrown in the Bay of Bengal”, featured. Later, in the build-up to the BJP’s politics in these two states, the CAA-NRC combination was flaunted as a solution to all of their problems. With the “chronology” clearly stated.

If a Martian landed in the middle of this election campaign now, she would have good reason to believe that one challenge India does not face is national security. And all its neighbours are decent folk and peace and tranquillity prevails on the borders.

This change is best characterised by the fact that rather than employ insecurity from Bangladeshis as a ploy, Modi himself is in Dhaka this week, pretty much campaigning in the West Bengal elections from there, as the new brother of all Bengalis.


Also read: Why distrust-but-verify is a prudent response to Pakistan Gen Bajwa’s call to bury the past


Let’s get our editorial view on this clearly stated first. We welcome the change, even if it might not be permanent. Or maybe it comes with a hidden use-by date until the Uttar Pradesh elections next year. But, we aren’t complaining.

We had seen early signs of this and I had stuck my neck out in this edition of National Interest in December last year to anticipate this shift. That came following Modi’s conciliatory speech to Indian Muslims at Aligarh Muslim University, which was angry and at the forefront of the CAA-NRC protests. He had started earlier, with his Ramlila Maidan speech a year before, by distancing himself from the NRC, dismissing it as a scare-mongering fantasy.

I had risked saying then that Modi had figured the damage his use of the Muslim card in domestic politics was causing to India’s larger strategic interests. He couldn’t afford to alienate the same Muslim (especially Gulf) countries whose national awards he would talk so proudly about. This was before eastern Ladakh flared up, but India was already evidently a frontline state for China, and Pakistan its protectorate.

The latest shift is a logical progression from there. There could be three key reasons behind this change of mind (preferring mind over heart is deliberate).

– The jubilation with which China and Pakistan moved in, searching for spaces vacated by India in Bangladesh, was alarming. When the relationships with Nepal and Sri Lanka were already under stress, the last thing India needed was a Bengali-speaking Pakistan in the east. Bangladesh is also a large nation, with an economy leaving India behind on per capita GDP last year.

– The threat of war in eastern Ladakh abated. But the Chinese made their point. That India had not one but two hostile neighbours. And it wasn’t about to leave the other to fend for itself as it did in 1971. That was also an obvious impulse for restoring some sort of order on the LoC with Pakistan. And cessation of hostile rhetoric.

– And third, that exploiting sensitive, nuanced national security and foreign policy issues in domestic politics had many downsides, especially one that could boomerang. The Chinese underlined a harsh reality in Ladakh. That unlike with Pakistan, you couldn’t be confident of ending a skirmish claiming victory. Remember, Modi’s strongman persona is built on the idea of “ghar mein ghus ke maara (we went into their homes to thrash them)”. Our formidable defensive capability was on display in Ladakh. But it was necessary to cut its risks for domestic politics soon enough.


Also read: Modi’s India loves global praise, but turns angry Vishwaguru at slightest criticism


A sizeable correction is now on. When you are restoring normalcy at all levels with Pakistan and disengaging with China, there is no insecurity to plug in an election campaign.

Because you can’t risk rhetoric causing fresh distrust in the neighbourhood. When you tweet wishing Imran Khan a quick recovery and write a note laden with diplomatic niceties on his national day, and when your Army chief is saying that the threat from China has abated, you can’t be raising the temperature at election rallies.

It is also an altered global environment, strategically. The Biden administration has picked up the baton from Trump on China. It is running faster, and more purposefully, with it. It’s a big gain and relief for India. Biden’s team is filled with young people of subcontinental origins who harbour great distrust about the BJP, its commitment to civil rights and its treatment of Muslims. You want to give Biden space, not squeeze him into a corner internally. Because he has enough challenges with the radicals within his party.

Under Modi and Shah, the BJP believes in total politics. Everything, every move, whether on the economy, society or foreign policy, must lead to that one first objective: Winning all elections. I’d risk saying now that they have understood that their cynical mixing of domestic politics with strategic national interests was soon going to become counterproductive.

One thing Modi cannot afford is to look like a loser on a national security issue. He’s decided not to risk it. It is smart politics, and better for India.


Also read: India’s challenge is to avoid two-front war, but can Modi put politics aside for strategy?


 

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117 COMMENTS

  1. DOOMED INDIA
    I am 75 years old UP NRI, residing in Canada since 1975. I have travelled and worked around the world for over 50 years, my comment is based on my experience and learning. The Indian leaders lack leadership, skill to genuinely rule India. the enemies of India are preying like vultures for India to have internal confrontations, religious war with the goal to divide India into many Nation. Most of the leaders of India have criminal records and criminal mind without the public interest. These Indian leaders dance around IAS, IPS and PCS worshipping them as the Gods. Today India is in a similar situation as Germany was from 1933 to 1945. All over India, the people have no respect for the law and order. 99.99 advocates in India are pickpocketers they are the guardians of peoples Fundamental Rights. 4 IAS,4 PCS, 12 advocates,bhumafia conspired and contracted my murder with late Vikas Dubey of Kanpur UP related to my co-shareholders to get me murdered to steal my shares in India. India has a skilled higher judiciary but these justices can’t go on the streets to enforce the law and order. IAS, IPS, PCS and most of the leaders are traitors.

  2. Mr Shekhar 2 points(1) The Kamala Harris moment is accurate. Mean subcontinent minds in Biden’s cabinet. Albeit incomplete and inaccurate understanding notwithstanding(2) Modi like me the voter has never been anti Muslim. Y? Being realistic and practical anti Muslim was never there in the narrative of voters. Appeasement was. In fact this is the message for Modi detractors. Peace is must for growth and hate does not work. This exposes the divisive agenda of modi detractors deploying Loot Dynast and Cut money culture for power and rule. Voter is against this.

  3. The Print along with their masters congress/Jihadis never change their anti Hindu/BJP & Anti India ranting; just like dogs can’t straighten their tails!!

    Hindu-stan must replace the congress/Jihadi eco system & develop a native eco system which challenges the stale communist narrative!!

  4. Pakistan of course came handy for BJP this time as well, maybe not for bashing. The Pakistani social media influencer’ phrase was indeed used by Nadda who went on to thunder Yay aap , Yay hum hai and yahan parivartan ki Thaiyari Ho rahi hai.

  5. It has come a little too late. All India’s neighbor like, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka had a diplomatic flight from India, but it is better late than never.

  6. BJP has never won in WB, and south states. These states more well read, developed and may not fall only for Hindu-Muslim divide.
    Further BJP is all set to become zero in Punjab, Haryana and delhi , if not already.
    Theses states along with may be Telangana they smell the opportunity to keep a balance for seat control and to implement their policies
    They are desperate after Maharashtra and will break MVA coalition, matter of time, unless Shiv Sena Govt quits, which also seems likely

    • “These states more well read, developed Hindu-Muslim divide…”
      What you say is TRASH!!

      Education DOES IS NOT EQUAL WISDOM!! During emergency imposed by Congress, the south was supporting Indira’s dictatorship while the north had completely rejected it!!

      Meanwhile, Congress has been SECULAR Hindu genocide-rs in chief!! Led by communal Nehru & MK Gandhi, they created Terrorist-an & were responsible for butchering Hindus & taking away their legitimate property, religious & civilization-al rights !! The Hindus temples are still in govt. control while mosques & Churches are free!! This apartheid against Hindus was perpetuated by congress in so called independent India & by the so called courts of justice!!

      Also, Hindu Muslim divide is basically because of Sunni Muslims who have not changed despite Hindu sacrifices & unbelievable tolerance!! They voted for & stole Indian lands for Islam & made it a terror state!! Most of these Sunnis stayed in India perhaps to drink Gaumutra but did not go to the Islamic land of their dreams that they created!! WHY??

  7. It was long long awaited tour of pm Modi , to Bangladesh . But unfortunately hate and division between Hindu/Muslims , came up abruptly during the time pm Modi landed. Why it all is happened ? It must , was to be , a peaceful journey for Bangladesh India & also for all the neibouring countries .
    The surmons & the body language of pm Modi was not allighned to peace & also the gestures of pm Modi were full of hate & historic confessions of warfare.
    As South Asian under developed countries , we must change our minds, thoughts for peace & harmony amongst the people of our countries.

  8. The replies show that people are reading “The Print” even Andh bakhts by thousands.
    CONGRATULATIONS

  9. Good to see a change in the political campaign – from Unhealthy to Healthy – that is a good sign to notice. Loved reading this

  10. Laughable analysis by Mr. Gupta. Even when the BJP was campaigning on jihad and Pakistan in UP, it still did not mention about these in TN because that doesn’t win votes there. It is as simple as that. BJP is still using AIUDF, AIMIM, ISF and the Mehbooba-Abdullah duo for political mobilization in their respective states. With China, since the outcome is unknown as yet, it doesn’t find a mention either. With Pakistan, the Bajwa-Imran duo tried to bowl a googly by offering ‘peace’ without mentioning UN resolutions. Modi, rather than denying engagement and risking backlash from the democrat left in the US, thereby denying Biden the political space, decided to play along. That these so-called talks would breakdown inevitably is a foregone conclusion and if Pakistan doesn’t do it then we can do it ourselves to wiggle out at a particularly unfavourable situation. By the time this happens, the US would be out of Afghanistan, hopefully, and hence Pakistan’s utility to the US would diminish further, enabling the application of even greater pressure on Pakistan as a Chinese ally rather a useful US tool. When analysts try to discern political and strategic ploys, they must set aside their own prejudices to get the analysis right or risk losing credibility.

    • @Vasish: What makes you think that the leftist/liberals in India or the USA are credible for anyone having an ounce of grey cells??

      Indian leftist/liberals espouse the slaughter of Hindus & the splendid Hindu civilization while the leftist democrats in USA are basically anti Christian, anti nationalist & anti White scoundrels!! They are also the most vicious supporters of caste ism/racism between blacks & whites!!

  11. This is a anti India propoganda media, nothing is true I’m the entire article, far away from reality and facts. Seems to be a paid news.

  12. Ideological leaning is the first sign of a thinking man. The basic difference is on two ideological issues (1) the importance to be given to Hinduism and (2) in making the country prosperous do we do it by redistribution of the existing wealth or by additional wealth creation. Bangladeshis, Pakistan and terrorism are real and practical issues.
    Modi/ Shah are smart politicians and know how to use the real issues. In Bangladesh Modi will not the raise the issue of illegal migrants but will possibly try find a solution. If they are cheap labor, it may be a good idea to give them work permits only no voting rights. The migrants do not seek voting rights, they need work, it is the political parties that want to give them voting rights to grow their vote banks. If that can be achieved it will make a big dent in this vote bank. It could also solve the long standing problem.
    Pakistan and terror will fetch no electoral gain in Bengal, besides both the issues are cooling down with the cease fire and strong actions within Kashmir.

  13. The print is only news paper “modi ne kuch Kia to kio Kia or agar modi ne kuch nahi Kia to kio nahi Kia ”
    This news paper say we are talking about national interest but itna BHI nahi Janet no modi Bangladesh me kar raha hai bo national interest me ata hai
    #foolmedia #rahulmedia

  14. Being a rulling govt party, you guys should bring prosperity in socioeconomic aspects but we are unfortunate that, the inequality gap is going towards north. You guys are making fool to your followers by showing democracy under the capitalism mask.

    • @R P D: Learn English or better still; write in Bhartiye language: Hindi/Sanskrit or Tamil will be great!! Stop lying too!!

  15. The print is only news paper who have problem with everything ” agar sarkar jar rahi hai to kio jar rahi hai or agar nahi kar rahi hai to kio nahi kar rahi hai”
    #rahul media

    • @Sam: The Print is the more moderate of Jihadi @Congress/communist media!! Quint, Wire & perhaps The Hindu are far worse!!

  16. Once (upto the period of stalwarts like Vajpayeeji), BJP stood for principles and morals. After the party went into the hands of Gujarati duo, BJP became worse than Congress. Modiji ruined the Indian economy by his illogical Demonetization and privatization which helped Gujarati business tycoons at the cost of Aam Admi. Only Ambanis and Adanis were benefited by Modi policies. Though India got freedom from Britishers, still it’s a slave in the hands of Ambanis and Adanis.

  17. No Pakistan, No Bengladeshis, No terror. In short no Muslim bashing. !! There is no cause belli for BJP to exist at all. Or else they will have to turn to Christians

    • Dr. Joji Cherian: Oh really?? Pakistan was created by BJP?? Jihadi direct action day was also love Of Muslims for Hindus?? If Muslims loved Islam/Pakistan so much, WHY did they not move there after voting for it?? Are they here just to drink Gau mutra??!!

  18. Sekhar ji please write an article on BJP workers genocide, rape, murder and law and order situation in West Bengal, please share your point of view on MVA government extortion in Maharashtra, Rajasthan is number one rape, Punjab is now drugistan. Don’t spread propogenda.

    • @Kunal: Please don’t engage in blasphemy!!

      @The Print & liberal/communist/Jihadis want Hindus to get slaughtered!! WHY should Hindus object?? They should continue to get butchered just as in Kashmir, Kerala.. Pakistan/Bangladesh with congress/communist’s lying, hypocritical, anti Hindu distorted concepts of liberalism & secularism!

  19. The Print Media has become a brothel of encouraging anti -Modi feelings and Anti-Hindustan sentiments

  20. The BJP looks confused and unclear about which way to go. It wants Akhand Bharat, but China gave India a beating. So they fear a two front war. They started spending on military, but there is no money – and due to corruption, you get 26 planes instead of 130. Further, India has lost on the diplomatic front, with all neighbours going with China.

    Another reason is that CPEC is going to transform the area economically. Even the US realises that. India was invited to join CPEC but due to the BJP’s Hindutva belligerence about recapturing PoK and Aksai Chin, India got left out. Now Indian TV channels are debating how Pakistan has money to survive when they are supposed to be insolvent, and what are its sources; they never debated where India’s money is.

    India opted for joining Quad, which is a nebulous concept. Firstly, China has edged out the US as India’s largest trading partner, and the BJP has given up the idea of economic boycott – in fact, The Print says Modi wants investment from anywhere to make India strong like China , so it can tell US and Sweden to ‘go to hell with democracy ranking’ ! Secondly, Quad is supposedly an alliance of four democratic countries to stand up to totalitarian China. Of these, India is the sick man of democracy, as it conveys the impression it wants to be Myanamar. That makes it difficult for Biden – Quad cannot question China on Uighurs when India is doing the same. Within Biden’s Administration, there are many Indian origin officials opposed to Modi’s Hindu fascism.

    Now the BJP is forced to climb down at least on external affairs. Of course, there is no change in heart. Externally, they are forced to do a volte face, but internally they will continue with their vigilantes beating up minorities.

    The country is in a mess.

    • A bot beating his own drums and has nothing to offer.

      Why must india join cpec when her own land is not recognized as hers?

      Why must india not join quad when easy money has lured our own neighbours in Chinese fold?

      Why must you be so judgemental and writing like a thespian of sorts to declare entire foreign policy fail?

      Government is our reflection…. elected by us… let it fail. We will take the blame.

      You better be in Pakistan/ china ” as you are are” and think of your dinner.

      Waste of oxygen

      • If I have nothing to offer, you would be ignoring me.

        ‘Why must india join cpec when her own land is not recognized as hers?’

        Just because you claim the other part of Kashmir and Aksai Chin, will it come back ? The RSS also claims Sri Lanka, Pak, BD, Nepal and up to Cambodia.

        At least hold on to what you have got and build it. Instead, the chowkidar lost more land and kept quiet.

        ‘Why must india not join quad when easy money has lured our own neighbours in Chinese fold?’

        Because you will face more trouble from China and a two front war, and the rest of Quad will not come to save India. We can do some exercises in the Indian Ocean, but it is of no use.

        Governments are judged on performance. It is correct under Modi, all neighbouring countries including Maldives are wary of India. It was not like that before, so it is a failure.

        ‘Government is our reflection…. elected by us… let it fail. We will take the blame.’

        I did not elect them, so why do you want me to take the blame ? I never support criminals out of communal loyalty.

    • Buddy don’t speak like you are the one who know everything!! If you say something make sure you have clear evidence of it.. else please live your life

    • Get a life you LIAR!! If you really wanna experience fascism, follow Islam, Christianity or communist China!! I suspect you already do!!

  21. If India doesn’t stop the inflow of refugees, rapists, crime and gangsters and Terrorists from Bangladesh, Pakistan there will be no place for Indians in India

    • Unnao, Katua and Hathras was done in BJP’s rapists only. The 25 defaulters who stole Indian money were Indians only – 24 Gujaratis. The ones who impoverished Indians with demonetisation were Gujaratis only. The ones poised to take the farmers land are Gujaratis only.

      • The one who invaded india was muslims only.. the one who destroyed 1000s of hindu temples were muslims only.. the one who divided india was muslims.. the one whos holy book tells them to kill all other religion is muslim. Most roits started in india are by muslims..including the godhra riots. They set fire to the train.. we retaliated.. n now they play victim card. But its no wonder.. its bcoz of hindus like you, who support the invaders, india was conqured. U turn a blind eye to the problrms created by muslims, not only in india.. but all over the world. The ppl u r supporting.. dont beliv in democracy.. when they r in majority.. u will b the kind of ppl they will behead first.

        • @Sam: Absolutely correct!! The congressi/communist Hindus are useful idiots who are tactfully used by Jihadis all the time!! They will be the first to be beheaded by Islam lovers!!

  22. Gujarat is bone from maharashtra and Rajasthan, so no Gujarat, no such notion of diverse regional politics by Shah & Modi.

  23. Thanks making it crystal clear that in fact there was a China danger, Pakistan danger, or terrorism danger to India. All the ” DANGERS’ were creation of Modi and his extreemist Hindus which resulted in a lot of Indian soldiers lived lost in order for modi to win elections. It also risked humiliating defeat for India in a two front war and a distructive civil war within India. All to win elections.

    • Perfectly put !

      They do not mind sacrificing the country for elections, such is their cynicism. And winning elections are only about power and money for them, they are not about serving the people.

  24. Both hypocrites of the highest order,, two faced like de jekyll and hyde,,, its a shame we have a leader like our pm who is not only a professional liar but a fake actor too

  25. Quietly and without fanfare we find Mr Modi adopting the policies and programs of his predecessor , MMS.
    MNREGA –Now has a 1 lakh cr budget , but earlier Modi rubbished the program as mere ditch digging.
    Pakistan – India and Pak have agreed on a cease fire on the LOC and re started dialog. Keeping the back channel going.
    China – Maintaining a firm stance on the border and building infrastructure while retaining economic ties ( Chumar, Doklam and E Ladakh all are examples.)
    Insurance and Retail- Allowing more FDI in the sector
    Aksai Chin and POK – Diplomatic silence with no bragging about how we will take these back. Wait for the right atmosphere for talks.
    Defence equipment – Maintaining the balance between Russia and US in Govt to Govt buying
    Bangladesh – Stop harping on infiltration, since this has reduced drastically anyway
    Remains to be seen how much credit Modi will give MMS for far seeing policies. And it remains to be seen if hardliners like Shah will go along.

    • Sir, Modi Ji made sure that General Niazi signs the instrument of surrender.
      And then let Major General Jacob and Lt General Aurora take the credit for it.

      Same way he wil give Dr MMS the credit.

  26. Strategy and tactics are EMERGENT. A smart leader – whether political or business – understands this, and adopts a flexible approach.

  27. Instead of all the above story u should have written only this “No Pakistan, no terrorism”. Why Modi-Shah BJP has allowed Pakistanis to produce their views on my nations in the name of journalism. Better take care if yourself before its too late whoever writing this.

  28. Sham on u always go for propaganda.
    Not a single article is written to appreciate the good things done by this Government. Journalism means to appreciate good things and criticise bad things. By merely criticism you are not going to change the perceptions of Indian electorate.

    • Absolutely right..Some idiots like these writer who have no knowledge of politics regional or world r barking…
      Why show ur hatred & complete mental bankruptcy here. Very easy to write comments from a AC Room.

  29. Dear Shekhar, Your thought process is steeped in the Nehruvian era and you can not see, beyond that. The way you deduce your conclusions,.. if this is done then this will happen, shhh, do not punish trouble makers, otherwise their benefactors will be angry and stop crude, blah blah and blah and in current world, sound pathetic.
    One thing I want to assure you that Modi start thinking his policy from the point, where yors stop (try as you may to go beyond).

  30. Staunch supporter of Modi I listen all his speech never he mentioned bostly about awards from GULF. On fact it will damage his HINDU HRIDAY SAMRAT image. I highly doubt Mr. Gupta has written this article himself.

  31. Hope and Wish Bengalis use brain and avoid Modi there by need not learn from Mistake. But if you want to burn your … to learn it is the Choice. I believe Bengalis Think

  32. Seems like china has taught them the lesson of their lives..and big thanx to Biden administration as they have taught these electoral autocrats how to still come to the table even amid the US CHINA worsening relationship!!! One mistake of this home minister again in parliament over POK & aqsai chin,this god damned india loses its chicken neck forever then..lol.

    • Which world do you live in?? my strong suspicion is that you share your abode with the most intelligent man in Bharat on Tughlak Lane!

  33. “And all its neighbours are decent folk and peace and tranquillity prevails on the borders.”

    Really?? And we are indecent!

    I don’t know what stupidity sounds like.. but this sounds more like it

  34. “And all its neighbours are decent folk and peace and tranquillity prevails on the borders.”

    Really?? And we are indecent!

    I don’t know what crap sounds like.. but this sounds more like it

    • Yes. She should be back in power. She has made a difference to the Nation with its economy doing well. She’s is after the radicals. Hope with Modi’s visit our Hindu brethren in Bangladesh will be be better looked after.👍💐

  35. Gupta ji ka naya funda ……BJP raises issues that matter, if there was to be national security concern, they would raise without blinking their eyes ….just to please they will not

  36. Nice article. Modi is smart and articulate to change track. He is not brash like his teammate. Just a few months back Amit Shah tried to push the case of Hindi in Tamil Nadu brashly, Modiji declared that Tamil is the oldest language of the land based on some excavations and their interpretations by archeologists. Modiji would have thought that Pushing Hindi in TN during the run up for state elections could be damaging BJP’s prospects! I guess, even CAA, NRC etc would be put on back burner, at least till next general elections.

    • This is just ‘good cop, bad cop’ tactics. Modi and Shah will get a bloody nose in this round of elections.

  37. Zero tolerance policy of Bangladesh for terrorism , making of foreign policy , decrease in insurgencies . These also can be considered as the reasons . Just broaden you view

  38. True to form Mr Gupta. One more laboured attempt to run down Modi, Shah, BJP which hardly makes a difference to any of the sides anymore. More than the others you keep getting exposed to the next layer in the everything.

  39. The present run of elections is being held in five different states —each having different political milieu . In this election –Each state has its own unique political culture spanning decades since 1967 that has made elections in these states a localized event but that have a large and lasting imprint on over all national parliamentary outcomes. . Modi and his team of advisers is fully aware of this . Hence , broad issues pertaining to security , foreign affairs, are not being given high audio-decibels not only in W. Bengal but also in all the states going to poll.

    W.Bengal is virgin-land for BJP and due to gross mis-management in running the state Administration by present incumbent –Mamta Didi , Modi-Shah duo, central leadership of BJP and local BJP leaders – all are trying bring the state under rule of pan-India National party again –status the state lost way back in 1967 . Ascendancy of regional parties had not been a major setback in any way for the states like Tamilnadu or Kerala , but same can not be said for W. Bengal. The state seems to have lost esteem in growth momentum and fast changing demographic composition of its population does not abode well for the future of the state. Hence , all educated and thinking voters in W. Bengal is to keep this fact in mind while exercising their right to vote.

  40. I understand the compulsions of political journalism to mix up things wit a bit of masala – the taste will de directly proportional to the quantity and inversely proportional to the quality of masala used !!!!!

    Having said that, will it be correct, to say even if ever so grudgingly, that in all three areas of Pakistan, terrorism and Bangladesh matters are a bit more under control than it was, say, 3-4 years back? It just could be, because of various reasons – some obvious and some not so obvious.

    Tail piece: There are many sides to a prism.

    • ‘Pakistan, terrorism and Bangladesh matters are a bit more under control than it was, say, 3-4 years back?’

      How can you say this when the Indian army and govt. say we have to spend money to face a two-front war scenario ? This did not exist till after repeal of Article 370.

      Also, the new change – if it is that – has come due to China’s ascendancy in the economy (4% growth versus India’s -10%), in the military sphere (as demonstrated by Galwan), and in the diploamtic one as well (all neighbours including Nepal opting to go with China to escape Akhand Bharat).

      Bangladesh still has not made a complete switch but if Shah and Modi persist with bullying of Bengali Muslims, BD too can invite China. BD has reached a higher per capita income than India, and it has an export oriented economy, and China can invest there and create an export hub for a wider range of products than textiles.

      As for Pakistan, the BJP itself says the Pakistanis killed 49 Indians in Pulwama in 2019, combating them cost a helicopter crash with 10 dead, and they shot down a plane and captured a pilot, for which there is video proof. What India did to them in Balakot is uncertain as there is no proof, and western countries discount Indian claims. So how has Pakistan been brought under control ? India could not go to war over the pilot or escalate, because more pilots might become captives and Pakistan may keep them. Imran came out looking magnanimous by releasing the pilot. If India had done much damage, the Pak. army would not have allowed Imran to release the pilot. Hence, your positivism about Modi is based on wishful thinking.

      You wrote you are primarily concerned about MY country, then why don’t you question incompetence and the undermining of India’s position by extremists and vigilantes ?

      • Akash,

        I say MY Nation out of a habit and conviction. In my profession of over 37 years it is this thought and feeling that motivated me to face many adverse situations. If it has offended you, I am sorry. Of course, it is YOUR Nation too.

        I express my views and you express yours. We move on…

        Regards

  41. Print is basically has anti stance on BJP, Hinduism and Rightist approach. Not a single article is written to appreciate the good things done by this Government. Journalism means to appreciate good things and criticise bad things. By merely criticism you are not going to change the perceptions of Indian electorate.

  42. The communal virus that Modi-Sham regime has unleashed on to the Indian public has already hit the target audience. Now that the virus, and its various virulent strains, are well set to spread on its own for many years to come, Modi-Shah can relax and invest in a Statesman-esque image for project Image Makeover. Hence the change of heart, if at all.

      • oh oh Jon Track — please do not mention China. They still have 3000 square kilometers of our land. Shhhhh. they will get some more, despite the apologetic tones in Bangla and Pak…

  43. This change gets my vote. Have often speculated / commented ( perhaps unfairly ) whether the diplomatic corps was doing all that lay within its power and duty to caution against the intertwining of domestic politics and foreign policy. Getting mixed up with Trump’s reelection campaign was especially unwise. 2. The other factor which may have induced course correction is the State of the Union. The economy, the second wave of the pandemic, nothing is glittering. Neighbours and the West are making their assessments all the time. 3. Vikas, the prodigal son, is back, at least in the election discourse. We now anxiously await his grandparents, Acchhe Din.

  44. Why you (Shekhar gupta) want the duo modi -shah to behave in a pattern defined by you. These definitions of pattern you learnt observing political leaders you were close to in past
    Just because you have the right to write about the people who were democratically elected don’t think you know everything about others

  45. They are just using a horses-for-courses policy. Hence for Kerala elections – no mention of cow protection, for Bengal election – (pseudo) development plank, for Assam election – silence on CAA. UP, Punjab and Gujarat elections next year will see return of cow, Pakistan and Muslim bashing in full force. Sophisticated electorate demands sophisticated talk – crude rhetoric will be brought out next year. This is simply change in strategy than any genuine change of heart! Shekhar babu seems to have lost his nerve by not calling a spade by its correct name and indulging in hopeful day-dreaming.

  46. Seriously The Print you’re saying Modi-Sah BJP. BJP is not about these two people it’s world’s largest political party with hundreds of policy makers it’s all about them plese refer them too. People should know these things. Please ignore these kind of biased terminology

    • Shekhar ji, it’s shame that you take this kind of anassessment on those mentioned points. You have a enough caliber to understand them from a nutral viewpoint. Why do you want to push the readers to read a wrong message between the lines and think anti Modi, anti Shah, anti BJP…why???

      • No Surprise, SG getting frustrated at seeing BJP moving so fast crushing all opponent that he thought quite a possibility but unlikely…

  47. Cynical mix, right. Like how UPA went soo soft on Jihadi terrorism for the votebanks. Do nothing even after 26/11. Shekhar Gupta and fellow news traders content with doing their dalali then.
    Just like how the mainstream media presstitutes were on the payrolls of Soviet Russia as revealed in the Mitrokhin archives. Of course all in name of national security.
    Btw, whatever happened to all the Radia tapes.

    • shekhar Gupta is one of the few journalists who gives a balanced view. (The other is Ravish Kumar) The godi media is the one which keeps repeating sill platitudes of the MODISHA people. There are no competent people in the BJP — go on; name just one

    • Modi & his funny team has long ago been unmasked and now on the run as Indians have at last realised them.

    • You are wrong . India will become a strong hinduism nation. We live and allow other Religions to live with us. Only previous political parties drvided us on votes. Now onwards development and infrastructure boosting will help all

  48. Whether Modi-Shah learnt it or already knew, that is not the point. The point is that largely they are doing things, which are in national interest, and it is getting them election victories too. The only problem is some local / state level initiatives, which will be counter productive, such as reservation in private jobs.

    • Mr Sanghal it is not in the national interest to raise the ire of all the neighbours and then suck up to them, to repair the damage. The national interest is served by having a balance and treat our neighbours with respect. Of course when there is political interest then all is lost and we have other stakeholders firmly entrenched in the likes of Bangladesh and sri lanka. of course we do not have to mention the double jeopardy of PAK/CHIN complex.

  49. Come on Shekherji. No Pakistan because Pakistan is far away. No Bangladesh because it is a part of the electorate. This is just a tactical move.

  50. or perhaps the real reason is that modiji has realized that bul of his supporters are not hindhu bigots as made out by the press but people who want developement and corruption free nation.

  51. China has a huge army and a large horde of armaments. Does it make PLA a better army? What is the combat experience of Chinese PLA, especially in the high altitude Himalayas? I suspect that China is a giant with clay foot. Loud on rhetoric. It is yet to prove its mettle like Indian or American army.

  52. Both MODIJI and RSS are aware the real threat to INDIA is from within.

    Ultra left wing radicals,jihadist , proselytizing CHURCH radicals are constantly attacking INDIA through demonstration and violent protests. They call themselves human rights activists or environmentalist or even farmers and petition foreign governments and citizens to punish HINDUS.

    They control journalist to conduct propaganda and spread fake narratives by offering journalist visas and access to foreign institutions which will increase their profile as some big time intellectuals.

    Pakistan and china have realised that it’s better to use these anti HINDU radicals rather than spend money on direct confrontation.

    Kashmir the only muslim majority state in INDIA where ethnic cleansing of HINDUS was carried out is an example of what happens when HINDUS are in minority.

    • Very accurate characterization. This timidity of kowtowing before the so called intellectuals and bright products of ivy league institutions has plagued the Indian Foreign Service department too. They aren’t well educated or trained to present India’s side of the story to the world. Their PR work is very poor. The result is in international discourse we find the Farmers’ agitation, the CAA or article 370 making rounds more often than bombing of Yemen or defense purchase of Saudi Arabia or UAE from the USA.

  53. It’s too naive to think that Modi- Sha to rake up international Issues to win the Bengal. They know that it’s anti-incumbency against TMC that will deliver the state to them. It’s very simple, straight and classical political strategy of highlighting the mis-rule of the present Government in the state.

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