BJP PROMOTING HATE AND VIOLENCE — Rahul Gandhi, Leader of Opposition in new Parliament

By Rajan Narayan

AND a few stray thoughts for yet another Saturday. For a Saturday following the week when the British media strongly supported the Labor Party in the elections for a new prime minister. For a Saturday following the week when the morale of India’s victory in the 2020 cricket World Cup in the West Indies. For a Saturday following the week when in the nominations for the American presidential election, there were two candidates 75 years plus, plus. For a Saturday following the week when there was a huge increase in the power tariff. Contrary to the claim of the chief minister Pramod Sawant that the impact would only be marginal. For a Saturday following the week when “pappu” Rahul Gandhi has not changed.

WHO WILL BE UK PM?
AND a few stray thoughts on when the British media strongly supported the Labor Party in the elections for a new prime minister. Unlike in India the major newspapers in the United Kingdom openly expressed their stand on which party the people should vote for. Ironically, it is an Australian media baron, Rupert Murdoch, who controls the media in the UK. Murdock owns both the mass circulating tabloid, The Sun, as well as the paper of the elite which is The Sunday Times.
It may be recalled that the Indian-origin British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was forced to call a snap election after the Conservative party suffered a string of losses. All opinion polls suggest that the Conservatives, who have ruled the United Kingdom for over a decade, are heading for a big defeat.
Interestingly, in the UK, social media does not play a major role in the elections. Even the traditional Conservative supporters in the media have switched to the Labor Party which represents the working class in the UK. The Sun which is a very sensational paper has the largest circulation among the UK media. The Sun does not spare anyone including the royal family.
The closest to the sun in India is the Tamil mass-circulating tabloid Dina Thanti. Apart from The Sun and the The Sunday Times other newspapers in the UK like The Guardian, The Observer and The Sunday Mirror are also supporting Labor. Indeed, the Sunday Mirror splashed a collage featuring scandals during the rule of Rishi Sunak on its front pages.
During the tenure of Rishi Sunak, the Indian-origin prime minister, the one million Hindu population of the UK received a boost. To the extent that the Hindus in the UK have started demanding State support for temples in the UK. In the face of a right-wing attack on Hindus, the Labour Party chief Keir Rodney Starmer rushed to defend him. The Labour Party party candidate for prime minister addressed a meeting at the Satyanarayan Temple in the UK praising the contribution of Hindus to the development of the UK.
There may be a touch of resentment of Indian-origin influence on British politics. Migrants play a major role in the UK politics. The lord mayor of London city is a Muslim of Indian origin. The mayor of thickly Indian-populated city Swindon is a packed with migrant Muslims from Vasco in Goa. One of the senior British Members of Parliament is Keith Vaz of Goan origin. A large number of Goans have moved to the UK on a Portuguese visa.
It is significant that while many countries in Europe are shifting to the right as UK is getting ready to embrace the Labor Party. Elections were held in the UK on July 4, 2024 which also happens to be the American Independence Day. We hope to update you on the results as they come in.

AMERICAN ELECTIONS
AND a few stray thoughts on the domination of the American presidential election with two candidates 75 years plus, plus. The rivals in the present United States elections are Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate and Donald Trump, the Republican candidate. There has been a great deal of concern over the health of Joe Biden who is the incumbent president seeking a second term. During a television debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, Biden showed signs age-related senility.
Biden forgot his speech and failed very badly against Trump. This is compared to the Democrats whose election symbol is the donkey to retire Biden and choose a fresh candidate. Trump on the other hand is looked upon with suspicion for his extreme right policy. Trump has been accused of manipulating the last elections. Trump has also been convicted of financial fraud. Trump is in favor of imposing a ban on abortion. Trump also supports the gun lobby.
Unlike in other countries anyone may purchase a gun in the United States. Over the years there have been any number of cases of trigger-happy lunatics going on a shooting spree, the latest victim has been an Indian student working part-time in a petrol pump. Gunmen have shot and killed several students in schools and colleges. The US seems to have turned Right and Trump appears to enjoy lot of support. The bitter truth is that most Americans seems to be indifferent to who becomes the president. It is the powerful industry and business body which calls the shots in US politics.
Those who have been complaining about the Narendra Modi getting a third term even when he is over 70 years of age should be shocked that this US presidential battle is between two 75 years plus, plus candidates.

INDIA’S CRICKET VICTORY
AND a few stray thoughts on the moral of India’s victory in the 2020 cricket World Cup in the West Indies. The victorious Indian team was captained by Rohit Sharma. Rohit Sharma has the reputation of being a nice guy. The belief is that nice guys and gentlemen do not win matches at the highest level. Unlike Virat Kohli who has a lot of attitude, Rohit Sharma is a responsible father figure. Rohit Sharma believes in teamwork. Rohit is more concerned about the victory of the team than his own performance. Rohit does not carry any grudges. This is dramatized by his welcoming Hardik Pandya into the team.
There has been a lot of tension between Rohit and Pandya during the Indian Premier League. The Mumbai Indians have replaced Pandya as captain in place of Rohit. Never mind this was a disastrous decision as Mumbai Indians did very badly in the IPL. Rohit Sharma supported Pandya during the World Cup despite his differences with him. Rohit encourages Pandya to give his best. The World Cup victory was a result of teamwork and was not dominated by Virat Kohli.
Indeed, Hardik Pandya who failed in the IPL, came to the rescue of India in the World Cup. Rohit’s leadership was one of concern and positivity. Rohit did not display any aggression in or out of the field. The victory of India in the T20 World Cup shows that the good guys can also win matches.

POWER TARIFF HIKE
AND a few stray thoughts on the huge increase in power tariff in Goa. Contrary to the claim of Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant that the impact would only be marginal, we were shocked upon seeing our latest power bill. Overnight the power bill has doubled from an average to Rs1,500 to Rs3,000. The chief minister has claimed that the increase in power tariff was only by 3%. But even 3% per unit can result in a big increase in the final bill.
At one time the power tariff was the lowest in Goa both for domestic consumers and industry. This is why a lot of steel rolling mills set up shop in Goa. Over the years there has been a steady increase in power tariffs. The biggest problem is that Goa does not have any capital source of power generation. Goa is dependent on the national grid for its power requirements. The transmission lines pass through Maharashtra and Karnataka. There are huge transmission losses.
Whenever the power goes off for a few seconds or minutes it is because of a switch from the Karnataka, Maharashtra transmission centre. The infrastructure for power in Goa is also very poor. Many of the overhead lines have not been replaced. There is massive power theft, particularly in the coastal areas.
To compound the problem government and private organizations have not paid their bills for a long time. Opposition leaders have been pointing out that if the power arrears are collected there would be no need for hiking power tariff so that those who are honest suffer.
Even Union Minister of State of Power Shripad Naik has advised the State government from imposing such an extortionate increase in the power tariff in Goa.

`PAPPU’ RAHUL GANDHI
AND a last stray thoughts on Pappu Rahul Gandhi who has not changed a bit. During his first speech in parliament as Leader of the Opposition Rahul was back on the attack. Rahul insisted that the BJP was continuing the politics of hate. Rahul accused the BJP of promoting “nafrat” and “hinsa” or violence against the Muslims and Christians. Rahul thundered that the BJP and Modi could not call themselves Hindu because they promoted violence. To quote Rahul, “Those who call themselves Hindu indulge in hatred violence and untruth 24×7.” Rahul’s attack on the BJP drew a strong response from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As usual Modi twisted Rahul’s statement as if he was calling all Hindus violent. On the contrary, Rahul only called the BJP guilty of violence and not the Hindu community.

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