Ambani’s Jio destroyed Football Word Cup 2022 and media is silent.

On the morning of 20th Nov 2022, I got the Jio Cinema app installed on my Amazon Fire Stick. It was great to have this facility, FREE. But the app opened with a few football clips that did not play. Also, the app did not have any dedicated tab for “Sports.” But the match was starting at Nine Thirty in the night and so I moved to another ‘very important’ things.

Come Nine or so in the night, and I prepared for myself for another 4-yearly football watch. For, India is the only country in the world that does not follow football, but is religious about watching the world-cup. I am exaggerating, but this is quite true in most of the cases.

Anyway, nine pm and I fire up the Amazon Prime and click the app JioCinema. Wow, an app update! So I update. And Lo! The specific tab for “sports” has appeared. I bless Ambani for hearing my inner voice. It has been long before anyone heard and implemented my suggestions on app enhancement.

Strangely, all the clips on display were probably JPEG files. One may be a GIF for it moved a fraction with each click. In 30 mins a grand show is going to start and THIS!

Nine Thirty confirmed my nervousness when the show started. But again, everything seemed sluggish. The picture moved in a way that seemed like a video game played with a bad internet connection. Players moved on screen as if jumping from pixel to pixel. I doubted my internet connections and so restarted my router even when my speed showed 53 mbps.

I am not a Jiocinema watcher. I am most of the time with Netflix, Hotstar, YouTube and Amazon. This Jio experience was the first and if things don’t improve, this will be the last.

In distress such as this, one looks for affirmation. So, off I go to twitter to find out if others too are facing the same. Nothing in “Trending,” nothing in “Sports.” Twitter appears pristine. So I enter the search “Jio.” and there is everything, all the affirmations I needed.

I still struggled with the show, but my eyes starting straining. Having watched quality all the time, this “buffering” watch was exhausting. By Nine Forty pm was done with the world cup for the day.

I went to sleep thinking about waking up to a storm in the media. I imagined all the newspapers carrying the front page caption on how “Jio” or “Ambani” “destroyed the World cup Football.” There is going to be a virtual “furore.” Thus was my “pipe dream.”

Next day, today, 21st Nov, I woke up with a picture of “Ambani” being pilloried. But nothing. I have a membership to Magzters, which has all the major newspapers in the world and one by one I opened all the India ones. I could find not a word in any of them. Total Prime-Time Media Silence.

Though on Google is one search with “Jio” “World cup” “buffering” and so forth, once gets the news and the apologies by Jio, but they are never in the front. They are not even in most of the notifications one gets on mobiles and tabs. I subscribe to some news notifications and I did not.

This is called propaganda success. Complete control of the media. Complete control of the government. So, what people see and read is what they permitted by whosoever controls the medium.

There is nothing bad in here. People in power and position will control. But, it is always important to realize that what you are being dished out is by design or intention, or both. That is all a powerless can do for their safeguards.

I have worked in an aviation company who, in their prime, exercised great controls on the media. There was an incident where an aircraft entered an “unused” runway and rammed on all the barricades while on a take-off run. Have you ever heard of this? Hardly. Another time, the pilot landed the aircraft so badly that the left wheel went into the left wing. The media diluted the narrative the first day like “aircraft blocks runway” and by the second day, they relegated it to a minor news-item.

Though traditional media may do “news-control” via their own PR medium (personal relations, and Ambani will not be short of this), a new “news-control” is happening via the AI – Artificial Intelligence. This AI subtly and surreptitiously can do what a PR manager might do with, say, ‘1000’ phone calls and negotiations.

Recently, KRK – Kamal R Khan got arrested, and I wrote a piece on him and tweeted it. This is before the Elon Musk era. The tweet refused to show on my account. It disappeared the moment I tweeted. I understood that the Algo (algorithm) was at work. Later, the tweet appeared, but the tweet analytics were suppressed. It was only recently, and with the ‘Elon Musk era’, that the tweet showed on the main page and the analytics are visible.

My this piece is a test on the ‘Elon Musk Era’ besides being my angst with Jiocinema which the Indian media have suppressed. I understand I can get the world cup on Tata Sky or Cable, but that investment is superfluous. I am not that a fanatic about football. In the end, what has actually happened is that Jio has taken an important event and reduced it to match with its own culture.

KRK

I’ve been reading movie reviews for a long time. I also blog about movies which I find interesting. There is no better method of practising one’s writings than to write about something which one sees and experiences.

This reading of movies and writing on them presents one with an interesting insight. I can claim that most movie reviews in India – particularly in Hindi movies – are ‘stage managed.’ And they have to be, for most of the magazines which carry movie reviews also carry movie advertisements. So, a magazine cannot run down a movie and expects businesses to pay for advertisement space. It’s that simple.

Besides, most movie reviewers live inside the movie ecosystem. They have to meet and greet the same people to who they have to reach out to get tidbits of news they need to fill up their magazine space and sell to the people and advertisers. To expect a realistic analysis of any Hindi movies (I’ll restrict myself to what I see and know) by any reviewers will be unexpected.

Amid these, there thrives (until yesterday) a Hindi movie reviewer who gave a damn to the establishment. Kamal R Khan is famous because he is famous. He produced and acted in a movie, which is a ‘masterclass’ on how not to make a movie. So he knows how. At least he is correct in most of his reviews. His reviews are on YouTube.

Kamal R Khan is famous because he is famous.

But his words are not apt. Most of them are ‘beepable.’ The flip side of his reviews is – he runs down, almost contemptuously, the actors along with the movies. Had he concentrated only on movies, his analysis is very near correct. But his use of words and phrases against people of show business reduces the quality of conversation. It entertains – but I won’t second his opinions on people.

There is a story of one Angulimal who used to loot people in a forest. One day he trapped a person who, before being looted and killed, put down a strange proposition – Anguli should go back home and ask his family if they subscribe to his trade. If they agree, then Anguli can have all the loot (and his life). Anguli returns from home disappointed. For everyone did agree to partake in his earnings but none were ready to back his trade, and thus face the fate that awaited such enterprise. The person emerged to be a great saint, Buddha and later made Anguli also a great saint.

The above story is famous and retold, yet they point to one moral thought: Are you willing to back someone, irrespective? Your friends and colleagues could be entertaining, and they also have ethical issues. You would choose to take only the ‘entertainment’ and leave out the ‘unethical.’

Choose to take only the ‘entertainment’ and leave out the ‘unethical.’

The virtual absence of the KRK issue in the media and ‘trending’ shows that people loved to listen to his rundown on other stars and movies, but the majority do not subscribe to his demeaning use of words. KRK is right and has a right to his opinions on movies, but he is not right to be defamatory to people.

KRK is right and has a right to his opinions on movies, but he is not right to be defamatory to people.

KRK could have used his popularity and resources to get better drafters to his comments on YouTube. After all, better words and better vocabulary affect better. KRK is commenting on YouTube for many years. Had he used his opportunity to improve himself, as he has improved his own channel and personal presentations, his content would have matured and aged better.

I hope, and we should all too, that he gets back revived and improved and we don’t miss the truth about Hindi movies. After all, he saves lots of our money (and time). He can do the same with a better vocabulary. Now.

Bollywood Flops

For people who have lived long enough (like me) one has the advantages of history and noticing patterns.

There was a time when we were young and stars old. Then came a time, when we were young and stars young. So we can catch the time when we transitioned from the old to the contemporary. There was an age when we ceased to identify with Amitabh, Dharmendra, and Jeetendra and moved over to many Khans.

We know the effects of identification. Say, at age 20, Aamir’s romance made more meaning than the same by Dharam or Jeetendra, who were still very active in 1988. By the onset of 1990, the Hindi film industry had established hit stars who were in their early or mid-twenties. The mass audience, mainly the young guys, moved over to the young stars, but the old stars were still there doing their work, but they had a select audience. I still remember the day when I saw Bachchan’s romance in ‘Suryavansham,'(1999) and oh, what a pain it is to watch that.

Life is repeating, but not resonating. Those fresh-faced 20-something stars 30 years ago are now 50 plus. When I was 20, my stars were 20 plus. Just imagine, folks born, say in 1988, are today 34 years old. These poor chaps are watching the old hags for the last 2 decades at least. No wonder they don’t even bother to visit the theatres – Covid or no-covid.

This is the problem of business, and not of stars.

Before there were single-screen and after the year 2000, gradually, most of the theatres turned to multi screens. In the pre-streaming era (before Netflix, Prime etc.) the business booked all screens for a new movie for at least a week across India. This means the audience has no option but to buy the ticket and get forcibly entertained – spend time. The business is just concerned with money. No quality, no taste, no esthetics – only money for tickets, and yes, popcorn. (MNS party in Maharashtra took objections to this, so they kept 1 screen available for regional films.)

The movie business settled for this model for decades. It’s a dumb model, but effective. It got the money, what in movie parlance is called – opening. So, no talent gets developed to write good stories because there is no need to attract the audience via a good, wholesome movie. All that is needed is to fix up some show. The business took care of the rest – put the movie in the theatres and block all screens for a week and collect the ‘ransom.’

With the movie business, they also focused the theatre business on maximizing how much each visitor spends rather than maximizing the audience attendance through making good movie products.

Improving the audience ‘Experience’ got limited to the look and feel and ambience of the theatre like plush seating, cozy restaurant and bars, etc., but the primary product, the Movies, got the back seat.

Instead of writers and directors, it seems, yield management experts are running the movie business.

Now, even when streaming (OTT) is available, they cannot exploit this medium in India. The people who are making for the screen are also making for the OTT. They are the same old guys. There are no new talents to exploit, face-wise, acting-wise, writing-wise, and direction-wise. The business model of blocking the screen for weeks and sucking money out of the system has left the film ecosystem talentless.

The business model of blocking the screen for weeks and sucking money out of the system has left the film ecosystem talentless.

There are almost two generations of the young crowd with no motivational bonds with the Hindi Film Industry – no actor to root for, no actress to fall for, and no songs to sing. This is really an awful state of affairs.

The recent failures of Hindi films have nothing to do with star children, nepotism, and so on. They are just plain dreadful stories. To top it all off, the stars are not in phase with time. The median age of Indians is 24 years, the stars are more than double that age. Imagine a 60-year-old romancing a 40-year-old and both dressed and trying to appear as a 20-year-old. It’s pretty nauseating.

Imagine a 60-year-old romancing a 40-year-old and both dressed and trying to appear as a 20-year-old. It’s pretty nauseating.

The stars are not to blame because the business comes to them. No money is moving to a new face. The old still command huge fees. The old (and experienced) stars will not turn the other way when someone puts huge money on the table. And if one turns away, there are others to step in, so no one wants to lose.

The only corrective to any business is disruption. A string of failures will alert the business toward more prudent decisions on filmmaking. We need fresh talent, in writing, direction and acting. And the recent flops and audience apathy have shown that the time has come for a change. It will surprise one if Aamir Khan can make another movie soon.

Film stars are a social necessity. Like sports celebs, they motivate, encourage. There must exist characters with beauty, a style akin to the age, for the youth to aspire.

Matching the Flags

Just as Indian Flag is interesting (at least to an Indian) so are the Indian political party flags. Most of the northern parties have a common theme – saffron, white and green. Only the difference is “emblematic,” – typical to the party, like broom, leaf, hand, spinning wheel. The south has struck a difference – choosing darker hues – and shunning the two of the three national colors – saffron and green.

Probably saffron and green matters more in the north of India, where the two colors are representative. Saffron is claimed by the Hindus and Green by the Muslims. One can gauge the balancing act of the parties of the north by the choice of colours.

The ‘BJP’ has added one more complexity in the mix. To identify their party flag with the National Flag. But no party has as much legacy claims on the National Flag as the Congress. This 75th year of India’s independence, and also the day, could have been the Congress’s. Even out of power, they could have made this year, or at least, this day, as a day to assert some visibility.

It is amazing that they let this opportunity go to waste. On the eve of India’s Diamond Jubilee, we find Rahul Gandhi making inane comments which show that he has no sense of his own legacy. Congress had been in the forefront of the Independence struggle and even after Independence, their contribution has been immense. In 75 years, Congress can lay claim to at least 60. This is not a bad achievement.

The BJP has skillfully launched a narrative trap. If you are the supporter of the National Flag, which every Indian should be, then you are the supporter of the BJP. And (this will be interesting) if you are not the supporter of the BJP, then you are not the supporter of the National flag.

Indians should be worried, not about the BJP, and not about their narratives, but who will counter their game. It’s pretty obvious the Rahul Gandhi is a tyro. But this centrist pull by the BJP will have a fallout.

For nature may abhor a vacuum, but politics abhors no space. This centripetal will give rise to centrifugal. Flags also portray history and sentiments. See the flags of political parties of the south – the remnants of the centrifugal.

So, how long will ‘Saffron, white and green,’ represent the National and also the political. Because if one party identifies in toto with the national colours, the survival of the remaining political party will depend on moving the other way – not breaking of India, but in the choosing of the colors of their political flags. Here, colour is a proxy for space, a differentiation, an essential ingredient of politics.

BJP may not survive this narrowness in political space for long. Political parties aside, even the people of India will feel the constraint. It is not without reason that India has diversity, for people love to have their own personal space, including their politics. For when people feel they are being hemmed in – even Rahul Gandhi will do.

When a political leader puts a face on the flag, the flag then belongs to the face. Let us not do the same to our National Flag.

On China

From the viewpoint of India, the US-China ‘boxing’ will cause an Indian broad smile. We, as Indians, are so glad to look at “our rival” to be “adequately taken care of.” I have not still come upon any addressing where – just for the heck of it – someone had contemplated an identical plot with India in the notoriety instead of China.

Pearl S. Buck’s book on China – the Good Earth – set in the 1930s, characterizes the Chinese and their state as abysmal.

Around the same time (1927), another American author, Katherine Mayo, wrote a book on India – Mother India, for which Gandhi had concluded as “Drain Inspector’s Report.” Readers (and nearly all non-readers) trashed the “fiction.” The book possesses many valid estimates of India and Indians. (Here)

The aim here is to draw out parallels between China and India. Both countries had launched with a nearly low base. It’s not that India squandered its opportunity, unlike China. It’s that, wherever China is now, India will be there in the future.

The point is not why India is slow vis-à-vis China’s accomplishment. Or what India should look at to get where China is now. The point is – what transpires when we become like China? How will the world counter India, next? What will India require gaining as it inches up the world prosperity ladder?

Recognizing the nasty-China narrative these days shows – power will counter. China, to the world these days, are rogue upstart that the powerful portion of the world has taken up the cudgels to control. It is a playbook. It is the power’s methods and strategies to counter, contain and thwart the claimants. Had India been in China’s place today, the reactions would have been similar. And when India will reach the top one day, the powers will repeat the same playbook.

China has arrived in power with most of the essential sectors achieved. It includes its military industrials, tech, hi-tech (read 5 nm chips) and pharma. The picture of China is not of rows and rows of workers sitting with sewing machines and spewing sweatshirts. It is a picture of a healthy population involved with future technologies.

There may have been a time when the world needed China for its cheap manufacturing. It is the demonstration of Chinese acumen and planning that they did not waste time turning into a “fulfilling centre.” It is quite noticeable that they used the money which they got from the world to create their modernization.

The attention of India should not be towards the West, but the North. That is where great things are happening. Indians are too pro-west, pro-English. We also adopt pro-west (thus anti-east) quotes and epithets for China. Indians mimic the west and mirror the envy and angst which they have towards the Chinese.

In fact, the west has a similar stance towards India too when they push their agenda that the Indian press is not free and our democracy is imperfect. And Indians have no Human-Rights. But, do we Indian really believe that?

But Indians believe the same for the Chinese – that their media is not free and their people don’t have human rights. This cannot be workable – that a country with 2nd largest economy is tyrannical. It’s got to have what it takes to be up there, isn’t it?

It’s time for India (and for the East) to do away with anti-China tilt. That does not mean becoming pro-China. It means becoming ‘with-China.’ A “with-China” stance will help Indian gain indigenous attitudes and not look towards the west for developing technologies. Modi’s “Make is India” is not that a success because the prevailing attitude induces Indians to look towards the West, either for new things and also for their certification.

To every App, China has an App. With every technology, China has an answer – better and cheaper. The West has made everyone believe that the Chinese have stolen substandard technology. We devote Indians love this narrative. It’s time we should call out these lies – for our own sake.

Tinder Swindler, Netflix

The Tinder Swindler is the most suave con-artist. But every dog sniffs a bitch.

A handsome swindlers rips his beautiful women, in tandem. He makes the first women pay while he has a good time with the second, and then makes the second women pay while he has good time with the third. And so on.

The Swindler is not solo. He has an entourage. And his target women need not be rich. Basically, the minimum requirement is; he has a story, and his pray, a credit card. The rest is heist.

Unending swindle may make news but not a story. This has a story. The swindler finally meets his match – a swindleress. Or is it? The ending is bit unsatisfactory, not because the documentary is bad, but the justice left the sufferers high and dry.

“The Tinderswindler” just under 2 hours and fast paced, yet covers all the important aspects. Besides, the melodrama is kept at the very minimum. Only one women is allowed a measured weep. The director is to the point.

Swindlers make great friend, till supplies last.

Economics of Hindi ‘Languaged’ Movies

KGF Chapter 2 is a Kannada movie dubbed in Hindi and all south Indian languages. Speaking about the success of this movie, another Kannada actor unconnected with this movie, said – Hindi is “no longer” a national language. This is ignorant talk, coming from someone associated with the movie industry. They should know better.

The debate then got erroneously enmeshed in the constitutional status of Hindi. The debate should be – what happens if any regional language movies are dubbed in Hindi?

Movies are a function of revenue. And revenue is a function of distribution – the larger the spread the more the collection. The data on the movie has been extracted from (here)

KGF 2 was released on 14th April 2022, Thursday, in Kannada (ka), Hindi (Hi), Malayalam (Mal), Tamil (Ta) and Telugu (Te).

The chart below shows the percentage of daily earnings for one week – Hindi vis-à-vis Kannada. Out of the total money earned, Hindi earns 50% of the revenue daily.

% earnings in Hindi vis-à-vis Kannada

The chart below shows – Percentage of daily earnings from the Rest of India and Kannada. Also, after three days, collections from the south show precipitous drop.

Rest of India does not mean only Hindi, still one can consider “Hindi followers” as major.

“Hindi followers” means – people whose mother tongue is not Hindi, yet given two theatres, one running Hindi and another running “south language” movie, they will choose Hindi. For example, Bengali and Marathi speakers may choose Hindi.

One can equally extrapolate these earnings to overseas markets also. “Hindi followers” dominate the Indian Diaspora. So, if the movie is purported to earn over Rs. 1000 crores worldwide, one can estimate the earnings to be from Hindi dubbing.

KGF 2 took Rs. 100 crores to make. No movie financier will budget this amount on a regional language movie with no prospect of it being released in Hindi also.

A dubbing controversy happened in 2016, with the movie -Dhoni. Some “sena” objected to the movie’s dubbing in Hindi, fearing that this could become a trend and might affect the Marathi movie economy. (here)

With the sort of provocations coming from the south movie industry and deliberate denigration of Hindi, the day is not far when some “sena” will arise in the north and stop the south dubbing in Hindi.

Better sense should prevail and money should be put where it’s due. Hindi might not be our National Language but it’s a language of money, Indian movie-wise, whether acknowledged or unacknowledged.

The travesty is; that south actors who speak with one eye on regional politics and make fractious statements, will one day might become Chief Minister of that State.

Social Media

There is a saying;

Great minds discuss ideas
Average minds discuss events
Small minds discuss people.

There is another saying;
Curiosity is ill manners in another’s house.

The parent company Meta – home of Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp – have exploited, “curiosities of small minds” to pry into people’s lives. They are worth half-trillion dollars.

Curiosity is a good thing, an essential human tool to “kill” mysteries and get solutions for humanity. But, unfortunately, there are few people who get opportunity to use “curiosity” purposefully. Many are left curiously watching other’s lives.

The human tool – curiosity – needs a medium to operate. Like, if you are curious about heavenly bodies, you need telescope. Germs – microscope. When paper was invented it gave rise to knowledge thru books.

Curiosity->stars->telescope, curiosity->germs->microscope, curiosity->knowledge->books.

The last one, books, needs contents to be created for it. Books as medium fulfills many curious interests. Experts create contents for books and with time, this evolves and becomes varied and complex.

Again, with the coming of radio, cinema, TV, the medium gave birth to content creators who fulfill the needs of the listeners/viewers. Societies evolved to ever more complex technologies and contents.

Come computers and evolution was fast-tracked. Mr. Moore said in 1965 – computers gonna speed-up double and its cost halved, every two years. Similarly, contents for computers, the experts and the users, all evolved into a new species – in a way, from what humans were half a century back.

So, we can say, down the history, curiosities in the mediums helped the medium to evolve.

Now we are at a stage, where we apply our curiosities to feed the social media. Can we imagine what is the next step in this evolution?

Taking only one instance; over the years, curiosities in space have led to improvements in telescopes. Recently a powerful telescope of enormous size was sent to space. It’s a commentary on evolution – not only on the makers but also of its users.

There is also value in reading, movies, music, art, architecture, design, or writing – expressing plain simple thoughts and trying to analyse things in more pages than a paragraph. Evolution of the human mind, so to say.

What is the next step for users on Facebook?
Why are the users forwarding, liking, sharing, trash?
What will they hope to achieve after a few years of trash-pushing?
How many pictures will anyone put on Instagram before realising that a picture is an art form and should have some taste and aesthetics?

Social media has dumbed down individuals to a “No Evolution State.”

In gaming, perhaps, one can foresee evolutions, that tomorrow’s computer and online gaming will be better than todays – more complex strategies and scenarios. Besides these, what else can one expect from any social media? Will rehashing contents bring evolution or a dumb breed? Who do we think we will grow up to?

Will spewing venom on the time-line cause all the venom to dry up?

Or have we reached a stasis, social-media-wise?

Over time, the instruments we hold will get ever more powerful. But can we claim the same for our minds, when all it does is scroll?

Prashant Kishor should go for the kill

A success story begins in 1997. Mamata Banerjee quits congress and forms TMC – Trinamool Congress. For the next 10 years, she plays on single digits, 7 or 8 seats. Then in 2006, the then ruling communists jilted their vote base thru aggressive privatisation. The entire communists rank and file moved over to the TMC. The assembly elections in 2011 favoured TMC. It’s 10 years and they are still going strong. 

The lesson learnt is – if the rank and file gets disgruntled, it’s like the edifice of a party getting weakened. Mamata took risks, and got lucky as her party was in the right place and the right time to capitalise on the communist implosion between 2006 to 2011. Mind you, congress was there and they did nothing to exploit the situation.

Quite similar is the situation now, that is presented to Prashant Kishor. The strategist has got a good strategy of taking over the beleaguered congress party or replacing it. And this can be done both from the inside and outside the congress. The moot point is, political cadres are like any individuals – they will always look out for better prospects. 

The talks of getting the party from inside has failed and that was ought to be. After passing a certain great old age, people like to die in their own house. The congress oldies have naturally chosen to go down with the ship. But the ship of congress will not sink. It will only overturn. The old guys will wither away and the rank and file, the youth in the system, will always choose fresh pastures.

After passing a certain great old age, people like to die in their own house.

Prashant Kishor’s proposition should be exciting to the congress’s lower rungs. Now it depends how Prashant Kishor moves hereon. He is unable to cut a deal with the veterans, but the rest of the pack won’t shy away. They will come forward and Prashant Kishor should have a good deal for them. The road ahead will test his deal making skills.

What Parshant Kishor intends is doable. And he has got the timing right. In two years from now there will be a general elections and there is at least a year from now for him to get the formation going. Prashant should remember that the Prime Ministerial face of the new party should be him, and this will make a difference.

Prashant Kishor is known and credible face in both north and south of India. He has got the right visibility and the right successes. Also the right allies. He has the energy, intelligence and the most important concoction in politics – Charisma.

The election of 2024 will be as important as the election of 2014. In 2014, every voter in India went out and voted for Modi. In 2019, those same voters voted Modi again, because they didn’t want their first choice of 2014 to be proved wrong. In 2024, those same voters are going to come out and give Modi a viable opposition.

There is Modi-Fatigue in the air. It is like, he is not playing the big boys, which he should.

Heroes should be adequately challenged. For this to happen, an important thing should happen between now and say, by fall of 2023 – A formation of viable opposition with a credible Prime Ministerial face. Once this is sorted out, the voters of India will make Modi sweat for the third term. 

Prashant Kishor will find this surprising that the same voters who voted for ten years of Modi, are the same who are looking for a new face to launch a challenge back to Modi. This feeling has come about among people because they sense a challenging prospect in him to take on Modi.

If it was congress with Prashant Kishor, it would have been easier and better. Because congress has a structure. But if it’s not congress, it’s still good, because the congress rank and file might join. A decade out of power is not easy to live by. Also, congress’s own bleak future extending into the dark will be unnerving to the youths of congress.

But, structural problems will arise when an old party will break, and hierarchies will be disturbed. Individuals and groups who had earlier followed a party line and obeyed the dicta of “through proper channels,” and “not to speak out of turn” or “not to speak at all” etc., will find themselves rudderless and footloose, besides getting loose-mouthed.

Even when a party has become termite ridden, still, the High-Command does have some heft. It can enforce party discipline. As the great ship of congress overturns, there will be enormous frictional reverberation.

The churn of the “disintegrating rotor of congress” will be centrifugal. How will a new party assimilate and control this force? We will have to see.

Hence, Prashant Kishor will not have the luxury of an organised party going to the polls in unison. And any disruption in the newly formed cadre will be amply and aptly exploited by Modi. So, the poll strategist who analyses numbers for a living, will now have to do the unthinkable – control those numbers to survive.

How will we know whether Prashant Kishor is getting successful in his endeavor? If Modi calls for an early elections. This is one way to stymie a nascent adversary.

Anyhow, Prashant Kishore should bite this bullet and make an exciting next two years, culminating in a hit or a miss. Modi may not have imagined this can happen in 2024, that a force will arise, helped by his own people, to test him. That’s an unusual Opposition.

Politics, as rightly said, is the art of the possible. For Prashant Kishor, possibility has arrived. But does he have the art? 

Bulldozer

If politics reacts with bulldozer on illegals, this means, politics also created those illegals. Politics knows who, where, and what are these illegals. The action of bulldozing a vulnerable community smacks of arrogance – I made you, so I can also break you. They already had them marked out.

The question to ponder is – do you think you can be marked out too?

Few think in long terms. “Short-termism” is dominant human nature. People who vie for public offices will need to collect votes. To get votes is their short-term goal. To provide votes is in the illegal’s short term interest. And why not this deal? Livelihood is essential to life, and what better, if it also comes with valid papers.

This is common in India. Legal citizens disappear from the voting list. And illegals get full fledged status to decide on India’s democracy. That is why resistance on NRC – National Register of Citizens. The opposition and the Ruling both feed on the same illegally created electoral base. 

The opposition and the Ruling will both feed on any “created” electoral base. So, dear citizens – Do not expect a solution. Brace for a crash.

When politics are enmeshed in the same mess, what happens when “your settlers turn against you.” The age-old Indian solution is a riot. Breaking some shanty town or even a house (just like, Kangana Ranaut) is seen as sincere heroism in India.

In India, there are religious minorities. And also, linguistic minorities.

Muslims form the major religious minorities in India. Hindus are major linguistic minorities in India. When these two minorities are stacked face to face, it will be found that India has more issues with language than religion. What you see on TV and read on social media about harangue against one particular religion – it is actually to reduce their power and get them sidelined. Once that is achieved – Politics will settle down for real business – Language.

In India, strife and rioting on Language is just round the corner. Politics just have to wrap up the Muslim business first and fast. That is the next level of polarisation. Every polarisation, namely religious, has its limits, and politics will explore other avenues to optimise their returns.

Muslim get highlighted first because they have pan-India identity. They are more grouped. Act in unison. Politics love communities who move in lock-steps. The Hindus of India are bamboozled and hoodwinked into thinking that Islam and Muslims are their enemies. But in-fact, wherever Hindus are linguistic minorities – Muslims in those regions are their greatest allies.

Linguistic Politics will first smudge English Language shop-faces in some anti-English drive. Then they will come for other languages. It’s about time Hindus come to their senses and realise they are playing into some powerful hands and if today Muslims homes are bulldozed, tomorrow it will be their turn.       

Never send to know who the bulldozer razes; it razes thee.