Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Charity begins at..

                                 The Daily Pheesh
                                 Thursday February 1 2018

The Sree Parasuram Seva Sena(SPSS) is a charitable educational and moral concern which seeks to harness the values of our ancient civilization towards the greater good of our society. Though only 10 years old, the Sena is the inheritor of a tradition that stretches back to the glorious Indus Valley Civilization and seeks to ensure that this unbroken chain runs on for ever and ever. The Sena's primary initiatives are in the field of education and public service and it coordinates with a host of civil society organizations that share its values and principles. The Sena's educational institutions have been praised as models of the education of the future as they combine high academic standards with an ethical touch.

"Sree Parasuram Seva Sena schools and colleges have impressed me deeply with their commitment to the moral uplift of society. I urge all concerned parents to embrace the Sena schools for the sake of the nation and its culture"
Sri Vidhvesharahitananda
M.Litt, D.PHil
Educational expert

The Parasuram Seva Sena is proud to introduce two new courses for its able and dedicated students. They are:

1)B.Mp(Bachelor of Moral Policing)- Duration 1 year
This course seeks to instill the precepts of social activism in students and encourage them to realize the historical and cultural background of intervention in social affairs. The students will be instructed by a distinguished array of experienced faculty and will receive specific instruction from elite guest professors. A great deal of emphasis will be laid on field work. Male and female students will be permitted to attend this course. There will be no fees and students will be required to sign a bond pledging to serve the organization for one year
Eligibility-The applicant must be Hindu and healthy.

2)M.Mp(Master of Moral Policing)-Duration 6 months
This course will impart the philosophical background of social and moral activism to the students and prepare them to take up the mantle of leadership of social organizations in these troubled times. The students shall be granted access to senior functionaries and leaders of friendly social organizations and can learn from them in the best traditions of the guru-shishya tradition. This course is reserved for male students though exceptionally talented female students will be considered. This course will also be free of cost and students will be drafted to the higher levels of the SPSS.
Eligibility-The applicant must have a B.Mp degree and must be healthy and male(except for select cases.see above)

All donations made to the Sree Parasuram Seva Sena will be refunded by the Government of India.

Image credits

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Mask of Saffron Death

As Gaza burns(again) and a bout of Obamania breaks out(again), an interesting drama has been playing itself out in the corridors of India's own "party with a difference". While the origins of the conflict can be traced to the Gujarat elections or even to some grave comments made many years ago, the past couple of days have added some spice to the protracted trench warfare between the honchos of the BJP.

To summarize, ex-Vice -President Bhairon Singh Shekawat(probably inspired by Al Gore) publicly speculated on the possibility of his contesting the Lok Sabha elections. Now this would be bad enough were it not for the fact that the Hon.exvp made things worse by not very unsubtly pointing out his geriatric credentials and by snubbing the party president. Of course the party, quick to the defense of its crown prince and heir apparent(that's L.K Advani btw), shot Shekawat down only to land right into the midst of another controversy as prominent Indian industrialists(in a sign of times to come) recommended Narendra Modi for the post of the PM. The CEO of Gujarat broke his silence and finally endorsed Advani for the PM in characteristic style(he called it a conspiracy) and the dust has settled, or so it would seem.

The BJP has always claimed to be a "Party with a difference", a very dubious claim since it has its own version of the "foreign hand" that "guides" it. This control however has neither been complete nor harmonious and so the BJP has had to spend considerable time in confronting the issue of factionalism. It has been specifically difficult as the BJP has never really learned the two prominent ways whereby parties encounter factionalism.

1Neuter all middle level associates and concentrate power in "The Hand".(See Gandhi Indira)
2) Expel your opponents/Leave the party/Rejoin(See "The 101 Janata Dals").

The reason neither of these approaches ever worked for the BJP is that they contradicted with the party's image of being this sleek monolith. Of course it was never so and once the party tasted power(and infinite possibilities of patronage), the seams began unraveling at the speed with which one said Deen Dayal Upadhyaya. So in the best traditions of the second option mentioned
above, the BJP had its Uma Bharati,Madan Lal Khurana and most recently Kalyan Singhs. The first option never really took off as no single leader(including A.B Vajpeyee) was ever allowed to reach a position where he or she could effect a culture of complete cronyism. The question is: will things remain the same?

The BJP seems better placed than the Congress from the perspective of the next elections. But it is an indisputable fact that it's leadership is far from inspirational. Atal Behari Vajrayee is almost catatonic. Advani has become the national bore and very few among the younger generation of leaders has a significant base. It is at such a moment, when senior swayamsevaks go about proclaiming their seniority, that the allure of Modi seduces. He has been an "effective" administrator in every sense of the term making special efforts to reach out to the corporate world. It is possible that he senses such efforts are his best way to gain a degree of acceptability in the country.

Now there are a lot of issues at stake here,the two bad words of corporate responsibility among others. The most important one is of course the rise and rise of the Butcher of Baroda. There are been many who argue that Modi should be given another chance and cite his impressive record as a "development politician" over the past couple of years. Such arguments only remind me of an earlier set of arguments flung about in the mid-90's in the midst of Congress fatigue and Deve Gowda about how the BJP should be given a chance at power since it would at least be an improvement over the reigning horse merchants. The utter lameness of those arguments was proved time and again over the following years. It's an instance which must not be forgotten

The rise of Modi and a BJP which over the next couple of years might turn to him as their next saviour is a very chilling possibility. There have been innumerable reports of Modi's intolerance of dissent. One can visualise a BJP 2.0 somewhere in 2020, a triumphant Modi in charge enacting the option 1 to eliminate factionalism in the organization. It will be an endless march of Modi-masks who shall aspire for ghettoized development. A most disturbing thought.

Talk about the Mask of Saffron Death!

Ps.This article by Swapan Dasgupta in The Pioneer is splendid evidence in support of the above argument especially since he mocks arguments of this sort.