When Jeff Bezos became a Neelpati!

diamond-1186139_960_720Growing up in India in the 1980s, Lakhpati was such a big thing (Rs 100,000).

After the Liberalization of 1991, that became common and Crorepati became a thing (Rs 100 lakhs).

Today so many flats (forget bungalows) in every major city are worth a crore each. The Indian middle class is swarming with Crorepatis.

One term that never caught on was Arabpati (Rs 100 crores).

There are so many Arabpatis in India too.

How about Kharabpati? (Rs 100 Arabs or Rs 10,000 crores).

In the current rate of exchange, that’s roughly US$1.33 billion.

So now the terms US$ Billionaire and INR Kharabpati are almost comparable and we could well start using the latter.

India has roughly 100+ Kharabpatis.

Did you know that 100 Kharabs = 1 Neel?

So if someone is worth Rs 10 lakh crore, then he would be a Neelpati.

Is there anyone who is a Neelpati and worth that much?

Going by the above calculations, US$133 billion is enough to be a Neelpati. India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani is heading towards half a Neel.

If it’s anyone who’s already there then it has to be Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world who is worth (depending on the day you are looking) in excess of US$180 billion.

So a Neelpati is worth a 100 Kharabpatis or 10,000 crorepatis, or 1 million Lakhpatis!

How times have changed!

Covid-19: India must be doing something right, even if most don’t acknowledge it!

covid-19-5254302_960_720While there has either been less or inconsistent testing and some fudging of data here and there, one thing you simply cannot hide is Covid-19 deaths. They may even have been jacked up due to co-morbidities. Billionaire Elon Musk joked on the Joe Rogan Show that if a man got eaten by a shark and they recovered his hand and it tested positive, it would be put down as a Covid death. A recent US motorcycle accident death was indeed put down as a Covid death.

That way India has a population of 1.35 billion is still not a fully developed country with an inadequate healthcare system with problems of general indiscipline among the general population and also problems of awareness, especially in the rural areas. Then there’s the fact that everyone in the world in their lifetime will either catch the flu or cold or some sort of Coronavirus. No matter what you do, billions will eventually catch Covid-19. What exactly is flattening the curve? The Smallpox and Polio viruses have been around for thousands of years before they came under fully control. Every curve eventually goes flat. What is the correct time frame to know you’ve done well and beaten the worst-case scenario?

There’s no point really focusing on number of cases, number of tests and the like. China is the largest population in the world but we will never get the exact statistics beyond the Bamboo Curtain. So no matter what we do, no matter how well we manage, India may still emerge as the country with the most official Covid-19 cases.

There’s one statistic that is probably the most important and the least discussed.

Deaths… Per… Million…

That is the true nature of how we are doing because Covid deaths may be boosted up but very difficult to hide and the “per million” part equalizes all countries. How does India fare with regard to that? As of the time of writing this article San Marino has the highest rate but let’s discount that due to the fact that it is so small. At No. 2 is Belgium at 845 deaths per million. Strange that there is so little talk in the media about that!

Where does India feature? At 100th position with 19 deaths per million! So in that case, 99 countries are worse off than us. It was reported that the first Covid-19 case was in November 2019, even though it was confirmed in December. There was talk of some people flying into India January 2020 end and it really became a talking point in February. Now it’s mid-July and we are still doing better than 90+ other countries.

Who knows what will happen next month, but it seems under control as of now. Plus all of India is not affected equally but there are a few dozen hotspots all over India only and the rest of the country is doing much better than most parts of the world. So what’s the reason? Did we conduct the first lockdown at exactly the right time? Is it genetics? Is it climate? Is it geography? Is it a weaker strain? Is it luck?

Either way India seems to have escaped the full wrath of Covid in the first half of 2020. Let’s see what happens in the second half.

10 tectonic shifts that the

Covid-19 pandemic will facilitate

1. The Slow Disengagement of China.

panda-1236875_960_720China is not going to collapse overnight. It is too powerful for that. But now you have to totally discount the mega growth that it was due for in the upcoming decades. The biggest issue is trust. You simply can’t believe China anymore over the pandemic that has totally shut down the world. Had they been honest from the beginning, they could have saved the whole world some blushes. China has been the supply chain of the world. Now that chain has been disrupted and countries will be forced to look locally or elsewhere for alternatives. Either way China will be the biggest loser. This comes right after the US trade war where China was already suffering.

2. The Fall of the European Union.

eu-flag-2108026_960_720Brexit happened in 2016, but it dragged on till 2019 when the inevitable finally happened. Let’s say the EU cracked before the Covid-19 crisis. Now those cracks are wider. Open borders is highly unpopular. Forget the migrants outside the EU: The European countries are wary of even opening their borders with each other. The EU is supposed to work together and take all decisions together. But when faced with the biggest crisis of recent times, each constituent of the EU believes in doing its own and is acting accordingly. Will we have Brexit style movements in the 2020s?

3. The Irrelevance of UN-WHO.

who-4984801_960_720The World Health Organization covered itself with egg when it first hinted that there was no harm in travelling to Wuhan or that masks were not important. Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso ranted that the WHO should be renamed Chinese Health Organization. US President Donald Trump has been against both the United Nations and WHO and is stopping funding for the latter. In the 2010s these global organizations saw a steady decline and the 2020s look more ominous.

4. The Decline of Globalism.

globe-895580_960_720Go local is the mantra of 2020. That may well extend into the 2020s and beyond. Nationalism was on the rise in the 2010s. Apart from the ideologies, the global supply chain has proved to be a big pain. Every country will want to make its own closed supply chain based on essentials. Ideologically and practically nationalism seems to be gaining ground over globalism. We will see more of Make in _____ (whichever country you belong to) campaigns.

5. The End of Marxism.

berlin-1594352_640UN and EU. Global trade treaties and power groups. Open borders. These are all Leftist ideologies which were on the decline but will decline further. Leftist parties like India’s Congress, UK’s Labour and America’s Democrats are in decay. The 2010s saw one of the best decades in ages for the Rightist parties and they will cement themselves further in the 2020s. The Leftist mainstream media continues its decline. The Leftist universities see its students weighed under the burden of student debt and defaults. They had been challenged by online education, which will grow stronger.

6. The Rise of India.

human-613601_960_720China was already been weighed down by an ageing population and the trade war with US when this happened. China’s loss is certain to be India’s gain. Only India has the size, population and potential to take over from China. By 2030, India will displace China as the country with the largest working population. The US-India ties will do well in things like technology. Recently India eased its Hydroxychloroquine exports and in return the US FDA granted concessions. In the 2010s India has made great strides in power, LPG, toilet connections, bank accounts and roads. This infrastructure burst will bode well for the 2020s.

7. The Rise of Work From Home.

office-820390_960_720WFH has been around for ages, but companies have been cautious in expanding it as much as possible and many employees also have been wary. 2020 has pushed everyone to the limit. The IT industry has gone out of its way to expand WFH infrastructure. Not everyone is going to return to office. Many people and many organizations will realize how many posts can be permanently WFHed. Collaboration tools will proliferate and the industry will flourish. Corporate foreign travel will reduce.

8. The Decline of Large Gatherings.

connectcompetition-4212584_960_720We already had hundreds of types of cold and flu viruses in the last century. Then we had Bird Flu, Swine Flu, SARS and MERS. Covid-19 is also called SARS 2 by some experts. We may have frequent pandemic alerts and frequent lockdowns. Initially technology will facilitate that and then it will become a permanent part of the fixture. Large gatherings will always be under a cloud. Some airlines will go bankrupt. Many planes will be lying idle: That’s not an ideal situation in terms of maintenance. Overall the airline industry may see a sea change. This will severely impact the travel-tourism industry, including buses and trains.

9. The Rise of Virtual Sports

football-3024154_960_720After World War 2 there have been 18 Olympics which have been held like clockwork every 4 years. 2020 will be the first leap year not to feature an Olympics. They have been postponed to 2021. What happens if there’s another pandemic scare next year? We could have our first cancellation since WW2. The IPL went strong from 2008-19 but there will be no IPL this year. Team India last played a cricket match on February 29, 2020. Nobody knows when the next match will be. But the world needs to watch sports. With drone fighter planes, teenagers can do better than seasoned veterans. Will the same thing happen in sports? Or will the likes of Virat Kohli participate in virtual sports to stay relevant?

10. The Push for Multiple Emerging Tech.

woman-3124083_960_720As mentioned above, collaboration tools have really taken off. If offices are spread out and WFH is now a new office, then data centres and cloud operations will become larger. No touch tech like drones, robots and driverless cars will get a fillip. People were wary of touching paper notes lest they were infected: Now that can’t happen with cryptocurrency can it? Dark/lights out (people less) factories will be promoted. Companies will want to do lesser with humans and promote Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Robotic Process Automation and IoT (Internet of Things). Consumer Internet is booming with its delivery networks. Augmented Reality-Virtual Reality-Mixed Reality has the power to replace offline education techniques, training, tourism and entertainment. Silicon Valley billionaires talk of the Singularity where man will merge with AI to gain immortality. With our mortality starkly in question during Covid-19, that concept will also gain ground.

8 lethal costs of 2020’s

Covid-19 lockdown

pandemic-5023893_960_7201. Physical Health: As it is in today’s lifestyle we sit by the desk all day and stare at the screen continuously. We get less exercise. Now a lot of people in strict areas are unable to go for morning and evening walks altogether. What about those living in packed apartments and short of fresh air? What about people having minor ailments which may become major ones by the time the lockdown finally ends? Everyone is not cut out for doing intense household chores and that may lead to both a physical and mental strain.

child-696171_960_7202. Mental Health: Everyone is not suited to work at home. People like going to office and gossiping and attending meetings to break the monotony. Forget extroverts, even the average person likes going out and meeting people. What about cinema halls, malls, plays and the like? People like going on vacations for a change of scenery. Now the scenery is the same day in and day out. Then there’s the issue of being packed with the family all day and that does not suit everyone. There will be a great toll on mental health.

india-2507482_960_7203. The poor: The middle class survives no matter what. It is the poor who are always hit the hardest. They suffer in normal times. They suffer even more in abnormal times. They cannot work from home. Labourers, construction and low wage workers, small farmers and mainly daily wage earners who have no savings have it bad. In many areas they are finding it difficult to even procure the basic goods: This even as it was announced recently that the world removed record people out of poverty in the 2010s. The clock has been set back for many of them. Migrant workers stranded far from home face further uncertainties.

4. Small businesses: Many of them do not have deep credit resources and small factories are losing out a lot by being shut. These businesses survive on a month to month basis and cannot afford to pay their workers regularly if there is no work being done. Even after the lockdown is over, new business is uncertain.

5. Supply chain disruptions: Global supply chains have been disrupted. Nationals ones have too. Many trucks have been abandoned along the highway. At the lower levels many workers have simply gone home. It’s going to be difficult to start certain supply chains during the lockdown and others even after. Global supply chains will be hit for the entirety of 2020.

6. Wastage: We don’t have hands to get all the crops from the fields, to distribute them to the mandis and get them out of the large godowns. While non-perishables can stay for months and some even for years, perishables will simply go bad. Even in the best of years there is a lot of wastage and now that will only go up during the lockdown.

passenger-traffic-122999_960_7207. Life disruptions: If you are in a stable working job, you can still manage and work from home. What if you had just quit or was on the verge of joining and now couldn’t? What if you were about to get married or pregnant? What if you were about to emigrate? If you were not planning changes in 2020, then you can manage, but what if you were bang in the middle of something life changing? Now that’s some disruption to your life.

8. Students: Final exams got cancelled. Entrance exams got cancelled. Admissions have got postponed. For students it could have not have come at a worse time towards the end of the academic year. As it is there is enough pressure on the students of today and now add uncertainty to the mix.

The 10 deadly Corona Truths

corona-4938929_960_720#1 School was created not to educate children, but because parents can’t handle their children sitting at home all day, picking their brains to nothingness and demanding food on the hour every hour and generally getting on their nerves.

#2 Nuclear family is not suited for the modern age. We would all rather jump into our mobile screens and be blissful and alone.

#3 Collaboration tools are enough to run most departments and do meetings, make plans and discuss important things. International travel is way over-rated. We can do without the airlines industry.

#4 There are essential services and certain stuff where presence on the ground is required. Everything else can be simply WFHed, maybe to the tune of billions.

#5 Netflix, Amazon Prime & OTT rules when you have tonnes of work.
Netflix, Amazon Prime & OTT rules when you have absolutely nothing to do.

#6 You get that sinking feeling that you really maybe be redundant one day. A combination of AI, ML, drones, driverless cars, robots and Robotic Process Automation can take over the world. Maybe Hollywood wasn’t wrong after all.

#7 The chief enemy of mankind is not disease or inequality, but boredom. We all need to just pass time, no matter how productive or unproductive it is. Boredom can kill in the long run.

#8 We can do much more with less. And we can even prosper doing it.

#9 There is no concrete civilization, absolute truth or settled life. It can all come crashing down with the click of a finger.

#10 The rich don’t care. They have it really good. The middle class can survive anything. It is always the lower classes that suffer in normal times and abnormal times.

Will Novak Djokovic be the last all-time great standing?

Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player of all time (20 Grand Slam titles). He is followed closely by Rafael Nadal (19 titles). But Novak Djokovic already has 17 titles and at 32 years, has time on his side to catch up with both one by one.

However, here is a list of things where Djoko has already outdone Fed-Rafa…

Djokovic1. Djoko has beaten both Federer and Nadal in all 4 Grand Slams.

Federer has never beaten Nadal in any French Open match. The two never met in a US Open. But what of Djokovic? He has beaten Federer in at least one match in the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

Djoko beat Nadal in three straight final line-ups: 2011 Wimbledon, 2011 US Open and 2012 Australian Open. Then later he beat Nadal in the quarters of the 2015 French Open. That’s 4/4 Grand Slams for 2/2 players!

2. Dominates the trivalry in terms of one-on-ones.

Federer’s nemesis is Nadal. The two have met 40 times and Nadal leads a whopping 24-16. However it is only Djoko who has the better of all of the rivals he has played with after he came into form (he had a few failed rivalries only at the beginning of his career). Djoko and Nadal have met 55 times, which is an Open era record and Djoko leads 29-26. With the all-time great Federer, Djoko leads 27-23. Interestingly in 2011, he met Federer-Nadal 11 times, winning 10 of those matches! More importantly in all finals, Djokovic leads Federer 13-6 and Nadal 15-11. Overall with Andy Murray its 25-11, Stan Wawrinka 19-6 and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 18-6.

Tennis balljpg3. Held all four Grand Slams at once.

Rod Laver was a legend who did a calendar Grand Slam first as an amateur in 1962, then as a professional in 1969. However after that for decades, nobody managed to win all four at a stretch. Andre Agassi became the first to do a career Grand Slam in 1999. He was emulated by Federer in 2009 and Nadal a year later.

Djoko won the following titles back to back: 2015 Wimbledon, 2015 US Open, 2016 Australian Open and 2016 French Open. In the process he became the first person since 1969 to hold all four Grand Slam titles. That’s after a good 47 years! He is also the only player in men’s tennis history to hold these Grand Slams on three different surfaces at the same time.

4. Highest ATP ranking points ever.

While Nadal owns the French Open and Federer has dominated tennis for the longest time, Djoko has these short bursts where he looks near invincible like the time he won four straight Grand Slams. The same is with the ATP ranking points. He is the only person in history to have crossed ATP ranking points of 16000 in 2015 (if you win each and every tournament you play in a year, then you can go to 21000).

To put things in perspective, when Djoko had 16785, Andy Murray had 8750, Federer had 8430 and Nadal 4330. One can’t think of such a short-term dominance in the history of the trivalry and very few other times in men’s tennis. In 2015 Djoko won 3 Grand Slams, 6 masters and 11 titles.  He ended the year in style winning the World Tour Finals title and became the first to win 4 straight end-of-year finals tournaments. He also created another world record that season, beating 31 Top 10 players. Earlier in 2011, when Federer and Nadal were at their peak, he won 41 straight matches, the best after John McEnroe’s 42 in 1984.

He had another such burst in 2018-20 and has currently won 5 of the last 7 Grand Slams.

5. The only man to win all 9 ATP World Tour Masters 1000: After the Grand Slams and ATP Finals, these are the most prestigious tournaments and Djokovic is the only man in the world to have won all 9, called a Career Golden Masters. In fact in 2015, he won 6/9 in a single year. In the terms of ATP finals Federer has the most with 6, but Djokovic already has 5 and so well could go past him.

Dollars6. Became the first to get $100 million prize money.

There was a race between the three to get $100 million in professional tennis earnings and you never knew who would get there first. Finally it was a race between Federer and Djoko and the latter prevailed. Currently Djoko is in the range of $140 million as against $126 by Federer, which is the highest ever. In 2015 he became the only man to cross $20 million prize money in a year. Nadal’s yearly highest is $15+ million and Federer’s $13+ million.

7. Made the Australian Open his own.

Nadal has a whopping 12 French Opens. Federer has 8 Wimbledons. Both stand alone there. Additionally, Federer has 5 US Opens, a record he shares with Jimmy Connors and Pete Sampras. But Djoko has made the Australian Open his own with 8 titles. At the end of his career, could he touch 12? Who knows! Djoko also has 3 US Opens, so he could also join Connors-Sampras-Federer for the most there.

(This blog first appeared on July 16, 2018. This is the updated version of the same)

Why Indian cricketers aren’t poor travellers and ace foreign tours

plane-841441_960_720England is yet to win a major multi-nation ODI tournament outside England. South Africa and New Zealand have not won any World Cup anywhere. Forget a Test series—Sri Lanka has never even won a single Test in India. Pakistan won their first Test series in West Indies quite late in 2017 as against India way back in 1971.

The truth is that when you combine all three formats of the game, then only Australia and India are the best travellers. Only these two teams have won maximum multi-nation tournaments in maximum countries. It’s a myth that Indians are poor travellers in international cricket overall.

We have won in…

united-kingdom-1043062_1280England.
1 ODI World Cup—1983.
1 ICC Champions Trophy—2013.
3 Test series—1971, 1986, 2007.
1 ODI Tri-series—2002.
3 ODI series—1986, 1990, 2014
1 T20 series—2018.
Total = 10.

sydney-3680862_960_720Australia.
1 Mini World Cup—Benson & Hedges World Series 1985.
1 Test series—2019.
1 ODI Tri-series—2008.
1 ODI series—2019.
1 T20 series—2016, Australia’s only whitewash in any format on home soil ever since 1877.
Total = 5.
(India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Aus by tying the Test series in 2004)

South Africa.
1 T20 World Cup—2007.
1 ODI series—2018.
1 T20 series—2018.
Total = 3.

Lanka-2099225_1280Sri Lanka.
1 ICC Champions Trophy—2002.
1 Asia Cup—2010.
3 Test series—1993, 2015, 2017.
3 ODI Tri-series—1998, 2009, 2018.
4 ODI series—2008, 2009, 2012, 2017.
Total = 12.

West Indies.
5 Test series—1971, 2006, 2011, 2016, 2019.
1 ODI Tri-series—2013.
5 ODI series—2002, 2009, 2011, 2017, 2019.
1 T20 series—2019.
Total = 12.

pakistan-641446_960_720Pakistan.
1 Test series—2004.
2 ODI series—2004, 2006.
Total = 3.

New Zealand.
2 Test series—1968, 2009.
2 ODI series—2009, 2019.
1 T20 series—2020.
Total = 5.

dubai-1113262_960_720UAE.
7 multi-nation tournaments—1984, 1985, 1988, 1995, 1998, 1998, 2018.

Bangladesh.
2 Asia Cups—1988, 2016.
4 Test series—2000, 2004, 2007, 2010.
1 ODI Tri-series—1998.
3 ODI series—2004, 2007, 2014.
Total = 10.

Canada.
2 ODI series—1997 (Pak), 1999 (WI).

clover-445255_960_720Ireland.
1 ODI series—2007 (SA).
1 T20 series—2018 (Ire).
Total = 2.

Zimbabwe.
1 Test series—2005
4 ODI series—1998, 2013, 2015, 2016.
2 T20 series—2010, 2016.
Total = 6.

Grand Total = 77, that includes 5 World Cups/mini WCs, second only to Australia’s 6 away such wins.

India has won at least one 5-nation plus tournament in Australia, South Africa, England, Sri Lanka, UAE, Bangladesh and India.

(This blog was first published on October 1, 2018. This is an updated version of the same)

60 of my predictions that came true…

It is very difficult to predict, especially the future. But still we all keep trying. While I’ve been wrong a number of times, I’ve had my share of successes. In the last century I was unable record my spot on predictions, but now thanks to social media and blogging, it’s quite easy to do so and verify later.

So here’s looking at 60 of my predictions-conjectures-premises that came true-stood the test of time…

Just click on the date next to the prediction and the relevant Column-Blog-Tweet will open in another tab.

lotus-614495_960_7201. BJP would be about 300 and NDA about 360 in the general elections
6 April, 2019

2. BJP could get the highest number of seats in every region
21 May 2019

3. The NDA vote count could be 250 million plus
17 May, 2019

4. BJP would be the single largest party in these States
9 April, 2019

narendra-modi-2112081_6405. I predicted a Modi landslide in 2018 itself…
9 reasons…
22 July, 2018

6. Even before the 2019 polls I said it would be a great year for Modi… 10 reasons…
30 April, 2019

7. 2019 would be a Modi tsunami as against a 2014 wave
8 March, 2019
4 April, 2019

trump-3123765_960_7208. In 2015 itself I had said that Trump Haters could well end making him US President
14 December, 2015

9. I said early on Hillary would never be US President…
8 reasons…
1 January, 2016

hillary-1724469_960_72010. Trump would win because he had more Twitter followers than Hillary
1 April, 2016
30 June, 2016

11. I called him a Trump card even before the Republican primaries concluded… 10 reasons…
19 March, 2016

12. I said Trump would rise and win and surprise in 2016 much the way Modi did in 2014
28 January, 2016

13. Trump may win because he’s less hated than Hillary
7 June, 2016

shahrukh-khan-2380411_64014. Shah Rukh Khan’s superstar career would end with Dilwale
4 January, 2016

15. Fan and Raees would not be genuine blockbusters
9 January, 2016

16. SRK’s continued alienation of Bollywood fans wouldn’t go down well…
15, October 2016

Bonus: Multiplex would be the new superstar
03 May, 2016

cricket-150561_64017. 2011—Why India will win the World Cup
5 March, 2011

18. A Kovind type dark horse would be India President
31 March, 2016

19. Smriti Irani would bounce back despite losing HRD (2016)
8 July, 2016

parliament-2028311_64020. AAP would perform poorly in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls…
9 January, 2014

21. …but AAP could make a comeback in the Assembly despite the above…
26 February, 2014

22. …and AAP would implode in the long run…

AAP won’t survive: 14 April, 2014

7 AAP contradictions: 26 February, 2014

AAP under siege: 22 April, 2014

Kejri is afraid: 19 May, 2014

7 Kejri myths: 31 December, 2013

23. 2016—Mrs Vadra would fail if she entered politics
13 May, 2016

24. 2014—Mrs Vadra may not even contest an election
28 April, 2014

25. Modi would do nothing for Ram Mandir in his first term
30 November, 2015

26. 2011—Modi can still be PM
At that time very few people gave him a chance
19 September, 2011

Unifier people-3152585_960_72027. Modi is actually a great unifier (2014)
Time magazine called him a divider before the 2019 polls and a unifier after it
26 April, 2014

Modi’s 7 unifying themes: 16 February, 2016

28. 2013—Only Modi could save the BJP
The party was in a really bad shape at that point of time
9 January, 2013

Bonus: Why I support Modi (Despite the opposition)—2013
21 June, 2013

money-1811937_64029. DeMo wouldn’t dent Modi and he was in it for the long haul
11 March, 2017
18 November, 2016

10 long-term goals of DeMo: 22 December, 2016

Why you shouldn’t complain about DeMo: 11 November, 2016

25 great Demo Stories: 2 December, 2016

Bonus—Confessions of someone totally unaffected by demonetization: 20 November, 2016

30. 2016—Kanhaiya would fail big
4 March, 2016
2 May, 2016

donald-trump-1757583_64031. Shortly after he took over, I said Trump would be a great effective disruptor
5 March, 2017

32. I said Trump was undergoing a Rajyog and hence unbeatable
29 December, 2017

33. 2017—US Trump-Russia collusion is a big hoax, Mueller was dead in the water
30 June, 2017

8 shifting goalposts of the Mueller probe: 24 April, 2019

star-wars-Feminism34. 2017—Star Wars was crashing
23 December, 2017

But the problem started with Episode 7: 26 April, 2019

DSC_010335. 2005—Kodak on road to bankruptcy
Finally happened in 2012
October 2005

36. 2016—Global Right will keep rising
January 2016, Updated

2013—India’s Rightward journey
19 February, 2013

nehru-2361331_64037. 2014—Pappu would be effectively last of his dynasty
31 May, 2014

38. Congress peaked in 2018
19 March, 2019

How the Congress keeps sabotaging itself, updated after the 2019 loss: 24 November, 2018, Updated

39. Modi would make a comeback after the 2015 Delhi-Bihar losses
9 November, 2015
Modi bounced back after his Annus Horribilis 2018 too

2017—Modi undergoing Rajyog
June 2016, Updated

press-2333329_64040. Decline of US mainstream media post-Trump
15 December, 2015

41. 2014—Mamata would destroy West Bengal
3 July, 2014

Terror musings: 27 October, 2014

7 Mamata flop shows: 22 November, 2012

cricket-662956_64042. 2015—IPL owners’ curse…
…after which Mallya had to flee, SRK’s fortunes declined, Wadia arrested
4 April, 2015

43. IPL Icons were unlucky. Dravid, Yuvi Sehwag never won.
MI, KKR and DC won after Sachin, Dada and Laxman left. Dhoni was never officially an icon!
10 March, 2010

44. 2014—Rise of Yogi
11 September, 2014

45. 2014—The 2019 BJP monopoly
4 November, 2014

traffic-671399_960_72046. Kejriwal’s New Delhi Odd Even policy would fail
9 December, 2015

47. 2016—Djoko could get a calendar Grand Slam that year
5 June, 2016

Can Djoko be the greatest? 16 July 2018, Updated

48. After 2014, Congress never really had a chance
May 17, 2014
22 December, 2014
2 May, 2016

49. Even a Modi spoof on why he personally didn’t direct any arrests from 2014-19
17 July, 2016

gate-way-of-india-2429648_960_72050. 2014—BJP could get Maharashtra
26 September, 2014

51. 2015—Nothing would come of the Essar leaks
4 March, 2015

52. 2016—Sidhu is always unpredictable
27 July, 2016

sex-987183_960_72053. 2015—Porn ban is impossible
7 August, 2015

54. 2015—Anna a spent force and now irrelevant
21 February, 2015

55. 2014—Aamir wasn’t done yet at the box office
31 January, 2014

Bonus on Aamir: 5 January, 2015
3 January, 2017

cricket-753940_64056. 2013—We can never hang on to our fast bowlers, still the story today!
11 March, 2013

57. 2005—CGI would continue to rule Hollywood
20 September, 2005

58. 2014—Why Kohli may one day be the greatest ever
7 April, 2014

putin-2972184_960_72059. 1991—USSR-Russia had been alternating between a hardliner and reformist.
Then reformist Yelstin was in charge and it was natural for a hardliner (Putin to follow), who faced great opposition, but subdued it.
31 July, 1991

60. 2005—Cyber activism here to stay
August 8, 2005

Our social media decade: 10 May 2014

Interesting factoid…
olympic-games-1608127_960_7201948-92, India won just one individual medal.
I wrote this limerick after India’s debacle at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics where we drew a blank for the umpteenth time.
India has won at least one individual medal in each and every Olympics after that…
17 August, 1992

Now here are my 10 future predictions!!!

communism-17143_640In the early 1980s, my biggest prediction was that the Communist regime would collapse in the USSR. I don’t know if any of my friends remember. However when it finally happened I was so shocked by the sudden coming down of the Berlin Wall and overnight collapse of most global Communist regimes and the unprecedented way it panned out, that I put it in 15 things I never thought could happen as a kid anyway. So even if we get a prediction right, we may be surprised by its suddenness and unpredicted consequences. So one’s prediction may not seem like a prediction at all!

Before the 2014 Indian central ministers’ swearing in ceremony I remarked that Amit Shah would be Home Minister only in 2019, though alas I didn’t put that down in writing at the time.

So here are some things I am putting down in cyberspace…

Note: If they all go wrong, then I still have the above.
If most of them get right, then… Should I call myself a modern day Nostradamus?

donald-trump-1708433_6401. 2020: Trump will get a near landslide and win the Senate too and totally turn the Supreme Court conservative after that.
If this happens he would be the greatest US President ever.

2. 2024: If everything goes wrong for Modi, he will still win, but if everything goes right, then BJP 350+ and NDA 400+.
He will fix Pakistan and Kashmir once and for all.
After 2024 Modi will be declared the greatest Indian post-1947.

China3. China will collapse the way USSR went down.
So in the long run India will be more powerful!

4. Global Right parties will generally continue to dominate the 2020s.

5. The following are facing a meltdown…
Indian Congress, US Democrats, UK Conservatives and EU.

apocalyptic-2392380_960_7206. The Leftist Climate Change debate (not Climate Change itself) will totally unravel in the 2020s.
Fossil fuels are irreplaceable in the coming decades and only nuclear energy can be a strong No. 2. That’s also why electric cars will never cross a certain threshold.

7. We may see another tech market crash due to the raw immense power of the global tech giants and their clashes with various governments and organizations like the EU. Anti-trust also an issue.
Geeks and hackers may try to build a Second Internet.

8. Federer could be surpassed by Djoko.

9. Pakistan could face collapse in the 2020s.

10. The Origin of Species could be superseded by something like Microcosmos by Lynn Margulis, which came out way back in 1997.

bitcoin-2008262_960_720Bonus: In the future, every human may have access to a small supercomputer and a personal big power source. At that time a single universal blockchain cryptocurrency might become an inevitability. Till then Bitcoin is at the mercy of legislation. If all the countries ban Bitcoin, then it could become a powerful black currency. If all the countries officially recognize it, it could soar.

Post script…

1. This 18 December, 2018 blog also foretells why people the Global Establishment hate, like UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, come to power in the first place as also the fall of Palestine. 21 November, 2018

2. Modi did indeed scrap Article 370 and 35-A.

3. Pakistan’s implosion is being clearly seen in 2019.

Also read…

20 things nobody would have thought possible at the beginning of this mad crazy decade…

The Great War on Prithvi, a sc-fi mythology adventure novel

Vishu ShastriAvailable on…

Amazon India

Amazon US

Amazon Canada

Prithvi: A mysterious parallel and beautiful world with no science and religion, but fantastic astras (or Mahabharat style missiles)

Vishnu Shastri: A confused directionless 16-year-old finds himself pulled into Prithvi.

Guru: An ageless astomi and a mysterious astra expert, who throws up more questions than answers.

Shakti: The beautiful, evil and demented , Prithvi’s foremost assassin.

Duryodhan, a megalomaniac king bent on taking over the world and forcing a destructive Great War, the planet’s 8th, but potentially the most dangerous.

The Great War on Prithvi: Vishu Shastri_backA  roller coaster ride full of twists and turns…

What if Earth had a quantum twin?
The philosophy behind the book
Alternative realities. Parallel Universes. The multiverse theory. Constructing astras and pushpak vimans. The rule of gods…
—India Today’s DailyO.in

A unique mythological experience. Definitely worth a read.
Sify.com

The spacing of the sentences in the pages actually quickens the pace of the reading. Short, sharp sentences. All statements. Almost like in bullet point style.
The New Indian Express

Beautifully written, against the back drop of Mahabharata. I liked the way the author drew parallels from two different times like past and present for developing Vishnu’s character. His character is complex yet relatable. New but old.
Kavis Take

***

If all goes well, then I will ultimately convert this into a series of seven books with the second one being…
Vishnu Shastri and the Day of Doom.

DSC_0269Sunil Rajguru is a journalist based out of Bengaluru. This is his first published book, though he is in the process of writing many books on multiple genres, mainly science fiction. His second book, Durga’s Revenge, is ready to be published.

Rajguru has been a columnist for websites like Sify.com, IndiaFacts and India Today’s DailyO. Rajguru has worked for the Hindustan Times newspaper and website, CyberMedia’s Living Digital magazine, the Centre for Science & Environment and market research firm IDC India.

Check him out on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Catch his writings at Sify.com, DailyO.in and IndiaFacts.

The 75 lies they told you about Prime Minister Narendra Modi…

narendra-modi-2112081_6401. He will be sacked as Chief Minister in 2002.

2. He will not win the 2002 Gujarat Assembly elections.

3. He will not win the 2007 Gujarat Assembly elections.

3. His national ambitions ended after the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

5. He will never find acceptance among the rural masses of India.

6. His only supporters are hardline rabid Hindutva males.

7. The urban masses will never identify with him.

8. He will be a misfit among world leaders.

9. He has no global vision.

10. BJP will never make him a Prime Ministerial candidate.

11. The allies will never accept him.

12. The 2013 Assembly elections itself will reject him.

13. The electorate will never accept him.

14. Since Lutyens’ Delhi rejected him, so will rest of India.

15. Twitter cannot win you an election.

16. Most of his social media support is paid.

17. He is just PR plus marketing and the people of India will reject him.

18. Pappu is a better Prime Ministerial candidate than him. (Busted in no time)

19. Kejri is a better Prime Ministerial candidate than him. (A bigger joke)

20. Even Kanhaiya and Hardik are better PM candidates (speechless!).

21. The BJP under him will never get 272 seats.

22. Forget the BJP, even the NDA under him will never get 272 seats.

23. He will face a tough fight from Kejri in Varanasi.

24. He is a 31% PM. (NDA got 38.5% vote share, high in a multi-party democracy)

25. He will not win many States after the Lok Sabha elections.

26. He will be jailed for x, y, z offence eventually. (No chargesheet even)

27. Delhi is not Ahmedabad. He won’t be able to function there at all.

28. He wore a Louis Vuitton shawl.

29. He wore a Rs 20 lakh suit. (Figure kept coming down and settled down at Rs 10 lakh)

30. America will never allow him on its soil.

31. Obama rebuked Modi over religious intolerance.

32. He was finished after BJP losses in Bihar and Delhi elections of 2015.

33. He is responsible for every crime in India even though it is a State subject.

34. He claimed to have rescued 15,000 people from Uttarakhand.

35. He said that Priyanka Vadra was like his daughter.

36. Doordarshan commissioned a 10-year serial on his community.

37. He pushed Zuckerberg aside to face the camera. (Cameraman in fact was shouting “side please” to Zuckerberg)

38. Gujarat development is a myth.

39. Gujarati people are highly communalized so they kept voting for him.

40. He masterminded Snoopgate.

41. He masterminded the murder of an innocent Ishrat Jahan.

42. He’ll convert India into a Fascist State.

43. He is totally against the idea of India (whatever that is).

44. Godhra led to Indian Mujahideen. (Parent body SIMI formed after Emergency of 1975)

45. He has introduced the concept of beef ban in India. (Around for thousands of years)

46. He masterminded Godhra.

47. He told the police to allow Gujarat riots to happen.

48. He said “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction” on Godhra riots.

49. Vajpayee said that he was not following his Rajdharma.

50. He masterminded Best Bakery incident.

51. He masterminded Naroda Patia incident.

52. He masterminded Gulbarga Society incident.

53. He will not be able to move forward till he apologizes for Godhra.

54. Christians are under attack, over a report that said 4 churches were looted as against more than 200 temples.

55. Dalits are under attack, even though absolutely no meaningful statistics were presented, just scattered anecdotes.

56. State governments under attack, even though he never dismissed State governments indiscriminately like the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and now most if the State governments are NDA anyway.

57. Dadri violence happened because of him, even though Akhilesh was one of the worst law and order Chief Ministers ever.

58. He was responsible for Rohit Vemula’s death, even though he was a Leftist student politician and Hyderabad/Andhra Pradesh/Telangana has never been under direct BJP rule.

59. Intolerance rose under him, even though his haters are the most intolerant of the lot.

60. There is an undeclared Emergency, even though he is attacked 24X7.

61. UP 2014 70+ seats was a flash in the pan, disproved by UP Assembly elections tally of 300+.

62. Demonetization is a failure, the UP elections itself will show that.

63. The Modi Wave was firmly over in 2017 despite the fact that the BJP won 6/7 Assembly elections.

64. The surgical strike never took place.

65. He is unfairly targeting JNU, even though they agitate against India 247.

66. He is indirectly behind Justice Loya’s death.

67. Judiciary is under attack.

68. GST will ruin the economy.

69. People are rebelling against him… via fake agitations, bandhs and uprisings.

70. Award Wapsi campaign and Supreme Court judges press conference were valid movements against him.

71. abc was killed for xyz reason and it can all be ultimately be attributed to Modi.

72. His is nothing but a suit boot ki sarkar.

73. The economy is actually not doing great or figures are fudged or it’s to the credit of Manmohan.

74. Rafale is a scam and is his Bofors moment.

75. 2014 was a fluke. There is no way he will be able to repeat it in 2019, especially after the 2018 losses.

They have told you 75+ lies and totally got away with it.

They will tell 75+ more and totally get away from that too.

And how many truths have they told you about Sonia?

Zero.

So she too may totally get away despite controlling the most corrupt government in the history of independent India.

© Sunil Rajguru

Here’s how the Congress keeps sabotaging itself again and again and again…

aged-2181887_960_720When we got Independence, the Congress Party was the Freedom Movement and the Freedom Movement was the Congress Party. They seemed destined to rule forever and could have been in power today, but nobody spoils the fortunes of the party like itself.

A look at some of these things…

Congress was invincible till the 1970s, but imposed Emergency and that created the Janata Party which became the first ever non-Congress government at the Centre.

It has been more than 40 years since Emergency. And today it could well be called the most disastrous move it made in retrospect. Till 1975 the Congress strode like a colossus at the Centre. No other party could dream of even being a strong Opposition let alone a ruling dispensation for at the Centre. Then Indira Gandhi gave the rest of the parties a huge lifeline.

Indira imposed the Emergency and this led to her fall and the first non-Congress government at the Centre in 1977. The Janata Party may have disintegrated in 1980, but its successor Janata Dal and all its factions ruled first from 1989-91 and then 1996-98.

prison-553836_960_720But the biggest result of the Emergency is rarely discussed: The formation of the BJP. The RSS was formed in 1925 and was rudderless after Independence for some time. The Bharatiya Jana Sangh was formed in 1951 but wasn’t that effective till 1977.

The RSS powered the protests that led to the Emergency, the 1977 government gave a solid political direction to the Sangh Parivar and it marched on after 1980 to become the dominant political party in India in 2014 having first tasted power in 1996 at the Centre.

Congress became invincible yet again after the Janata Party imploded, but created the Ramjanmabhoomi problem thereby boosting the BJP.

Under Jawaharlal Nehru, Ram idols appeared in the mosque premises. Under Rajiv Gandhi, the locks to the complex were removed to counter the Shah Bano case appeasement. Under PV Narasimha Rao the Sangh Parivar managed to knock down the domes right under the Centre’s eyes.

The Ramjanmabhoomi problem was created and sustained by the Congress and maximum progress happened only due to the action/inaction of various Congress Prime Ministers. But only one entity benefited politically from all of the above: The Sangh Parivar.

Durga Puja 2645104_960_720Congress brutalized the Naxalites and hence is out of West Bengal for nearly 40 plus years.

When the Naxalite movement came up in West Bengal, the ruling Congress government used such brute force, that they lost the State forever. Today it is out of power in the State for a whopping 40 years and look in no position of forming a government in the future.

Congress made a comeback in Punjab in 1980 but single-handedly created the Punjab problem.

Punjabi man-762211_960_720Why Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay wanted to deal with a person like Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale we will never know. But they kept backing him and making him more and more powerful till he turned against them. The Centre launched a military operation against the Golden Temple more than once. The Khalistan problem became a raging one. Finally Indira herself was assassinated, leaving an inexperienced Rajiv, who squandered a majority Congress rule at the Centre for good.

Congress became pally with the LTTE and they assassinated Rajiv.

Bhindranwale wasn’t the only such person that the Congress dealt with. Another was LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran. The story is that during an Indo-Sri Lanka meet when the Lankan authorities heard that India was hosting Prabhakaran, they were livid.

There were reports of India giving financial aid to the LTTE and aid was dropped in their territories against the will of the Lankan government. The Indian government soon turned against Prabhakaran and he took his revenge by assassinating Rajiv.

Congress backed Bal Thackeray to counter Communists and he ended Congress majority rule for good in Maharashtra in 1995.

Mumbai victoria-station-390633_960_720When Shiv Sena’s Bal Thackeray emerged in the 1960s instead of countering him, the Congress secretly backed him in a bid to counter the Communists. In fact it was in the 1980s that Thackeray and Congressman Sharad Pawar joined hands to finish off the unions.

Thackeray had the last laugh though. A Shiv Sena Chief Minister was sworn in in 1995 and after that the Congress has not had a single majority government in Maharashtra, a State which it had really dominated till that year right from Independence. Subsequently we had the first BJP Chief Minister in 2014.

Congress still had the largest political network in 2014, but totally decimated it for 2019.

The Congress always returned after being booted out at the Centre. 1980. 1991. 2004. These are three such momentous years. However 2014 seems to be a year with a difference. What many people don’t realize that though the Congress lost in 2014, it still had the most MLAs across the country and the largest organizational network and that with the greatest money and muscle power.

Instead of consolidating that and making a comeback, the party backed the disastrous mother-son Sonia-Pappu duo to the hilt, started decimating leaders at the regional level and attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi 24X7 instead of coming out with a coherent effective strategy to regain their paramount national status.

Congress was given a last chance in December 2018, but…

Despite everything, the Congress got a get out of jail free card in 2018. It was Modi’s Annus Horribilis. First despite being the single largest party in Karnataka, the BJP totally messed up the trust vote and ceded ground to a JDS-Congress government. Then the NDA government in Jammu & Kashmir fell. Finally at the end of the year, BJP won 0/5 State elections while the ailing Congress got a real shot in the arm and formed governments in the key states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Congress supporters and Modi haters finally smelt blood at the end of 2018.

parliament-2028311_640But what did the Congress do? They should have given excellent governance in MP-Rajasthan-Chhattisgarh and shown the rest of India that it too was a viable alternative. But nothing of the sort happened. Governance crashed and law and order crashed. Karnataka was even worse.

Then Pappu launched a highly negative campaign with the “Chowkidar Chor Hai” nonsense and motor mouths like Mani Shankar Aiyar and Sam Pitroda went mentally ballistic. The Congress showed that it had nothing new to offer in the matter of governance and for Modi it had nothing but abuse.

This was a strange policy because Modi was attacked virulently in 2002, 2007 and 2013-14 with disastrous results. The mantra seemed to be: We have nothing to offer to the people of India, but we will continue to abuse the Prime Minister non-stop. So as expected, the 2019 general elections proved to be a landslide for the BJP and a disaster for the Congress.

10 reasons why 2019 is (so far) a fantastic year for Modi

india gate-712575_960_720Prime Minister Narendra Modi has had great electoral years in 2002 (Gujarat), 2007 (Gujarat), 2012 (Gujarat), 2013 (State elections), 2014 (Lok Sabha and State elections) and 2017. In fact 2017 was one of the best years when BJP won a whopping six States, a feat not seen in Indian politics for decades.

In 2009, Congress got more Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat. In 2015, Modi lost key ego battles with Nitish Kumar-Lalu Prasad Yadav (Bihar) and Arvind Kejriwal (New Delhi).  But by the end of 2017, a second Modi term seemed a foregone conclusion.

vikasa-soudha-245037_960_720However Modi probably got his worst year ever in 2018, his Annus Horribilis. First despite being the single largest party in Karnataka, the BJP totally messed up the trust vote and ceded ground to a JDS-Congress government. Then the NDA government in Jammu & Kashmir fell.

Finally at the end of the year, BJP won 0/5 State elections while the ailing Congress got a real shot in the arm and formed governments in the key states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Congress supporters and Modi haters finally smelt blood at the end of 2018.

But that is distant memory now and 2019 is firmly The Year of Modi (so far). Here’s why…

1. Spectacular surgical strikes.

f16 plane-4115480_960_720While the 2016 surgical strike in Uri was great, the 2019 one was simply spectacular. For the first time in history, an Air Force conducted air strikes on a nuclear power. Jaish-e-Mohammed was decimated in Balakot (Pakistan proper), while Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen terror camps were hit in Muzaffarabad and Chakothi (PoK).

Then Wing Commander Abhinandan shot down an F-16, the first MiG-21 to do so in history. Abhinandan became a POW, but was released in quick time. India looked decisive and Pakistan was caught firmly on the back foot.

2. Great annual budget. GST-DeMo shocks absorbed. GDP growth up.

money india-3887567_960_720Usually when a budget is presented, there are many pros and cons in the media and sometimes consensus is elusive whether it is god or bad. But Budget 2019 was an unqualified success and critically acclaimed by all.

It had something for everyone: The farmers, the middle class, the industry… While many ruling governments don’t go in for a full-fledged budget in election year, Modi presented a bold one which pleased all and helped his 2019 electoral cause.

Then, remember the total disruption that GST and demonetization caused? Well they are distant memories now and the economy has totally absorbed those shocks. Among large economies, India now has the highest GDP growth rate in the world. The good budget complemented this.

girl child-306607_960_7203. Economic reservation Bill.

This was another unexpected sixer out of the park. Nobody saw it coming. Nobody could really criticize it. While most such moves are based solely on caste and religious lines, this one was solely targeted for the poor.

4. The NDAgatbandhan.

handshake-819279_960_720Everyone was talking of the Mahagatbandhan, but the NDAgatbandhan has taken over. The BJP has strong allies in the form of JDU-LJP (Bihar), Shiv Sena (Maharashtra), ADMK+ (Tamil Nadu) and SAD (Punjab). Then there’s their surprise North-East Democratic Alliance which has a dozen odd members. Even if the BJP gets 250, it will be a stable 5-year government and more allies will be looking to jumping on the NDA ship.

5. Looks like Bollywood is totally with him!

BollywoodThe film industry is severely Left-leaning. That way you could say that 99% of Hollywood is against US President Donald Trump. When Modi finally made his intentions to run for Prime Minister in 2012 crystal clear, Bollywood was by and large against him. But not anymore!

In 2019 it seems that Bollywood is almost campaigning for Modi. At the beginning of the year Uri: The Surgical Strike became 2019’s biggest hit. It reminded people of the 2016 strike and even as it was playing in the theatres more happened.

On the same day the nationalistic Battalion 609 was released along with The Accidental Prime Minister, which showed Congress leader Sonia Gandhi in bad light. This was followed by movies like 72 Hours: Martyr Who Never Died, Thackeray and Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi.

Then we had Mere Pyare Prime Minister, based on the Swachh Bharat Mission, the patriotic and jingoistic Kesari and the controversial Ram Ki Janmbhoomi. Romeo Akber Walter also brought back the India-Pak focus.

Finally we had The Tashkent Files, which showed Indira Gandhi in really bad light. The release of PM Narendra Modi got delayed but now Modi can claim the EC is neutral. That movie will be released after polling and may be a superhit if it forms part of the victory celebrations.

6. Solid development and governance credentials.

yamuna-expressway-385352_960_720Modi is campaigning in 2019 with great confidence. That’s because he has solid development and governance credentials. He has pulled up the bureaucracy and ministries. India has seen a record number of toilets, power connections, LPG cylinders, roads and bank accounts. Modi has become a foreign policy superstar and he received a further boost during electioneering when he got Russia’s highest award.

Fake News7. Rafale damp squib.

Pappu keeps hammering on Rafale a million times and nobody cares. Rural India still doesn’t what the hell it’s all about and urban India laughs at him. Even the courts dismissed it in December last year. Just for a review petition to be accepted made Pappu declare that “Chowkidar is chor” for which he had to eat crow in front of the Supreme Court. This is key, because Pappu thought this was the ace in the hole.

8. Main bhi chowkidar/media interview blitz.

Social media-998990_960_720Continuing with Rafale, in 2014, Modi turned the chaiwallah jibe into a brilliant #ChaiPeCharcha campaign. This time when Pappu thought that his “Chowkidar Chor hain” won the day, Modi again turned it around with the widespread and immensely popular “Main bhi Chowkidar” campaign.

If #AbkiBaarModiSarkaar ruled 2014, then its #AayegaToModiHi in 2019. While during the December 2018 elections it seemed that the BJP was totally losing it on social media, Modi got his mojo back by the time of the general elections.

All the channels can’t get enough of Modi. They keep showing his speeches, rallies, road shows and programmes like the one at the Varanasi Ghat. He also went on to do many media interviews and the biggest hit of the year was probably the one with Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar.

9. Opposition unity totally in tatters.

Cross mark-39951_960_720There is no real UPA and there is no Third Front. Everyone wants to be Prime Minister. Congress has no tie-ups in UP while their ones in Maharashtra and Karnataka seem to be ineffective. They had a win with the DMK in Tamil Nadu; however BJP is already sitting at nearly nothing there and moreover tied up with the ADMK. Chandrababu Naidu also broke it off with Congress realizing it was going nowhere.

Everyone is celebrating the SP-BSP tie-up in UP without mentioning that they got 5 + 0 seats last time as against NDA’s 75. Also the Yadav and Dalit vote banks are not additive, but at loggerheads with each other.

The main problem is that everybody hates Pappu and everybody wants to be PM. Sharad Pawar, Mayawati and Mrs Vadra are not even contesting the elections. HD Deve Gowda may lose as may Pappu in Amethi. There’s a chance that both Naidu and Naveen Patnaik may lose their CMship. It’s been ages since the opposition has been so weak.

10. UAE award and temple inauguration during voting.

burj-khalifa-2212978_960_720Modi haters have tried to spread the “Muslims under siege” narrative multiple times and failed. One thing that has blunted this is his excellent relationship with Muslim heads of state and perhaps he has surpassed all his predecessors in that regard.

Before this new year started, he had got the highest award of three countries: Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Palestine—all Muslim countries. Then in 2019, during electioneering, he was conferred with the highest award of the UAE. That Muslim country also inaugurated a temple there.

Parting shot…

parliament-2028311_640Pro-incumbency is the norm at the Centre. Nehru won all the elections in his life. His daughter Indira also won all the elections save one where she had imposed the dreaded dictatorial Emergency. The Janata Party and Janata Dal disintegrated and only a slew of scandals sunk Rajiv in 1989. Vajpayee in 2004 was not expected to complete his term had he been elected and he was scandal-ridden and overshadowed by LK Advani. Manmohan got re-elected in 2009 even though he was mediocre in UPA1.

That means a youngish Prime Minister who even gives a mediocre performance without any major scandal has a near cent per cent chance of winning re-election. Modi is in his prime and young enough to complete two more terms so it is unlikely that India will vote against him in 2019.

See also…

9 reasons why Modi is heading for a landslide in the 2019 general elections

Indian Congress keeps sabotaging itself again and again

The 75 lies they told you about Prime Minister Narendra Modi…