Saturday, May 17, 2014

Narendra Modi

This was tweeted a few hours ago by yours truly.

I thought maybe a little bit more thought from this Times of India quote could be interesting.

Far from me to sponsor a guy that comes to power in part due to his proclivities to stir communal violence through religious extremism.  What I was thinking about is that the strategic mind of Modi is something that is clearly lacking in Venezuelan politicians these days. Or as I have written in other guises, only a conviction/principled politician that is not afraid to lose an election so as not to risk compromise on principles will be able once and for all to defeat chavismo and change Venezuela's mind set.

You need to understand that Congress in India is kind of an educated chavismo. Or rather closer to AD, of which chavismo is after all its very worst expression. It is a left leaning party that has not been afraid to use nationalism when needed, to curtail all sorts of human rights when needed, etc, etc. It is paradoxically too bad for them that once they started to see the light and participate in that BRICS creation, that they get the worst electoral punishment of their history.

Congress was also a leftist party against cast and privilege but that had no qualms to enshrine a political dynasty to the point of trying desperately to protect the latest heir who suffered such a stinging rebuke in this month long election. He was not even the Prime Minister candidate, he was just the campaign manager of Congress, so sure they were to lose the vote.

Of course, for all of its failing Congress remained democratic, there is no other way around in a multicultural giant. Any dictatorial attempt would have broken down the country as it nearly did when Indira played with fire. Congress was democratic enough to accept to lose this month by a landslide that may not have been that deserved. But politics are rarely forgiving.

Comparing Congress to PSUV and chavismo is of course an affront to Congress. But some trends are interesting, from those missing Chavez and already openly speaking of putting one his daughters to the front, to the intolerance in assuming that they are the only ones able to truly represent El Pueblo, the only ones able to avoid social chaos. Never mind that at first they went as far in their contempt as to present Maduro as Chavez "son".

Narendra Modi did find a way around such a leftist self righteousness that seemed to make it impossible to truly crush electorally Congress one day, just inflicting an occasional side stepping of the Gandhi family for a term by a lose coalition that was easily dismantled next election. If Narendra is partially successful in his ambitions he may have well ended for good Congress domination and sent the Gandhi back to Italy if needed.

And yet, a few months ago it was far from certain that Modi would pull such a feat: his principles, his vision, his convictions were repulsive to many. But he stuck to it, he gambled and it paid of. India now has for the first time in its history a bona fide right wing government that has a mandate to make deep changes, in spite of still a huge chunk of the population poor, rural, uneducated.

Again, the point here is not to side or howl at India's electoral result. My point is that Venezuela political wisdom makes it impossible for a conviction politician like Maria Corina Machado to rise to the top. And for those with some conviction, like Leopoldo Lopez, or Uslar Pietri decades ago, the political class is only too willing to ruin them at the very first opportunity. Congress mentality goes from the PSUV to PJ, and went from AD to COPEI, that is the big difference, there has never been a true opposition.

As long as Venezuela, all proportions guarded, will not create a conviction political party like BJP minus all the religious crap, at the very least, thee is no way that the country will durably change for the better, become a true democracy.  On this respect my hat again to Congress for having allowed democracy to be so dramatically highlighted once again through the incredible electoral show offered the past month. We are so far from India, and not only in distance.....


  1. Far from me to sponsor a guy that comes to power in part due to his proclivities to stir communal violence through religious extremism

    Don't be mislead by much of the MSM who aren't too happy about the turn of events in India.

    1. Anonymous1:27 PM


    2. MSM = Main Stream Media, common internet parlance for the major media outlets either global or national: these usually have an agenda and their coverage is bias towards that agenda e.g. if you listen to the BBC you'd think Modi was a raging loon nationalist complicit in the downfall of anyone not Hindu.

    3. Anonymous8:34 PM

      To: Span Ows
      TA from TGWN

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Dr. Faustus5:53 PM

    An excellent comment! ...and appropriate. The elections in India were a stunner. A true democracy will allow for this type of political upheaval. It is a lovely thing to witness. Out with corruption, out with mind-numbing bureaucracy! Well, OK, that might not actually happen in India, but at the very least there is a renewed hope. The Indian people have a voice, and they have spoken. Change is coming. Let's hope that one day it comes to Venezuela as well, before a total economic collapse.

  4. Boludo Tejano8:19 PM

    From the link:
    In an extraordinary moment of democratic renewal, the tectonic plates of Indian politics have shifted. The Indian people have spoken - and spoken decisively. They have shifted the ground underneath a tired Congress which, with only 44 seats, crashed to its worst defeat ever.

    The collapse of support for India's Congress party reminds me of Venezuela's 1998 election, where support of independent candidates left the AD and COPEI candidates with the support of about 10-15% - or less- of the electorate. From Wikipedia:
    The two traditional main parties hoped that the 8 November legislative and regional elections would give them a boost, a month ahead of the 8 December presidential election, but the poll remained a two-horse race.[4] At this point polls generally showed Chávez with a 6-12 point lead over Salas Römer's approximately 38% poll numbers, though in some polls he exceeded that margin.[4] Both COPEI and Democratic Action now sought to endorse Salas Römer (he was reluctant to accept). COPEI persuaded its candidate (Saez) to resign, but Democratic Action's candidate, Alfaro Ucero, refused to do so, triggering an electoral crisis as the National Electoral Council had to rule on whether the Democratic Action ballot slot belonged to the party or the candidate.[4] Salas Römer agreed to accept the endorsement of COPEI and Democratic Action regional and local parties, and sought to maintain a distance to the parties' national leadership.[4] In the end, it was not enough, and Chávez won a substantial majority, and won 17 of 23 states.[4]

    While near the end of the electoral campaign Salas Romo won the support at the end of COPEI and AD, this was an attempt by both parties to salvage their near-total rejection by the electorate.
    As AD and COPEI cratered, so did Congress.

    Wiki articles on Venezuela are not always accurate, so if anyone can point out inaccuracies in Wiki's account of the 1998 election, please inform.

    1. You are right. Wikipedia pages on Venezuela are notoriously manipulated and almost never to be trusted. For the example above, Irene WAS on the ballot even not on COPEI one which is essential to mention.

      Also, the split strategy election DID WORK in that chavismo did not get a majority in the new congress. IF AD and COPEI had more spine they could have resisted much better the onslaught they suffered later. But the truth is that too many inside AD and COPEI preferred Chavez to Salas and that is what made in the end the difference. I am not saying that Salas would have won, but had he lost without the support of AD and COPEI he would have been a more credible opposition leader than losing anyway with theirs.

    2. Charly12:32 AM

      That is not very reassuring, is it? The devil you know, blah, blah, blah....

  5. Charly5:05 PM

    Looks like the strategic mind of Modi is made of the same stuff as the strategic mind of Chavez. Interesting article that touches the subject.


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