Anatomy of a Harakiri

Anatomy of a Harakiri

Submitted by alvin on Thu, 2016-07-28 20:15 A few days ago I shared two pictures which were extensively being shared on the social media. This is the picture, with a caption I gave it: They say that a picture can be worth of thousand words but every single person I have seen or met in the last few days including strong BJP supporters have told me that it is a compelling picture and rivets the viewer’s attention. After my having sharing this picture, a right wing columnist shared my post stating that I had behaved in a sexist fashion by putting it up. A deluge of comments followed, in which  many used abusive words against me and one of them even uploaded pictures of my wife and another of me along with my children. A few sent private messages to my wife.     Just can't get over this picture- easily worth more than a thousand words! pic.twitter.com/Ol2HNjEOjf — Brijesh Kalappa (@brijeshkalappa) July 25, 2016 Amidst all this, I put out the following post: The relationship between Smriti Irani and Narendra Modi has seen many ups and downs, she began by being a trenchant critic and said that she would fast to atone for the Genocide in Gujarat. She, along with Vajpayee were a group of BJP Leaders who firmly believed that Modi was squarely responsible for the defeat of the BJP in 2004. Somewhere along the way, she became close to Modi, even obtaining a Rajya Sabha Seat from Gujarat, despite her loss from Chandni Chowk in 2004. When Modi became PM, it was a surprise that she was chosen to head the HRD Portfolio. Dr. Manmohan Singh was asked in an interview, as to which portfolio he would choose if the INC formed a Government in 2004 with Mrs. Gandhi as PM, to which he replied that he would choose the HRD Portfolio. It was this high profile HRD portfolio that went to Smriti Irani in 2014. Meanwhile, she had lost yet another election in 2014 from Amethi. She had disclosed three varying qualifications in affidavits filed to the 3 elections she contested. She is not a graduate, and yet, she claimed to be one. In any event, her tenure was disastrous, but it appeared that despite everything, the PM would back her to the hilt. In Amethi, he had even addressed her as his sister. In the last reshuffle, she was divested of the HRD Portfolio, and also lost her seat on various ministerial committees. Earlier, she was overlooked while the BJP's national executive was being constituted. In this background, look at the pictures below: does she not look sullen?! Does Modi not want to know if she will betray him yet again?! is their relationship on even keel?! She is clearly avoiding his gaze - despite knowing that he is looking at her. Dissidence is a fact within the BJP. Will she ditch him after the forthcoming UP elections where BJP will come a cropper? The possibilities are endless. Chitikarha and his band of merry men are welcome to look for the sexual angle to these pictures. I am more keen to know when Modi will demit office as PM, with such pathetic performance, he cannot sustain. I have always held that his showmanship will not be able to carry on for a full term and he will be exposed very very soon for his pathetic administrative abilities. This morning, while I was taking part in a TV debate, I commented to my BJP counterpart that although I have been in politics for several years, I have never witnessed this kind of bitterness and savagery amongst two political parties. In the same breath, I said I preferred the Vajpayee BJP to the Modi BJP. He responded: “Of course, it was a civil at that time, but from the workers’ standpoint, BJP is far better today.” A Political Party is meant to win hearts not repel. While there were several BJP Workers on the columnist’s wall I mentioned above who were abusive, a few others asked this fundamental question: “What exactly has Brijesh Kalappa said that is offensive?” Another right wing website carried a story on this episode, the sub-stratum appeared to be that the sequence of the two pictures was deliberately switched by me. Even if the pictures were placed non-sequentially, how did the post become sexist was totally unclear. The link to the post is: http://satyavijayi.com/shamefull-congress-spokesperson-sc-advocate-shows-sexist-side-hits-new-low/ Any movement can succeed only if it influences more and more people by persuasion, compassion and by the force of attraction. I would imagine that just as Indian National Congress aspires to attract persons who have not made up their mind on which political party to support to its own ideology, I would assume the BJP would similarly wish to attract those very persons in their fold. In this light, Gau Rakshaks, Dalit Oppressors and other assorted activists, similar to the paid trolls on Social Media are pushing away the people from the BJP. A number of personal messages which I receive said the same. I summarize what has been stated – (1) The picture I rightly shared does indeed make for compelling viewing (2) I was being unfairly targeted (3) the kind of abuse which I receive was wholly inappropriate and disproportionately strong (4) that it is this kind of disproportionate kind of reaction which is affecting the BJP adversely. Two posts which are worth sharing are from Gautham Machaiah, Senior Journalist and Commentator who said “I do not understand what is sexist about the photographs posted by Brijesh Kalappa. When he first posted these pictures, he made no comments except that they were brilliant photographs. A photograph speaks a thousand words and it is upto the reader to interpret it according to his or her mindset. When I first saw the photographs what came to my mind was the political angle. It beautifully captures the supposedly growing 'rift' between Mr Modi and Ms Irani. For a moment, I also wondered if the Minister was giving the Prime Minister the cold shoulder because she was stripped of the high-profile HRD portfolio. My next interpretation was that the photograph signalled Mr Modi and Ms Irani going their own separate ways. All my three hypothesis might be wrong, but I don't see anything sexist in the photograph or in Brijesh's comments, which ever angle I look at it from. If somebody views the photographs from a sexist angle it only reflects their thought process.” Another, by a respected Chartered Accountant, who can frequently be seen on National TV, defending BJP Policies and decrying the Congress Party. I don’t wish to name the person in order not to embarrass him, because he firmly belongs to the Right Wing. His words on my FB wall were:  “Sir I disagree on several things with you .... But let me tell you that there was nothing offensive in those photos” This kind of Hara-Kiri is happening at all levels by activists who are unabatedly pushing their political agenda without the realization that it is the one thing most hurtful to their constituency. With acting against students, the BJP pushed away the student community, with cow politics, they pushed away the Muslims first and now the Dalits, with their SM maniacs, they are pushing away the neutral, undecided voters while pushing a right wing agenda down their unwilling throats, and I do expect that a complete melt down is likely to hit BJP sooner than later. Author: Brijesh Kalappa practises law in the Supreme Court and is Legal Adviser to the Chief Minister of Karnataka. He is also a spokesperson for the Congress. The views expressed here are his.