Thursday 18 May 2017

Lunch with a pro-Modi NRI in California
Had lunch in a Chinese restaurant in Fremomt, California with an NRI friend who is settled in the Bay Area ( Silicon Valley ) USA for over 30 years and has his business here. He is pro-Modi, like most NRIs in America.
He was the host of Prime Minister Modi's visit to the Silicon Valley in September 2015, and spent 2 days with him, and they had long conversations.
He has a very good opinion of Modi, whom he regards a man with a vision, the vision being of developing India.
I told him that at present there was no credible opposition to Modi, and that is why BJP won 4 of the 5 states in the recent elections. He agreed, and said that AAP too was now discredited.
He asked about Congress, and I said in my opinion it was finished as long as Sonia and Rahul are its leaders. He said why do Congressmen then not choose another leadership instead of sticking with them. I said India is a feudal country, in which the son/daughter of a king becomes the next ruler, even if he is incompetent and undeserving. The Nehru-Gandhi family is regarded by the Congress party as the royal family, and it is this binding force which keeps the party united.
He asked whether Modi was corrupt. I said that I had not heard of any personal corruption of Modi. For whom will he take money ? He has no family. But of course one has to take money for the party because politics is an expensive affair in India, elections are expensive, and it costs a lot of money to run an organization.
In contrast, I am convinced Sonia Gandhi was personally corrupt. She looted India, and took away a huge amount of money which she has parked in foreign banks or secret havens. Scam after scam ( e.g. 2G scam, coalblock scam, CWG scam, etc ) was taking place, not of crores of rupees but of lacs of crores, when UPA, of which she was the Chairman, was in power. Where has all this loot gone ? Everyone knows that Manmohan Singh was a dummy, and the real ruler was Sonia. So one can put two and two together. There may not be direct evidence, but there is also a thing called circumstantial evidence.
He asked why BJP won even in Muslim majority areas in U.P. I replied that I had no idea, but normally Muslims do not vote for BJP, and that is why no Muslim was given a BJP ticket in the recent U.P. Assembly elections.
He asked whether the Muslims were feeling alienated. 
I replied that was so. I also told him of the fear of Muslims who are feeling insecure after the attacks on some Muslims in Dadri, Alwar, etc. The appointment of Adityanath as C.M. of U.P. has also sent a wrong message.
He did not deny that, but hoped the extreme elements will be controlled.
He said that he told Modi to have a substantial number of his Secretaries, Addl Secretaries and Jt. Secretaries from the private sector, instead of from the I.A.S.
To this Modi replied that the bureaucracy was very powerful in India, and he did not want a confrontation with it at present, but may consider about it later. However, my friend said he did not believe Modi will ever change the state of affairs in this connection.
My friend said that most jobs are created not by big business but by small businesses, but in India before Modi the climate was hostile to small businesses and Start Ups. For instance, in notices inviting applications for contracts it was usually mentioned that parties having a turnover of less than a certain amount in past years will not be considered, and this turnover amount was fixed so high that new Start Ups could never be considered.
According to him this has now changed by the DIPP. I am not sure this is true. As far as I know, small businesses are having an even more difficult time.
I told him people voted for Modi thinking that vikas meant millions of jobs will be created, but in fact jobs have been further reduced. 12 million youth are coming into the Indian job market every year, but last year only 140, 000 jobs were created in the organized sector of the Indian economy.
The divide between the rich and the poor has increased, and now 57 individuals in India control 70% of India's wealth. How long will this situation be tolerated ?
We also discussed the media. He said that TRP rating of anti-establishment media goes up, and so in USA the TRP rating of CNN, which is regarded as anti-Trump has gone up, while that of Fox News, which is regarded as pro-Trump has gone down.
I said that as far as the Indian media is concerned most of it is presently pro-establishment. Many mediapersons who were perceived as anti Modi have lost their jobs. Most of the media has been taken over by corporates, and these corporates are all pro-Modi.

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