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Tripura ends CPI-M tedium by trading decency for false El Dorado

Pulling down of statues is a milder form of retribution compared to the coarse standards set by the Governor.

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Tripura CPI-M
Picture Credit : TheWire

The extraordinary feat the BJP has pulled off leaves one breathless. Which other Chief Minister in the country will have a decorated Director General of Police, B.L. Vohra, write in his book, “Tripura’s Bravehearts”, “Manik Sarkar was definitely unlike any Chief Ministers whom I had seen, met, worked with and heard about…. He was honest personally and that had percolated down to all echelons of the government — again one cannot find many examples of his ilk unfortunately in the country.” This level of decency has been traded by the Tripura electorate for mobs who pull down statues.

The universal assessment of Manik Sarkar even among opposition leaders in Tripura would flatter any politician. It was not just that he was himself a gentleman but he appeared to have instilled his qualities in his cabinet colleagues and the administration across the board. By all accounts, his predecessor and guru, Nripen Chakraborty, was even more admirable. The staff in the Chief Minister’s house had never ever dreamt that they would serve a boss whose groceries were purchased on a ration card and who never saved enough money to open a bank account. This may be syrupy stuff in an era when materialism is the mantra, but do, for a moment, reflect on the Chakraborty-Sarkar duo against the amoral wasteland that stretches as far as the eye can see.

Also, it is elementary that 25 years of CPI-M rule could not have lasted only because of the leadership’s decency. Despite the economic crunch, the government in Agartala implemented every central scheme with greater efficiency than any other state. Ninety-six per cent literacy? Show me another state. The gender ratio is something of a record. That is how Tripura’s middle class was created. True, having created a new middle class, the government found itself flat-footed. It could not cope with the next stage of aspirations. It produced distributive justice but found itself bereft of ideas to generate wealth to accommodate the educated unemployed and to promote two-wheel drivers to the four-wheel level.

Upon arrival in Agartala, I was able to find accommodation only in a government guest house. When I asked the Chief Minister if the absence of reasonable hotels was state policy, he was frank: “We are not in a position to cope with social imbalances that come with five-star hotels, bars and restaurants.”

This may sound odd, but the reasons for the rout of Sarkar’s Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in Tripura are, to some extent, similar to the ones responsible for the decline of West Indian cricket.

Never again will the likes of Weekes, Sobers, Viv Richards, Michael Holding and Brian Lara adorn world cricket. In the 1970s and the 1980s, the West Indies cricket team was like Don Bradman’s invincibles. The culture of cricket was their inheritance from the British colonial period.

Aggressive globalisation of the 1990s placed the West Indies in the sphere of American media. US centered television beamed at the islanders, not cricketers but basketball and baseball stars like Michael Jordan and Jose Ramirez, with proselytising persistence. Within a generation, all that remained of the cricketing legends were their fading photographs in the scrap books of schoolboys of the 1980s in former British colonies.

A CPI-M government in Tripura was, likewise, as remote from any Left-ruled enclave as the West Indies are from cricket’s birth place. After the end of Left rule in West Bengal, it had no structure to lean on. In this friendless era it was exposed to hostile TV bombardment. Riding the crest of economic liberalisation, market fundamentalism galloped at breakneck speed to accommodate advertising for rampaging consumerism marketed by dream merchants, architects of plush malls and multiplexes.

CPI-M Chief Minister Manik Sarkar’s controlled austerities withstood this barrage of televised razzmatazz for 25 years. By this time another generation had arisen, torn between a lifestyle of simplicity and the Eldorado on the horizon that metropolitan centres of control teased and tempted them with.

Agartala is in trauma. Before they find their feet, the stunned CPI-M cadres are having to adjust to another reality: Party sympathisers are suddenly not making eye contact with them. Some, with an eye on the main chance, have been seen on the margins of mobs attacking CPI-M offices, even pulling down of the Lenin statue.

To a considerable extent, the outcome in Tripura and elsewhere in the northeast is the Congress’ gift to the BJP. Himanta Biswa Sarma, a genius in electoral management, walked out of the Congress because he could not bear Rahul Gandhi’s insulting silences. Tarun Gagoi, the former Assam Chief Minister, was eager to create his own dynasty, make his son Gaurav the Chief Minister. This would cut out Sarma whose political brilliance underpinned the latter half of the Gogoi years.

This kind of a dynamo, backed by money power that would make Nirav Modi salivate and an adversarial Centre controlling the purse strings — this is how the Left was uprooted in Tripura. Just imagine, when state after state is implementing the 7th Pay Commission, Tripura found itself stranded at the 4th Pay Commission. CPI-M dogma also stood in the way: “7th pay commission made some demands which were anti-people.”

The change of cultures was imminent from the day the BJP planted Tathagata Roy as Governor of Tripura. The genteel tone of Chakraborty-Sarkar gave way to a inelegant vocabulary. “They should be buried head first in pig’s excreta,” said the Governor by way of a recommendation for dealing with terrorists.

Pulling down of statues is a milder form of retribution compared to the coarse standards set by the Governor.

BY : Saeed Naqvi

(A senior commentator on political and diplomatic affairs, Saeed Naqvi can be reached on [email protected] The views expressed are personal.)

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Astro Zindagi – Daily Horoscopes

Horoscope Today: Astrological prediction for November 29, what’s in store for Aries, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio and other zodiac signs

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Here is a guide to the week ahead for you. This is your forecast for November 30-December 6

ARIES

Despite seeing positive developments in your life in recent times, you may feel things moving rather slowly. There could be some issues within the family which will require your attention. You are advised to maintain your calm and solve things amicably. Your father may face some health issues and you are advised to keep medical help on standby if required. While your financial condition will be good, you need to pay special attention to your expenses. Use your words thoughtfully when conversing with people outside your family. Avoid boasting about yourself and stay grounded. Do not waste your energy on needless things. It is a good time to plan for the future. Do not let your morale down under any circumstances. During the later part of the week household matters could keep you busy. You can get help from your mother. Dealing in matters relating to real estate will be profitable. You could face health problems relating to stomach.

Tip of the week: Stay grounded

TAURUS

This will be a challenging phase for you mentally and emotionally. You could face some anxiety issues due to problems in personal life. Those married may find it difficult to maintain harmony in their married life. You are advised to avoid arguments with your spouse. Overall, it is advised to not have expectations from near and dear ones. Health issues relating to throat and eyes could be a cause for worry. Your father is likely to undergo some unpleasant changes in his life and may need your support. To improve your life, take care of your elders and seek advice from them as and when required. During this period, negligence in money matters can prove to be problematic for you. Additional expenditure is foreseen in matters relating to children and entertainment. Those in a job are likely to get favourable results in their field. The stars indicate a change of job for you, hence, you are advised to seek suitable opportunities.

Tip of the week: Manage your emotions

GEMINI

Students looking to study abroad will find success. You need to be careful about financial matters as sudden losses are indicated. Also keep a check on your expenses which are likely to overshoot unexpectedly. Your efficiency at work will increase which will impress your seniors. Those in a job can expect some positive developments relating to their appraisal. Those in business are advised to form new partnerships to have sustained growth. Work which was on hold for a long time will get completed and you can take some necessary decisions at this time. You will be able to express your feelings freely and your mental strength will increase. Avoid arrogance as it could cost you dearly. Choose your words wisely during a conversation else it could hurt others. You could stay worried due to lack of family support on important issues. Be careful of any injury to the middle part of your body.

Tip of the week: Look for new partnerships

CANCER

This is a favourable time for your career and financial life. Your seniors will applaud you for your work and you may get an increment during this time. This is a favourable period to look for a change of job. Business professionals can enter into new deals which will enhance their growth and income. You should be extra careful about any fresh investments. Prudent investments in the stock market are likely to bring additional gains. However, if you are doing any documentation work, then ensure that you have some trustworthy people around you. Avoid any kind of confusion during this time. You will have a loving relationship with your partner. Your better half will support you in your professional life. You are likely to receive support from your elder siblings. Married couples can expect to become parents which will keep the family atmosphere jovial. You need to be careful about health issues relating to kidney and gall bladder.

Tip of the week: Look forward to a career change

LEO

This is a positive phase for your career. You will get success in your business during this time. Your income will grow substantially which will improve your financial situation. You will earn a good reputation at your work. You could hear some good news on the job front. However, you are advised to be cautious while interacting with your seniors as any kind of negative communication could affect your goodwill with them. Also, avoid any kind of negative thoughts since it will impact you mentally and physically. You may receive some genuine advice from an experienced person. You should keep a check on your temperament during this time; else you may get into futile arguments with your better half. Your mother’s health may need your attention. Avoid making any investment in real estate as it can lead to losses. You should avoid any kind of travel during this time as it could impact your health.

Tip of the week: Avoid negative thoughts

VIRGO

This will be a favourable time for those looking to travel. Both short and long-distance travels are indicated during this period. Tasks that were stuck earlier will kick off again on a positive note. Those in a job will get respect and promotion at their work and will get desired results. Your boss will like the way you work. You can also get good results for the efforts you have made in the past. Those without a job can get employed during this time. During this time, your thoughts will improve and your concentration will increase. With regard to family life, you may spend additional time with your elder siblings and give some valuable advice to them. You can plan out a new business venture. You can also get benefit in matters related to money. Students will get good results in their field of education. However, you could face some misunderstanding with your partner. You can take interest in religious activities and charity.

Tip of the week: Traveling will keep you occupied

LIBRA

This will be a beneficial phase for you. You are likely to be attracted to a luxurious lifestyle and may plan to buy new items. You can get money from some unknown source. New business avenues will open up which you can explore. Your career will experience a positive phase of growth. Your position at the workplace will be strong. Your ideas will be appreciated and shared. If you are a student then this period will bring lot of success. Those awaiting results of any competitive examination are likely to taste success. Your mind will be involved in religious activities and you can engage in the act of giving. This is a favourable time for love life. If you are single, then you can expect to meet your prospective partner. There could be unwanted troubles in family life which can create stress. Avoid making an investment in any new scheme or property. Be careful of eye infections. Food-related disorders can also cause problems.

Tip of the week: Romance is on the cards

SCORPIO

You will receive auspicious results in your married life and you will overcome misunderstandings with your spouse. You will also get the support of your life partner during this period, so you need to be in sync with each other. You are likely to benefit in a business that is run under partnership. Any ongoing obstacles in your life will be eliminated. However, you may get worried unnecessarily. To avoid this situation, you should keep yourself away from negativity, read books and stay in the company of noble people. Your competitors may hatch conspiracies against you during this period, but they will not be able to affect you in any way. You will enjoy serving and talking with the elders of the house. You can also plan to go on a religious trip with your family. At the same time, it is advised not to get involved in any illegal work and follow the government guidelines properly. Skin ailments can bother you.

Tip of the week: Personal life will improve

SAGITTARIUS

Your family life is likely to remain the centre of your attention during this period. Your relations with your father will improve and he will extend his whole-hearted support to you. Married people will be able to spend quality time with their spouse. You are likely to recover from any pre-existing illness. Those who are in a job will gain success over their competitors. The position of people doing business will also improve and they will get beneficial results. You can start your own business venture during this time. Those of you working in the field of counseling or consultancy are likely to see positive results in their career. You need to take special care of health issues relating to stress and anxiety. You should resort to yoga to improve your mental health. People who are studying or inclined towards learning should meditate in order to keep their mind focused. Your love relationship will also be good and you can go on a short distance journey with your partner.

Tip of the week: Meditate to improve focus

CAPRICORN

You are likely to unfold a new chapter in your life. Your attitude will transform radically and you will develop a fresh approach to life. To begin with, you will feel physically fit. If you were troubled by some disease for a long time, then you can get rid of it. In work life, you will be able to crush your opponents and emerge victorious. You can expect positive changes in your career. If you are into higher education, then you will get the support of your teachers and parents due to which you will be able to perform well. Your intellectual abilities will increase. This time will be very favourable for students looking to clear a competitive examination. Married people can get good news and welcome a new member to the family. At the same time, love will flourish among people who are in a romantic relationship. Your family life will improve and all members will be affectionate towards each other. Those desirous of moving abroad will be successful.

Tip of the week: Transform your attitude

AQUARIUS

You need to be careful about family matters. In case of any misunderstanding, you need to play a proactive role and make a reconciliation. Stay cautious when driving as an accident is indicated. Pay attention to your mother’s health, if she has any disease, get her treated immediately. Overall, it may take some effort on your part to bring balance in your family life. Students may face some problems in their education. If you are preparing for some competitive examination, then it will be difficult for you to concentrate during this time. Stay away from matters of love in this period; otherwise, it may hamper your growth. Those who are in a job will get the cooperation of their colleagues, and your opponent will remain subdued. Those working in the government sector can expect a promotion. Avoid financial investment in general and look to consolidate your savings. Gains are indicated for those dealing with overseas market.

Tip of the week: Consolidate your savings

PISCES

You will get auspicious results during this period. Your grasping power will increase and intellectual ability will become stronger. Your risk-taking ability will increase and you will be able to undertake tasks that you were not able to execute in the past. You can plan to go on a trip with friends. Your family atmosphere will be good, and you will be able to spend quality time with younger siblings. Health concerns are indicated for your mother and all medical help needs to be arranged if required. With regard to your financial life, there may be some expenses related to the amenities or renovation of the house. Some of you may face challenges in academic life. Students need to improve their focus and avoid diversions due to their love life. Married couples are likely to be blessed with a child. Stay cautious while signing any document else it may lead to an unpleasant situation in future.

Tip of the week: Take calculated risks

(Neeraj Dhankher is an astrologer with proficiency in Vedic, KP and Nadi Astrology. He is Founder and CEO of Astro Zindagi. The observations are made by the writer based on his own analysis)

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Opinion: ‘This isn’t a movement by farmers’

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farmers at Sindhu border

New Delhi: In the name of opposing the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020, the people who have come to Delhi are saying that ‘Indira ko thok diya tha, Modi ko bhi thok denge.’ The only objective of those who are involved or supporting the agitation in the garb of farmers movement is to oppose the central government, the Bharatiya Janata Party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Some of the so-called agitators are also instigating farmers who used to go to Shaheen Bagh to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019. Surprisingly, despite the pro-Khalistan slogans about Indira Gandhi, the leaders of the Congress and other parties are keeping quiet on the objectionable rants of the so-called farmers. Does the Congress have no objection to ‘Indira ko thok diya tha’?

Various media reports indicate that the people agitating in Punjab are being fully backed by the Congress government in the state. Ration is being provided to the agitators. The Northern Railway had to suffer a revenue loss of Rs 891 crore till last week due to the agitation against agriculture bills. Indian Railways has also incurred a loss of Rs. 2220 crores.

The agitation was abolished by farmers’ organisations after the central government’s clarification on the questions raised on the agriculture bills and continuation of MSP. Various media reports say there is a big conspiracy behind the agitation. Food is being distributed to the people at mosques. People like Nazir Mohammad, who was involved in Shaheen Bagh, are roaming around wearing turbans. The elderly lady Momina from Shaheen Bagh, is also roaming around as a farmer. These are just a few examples. Like Shaheen Bagh and the Delhi riots, the truth behind such an agitation will also come out before to the public after the conspiracy is exposed.

The kind of mistake that Indira Gandhi had made by encouraging Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale is again being made by the Congress government in Punjab led by Amarinder Singh. The activities of Khalistan supporters are increasing during the Amarinder regime. It was even being discussed that some people could try to unfurl Khalistani flags in Delhi. People are already suffering due to the outbreak of the Corona pandemic. All business has been affected. The number of people dying from Corona in Delhi is increasing. Union Home Minister Amit Shah himself had to hold a meeting about the deteriorating condition of the pandemic outbreak in Delhi. Para-military forces had to be deployed in light of the shortage of doctors. In the guise of opposition to the agriculture bills, people who have come to the Capital with intention of camping in Delhi will only aggravate the agony of Coronavirus.

Why are the agriculture bills facing the maximum opposition in Punjab? Because the government is preparing people for the agitation. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi led the agitation by sitting on a sofa placed on a tractor in Punjab. It is worth noting that last year, 80 per cent of paddy and 70 per cent of wheat were from Punjab and Haryana were procured by the government.

The BJP is the only party that thinks about the interests of farmers. Other parties have just used farmers for politics. The central government is sending money to the farmers’ accounts. Prime Minister Modi has repeatedly said that our goal is to double the income of farmers. The agricultural reforms will provide new opportunities to farmers to sell their produce. This will increase their profitability. Farmers will get the benefit of modern technology and emerge stronger. Because of these bills, with the role of middlemen being eliminated, the so-called farmer leaders who acted as brokers have been the worst hit.

MSP has nothing to do with these Agriculture Bills. Confusion is being spread among the farmers that MSP will be abolished. Just as the Citizenship Amendment Act has nothing to do with the citizens of this country, MSP has nothing to do with the farm bills. The politics of spreading confusion by opposition parties won’t last long.

(The writer is National General Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Views expressed are personal)

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Indian-origin man in FBI ’10 Most Wanted’ list carries $100k reward

The FBI’s notice says that the accused “should be considered armed and extremely dangerous”.

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Bhadreshkumar Chetanbhai Patel,

New York, Nov 28 : The US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reminding the public of a $100,000-reward offer for information leading to the capture of Indian-origin Bhadreshkumar Chetanbhai Patel, who has been listed by the agency as one of the “10 Most Wanted” since 2017.

Patel has been on the run since 2015 when he allegedly killed his wife, Palak, with a knife inside a Dunkin Donuts coffee shop in Hanover, Maryland state.

He has been charged with murder.

Although he was put on the list in 2017 with the $100,000 reward for information leading to his capture he has not been caught and on Friday the FBI tweeted information about him and the reward to draw attention to the case and the reward offer.

The FBI is asking anyone who knows where he is to contact the agency or the nearest US consulate or embassy.

Patel, who was 24 at that time, allegedly hit his 21-year-old wife in the face with a kitchen knife and stabbed her several times in the backroom of the shop where they both worked while customers were still there, according to officials quoted by WTOP radio.

He was last known to have taken a taxi from a hotel in New Jersey to a train station in Newark in the state.

Tim Altomare, who was the police chief of Anne Arundel County at that time, told the radio: “The violence in this case was stark. It was heart-wrenching and it was a shock to our collective conscience on the police department.”

WTOP reported that investigators think that Patel was still in the US in 2017 when he was put on the FBI list and according to Altomare investigators believe that someone was knowingly helping Patel or was interacting with him without knowing about his alleged crime.

The radio reported that according to Gordon Johnson, who was the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Baltimore field office in 2017, Patel was put on the list because of the brutality of the crime and the likelihood that someone outside the US knows where he was.

The couple’s visas expired about a month before the killing and investigators believe that Palak Patel wanted to return to India, but her husband opposed it, WTOP reported.

The FBI’s notice says that the accused “should be considered armed and extremely dangerous”.

According to the FBI he was born in Kantrodi Ta Viramgam in Gujarat.

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