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What is common between Neymar and Modi? Both are Drama Queens

The similarity between Neymar and Modi doesn’t end here. They may have chosen to be the drama queens for obvious reasons but in the end dram doesn’t pay.

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Narendra Modi

Neymar da Silva Santos Junior, commonly known as Neymar is a Brazilian superstar striker who is considered one of the best players in the world. He is a professional footballer who plays as a forward for French club Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazil national team.

He often becomes target of criticism and laughter because of his deliberate acts of playing a victim card by feigning injuries. He has shown enough examples of his act in the ongoing Football World Cup 2018 in Russia. The Swiss broadcaster RTS Sport has done a detailed research on the Brazilian superstar and counted how much time Neymar has spent during the five World Cup matches of the Brazilian team on the ground.

The spectators were left unimpressed with Neymar’s injury antics during the crucial World Cup match between Brazil and Mexico. Neymar is quite famous for his unique ball skill, but is equally as famous for faking injuries during big games.

In a video which has become viral, he can be seen rolling around, clutching his ankle, and biting his finger supposedly in agony. The game was interrupted and Neymar needed a few minutes of treatment and soon out of nowhere sprang back into action.

In the very first game against Switzerland, Neymar remained on the ground for three minutes and 40 seconds, in the next game against Costa Rica, he was on ground for another two minutes and 44 seconds and in the last preliminary round match against Serbia a minute and 56 seconds.

In the pre-quarterfinal match against Mexico in Samara alone, it was five minutes and 29 seconds, two minutes after Mexican defender Miguel Layun kicked him. Overall, Neymar spent almost 14 minutes on the ground, in five World Cup matches. But all these histrionics were not good enough to prolong the stay of five times world champion in the tournament and were simply outclassed by Belgium in a quarter final match.

The striker is usually ridiculed for acting out in by several former players and coaches. “It’s a shame for the game, a negative example for the world, for children and an adverse publicity for the game of football. There should be limit on such acting, because it had a big impact on us. I think we lost the thread because of referee’s decisions in the second half ” said Mexican coach Juan Carlos Osorio after the World Cup knockout round, which his team lost by 2-0.

If we look for parallel for this gifted player from Brazil, we need not to go very far. We have our own drama queen in India and he is none other than our Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi. No one can beat him if it comes about playing to the gallery and creating dramas.

On Feb 21, 2014 while addressing a youth rally at Ahmedabad, he launched a blistering attack at Congress by saying that Congress always looked for chances to kill him or beat him. He further added that Congress didn’t like the fact that a tea seller was challenging such a big political empire.

Mr Modi said that Congress leaders may throw muck and let loose the CBI and Income Tax to harass him but still they would not be able to stop him from serving the country. He also made an emotional pitch saying he had not left his house for any post or for fame.

Mr Modi also made a huge drama about army’s surgical strike in September, 2016 in order to gain some TRPs. In 2014 during election campaign, he boasted that if elected he will bring 10 Pakistani soldier’s head in lieu of one dead Indian soldier. After coming to power, he forgot his promise and Indian soldiers kept losing their lives.

We are not questioning whether the supposed surgical strike took place or not. It wasn’t as if surgical strike happened for the first time. It is normal practice for our army to conduct such strikes whenever the situation is ripe for such actions but it was for the first time that such routine army exercises were used for political benefit.

In April this year, PM Modi went on a daylong fast to protest against the logjam in the Parliament. The main opposition party Congress termed the fast undertaken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP leaders as nothing but a photo-opportunity. Now this act of Prime Minister was anything but drama considering it was his own government which wasted 250 hours of Parliament.

Last month, there was news regarding unearthing of a conspiracy to assassinate PM Modi in “Rajiv Gandhi style”. Maharashtra Police made an explosive revelation in June this year after recovering a letter from an alleged naxal operative in Pune. The police claimed to have exposed a plot to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi which was hatched by Maoists.

At first, the Pune police arrested five activists in connection with Bheema Koregaon violence, alleging their links with the Maoists who funded the Elgar Yatra, which was organised to celebrate 200 years of Bhima-Koregaon battle. Two days later, the police said all these accused were involved in a conspiracy to kill PM and came out with two e mails describing the plan to assassinate Modi.

The interesting part of the entire investigation was that before the e mails could reach the court, they were accessed by a pro BJP TV channel and a BJP spokesperson. After the e mails went public, the Police Chief Satish Mathur came with a ridiculous explanation that the letters were leaked by Maoists. This threat to PM was clearly a publicity stunt for getting public sympathy.

Interestingly, since 2009 such conspiracies to kill PM Modi have surfaced many times. Gujarat police have exposed four such ploys but never bothered to reveal the details of such investigations which raise questions regarding the authenticity of such claims. Even the former police officers who have dealt with Naxals and Maoists questioned the veracity of the e mails. In fact, one didn’t need to be an expert to realise that the letters were fictitious. One has to be really naive to believe Maoists could write such detailed plans to execute the PM in an e mail. Surprisingly, when the five activists were presented before the court, the police did not even mention the plot to kill PM. On contrary, in the next hearing on June 14, police twisted the original plot to kill PM and claimed that the accused were planning to organise a lecture in the memory of alleged naxalite Navin Babu at JNU.

The similarity between Neymar and Modi doesn’t end here. They may have chosen to be the drama queens for obvious reasons but in the end dram doesn’t pay. Neymar deliberately indulged in drama on the football field to get a much needed free kick or a penalty in order to bring a victory for his team which eluded him in the end. Similarly, Mr Modi plays the role of a drama queen to impress his voters but he forgets that people may be fooled by his antics on few times but in the end, it is his performance as a Prime Minister which is going to matter and not these tricks.

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Life after Parrikar’s Delhi airlift doesn’t look easy for Goa BJP

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Manhohar Parrikar

After nearly three decades of Manohar Parrikar’s complete dominance over the affairs of state BJP, the party is now looking at life in Goa without him, who is battling advanced pancreatic cancer and was airlifted to New Delhi’s prestigious AIIMS on Saturday.

With apparently chances of Parrikar’s return to active politics bleak, life doesn’t appear all that smooth for the Goa BJP leadership, at least for now, as it is already battling crises of lack of credible successors, skeptical alliance partners who have sniffed the weakness, and the possibility of an ugly succession battle for power in Parrikar’s absence.

For now, several core Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in Goa seem to be in favour of dissolution of the state assembly, instead of allowing leaders from other alliance parties to head the coalition.

Barely hours after Parrikar took off in a specially chartered flight to the national capital on the instructions of the BJP high command, alliance partners Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and the Goa Forward have already started scrapping publicly over sharing of power.

“The BJP should appoint the senior-most leader in-charge. Goa has already suffered because of lack of leadership. We need to fill that void,” state MGP chief Dipak Dhavalikar told reporters, throwing his party MLA, brother and Public Works Department Minister Sudin Dhavalikar’s hat in the ring for the post of officiating Chief Minister.

However, Goa Forward president and Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai has already rejected the option to make Dhavalikar the Deputy Chief Minister, with an ailing Parrikar continuing in the top post.

Both parties had contested the 2017 Assembly poll on an anti-BJP plank but had later joined the BJP-led coalition government on the condition that only Parrikar should head the coalition.

Another proposition, which was discussed by Dhavalikar with the BJP leadership about merging his regional party MGP with the BJP, has seen stiff resistance from the cadres of both parties.

Last week, state Congress president Girish Chodankar in a letter to Goa Governor Mridula Sinha had asked her not to consider the possibility of dissolution of the state Assembly and invite the Congress, which has more MLAs than the BJP in the 40-member House, to form the government instead of dissolving the House.

Party leaders say, under the current scenario, the best option would be Union Minister of State for AYUSH and North Goa MP Shripad Naik, who is a popular leader of the OBC, a significant vote bank which is peeved at the “pro-Brahmin politics” orchestrated with Parrikar at the helm of state and party affairs.

“Shripad is widely acceptable, both as a person and a politician. His nature is to take everyone along,” a BJP leader said.

There are also talks within the party about a possible anti-incumbency factor working for Naik in the upcoming Lok Sabha election. Getting Naik, a three-time MP from North Goa, back into the state politics would serve well for the party instead.

Elder to Parrikar by three years, Naik, 65, is complete counterfoil to Parrikar’s personality. While Parrikar is a sharp, incisive and intimidating, Naik is warm, gentle and known for his warm camaraderie.

Naik, in a way, has also been at the receiving end of Parrikar’s style of functioning, which did not allow any second power centre in Goa to develop.

The other options being touted within the party are Speaker Pramod Sawant and state BJP president and Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Tendulkar. While Sawant’s candidature has been opposed by alliance partners, Tendulkar could emerge as the dark horse in the BJP’s quest for a homegrown CM.

(Mayabhushan Nagvenkar can be contacted at [email protected])

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Amit Shah’s 50-year dream: Whistling in the dark?

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Amit Shah

Bharatiya Janata Party : President Amit Shah’s boast at the national executive meeting about the party ruling for 50 years may have been in keeping with his usual aggressive, bombastic style, but it has been interpreted in two contradictory ways.

One was to see it as a sign of arrogance and the other was to discern in the seeming extravagant claim a hint of whistling in the dark to keep up the party morale. Both the surmises have an element of plausibility.

If the assertion underlines hauteur, the reason undoubtedly is the BJP’s belief that it faces no serious challenge at the moment. Notwithstanding the continuing unemployment, agrarian distress, high fuel prices, falling rupee, stagnant exports and the unease among the minorities and Dalits, the opposition has not been able to get its act together.

Because of this failure, there are now doubts about how it will fare in the forthcoming assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh since the BJP’s main opponent in these states, the Congress, which was earlier expected to have an easy run, has been unable to reach an understanding with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and is troubled by its familiar internal squabbling.

Besides, the question as to who will be the opposition’s prime ministerial face is yet to be settled while there has been no clearcut articulation of an economic blueprint. The BJP, on the other hand, is pursuing a well-defined path. Even as “vikas” (development) remains its catchphrase, it also cannily indulges in the ruses of what a dissident saffron intellectual and former BJP minister, Arun Shourie, has called a “one-trick pony”.

The “trick”, according to him, is to foment divisiveness which has been highlighted by the communal uncertainties posed by the National Register of Citizens, which the Assam Chief Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal, wants to be extended from his state to the entire country so that the “ghuspetiyas” (infiltrators or illegal immigrants) can be summarily evicted. “Chun chun ke nikaloonga”, as Amit Shah has thundered.

The BJP’s confidence apparently stems from the belief that while the promise of development will keep the youth and the middle class on its side — as has been confirmed by the Delhi University Students Union election results where the BJP’s student wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), won three of the top four seats — the party’s nationalist plank targeting “ghuspetiyas” and the so-called urban Naxalites will keep the opposition off balance.

It is obvious that the opposition has found no effective answers to the allegations of being soft on illegal aliens and Maoist sympathisers and has to depend on the judiciary to keep any excesses of the ruling party in check as in the matter of lynchings.

How indifferent the BJP is towards such outrages or the disquiet expressed by the “secular” intelligentsia about its rule was evident from the seeming satisfaction which Amit Shah derived from the fact that the party keeps on winning despite the murder of Mohammed Akhlaq, allegedly for eating beef, or the “award wapsi” of the urban elite.

It is not surprising that he believes that a combination of the promise of economic growth and a depiction of the opposition as unpatriotic will keep the “lion” safe from the “wild dogs”, to quote the similes used by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat while addressing the World Hindu Congress in Chicago to describe the Sangh Parivar and its opponents.

On its part, the RSS has been engaged in broadening its appeal by calling the non-saffronites to its conclaves. It goes without saying that a possible mainstreaming of the avowedly pro-Hindu organisation will help the BJP to shake off to some extent the taint in the eyes of its opponents of its association with the RSS and thereby help in the fulfilment of the dream of ruling India for half a century.

It cannot be gainsaid that at the moment, much is going for the party. It has a Prime Minister whose popular appeal is testified by virtually all the opinion polls despite the government’s palpable inadequacies. The party also has a chief whose micromanagement of the organization has turned it into a formidable election-winning outfit.

In addition, its publicity is boosted not only by its members in the government and the party, but also by an army of trolls who lose no opportunity to pounce on the BJP’s critics with venomous abuses. Not to be left behind in supporting the ruling dispensation are some ‘nationalist’ television channels whose commitment to neutrality is conspicuous by its absence.

With so much in the BJP’s favour, its 50-year project may not seem all that far-fetched — except that the Indian voter remains famously inscrutable. Considering that the BJP secured no more than 31 per cent of the votes at the height of its popularity in 2014, it is obvious that a large percentage of the population do not think much of the party.

It may be this inconvenient fact which made Amit Shah whistle in the dark.

(Amulya Ganguli is a political analyst. He can be reached at [email protected])

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Will Ganesh Chaturthi mark a new beginning for crisis-stricken Goa BJP?

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Manohar Parrikar

As colourful clay idols of Lord Ganesh are ushered into Hindu homes in Goa ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi, the symbolic significance of the deity, as a remover of obstacles and a god of new beginnings, may well dwell on the minds of state leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The party’s top-rung leaders are battling a crisis of loyalty between their party and the ailing high priest of the BJP in Goa, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who in the past has cleared innumerable political obstacles and ushered new beginnings for the party and its cadre. The 62-year-old former Defence Minister’s persisting illness is now threatening to weigh heavy on the fortunes of his party as well as the BJP-led coalition government that he heads.

Parrikar returned from the US — for the third time in six months — after yet another round of treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer last week, but has failed to attend office.

The question of whether and who will replace Parrikar is still not a subject for on-record conversations for BJP leaders like state party General Secretary Sadanand Shet Tanavde and South Goa MP Narendra Savoikar, who insist that “there is no question of a change in leadership”. But in the sanctuary of an off-record conversation, there is anxiety, anguish and worry — both for Parrikar’s failing health as well as the gaining perception that the Goa BJP and the government are virtually leaderless entities.

There appears to be neither hope, nor a consensus, among the party’s senior leadership about who could potentially replace Parrikar for now, especially since his health is worsening, although the Chief Minister’s Office as well as BJP spokespersons insist that the ailing leader is recovering just fine.

Last month, perhaps Parrikar’s only peer in the Goa BJP in terms of longevity and acceptability among cadre, Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Naik, made the first attempt to spark a conversation about “alternative leadership” in Goa, while conceding to a crisis. But within a matter of hours of his presser, a planned trip to Delhi to meet the party High Command by Naik himself and other top party functionaries was called off, after some leaders met Parrikar, who was admitted to a Mumbai hospital.

Since then, Naik too toes the line of “no question of leadership change”. Now that the cry for leadership change has been swiftly squelched, the question is now limited to sincere, but muffled murmurs among BJP leaders, who feel that political ground beneath them is slipping, in the face of a series of scandals — the inaction against those exposed for using carcinogenic agent formalin to preserve fish in a seafood-loving state and the never-ending mining ban and the seeming lack of effort by the state government to overcome it, being the two most significant.

It is not that there aren’t options.

One of the few propped up include Speaker Pramod Sawant, who Parrikar, ignoring protocol, had handpicked to lead the government during the state Independence Day parade.

Alliance partners Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and the Goa Forward Party have also been sounded out or have pushed for merging their legislative units into the BJP as a pre-condition for the top chair, according to sources.

Last week, Goa’s political circles were in a tizzy about former Chief Minister and Congress MLA Digambar Kamat — a favourite of the influential mining lobby — along with other Congress MLAs joining the BJP with the Chief Ministerial berth as a prize for the coup. But Kamat, who on a clear winter day in February 2005 quit the BJP to join the Congress complaining of “suffocation” within the saffron party, has now formally said that no such move was on the cards.

Former Goa Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Subhash Velingkar, who has groomed the top rung of BJP leadership, including Parrikar, Naik and state BJP president Vinay Tendulkar, blames Parrikar for the lack of credible second-rung leaders.

“He (Parrikar) has ensured that there are no second-rung leaders. Laxmikant Parsenkar (former CM), Rajendr Arlekar (Speaker) and Naik have been systematically sidelined, which is the cause of this crisis. Leadership change right now is imperative,” Velingkar told IANS.

One would wonder if Ganesh Chaturthi, with all its inherent symbolism, would usher in a new beginning for the BJP in Goa or, at least for now, clear up the obstacles.

(Mayabhushan Nagvenkar can be contacted at [email protected])

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