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Aadhaar and the dictatorship

I strongly urge you to read 'The Dictator's handbook'. It is an excellent book to understand how the world works. A lot of things India's PM is doing is textbook strategy to consolidate and maintain power. The book helps us understand him not as a despot (as understood by the left) and messiah (for right), but a power hungry leader who will stop at nothing to consolidate his fiefdom.

The beauty of his strategy is in the fact that he has managed to whip up sentiments of masses that allow him to strip them of their rights and wealth, without them even complaining. That is the best kind of shakedown.

The point is - it is not about BJP or congress really. Any one in power would do these things to various degrees. What makes BJP more worrisome is its comfort to use hate to divide the people. Besides its sheer incompetence at planning - look at Aadhar, GST rollout for examples.
The point is - no matter who is in power, they have to be seen as the one's in power and as such questioned and made to toe the line. Without checks and balances, there is no hope for a nation. The powerful will obviously seek to strengthen their privilege at whatever costs. It is our duty to make those costs dear to them. 

I am getting ahead of myself here, really. So here's the reading of PM's strategy in his quest to become the czar.

1. Yes men electorate 
By appealing to the imaginary glory days of hinduism, Modi has become champion of the majority while doing nothing actually beneficial for the majority. Only he wins and everyone loses. He wins popularity even as everyone loses freedoms (loss of privacy with aadhaar card, threat of censorship, self censorship imposed by militia promoted by the ruling party), opportunities (attack on universities and humanities especially, ghettoisation by social populism) and wealth (finance bill and aadhaar card linkages - they want everyone's taxes, but they won't own up if financial theft/ vulnerability/ freedoms are pointed out.)

He has effectively 'othered' most detractors -
Intellectuals (with attack on universities)
Dalits (with police power when no one's watching and with tokenism when on display)
Muslims ("beef eating anti-nationals", triple talaq moral high ground, giving space for hate-mongering, conspiracy theories)
The farmers - (Crashed the farm economy and instilled the fear of being branded 'anti-nationals' / corrupt because they deal in cash.)
The soldiers - (A soldier complaints of bad living conditions and bad food owing to corruption in army. Instead of punishing the culprits, the whistle-blowers goes missing.)

Essentially, anybody who complains will get the stick.

2. The stick gets longer and more potent
Finance bill - mindless power to the taxman - essentially, govt can harass anyone who becomes inconvenient. There is simply no other reason for making redressal of complaints so difficult.
And the lynch mobs and loud trolls do their best to silence you in every other sphere of life.

3. Keep the populace under-educated
Schools in Rajasthan and other BJP states have become little more than propaganda machines. The quality of education remains abysmal.
Humanities, Social sciences departments are being systematically deleted from the university campuses. India will only have dim-wit engineers and doctors who lack perspective. This is textbook dictatorial - You want your population to be productive, but not intelligent enough to ask inconvenient questions.

4. Control the wealth of the nation

Aadhaar+PAN Linkage will lead to every citizen's movements, transactions, wealth visible to the state. Even as people in power escape that scrutiny by not letting RTI question political party affairs, or as panama papers/ swiss bank revealations do not get acted upon.


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Withdrawal symptoms

Scroll Scroll Scoll..
Catch yourself slipping away.

Deep  breath. 

Close the browser. silence the mobile and turn it away.

Open an offline-real-paper diary. Stop your thighs from lolling impatiently. Stay still. 

Pick up a pen awkwardly. ahh, the fingers are stiff. It will take a  while for them to get used to holding a pen. Quick finger exercise - open the palm, stretch finger outwards, close into a fist, dig the fingers in. Repeat.
Ok now.. about to pick up the pen again, but eyes dart towards the screen. Tempted to check email.

Shut up. The last consequential email came two months ago. Nothing of consequence is online.

Pick up the pen. Don't fetishize the object now. Get on with it. Put it on paper, write a word and start it already. If I get to a sentence, perhaps I will get into a flow and won't have to look up from the paper at all. 

One sentence later.

Ahh. That was good. I am feeling good about myself. The sentence makes sense. …


Things turn into cash
once they are stripped of their lives -
their breath,
their freedom,
their dignity
or their joy.

A fish on the table
and a cubicle dweller..
both are united in their solvency,
their ability to be stripped of their lives and turned into money.

This solvency is our own making
Hold up your hands against the sun and your favourite gods
Do they dissolve? 
Hold up your heart and see if it beats for them
Hold your joys in your hands and fling them towards the system,
does it stick?

For a better world
first we need to walk away from this world.