Thursday, 7 January 2010

Narayanathe NaMo NaMo (Not in praise of Gujarat)

If listening to M S Subbulakshmi tapes was a part of your childhood then you are probably familiar with Annamacharya and/or his composition Narayanathe NaMo NaMo.

The phrase Narayanathe NaMo NaMo immediately came to mind when I heard that Gujarat's infamous NaMo (Narendra Modi) was inviting a Narayana i.e N.R.Narayana Murthy of INFY fame to advise the Gujarat Government on their recent electoral reform initiative to make voting compulsory. [Image from Indian Express]

I do not know if Mr. Murthy has accepted the offer or not... but both Mr. Murthy and NaMo were sharing the same dais when NaMo made the job offer. To be honest, I doubt if he will accept this specific offer. He will bide his time for something more grandiose than "advisor". That said, , if you can share a dais with the man who authored the Gujarat riots, you will not find it difficult to accept a job offer from the same man.

Mr Murthy's ex-colleague from Infosys is working with the UPA government on the UID scheme. It would make business sense for INFY to spread their bets between the NDA and UPA. Industry captains, have endorsed NaMo's genocidal credentials for Prime Ministership. Examples -

NaMo's exploits in the form of pogroms against muslims do not seem to trouble the conscience of these industry captains. [For more on Gujarat you can read this piece by Harsh Mander.]

Mr Murthy is not the only person working on a job offer from NaMo. It looks like Mr Amitabh Bachan, while promoting his film Paa to NaMo also offered to be a Brand Ambassador for Gujarat. I guess there is no harm in endorsing the NaMo's pogroms between his endorsements for Pepsi, ICICI, Parker pens, Nerolac paints, Reid & Taylor suits, and Dabur.

Mr Murthy is not media shy. He is an independent director in NDTV. Omkar Goswami, a well know journalist in India is an Independent Director in Infosys. There is no doubt that he will have some big names in the media batting for him whenever required.

It is a matter of time before Mr. Murthy makes a foray into respectable politics. Respectable politics is not the kind of politics that requires you to contest an election and win a democratic mandate. It is the kind of politics that allows you to use your media and industry connections to lobby for a constitutional office. It's about taking the concept of capitalism and converting it into crony capitalism. I hope I am wrong about Mr Murthy's goals.


  1. Like the title to this post Bala! :)

  2. I hope that was not the only thing you liked in the article :-)

  3. Hi Bala,
    I would only say that "Dont look at only one side of the coin" NaMo might be referred as "master architect" or "executor" in whatever happened in Gujrat, Dont forget that it was teh masses that carried it out.. I doubt that he's such a bad leader that people of Gujrat praise him all the time, right from farmers to industrialists. I have a friend who worked there in Ahmedabad for 2 yrs after returning from UK before she relocated to Bengaluru, has all praises for him and the infrastructure. He also happens to be a CM easily approchable by a common man... ! Lets not take away from him what he seems to have duly earned, Of course few unfortunate things happen during evolution, I am sure there must be reasons enough for such things to happen.

  4. @Intrepid Spirit

    Thanks for the comments.

    Many people have built schools, hospitals and have been efficient at whatever they do. That however, does not mean, that we turn a blind eye to progroms that they sponsor.

    People did die and he was leading the watch. A person does not become any less culpable for a crime just because industrialists flock to him.

    I am not taking away from what he earned at all. At the same time, he has a record that one can not brush under the carpet.

    I agree, there are reasons why things happen. But ethnic cleansing is not the way to deal with it in a democracy. What happened in Gujrat is inexcusable. Endorsements from the neo-liberal lobby can-not change the truth or history.

  5. Hi Bala,Intrepid Spirit and I had a little offline chat about NaMo ,I am sure you can guess how this chat went!(all fireworks if u ask me
    :-) ).
    Well recently came across an article by Jawed Naqvi in Dawn where a letter by Mallika Saravai is quoted.Thought you would find this interesting as would the other readers of your blog.

  6. @decider

    Thanks for the comments. Agree with you on propping up fascists in the name of business interests.
    That was a very interesting link that you sent me. Enjoyed reading it!!!