Monday, May 12, 2014

Fateful Scenarios for 16 May

In 2008 I posted on this blog an item recalling some of the epochal markers of Indian history in the month of May, including:
  1. The birth of the Buddha
  2. Vasco da Gama's 1498 arrival off the coast of Malabar; 
  3. The beginning of the great uprising against the British in 1857; 
  4. Gandhi's settling in Satyagraha Ashram, his first home in India after returning from South Africa in 1915; and
  5. India's first nuclear test (just as the US Congress began hearings to impeach Richard Nixon).
Will the 16th see yet another fateful addition to that list? And if so, what might happen? Among the possible scenarios:
  1. An outright BJP sweep and a government led by Narendra Modi. If the atmospherics of coverage by our bought-and-paid-for "elite media" are any indication, this is a consummation devoutly to be desired. I do not think it likely.
  2. An outright sweep by the Congress. This would surprise everyone, including the Congress High Command.
  3. A hung parliament, with a substantial force of "secular Third Front" parties. Most likely in my view. 
  4. Narendra Modi loses badly to Arvind Kejriwal in Varanasi and the RSS unleashes its muscle in a bid to question the fairness and legitimacy of the polling. The India Today "pre-poll" in Varanasi indicating that Modi would win overwhelmingly and all others lose their deposits seems to be a preparatory step in that direction. So does the whining about the unfairness of the Election Commission.
However, the wild card in any of those scenarios could be international developments that create chaos in India and more broadly, Asia. This could include:
  1. The reappearance of the missing Malaysian Boeing 777 in a 9/11 type attack intended to spark an India-Pakistan war. 
  2. A large-scale labor revolt in China and the return of deposed-imprisoned Central Committee member Bo Xi Lai at the head of a rebel faction of the People's Liberation Army. This could spell the effective end of the current power structure in Beijing.
  3. Either 1 or 2 above would set off a global economic collapse.
  4. Manipulation of the jet stream to cause a complete failure of the monsoon over India. Environmental activists have been sounding the alarm for many years about the nature of the experimentation under Western military aegis to change global climate. Altering the path of the jet stream has been high on their list of concerns. The weird and extreme weather this winter in the United States and Europe (including sand from the Sahara blowing across Britain), would support speculation that trials have been under way.
Awaiting the 16th with bated breath, we should remember T. S. Eliots dark take on history in Gerontion:

History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors
And issues, deceives with whispering ambitions,
Guides us by vanities. Think now
She gives when our attention is distracted
And what she gives, gives with such supple confusions
That the giving famishes the craving. Gives too late
What’s not believed in, or if still believed,
In memory only, reconsidered passion. Gives too soon
Into weak hands, what’s thought can be dispensed with
Till the refusal propagates a fear. Think
Neither fear nor courage saves us. Unnatural vices
Are fathered by our heroism. Virtues
Are forced upon us by our impudent crimes. 
These tears are shaken from the wrath-bearing tree.


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