Sun Tzu, the legendary Chinese philosopher and author of the treatise ‘Art of War’, advised that one must always keep the enemy engaged in skirmishes over petty issues. Sun Tzu explained that this tactic exhausts the energies of the enemy and gives them a false sense of accomplishment. The tactic also ensures that the enemy is distracted with non-issues and does not bother too much about major issues that require deployment of greater resources.
Two recent examples indicate that NAMO is practicing Sun Tzu’s recommended techniques.
The JNU-Kanhaiya affair has been panned by the intelligentsia as a big failure of NAMO because Smriti Irani’s strong-arm tactics have catapulted Kanhaiya, a hitherto unknown entity, into stardom and celebrity status. TV channels are vying with each other to glorify him. The affair has dominated headlines, involved the High Court and the Supreme Court and even rocked Parliament.
What few people have appreciated is that by getting people to be obsessed with Kanhaiya, NAMO has cleverly diverted everyone’s attention from more pressing issues such as black money (jhumla), jat agitation, farmers’ suicides, Menrega, OROP, poverty, inflation, etc.
This also gave NAMO the much-needed opportunity to grand-stand in Parliament and take potshots at RaGa.
In fact, the BS grudgingly admitted that “The Prime Minister was the clear winner of this sparring with the opposition in the Parliament. Not only did he manage to blame the previous governments for all that is wrong in the country but also because he managed to blame them for his own government’s working.”
The EPF-tax fiasco appears to be another brilliant diversionary tactic. While everyone has his knickers in a twist over the patently outrageous proposal to retirement benefits, nobody is paying attention to the more damaging proposals to impose “triple taxation” on dividends, raise service-tax, remove exemption benefits, give black money hoarders immunity etc.
4/ Please be assured that we understand the pain and anguish that salaried taxpayers are feeling about the EPF tax matter
— Jayant Sinha (@jayantsinha) March 2, 2016
One can already foresee what NAMO will do. In a display of statesmanship, he will bow down to the sentiments of the intelligentsia and repeal the EPF-tax. Secretly, he, Arun Jaitley and Jayant Sinha will gloat and exchange high-fives because the other proposals in the Finance Bill will go through unopposed by the intelligentsia.
Incidentally, it is interesting to note that the ace stock pickers are vocal about NAMO’s battle with Kanhaiya though their loyalties are divided.
Shankar Sharma, the founder of First Global, is renowned for his clarity of thought and outspokenness. He is also known to be rabidly Anti-NAMO. He has gone on record to say that India’s economy was “spectacular” under UPA-II and that “Any government apart from UPA will be an ‘unmitigated disaster’ for India”. He has also praised MMS for making the Country a “superpower giant economy”.
Of course, Shankar Sharma’s views cannot be said to be unbiased because during the NDA regime of 2001-2004, he was jailed for 74 days in Tihar Jail for alleged FERA violations relating to the Tehelka scam.
“If the BJP had continued in power, I would have either been killed or died of a stroke” Shankar said. Since then, he has nurtured a deep hatred for NAMO and the BJP and he does not miss a single opportunity to trash them. He also lustily cheers Rajdeep Sardesai and Barkha Dutt who are also notorious for Anti-NAMO rhetoric.
Shankar Sharma has been busy drumming up support for Kanhaiya.
Go Kanhaiya Go!!! Poora desh tumhare saath hai. Can't jail people with zero basis in law and fact, and on doctored videos. What a speaker!
— Shankar Sharma (@1shankarsharma) March 4, 2016
Shankar even equated Kanhaiya with Mahatma Gandhi by saying “ek aisa hi misguided youth tha MK Gandhi.”
When someone reminded Shankar Sharma that the High Court had passed strictures against Kanhaiya while allowing his release on bail, Shankar was dismissive about it. “yaar, it’s a bail order, not a final judgment. Anyway, it’s a popat case, with no fact or law” he drawled.
Sandip Sabharwal is also in Kanhaiya’s camp. He made his loyalties quite clear by tweeting “I was intriguied why #KanhaiyaKumar would be part of Anti-India program Doctored Video Poor guy is just a Commie. Not a crime in India,yet!”
However, Basant Maheshwari is on the opposite side, with no sympathy for Kanhaiya. “Supporting #KanahiyaKumar from your air-conditioned rooms is the new level of intellectual accomplishment for the tolerant Indian” he tweeted testily and somewhat cryptically.
Supporting #KanahiyaKumar from your air-conditioned rooms is the new level of intellectual accomplishment for the tolerant Indian.
— Basant Maheshwari (@BMTheEquityDesk) March 4, 2016
Samir Arora was also irked by the support for Kanhaiya. “Can people on twitter please get Azaadi from people seeking Azaadi?” he said with his unique sense of wit and sarcasm.
Can people on twitter please get Azaadi from people seeking Azaadi?
— Samir Arora (@Iamsamirarora) March 4, 2016
However, the notable aspect is that Porinju Veliyath has so far maintained a studied silence on the Kanhaiya episode. This is surprising because Porinju keeps a running commentary on political issues and takes fearless potshots at NAMO’s detractors. Whether Porinju’s deafening silence on the JNU crises means that he has sympathy for Kanhaiya is a serious issue that requires to be probed!