New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s governance model is not a “complete negative story” and not recognizing his work and demonizing him all the time is not going to help, said Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. It is time we recognize Modi’s work and what he did between 2014 and 2019 due to which he was voted back to power by over “30 per cent of the electorate”, said Ramesh on Wednesday. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) got 37.4 per cent of votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The NDA, as a whole, secured nearly 45 per cent of votes. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Ramesh made the remarks while launching a book, “Malevolent Republic: A Short History of the New India” written by Kapil Satish Komireddi, a political analyst. “He (Modi) talks in a language that connects him with the people. Unless we recognize that he is doing things which people recognise and which have not been done in the past, we are not going to be able to confront this guy,” said the Congress leader. “Also, if you are going to demonize him all the time, you are not going to be able to confront him,” warned the former Union minister, who held portfolios of Rural Development, and Drinking Water and Sanitation ministries in the Manmohan Singh government. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday Ramesh sought to clarify that he is not asking anyone to praise or applaud the prime minister, but only wants the political class to at least recognise the traits he has brought to the governance — particularly the “economics of governance”. “Let me tell you it is not a completely negative story when it comes to economics of the governance, the politics of the governance is completely different,” said the noted economist, adding “the social relations that have been created out of his governance model is also completely different”. To prove his point, Ramesh gave example of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUJ) and how successful it turned out for him. “In 2019, all of us in the political discourse made fun of one or two of his programmes, but it has turned out in all electoral studies that the PMUJ is one single program which has been able to connect him with crores and crores of women and given him the political traction which he didn’t have in 2014,” said the Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka. “Now if we are going to run this down and say this is all hocus pocus and say these are wrong numbers, we are not going to confront this guy,” he cautioned. Stating that something happened in the last decade, which catapulted Modi from a “non-entity in national politics” in the 2009 general elections to someone who won elections back to back, Ramesh said people of the country — right or wrong — are not relating “current distress to his presence”. “We talked about farmers distress through out our entire campaign, people realise there was farmers’ distress but they did not hold Modi responsible for it. You saw what happened in the elections result thereafter. We have to understand what made him respectable,” he said. Dubbing Komireddi’s book as an “angry, absorbing and exceedingly well-written” one, Ramesh said, “It is persuasive in looking at what happened in the last five years and looking ahead as to what we would expect from what has happened in the last five years.” Ramesh, however, also expressed disagreement with the author, who sought to blame the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his family for all the prevailing wrongs in the country. Going 60 years back for something which happened in the last decade does not work out, said Ramesh, questioning the author’s bid to blame Nehru for what ails the country today. Published by Westland, the book claims to “retell and recount the betrayals of India’s republican promise over the last 70 years and retraces the path that modern India has treaded since 1947”.
[dropcap]I[/dropcap] enjoy reading books, generally non-fiction, the latest was a about a high-profile gambler. The first thing that struck me about this fella was his absolute passion and enthusiasm was palpable, the guy loves sports, all sports and he also loves gambling. He combines the two to forge an exceptional life for himself. It was, and still is, exceptional in many ways, he followed his dreams and made them happen, he backed up his judgement either with hefty wads of cash or if times were lean all he could cobble together. No matter what he won, it never seems to have lasted long but he’d enjoyed either spending it or simply lost it back again, you never really get to learn the ratio of the two. If it was the latter he’d dust himself off, get bankrolled and would be back before you could say ‘That was unlucky’.He’s also exceptional in the way he’s dealt mentally with the highs but more importantly the crushing lows that such a life entails. A lesser man would have ended up losing the plot, not to mention the lot completely. If just snippets had been published uncredited a swathe of what is written could have been lifted from a Gamblers Anonymous case book. There’s only a short-head between being a gambling legend and one of its many causalities.There has been another character in the horseracing spotlight recently. He’s quite remarkable as he put himself there. He appeared from nowhere, bursting onto social media brimming to overflowing with natural charisma, passion and enthusiasm. He felt he could bring something to the table for racing and set out to prove a point. His early posts tagged ITV and mentioned those goals, many agreed he was a breath of fresh air. Needless to say when faced with such ambition and bravado those anonymous individuals that lurk seething over their computer keyboards couldn’t wait to spew forth their bile. Our hero wasn’t distracted, his video blogs deodorized the foul side of social media with their exuberance. Some people that were in the position to help our hero in his quest did so, his followers on twitter hit five figures and he’s become a genuine racing personality and he’s a nice chap to boot so arguably most people were happy to see it.It’s been a little alarming that in recent weeks it appears that he’s in danger of befalling a trap that many a racing enthusiast has toppled into over the centuries. Is that endearing enthusiasm for racing being superseded by that for gambling? People have watched and winced as betting slips for three-figure bets on short priced favourites are posted for all to see. A lot of interested parties still enjoying betting and horseracing into maturity have learned from bitter experience how fun can turn into a nightmare. Following staking systems that are too rich for you, all the bad luck in the world coming your way as you wrestle if you should to cut your losses and dipping into funds into which you should never dip can all result sleepless nights. Watching what seems like a slow motion but certain plunge into the abyss is not a pleasant one. Good meaning people have called out warnings, after all, if you’ve been there, you don’t wish it on anybody. So far those warning have been met with an indignant response, and it’s quite right I suppose it’s none of anyone’s business.Let’s hope he has got the game by the nether regions. This is one occasion I sincerely hope I’m wrong and in a decade’s time I’m reading a book about another legendary gambler who defied the odds and did it his way – responsibly of course.Simon NottSimon Nott is author of Skint Mob!: Tales from the Betting RingCLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS