Yesterday, in the 3rd one day international between India and England women , the last wicket was a runout done by Dipti Sharma on a non striker batsman who was backing up too much.

Whereas a lot has been discussed about the spirt of the game whenever a person has been out in such a manner, I wonder why batsmen continue to back up. In the modern day cricket, many a times, we see that runners either make or miss the line by a few inches and hence are either out or not out by the narrowest of margins. Hence any batsman backing up should be considered to be trying to get an unfair advantage and hence needs to be penalised. And if the penalty is the loss of a wicket- so be it. Taking this into cognisance , the ICC have brought about some changes to the rules recently.

Among the coverage of the incident, what was not surprising is the narrative peddled by the British Media as if it was completely against the spirit of the game. The BBC had an article about it. Towards the end of the article, a particular survey question poses the following question

Firstly, ICC this year specifically ruled that such dismissals will be genuine runouts.

Secondly, the way the question is framed, it gives away what BBC thinks about it and also sways people to answer no. It is definitely not a sincere attempt to find out what people feel about the incident, If it was, then the question would have been .what do you feel about the last wicket run out ? and options would have been 1) it is within the rules 2 ) it’s just not cricket ..

Why is The Kashmir Files such a hit ?

The Kashmir files movie is making waves.

It is trending on social media. Cinema halls are full. Multiplexes have had to increase the number of shows. Box office collections have soared. People overseas have requested special screenings and added shows.. 

For a movie without big banners and minimal star-power, the film is doing pretty well. It has indeed struck a chord. 

The Pundits are coming out of the cinema halls inconsolable. Others with no links to Pandits or Kashmir are emotional. Many are stunned, some are angry, some others speechless, but  with a steely determination in their eyes. Many people are spontaneously initiating chants of “Vande Mataram”, “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Jai Shri Ram”. Many famous people are expressing themselves quite strongly, some have crossed the line of political correctness which was hitherto unknown. And almost everyone unfailingly exhorts others to watch the movie. 

What exactly is provoking such a reaction? 

Is it that the average Indian was totally unaware of the atrocities that were committed in the Kashmir valley at the time? The answer is NO. He* might have been uninformed about the exact details and the brutality and heinousness of the crimes but everyone is aware that the Kashmiri pandits were systematically and selectively vilified for being non- Muslim and forced to abandon their homes and get out of Kashmir, fearing their lives.

Is it that the vast Indian populace has a special place for Kashmiri Pandits in their hearts ? a community with no family/social connections which lived miles away? The answer is NO.  The average Indian for most times has least consideration for others. He doesn’t even bother to dip his high beam headlight which would help oncoming traffic and prevent accidents. That’s the amount of consideration and concern he has for some unknown person living in the same neighbourhood/city. So isn’t it surprising that there is so much concern, sympathy and emotion being displayed for a community so distant from him? 

The real reason why so many people are able to relate to this movie, I believe, is a very personal one. 

The average Hindu Indian is generally a docile accepting person. That has been the ethos of the Hindu religion and that is the life he and his past generations have been living.

The last few decades however have challenged his belief to accept what is going on around him . Things have come to such a state that the average Hindu feels threatened and has progressively felt more over the last few years. He has noticed the rise of the Muslim community and its transgressions into his life.

Take the case of the azaan. Many small towns in India wake up to the Muslim call for prayer (Azaans) blaring from loudspeakers. The Supreme Court who should have banned it but has allowed it with some limitations on the decibel levels. Even those limits are defied everyday multiple times. The Hindu person who let it pass initially when it was just once a day and one small mosque now sees that they have become louder, from multiple mosques around and multiple times a day. He sees no way to stop it and even when someone talks openly about it, he sees the backlash and the futility of raising a voice about it. 

It is not just the azaan but several other aspects- the occupation of public places for Namaaz, the halalification of the meat industry, the fact that mosques are never disturbed during road widening although temples are compromised and destroyed very easily, the emergence of mosques in railway stations, the media giving 24 hr publicity for some random unverified tweets against a Muslim cricketer while at the same time completely ignoring the many Hindu murders by Muslims, the increasing numbers of burqa clad women, love jihad, the increasing number of mosques and several other factors – in every instance, there is a gradual but definite creeping up of Islam which is impacting his everyday life. 

All these factors combined with the knowledge of history and what Islam has essentially been- a religion which keeps growing, binding its people irrevocably to its fold and its tenets, being on a perennial quest to increase numbers- by conversion- many a times violent and resorting to pillaging and murder and lack of family planning and having multiple kids ( when the rest of the world is having lesser kids) have made the average Hindu feel very threatened. The left liberal media has been quick to stamp down any such ideas as Islamophobia and any person expressing such views is victimised and ridiculed and made a pariah. The average Hindu ( and many commoners in the west as well ) slowly but surely over the years,  has realised that it is anything but a phobia ( phobia is an irrational fear). His fears are borne out of his experiences, history and the everyday events and he increasingly feels that the fear about the growing influence of Islam is real. 

There haven’t been many ways for him to express the feeling of being threatened. The once in 5 years election is one avenue he has used and expressed. Any vocal and outward expression, however, has often led to disastrous consequences, for ex- Kamlesh Tiwari. 

The average Hindu is anxious at times what his condition might be if the same trajectory continues. He worries the same events that happened in Kashmir might as well repeat in his neighbourhood and in other parts.The audience love the film because it gives a voice to those feelings and affirms that his fears might actually be valid. Until now in the books and the movies, there was an attempt to whitewash the crimes of the other side but this film has boldly shown the truth and facts. It was long overdue. Now that such an expression of his fears is there in the world as an art form, he feels he is able to communicate his insecurities and fears if more people watch it whilst at the same time, not take ownership of those thoughts and subject himself to criticism or ridicule. That’s why the exhortation for others to watch the movie.

And so for the reasons above, The Kashmir files will be a runaway success and it should be. If not, there will be many more The**********files in the future. 

( * He or She can be used) 

Why is The Kashmir Files such a hit ?

Yes, COVID is personal.

 I was involved in a discussion on a community WhatsApp group wherein in my response to a particular post, I came across as very angry and as if I had to prove a point to someone who put up wrong facts regarding the COVID situation in India.

He was wrong on 2 facts – 1) the percentage of people immunized in India.- He said India had immunized <2% people  2) the health minister had suggested using cow urine as treatment for COVID.  

Despite requests from respected people to not extend the subject, I felt compelled to show that his facts were wrong. Some felt that I took things personally.

My response later to the group (had intended to send it but did not)

For most people in this group, this lockdown from 24th to 26th April 2021 might have seemed just like a holiday with home confinement. Unfortunately, for me it wasn’t.

As soon as the news of community transmission in Perth came about. I had to go and set up COVID testing clinic.  My colleague in Alexander Heights and I saw close to 140 patients who came for COVID testing. We took the swabs and many times, patients coughed right into us. Even if 1 patient were to be positive, we are putting ourselves at risk of getting infected and potentially passing on the infection to our families. (Some people might say we have the PPE, you will be protected- yes of course, we have the PPE, but anyone who hasn’t worn a N95 mask and a gown, I suggest you wear it for 10 minutes. You will see how it will be to work for few hrs. with the PPE on)  

Many medical professionals like us have been at the forefront of fighting COVID. In fact, many have died.

COVID has personally affected me. My parents were due to fly in March 2020 and just a few days prior, a person with symptoms suggestive of COVID coughed on me and I had to self-isolate for 5-7 days until he had his test and came back negative.  By the time, his results came, I was quite wary about the fact that if they come, I might pass it on to them here.   If I was not a frontline worker, I would have advised them to come.  Those days, India seemed to be a safer place for COVID. I narrowly missed the deadline before the borders closed and hence they did not travel. 15 months later (the longest in my life I have spent without seeing my parents) I still am not sure when they will see their grandkids who are growing fast. In fact, my loss is minimal compared to others. I have seen many friends who tragically lost their loved ones in India and haven’t even had a chance to go for the funerals.

Seeing that it has affected us all so much, whenever I see people talking about COVID lightly or ridiculing the vaccines, it pains me. In fact, if the skepticism about vaccines is especially driven by selfish motives like politics or due to narrow hatred for the government, I feel incensed.

The discussion in the forum might seem frivolous for the outsider- someone might think what difference it makes if the percentage of vaccination was 2% or 8%. . Someone might say – what difference does it make if he says that the health minister was supporting some traditional methods which have no scientific basis.

On the ground however, both the issues do make a huge difference. People generally have a herd mentality. If 2 people are doing something, one may not be interested in doing the same thing but if 8 people are doing something, they will get interested in doing the same thing.

Especially with respect to vaccination, we need more and more people to get motivated to get vaccinated .Only with herd mentality, will we be able to get herd immunity. So if someone blatantly and wrongly says that only 2% have been vaccinated, it might negatively work on the psyche of some people and that might demotivate them for vaccination. Hence the need for that wrong fact to be refuted and corrected.

Also, if someone makes the health minister look ridiculous, and if it affects such that somewhere in the subconscious, one believes that he was backing unscientific methods, how are they going to be convinced by him when he says it is better to get immunized.

If due to any one of these reasons, someone gets demotivated and doesn’t get the vaccine, And gets COVID only because he is not immunized and comes to see me or my Indian colleague.. And we get it…..

Yes, it is indeed very personal.

Yes, COVID is personal.

COVID diary 24/03/2020

Globally, the total number of cases continues to rise alarmingly, nearly 400K now. The rise from 300K has been very quick. My prediction of Italy’s new case numbers was spot on


The above proves that a lockdown  -even incomplete is important for the control of spread of the virus. Italy went into lockdown on 9th March and exactly 2 weeks later, we have the reduction in numbers. Lesson for all nations- shut down without delay if you are not well prepared.

Today,  The idea of our GP clinics team worked well today. The group had made a plan that potentially infectious patients with respiratory symptoms to be brought only after 3 pm so as to minimise the exposure to us and to vulnerable patients like elderly and with past medical problems. Yesterday, I  decided that I will call all such patients before they enter the clinic premises. I had realised that most of the patients didnt need to be examined at all. Some needed reassurance and some needed medical certificates to stay off work which were printed and handed over to them in their cars thus minimising our expsoure to them as well to other patients.

Today, other doctors raised the concerns about the exposure to such patients. I told them about what I had done yesterday and we adopted the same idea to be implemented for all doctors. In total. all the 4 doctors had about 30 patients with flu like sympotms but the number of patients who needed to come in to be examined was only 2-3.

The group has incidentally had planned to start the same process from next week when telehealth consultations becomes the norm and all consultations are eligible without any conditions.


Today, the Western Australian government did suggest that a change is on the cards to the testing criteria which might come in force soon. Quite ridiculous that they havent changed since 12th March ( WA had less than 14 cases then) . At the time, it was considered that people returning from overseas were higher risk and so with the shortage of testing kits, they justified the criteria that anyone with symptoms and overseas return in 2 weeks or positive contact with COVID positive case are eligible. Since all of the initial cases identified then were oversease returnees, this set of criteria has been biased towards picking only that cohort for testing and hence , I feel that there are lots of negative results , but if and when the testing criteria are relaxed and people in the  community with symptoms are tested , I am sure the numbers will soar.

This is how it is now. If I was an office worker who had a minimal sorethroat and some weakness and have returned from New Zealand on 12th March, I can get tested. But on the other hand, my friend who has been quite unwell with cough, shortness of breath , high grade fever for 2 weeks and who works in a restaurant and who has returned from Sydney last week is not eligible for a test. To put things in perspective, NZ has 155 cases today and NSW has 818 cases. Why the criteria have not changed for so long is beyond me. By the time they detect local cases in  community, it might be too late.


Regarding Australia and India , the differences in messsaging and steps taken continue as yesterday.

Scott Morrison continues to give precedence to economy than dealing with the looming health crisis. He states that more restrictions will be in place and indeed some restrictions have been brought about but still lacks the decisive punch that is needed. Schools still remain open, as do supermarkets.  ScoMo suggested ” If anyone has a job and is doing it, it is an essential service”. Poor resolve in managing the situation. The chief medical expert Dr Brendan Murphy is weak and seems manipulated to parrot the line of the politiical leadership

On the other hand, India is dealing with things firmly. Several incidents of complete lockdown of day to day activities, exams postponed. No excuses made. NaMo addressed the nation in the evening and ordered a 3 week lockdown and curfew and ordered for everyone to stay at home . ” Jaan hai to jahaan” hai. Loosely translated, it means only if you have a life, then you can enjoy it,  -something which the western leaders in UK. Australia and others have taken a long time to realise and still not done.



COVID diary 24/03/2020

COVID diary 23/03/2020

Monday clinic – Most of the patients were for non COVID related issues. But some were for respiratory symptoms which could be any viral infection or COVID. People coming in with typical viral sympotms and febrile but cant be tested for COVID because they dont meet the criteria of foreign travel or having had direct contact. The WA public health reports only 2 people of the 148 for whom the source of infection is not known. I am sure that if they relaxed the criteria and tested more in community, the numbers will soar.

Coming to the blog I wrote about the similarities of India and Australia’s positions in the curve of new cases and deaths, I cant believe how different the responses of both governments have been today.

Australian govt ( akin to the UK government ) has continued to be worried more about economy, the jobs, the self employed , the bail outs etc.  The leadership seems to be more occupied about the economic fallout of the crisis rather than addressing how the crisis could be averted or its impact reduced. For them , the issue of livelihoods still trumps that of lives. The Australian government has banned pubs , bars etc but still has falled way too short of ordering a lockdown.  For many, life still goes on as usual. There has been mixed messaging and confusion coming from the leaders. Although the PM suggested schools will remain open, the premeirs of other states have issued separate statements either suggesting that is advised not to attend school or in Victorias case- closed schools from Tuesday

On the other hand, the Indian government incuding the state governments have buried their political differences, and acted unitedly and decisively. The entire rail network and flight network will stop. Many states have imposed curfew and huge penalties for breaking the lockdown exist. There is absolutely no dithering on how the problem should be addressed. Lets see how it goes.

Among other news, Californian beaches were filled with people, thus proving- Stupidity is universal.

Had another meeting with the GP team of our group. Interesting times ahead. Some challenges remain. The government still hasnt opened up all the consultations for telehealth. Seems a no-brainer. In such a pandemic of an infectious disease with a very easily infectious virus, one would have thought limiting the movement of potentially infectious people is vital and hence, GP consultations with such people would be made eligible for telehealth. But no, medicare in its wisdom still wants a 65 year old with fever,  sneezing and coughing to come out of the house, wait in the waiting area in the clinic, see his GP  , potentially putting the GP and other vulnerable patients at risk of either flu or COVID – whatever he has.

The Australian government had no hesitation in announcing a 66 billion dollar bailout package to the industry  a significant proportion of which might be gobbled up CEOs and top management of blue chip companies but will drag its feet to make all GP teleconsults eligible for telehealth billing – the overall cost of which might be in the few millions.

Spoke to a friend in USA- seems situation is grim already there. 44 yr old fit and well ER physician went onto ventilator yday and succumbed today.  😦





COVID diary 23/03/2020

Tackling the pandemic – lessons for India and Australia

As of today, fortunately, Australia and India are behind some of the countries badly affected by the novel Corona virus disease.

However, it is going to be a big issue for both the countries in the coming few months. In order to hoist a good response to the challenge of the virus, it is important to learn from the experience of other countries and see if we could use the good practices and avoid their mistakes.

I address 3 key issues here which I feel are important in getting the disease under control

1) Lock down

China did it quickly,
Italy gave mixed messages initially, delayed it
Spain delayed it
South Korea and Singapore didn’t do it fully (but they did aggressive testing, contact tracing and effective quarantining)
UK faffed around with it, eventually heading towards complete lockdown now.

        The experience of the numbers in the above countries suggests strongly that we need to lockdown and we need to do it NOW.

Not advisories, not suggestions, not gentle taps.

Firm, Assertive, strict, clear messaging

Only one message – STAY AT HOME.

The fact that we are not doing what Singapore and South Korea did with respect to testing and contact tracing should discourage us from using their examples with respect to school closures

Lockdown will give us advantage of time, at least a few weeks.

  1. We can plan better
  2. Organise better
  3. Get more staff, ventilators, masks, swabs, reagent for testing and also some toilet paper and hand sanitiser!

And when we are better prepared, lockdown can be eased and if the number of cases rises, we will be in a better situation to cope and manage them.


2) Testing-

The countries which tested aggressively have fared better. Our testing has been far from ideal. Head line numbers in Australia look good. Very little percentage of positive results. But a closer analysis reveals that the testing criteria are so rigid to identify any community spread that it is impossible to get tested. The test criteria have virtually excluded the people in the community with suspicious symptoms. Overseas travellers with minimal symptoms have had the tests and made up the large number of negative results.

India has had limited testing compared to the population and definitely cost is a factor so is the fragmented health care system.

If testing improves, then I am sure the numbers in Australia and India will be much worse.


3) Management of healthcare workforce

In any such pandemics, the number of trained healthcare workers is a key parameter which will dictate the outcome.  As such, the number of workers needed is high in such scenarios. Also, the pressures worsen if workers contract the infection (which they are more likely to) and have to self-isolate.

This is a good article analysing why it is important to keep the healthcare staff protected and how to go about it.

The healthcare workers need to play their part in washing hands and using appropriate Personal Protection Equipment so as to make sure they don’t get infected.  The governments need to play their part by making the PPE and the appropriate infrastructure available to the staff.

Tackling the pandemic – lessons for India and Australia

COVID diary 22/03/2020

Got up and spending time pretty much same as yesterday

Overnight, realised that 790 people have died in 1 day in Italy – the biggest death number in a day

Saw ScoMo and treasury secretary- addressing the press this morning. Dont know the thinking of these people.

They announced a 66 billlion dollars infusion into the economy.  All the discussion into saving jobs, maintaining the economy, how to support people with small salaries but on the other hand, totally oblivious to the problem. The only  intervention that has worked most effectively until now is a total lockdown – closing of all but the most essential activity. Totally ignoring it, the PM is only giving advisories , suggestions whereas people continue to flock to restaurants and pubs, beaches etc. They need to take a decisive stance to stop everything but they continue to dither and do the same mistakes which countries like Italy and Spain did. I think we need to be ready to face the same consequences.

One of the main justification by the WA govt not to go  for school clsoures or lockdown has been the low numbers of community spread. But the testing criteria are so rigid to identify any community spread that it is imposssible to get tested. The criteria are you have to have respiratory sympotms and evidence of travel in the last 2 weeks or a definite contact with a COVID positive case.

They have been assuming that all the positive cases have been tracked perfectly for all their period of infectivity and all their movements and potential contacts have been informed which can hardly be the case. Since there are very few people in the community who meet the criteria, many people with respiratory symptoms in the community arent getting tested and that is the only reason for the reduced numbers in WA.

But the government is relying on those numbers to justify not enforcing strict lockdown.

I feel we are having a ticking time bomb. The people who have returned from overseas have been advised to self isolate. They are not being policed and the government assumes they are doing so religiously .

I feel we have many many COVID positive patients in the community but we have excluded them from our testing and hence they are undiagnosed and they are continuing to spread the infection to many more.

By the time, we realise the true numbers, I am sure we will be very late.  Australia is well on the way to be another Italy.

I will be very very sad


21:00 ScoMo and the medical advisor had a conference in the evening. They are shutting down pubs and restaurants ( at last!!) but no school closures yet and no total lockdown. Again, economy, jobs and other worries given more precedence than lives. ScoMo very cleverly putting the onus on the medical advisor with respect to school closures



COVID diary 22/03/2020

The BBC will realize…. some time soon

It is with considerable anguish that I follow the news of 40 CRPF jawans killed in a terrorist attack in Pulwama, Kashmir. Jaish-e-Mohammed,  a well known Islamist terrorist organisation has claimed credit for it.

Jaish-e-Mohammed has been designated by the United Kingdom,US,  Russia, Australia, Canada, India, the United Arab Emirates,and even Pakistan as a terrorist organisation. However, when you look at the coverage of this incident on BBC, nowhere does the term “terror attack” or “terrorists” figure, except in one instance where it reports about the designation by various countries. This glaring reluctance to call this brutal inhuman suicidal fidayeen jihadist attack a “terror” attack outright and also BBC’s coverage of news about Kashmir gives the impression that the unrest in Kashmir is simply due to the local populace being antagonistic to India and hence such events are just natural events of resistance to the security forces of India.

When terror activities happen in Paris or London or anywhere in the Western world, they get great coverage. Every one from New York to Timbuktu feels sad, expresses their solidarity in whatever little way they can; as they should.  Even Indians do candle light vigils and feel for the victims. But when blatant terrorist attacks such as Pulwama  happen in India, I see the western media like BBC hesitant to call it a terrorist attack  and call the perpetrators as “militants” as if it is just a popular uprising against Indian “oppression”.

A time will come when events such as which happen in Kashmir – of stone throwing, public disorder, violence against people of other religion, against law enforcement and security officers will become the norm in some of the cities of United Kingdom. Already, there have been some several areas in some of the big cities of the UK where huge demographic changes have happened, similar to what happened in Kashmir. In the late 90s, Kashmiri pundits from minority Hindu community were driven out of the valley forcefully and suddenly. The changes in UK however, have been gradual and have been more organic.  Having said that, it is only a matter of time, maybe 10-15 years when the demographic changes reach a “critical” point  and the minority community is no longer a minority in certain cities.  That is when, incidents similar to what Kashmir has faced in last couple of decades will become common place.

The BBC will see that many such violent acts will have the backing of huge numbers of their “own” people. And the BBC will then wonder why many of their “own” people have become antagonistic towards the UK. If they do a honest assessment and fact check then, they will realize that the reasons for those incidents and the ones in Kashmir (now) have the same underlying religious jihadi ideology.

I hope that at least then, the BBC will call them terrorists.

I hope that at least then, the BBC will realize that the incident at Pulwama on 14th February was indeed a TERRORIST attack and had to be reported as one.





The BBC will realize…. some time soon

A punishment too harsh…

When the news of the cheating and ball tampering by the Australian cricketers first broke out, my response was the same as many. “These arrogant Aussies with their sense of superiority should be brought down and should be handed the harshest punishment “

Definitely, part of the reason for such a feeling was the fact that Australian cricketers of the past  had got away with their  arrogance,  unsportsmanlike behaviour on and off the field and had many a times justified their crass morally repugnant behaviour as an essential ingredient for success on the field. (


I grew up in times when the Australian cricketers were winning all tournaments but at the same time, behaved as if they could get away with any of their on field behaviour. Seeing Michael Slater admonishing Rahul Dravid for no mistake of his ( and Glenn Mcgrath sledging and gesticulating aggressively to Sarwan ( and several such incidents have created an impression about Australian cricketers and an expectation that even when shown their obvious mistakes, the Aussie cricketers will not own up to them and be remorseful.

That is what I expected from the current episode too. I had expected them to continue defending their actions with some weird rationale just like Steve Waugh did about the sledging techniques as a form of “mental disintegration “of the opposition.

But the response from the cricketers has been very refreshing .  Seeing the players in the press conferences after being sent off abruptly from a tour, especially Steve Smith, I can’t feel more sorry for them.

The fact is that they are being penalized for “cheating”. The huge backlash they are receiving from the Australians and the world over is for intentionally trying to cheat.  But then, are they the first?  Are they the worst cheats?

Of course, what they tried to do was in contravention of the rules of the game but then, how many times have we seen players of all sport play within the rules but contrary to the spirit and blatantly cheat in a quest to win at any cost.

  • Aren’t the countless batsmen who know they have nicked the ball to the wicketkeeper but don’t walk not intentionally cheating?
  • Isn’t the fielder who claims a catch even when he knows it is possible that he may have taken it on the bounce not intentionally cheating?
  • Isn’t this an example of intentionally cheating?
  • Aren’t all these episodes intentionally cheating?
  • Taking examples from other sports, aren’t all those footballers who fall over for no reason without any contact with the tackler only to earn a free kick or penalty not intentionally cheating?

How many of these players have faced such harsh penalties and ignominy as the current trio?


I feel Steve Smith and the others are having to face the backlash which is not entirely due to their doing. There is a legacy effect from the previous Australian players and teams. The on field behaviour of the previous teams, their treating of the opposition teams and the players, their arrogant justifications for the same have all been significant factors in creating the frenzy within and outside Australia and had reached a tipping point and unfortunately, Smith, Warner and Bancroft are having to face the punishment for that.

My take is that Lehman had to go as did the players responsible for the decision. But it is debatable whether the quantum of punishment in the form of an international ban for 12 months is appropriate.


I for one, feel it is too harsh.





A punishment too harsh…

Off to see PM Modi

So, I am going to attend the massive reception of our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi at Wembley stadium in London tomorrow.  I am very excited and looking forward to seeing him speak. It is going to be  a record gathering of 50,000 or more people, an enhancement on the numbers he attracted in other parts of the world. In times of increased cynicism with politicians across the world, it is staggering to witness such huge support for a leader of a state.  I am not expecting any fantastic announcements or anything different to what he has said over the last year or so. But I still felt strongly that I should attend the event.  It is evident many others do as well.

Many in the media and the “experts” on TV who were surprised at the amount the mandate he got in 2014, continue to be shocked at the  support he gets from the diaspora . They attribute it to effective “PR machinery” , “rabid Hindutva youth”  “ guilt of leaving motherland” etc., but they couldn’t be further from the truth. None of these would have guaranteed him the consistent support he has had outside the country.

Here are 3 of my reasons which explain the huge attendances.

  • Over the year and half, ordinary people are convinced that he is working for them and not for himself. In a country of largely corrupt and self serving politiicans, people have a firm belief that he untiringly works for the nation. Ordinary people believe him when he says that. Even on Deepavali this year, he was not taking a break but rather visiting the armed forces.  Even when he was observing a fast during the Navratri, his schedule is packed. Despite the much talked foreign tours attracting controversy, people at least on the social media have realised how his schedules are planned and how he tries to get something out of every minute of his stay abroad. When he returns to India, there is no respite. He may not have brought about any dramatic changes on the ground yet, but people believe they will come sooner or later. He may not be undertaking the policies which they think are right, but at least he is not self-serving like the previous regimes.
  • Modi has started to bring some pride to the Indian diaspora which has long been overdue. He talks about our strengths, potential and the immense possibilities. He has made us feel that we will see us and the country marching ahead in future.  Slowly and slightly but surely, the stature of India has grown in the world. In the UK, the contribution of the Indians is increasingly recognised. The diaspora attribute this partly to the recent increased standing of India which in most part is due to the Modi government.
  • Many young Indians feel that he has been vilified for far too long and far too disproportionately for past events, and somewhat unfairly at that. He has gone through an extensive judicial scrutiny closely monitored by no less than the highest court of the country at a time when the Congress party was in power in the centre. We know that they would have not stopped at the smallest opportunity to incriminate him but they didn’t come up with anything. That he faced such a scrutiny as a sitting head of state government is unprecedented but he has come out unscathed. The youth are not convinced anymore with the tenacious narrative that he is complicit churned out by the mainstream media and the left liberals spurned from the Congress- ecosystem. More importantly, despite enjoying enormous unchallenged power in the whole of the state for 10 years and now at the centre for a year and half, I personally cant think of a single incident in word or deed from his side wherein he has discriminated a particular community or which would disturb the communal harmony of the country. This knowledge makes the people doubt his complicity in 2002. Despite this he is still asked repeatedly about his role in 2002.

Many youth feel angry that he is vilified this way and feel the urge to demonstrate their support to him. Hence, they take time off work, travel from far and attend such events as in Wembley in big numbers to make their support known.

And I am one of them.

Off to see PM Modi