OPINION

'Politically Motivated' Arguments

October 30, 2007
Sujai

In India you can wriggle out of any entanglement, escape any conviction, overturn any evidence, and falsify any logical argument, stultify any rational theory, pooh-pooh any expose, win any argument, calling it 'politically motivated'.

A politician is caught red-handed taking bribes. The whole episode is caught on a video. Yet, the politician does not blink. His confidence remains atut (intact). He rubbishes all of it saying it was 'politically motivated'.

A sting operation clearly exposes the involvement of an administration in India behind a sponsored pogrom which targeted and killed hundreds of Muslims. And how do the supporters and perpetrators react to it? Very nonchalantly, without any remorse or guilt, they call it 'politically motivated'.

The supporters of this administration ask, 'Why did Tehelka release this expose now? Right before the elections?' So, the fact they released the expose right before election somehow nullifies its content, making it unqualified as evidence, and acquits everyone. Now, nobody discusses the contents. They all discuss the motives of the people who made this expose, completely deviating from the topic in question.

When the Sethusamudram Project was being discussed its detractors who were not waving a Hindu flag used a different argument to denounce it. They used the argument that Tamil Nadu Government keen on kickbacks is sponsoring this dredging and is therefore 'politically motivated' and hence it needs to be stopped.

When Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his BJP built long, big and wide roads in India, it was considered 'polticially motivated'. That means no credit should be taken by him or his government. It means he did not make the roads for the nation but only to win elections.

When reservations are sanctioned to uplift the lower sections in India, the elite dismiss them calling them 'politically motivated'. That means reservations not actually meant to uplift the backward, but that they only benefit the politicians.

One can evade almost any incriminating evidence using one sentence - 'politically motivated'. When confronted on TV with revealing facts accusing of a wrongdoing, the guilty party can wriggle out of any entanglement calling the whole charade 'politically motivated'.

And the people of India know exactly what it means. Nobody switches side after incriminating evidence is produced just because the guilty party has used the wild card called 'politically motivated'. People continue to extend their diehard support to people and parties as they did before the evidence.

When Tehelka sting operation brought forth copious amounts of video and recording where perpetrators of Gujarat Pogrom talked openly how the government and its allies actually supported and perpetrated the killings and massacres, the supporters of BJP, VHP, Bajrang Dal and RSS stood steadfast in their loyalty to their parties. They pooh-poohed and rejected the whole expose as just another of those 'politically motivated'.

I maintain most of my blogs at sujai blog. E=mc^2.
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'Politically Motivated' Arguments

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Author: Sujai

 

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#1
temporal
URL
October 30, 2007
06:06 PM

sujai:

(take this with beady's piquant salt)

i found this 'scenic route' defense of tehelka tapes politically motivated

;)

#2
Sanjay
October 30, 2007
08:58 PM

Sujai, would you say that a fellow (like yourself) who posts up a chart correlating opposition to medical school admission quotas with support for Hitler, is perhaps being politically motivated?

You did do that, didn't you?

Tell me, when Indian companies are being alotted SEZs to produce useful goods and services for society, don't the Left quickly scream that it's all "politically motivated"? When GDP results are presented to the Left to show the good that economic reforms have done, don't the Left dismiss such statistics as "politically motivated"?

When Indians cry themselves hoarse about issues like terrorism, don't the Left simply turn a blind eye by saying it's all "politically motivated"?

Keep lying, Sujai -- you're only digging a hole for your own credibility.

#3
Sujai
URL
October 31, 2007
12:05 AM

Sanjay::
You need to grow up. You are fixated on what I wrote in my first post on this forum more than a year ago. Every time I write a post, you bring this same argument - very silly.

Yes, what you said above constitute more examples of 'politically motivated' arguments. Left, BJP, Congress, DMK, academia, sports players, movie stars- everyone seems to use this argument - not just those whom I listed above. That's why I didn't qualify this to any particular sect of Indians, but to all Indians. You are only substantiating my thesis!

First, you bolster my thesis giving more examples. Then, you go about saying that I am lying?

Funny world - with funny people.

#4
Chandra
October 31, 2007
01:59 AM

Sujai

Of course this was a politically motivated sting operation
The timing is very critical, a month before the elections.

Information from many of the interviews has always been in the public domain. However, the impact of 'exposing' this with a secret camera is quite different. It gives people a voyeuristic thrill of some sorts i guess. Note that massive demand for voyeuristic porn movies as opposite to regular porn movies. It is the same.

It is also politically motivated because the BJP was in big trouble (please read my post on the next elections). This 'sting' operation has boosted Narendra Modi's popularity and we will have traditional Modi supporters all turning up on election day. Good strategy by Arun Jaitly. He is truly the Karl Rove of India

rgds

#5
Sujai
URL
October 31, 2007
04:24 AM

Chandra:
What I am asking in the second part of my blog is if a 'politically motivated' action automatically negates the content. Can't we see the content itself and measure it without having to bring in the political angle?

In regional politics of India this is the common refrain. If a new road is built to a village which was inaccessible before, it is criticized calling it 'politically motivated'. When a corrupt leader is caught taking bribes, it is called 'politically motivated'. Soon, nobody appreciates the road that was built and nobody appreciates that crime branch officer which caught the corrupt leader. In fact, that politician and that crime branch officer actually are seen in negative light. That's how we undermine ourselves and all our little achievements.

Tehelka expose is a major achievement in the history of journalism.

We have known about Nazi holocaust, but the real findings came out and were seen by the world after the WWII when Nazis were no long in power. During the war, people had always suspected it but nobody had hard evidences.

Even when the genocide was happening in Rwanda, people knew about it, but nothing like this came out (or may be it did - but I am not aware of it).

Tehelka's expose is a landmark achievement because it exposes a regime which is still ruling the state.

Why can't we just celebrate it without having to attach a 'political angle' to it.

Also, why can't some actions be good even if they are politically motivated?

If Kennedy was an Indian, and if he promised to put man on the moon before end of that decade, that challenge would have been decried and booted out calling it 'politically motivated'.

If Nazis were Indian, and if they were exposed of their heinous crimes against humanity, that expose would have been rubbished and thrown out calling it 'politically motivated'.

Even some 'politically motivated' actions have their own merit and we may have to recognize them when they appear.

#6
Jawahara
URL
October 31, 2007
05:04 AM

Excellent post Sujai. I never thought about it in this way but it does make sense.

#7
Sri
URL
October 31, 2007
10:10 AM

It's funny that Sujai talks about "content" being negated.
If you have any basic idea of Information Theory, you'll know that the information value of a message is in proportion to it's probability.
What was new in the Tehelka "sting"?
What purpose did it serve other than cheap election-time posturing?

From your reply to Chandra
What I am asking in the second part of my blog is if a 'politically motivated' action automatically negates the content.

What content?

#8
Sri
URL
October 31, 2007
10:11 AM

OOps..read "inverse proportion" instead of "proportion" in the above post
;)
Cheers

#9
Sujai
URL
October 31, 2007
10:56 AM

#7,
What was new in the Tehelka "sting"?
The same newness the Nuremberg trials had on the details or horror of Holocaust, though many people had an idea what was happening in Germany-occupied Europe.

What purpose did it serve other than cheap election-time posturing?
It served the purpose of linking the administration of the region with the calculated killing of Muslims in that region.

What content?
The details of how and who participated in those killings, of how and who backed those killings.

#10
Chandra
October 31, 2007
01:47 PM

Sujai

To be honest, I have been through the transcripts of the Tehelka tape and I dont place a lot of value to it. Most of the statements were rants with zero legal validity.

I see it from a political angle because that seems to be the primary objective of this tape at this juncture. If somebody in the congress planned this, he/she is nothing but a fool. If somebody in the BJP did it, they are geniuses considering the poor situation Modi was in.

Coming to the larger point of your post, it is true that many aspects are tagged onto the 'politically motivated' tag. I agree with you that this phrase is mostly mis-used.

rgds

#11
Sanjay
November 1, 2007
10:05 PM

Sujai, when you posted up a chart alleging that opposition to medical quotas correlates statistically with support for Hitler, then it tells me you're the one who needs to grow up. It tells me you're capable of spewing out anything -- making up a graphical chart for it, no less.

I can't think of anything more politically motivated I've seen on here than that.


#12
Sujai
URL
November 2, 2007
12:31 PM

#11:
Is that all you can come up with?
;-)

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