Alpesh Patel’s Political Sketchbook:

Unpopular or Popular Governments – Who Cares?

Alpesh Patel Tuesday 14th January 2020 12:24 EST

Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s Senior Special Advisor said he doesn’t care about messaging and if the Government is unpopular in the short-term because it has a huge popular mandate. So he wants to drive through big changes.

Big changes could be good. Popular mandates are good potentially. Of course Lord Hailsham also called the UK system an elected dictatorship, but looking at what happened to Theresa May’s premiership, you can see why some prefer big thumping majorities.

India also has a similar situation – CAA and Kashmir issues are a result of thumping majorities. Whatever you do, don’t look at Imran Khan’s Twitter page. He makes the Iranian clerics look sane. Khan is knowledgeable about Nazism as he keeps mentioning it. Even Rocketman of North Korea does not write the things that Khan does.

I’ve met Khan’s ex-wife. I had lunch with her at her home. Lovely lady – barely eats – salad and soup is it – but if his tweets are anything to go by, I can see why she would definitely have got fed up. I’ve also met Benazir Bhutto – she asked me to join her party, until I pointed out I am an Indian. (She thought my speaking of the dangers of a nuclear China and need for Democracy in Pakistan meant I agreed with her). Perhaps I should have pretended to be Pakistani.

So does CAA matter in terms of India’s perception. Even on Netflix some political shows are critical of India. Of course, no Indian is happy about someone being critical of their country of origin. But, should it matter. After all, look at the mockery Americans get.

I think there are issues about any policy. And then there are issues about perception. Perceptions come and go. Short term anger, forgotten shortly thereafter. I am too young, for a change, to know about the Emergency.

Indeed speaking of how things are forgotten and forgiven, India can learn from Pakistan. They had a Royal Visit – no one seems to remember their nuclear proliferation, terrorism sponsoring among other things – oh and a bit of genocide from a member of the current Pakistani PM’s tribe – Niazi. So PM Imran Khan Niazi speaking of Nazi genocide seems incredulous.

No, India need not worry about Bollywood actors being upset. Or the Microsoft CEO saying CAA is ‘sad’. Not the smartest thing for him to do as CEO – clearly power has gone to his head. Not good for Microsoft shareholders, like me, or employees. Not consistent as it begs the question, ‘what about other political issues Microsoft?’ Let’s start with China?

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