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OffStumped For All Things Right of Center, Bringing a Right of Centre Reality Check to Indian Politics, News Media Reporting and Opinion now in Hindi अब आप के लिये हिंदी मे.
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Back in August as the Left and the UPA played a game of bluff Offstumped had analyzed the responses across different sections of the media to draw inferences on their motives . Following last Friday’s climax of sorts on the Indo-US Nuclear deal reactions across the media make for a different kind of analogy. 

In Freudian psychoanalytic theory, defense mechanisms are unconscious resources used by the ego to reduce conflict between the id and superego and thereby anxiety. If one were to apply the “defense mechanism” construct to analyses the responses from different sections of the media it makes for a very interesting reading. For the purpose of this exercise Offstumped shall draw heavily from Freud and his daughter who clarified and conceptualized the different kinds of defense mechanisms.

So here we go first with Vir Sanghvi in the Hindustan Times on Sunday offering a 3 page dissertation on why the climb down happened and what could happen next. But it is his closing remarks that should take the cake for some serious Rationalization and Intellectualization, Freudian style.

the recent media caricature of Manmohan Singh as a poorly-advised, single-issue Prime Minister who is overly reactive, and easily misled into being needlessly provocative and foolishly stubborn is not accurate.  When it comes to the crunch, the Prime Minister has shown that he can look at the big picture, pull back and demonstrate the flexibility that you need to lead a coalition.

We next turn attention to Pankaj Vora once again in the Hindustan Times on Monday offering us some classic dissociation by not expressing any emotions on the climb down while distancing himself from the Congress and postponing passing judgement till the Gujarat elections. Vora also ended up offering some rationalization with these remarks

Prospects of the deal falling through and the Congress losing power at the Center are both in the realm of speculation. It is in view of this that a damage control exercise was carried out where both leaders gave the impression that they were ready to accommodate the Left’s viewpoint.

The contradictory rationalizations offered by Vora and Sanghvi say it all on how deep in denial the Congress spin meisters are.

Next we turn attention to KP Nayyar writing in the Telegraph with this hard to believe theory. Displaying escapism Nayyar wants us to believe that the “climb down” was actually a tactical shift that had nothing to do with the left but to escape an imaginary “non-proliferation” trap which strangely enough surfaces in the public domain only over the weekend.

This change in strategy is not because the Left parties appeared at one stage to have pushed the Manmohan Singh government to the wall, according to Indian officials who have been involved in the Vienna talks, a view that is shared by IAEA officials who have no interest or stake in India’s domestic political developments.

To make theory believable Nayyar also attempts some projection by bringing in IAEA officials to the mix. But his valiant attempt at idealization with this

Expediently, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have, however, used these genuine difficulties in proceeding with the atomic agency to give an impression to the Left parties that the government is going slow on negotiations with the IAEA to take their concerns into account.

almost borders fiction.

The Hindu in its editorial on Saturday reflected the Left’s perception of the climbdown, however it is the reaction of the Indian Express in its editorial on Monday that is most interesting.

In recent times the Indian Express has come to echo what the PMO would like the rest of us to believe was reality, the facts notwithstanding. So when the Indian Express dedicates an entire editorial criticizing the BJP and LK Advani one cannot help but see in it a lame attempt by the PMO at changing the subject by exhibiting classic symptoms of displacement.

Offstumped Bottomline: Face it India. This deal is as good as dead. The deal is dead not because of the BJP, not because of non-proliferation and not because Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has suddenly acquired the flexibility to accommodate a coalition.

This deal is as good as dead because Sonia Gandhi from whom Manmohan Singh draws his legitimacy lacked the strength of conviction to stand by the him when it mattered, where it mattered.

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