Category Archives: Politics

Vote India Vote !

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In 1947 we got Independence, anyhow, in a changed global scenario after world war-2, which saw the decreasing grip and clout of British Empire and rise of a new super power, that was, United States of America. Financial burden of a lengthy war and concern of rebuilding and restructure made it difficult for British to retain its colonies as protection and rehabilitation of mainland became their top priority. But sole credit of Independence was, somehow, robbed by Congress politicians especially Mr Nehru, supported by vast popularity of Mr. Gandhi. Nehru was a shrewd strategist. Mr Gandhi was a noble soul with poor vision. Ironically, after Independence, all of those who were fighting for greater and united India suddenly surrendered to compromise on the partition of India for their personal agendas. On the top of that was Mr Nehru.

I still wonder why Nehru, top leader of congress, which presents itself as a champion of the ‘secular’ cause, did not accept Mr Gandhi’s suggestion to give up the post of prime minister to Jinnah, for the sake of winning trust of Muslims and the cause of united India. This in fact would have given much credibility to congress’s claim of being flag-bearer of ‘secularism’ and ‘patriotism’, instead they were busy building their political-castle with the pieces of country and its countrymen. If both Mr Nehru and Mr Jinnah had settled their personal issues in a responsible manner then we hadn’t seen such a devastating civil war and after-partition riots after our great country was cut into two pieces. It would have made Kashmir issue, militancy in J&K, exodus of Kashmir Pundits, wars of  1965 and 1971 a mere wild imagination of conspiracy-theorist, and may be, may be India would have become one of the most prosperous and powerful country in today’s world.

But Mr Nehru and Mr Jinnah both choose them over country and became PM of their respective countries at the cost of lives of millions. After unfortunate murder of Mr Gandhi, India came in the grip of Nehru family and is still to liberate itself from the clutches of dynasty politics. The generation which was born at that time considered Nehru and Gandhi Clan as the sole proprietor of India.

What happened afterward was a classic case of transforming the psyche and soul of the nation into “Corrupt and Complacent” through a systematic approach of institutionalizing graft, implementing Quota-Raj, and lack of transparency in the garb of democracy. Today we stand at crossroads and have to make a choice from the couple of not-so bright alternatives. One one side there is Congress which has ruled us for most past of post-independence history but failed to deliver. At other side is BJP which had shown promise and was given a chance once, did some good but failed to deliver when it mattered  most. For example Gujarat. That was the best opportunity for them to establish themselves as a responsible party and wash their bad reputation of anti-Muslim political group. But failed to act. For now, the biggest disadvantage for them is they are vulnerable to these accusation and minority communities can be polarized against them. They also lack charismatic leadership and direction. Then there is left-front where “Nothing is Left” for them in the country other than Kerala and Bengal. So we can’t expect much from them. Then we are left with third front which consists of SP, BSP, DMK, AIDMK, TRINMUL CONG, AGP and NCP. But this front actually never came on front to have a national agenda.

Here one point has to be noted that BJP has gradually toned down from its extremist stance regarding minority issues and is making conscious effort to win the trust of community. More convincing fact is that they have also shown development and governance in the states ruled by them like Gujarat, Karnataka, Bihar, MP, Uttaranchal and Chhattisgarh but not without a fair  amount of charges of Corruption.

So nobody is a clear winner to rule this country. Almost every party has some tainted people. So what we are left with? We have to choose one which is less corrupt of lot, specially when no party is looking as competent and confident as it should be. Recent agitation against corruption and their brutal curbing by government has made us to believe that direct participation in the electoral process is the ‘Only way to victory’. Because we can never fight with government machinery. We should participate in the formation of government, directly or indirectly, to bring the changes.

So I appeal my brethren sincerely that please VOTE for whoever you believe is right. BUT VOTE.

For this to happen, we have to come out of our comfort zone and VOTE. Isn’t it ironic that only 50% or less goes to vote in the largest democracy of world?

Your co-operation will get us to the top of the world. And I have a slogan for this campaign , which you have to spread !

Like it of FB- http://www.facebook.com/pages/VOTE-India-VOTE/174260965966937

VOTE INDIA VOTE !

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Back to Democracy !

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“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.”

Though I don’t agree completely with the above definition of Democracy in general but it appropriately defines the mood and expression of many people in India on the current state of democracy.

Democracy in its present form, for me, has become manifestation of immense  powers bestowed on parliamentarians and its negative effect on the interest of common citizens who are virtually forced to live a life with servile attitude. Its a sadistic story of poor implementation of contractile policies imbibed by our Constitution. Its an obscene and heartbreaking reflection of hypocritical attitude of political class who talk about patriotism, public service, sacrifice and equality in their every sentence they utter, but in reality most of them defy all social , moral and political rules and regulation with unmatched is a systematic discrimination supported by Constitution, legally.

These social contrasts are nothing but non-glamorous reflection of  ideological-hypocrisy of Indian political class legally backed by Constitution. The contrasts are so stark  that you feel angst more than excitement and can develop a dual personality. ‘Equality’  is considered a basic essence and central idea of any democratic system but our Constitution (which I justifiably disapprove of as the perfect text to follow and govern a country as big and diverse as India) is consistent in making sure that difference and distance between political/ruling class and general public increases as and when the time passes.

Who are called public/government servants in theory never exhibit the character and virtues of one in practical life. And fault is not theirs only. They are just reaping the benefits of  Monarchic Constitution. I am not an expert on the technical nitty-gritties of  the constitution least interested in the complexities of conflicting ideas which have become integral part of our Constitution through various “Constitutional” amendments. But anybody in logical frame of mind can see that this is not a proper system for welfare of people at large but only for a handful of already powerful and rich politicians, corporate, media persons, actors, and sport-stars.

We always believed as per constitution, “Democracy is the rule of people, by the people, for the people”. From no angle, the ruling system of India is for the people or by the people. In most practical sense it can be called-

‘Rule of some Powerful People/Parties, elected by weak and meek people who are either forced or influenced by power or money. 

More than the process or system of election or selection I am upset with the outcome. After this mammoth exercise of election some people, who are called MPs or MLAs, would take full control of the nation/state, drive  it and steer it to wherever they want, without being answerable to anyone but their political masters, for next five years.

My objection is mostly on two basic flaws in present system of democracy, one  is ‘Inequality’ and second is ‘answerability’. In my version of a true democratic country I would like to see PM and other so-called VIPs(what a hypocritical term in a democracy which is supposed to bring equality) be treated at par with normal citizens in all walks of life except when in their office. Imagine  home minister of India is going to office in a government car with a driver and just two guards where on traffic light we roll down our windows and can say a  ‘Hi’ to greet him. That is beautiful dream. Right? I always wonder what is the need for so much authority, power and security for constitutional posts like PM, Ministers and MPs? What fear do they have? And from whom? The same people who have elected them to power ?

And why should a person like Rahul Gandhi, like other sons of politicians, who doesn’t even hold any constitutional post, should eat into  the tax-money paid by people, for his security which cost 5.4 million INR annually to the treasury ? He is just an MP but the security he is given is above and beyond any cabinet minister or even PM. As a citizen I should have the right to inquire and decide towards which expense, tax paid by me is going to be utilized. I can’t see my tax-money being wasted for the security of an useless person. If he feels unsafe in this country, he should spend some of his money and kepp some private Guards.

There have been many incidences when because of the visit of these VVIPs, many patients had to sacrifice their life as security people didn’t let them go through the security-check and when they did it was too late. Why the hell hospitals are? To save patients or to welcome some power-thirsty politicians on an ego trip. A couple of times our PM was also involved in such cases in Chandigarh and Delhi. Is this fake security drama more important than the lives of patients? Does the life of a normal citizen cost less than the pride of PM, who is also a citizen and is elected by people only? This has to be stopped as soon as possible or it will be too late for democracy.

There are many question like this and I am trying to find answers unsuccessfully. I know I won’t get straight answers, so instead of expecting answers, I have decided to find solution of the basic problem. Once I find some of the solution, I would definitely try to put them in practice for the best of society. And that would change the destiny and direction of country. Till then we just have to put up with Democracy and Constitution.

Oops! ‘US’ did it Again

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“To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail.”

Though India and America are playing good friends for a while but they haven’t been natural allies in the the history of  both countries. American policies towards India have always  been influenced by two critical factors.One , India’s relation with Russia.Second, India’s relations with Pakistan. America’s relations with these countries have been continuously changing  the power equation in world and in south Asia.

With the rise of China, Indian, Brazil, South Africa and other developing countries and the fall of some European economies, It is evident that world is not not going to be same forever. But at the same time, traditional power centers like America are not going to accept this inevitable truth. They would continue to behave in the manner as if they own the Planet Earth.

Diplomatic protocols’ are the reflection of quality of the relation of two countries. These protocols are defined in such a clear and  precise way, by both parties, so that even the minute possibility of diplomatic blunders can be removed. Records of America on the issue  of “Diplomatic Blunders” is abysmal. These two countries have been involved in a number of incidences which temporarily strained relations for a brief period of time.

Does he look like a 'Terrorist' ?

The latest case was related to the frisking of India’s Ex president and renowned nuclear scientist APJ Abdula Kalam. Normally I take the violation of diplomatic protocols as either the over-enthusiasm of concerned official or the ignorance of norms. But this case was example of total disrespect to a person who has served a country at highest level.Come on, you are dealing with an Ex president of India, the largest democracy in the world.

But how can we expect a basic courtesy from a country which invades countries on hypothetical ground as and when it wish, without any reason and provocation, and kill innocent people and eliminates presidents of their country.

Here is what happened at JFK Airport on 26th Sept , 2011

Sources said after Kalam had taken his seat in the aircraft, officials of the JFK Airport came inside and said they wanted to check the former President once again, which was strongly protested by Air India authorities.

However, the airport authorities were adamant about searching the passengers again, the sources said, adding Kalam did not protest.

“Later, they took away his shoes and jacket much to the dissatisfaction of the Air India authorities.However, they returned them later,” the sources said.

Its very clear that it was more than just a political blunder. US airport officials seemed to have some issue with either him being a Muslim or his being an India.Otherwise what they wanted to prove when  they, even after being told by flight officials that he is an ex-president of India and is exempt from security screening, took his shoes and jacket away. Seriously they need some training on social and political behaviors.

This is not the first time American Officials behaved like a bunch of schoolkids who insists on having a confrontation , and I am also very sure it is NOT their last. But every time they behave like this, Indian government lodges a strong protest and then America express its “Deep Concern and Regret” for the unfortunate incidence and the case is closed. No actions against guilty officials .

Fine , the case must be closed once for ever. No more protesting.Just give them the taste of their own medicine.

I suggest next time when US president and other dignitaries visit India they MUST be told to fall in line with other commoners. I think that would be biggest lesson we can take from US and say thank you to them for the Idea.

I know that is not going to happen in near future as the political will of current set of leaders in India is misdirected at each others only. We need  leaders of caliber of Indira Gandhi who can talk to Americans in their face.

Reservation on “Aarakshan” !

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Flashy poster of movie "AARAKSHAN"

India is the largest democracy in the world and is supposed to be a fairly liberal society when it comes to the issue of ‘Freedom of Expression’.Cinema , Art and Literature are different mediums to express individual or collective ideas or views.The laws of the country make sure that expression and execution of individual or collective ideas and act don’t hurt another individual or any section of society physically , emotionally , culturally or financially.And that they are not a threat to the cultural , religious and social harmony.But what we usually forget is “Caste-Harmony” which pops out from nowhere whenever you mention a word , that is , “AARAKSHAN”.

Mr Prakash Jha has produced many movies such as ‘Mrityudand’ , ‘Apaharan’ , ‘Gangajal’ and ‘Rajneeti’.What is amazing about his creations is that he picks a rather serious subject and treats it in a very relaxed and balanced manner so that the entertainment quotient of the movie is not subsided by the complexity of subject.His unusual way of story-telling makes him one of the most loved and trusted film maker equally among masses and classes.The most beautiful moment always comes in the later part of the movie when he drives his story to a ‘Poetic-Justice’ in the climax and that is why his movies hardly attract any controversy.

Students protesting against reservation

But this time , with his new venture “ARAKSHAN” , he ran out of ‘good-luck’.It has been banned in three states namely UP , AP and Punjab.That is unfortunate and frustrating that you put a blanket ban on something you have not even seen.That is how it happens in India and perhaps only in India.Isn’t it ridiculous that a movie is banned even if has been watched and passed by the Censor-Board ?

What is most depressing is that it is happening in an age when whole world is looking up to India to take a leading role as Economic and Political Superpower in the region(At least this is what Hillary’ recent commenting her India visit suggest)and our policy maker are busy in investing their extra time to decide which movie we should see and which not.And this happens when there is a separate ‘Constitutional Body’ solely for this purpose.

It seems to defy logic that in a country where 49.5 seats/Jobs are reserved ‘Legally’ for Backward and Schedule Caste/Tribe in government offices/institution ,a movie on the same subject is banned.”ARAKSHAN” is legal ‘Act’ so why a movie on ‘Arakshan’ is not ‘Legal’ ?

BSP Guys protesting in the support of reservation

May be , just the mention of word “ARAKSHAN” disturb and shake the confidence of people who have supported this knowing fully well that it has lost relevance in the current socio-economic structure which is completely different from the time when The Constitution of India accommodated the word “ARAKSHAN” !

Rioting ‘London’ and Looting ‘Games’ !

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Police confronting Rioters

The name which always comes first to our mind , whenever we talk about “Efficient Police Forces” in the world, is “SCOTLAND YARD”.No doubt they have been exceptional in their response to organised crime , safety of citizens , identifying and investigating suspects and in making sure that real culprits are convicted.

But , what started as a protest against the alleged ‘unlawful’ killing of a non-white youth named Mark Duggan in Tottenham , North London and further deteriorated into full scale-riots in London and spread in other cities like Birmingham , Liverpool and Bristol , did actually nothing to the store prestige in the much acclaimed police force of London.The claim of police that the guy in question fired a shot before he was killed in reciprocal firing by police has come out as untrue after the result of a forensic tests of the gun came out.

A burning Carpet-Showroom

The strangest thing for me was that even after the mayhem and anarchy for three days police had still restrained themselves from taking any stricter action against rioters.They were possibly compensating for their earlier actions.But that is not how a riot is controlled.I was rather surprised reading the statement of top police officers that

“That’s a tactic that will be used by the Metropolitan police if deemed necessary,” Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh told reporters. He was talking about the use of plastic-bullets.It is surprising considering that many police forces would have already used something like ‘plastic bullets, ‘baton-charge’ and ‘tear-gas’ if the rioters continued even after three days.I am not sure if it is another proof of ‘Human-Face’ of British Police or just the deficiency and political correctness and weakness in containing riots.

The strange thing about this riot is that , though we are aware why and where it originated but we are completely unsure of objective of rioters.They also lack any specific face , color or gender.But what binds them all is that they all are young , very young and probably without work.Is this really a riot or the frustration and anger of unemployed and unprivileged younger generation towards the administration of city of London and Britain.

Indian cricket team is due to play English Team in Birmingham and the games are obviously at risk considering the security concern of players.Even if game happens it would be very difficult to attract crowd to the ground as they will be very concerned about their safety.

part of London-2012

That is a very grim and unfortunate situation in the city where Olympics are to be held in 2012.The same situation in any Asian Country would have invited calls for shifting the games to elsewhere but as we know justice is always ‘Fair’ in the outlook, it won’t happen to London.

Anna , “Umang” and Aag !

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A "Morcha" which was never "Besharam"

Since last October , issue of Corruption in “Come on , Wealth ! “Games has taken whole country in to an strange “aggressive” and “depressive” mood alternatively.There has never been a bigger uproar in Indian Public and social-circles against corruption.Anna led from the front and his four-day fast was followed by a triumph almost unimaginable.

For those who don’t know Anna , I should introduce him to you all ..

“Kisan Baburao Hazare , Marathi: किसन बाबुराव हजारे) (born 15 June 1937), popularly known as Anna Hazare is an Indian social activist and anarcho-pacifist who is especially recognised for his contribution to the development and structuring of Ralegan Siddhi, a village in Parner taluka of Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra, India and his efforts for establishing it as a model village, for which he was awarded the Padma Bhushan—the third-highest civilian award—by the government of India in 1992.

The initial euphoria , which was generated after Anna and some of his colleagues in this campaign were included in the “Lokpal Drafting Committee” , was evaporated when some of critical suggestion or should I say demands of Anna Camp like “Inclusion of PM , Judiciary and Government Servant under the authority of Lokpal were ignored and refused to be incorporated in the final draft which was presented in the parliament.Sad , that the copies of bill were burnt same day as symbolic protest by Anna and his supporter through out India.

Now all the exercise of drafting bill and presenting it in the parliament is looking just like a formality which government had to perform after Anna went on protest and extracted pan-Indian support of Indian public.

Anna is going on another fast starting from 16th august and has called all his countrymen to join him in the ‘satyagraha’.

Another issue which has become ‘very-critical’ and of utmost priority in the capital of India is “Security of Women”.Inspired by the slutwalk all over the world , a young , simple and energetic girl , who is the student of journalism in DU had organised a similar March with another name “Besharmi Morcha” but sadly it failed on all front , be it raising the awareness about the security and rights of women or bringing out the people of capital of India in its support.The whole idea of “Slutwalk” has rather been denigrated in to a “SlutTalk” and people were seen discussing if calling Indian-Women “SLUT” is right or wrong. Really ! You can never be ‘straight’ in your approach in India and if you try , you run the risk of both being misunderstood and misinterpreted.

Hope , Anna brings some more “Umang” in the lives of people of India which desperately needs a leader to direct them in right direction so that this “Aag” in the people of India is utilized well in a constructive manner.