Tag Archives: Politics

Cross-posted from Facebook Dec 8 2012

All of India‘s problems – political, social, economic, religious, education, sports even – are persisting through decades and centuries because Indians, as a social or national unit, are incapable of taking cohesive action against entrenched power figures; real or perceived. The French Revolution would never have occurred in India, nor the American Revolution or Civil War. Indian history is nothing more than a list of regime changes in various power centres. Under the veil of pious nonchalance, we are simply too afraid of the mai-baaps among us to bother changing things for the better.

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Indian regional parties threatening national integrity

If any Indian does not know about Raj Thackeray, then he would have slept under a rock for the last five years. People across the political spectrum are condemning him – blaming him for damaging the national fabric. I do not condone his tactics but I am concerned about the asymmetric migration towards Mumbai in particular and urban centres in general. That is not the point of this post, however. Some of Raj’s most vocal detractors have voiced sentiments that make me wonder about who is actually damaging the national fabric.

Lets take them one by one.

Mamata Banerjee pulls out of UPA-2. Her complaint (besides her party’s stand on FDI and fuel subsidy) – the government does not treat her like a king-maker. Conducting elections in India is not a cheap affair. Guess nobody told her about it. Even with Trinamool Congress having just 19 seats – 3.4% – in the Lok Sabha, she wants to dictate the policy for the entire nation.

Then Mulayam Singh Yadav says

We will have to move into a decision-making role in the capital. We should ensure no government can come to New Delhi without SP.

UP has an impressive record as far as sending Prime Ministerial candidates is concerned – 8 out of 14 have been from UP. The Nehru-Gandhi family have their constituencies in UP; and for most of India’s independence, Congress has been in power. All that has not translated into much development though. The politicians have not learned their lessons yet, or they have a vested interest in keeping UP as it is. Assuming Samajwadi Party sweeps the state clean, they can get 80 seats – 14.5% – in the Lok Sabha. With that percentage, they want to be king-maker and extract their pound of flesh.

Finally, Nitish Kumar says that he

would support anyone in the formation of the next government at the Centre if it grants special category status to Bihar

Bihar has 40 seats. Assuming a clean sweep – 7.24% of the seats in Lok Sabha.

I am sure that other states (AIADMK, DMK in Tamil Nadu, BJD in Orissa, Telagana-affected parties in Andhra Pradesh) will soon turn up at the buffet.

Sitting in Maharashtra, I am troubled by the intent that these parties are proclaiming. The main culprit is coalition politics at the Centre. Regional parties should simply not be allowed to play havoc with the rest of the nation. The Election Commission should decide than any party not able to secure more than 50% votes in a multi-option  ballot held nation-wide will be in-eligible for the Parliament – because they do not have the mandate of  the people whose lives they are toying with.


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the leader and the lead (or those who don't want to be lead)

There is a leader in Maharashtra, without any people following him; nothing new I guess.

Note (15/11/2009): Some have construed that I (being equal to any Tom, Dick or Hari)  am mocking the leader. Nothing is farther than the truth.  I was just paraphrasing what the leader himself said. The leader’s party’s newspaper carried an editorial lambasting the people whom he was supposedly leading.

Leader: You hordes, I shall lead you to greater glory! Give me your trust! (I mean, your vote)

Hordes: Yeah, right! (And they give their vote to the other guy)

Leader: You hordes, you suck! You don’t deserve my leadership.

cause and effect

This is not good news on a festive day.

The story, as I can see, is:

Rahul Raj came to Mumbai from Patna on 24th October, for a job interview. On 27th October, he took a BEST bus hostage. He asked for (among other things) a cell phone, saying he wanted to relay a message to Raj Thackeray. The police arrived on scene and asked him to surrender. He open fire, injuring one passenger. The police retaliated, hitting him in the chest and head, which proved to be fatal.

The media, being what it is, is having a field day. The most amusing display was put on by Star – Star News took a pro-victim stance while Star Mazha took a pro-police stance. Incredible.

Most of the news channels were fed by Nitish Kumar, Bihar’s Chief Minister.

Mumbai Police shot at a chicken with a cannon ball.

Excuse them, Mr. Kumar. The chicken had a gun and more than twenty hostages. Nitish Kumar has no right to judge the actions of Mumbai Police based on highly selective TV footage. Instead, he should be focussing on controlling the anti-Raj riots that are, ironically, damaging Bihari property in Bihar.  Oh, and also ceate jobs there, so that the youth of Bihar don’t have to come to Mumbai.

Yes, it is a free country. We can go anywhere we want. But, what part of “THERE IS NO SPACE LEFT IN MUMBAI FOR A LIVING A LIFE OF GOOD QUALITY”, do you people don’t understand?

Another thing, Mr. Chief Minister. It is well and good that you are asking the DGP of Police, Bihar, to get “information” from his Maharashtra counterpart. How about you do that each time a Bihari breaks the law in Mumbai, eludes arrest and flees to his “hometown”.

Rahul’s relatives, predictably, are claiming he is innocent, has been misled, etc. etc. Please spare us. Gentlemen, we have live footage of the act. No matter how he was till yesterday, as of today, Rahul was capable of hijacking a bus. And yes, it can be done without the support of a “large group” and without a “lot of planning”.

Mumbai Police have taken a beating, for all their efforts. Except Star Mazha, all other channels are parroting Nitish Kumar’s line of excessive force. The other day, Vidyadhar was seemingly amused when I bemoaned the absence of forces like SWAT and FBI in India.

A well-aimed shot by a sniper could have disarmed Rahul. A well-trained riot control officer could have shot a tear-gas canister into the bus and a team of officers in gas-masks could have easily over-powered Rahul. A three step plan. But we just don’t think like that, do we? Our police still carry .303 rifles and sten guns.

So who is responsible for this event? What was the most immediate provocation ?

We all know, don’t we?

Who’s turn is it to react? Whose life will be lost next?

discussions and debates

My friend thinks I lose my handle very easily in a discussion. That I lose the thread and start abusing the participants.

Well, he may have a point. When I see a discussion filled with ad hominem and points that go nowhere, I just lose it. Besides, he very rarely chooses to debate on topics on which I have a firmer grip than him. You win half the battle when the topic and time of discussion are your preferred choices.

Hell, it’s just that I’m plain NOT INTERESTED. The going-ons of the Sangh Parivar are given the lowest priority in my mind. I can ALWAYS find something more important to discuss than Hindutva and the Hindu psyche. And frankly, even if I don’t, I’d prefer to go to sleep. India doesn’t realise it, but it has no time for stuff like that. The ind_league group on Yahoo India indicates the uselessness of such things. It is failing miserably with threads lagging, polls flopping and messages about other stuff cluttering the space. And as for members, most have joined for the novelty of it. Only 2-3 members out of 11 post. It’s the same everywhere. When your stomach growls with hunger, religion doesn’t help, except in charity – and that won’t take you far. The only way to fill your stomach using religion is to make money out of it. That’s what ALL religious, social and political institutions do.

I know my priorities. I love my nation. I know the ways I can serve its needs. To tell that Hindutva is the way forward, is fascist. To think that they are the saviours of a religion which has thrived for centuries and survived the birth of half-a-dozen other religions without any deliberate effort, is arrogant beyond comprehension. My skills and interests are distinct and I prefer to use my energy on them. I would like to use them to help my nation in my way.

Then, as for debating styles, I prefer to write thoughtful pieces with restrained aggression. Then the other side can respond to it and so, it moves on. Short volleys of points and counter-points with the opposite sides shooting down people in mid-sentence – that’s not my style. My friend points out that he needs a proper mood to read the piece. Well… what can I say to that? So get into a verbal discussion and your mood is just right for it? Maybe, we should catch them in the wrong mood and THEN start a discussion.

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