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Satyameva Jayate

‘Truth alone Triumphs’

Ever since, Anna Hazare and Kejriwal shot into fame on TV Screens, the media has been playing a cat and mouse game. They gave these anarchists that occupied the heart of Delhi due coverage, but also poured and allowed others also to spew hate all over them, in the name of balanced reporting. It made sense, these fools were out to upset the apple cart. Kumar Vishvas, Manish Sisodiya, Yogendra Yadav, and Prashant Bhushan to name a few, but in the process also doing injustice the many named and more importantly nameless faces that supported these people, blinded by faith in their vision.

They were at that time also joined a few, or more, who were to later be disillusioned by the step that the above named think tank chose to follow the political process. I clearly remember the so-called media experts and armchair critics, saying if these anarchists were so interested in bringing change, they should join politics. The politicians and mouthpieces from the various political parties that were being targeted said “let them join politics”. Renuka Chowdry, Ravishankar Prasad, Nirmal Seetharaman, and many more kept mouthing and challenging these people to join politics. I felt the same. Why not? If real change had to be brought about, politics and elections are the way.
But politics is a dirty cesspool. And politicians are dirty; hyenas, vultures, jackals, and cannibals come to mind. In India, like anywhere else in the world, they being are necessary evils of society. We put up with them, because in a democracy we believe in TINA – “There Is No Alternative”. Usually that is because we are afraid of making the choice, and have been repeatedly cheated by making a choice, which at that time was but a chance.

When the India Against Corruption movement, transformed itself into the Aam Aadmi Party, i immediately switched my loyalties from the grand old party of India, Congress. Again my loyalties were primarily a TINA factor.
They almost won their first hard fought election for the 2013 Delhi Assembly. But people blinded by a vision, and true to their creed, they were not after power or money. They chose to throw it all up, in favor of their word and honor. Sadly, most people considered that a grave sin. It is expensive to conduct an election, and it is also a chance given to you to prove yourself. But i think they again did the correct thing. With the clout they had in that assembly, they would have also been handicapped to perform. And the current political system was wanting exactly that. It seemed like it was all planned by all in the current system vs these anarchists. Die they must, because, if they survive it meant death to the current political system.

This 10th of February, i believe history will be created. The Aam Aadmi Party will be elected to govern the state of Delhi, with full majority to allow them to legislate and pass into law many of their ideas. They will only be limited by the current setup of Delhi, which does not have full statehood, and therefore will need the permission of the central government on certain matters. But the majority and the mandate given to AAP will embolden them to try hard and will hopefully scare the central government into participation. The BJP government in the centre can benefit if the cooperate and help this, and probably even take credit of some of the shine and glory.

When this assembly elections were announced, the BJP had unleashed the most ugliest and dirtiest campaign ever in the history of Indian elections. I don’t recall before this the name calling and dirt hurled upon the leader of the opposing party. The media simply lapped these up, providing these Dakaris (noun: one who belches, freakin a lot!) an avenue on national television. However it also provided us a view into the truth, to be able to know what they are worth. So much hate and untruth was brought up on the AAP, that it crossed the thresholds of decency, the moment they said hello. It started with the BJP chieftain in Delhi, Narendra Modi calling them Anarchist, AK49 (mixing up the AK47 and the 49 day stint), a Naxal, pakistani agent, lover of terrorists etc. The gibbons in his party followed suit, singing the corporate tune and spewing hatred for all to hear and see.

In the end, people saw through these, and decided that truth lies somewhere else. Arvind Kejriwal and his fledgling AAP deserves a chance to showcase its ideas. Not just that it must be given a clear choice to carry forward its mission. It shows in the turnout, a record 67% of Delhi voters showed up at the booths, to cast their ballot. I am positive, like the exit polls show a good majority voted in AAP’s favor. And in Indian elections, sometimes, a small 5% swing in your favor is good enough to give you a windfall of seats. Right now, the swing being projected is higher.

Waiting with bated breath for the morning of Tuesday, 10th of February, 2015.

AAP Ki Party

Arvind Kejriwal and his motley crew were truly anarchists. The mood across the world was one of anarchism. And from out of the blue, Anna Hazare and Arvind arrived in Delhi, took the country by storm. For a billion plus people, who were then besieged by a new grand corruption scam every day, these people were heaven sent. For a year or more they toiled to make their voices heard. They succeeded in some measure, and the fruits of their success will only be reaped in the years to come. But this group themselves were unhappy with the attitude of the political parties, in power and in opposition. They also felt deceived by the watered down bill that was finally passed by the Govt.
In 2012, when the India Against Corruption movement decided to withdraw their protests, Arvind Kejriwal and a group of his close followers, decided to jump into the very cesspool that they were trying to reform. Swami Vivekananda had said something very similar, what if everybody walked away or around a dirty cesspool? Who would clean it? If it has to be cleaned, the good have to jump into this cesspool and clean it. Their efforts lead to the formation of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and their first test was the Delhi Assembly elections.
After their initial success, 26 seats in their debut Assembly Elections for Delhi, they were roundly defeated at the game of politicking. BJP cleverly, along with Congress playing a close second fiddle, fully leveraged the naivety of these people. A group of people who were suddenly faced with governing, when they least expected. Cornered, they mis-stepped. They did things, only because they didn’t have the Shakuni mindset, something that is considered vital in today’s politics. Narendra Modi the latest example of such politicking, sidelined many more capable and senior leaders within BJP to ensure that no one stood in his way to conquer the Lok Sabha.
But the question that is troubling me is: Are we ready for an AAP Government? Most of my friends and associates around me, may have some sympathy for AAP, but are more supportive of Modi government. They feel that AAP is not going to do any governance or add any value to our society. Also, to many in the middle and upper-middle class, it appears that corruption is an acceptable form of governance. Many of these same people are ready to and are willing to grease the system so that it runs along smoothly. People do react, strongly against, when they are personally faced with this syndrome, but are unappreciative of someone else attempting to subvert the system, by trying not to grease the system. I am not trying to distance myself, by indicating that i don’t participate in this. I do, unwillingly, but without hesitation.
Do we really want the corrupt system to go? Do we want a Jan Lokpal Bill? Do we want an Independent CBI? Do we want our government to setup transparent system that will disallow special treatment to Ambani, Tata, Adani, etc? Disallow the VIP culture? Are we ready to have a righteous group of people head a government?
I am. I want AAP to win this election. I want to see what Arvind Kejriwal and his group can accomplish. This is not about an individual or his group. This is an idea, whose time has come. I am not saying or thinking they will be able to eliminate corruption. But they should be able to leave behind a legacy of right and wrong – where we can expect the right to be rewarded and the wrong to be punished – within our lifespan.
Hoping, that this time, we have an AAP ki government.

AAP Ki Sarkaar

Dec 8th, 2013 will go down in history as an important day, in the creation of a new Indian polity. The stupendous success bestowed upon Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) by the citizens of Delhi, is an indicator of the times. The average citizenry has long been suffering quietly and apathy was the norm. The fasting session and the protests organized by Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal has his trusted lieutenant, along with many others from India Against Corruption (IAC), provided an avenue for people’s anger to be vented out.

Arvind made the right move, just about the time when the fasts were getting one too many, and the government and the politicians as always found a way to break this gridlock. The “system”, by this i mean and include – the government, the politicians – ruling, opposition, and the other multitude, the news media – special the 24x7TV channels, and other chief sponsors of the corrupt – the talking heads that show up on TV to mouth words one way or the other – ensured that eventually it will sustain and overcome these minor pressures. The formation of the AAP was the next logical step. Everyone had just about challenged the crew of the then India Against Coruption, to stop what they were calling as unruly behavior of protests and join the political mainstream. It was a direct challenge, echoed by the current lot of corrupt politicians from both sides of the parliament, the biased but appearing to be objective media, many talking heads that love to hear their voice and a possibly parroted by many unsuspecting citizens.

IAC took this challenge heads on. I felt their decision to choose the path of electoral politics to attain their goals, was overdue and much needed. Their goals, were not different from mine, or just about any other citizen in the country – a corruption free and just India. Democracy exercised they way it was envisioned – rights where they belong, to the people. Elected politicians and government worked for the people and were fully answerable to the people. They encapsulated most of these into one singular objective for the moment; pass the Jan Lokpal Bill as created by them.
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Politics is a messy swamp. It always was. Everyone wishes that it be cleaned up. No one willing to take the broom and hose to clean it up. AAP did just that. It captured the hearts and imagination of millions and now it had converted those into votes; into a mandate. I use the word mandate, only because 28 elected members in an assembly of 70, is not a small number. Their party, neigh i should still refer to it as a revolution and a movement showed that they can take on the whole class of politics as usual. So look at their win in the context of AAP vs the rest of the world and suddenly their win seems monumental.
This is just a first step. This blog post, was begun on the evening of the 8th. Today, as i write this, AAP is being forced to govern, with a fractured majority. The same set of people i mentioned earlier are all again speaking the same words; govern or get out. They are challenging the AAP, with the knowledge that AAP will become just another political party once they start governing. I disagree with this pressure. If the AAP had 35 seats, it makes sense. But today they are fighting against the rest of the world, and this can be tricky. But i am hopeful, if they do chose to do so, they will still come out on top. Wishing them the best. Hoping for the best.

News 24×7

News has always been a passion, but with the advent of 24×7 TV news coverage, it has created an appetite and fueled it continuously. But more importantly it has also opened up a whole new perspective – watching the media. For me it started a while back, watching the news media driving themselves into a frenzy day and night, during the Bill Clinton presidency – his affair, the investigation, the impeachment hearing et al.  Principles of journalism and reporting fell to the wayside, as each reporter and newscaster tried to score a point, with every visual second.

India while playing catching up has had an advantage. They never had to invent most things, but simply copy them. This should have worked to our benefit, and it does most times. But it also has another effect, where we triy to one-up the original.

Indian newspapers have enjoyed a glorious past, many strong and established ones reporting from the Pre-independence era. They had established amongst themselves a code of conduct that rivaled the best in the world. My personal rating scale has always been based on the ‘The Hindu‘. Rarely have i seen journalism that is superior to the standard held by this one newspaper in India. And i mean that across the whole world. I have had the advantage of tasting most US, Canadian, British and a few other English dailies.

The TV News media in India is probably the lowest i have seen. I must admit i have also seen quite a bit of TV news coverage from around the world. And assuming what i have seen are from the ‘leading’ TV news broadcasters from their respective countries, the Indian TV news media falls way short of expectations and delivery. Mind you, i am only talking content, culture and taste – covering the core ethics of journalism. And from the earlier premise that TV news was anyway at the bottom of the ranking, when it came to principles and ethics, the Indian TV news channels must be the scum amongst the scum.

Exclusive and Breaking News
The news broadcasted by the 24×7 news channel in India apparently fall into two categories only: Its Breaking News, and if its not, its Exclusive. How do you differentiate ?

Breaking News is usually shared and shown across most TV channels at about the same time or day or even week. I have been trying to get a grip on this, but with little luck. I have found that breaking news, is typically the first story that opens a 9pm news. And is the standard tag used for virtually any live coverage of any event. But the most important trait is that the news currently being aired is neither breaking or news. You have already heard about it, unless you just crawled out of a rock, just that instant before it aired on TV.

Exclusive News is the tag used by a news media, attempting to one up on its competition. This type of news covers the remaining time in a news broadcast. The best proponent of this is Times Now. They show the ‘Exclusive’ tag on the screen, as a water mark, and the newscaster also shouts it out for a good measure, just incase you were blind or had a near-zero vision. It is difficult to miss the onscreen display otherwise. The veracity of the claim though, like breaking news, is quite questionable. It interesting to note, that each of the major TV news channels would manage to elicit the same information in separate one on one interviews, so that they could air this exclusive interview, about the same time in their prime time news.

Today, i do continue to watch the news. But after soaking in the first few words of the news, i am actually watching the news channel, like i would watch any other reality show. Its fun sometimes, most times annoying and almost always channel surfing good – only to land on to the next 24×7 news channel. India is also blessed again. The residents here, like me, can start with the English, then move onto Hindi, followed by Tamil, Malayalam and maybe if really bored try Telugu etc. Oh ya, there is a good measure of financial news channels that add value during the evening prime time. Its one big circus.

MMS Speech

Below is the speech, our mumbling Prime Minister, MMS, made in the Parliament two days after India’s 65th Independence Day. I have officially named him as ‘mumbler on the roof’, as an ode to Nero. So while average Indias are boiling in anger, our mumbler on the roof, chooses to make mumbling speeches and statements. I’ve already blogged about MMS fall from grace in this blog before. Just to reiterate, he is a good example of how someone can be very literate (purposely use this instead of educated), but yet incapable of leading. Leaders are made of different mettle.

So, again, here is the speech, and my comments (in italics, so you dont mistake that for MMS’s diatribe against himself) and take on this. Since this is text, i am spared the trouble of providing comic relief on the monotone of the speech.

Hon’ble Speaker,

It is my painful duty to report to this House certain events that took place yesterday in New Delhi. Hon’ble Members are aware that after extensive consultations and discussions, including deliberations in a Joint Drafting Committee and a meeting of all political parties represented in Parliament, the Government has introduced a Bill in the Lok Sabha on the setting up of Lok Pal. The Bill has been referred to the Standing Committee concerned.

Certain events ? Events, dear sir, were earth shattering. Something Free India hasnt seen, atleast at a national level, with possibly some exceptions during the period of emergency. Also your reference to inclusions of ‘all’ political parties in your consultations are suspect, at best. 

Notwithstanding the introduction of the Bill, Shri Anna Hazare and his supporters have persisted with their demand that the Jan Lok Pal Bill drafted by Shri Anna Hazare should be introduced in Parliament and that the Jan Lok Pal Bill should be the Bill that must be passed by Parliament. In support of this demand, Shri Anna Hazare had announced some time ago that he would undertake an indefinite fast beginning August 16, 2011.

In April, when you conceded to meeting with Anna Hazare and team, your party and government were clearly aware that the govt version of the bill was not going to cut muster. Yet your party and ministers stage performed a script to attempt to listen to external voice of reason. You and your party were very clear, that while a bill will be introduced to the Parliament, you will introduce one that will be meaningless to start with.

On August 2, 2011, an application was made to Delhi Police by an organisation called India Against Corruption for permission to hold a month-long fast beginning August 16, 2011 at New Delhi. Delhi Police held discussions with the applicants in order to identify a suitable place and to formulate the conditions under which the permission could be granted for holding a fast at that place. Eventually, on August 13, 2011, Delhi Police informed the applicants that permission would be granted for the protest at Jai Prakash Narayan Park, near Ferozshah Kotla, subject to permission being granted by the land owning agency and subject to certain conditions.

Delhi Police also informed the applicants that they would have to give an undertaking to abide by the conditions.

However, on August 15, 2011, the organisers refused to accept six of the conditions, including the condition that the protest fast would be limited to three days. Hence, Delhi Police informed the applicants that, since they had declined to accept some of the conditions and refused to give the undertaking to abide by all the conditions, permission would not be granted to hold the protest fast at Jai Prakash Narayan Park. Prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC were also imposed on August 15, 2011 in and around Jai Prakash Narayan Park and some other areas.

A good narrative. You have stated most if not all of what is common knowledge. But sir, we all know, how this process works in India. We all know how much power you (politicians) bestow our poor police force. It is unlikely that any of these decisions were carried out by the Police Dept, without the involvement of trusted accomplices from your party. But given that you will blame me for speculating, and nothing can be proven, we will agree to disagree, leave it to common wisdom.

On the evening of August 15, 2011, Shri Anna Hazare, through public statements, made it clear that he and his supporters would converge at Jai Prakash Narayan Park and defy the prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC. Yesterday morning, Delhi Police reviewed the situation. Delhi Police came to the conclusion that it was clear that Shri Anna Hazare and his supporters would commit a cognizable offence and there was a likelihood of a breach of peace. Hence, Shri Anna Hazare and six others were arrested, as a preventive measure, under section 151/107 CrPC. They were taken to the Delhi Police Officers’ Mess at Alipur Road and, subsequently, produced before a Magistrate. Delhi Police did not seek the police remand of the arrested persons. The Magistrate offered to release the arrested persons on their personal bonds subject to the condition that they would undertake not to violate the prohibitory orders. However, Shri Anna Hazare and others refused to give such an undertaking or furnish personal bonds. Hence, the Magistrate remanded the arrested persons to 7 days’ judicial custody.

So by this fact, would you be willing to turn in Rahul Gandhi to the UP Police, in the event Mayawati makes the same case. She knows fully well that Rahul Gandhi will appear again in areas where she is going to declare 144 CrPC. All politicians, now including you, are masters at double speak, and are fully aware that you will conjure up scenarios that are purely favourable to you, in every instance. Interestingly there is no evidence till date, that Anna Hazare’s protest would have disturbed the peace.

Oops, i’m sorry. It has disturbed your peace and that of your goverment and party. So that must mean something.

Meanwhile, during the course of yesterday, about 2,603 persons were detained in Delhi when they were proceeding to or were in areas where prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC were in force. All of them were released later in the evening yesterday.

Late yesterday evening, Delhi Police received information that Shri Anna Hazare intended to move the Supreme Court challenging the orders of Delhi Police. Delhi Police also received information that the petition was likely to be mentioned before the Supreme Court on Wednesday, i.e. today, for urgent hearing. Since there were reasonable grounds to believe that Shri Anna Hazare had opted to seek legal remedies, Delhi Police did not apprehend any imminent breach of peace or imminent disturbance to tranquillity if the arrested persons were released. Hence, Delhi Police moved the Magistrate concerned to review his earlier order and the Magistrate was pleased to release Shri Anna Hazare and the other arrested persons at about 7 p.m. yesterday. The jail authorities informed Shri Anna Hazare and others that orders for their release had been received. However, Shri Anna Hazare and others (except one) declined to leave the jail premises unless the Government gave an undertaking that they would be permitted to hold their protest fast at Jai prakash Narayan Park without any condition.

About face !! Seeing the response of ordinary citizens across the country, i can truly say, your peace was surely disturbed.

Our Government acknowledges the right of citizens to hold peaceful protests. In fact, Delhi Police have allowed several such protests, but in each case appropriate conditions have always been imposed and the organisers were always required to give an undertaking to abide by all the conditions. Shri Anna Hazare and his supporters would have been allowed to hold their protest fast if they had accepted the conditions under which the permission was granted and had undertaken to abide by the conditions. Since they declined to do so, Delhi Police was obliged to refuse permission to hold the protest fast.

This is a political chess game. You and your government and the party have been clearly check-mated. Anna Hazare and team, have clearly identified the weakness, and will fully leverage this. The sad thing is, you still believe you have the upper hand.

Sir, please look out of your window, see the people. They are not paid hands or other party hopefuls who show up at your speeches and rallies. They are ordinary people who are giving up a day’s worth of wages or salary and joining cause with a man, who they think will lead them to a better tomorrow. Trust me, Economic Times, Dow Jones and Sensex alone, do not make up this India.

The Government wishes to stress that the issue before the nation is not whether a Lok Pal Bill is necessary or desirable. All of us in this House are agreed that a Lok Pal Bill must be passed as early as possible. The question is, who drafts the law and who makes the law? I submit that the time-honoured practice is that the Executive drafts a Bill and places it before Parliament and that Parliament debates and adopts the Bill with amendments if necessary. In the process of adoption of the Bill, there will be opportunities for Shri Anna Hazare and others to present their views to the Standing Committee to which this Bill has been referred by the Hon’ble Speaker. The Standing Committee as well as Parliament can modify the Bill if they so desire. However, I am not aware of any constitutional philosophy or principle that allows any one to question the sole prerogative of Parliament to make a law. In making a law on Lok Pal, the Government has faithfully adhered to the well-settled principles. As far as I am able to gather, Shri Anna Hazare questions these principles and claims a right to impose his Jan Lok Pal Bill upon Parliament.

Traditions do not constitute law. And also, the time honored tradition you so lovingly speak about is fraught with the same corruption. I assume you used these same traditions to allow Maran, Raja, Kalmadi and the many others to run rout in the government. Just like how you ask Anna Hazare to seek a judicial remedy to a breach of law, why dont you also seek the same remedy for a breach of tradition. The farce enacted by your party and government, in seeking views and then ignoring them completely stands naked, in full public glare.

To sum it up, it was neither your principle to do something good through a Lok Pal bill, nor in your tradition, to do something honest by incorporating valid views. 

I acknowledge that Shri Anna Hazare may be inspired by high ideals in his campaign to set up a strong and effective Lok Pal. However, the path that he has chosen to impose his draft of a Bill upon Parliament is totally misconceived and fraught with grave consequences for our Parliamentary democracy.

You and your party constitute more danger to our democracy and Parliament than anything else. Your party, and coalition partners, the opposition members, all of you, have been elected to safeguard it, but in your time honored tradition, as you say, are raping it every day.

Our Government does not seek any confrontation with any section of the society. But when some sections of society deliberately challenge the authority of the Government and the prerogative of Parliament, it is the bounden duty of the Government to maintain peace and tranquillity. Delhi Police, as the authority charged with the responsibility, took the minimum steps necessary to maintain peace and tranquillity in the capital city. Inevitably, though unfortunately, it led to the arrest and subsequent release of Shri Anna Hazare and some of his supporters. I sincerely hope that the incidents of yesterday will not be repeated today or in the future.

Proven false. The about face was clearly showcased on national TV. Thanks to you, the following for Anna swelled into thousands and lacs.

I should also make it clear that the issue between the Government and Shri Anna Hazare is not one of different attitudes to fighting corruption. In my independence day address, I spoke at length about the need to deal effectively with corruption. I would like to assure the House that we are determined to provide a Government that is transparent, accountable and responsive at all times and determined to fight corruption. But as I said on 15 August at the Red Fort, there is no magic wand by which, in one stroke, we will get rid of menace the of corruption. We have to work simultaneously on several fronts. In my 15 August address, I have outlined some of the measures we intend to put in place to strengthen our fight against corruption. I invite all sections of this House to join hands with us to deal with the cancer of corruption.

True. You did speak at length. You also moaned that you didnt have a magic wand. Well sir, please fly to Britian, you may be able to meet Harry Porter and or visit his school, and acquire a wand for yourself. Or simply, steadfastedly implement laws of the land. Your government is yet to chase the black money trail. What are you waiting for – an order from the Supreme Court ?

Humor me for a moment. Do you believe for a moment that ‘all sections of this House’, including you and your party are even sincere about this? Because, you all seem more sincere and concerted when it comes to fighting Anna Hazare and the team, and waiting for ‘magic wands’ when you have to fight corruption.

With respect to the events of yesterday, I will only say that a functional democracy must allow multiple voices to be heard. But differences of opinion must be resolved thorough dialogue and consensus. Those who believe that their voice and their voice alone represents the will of 1.2 billion people should reflect deeply on that position. They must allow the elected representatives of the people in Parliament to do the job that they were elected for.

Sir ! Please think before you speak. Because, if not, hot air may come out from different parts of your body. Do you really think the elected representatives are fulfilling their duties honestly and diligently.

India is an emerging economy. We are now emerging as one of the important players on the world stage. There are many forces that would not like to see India realize its true place in the Comity of Nations. We must not play into their hands. We must not create an environment in which our economic progress is hijacked by internal dissension. We must keep our mind focused on the need to push ahead with economic progress for the upliftment of the ‘aam aadmi’.

You really are using the word ‘aam’ very lightly. Maybe, like they said in a movie not long ago, you too think we are all just ‘mangoes’. Sir we may be mango-people, but we can surely pack a punch, when and if required.

You may have heard this before too – you cant fool all the people all the time. Did you have similar sense and thoughts when you decided to fool the nation, by trying to slam a flawed Nuclear Regulatory Bill, through the Parliament, as desired by a few friends in the ‘Comity of Nations’ ?. 

I appeal to all sections of this august House to ensure that the Government and its processes, and the Parliament and its processes function smoothly and effectively. There is no substitute for that. If some people do not agree with our policy, there will be a time when they will have an opportunity to present their points of view to the people of India.

Rightly said. Unfortunately some of us, believe we cant wait that long. Many people are sincerely hoping the Election Commission conducts an election today or tomorrow.

I request all political parties to ensure that Parliament functions smoothly. There are very important legislative measures that are required to be passed. If we do not pass them, we will do great injustice to the people of India and in turn hurt the ‘aam aadmi’. We are willing to debate every issue in Parliament, and we have demonstrated that we are co-operating with the Opposition in every possible way to ensure that Parliament functions smoothly.

Very thoughtful and considerate words. If only the deeds of your party and government mirrored these. And additionally, if only you paid more attention to the job at hand, than trying to singularly push economic reform. Sir, economic reform is no magic wand either.

We as elected representatives of our people should do nothing to weaken our people’s faith in the capacity of our democracy, our institutions and our social ideals and values to overcome all difficulties. We should have faith that we can build a promising future for ourselves. Let us unite in that faith.

Thank you. Finally you are done. I was wondering if i had to endure more of this mumbling. I do hope you use this opportunity to reflect on your role in this government, and more importantly the legacy you are leaving behind. Today you are possibly the most tainted man, simply because of your refusal to act. Your legacy should have mirrored your education and experience prior to joining politics. Think sir, time is still on your side. You can still correct and clean up this mess. You will be able to earn your respect back.

Anna, Hazaar!

I am sitting here in the US, far away from the action in India. But my heart is somewhere else. People are out in huge numbers in Delhi and all other major cities and towns in India. ‘I am Anna Hazare’, is not just an expression of words, but a mirror to the hopes and prayers of thousands across the country. Anna Hazare galvanized the nation with his simple call to fast, to pressure the government to debate and possibly accept a more stringent version of the Jan Lokpal Bill.

But sitting here, it is interesting to watch, painful if i might add, the TV news shows. They go overboard, in trying to bring all the viewpoints, and debating them irrespective of how ridiculous some of them may seem. They attempt to give equal airtime to government’s official voice or importantly the congress party’s voice.When in fact they need to be trying to give more credence to the citizens and an avenue to vent their feelings.  I am however, thankful to them, because this moment would have taken a much longer time to attain fruition, if it weren’t for the 24×7 news channels.

Government, Parliament or the Citizen – who is more powerful. In a democracy this question will always arise.  This is trivializing the matter. Anna Hazare is not looking to usurp the government or the parliament. He and his team tried working with the government, tried working with the members of the parliament, and met with the same two-faced attitude that has resulted in this current corrupted state. He is surely bringing pressure on the parliament to atleast review and debate his version of the Jan LokPal Bill. There is nothing wrong with that. It happens in all the time in other democracies. Thinking otherwise is being naive. The corporations do that all the time everywhere. But no one will accept and accede to this point. Freakin hell, our own PM tried his best to screw the country on the nuclear bill sometime back, based in the influence from the US and other foreign governments and corporations.

Setting a Precedence – where one man or group can blackmail the entire country. There was only once in the history of India before, when a single man was able to wield such influence. He too was frail and old. People flocked around him, because he epitomized a sense of hope, equality and justice. He may not have delivered it all, but people felt happy and hopeful when they stood with him and supported him. I am not sure if Anna Hazare can also imagine repeating this tactic a different day, for a different issue. But if he or someone else is able to capture the imagination of the population, then so be it. Isnt that the best form of democracy.

Combating Corruption begins with a simple no – The only truthful statement amongst the many misinformation or ridiculous assertions being made. However, there is a small flaw. The flaw is based on the innocent aspiration of all people, that we be less greedy, love each other and above all world peace.  We can stop people from taking or giving bribes, when we create a legal framework which enables unbiased investigation and enforces strict punishing of this crime. One might think, we must solve the problem of paying a traffic cop to get away from a traffic infringement, before we attempt to solve the problem of ministers and the larger government machinery robbing and misusing public funds. The Jan Lokpal Bill, is attempting to create a legal framework, that eventually will help us solve the traffic cop problem too. We all have to start somewhere, but why should it always be somewhere else, instead of the place we are now.

Sadhvi Rithambara – The most ridiculous of all the views. To start with, my views on RSS and hindutva are clear in these blogs. So before someone starts associating religious and casteist motives behind this view, they should spend time to read them. And this lady, ‘sadhvi’ is probably the last person that i would depend on to take this nation forward. But, then to accuse Anna Hazare, because of her presence at Jantar Mantar and therefore oppose the Jan Lokpal Bill is absurd and ludicrous. It only means feeds the theory, ‘cannot win, no matter what’.

I am at a loss of words, as i see the events unfold in India. All this can only mean good for the Indian polity. On this day, after the 15th of August, i am reminded of the speech, given by Jawaharlal Nehru – “A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.”

With hope in my heart, i say, i am Anna Hazare today. Let there be a thousand more.

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