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Why i hate Modi?

You should too!

6CC5SSHAFI7LRJ5LG7LIYMBWAYModi is the current unchallenged leader of the BJP. He wasn’t one before the run-up to the 2014 elections. His prowess in Gujarat, no i don’t mean his economic or development agenda, i mean his autocratic rule there, and polarizing effect that helped him get elected thrice, propelled him to the central stage.

BJP is a political party that is sculptured out of hatred, by its progenitor, the RSS, the original fountainhead of hatred towards non-Hindus in India. RSS was founded on the basis of divisive politics, with deep rooted hatred for the muslims in India. It may have fostered alternative thought, but its domineering intention has always been a Hindu rashtra, ie Hindu nation. A nation where citizens of other religions are subservient,  and even all Hindus are not considered equal. BJP was born out of this holy matrimony, marriage of religious bigotry and fascist ideology. And the current chief Modi, and his handmaiden, Shah; and between the two of them they rule the party, as much as they rule the country.

Modi is not the first such leader. There was Advani, and also Vajpayee, among others. But the difference was that Vajpayee was head of a government that held power thru; coalition. Advani never really was able capitalize on his hate politics. All the rath yatra, communal violence and the final bludgeoning of the Babri Masjid, didnt deliver him the seat of power, that he so pined for. So Modi was the first leader of this rightwing, and now autocratical party, and also managed to convert the hate into votes, riding on people’s frustration with corruption.

My fears came true, soon after he began his authoritative control of the government. First target was the media; attack it, with a new term, “presstitute” invented even before the invention of “fake news” by Donald Trump. And the media allowed itself to be raped. Many simply gave up and became cheerleaders. Some that tried to stay neutral were again bulldozed by power to tone down the criticism. It was important to silence the voice that had most influence.

They also started the assault on minorities and alternative thinking. The muslims were attacked on the pretext of  cow protection. The dalits were told their position or beaten into submission, to stay in line with the age old caste system. The left leaning thinkers and independent critics were labelled anti-national. All of these were similar tactics, tried and tested during the early stages of the third reich. Yes, by the monster of the early 20th century; Hitler. Modi and his accomplice ran this blasphemy to cure corruption in the country, but actually meant to change the cultural makeup of the nation. It was no longer required to be polite or politically correct in dealing or addressing issues of the minority. The Hindu majority was under threat, the Hindu god in danger everywhere, the age old Hindu traditions and customs  that typically included subjugating the dalits and lower castes were being challenged; all of these need to be protected. Hinduism was given a new modern name, Hindutva!  To me Hindutva meant terror. They even painted Hanuman with an angry face.

Just like in the early periods of Hitler Germany, the society had become more vocal about protection of majoritarian rights. Our culture was under duress for all these many years, because of political correctness, and appeasement of minorities. Fence sitters switched sides. All this new righteousness and need to protect our own, caused many to contemplate and remain mute. A few that opposed verbally were abused at all forums, vocally and sometimes physically. The law that was meant to protect against such tyranny, lost their spine, in the quest for evidence. And evidence if any, conveniently disappeared just before application of justice in the court of law. Institutions granted insular autonomy, and built to guard society against these very swings in thinking, were staffed with likeminded thinkers, and quietly but steadily contained.

Befuddled citizens are fooled by this pursuit of fairy-tale and utopian goals. Politicians earlier too had swayed the masses with the same opium. Country that is free from corruption, upliftment of the downtrodden, development and jobs for all,  patriotism and national pride, and if all these fail, there is always the TINA, ‘there is no alternative’ factor. All of these can be used to make allowances for Modi and his gang. They too are just like other politicians hungry for power, and only attempting to fulfill personal gains. No! They are not just that. They are also a poison that was nurtured and raised in a cradle of hate. They have combined communalism and fascism, along with the other virulent traits of politics, to create a monster so similar to the ones that lead to the rise of the third reich.

History teaches us a lesson. And yet it repeats itself, as the adage goes. Will we learn soon enough to stop it, or learn after it has repeated itself, is left to individual judgement.



Forwarded as Received

With just three words, we absolve ourselves, of a crime, we are about to commit. Yes, crime is a very elephantine word, but given the circumstances, there is every possibility that it could just become true.fakenews

If you havent come across this phenomenon, you are probably not active on one of the many social media platforms, specially some of the biggies like whatsapp, facebook, or twitter etc. Given the prevalence of these, it is likely that only a few small sections of humankind has been spared from this plague. And in which case, you are also less like likely to be reading this post.

The SocMedia is taking the place of the gossip circles and rumour mills that existed before, only it is able to proliferate misinformation at a much faster rate. And thanks to all the education, or i should say literacy, we have become predisposed to news, even before it converges on us. We either believe, or we dont. Simple, there is very little scope to change opinion with just one news item. One swallow does not a summer make. What do you make of it, when you see the next swallow, and the next, and the next? Oh then, slowly but steadily you give in.


Mitron (friends)! Catch whatever i keep throwing at you!

SocMedia has exposed us to so many view points, that it is difficult to be ever satiated. A paradox? Yes. Its a typical problem, with the choice of plenty. You never know if you made the right one. And so in a bid to contribute, we end up bringing more sand to the beach. We crow louder than required, without thinking and reflecting upon one’s action, we drop the grains of sand, and walk away purportlessly.

When you come across another news on your fav SocMedia, dont just shoot it off into the www of nothingness. Think before you do. If there is any truth, it is that the information you recieved today, is old, rehashed and most importantly a sham. If it quacks like a duck, waddles like a duck, and looks like a duck, the chances are it is a duck.

The only possibility of rebuilding any trust is not to forward, unless you subscribe to the information a 100%, or have verified the content yourself. If you have any doubt left, then it is best simply left alone. When in doubt, Dont!

Then they came for me..

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

– Martin Niemöller

Since 2014, when Narendra Modi and his BJP came to power, they have steadily worked towards eroding the ethos of a democratic society. Freedom of speech and expression, Freedom of religion and Right to equality, all guarnteed as part of the our own Constitution have been challenged, and with its Executive power and support of State machinery, these have been reduced to mere words on an old parchment in a library.

In this age of WWW, ie Whole Wide World, where nothing is a secret anymore, and where citizens are no longer bound by a geography, ideas circle faster than the speed of light, emotions unite classes, thoughts break language barriers, and it in this new brave world people have to expect different. Today basic human and civil rights are considered as important, if not more important than food and water. In this era, it is therefore impossible to accept and live with rules and norms as expounded by regressive governments and or their followers.

Followers? Yes! Through out history, no one has been able to impose restrictions or upsurp rights without support from a section of the populace. These people are common folk like me, lured by an idea, swooned by charisma or spurred by simple hate. If by hate, there is usually a personal bias that allows this emotion to gain an edge over empathy. Some people are influenced by past experiences, and probably justified in their actions, because of the private imprints on them. But many others are simply swayed by emotions, of fear of the unknown, what if the worst that happened to them, happens to me. Collective conscience imparts the most heaviest burden on most average folks. It is easier to succumb to this, and be at peace, rather than try to revolt and rationalise feelings.

But protest we must. Rationalise we must. We are humans only because we possess a sense, a unique sense of intellect that would allow us to discriminate; as in allow us to analyze a situation and take different action, that is required based on all information that is immediately available and those that can be discerned. It is important for sanity to speak, and must not be suppressed in all the din. Narendra Modi and his Bhakts (as they have come to be known on social media), may attempt to hijack prudence, but there is a duty upon those who are not influenced to stand up and speak up.

I am writing this, because many of my friends and family are in this realm of influence. Thankfully in varying degree. And so when i speak up, if it causes even one to stop and reflect, i have probably served humanity. I have felt intimidated by the overwhelming support sometimes, but more often it is the nagging question, of “why do you have to question everything?”. Then there is the narrative to compare and equate wrongs, and thereby silence my voice. People who oppose these thoughts are even branded, tagged and name-called. Subtly by friends, but with blatant abuse on the anonymous social media.

Wake up! Speak up! Let it not be too late!

Tale of Two Americas

Its been many years since i have lived in the US, also commonly referred to as just ‘America’. For the most part what i love about America, is its uniformity and what i dont, is its lack of diversity. From east to west, north to south, anywhere, the US is literally the same. Be it food, clothing (subject to changes in weather), housing styles, cultures or any of the major characteristics of a society, it is all relatively the same. I have moved around and lived in many cities in the US; Racine WI, New Orleans LA, Indianapolis IN, Atlanta GA, Chicago IL, Washington DC, NY or Jersey City. My travels have taken me to nearly every one of the contiguous states of the US. I didn’t have to learn a different language, develop a taste for a different food, deal with newer customs, and or understand and comprehend a different culture of people in these places. Any diversity if any, ran along racial delineations, or maybe more pronounced based on class.
But in the recent years a stark divide, mainly on philosophical lines is visible to me. Philosophical is an appropriate word because that is the root cause of the divide, that is projected onto the politics of the US of A. People are divided, along political lines, leaning right or left; or let me bluntly say Republican or Democrat theology.
This division was always there, and has contributed in a very healthy way to growth and stability of the US. Coming from a multi-party democratic state, i had grown to appreciate the nuances of a dual party system. The process of electing a President directly, and the power of the Congress and Senate, that are not bound by party politics were all very appealing and fascinating. The principles upon which the two branches, legislative and executive, were constructed to form the government here, is simply altruistic. However the differences that seem to divide the nation today, has it genesis from this same strain that supposed to be its backbone. And since i started following the elections here, thats almost from the day i landed here, the political beast that i am, the divide seems to have deepened. The very last one, that we saw wind down, well almost wind down i should say, a few days back reached the very epitome. The protests after the election of Obama, and now after Trump, are testaments. It is like people live in two different America, support a different philosophy, swayed by different emotions, watch different news, and want two completely different end results. And it appears, the twain shall never meet.
I lean left, and i cant comprehend the right. And those that lean right cant comprehend the left. Gun control, abortion, LGBT rights, public spending on social causes, taxation, and the list goes on. On each of these issues, the positions are extreme in each camp, leaving no room for compromise, or so it seems. From the time Bill Clinton won the elections, with one of the lowest margins, thanks to Ross Perot, the people have revolted vociferously against the sitting President of time. Bill didn’t help his case or that of his party, with his sexual antics in the White House, and some of his past sexual escapades catching upTom Toles Cartoon to him. When the Democratic party closed ranks to support him, this set the stage for party (read philosophical) based posturing. It didn’t matter if we had a devil in the chair, as along as he was from my party, all else was irrelevant. Suddenly the very fabric of these two branches in this democratic system were being ripped and gashed, resulting in the usual, a lesser of the evils political system. Very similar to the rest of the world.
I have lived one half of my life in India, the largest democracy in the world, and the other half in the US, possibly the greatest democracy in the world. And my experience has led me to believe that the concept of democracy, is highly overrated in its ability to guarantee individual rights and freedom. I have held for sometime now that the best form of government is that of a ‘Benevolent King or Queen’. Hey why should you limit yourself when you are dreaming up an utopian world.
America today is divided between the dogma of these two parties, and has little room for another. In the past few elections, the options thrown up in this dual party system, has been unpalatable to the other side, that they refuse to accept. They also reject any third party influence, just to avoid the scenario of votes being pulled away, and causing the victory of the least acceptable option. The clout enjoyed by these two parties amongst the general populace is excessive, and hampers any third party or ideology to become credible option. Ross Perot was the only one in recent times to attempt to break this cast, unsuccessfully tho’. And unfortunately he didn’t bother to keep the momentum going, and simply gave up and retired to his business of making money. The stated objective to elect individuals to the Congress, Senate and White House. have all fallen prey to this two party system. Every election and choice is viewed from this narrow lens of the two party system.
Two countries within one state. One red, one blue. Equal and separate. If it weren’t for the Electoral College, every Presidential election would seem almost gridlocked. In most countries, the executive is controlled by the legislature.  However in the US, thanks to its nature of election, the executive and legislature can be at loggerheads; with the President from one party, and the Congress from another. And because of the stated differences, any and every action is delayed, and or compromised in its implementation and execution, that is almost guaranteed to deliver less than promised. The ideological separation, it appears, is complete and final, with no room for any compromise.
US Elections 2016
The current elections saw how angry and frustrated the republicans were with the two terms of the Obama presidency, and voted to outst the democrats. So, for sometime we will continue to swing from red to blue, and from blue to red, simply based on how angry one group is. So now we have a Trump in the White House, with a republican Congress and Senate. And in two years when the Congress seeks re-election, the now angry democrats will vote and create a different outcome to balance the situation. Maybe! If not, it will take the full four years of Presidency for the next round of changes in Government. And then the circle continues.
However the most interesting point to note is that of the 235 Million eligible voters in 2016 election, only a little more than 130 Million* voted in this election. So maybe there is yet another America? The one that votes for ‘Pizza’!

* Votes are still being counted, but is not expected to sizably alter the total percentage.

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.
myWPEdit Image

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.

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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