Showing posts with label BJP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BJP. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ze List v3.0

In India, this is the day DJs live for. When clubs and pubs get to charge you outrageous ticket prices for their New Year bash and that time of year when hundreds of thousands of couples will copulate in liquor-fueled stupor. 

When businesses around the world (except in North Korea, Iraq and so on..) salivate at the prospect of making a profit. 


When B-grade (and some A-listers too when the price is right) Bollywood actresses will sashay, gyrate, thrust and jiggle their voluptuous silicon-filled body at C-grade Clubs. 


It's that brief moment in the year when husbands are allowed to drink their silly minds off and wives are allowed to relive their bachelorette days again. 


Its that day of the year when gyms will coax you to make that 'lose weight, get fit' resolution by dangling attractive discounts. And who are we kidding, you'll stop going to the gym in exactly 23 days from now.

Courtesy: Disparition by Bushra Almutawakel

The New Year is here! No matter where you are and what you do, we will all make our resolutions that we will all feign ignorance in a month from now. 


We are back to that time of the year when Lists are in vogue everywhere you see.. And yes, its time for Ze List v3.0.

This year, we again start off with The Master of the Universe..

God

In the midst of storms, He is still the balm we need. You may know Him as Allah, Shiva, Jesus, The Almighty and a million other names, but if there is one thing that I know it is that, there is someone watching over us while we run amok and it aint NSA. Thank you, Abba Father. We owe it all to you.

Kneejerk

No, it isn't about kneeing a jerk, but the way Indians reacted to events around them. 

Case in point: This year it was the Uber cab rape.
Sexual abuse isn't endemic to India. There are only a few nations in the world where women are truly free and safe. Yet, the callous way we dealt with women who were ruthlessly victimized showed us in poor light. From being raped and hung from trees to being branded liars, our women didn't have it easy this year. But if you don't want to be raped, then all you need is this Rape Mantra

Last year our Supreme Court decided it was tinted car windows that caused our women to be raped and decided to ban it. In case you haven't noticed Mr Judge, women are still getting raped in cars with (and without) the sun-tints. 
A few years ago, when Pratibha Murthy was raped and killed, cab drivers were again hung up to dry. Companies that ferried their women to work and back were forced to hire security guards that escorted the women right to their doorstep. 
I don't think we have made a difference because in nearly every rape that happens, our men take advantage of the cracks within the system, yet what happens across India is baffling. Instead of strengthening and enforcing existing rules and ensuring this cannot be repeated, our politicians simply turn off the fire alarm. 

So this the problem - we have idiots, who have absolutely no intellect or the will to change things the way they are, at the helm of affairs. 

Our patience is wearing thin, we didn't mind the millions that were looted up until our women started getting raped with impunity. 
In case you haven't already read this letter, Mr Modi, here it is. Please read and act on it. Don't ban mobiles and taxi cabs. We don't want nincompoops dictating our women not to wear jeans and tee-shirts. Don't tell us not to kiss or hold hands in public. What we want is you to take a break from all those trips abroad, sit down with the best minds in the country and create a road-map that will ensure our women will walk with their heads held high and without fear (the way Rabindranath Tagore wanted) and then create a powerful judiciary and law-enforcement system that will not spare the perpetrators. Make an example out of the rapists, not out of the victims.

Indian Sports

We did remarkably well at the Glasgow CWG, swooping up enough medals to keep us in the 5th position. Considering the paradigm shift in attitudes in the last couple of years, I wouldn't be surprised if we are in the 3rd place in the next CWG.
From Saina to Deepika, Jwala Gutta to Sarita, this year was replete with Indian women coming out of the kitchens and stepping onto podiums and the limelight in style. Bravo!


Polls
India rocked the vote. En masse.
Moral of the story: Don't screw with us. We might deliver.

AAP

2012: AAP sweeps India
2013: AAP sweeps Delhi
2014: AAP swept away.

Saffron, Ahoy!
The Congress might have seen it coming. C'mon! We all saw it coming
The BJP won. And how! The Congress ran for shelter like roaches when you turn on the light. 
Gently and swiftly, Modi - From being a humble (yet ambitious) tea-seller in a railway station to being the most powerful Indian politician, he became the iPhone of the politicians. From coining interesting catch-phrases like #AccheDin, #SwaccheBharat and #MakeinIndia, the man surely knows how to say what we want to hear. 
Pedal to the metal, Mr Modi, let's walk the talk now.  


Visa On Arrival
Modi went around the world promising first world nations a visa on arrival. Well, Mr Prime Minister, what they need is not a visa on arrival, but security and peace of mind after they've arrived. #RapeCentral.

Congress (aka Sore Loser)
Didn't take it well. Well, what did they expect?! #IndiaShining

Rahul Gandhi

Hit puberty head-on. Was sent back to his Italian 'nanny'. May make guest appearances on an #AccheDin.


Robert Vadra
The richest Son-In-Law in India. The most talented investment manager in the planet - He made millions with just a couple of lakh Rupees. So if you ask me, we need to fete him and not fret him.

'Satyam' Raju
Years after B Ramalinga Raju was caught for massive accounting fraud in the erstwhile Satyam, the Supreme Court got ready to sentence him. In a country where politicians co-habit with businessmen, Raju will be the one that fell between the cracks. 

Sheila Ki Jawani
The former iron lady from Delhi went out of flavor just like that.

Delhi
#RapeCentral became Crime Capital of India.

Shashi Tharoor
Much married and now widowed, this guy has the uncanny ability to stay relevant. While he is celebrated and feted in Kerala, outside of 'God's own country', its easy to see him for what he is. He has a tendency of letting his mouth run away but make no mistake - He is one foxy politician (albeit a slightly highly educated one) with more clout than you and I can imagine. And chances are, he will find his way out of any mess in no time.

Devyani Khobragade
Who?!

Popular (non) Fiction
All the Queen's parrots sang like a canary and out tumbled the skeletons from the cupboard.

Religious Conversions
The last quarter of the year saw the lunatics at RSS organize a 'Ghar Wapsi'(Homecoming) for people who 'went' to other faiths. 
My question here is: Examine the reasons why they switch faiths in the first place?
Religious conversions aren't new in India. We've had foreign invaders convert their 'subjects' for centuries now. When social minorities relent to embrace another religion, they do it only because they were marginalized already. 
Churches and overpaid television evangelists across India and the world continue to coerce and convert the 'unfaithful' with many false promises and pipe-dreams. So while involuntary conversions are always a bad thing, politicians should remember that we already have strong legislature banning it in our Constitution. What was missing is the will-power to enforce it.
These are images that you'll never ever see in the Western media
A more pertinent question is : Have we run out of real issues to fix?

ISRO
From launching cutting-edge space satellites to being the only country in the world to put a martian satellite in orbit in its maiden effort, ISRO put us on the map in style.
Next: A manned space mission.

And oh yeah, bunch of hypocrites complained at how we could have used that money to build toilets and stuff. 
Advice: Please go watch Linga and Chennai Express and have a Happy New Year.

Baba Baba Black Sheep
Our sordid affair with seedy godmen continued. After Nithyanand and Ramdev, its Rampal who was in the news this year.

ISIS
Yop, you guessed it right. Out of the ashes of Al Qaeda, like a Phoenix rose IS. Makes the Taliban look like kinder-garden copsThe US took it upon themselves to step in.
They killed, mutilated and plundered with disregard. If you're reading this, you are far far away from the areas being sanitized by the 'coalition of the willing'.  

Boko Haram
Reduced the population at Gamboru Ngala. Kidnapped and held 276 girls hostage. People who perpetrate these kind of crimes must be stoned to death.

Khmer Rouge
The Khmer Rouge Tribunal found Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan guilty of crimes against humanity and are sentenced to life imprisonment. While justice delayed is justice denied, I hope this sets a precedent to future cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity


Israel
Went overboard. 
Ukraine/Iraq/Assam/Syria/Afghanistan/Egypt/Pakistan/Sydney
Disillusioned citizens took up arms and the law into their hands. Violence spilled over from the last year and we lost thousands of innocent people to overzealous religious goons.
Why does the world erupt in anger when bunch of bastards attack and kill 100s of school children in Peshawar but remain silent when the same happens in AssamFirst come, first served?

Where was Malala when this happened?
Will her Nobel Prize inspire parents to send their children to schools again?


Malala
Continued to be the flavor of the year after getting one half of the Nobel Peace Prize. Enroute to being the rich author and future Benazir Bhutto. Epic waste!

Aitzaz Hasan
Didn't write bestsellers. Didn't get the Nobel prize. Didn't get shot in the head. Died a hero.

eCommerce

Billion dollar companies began fighting for the billion dollar pie - India.

Low Cost Airlines 

So talking about low cost airlines, Kingfisher Airlines breathed its last. Malya will live to regret his arrogance. SpiceJet ran out of spices. Temporarily.
Air Asia flew in and muddied the pond a little more. It was a year of tickets that were cheaper than a Happy Meal at McDonald's.

Rajnikanth/SRK/Deepika

Ouch! That hurt!
Three 'Superstars'. Three words: Terrible Terrible Movies. 
Like love-struck teenagers, we still watched their atrocious movies and then complained about it. 
Advice: Please retire/act in equally crappy television serials.
True everywhere else too..

Sarita Devi
Unlikely entry into Ze List. If she was an American boxer, she would have been the highest-paid celebrity by now and South Korea would have been nuked. 
She isn't, so the Koreans will live to die another day.

Ebola
Not another fancy schmazy phone from Apple. Just another reminder that we shouldn't mess with Nature.

Supreme Court
Woke up and in a flurry of the pen banned/changed a couple of things this past year. Meh!

Jayalalithaaaa
20 years later, the court found her guilty of amassing wealth beyond her known means. Duh! 
She was fined Rs100 crores. She would've paid her gang of lawyers more than that to fight her case already. Ram Jethmalani ko jai!

Mamata Di
I hope she's saving up for a rainy day, because with the way she has been running the government in West Bengal, this will be the last time she'll be in power. 

Subroto 
So the Sahara Chief is still stuck in jail like that stubborn piece of grime that refuses to go down the bathroom drain. Out of favor, out of flavor.

Spain Ola!
King Juan Carlos I of Spain abdicated in favor of his son, who was crowned King Felipe VI.

Vatican

The Pope was busy canonizing and beatifying cardinals and past Popes this year. 

MV Sewol 
The South Korean ferry capsized and sunk killing 304 people (mostly school children).

Airplane!

Wasn't a good year for airlines. The MH370 went missing shortly after take-off, and hasn't been found yet. 
Another Malaysian Airlines MH17 was shot down in Ukraine killing all onboard. 
Air Algérie Flight 5017 crashed in Mali, again, killing all 116 people on board.
An Air Asia flight from Indonesia crashed midway to Singapore. Preliminary investigations revealed the pilots didn't follow standard weather checks pre-flight. 

Irom Sharmila
Was released, and promptly re-arrested. Touche`

Oscar Pistoris



...Got the finger! What a waste of good talent.

Ice Bucket
What a novel way to see people wet themselves! My personal favorite was the way Poonam Pandhey did it.


Hackers Galore!
We all got to see free smut and dirt cheap Hollywood movies. How good are we!

Selfies

We took more selfies of ourselves than all the pictures ever taken since the beginning of time, made it to the dictionary and even made a song and dance about it... #SelfObsessed #Selfie

FIFA

The world's favorite ball-game played out in grandeur. 
Germany waltzed out with the cup.

Shiv Sena

From being in power for decades to being routed out of oblivion, life has come full circle.

Times of India

Its not always that a 'leading' newspaper gets an entry into the Ze List, but TOI did it in style this year. From newspapers that weigh half a kilo because of the pages of adverts in them to glorifying cleavage just because a bored photojournalist wanted his daily scoop, TOI did it all this year.

Michael Schumacher
After being in a medically-induced coma for several months, he finally appears to be back. Let's hope the racing legend makes a complete recovery soon.

Snowden

Continues to be the speck in Uncle Sam's eye.

Cuba
US-Cuban relationships thawed! The best thing to happen this year.

Russia
Was ranked 2nd in The Economist's 2014 Crony-Capitalism index. With the way the Russian economy has been crumbling, this could be the sinkhole that will take the world down

Polio-free India
A symbol of what we can achieve when we make our minds up. 

Ambassador Out!

The iconic Indian car (and the best taxi in the world) rolled into the sunset. 

IPL
A year after an organized betting ring was busted, India Cements CEO and CSK owner Srinivasan continued to wield a strangle-hold over BCCI and ICC. 

Elton John
The flamboyant British singer married his long-term partner David Furnish. 
Three Cheers to the couple!

KimK
So The Kardashian is back in news this year and how! 
Beginning with a 'leaked' sex-tape, a reality show, a 'made-for-tv' marriage, an inter-racial marriage and now this, Kim is proof that you don't need too many skills to stay relevant. 

Miley Cyrus
From a Disney princess to a Free spirited young lady, she matured real fast. In full glorious view. This year was less about the music too.

It's Black, It's White..
While Uncle Sam is out policing the world, trouble brewed at home. With the killing of an unarmed black teenager and the subsequent acquittal of the white police-officer by the courts, the nation exploded. 
Decades of festering racism rose to the top and suddenly we felt proud of our unity. 

Global Warming
With the IPCC  (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) warning that we are headed to "severe, pervasive and irreversible" damage from global emissions of CO2, maybe it's time for us to sit up and take notice.

Rosetta

The Rosetta spacecraft's Philae probe successfully lands on Comet 67P, the first time in history that a spacecraft has landed on such an object.

People We'll Miss
Sir Richard Attenborough
Khushwant Singh
Robin Williams
Nadine Gordimer 
Zohra Sehgal
Mae Young
Shirley Temple
Joan Rivers
Magda Olivero
Marinho Chagas
Ruby Dee
Ariel Sharon
Sid Caesar
B. K. S. Iyengar
Archie


Saturday, September 21, 2013

While you were gone: September 2013 [Part 2 of 3]

Sorry folks, no hyperlinks this time..

Better sense prevailed.

Obama spared all of us another war. Syria will spend $1 billion to dismantle its chemical weapons.
The courts punished the most famous rapists in the only way it knew - Death.
Rangarajan cut GDP forecasts.
Srini punished Sree in the swiftest way known to cricket - Life ban.

Our government cheated on 1024 promises it made. Nothing official about it, eh?
Modi: First denounced his desire to become the next prime minister, was later crowned the party's prime ministerial candidate. Advani gave in to popular demand (read Modi).
Former Olympian Rajyavardhan Rathore joined politics.
A 16 year old was abducted and gang-raped by cops in J&K and a 14 year old rape victim killed herself.

Well, I never said it was all good news.

If I've learned anything from all the wars we have ever fought, then it is how leaders of our nations have acted with unilateral hate. Sometimes, as self elected representatives of civilized countries that call themselves developed, they assume an air of pseudo importance and consider it their mortal purpose to save us from imagined sins. But in doing so, they only expose their own lack of morality.
I don't think the ordinary American worries about Assad crossing the red line of gassing his own constituents. The only line the West are crossing are the thin line of double standards in humanitarian intervention.
Ordinary Americans have far graver tragedies to deal with. They live a life of incredible unpredictability. They aren't sure if they will have a job tomorrow, will end up as unwitting victims of some raged gunman, or if they can hold on to their homes.
Indian-Americans will continue to fight racism. What surprises me is not how Nina Davuluri beat the competition, but how 'patriotic' Americans sit in their moral high horse and show the world how stupid they really are. So @Granvil_Colt, @jakeamick5, @jayres15, @NateBerard, @sarawhitton, @SHANN__Wow, @Blayne_MkltRain and the thousand others who couldn't believe a land of a billion plus could possibly produce another beauty queen fit to rule the world- Go f**k yourselves. Haven't you heard about the Muslimah World pageant?

Modi promised to put Pakistan in its place, if he is elected to power. I don't know how to react to this. This has doomsday written all over it.

Marissa Meyers fears being imprisoned if her company does not hand over their user's details, anytime it is 'requested'. As the head of a major search engine, this cannot be good news, can it?
For all you staunch Lance Armstrong fans, stay away from 'The Armstrong Lie', a documentary that promises to shred any tiny bit of the aura he's retained.

Voyager 1, the interplanetary probe has left the solar system.
We have been pretty busy too. Launching an ICBM and planning an unmanned probe to Mars. Why? Are we done screwing up earth already?

Paes and Radek brought (respective) home another Grand Slam championship. Three Cheers!
Closer home, communal violence ripped apart whatever semblance of secularism we portrayed.

Ranbaxy got banned, because they found human hair. Relax, we've found worse things in our food. Besides, all this just helps build immunity.

After fighting for what seemed like a millennium, Dell is going private. Finally!

That's all the time we have for the news, folks.
Go out and enjoy the world, while it's still bright and sunny.


Sunday, July 07, 2013

While I was away : June 2013 [Part 2 / 2]

Spoiler Alert: You are being watched!

The world has changed much since my last post, so let's get started on the wonderful times of our lives.

Let's start by saying Obama is the most powerful man on Earth.

Who said Indians are not tech-savvy? We raise our kids, and they have kids who hack into our computer systems. What do I say?! Heaven must be missing some angels.

Paris, Wacko Jackson's beautiful daughter attempted to kill herself. Whoever said money can buy everything should be dunk in puke.

PRISM. Finally, we know Hollywood is not all fiction.
Our protagonist ran like a headless chicken. Right into the unwelcome hands of unwilling nations. What is ironic are the double standards. Uncle Sam, of freedom and equality; The Rest of the World, of the same. If the US didnt have anything to fear (or hide) why would they hunt down the former NSA contractor like he was a common hacker that he is! What is troubling is how the agency that certified Snowden and the company that hired him failed to do the right levels of background verifications and checks and missed the red flags.

Assange, if you thought India was the safest place for you. We think you lost your marbles after being on the run for so long. Ditto with Snowden.
Ladies, gents or any self-respecting individual will stay the hell out of Bengal as we watch Ms Motormouth run the State (which is already in doldrums) right into the drain.

Another 'celebrity' that ran straight into trouble and out of luck was Mush. He came down to rule and ended up with a headlock from hell. One thing's clear- He aint going anywhere, soon.

Amazon reached India. And somewhere down the line, American businesses felt we were not playing fair. Gee! They went crying to papa.
Maruti shut down their factories, in the face of piling inventories. Touche`.

Kalmadi. You gotta give it up to him. Like Poonam Pandhey, he managed to stay relevant too. If only he had a pair of boobs and some cleavage, he would have never ended this way.

The Kundras got thrown out of the IPL. Srini complained in the uniquely Indian way that we are known for. India won the Champions trophy and we all forgave the Sins of BCCI.
Sreeshanth got bail and lost his wicket. Atleast marriage might straighten the boy out.

Ambani promised to pull another rabbit out of his hat.
And we got to read more letters from Jiah. Great! Poor Poor Suraj.

Pharmas swallowed bitter pills

Mr Singh raked up quite the bill traveling cattle class.

While we won't let our childless couples adopt a child, we could let a pedophile adopt one.
Women were raped (again) in a moving car. Ringing any bells here, SC?

Advani put his foot down and threw a spanner into the spokes. BJP got on their knees and he finally relented.

Nature rewrote some of the mistakes we did in Uttarakhand. What's amazing is how our politicians fought for a piece of the pie. It was angelic to see politicians beat each other up with words and (mis)deeds.In all these, they proved that Indian politicians are both gaseous sycophants and rumbling baboons.

Can we learn some lessons from our tragedies and not repeat disasters?
Maybe we can all take a lesson from the outgoing emir of Qatar.

The Indian economy did the tizzy into the bottomless pit of worries and gold jewelry shops are packing 22 to the dozen.
Oh and the government does not want you to watch any more porn either*.
The message is clear - We are screwed.

We really need to learn to take a hint, when immigration rules tighten, it is time to scrap those plans to go West.

In weirdo world, we'll get to taste breast milk-flavored lollipops soon.
Passengers traveling the domestic airline GoAir will have more eye candy in the future.

Kanye got lampooned as he compared himself to Steve Jobs. Well, I am sure Steve is turning in his iGrave.
Gallivanting across Europe after leaving his heavily pregnant wife, Kim took it like a pro. And then gave birth. Good for her.

While Delhi got a sea port, Dubai is all set to become the city of architectural wonders as it added another feather to its cap with the Cayan Tower.

In the end, this is true - Obama is not the most powerful man in the world. It is the anonymous (wo)man.
It is the men and women who dared-
to tell the truth, to do the most unselfish act, to be the change.

For all those who think America is the most powerful country in the world, they are looking at the wrong continent all together.
China is the new America.

*This rule, like many, is not applicable to politicians.


Saturday, December 01, 2012

AlrYeddy?! [336/365]

Finally, after many, many months of posturing and empty threats, he did it.
He quit his party of 40 years to launch his own party and BJP did really loose one of its brightest petal.

The real victim here is the middle class.
The poor will get free biriyani and crores worth of goodies soon and the rich will be pampered silly for their votes. It is the non-voting middle class who will bite the dust. We are too indignant to accept biriyani coupons from politicians and too insignificant to be pampered silly for the ink in our finger.

Yeddy gave us so much. A couple of years ago, when he came to power in a quirk of fate, the press went ga ga over how he was 'Mr Clean'.

Yeddy wanted his last bite to be a sting but it lacked any of the pizazz of a matured statesman. His now former party might have lost a petal but better to get to the top without a petal than never get there at all.
Yet, in that brief moment, India's only major opposition party identified itself with the Congress. It was a tearful and bitter farewell to someone who got them their first recognition down south.

He probably was the cleanest guy when he got the highest seat, but the sight of so much wealth and tempting thought that he could actually get away with it might have unseated the demon in him. What followed was a sordid tale of nepotism, unbridled greed and insatiable hunger for power coupled with a dangerous addiction to superstition. The story of his downfall is as Macbethian as you can get.

It is strange to see a grown man cry in public. Awkward even. Men as a species do not make very good teary-eyed sight, but when Yeddy cried, he ripped my heart apart. I cursed myself for seeing something so concocted and conceited at the same time.

The BJP can finally breathe easy. After shedding some of the weight that has been holding the party down for the better part of the last decade, it can finally hope to see the insides of the PMO next year.


Other Stuff that mattered today:
SC puts Maharashtra in the dock over Sec 66
IK Gujral finally heads home



Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Better Evil [293/365]

On the other side of the planet, Obama is battling like a war-worn veteran against Mitt Romney. Sure, he came out of the first debate looking like a lame duck and many fondly remembered the most previous lame duck Prez that the US had. Going into the first of three debates, Romney had little to loose and much to gain. He was after all down in almost all the battleground States and trailing behind in the rest. O was perhaps being too complacent. He looked like a weary soldier who forgot his boot camp training.

O arrived with his wife and children in tow looked every bit suave as any other day. Its a pity they won't allow the family pooch too or it would have been a family circus. Four years and I am beginning to hate how American presidents like to parade their families. If we did that here, I am sure we'd have Ekta Kapoor choreographing.

Closer home, we have the BJP and Congress readying themselves for Battle Royale. They've got the money ready, now they'll need to start distributing much of that to bribe us and the league of incredible businessmen so that they can get to power and recover all that money back. Patriotism is still number 1 which is why BJP today said they will seal our borders if they are elected back to power. They also illustrated the colorful example of how Israel is able to protect themselves even when surrounded by enemies. And I thought WOW! Such rhethoric sure sells with hot-blooded unemployed youth who are made to believe illegal immigrants working in your city is the reason they are not getting jobs. I'd hate to burst the bubble, chaps. But the reason why you aren't getting a job is because:


  • You don't know how to attend an interview wearing proper formal attire. And no, Jeans and full sleaved shirt tucked in and sandals is NOT proper formal attire.
  • Your graduation/diploma is not your passport to success. Your communication and interpersonal skills are.
  • You don't know how to frame and speak a grammatically correct English sentence. 'As you know my name is ...' is not acceptable introductory statement when asked to describe yourself.
  • You do not realize that when coming for an interview, you need to shave and for women- remove unwanted hair on your body. I've seen far too many male candidates who come with a 3 day old beard and bleary eyes and women who come in frumpy clothes and dirty slippers.
  • Two words: Breath-mints. Please.
So now why would we want to close our borders? Isn't that like shutting yourselves within your homes just because there are a few stray dogs outside? Gosh! Our neighbors are mad at us because we are like the big brother who loves to visit their homes when it is dinner time, stay until dessert, listen to the juicy gossip and then leave abruptly when they needed our advice or help. We have had really embarrassing instances where we have not come to the aid of our neighbors when they were in crisis- like Srilanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. If Pakistan is nipping at our tails, it is only because we have cornered them. If China is uncomfortably close to our neighbors, it is only because we allowed them to. What we really need is not arms and a squadrons of armed forces and barbed wire on our borders, but bridges. We need to get our neighbors on our side and they are not too fussy too. We still have a chance of being what we are supposed to be. Imagine how powerful we could be if we had Pakistan, China, Srilanka, Nepal, Burma and Bangladesh on our side? Forget the G8, the G20 and the BRIC, together we could monopolize over 98% of every manufactured product, 70% of the world's outsourced jobs, over 70% of the world's English-speaking graduate and post-graduate workforce and be the world's biggest consumer and king. I may not have the statistics but I definitely think if our politicians knew how entrepreneurial Israelis are, they would realize that we don't deserve to even be in the same field as them. With absolutely no natural resource of their own but a large barren piece of land, they now grow everything and manufacture every necessity themselves. They have the most intelligent scientists and the most influential policy makers in the planet. The Superpowers know better than to antagonize the Jews and they have won every single war they've fought. Which is more than what we can claim.

Hundreds of years ago, the British ruled over us. And the simplest rule in their book was to keep us divided and poor. With the way they ruled, I think that rule worked quite brilliantly. As they left, they made sure they estranged our twin and cut off our thumbs so that we would never ever unite and grow together. Our politicians have done the rest. Today, we have sewer-scum like Thackeray and Didi who are both certified nut-jobs and the best part is they think they are being patriotic and right. Unfortunately they don't see how powerful they could get if our country united with our neighbors and how they could have a shot at global policy-making just the way the US Prez has.

Call me an evergreen optimist having a good day but I definitely think we could use some bonding because we have let the nasty after-stink of the British stay for too long and its time we cleaned up our act.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

All Stop! [264/365]

Source: Mangalore Today
Bandh- One of Gandhi's only legacy that all political parties practice.

Many years ago, when I attended school for a short period in Kerala during the Gulf War, there would be an average of one bandh a week. Every single week. We used to have atleast 3 weekly off days, and as school kids this was simply amazing. I can't tell you how I loved listening to the radio in the morning when the newsreader would announce a State-wide bandh that day. Double that ecstasy if there was a class test on that day. YAY!

That was 20 years ago. Keralites gradually became weary of the frequent bandhs because of the way it held the State to ransom.
The High Court banned parties from declaring any more bandhs and urged politicians to figure a more meaningful way of non-violent protest. That gave birth to hartals. Not much has changed and there has been about 363 hartals in the 7 years since.

India was held at knife-point today by one of her main Opposition parties - Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - to protest a litany of sins that the ruling party has committed.
If you ask me, there was nothing Bharatiya or pro-Janata in declaring a bandh that accomplishes nothing but mind-numbing losses to the national exchequer. It is said that for every day of shut down, the State and Central governments loose tens of thousands of crores in revenue. Not to mention loss of private business revenue. Ofcourse, no one is complaining since coming close to Ganesh Chathurti (yesterday) and the weekend (day after tomorrow), most Indians would have just taken the Friday (tomorrow) off to jet off on a 5 day impromptu vacation. Who's bothered if the country just lost about a 5th of its GDP because of the bandh?

It appears like our elected and non-elected representatives are waiting for a reason to shut shop. Having lived through a dozen such, it won't take an rocket scientist to figure out how this will turn out.

  1. The ruling party passes a bill/legislation.
  2. The opposition will fight for it. It does not matter what the legislation is or how it will help the nation. 
  3. The opposition will demand a rollback. Demand duly refused.
  4. The opposition will demand the resignation of every single minister starting from the PM.
  5. The PM will refuse to resign. 'Make me'
  6. Opposition declares a bandh.
  7. Bandh happens.
  8. The ruling party will not move a finger.
  9. Second bandh happens.
  10. Partial or complete rollback of offending bill/legislation.
  11. Opposition will claim victory.
  12. Repeat cycle.
As news hungry journalists prowled the nation for reports of violence, I saw a report about the unique way the government in Kerala approached the issues of increase in diesel. The citizens understood why the prices were hiked and the government simply lowered the tax that it charges on the fuel per litre and brought the burden down by just as much. This was one of the reasons why life went on as normal in a land where you'd have an average of one hartal every fortnight.

Which brings me to the question; Mr Advani, would you mind paying for the loss that this country has suffered because of the bandh you announced?
Meanwhile, Mr Gandhi is rolling in his grave at the way our politicians have corrupted a concept he popularized.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

By the way...

Just so you know...
Indian democracy is not the most unique or supreme.
If it were unique, we would have had politicians who had the country's good at heart.
If it were supreme, our elected representatives would have delivered what they were supposed to deliver- Justice, Equality and Freedom.

Strangely, the Anna movement has managed to evoke the most controversial statements/behavior with no real knowledge of what the entire circus is about.
We have common people who are largely unaware of the history of delaying tactics and obfuscation by successive governments in passing the Lokpal bill and then we have the government who admits there is rampant corruption (which is a wonderful departure from denying its existence) but desperately want to sidetrack it with irrelevant comments/suggestions.

Recently talking to a close relative, who was largely skeptical of the movement. I listened to her arguments silently before I set out to convince her.
Why now? When the Congress is ruling? Definitely the BJP is behind this.
Of course now. If not now, when? The Congress has been ruling for quite a while now. Except for a narrow break in the later part of last century, the Congress has always been at the helm of affairs. As for accusations of support from the opposition, it is anybody's guess why they would support. While they have been baying for the ruling party's blood ever since they lost their second chance, they have conveniently piggybacked on Anna. Cauterized by a bitter experience down south, they want to appear as the only party will not take corruption lightly.
After decades of corruption that has eroded the very corpus of our democracy, there is a large part of the middle class that has had enough.

Why not run for election so that Anna can make a change that way?
Appearing as it seems the gargantuan sums of money that goes into bribing million people and considering Anna's financial limitations and his character, it is anybody's guess that Anna will loose an election hands tied down. Suggesting he runs for an election is a simplistic view of people who choose to be ignorant.
The obvious result of such a failure would be an ideal excuse to not pass stricter anti corruption laws.
Do you see Red here?

Why not strengthen existing anti corruption agencies?
Not many people would know that the Lokpal Bill did create all of these agencies. Ineffective as they are with little or no right to investigate, prosecute or punish the guilty, they are but a toothless tiger and a huge drain on the exchequer. That and the fact that many of these agencies are headed by cabinet rank Ministers who will not want to prosecute their peers.
Scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.

Armchair activists like the 'one book wonder' Arundhati Roy would do better than to write an elaborate essay on why Anna is wrong. I wonder how much she got paid to write such ludicrous piece of trash. Why the (Indian) media still refers to her as 'Indian Booker prize winner..' still defies my understanding. She wrote just one book and got really lucky there. (By that measure, I must be referred to as 'English rank holder at high school') She has since decided to not test her luck anymore by staying with pro Maoist activism and random tree hugging.

Why a deadline?
A deadline works best when all you've got is a government that procrastinates, delays and manipulates thoughts, ideas and action to correct an endemic disease like Corruption. Given that the congress and like scum had roughly 45 years to pass the Lokpal bill in its true essence, I believe a deadline is what we need.
This time it's our way or the highway, Mr PM.

Why is Anna being adamant about his demands?
Well, there are only 3, for crying out loud.
The government has sat on the Lokpal bill like a hen on a hard boiled egg for far too long. They've never had the intention to pass it. Not then, not now.
It's time for some tough love.

Why the hell is he so bothered?
Most weren't. Were they?
Almost child like, he's accepted your support but never asked you for your donation. So when an illiterate former soldier and farmer fights for the freedom of a billion plus, the least you can do is support the cause that he is fighting for. After all, as Indians we belong here - In India.

But that's the problem with Indians. After having been ruled over by our colonial masters, we've been conditioned to be subservient.
We'll never give a compliment when its deserved. We'll never give a honest feedback when we have to. We're used to poor service and the tag of 'third world country'.

But just so you know, you should never give up.
Spread the word, folks. Our children will never forgive us if we don't clean up our mess.

More Read:
Arund'hate' Roy
Rather be Anna than Roy!
Messianism versus democracy


Friday, August 05, 2011

Why not?!

The Corrupt and his Protege`
Looks like the bad news just keeps coming.

Back home in Bangalore, Yeddy did a Sonia.
Logic took a hike and he managed to install a Chief Minister that he preferred.
Now, say it slowly with me, folks: Yes Of Course.

What began as a earnest measure to uproot the corrupt just ended up as an exercise in futility.
While the new chief insists that he is not a puppet and will act with integrity and honesty, his elevation to the top job is only the beginning of the end.

While there is a growing dissatisfaction of the way the government works, what ties the hands of anti corruption crusaders is the lack of political will to allow themselves to be held accountable. Over the years, I've oscillated between the opinion that India should be ruled by a firm fisted dictator and by a President.

A biparty political system that invites and involves its citizens to participate in governing and also allows a moderate amount of freedom while still encouraging growth and creativity.
A nation where its constitution is framed with the needs of today's society. Not one that shortsighted forefathers created, but one where we are given a chance to create and inspired to follow.
A nation where you know what your politicians stand for. A nation that is ruled by the people and not by megalomaniac politicians.
We need a nation where politicians are held accountable for their performance, and corrupt officials been disqualified. For ever.
While all this is difficult for us as a nation to accomplish, I believe it is possible. Progressive Asian countries have proved that politicians can be what they were meant to be. Govern with integrity.

Even though there is enough incentive to live in a society that is free of corruption, the lure of easy money and a weak judiciary is what frustrates ordinary citizens.
The social costs of having to bribe officials for anything you need and everything you deserve is huge.
The number of politicians that get away with weak laws and laws that tend to serve their purpose is astounding.

How can so many of us keep quiet when visibly corrupt minister(s) demand one of their own in a position of authority?
How can we pretend to believe that the newly crowned minister will govern with integrity?
How can we believe the justifications of the guilty? 
Can we ever hope to see the guilty and corrupt tried by a impartial judiciary, a la Egyptians?


The last I hear the ruling house is split wide at the middle, with the rival faction demanding plum positions (which in most chances they will get). Now, what was that phrase about a house that is divided among themselves will not survive?


Like a dog that goes back to its vomit, the people of Karnataka are doomed to a yet another government that will systematically plunder, loot and deceive.
It's not 'India Shining', it's 'India Stealing'.

Now, Mr Chief Minister, while you are fighting among yourselves, who the hell is running the state?


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