Showing posts with label Corruption Quit India. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Corruption Quit India. Show all posts

Thursday, May 15, 2014

24 hours!

In less than 24 hours from now, India will pass her leash over to her new master. 
Expect an anti-climax because we already know who our new master will be. But let's pretend we didn't know and examine the usual suspects.

Candidate Number 1 - Rahul Gandhi (aka RaGa, The Dim Wit, Women's Empowerment, Scion of the Dynasty) 

Surely, he was the late bloomer but hey, don't pile all the muck on him. He's not as stupid as he puts himself out to be. He's just inherited none of the political sauciness of his dead relatives or his mom. How many of you remember how we showered Sonia G with eloquent praises when she turned down the top seat about 10 years ago? She was the epitome of Sati Savitri.
While we have lost much of that emotion towards her in the decade because of the way she dragged her lame Italian feet, RaGa should have won our hearts with his dimples and village idiot speeches. 

So where did it all go wrong for the C Company?
I think we all know the answers. What excites and worries me is how the Dynasty knew this was coming but chose to live in denial. The government sleepwalked through much of the last 3 years. Our PM was the mute spectator in the back seat of a taxi where the drunk driver is fumbling for the keys. For lack of a better word, let's just say Manmohan was the scapegoat of nearly every frustrated insult and anguished complaint we had toward Sonia and her unique brand of divide and rule. 
RaGa doesn't stand a chance and only a sympathetic wave (if you know what I mean) can bring the Congress back to the seat of power anytime in the foreseeable future. And Rahul, please shave the beard off. It's concealing those cute dimples.

Candidate Number 2 - Arvind Kejriwal (aka The Giant Slayer, The Muffler Man)

Now, be honest and tell me - How many of you thought he would become the Delhi Chief Minister (even if it was for a brief period)? Exactly. 
He came, He Slayed, He Left.
No other party in the history of modern India has captured the imagination of a billion people the way his party of 18 months has. Ofcourse, he must give all credit to Anna Hazare who came like a whirlwind and vanished like a breeze. He struck oil by planting the impossible. The impossible thought that some day we can rout out corruption if only we have a new set of leaders. 
So while we are all celebrating the dawn of a new India, I think its wise to say Arvind has a lot to learn and governing a country is far easier than just writing an essay. 
Will he win any seats? He will. 
Not enough to make a government at the center but enough to nip at the heels of the Dynasty. 
We may be disgruntled enough to throw Sonia G and her bunch of cronies out, but not disillusioned enough to vote for the right ideals.

Candidate Number 3 - The Third Front (made up of the Fat Lady from Tamil Nadu, Fat Man from UP and other assorted misfits)

So these are the folks who didn't get called to play in either of the teams during recess and decided to create their own team. Just to humor ourselves, I would like to see them win. Because the gameplan is interesting - If elected to power, they want to rotate the PM's chair between themselves. I can't think of a bigger nightmare than this. 
But the truth is, and if you'd like to believe the exit polls, they might get enough seats to nip at the other heel of the Dynasty. 

Candidate Number 4 - Saving the best for last, Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present the Knight in Shining Armor, former Mass Murderer of Muslims and the only Indian Politician the US and the UK loved to hate until recently - Narendra Modi (aka NaMo, Former Tea Shop owner).

Reluctant as he was until a year ago, we all knew he always had the top post in the cross-hairs. So yes, like it or not, he is going to be our next Prime Minister and we are hoping he will do to India what he did with Gujarat. No, not the killing part hopefully but make us all prosperous and wealthy and happy and shining. 
Oh, like make India Shining like the Congress promised to do long back, but this time we are hoping he actually does it. 

Lessons the Congress can learn (wishful thinking)
  • Communicate. Honestly.
  • You screw us. We will screw you back.
  • Policy Paralysis. Google it. It will have a picture of the UPA.
  • Be consistent. Don't burn the midnight oil 3 months before the polls.
  • Go solo. Your alliances with regional parties with absolutely no vision was the last nail in your coffin.
  • Don't effing loot and plunder us. We will eventually kick your corrupt ass out so fast so far, your head will spin. 
  • Spare no expense in hiring the best spin doctors because you will need them.
Finally, now that the grand exercise of electing our next master is almost over, let's take stock of all the schit that flew, the bullets we dodged, selfies we shot and give ourselves a massive pat on the back. 

This is after all one of the rare instances when we show we can do something as massive and organised as this was with minimal bloodshed or embarrassment (no pun intended) in a peaceful way. I can't think of another democracy that can boast of this.


Monday, August 22, 2011

*RTFM

I hate Anna Hazare!
While there is a clarion call to 'Support Hazare'online, what is upsetting is how many Indians are opposed to the entire movement. (and I'll come to that in a later post..)

Over the past week, Indians (and in some cases, foreigners) have reminded the world how potent non violence is.
Millions of people across the nation marched.
Several hundreds have been fasting..
All in the name of Anna Hazare.
But really?!

While what he is doing is definitely commendable and can by no means be ridiculed or shrugged off, I think there is a growing resistance in the cause.
And for good reason.

As the nation remains split at the middle on the Fight against Corruption, what I am going to do is help dissect the Lokpal bill here...

-While Indians as a civilization have always resented authority figures that have been repressive, what we as a nation that aspires to be World Power is an institution that will rid our nation of its 'corrupt third world' tag. Lest we become another failed state.

-Autonomous. In a country where the judiciary and law enforcement is often used as tools of political and personal vendetta, there must an Institution which will perform without the fear of getting 'that phone call/fax/email from the top'

-The CBI, having been used as a tool for political vendetta for many decades has failed to secure enough convictions. This leads to a weak trail where the guilty are not arrested nor charged. We definitely need a justice system which will instill fear of the law into the corrupt. The guilty must be punished. Swiftly.

-The fourth point of the bill is perhaps the most contentious. Making sure that the corrupt restore the loss caused to the exchequer will not only rob the corrupt of all his wealth but also reveal the money trail. Simple yet potent.

-In a country where nothing can get done within a reasonable time-frame and where deadlines are nearly always extended, the fifth condition of a lokpal is definitely what the doctor prescribed. When the rest of the world can meet deadlines and finish projects at breakneck speeds, this condition will make sure that India will come up to speed with the 21st Century.

-The sixth condition of the Bill remedies and redresses a myriad of ills that plague our society. We definitely need an institution that will make other parts of the government work in perfect harmony. Indians should not be afraid nor discouraged when report corruption.

-Making sure that the Lokpal is headed by people who are beyond reproach is a no-brainer.
While the public perception of an Indian politician is poor this point in the Lokpal makes sure that imminent people who are beyond reproach is chosen and given the power to function effectively rather than just be a figure head is the need of the hour.

-Assuming that the incorruptible become corrupt, the eight point in the Bill provides for an open investigation where the Officer will be dismissed within two months.

-Naturally, the existing anti-corruption machinery within the country have floundered badly. After decades of inaction, we need a mechanism that will work. Fearlessly. Ruthless. Honest.

-Whistle-blowers must be protected. Because where the people can reveal corruption without fear of reprisal, there lies a progressive nation.

Read more here:

There. The most controversial Bill against corruption in Modern India.

If you support this movement and know the bill. Good job! Now spread the word.
But if you are not supporting this because you don't know what the Bill is about, then Read The Fu*king Manual!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

what ails us..

The 2011 Fight against Corruption has split the nation down at the middle.

No, its not the cause that has split the people.
We have on one side, the a vast segment of people who know what the fight is about. Because they have been victims of such corruption. People who've had enough and want no more. Like sheep without a Shepard, they have now been united by a crusader who won't stop nor tire unless justice prevail.
And then on the other hand, a segment of people who believe this is one of those movements that will fizzle out. This segment is made up of people who are prejudiced against a particular religion and those who suspect the motivation of such a movement. People who will rather sit back and watch how things will unfold. The Couch potatoes.
The bad news is the latter segment of people are a majority. The Good news is they are rapidly shrinking.

A dear relative of mine recently remarked that she won't support Anna because he is a 'Muslim' ! Well, arguments against religious discrimination and prejudice aside little did she realize that he was a Hindu but we wouldn't have enjoyed our freedom if we thought the same about Gandhi, would we?
She also suspected why there is a sudden retaliation against a disease that has existed for several decades. Elementary, my dear Watson! There is only so much that a person can endure.
After decades of rampant corruption that has permeated even to the level of janitors and pourakarmikas (trash collectors), where we need to bribe them if we need our garbage cleared, we the common people have had enough.

Take the pledge

I cannot pay you that bribe, Sir/Madam
I cannot give you that incentive in lieu for sexual favors, Maam/Sir
I won't sleep with you for a promotion or a hike.
I cannot promote you just because you slept with me.
I don't want to jump the red light even when I know there isn't anyone looking.
I won't give you 'coffee money' for doing your job.
I can't give you 'luncha' for doing your job.
I won't patronize you because I want to be in your 'good books'

The day when we take our pledge and mean it, that when we will truly be free.
I haven't been to the 'Fight for the Lokpal' march. No, not yet. But its given me the courage and the conviction that 'Yes, we can'.
Change, we need.
We may not get our freedom in a year. No, but its inevitable. The writing is on the wall, Mr PM. You are out of here.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

When Giants fall

The Power of One
A sudden spate of revolutions that have rocked seemingly stable countries around the world are but a subtle reminder that Giants can still fall.
The thud is hardly pleasant but the ripples that it makes can be felt across the world.
The Middle Eastern crisis, the Libyan conflict, the British riots and now, Anna Hazare.

What newspapers and sheer word of mouth did 70 years ago, FB and twitter did yesterday.
While the newspapers will eventually move on to fresher headlines of how the over rated Indian cricket team under performed, we must not loose our focus.

In a throwback to the colonial freedom struggle, Anna was jailed. They could only break his body. Not his will or his spirit.
Anna may fall victim to his cause. But what is important that his cause must not fail.
With the government trying to suppress freedom that has been constitutionally guaranteed, what remains to be seen is how Team Manmohan (aka Sonia) can explain its actions to 'We the People'
With senior Ministers questioning how just about any random citizen can decide on the constitution, may we remind him the first few lines of how the Constitution of India starts.
For a government that thrives on fattening the lining on its wallets, we need to reiterate how the constitution reminds us that the government is 'For the People'.
For a generation with a short attention span, our freedom struggle must not flounder nor suffer. We must remember that this country belongs to every one of us - 'By the People'

Imprisoning Anna could have been a knee jerk measure, but surely Team Manmohan should have remembered their history lessons.
The consequence- A billion have awakened.
People across demography, age and profession have woken up to what can be a monumental phenomenon. Millions on the streets and this time, the people have united. In single minded determination. A revolution of such gargantuan proportions that you know you are witnessing something historic.
Yes, just maybe corruption will be thing of the past, a story of how India was that our children will tell their children.

But true awakening and real change will come when ordinary people like you and me sharpen our civic senses.

How many times have you bribed your way out of a traffic violation?
How many times have you jumped the red light at nights or when there wasn't anyone looking?
How many times have you stopped to help a victim of an accident?
How many times have we resisted the urge to spit or chuck that garbage bag into an empty plot near your home?
How many times have we have been prejudiced against a fellow Indian based on his caste, creed or demography?

The need of the hour is freedom. A freedom against corruption. Yes definitely.
But also a freedom where we act with responsibility and honesty. Also integrity.
We need a land where we need to participate and work for the common good.

We need to resist the urge to switch our minds off.
We have to act. And the this is just the beginning.

If any of this has spurred you to act, I encourage you to click here to join the cause. Not just in the virtual world but in the real world too.
We better save India while there's still something left to save.

In the meanwhile, our media is doing something right for the first time:

The Hindu
IBN Live
Deccan Herald
Indian Express 
Express India.com
IBN Live, again
The Hindu, again
DNA


Friday, July 29, 2011

And you have the right to remain silent..

At high school, I've had to write hindi essays on 'Corruption'. Of course, learned by rote, I hardly knew what it was and didn't really understand a word of what I learned or wrote later. Living abroad you hardly experience corruption as blatantly as you do in India.

A decade and a half later, having to experience corruption in close quarters, I have just one question reverberating in my mind : How would you beat Corruption?

The time worn question here is, when did our nation go into a tailspin into destruction?
Like all things nostalgic, I'd like to believe that politicians were noble back then.

Like a child who started with small white lies and petty crimes, our politicians have graduated to trillion dollar grand theft and nepotism on a scale that is beyond belief.
And to make matters uncomfortable, they seem to have woken up the warden. Us.

While we can all make a lot of noise, the buck stops when we are expected to act.
I've had unfortunate friends who tire of all the noise online.
While most of us are indeed keyboard activists and nothing more, we remember to forget that the greatest changes in human history happened when people started revolting. It could have been graffiti on the wall, a march or even a bold move. It was always the power of One.

While many of us rue about being just a drop in the ocean, we forget that many drops make the ocean.

Question of the Day:
Should we be ranting against the corrupt on social networks? I think we must. That is the least we can do. Definitely not enough, because unless you talk, you won't act. So as long as people are going to be complacent and silent about corruption, we are doomed to be silent spectators in the world's largest debacle.

We are looking at a really bleak future where their children (that's right, the corrupt are breeding like much yeast too) rules this country. A nation where we've allowed corruption to breed, into a generation that will be even more awesomely wicked than ones that we have now.

Anna will definitely win. He may not live to see the fruits of his selfless crusade, but we will win because of him. Like the fruits of freedom that we enjoy because our soldiers died for us, we will live with our heads held high. It will take time. Many will pick up the cause. Few will remain.

More than 60 years ago, when Gandhiji announced the Quit India movement, not many even thought we would last. But last we did. We emerged victorious as battle worn veterans, our history continues to inspire.
Are you doing your bit today, tomorrow and the day after? It could be noise to someone else but unless you make it, we are forever doomed to remain silent.

And my response to all those who think this is noise...
'I'm sorry that you were dropped on your head when you were born. Quit India. Go live in Somalia'


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