Showing posts with label India on Autopilot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label India on Autopilot. Show all posts

Friday, August 10, 2012

66 and Groaning [223/365]

I love birthdays!
Ofcourse, it is said that as you get older, you will begin to love it less.

With a week left for the big day, I doubt if India or her fathers are looking ahead to the future. Eliminating poverty is still number one on all our politicians manifesto, last on their wish lists. Women and minorities are the new untouchables, and insurgency and civil unrest is at an all time rise.

But there are so much to cheer too. Indians are highly visible in almost every stream of natural and pure science. We are incredible hardy and persistent, almost like a drug resistant virus. And inspite of decades of corruption and incompetent leaders, we are still a force to reckon with. Surely, our priorities are misplaced and we need the occasional whip to behave.
At 66, we are still experiencing growing pains of puberty. We cannot decide if we must please the citizens or the polity. But we stoop to sycophancy with the ease of a trained monkey. Our bureaucracy has slowed down to such an extent that it cannot move without the essential grease of bribes and kickbacks.
Infrastructure, a nation's lifeblood, is in perennial ruin. There are no kucha or pucca roads anymore, but tolled and toll-free roads. Corruption is no longer just an essay you'd imagine and write in your 10th grade exams. Poverty is not something you can miss anymore.

Many years back, I wrote a competitive essay on what it would take to tackle corruption. A few days ago, I wrote on how endemic corruption has become in India.
Like any parasitic virus, corruption has weakened our defenses. We can no longer judge fairly, rule justly or act morally.

With a week to go, this is a pretty bad prognosis. Had this been a human, her children would have left her to rot in a government mental asylum.
Happy Birthday, India!

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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