Showing posts with label Manmohan Singh. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Manmohan Singh. Show all posts

Sunday, May 11, 2014

While you were gone, that's how the cookie crumbled in April 2014 [Part 1]

Pause Life. The biggest political event in the planet is taking place.

Our politicians had their regular bout of verbal diarrhea. Mulayam Singh helpfully pointed out that rapists should not be hung because boys will be boys. Gee! I wish they'd just buy a car or something and not rape women, but whatever.

This was the season, many of our leaders got slapped, slippered and painted. 

Azam Khan forgot his insanity pills and determined that Kargil martyrs were Muslims. Next year, we'll pack him off to Biggg Brother. Let's see how he will handle all the racism there.

Bad news for those hard working Bangladeshis doing jobs that you and I won't touch with a barge pole - If Modi comes to the throne, they better start packing up. 

Manmohanji was in the news for all the wrong reasons. AgainThis time a former Media Adviser released a book 'The Accidental Prime Minister' that told us pretty much all that I've been telling you all along. 
His half brother (sounds like Harry Potter) joined the BJP. Can someone please tell me how effective an 'half-brother' will be? Will he be only half as silent? 

Finally, Vadra is the flavor of the season. My Advice, Vadraji: Get out of India, pronto.

AAP conveniently missed LGBT reforms in its manifesto. What gives Kejriwal?

With more stardust than before, this election was the perfect time to watch your favorite out of job movie stars in person. Loyal constituents decided to press themselves and Nagma got the touch.

As we make headlines and break records, let's choose the lesser evil and hope to God that we survive the next 10 years. 

But if you are one of the millions who didn't vote, then STFU and watch IPL. The only sports event where you'll see Russian and Croatian cheerleaders wearing leggings underneath gaudy skirts waving the shit out of pom poms. 

And while we are still talking about them, can someone please pay the Royal Challengers Bangalore cheerleaders a little extra? The way they have to do their odd pelvic gyrations every time Chris Gayle hits the ball into the next zipcode, they deserve the extra pay.

But the season didn't start as cheerfully. India lost the ICC Twenty20 championship to Srilanka rather meekly. 

The way Chennai SuperKings have been playing the league matches, it looks like Srini Saar has not been paying the players enough. What's up, Srini?
If you ask me, I'd say - legalize betting. All this hullabaloo about betting is like asking children not to copy in an open-book test. Not.Gonna.Happen.

Across the pond, studies showed 1700 American teens are becoming mothers every week. Durex clearly isn't doing its job. Maybe they need to conduct free hysterectomy procedures?

A bomb killed 23 in Islamabad and a knife wielding student stabbed 20 students in the US. Didn't even make it to the headlines here.
One dirty bomb kills 1 in Chennai. Suddenly everyone loses their mind.

The SC handed down the death penalty to the 3 bastards who partook of the rapes in Shakthi Mills, Mumbai last year. You want to know who else the SC doesn't want to live? The Rajiv Gandhi assassins. The Fat Lady proposed, SC disposed

Oh but there was a fair bit of sunshine too. Apparently, with the added incentive of polls round the corner, the SC ruled that the government must recognize the 'third gender'. Bobby Darling, I hear, is very happy.

The business conglomerate Sahara was asked to deposit Rs 10,000 cr as bail if they want their rags-to-riches boss out of prison. Last we heard, they have about Rs 5000 cr ready cash money and wanted time for the rest. Blah! The SC behaved like a truant warlord and said: 'No part payment. Get the 10k now or stay in prison'. 

Mush seems to be really lucky nowadays. What, after losing the elections, surviving a major heart attack, he seemed to have lived through yet another assassination attempt. Charmed Life, I say!

Talking about penny-wise, pound foolish, American car major GM decided to save $1 per car instead of changing the design of a critical car component that resulted in 13 deaths. See, this is why the Indians will always remain the kings (and queens) of thrift.

Heading to Brazil? Want to cheap place to stay? Try the 'Tower of David'.

Right on the heels of namma Microsoft CEO, we now have another local boy from Manipal become the Nokia CEO. So after Jaguar Land Rover, Microsoft and now Nokia, we are all set to take over the world.

Need ideas on home-improvement? Take cues from a local BJP minister who just spent Rs2 crore of our money decorating his ministerial bungalow with 15 split air conditioners, porcelain for the shit-pot and various other gadgets that will make Bill Gate's home look like a low cost garage.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani Electricity Board cracked the whips and even the Pakistani PM is sweating bullets. Moral: Pay your bills on time.

The IOC put up their hands in exasperation and declared how the Olympic preparations in Rio are the worst in history. Surely, they haven't seen Kalmadiji at work.

In other news, remember to change your passwords. A computer genius inadvertently released a bug (appropriately named #Heartburn) that created a trapdoor that made countless secure webpages vulnerable giving a hacker the chance to steal invaluable data. See, that's why you should tattoo all your passwords.

Ramesh Agrawal. Green Nobel prize winner and true Hero. No selfies. No one knows.

After what seemed like an eternity, the Indian LCA went supersonic. Bah!
Toyota made history by recalling 6.4 million vehicles globally. So much for Japanese quality

IT workers in France can not refuse to answer their boss's phone call and emails after 6 pm. Now, that's one rule I wish we had here in India

Literary epic 'To Kill a Mockingbird' went online and viral. 'Nuff said.


The legendary Sherpas boycotted Everest after several of their colleagues died in a mishap that could have been prevented. 
In similar news, Srilanka deported a Brit just because she had a tattoo of Buddha. 

The Google Car logged 1000 miles of safe driving. But give it to Salman Khan and he will still kill pedestrians. Its all about BeingHuman, after all.

If you thought its only Indian politicians who can't keep their mouths shut and their penises in place, take heart. Vladimir Zhironovsky, a Kremlin stooge and first-rate buffoon has been caught ordering his aides to violently rape a pregnant scribe. Mulayamji, please take note.

We all switched off the lights and made more babies on the World Earth Day on the 22nd April.
Talking about earth, if you have been hoping for a good monsoon this season, give it up. El Nino hereo

2 States, a movie based on a novel by the same name by Chetan Bhagat, hit the theaters and captured the hearts and the imagination of our young intercontinental lovers. Whilst the book has oodles of sex and sleaze, I think the movie was subtle, but can someone please tell me how we can launch into a well choreographed group dance in the middle of a geeky college? My Rating: 7. 

The US has its presidential libraries, we have the dilapidated MPLAD bus stops, Pakistan has the Lal Masjid's Osama Bin Laden library. Isn't our world perfect?

Meanwhile in Iran, a grief-stricken mother chose to slap his son's killer, forgive him and spare him the noose. RESPECT!
And it was revealed that the CIA uses excessive and unnecessary force on its prisoners. Who knew?

Over 200 Nigerian girls were kidnapped and later converted to Islam. OBL must be running out of virgins in paradise.

In other tragic news, a South Korean ferry that sunk while carrying school-children on a picnic. With over 284 missing and 4 dead, this tragedy of epic proportions could have been prevented. Shame!

In 'Google The Shit out of ..' section, Google the shit out of  *drum rolls, please* Vijay Seshadri. Pulitzer winning poet and namma boy. Fully Pride
In 'Folks you have to watch out for...!' section, look out for Jia Ruhan. Talented, young and QC'ed by Beijing, she is set to rock your world.

No, this was not all. I just ran out of time
Stay tuned for Part Duo. 


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

While you were gone: September 2013 [Part 1 of 3]

'Good to have a goal'
Have you ever reminisced of simpler, happier times in the past? In the future, you will think these were wonderful times too.

Our senile little Home Minister Mr Shinde, bragged of how he is going to bring each of our terrorists back to India 'one by one'. How about getting all the money your colleagues have stashed away back, eh?

Serial rapist Jaishankar broke out of the Central Jail at Bangalore. By the time I'm writing this post, our cops have caught him and they are patting themselves on their backs. So that's fodder for another episode of Breakout.
On a more 'positive' note, our juvenile rapist will be a free man in about 25 months from now.
If you thought he got off easy, the monsters at Shakti Mills had previous experience in the field.
Ariel Castro hung himself. Another easy escape for a rapist who was sentenced to 1000 years without the chance of parole.

Along with everything else, biscuit sales took the deep dive too. Which means dogs won't get their daily doze of Parle`G biscuits anymore.

In a mad rush to fix things it screwed up in time for the elections next year, the UPA seems to be bringing all sorts of oddball bills. Correct me if I am wrong, but do we really need legislation that can barely fund itself?

Thought Europe is in the midst of a recession? Right! At € 100 million, Bale is laughing all the way to the bank.
And like clockwork, the government brushed Uttarakhand underneath the carpets of our mind. With wisdom that defies logic, the government decides to stop relief work and start preparing for the next batch of visitors. No lessons learned here.

Syria. Obama's renewed zeal to fight looks vaguely familiar. He told his people Syria won't be another Iraq or Afghanistan. I'd recommend O watches 'Green Zone' .
While the US Congress has set the stage for an limited airstrike with a long list of riders, if it is WMD that the American coalition of the willing is looking for, then they are probably barking up the wrong bark. Again.
There are a lot of things that is wrong about the American urge to set things right in the Middle East. Syria may not be the foe that can bring the US down, but with the Russians and the Chinese with them, is the US biting more than it can chew?
By launching an attack, the rebels and the loyalists will unite against the common enemy and with their loyalists' promise that not even the threat of a third World War will stop them from fighting the Americans, this is one war Obama must resist.

The Malawian government has promised to feed millions out of the proceeds of selling the private jet of its former president. If we were to sell off all the ill-gotten assets of our politicians, our poor can be fed for the next 1000 years. Food for thought.
While Microsoft got Nokia, we got the KitKat. Google signed up with Nestle to market the latest Android flavor. Drool!
Zubin Mehta enchanted the valley and in true nationalistic spirit, we cried coarse and sang praises.
The IOC kicked IOA in the nuts. Ouch! That had to hurt.
If you thought superstition has been stamped out, ask Akhilesh.
And for the first time, the NY Fashion Week will feature plus-sized models. More power to the cause.
Our PM opened his mouth and out fell another nugget of wisdom - He is not the custodian of documents. This I can believe.

And in this week's 'obscure to infamy' category, Ania Lisewska of Poland has won it legs apart (pun intended). All of 21, Ms Lisewska aims to have sex with 100,000 men in her life. So either this is a time-tested way to get famous, or we have an alien running around trying to copulate a'la 'Species'.
Moral of the story: Its always good to have goals.

Au revoir


Saturday, August 24, 2013

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

This past week, we all took a lungful of air, pinched our noses and took the deep dive. To the rest of the world at the surface, we told - 'Don't wait up, honey'.

First of all, to my Indian readers - Happy Independence day!
Now, could you please stop circulating those email chains that you forward every I-day asking to replace Jana Gana Mana with Vande Mataram? It ain't gonna happen.

It was all in a day's work for our reclusive, reticent Defence Minister. Launching submarines and battleships, then presiding over ones that sank mysteriously. Conspiracy theories flew thick and some played the blame game. But that didn't stop us from gloating, you see. Are we even supposed to believe China is impressed?! Might we remind ourselves how they are picnicking at Arunachal Pradesh? Or maybe we can just put up 'Made In India' posters of our battleships at the border and that will keep them off.
With ships that don't sail, subs that sink to the bottom, planes that won't take off and the ones that do regularly fall off the sky and an army that loves subsidized tipples and the neighbor's wife, it is but a marvel why we have not been wiped off by our neighbors yet.

And like the INS Sindhurakshak, the Rupee sank. Confirmed reports say it hasn't hit the rock bottom of the Marianna Trench, yet. We got thrown out of the trillion dollar club (!!!).
The flip side is, the next time some firang-returned Indian tells you we are just a developing country, you can slap the bejesus out of him/her and tell them 'STFU, we are in the billionaire club'.
The good news is Gold is back up, so you can finally sell all that gold you bought, make a profit and buy that overpriced apartment.


Amidst all the random bullcrap that gets spoken, our opposition did blurt out the inevitable truth- Our economy has taken a time travel and gone back to the future of 1991. Let's all take five and wait for our nation to catch up.

 
Modi was in the news, again. Blah! The guy is turning into the SRK of politics! First he trash-talks the Quiet Head of our Quiet Nation on the I-day and then heads to UK.
Modi is like that acid reflux after eating that roadside biriyani from that pushcart with questionable hygiene. Feel the Feeling!

But don't let the infighting fool you. They know how to unite as well. Against good. Funny thing is we let them unite against the lone sane voice in the wilderness. Is it because we know that they will get away with it or because deep inside we want the same thing as the politicians?

And like a bad smell that clings to you, we had more men raping fewer women. This is what happens when pornstars announce their retirement. Out came the 'Stop Rape Now' placards and part-time protesters. In exactly 2 days, we will have a new scam to talk about. Yay!

Abdul Karim Tunda got bagged, tagged and slapped. Welcome to India.
The annual prisoner release happened. Good! But could someone tell them to stop arresting innocent fishermen in the first place?
Kishtar and tell it. Omar took the bull by the horn. The 'mainlanders' (aka The Rest of Us) didn't like his guts. If you ask me, we need more politicians like Omar.
Andhra boiled. India Shining!

Across the pond, Middle East was on simmer.
First Egypt, then Syria. As thousands were killed in their sleep by chemical weapons, and as Uncle Sam stiffened, one thing is sure - This isn't going to end well.
While the world looks towards the UN (read US) another expensive US-led coalition war in the Middle East has doomsday written all over it.
Hosni is out. Mubbarak, Egypt!

A hop, skip and jump away, The Guardian got screwed. There goes all our perceptions of free speech, eh?!
Norwegian PM swapped clothes and went undercover. But don't let the critics bother you, Mr Manmohan Singh. You just enjoy the rest of your notice period.

Maybe if we agitated and protested as fiercely as Indian politicians fight in parliament, then maybe we will have laws that will stop our men from raping our women, deter misadventures from Pakistan and China won't invade us anymore. Alas, if wishes were candy.

But if you thought we are doomed, take a number and get in line. Japan is at the counter and cashing its chips in, and this might take a while. With a country full of geezers, politicians who don't know what to do (deja vu`) and the mother of all leaks, Japan is soon going to be the black hole that will suck the rest of us in.

Previously I said, Hell hath no fury like a spurned IAS officer.
Correction: Hell hath no fury like a spurned Oprah.
And if you didn't know this already, Area 51 exists. How shocking!
Next Week: We discover God.

In other weird news, surgeons removed a 4" fork from penis of a 70 year old geezer. I could give you 500 MB of funny euphemisms to this piece of gem, but I'll give it a rest.

In closing, Kurshid doesn't know what went wrong with Pakistan and China.
Shinde is shitting in his pants trying to figure out what's going wrong with the law and order in our country.
Anthony can't fix the forces.
Chiddu has no clue what's wrong with the Rupee.
Mr Singh has exhausted his quota of words at his last Independence Day speech.
Anna is away on an all-expenses paid vacation.
This is the story of our times. Mera Bharat Mahan!

But I hope you enjoyed the Perseids meteor shower.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

While you were gone: August 2013 [Part 1 of 3]

The past week, politicians felt foolish.
I said 'Go with the feeling'.

A 22 year old JNU student did a Freddy Krueger and killed himself. And that's how urban legends are born, thank you.

And it looks like one of my wishes came true! Smarting from the accounting frauds at Satyam a few years ago, the government finally signed into law The Companies Act, 2012, which makes it mandatory for companies among other things to be involved in Corporate CSR. Now, the real work should be in the details. The Act should specify who and what could be the benefactors of this largesse.

If you thought you've achieved everything in life after you've settled into that expensive new home that you will be slogging your butts off to pay the mortgages for the next 20 years, think again. This family left their home and returned to find a pile of rubble. No earthquake this. All in a day's work for land sharks and petty politicians.

Snowden settled into Russia. O said Snowden is no patriot and cancelled his meeting with Putin. How mature!
Okay, so he promised more transparency into such surveillance, but that was not what he originally said, was it? By defending his government's classified programs to monitor people and their communications, he has inadvertently eroded much of the goodwill and trust that his people and his allies had on his country. The truth could be that common Americans are either too terrified or too busy to bother. But let's face it - 20 years after the Cold War, Russia is still that speck in Uncle Sam's eye.

Iran got a new puppet. While Mr Rouhani has a lot on his plate, one thing is sure - Its all uphill from here.

Indians (the ones who didn't have much else to fight about) still fought over Durga like a bunch of hyenas. She got the support from her fellow bureaucrats.The SC spoke. Mrs G put in a word. But I think this is ironic on so many levels mainly because she is named after a Hindu goddess. Brush aside all the noise, it is clear to see how all of this is just a diversionary tactic, a sleight of hand that will cover up other scams  that happen. Khemka, anyone?

Doctors revolted. For a profession that promises to serve selflessly, I am surprised why we are even allowing them to protest.

A few years ago, when I was flying to Srilanka, a co-passenger next to me was filling up the transit form when he had to mention which port he was going to disembark at. He paused for a few seconds, and then wrote 'Airport'. Well, obviously he didn't expect to land at a seaport, or was he just referring to some of our Indian airports that become flooded? After Delhi, it was Kochi.

While some of Micromax's ads peddle the Canvas smartphones, the owners of the company are living the credo when they were caught bribing. Say it with me, folks - You Can Do Anything!

For better or worse, Yahoo has decided to shed its skin. Maybe they should set they inflated egos aside and sell themselves to Microsoft already.

And in the main byte of the week, Indian soldiers got ambushed and killed (yet again) by terrorists and men in Pakistani army clothes (WOW!).
India: 'This is unacceptable'. Pakistan shuddered.
Our Defense Minister suffered from verbal diarrhea and ended up with more spoiled fish-moilee curry than he could've imagined. The Opposition pounced on shortie like NFL players trying to block the touchdown. Antony ate humble pie. Apology accepted and everyone went home a happy man.
To the question- When are we going to grow some balls and retaliate, the answer is - When hell freezes over and decides to ban chicken tikka masala from its menu.

Our politicians are intellectually and politically impotent to strike when the iron is hot. And I have a theory (albeit a borrowed one) about why -
When a country like ours (nuclear armed yada yada) strikes first, it loses its morality and pity factor. Unlike the US, no matter how right we are we are too scared to be 'in the bad books'. Instead what we love doing is wait for our neighbors to strike us and strike us hard so that we can enjoy the outpouring of support, both financially and logistically, that our NRIs and the West are known for. Surely, a first strike will hurt but the rush of support that we will end up getting is something that our neighbors are wary of.
So as long as Pakistan fires a few thousand shells, kills a couple of soldiers here and there and doesn't wipe the Deccan Plateau clean, they know it will be okay with us.

But just in case you were wallowing in self-pity and remorse, Mr PM reminded us that we are one of 6 countries in the world that is capable of destroying other countries. Enter INS Arihant. Mr Singh finished his quota of words for the month of August and shall not speak until September. Theek Hai.

'Dawood Ibrahim is not in Pakistan'. Yeah, and I suck at English.
Hafiz Saeed wished India Eid Mubbarak in his special little way. We shuddered. Now, imagine if he actually comes marching towards Delhi.

Bad year for the Kardhashians? Actually not. Any news is good news for a lady (and siblings) whose only claim to fame is a 'leaked' sex tape and 'made for TV' marriage.

Buy your Samsung Galaxy phones while they are still around. Judging by the way, Apple has been hunting Samsung down, I think we are heading towards Armageddon. Or you could simply switch.

Chennai Express.
Couple of things are clear-
SRK is on his way out. And how!
Deepika really needed the money because I don't know why else she would still be acting.
And the makers of this movie might have really hated the pair. In the 2 plus hours that you are trapped in the theater, you are wondering what atrocity SRK and Deepika could have done to Rohit Shetty and Co. that he deliberately wanted to screw them both. And they actually smiled through the promotions?!
Deepika, let me give you the same sane advice I gave Ms Leone. Get into an acting class. Date a rising star and get married. Stop acting. It isn't working for us.
If we ever had anything like the Razzies, Chennai Express would sweep all the categories unanimously. Absolute and Total Trash. Avoid it like the bubonic plague.

Salman K became the most searched celebrity online. Take that, Poonam Pandhey.
Paying tribute to our ideals of beauty and wanton materialism, we crowned the best dressed celebrities. Take a bow!

And here's something else to chew on- Our national bird, CBI didn't break free and for good reason. Hindi is not our national language and Hockey is not our national game. Aren't we great!

'When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro'  - Hunter S. Thompson.


Thursday, September 06, 2012

A tragic figure, indeed [250/365]

Source: The Washington Post
So the Village Idiot has spoken again.

In the second time in 3 months, the American media has played judge and jury and passed the verdict about our PM. The Washington Post wrote about our silent tragic figure-head.
Well, in their defense, they only stated the obvious. Which is also what is being used against them. The Prime Minister's Office (affectionately shortened to PMO) lodged a complaint against the media house.

While I can understand and stand by what Washington Post says are the reasons why India is slipping under the watch of its most illustrious statesman, the way the PMO took the cudgels was indicative of a polity that is out of touch with reality. May I share some statistics- Industrial output has shrunk, again. The Rupee is falling faster than an asteroid to earth. Let's not even talk about gas and fuel prices any more, and governance has not returned to the parliament since the last year. Public sentiments about our elected representatives have never been this low. Again, scoop-loving journalists from the US were simply holding a mirror to us.

A couple of years ago, an email exhorting the academic and economic accolades of the PM doing the rounds made us feel good to have a person of his stature heading our nation. From being the most accomplished, his fall from grace has played out in public like a big Greek tragedy. His silence and reticence has now become his downfall. From being a chef d'Ĺ“uvre, he is now our favorite scapegoat.

If the PM has obviously missed the bus to redeem his nation, it is only because of the unfortunate compulsions of coalition politics. Nearly every major legislature in the past 2 years have either been stalled or digressed.
The Post if anything is also an indicator that its not about the man anymore.
While I won't say if this is the last time Manmohan's name will be dragged through American soil, I would like to wait and see which of our patriotic news magazines take up our cause and publish a tit for tat about O. If it is any consolation, Mr Singh, the American media is equally acidic about their own politicians. Many of their politicians were glorified and pulled down and I dont see any harm in publishing something that speaks loudly what people whisper in hushed tones.

This story should wake us up. Our India is not shining anymore. There's no Jai Ho any more. What the nation needs is more action and less of the talk.

Never-mind the naysayers, its not too late and you still have a fighting chance, Mr PM.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

India: When History repeats itself

Unless you've been buried alive, you wouldn't have missed the loud groaning of a billion people against corruption.
For all those who thought Anna Hazare couldn't and wouldn't be able to replicate his fight against corruption nationwide, the events that have unfolded since yesterday has kicked their butt all the way back to 1947.

But the irony does not end there. What the British were 65 years ago, the Congress with their ragtag bunch of political crooks are now.

Surprisingly, the British are having their own litany of trouble with gang violence and such. Looks like the Great Britain is no longer 'Great'.

Coming back to India, where we are suffering from the birth pangs of yet another Freedom struggle, this time not against foreigners but against Indians who have looted us for way too long.
Those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it.
The irony is that we are fighting against a government that is led by the first family of politics - The Gandhi's.
How the family that once symbolized every virtue, pure and free became a concocted mix of greed, corruption, nepotism and oppression is something that we as Indians need to introspect.

Aug 16th, 2011 will forever be the day in Indian history when the second Freedom Struggle started.
A fight against a government that refuses to relinquish absolute power and shed all reason to oppress needs to win. We owe it to our children.
We may not live to see all the changes that this struggle will bring about. But we ought to have started it.
After having threatened, reasoned and cajoled Anna Hazare to abandon his plans of fasting until death, the government erred greatly by arresting him.
The first family of Indian politics should have known better than to stifle a nonviolent protest.

The Satyagraha as a peaceful, non violent form of public protest became a powerful
The idea was first mooted by the American philosopher Henry David Thoreau and it was Gandhi who effectively demonstrated the enormous impact of various forms of non-violent civil disobedience.


A peaceful gathering by disobeying prohibitory orders and courting arrest was one form. Marching to the seashore to symbolically make your own salt was another.
The most effective form of satyagraha was used occasionally, somewhat rarely, as a last resort — the indefinite hunger strike. One man’s fast would rivet the subcontinent and often deliver quick results, be it quelling communal riots or scoring a compromise with formidable opponents like the British.


Gandhi’s extraordinary capacity to rouse masses did not just bring freedom to India but also brought justice to blacks in the US through Martin Luther King Jr, an avowed follower of the Gandhian doctrine of civil disobedience. In South Africa, it was Nelson Mandela.


When non-violent public protests turn into mass movements, growing bigger by the day, it’s not easy to stop them. The nationwide protests against the Emergency that brought down Indira Gandhi is an instance, with an almost parallel example that originated in Egypt’s Tahrir Square and finally dethroned president Hosni Mubarak.


In India, the issue of the day is corruption. Rather ironically, it is the “clean and incorruptible” prime minister Manmohan Singh’s team that has lost face in the way it has handled the Lokpal Bill issue.


Barely four months ago, Team Manmohan agreed to include civil society members in the drafting of the Lokpal Bill in a frustrated attempt to bring Anna Hazare’s first round of satyagraha to a quick close.


From then on, every attempt was made to discredit the civil society members of the panel — from questioning the inclusion of the father-son legal team of Shanti and Prashant Bhushan and challenging their integrity right down to calling Anna a corrupt man.


Finally, Team Manmohan submitted a diluted version of the bill to parliament and in the intervening period, Baba Ramdev and his supporters were caned out of Delhi. Team Anna was warned that they would suffer a same fate.


This arrogance of the Congress-led UPA government was on display at every turn and as a final roll-out of the plot, the government decided to thwart Anna’s plans for a second satyagraha in Delhi from August 16. Twenty-two pre-conditions were imposed and finally Anna was arrested from his Delhi residence even before he could step out to proceed towards JP Park.


Today’s generation could as well imagine Team Manmohan as part of the British Raj at its wit’s end in trying to deal with Mahatma Gandhi.


If the British police had their Rottweilers, Team Manmohan has its equivalents in Congress spokesman Manish Tewari and senior leader Digvijay Singh who lost no opportunity to try and tear Anna to pieces. Calling Hazare a corrupt man, dismissing his locus standi as he was not elected by the people (unlike our great netas) and telling him how to — and how not to — conduct his protest, were all part of the strategy to scuttle the public crusade against corruption.


It almost seemed that Team Manmohan had won this second round and demonstrated how to effectively puncture a satyagraha. But they erred greatly.
With barely a year to go before the largest democracy in the planet goes into an electoral huddle, history will prove once again that freedom will prevail.

Gandhiji is surely squirming in his grave.


Sunday, July 03, 2011

Ugly Indians! We are.

There's this guy that I know who is powerful, influential and wealthy. Born out of a poor family, he does not have the credentials that he would need to make his billions. However, by virtue of his monies, he is respected and is considered incapable of making a mistake or committing a crime. The boss of a sprawling business empire, he is considered one of the most powerful men in society. Tough on critics and loving towards his followers, he makes sure that he does not have any living enemies. His family members and associates however are of a different pod. In a race to make their billions, some of them have fallen from grace. Publicly and rightly so.

Our protagonist, the rich boss, now has to make the tough decision of doing the right thing by penalizing the guilty or covering up much muck. To make matters worse, true accounts of how the guy's cronies colluded with unscrupulous people, cheating and dishonestly favoring certain other businesses in return for billions of dollars in kickbacks reach the people outside.

The people demand the guilty be punished. Here is where the rich boss's honesty is going to be tested and his integrity proven.
If he were to prove himself to be honest he should punish those who plundered public wealth and trust, in the most severest way permissible by law. He should make an example of them.
But predictably, in a way that reveals where his loyalties really lie and his intentions are, he neither punishes the guilty nor allows for a stricter rule that would prevent future instances.

No moral story this, but if any of this sounded familiar, it should. This is the sorry saga of politics in our great Nation.
Gandhi and Nehru must surely be squirming in their graves. Looking down, they must be wondering 'Where did I go wrong?'
Although there is a surge in people talking about Anna Hazare and Hairy Baba, it's all gas and no inertia.

This is definitely baffling.
When people ask me how we've allowed such unprecedented levels of corruption to seep through, I believe it is mainly because we've chosen it. We are living comfortable lives. As long as you and I get to wake in our beautiful homes, where we are not unreasonably hunted down by the government, as long as we are able to reach our workplaces and back home without too much hassles, as long as we are not unreasonably tormented by our bosses or civic authorities, as long as we have basic amenities and certain luxuries of life and as long as we have money to spend we are not going to revolt.

Egyptians took 30 years before they gathered the political strength and emotional courage to overthrow one of the Middle East's most powerful government. While Yemen, Libya and Tunisia are still burning, it takes more than just peer pressure to win a popular uprising.

Though we are many decades away from an revolution like in Egypt or from any semblance of change, we do share a lot with what the people in Egypt went through.
Even as they do not call themselves dictators, many of our politicians live out their lives as autocratic emperors.
Even though we do not have a secret police, our coppers are conspicuous and equally notorious.
Many of us may not have suffered the ignominy of being imprisoned or tortured in secret chambers, but when I see, hear and read news reports of how the police are used to exact political and personal vendetta, and how protesters are dragged off in an awkward embrace that can only resemble a hunter dragging off his kill, I realize we do share a lot with our Arab cousins.

They say that when the roots are rotten, the fruits will be too. But in a country like India, where we've had one of the most inspiring freedom struggles in human history, where we've fought for the truth and all that is good with such poise how could we go so wrong?
Where did we take the wrong turn to end up in the concocted mess that we can barely recognize?
How could our politicians associate themselves to a family that laid down their lives for truth, when they loot and plunder with so little conscience?
And how could we condone politicians who does not want to be held accountable?

How must we retaliate? Anna's got the right weapon.
Could we possibly start over again? Maybe.
A clean slate? Possible.
Will it stay clean? Depends.

Ugly Indian, a movement that I came across online made a lot of sense.
We are the ugly Indians who will not hesitate to spit out our phlegm and our sweet paan on  streets or government stairways, but come to a mall, we are on our best display. Go abroad. We are the best ambassadors of everything polite and well behaved. And like the founders of the movement rightly pointed out, the ugly Indians are not the illiterate or the village folks. It is us. You and me. The highly educated, well heeled and appropriately wealthy city folks that are to blame. Because we are the ones with double standards.

The ugly Indian is here to stay.

The government knows this too.
The politicians want this.
They know that as long as we live and work in a air-conditioned bubble of comfort, they are safe. They want a class of people who will not revolt against them yet let them milk them for every dollar we are worth. 2G then, 3G now. Flyovers then, Mono Rails now. They are always looking for the next billion dollar project that will ensure that their personal coffers will overflow for a few generations.

It is not Pakistan that we need to fear.
It is not China that we need to hate.
We are feeding a parasite that is slowly eating us from inside out.

If our ranking on the Transparency International is any indication, we will soon be the shining example of what  happens if we delve in past glories.

Candle light vigils just won't do. 
Phony threats of fast won't be enough. 
Taking a lesson out of history, we need to unite. Again. 
This time against our tendency to bribe, against our tendency to be complacent with tiny promises. Without fear, head held high.

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...