Posts Tagged ‘Politics’


Everyday I read at least one pro-Modi article which gives me hope for a change from the shabby state of affairs of our country which is currently ruled under Congress who does nothing but appeasement of minorities, Vote bank politics, create differences among people on the basis of cast, creed and race, suppress national leaders, loot the taxpayer and shame the country. Sometimes, I even come across Anti-Modi articles which give me no real reasoning and causes me to yawn with stereotype 2002 riots blabbering and leader-only-good-for-gujarat claims by people who have been terrible for their own state. Anyways, 3 days back, one of my active pro-modi campaigner friend shared an article written by Avay Shukla – Retired IAS Officer on why he should vote for Modi !! I thought of sharing that article here, also for my personal preservation, because finally there was this one man who communicated the entire reasoning in the best manner:

Why I shall Support Modi in 2014…

By Avay Shukla – Retired IAS officer

July 1, 2013 20:30I have been getting more and more worried over the last year or so at the direction( or lack of it) in which our country is headed. It is
like a runaway plane falling from the skies and we are plummeting past one alarming indicator after another– inflation,economic slowdown, falling rupee,complete break-down of law and order, ever emboldened Naxalites, total internalization of corruption, an administration that answers to no one,complete lack of governance, cronyism on a scale never seen before, a brazen lack of accountability, public intimidation of constitutional authorities, a judicial system that has all but collapsed,environmental disasters that no one knows how to cope with, complete paraplegia of decision-making at all levels in government,appeasement of ” minorities” and Other sections that are reaching ridiculous and dangerous levels, dynastic politics at the Centre and the states reminiscent of the Mughal era…….

I could go on and on but after some time the mind becomes numb and registers only one emotion——-IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE. Another five years of this and we would be well on our way to becoming a failed state and joining the ranks of Pakistan, Haiti and Somalia.

The general elections of 2014 offers us one last chance to redeem ourselves. I have been on this mortal coil for 62 years and have never voted for the BJP but have, after much thought, decided to support MODI in 2014. This is considered a heresy in most neo-liberal circles in India today but we have to go beyond mere labelling and stereotyping to understand my decision.

But before I go on to Mr. Modi himself, let us review the context in which this decision has been taken. The state of the country is self evident in para one above.

The next question then is: What are the alternatives or choices that we as voters have?

The Congress will only perpetuate the present mess-even more worrying and dangerous is the fact that, where the Congress to return to power, it would consider it to have a renewed mandate to carry on as before.

In any case, who in the country would lead the Congress- a reluctant dynastic or an ageing economist who has discovered his true skills lie in politics, or a backroom puppeteer? Or, God forbid, all three? ( Seriously, this is a possibility- after all not one of these three want to shoulder sole accountability, and they may reason that if a dual power center can ensure two terms, a triple may be good for even more!) No, to my mind the Congress is not an option.

Who else, then?

Well, if we scrape the bottom of the barrel assiduously we will come up with Mamta Banerjee[ TMC], Mulayam Yadav[ SP], Nitish Kumar[JDU], Naveen Patnaik[ BJD], Jayalalitha[ AIADMK], Sharad Pawar[ NCP] and Mayawati( BSP). There is no need to discuss their achievements or ideologies at a national level ( incidentally, not even one of them has a remotely national outlook or ideology since they cannot see beyond pandering shamelessly to the vote banks in their respective states) because they are state( not even regional) leaders and none of them can hope to be Prime Minister on the strength of their own
Parties.

They all realize this, of course, hence the idea which periodically emerges like a skin rash, of a Third or Federal Front. This didn’t work even when a Third Front could agree on a leader( as in the case of I.K. Gujral or Deve Gowda). How on earth will it work when every one of the state leaders mentioned above feels that he or she has been reincarnated precisely to become the Prime Minister of India?

The negotiations for choosing a PM( if the Front comes up with the numbers, that is) will resemble one of those WWF fights where about six hunks are put into the ring to beat the daylights out of each other till one of them is left standing to claim the crown. I cannot see all of them agreeing on even one policy issue, whether it is reservations, industrial stimulus,foreign policy, disinvestment, environmental protection, center-state relations etc. If they come to power at the Center, the paraplegia of today will become quadriplegia tomorrow.

Fortunately, in any case, they can never muster the 274 seats required-it will be difficult for them to reach even hundred even if they do very well in their states.

So a Third Front is a non-starter, and voting for any of these parties will only help the Congress by dividing the anti-congress vote. [ You will have noticed that I have not mentioned Mr. Karat of the CPM. That’s because he’s become like a flat bottle of Coca-Cola- earlier he was all fizz and no substance: now even the fizz has gone].

That leaves only the BJP, with its historical baggage of the RSS, Hindutva, Ramjanmbhoomi ( by the way, this baggage also includes five years of exemplary governance under Vajpayee from 1999 to 2004)-perhaps enough baggage to dissuade me from voting for the party. Except that this time the BJP has an add-on: Narendra Modi. And that, to my mind, adds value to the party and makes the crucial difference.

Modi has been reviled ad-nausea m by the “secular” parties and sections of the elite media for many years for the 2002 riots in Gujarat, by the former not because of any love for the Muslims( as I hope to show later) but simply in order to appropriate the Muslim vote, and by the latter because they have to keep whipping somebody in order to get their TRPs- in India only extremes succeed. Modi has been tried and condemned by them not on the basis of facts but by an opportunistic mixture of innuendo, presumption, speculation, half-truths, hear say. Look at the facts. There was a horrendous orgy of killing of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002 where about 2000 of them were massacred. Some of Modi’s ministers and many BJP/ VHP workers were involved: quite a few of them have also been convicted, the trials of many still go on.

The Supreme Court set up at least three SITs and is itself monitoring the investigations. Many PILs have been filed in the SC and the High Court accusing Modi of master-minding these massacres. In not a single case has either the Supreme Court, the High Court or the SITs found any evidence of Modi’s personal complicity.

Yes, they have held that he could have controlled the situation better- but nothing beyond that in-spite of ten years of frenetic drum beating and sustained vilification.

Now look at the other set of facts. Under Modi’s current watch, perhaps for the first time in India, people have been actually convicted for communal rioting and murder- more than 200 convictions, with about 130 of them sentenced to life imprisonment. All the communal massacres in India since Independence have not resulted in even one tenth of these convictions.

Modi’s government has to be given some credit for this: yes, the investigations were carried out by the SIT and not by Modi’s police; yet Modi could, if he was so inclined, have interfered covertly in the whole process by asking his officials not to cooperate, by intimidating witnesses, influencing judges, conveying hints to prosecutors- something which, as we all know too well, governments of all political hues in India have mastered.

Modi could have done what the Congress has done so successfully in Delhi in three other high-profile cases being monitored by the Supreme Court- the Commonwealth Games Scam, the 2G case, and Coalgate ( not to mention also the Sikh massacres of 1984): have these cases made any headway? has wrong-doing been proved in a single instance? has anyone been convicted?

No,sir, these investigations will drag on and on till they are lost in the mists of time. Supreme Court monitoring cannot ensure justice unless the govt. of the day allows its agencies to function- it is to Modi’s credit that he did so allow them.

Compare this with the manner in which the police in Delhi have been emasculated to protect some senior Congress leaders in the 1984 Sikh carnage- everyone in Delhi knows, even after 27 long years, that their hands are dipped in blood, but the evidence will never reach the courts; the recent acquittal of Sajjan Kumar only confirms this.

The biggest stigmata on Modi is the charge that he is ” communal” and not ” secular”.

All ( non-NDA) political parties never tire of tom-tomming this from the roof-tops and consider this their trump card to ensure that he will never achieve his Grand-slam at the centre. But after eleven years this is beginning to wear thin and people are beginning to question the assumptions behind this charge and even the definition of what constitutes ” communal” and “secular.”

Nirad Choudhry had long ago given his opinion that India is the Continent of Circe where humans are turned into beasts-it is also the graveyard of the Oxford Dictionary where the meanings of words are turned on their heads to suit political exigencies! So ” communal” today means a Hindu who is not ashamed of saying he is a Hindu, and ” secular” means a Hindu who panders to other religions in order to get their votes at the next elections!

By this inverse definition Modi is considered communal- notwithstanding that not a single Hindu- Muslim riot has taken place in Gujarat under his watch since 2002, notwithstanding that the BJP got 17% of the Muslim vote in the Assembly elections in the state earlier this year, notwithstanding that the party won five of the eight seats which had a dominant Muslim voter base, notwithstanding that the average Muslim in Gujarat is much better off economically than his counterpart in Assam, UP or Bihar( headed by ” secular” parties).

Compare this with the record of the Samajwadi party in UP where more than a hundred communal riots have taken place in less than two years, with the Congress in Assam where hundreds of Muslims were butchered last year and at least three hundred thousand of them are still languishing in relief camps with no hope of ever returning to their villages, with the Congress ruled Maharashtra where hundreds of Muslims were killed with the active help of the police after the Bombay blasts. ( Needless to say there do not appear to have been any convictions in any of these pogromes). And MODI is communal?

I am a Hindu but I stopped going into any temple twenty years ago because I was sickened by the rapacious behavior of their pundits. I am no longer a practicing Hindu in a public, ritualistic sense and frankly I don’t know how many of the religious beliefs I retain, but I still consider myself a Hindu because Hinduism is more than just a religion- it is a culture, a civilisation, a way of life.

But in the Kafkaesque India of today if you were to proclaim that you are a Hindu ( even though you have equal respect and regard for all other religions) you would be branded ” communal”- this is what political discourse has been reduced to by our politicians. And being ” secular” no longer means treating all religions equally: it means splintering society into a myriad ” minorities” ( another perversion of the Oxford Dictionary) and then pandering to such of them as suit you in your naked pursuit of power.

In the process India has been converted into a complex jigsaw of minorities, castes, tribes, classes, sections and what have you. The British could have learnt plenty from us about Divide and Rule! But more and more right thinking people are beginning to question this recipe for disaster, and I am one of them.

India is 80% Hindu- why should one then have to be apologetic about proclaiming that one is a Hindu ? We have been ruled and exploited and vandalized for eight hundred years by Muslims and for another two hundred years by Christians, and yet we have accorded these two religions a special status as ” minorities” with privileges that the Hindus don’t have. Has any other country in the world ever displayed such a spirit of accommodation and egalitarianism? Is there a more secular civilisation in the world? And yet, a Hindu who says he is a Hindu is considered communal!

Does a Hindu have to prove his secular credentials time and again by greater levels( or depths) of appeasement of other religions simply so that they can continue to be vote bank fodder for political parties? Modi has had the courage to raise these questions and is therefore being reviled by those political parties whose apple carts he is threatening to upset. But people are beginning to pay attention. Modi is not considered secular because he is proud to be a Hindu and refuses to give doles or concessions to any religious group( including Hindus, but that is conveniently glossed over) beyond what is provided in the constitution and the laws of the land. He believes this weakens the social fabric of the country and that even handed development is the best guarantee for equitable prosperity for all. He is not considered secular ( and instead is branded as communal) because he says publicly that he is proud to be a Hindu. And has he done anything blatantly or provocatively pro-Hindu in the last ten years? There is not a single instance of this and yet he is vilified as communal and anti-minorities by the same party that presided over more than two hundred anti-Muslim riots in the seventies and eighties in Gujarat, that massacred 6000 Sikhs in 1984, that lit the fuse in Ayodhya by installing an icon of Ram in the mosque there, that failed to take any action when the Babri masjid was being razed to the ground! Modi has carefully distanced himself from any public support of Hindutva, has kept the VHP and the Bajrang Dal on a tight leash in Gujarat ever since he came to power there, and has even incurred the wrath of the RSS for not toeing the line on their purely religious agenda. It takes time, and some mistakes, to attain maturity; the Modi of today is not the Modi of 2002: then he was still in the pracharak mould of the RSS, inexperienced in the exercise of power, lacking administrative experience. He has now developed into a politician with a vision, an administrator who has delivered to his people and caught the fancy of the entire corporate world in India and abroad. Rahul Gandhi has been around in politics for almost the same length of time but has still not progressed beyond his epiphanic perception that India is a bee-hive.

Pause a while to honestly compare Modi’s qualities with his peers in the political firmament. His integrity is impeccable, both personal and vicarious. Even Mr. Manish Tewari has not been able to charge him on this score, and that’s saying something! I am not aware of a single major scam unearthed during his term( compare this with the Congress either in Maharashtra or at the Centre: the Congress has more skeletons in its cupboard than a graveyard does).

Modi has no family to promote or to insure against inflation for the next hundred years( compare this with any other party leader, all of whom have given an entirely new meaning to the term ” joint family”- brothers, uncles, wives, sons, sons-in-law, nephews-all happily and jointly looting the nation’s resources). Modi has a vision and a road map for the future and he has demonstrated in Gujarat that he can implement his vision.

No other major leader of the parties that are vilifying him comes even close to comparing with him in this respect- Manmohan Singh once had a vision but his unique concept of ” coalition dharma” has ensured that he now cannot see, or hear, or talk; Rahul Gandhi cannot see beyond bee-hives and boats that rise with the tide, Sharad Pawar cannot see the woods for the sugar-cane stalks, Mulayam Singh has been fixated on the Prime Minister’s chair for so long that he has now started hallucinating; Nitish Kumar’s vision is a peculiar bi-focal which enables him to see only Muslims and OBCs; Navin Patnaik, being erudite and sophisticated must be having a vision but he has not deigned to share it with anyone yet; Mayawati cannot see beyond statues of herself and of elephants; and as for Mamta Banerjee, she is colour blind-she can only see red. Modi’s track record as an administrator inspires confidence in his ability to play a role at the national level.

He sets specific goals, provides the resources and then gives his bureaucrats a free hand to operate. He has ensured water availability to towns and to greater number of farmers, Gujarat now has 24X7 power and has even offered to sell power to other states.

Modi has realised long before his peers that future growth can only come from the manufacturing sector since the past stimulus provided by the service sector is now bottoming out, and has prepared his state to attract capital: perennial roadblocks which have bedeviled other states- land acquisition, labour issues, law and order, lack of decision making, cronyism- have all been sorted out. It is no surprise then that Gujarat has been receiving the second highest amount of investment funds after Maharashtra.

His opponents, looking for anything to denigrate his achievements, cavil that Gujarat has always been a progressive state and no credit goes to Modi for all this. True, Gujarat ( and Gujaratis) have always been entrepreneurial and progressive, but any economist can tell them that the higher you are on the performance scale, the more difficult it is to make incremental gains- and these gains Modi has been making year after year.
Gujarat has consistently been among the top five states in just about all economic, social and human development indicators, and far above the national figures.

Modi is no paragon of virtue. He is arrogant, does not allow a second rung of leadership to emerge, brooks no opposition, is impatient and authoritative, is not a consensus builder. But then we are not seeking to canonize a saint but looking for a political leader who can get this country out of the morass that its present stock of politicians has got us into.

We are looking for someone who can be decisive rather than justify inaction under the garb of seeking an elusive ” consensus”.

We are looking for someone who has the courage to have a vision and the skills to translate it into reality.

We are looking for someone who will work for the country and not for his ” joint family”.
We are looking for someone who can restore our identities as INDIANS and not merely as Brahmins or Scheduled castes or Muslims or Backward castes.
We are looking for someone who will not pander to religions and be truly secular.
And we are looking for someone who will not be ashamed to say that he is a Hindu in the land that gave birth to the most tolerant and enlightened religion this world has seen.

Modi may fail- in fact, there are good chances that he will. But he at least promises change, whereas the others promise only more of the same. He offers us Hope. Shouldn’t he be given a chance?
==============================================================
** The author retired from the Indian Administrative Service in December 2010. He is a keen environmentalist and loves the mountains- he has made them his home

Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

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The fate of your life is your choice and no one else gets a vote.

— Maulik Doshi

         Winston Churchill had once said, “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” – Democracy – Something which we always learnt as “Government of the people, for the people and by the people”. However, if we go through the statistics in India about voting, you will hardly see our Democracy sufficing the third condition – ‘by the people’, for if you see the percentage of voting turnover, it will put you to shame if you ever stuck to what you always had an image of yourself in your mind, ‘of a responsible citizen’.

      We always get a national holiday when a day is to be decided for Vote. Whereas in some areas of India, goons will rule the poll booth and threaten people if they vote against their leader and in some areas where Gunda-Raj (Mafioso Rule) is not there, affluent – educated and those people who are mentally competent to select a better leader will go for vacations with family or party at home. These apparently are the sad state of affairs and it is not really the rulers who are at fault for being corrupt, it is the fault of citizens for being so irresponsible.

     Past 10 years have been full of Scams – from Telgi’s Stamp Paper Scam to UP military land Scam, Wheat Scam to Adarsh Housing Scam, Commonwealth Scam to ISRO Scam, 2G Spectrum Scam to the current IPL Match Fixing Scandal Fiasco, we have always cursed the Government. When there were issues about MIG planes having outdated machinery to when 26/11 – the most horrendous terrorist attack on Financial Capital of Mumbai happened and Police force had no good quality bullet proof jackets or proper ammunition, to december, 2012 – Delhi Rape incident and Government’s evident inability to take action, what every citizen of India has done is – Either Crib about Government, walk and protest on roads with friends and flags and black bands and hoardings, write hate blog posts and give hate speeches and tweets and when in 2014, there shall come a time to Vote, people will again start planning a trip or a party. Everyone in this country will adore Tata Tea’s ‘Jaago re’ initiative but no one would stand up and get their Election Card processed.

   What I mean to say is, this is what “WARNING SIGNS” are !! This could probably be the reason why Emma Goldman had once said, “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” It is a situation where your body is not functioning well and you are terribly unwell. You will crib about it, cry in pain, won’t sleep in distress but won’t go to the Doctor. Why don’t we vote? Why do we ignore that each scam, each inability of Government, each unattended issue and each trouble that is faced by Citizen of India is a result of our laziness? Our inability of not doing proper research before voting? our problem of not going to Vote and let the goons dominate the unprivileged sections to vote in their favour only to extend their rule and their rights to trouble every good citizen?

    One of the flyers during US presidential elections read, “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain – Get Out, Go Vote, Be Heard !!”

Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

Take notice of these warning signs, you mister and Vote if you are above 18 years of age after thorough research and buy yourself an effective leader. Effective and nice leader is no myth or fiction, you have seen great leaders in world. The problem with India is INDIANS themselves. Some of the top reasons on why should you vote if above texts did not convince you:-

  • Voting is a way to speak your mind and let your voice be heard! Your vote is your voice. When we vote, we are actually telling elected officials and lawmakers how we feel about education, public safety, social security, health care, and other important issues.
  • One voice, one vote really does count! Remember: there is power in numbers, and when we vote and get our family members to
    vote, we can truly make a difference. If you don’t vote for what you believe in, others will and you may not like the outcome.
  • Our children are depending on us to represent their voices too! Because our children can’t vote, we have to do it for them. That’s how we make our concerns about schools, safety, housing, and other issues heard. When we vote, we are looking out for our kids, and their futures.
  • Voting changes communities! Do you ever wonder why one neighborhood gets passed over for things it needs, while another seems to get it all? One big reason is voting. When we vote, we can get results that we can actually see.
  • Vote to effect change! It was through elections that we voted in officials who were champions for civil rights. Voting is our chance to make a difference in our own lives and within the world.
  • Believe it or not, voting is a way of honoring our history! As long as our country has existed, there have been people who didn’t  want us to vote. There were several freedom fighters that stood up for the right to vote. Well, those times may seem ancient, but there are still people today who don’t want us to vote. It’s now our turn to stand up and vote to preserve the honor of those who went before us.
  • Last but not least, because it gives you credibility! Often times, we voice our concerns to elected officials, but if we aren’t voting, our concerns may not matter at all to them. Voting can actually give you the credibility to make your concerns a top priority for legislators.

So the moral of the story is … GO VOTE for INDIA GENERAL ELECTIONS, 2014

This post is initiated for Indiblogger’s Colgate Contest of “So the moral of the story is … “

My Healthy Speak Blog


 

It has been days since I haven’t sat online, forget blogging. When that incident happened of 5 year old girl being tortured so much, I was filled with rage, but I swallowed. Today, I was just browsing through some film trailers when I reached this video, and I thought of sharing it here, so that I can send it across more people. Its a must watch.  A nice speech given by this young engineer.

Source: Youtube

 

 

 


Here again, the nation erupts in a fit of rage to oppose something so inhuman that it causes a gulp in throat and a hole in stomach even by hearing a percent of details of what happened in Delhi, Yes, I am talking about the Gang Rape. Today, right outside my classes, I was asked a question by one of my friend, “Why is this thing hyped so much? Aren’t there many other worse cases of rape to be tended to? Why only this?”. When I came home, my sister tells me about a tweet where an article was published about a women who has been in coma for past 39 years after she was Gang-Raped. I also have a friend who wrote an article yesterday, “Meet the black dot people”, which I personally loved a lot. Everywhere, there is a hue and cry about getting the rapists castrated, hanged, stoned, given to people and so on.

Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

There has been pooling of ideas too, major discussions and just an hour back, I saw Mr. Shinde announcing safeguard measures that will be taken in order to prevent such acts. Politicians have claimed that this case will be considered as
“Rarest of rare cases” and the rapists will be hanged. But then, I read somewhere that “Rarest of rare cases” is awarded only when the victim dies, which here, won’t be applicable and hence, in the end, nothing will happen.

So how? How will someone curb such menace? How will people make this country a safe place? What according to you is the problem? Isn’t it the attitude?

Yes, It is the attitude. It is the teachings and preachings of the orthodox elderly who when asked about how could you curb such happenings will answer with an intellectual pride that, the girls shall stay indoors after 9.00 pm, wear dupattas and all other crap. It is the same attitude that when a girl would go to complain about rape/molestation, will be given a smirk, or a cheesy/cheap smile to the victim, which will do nothing but make the victim weak and encourage culprits to go for more heinous crimes like this with zest and vigour.

Although, society needs to set examples and fear by awarding harsh and rigorous punishments to such beasts who can’t be termed as MAN, nor as Animals. But, besides additional security, besides punishments, besides death, what is needed is an Attitude Change. At first, every minister, every police officer and every influential men in this country who says, that the reason for rape is Victim, or victim’s dress which was provocative or victim’s behaviour or victim’s act of staying out on streets after 9 pm, needs to be sent to rehab or school or just imprison them as such people are not needed by society. I mean, come on, People who can’t think rationally, or with sense, how are they going to lead us, or protect us or why should we give them power to influence us?

Secondly, every parent needs to make their kids understand, or rather brainwash like how those terrorist groups do in the name of Jihad, that RAPE IS BAD. It should be hammered to their brain, that raping will destroy them, or make them impotent or destroy their genitals or any shit crap, but should be so nicely imbibed that not a single man would ever attempt that. Its a universal truth that a criminal is not by birth, but he grows with his upbringing, and surroundings and situations around. Even schools should make their students learn that Rape is the worse thing on earth. It’s the collective condemn by society which will make difference. What are we doing now? Don’t we blame the victim than the culprit? Don’t we teach “Not to get raped” instead of “Not to rape”. Society is entirely mislead. We need education or at least brain wash. I would also say, Religious Institutions shall make provisions in religion regarding this. India, being religion blinded country, it will help a lot.

Since, all these changes will take time to show effect, in the meanwhile, we can keep awarding punishments like “Complete ban by society” on rapists, Castration which will be the best solution as any man, given a choice between emasculation and death, would chose the latter (this line comes from “Meet the black dot people” post), or rigorous imprisonment for years and heavy fine, Even handing them to society and public beating will suffice. Humiliation to the culprit may help in reducing this problem too.

Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

To all those people who blame invasion of western culture as a cause for rape, “The mobile phone that you are using is a cause of cancer too my friend, why don’t you live the Indian way, do farming without appliances or meditate on mountains?”. To all those people who are giving moral lectures, “I am sorry Boss, You are no one to teach anyone what to wear, and if you want to teach someone anything, go and teach the men who get seduced so easily that they don’t even think of what they going to do next.”

TO OTHERS, DON’T BE THAT GUY: —