May 162014

After all the hard”ly” done work for the betterment of Indian society, and the very hard work in election campaign by all the parties, the day has shone when one political party will have a celebration party going on past midnight.

A healthy scenario for a country like India “following democratic form of governance” would be to have a strong leadership in ruling party with clear majority, without any allies support and an equally healthy opposition. No matter how good a ruling party or a person heading the party is, the opposition, if it acts in a just and fair manner, can provide the necessary check to all the mismanagement that we have been witnessing all these years.

Well, it seems like the favorites are here for a clean sweep of ruling as well as opposition, an imbalance which will never be good for the overall growth of the country. A person at the head of a country and his party has a pre determined agenda, which is sometimes not revealed to the general public unless its too late. By then the voice of general public will have been reduced to whisper to the rulers ears. The measures taken by the ruling party in such case will always be pro to one lobby while being anti to the other. This creates an imbalance in the overall development of the country. An effective check in such situations is the opposition party, which if strong, can shake the government to its core and force it to reconsider its decisions.

There’s a draw back. Opposition parties don’t play it fair. They practice the “stall the proceedings and enjoy a paid vacation on account of the taxpayers” policy, which has ben much more detrimental for India for past decade or a two.

But then, there’s no point discussing this now. The results are coming out  and by the looks of it, there won’t be an opposition to speak of unless the enemies merge to form a pseudo united opposition.

Lets face it for another 5 years…….

Apr 242014

That’s today. I am allowed to stay home to exercise my right to vote. I wake up early to avoid the late morning rush at the polling booth. I reach with my wife and kid(it’s a stroll for my kid. He’s spared of deciding whom to vote for another 17 years). For me it’s a difficult task. I’ve not made up my mind yet and have no guidelines to makeup my mind as to whom to vote. They all are the same for me.

As I stand in the queue, watching the queue extending behind me, I see hope in the eyes of the people. Hope that the only process which will change their general condition is the election. They gaze at the candidates list on the wall to ensure that their candidate appears on it. I gaze on the list to search for a familiar name. I find none.

So whom do I vote?

I understand that its all about the government at the center at this stage. I want to give a change to the party which has sat in the opposition and shown promises of a change…for good. But who is the candidate for this party? I’ve not heard his name, let alone see him. How can I force myself to vote for someone who has not demonstrated his/her capabilities in handling the system. And what about the communal stains on the flags of this party? Should I disregard it?

I cannot think of the candidate of the current rulers. I just don’t want to give explanations. The last five years have been explanation enough. I wish to have faith in him but my mind doesn’t allow…

And the previously elected candidate from my constituency has shown his face after five years.

So whom do I vote?

There are those independents who, if elected, suddenly start depending on the cash rich party. I don’t approve of this politics. I don’t approve of the EC allowing such politics. Voters elect them because they have lost faith in the established parties. But these independents do not consult the voters before supporting these parties.

Independents are a mess……..

And how about those revolutionaries. They toppled the throne and came to power; with some support. But they lost direction. They have shown potential to act irresponsibly. And again, their candidate is the one I not know about. How do I trust in him? After all it’s a question of recovery of our nation.

So whom do I vote?

Of course the Election Commission has provided me with the option of None of the Above or “NOTA”. But how will it help. This option will just show how many are displeased with all the parties but this count will not be considered for re-elections or disqualification of current candidates. Then what’s the use. All the political parties will have a last laugh unless this option is given some real teeth.

So the question still remains. Whom do I vote? It’s a dilemma for me.

Its my turn to vote. I sign in the register and get the indelible ink on my left index finger. I go to the machine which is well hidden to give me my privacy. My mind is blank. I look at the machine but I recognize no name. I press a button. I see the light glow and hear the beep indicating a successful registration of vote. I leave the booth. For me the election is over. Now the wait until results.

While going home I fully understand that I don’t know for whom I voted. My vote is only known to the button which I pressed and the machine which registered my vote.

(Disclaimer : This is my experience of the election day. It’s not meant to poison the minds of voter with my thoughts. With regards to elections, the Indian voter is as much educated as the system has taught him. Any drastic change in his mindset with regards to any political party will be accomplished only by a drastic change in the system. My one blog article cannot influence his mind.

……..So don’t arrest me)

Jan 042014

Who is John Galt? Seems like a very relevant question for current times. More so with all the work one Mr. Kejriwal and his band of common people have been doing for Indian politics currently. It seems that the John Galt of India is hell bent on  shrugging off corruption and malpractices in the governance.

Its been long time since I typed few sentences condemning corruption in India. Just didn’t feel that it would be useful. But the very recent events do call for some efforts in composing a few lines. John Galt and his band is on a trip for shopping worthy people to run India. Among the list of dignitaries who have signed on recently are well known names like Captain Gopinath who once made his dream of flying high a reality, Infosys board member V Balakrishana, former RBS India CEO Meera Sanyal, Adarsh Shastri, the grandson of former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri who has left his high paying job at Apple just to join this movement. The list is big and ever increasing.

The core members of this band are all well educated and held high positions in their respective workplaces. Yet they chose to leave all that to join this movement. Yes, its not politics. It’s a movement. A movement of the people, for the people, by the people, to reboot the democratic government. These people seem to possess clear thinking about what they are going to do ahead. Their promises don’t sound hollow and illogical. They have shown it in the state of Delhi. They have proved what Ayn Rand said in Atlas Shrugged

“There is no such thing as a lousy job – only lousy men who don’t care to do it.”

The band of common people have decided to shrug off the burden of corruption. They have decided to follow John Galt. The only difference being, Ayn Rand’s John Galt and his band left their town to settle at a location unknown to outsiders whereas our John Galt has decided to stay with his band and change the system.

It won’t be easy Mr. Kejriwal. It won’t be easy. Again as Ayn Rand said “If you don’t know, the thing to do is not to get scared, but to learn.”  You are learning quick. Let this good work continue. Support will come. We all were skeptical about your success. But now we know for sure. We have a way out. The John Galt way.

Before I finish, I would quote an interesting para from the same book

“It is a policeman’s duty to retrieve stolen property and return it to its owners. But when robbery becomes the purpose of the law, and the policeman’s duty becomes, not protection, but the plunder of property – then it is an outlaw who has to become a policeman.”

Nov 172012

“Ubha Maharashtra Petvun Taakin”(a metaphor to signify the ability to create an uprising at moments notice) were his words when Bal Thackeray, the Shiv Sena Supremo, was addressing a rally years back. And it was true. If he decided so, he could do it and no one would dare touch his hair, as the saying goes. Such was the influence of the late Bal Thackeray over his followers, that they would spare no measures to fulfill his word. Looking around at the state of politics in Maharashtra, it is difficult to find a politician, clean or corrupt, who can command such an influence over the common man, barring Raj Thackeray, his nephew whose influence has not quite developed due to the divide in sena a couple of years back. From a humble cartoonist, to the (Ektaa Tiger)lone Tiger, his journey of 86 years has not been without the roar.abd9a57f8b61c3daefba46aff842-grande

The future of sena lies in shambles with Uddhay not quite in a position to take up stress and Raj estranged from the lot. But I am sure that the Tiger has taken care of matters before he passed.

Truly the End of an Era with the passing of the charismatic leader who had a huge influence over New Delhi and common people. May his soul rest in peace.

Feb 172012

It’s the day after the municipal elections in Maharashtra, India. The results are out and are of less significance for this write-up. It’s the same story over again. The scamsters, murderers, looters, cheaters and the dynasty rulers did win again, as there were very few clean candidates running the elections. What’s more significant is the coverage given by media to the “Absent Voter”. The turnout of the registered voters was quite poor, even when compared to the previous municipal elections in Mumbai. And this after the government of Maharashtra had forced corporates to declare a public holiday for their employees.

The reasons for the low turnout can be many. During one of the previous elections, a similar public holiday declared by the government, was chanced upon as an opportunity to make that pending trip to the native place. A significant quantity of the population of Mumbai happens to be immigrants, who have settled in Mumbai due to better prospects. Now I make myself clear at this point that I am not against people settling in Mumbai as long as they are not doing so illegally. For a megapolis like Mumbai to maintain its growth, large number of qualified and unskilled people are required and this is natural. So people from states out of Maharashtra have made Mumbai their home, officially on papers. They get their ration cards and their name appear in the voters list here. But when it’s time to fulfill their duty towards the people of the nation, they prefer to visit their native place instead. I have seen people making elaborate plans for a long weekend, anticipating a public holiday on the election day at previous election. So where’s the absent voter? He/She is vacationing.

What about people who are residents of Mumbai. Few of them scan through the list of candidates and decide that none is worthy of their precious vote. They prefer to relax in front of their TV, watching the day go by. Some identify a worthy candidate, but reason that the candidate is not strong enough to win against the heavy weight competition,hence do not bother to vote.Few don’t vote under the pretext that the “none of the above” option should have been made available but is not. And some few just wouldn’t care less. So where is the absent voter? Waiting for the next day to curse others for electing the goons back in to power.

I saw a filmstar of yesteryears on the TV(Female. Name withheld for the fear of defamation charges). Been longtime since I have seen her in a film. During the interview by a reporter at the polling booth, this actress shamelessly declared that she had not voted in any of the previous elections for many years. The reason she gave was either the career or pretty busy with herself to think about voting. It seemed that she had come for voting due to the sudden burst of the hormones that make you feel like voting. She did not feel anything wrong in informing that she was totally unaware of the political circus at present and hence asked the advice of a very close “advocate” friend, who, as per her judgement, is very learned. She was sure that he had given her the right advice and she had voted accordingly. My my, first things first. This shocking sentence helped me make up my mind to write this article on elections. Either the lawyer is too intelligent or the actress is stupid enough to admit her stupidness on live television. She didn’t have much work at hand, with her career quite down, so couldn’t she do some of her own research? Most(not all) of the filmstars are just faces without brains. So what about the present voters? They left their brains behind. As good as absent.

Now what about me? I did vote. But not this time. I am not registered in any of this municipal limits as a voter. I had a strong urge to try and vote. But you know, they check you for identification. I did vote the last time we had elections at our place.

Jan 062011

I stay with my family. 5 people living in one house. As years pass on, me and my wife feels that the house is bit crammed for space. We find it difficult to stay together, not in terms of personal relations, but in terms of space. Finally I decide to separate out. My family welcomes the decision. It will not only help me to find more space for my family, but will also make me independent in terms of decision making, and financial responsibilities. Me and my family are happy. Separation, a good decision.

My geographical state is in state turmoil. Some part of the population of this state is of the opinion that they should have in independent state. I am of similar opinion since I know the benefits of separation. I join the agitation actively, in support of one leader, who influences us with the idea that the much needed separate state can be formed by using different methods of agitation, wrong or otherwise. So after many petitions, agitations, hunger strikes, work strikes, property destruction and a loss of few innocent lives, we finally get the separate state we wanted. Our leader is elected as the chief minister of the state, by popular verdict through polls. Everyone is happy.
Separate state, a good decision.
…….for now.

Two years on, our chief minister lands in the nets of the CBI for a scam amounting to hundreds of crores. That was the climax, since the ministers of his cabinet were found to be highly corrupt during the last two years. A minister who lived in shanty prior to separation of the state, own a palatial bungalow in prime location. He also has my dream car, a Mercedes. Similar is the case with the entire cabinet. I, meanwhile, continue to stay at my house, paying off the loan I had availed, for the house. The interest rates have increased, so pay more now. The road tax has increased, but my scooter tires continue to wear at a higher rate, year on year, since the condition of the roads degrades as time goes by. I pay more maintenance charges in electric bills, but the street lamp in front of my house continues to sleep, as it did before separation of state. I look around. Nothing has changed. Taxes have increased in the name of funding the development, but the promised infrastructure has not come up. The living conditions have not improved, rather degraded. Everyone is dissatisfied. Except for the  ministers. I now realize that separation was just a farce. The real reason behind it was generation of income for a selected few.

I now realize the truth, but too late. If I had to live in a state full of scamsters, I was better off in the old state. I would get enough of them there. Why the separate state? Don’t you think that these ministers have picked up some tricks from the books of the British rulers, the policy of “Divide and Rule”. The only difference being that the British rulers helped India progress industrially and educationally, while they looted it.

Give me name of one state in India which has shone with noteworthy achievements after separation? The only achievements were scams and money laundering.

It’s for you all to decide whether a separate state is required to improve conditions? A separate state seems to be detrimental to the progress of our country.

Nov 072010

India is a democratic republic. Democracy, the type of government followed in India, is defined as the government of the people, for the people and by the people. But with the way things are being run in India since independence, it has got all the wise and educated people of India thinking. Is democracy the best form of government?

As the US president Obama makes his trip to India, lots of talk is going on in the media about how these two nations can learn from each other about democracy. But is India really a successful democracy? When after sixty years of independence, we find 90% of the people below poverty line, can we say that democracy is the best form of government? I saw on tv an open session, with students questioning the US president about many issues including governance, ethics, religion and humanity. And I felt an urge to be there and ask a simple question. Though I don’t understand why I should be asking him this question, I would ask, “Which, out of democracy, communism, socialism, monarchy, dictatorship to name a few, is the best type of govenrnment?”

We are better of without dictatorship, since that means our hand are tied, legs are bound with invisible chains, effecively dissolving our freedom. Communism is very detrimental to progress. Monarchy is something we fought against for 150 years. And democracy is a combination of all these types of government, a government by many, though many’s a crowd. It does have a feel good feeling in it though.

So what choices are we left? Should we stick with lesser of all evils? Or go back to the old anarchy, since no form of organised government seems to work?

A fellow blogger Magali, has written a very thought provoking article about this. Read it here.

Aug 132010

There is an article in The Times of India, 13th august edition about, how to save the messed up common wealth games. I didn’t read the article, because that’s hopeless. It was a known fact that our corrupt officials will surely do a messy business. But didn’t ever think that they would go so far with corruption in this major world event, even as India bids for olympics Anyway, I have a solution on how to save the games. OUTSOURCE them to China. It will be cheaper. They have a ready infrastructure from the successfully executed olympics. And they are known to make things work, by hook or crook. So I think, whatever funds are left with us, will be sufficient to outsource the corruption Wealth Games to China, and carry them out successfully.

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