LEADING A ‘CANDLE LIGHT procession’ against the gang rape and murder of an eight year old girl at Kathua and alleged rape of a women by an MLA of the ruling BJP, Congress president Rahul Gandhi opposed playing politics on rape.
And that was exactly what he was doing, unless I am losing memory (possible after 70) and forgot how many times he had marched similarly when Congress-led UPA was in power. Perhaps he wants to aver that there were no rapes at all during his party’s rule.
Indian politicians are capable of such double speak. The Congress accuses Prime Minister Modi of “remaining silent” on every incident that happened in the country, after a 10-year rule of its own PM who became famous as ‘Mauni Baba’ and dared not speak a word (unless ordered to do so by ‘madam’). While Modi is asked why a motorcycle collided with an auto on Hazratganj road in Lucknow (or some such event), Mauni Baba could keep mum on coal block allotment scam even when he and was handling coal ministry.
Finally Modi did speak and condemn the rapes which had put the entire nation to shame. Criticism of his statement are bound to follow. What the recently crowned Congress boss said as Crown Prince about an office-bearer of his party killing his live-in partner and trying to burn her in a hotel tandoor is not
AS A FORERUNNER TO AUGUST 15, INDIA’S INDEPENDENCE DAY A FRIEND MAILED ME an old film song from the 1959 filmDidi, sung by Asha Bhonsle, Sudha Malhotra and Mohammed Rafi.
The song, ‘Humne Suna That Ek Hai Bharat‘ (We heard that India is United’) summarises India’s recent history – its journey from a struggle for Independence marked someswar1-gmail-com06102016164827dfl140948by unique principles of non-violence and civil disobedience to dynasty rule, caste rivalry and communal disharmony, not to speak of the dirtiest politics imaginable.
How meaningful were old songs! From those soulful songs that touched hearts to today’s shouting and meaningless cacaphony of ‘lyrics’ without harmony is a similar journey of deterioration.
It was a film that starred the late Sunil Dutt. Can any reader remember the film? Or the name of the first boy on who was shown singing the song?
IN INDIA WE EXPECT OUR PRIME MINISTERS AND PRESIDENTS, though the later are only titular heads, to be in their late sixties or older, to be paragons of virtue – very loyal to their spouses – though they may otherwise lack the acumen to handle a vast country’s complex problems.
And they should preferably belong to a dynasty. If they do we can give them concessions like being in their forties. If they don’t belong to the dynasty, we question his having not having ever lived with a wife he married at a very young age and by arrangement, not his choice. If she belonged to the dynasty no one mentions that she married by choice but separated after becoming a mother twice!
And many Indian politicians lead double lives – of righteousness and high morals for the
India, many feel, is an oasis in the desert of failed democracies.
The world has too many dictatorships, starving nations where the ‘ruler’ spends millions on his birthday, ‘elected’ leaders who refuse to step down as their term ends, countries with fake elections controlled by army and religious hatred for neighbour or contestants who declare they would accept an electoral verdict only if they win!
Is it really an oasis or just a mirage where most parties are ruled by dynasties? A party whose members wag their tails at dynastic bosses calls others ‘dogs’ and thinks one family won the freedom for the country all others who died for it were fools. And that too just because it took on the name of the group of people who fought for Independence and Continue reading An Oasis Without Water
Reblogged by UnstoppableAfterSeventy.WordPress.com
The Course of Modern Indian Politics : ‘President Netaji’
by Soumayan Dutta
In this final installment about Netaji exclusively, I will try to briefly cover the deeds, failures and dreams that Netaji had dreamt only to see them never coming true in his lifetime as the President of Indian National Congress. And of course, I shall try to touch all possible consecutive situations that led to his forceful resignation.
Consolidating Party base :
Here he was, back from a long exile. The first stint of Subhas Chandra Bose’s Presidency was spanned across 1938-1939. It certainly was not very happy time for the world. Europe, the epicenter of modern culture and civilization was being threatened of its very existence Continue reading Ignored by Congress, not by India
A delightful novel by humorist Henry Cecil* is titled ‘No Bail for The Judge‘ and another ‘Alibi For A Judge‘. Contents apart, the titles envisage judges being put in the dock, which is almost unthinkable in India today.
Judiciary seems to be the only ray of hope for the country with the other two ‘estates’, legislature and the executive, bogged down in controversies. The fourth estate, the Press (including electronic audio-visual media), has lost its credibility thanks to the mad race for supremacy in TRPs and circulation.
And yet, judges have begun to court controversy and are making news for the wrong reasons.
A Judge of the Gujarat High Court faces impeachment by Parliament (the only way a judge can be removed). The distinguished Parsi judge, Justice J B Pardiwala, in a recent judgement in Hardik Patel case on reservations remarked: “If I am asked by any one to name two things which has destroyed this country or rather has not allowed the country to progress in the right direction, then they are reservation and corruption.”
The judgement added, “It is very shameful for any citizen of this country to ask for reservation after 65 years of independence. When our Constitution was framed, it was Continue reading Judging the Judges
Writing on politics in India is a scavenger’s job; you can write only about dirty deeds of unprincipled people. The very word ‘politics’ has lost its original meaning to acquire a bad connotation. When one conspires or manipulates, one is supposed to be “playing politics”. Journalists think only ‘politics’ – who is stabbing whom in the back, who is pulling whose legs – is news. Even those who are disgusted with it and choose fields like sports or science have to cover politics there; ‘politics’ has become all-pervasive.
All political reporting is about parties which have sacrificed all values, principles and ideologies and have the single-point goal of coming to power and retaining it, about palace coups within parties, about people called ‘leaders’ who only follow — doing what the mob wants, even if wrong. Populism and evils like casteism, parochialism and use of money and muscle power are accepted as “electoral compulsions”, even by parties which once swore by principles. What can a political analyst write about today?
On how a loyal good man, frustrated and grumbling about being always ignored in favour of dynasty members has been ‘kicked up’ into the Rahstrapati Bhavan as he cannot be kicked out?
On how one becomes a President or Governor not for any merit or erudition, but as reward for loyalty to ruling family or for nuisance value and ability to needle the rulers if not ‘rehabilitated’?
On how goondas posing as leaders work up mob emotions on issues which should be sorted out across the table and in the interests of the majority, irrespective of their language. religion or caste? On how these ‘leaders’ remain unscathed, grow rich and live comfortably in palacial properties even as the people whom they incite to violence lose lives or limbs or get locked up?
On how “people’s representatives” waste time in Parliament and legislatures on dharnas, freebies for themselves and trivial issues like a decades-old cartoon, naming of universities/projects or even more frivolous matters, but have no time to pass the Lokpal or Women’s Reservation Bills or laws to benefit children, dalits (who they swear by) and disabled?
On how ‘leaders’ of a party which criticisie rivals for corruption or illegal activities and “foreign jaunts”, themselves face corruption charges, get arrested or go on pleasure trips abroad with hangers on? On how they spend hundreds of crores of tax-payers’ money on ads to promote temselves while basic services suffer?
On how a CM spends crores on helicopter-hopping, poojas, homas and prostrating before pontiffs, ignoring draught and more urgent issues?
On how a leader with prime ministerial dreams prefers to be a puppet Chief Minister controlled by a disqualified politician and allows a wanted criminal ‘welcome’ a muder accused on bail, giving him a VIP treatment?
On how Union Carbide’s Andersons, Bofors’ Quattarochis and the corrupt with secret Swiss bank accounts are protected by leaders who then demand a probe into an anti-corruption crusaders’ money but refuse to reveal where their own party’s millions came from?
On how those responsible for a deplorable massacre of members of one community charge rivals –just to get a community’s votes– with (equally deplorable) genocide, but use their own power to escape prosecution while the rivals faced scores of cases and tet their own members go to jail?
On how politicians, film stars and gold-and-diamond merchants – all of them contributing little to the society — have become millionaires with political patronage while farmers who produce the food we live on are driven to suicide?
On how a ‘son of the soil’ who could spend crores on world tours for his extended family despite being a ‘poor farmer’, found only three billionaires of the state to choose a Rajya Sabha candidate from?
On how a company can lend money to the close kin of the ruling dynasty to buy land and then buy the same land from him at many times the price just a few days later or on how a government-allotted land worth hundreds of crores is ‘sold’ by politician-trustees to themselves for a paltry sum?
The list can be unending. The pen may be mightier than the sword, or the (key)board stronger than the bomber, but a journalist has to use it as a toilet brush to clean up the dirt spread by politicians.
Journalists who want to stop writing on politics and turn to human issues are, however, condemned to be considered “useless” non-entities.