Thursday, November 26, 2009

They are dying here too

Just saw a startched shirt and more starchted faced Home Minister Chidambaram proudly claim that his biggest achievement is that there has been no major terror attack in India after 26/11. Well, if that's the yardstick, then George Bush would be the greatest administrator in the world since US did not see even a small attack after 9/11. And anyways, if there has been no attack, it is only because terror groups are running helter skelter in Pakistan under US-Pak armed pressure.

But let's for a moment look at how terror is still killing people all over India. More than hundreds have died in last one year in Orissa, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and Kashmir. Scores of security officers and policement have died fighting the naxals, maoists, jehadis, ulfaites, naga militants in all these places. The Naxal and Maoist belt sees an attack every alternative day. Trains have been blown off, hijacked and much more. Blasts have ripped apart places and buildings. The poor tribals there keep on dying in a battle which the Central Government seems to keen to lose to discredit the local state governments, be it BJP, BJD or Communist governments. But no one notices since it's no Mumbai or Taj, it's just some undeveloped forest land of those forsaken states. Maybe the Home Minister needs to improve his geography to know that those places belong to India.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

26/11 - Now and then

It's nearly a year since 26/11. There will be ceremonies, events, media marches, sms polls, messages, all to get that penny out of our pocket by playing the "we care" drama tape. People spoke about wnating to change the system. Let's wait for a minute and see if things have really changed.

Kasab is still alive.
R R Patil and A N Roy are back in the control of our security
Vilasrao Deshmukh has been promoted.
There is no sign of any improvement in our police department as top cops fight each other
The police reforms and modernisation still looks a distant dream

So what changed? All the candles burnt, all the marches taken out and all the hands held. the reply is nothing has changed since the day 10 terrorists (though the then NSG Chief still claims there were more) raped our motherland. Hundrer more are doing it on everyday basis in forests of Chattishgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal. And thousands more waiting to enter through Kashmir. Nothing has changed since then till now. The government spoke about wanting to change things for people but it went back to making money in sugarcane prices and 2G Scams. Common public spoke about awakening and wanting to change the system but ran off to nearby hill stations when the time came for the change.

All we have to do is thank the Pakistan Army for keeping the jehadis busy else we would have seen many more 26/11 and then Indian History would read like a calendar - 13/12, 11/7, 26/11

So, while we sit on a volcano, let's forward stupid smses of 'we care', 'India strikes back', 'Mumbai Spirit rocks', 'Let's hold hands and march' to increase wealth of likes of Ambanis and Prannoy Roys.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Liberhan Commission report - just one sided view?

So now that the report is 'officially' out, one can see how legal experts, constitutional experts are junking the report. And that is because it seems a large part of it was written while the honourable judge was 'daydreaming' (if I put down factual errors in a list, it would be a long one). While the political fraternity and the media are looking at the aspects of the report based on their affiliations, one can notice that while the report focusses heavily on what happened, it seems to suffer from selective amnesia on why it happened. Let me give you some examples:

The role of the Muslim leadership in build-up to the 6th Dec - The report says how the Muslim leadership was adamant on it's course and did not produce the settlement claim or any historical documents at the negotiation meeting where VHP produced the necessary historic and legal documents for the settlement. The fact that the leadership for 2 consecutive meetings did not bother to produce any legal or historcial documents slearly shows that all they wanted to do was to prolong the exercise and frustrate those leading the temple movement. Bukhari of Jama Masjid had gone to the level of saying that no judgement or negotiation where a Rama Idol is kept int he structure will be accepted and that there would be disintegration. It is surprising that everyone has so far been completely silent about how the inflexible attitude of these leaders played a major role in deepening the crisis. Also when VHP was doing Kar Seva on non disputed land, they put pressure on government to get it suspended too . They combined with the 'secular' leadeship to ensure that hardly any negotiation meetings took place between 1990-1992. And even when there was a talk of getting the courts to get an early judgement, these leaders played the game of delay.

The 'secular' leadership and their inaction / provocation - Was Narsimha Rao really so naive and foolish that he was day dreaming when the Kar Seva was allowed by SC and a huge mass had gathered? Wasn't he supposedly the father of Indian Economy boost as well as a shrewd politician who overstayed his tenure and luck? Did he really not think the situation was very volatile? Very surprising considering the fact that he was one of the chief negotiators earlier as the Home Minsiter of India under Rajiv Gandhi and had worked with leaders of both the communities. Also the fact that inspite of Hindu leaders meeting him regularly to get a settlement and urgng him to convince the Musllim leadership, he hardly did anything. He was inactive in the period that VHP suspended the kar seva to reach a negotiated settlement.Also the report is silent on the role of Late Rajiv Gandhi who as the Prime Minister ordered the locks of site to be opened to perform pooja. The way he played footsie with both the communities left him was nothing but pure communal politics. On the other hand, the so-called secuar leaders like Mulayam Singh and V P Singh continued their game of appeasement by indulging Bukhari inspite of his utterances. Though there is a very miniscule mention of how Mulayam administration fire callously furing the earlier Kar Seva in 1990, there has never been any doubt that Mulayam used his administration to kill scores of Kar Sevaks but got away with any rap just because he mouthed secular slogans. The fact that all these leaders continued to address the structure as a mosque (inspite of requests from a section fo the society to call it disputed structure till negotiations were complete) played a major role in incensing the already motivated kar sevaks.

So while the report, the media and the political class focusses only on one side of the story, it is high time, one looks at the other hand which was responsible for the clap else thse claps will someday become a slap on the Indian soul.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Princely Arrogance

One thing that I like about Rahul Gandhi is his princely arrogance. The ignorance is so well concealed by the arrogance that even the most stupid remarks come across as gems. Read this "My UK MP friend knows more about rural India than NDA leaders". Hmm, so David Milband knows more about rural India that Atalji, who still has his family staying in a rural house in MP or Advaniji does not know rural India when his parents lived in a small village called Adipur in Kutch while the son was a star in Indian politics. Or maybe Milband knows mroe about rural India than Narendra Modi who spent more than 2 decades travelling across the country staying at party offices or party workers house like a common man and lived a spartan lives. Rural India and it's life is not new to RSS and BJP because that's where most of them come from. Maybe Rahul's friend David so much about India that he made the famous suggestion about how India should "give up" on Kashmir to save itself from Pak terror. Rahul, with friends like that you don't need enemies.

Now, he has come up with another gem. "India has two parts, one urban and another rural - one with facillities and one without facilities" He should be renamed Rahul Einstein for such a wonderful discovery. No body denies that there are 2 Indias but the questions why are there 2 Indias? Why haven't facilities still not gone to the villages and the poor? Who best to answer this other than Rahul himself considerignt he fact that his familly has ruled India most of the times after independence. So please don't reduce the burden of the blame just by accepting that their is mess. Own up for the mess generated by your family all these years.

Who else has the access to P Chidambaram's lock and key?

Unanswered queries about 26/11, Telecom 2G scam, sugarcane crisis, rising prices, Madhu Koda corruption mess, US-China interference in Indian affairs, Chinese aggressive stance on eastern borders, Leftist terror and many more. One can count the number of issues where the government is in the docks and needs to answer. So what does the government do?

It just deflects the media and national attention to a Commission set up nearly 18 years ago. The question here is not about the contents of the Liberhan's report since one has to wait for whole report to be tabled. It is about who had the keys to Home Minister P Chidambaram's lock and key, where he claims he has the report? Or who did Justice Liberhan try to benefit some media houses or the government by leaking the report? If Justice Liberhan and Home Ministy are the only 2 entities in possesion of the report, who leaked it if not one of them? One interesting point to notice is that the report has been first leaked in Indian Express and NDTV, both media companies run by those who have close links with 10, Janpath - Shekhar Gupta and Prannoy Roy. So was it done to deflect attention from the faillures of the UPA or was it done to take the battle for Muslim votes to the next level? Some answers are so obvious that they do not require a question.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tale of 2 congregations

Nov 2009 saw an interesting set of opposites. The only thing common between the two was that both were huge assemblies. That's where similarities ended because both were organsied by 2 organisations which are on different ends of the ideologies and culture. Some glaring differences to be seen between the two were:

The one such meeting which was widely publicised was the Jamait Ulema's meeting which became famous for it's various resolutions like the fatwa against terror, against Vande Mataram, against insurance, women's reservations, television and much more. By the way before you think this was held in Afghanistan or Pakistan or Saudi, wait. It was held in India.

Another was organised by Vanvasi Kalyan Samiti in Delhi. Here more than 10,000 students and their families were brought from the North Eastern States, Orissa, Chattishgarh, Jharkhand. The students stayed with local families who support RSS and it's activities in tribal areas. The idea was to bring the bring the students to the mainstream and show them how similar the people are inspite of the diversity.

While one congregation was about division, the other was about uniting. One was bringing India to medival ages, another was bringing old India to meet a new one.

But still, one could not but help notice the media coverage the Jamait's congregaiton got and the lack of coverage for the tribal meet. And this neglect by the media and the ruling class only because of the vote bank politics and slavery of media to the ruling class (A rumour was that national media was warned against covering the tribal meet by a Union Minsiter who owes his position to missionaries).

For those who want to see the glimpse of how the tribals are being brought into mainstream, there is a similar event happening in Mumbai in December.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Home Minister goes a Ghajini

Home Minister P C Chidambaram just did a Ghajini act. No, he did get tattoos on his body and neither did he bash up few goons. He had a lapse of memory and forgot that he was the Home Minsiter of India and not Home Minsiter for Muslims. He went to Deoband, which is one of the more fanatic forms of Islamic studies in India and with which Taliban also shares it roots. He spoke at length about Hindu fundamentalism. But he seems to have missed an important event which happened minutes before he went there. The clerics at the Deoband meet issued a fatwa banning Vande Mataram, our national song on grounds that it was anti-Islam. This was a clear strike at what can be called symbol of our identity and pride. Chidambaram maybe agrees that Vande Mataram is communal song and should be banned/ What next to be removed? The saffron from our flag?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Political Roundup

Some things remain the same, more they appear to change. And Indian politics is one of them. A round up of all that happen (or did not happen) in the last few weeks

Maharashtra still awaits a government - Maharashtra Congress seems to have made up it's mind to ignore Madam and Yuvraj's calls for austerity. What else can explain the delay in swearing in which is costing the state more than 10 lakhs so far and not to forget the delay in projects which leads to more money being lost. The Congress fresh from a handsome win is more bothered about cabinet berths and portfolios than the aam aadmi.

RajThackeray's ideological washout - While the media and his partymen are busy showcasing MNS's seats as a major win, what they seem to miss are some of these details from Mumbai. Raj Thackeray fought on anti-migrant or pro-Marathi agenda but he also led to reduction of Marathi representation in current assembly. More than 50% of elected MLAs from Mumbai are non-Maharashtrians. Nearly one-third are from UP. This is substantially higher than previous assembly. So while Raj did his political bit by affecting BJP-SS, he lost on ideological grounds miserably.

31st Oct was Sardar's birthday too - Sardar Patel would possibly be sad up there when he realises that he made a mistake by not furthering his family into Indian politics. Because had he got a government which was run on strings by his grand daughter in law or daughter in law, maybe he too would have been remembered on 31st Oct. All efforts were made to show Indira as India and that included having 'paid' or 'loyal' stooges to even justify the emergency and Operation Blue Star be it in newspaper, magazines or television. Maybe this was one place where the governemnt and the Congress Party forgot to follow austerity.

Mother of scams - 2 corruption cases come out in open and who do they belong to? Well the incumbent UPA. One is Madhu Koda from Jhakkhand who was the UPA CM and another is D Raja from DMK and current Telecom Minister. While the sheer volume of money that Indian public has lost (Rs 50,000 crore) in telecome Specturm case makes it the largest scam in India, the minister D Raja is sitting pretty because the current government depends on DMK and there is no way our 'clean, non-corrupt' PM can remove an 'efficient' minister (or money arranger) like Raja. As far as Koda is concerned, he has no value anymore and so can be hounded.

BJP Blues in Karnataka - The first BJP government in south India faces a serious threat from the rebels led by the mine-kings and cash rich Reddy brothers. The situaiton underlines one main point and that is wherever BJP jas deviated from core RSS ideology and fallen prey to money-bags, it has had bad experience. It's high time BJP stops giving importance to those who are in the party only to further their business interests and gives some respect to those who are with the party based on ideology.