Archive for March, 2012

Our MPs outraged

Members of Parliament were outraged at Anna team specifically at Arvind Kerjiwal’s ‘derogatory’ remarks. It is quite understandable the righteous anger of the MPs! But they who seem so offended and hurt have lost the sensitivity to feel the pulse of the common people. Nobody is thrilled with our MPs.If an opinion poll is taken the MPs will hardly score 5 out of 100.Why this disdain and disrespect for our MPs? Has anyone of the MPs been true to his/her oath. Again this statement may be an exaggeration but when one wants to make one’s point there is bound to be some exaggeration to hit the nail on the head. Just last evening a friend of mine reported that ‘all the children at the society’s park are fighting. I was perplexed and wanted to see this ‘fight’.When I went there to witness the ‘fight’ of all the children I found just three children having a small tiff among themselves while the 7 others were playing. So what did the ‘all the children’ mean?
It is a way of emphasis. Arvind Kerjiwal should have specified that 165 MPs including the 14 Union ministers have alleged charges of corruption,murder,rape exortion etc.But this will take off the sting when thus stated from a public plafform.This is exactly why the Coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal meant when he said that many departments suck blood like mosquitoes-but later clarified that he did not mean the Finance department. There is a way of talking to be more emphatic. What makes one horrified at the horrified hurt, and the tone and tenor that Arvind Kerjiwal’s remark triggered among the MPs? They closed ranks and all condemned him. It looks that they were waiting for some opportunity to close ranks! Lets coolly look at the whole picture which made Arvind Kerjiwal make such a comment-calling the MPs names as thieves, rapists, murderers.
Arvind Kejiwal communicated his agony and hurt that the representatives of the people sitting in our august Parliament had 165MPs who called for probing their alleged involvement in crime and criminality. Had it been even 5 this is outrageous as far as the common people are concerned. Were the horrified and hurt MPs like Sushma Swaraj,Sharad Yadav of the JDU and of course the Congress MPs not been pained at having to sit along with them in the august forum of the Parliament? Did they not think it necessary to rack up this issue? Did they not feel it below their dignity to be their companions? Did they not think that the sanctity of Parliament was tarnished and dragged down?
What is worse is that Sushma Swaraj stated that AK wants them to give him the Lok Pal but defames them.It seems that these MPs think that LokPak is something which team Anna wants as its private property. And it seems that team Anna has to be careful and use ‘civil’ language if they want the MPs to give it the Lok Pal.Does it not show that the MPs are not serious in fighting corruption. Is it not ridiculous to have such a slant of thinking? The Lok Pal is for the people-it is meant to arrest to a great extent corruption and graft .It is what the people need. Team Anna is just spearheading this need based movement. So to tell them ‘better mind your language if you want us to give you something you are asking for’ is not only childish but also wrong. It shows the mindset of the MPs. It reveals that they are not honest in wanting the Lok Pal.
Arvind Kerjiwal is right when he says how can corrupt persons want a Lok Pal.It means fighting themselves. To be frank let us take a head count and see how many of the MPs really want the Lok Pal. It is true what Sharad Yadav said that ‘this Parliament has been fighting corruption the most’. This is not because the MPs were so concerned about corruption but because scams were raining all the sides and what other business could they engage in other than fight corruption in Parliament. There was no governance by the GOI-there was no sensible debate and no areas of reform for the MPs to debate and set the highlights for legislation. True it is their business to legislate but it is the business of the people to force them to do so-or at least to see that the MPs reflect the aspirations of the people in their words and actions.
Look at the Adarsh scam –only now a few arrests have been made. This will go on dragging till the people forget the case and other fresh scams will break out.The Coal scam is one such. The reference point to the quantum of money loss to the exchequer is always the 2G scam. Is it more than that or less than that? That there is a loss to the exchequer is today no more valid-one needs to quantify and then starts the squabbles over the amount. Like in Spectrum 2G according to Kapil Sibal there was zero loss. Then he squirmed in his seat when he had to eat his words-this from an MP who is a Union Cabinet Minister. Why do they shoot their mouths off? It looks that the Cabinet Ministers are least bothered if there is a loss to the exchequer. One wishes this to be linked to the perks, salary and other fringe benefits they enjoy. No wonder they are magnanimous when it comes to give away the national assets-to cut down at the flow to the exchequer. What reason would one otherwise give for Kapil Sibal to reduce a fine of 650 crores imposed on the Reliance to a mere 5 crores? It is people’s money what if it was Kapil Sibal’s private organization? Would he be so magnanimous? It simply goes to show how callous and indifferent the government has been when it comes to loss to the public exchequer. When it comes to auctioning or not auctioning-when it comes to first come first served basis etc. they do not put the country first and then discharge their duties. This is exactly why often I say and so do others that almost all the MPs-including the PM and the cabinet ministers have betrayed the nation and the people’s trust because they have not been loyal and faithful to the oaths they had so solemnly taken. Why then cry for the head of Arvind Kerjiwal. Are the MPs now wary of the Anna team? If they are honest they should get going with the task of unraveling the black money issue which figured in the manifesto of the BJP-the Congress should worry about the tainted ministers and the scams during its period- The NDA and the UPA has much to answer to the people. Do not waste time to going after team Anna and in bringing Privilege Motions .It will boomerang. The people must bring in Privilege Motion against those tainted but sitting cozily in Parliament at the cost of the people and calling it the august body-the sovereign body of the people. Can there be a greater insult to democracy? Do not bother what is civil and uncivil in the Civil society –the people are bothered with much larger issues and hopes that you as the MPs will also rise up to that task rather than be engaged scoring petty brownie points. Dr Mrs Hilda Raja,
Vadodara.

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March 27, 2012 at 5:47 am 7 comments

The will of the people will prevail

“I promised ma we’ll get her all the 10 seats of Rae Bareli and Sultapur”,so stated Priyanka Vadra.’at one of her campaigns. It is this personalized kind of electioneering and this dynastic mindset which saw the Congress biting the dust in the recent elections in four of the five States-It pushed the party to fourth place in Uttar Pradesh, snatched away Goa and handed over Punjab back to the Akali Dal and in Uttarakhand the Congress with just one more than the BJP has to stoop down to the independents in a bid to form the government. One should also not forget that this dynasty mindset was reflected in the civic polls in Maharastra. Yet the Congress had not learned its lesson. Pointing on reasons outside itself and the family it looks for scapegoats, “Problem is we have too many leaders’ too many leaders-not lack of it”. Was one of the reasons Mrs Sonia Gandhi gave for the party’s debacle. And who is responsible for these ‘too many leaders”? She fails to introspect that she as leader is solely responsible because it is a one person regime in the Party. When it came to organizational weakness- that was quickly passed over. Organizational weaknesses is also her making-with she holding full power and sycophants as General Secretaries. She made her son Rahul Gandhi a General Secretaryho had no political experience and had not climbed up the ladder.A Digvijaya Singh who is more a liability than an asset. His utterances must have made the Congress loss quite a handful of votes. The Congress which boasts itself to be the oldest party now talks of starting from the scratch. The likes of Salman Khrushid and Beni Prasad did not cover themselves with glory when they violated the model code of conduct and defied the Election Commissioner to hang them!
The simple fact which it overlooks is the kind of campaigning it indulged in-the lack of good local leaders it failed to nurture and allow to evolve .This has been the biggest drawback of the Congress.It is too centralized for a democracy and is banking just on one family.But when it wants to deliver the goods then it looks for local leaders. Hence Sonia Gandhi’s quick accusation on why the party lost in Rae Bareli’it is because the people are not happy with the MLAs.What was her role in the pocket borough of Rae Bareli? What was her role in Amethi where 8 of ten assembly seats went to the SP? These considered to be the pocket boroughs of the Nehru Gandhi family failed miserably in the elections.
The biggest need will be for Mrs Sonia Gandhi to realize that the family is no longer the vote catcher. Its charm does not work towards changing the curious crowds into votes. Even her son-in-law did some campaigning and I am sure that not only failed to click but went towards the people’s indifference and backlashed on the dynasty. Robert Vadra stated that politics is the family’s business. Governance is not business of the family. Surely people will not take this kind of cheap boast and everything went against the family. The appearance of the whole family did not pay as was expected. It boomeranged. That people have matured and the people of India are looking forward to democratic governance the Family failed to realize. How long can it take the people for a ride? The voters will reject patrons and saviors and crumbs falling from the National Advisory Council.
The people want truly their representatives not cynics of the Opposition. They need to be assured of fulfillment of their aspirations. But here again Rahul Gandhi failed and failed miserably. He tried to stand outside his party and the government at Delhi thereby insulating himself from the corruption, the price rise, and the scams. When he criticized the Mayawathi government for making the UPites beggars it did not go down well. When he faulted Mulayam Yadav and Mayawati for not being with the people and not feeling for the poor anymore it evoked no response. When he stated that ‘we’ sent them money but the elephant has eaten it up.He fails to realize that the money was not his or the Congress’ –it was the people’s money.This Rahul Gandhi may not comprehend but the people did. With a pretension of anger he tried to project on the misery and poverty of the people-they must have laughed within themselves because the people are fully aware that he and his mother are at the helm of affairs so why blame others. They also know that it is they who keep the Gandhis in their luxury and luxurious life style.So eating a meal with them and spending a night in a dalits’ hut is no relief for them.These are all gimmicks because he gets back to his luxurious life style.
He projected himself as their savior-the one and only person come to redeem them. But did not the Congress rule UP? What was its achievement? Rahul Gandhi thinks that the people who converged in large numbers are at his level of IQ. He fails to realize that they are intelligent and world wise and in dealing with their lives they have more vision and more earthy ideas. This kind of patronage will be totally rejected in the coming years. It is a public secret that Manmohan Singh is not allowed to govern.
Right from the inception of the Congress down the years it has not allowed local leaders-regional leaders to grow.This can be gauged from the fact that when these leaders like Devraj Urs, Kamaraj grew tall they were cut to size.The Kamaraj plan was strategically placed to ease off regional leaders in the name of organizational growth.Today Mrs Sonia Gandhi talks of organizational weakness. It is her role which has made the organization weak. The growth of sycophants is one such. Lack of inner democracy is another. Insulating herself and the family from the country’s aspiration projecting their own aspirations to be in power as that of the country’s. How totally mired their focus is .When a big tree falls all the plants around it die. This is the same kind of thought process that mires Mrs Sonia Gandhi and her children. They are not India and they cannot be placed above the country-its people and its development.
Look at the kind of leaders which she has around her. Digvijaya for one who has done greater harm that anyone in his uncalled for comments and utterances. Why had he brought in Batla house encounter and fixed it as a faked encounter .Why had Salman Khurshid referred to Mrs Sonia Gandhi’s tears. How foolish they were and how utterly out of sync they were as far as the people are concerned. Did these kinds of irresponsible utterances bring in votes? People- are smarter than Digvijaya Singh and his sycophantic outlook. Just the day prior to the counting of the votes he rubbished the exit-poll surveys and said that the Congress would get more than 100 seats in UP. What kind of a leader is he when he could not feel the pulse of the people? It is this kind of leaders that are ‘too many’ round the family.
Digvijaya also said that if the results are not good then Rahul Gandhi cannot be blamed. It is not for him to say that. RG himself has accepted the failure as his responsibility. He has learned his lesson he stated. I wonder what lesson he had learned. If only the Family could remove itself from centre stage and not stage manage the GOI and appoint persons of family loyalty to positions, things would be different. Mrs Sonia Gandhi thinks that managing the country’s affairs is easy-she had no experience, hence her son too with no experience can manage. Now the next in line is her daughter Priyanka Vadra.If there are lessons learned then the first would be that the Gandhi family must cease to be the first family. There were other great men/women who contributed their best to the country but did not ask for power and prestige.
Mrs Sonia Gandhi has wrought more harm than good to the country.As Pratap Bhanu Mehta writes in his article ‘Mandate for a dream’(IE 7th March): “The party’s four cardinal mistakes in this election were hubris, communalism, disingenuous and whining’ I would say that these are not pertaining to only this election but the factors which color the vision of the Congress at all times. The Congress will not learn its lesson because too long in power has blinded it to reality. Mrs Sonia Gandhi’s refusal to own up responsibility in failing to nurturing a democratic organization reveals a mindset that cannot be changed. This is precisely why she sees ‘no dent to the UPA.’It is too much to expect Mrs Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka to realize that the family has no magic wand and that the people are fed up with the Nehru-Gandhi family and its brand of politics. It does not accept the idea of Robert Vadra that politics is the business of the family. That is completely rejected and will be rejected for all times. That under it there is an anti Congress sweep-a mood of the people against the Congress. The sooner the party realizes this the better. Unless the party becomes democratic it cannot offer a democratic government. Unless Mrs Sonia Gandhi disbands her NAC and allows the ministries to function under Manmohan Singh without a remote control there is no redemption for the country. The will of the people will prevail and that would be to topple the undemocratic Congress and unseat those who are against democracy and democratic institutions.
Dr Mrs Hilda Raja,
Vadodara

March 8, 2012 at 1:57 pm 2 comments


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