Posts filed under ‘politics’

The Washington Post and its postmortem of the UPA2

The profile of Manmohan Singh in the Washington Post has ruffled the feathers of the Congress. This party is like an ostrich which buries its head in the sand. Not a single sentence in The Washington Post can be faulted. It is a true assessment of Manmohan Singh and the government he heads. It is a pity that the Congress leaders fail to learn and to rewrite their  script. Instead it demanded the WP to apologize. Typical of the Congress which cannot stand truth because it does not abide by truth.It was so quick under the prodding of the new combative Mrs Sonia when it demanded that Advani take back his remark that the UPA 2 is an illegitimate government. Well the Washington Post has mirrored its true reflection which means this government has lost its legitimacy. When one is not legitimate what is it then? The author has voiced the opinion of millions of people-and sketched the contours of a PM which is not very flattering. In fact it reveals the true  state of affairs  and the personality of the PM. From an ‘underachiever’ he has slipped down to a tragic figure.
The unflattering profile is cent percent true. Manmohan Singh should have long ago put in his papers- instead he presides over the most corrupt government India ever had-he preferred to look the other way when as the author puts it when his ministerial colleagues were filling their pockets. Is this a sign of honesty? No wonder the paper has drubbed him as intellectually dishonesty. As an economist he refused to usher in any economic reform to arrest the sliding down of the economy-the devaluing of the rupee and the raining of scams. Insensitive to all this Manmohan Singh clung to his power. If he had an iota of self respect and integrity he would either have resigned or at least demanded the resignation of his corrupt ministers. No, he had to pretend that he sees nothing-hears nothing and speaks nothing. Well then he is  PM of ‘nothingness’ Why should Ambica Soni be so agitated that she wants the matter to be referred to the MEA.?Is it because the  Congress leaders are immature that they cannot digest the truth?
This is one of the many fallouts of allowing a super PM to function; a mini parliament –the National Advisory Council-handpicked men and women of Mrs Sonia Gandhi, with the set objective of advising her. Why a NAC? Does all other party presidents have a NAC which the public exchequer funds? If she needs advise as the President of the Congress party then the party should fund the NAC-not the public The drafting of bills and the recommendations of the NAC then finds their way to the PM. And this is a violation of the Constitution because the backdoor advisors-or a mini parliament is not envisaged in a democratic set up. The Prime Minister then finds himself obligated to accept their recommendations. What for and why God alone knows. The gradual nibbling away at the democratic institutions-depleted the vitality of democracy.Manmohan Singh is aware of these but then his indecisiveness-his dithering at every stage demeaned his stature and not enhanced it.
He was a robot-the remote control was Mrs Sonia Gandhi. Everyone right from the top-including his council of ministers down to the man on the street was fully aware of this.Two power centers in appearance but only one power centre that had power-the other was namesake centre.It was No 10 Janpath to which people flocked and the leaders –be they Congress and or its allies went to. The making and the unmaking of a leader depended on the perception of Mrs Sonia Gandhi.This was well known. And where was the Prime Minister in this power play? He was the humble, subservient, grateful vassal of Mrs Sonia Gandhi. How could this not dent the dignity, the credibility and the prestige of the Prime Minister? And why the ruckus and furore when the Washington Post came out with the correct picture?
What is the self-worth of the Congress party which is mired in scandals and scams and is the most corrupt. It somehow lives in an ivory tower and thinks that everything is square and fair with its double speak. Imagine what ridiculous figures the national spokespersons of this party cuts when they bravely utter sound bytes just for the sake of holding on to their positions as national spokespersons. Why should they cut such ridiculous figures in defending the indefensible? Of course one can sweep aside persons like Renuka Chowdry who has no substance to utter but is only a face –but what about the others? Have they no sensibility and sensitivity?
Look at the downfall of Manmohan Singh from a high pedestal of credibility and acumen down to illegitimacy-lack of credibility and abettor of corruption. The question rises then who is more corrupt-the abettor of corruption, or one who directly is involved in the act of corruption-The   one who takes the money and fills one pocket or the one who sees it and pretends that nothing is wrong.
What cannot be missed in this is the fact that the PM is under oath (of course the other ministers too are) that he would act without favor or fear. He is the custodian of the people’s faith in governance and clean governance. He has betrayed that faith-he has violated the solemn oath and hence will belong to the dustbin of history when the history of democratic India is written. This is the price he will pay for being a stooge-a lame duck and one who wanted at all cost to stick to power. Thanks to Mrs Sonia Gandhi who led him down such a lane and brought in this state of affairs.
Dr Mrs Hilda Raja,
Vadodara

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September 7, 2012 at 8:14 am 10 comments

Double standards-typical example

There has been media coverage of Modi to such an extent that I think he has been the most published and damned political figure –but with a difference it has been aimed to demonize him. There seem to be no end to Modi bashing. Reflecting a bit I was intrigued on this prejudice of the media. It is not mere prejudice but sheer hate building. The media would stoop to any level be it to spread canards-allegations and even had put Modi to trial and sent him to the gallows. On the other hand the netas do not hesitate from shaking hands with Pakistanis-be they officers, or envoys. The hand shake must be captured in the media and hence the duration accordingly. And these are the people who abet cross country terrorism. But the media scrutinizes those who shake hands with Modi-sit near him-embrace him etc –much is interpreted and read into these gestures of even normal courtesies. Why this double standard?

We must live with Islamic terror and fatwas. The media is rather reluctant to call a spade a spade. But then P.Chidambaram when he was the Home Minister was quick to point out at ‘saffron terror. I beg to ask PC how many instances of ‘saffron’ terror had been detected .On the other hand look at the numerous Islamic terror attacks Why a studied silence? Why not give it a color and condemn these?

To show the bias of the media I would like to cite the example of Muhul Roy’s visit to Chennai after the Tamilnadu train accident near Nellore-in which 32 died and a few others injured. Muhul Roy visits Chennai in grand style. The same platform on which the dead bodies were brought the previous day our Hon’ble minister after a good sleep in a luxurious coach alighted .The platform had been washed-fresheners were set up-and two electricians were ready (least there be a close circuit) and Muhul Roy alights-steps on the platform-wait a minute- a red woolen rug was placed for him to step on. All this when the tears of those who lost their dear ones were not dried. And Muhul Roy did not even apologize but when asked if he would resign-he shot back “Why should I”. Yes these are our netas who forget that they live on our money and they are supposed to serve the aam admi.

The callousness and arrogance of the political class and in this case Muhul Roy was nauseating remember a train accident that happened I think in the year 1960 at Ariyalur-Tamilnadu, Then Lal Bahadhur Shastri was the railway minister. Without a delay and without a fuss he immediately put in his papers owning responsibility-that is dharma. But these days when the train accidents are so many-call it Centre terrorism because it is the lives of people that are lost and people are crippled and injured. Be it State terrorism, riots it is all lives that matter and that have to be accounted for. What happens in State and Centre terrorism quickly the government announces compensation. Again it is taxing the people. Why not dip into the kitties of the political parties which are in power for distributing compensations. This I mention for two reasons. What would have been the media’s reaction had Modi acted as Muhul Roy. The red rug was displayed only in a couple of papers. The electronic media was silent.  Had Modi did the same the media would have flashed his stepping on the red rug and also would have analyzed his indifference and callousness to the loss of lives and suffering of the people?So Modi is treated entirely on a different level while others are given a velvet glove treatment. It is Modi hatred that the media is spreading. May be the media is paid to do so-otherwise what reason could there be for such blatant discrimination and bias?

The second reason why I am mentioning this is to highlight the callousness of the political class. Today they move around as monarchs .The amount of money spent on their visits, the style of functioning even when tragedy strikes people is something one cannot take. There seem to be a total lack of concern, a distance between the people and the elected representatives and a lack of probity in public life. Insensitivity is not the word sufficient to describe the way the political class behaves. The railways are a telling example. How much of money is being spent on security for the ministers but when it comes to the common people it is negligible. The so called people’s ‘comforts’ are atrocious. I traveled in the Kanyakumari Express two weeks ago. There was no water-the wash basins are today small finger bowls-the state of the toilets are intolerable. The people suffer all this in silence. The ministers and the MPs travel in high style at the cost of the people. Why should our Indian culture be associated with dirt and uncleanliness when it comes to public services? The ministers and the bureaucrats visits foreign countries don’t they see the clean public services? Why these foreign jaunts on our money when they cannot try and bring in some kind of discipline in our country? Taking the people for a ride and compensating for their lives with our money. How come that no top persons are involved in accidents-especially in trains-that’s because everything is meticulously scrutinized and put in place. Why not extend the same care and security for the people on whose money the whole governance (non governance) revolves? Shame on the political class! Accountability is totally absent when it comes to services for the people.

Dr Mrs Hilda Raja,
Vadodara

August 7, 2012 at 3:05 pm 4 comments

A defining moment in history

The dust and the heat has subsided and so one can look with some clarity and calm at the events that unfolded-Unprecedented crowds waved the tricolour-that made the heart throb-to see waves and waves of tricolour for a purpose being waved.It was symbolic that Indians have matured politically.They cannot be taken for a ride anymore-the middle class came out of their indifference and took to the roads-it was Anna,Anna all the way. In  schools in Vadodara the children fasted for one day This is a moment in history which defines the course of events to follow.

Articles have come-I have read two good ones one by Jaithirtha Rao

‘Erring on the side of good sense (IE 29th Aug) the other by Gururmurth’Anna stir a balance sheet’ More will follow I am sure and it is good to put down one’s thinking.

What struck me hard was how the Parliamentarians were quick to safeguard their ‘rights’ and this means their right to bribe and to sully-nay violate the very forum of Parliament. How can they hide behind Art105(2) to go scot free in taking bribes to vote and to speak? They stoutly opposed any move to bring in their actions within Parliament under the Lokpal bill. Similarly whether the Lokpal should have powers to transfer, suspend or even remove officers guilty of wrongdoing so that they do not influence the process of investigation was again opposed by the MPs that it clashed with Art 311 and 320(3)(C)Naturally they were against the removal of ministers because this clashed with Art 75.So what the MPs are holding out is that they must be immune to action against them and for this they hold out the Constitution.

It must be remembered that the Constitution is for the people and for good governance and not the other way round. The people and good governance cannot be sacrifice to uphold a Constitution-change the Constitution-amend it, attune it to the changes and the demands of the time. Surely the Founding Fathers would not have envisaged criminals to become MPs. They would have then put in a clause that such should be taken to the open grounds by the people and shot down. The powers of the MPs flow from the people-the sovereignty of the Parliament is not created in abstract or from a vacuum but from the power of the people. The Parliament must and is obliged to uphold the wishes of the people-to articulate their aspirations and hopes and accordingly function. It is not to uphold the wrong doings of the MPs and a Parliament that does not reflect the wishes of the people has lost its sovereignty. That’s what we witnessed and we will witness people’s power more in the coming days I am sure and hopeful of.

Is it not for the MPs to say that their deeds and misdeeds have a blanket covering and cannot be scrutinize by the people who elected them? It is nonsensical for former Speakers and MPs to talk about the sanctity of Parliament when they have violated that sanctity. When at least 105 criminals are sitting as MPs where is the sanctity of the Parliament. It is also illogical to state that the people who sent them as their representatives have no voice and authority to question their deeds within Parliament. This is defeating the very spirit of democracy. It looked ridiculous how MP after MP stood up to ridicule Anna and to robustly defend their powers and uphold the sanctity of Parliament.We the people are thoroughly ashamed of such MPs-through hood and crook –through money power-their get themselves elected to the Parliament to safeguard their own vested interest and begin the loot. How many of our Parliamentarians would pass a rigorous test of honestly in functioning, honesty in governance and show clean hands? It is a shame on India and they still want to loot the people. Heir time  of reckoning has come

But then first let us examine if we really have democracy when the MPs, ministers and the PM were so closely guarding something which we do not have. Hence they blame Anna for undemocratic ways and strategies. Where is democracy and democratic norms. It all started from the day  when Mrs Sonia Gandhi made her renunciation democratic norms were throw to the wind.We have a nominated and handpicked Prime Minister.Is that democracy? Constitution was amended for representatives to be nominated in the Rajya Sabha from places where they did not live. Is this democracy? Why was the Rajya Sabha created? So we have a PM with a house rented in Assam and a ration card he holds to prove that he is a resident of Assam.Is this not defeating the spirit of democracy? We have an NAC which advises the PM-which drafts bills and has become a mini parliament presided by Mrs Sonia Gandhi. Who should advise the PM-what is the council of ministers then for?We have for every issue a panel/committee and a commission. What is the task then of the Parliament. ?It is not parliamentary democracy by a panel raj. Who is the head of the government-not the Prime Minister but Mrs Sonia Gandhi who orders and rules from No 10 Janpath road. From the moment she entered into active politics democracy died. She became a super/extra constitutional power and the PM a puppet. Is this democracy? Now people are wailing and weeping that they missed Sonia Gandhi who would have tackled the Anna episode better. I am sure she would not have succeeded- Because she is the root cause of everything.

And that everything is the augmentation of corruption. Corruption on an unprecedented scale at the highest echelons of the government. She looked down on people with begging bowls and talked of food security and wanted strategies on how to throw a few more crumbs into their bowls while the country was looted. There are any number of articles saying that the most powerful woman is the most corrupt and so it is to a nation which sees her as the mother head of corruption and all that is wrong in democracy that her sycophants keep saying that Mrs Sonia Gandhi would have handled the Anna issue better. To get a cabinet position she formed the NAC and became its chairperson. At every step she belittled the authority of the PM. But that Manmohan Singh asked for it is another aspect. Why had he to be her humble subservient handmaid? India was inching slowly but steadily into becoming a banana republic-thanks to Mrs Sonia Gandhi.

So it is comical to fall back on democracy and watch the MPs hurriedly standing up with their wit and hollow words as champions of democracy and the Constitution.The fact remains that persons like Lalu Ptrasad Yadav against who cases are pending on his disproportionate assets naturally will not want a stringent Lok Pal .So these jokers stood up as champions of the Constitution to the mirth of the people who saw their wit and their jokes as nothing but a camouflage of their corruption.

Parliament cannot be forced and hastened to act was the chorus.But then Parliament did hasten things when it wanted. Jaithritha Roa in his article ‘Erring on the side of good sense’, has pinpointed two instances :when in 1985 PM-Rajiv Gandhi signed an accord with Sant Longowal who was not a minister .To bring peace to Punjab Rajiv Gandhi overlooked the approval of Parliament and the Standing committee and his own cabinet. Rajiv Gandhi signed another accord with the All Assam Students Union which represented no government and no political party. So there are precedents established by the Congress. Another glaring unconstitutional and break of tradition was when President Zail Singh swore in Rajiv Gandhi as Prime Minister even when he was not a minister. There was no sanction from the parliamentary party. So if these things could have been done why does the Congress and the Parliamentarians first question who Anna Hazare is and why the civil society pressurizes Parliament and resorts to undemocratic ways? May be Kapil Sibal, P.Chidambaram,Lalu Prasad Yadav  and Rahul Gandhi should read up history of  our democracy and its unfolding at various periods.

Coming to Rahul Gandhi: somehow the very fact that the Speaker allowed the MP to use the zero hour to read out a draft of three pages does not auger well for upholding parliamentary y norms.Would the Speaker had given such permission to someone else?

So when Rahul Gandhi stood up at the zero hour he already created a feeling of animosity-thanks to the Speaker. But then his long treatise did not go down well because he was silent all these days, because the Gandhi family was silent all these days and is seen as being at the root of all that went wrong with democracy. And to say that one Lokpal is not enough was laughable. To make it similar to the Election Commission is not very encouraging because the EC members are nominated by the political class and look at the case of Naveen Chawla.The same is for all our investigation agencies-they are subservient and used by the ruling class for their own vested interest. So Rahul Gandhi making his sermon did not click. A dirty hand cannot speak of abolishing corruption and will not be seen as a clean wiper. Rahul Gandhi is projected as the youth icon and assess what he has achieved in his 41 years? Everything has been given to him-his position as the General Secretary of the Congress did not come to him because he put in hard work. He has to think long before he speaks and when he speaks he reads a draft. He has the red carpet spread-can walk into the PMO and demand that the NREGP to be expanded-can any other MP do that? So RG is seen as one who is pampered and who has lost touch with the travails of the people. Does he have to bribe anyone to get anything? He has lost touch with the people-nay with India.Mrs Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi has become irrelevant in today’s India . It is time they realized this hard truth.

Finally corruption is all pervading. It is not limited to land and mining as stated by Rahul Gandhi.Land and mining are only the natural rich sources which the political class misuses to throw up corruption. Corruption cuts across caste, class, rich and poor There was an attempt to bring in majority/ minority in the corruption issue I know a number of cases of corruption indulged by the minority-by the learned and the ignorant, by the religious and the irreligious. For each category I can cite instances. But the inability to arrest corruption by the Prime Minister, his silence, his inability to intervene is also corruption. One need not assess the assets but his functioning did abet corruption. So in corruption there is a wide range- of direct players and silent players who by their silence are guilty and this is one reason why the Prime Minister must come under the ambit of the Lok Pal.

The value of honesty seems to have disappeared. Money power and muscle power counts-with these two statuses can be acquired-.Hence there should be a conversion of human minds towards the value of honesty. To give bribe and to take a bribe is equally corrupt. Anna revolution must echo in each and every Indian heart to make a resolution to adhere to the value of honesty no matter how hard, no matter the cost. The Political class then can be tackled!

Dr Hilda Raja
Vadodara

August 30, 2011 at 6:07 pm 20 comments

Authority is not the criterion of Truth

‘Lokpal must work within the frame work of the Constitution’ is the repeated litany we hear starting from the Prime Minister and others others in the corridors of power.

The Constitution is made for the citizens of India and the citizens are not made for the Constitution. The Constitution of India’s frame work can be altered-has been altered more than 90 times to adjust to the needs of the powerful So what is this great hue and cry that the Lokpal must work within the framework of the Constitution.

It must be recalled that Indira Gandh even suspended the Constitution to enforce her dictatorial rule.(No worthwhile Lokpal can come out of the Gandhi family) Be it the Privy purses-the nationalization of banks all these were enforced only by amending the Constitution. How many times was the Constitution amended even to accommodate the greed of the MPs and made their services-non services paid by the hard earned money of the taxpayers?

The Constitution Fathers would not and had not envisaged looters and criminals becoming Members of Parliament. So to now fall back on the Constitution and make the Lokpal subservient to the Constitution is another conspiracy of the corrupt. It is the same Constitution which allowed this unprecedented scams and massive corruption in India. This points at something basically lacking in the Constitution when it comes to arresting and stemming corruption. If the Constitution as it stands was not able to stem the rot then the Constitution needs to be revamped may be rewritten. If the Constitution could breed Husain Ali Khans, Dawood Ibrahims then there is something basically wrong with such a Constitution. If the MPs think that they are above the Constitution then such thinking is radically flawed. If the Ministers think that they alone are constitutionally valid to draft the Lokpal bill then we question such constitutionality.

If the judiciary of this country want to be above the constitution then where is the need of the Constitution. Take the process of justice and the flow of justice where in even the Fundamental right of equality is not adhered. Hence the rich and the powerful are in jails without bails but with the jails’ locks opened. They are given all luxuries according to their money and muscle power. Where is Equality then? If a pickpocket steals a purse with a few rupees he is thrown in jail without any amenities and for years languishes But if the high and the mighty loot the country of lakhs of crores of rupees they are treated  differentially. Is this a justice system where Fundamental Rights are violated? Is this working within the framework of the Constitution? You ill-treat your pets then you can be fined one crore or 5 years of imprisonment. How just and how caring to the pets? But how callous and insensitive to the poor humans. But if a woman is involved in a murder case-abets the crime which means assisting in chopping the human body into pieces-abetting in the destruction of the evidence-she is given just three years of imprisonment-After having enjoyed a good life in jail for three years given police protection and in full glare of the media walks free as though she has enacted a historical event. This is the judiciary which works within the frame work of the Constitution. And no one is upset or sheds tears. The alleged criminal becomes a much sought after star.

So to them who swear by the Constitution let it be clear that what suits them they take. They are the ones who violate the word and the spirit of the Constitution. The Constitution is not infallible and must be flexible and adjust to the growing criminalization of the polity. The political class cannot hide under the pages of the Constitution because the political class which drafted the Constitution belonged entirely to a different class of political species. The safest place for a criminal today is the Parliament. This is well known and yet the Parliamentarians pretend that they are above the law. They are to an extent, and that’s the root cause of corruption. It is not the chaprasi who takes a few rupees to open the door, or the  takhasidhar’s office clerical staff who takes a few hundred rupees to move the files but the high and the mighty-the babus who are receiving lakhs as salaries, the Ministers who like leeches suck the blood of the tax payers-these are the people whom the Lokpal must net in.The A.Rajas,the Kalmadis, the army top brass who cheated the widows in the Adharsh landscam,the politicians who have three and four villas abroad-who holidays in Switzerland and celebrates b’day bash in London-those who shed crocodile tears for the poor of India, these are the people whom the Lokpal must be directed against

The government we are told is committed to bringing in a strong Lokpal. Given the whole gamut of happenings one doubts this because the GOI is mostly corrupt. There are a few non corrupt persons but this does not mean that one swallow makes the summer and one cannot hide behind these few persons. By and large the people’s representatives are most indifferent, insensitive, and corrupt and are a burden to the common people. The judiciary too need to be put under the scanner-Even in cases like Rathoor’s molestation of Ruchika it was the media which forced the judiciary to rethink and revisit the judgment Why is it that the lower judiciary is very irreverent towards justice. Can every victim appeal to the higher judiciary and find recourse in the Supreme Court? Is the media unbiased and can it play the advocacy role in every case? The Judiciary must come under the purview of the Lokpal.

It is crucial also for the Prime Minister to be brought under the Lokpal. After all the Prime minister is a representative of the people-not a representative of anyone party and as such must be accountable to the people. This does not mean that every frivolous case will be taken against the PM’s office. How easily the PM in recent years sought to be absolved under ‘error of judgment’-over sight-etc. In instances where the PM was fully aware of the corruption-at least was posted of the doings of the alleged criminals he did not act-did nothing. A stoic silence is not the answer

To be honest the people have lost faith in this government and in the political class. How absurd it is to say that the Congress led UPA is committed to bring in a strong Lopal. How can the corrupt fight the corrupt and what sense does it make when the people are told that a government which silently watched the corruption seep in and eat into every branch and area of governance is promising the nation a strong Lokpal?. There have been questions raised and the Group of empowered ministers have been also raising the same questions-that is the constitutionality of the civil society. Every citizen of this country is constitutionally valid and qualified to raise his/her voice against corruption. It is by and large the constitutional authorities and institutions that are at fault and are mired in corruption. How did the NAC acquire constitutional status? What is the constitutionality of No 10 Janpath becoming a power centre? How has the constitutional experts silently watched this dual power system in a democracy ? Where does the dynasty acquire its legitimacy that even the PM is ready to quit when Rahul Gandhi expresses his wish to sit in the gaddi?

All this and more is constitutional-only when the civil society stands up for the people then questions are raised on its constitutionality. To put in a nutshell we have lost faith in the constitutional authority and institutions because they/these have led down the people-have betrayed the people’s faith and trust. It must be remembered that AUTHORITY is not the criterion of TRUTH..It is the simple folks-the hardworking class, the starving millions of this country who still believe in national patriotism that have morphed into Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare to demand the right to righteousness, to plead for a clean governance and for accountability to the people. It would be too simplistic for the GOI under the Congress to think that this movement can be crushed. That force can be used under constitutionality as it did in the Ramlila grounds to crush the rights of the people. State terrorism cannot be constitutional-the sovereignty of Parliament flows from the people and if the people are crushed then the sovereignty and the whole parliamentary democracy will come down in a bloody revolution. The writing on the wall is clear-no threats can silence TRUTH  No laws can negate the right to Freedom of speech and Freedom of the Individual. No lathis can break the spine of the constitutionality of the people of India and it is obligatory on the GOI led by the Congress to respect the people’s power and their constitutionality to safeguard the sovereignty of this country-to protect its ethos and to uphold Justice and Truth-to banish and vanquish corruption.

Dr Mrs Hilda Raja
Vadodara

July 4, 2011 at 6:22 pm 5 comments

Anna Hazare’s U-turn

This is the perception and the reality that dawn on one who carefully follows the statements-utterances, the U-turns, the focus, the targeting the falsehoods, the untruths, the crusade-like campaigning, the time and the energy spent, the agendas drawn, and also the hoarse shrill voices that raise against Modi and his regime.

No other leader has drawn so much of ire, spite and falsehood statements uttered with such ease as Modi.So the inference is that Modi is the one who matters. One leader with conviction and concern with determination to take the people of Gujarat on the development track must be derailed and crippled. The plan is sinister-the Congress-its foot soldiers  and the NGOs are then anti-people and anti-development This is what flows from an analysis of the recent and not so recent anti-Modi stand.

Take for example Anna Hazare’s U-turn-nay somersault-he played the tune to the dance of Mallika Sarabai. In three hours he was able to assess the A to Z issues that confront the State of Gujarat. And these issue range from eviction and displacements to expensive education. This after meeting groups of people brought-may be even tutored by the India Against Corruption(Gujarat chapter).

Anna Hazare found himself isolated when he praised Modi a  month ago-this was spontaneous after all Anna was very much in India and what he stated regarding Modi’s super development and concern for the State was his own findings. Now Swami Agnivesh reveals that only after meetings these groups they have realized the problems of Gujarat. The media never highlighted these and it did not reach them in Delhi. What a stand on shaky ground. The media is ever focused on Modi land. The indices on development, the stray cases of violence are always given front page publicity when it comes to Gujarat. Anything adverse regarding Modi land is sugar and honey to the Congress and to the media.

So the praise Modi earned from Hazare drew flak and in a month’s time Hazare evolved into a politician with forked tongue. He has Swami Agnivesh by his side who is like a hawk scrutinizing the scenario and ever ready to fill in the gaps. Everyone knows where the loyalties of Agnivesh lie. It is ridiculous that Anna discovered that Gujarat is flowing with more liquor than milk-so fault Modi. Where does Modi come in this picture? Modi cannot be checking every shanty, every slum, every hideout and every person. If there is prohibition then there will always be illicit liquor flowing. This many States have experienced. Why can’t the Congress ruled State impose prohibition? If the police take firm action then it becomes harassment. The Congress has done enough to demoralize the police force in Gujarat. Hence a discredited cop Sanjiv Bhatt becomes a hero to Sibal and to Chidambaram. There is a limit to these leaders and their statements. Is Gujarat Pakistan? Even towards Pakistan they show more concern-but treat Modi as enemy number one and Gujarat under Modi as a hostile country-yes a country with expectations different, a step motherly treatment is handed out. We living here in Gujarat are citizens of India and need to be treated as such. This partiality and bias shown to Modi is actually directed against the State’s people. One Gujarat riot and the whole perception has changed. As though the Gujarat riots of 2002 is the first riot in India. That calls for some special and descriptive elaboration later.

In just three hours Anna learned so much of Gujarat-that there are more scams here in Gujarat than elsewhere. Which other State has Anna gone to meet the tutored groups with their tales of woe? One thought that Anna and his group were determined to fight institutionalized corruption-corruption at the top level-cabinet ministers; babus nay even the PM who shut his eyes and allowed A.Raja to loot the country. One thought that the fight against corruption was directly against the lakhs of cores of rupees stashed in tax havens. No, it is now Modi and Gujarat where Anna finds all the scams.Can Anna and his team find Modi corrupt? On the other hand look at the number of chief ministers involved in corruption-starting from Delhi.To expect no corruption is to expect the impossible. Gujarat is part and parcel of India and when India is totally corrupt how can Anna and his team think that at the grass root level there will not be any corruption in Gujarat? To expect a cent percent clean Gujarat is asking for the utopia.But in comparison look at the efficient administration, the development strides make by Gujarat under Modi’s stewardship these need to be assessed .Anna and his team will become a laughing stock because globally everyone knows that Gujarat’s CM is the best Chief Minister and that Gujarat is the best administered State.

Is Anna and his team then falling a prey to the enemies of development and want to destroy the one man who is holding out. Should it also politicize its struggle against corruption? Should it also become a handmaid of the Congress? If the answer is no then the statements must change the perception must be corrected-the goal of fighting institutionalized corruption cannot become a tool in the fight against Modi to give leverage to the Congress. This is petty politics and it is a sad day for the Anna initiative to be hijacked by vested interest and Anna graduating into a politician. His recent U-Turn is an indication.

Now a reference to Kapil Sibal’s expression of concern when he recently came to Ahmedabad.: Kapil Sibal must realize that we are not fools and that we are not prepared to swallow all that he says because he said it. It only reveals the pathetic jaundiced vision of him -and his mind.

Kapil Sibal stated that he is much concerned because the Gujarat riots are pending too long and wondered at the ‘pace’ and the ‘manner’ it is proceeding. He wondered how long the people should wait for justice. This is the Congress man who forgets that the Sikh riots of 1984 took 24 years and the main accused like Sajjan Kumar Jagdish Tytler were acquitted. That’s the manner in which justice flowed. On a review Sajjan Kumar’s case is pending.Jagdish Tylter the court simply accepted the CBI report in 2010 after 26 years.This is the manner and the pace of justice when it came to these top powerful Congress men.

Talking of ‘manner’ nine commissions were set up for the Sikh for example one to investigate the police-and another commission to investigate the role of police officers during the riot!! Another commission to ascertain the number of people killed in the riots ….Finally when Nanavati report was submitted in 2009 the concerned authorities found that no department action could be taken because the officers had retired and or died. This Mr Sibal is the state of affairs of the Congress regime and ‘manner’ it dealt with the massacre committed during its regime.

There is the Bhopal gas tragedy in which more people died than the people who died during the Gujarat riots This again during the Congress regimes both at the Centre and the State It is a matter of shame and condemnation that till date there is no proper compensation. This is the ‘manner’ and the ‘pace’ of which Sibal is not aware. but acutely conscious when it comes to the post Godhra riots.He is not bothered of the manner and the pace in the Godhra carnage-neither in the brutal killing of Swami Lakshmananda and his three co-workers-there is no vote bank here and hence Mr Sibal is least concerned. His one concern is Gujarat riots. To be specific Modi-destroy him through hook or crook and then Congress will have a free run he thinks in the State of Gujarat. For the sake of vote bank politics Mr Sibal and Mr Chidambaram and all the Congress leaders are playing with fire. They are prepared to mortgage their consciences if they have any, to garner the votes of the minorities and towards this keep the tensions high keep hitting at Modi and weaken him, paint him as a anti-minority man and the votes of the minorities will flow into the Congress kitty.

Has Anna Hanzare,Arvind Kejriwal and Swami Agniwesh joined this bandwagon of Modi bashers and morphed into politicians?-That will be a tragedy and a sad commentary on the champions who were resolved and took the initiative to fight institutionalized corruption and black money

Dr Mrs Hilda Raja,
Vadodara.

May 27, 2011 at 4:13 pm 37 comments

Rahul Gandhi ashamed to be an Indian

Rahul Gandhi is ashamed he said to be an Indian when he sees the plight of the farmers. He is not ashamed to be in a party which is covered and reeking with scams. What kind of a statement is this coming from one who is all set to handle the reins of governance? Throughout RG has been exposing his ignorance of Indian affairs and his total alienation from the reality that is India. One could understand if he had stated something similar out of disgust for the corruption that the Congress has blotted this nation with.

Granted that the utterance was made in a utter disbelief of the misery of the farmers coming from RG it needs to be dissected. From the time of Independence the farmers have been neglected. This started with the British when all its policies pauperized the rural masses and impoverished the rural people. Farmers fled to nearby towns-settled in the periphery of small towns as unskilled labor and the dehumanized spread of slums started. The farmers lost their dignity and their pride in these guttural urban spread.

The land policy was such that made them sharecroppers/tenants and marginal farmers. The irrigation system was such that the tail end farmers and those who were the marginal  farmers  were directly affected As water became more and more scare the farmers depended only on rain fed lands which hardly gave them sufficient subsistence .Take for example the Cauvery delta lands these belonged to just three rich land lords-one of which is G K.Vasu’s father-late G.K.Moopanar. These lands had three crops harvesting because of the water abundance and the rich soil .Even when land reforms were ushered in people like the then Congress chief late G K.Moopanar was able to wriggle out through the loopholes of the Land Reform Act. Hence the lands were held in Trusts and in benami names. The poor labourers did not know that the ‘pattas’ were in their names but they faithfully and slavishly laboured in the fields and harvested for the rich farmers the produce.

All this, and more during the time of the Congress regime. The same pattern was replicated all over India. Even at a time when India boasted as an agricultural country the farmers were in penury and the rich absentee landlords enjoyed the fruits. No government was able to change this. Except for a period of seven years from Independence till date it the Congress which was and is in power. So what is Rahul Gandhi cribbing about the plight of the farmers. Did this ‘plight’ suddenly befall the farmers or was it contained only in Uttar Pradesh.He is as usual playing politics with the suffering and hardships of the farmers/dalits. This is the game play of the Congress. The scion who talks of change cannot and is not a change agent because he is not prepared to learn. He is not prepared to change himself.

If there is going to be a change it must start with oneself. Rahul Gandhi cannot talk of change at the grassroots  level when change does not touch him and his mother. The Congress party cannot be in the hands of an Italian who does not understand the farmers plight and has no sensitivity to their hardship. The farmers’ plight cannot and should not be used as a vote garnering mechanism. This is worse than terrorism.

There have been suicides in Andhra Pradesh,Maharashtra but nothing substantive had been done to tackle the human tragedy. Sound bytes by the Congress spokespersons are cruel jokes because they only try to score brownie points and not look at the misery and the human tragedy-the enormity of the problem and accept first the failure of the GOI in tackling the problem .Then envisage measures and means not tokenism to alleviate the suffering.

Simply because UP will go to the polls soon RG suddenly became a champion of the farmers. Eating along with them-sleeping in one of their houses is no effective measure to bring the farmers succor. It has been a long standing problem. Come elections and all the political parties are up in arms supporting the farmers. They are then conveniently forgotten. Their hard labour fruits can be eaten by rodents, can fester and rot but is not available to fill the hungry stomachs of the people.

It is in this background that one must analyze the utterance of Rahul Gandhi when he said that he is ashamed to be an Indian. Does he realize that we Indians are ashamed of being Indians because of the Italian connection –because an un-Indian is at the helm of affairs because ignorance and appeasement policy have destroyed the countryside. We have an economist of a PM who is subservient to Mrs Sonia Gandhi.In no country is a political party leader more powerful than the government of the country. But in India it is the High Command-what a dichotomy to have a High command in a democracy.

It is thus not political gimmicks which will safe the country-the farmers and alleviate suffering. It is not teaching Mayawati a lesson that is called for .It calls for the Centre to bring in reforms-land reforms- land acquisition law, Farmers security, Farmers Insurance et al. .It is here that we need to concentrate and make relevant change. Change for the better will call for a genuine reassessment of land, availability of infrastructure for the farmers, storage facilities, holding capacity, marketing, land acquisition, water availability, land usage and land utilization for development.

This cannot happen unless and until the dynasty regime is dismantled and the democratic institutions are set in motion. It does not have room for NAC and least of all for an NAC chairperson. It calls for Parliament to be accountable-for the various ministries to work out strategies and for the PM to act. The Congress party is just a political party and for a democracy to be vibrant all political parties need to function and have their respective roles. Hence  the understanding and tackling of the farmers plight encompasses a whole gamut of actions and reassessment  to be set in motion

To be ashamed for being an Indian because of the farmers’ plight is indirectly striking at the Congress-its total failure and it also unconsciously reveals the real RG and his moorings. Inspite of all the failures, in spite of human tragedies in spite of poverty and penury, no sensible patriotic Indian who knows his/her country will ever utter that he/she is ashamed of being an Indian. Because the other side of the coin of the nation reflects the rich hoary parampara,the resilience of a people, the valor and courage  of a people to put up with this dynasty regime,  the values embedded in its patience, its farsightedness, its ability to still look beyond the scams and the wave of the HAND and proclaim that I am proud to be an INDIAN.

Dr Mrs Hilda Raja
Vadodara

May 16, 2011 at 7:13 pm 7 comments

The French aircrafts and the Italian connection

The Italian connection in India has deep and a vast range of earth shaking tremors as far as the Indian polity is concerned. For the ordinary Indian ‘the Italian’ denotes power without responsibility. In political circles there is awe and scare when ‘the Italian’ is mentioned. For some it denotes scams and hence a sell out of the country.

Now there is more news on this: The GOI is mulling over  buying French aircrafts Where is the Italian connection. Very much there-Carla Bruni is the Italian wife of the French President and it is alleged that Mrs Sonia’s sisters stand to get a hefty bribe on this transaction if affected. So the Italian connection which started with Mrs Sonia Gandhi placing herself well entrenched in the Prime minister’s household after her marriage has grown deeper and vicious. It was not just that Quatrocchi was able to go scot free because he as an Italian was well connected with the Italian connection in the PM’s household but that the whole world was laughing at the GOI’s agencies for chasing a wild goose. It looked not only ridiculous but shameful to make our central agencies fools. The last reason for requesting the case against ‘Q’ to be dropped was that much money was spent and the central agencies were running in circles. That they were made to run in circles is another matter.

In the process the Prime Minister who was handpicked for his subservience to ‘the Italian’ did not hesitate to tell the country that he was out of the loop. We have the PM washing his hands of the responsibility-this when a special courier was sent by the GOI to the UK to defreeze the accounts of the ‘Q’ and allowed him to take the loot and go. That too when there was a red alert for ‘Q’ is no credit to the GOI. Margaret Alva has been rewarded for this because she was in charge of Personnel  administration when ‘Q’ was quietly allowed to slip from the country.-she was given the post retirement benefit and is a Governor. Hans Raj Bardhwaj has been rewarded with governorship because as the Law minister he took orders from ‘the Italian’ and kept the PM out of the loop. All this is the past. Has the Italian connection become a matter of the past? It seems to me that ‘the Italian connection’ is not past history but very much a continuity of the history of this country.

One would think so and now the alleged news of the French aircrafts for India with the Italian connections as brokers has erupted. In France as well as in India the Italian connection is strong and thus Mrs Sonia Gandhi’s sisters are cited as alleged recipients of kickbacks for the French aircrafts which India is supposed to purchase. Poor A.K.Antony he was cited by Achuthananda as ‘Kumbakaranan’. A good man honest  himself he fits into a similar mound of the PM who may be personally honest but abets dishonesty and even promotes it. I am not sure if such a person can be termed as personally honest. See ‘no evil, speak no evil and hear no evil’ aptly fits in the role model of our PM. Can a PM be so inactive and pretend that he is not aware? Can a PM state in Parliament that it was an error of judgment in the 2G Spectrum scam and get away without facing the consequences of such an error. Can the nation afford to have a PM who is most of the time out of the loop and when he is within the loop then he pretends that it was an error of judgment? Tell me which country will tolerate such a PM? But such a role of the PM suits ‘the Italian’ connection. Who is running the GOI?A dual power centre with responsibility in one and powers in the other and the whole political nexus revolving round the power centre sans responsibility- makes things difficult and different. This is not democracy. It is a system of governance-or no governance in which every area-every project, every department of the GOI is meshed in scams

What kind of a system is it that  allows the rich to grow richer by the day and the poor poorer. It is a system by which on one side there is such vulgar display of wealth and assets while on the other side abject poverty. It is a system which has on one side people with diamond studded slippers and shoes-while we have the masses barefooted. It is a system in which Mukesh Ambani pays 75 lakhs for his monthly electricity bill while vast rural areas have no electricity and are immersed in darkness. It is a system which allows private jets to ferry the rich for the IPLs and for personal business while the common people have flights cancelled because the public sector AI is in the red and cannot afford a decent salary for its pilots. It is a system which has a public distribute system for the BPL people but throws tons of food away after each lavish marriage. One can see humans scavenge in the garbage heaps for scraps of food to fill their empty bellies. Yes the money belongs to the private persons but the resources to the people. No body in this country has the right to waste resources. Nobody has the right to maul down pavement sleepers because they have no where to sleep except the pavement. This is system in which justice is the only light at the end of the tunnel but even that light is being dulled and at times hazy because of the powerful political class. This is a system which is called democracy but is in reality an oligarchy-a banana republic.

The hush hush voices have  now given way to open allegations that most of the scams if properly probed will have ‘the Italian connection’. Some of the information and articles on the web have openly stated that these if probed properly they will lead to the doorsteps   of No 10 Janpath. It will be revealing to find out the assets and the financial position of the Mainos today. In the affidavit Mrs Sonia Gandhi claimed that she had hardly a few thousand rupees-in fact she borrowed from her daughter-she has no cars, no house etc. But this system allows her to live in a house estimated at 400 crores .She has no cars but has any number of bullet proof cars available at the flicker of her fingers and jets to foreign countries. She has no money so her power and water charges are paid by the aam admis for whom she is struggling to get the food security bill passed. She flies across the country, jets to foreign countries in private jets-this is the ‘Italian connection’ that keeps the political and the social systems in such a mess. Manmohan Singh cannot even stand alone in an advertisement-Mrs Sonia Gandhi has to be there. Is the PM incapacitated that he needs the ‘Italian connection’ to walk, wave, stand and sit and of course keep silent most of the time?

We have Rahul Gandhi wanting to change the system-does he know what this system is? If he does then he has to change himself, his mother and the connections they both hold. Change must first come from within-within his family. First the umbilical cord of the Italian connections must be severed. The people of India had opted for a democracy and they know how to run it without the ‘Italian connection’. A parliamentary democracy has no dual power centers and no National Advisory Council as a super Parliament presided by Mrs Sonia Gandhi. These undermine democracy. There is no scope for selection but only election. There is no first family and no divine right for any one to rule this country. This basis must be reinforced

Structural changes must be set in so that the poor need not and should not be patronized. The right for food, water basic prerequisites must be available and reachable. It is not growth that must be targeted-it is equitable growth that must be aimed at. Lavishness and vulgar display of wealth must be heavily taxed. One cannot go on acquiring houses and mansions both within India and abroad unless and until the teeming millions of ours have shelter and a decent one over their heads. The present is a sinful structure because it is based on sin, on fraud on greed and on avarice. It must go and in its place a more compassionate economy one with a human face must be reflected. Let the rich oil companies pay heavily and let their profits be scaled down but let not the prices of fuel and diesel be hiked because it will immediately have a cascading effect on common commodities and will push inflation to a higher level.

Above all we need along with the annual budget a white paper presented on non plan expenditure-on the government’s spending to run a no governance GOI. Firm austerity measures-streamlining the expenditure of the various departments and of course rolling back the 5 crores per MP for the MPSLADS  are some of the reform measures to bring in food security-without patronizing. The biggest reform area lies in the electoral area. Money for votes must be stopped by all means. Populist measures to buy votes cannot to be allowed at the cost of development of the people.

Accountability and transparent governance must be put in place. This is democracy and not a one woman rule from No 10 Janpath. There is no place for ‘Italian connection’. There is no High command in a democracy. The MPs if need to be true representatives of the people then they must represent them and not represent a class of rich pampered lot-a misnomer to be people’s representatives. If some of these are initiated the rest will fall in place. People have become cynical and are fed up with the scams filled UPA. One cannot be taking the people for a ride all the time. If timely interventions are not made then the country will regret for we are becoming the most corrupt country in the world and with a population touching 1.6 billion it is going to be disastrous. We are not looking for cosmetic changes but are for overhauling the system with structural changes.

Dr Mrs Hilda Raja,
Vadodara

May 7, 2011 at 4:40 am 14 comments

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