What is political conspiracy after all in India?

This goes out to all thinking men and women, those who are citizens of democracies, and also those who live in authoritarian regimes….this goes out to believers and atheistic alike….BUT most important it goes out to all those who are aware of basic human rights , its definition and the accountability of   people who are the helm of affairs, who are expected to protect and abide by the tenets of basic human rights.

I would like to begin with a little preamble – ever since I was little; must have been about 7 when my father, a senior Major in the Indian Army, introduced me to reading the newspaper on a regular basis. Since I had recently discovered the joys of reading at school, reading about interesting events , other than prose from William Shakespeare and poems by Robert Frost, was very welcome.

What has singularly stuck in my mind, through all those years of reading our newspapers has been a cliched statement made by our political class, whenever an criminal indictment was imminent, either by the judiciary, by the political opposition or by the thinking public. The phrase “its a political conspiracy to malign me” has reached sickening proportions today.

Circa 2013….

  • A sitting woman MP of the Congress Party gets aggressive at the press for inquiring from her about the whereabouts of her rapist husband , who is absconding from the law for the last 15 months and screams …”this is a political conspiracy!!!” ( AND May I mention, that her party does nothing to ensure sanctity of her seat by asking her to leave for protecting her rapist husband!!)
  • The chief minister of the state of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, goes berserk on the media, when they ask her about the increase in number of assault and rape cases in the state, after she took office. She screams hysterically …” Its apolitical conspiracy!!” (Does that ring a bell now…???)
  • PJ Kurien, Deputy Chairman of our temple of democracy, the Higher house of our parliament, has been named by a young woman as one of 40 men who raped her while she was forcibly held in custody, in 1997. Despite nation wide protest by women groups, despite the heart rending testimony of the victim, who has fought a court battle against this slimy politician for 15 years, this “upholder” of our democratic values, this “law maker” , is refusing to give up his seat , citing ….what else…”it is a political conspiracy!!!!” ( AND the congress party is still contemplating what to do next, …at the same claiming to represent the mass of people in India???)

NOW as A COMMONER in India…my open question to the ENTIRE POLITICAL CLASS IS…

IS NOT THE FACT THAT IN OUR COUNTRY, 60 % OF THE POPULATION IS ILLITERATE, AND POOR , EVEN AFTER 65 YEARS OF “DEMOCRATIC” RULE ( NOT GOVERNANCE, BECAUSE THERE WAS NONE) A BONA FIDE POLITICAL CONSPIRACY???

Now I dare you all to say….that when I confront you with this one example of a REAL POLITICAL CONSPIRACY…..This citation itself is a Political Conspiracy!!!

Your thoughts please…..

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Finally…a bureaucrat with courage of conviction in India !!!

Hi readers,

This goes out to all Indians, in India, or across the globe to stand up and give a standing ovation to Vinod Rai, Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

Just heard the breaking news on national TV about his address to students at Harvard and his courage of conviction to maintain the independence of the office of the CAG against the attempts of the political class to use power, subservient institutions like the bureaucracy and as a last resort, crass cheap politicking of the gutter variety!

When the office of CAG, led by Vinod Rai exposed the $ 20 Billion 2-G spectrum auction scam, the political class was numbed into deafening silence, which resounded across the country, and definitely within the global investor community- these poor investors from US and the EU lost their deposits and shirts, because of the back room scheming of our political class…

Round 2 of the 2 -G spectrum , in a battered global economy, yielded below par results, AND the political class went after Vinod Rai with hammer and tongs, insinuating that he did not know his numbers!! Clearly a case of sleazy politics managed by the spin doctors of the ruling political class….It was a delight to see Vinod maintain his poise in the face of this daily provocation and needling!

His candor and conviction has been amply demonstrated today during his address at  Harvard!

While the Indian, shameless ( look at KALMADI and Bhanot), political class would be perhaps squirming in their high chairs, it is time for the largely subservient bureaucracy in our  country to demonstrate ample courage of conviction and take on the hideously corrupt political class in our country and leverage an awakening judiciary to take on these pretenders , who claim to be chosen representatives of our democracy.

It may be fair for me to call on the DM of Murshidabad to start this initiative by taking the Congress MLA into custody, who led lumpen, criminal elements into his residence and office compound in a “fit” of democratic protest!!

Priceless contribution of our political class- “law will take its course”

The events of today have added another sterling achievement in the annals of our democracy, where the word, “liberal” has been taken to a very different elevated level.

Lets start with a brief mention of the background to this story-

Some weeks back, those of us in urban India, well educated, were rudely jolted, when national media went ballistic on the leader of a Muslim party, with strong fundamentalist and religious leanings, and broadcast a speech made by its leader to a wildly cheering audience, extolling them to rise against the state- in short , it was sedition in open view and open knowledge.

Had it not been for the media. there would have been no case registered against this rabble rousing leader and he would not have been put behind bars. Finally it did happen, after a lot of foot dragging my the police and the politicians alike, and largely due to public and media pressures, this leader was finally put behind bars…

Today, we find his doppelganger, his fundamentalist counterpart from the Hindu majority in this country, who addresses a similar bunch of ,Hindu,  illiterate, largely rural, unemployed folk, who were cheering at every anti muslim rant he was spewing on the dais. The irony is that there was police presence during this event and they were mute spectators to the entire nonsense that was in full public view!

It left many questions unanswered-

  • Why didnt the police arrest this Hindu fundamentalist while he was making this speech?
  • Why didnt they arrest him AFTER he finished his speech?
  • Why does it take the national media to bring this to the notice of the educated , thinking class?
  • It this not seditious? Is this not a crime that needs to be dealt with , decisively and firmly?
  • Where is the disconnect here? Is this man allowed to do this in the guise of his democratic right? Does this not pale in front of the higher law that abhors sedition and creating communalism in our country?

It is deafening to hear the Finance minister talk about “law taking its own course” to take this guy down and deal with him with the contempt that he deserves.

Alas, I also see the reality that stares me at my face-

I constitute the unimportant , non-voting minority of educated professionals, who, if they vote, will not really matter in the vote bank driven “democracy” of ours…what will really matter is what the vast, uneducated, rural voters think and vote for, what makes them tick, and unfortunately , even after 65 years of independence, it is only issues , raised by rabble rousers, that make the large voting majority to stand up and take notice, completely oblivious to their real needs, which is education for all children especially the girl child, security for the girl child, inclusive growth, access to finance, access to amenities, access to healthcare.

This is the result of “law taking its own course” over the last 65 years.

Kudos to our political class!!

Incarceration of the willing

This goes out to all educated and intellectually inclined Indians, who live in India today.

I have been out of India for the last 10 years, left for Africa in 2003, came back for a few month in early 2011 and then went o the US to get my second MBA degree. When I came back to India in October 2012, I came back with starry dreams of a vastly improved nation , a mature democracy far removed from the country that I left in early 2003.

Since 2003 and till date that I have been out of the country, I have been perhaps the biggest champion of our country, its democratic institutions and its future and true stature in the league of nations.

BUT ever since I have returned, I have been severely disappointed, not only with the reality of decay and rot that has set in , BUT most of all with the feeling of being a willing co-conspirator with those who are singularly responsible for the rot and decay that has very obviously set in this nation of ours.

I consider myself as a co-conspirator , because I was simply blind sighted with a false sense of nationalism , being away from my beloved motherland, that I bought into the story of a “rising” nation, a “great democracy” that was doled out to me by the international media over these last 10 years. NOW in hindsight I am of the firm belief that I would not have been this naive and a collaborator, had I been closer to the truth; ie back home and seen and sensed the reality of the so-called greatness of my country.

I came back , to witness politicians brandish guns at toll collectors for daring to ask him for his fare! and then to see the same politician, pot belly, 3 days beard and all, nonchalant in his denial of the episode and accusing the toll collector of abusing him!!

I came back to see a fledgling political outfit expose a sitting member of our parliament of graft and using his NGO as a front to launder $ 125,000 of public money, AND to see the member of parliament take to the streets like an ordinary thug, and openly threaten the accuser in national media!! AND to add insult to injury, to see his colleague in our parliament, scoff at the idea of siphoning of $ 125,000 as a joke, since he believed that a man of his stature should have been investigated if it was a case of siphoning off of an amount of $ 1,000,000 or more!!

I came back to see the son in law of the President of the ruling political party of the country, accused of colluding with the land mafia and making windfall profit through this nexus between crony capitalists, crooked politicians, equally crooked bureaucrats, and saw before my own eyes and honest bureaucrat being shunted out of his job, because he dared to blow the whistle on this fraud!!

I came back to see a young woman and her friend picked from the streets of our capital on one dark cold night, raped by 6 excuses for men, assaulted , bruised and left naked by the road side. I had to bear the trauma of seeing this young woman fight for her life, till she was consumed by fate and departed to a better place, leaving an entire nation, including myself in anguish at the state of our women, of this brave heart, which embodied the real state of our country today.

The youth were on the streets for all of 2 weeks- till they were beaten back successfully with a crafty strategy of Machiavellian proportions, scripted by the political class, and especially the current ruling class.The strategy comprised of state sponsored terror unleashed on its own people in stage 1 , marked police brutality and clampdown on protesters, stage – 2 comprised, dividing the protesters by inviting some to “discuss” way forward, stage-3, setting up a judicial commission under a well known panel of judges, and convincing the protesters to go back home, stage -4, paying lip service to the report submitted by the judicial commission, stage-5, cobbling together a weak ordinance based on the perceptions and inputs of criminals and rapists in their ranks, and sending that to the rubber stamp President of our country, with no courage of conviction, to sign off.

Their ploy is simple- as soon as the ordinance is signed these slimy politicians and the entire political class will pompously declare how they have delivered to the people!! There will be much back slapping on a job well done…many congratulations,….and the case will have been deemed to be closed!

In essence as a nation we will be back to square one and there will have been no REAL CHANGE!!

As I witness all this unfold , I am taken back to my last 10 years as the champion of brand India, and I feel like a cheap traveling salesman, peddling lies to all and sundry..I feel ashamed at what I have been doing for the last 10 years, because of the reality of our “greatness” as I have seen over the last 3 months.

Publicly I try to enlighten friends, old and new ones that I have made upon my return, and try to have a balances debate on the myth of our greatness that is being perpetrated by our political class, and an objective comparative between forms of government that I have seen in Africa and the US.

It pains me to repeat, that as I compare what I see in India, and what I have seen in Africa, we are just a tad better than a “BANANA REPUBLIC”, and which owes its so called growth story, NOT to the visionary leadership of its rulers ( not leaders-please note), but to divine intervention and pure chance. Even in terms of feeling secure, it may come as a surprise to you, BUT I felt safer in Africa, than I do in the streets of the capital, where I reside today!! What need I say more to establish the sorry state of our country today……

As I have tried to share the reality of other forms of government and governance with that in my country with friends and folk, the common underlying sense I often get is this….to live in this country, being ruled ( not lead) by this political class, is our lot in life….and to me this is shocking , because this is being repeated by people who I would consider as intellectually enlightened and capable of analysis!! BUT NO…here they are, accepting this political class, and their brand of mediocrity as great governance, as their lot in life! Instead of comparing and analyzing between  2 or more countries and deciding rationally between right and wrong, here is an entire generation that is willing to live under this yoke of graft, non accountability, non culpability, non governance, dynastic politics, crony capitalism and any other evil that you could possible think of!!

So, if this is you lot in life, do you have any right to complain when a scam involving YOUR TAX  CONTRIBUTION is brought to light? No ..you have no right to complain because you have become like a beast of burden who accepts his lot in life and therefore you deserve to be treated like one by your rulers, the political class!! Thats logical….

You are therefore willingly incarcerated in this prison, you call your motherland, willingly.

You accept every diktat passed by the parliament meekly. You do not raise your voice , when ever you see injustice and non performance by anyone, including your elected representatives – and when you do raise you voices, you cannot sustain your initiative, because you are so gullible, that each and every time you buy easily into the assurances of the political class, and give them opportunity after endless opportunity to lie to you and to slip away from your clutches!! You do not even realize , that you, the urban, educated , aware class of people do not even matter in the game of numbers and votes- because the real numbers lie numb in India’s rural hinterland, un-educated, illiterate, intellectually crippled and incapable of logical analysis through a sustained strategy of keeping them in this state of stasis for 65 years, so that they can be exploited by the political class to come back to power, over and over again, with out any accountability to you, who have the capacity to be a real nuisance, but are easily managed, because you are a very minuscule minority, who dont really matter !!

Its time you, those who are educated, have the capacity to think and analyse, look at your alternatives – between staying put in your prison, your beloved motherland, or moving to better and safer pastures elsewhere.

Kamal Hassan recently became emotional and broke down, and said that he would want to give up his citizenship of this country and live in another country….I think he will understand and empathize with the contents of this blog. He understands and knows that he too is incarcerated willingly in this country, and his decision to leave this country for another would perhaps be the only way he will have his salvation.

I will wish him all the best in case he decides to go away from his prison.

Priceless Contribution of our Political class- Home grown Cultural Terrorism…

Hi readers,

What have we as a nation come to after 65 years of our independence because of the rule of our political class.

You will note that I say “RULE” and not ” GOVERNANCE”, because that is the sad truth…we as a people, have NOT BEEN GOVERNED by leaders and nation builders, BUT ruled by a political class that has matured into the proverbial man eating Tiger that is feeding itself on its people!!

We have achieved such depths in our development as a nation, that the so called “Freedom of expression” , supposedly enshrined in our “DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUTION”  has been relegated to a misnomer and a mere joke.

The first case of purging of freedom of expression came about a week back, when Kamal Hasan’s magnum opus, Vishwaroopam was taken off Cinema halls because a handful of Muslim minority fundamentalist, illiterates protested against the “anti Islam” content of the Film, and the state Government quickly banned the film as a reaction!! Kamal Hassan has been reduced to a shambles in less than a week, harried from pillar to post, to seek revocation of the ban and to release his film in the country!! All the while the political class is on national media , justifying their actions ( justifying also that the freedom of expression in our constitution comes with a caveat!!) in the name of preserving rule of law, preserving peace AND mollifying the anger of the minority ( muslim) community!!

 

The second case unraveled today- Salman Rushdie, the celebrated author who was in India till a few hours back, was warned by the West Bengal Government not to enter the state!! Please note- I said, he was warned  and NOT ADVISED…he was warned that if he traveled to the state, he would be arrested on the spot in order to maintain  law and order in the state ( because fringe , fundamentalist, illiterate, muslim groups were protesting on the streets of Kolkata, and their illogical voice has drowned the tenets of our DEMOCRACY!!). So Salman Rushdie just made a very relevant point as he prepared to board a flight back to the US- he said ” There is a cultural terrorism prevalent in the country…this is a sad reflection of India today”.

He could not have nailed it better!!!

Thanks to our spineless, loathsome political class, we have indeed been transformed into a GLORIFIED BANANA REPUBLIC in 65 years after independence!!

Priceless Contribution of our political class- fundamentalists in a secular democracy!

This goes out to all enlightened Indians, across the globe, and definitely in India.

I hope that these series that I propose to write regularly as the contribution of our political class will become a platform for serious debate on what has really transpired under the guise of “parliamentary democracy” for the past 65 years.

These thoughts in these blogs are also meant to highlight the reality of the Indian democratic system and its evolution ( de-generation) over the past 65 years.

Thoughts, inputs, and ideas are very welcome, obviously.

Today Kamal Hassan made a heart rending appeal to his fans and the common man , demonstrating his utter helplessness to fight a political heavy , and skewed system, that will not even listen to independent thought leaders, and will use power to buttress power brokers, and illiterate voting populations ( ever heard of the VOTE BANK…if you haven’t , it exists in India, and has been nurtured for the past 65 years by the political class by keeping these voting banks, illiterate, un-educated and on the fringes of poverty and deprivation…cool strategy hunh!!)

His latest movie, VISHWAROOPAM, has been embroiled in controversy, which was ostensibly started by a fringe Muslim group, protesting the depiction of terrorists as being from the Muslim faith!! This was ably fanned by political class of ALL hues!!

Now the question you must ask, is why did ALL political parties start supporting the muslim protesters–……well, didn’t I just tell you about voting banks!! NONE of these political leeches, would wanna fritter away the opportunity to get the muslim vote now ..isnt it ?

So here is this artist, who should have freedom of expression of interest under our “democratic” constitution and institutions, BUT has to run around the courts of the land to scree his film, whose future has been hijacked by a few protesting muslims, supported by the political class, who have kept these muslims illiterate for the past 65 years, and the muslims dont even realize who is to blame for their pathetic situation, and are therefore for lack of any substantial cause in life, take to the street, at the behest of their equally illiterate, uneducated leaders to protest an assault on their religion!!!

Is this convoluted or what!!

Has not this country not been converted to a dignified banana republic in a matter of 65 years , and its potential quashed by the political class through the following INITIATIVES… (Yes folks ..the following are the ONLY INITIATIVES that the political class have been serious about , since taking our rule from the British and ruling this country..)

  • Siphoning off tax payers money into overseas accounts.
  • Converting money laundering ( tax payers and bribe money) into an art and a science ( Mafia , eat your heart out, come to the academy of the Indian political class, and they will teach you tricks you didnt even know existed )
  • Using graft and bribe money to buy into vote banks- over and over and over again, till death did them part from their office!
  • Dodging responsibility by converting “passing the buck” to an art and a science- slippery as an eel has a different level in India and for the political class.
  • Turning QUID PRO QUO to an art and science- One political party uses state instruments, which are supposed to be independent, as gatherers of dirty secrets on political opponents, and leveraged to ensure that their very own dirty secrets are never revealed by their opponents, should they come to power in the veneer of our democratic institutions!! So all these political parties, the political class know each other dirtiest of secrets and make for a perfect understanding under classic quid pro quo terms!!

While the political class has ensured its continuity into geriatric politics, they have deliberately done nothing about investing in educating the teeming uneducated masses, that remain uneducated, illiterate to the day. This has proven beneficial to them in many ways, most notably these illiterates have lost the faculty to think rationally and analyze logically, laying them open to emotional and casteist exploitation by the political class over 65 years….the nest result, ready to use, ready made , illiterate , fundamentalists in our secular democracy!!

If there ever was a strategy that worked for you this would be it !! Kudos to our Indian political class!!