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- 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!!

 

Do you call this a democracy?

Its  a Sunday in New Delhi, the capital of  India, the largest “democracy” in the world, and I woke up to dramatic visuals of spontaneous protests lead by the common people, whose pent up anger and angst erupted in a manner that took the para military forces by utter surprise.

The peaceful protesters who had camped in India Gate , keeping a candle light vigil throughout the night, were brutally ousted by the rampaging cops, who forcibly evicted the protesters from the venue- please note that the Indian constitution gives us , Indian citizens to protest peacefully !!

Within the early hours of the morning, news started filtering in that section-144 had been imposed across the national capital- this law forbids the collection of more than 4 people at one place at any time.

This gave the required nod to the force in the capital to unleash a crackdown on the protesters who by now had collected across numerous places in the national capital.

All this while , the President of the ruling congress party and her son, the “youth icon” of the country, were busy placating the representatives of the protesters who were called in to voice their demands….the end result….an impromptu press conference, where words like …we shall try….you have to understand the nature of democracy, it take time….we cannot amend law in a day….we cant do this,,…we cant do that….we shall TRY to get criminals tried immediately, however there are no definite timelines….

Protests are being organized across the country….news filtering in from Mumbai, Bangalore , Kolkotta all speak of people taking to he streets to voice their pent up anger…

Like one news channel is calling it,……its IRON WILL against IRON FIST!!

A crude attempt at muffling the voice of the people to sweep the rotten reality of the state of democracy in India is pathetic and needs to be openly discussed , not only in India but at the global stage.

Maybe Amnesty needs to take a closer look at this than cry fowl over how swiftly Chinese law deals with its criminals and rapists!

Is it time for India’s Tahrir Square?

As the events of the last 24 hours unfold on national television, I am taken back to the peoples revolution that changed the government of Hosni Mubarak despite the very violent and desperate attempts of the Govt. to scuttle the protests.

Tahrir square became the beacon of hope for oppressed peoples across the Middle East, in Qatar, in Saudi Arabia and Syria- we all know how Syria panned out.

The govt. of Hosni Mubarak was despised because he did nothing for the masses, with an elitist cliche at the very top living in the lap of luxury. The undoing of Mubarak was that he refused to believe that his “beloved people”, the Egyptian masses did not live better lives under his 25 years “GOLDEN RULE”!! He was like the proverbial ostrich with his head firmly planted inside the sand, living in his minds utopia, and believing that the Egyptian people loved him for his great rule, that they were thankful that they got Mubarak as a leader to lead them out of their misery!! of course we all know now that that was a myth being played out in Mubarak’s geriatric head over and over again – he was suffering from dementia.

Doesnt the above summary remind you of our elitist politicians and the ruling cliche that believes that they are Gods gift to the Indian population, without which India would not have “progressed”. The myth of progress that they are perpetrating to the largely illiterate Indian population and the world at large is, that there are far less Indians under poverty than there were when the British left the country some 60 years back ( poverty figures based in PPP, figures that the world needs to question and audit for themselves, illiteracy at a govt. stated figure of 40% overall, and all this is deemed as great performance over a 60 years of democratic rule!!).

These politicians have usurped the tenets of democracy and crudely perverted it to ensure their unquestioned rule over a largely illiterate voting population knowing that the laws they formulated to protect themselves and their own kind, DID NOT GIVE THE VOTER THE RIGHT TO RECALL!! A clever, strategic masterstroke to favor their 5 years of undisputed stay in their constituencies, even if they decided to sit back and relax on tax payers money- and this is exactly how this pans out , in each and every state, in each and every district,  after each and every election. This is what our politicians have been doing and WILL CONTINUE TO DO till they and their like are virtually kicked out of the system , and the people take it on themselves to confront this abomination in the name of democracy.

Assurances and hopes provided by these despots will only prove to be the opium of the restive Indian masses- a time tested, time gaining tactic that has paid handsome dividends to these self serving politicians- they have learnt to leverage the innocent trust of the restive people, to beguile them with their histrionics and claim to comprehend the pain of the common man, and for too long this tactic has been bought, hook line and sinker by the restive youth of the country.

Is Raisna Hill now India’s Tahrir Square? It is time for India’s youth to come out in every city and town in India and to create their own peoples movement and their own local Tahrir square?

I think the time for India’s Tahrir square is here and it is now!!