Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dangerous Trend

For long I observed the trend but never penned down this one. Does good follow bad or bad follows good? That question taunts me to a great extent. Major politicians who strike big in their careers make mark with an infamous incident and gain incredibly from the incident and ignite a political career out of it. Does good ever follow good? In my quest to understand this better, I observe political careers of few influential politicians in our country.

Lal Krishna Advani
Advani served as deputy prime minister for India but served as home minister for Indian government. The NDA government was the first non-congress government to complete full five year term in our country. In many ways this was considered a great achievement for a non-congress government. However, the journey till here was no less than a roller-coaster ride! BJP only had two seats in lok sabha before 1989. It was then Advani took up the now infamous 'Rath Yatra' and indirectly guided BJP to 88 seats in the general elections. He might have provoked people using 'religion' but it was Indians who voted for him! However it was congress government (which claims itself to be a secular force) that opened the doors of the controversial ayodhya site and let people perform hindu rituals. Karsevaks demolished Babri Masjid on 6th december, 1992. This triggered a major support for Advani and BJP's hindutva in north India that eventually lead to BJP's victory in next general elections (1996). Advani led the anti-government agitation (against corruption and new found fan base across India). Vajpayee (who's considered a leader of masses himself) became prime minister thrice over next 8 years. However, in 2004 BJP-led NDA government dramatically lost the general elections. His career is marred by quite a few controversies:
  • now infamous rath yatra
  • accused of delivering hate speeches for babri demolition
  • jain-hawala scam
  • the latest being the infamous jinnah remark!
Narendra Modi
He is controversy's best child in Indian politics. Often we see him in news for the wrong reasons. If it is his remark on sonia gandhi one day, it would be rejection of US visa the next day. These days Modi sings Gujrat's development tunes everywhere. He talks with Tata for breakfast and Anil Ambani for lunch. What was he before speaking of Gujrat's development? He sworn in as Chief Minister of Gujrat in 2001 and is longest serving CM of the state till date ( he is current CM). It was in 2002 his government's reluctance to tackle godhra riots head-on resulted in public outrage across the country. He created  a stir when he walked out of an interview with Karan Thapar on Devil's Advocate! Sonia Gandhi famously labelled him as 'merchant of death'. Contrary to all expectations, he won with a thumping majority in previous assembly elections!!

Laloo Prasad Yadav
Is there any child who hasn't heard about him? Well, there must be handful! :)) He's the most charismatic leaders I observed in Indian politics. He's seen on television at least twice a week! Now, that's what I call PR skills. That is why every Indian must've heard of him. This is the same reason why reliance is more visible than Tata (in terms of marketing). His stint with Indian railways must be the most popular one with people. He is credited for reversing the fortunes of Indian railways (that was supposedly in huge losses). Today, he holds the UPA government together. It is only because of him that congress and left parties allied for national 'benefits'. He doesn't shy away from stating his prime ministerial dreams every few months. However, we do not forget accusations on him as well:
  • the infamous fodder scam
  • disproportionate assets case
Raj Thackeray must've observed these politicians very well before launching a tirade against north Indians (especially from Bihar and UP). He was successful in getting good publicity in national media (our own news starved media). However, he was widely criticized for not standing by Bombay citizens after the recent terror attacks.

My Concern

If a leader who supposedly organized masjid demolition can aspire to become prime minister, where is our country headed to? If a leader who was reluctant to act on riots aspires for a greater role in Indian politics some day, what does that indicate? If a budding politician takes a violent route to make an impact on people, what does that suggest?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Shiv Sena is not India

Should Kasab be given legal assistance in India? Should a terrorist be given legal assistance?

I think he should be given fair trial. Any individual irrespective of what he committed deserves a fair treatment in our democratic country. Our country is democratic in principle and should be democratic in its act as well. It should not be one way dictatorship. Each and every individual has a right to defend himself. Of what use are our courts if we cannot provide legal assistance to an individual. If he is not assigned a defence, the process will only get delayed. Shiv sena thinks it is acting in the best interest of our country.

Bal Thackeray ji, shiv sena is not India. You're entitled to your own opinion on any matter but you cannot impose your view on the country! This is not the right time for jingoistic responses but for a sensible decision. Not all think Kasab shouldn't get a defence. It is on our part to take care that a foreigner gets a fair trail irrespective from which country he hails from and irrespective of the acts he has committed. Or else what is the purpose of our COURTS?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Not Anymore

Simmering anger, no more resilience, mediocre politics, dying oneness spirit, repeated attacks on our sovereignty, shocking, disappointment... these are some of the emotions that led us to this blog. 
  • Yes, we've been misguided by our representatives in parliament.
  • Yes, we're not satisfied by the government's performance.
  • Yes, we're unhappy with ridiculous security measures where the arm-identification machine just prompts a signal with / without a gun.
  • Yes, we need better governance.
  • Yes, we're sad at the categorization of terror as hindu and islamic.
And for a change, we haven't started a terrorist organization (like thousands before) just because we're not satisfied with our government. We pledge to raise our voice ideas for better tomorrow.

We are InDiA.

Patriotism and India

It is a bit of a shame that a terrorist act brings out spates of patriotism within us. In our hearts we know that it is true. We know that our patriotism is limited to cricket, movies and singing our national anthem on rare occasions. Many of us might disagree, some may be right; Others, I think, mistake religious (read Hindu) fundamentalism as patriotism.

In this fundamentalist rage, they try to break the very foundation stone of India. That, We are not a country of one, but many different groups and sub groups and more importantly so, more than a billion individuals, should not be forgotten. It is bad enough that the world outside seems to forget this fact, for us to forget who we are, is foolish beyond the absurd. We are a nation of many, filled with hypocrites, corrupted politicians may be, we are still a nation of a dozen religions, 29 states, hundreds of languages, thousands of castes. We are a nation celebrated for its diversity. We were a nation once cited, and set examples for harmonious plurality. No more after communal riots; between religions, and more recently even regions.

Right now, it is still a country where a billion people call it their home. It needs to stay that way, for once it starts to distance itself from one group, it is not long before it distances itself from most. Absurd as it may sound, India looks like she is sick and disintegrating. Perhaps the problem hasnt risen suddenly. Walls were built up in our young nation, after independence, for communities to grow and prosper, separately. Once the walls were built, perhaps the state of the nation we see today was bound to happen. Perhaps it was the right thing to do for a youn nation to develop easily in modular components. Perhaps it was a failed hypothesis.

But we need to start celebrating our plurality, together. Not from these closed spaces with limited view of what lies on the other side, but from a plain open field, with the walls broken down, looking at each others problems, celebrating each others successes. We need to celebrate the plurality of the human resources we posses, not the divisons that drive hatred.

We need to redefine our patriotism, for it has to lie with the people of the nation, not a group however large it may be.

Is baar nahin!!!

We begin our campaign for a change with a poem penned down by Prasoon Joshi on the Mumbai Attacks.In the coming posts we will bring out our opinions and ideas on transformation of the country we love and hope to have many of you as partners in this process & change.We are India!!

Is baar jab woh choti si bachchi mere paas apni kharonch le kar aayegi
Main usey phoo phoo kar nahin behlaoonga
Panapney doonga uski tees ko
Is baar nahin

Is baar jab main chehron par dard likha dekhoonga
Nahin gaoonga geet peeda bhula dene wale
Dard ko risney doonga,utarney doonga andar gehrey
Is baar nahin

Is baar main na marham lagaoonga
Na hi uthaoonga rui ke phahey
Aur na hi kahoonga ki tum aankein band karlo,gardan udhar kar lo main dawa lagata hoon
Dekhney doonga sabko hum sabko khuley nangey ghaav
Is baar nahin

Is baar jab uljhaney dekhoonga,chatpatahat dekhoonga
Nahin daudoonga uljhee door lapetney
Uljhaney doonga jab tak ulajh sake
Is baar nahin

Is baar karm ka hawala de kar nahin uthaoonga auzaar
Nahin karoonga phir se ek nayee shuruaat
Nahin banoonga misaal ek karmyogi ki
Nahin aaney doonga zindagi ko aasani se patri par
Utarney doonga usey keechad main,tedhey medhey raston pe
Nahin sookhney doonga deewaron par laga khoon
Halka nahin padney doonga uska rang
Is baar nahin banney doonga usey itna laachaar
Ki paan ki peek aur khoon ka fark hi khatm ho jaye
Is baar nahin

Is baar ghawon ko dekhna hai
Gaur se
Thoda lambe wakt tak
Kuch faisley
Aur uskey baad hausley
Kahin toh shuruat karni hi hogi
Is baar yahi tay kiya hai

... Prasoon Joshi