Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dyanstic politics and Democracy do not gel

On this day 135years ago a true patriot was born. His contributions during the freedom struggle are too well known. It is his service to Independent India which is of far greater importance, the physical contour of India that we hold as our country is largely due to his efforts and bold initiatives. We are dumbfounded and watch in complete bewilderment as a scam a day unfolds before us. Is this our way of taking forward the legacy of our freedom fighter and patriots? Today we pay tribute to the greatest son of India Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. 31st Oct 1875. Often referred to as the Iron Man of India!

Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar the man who gave us our Constitution. The most vibrant, and dynamic document, for conducting our statecraft! All discourses on India would be incomplete without mentioning Dr.Ambedkars contribution. Yet the current situation begs a question has the constitution failed us or have we failed the constitution?

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru the first Prime Minister of India. Who had consciously decided and had taken a vow that in the case of any school, project, or programme started in memory of his father (Motilal Nehru) or his wife, he would not participate in its inauguration. This is noted by Mr. Ramchandra Guha in his article “That family feeling” “That family feeling”. How would he view all the programmes, institutions, streets, Airport and even bridges in this country are being named after his family?

Mrs. Indira Gandhi we remember today on her death anniversary assassinated on this day 31st Oct 1984. She is also referred to as the Iron Lady of that era. Enigmatic for many of us if there were her strengths to admire, equally were her acts which leave us wondering if it was the same person.

This back ground is necessary for all the readers to enable them reach their own conclusion on the topic that is going to be dealt with in this blog. That is the young politicians, ethics and their contribution to the nation and its people.“Young, but definitely not restless” “Young, but definitely not restless” . Democracy and it functioning in our country has been variously described by us for some it is dysfunctional, for others it is imperfect and yet some refer to it as a sham.

This would also highlight how far we have traversed, the extent to which we have digressed from our original path. Why is there so much of cynicism? Have we reduced our democracy to by the masses, of a few, for the privileged! Instead of the original concept! By the people, of the people and for the people!
In her article dated 29th Oct 2010 .“Young, but definitely not restless” Namita Bhandare, begins by saying” Of all the seductions of youth, perhaps the most enticing is its potential for change. We associate youth with transformation and an ability to shake the status quo.” Nothing could be further from truth than this assumption in context of the younger lot in politics.

Today we find a in our politics a system for prevalence of dynastic preponderance, rather than of mass participation of the ordinary Indians. Some of the names mentioned by the author of the article Omar Abdullah  Varun Gandhi, Aditya Thackeray,Jitin Prasada, Sachin Pilot, Agatha Sangma, Tejaswi, Milind Deora, Kanimozhi Karunanidhi, Priya Dutt, Akhilesh Yadav, Naveen Jindal. Though there are notable omissions as well and that is rather surprising Mr. Scindhia and of course the scion of the Gandhi family Mr. Rahul Gandhi, now was this deliberate or is it accidental, since the newspaper and TV channels never fail to remind us of even the most trivial detail as an earth shattering event should the young Mr.Gandhi indulge in. The other day he undertook a train journey from Gorakhpur to Mumbai and it was a new item in all the national dailies.  “Rahul rides aam aadmi train” “Rahul rides aam aadmi train” . or another example  “Biharis shining, not Bihar, says Rahul”  “Biharis shining, not Bihar, says Rahul” . Now lets get down to each young individual mentioned above and the their lineage.

Omar Abdullah of National Conference party is the son of Farookh Abdullah grand son of Sheikh Abdullah a very prominent lineage and legacy, then why has he failed to administer effectively the state of Jammu and Kashmir, is their a serious mismatch between ability and expectations or we have ignored the fact that experience is also an important aspect lack of which could have very serious repercussions for the area entrusted. Yes this is a sign of dynastic rule. 
Varun Gandhi, gained notoriety overnight by his hate speech during the last general elections. Son of Sanjay Gandhi grand son of Indira Gandhi Bhartiya Janta Party not assured that he would reach the office of Prime Minister in near future even if his party was to form the Government at the center.
Aditya Thackeray the latest entrant to politics son of Udhhav Thackeray grandson of Bala Saheb Thackarey. Would in all probability head the party Shiv Sena at some point of time or the other as and when his father decides.
Agatha Sangma daughter of P.A Sangma. Tejaswi son of Lalu Prasad Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav  son of Mulatyam Singh Yadav and Kanimozhi Karunanidhi daughter of M.Karunanidhi of DMK may play a part in their parties are not serious contenders for any high office at the center since the parties they represent are regional and not national.

Jitin Prasada, Sachin Pilot, Milind Deora, Priya Dutt Naveen Jindal,Joytiraditya Scindhia and Mr. Rahul Gandhi. The last 7 names belong to Congress party and none other than Rahul Gandhi has been spoken as Prime Ministerial material not just by ordinary party members but also by Dr. Manmohan Singh.
The public at large has no clue what so ever as to their education qualification, institutions that they studied in, did any of them participate in the college and university level politics. What is the level of their engagement with the constituencies that they represent? How many years have they spent in the service of the nation and how well do they understand the requirements of the people of this country. How many years have they put in with the party before being given tickets to contest elections? These are some of the questions that need answers and we are not getting them.

There have been no statements made by any one of them on any of the burning issues, we have not seen them participate in any debate in the parliament. What is their vision? We are unaware, how will they implement incase they do have a vision for the country? Most of them are in the parliament because of lineage and not because of any other merit. If their mentors are their father or mother then the politics that they have learnt is nothing new but a case of ‘Old wines in new bottles’.
The role of media in all this is rather curious, they first create a halo around these individuals, convert it into a myth, believe it to be gospel and then sell that to us. This instead of informing the public at large about the merits of each of the above named individuals. The focus is on promoting them, this is not going to help the nation, consequences of inexperienced young men and women in position of authority could lead to real and long term damage.

The only thing common among all these young politicians is that they have been parachuted into the political arena due to their lineage and nothing more. They could help themselves in dispelling this perception by interacting and informing the people of this country about themselves, their ideas and vision that they have for their country. Until that happens they would not be able to win the respect of large section of the population. They may win election since they are contesting from well protected fiefdoms nurtured by their parents.
Media must introspect and perform a role that is befitting and not that of public Relations Company trying to promote a product. The more they report on inane items as event of some consequence just because Rahul Gandhi is involved, greater is the resistance from the people and this is borne out by the fact that the negative comment on the newspaper sites far exceed positive comments. Censorship by deleting unpalatable comments is also not going to help their cause. Since it is the same media which is reporting on these events claiming the fundamental right of Freedom of Speech and Expression, denying the very right to its readers.

Fortunately in all this there is the BJP and the Left parties who do not practice dynastic politics. Though media does pick up, selective cases of father and son or daughter from these parties to make its point that all are the same. That is not true because none from these parties are automatically selected as party Presidents or are projected as Prime Ministerial contenders. Which in the case of Congress party is a forgone conclusion, should there be a Gandhi available then there is no other option for the top jobs of the party or the Nation.

In conclusion we are a democracy, let us stay the course and strengthen it let us not deviate and practice Monarchy in the garb of dynastic politics. We owe this to our long gone patriots and all those unknown Indians who willingly sacrificed for this country, during the freedom struggle. 

Latest update on 07th Sept 2013
 As expected, the Indian National Congress, which is the single largest party, has the largest number of MPs—78 out of 208—with a politician as a family member. Surprisingly, the number of “family politicians” from the second largest party the Bharatiya Janata Party is comparatively low (about 20%).   {LINK}


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Political bankruptcy of Congress comes to fore

Perverse sense of humour, or reveling in others misery is not my forte. However what transpired last evening on TimesNow, could not resist myself from smirking and must confess enjoying with a fair degree of smugness as Mr. Vinod Sharma of Hindustan Times, was being hauled over the proverbial burning coal, as also the verbal barbs being driven into him by Mr. Mahesh Jethmalani, as if he was a mere Voodoo doll. To watch a Secular Fundamentalist receive his just dessert on Prime time television is a sight to behold.
The spectacle was completed with Mr. Manish Tewari of Congress red in face ranting non stop hoping to drown other voices, how he did not suffer a cardiac arrest will remain a mystery? Guess enough of gloating over these two worthies predicament. I am not a party member of any political outfit.  As “Mango man” (Aam Adami) we have been violated so often by the likes of Vinod Sharma and Manish Tewari that it almost seems a natural reaction when some one tears into them and their ilk.

                                                                                                                                                                       Preamble done and dusted with lets get down to serious business of addressing the issue that is the motivation for this blog.
India confronted near Economic Bankruptcy in 1989 after sustained misrule by Congress for almost 40 long years. Today the same Congress is confronting political bankruptcy. This is highlighted by the choice of Interlocutors appointed for Kashmir. The statement of Mr. Dileep Padgaonkar where he classifies Kashmir as a dispute goes against the very stand of the Government of India and the various statements made at different time on the floor of the Parliament. Refer what the Indian Parliament had unanimously resolved on 22 Nov 1994. Extract “On behalf of the People of India, Firmly declares that- “The state of Jammu & Kashmir has been, is and shall be an integral part of India and any attempts to separate it from the rest of the country will be resisted by all necessary means; India has the will and capacity to firmly counter all designs against its unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity; and demands that – Pakistan must vacate the areas of the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir, which they have occupied through aggression; and resolves that – all attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of India will be met resolutely.” The Resolution was unanimously adopted. Mr. Speaker. The Resolution is unanimously passed. February 22, 1994”

Centrality of Pakistan in resolving this is affording a place to a neighbour in our domestic affairs. Even the UN resolution does not acknowledge Pakistan’s role beyond vacating the land illegally occupied by it in 1948. 
 “1. UN Resolution (Document No. S/1100, Para 75, dated 9th November, 1948) PART I (Cease-fire Order) para B states: “The High Commands of Indian and Pakistan forces agreed to refrain from taking any measures that might augment the military potential of the forces under their control in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. (For the purpose of these proposals “forces under their control shall be considered to include all forces, organized and unorganized, fighting or participating in hostilities on their respective sides).” Here reference to “organized and unorganized, fighting or participating in hostilities” clearly denotes the tribesmen from Pakistan’s side in Pakistan Held Kashmir.

2. Please also refer Part II (Truce Agreement) para A (2) & (3): “(2) The Government of Pakistan will use its best endeavor to secure the withdrawal from the State of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistan nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the State for the purpose of fighting. (3) Pending a final solution the territory evacuated by the Pakistan troops will be administered by the local authorities under the surveillance of the Commission”

Failure of the Congress to asses and think through before appointing the team is apparent, journalists suffer from an exaggerated self view is not in doubt anymore. Role assigned was that of listening and reporting, role being performed is that of a policy maker with little or no expertise in the area of International relations or the finesse of diplomatese. Yes the debate has been ignited and more will join in. The fact is last evening on TimesNow. Mr.Saifuddin Soz of Congress did concede that perhaps the purpose would have been better served if Mr.Dileep Padgaonkar had not made the remarks. Is this not an indictment of the interlocutor and those who appointed him?
True to form Mr. Vinod Sharma in his blog  “Kashmir’s molehills” is being sanctimonious as is his wont. “I’ve never doubted the BJP’s patriotism. What’s suspect is the wisdom it deploys to pursue national interest it tends to see through the prism of Hindutva.” How on earth does he believe that a certification from him is desired or required by BJP. His preference for Congress is not hidden from anyone one of us, yet he for some unknown reasons lives in denial of this fact.
The entire exercise of engaging the various sections of the society in the valley has been vitiated by this one statement and thereafter the obdurate defense mounted by Mr. Padgaonkar. There is a serious need of addressing the grievances of the population of Jammu and Kashmir, not just the valley. Responding to BJP’s objections is the last thing that should occupy the mind of Mr. Padgaonkar he is neither a spokesperson of the Government of India nor is he a partyman of Congress. BJP is a National Party, besides also the principal opposition party and is mandated to question the actions of the Government and its appointed agents.
Task on hand is onerous to digress from it would be detrimental to the well being of the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and India at large. Egos must be kept firmly in check accolades may warm your cockles, criticism is the reverse side of the same coin and does raise your heckles. The added dimension of the anti India tirade by Arundhati Roy and Geelani in Delhi and the coming together of various supporters of disaffected groups on a single platform are portends of difficult times ahead.  An over eager neighbour as Pakistan so willing to not just fish but actively support and direct anti India actions makes it all the more imperative for these interlocutors to be focused on their brief , enabling establishment of a lasting peace for the distressed people of Jammu and Kashmir and the valley in particular.

In conclusion if the barometer for disapproval of Mr. Padgaonkar’s remarks and the anti India hate speeches is the Twitter and WWW.Then the judgment is unanimous in both cases. This is Mr. Mishra's take "@rk_misra UPA should realize that even a hint of giving-up on J&K will lead to upheaval & blood bath as we saw during partition. Nation won't accept.” 

Ignore the interactive people at your own peril.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Practice what you preach!!

Profundity attached to the act of banning a book is incomprehensible. I have never been a supporter of this. Once a book is published and released in public domain it stays in circulation. What purpose does this ban serve? The current issue is of removal of a book from syllabus, the Cabal is out in full force remonstrating loss of Freedom of Expression. More often than not they are guilty of transgressions on this account. We have been at the receiving end, when our comments have either been deleted, or have stayed unpublished, not because we said something outrageous or offensive, we simply did not match their pitch.


In the present case the debate is not why the book was withdrawn? The initiator is unacceptable to select few in our society. I have stated my two bits worth and leave it to each and every reader to reach their own conclusions.

“Sab ko ek annkh se dekhna” is an idiom in Hindi for the benefit of those who may not be conversant with this language; it roughly translates to equal treatment. Those who thrive on Black humor would be tempted to treat this as a call to remove an eye of all human beings. More so of liberal secular fanatics, on account of public bawling by them, on withdrawal of the book; “Such a Long Journey” by Rohinton Mistry from Mumbai University syllabus by its VC Mr. Rajan Welukar.

“This is what India’s greatest city has come to. A gawky 20-year-old history student looking for an event to accompany his impending break into politics asks the vice-chancellor (VC) of one of India’s greatest universities to withdraw an award-winning novel that’s been on the syllabus since 2007. Within 24 hours, the VC cravenly complies with the absurd demand. The young man is Aditya Thackeray, son of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and student of Mumbai’s famed St Xavier’s College.” So begins Mr. Samar Halarnkar in Hindustan Times his article Who’s your daddy?

Mr. Vir Sanghvi has also published a blog in Hindustan time today on the same subject.Freedom of expression isn’t something we value Who Mr. Sanghvi goes on to say “without the right to offend, the right to free speech would be useless. If everybody approved of everything you said, then why would you need a constitutional guarantee of free speech? If nobody was offended, then nobody would complain.” Well would that not be just great for all of us in this world.

We are not dependent on the printed versions anymore; we have been liberated from this limiting factor. So does it really make sense to be going to town about a ban on a book? Which we can, and will access via the net, should we desperately desire to read the same.

In order to reach the crux of the matter we would have to understand, what are these people objecting about, is it that the book was withdrawn? Is it that a 20year old Thackeray is involved? Is it that the book has not been banned, so that they could throw vigorous, and prolonged tantrums in full public view?

Televisions channels have also been seized of this and have debated on this subject, results achieved are not along expected lines; Chief Minister of Maharashtra has thrown his weight on the side of the young man.

This brigade; of liberal secular fanatics who are vociferously protesting the lack of Freedom of expression are prone to selective amnesia of incidents, and individuals involved. They are guilty of employing deplorable language towards democratically elected head of a state in India. They practice most intensive censorship; anything that does not match their line of thought is summarily discarded by them. Those who are brave enough to take them on by way of Blogging or through Twitter are referred to in derogatory terms to the extent of being labeled as “Internet Hindus” without bothering to verifying if person follows Hinduism or any other religion.

Some of these votaries have exceeded all civil limits and have even threatened legal action against Blogger from other countries, who dared to criticize them. While one of their breed tweeted in the most disgusting and abhorrent manner about Lord Ram being a divine encroacher before the Ayodhaya verdict. Not a peep was heard from anyone of these self styled Knights in Shining Armour of Freedom of Expression against this dispicable act, guess it is time that one eye of theirs is closed so that, they are not accused of selectivity of the kind that they practice.

Their angst is not towards the book being dropped from the University Curriculum, it is the person who is being credited with the deed. The political outfit is not of their choice emergence of another young gun from a different stable is seen as a threat to their favourite son from their favourite political setup.

These worthies will gladly supplicate before one son. The new son on the horizon gives them the hebbie jebbies!

List of books banned in India is long, there are also instances when the Government of the day has passed laws to overturn judgments of Supreme Court of India e.g. Shah Bano, so this seems an extremely motivated and suspect exercise of shedding copious tears. Others right to Freedom of Expressions should be respected by this gang before they demand it for themselves. Let us convert into one eyed beings, if we do not have the capacity for accommodating differing views.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

“Please do not politicize the issue.”

October has been significantly hectic, events have unfolded with great speed. We are through with the Navratri, the Durga Puja and the Vijay Dashmi. There is the phenomenon of 5Fridays, 5Saturdays and 5Sundays in this month, then there was 10-10-10, and at 8.10PM we shall witness yet another 2010 2010.

Yes we did have a great Common wealth Games, but now it is back to business of corruption in organizing these games, elections in Bihar, political upheaval in Karnataka, emergence of yet another Son on the political scene. Twitter and the net are abuzz with a minute to minute update as the events unfold.

As always the focus of this blog will be politics and role of media. Both of which have a profound effect on our lives!

Every time the newscaster or host of a debate on prime time TV show throws this line “Please do not politicize the issue.” at the spokes person of political party, I am most intrigued by it. What does the host or the moderator of the show means by this? Spokesperson of a political party will speak on issues with a political perspective; how can one expect the doctor to prescribe medicines without diagnosis.

The multi agency probe has commenced into the alleged corruption in CWG, last afternoon the media went into overdrive once the news of raids on BJP functionary Sudhanshu Mittal’s office and residence broke out, their jubilations could best be compared with that of young child who receives his first box of fire crackers. The scam involves a sum of Rs 70,000 crores as per reports which have been appearing in the print and electronic media.

If one was not used to Indian media he/she would have believed that the entire case had been solved in a single raid on this Mr. Mittal. As things have turned out Mr. Mittal claims that the value of contract signed by his company are to the tune of Rs 29 Lakhs or under Rs.3 million as against the colossal sums allegedly involved in the entire scam.

Cynicism is all pervasive, visit any website of any Indian newspaper people are apprehensive that this multi agency probe will deliver nothing, we need a more comprehensive and visible team to investigate the crime. Worst is that those who are under a cloud are Ministers in the present Government and the agencies investigating are also under the direct control of the Government of the day, will justice be done or will the routine follow.

There are commentators and newspapers who are asking Indians for patience, people are questioning the rationale of this multi agency probe, our history is replete with scams and against those the column which should depict the number of people punished and duration of punishment is blank. Yes there has been no conviction of a politician in last 63years. Congress party is in the eye of storm, media is extremely congress friendly and hence there is added disquiet that all this will be hushed up with more than liberal assistance from the media. Patience with the people is in short supply, we want results and fast that is the message that is being sent out loud and clear. It is for the powers that be who must heed before this cynicism converts into indifference for the media, congress and its Government.

We are seeking accountability and more than that is identifying and punishing the guilty. Our past experiences are not giving us hope and that is why Indians are agitated.

sheila_shitdik If you have seen a funnier collection of #CWG cartoons than If you have seen a funnier collection of #CWG cartoons than these please let me know please let me know. #commonwealth

Aditya Thackeray is the new kid on the block from Shiv Sena in Maharashtra politics, grandson of Shri.Bala Saheb Thackeray. His emergence has been dramatic as can be, he has been credited with withdrawal of Rohinton Mistry’s Such a Long Journey, published in 1991, which has been on Mumbai University’s English syllabus for a few years now. He chanced upon a few unflattering references to his political patrimony, it was summarily excised from the curriculum. Mumbai University Vice Chancellor Rajan Welukar leapt to action in 24 hours, in order to placate the Sena’s student wing, and using emergency powers at his disposal.

This has been hotly debated by a TV channel which even interviewed the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, who incidentally concurred with young Thackeray, much to the charge in of the host of that channel. There are umpteen numbers of cases of books being banned by the Union or State Governments. Somehow our secular liberal brigade; goes into overdrive moment it reads or hears Shiv Sena, BJP or NDA. There seems to be a serious genetic disorder with these self professed guardians of our liberal secularism.

There are multiple ways of viewing all issues, as also different opinions need to have equal space in our country. We vehemently object to the world view of the few which is being attempted to be pushed down our throats.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Mirror Mirror on the wall expose this face before all.

Hindustan Times should be commended for it efforts and yeoman service, it is rendering towards promoting journalism in India, it has for all practical purposes converted this publication into a Hyde Park of this field, any individual with the most minuscule of pretentions of being a journalist is afforded unfettered opportunity to unleash his/her spiel on the unsuspecting readers.

“A half-way house” by Mr.Rajdeep Sardesai, being the latest fruit of that labor!

“Today, there are more than 120 news channels. The frenzied competition among channels has been brilliantly caricatured in Peepli Live, but ironically, the manic nature of the medium may well have acted as a round-the-clock watchdog when the Ayodhya judgment was delivered last week, thereby ensuring that there was no place for any potential trouble-maker to hide. That a majority of news channels consciously shied away from projecting extremist voices is also a sign that amid the madness of the news whirl, there is still some space for restraint and responsible journalism.”

Granted there are more than 120 news channels, agreed there is intense competition. At this point we would have to part ways. Author has gone on a flight of fanciful, self delusional overstatements which flies in the face of ground realities. The medium is perceived to be a watch dog, fact is it is a pet poodle of a particular political party and its ideology. Just as there are others catering to the same master and it grand plans.

This ostensible watch dog, watches all events however reports selectively, which are beneficial to its master. Convenient arguments, twists are added to emphasis, sway public sentiment in a direction preselected to the detriment of those who are to be maligned or presented negatively to fit the larger picture and the grand plan.

Point by point rebuttal of all the claims is feasible; temptation to indulge in such an act is also high. Monotony of such an exercise would diminish the import of the points that are the main focus of this blog.

However will pose two questions, before proceeding to the crux of the matter.

1. Why has this watch dog not been able to reduce corruption?

2. How many individual have tasted their just fruits at hand of the law for their misdeeds? Due to the efforts of this watch dog!

Let us explore just two points, one efficacy of this watch dog in reporting and preventing events which have profound effects on the society. Second being the restraint exercised which calls for applauding its role in pre & post Ayodhya verdict period.

Who can forget the extensive reporting and prime time debates on Switzerland disallowing building of minarets for a mosque in that country, overlooking the fact that the citizens of that country delivered their verdict in a referendum conduct by the government of a sovereign nation as envisaged in its constitution, and again when France opted to ban the use of Burkha in public. Both nations are democracies older than us. Alacrity with which these two incidents were dubbed as Islamophobia, by this channel and others, the shrillness of their reporting made them out to as fanatical as the Jihadis who are being shunned by their own community. Would we be wrong if we were to label the author and his ilk as secular Fundamentalists?

Now let us contrast this with the events they chose to ignore. There was a deafening silence on this event there was no mention what so ever.

“2010 Deganga riots: 24 North Parganas West Bengal India.
From Wikipedia,the free encyclopedia The 2010 Deganga riots began on 6th September when an Islamist mob resorted to arson and violence on the Hindu localities of Deganga, Kartikpur and Beliaghata under the Deganga police station area. The violence began late in the evening and continued throughout the night into the next morning. The district police, Rapid Action Force, Central Reserve Police Force and Border Security Force all failed to stop the mob violence, army was finally deployed. The army staged a flag march on the Taki Road, while Islamist violence continued unabated in the interior villages off the Taki Road, till Wednesday in spite of army presence and promulgation of prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC. The violence finally calmed down on 9th September after hundreds of Hindu business establishments and residences were looted, destroyed and burnt, dozens of Hindus were severely injured and several Hindu temples desecrated and vandalized by the Islamist mobs led by Trinamul Congress MP Haji Nurul Islam.”

You judge for yourself if this watch dog was making the right type of sounds for the first two events and if it was looking in the wrong direction and was suffering from a serious bout of cold that it did not open its mouth.

The other point is about the restraint shown by the media.


What do you have to say to this, did your stomach not knot up in disgust, where is your sense of restraint and sensitivity? What kind of an example is being set by placing such thoughts in public domain, what will be the effect on the young of this country? How would your children react to this? The individual in question is not just an employee of your channel, but also your spouse. What action have you taken? Why have you not apologized to the nation for this? Oh please do not tell us Freedom of expression; that incidentally stops where our nose begins, this is a straight hard punch on our collective nose.

Do not misappropriate what belongs to the people of this country, self congratulatory article, patting your own back for a job well done is premature and misplaced. Leave this to us the people to pass our judgment on your role and its effectiveness.

This is the latest update on CNNIBN. 12/17/2010

I welcome a debate and discussion on this…As always, please keep your tone civil, your language polite…no sweeping generalisations please and no personal abuse.  Thank you.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Postman disagrees with contents of the letter.

India has won. It is a great victory that is what we heard after the 1st test match at Mohali. India’s Gold Medals rush at the Common Wealth games say the headlines of newspapers. TV channels also echoing this. Magnificent opening ceremony to the Common Wealth Games in Delhi! India and Indians won on the 30th of September 2010. No one seems to be celebrating that. WHY?

Yes the Ayodhya verdict. The litigants accepted the verdict without any show of emotions of either triumph or dismay. There was no gloating from BJP, VHP, RSS and the other usual suspects as we have been repeatedly told by the media since 1992. Nor was there any shrill cry from the other side. Some political parties like the SP of Mulayam Singh Yadav, RJD of Lalu Prasad Yadav, LJP of Ram Vilas Paswan have made noises in order to exploit the verdict, Congress has displayed its traditional wishy washy stance.

Indians by nature are emotional and expressive, more so when it is an emotive issue of religion. Collectively we have displayed extreme equanimity, grace and maturity. There has not been a single report of an untoward incident from across the length and breadth of the country, which is very unusual, yet a more than welcome change. A clarion call from the common man, move on, no more divisiveness. No more debating Secularism Vs Communalism.

The discordant note in all this is emanating from the messenger that is the main stream English media. The common refrain is do not shoot the messenger, in present case its role is highly suspect, there is a concerted and deliberate attempt being made to project the Allahabad High Court verdict as being seriously flawed by intent, to the detriment of the Muslim rights and community. Is the media competent to sit on judgment of the verdict? Is it its brief and in fitness of things? Why is it indulging and overreaching? What is the purpose of this explicit exercise of negating the verdict of the Hon Allahbad High Court, as also the message from the people of this country?

It leads us to believe that a gory blood bath on the streets of India was the expectations of the media and it is deeply disappointed that the average Indian has fooled all these journalists who were looking for a field day/days of mayhem and violence…so they could have continued their cry on “secularism in danger’ “majority mafia rule” “Islam in danger” and the usual attack. We should congratulate the average Indian that he has now the capability to decide what is best for him and not listen to the doomsayers.

The question that is uppermost in our minds is, why have the TV channels rummaged so deep into their moth balled trunks to bring out old relics who described the judgment disparagingly? Why are aspersions being cast on the Judges involved? There are many more questions that we seek and need answers to from the media for its unremitting negative role since the 30th of September 2010. One article a day in the print has been the norm since then, not one of these authors has presented to us a balanced view or a cogent basis, so that we may move from our present position, the judgment provides an opportunity to move forward, we do not wish the millstone to be round a neck anymore.

Castigating personalities, specific media channels, and publications is not the intent though it would satisfy temporarily; nor is the purpose to delve superficially or propound a theory which would not stand scrutiny of logic and be dismissed as fanciful flight of imagination of an individual. Indian is bemused he is finding it difficult to differentiate between the Jihadis and these “Secular fundamentalists.”

Why should we not examine the media as per the below mentioned criteria? Permit me to place before you the readers something significant which I came across recently.

“Are Businessmen Smarter Than Children?”

According to the research of Lawrence Kohlberg, children at around the age of ten progress to a higher level of moral understanding moving from consequence thinking to considering the intent behind the action.. I quote: At approximately the same time–10 or 11 years–children’s moral thinking undergoes other shifts. In particular, younger children base their moral judgments more on consequences, whereas older children base their judgments on intentions. When, for example, the young child hears about one boy who broke 15 cups trying to help his mother and another boy who broke only one cup trying to steal cookies, the young child thinks that the first boy did worse. The child primarily considers the amount of damage–the consequences–whereas the older child is more likely to judge wrongness in terms of the motives underlying the act (Piaget, 1932, p. 137).

There are six stages in Kohlberg’s theory:
1) Obedience and Punishment Orientation
2) Individualism and Exchange
3) Good Interpersonal Relationships
4) Maintaining the Social Order
5) Social Contract and Individual Rights
6) Universal Principles

For now we will ignore all other stages and focus on stage 4.

Level 4 thinking means a person begins to consider “society as whole” as a factor in moral decision making. Breaking the law, damaging the environment, treating people badly, acting in the interest of a foreign government or corporation or trading partner to the detriment of your own country, etc. are acts that damage society as a whole. A businessman willing to maximize profit at all costs with this level of moral development has to believe that the long term benefits of illegal and unethical actions will produce in the long term a better society or embrace simple villainy as a way of life.

It would be fitting for all of us to look deep into the motives that have driven the media to it current stance. Judgments maybe formed on independent basis as it would be grossly unfair on my part to enforce my views or opinions as per my perceptions. Yes media handling of the issue has left much to be desired. After all it is the fourth pillar of our vibrant democracy, given the extensive interactivity, need for restrained reaction cannot but be emphasized, propagation of a unidimensional picture is not in the larger interest of the Nation.

In conclusion, this was by far the most disgusting way of expressing oneself it appeared on twitter “Lord Ram A Divine Encroacher.” The author of this tweet is yet to issue an apology to us. Media is but a ‘Postman’ and not a party to the title suit hence obduracy displayed by it is misplaced and uncalled for.

Link to some of the article published from 1st Oct onwards.
1. Shaving grace?
2. "Are we not free yet?"
3. Could a better deal have been struck two decades ago?
4. "Full Tosss"
5. "No triumphalism"

Thank you Mr. James Pilant for permitting me to use material from your blog “Are Businessmen Smarter Than Children?”

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Do Not Supress Free Speech and Expression.

“Thank you Hindustan Times for zealously protecting our right of expression as you do yours. Most of us come to this site for there is no censorship unlike most other mainstream English media sites; here comments are flagged only if they are offensive in the extreme.”

These were my sentiment as expressed on 24th of July 2010. I have been reading Hindustan Times for over 40years now.

The change or should one say the intolerance and propensity to delete comments deemed unpalatable for reasons other than abusive, derogatory or inflammatory, has transformed Hindustan Times into a virtual Police State. This trend of heightened censorship has been visible ever since the Home Minister of India issued a statement around the 8th of September 2010 in connection with the events that were to unfold in USA on 11th September 2010.

The arrogance accompanying this mindset is that the individuals to whom this platform is readily accessible may indulge in their favorite pass time of denigrating individuals, religion, caste, class or a Political outfit of their choice.

Yet the same right that is bestowed on all citizens of this country in equal measure by the Constitution of the India is being denied systematically and wantonly. This is an unacceptable situation in a free and democratic country like ours. Hindustan Times should display the courage to receive in return as good as it dishes out to those whom it pleases.

These were the comment that were posted on their site this morning in response to an article Shaving grace? by Indrajit Hazra

"Shaving grace? - Hindustan Times 22 hours ago

Wit, Humor and Satire evoke positive response if and only if timed appropriately. Conversely is a source of great embarrassment to the person indulging in the above acts!

You are found wanting in that.

Existence in a civil society is dictated by certain norms, go against them and you are classified differently.

Against the system...............A rebel
Against the state..................A criminal
Against the society...............Anti social
Against the family.................A black sheep.

Irreverence is a great tool employed by those endowed with grey cells, dark black holes do not make an intellectual.

Overwhelming response on the board are against this attempt at irreverence, yes there are 3 or 4 commentators who are going upstream, these are chronic cases seeking attention, who are delusional that the universe exist due to their efforts and they are the center piece around which the earth revolves.

Finally your reaction would not be far different from the majority on this board in case the same irreverence is display towards your ideology, parentage, siblings or your spouse.

Stink is rising fast prudence should be the watch word.
This comment is awaiting approval

Edit Delete Context HindustanTime"

I will conclude this with an appeal to all those who read this blog to make it a point to post their views if they did indeed find my comment unreasonable, derogatory, abusive or inflammatory. Do these comments need to be flagged and approved when this is not a standard practice.
Thank you all for you support.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Shah Mehmood Qureshi no lone ranger or loose cannon

Pakistan upto old tricks on Kashmir
by Pankaj Vohra on Wednesday, September 29, 2010

“The Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi seems to be determined that the India Pakistan relations do not improve.” This is a hilarious premise, if we are to accept this, it would effectively cast Mr. Shah Mehmood Qureshi in the mould of a lone ranger or a loose cannon, which he most definitely is not.

Needless to say a Minister for Foreign affairs enunciates, and propagates the foreign policy of the nation which is the end result of a process of discussions, and debates arrived at after receiving inputs from various quarters, is not necessarily a single individual’s handiwork or thinking.

Yes there is an overt display of machismo, bluster and loudness in the conduct of Mr. Shah Mehmood Qureshi, despite all these qualities he in his personal capacity would not be able to derail or enhance the relationship should the Government of Pakistan desire improvement of ties with India or vice versa. That would be giving him credit far beyond his capabilities. Improvement of relations with Pakistan, are not incumbent on who occupies the office of Foreign Minister in Pakistan.

It would be a fallacy to believe that Kashmir issue has not already been internationalized; it was so done when India took the matter to UN. The resolution if any is to be arrived at on a bilateral basis and not through the intervention or mediation by a third party. It would be far more prudent to look within, rather than look at Pakistan or the personality of the person that we would engage with from Pakistan.

We are guilty of oscillating from one extreme to the other. Either we are thumping are our chests ventilating fire and brimstone or it is all mushy mushy stuff. In all these years we have not developed a pragmatic Pakistan policy. While Pakistan has a very clear and defined policy which is conclusion of 1947 add to that the humiliation of 1971.

We have had our opportunities which were unfortunately frittered away, 1971 is a prime example. This can only be explained by our ambivalence, that is big brother approach, time will heal the wounds or sheer romanticism exemplified by Mr. I.K Gujral and others who held candle light vigils at the Wagha border. We have failed to factor in the realities of what drives Pakistan to base its relation with us. Being unaware would be excusable; ignoring those is the cardinal sin that we have committed.

Militancy unleashed in Kashmir in 1989 onwards was another manifestation of its desire to wrest Kashmir, this was successfully thwarted by our brave soldiers, here again it was treated in isolation and not included in the bigger picture. Events of November 26th 2008 is a paradigm shift, which begged a very robust reaction from India, we let ourselves down as always. Undoubtedly this was under tremendous pressure exerted by USA. The response of our government to events of 26/11 has established for all times to come that we are a meek and a weak nation. The utterance for domestic consumption may have been belligerent yet they lacked conviction and large portions of the civil society resigned itself to the fact that no retribution was on the cards.

The incumbent Prime Minister has not helped matters either by his formulations.

1. Boundaries cannot be redrawn……….But they been done in Europe what makes us so unique? That it cannot be implemented in our region.

2. Talks are the only way forward……….This is perhaps the most disingenuous statement, not talking is also an option and it should be exercised.

3. India cannot achieve superpower status or our growth is being hampered by an unstable relationship with Pakistan. This effectively makes us hostage to Pakistan and this is not a reality. India has made tremendous progress despite a hostile environment that envelopes our region.

The above three points actually feed the aggressive instinct of our neighbour who is acting more like the common street corner bully than a mature nation seeking to co-exist. We cannot be burdening ourselves unnecessarily with responsibility of improving relations with an intransigent Pakistan.

It is time to devise a definite policy for conducting our relations with Pakistan, we need to first address the issue of terrorism and the areas of Kashmir occupied by Pakistan. We cannot be legitimizing its role in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Should we fail to deal with this situation now, the consequences and the attendant costs at a later date may prove to be exorbitant.

We have failed to appreciate the urgent need to resolve the Kashmir issue internally, the longer we take to conclude this amongst ourselves greater are the chances of Pakistan meddling and provoking the locals leading to repeating the events of the past three months. Kashmir is an internal matter and Pakistan has no role what so ever. India needs to be assertive if not aggressive.