Journal : This July 26, 2014

Ganapati Baba for WordPress Journal

It is in the midst of the monsoon season and yet in the second month after the new NDA Govt was sworn in. Both have been deficient, by measures comparable — about 35 %. But the direction from which the measures now stands are opposite to each other : the monsoon has travelled from amost 60 % deficiency towards a marked improvement while the NDA deficiency has risen from about mere 10 % in public skepticism or outright distrust to 35 % today. The clean sweep by Congress Party in Uttarakhand bye-elections may be seen as minor but, I believe, could be loaded with significance. It takes just a little while for public disenchantment towards a political party to tip over into electorally risky domain.

There are those who suggest that we must reign in our impatience which, in other words, means that we moderate our expectations from what has been promised by the BJP, which leads the current NDA Govt. The risk with this line is two-fold, the two mutually inflating each other : one, as suggested, the tip over into becoming an object of public displeasure could be far too swift to stage a real comback in time for elections in several other states; and, two, but for regular loud enough protests, the BJP leadership is likely to remain uninformed of the representative public mood towards their policies and performance, and never enter into constant relooping, reviewing and reappraising, necessary to keep itself in tune with the need, sentiments and opinions, of the people who it claims to represent.

The Govt’s vote for Hamas, and against Israel saw massive outcry in social media. Significantly, the regular media was pretty much sanguine about it … it being in line with how the previous UPA Govt would have gone. That, of course does not negate the well-received decisions in the Budget, on bring black money into light, reinstatement of marginalised but capable officers in the Govt, bringing our stranded home from abroad, etc. But there is an immediate trust deficit on account of NDA Govt’s apathy towards this huge geo-political problem around our neighbourhood and contrarian forces within, caused by Muslim community leaders who sympathise with fundamentalist al-Quaida, Hamas, and now ISIS, and severely undermine India’s security and its nationhood. This latter section of population are loyal to pan-Sunni-Islamic Caliphate, a program funded by Turkey and Qatar among others, whose forces are joined in by community youthfuls from all over the world – 10 % of Muslims in UK, US, EU, several countries in Africa, Middle East, China, Indian subcontinent and S-E Asia.

There is evidence of all non-Muslim countries now being in various stages of destabilisation wrought about by rabid fundamentalism, uprisings, riots and terror attacks. This is to be pre-empted … a task that is neither easy nor brooking an hour’s delay. There is much to be done in law provisions, getting an empowered and pro-actively effective task force in place and working hard, and placing a judicial vertical of special courts to adjudicate. Above all, the Govt needs to share with the public broad contours of what it has on its mind on the matter.

The time to start up on the issue is now. But, even if the political leadership were willing, the ambiguous and conservative economic policy mandates reflecting in the budget and the Geneva vote against Israel are proof of a bureaucracy weighted by inertia or devotion to misplaced continuity, or by plain mischief as beneficiary stooges of the previous government !

* * *

 The season saw friendly visits by Langda and Chausa mangoes, including the latter’s small juicy types, and the sickening sweet Dushehri I have never really liked. The boils at some places on the body were familiar routine too, drying up in 3-5 days time, like virals. More rains are expected from today : tempreatures are moderate and pleasant if there is breeze over the body, natural or fan propelled.

This entry cannot end without mention of those tradition colocasia leaf preparation … ummhh. And today we bought an item each from every stall that line up the roundabout circle, 50 yards to our right. Shared among three of us, they made for a very pleasing meal.

I might shoot an email to Telecom Secretary about issues residents are facing … and yes, I need to finally decide if I’ll replace my internet security suite and demand a refund from eScan suppliers …

For the rest, it’s fine. Rum is cool and whisky, divine !

AAP : The New Political Kid On The Block

This is an India-specific article, and political, that brings together some of the material I lately wrote from time to time on recent exciting developments precipitated by Delhi elections in December last.

AAP is the new political kid on the block — Aam Aadmi Party, translating as “The Common Man’s Party.” It rose rather spectacularly on “anti-corruption” plank and the promise of setting a new “people-centered” and participatory governance paradigm. Emerging as the second largest party in the State Assembly, it now forms a minority government with the help of Congress Party — the outfit AAP’s founder Arvind Kejriwal (AK) had denounced as the mother of corruption in the country and had declared never to have any truck with it before or after the election.

I have been happy with the political churn but have been critical of AAP and AK.

First, I believe that the political developments that have thrown up AAP is good for political evolution in our country … but I look upon it in a historical perspective and not in the way of salvation, a finality or hero worship.

Second, anybody who promises perfection, totality, claims all honesty for himself and damns everybody else, and stands up as a missionary … is obviously a fool or a top conman.

Third, I will anyday go along with mere sincerity and a collective with a sense of history, continuity and purpose, even if imperfect.

Perhaps, this will explain my stance to AAP and Arvind Kejriwal.

I find AAP bumbling and blundering, insincere and easily compromising, though possibly well-meaning.

Frankly, after taking the support of #CongressParty
#AAP has lost all locus standii to crusade against corruption.

But there are enough emotional, “useful” idiots out there !

Some of their early proposals are outright Nehruvian that have kept the country scarcity bound, maximising taxation and incentivising poverty and riddling the society with vitually dozens of factions and fractions for meagre pie with the exchequer. The artificial measures have left the general public divided on account of being discriminated against for a variety of caste, region and language factors and not directly by the income criteria. The resulting angst and widespread heartburn has left the population mired in avoidable fraternal viciousness.

RT @BalakrishnanR Now Yogendra Yadav of AAP wants more reservations, quotas. Mate, you just lost AAP a huge block of votes.

So, with AAP’s new wave of reservations, quota and subsidies on way, I wrote :

IITian or not … #AAP
I would never ever place the affairs of our nation and our countrymen in the hands of  inexperienced, insincere, good-for-nothing motley crowd of power-grabbers !
Then, there was this ridiculous insistence on public referendums on every matter however minor, technical or complicated…
Huh … it’s funny how people expect the harried and hurried masses, over 40% are still illiterate and over 70% do not have the breather from mere subsistence concerns, to know enough about factors and nuances of everything under the sun to have an informed and well-considered opinon !

The close proximity of AAP with the “most corrupt” Congress Party was getting too snug … and my fears of mutual co-option between the two rang clear when the latter declared that it would halt the oppostion’s juggernaut under Narendra Modi with the help of AAP. The partnership was an ominous distraction and put paid to all the anti-corruption crusade of the new political outfit.

I see the AAP becoming a side kick, then an affiliate of the corrupt and incapable Congress Party over time.
They have all launched themselves on a dream career, the country and countrymen be damned !

Which brings me to two off-the-cuff reasons why I do not trust AAP for now and the reason why I stand to oppose Arvind Kejriwal politically  :

— Individuals can make a difference but only through leadership, capability and effecting change in the system and their processes. I have seen little of the character necessary to leadership, no evidence of capability nor of the calm and patience essential to bringing in any systemic change. There have been dream statements, clarion calls announcing pious intent … but nothing more. AK’s casual remark that “it is not rocket science” shows how little he knows about what he is stepping into. Transferring 800 DJB officers ! It already shows how far off they are from anything meaningful, long-term and substantial.– Meanwhile, the political dynamics has already overtaken them, with the “corrupt” party honchos, their allies and cliques digging into their capacity for the damage they can do if they are brought before courts of law and, conversely, of the help they can be if these AAP upstarts mind their ways and work along with them. And mind it, their capacity is mammoth, brutal and pervasive.

The anti-Modi, anti-BJP focus alone is purposeful to the AAP-Congress lot … for survival and for winning at the hustings. Under the circumstance, riding the “beat the opposition at all cost” tiger, whither the strength to stand their ground and retain their focus on anti-corruption crusade ? Whither any meaningful and substantial departure from business as usual ?

ON THE OTHER HAND, the opposition BJP did usher a departure when they came into power between 1999 and 2004. Its current Prime Ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi may not be perfect but has proven capabilities as an administrator and problem-solver, and as a leader of people. The party is no pushover; they can stand their ground without seeming radical. Its Chief Minister Parrikkar, in Goa, is doing it gradually : both at inflation control and effective governance. Nothing spectacular but good, which suummed up over time, would be great in the experience of the people. So are its other Chif Ministers … without promising perfection or announcing that they would change human nature itself or that they are angels and everyone with them are drawn from the land of the virtuous.Overall, I find it foolish to put much on AAP or AK. Already there is evidence that they are having to compromise and are getting sucked into the political quagmire. The task is admittedly difficult : there are hundreds of whorls and vortices clamouring for attention and ringing in challenges to capability and character.

But, of course, if AAP and AK still show the character and the moral fibre, and the ability to think on their feet … Godspeed to them. I’d be happy to be proved wrong !

Country, Culture And Countrymen

Bhagwad Gita – The most sacred Hindu text propagates sexism and casteism. Texts like these led to complete neglect of women (50% of the society) and segregated a section of society belonging to a particular caste (another 20% of the society). Should this not offend us, that 70% of Indian society was neglected and ostracized because of religious texts?
Gita Casteism
My reply :
Try interpreting it from memes of those times 5000 years ago, and not from our current colonialised “garbage” …
Women – is the principle, not gender. Men can equally vested with it. Its rooted in the things material, the earth, home, belongings … Focused on adding, increasing, nuturing … Attached.Caste – As population divider, derived from its Portugese root. In Gita, the term is “jati,” which is more a person qualifier or descriptive of psyche and life interest …

Vaishya are into material production, commerce and profit-taking;

Shudras are still more coiled in lower tendencies, anchored in the body – food, sex and subsistence – unmindful of what is electable and what is not.

What are the specifics ? Has the fellow visited Gujarat ? Is he looking for perfection in a land of chaos that has seen 100s of riots of all kinds and manner ? Did this person outrage in 1984 … a progrom and genocide proper, with over 20,000 killed ? What does he have to say about scores of people locked in the train at Godhra and burned with deliberation ?

Generics and fluff … But even the imagined can build emotions and generate outrage, isn’t it ?

* * *

India can do better than Modi or Rahul

Anti – Modi outpourings in uncouched and couched terms …

My reply :

X , Y … You wish ! Talking is one thing … and articulation is of special relevance – the gab of those who’ve done little otherwise except earn their bread for their exclusive selves ! Of course, they all have an opinion about someone who has learnt to articulate because he had to, not because he wanted to. And Bongs especially … how dare someone rises above the filth we are submerged in !

To clarify, I have little hope from politicians in general. But I have no axe to grind when I see a phenomenon… which Modi is. Not all our fathers, friends and relatives are equal to it : do I therefore have to box him in ? That’s not my case.

India will arise from what it has, not from people settled in other cultures ! You have views and opinions we have no need of. Frankly, I doubt your management antecedents … especially in Indian context that you have little idea about. 

I am grateful … that we have a Modi and the BJP, who might be full of faults but have that one thing that this nation needs : Continuity and the courage to disregard the “foreigner,” who’ve nothing but an ignorance to grind at our expense.

* * *

Foreigners … Why the hell should they be included in what India is. They’ll come if they find it profitable, money or otherwise. And take away, as it avails. That’s it. 

In fact, that’s the bane that needs to be nicked and snuffed : Foreigners in our affairs !

* * *

Rounding Up

He he … right wing goondas (as the Hindutva protagonist is perceived) ! How many of them have you faced or those who you know have actually experienced their doings ? If you can’t specify, it would be pointer to how imaginary are your emotions and intellectual build up on the matter.

West Bengal has just been “emancipated” from actual Left wing goondas. There are 1000s of stories ppl actually have to tell. I refer you to Basudeb Sen‘s FB TL … he wud be 75, a 60’s graduate, Harvard alumnus and an independent Director on Company boards for long.

Interestingly, did you notice Utsav Mitra’s announcement : He’ll quit his comfy IT job and join the BJP to actively participate and campaign in the run up to 2014 elections ? Then wonder why …

No, you are an Indian, and that needs no certification from anyone. But this being in the cloud, the “tower,” without any real idea of what is happening on the ground, would give you false material to start your ruminations about India, its situation, its trajectory through its present and future.

I am not holding my breath on any expectation of what would happen … who would proved right or wrong. That just isn’t my business. My call is a position I take on matters that matter to our people :

–  Islamic belief system that simply manufacture sub-humans,

–  Maoists that are lost in the yawning chasm between what they want and what they do,

–  Left scums who only have empty heads around figuring out “Party strategies” for their people-be-damned-ideology,

–  the scamming scamsters and subversives of the #Congress and its self-coiled allies …

    all of these I oppose actively, as far as I can.

Finally, I do not have much expectation from politics, much less from politicians !

So, we can still be friends … My brotherhood however admits only those who have sensed the unbroken continuity that our country represents, who can smell its culture and taste its traditions, and who know that it is the only evolved way to universal love and peace in our midst !

Journal : Musings

Elections 2014 

My senior friend, Basudeb Sen, brilliantly observes :

“2014 is going to be much tougher than it was in 2009 for the Congress. The corruption stigma may still haunt its poll prospects. Its only hope lies is a miraculous economy bounceback and direct food subsidy flowing in a large measure in 2013. Still Congress may need a stronger UPA3 coalition partner support. And, the left parties, especially CPM is waiting for an opportunity to give outside support to Congress so that they can regain a status of some importance in national politics, and will keep trying to keep BJP at bay.

“However much one may dislike Cong and consider support to BJP, BJP does not show much unity and any alternative, internally consistent election manifesto attractive enough to people. If N Modi repeats his performance with at least 110 seats on 21.12.12 and the BJP accepts him as the next PM candidate without the slightest of reluctance, and keep Sangh Parivar absolutely quiet, BJP can still hope to get to power, provided a new NDA is strong enough.

“If CPM is ready to offer outside support to Cong., Mamata’s TMC may provide outside support to NDA just to keep CPM away from links with the Central Govt. Either of BSP or SP can deny support to Congress if they find the deal could be better with BJP. The Tamil lady may join the side that gives more cabinet post allocation to her party nominees.

“BJP is yet to show any triumph strategy.”

There’s nothing I could add to Mr Sen’s analysis, except of that chance build up to an elusive “wave” … which seems least likely to be in favour of either the Congress or its allies. On the other hand, the political polarisation along 2 – alliance columns is nebulous in favour of NDA and, as Mr Sen observes, fraught with opportunism in the UPA camp.

Only a big enough margin between the individual counts of the two behemoths – BJP and the Congress – will clarify the day.

Killing Culture

Gunmen shot dead 30 children and injured several others in a school in Connecticut, USA. It is such a collosal loss of life, love, opportunity and future. My friend, Francis Hunt, says :

” My heartbroken sympathy goes out to all the families whose children were murdered in Newtown. To the families of the dead teachers as well. Looking from Europe, where the possession of firearms just isn’t an issue for the overwhelming majority of people – and where we honestly don’t feel threatened in our unarmed state – I find US gun-culture very hard to understand.”

But Obama felt that this wasn’t the time to talk of such issues ! There has been a spate in the series though that lends an urgency to the matter, including the fundamental one :

What value abides with us in a world without order, but for the pervasive niche of porn and media ? What do we make of the leadership – religious, political and economic – that leaves us to this existential chaos before us ? These questions preoccupied Albert Camus through every one of his works over half a century ago !

Because, indeed, it isn’t just the society in the United States. Europe’s quiet still seems tenuous : Athens, Spain, Italy, Portugal … saw riots and expressions of people’s angst. How will the British take it as the NHS gets dismantled ? Sweden’s killings have not vacated in our minds. The Muslim world seethes the same …

The latest from China reports of a knife-wielding man injuring 22 children and one adult outside a primary school, as students were arriving for classes yesterday. It again is one more in a series of periodic rampage attacks at Chinese schools and kindergartens.

A Beautiful Soul

Let me wind up with the thoughts of an exceedingly beautiful soul and musical genius extraordinary, whom the world has not heard … Annapurna Devi !

She is one whose success about the middle of the last century troubled the much eulogised Pandit Ravi Shankar and inspired the Hrishikesh Mukherjee classic, Abhimaan !

The Western world might not even be aware of the instrument but Annapurna Devi’s is “The story of the greatest surbahar player you never heard.”

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