December 20, 2010

For He Is An Honourable Man

What use is it that the PM is a man of unquestionable integrity and honesty? This character certificate has been waved ad nauseam by the various ruling party spokespersons. If you allow thieves to openly cock a snook at your authority, looting public money in full public view and then put on an injured look like a martyred saint, do not expect any sympathy from a not-so-gullible public. These scams happened on your watch, so take responsibility and move on. Blaming the opposition for your shortcomings may get you a few half hearted cheers at the AICC plenary , but its not going to cut any ice with the general public.

But , for all his faults , Dr Singh is still the one palatable choice we have from the Congress stable. Consider, for instance the Prince waiting in the wings , the self proclaimed Champion of the Oppressed and Downtrodden, one whose only claim to fame is his surname aka Mr Rahul.

April 4, 2007

'Chalta Hai' Nahi Chalega

Chalta Hai is the perennial Indian excuse for mediocrity. Its an excuse everyone uses for not doing a job well. Combine this with a callous bureacracy and an indifferent public, and you have a recipe for the sorry excuse for a civilized nation that India has become. Police vehicles breaking traffic rules, a govt official asking for bribe without any compuction, the daily exposes on news channels of callous, indeed criminal indifference and negligence , point to the deep roots these cancerous habits have set in our society.

The worst of all this is the ordinary citizen looks at this helplessly , but just decides to shrug his shoulders with a sorry 'Chalta Hai' . Excuse me , but such behaviour is not just inexcusable its intolerable. The other day there was a news report about several people getting AIDS at a premier medical institute in New Delhi, because the staff there reused syringes , so they could sell the unused ones in the outside market. Instances such as these should not be treated as a simple case of theft. If you callously play with someone's life , you should pay for it with your own.

I read a short story sometime back of how a man diagonised with terminal illness decides to spend his remaining few days , ridding his city of bad manners. His idea is simple. He kills people displaying bad manners , with a note on why they are being killed. Three killings later , a wave of politeness is sweeping the city. Perhaps , aa we need is a true 'Indian' ala Kamal Hasan. Who knows, if I am diagonised with an incurable disease , I just might take up the role. Till then I will try and be content with ranting on this blog.

March 3, 2007

When 500% is just not good enough

"I am 500 percent sure he is in Afghanistan," Gen Musharraff said one month back referring to Mullah Muhammad Omar, the elusive leader of the Taliban. By now even his most ardent supporters must be getting tired of the General's verbal polemics. Even more fascinating is the General's oft repeated ability to pull out a senior al Qaeda or Taleban man from his hat , when he is seen to be under US pressure.

Consider this - over the past few years, whenever a senior US official has visited Pakistan, there has been a prized catch immediately preceding or following the visit. More interesting is that most of these have not been in the lawless tribal areas of Pakistan but in mainstream cities like Quetta, Karachi etc.

This list compiled by the BBC throws up quite a few surprises. Note that the list does not include the recent capture of Mullah Obeidullah, the No 2 in the Talibal, immediately after ( Surprise ! Surprise !) the recent Dick Cheney visit to Pakistan. Going by the number of terrorists still at large, it is going to take quite a few trips by US officials, before all can be captured.

Maybe Star World should consider telecasting the General's press conferences during its weekday Comedy Time programmes.

February 11, 2007

Not In My Name

A common tenet of Hinduism is "Sarva Dharma Sambhava", which literally means that all Dharmas (truths) are equal to or harmonious with each other. Unfortunately , this basic tenet seems to be lost on the self proclaimed leaders of the modern day Hindus.

A friend pointed this documentary out to me.Titled "The Final Solution", this was a real eyeopener. You read and hear in the news about 10 people killed at such and such a place and yet are unable to quite grasp the gravity of the situation. This documentary is worth a watch. There is the infamous "Hanuman ki poonch" dialogue by Praveen Togadia, where he compares the Godhra train burning to lighting Hanuman's tail. He jestfully continues the tale reeling out the names of places Hanuman ji touched after his tail was burnt. The horror of the situation strikes you when you realize that these are the places where the most Muslims were killed during the riots. More chilling is the reaction of the crowd - there is clapping , whistling ,laughter .

There are those who would argue, yours truly included till recently, that Togadia , Ashok Singhal are fringe lunatics who should be treated with the contempt they deserve. But the truth of the matter is that however honest your intentions be, your support will be shown as support for the actions of the same lunatic fringe. The recent Mumbai municipal elections are a case in point.

Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray made an unprecedented personal attack on the President regarding the Afzal case. Days after this, the Shiv Sena emerged victorious in the elections. This victory was used by Thackeray to claim the people supported his comments on the President. And that is the same elsewhere.

"But who lit the fire?" - was Vajpayee's reaction , trying to imply the Gujarat riots were a logical conclusion to the Godhra train burning. This from a person known to be a "moderate" but more frighteningly , the Prime Minister at the time. With such certificates , does it come as any surprise when you watch videos of Gujarat policemen firing at houses containing Muslim women and children , while a murderous Hindu mob waits in full view of these same valiant protectors.

When you realize that Gujarat is considered by the BJP to be its "political laboratory", you realize the full meaning of the "Ram Rajya" , the BJP has in store for all of us.

maalik ne har insaan ko, insaan banaaya
ham ne use hindu ya musalamaan banaaya
qudarat ne bakshi thi hamen ek hi dharati
ham ne kahin bhaarat, kahin iraan banaaya
jo tod de har band, wo toofaan banega
insaan ki aulaad hai, insaan banega
tu hindu banega na musalamaan banega
insaan ki aulaad hai, insaan banega

nafarat jo sikhaaye, wo dharam tera nahin hai
insaaf jo ronde,wo qadam tera nahin hai
qura'an na ho jisame wo mandeer nahin tera
geeta na ho jisame wo haram tera nahin hai
tu amn ka aur sulah ka aramaan banega
insaan ki aulaad hai, insaan banega
tu hindu banega na musalamaan banega
insaan ki aulaad hai, insaan banega