Welcoming Telangana and Seemandhra – what lies next ?

With green signal given by the Lok Sabha to the Telangana Bill, creation of the 29th state of India becomes a reality. Now, Andhra Pradesh is divided into two smaller states – Telangana and Seemandhra (the one which opposed the division of Andhra Pradesh). Though there is a sense of pride and victory by some people of Telangana, the general mood of the people of the region, particularly of Seemandhra, and other parts of India is not happy regarding the way this specific bifurcation was handled and new states are being created.

Most surprisingly, the recent developments which came into light are undemocratic and pathetic !

First, six Honourable MPs (Congress) of Seemandhra issued a no-confidence motion against their own party and the government. They were later expelled. But their grievance was never discussed in the parliament. Neither the parties in power nor the parties in opposition bothered to listen to their dissent.

Second, Pepper Spray was used by Mr. L. Rajagopal on 13th February, 2014 which shamed the Indian democracy and Parliamentary system. His act was merely condemned by the political parties and later, he was suspended. However, he had managed to defend his act on live-TV shows and became an over-night hero in his constituency, Vijayawada (Seemandhra).  Many critics of Seemandhra MPs view their opposition to the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh only as a means to safeguard their business investments in parts of Telangana, particularly Hyderabad (its supposed capital) and an election tactics. It is widely alleged that the LANCO business unit in Hyderabad of Mr. Rajagopal was bailed-out by a political pact with the UPA government.

Third, and the most surprising thing is the complete blackout of the debates in the Lok Sabha. It was never seen since the live telecast of Parliament proceedings began in 1996. Hon’ble Speaker says  – it was a technical glitch; BJP says – first, we were unaware of it, then admits it was a “technical glitch”, and then blames it was a “tactical glitch”; Congress – as usual does not say any thing (even the Union Home Minister refused to comment on the blackout) and the rest call it as the “murder” of democracy or stage walkouts. What surprises the aamjunta is the way the Bill was presented and passed; there was no proper debate, no discussion, no clear plan of action for Seemandhra or Telangana, and above all no consideration on the fall-out of this Bill !! Whom should we blame, only the party in power – UPA (Congress in particular)  or the opposition (BJP in particular) or both ? Don’t we see that both of them have tried to use this sensitive and controversial Bill to earn more seats in the next general elections ? It is just “hunger and abuse of power” – both so destructive in nature, especially in the context of a multi-cultural and multi-lingual country like India !

This actually frustrates the common man of this country. Unfortunately, we probably have no option but to elect one of them (Congress or BJP or coalitions led by them) in the future, as the alternatives including Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Third-Front can prove to be more disastrous for this country !!

What would follow are perhaps – Bandhs (strikes) in Seemandhra and other parts of India, fights between various groups of  Andhra Pradesh and Delhi, debates on television and in newspaper columns, and increase in demands for creation of new states in other parts of the country – Koshala in Odisha, Vidarbha in Maharashtra, Harit Pradesh in Uttar Pradesh, Bundelkhand in central India, and Gorkha Land in the east /north-east ! This does not stop there; as it did not stop with the creation of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Goa.

The Pandora’s Box is opened now with many political compulsions, strikes, acts of hate, and various other possibilities including elections and re-elections !

If we analyse the impact of creation of smaller states, we can certainly find two major points – (i) smaller states boost regional parties which are definitely not a healthy sign for a democracy like India and (ii) smaller states bring political instability as in Jharkhand and Goa – 8 Chief Minsters in last 10 years (9  governments in last 13 years) in Jharkhand, and 14 governments in 15 years between 1990 and 2005 in Goa !! The instability can be frequently created by regional parties, especially in a coalition type of government.

Other than the above major points, smaller states give rise to further intolerance, regionalism and selfish motives, which sometimes hinder the growth of India as a whole, and complicate the inter-state relations and distribution of resources – water, mining, dams, power, etc. Likewise, administration and delegation of executive tasks may take a back seat. In this light, one should take thorough note of the detailed analysis in the arduous Srikrishna Committee Report.

Further, such divisions of states in cacophony can also highly complicate the internal security with many neighbours as observed from New Delhi and NCR. Many fear that the anti-Maoist steps being carried out jointly by Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattishgarh, etc. may also get diluted.

As I have mentioned in one of my previous article, the way we are creating smaller states with the above motives and intentions, an European Union model is not ruled out in India in the future – with one or two major partners (states) and many smaller partners (states) with political and financial instability.

Aamjunta needs to awake, arise and take the centre-stage as a voter, implementer, jurist, lawyer, businessman, student, teacher, social activist and others – for, by and of India. We need to go beyond the selfish intention of small states and think of an united India only, without which our existence will be at stake.

It is now obvious that the selfish political parties will instigate us on the differences in languages, religions and region-specific development. But the choice is ours; whether or not to fall in their line !

Aamjunta – what do you say and how do you react ?

Chanakya’s  (370–283 BC) “akhanda Bharat” (undivided India) is becoming “khanda Bharat” (divided India) !!  “Uttistha Bharata” (Arise India) !!!

Jai Hind…

Other articles on Regional Politics in India:

1. Regional Political Parties – danger to Democracy and India?

2. Yes to Telangana – Opening of the Pandora’s Box or another European Union !!

Corruption and Regionalism :- Commas and Semicolons in India

While watching the debates of our Parliamentarians and the discussions of so called activists and intellectuals on the three important issues of Lokpal Bill today, one could sense the uneasiness of the politicians, reluctance and ego of the ministers and the technicalities of our intellectuals standing between a Strong Lokpal and no-Lokpal.  However, we still believe on the constitution and political system and still have faith on the aamjunta’s struggle –  a Strong Lokpal will come into force very soon.

Over the years, there is an exponential rise in Corruption by the Government, Sate/Central Officials, Politicians, Media and the Corporates – the level of corruption has crossed all its limits. The reports of CAG on Common Wealth Games (CWG), 2G Spectrum auction, Adarsh Housing Society scam, ISRO deal, KG Basin deal, Hasan Ali‘s case and Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) soft approach to the entire episode, black money and Swiss Bank accounts by politicians and others, Land deals by Karuna’s, BSY’s and their families, Jagan Mohan’s disproportionate and unaccounted rise in wealth, Reddy brothers’ mining mafia, BSY’s drama on resignation, Mayawati’s Taj Corridor and Birthday celebrations and many others… have proved that India is in its neck deep of corruption. Saying all this, one should not undermine the level of corruption in lower offices, where every day the common man is harassed and taken for granted, that no file will move unless the officials are bribed, no gas connection if you do not bribe, no telephone line if you do not give mithai and no ration card if you do not pay for chai pani

These definitely have sparked the uneasiness among the people like Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal, Justice Santosh Hegde, Prashant Bhushan and many others. This has led to protests, slogans, dharanas and above all Anna Hazare’s fast and determination to bring a strong Lokpal. To this the “Sense of the Parilament”  has definitely brought a sense of relief among the aamjunta. In a country like India where democracy is prevailed, Constitution is supreme and Parliament and Judiciary are the two faces of a Check-and-Balance system, corruption to this extent is really not acceptable. When there are protests by the common man, by the majority of tax payers and by the intellectuals, there is definitely a sense of seriousness and urgency to be dealt with. But, these protests should not be limited to just protests only!! These should laid the foundation of a corruption free and developed India. Moreover, instead of only participating in the protests and raising slogans the aamjunta should also participate in the system – getting elected through the system, exercising their voting rights and clearing the mesh.

Protests of these kind in-fact are taken seriously. However, there are serious comments and oppositions by the Media, so called intellectuals, activists, and our legislators – that this movement has undermined the supremacy of Parliament and is a threat to our democracy and constitution. Even there are attempts to divide the protests in line of caste and class – that the protesters are confined to only middle class and to upper castes. Religious cards are also played.

These kinds of accusation and attempts to divide the society are selfishly motivated and are signs of immaturity. Before accusing and dividing the protesters, the media, the MPs and the activists should introspect on (i) is there any other alternative when there is no seriousness by the politicians for the last 43 years to pass this bill; 8 failed attempts so far, (ii) why more than 4 ex-ministers and MPs and 20+ senior bureaucrats (pointing their fingers to the Prime Minister and Home Minister in court) are in Tihar Jail ; only after Supreme Court’s intervention and Dr. Swamy’s serious attempt, (iii) why do you appoint some one as Chief Vigilance Commissioner, when he is an accuse in a serious corruption case, and (iv) when MPs are booked for “Cash for vote scam”??

With so much corruption in place, what other option is left out for the aamjunta? In-fact the protesters should be appreciated and thanked for keeping the protests so far non-violent. When the entire world is struggling with violent protests (fighting for power in Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Somalia, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, riots in UK and many others are just few recent examples), we the Indians still believe and adopt non-violence. One thing I would like to point out here, that, the protests and dharanas of such type are not threat to our democratic setup as reported/targeted by Barkhas/Sagarikas/Arnabs/Arundhatis/Arunas… and supported by the pseudo-activists, rather a check-and-balance mechanism to our political system which can strengthen the democratic setup. Otherwise, every one including the PM and the leader of opposition will keep on saying that “we want a strong Lokpal“, but will not pass the bill and would not have even discussed in the parliament!

Many a times our honorable PM has blamed the political compulsions of the coalition government at the center for the current state of our country. This is in-fact true. With the rise in the number of regional parties like NCP/DMK/AIDMK/TMC/BJD/BSP/SP/Shiv Sena/MNS/TDP/NDF/Akali Dal/TRS and many others with their regional interests, there is definitely no chance for a single party like BJP or Congress to rule the country; no single party in the center will have the majority and hence cannot pass a bill on its own. It is true that many regional parties which are part of the Govt., force the Govt. (some time even at the gun point) on various issues – in cabinet formation, in inter-state issues, in development related to individual states, using CBI for political gains and in bringing family legacy into power….

Moreover, some time the threat issued by these state parties have really threatened the structure of Indian union and the civil rights of the common man; be in Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad or in Jammu. One can argue that the regional parties are born with the philosophy of a particular culture or a political compromise or because of the discriminatory feelings of the local “sons of soil” population, and hence are not bad for India’s democracy. Then, why is the political compulsion and PM’s inability to control corruption and other serious issues?

Every one should remember that we need to move ahead and move even with the hurdles of corruption and regionalism – corruption and the regionalism are just commas and semicolons in a sentence of a big essay called “India and Indianness”; they can neither stop the “India” nor the “Indianness”, though may put some punctuations or hurdles into it.

Aamjunta, what do you say? – do share your thoughts.

Jai Hind!

Note: The title of this article is inspired by Mark Tully’s Book – “No Fullstops in India“.

Top 10 New Year Wishes of an Ammjunta

Dear Fellow Aamjunta,

I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2011. As an aamjunta like you I dream, I wish and I want to live and let live… Though the list of my new year wishes are never ending, here are the top Ten New Year wishes for myself, for you and for all fellow Indians.

  1. No to Corporate Lobbyists and let the industries/organization do not have Nira(s), Barkha(s), Raja(s), Raju(s) and Arjun(s) please; everything are in record 🙂
  2. At-least 1/365 day Scam-Free News in Indian News (TV) Channels.
  3. At-least “one major case solved” completely by CBI.
  4. At-least one day in the Parliament with “Full Attendance“, not to vote for a government or opposition, but for usual business.
  5. Let quality prevail in Indian Education system; not caste, religion, money, corruption and politics.
  6. No more deaths please during VIP’s visits because of all roads are closed; be that during PM or President’s visit.
  7. Live and let live; enough of killing by Maoists, terrorists, political drama and regionalisms.
  8. No killings, no stone pelting and no burning of Public Properties in Any strike/bandh by political parties or groups.
  9. All trains diverted/changed timings due to Maoists scare in various parts of India to run in the usual routes.
  10. At-least one day shramadan for the country by every Indian.

Aamjunta, what are your new year wishes… Do share.. and do not forget to share your new year resolutions.

Jai Hind

Rumour Sails Dangerously in India

I am writing this blog-post after a long time and apologies to all the readers of Aamjunta who have been waiting for new posts for all these days.

It was around 6.30pm on a Monday in Feb 2010. I reached home slightly late from office and was discussing something related to cricket with my nephew. Suddenly, my Bhabi (sister-in-law) got a call on her mobile. Though the number flashing on her mobile screen was known, she could not guess what could be the reason for that call. Interestingly, the call lasted for some 30 seconds and ended with a serious-somber note. Just after the call, she asked my mother to visit the nearby temple with diya and ghee and also pray to our family deity. She was looking really concerned and serious. Moreover, my mother had just come back from the temple. So, I could not guess the reason of her going back to the temple again. Also I could not guess the reason behind my sister-in-law’s concern. In fact, the matter was so serious that without waiting to give us any explanation, Bhabi went to the nearby shop and bought a small pouch of ghee in no time as there was no special ghee at home. Finally, I asked her what is the matter and what is the reason behind so many calls and her despair. Initially she was reluctant to tell, but she could not keep the matter to herself completely. She just said, that her sister had called and said that she heard from someone that a small kid died immediately after his birth. But, to every one’s surprise, before dying he said, that ladies who have one son should go to a Shiva Temple immediately and pray to god with ghee and diya. My immediate response to her conversation was that it is just a rumour, nothing else. But, I did not give much emphasis and let her follow her faith without any argument.

In no time, my sister, Bhabi’s mother, her sisters all called her up and kept on advising the same thing. In just 10 minutes some 15 calls were either made or received on her phone. Everyone was telling the same thing, but with different versions, and added flavours. Some said, that the incident happened in Jajpur, some said it was in in Dhenkanal, some said it was in Balasore. In no time, my Bhabi also called all her relatives who have one son; and even called up Mumbai to inform my other sister-in-laws. The episode was straight from a daily soap and I sighed and said Rumour bhi kabhi telephonic message tha… . 🙂

With all these interesting stories and telephone calls happening at our home, I switched on our TV set and to my surprise live pictures were being flashed on local news channels which said that there are big queues in all Shiva temples with milk, diya, ghee and other offerings. What a day for the gods! Rumours can be so beneficial to them! Not only home-makers, many working ladies also visited temples. Same news was being discussed in many other channels also. By then, the entire incident was proved to be just a rumour. Like any other rumour, the origin of this story was unknown, some said it was initiated by telephone operators to increase their calls, income and some said it was just a fun message started by a group of young people and some said it was just a story created by pujakas in order to increase their dakshina.

Anyhow, even though many people knew that it is a rumour and was baseless, they acted superstitiously. It is our false belief, lesser confidence on our selves, superstitious nature and. powerful rumour-mongering in which the latter won.

It was not the end of rumours….

After ten days of that incident, some thing similar happened. At about 1.20 am in the night, I got some calls from unknown numbers. I was in deep slumber, did not pick up the phone and switched off my cell.  I happily slept and peacefully spent the night in my room. At around 7 am when I switched on my TV, I could see interesting stories flashing as ‘Breaking News’ on many news channels. The news was that in many parts of Odisha, people did not sleep the night before, in fact did not go back to their homes. Many people were seen roaming on the streets the entire night with their little children and relatives. Some even took their belongings out from their homes. The reason for this chaos: someone called at night and said that there will be a serious earth-quake and people will die. Moreover, even there is a chance for destruction of the earth. So people started calling their relatives and asked them not to sleep in their homes that night. The incident started at around 11 pm and went on till 6 am or so. People suffered that entire night.

By that time, I could guess the reason behind the calls which were made at 1.20 am to my mobile. Even there were 4 missed calls on my brother’s phone — 2 known and 2 unknown 🙂 . Later the next day, there were reports that even there were special pujas in many temples of the state, to save the world and the people from earth quake. Hmmm! But, like the previous story, origin of this story was also unknown, but there were doubts that someone made this story and called couple of people who made that public. Even, there are versions that telecom service providers or the representatives of those providers are also involved in this. But, whatever be the reason and whoever started the rumour, it just spread in no time across the state, irrespective of religion and geographical locations.

Many suffered the entire night, and a few like us, who did not pick up their phones slept happily. Another rumour in a span of just ten days!

However, my intention is not just to blog about the kind of rumours that spreads these days, I would also like to discuss the eventualities and the dangerous situation that arises due to these kind of rumours. Not only rumours are created for the profit of some people, they are some times targeted at destruction, for creating tension between communities and even for creating friction between people, friends and enemies. Rumours are even more dangerous than nuclear bombs, these are silent bombs, created and planted without any cost.

On different note, rumours are sometimes targeted to tarnish the image of  people, be the boss of a company, the minister of a state or a public figure or as a part of small office politics. Frequent rumours are heard on film stars and their public and private lives. Some call it film gossip, some call it fact and others call it rumour.

Aamjunta, let us make sure that we should not be involved in propagating the rumours, rather should control, even if it is created against our worst enemy. Who knows, we may be next target of some thing similar! We need to be positive not only in our own life, but also for others. A small statement sometimes unintentionally made can serve to destroy the lives of many. Why not try to find the actual source of this communication and stop that from its root? Creating stories are very easy, but the impact is dangerous, unless handled with care, life can become a hell. In a country like India, where many people are uneducated and superstitious, rumours spread in a flash. If not handled with care, then rumours can be the most dangerous and damaging form of communication that we encounter in our life.

Aamjunta, be vigilant towards rumours and do not make unnecessary calls to others. Wait and watch and then take action…. 🙂

Shaadi ke Side Effects

This is the story of after effects of marital bonds and I guess (?) every (most) married person in this world will relate to some or the other aspects of it. Who knows …. the story might be yours 🙂

Last week I was watching “Pyar ke Side Effects” on my computer. I got impressed by that movie and Rahul Bose’s on-line commentary on the side effects. The story like many masala Bollywood flicks ends with the heroes being tied up in the nuptial knot, but not without a pinch of salt about the usual male-female clashes. Afterall, life is not the usual fairy tale statement that they happily lived ever after but I feel it should be that they tried their best to happily live ever after 🙂 . While watching that movie, an interesting idea came to my mind. What about marriage?, I mean what are the side effects of marriage? Thought of writing some fun on it – “Shaadi ke Side effects”.

The first thing that came to my mind is time-li-ness/ time-less-ness. These two words have very significant implications in the life of a married man. Interestingly, one of my friends who used to be stingy about time and used to get ready 10 minutes before the schedule for a meeting, got delayed by 20 minutes even after repeated reminders post-marriage. But, contrarily the same person rushed back home in a reckless speed almost breathlessly from within the meeting citing the reason that he was already 7 minutes late for a movie show that he and his spouse had planned to watch together (no not in theatre but on cable TV at home 🙂 ). While dropping me on the way, he jumped out to get a popcorn packet for his beloved and brewed the popcorn himself as a punishment for the delay (reported).

Another important and sometimes positive side effect of nuptial bonds is lesser aggressiveness in dealing with situations. The same person who would compromise not even if an entire army decided to shoot him down at once decides to become cowed down to situations. Your life becomes not your but someone else’s property…which he/she has the right to plunder ;)….Remember the song mar diya jaye ke chod diya jaye bol tere saath kya saluk kiya jaye? ;). The person who would not compromise on food or sleep can remain awake and hungry for hours … such are the ways of marriage and married people 😉 🙂 . No more is seen from the black/white view point… it is a “Chalta hai” attitude.

In India the basic problem for any aam bachelor is roti, kapada aur makan (food, clothing and house)! Thanks to the many cheap fast food joints/ vada-pav stalls and some cheaper textile mills that food and clothing is taken care of, but house and especially houses in cities are still the biggest problem for poor unsheltered bachelors (both male/females). But after marriage, suddenly you are chastened and every house owner thinks ur rejected or second-hand stuff and will not create any nuisance for their kith and kins (especially daughters/sons) – “Chadde ko kamra nahin milega” still echoes in my ears 😦 .

One more side effect is a sudden boom in visiting friends, relatives which becomes a regular event. Hell becomes heaven (heaven becomes hell too in same cases 😦 ). How dare you not praise your aunt-in-law for her new hair-do! How dare you not play chess with your spouse’s uncle! After marriage, friend circles gets expanded, because of a mutual acceptance of both parties’ friend list…may be an entire orkut! :0 or facebook  (some time gets contracted too if your spouse prefers no one in his/her vicinity 😦 ).

While writing this, a popular saying in Hindi came to my mind, “Pahela saal pati ka, dusra saal patni ka, aur tisra saal dono ka”; in the 1st year, husband speaks every thing and wife listens to those obediently, in the 2nd year wife speaks and husband listens and in the 3rd year, both of them speak and we (the neighbours) listen…!!

aamjunta don’t forget this 🙂 and yes… please do share your experiences.

%d bloggers like this: