Akhilesh Yadav’s Trip to Harvard





Akhilesh Yadav, the young chief minister of the largest state of India, was invited to Harvard to deliver a lecture. Lecture was about sharing his experience about managing one of the biggest congregation of humanity in the world during Kumbh mela. The congregation happened this year in Allhabad for two months. Nearly, 100 million people took a dip in the confluence of holy Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati rivers. The mega event went off uneventfully. Chief minister was to share his experience of   managing such a mega event.
Chief minister went to the US alright, but returned without delivering the lecture. Reason was his colleague, Mr. Azam Khan was frisked at the airport in Boston. In most civilised democracies people do not understand what is a VIP status. Even central ministers on weekend family outings stand in queue with general public and wait their turn. In India our ministers and senior bureaucrats are so used to special status that they shudder at the thought of a lowly immigration officer questioning them . Our elected leaders fail to understand that in US people follow procedures laid down by the system. If there is a failure, then unlike India where life is cheap, heads roll. Our ministers instead of making a hue and cry should follow the system or not visit a country whose processes they do not like. Pity is, Akhilesh Yadav who managed Kumbh so admirably, chose politics over academics. He should have shared his learning in the temple of education rather than skipping it. World could have benefitted from his management skills.
Of late it has emerged that honourable chief minister was not invited by Harvard University. Some member of his staff had come to know of the symposium and registered for a paper presentation. If this is true, it is a sin for Mr Akhilesh Yadav to travel to the US, with his hangers on that has penchant to court controversy, at taxpayers expense.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Akhilesh-Yadav-ditches-Harvard-talk/articleshow/19746996.cms?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=tweets

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Mamata Didi and Tale of Sudipto’s


Trina Mool Congress (TMC), the ruling party in West Bengal, appears to be stumbling from one controversy on to other. Hardly Sudipto Gupta death in police custody subsided, another Sudipto is dragging Mamata Didi, the TMC supremo and chief minister of Bengal, over hot coal. This second Sudipto has swindled poor Bengali investors of their life savings, when his chit fund, read cheat fund, scheme collapsed (see anatomy of scam).
More ominously for Mamata Didi, two members of parliament from her party were reportedly hand in glove with Sudipto Sen (seen in picture, Sudipto Sen with Kunal Ghosh, a Rajya Sabha MP of TMC).

Sen has claimed, in a letter to CBI that these TMC members were pressurising and blackmailing him for money. Seen in picture another TMC member and Member of Parliament, Srinjoy Bose, proclaiming innocence on TV.
Predictably, TMC members have proclaimed innocence and played victim in a complicated web plotted by a swindler, there are many employees of Sudipto Sen’s newspaper group and investors in chit fund scheme have vouched for involvement of TMC members. Many claimed they invested in the scheme because they felt the system had ruling party if West Bengal’s backing. Some say even chief minister of Bengal had been chief guest in functions organised by Sudipto Sen’s business group. Although this present controversy does not implicate Mamata Banerjee, it explains how her political formation has no system and it is a one woman show. If one is in the good books of Didi, then he can do anything yet go unscathed. The exact reason, why two errant members of parliament are still in the party. This reinforces why the goons that attacked Presidency University, those who killed police man in broad day light still go unpunished. While common people who ask Didi question or draw cartoon of her are immediately jailed or publicly humiliated. Only thing that Didi understands is how to win election and how to beat left. She is a populist to the core. To help poor victims of chit fund scheme, Didi has announced a 500 crore fund. Money will come from tax payers pocket. Didi has raised tax on cigarette and asked people to smoke more to help poor of Bengal. However, did has no idea about confiscating property and wealth of TMC rogues and their bed fellows. This may cost her votes. It is clear that one thing is to oppose, to win election by mobilising dissenting voices, it is other thing to run a state. For latter, one needs to have a system have a hierarchy of leadership and a fair and suare approach to people’s problem. Didi has none. She may win elections again, but that is India’s misfortune.






http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/New-names-by-Sudipta-Sen-keep-TMC-on-tenterhooks/articleshow/19747156.cms?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=tweets

Mahatma Gandhi, Charkha and Empowerment

 

Mahatma Gandhi, the chief architect of Indian independence, had used spinning wheel or charkha as one of the symbols of his movement. For Gandhiji charkha symbolised empowerment of Indians and independence from British, not physically but also mentally and spiritually. Gandhiji visualised India as sum of self sufficient villages where each caste does its job without feeling inferior to other. Subsequent national leaders understood Gandhiji based on their intellect and inclination. Nehruji embraced socialism with the noble goal of improving lot of Indian poor. He created massive state sponsored industries, that merely employed people but produced nothing or substandard something. Instead of empowering India’s poor, our rulers have made them poorer and slavinsh. Poor has been made to depend on dole from government for survival, instead of unleashing creativity that is nascent in every human being. The air of this dole degenerated into a vote catching machine. I give you food you give me vote. The result of this has been most people consider government to be something different from the society, like a foreign rulers. As we try to cheat a ruler, most people have learnt to cheat government in all spheres of life. We are forgetting that unless rich and poor are empowered by removing government from its role of giver to facilitator, all the wealth of this world may not be  enough to fulfill need of one person, if the person does not learn to earn it himself.

Explosion of Crime on Women


Recently a five year old girl was sexually assaulted and brutalised in Delhi. Perpetrator of crime was girls neighbor. Not only the girl was raped, objects like candle and bottle were inserted in her private part. Some such items were recovered from her body in hospital. On top of the cruelty, the person left the girl to sie by locking the door behind him and left the city.

As we compare present event with high profile Nirbhaya case of Dec, 2012, a striking similarity emerges. In both cases victims were brutalised. Perpetrators showed unusual cruelty. Not only victims were sexually assaulted, they were subjected to undue torture. In Nirbhaya’s case she wa s disembowelled using a rod. In case of the child, objects were put inside her. Nirbhaya was left to die by road side. The child was left to die in a room locked from outside. Perpetrators in Nirbhaya’s case came from lower socioecomic strata of society. Although We do not know of the tormentor of child, most likely he will have comparable profile.

As more and more people move from vast hinterlands of India to big cities, they gain anonymity. The social bonds and norms that bind them in their native land, no longer exist. Easy access to pornographic materials of various hues makes them want to experiment. Arousal of the beast within fuelled by alcohol, creates a dangerous monster ready to prey on the unsuspecting. Being from lower strata of society, that has been repeatedly brutalised over many centuries, pain perception threshold of these people are much higher. As a result these people probably do not even comprehends  or feel that in their orgy, these people are hurting their object of sexual gratification. These band of criminals probably do not even think that they are hurting the woman or girl, because they probably see similar process being enacted in pornographic video and the girl in all likelihood appears to enjoy the brutality.

The issue remains how does society actually prevents such events. Our cities are over crowded. A vast majority of young people with or without money are on the move looking for enjoyment. Efficient policing may be an answer. However, street level police officers come from similar social background as the criminals. Polices attitude to sex related offence on women, perception of cruelty may not be very different from that of offenders. Besides, police can be bought for little payment to ignore a crime. In Nirbhaya’s case the bus where crime happened was plying illegally and went through several police barricades without challenged. In the case of fiv e year old, police did not do much in the first place, actually police wanted to facilitate a compromise. Police actually bribed the family,of the victim not to go to media. This shows post high profile Nirbhaya case, nothing much has changed in our police. Police remains corrupt, cruel, inept and brutal to defenceless. Instead of being protector and enforcer of rule of law police in many case is co accused in crime.

Higher officers do not care. Because common people do not see them. These high level officers have enough protection for their family and friends. They are content with creating process, attending VIPs but are least interested to check if their processes are people friendly and are actually being implemented on ground. Statistics suggest that only 9 police man is there to cater to needs of 10000 private citizens or more. On the other hand nearly 300 police men, including black cat commandos, protect VIPs. Besides, police man’s promotion is controlled by politicians. There exists a nexus between  police- politician – criminal. So police has very little incentive to serve people. India needs reform and autonomy for police. However, one who will grant such autonomy are our politicians. These people have no intention to give up their perks and privileges. 

Nirbhayas of India, Country is Failing You


Recently a five year old girl was sexually assaulted and brutalised in Delhi. Perpetrator of crime was girls neighbor. Not only the girl was raped, objects like candle and bottle were inserted in her private part. Some such items were recovered from her body in hospital. On top of the cruelty, the person left the girl to sie by locking the door behind him and left the city.

As we compare present event with high profile Nirbhaya case of Dec, 2012, a striking similarity emerges. In both cases victims were brutalised. Perpetrators showed unusual cruelty. Not only victims were sexually assaulted, they were subjected to undue torture. In Nirbhaya’s case she wa s disembowelled using a rod. In case of the child, objects were put inside her. Nirbhaya was left to die by road side. The child was left to die in a room locked from outside. Perpetrators in Nirbhaya’s case came from lower socioecomic strata of society. Although We do not know of the tormentor of child, most likely he will have comparable profile.

As more and more people move from vast hinterlands of India to big cities, they gain anonymity. The social bonds and norms that bind them in their native land, no longer exist. Easy access to pornographic materials of various hues makes them want to experiment. Arousal of the beast within fuelled by alcohol, creates a dangerous monster ready to prey on the unsuspecting. Being from lower strata of society, that has been repeatedly brutalised over many centuries, pain perception threshold of these people are much higher. As a result these people probably do not even comprehends  or feel that in their orgy, these people are hurting their object of sexual gratification. These band of criminals probably do not even think that they are hurting the woman or girl, because they probably see similar process being enacted in pornographic video and the girl in all likelihood appears to enjoy the brutality.

The issue remains how does society actually prevents such events. Our cities are over crowded. A vast majority of young people with or without money are on the move looking for enjoyment. Efficient policing may be an answer. However, street level police officers come from similar social background as the criminals. Polices attitude to sex related offence on women, perception of cruelty may not be very different from that of offenders. Besides, police can be bought for little payment to ignore a crime. In Nirbhaya’s case the bus where crime happened was plying illegally and went through several police barricades without challenged. In the case of fiv e year old, police did not do much in the first place, actually police wanted to facilitate a compromise. Police actually bribed the family,of the victim not to go to media. This shows post high profile Nirbhaya case, nothing much has changed in our police. Police remains corrupt, cruel, inept and brutal to defenceless. Instead of being protector and enforcer of rule of law police in many case is co accused in crime.

Higher officers do not care. Because common people do not see them. These high level officers have enough protection for their family and friends. They are content with creating process, attending VIPs but are least interested to check if their processes are people friendly and are actually being implemented on ground. Statistics suggest that only 9 police man is there to cater to needs of 10000 private citizens or more. On the other hand nearly 300 police men, including black cat commandos, protect VIPs. Besides, police man’s promotion is controlled by politicians. There exists a nexus between  police- politician – criminal. So police has very little incentive to serve people. India needs reform and autonomy for police. However, one who will grant such autonomy are our politicians. These people have no intention to give up their perks and privileges. 

Can Narendra Modi Become Prime Minister of India?


There is no doubt that post Godhra riots were a blot in Indian history. Whether Mr Modi was responsible or not, there is no denying that law and order was not restored in a timely manner. Innocent lives were not saved, and as a ruler that failed to protect his own people, Mr Modi did not say sorry. May be Mr Modi is paying the price because allies like JDU are not inclined to accept Modinas prime ministerial candidate. But does this belittle what Modi has done? Firstly he has won three elections. Unlike Delhi-NCR crores of tax payers money has not been poured into Gujarat. Gujarat gas grown 10% or higher for several years. May be Delhi also has grown and attracted foreign investment, unlike Gujarat Delhi is much smaller and easy to manage. Author does not talk about agricultural growth, uninterrupted power supply, visit of Industry leader from India and abroad to Gujarat. If all these are hype, please give examples of other states where things are better. Many deride Gujarat about status of poor and malnourished. Are poor any better in Up, Bengal, Mahrashtra to name a few? Riots  used to happen in India. During congress rule also many riots had happened in Gujarat and in other states like UP. But in past 10 years or more no riot has happened in Gujarat. Look at what is happening in UP. By the way Mr Owaisi is a paragon of secularism. So any one allying with him automatically becomes secular, including congress, left or third front leaders. Modi to become PM will need votes and numbers. Can he get it without allies? No one knows. But so far Modi has given a vision of governance that strikes cord with listeners. We can continue as we have been for past 60 years, or decide to change. Choice is ours.




Mamata, West Bengal and Poribartan






Mamata Banerjee and her Trina Mool Congress (TMC) party stormed into power in the state of West Bengal in India some two year before. Ms. Banerjee has been credited for ousting left front government from its seat of power, that was occupied for more than thirty years. Ms. Banerjee is known for her ability to cause agitation and attack an issue like a pit bull. She is believed to be honest and uncompromising on issues related to poor people of the state. During her time as opposition leader, Ms. Banerjee made the industrial powerhouse, Tata Motors, to leave the state. She also fought against land acquisition for industry in other part of state. When came to power, Ms Banerjee was hailed as a person who will bring in a breath of fresh air to state politics, it was called “Poriborton”, literally meaning change.

However, increasingly the leadership of Mamata Banerjee as chief minister is getting exposed. It is one thing to oppose functioning of state government and other to run the state as chief minister. As a chief minister, Mamata Banerjee has done many unthinkable things. She went to get her party cadres released from police station. She got an upright officer transferred for solving a case. She gets citizens arrested for questioning her. Her own nephew slaps a police officer and gets away. A police officer is killed in broad day light by goon pampered by her party, yet government does not do anything. A last straw a political activist is beaten to death in police station, honorable chief minister does not even order an impartial enquiry. You do not have to do left politics to condemn these events. It appears didi is unable to control her supporters, and because of her whimsical nature public servants probably feel it is better to go along with her than to oppose her. 


Then came the fiasco at planning commission office in Delhi. Chief minister and her finance minister visited the planning commission in the month of April, 2013. Instead of going through the gate used by dignitaries, Ms. Banerjee used a gate where left cadres were protesting. This gate had little police presence. Here Dr. Amit Mitra, the 70 year old finance minister of West Bengal, was pushed around by female protesters. Some said Ms. Banerjee was also pushed around. Using this as a pretext, Ms. Banerjee and her finance minister, got themselves admitted in hospital. They left Delhi, claiming it to be unsafe, and cancelled meetings with prime minister and finance minister.
 Meanwhile, public relations machinery of TMC went into an overdrive, claiming this fiasco was an attempt to kill the chief minister of West Bengal. At the same time, cadres of TMC started beating left party members, burnt their offices, attacked Presidency University, ransacked laboratories, destroyed equipments and threatned girl students with rape. Yes threaten university students with rape, in a state where chief minister is a woman!!
It is absolutely condemnable how Mr  Amit Mitra was manhandled outside planning commission. But to suggest that it was an murderous attempt on the chief minister and finance minister is Stretching conspiracy theory a bit too far. If someone wanted to kill the chief minister of Bengal they would adopt different means and methods and not send a few women cadre for pushing and shoving a 70’year old gentleman. By all account, chief minister had her police cordon and she was safe. 
It can be agreed that the incident was premeditated, but by TMC. Because, Mamata Banerjee and her finance minister were to use the VIP gate of Planning Commission. However, chief minister ignored police advice and decided to walk through the gate where protest was happening. I think very politically savvy chief minister, who is used to theatrics and histrionics, anticipated exactly what was going to happen if she confronted angry CPM cadres. She saw in this move an excellent opening to turn bad press due to death of Sudipto Gupta, the student leader who was killed in police custody in West Bengal, on its head and claim victimhood for TMC. 
Mamata Banerjee probably also planned to use this oppurtunity to paint CPM in the state black and tarnish the image of congress in Delhi and in rest of the country. Both of these parties are her opponents. She did cancelled her meeting with Prime Minister and Finance Minister on the pretext of being ill. But really didi, a little pushing and shoving made you to take oxygen! I think this is all playing to the gallery in West Bengal. Where she wanted to show how vulnerable she is as a woman and as chief minister from left orchestrated violence.  
All throughtout her chief minister ship, Mamata Banerjee has shown that she has to be contrarian. She opposed Teesta accord with Bangla Desh and made our prime minister look weak. She wanted to oppose presidency of Pranab Mukherjee, but she was out maneuvred by congress at the centre. She withdrew support from UPA, hoping that government will fall, but she again had egg on her face. She always wanted to be different and on top of things. With the fiasco at planning commission, she has been successful, never mind, West Bengal is burning, never mind a 70 year old man was pushed around. Mamata had to get on top, and she did. It is time  show this maniac the door.



Indian Railways





Railway station fascinates me. The apparent chaos, the sense of impending movement, nervousness of travellers and some indescribable emotion. Amazing microcosm are railway platforms. there is rich , there is poor. burkha clad muslim woman, jeans clad modern girl. Sikhs, muslims, tribals, brahmins, businessman and executive everyone is there, There is a strange admixture of emotion. Those who will be travelling, those who will see them off, others who are out there to make a living and people who are just standing there as witness to humanity in motion. As train enters the platform, there is activity. Passengers jostle with fellow travellers and porters to get in their compartments. Gradually things settle down. People get ready to move on. Train leaves, so does people with their past, with their experiences, memories and expectation of things about to come. To me train journey signifies life, it indicates movement, adjustment and a call of the unknown distant place. As station after station run past, so does many lives, their routine, their happiness and sorrow. I wish my journey never ends. Alas, like life, train journey also ends and we have to get off at some point. Some early, some later. I wish trains were cleaner, may be journey would be more enjoyable. Like life, Indian railways reflect us, our attitude, our likes and dislikes, our pleasure and pain. So a sanitised train journey will be professional and business like but will be devoid of thrill and adventure.

Rahul Gandhi and India






 In a recent speech to business leaders at CII on 4th of April, 2013, Mr Gandhi commented about a lot of things that needs to be done to harness energies of a billion people., he did not suggest one concrete measure that should be taken. For nearly 55 years, Mr Gandhi’s party has ruled India. However, the party had no clue how to address the issues faced by Indians, which Mr Gandhi mentions as complexity of India. India since its inception has always wanted the world to be a better place where every thing is just and fair. India wanted everyone in the world should behave following lofty ideals of Mahatma Gandhi. We expected people shold be honest, fair, kind to others, sacrifice their lives for his neighbor etc. However, in reality things were very different. In our vanity we ignored that in a society there are all kinds of people. Not all people subscribe to same philosophy or attitude to life. To conform to social rules we need to follow rule of law and good governance. Our foreign policy was preachy, we always blamed West for the problems of the world and for their lack of culture. However, in our narrow view of the world, we never understood that to be heard in the world one needs to have clout and friends. India had little financial clout, India never provided rudimentary facilities to her citizens that citizens of other countries take for granted. Indian sanctimonious attitude had deprived us of friends. Post economic liberalisation, India developed financial clout because of high growth rate. However, congress party led UPA has diminished India’s growth story again. Is it so difficult to understand if in the name of inclusive growth. There is no denying country is as strong as its weakest people. Question is how do we carry our weak. Do we give him assured dole or teach him how to earn his living so that he can take care of himself. In a growing economy people will come out of poverty. The wealth generated can be used to help people that are left out of growth story. Is this so difficult and complex. Instead of discussing should we grow first or should we help people first to come out of out of poverty, why can we not do both at the same time? It is a practical matter in day to day world, that world listens to those who have money, power and influence. India be prepared to be marginalised, if you have none.

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