Baghvan Taj Safary Part II

The main purpose of our visit to Baghvan was to participate in jungle safary and hopefully get a tiger sighting. Our earlier visit to Ranthambhore National Park in Rajasthan was not fulfilling from the perspective of seeing a tiger.  We went five times in the jungle, without sighting a tiger. Disappointment was multiplied because party ahead of us were lucky to see a tiger so did another party that was following us. 
Resort had allotted a naturalist for us. His name was Gaurav Dhotrey.  Gaurav was from Mumbai. He loved forest. I was somewhat surprised that even in this day and age there are people who prefer jungle over a job in big cities. Gaurav will drive us in eight seater vehicle of Baghvan inside the forest.

At the time of booking our stay at Baghvan, we had booked slot for five safaries.  We impressed and literally implored Gaurav of our desire to see a tiger. Our first journey into jungle was in the afternoon of the day we arrived in Baghvan. In olive green eight seater canter of Baghvan resort we were the only two visitors in addition to Gaurav and the guide.

Guide was allotted by forest department by rotation. In our five trips into the forest, we had five different guides. Shown in the picture our guide for the first safary into Pench National Park. He was our lucky guide.

We were moving slowly along the trail in side the forest. There were langoors jumping around. Spotted deers grazing peacefully. There was a certain language of the forest. All of a sudden everything fell silent. A deer kept on barking intermittently. Langoors stopped playing on the ground and went up the tree. Our guide put his finger on the lip to stop us from talking. He pointed towards the jungle. Our untrained eyes could see nothing. But we could feel a hush has come down on the jungle. Guide drew a trajectory of possible path in the air with his finger. Gaurav move the vehicle forward. There I think I saw the yellow striped tiger behind a rock. It was trying to cross the road. Seeing us and other vehicle, tiger went back where it came from. Gaurav reversed the vehicle and we stood at a point where guide and Gaurav claimed tiger was sitting down. Using my camera I took this picture. We waited almost all our allotted time in the area, tiger did not venture to move. Our guide told us that this tiger is afraid of vehicles and people. That is the most likely reason it has gone back to its original resting place.

This was my first and only glimpse of tiger in its natural habitat. We took four more safaries over next two days but we could never sight one. We, however, were fortunate to see a few other wildlife. More about them next time.

Tags: Baghvan Resort, Baghvan Tiger Safary Camp, Naturalist at Baghvan Tiger Safary Camp, Pench National Park with Taj Safary, Tiger Sighting at Pench, Tiger Sighting with Taj Safary, Pench Forest Office, 


Baghvan Taj Safary Part I

Inspired by a blog post of Mridula, last January of 2014 I decided to visit Bagh Van Taj Safary Resort in Pench. Pench is located in the border of Maharasthra and Madhya Pradesh. One can approach it from Nagpur or from Bhopal.

We flew from Delhi to Nagpur. Our flight was in the morning around 7 am. We were apprehensive that because of fog in winter  mornings our scheduled flight may not take of.  Nothing of the sort, however, happened. We took off on time and reached Nagpur by 9 in the morning. Nagpur was much warmer compared to Delhi. We were driven from the airport in a Tata Innova, registered in Delhi, driven by a driver from Andhra Pradesh. Nagpur has a population of 25 lac, a far cry Delhi’s 2 crore. Roads were less crowded. Though people drove haphazardly without any regard for traffic rules. Nagpur being capital of Maharasthra, we found roads to be reasonably clean and free of dirt. We, however, drove through main thoroughfare and did not venture into interior.

We hit toll highway soon. For a while road was good beyond Nagpur. Thereafter, it started to deteriorate with big potholes and craters. We were surprised inspite of many tourists travelling through the road, why it was in such a state of disrepair. We were told, road is even worse if we come via Bhopal. In that section, any small vehicle is bound to damage its shock absorber. A journey of one and half hour from Nagpur, easily takes two hours or even more if one is caught in an unfortunate circumstance like traffic jam on highway.

We left highway at Sheoni and started moving towards Pench. Even few years before forest used to be much advanced. Now advancing civilisation has shrunk forest. City people and wealthy people have purchased farm houses and forest has moved back. Villagers say, tiger still strays out in these areas. Baghvan is also located almost at the periphery of now truncated forest, may be 10 km interior from highway.

As we entered through the gate, we saw staff members lined up to welcome us by waving their hand. I naively assumed may be they are not getting enough guests. So staff is really happy to see us. Later I learnt, this was the general practice in the resort.

We were introduced to our naturalist, a person who seems to be knowledgeable about the flora and fauna of the forest. This person would also drive us around in the forest, along with a guide allotted by government. We were also introduced to manager, chef and a few other staff members in the resort. We were told, resort has a swimming pool, it has a computer room for people who cannot live without looking at their e-mail. There were also few cycles. Enthusiasts can borrow cycles and bike around the resort.

We were allotted two independent cottages. Cottages were scattered in the campus of resort. A narrow trail leads guests from lobby to their cottages. Trails are lit by solar power during evening and night. Resort is by the Pench river.  Resort is fenced. One can occasionally see animals on river bed.

Each cottage had a bed room, a deck overlooking forest, a bathroom and a machan.  Shown below is the front view of one cottage.

 Shown is the bed room of the cottage. This room was equipped with a double bed, a study table and a sofa. Room was air-conditioned. There was a battery operated torch and cold water and lemon squash provided in the room.

A view of the deck. There was a swing, a yoga mat and some weight lifting equipments. Most importantly, one can sit on the deck and soak up environment.

A view of the machan. One can sleep there, have a party and dinner on the machan. I did not sleep on the machan because it was cold. But I spend some part of an afternoon there on the machan.

For breakfast, lunch and dinner, one had to walk back to the lobby. Dining hall was there in the same building as the resort lobby.

Shown is a shot of dining area. Hotel staff keep shifting dining area for each family for different meals. This we were told to promote intermingling as well as to give a feel of different areas of the resort.

We spent three nights in the resort. We enjoyed our stay. In the next part, I shall describe our experience of jungle safary, the main reason for visiting Pench.

Tags: Baghvan, Taj Safary,TIger Safary, Pench, Resort, Cottage, Machan, Nagpur, Bhopal, Maharashtra, Madhy Pradesh 

AAP : A Tale of Lost Opportunity

It appears that AAP that came into picture with so much hope and hype is fast fading away. Arvind Kejriwal represented common man’s grouse with the system caught public imagination. Without muscle and money power, AAP fought election, won seats and ruled Delhi. Instead of mastering the art of governance, AAP hastily resigned and fought more than 400 seats in Lok Sabha election. AAP won only four. If AAP had concentrated more on few seats with an aim to win 10 seats, may be they would have been more successful in short term, provided election had thrown a fractured mandate. This election, however, put all strategic calculations in disarray by giving an overwhelming mandate to Narendra Modi lead BJP and NDA.

There is rumor that AAP was adviced to fight 400 seats to stop progression of Narendra Modi lead BJP. There was a meeting that happened between some intermediary of Congress and AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal and Yogendra Yadav. There is also rumor that AAP gets funding from Naveen Jindal in the form of cash. Naveen Jindal is not only a big industrialist, he is a congress member of parliament from Kurukshetra, Haryana. Naveen Jindal’s steel company has been embroiled in controversies like illegal coal block allocation, flouting environmental norms etc. All these issues are hot topics in AAP’s dictionary of corruption. Yet , AAP accepts donation in cash from Naveel Jindal! Please watch the following video titled “Inside Happening of AAP”:

Now, Arvind Kejriwal has gone to jail. Arvind called Nitin Gadkari a “chor”. Gadkari sued. Now in court Arvind does not want to furnish bail bond on principle. I do not know what principled stand Arvind is following. It is the law of the land to furnish bail, no matter how innocent a person is, even if he is Arvind Kejriwal. If law is bad, change it. Till the law exists in law book, it has to be applied. If Kejriwal thinks someone is indeed a “chor” he must file a complaint with police. If complaint holds true, then due course of law will be followed. Arvind does not want to follow the law of the land. In that case, Kejriwal should not complain if the person whom Kerjiwal is accusing actually beats him up for calling him name. Then Kejriwal will cry differently that law is being unfair to him.

 Arivind in Jail, at least till 6th of June, 2014, Shazia Ilmi, the fiesty AAP member, apparently has also resigned. It seems AAP is falling apart. It is so important to have proper organisation and policies in any organisation. WIthout them decisions become adhoc and dictatorial. Exactly what is happeing with AAP. It is also important to bite only as much as one can chew. I think AAP has badly misunderstood publich support and their own ability. Another good experiment resulted in failure because of poor execution.

When Life Bowls a Doosra

We have been trained from childhood that our lifes goal is to get best education, earn best salary, get married to the most beautiful man/woman, have kids and continue with the cycle. We deal with our lives as if we are going to be here forever. We are never trained to deal with break in our assumed cycle. Infact, if one is exposed to different ideas, he is perceived to be unusual or different.    
Every once in a while, however, when we least expect, life throws a situation at us. Let us call it a “Doosra”, meaning in cricket terminology a different delivery. We need to muster all our resources to deal with fall out of such events. Upheavals can come in many shapes and forms. It can be loss of close family or friend, loss of property and finance, failures in professional and personal lives and so on. We are shocked at first, then we get angry at our fate, and end up despondent as our world turns upside down. How do we deal with such personal calamity? Especially, when we see life that used to be ours, is moving along in its own pace as ususal. 
I do not have a direct answer how to deal with such situations. I think our life paradigm needs a relook. Sri Rama Krishna used to narrate a story. A farmer had just lost his only son. Yet he did not show any sign of any grief. His wife complained, “What kind of a man are you? Your only son just died, yet you have no sign of sadness!” Farmer replied, “I had a dream last night. I lost my seven sons in my dream. I am not certain should I mourn for my seven sons or my only son?” Sri Rama Krishna explained, the farmer had realized the fleeting nature of life where dream and wakefulness are two states for a yogi. For a self realized person, sadness and joy are different sides of the same coin. A self realized person does not vascillate by either joy or sadness.
Most of us, however, are not aware of our true purpose. We are not even trained to treat our life’s emergencies the way it should be. We are swayed by our emotions, by our perceived losses. and gains in life. We get caught up with one patch of the road only. We hope good patch will never end. We also anticipate bad patch to be unliveable. Bigger goal is ignored. Most of us are not even aware of the destination.
Tags: Life, Doosra, Cricket, Sri Rama Krishna, Goal, Journey, Society

Narendra Modi Era has Dawned on India

Election results are out. As expected by many exit polls, opinion polls, BJP lead NDA has achieved unprecedented success. This election has created many firsts. Mr. Narendra Modi, prime ministerial candidate of BJP lead NDA, has won by record margin of close to 6 lac vote. This election is the first in post independence India, when a non congress party has won absolute majority in national election. For the first time, an Indian born in independent India has won the position of prime minister of India. This election was fought on the plank of positivity of development,growth, jobs and aspirations of people, specially young people. Parties that have been asking vote in the name of caste, religion, and community affiliations, have been decimated. Parties that have tried to focus on past glory have not got any dividend. NDA and BJP under leadership of Modi has relentlessly focused on development and the need for it. Modi has shown pointedly, how he can be relied upon based on his track record of chief minister of Gujarat for 15 years. Attempt has been made to polarise voters along caste and communal lines. May be to some extent by BJP, I would say less than 1% of time. Modi has disowned such statements and attempts. But so called protectors have muslims, have deliberately tried and succeeded in killing hapless muslims to get electoral dividend. Congress led UPA stood mute spectator to such massacre. Apparently, there was a plan to prop up a rag tag coalition ,in case NDA got less than 240 seats, supported by congress to stop Modi from being prime minister. In fact one congress sympathiser was arrested for circulating inflammatory SMS and tweets about possible impending violence by BJP and Modi. Fortunately, the person was arrested. So much for secularism. Power has to be attained if necessary over the bodies of minorities in the name of protecting secularism. Mr. Modi and his team will have onerous task of meeting peoples expectation. India has voted Mr. Modi in the hope of him replicating Gujarat model in rest of India. People will expect him to deliver, may be right from tomorrow. People will expect honest good governance, corruption free governance, creation of job and wealth, good infrastructure, good healthcare, clean drinking water, good education and list goes one. I am sure Mr. Modi will deliver on these counts. However, there is another issue Mr. Modi has to deal with. That is taking 20% of India, that is muslim population along with him. Muslims as a community have a visceral hatered for Modi. May be very effective campaign by secularist parties post Godhra riot, may be lack of effort by Modi and BJP to reach out to Muslims, may be desire to remain true to their faith on the call of their religious leaders, may be all the above factors and more contribute to their thought process. Mr. Modi now that he has come to power has to win trust of Muslims. He has to rein in loonies like Giriraj and Togadia on the face of provocation by likes of Azam Khan, on the face of engineered riots by secular parties. But Muslims are not monoliths. Already a section, albeit a small section, are expressing support to Modi. Muslims also need alternative. Arvind Kejriwal, as much as we may disagree with his certain policies and pronouncements, has been able to touch inner core of a section of Muslims in Varanasi. Modi and BJP has to do just that over a period of time. Modi has to show he is neutral when it comes to implementing rule of law. As I hear Modi speaking extempore on TV, I have a feeling after a long time India has got a leader with vision and intent to serve poor, downtrodden, exploited Indian. I get goosegump that a leader is trying to be inclusive and deserved a chance. Tags: General Election, NDA. BJP, Narendra Modi, Development, Growth, Job, Muslims, Secularism

Congress Strategy, Gandhi Aura and Administrative Awe

Two month long Indian general election is going to be over today. In another six days time we shall know which party will form government. Many believe BJP lead NDA may come to power. Given that most political parties have decided to oppose Narendra Modi lead BJP, it may very well be possible a rag – tag coalition government may be propped up at the centre. For this to happen, support of congress party will be essential. Although, Mr. Rahul Gandhi has said he would rather sit in the opposition, it still does not rule out congress cannot provide issue based outside support to government in power. In the name of secularism, all people ambitious to be prime minister will converge under one umbrella. They will barely tolerate each other for a year or two, then the system will collapse or it will be pulled down. Ultimate winner will be congress strategy of bringing all like minded but diverse parties under one umbrella.

Last ten years of UPA rule and this election has revealed a few facts. congress party has great strategists. These people stay behind the scene and regulate congress party’s battle. They have pulled the party lead government from the brink several times. Either using money power or using muscle power of CBI. It also appears that congress spokes people are much more articulate and well rehearsed of their position. Congress rarely antagonise opponents, excepting BJP, in any public forum. Because congress knows in the back of her mind that some day they may have to share power with CPM. SPs, BSPs, TMCs, DMKs, JDUs etc. By contrast, BJP seems to be picking fight with most opposition parties. May be it is also a congress strategy, where it goads other parties to attack BJP.

Four Generations of Gandhi – Nehru Family

I also felt our government and administrative machinery are in awe of Gandhi family, the first family of congress and/or nation. May be their history of free struggle, may be their long years of ruling, may be their aristocratic air, or something intangible, Gandhis are treated differently vis a vis others. Media gushes if Priyanka Gandhi utters any line. Never mind how inane, it gets front page coverage. Nevermind, Priyanka Gandhi does not answer a single question about corruption charge against her husband. The fact that government machinery was used to curry favor and to make money is never discussed or answered.. Innocuous comments by Priyanka Gandhi is treated as battle cry against Modi and BJP. Rahul Gandhi is treated in a similar awestruck manner. Rahul Gandhi goes around voting machines, in the presence of a voter, during election time. EC had to be reminded to take action. Never mind, not only no action was taken Mr. Gandhi was actually absolved of any wrong doing. Question arises what was Mr. Gandhi inspecting inside a polling booth. He is not a competent person to inspect voting machine. Yet election commission did not think it was a violation of rules. By contrast, Modi takes a selfie outside polling booth, he is booked for violating model conduct during election.

Rahul Gandhi Inspecting Voting Machine in the Presence of Voter

Mr Modi was denied permission to hold a pre-poll rally in Benares. BJP had applied for and received permission. However, persmission was cancelled. Although a day later Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav, chief minister of UP, were allowed to hold their rally in the same city.  I am not sure, if refusing permission to hold BJP and Modi a rally in Benares was  a political decision or that of an honest and upright officer based on perceived threat perception. I would not be surprised if a phone call can be traced from UP chief ministers office to district administration  ordering to deny permission for Modi’s rally. Nothing else can explain the dilly dally and delay in response of the administration. Only time will say if there was interference or not. Evidence points towards that direction. If threat perception was there for Modi, it must be there for Gandhi and Yadav too. Is it not the duty of the state intelligence to protect people under threat by foiling attack? I think Election Commission did the right thing to stand by the district administrator. However, the whole issue needs careful investigation and discussion. Authorities must be seen to be neutral and not tilting toward one party or the other, no matter whatever the aura.

Election Commission Defending Modi Rally Permission Denial

BJP was right in protesting a very apparent and successful effort to scuttle their plan. Protest by BJP has been predictably criticised by Congress and its potential post poll allies. It is important to note that BJP has fought 99% of election on development plank. Admittedly there has been slips. Mr. Modi has disowned them. But, by denying BJP to hold a rally in Benares, no matter who is behind it, administrators have tried to polarise society along communal lines. All parties that supported the decision, have actually supported communal agenda of administration. It is important to ask what exactly most secular parties have done for upliftment and progression of Indian poor for the time they have been in power other than promoting secular agenda, which is important but implicit.

Finally, in this age of television people can see everything and decide on their own. Gone are the days, when people accepted sycophancy and biased behavior of administrators. Nowadays, people expect neutrality from administrators and ask question if they do not find administrators doing the right thing.

Tags: General Election, Congress Party, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Strategy, Spokesperson, Administration, Election Commission, Narendra Modi, BJP, SP, BSP, CPM, RJD, JDU

Socialist Congress and Fascist Modi

I was listening to P Chidambaram our finance minister on TV. Chidambaram was actually angry with Narendra Modi making promises to voters that he will improve their lives. Chidamabaram was aghast how could Modi make such a promise. These are unattainable. It is surprising that after ruling India for better part post independence, Congress have not got a clue what people want. Congress party wants people to live on dole that they dish out in the name of inclusive growth. There has not been much effort to promote growth that may actually empower people.
Narendra Modi has been criticized for expressing openly that he wants to be prime minister of India. He has said that he wants to remove many administrative bottlenecks that otherwise make lives difficult for common people. A simple example he gave was separating electricity supply connection for general public from industrial users. If such common sense and easy to do approaches may ensue regular electric supply to citizens. Many of our cities and villages do not get regular electricity supply. Imagine how lives of people may change if they get round the clock electricity?
Modi has talked about creating an economy of surplus. So that hoarding and blackmarketeering may become history. We have seen easy availability of mobile telephony has rendered landline phones almost redundant. So has corruption of linemen and technicians who would take consumers for a ride.
It is true Modi has not been able to achieve many things. Neither did congress that had the opportunity to actualise its policy of poverty eradication through government intervention in better parts of 50s, 60s and 70s. We have seen poverty did not go away. Rich and middle class send their family abroad. Vast majority of us had to sustain on government jobs. It was a job on paper that paid only enough for a family to sustain themselves. Our motto was plain living and high thinking. Even this philosophy failed. India went bankrupt and had to deposit her gold in return for international bailout. India opened for a while. Indians saw if they did not have government as a protector, they can do much better. Aspirations grew. Politicians of all hue realized their stranglehold on peoples lives were loosening. So they gangedup on us in the name of secularism. Congress along with motley crew of left, and socialist parties decided to practice politics of dole. They ensured massive food security bill, they ensured compulsory work guarantee bill. Very fine. But congress ignored growth. They stopped investing in infrastructure building, started closing power projects, mining projects, anything that contributed to revenue generation was considered bad. Instread to addressing issue of underlying corruption and malpractice, where many politicians of different hues were involved, congress party decided to stop all growth. Such decisions have long term impact. Three four years after actual decision, impact shows up in common mans lives. People lose jobs. They find it difficult to get rehired. Politicians do not care. They raise their own salary. They drive by our filthy streets, our congested streets on red beaconed cars. Any body dare come close, they may face arrest.
Modi wants to build better roads, better schools, better infrastructure. Modi wants to promote growth so that we can get our jobs and our self respect back. But this is unthinkable for Chidambaram. How can Modi promise such utopia to Indians? This is foolish. Congress did not dare do this in last 60 years. Modi must be a facist for thinking in such unilateral manner.

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Tag: Congress, Left, Socialism, P Chidambaram, Narendra Modi, Poverty, Dole, Secularism, Growth, Development

Political Dynasties of India : Servants or Businessmen!

Indian general elections of 2014 is almost over. Voting exercise spanned more close to two months. This exercise involved close to 800 million voters. In another days which party or formation will be chosen by voters to form government. Will it be Narendra Modi led NDA or Rahul Gandhi lead UPAIII, or a left / congress supported third front that will rule India. Only time will tell what voters have already decided.
It is however becoming increasingly apparent that our politicians are using our democracy as their family fiefdoms. Many politicians have anointed their sons and/or daughters as defacto heir to their throne. There are a quite a few such dynasties. Fathers, sons, sisters, nephews are crowding our political space with vested interest and personal ambition.
Scions of political dynasties
In UPA, for example Gandhi dynasty fighting for the throne of India.  For last 10 years prime minister’s position in congress lead UPA is being preserved for Rahul Gandhi to take charge. Four generation politicians in independent India, starting from Jawahar Lal Nehru, followed by Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi and now Rahul Gandhi. 
Four Generations of Nehru – Gandhi : Heavy Burden on Rahul Gandhi to Capture Delhi
Octogenration Karnunanidhi is the leader of DMK in Tamil Nadu. Karunanidhi wants his sons, daughters from three wives and nephews well settled in this life. So his favorite son gets chief ministership of Tamil Nadu, whereas his daughter, other sons/nephews, and party confidants get key ministries in centre through clever and tough negotiation.

Family of  M. Karunanidhi : Controlling DMK in State and UPA in Centren

Sharad Power, Supriya Sule and Ajit Power all control Nationalist Congress Party in Maharashtra. Sharad Power is a central minister in UPA government, while Supriya Sule is a member of parliament. Rajasekhara Reddy’s son, Jagan Reddy, had such a sense of entitlement and audacity that he demanded to be made chief minister of Andhra Pradesh after demise of senior Reddy in a helicopter crash. Even if it meant dismissing a seating chief minister.  Kashmir is no exception. There is Abdullah family is running Jammu and Kashmir for three generations – Sheikh Abdullah, Farookh Abdullah and Omar Abdullah. Opposition in Jammu and Kashmir is also a family business. PDP is controlled by Mufti Mohammad Syed and his daughter Mehbooba Mufti. List goes on and on.

Sharad Power and Family : Controlling NCP (Party), Maharasthra (State) and Centre
Two Generations of Abdhullah Family Heading State and Supporting Centre

Mulayam Singh Yadav his son Akhilesh Yadav and daughter in law Dimple Yadav is an emerging dynasty. Mulayam Yadav, ex chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, has handed over seat of UP to his son Akhilesh Yadav. Mulayam is now aspiring to be prime minister of India as leader of third front or may propped by Congress party.  Vagary of voters  mandate may actually help him land there. Lalu Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi and sons / daughters control Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar. When Lalu went to jail, he gave his chief ministership to his wife. Bhoopinder Singh Hooda and Depeender Hooda control Haryana congress. 
Mulayam Singh Yadav, son Akhilesh Yadav and Daughter in Law Dimple Yadav
NDA is no exception. Prakash Singh Badal is ruling Punjab with his son Sukhbir Badal. Badal’s daughter in law, Manpreet Badal is in the parliament. There is Thakre and family of Maharasthra, that included Balasaheb (now departed), Udbhav Thackeray, Aditya Thackeray and Raj Thackeray (has his own party). Devilal, Omprakash Chautala and his sons controls Rashtriya Lok Dal in Haryana.  Rashtriya Lok Dal may very well be a part of BJP lead of NDA alliance.

Father Son Duo : Prakash Singh Badal and Sukhbit Singh Badal

Late Balasaheb Thackeray with son Uddhav and grandson Aditya

There are may smaller clans like Biju Patnaik and Naveen Patnaik. Naveen being a bachelor, hopefully dynasty will not progress any further after him. Deve Gowda and Kumarswamy controls Karnataka’s Janata Dal (secular). A different family dynasty is emerging in newly created Telengana where  K Chandrasekher Rao and K T Rama Rao , father son duo, are emerging as a family team. There is Ramvilas Paswan and Chirag Paswan in Bihar. Apparently, adviced by Chirag Paswan father Ramvilas forged an alliance with Modi lead BJP. There are others like Rajesh Pilot (departed) and Sachin Pilot. Murali Deora and Milind Deora. Jasvant Singh and Manavendra Singh. There are a few more, I am forgeting their name.  
Many of our leaders and their families may have allegiance to both national parties. L M Singhvi (BJP) and Manu Singhvi (Congress). Scindia family of Gwalior. Where Madhavrao and Jyotiraditya Scindia worked for congress. Whereas, Rajamata Scindia, Vasundhara Raje and Yasodhara Raje actively supported and worked for BJP. Digvijay Singh ex-chiefminister of Madhya Pradesh and congress spokesman has his brother in BJP.

Scindia Family : Rajmata Vijaya Raje, Madhav Rao,  Jyotiraditya,  Jasodhara Raje and Vasundhara Raje

 It is true that heir apparents have to earn their right to the throne through winning peoples mandate. Members of family usually get a safe and easy seat. If not elected, they can always be nominated to Rajya sabha. Although on paper, these heir apparents have to fight an election, no one else from the party can aspire the throne, even if heir apparent is a loser. A typical example is leadership of Congress Party. The same is true for all other clans.  
t can be argued what is wrong if son takes up fathers vocation. Serving people of country as leader is not exactly a profession, it is more like a service. Many people used to join politics to serve the nation. Alas! those days are over. People have seen a lot of money can be made through politics. Many political dynasties actually control multi billion rupee business empire. A clear mix up of politics and big business. Personal assets of many politicians go up many fold after their party comes to power. Also, powerful politicians can control fate of business operations by wielding power of granting licence. So many doting fathers decide to give their kids a head start in life by anoninting them heir apparent. 
It appears that communists and Bhartiya Janata Party are strictly cadre based. Every member of the party has equal opportunity, well almost equal, to the top job. I do not know if this is a trajedy or a comedy for worlds largest democracy!

Tags: General Election, Political Families, Gandhi, Pawar, Scindia, Abdullah, Badal, Thackarey, Yadav, Professional Politics, 

Credit Goes to One that Shows the Way

Points of reference this election has definitely changed. From usual issues like caste, religion, community etc., people all across India are discussing development. Efforts are on to rake up issues like secularism, safety of minorities etc. Especially, by people who are mired in corruption. By those who cannot think other than dividing Indians along caste and communal lines. People are returning to India after more than a decade to caste their vote. Only intention being stop Narendra Modi from becoming prime minister. 
In this context, I was listening to an interview given by Shri Lalu Prasad Yadav to NDTV. Mr. Yadav claimed grandiosely that no political party is against development. Battle, however, remains how to stop Narendra Modi and his fascist party. Question comes what development Laluji had brought about in Bihar during his long tenure as chief minister? What development Laluji had brought about in Indian railways during his tenure as rail minister? Actually, Laluji is famous for claiming that development does not fetch vote, caste equations actually are more important to win elections.
In this context I am reminded of a story that I read during my school days. Emperor of Spain once asked nobles in his court if any one of them could put a boiled egg inside a narrow mouthed bottle without breaking the egg. All nobles tried different tricks but they failed. Finally. Christopher Columbus stood up. He put some spirit at the bottom of the bottle. He set the spirit on fire. Next he put the egg on the mouth of the bottle and gently exerted pressure. Lo and behold, egg slipped into the bottle. Emperor was pleased. He applauded and rewarded ingenuity of Columbus. Jealous and exasperated nobels said this was easy. Anyone of us could have done this. Columbus replied, yes gentlemen, all of you could have done this. But credit must go to the person who shows the way.
Today, Laluji along with all other opportunists may claim they also support development. Most of the credit for this change in perspective of voters has to be attributed to Narendra Modi and BJP. Mr. Modi has steadfastly discussed development, or the lack of it, in all his speeches. He has claimed there is only one India. Hindus, muslims and all others are Indians first. Modi has famously said during a bomb blast in his rally in Patna that, poor hindus and poor muslims can fight each other or fight poverty. 

Tags: Election, Development, Lalu Prasad, Narendra Modi, Spain, Emperor, Christopher Columbus