30 Saturday
July 2016
Danda Vs Democracy

2014 May. India witnessed the most massive mandate in the last 23 years with the Modi wave taking a clean sweep from East to West, North to South…no region was left untouched with the hope, the belief, and the prayer that an iron man would make our dreams of a new amazingly strong India come true. We believed that the mighty words spoken which drew such a huge and unanimous mandate, which thoroughly vanquished the century old party would also be followed by strong actions and policies.

The Digital India, Make in India, Swatch Bharat , Start up India are all very nice initiatives . They should have happened 10 years back….and we are happy that they happened at all. But remember the slogan “sab ka saath, sab ka vikas” development and policies should be all inclusive. The agriculturist, the backbone of India is suffering from the worse spate of suicides that Independent India has ever seen and we have a government that is doing nothing about it. The same party that went on the road demanding the Swaminathan report be implemented has done nothing to implement the same. Neither an improvement in the minimum support price, nor a deferment of loan repayment for the small farmer. The big industrialist whose loans support lavish lifestyles, not just life, are written off a loan off over 1 lakh crores by public sector banks…..that is our tax payer’s money, written off to a select 1000 odd corporates.

The high handedness of the University office bearers and the way they hounded a scholar from an underprivileged section of society until he was forced to commit suicide, the selective manner in which some students from JNU were jailed, not all the involved culprits caught despite being on camera, morphed videos and selective interviews doing the rounds of national television tell a tale of selectivism. The true test of an administrator is when he or she can after election, truly believe they are here to serve the entire nation irrespective of religion, region, state, caste and political affinity. You swore to be the Prime Minister of India. Not Prime minister of BJP. It’s very important to understand this difference.

The witch hunt of AAP MLAs in Delhi, the returning of all 14 bills passed by the Delhi Legislative assembly, the transferring out of important DANIC officers from the Chief Minister’s office are visible to everyone in the country. Its clear victimization of an opposition party democratically elected government by the Centre.

This is not the first time that the Danda is being used by the Centre on the State governments. The Congress is notorious for using the CBI and having raids and arrests on various party heads be it Mulayam Singh, Mayawati, Jayalalitha, Karunanidhi, and their subsequent release once whatever demand made by the Centre is met. Modiji had promised us a change. He had promised us development. He had us dream of a better India. And the Danda used on democratically elected governments be it Delhi, Uttarakhand or Arunachal Pradesh does not speak well for the BJP.

Yes, I agree with the Honorable Prime Minister that elections at the centre and states should be held together so that the next 5 years can simply be spent on governance, not politics. But the state elections happening separately act as a counter pressure for performance on the centre. With every election lost in almost every state after May 2014 , a clear message is being sent to the elected office bearers. Deliver on your promises, just words are not enough.

You are answerable to us. It is We, the people of India who have been given the power by the Constitution of India to democratically elect our representatives to serve our best interests once they are in power. The Danda in Democracy eventually is with the voter. Every Government will do well to remember this.

13 Wednesday
July 2016
Corruption: An Unacceptable way of life

Corruption has been used and abused in so many films, speeches and political rallies that no one really blinks an eye over a 1000 crore scam or 1200 crore over the budget flyover. In India , Corruption is an Accepted way of life. How many of the politicians arrested over corruption have faced prison charges, how many corrupt bureaucrats’ properties have been seized and how many people have been made accountable for misappropriation of public money. The only thing that happens is a raid, a seizure, a news, a suspension, an inquiry. At max a CBI inquiry for the political opponents. A deal made, an agreement reached and the file gets buried in the mountains of paper work in a sarkari mehekma.

In China,Government officials are shot to death if the charges of corruption are proven and their personal properties seized. I think its only fair that the government respects the 3% population of India who pay the taxes and hence run the country for the balance 97%. In the West, the taxpayers get special benefits like Public Libraries, Sports Utilities as a mark of respect , for being a tax paying citizen. In India, other than being under a constant threat of an inquiry from the Income Tax Department, the taxpayer gets nothing from this ungrateful nation. Perhaps another cess added to his daily utility bill.

When people discuss the income of their prospective sons in law in arranged marriages, “upar ki kamaai” is asked about, and nodded at sagely. People look at small time babus who started life in a one room rented house and retire with 4 big kothis and an Audi to boot, with respect, not disdain.There are thousands of government employees who have assets way above their known sources of income, but no one is blinking.

We ourselves have no fear of the law. We break a red light or a speed limit with impunity.When we’re caught we happily wriggle out by giving a 100-200 Rs to the very willing cop. It neither crosses our minds, nor the cops that what we are doing is wrong. Corruption is wrong. It cannot be accepted as a way of life, like it has been by the millions of Indian citizens.Because it is corroding the value system of an entire nation.

In the private enterprise,I ward off pharma companies who promise me a fixed amount of money every month if i write their products.I refuse, but does every doctor refuse as well?? I do not take referrals /kickbacks from implant companies, hearing aid companies, labs, diagnostic centers….. I refuse fully paid international holidays for me and my spouse……but its just a drop in the ocean. When all the doctors stop doing that, the cost of health care will come down.Investigations and medicines will become more affordable. Unnecessary surgeries will be avoided, patients will treat Doctors with respect. Doctors will not be dragged and beaten by relatives of dying patients.

Every profession faces the same.We have to realise that each action has far reaching consequences.A Policeman lets off a person for crossing a red light. The person feels that the law has no value beyond a 100 rupee note. The next time he crosses a red light and kills someone.A family is destroyed forever. A cop does not impound a person who’s driving under the influence of alcohol. On the next pub hopping night , he runs over an entire family. Instead of facing the consequences, he bribes and manipulates all witnesses and stays out of jail. What have we created?? A demon who is not afraid of breaking rules or taking lives. Then we worry what our country is becoming??? With every negative headline we shake our heads. Why didn’t we stop it when we had the chance???? There should be an absolute and total fear of breaking the law. There should be respect and fear of the law enforcer. The law enforcer and judiciary should be INCORRUPTIBLE.
A teacher does not take classes properly,but takes tutorials for the some of the paying children to make an extra buck.What does it leave us with? The average school going child is deprived of a quality education. All children of the class then have scant respect for the entire teaching profession. An entire generation is bred with the belief that discipline and hard work are bookish words, in the real world, the only thing that matters is money. A lot of young adults are very clear about what they want these days. The girls want super rich husbands. “I don’t care how he looks, or how he treats me, as long as he is filthy rich” This is something i have heard so often, it aches my soul.The boys want to be rich. By hook, or by crook.
Morality is quite a forgotten word.
How much money does one really need?? Enough for a house, car, good food, schooling, education, consumables, holidays? The level of all of these is a personal choice, but the way to acquire wealth is not.One can earn crores and crores as long as it is ethical. UNETHICAL money is UNACCEPTABLE.No one can justify a bribe.
It will be 69 years of Independence soon, and I wish each of us would introspect as to what all we have achieved in the 69 years of our existence.Has our nation become the kind of developed country it should have been with basic amenities available to all?Have we become the kind of people we should have been? A society we are proud of?? If NOT, we must act today. STOP every act of CORRUPTION, have zero tolerance for it.It is actually easier than you think. And so much nicer on one’s conscience. Ask not what the nation does for you, ask yourself what have you done to make a better India.

Jai Hind.