Friday, May 30, 2014

A Battle for India’s soul

                                                                            A Battle for India’s soul      

The  rejection of the UPA is being interpreted as the rejection of secularism and welfarism. This is a misreading of the message of the voters. In the puzzling arithmetic of India’s first-past-the-post election system, only one in three voters backed the winning side, whereas two voted against it. Who are the winners of the 2014 elections, who voted for the ascendant political formation and who celebrate its conquest as their own? They include not just large numbers o f India’s urban middle and upper classes-its influential cheerleaders-but also people Narendra Modi describes and the ‘neo-middle class’ or the aspirational class: Those who have not yet entered the middle class, but are hopeful, impatient and ambitious to benefit from India’s growth story, dreaming of well-paid jobs, plastic cards, bulging shopping-bags and mounting EMIs. Many among these are first –time voters, between 18 & 22 years. The third and most decisive support has been of a unified and significant recruitment even from the subaltern castes.

Who then are the losers of this election, the two in three voters who opposed the victorious political formation? There is first the secular India; an anguished friend wrote to me that she hoped history would forgive us for what we have become. The second set of losers are India’s minorities, a especially Muslims but also Christians, who are stunned and frightened by the scale of majortarian consolidation, unmatched even by the aftermath of Partition and the demolition of the Babri Masjid, the two lowest points in communal relations in independent India. Muslim friend’s confessed to have wept when they heard the result. The third set of losers are India’s very poor people-footloose migrant workers, landless farm labourers, forest dwellers displaced from their depleting forests, farmers driven to despair and suicide, weavers and artisans threatened to extinction, and women in unpaid or under-paid work, over 2000 million people who still sleep hungry, over 100 million people condemned to the squalor of slums, young people for whom each health emergency is a catastrophe which pushes them further into penury. These forgotten exiles from hope are also exiles from the triumphs and promises of this election.

Many also interpret the election mandate as the death knell of the idea of welfare and social protection. In the development model on offer, the State will encourage private investment and pull back or direct State interventions for good-quality universal government schools and health centers, direct job creation and nutrition. But India’s high-growth years threw up few jobs. The experience of no country in the world demonstrates that the health and educational needs of poor households can be met adequately by private profit-let enterprises instead of the State. Ideologies centered on majoritarian domination and the individualist material progress may have won this round of battle. But the larger battle for the hearts and minds of our young people must and will be won in the end by the ideas of justice, solidarity, public compassion and reason. I am convinced that today’s masses of losers are ultimately-in the battle for the soul of India-on the right side of history.
Extract of an article by Harsh Mandher HT May 20, 2014

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As reported in Amr Ujala 29 May 2014  

Shpaing India's outlook, A Tribute to Nehru on 50 years of his death anniversary (27 May)

A Tribute to Nehru on 50 years of his death anniversary (27 May)

In his book The Discovery of India, Jawaharlal Nehru wrote: “It is surprising how internationally minded we grew in spite of our intense nationalism. The international mindedness that grew in the Congress refers to the foreign policy and the international mindedness of India’s freedom struggle, the legacy of which independent India inherited. It is important to remember that the leading figure in the shaping of India’s foreign policy was Nehru.

One of his earliest speeches on foreign policy was delivered at the Congress of Oppressed Nationalities in Brussels on February 10, 1927. Nehru represented the Indian National Congress and his speech, published under the title ‘India’s Freedom a World Necessity’. Made a great impression. “Try to conceive for a moment what it would have been by now if Britain did not hold India. There would have been no British Empire. Naturally, therefore, from their capitalist and imperialist point of view they wanted to do everything in their power to hold on to India. All their foreign policy has been largely shaped with this object in view…On account of India, a large number of countries have suffered and are suffering . You have heard of the most recent example of British imperialism in regard to India - The sending of Indian troops to China…I must remind you that Indian troops. Unhappily to my shame I confess it, have been utilized many times by the British in oppressing other people.”

Nehru wrote brilliant and moving accounts of tragic happenings in Europe, many of them during his visits to Europe where he took part in anti-fascist and anti-Nazi protests and conveyed Indian people’s expression of solidarity with the victims of aggression. Nehru wrote about the coming war: “But this coming war was likely to be different from the one that had been envisaged before Hitler had arisen. Even so, British policy had been almost continuously pro-fascist and pro-nazi….

It can perhaps be argued that two dominating trends were reconciled by the Quit India resolution passed by the AICC, which stated ‘that the ending of British rule in India is an urgent necessity for the success of the United Nations’ and ‘A free India will assure the success by throwing all her great resources in the struggle against the aggression of Nazism, fascism and imperialism’. The Asian Relations Conference (March 23 to April 2, 1947) is important to the understanding of what was going to be the broad framework of independent India’s foreign policy. Nehru said in his inaugural speech: “We have no designs against anybody; ours is the great design of promoting peace and progress all over the world. Far too long have we of Asia been petitioners in western courts and chancelleries. That story must now belong to the past. We do not intend to be the playthings of others.

“ Asia stretches her hand out in friendship to Europe and America as well as to out suffering brethren in Africa. We in Asia have a special responsibility to the people of Africa. We must help them to their rightful place in the human family. Universal human freedom also cannot be based on the supremacy of any particular class.” Nehru, as Prime Minister, inherited the legacy of the foreign policy which India’s freedom struggle had developed. Basing himself on that rich legacy, he began shaping independent India’s role in world affairs. The main objectives of this role consisted of strengthening the independence of the country and her independent role in world affairs, elimination of all forms of imperialism, colonialism and racialism, preservation and strengthening of world peace through general and complete disarmament and creation of new international order based on mutual cooperation and equality between nations. The Nehruvian period was full of great achievements and a continuing source of pride and inspiration.

Extract of an article by Prof Arjun Dev, The Week  May 18 2014. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Modi-How he emerged a GIANT?

Modi-How he emerged a GIANT?                                                                      May 29, 2014

A RSS volunteer, and then RSS Pracharak for 27 years, Introduced as a RSS inductee at National Level in BJP in eighties. Directed by RSS to take over the regional head of BJP in Gujarat in the Nineties. Feel good philosophy started eliminating top leaderships of Guajarat BJP who could be a threat to his (NaMo’s) political rise. Became CM of Gujarat in the year 2000 and continued till he took over as PM.

Rise as a National Leader and became PM of India.

A highly ambitions & ruthless with absolute clarity of his aim- to become the undisputed leader of BJP and the PM of India. Garnered full support of the RSS. RSS has been working for last 4 years on the strategy and planning for the purpose. A special task force was set up within RSS under the complete direction of Mohan-Bhagwat- “Sarsangh Chalak” of the RSS. It was first planned to project him leader of the BJP. He (NaMo) orchestered the RSS to declare him the undisputed leader of the BJP. The PM Candidate. Finally NAMO was declared the PM candidate of the BJP, on 13 Sep 2013 this was against the wishes of the top leadership of the BJP Lal Krishna Adwani/Murli Manohar Joshi/Sushma Swaraj. They all stand dwarfed and eliminated against the great HINDU Nationalist Bhai Narendra Das Modi.

Master minding the election process

 RSS galvanized 42000 shakha ¼”kk[kk½ all over India. More than 6,50,000 volunteers ¼Loa;lsod½ kept working for about last 4 years which saw the biggest polarization of Hindu votes. The political parties like BSP, SP and even the congress stand decimated in the largest state UP (with 80 parliamentary seats). For the first time, not a single muslim is represented in UP in the “16th Loksabha”.

RSS has turned a Nationalist Hindu MODI to a Hindu/Nationalist. People like Giriraj Singh of Bihar/Araidyanath and Vinay Katiyar from UP/Uma Bharti of MP (though now elected MP from UP) would remain unleashed. Only time would say how and where we are headed.
Wish NaMo and his team well

Sabka Vikas/Sabka Sath

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Will the BJP’s new leader practice true instead of pseudo-secularism by keeping politics and religion strictly apart while ensuring the freedom of all the pursue religion as they wish?

Will the BJP’s new leader practice true instead of pseudo-secularism by keeping politics and religion strictly apart while ensuring the freedom of all the pursue religion as they wish?

India is not Gujarat. We are not talking about size of scale alone; it’s the sheet diversity of the nation that makes leading India such a challenging task. Even though in victory he rode the crest of a wave that seems to have washed over so many differences of caste, creed, language and ethnicity, across the country, he would do well to remember that over time waves recede leaving behind the sands of reality.

India is not China, Be in pressed by China’s growth and modernization by all means but any attempt to manage India in an authoritarian manner with in a structure of centralized power will run a risk of explosion. The constitution upon which Modi will place his hand to swear allegiance contains a couple of contentious words in its preamble. One is ‘socialist’ the other is ‘secular’. They were not in the original document; they were inserted later. But the national adventure began with the spirit of those words inspiring the idea of India.
It’ s  Modi’s apparent lack of conviction in secularism  that could be a problem. The Sangh Parivar Portrays  Indians who adhere to secularism as ‘pseudo secular’. By which they mock those who say they are secular but pander politically to religious minorities. But will the BJP’s new leader practice true instead of pseudo-secularism by keeping politics and religion strictly apart while ensuring the freedom of all to pursue religion as they wish and as guaranteed under Article 25 of the Constitution?

Mohandas Gandhi arrived to merge the streams into a mass movement for liberation by using aspects of Hindu doctrine, for instance by making the Bhagwad Gita a central text of belief or by singing ‘Raghu Pati Raghav Raja Ram’, while stipulating uncompromised tolerance and respect for all religions and faiths.

Along came the RSS to keep alive Hindutva. MS golwalkar, called Guru by the Sangh, wrote that “foreign races in Hindustan” should adopt Hindu culture and language, must entertain no ideas but those glorifying the “Hindu race” and should be “wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment, not even citizen’s rights”

The framers of the Constitution eventually opted for the secular stream. When naming the new territory, they chose “India, that is Bharat” and not Hindustan which would have made India a mirror image of Pakistan.

Extract of an article by Gautam Adhikari, TOI 19 May 2014 

Monday, May 19, 2014

16th Lok Sabha to be the most tainted yet

16th Lok Sabha to be the most tainted yet


·        A study of election affidavits found that 34% of the member
     elected to Lok Sabha this time have been booked in criminal cases

·        In 2009, 30% of elected MPs were tainted , and in the term prior to it, the figure was 24%

·        Shiv Sena has the highest proportion of winners with criminal cases (83%), followed by the BJP (35%), and Trinamool (21%)

·        In terms of sheer numbers, 98 of the 186 winning candidates with criminal cases are from the BJP

The Challenges Ahead-Fact File (THE 3 BIG JOBS FOR NEXT PM)

THE 3 BIG JOBS FOR NEXT PM                                                                  20 May 2014

The BJP has won the big battle-the elections-but a bigger war awaits it. India’s 1.2 billion people are looking to Team Modi for solutions to some serious problems. How he deals with them will determine the country’s future.

Taming inflation and slaying price monster
By all indications, the price situation could worsen in the coming months, given a high likelihood of below-average mansoon this summer threatened by the EI Nino weather phenomenon that affect wind patterns and can trigger both floods and drought.
Creating jobs and spurring growth
The biggest challenge facing India is to spin jobs and multiply incomes in a sustainable way. Productive jobs is the best form of financial inclusion.
Showing minorities they’ve nothing to fear
For most of India, these elections were fought around bread-and butter issues and those related to governance. However, minorities, particularly Muslims and Christians, looked at them through a completely different prism. Muslims have been historically wary about Hindutva-based parties, whom they view as a threat to their identity. Modi’s candidacy for the top job only heightened these fearsin the run-up to the polls. Now, that the Narendra Modi-led BJP has got a thumping verdict, it ought to demonstrate that minorities have no reason to fear.


HIGH PRICES- 5.20% Wholesale inflation in Apr, Down from 5.70% in Mar
Rising prices hit family budgets hard. The same amount of money now buys fewer goods. Clothing, medical care, education, eating out and most other services have turned dearer.
JOBLESSNESS-15mn Jobs added during 2004 and 2012
About 12 million people join the queue of young hopefuls every year. Finding jobs from them is a key challenge
INDUSTRIAL DECELERATION- 0.1% Fall in India’s industrial output in 2013-14
Higher prices and need to find additional money for EMIs force curbs on purchases of televisions and cars.

NaMo has been elusive, non committal vague in his utterances like a “Master Tactician” how and when will he fulfill or reach near to all the aspiration & expectation  of the people.

“As the Vodafone add says Ulloo Benoing mYyw cuk jgs gSA**

Friday, May 16, 2014

As I Saw It- (NaMo’s plan to cleanse Ganges)

As I Saw It-eqaxsjh yky ds lius (NaMo’s plan to cleanse Ganges)

Rs. 20,000cr spent, Ganga still a flowing mess                                               17 ebZ 2014

Ma Ganga aur Benares se mera rishta purana hai,” BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi said, pledging his intent to restore the Ganga to its original glory while campaigning in Varanasi, Plans to clean to the 2,500 km holy river too date back to older times-the first Ganga Action Plan was announced in 1986-but activists claim the stretch flowing through Varanasi is in worse shape today than it was five years ago, with “river squatters” staking claim to its banks.

GANGA: THE LIFELINE OF INDIA Length 2,525km (longest river of India) - It traverses a length of 450km in Uttarakhand, 1000km in UP, 405 in Bihar, 40km in Jharkhand, 520km in West Bengal and remaining 110km stretch touches the boundary between UP and Bihar

Catchment area of Ganga basin-8,61,404 sqkm (26.4% of India) Average annual discharge 4,93,400 million cubic metre. TRIBUTARIES/SUB-TRIBUTARIES- Yamuna, Ramganga, Gomti, Ghaghara, Gandak, Damodar, Kosi, Kali, Chambal, Singh, Betwa, Ken, Tons, Sone and Kasia-Haldi

MAJOR CITIES LOCATED ON ITS BANK-Rishikesh, Haridwar, Roorkee (in Uttarakhand), Bijnor, Narora, Kanauj, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Mirzapur (in UP), Patna, Bhagalpur (in Bihar)  Bahrampur, Serampore, Howrah and Kolkata. The Ganga River Basin supports nearly 43% of India population. Two phases of Ganga Action Plan (GAP) launched/implemented to clean the river in the past 28 years:

GAP-I : It was launched in June, 1986 and declared closed in March, 2000
GAP-I: I covered 25 cities/towns: 6 in UP, 4 in Bihar and 15 in West Bengal
GAP-II It was started in stages between 1993 and 1996: implementation finally commenced on April 1, 2001

Ganga got the National River status in 2008-09

Government set up National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) in February, 2009 as a planning, financing, monitoring and coordinating body of the Centre and the states.
At Varanasi, the Ganga is little more than a cocktail of groundwater & sewage discharge. Houses and parks on the banks have reduced its width by almost half.

Ganga project was conceived, initiated and planned during the year 1986. “At what stage is Ganga” is well articulated by Manjari Mishra in TOI news report dated 15 May 2014.

Modis dream can he take off? No such plan could be a success-without people’s participation.
Population is exploding and the people are becoming less and less, sensitive towards “National Cause’.  Can NAMO articulate effectively and forcefully measure towards population control and the importance of being ‘Responsible Citizen’ ftEesnkj ukxfjd. If his rhetoric’s of “Nation First”   was a reality as a Statesman Leader.

Otherwise like a normal politician whose aim was to win election.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Sins Of Commission?


08 May 2014
Sins Of Commission?
Modi is testing the Model Code of Conduct’s limits in the final phase of campaigning

The reason why EC is so irksome to politicians is because it has steadily expanded its regulatory authority, granted under Article 324 of the Constitution, over everything related to elections. However, it wasn’t always so. Before T N Seshan’s tenure as chief election commissioner in the 1990s, EC was an organization primarily concerned with ensuring fair and smooth voting. This it did remarkably given the scale of elections in India.

So long as the Code does not have legal sanction, EC can take immediate remedial action. This it has done by handing out public censure to both candidates and government officials and in rare cases cancelling elections. In this election campaign we have already seen EC banning for a period BJP’s Amit Shah and Samajwadi Party’s Azam Khan. Similarly for the past few elections it has been commonplace for EC to transfer government officials, something which always raises the hackles of ruling parties.

The lack of legal sanction has, however, led to haps in the enforcement of the code, Provisions in the Code itself are also hard to enforce. For instance, it says that criticism of other political parties “shall be confined to their policies and programme, past record and work” and that is must “refrain from criticism of all aspects of private life”. But anyone following the mud-slinging in this election campaign knows that this being ignored.

Before Modi’s unprovoked comments against EC in West Bengal, he got into another tangle with EC for flashing BJP’s election symbol near a polling booth. But that, we must remember, was not a violation of the Code but of RPA, something which can attract punishment. An FIR has been filed and the law will now take its own slow course. To come back to the Code, however, there was a feeling that Modi might test its limits in the final phase of campaigning when most of the country had already voted. That is precisely what is happening.

Following his remarks in West Bengal, Modi delivered a speech in Ayodhya with a huge portrait of Lord Rama as a backdrop and repeated references to Rama. That potentially violates the clause in the Code which advises against aggravating differences between different communities as well as Section 123 of RPA which prohibits appealing for votes on the ground of religion. Indeed the latter was a bone of contention in the long-drawn case over use of Hindutva, which Supreme Court eventually upheld, in election campaigns.

To be sure some of the provisions in the Code and RPA are restrictions on freedom of speech. These provisions are also notoriously difficult to enforce and often result in lengthy legal battles, as in the case of use of Hindutva, where the final judgment comes years after the actual election took place.

That, however, is no excuse for Modi to launch a frontal attack on EC By doing so he might be scoring some cheap election points. But potential damage to one of the few credible state institutions in India betrays acute short-sightedness on the part of Modi.

Extract of an article by Ronojoy Sen, TOI, May 07, 2014