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Monday, January 20, 2014

The Great Indian Political Circus...

Is it a horse race?A circus?A wrestling dojo?

Its all of the above.Its open season for India's political class even before an election date is finalized!For Sixty plus years the usual jargon,mundane slogans and catchphrases make a comeback.Year after election year.Crisp white kurtas,pyajamas and Gandhi topis.Similar to blue and white collar workers with overalls,ties and suits,our politicians have created a distinct fashion statement.

The corruption,naivity and zeal in promoting cronism has made them forget the meaning of the colour white.It has become so shameless that in the public space its almost transparent which business house or news channel is backing which party.Is it being done out of goodwill...??

I await the day when Mr Modi will unveil his vision for the Nation.Will he raise taxes to compensate for doing away with subsidies?Will the Middleclass which is TDSed(tax deduction at Source for the uninformed!)to kingdom come again be the beast of burden?Who will broaden the tax base by bringing in the small to middle level businessman who is rarely bothered to pay tax,little enough that may be.Not likely.

Food prices are so high,India is urbanising at a pace unseen in previous ten years.The peasant starves as he has for centuries so where is the incentive to grow more?The middleman eats the cream and is he not the main base of the BJP?Will the party take on their supporters?Not likely.

The Congress mind sees India as a map divided by caste,religion,forward and backward races and many other things that I do not care to mention.By bringing in reservation will the poor masses be uplifted?Can you give a dole to half a billion people...??Will you have a so called 'OBC' pilot your aircraft knowing he or she became one due to reservation and not through talent or merit?Will any congress leader put their life at stake?Not likely.

Kejriwal and his AAP are still wet behind the ears.The top five or six people take the decisions and the desire to include the hoi polloi means they have their own take on issues.At least they talk of education,of common issues that affect the day to day living.

By building the tallest statue in the world of Sardar Patel what is Narendra Modi trying to prove?Could we not have better roads?better infrastructure?irrigation schemes?in the amount of money it would take,unless Mr Modi is using his own funds?Not likely.

Whoever is the new Prime Minister should have the fear of god in him that they will be accountable immediately for their actions.Thos who know the Heckman equation will agree that in some parts the Developed and Developing worlds have the same needs.

The Heckman Equation(from Prof James Heckman,Noble Prize winning University of Chicago Economics Professor)

+

Invest

Invest in educational and development resources for disadvantaged families to provide equal access to successful early human development.

+

Develop

Nurture early development of cognitive and social skills in children from birth to age five.

+

Sustain

Sustain early development with effective education through to adulthood.

=

Gain

Gain a more capable, productive and valuable workforce that pays dividends to America for generations to come.

Where are you Atal behari Vajpayee,Lal Bahadur Shastri or even a Manmohan Singh of the 1990s...!!Never has the Nation that is India faced such a dearth of Leaders and have a surfeit of opportunists.



Saturday, January 11, 2014

Et tu Brutus...eh Anna?

The hand that rocks the cradle?

An amazing number of  so called 'experts' are emerging out of the woodwork to predict what the Indian political scenario will look like in 2014.

An even higher number of those who underestimated the Aam Aadmi Party and scoffed at everything from the AAP 'topi' to the broom symbol have suddenly begun overestimating its potential providing immediate work for myriad psephologists,analysts,poll surveyors etc

All well and good when employment is generated for the country.What a revelation these last few months have been!What started as a social movement morphed into a political wave that swept Delhi.Having been a Delhite for some years I well know the cynisicm and business minded nature and to troop out in such numbers and vote a party which had only one campaign plank - remove Corruption,speaks volumes of the Nation's frustration with mealy mouthed politicials promising the moon at election time...!!

I do not know whether this wave will reach the shore or sweep the nation clean.Already the jostling,pushing and shoving has begun in right earnest.Personally I am not shocked that a certain 'Big Brother'(Anna) who started all this anti-corruption bit and shied away from taking the step taken by Kejriwal and now feeling left out and out of the glare of the cameras feels drawn to a particular party that had its chief involved in corrupt business practises.If not corrupt then shady to say the least.

Just shows that being a 'Gandhian' and a simple person is no guarantor of the lure of power.Disappointing.There are many grand old men in India clinging to power.Sharad Power.Virbhadra Singh.Mulayam Singh.Their machievallian tactics just as relevant in 2014.Their claim of doing goodness,their tribal loyalties.

Is this what India wants?

If I discount the surveys that predict 40%+ voters going for the new party and accept 20-25% as a more realistic figure,it still is enough to roil figures.

Narendra bhai Modi has run such a defensive campaign so far.....just taking on the lightweight Gandhi without elucidating what he can do for the Country.

Afterall India does not simply comprise of Gujarat...!

Businessmen must be worried or they may be confident of their financial muscle managing to keep them afloat whatever the dispensation.

The betrayal of Anna hurts.The opaqueness of BJP is surprising.Anything less than a full majority for BJP will be negative.

As the sloganeering begins....

Modi toh majboori hai
Kejriwal Zaroori hai.

Modi is the choice as there is no alternative.
Its Kejriwal thatz necessary!

pardon the literal translation.