Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Arvind Kejriwal and the lost mission

I was in a dilemma many times to support Arvind or not but given his committment and personal sacrifice I was willing to trust him as a common man. However a series of gaffe, a rigid – ‘my way or highway’ approach,  an unplanned agenda with only one focus i.e, to be in the driving seat, has convinced me that he is not the solution and infact he is at best a roadblock.

When one thinks big and thinks for a holistic change he cannot remain unprepared and without agenda and ask for opportunity to govern. The ideal of Swaraj may have been an worthy goal but without an action plan to achieve it, it is another lolipop like Ramraj. Arvind may have had right intentions (although today I am not fully convinced about it as well) but never had a clear thought process which has lead him to make several U turns. He should have been clear right from the begining on what he had wanted. If it is good governance then he should have executed that when he got oppportunity to govern. If it had been the change in system then he should have done a proper homework. No doubt that he was not having enough powers and he even did not have the status of a full CM that other state’s CM enjoys but the choice was his own. When he choose to make Delhi as his launching pad he should have thought about what will be his delivery milestones and how will he achieve it. He had done no homework. I also found that criticism valid that he had actually leveraged on the movement of Anna and Ramdev.

It must not be forgotten that the founding movement of IAC had Baba Ramdev at its forefront followed by Anna Hazare. Both April and August 2011 by Anna and 9th August 2012 movement of Baba Ramdev were remarkable and had pulled huge number of people on the roads. During August 2012 also Arvind had ensured that Anna and Baba do not jointly launch the protest on same date. I had asked this question in the NRI conference call that when Anna has announced that both Baba Ramdev and IAC will fight for change together then why the protest movement is starting on two different dates. I did not get a convincing answer. When after 4 days they unconditionally stopped the protest without consulting Baba Ramdev they had almost gave government a boost to their morale and put at risk any future movement for change. Had it not been the charisma and committment of Baba Ramdev, his protest was settled before it even started.

True that Arvind has shown an exceptional level of committment. But for what – power ? There were other committed and honest individuals who had the same committment and ability such as Anna, Ramdev, Kiran Bedi etc. They were rather doing a practical planning to bring change by encouraging / pushing the less corrupt establishment. BJP for example was pushed by Kiran Bedi during Aug 2011 to break the deadlock. Khanduri of BJP even accepted to implement Janlokpal in toto in Uttarakhand. BJP had shown a willingness to support the cause and by mobilising public pressure BJP could have been forced to support fundamental path breaking out of the box decisions.

Further while I agree that most of the times political opponents try to slander image by raising unnecessary and irrelevant issues but hasn’t Arvind himself has brought him to that level. What evidences he had before he blamed Modi for Muaffarnagar riots. His ticket selection process is 100% based on same factors that other political parties adopt i.e., cast / relegion based. Further his ticket selection process or direct democracy in his party is just a mockery as all decisions are announced in advance and further only ratified by the party. For example Kumar Vishwas’s announcement to fight from Amethi to several other bigfaces whose names were announced first and ratified later.

What Arvind should have done is to join and help the forces of change and fight the battle together. Argue and adjust with other points of view but stay together. Mobilise public for issues and leverage on the existing setup of less corrupt political parties. Goal should have been to make change in system and not to be in Governance.


My Questions on FDI

Following are some questions that I had asked to Vivean Fernandes in the chat organised by CNN-IBN on its website

Q. When FDI comes in they buy rupee and it goes up. So far so good. But what will happen when these companies will cash in profits and take dollar out. What happened to 1997 asian tigers crisis. Do you not think currency will eventually be doomed because of this decision of FDI? Specially because we know this money will be used for consumption and not infrastructure development Asked by: Amitabh Pandey

Ans by Vivean: Foreign discount stores will source locally (so that the products they sell can be affordable). For that, they will have to upgrade the quality of locally-produced stuff. Look at the design and workmanship of Ikea products, and look at the quality of our own furniture. When Ikea comes to India it will help its suppliers to produce higher quality goods. These goods will then also have a chance to find export markets. So by allowing foreign discount stores to sell here, we will be able to sell more abroad! For an analogy, just look at the automobile ancillary sector.

Unanswered follow up Question:  If that had been the case, our exports by now after 20 yrs would have surpassed our imports? Proof the pudding lies in its eating, isn’t it? But on the contrary, we are still looking for debt to finance our imports and our trade deficit is exponentially growing. Regarding technology, how much manufacturing growth has happened due to import of technology as a result of FDI? Instead, unlike China, its only services where bulk of our growth belongs to. In fact the only way we got technology was when we invested in research e.g., cryogenic engine, our space and missile programs etc. And on the automobile and ancillary growth, the consumption has been propped up by easy money policies of government where inflow of new money (to a certain section of society) was actually performing a theft on the purchasing power of real wealth generators (read farmers, workers etc) of the economy.


Q. 20 yrs of PMs policy and we are in greater debt, exponentially growing trade deficits, BOP crisis again staring us and lower currency value leaving less room for government intervention through QE / stimulus? Do you not think we have been spending debt money on consumption? And this is a failure of PM and his economic policy? Asked by: AP

Ans by Vivean: 20 years of Manmohanomics have also given us 6 percent to 9 percent annual economic growth rate, the fastest reduction in poverty in our history, well stocked shops, the possibility of owning a house well before one’s retirement and also hope for our youngsters. We need more of Manmohanomics and not less.

Unanswered questions:

Q. 20 years of Manmohanomics have also given us 6 percent to 9 percent annual GDP growth rate but that is propped up by debt. 20 yrs of manmohanomics has given us record number of farmer suicides, Forex equals to external debt, exponentially growing trade deficits, higher inflation, BOP crisis staring us, greater rich and poor divide and greater disparity in the economy. Don’t you think your argument of GDP growth is meaningless with all this and 90% debt to GDP ratio? Does GDP take into account a country’s debt? If I get a natural calamity, will the money I spent for rebuilding not show the GDP up (“broken window fallacy”)?

Individualism Vs Socialism: What is the way forward?

Free-markets capitalism, supported by Austrian school Institutes like Mises and Marx’s communism are two poles apart philosphies, which are basically an extension of individualism and socialism respectively. I stand for socialism because I believe, in individualism human beings compete with each other and in socialism they compliment each other. I believe (and I may be wrong) that individuals in a society are not free to pursue their interest because they are also tied to other people’s interest. So, imagine we all are tied up as in a three-leg kind of race. Imagine 100s people all tied up in their leg with each other. Imagine if you ask them to run and if they all pursue inividual goals (read interests), will they achieve it? The answer is no. Now if these people adopt greatest common good as the target and instead of competing, compliment each other, towards a common goal, it is a win-win situation.

Today, we are neither true socialist nor true capitalist. Infact this dangerous cocktail of socialism and capitalism can be at best called as crony capitalism which is as dishonest as Russia’s authoritarian communism or China’s authoritarian capitalism.

If the true capitalism (free markets) had been adopted, it would have shown its ugly face much earlier as the market dynamics would have unambiguously resulted into a great depression with end of road scenario. The whole credit would have got centralized in the hands of a few people whom marx called as “bourgeoisie” and without new markets (read exploitation and generating poors) created either by an act of war or coercion, capitalism could not have continued.

The capitalism would have died in its naked form as people would have understood the futility of a capitalistic structure which has anti-spiritual (anti-dharma) foundations and as such it is inherently faulty. In marx’s words the seeds of distruction of capitalism is in capitalism itself. No wonder why the great leaders of our independence from Hindustan Socialist Republican army (Chandradekhar azad, Bhagat Singh etc) to Subhash Chandra Bose, all had a vision of true socialism or as pandit Sri Ram Sharma Acharya, a great seer sage and visionary of our era has described, ‘spiritual communism’.

Arvind Kejariwal in a recent interview to “chauthi duniya” very beautifully described how our ancient economic model used to be until 1860 which was a real democracy and which Gandhi ji called as Gram Rajya. It was a decentralised model of ‘society owned means of production’ and ‘local governance’. That I believe will be the economic model in the future after the coming economic collapse and that will pave way for the golden age.

Army Chief age row: Principles vs Babu-Raj

The recent controversy on the Army Chief’s age clearly reflects a failure of bureaucratic system in the country. Going by the evidences and facts in public domain, (Source: Hindustan Times,date 17th Jan 2012, page 10, article: “Error in UPSC record was a clerical error”: quoting the petition of Army Chief) the anamoly first came to light when UPSC sent a clarification letter to army chief’s father who within 9 days submitted correct age and all supporting documents. Whatever an ordinary citizen could do was done at that point itself. Is it reasonable to expect an ordinary citizen to run from pillar to post and owns the responsibility of getting every register changed in every department of which he is not even aware about. Not only this, the Army’s official record keeper AG Branch had also corrected the anomaly and for all his service until 2006, his correct DOB 1951 was used. Therefore this contention that he has not got the DOB changed earlier and have been using it all this while is totally false.

However the babus are a tough-nut to crack and as they always do, fail to correct it even when contested. The question is why when the anamoly was rediscovered in 2005 and when the MS branch was requested to reconcile with AG Branch and correct it, that didn’t happen? Now its being said that he is not an ordinary citizen and therefore should not go to court. First its a matter of principle, second when babus can do such a grave injustice to no other than army chief, a plight of common man is not difficult to understand. Army Chief’s going to court only exposes how babu’s work and how common man suffers in babu-raj.

Further, the decision by Gen VK Singh to  fight for what some believes a minor issue is a matter of principle. Gen VK Singh had also described and called this a personal matter while it is not. This matter is of interest to the society as it highlights how difficult it is for an individual to get things done through the bureaucrats. As it is said, if your neighbors house is burning and you are sleeping then you are next.

Crackdown on Ramdev : Democracy Throttled

A good twiiter post for reflection: “Anna Hazare a RSS stooge; Baba #ramdev another face of RSS; Nice to hear RSS is behind every good & national interest activity” . the point is, does it make good issues any bad if “bad” people are supporting it? why govt did not give an ordinance when they agreed with the demands? what is so wrong in ordinance? whose money r u trying to protect? I am not a die hard Ramdev fan but the scoundrels like digvijay singh, lalu yadav will tell me now who is a thug…this is utterly outrageous.

5 kahs villages do not have a doctor, coz there is no english speaking school, resulting in people unable to take technical exams. Every money making business has become the prerogative of metro elites. so whats wrong in hindi / regional demands which would have made education reach common masses of the real India and brought the disadvantaged section at par for competition.

Service delivery guarantee act would have helped people for getting a timebound service from government.

Capital punishment demand does not mean that everyone without a judicial process and applied discreation would be sent to gallows. But finally maximum punishment of life imprisonment was something acceptable.

Whatever is the quantum of blackmoney, but in whose interest it will be used once it is brought back to India? What is government’s problem in passing ordinance? Do you think it was wise to believe government when they say they will make committe and do something based on its reports (which can later be toned down in action recommended)? I think it was simple Baba Ramdev could not be fooled to accept the soft murder of his protest? As I had said earlier that whoeever will emerge as a threat and will dare to speak will be hooted down by these corrupt politicians and their agent media.

My support to Ramdev is because I believe there are no black and whites but shades of gray. He may have problems and weeknesses but I can discriminate between Digvijay on the one side and Ramdev on the other side without making a mistake. My support to Ramdev will remain as long the issues he raises makes sense to me. But certainly I will not accept the congress and corruption with an excuse “that there is no alternative”

Ramdev’s arrest

Any one who will standup for systemic changes will face this consequence. he will be hooted, discredited, defamed and if that does not work, subdued by force.  Just because Anna Hazare was not seen the main threat and emerged as a surprise from nowhere, his character could not be tarnished enough. However, the campaign against him and others in IAC too started almost immediately once the threat was realised. He too will not be spared from a defamation campaign once he is seen such a threat.

There are allegations on Ramdev’s money but can the same microscopic scruitny he is subjected to be exercised over Gandhi family, their money and trusts, digvijay singh, congress, by these very same media channels? from where they get the money? the credibility of media is extremly low as they have a corporate vested interest to take care of. When the money donated by public for public purpose becomes an issue then where does the congress and corrupt politicos gets their money? Any public trust that is annually audited by govt will face similar doubts. These aspersions are casted in the mind of common man by a sustained propoganda campaign. His issues may not be pertinant to metro middle class but his issues are pertinant for 85% rural india. The strategy is simple, if ramdev and anti corruption movt weekens, IAC will not stand too (as the mass base divides), BJP and opposition is already having no credibility. The field will be open. In the end some lolipop compensation will be given to people followed by propoganda by the gobbels of congress ( main stream corporate media) and thats it. Nothing will change….but I am an optimist and believe a change for good will happen…it has to happen…there is no other way out as people are pushed to corner.

Samba Spy Case: The murder of Justice

Samba spy case only emphasizes that how vulnerable we all are in the so called free and fair justice system. It is a sad commentary to the insensitivities of authorities and those who have been entrusted with the responsibilities of imparting justice and safeguarding the rights of citizens. It sends chilling sensation down my spine thinking that it just requires one to get tangled in any concocted case created out of malice, incompetency or vested interest and rest assured that victim spends his remaining life fighting to get out of it, not to speak of the lasting marks on his spirit and mind, of the injustice meted out to him. Despite of mounting evidences, what all the victims in this case are fighting for is, a fair and open trial and that too is denied to them in disguise of excuses citing national security. It is a shame that 2 prime-ministers and Senior and responsible officers of IBs including one who has held constitutional post of Governor couldn’t do much despite of being convinced about this gross miscarriage of justice.

The way Indian Army has handled this whole affair, it only highlights a deeper rot in the senior leadership of army. This is the instituion of army which is supposedly protecting us against our enemies. The young officers turns into morally weak leaders who fails to standup against wrong doers and learn new lessons of greed, corruption and cowardice from their seniors. The more one falls in line with the corrupt leadership the higher he goes up in the chain of command and no wonder we see Generals whose names gets associated with one or the other scams and who are more like ceremonial heads than real leaders.

A failure of this kind demands that a root cause analysis is done and every instance of failure should be recorded and thought about. Those who are responsible should be punished so severely that laws regain its due respect and perpetrators of crime shivers with the even thought of the consequences.

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