Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Sunday evening - a point in time every weekend when I take to putting in extra effort into relaxing and wiggling my toes. There was a show on CNN about the US “State of the Nation” with inputs from a wide set of politicians and socially ‘interested’ persons. Well and good. Soon however with a little bit of channel flipping; I stumbled upon news from my own country – India; and, I can guarantee it’s not something you’d want to be watching on a balmy Sunday evening.
Well, it started off pleasantly enough with some news on the Academy awards. Then the news turned towards the country’s two largest political parties – and their ‘yet to be completely sanctioned’ prime ministerial candidates – who instead of perhaps stressing on why they would make good, leading the country, post next elections; were more interested in a mud-slinging contest. Are each of them so very juvenile that they actually have to get down to maligning the opponent, to get ahead in the polls – naturally shows that they just don’t have enough credibility to hold their own, based on their own achievements or ability.
So, I figured I’d take a brief look at each of their past records. The elder of the two statesmen, looks good on camera (don’t they all these days) – but instantly comes across with a serious drawback – recent history of ‘allowing’ serious atrocities to occur within his state resulting in the death of over 2000 people and the displacement of over 1,00,000 people who now constitute of one sixth of the total number of internal refugees within India. Must read this UNDP report and have a look at this Wikipedia link which has enough references to credible sources that makes it very believable. Do the citizens of India really want a person who’s got away with what in any ‘civilization’ can be termed as genocide – but for the ‘legal’ system within the country. Oh, and this is the person the very heads of industry want at the helm.
The younger of the two – heir to a political dynasty that’s been in and out of power ever since India’s been an independent ‘democratic’ (oh well, not entirely), socialistic (ahem), secular (oh really now..!!) republic (yes – that it is). History – none – which I don’t think is a very bad thing. A clean slate’s always good – and this is one person who’s showing signs of being able to do what’s good for the country. HOWEVER and that’s all in caps; the political party the ‘younger’ of the two is a part of – is known to have and is riddled with enough scum (and I don’t use words like that easily) – immoral and corrupt people – who would only do what’s in their own interest; thus negating any good of having a clean slate to start with (all the chalk one’d use is all messed up).
Unfortunately – I don’t have a political solution for this country of mine – I do feel, very strongly that there’s going to be tremendous unrest within our massive country – leading up to the polls. Time to stock up on essentials like food and water, I think.
Posted by Rashid Ahmed at 1:08 PM
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Akrita's written one of the best essays (Link) I've come across on the Mangalore incident thus-far. The salient points of focus have been very correctly highlighted.
Personally I do believe that criminal elements have gone from 'mere' organized crime to absolute control of the state machinery through the political system - and the country's being ravaged financially, morally and communally - to the benefit of our criminally bent political leaders, who commit crime after crime upon the very people they're supposed to represent - and then go absolutely 'halo' free with the complete support of their political brethren.
The people of this country need to awaken to the absolute anarchy we've all brought about by voting absolute 'goons' into the political system. As far as my personal experience is concerned, the bureaucracy isn't going to do a thing about it - they're making merry in their comfortable chairs; the judicial system really doesn't have any executive powers and most direction by it is completely wasted on the police + bureaucracy + political - mix. The politicians - most of whom have reams of criminal data on each of their background files wouldn't of course do a tiny bit to make the country a better, uncorrupted or secure place - they have the system down pat as a massive money tree. The police - from my view in the sidelines - hand in glove with the political drivers.
That leaves the military - and, I know a whole bunch of these folks, and know them to be decent in their outlook towards the state of our country - no, they can not run the country - we wouldn't be a democracy then.
The only way forward is for the citizens of India to vote only those people into government - that are unblemished and not controlled by their political parties. If there aren't any such people - then we may only hold back our franchise. But - therein lies the problem. The negative franchise button is not included in the polling machines - one has to declare on a form - forms that may be identified - that one does not wish to vote for any of the contestants. Catch-22 situation. Most people who would with hold their votes, against voting for any 'unfavorable' contestant - doesn't have a platform to express his/her discontent; because of the immediate threat of exposure and harm by being identified.
So, it simply looks like we're all going to have to live with the mess we're all in - unless the political parties suddenly become 'saintly' and put forward candidates that have a fair degree of respect for our constitution, or we have a dramatic revolution of some sort. The media being controlled by advertising revenues - primarily flushed in by the corporate world is the only platform that can take the initiative to go ahead and educate India's masses towards putting enough pressure on the political system - for change or revolution to occur. And the only way we as a nation can express our absolute contempt for the 'criminally inclined' contestants - is to register a negative vote - if it becomes viable - otherwise, it's no use going about creating campaigns telling people to vote (like Tata Tea's which is a good initiative) - when any option that's available is 'horribly wrong'.
Posted by Rashid Ahmed at 12:05 PM