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Category: Politics

The sky is falling

Blessed are the homes that don’t have TV!

And I personally have been feeling that blessedness in the last one month that we disconnected the DTH connection. All that karate practice not withstanding, everyday ‘sky is falling’ premonitions would have surely given the fast middle-ageing me, at least a minor heart attack.

Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/afzal-guru-film-screening-jnu-student-leader-held-for-sedition/
Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/afzal-guru-film-screening-jnu-student-leader-held-for-sedition/

Way back, when Anna sat in Jantar Mantar and Kajriwal was a chaste, dyed in white activist, TV screeched to show us that anyone asking for accountability from elected government was an anarchist. Anna was jailed, cartoonists were arrested and charged with sedition and the country was saved.

When thousands swarmed to Ram Leela, they scared us that the country will be taken over by self righteous, un-elected mobs.

Thankfully, we survived, Anna went back to Ralegan beating boozards and Kejriwal became a hardboiled poiltician.

Then they told us that if Modi became PM, the sky will fall, all of us will die and intelligent, emancipated people will have to leave the country.

Well, Modi did become PM, and we haven’t died, not at least as yet and not a lot of intelligent people left the country though many keep saying they will. TV meanwhile continues with its sky is falling symphony.

Then came the beef story.  With all that noise, I started having visions of trident wielding, saffron wearing chaddi-men storming in my house looking for left over meat curry of the last night. Thankfully, I survived. Perhaps they missed my house. Perhaps because it is on the nineteenth floor.

Then came the award wapsi season. The country became so intolerant all of a sudden I thought I too would have to return my degree to save my country. In retrospect, it would have been a smarter idea before IIT and IIM themselves disown me from their alumni lists for not having done anything earth shattering as yet.

But the country lived on and some reverse award wapsi too happened.

And now this freedom of speech vs nationalism issue. Like, evil Brahminical mobs are roaming the streets distributing certificates of nationalism (just as every election season, certificates of secularism are handed out and withheld) beating anyone who doesn’t wear a khaki short.

The sky is dark, the outlook grim. The sky is falling and we all are dying. Like yesterday.

They don’t teach this in management schools but fear sells more than sex.

Don’t use Fair and Lovely? You will die an ignored, unemployed virgin.

Don’t use Complan/Farex/Cerelac/(whatever else)? Your child will shrink down to an unintelligent, weak midget.

Don’t buy a flat in Noida/Crossings Republic? You will have to live and die in rented slums in Pilakhuwa.

Don’t use this magic toothpaste? Your buccal cavity will soon resemble the chopped forests of Mala – all stump, no crown.

Fear is everywhere. They use it to make us buy things and TV is their favorite vehicle.

The point is not denial. Akhlaq’s murder was a crime and should be dealt strongly. Attacks on writers – be it Kalburgi or Tasleema – were wrong and should be punished. Sec 124 is archaic – whether charged on Aseem Trivedi or Kanhaiya. Beating people up on the streets is a crime in IPC.

But the sky is not falling. India has survived far more hate filled oppressors and self glorifying incompetents than we have on display right now. We have also survived foreign rule, emergency, forced sterilizations, Sec 66A and still preserved our voice.

In the end, there are only two questions:

a) Is name-calling Supreme Court verdict (‘judicial murder’) legitimate dissent or contempt of court?

b) Is calling for the destruction and division of country (God willing), acceptable free speech or treachery?

 

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The mad CM

So who exactly is Kejriwal?kejriwal7_650_012114050706

A CM insane or a phantom warrior for Congress?

CIA agent, Ford foundation protege, Naxalite sans weapons, Muffler wearing anarchist, Bespectacled fascist, Backstabber, Leftist, Vigilante, Anti national, Bull in a china shop, Man in a hurry or a Messiah.

Confusion.

Labels, some of them mutually inconsistent – how can he be an anarchist and a fascist at the same time. As an anarchist, he would want to destroy the system and as a fascist, he would want to expand the system and usurp it for himself. Not possible till he is a shape shifting monster powered by secret CIA technology known only to US Army and Kejriwal. Dig deep enough and you’ll find documentary proof of the secret deal somewhere on Facebook.

Opposing FDI in retail makes him a dangerous leftist out to drag India to the dark days of license raj. Horror of horrors, even BJP opposes FDI in retail and with no less venom. Confusion plus plus. Read more.

Prashant Bhushan talking of referendum on army presence in J&K makes him a traitor. So what about Chacha Nehru who promised referendum on the very accession of Kashmir. And wait, iron man Patel too was a member of that cabinet and collective responsibility ensures that he too can’t shake away the blame. With due respect to the great men, moi confused like a kid Sidhu in a topless bar.

arvind-kejriwal-sleeping-pti-360Publicity hungry, eyeball grabber. Item girl. Well, the Delhi winter is not going anywhere for the next week or so. Rail Bhawan too is free now.  AAPtards have shown the way, time for Moditards and Rahultards too to join the fun. Forget the 500 or 1200 Crores. They are up for grabs. The eyeballs. Anyone game?

Congress agent? Possible. Only Congress needs to have some serious BDSM fetish for that.

Oh, and he is sending one of his best men against Rahul. Will BJP follow suite? Modi? Jaitley? Sushma? Rajnath? Anyone of the big shots? The shortest route to Congress free India. Stop the Gandhis outside parliament and watch Congress disintegrate. They wouldn’t survive 5 years without a single Gandhi to bow to.

An activist not content with intellectual masturbation, a revolutionary not content with a high seat, a politician not content with winning an election and a CM not content with making the right noises.

A new beast is in town and no one knows who or what it is. A bird, a plane or a man?

Confusion is not mine alone, all are equal in this bath.

Congress can’t decide if AAP are gutter snipes or worthy teachers. BJP perplexed if they should tolerate AAP or go all out against them. Copy or criticize? Sanjay Nirupam goes on Anshan for low power tariff in Mumbai while Shinde calls him a crazy CM in Delhi. BJP copies them in “Ek vote, ek note” for Modi while pouring verbal vitriol elsewhere.

Media confused between adulation and condemnation.

Am I happy?

You bet I am.

It’s almost the Lanka Dahan scene from Ramayana.

Watching career politicians confused and scared is funny. Watching intelligent people float fantastic conspiracy theories is funny (check out Zaid Hamid if you have a taste for them). Watching the ivory towers of politics crumble is enthralling. Watching a CM brave brutal Delhi cold through the night on the road is sobering.

He is making politics more difficult and less lucrative. That’s all I need today. Labels may wait.

And the sky would wait too.

Why, if it stayed up during the past 60 years, I am sure it can take some Kejri knocks too without falling on our heads.

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Our fetish for missing the devil and shooting the trees!

Ban short skirts. Ban hand holding in public. Ban V-day. Ban item numbers. Ban chowmien. Ban mobiles. Heck, ban women.

Is porn responsible for rapes?
She is behind all these rapes and the poor men get blamed !!!

The latest in this brilliant anti-rape measures series is to make watching porn a non-bailable offence.

Now, the cops won’t offer Rs 2000 to rape victims. They’ll just say, “Look kid, can’t file rape FIR. Gotta catch that pimpled teenager shagging to Sunny Leone in his engineering college hostel”.

Such is our fetish for missing the rampaging devil and shooting the trees, shrubs, birds, insects anything in the jungle except the dude staring you in the face with blood dripping off his mouth.

We don’t see that the one thing common in all rape incidents is the rapists’ confidence that they will get away. We don’t see that the hostile callousness of the police and a near-dysfunctional criminal justice system makes them so bold.

We wouldn’t talk of educating people and police that women have a right to their bodies, to public places and the girl who doesn’t have a dupatta on is not desperately looking for sex. It’s not as impossible as it may seem – when we can educate people for pulse polio vaccination, we can do so for treating women as more than meat as well.

Heck, when you can think of making porn-watching non-bailable, why can’t you think of making not filing rape FIRs as non-bailable?

Is porn responsible for rape
Arrghh..My eyes are burning. Please ban this image!

And it’s not just rape.

For widespread corruption, we will blame everything from bribe givers to lack of morals to low salary to the latest lunar eclipse.

The blame the bribe giver argument is attractive too – isn’t the guy who bribes to get his license made or bill passed equally responsible? Only, where do these bribe givers go when it comes to IIT/IIM admissions, army recruitment or whatever little that actually works in our system. Why do these immoral ease-shoppers suddenly become honest foot soldiers of morality while dealing with foreign government departments?

Clearly, bribe giving is not the prime mover in the corruption machinery. It is driven by the lacunae in the system which enable people in power to harass you for not paying up. Deprive corruption the life blood of such lacunae and it dies down.

But then we only seem too eager to believe that it is the trees, the birds, the climbers, the creepers, the insects, the grass even the air in the jungle that’s eating up the villagers and how, the devil is a poor victim of circumstances. It works to the sweet advantage of the perpetrators – be it rapists or be it the corrupt babu/neta.

Sometimes, the simplest answer to a question is the real one. We seem to miss this simple truth simply too often.

 

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Can you become rich in India without stealing?

Mommy says no!

Can you become rich in India sans a skeleton in the cupboard?
Can I have all this without a few skeletons peeping out of my cupboard?

Infact, this was one of the arguments she gave to dissuade me from becoming an entrepreneur, way back, when I was within dissuasion. Like any dutiful son hell bent on changing the world, I of course, didn’t listen to her.

But even after all these years, the argument is not yet settled. It keeps coming back. Whenever she gets something that can be used to support her case, she dispatches it in my direction.

The latest example she threw at me was Subrat Roy Sahara being quizzed on Rs 24,000 Crores.

Now, both you and I know the drill. The process of law is on and you can’t jump to conclusions. I told her so.

However, when it takes 15 years to frame charges against Salman Khan and 31 years for an IAS daughter to get a guilty verdict from the Sessions Court against her father’s killers (the High Court and the Supreme Court are still left, link here), the legal process argument loses most of its fizz.

Truth may be anything but a first generation big shot getting accused of serious investor fraud by a statutory body like SEBI only strengthens the idea: This guy became rich, this guy stole too.

I of course, stand my ground, “It IS possible, that’s what I am betting on”, trying hard not to sound like a teenage rebel whose communist hero on the Tshirt has just been caught in bed with capitalist imperialists.

Who drives the Pajeros in Noida, Ghaziabad? The Land Rovers, the Range Rovers, the BMWs, the Endeavors, the Fortuners?

Any of the IIT, IIM type corporate honchos? Any of the IT entrepreneurs? Or white kurta clad politicians, builders, wheeler dealers and their cronies?

Hmmm, something like, if you want to check the nature of the soil, see what plants flourish there? Know the character of the pond by the weeds that bloom in it.

Yes, exactly. What kind of plants flourish in the soil that is India today?

Prosperity is reaching nooks and corners of the country but almost every village seems to have one family which rises way faster than every other. NREGA and village level development schemes have only speeded up the rise of the pradhan families.

Every city, including the really godforsaken ones would have a few families with huge mansions floored with expensive marble tiles housing the snazziest SUVs. The rest of the city would either make do with government jobs or small time trading or petty private jobs. Even if there is no industry or major economic activity in the city, a couple of families seem to have access to a perpetual fountain of financial gangotri! More often than not, you’d find top functionaries of all political parties distributed amongst these families.

It doesn’t technically prove that you can’t become rich in India without stealing. It does indicate most of those who did well in one generation did stuff that middle class morality fed on eighties Amitabh would not allow.

That we have more Ponty Chadhas than Narayanmurthys doesn’t help either.

And damn that Kejriwal dude. Ambanis had never smelt of pure jasmine, he put the stink to the DLF story as well with his Vadra disclosures.

Where are the clean heroes? Where are the straight guy stories?

I am sure they are there. I feel most of the stories in the tech-internet enabled “new age” businesses are clean stories. But they are much less in number than “5 years in politics” or “7 years of wheeling-dealing” stories and they are not visible in Sitapur, Saharsa and Siliguri. That’s where bulk of India’s “high energy youth which China doesn’t have” demographic dividend comes from.

Mommy’s argument was simple enough. Since she hasn’t seen anyone become super rich without stealing so it’s impossible to do so. With uber-capitalistic American dream off the menu, there was only one option for me – be a good boy, write the exam, become an officer and live with the stick of the government in my hands.

I don’t blame her. Mommies have their own agendas. They don’t want their sons to fight too hard, struggle much or change the world.

But what does an ambitious, energetic twenty year old in a mofussil town see today?

Narayanmurthy and Bhikchandani are stars in the sky; Murthy, a friendly uncle in the stories and Bhikchandani, a stud IIMA entrepreneur. Other worldly characters even for those who have heard about them in small towns and villages. That bastard in the white Scorpio who picked petty street-fights only 2 years ago is as real as the cloud of dust his tinted glass car leaves in your face. His prosperity is spilling all over what with gold chains, new cars, scores of hangers-on, road construction contracts and an engineering college to boot.

The guys who steal, flourish. And they are everywhere. In every city, town and village. Purely statistically, becoming one of these is many times easier than becoming a Bhikchandani. And one doesn’t even need to understand the esoteric dynamics of web enabled information handshake business.

Is there a viable path-to-prosperity sans thievery for the bulk of the youth? Or is the rather simplistic notion that to become rich in India, you either don a white kurta or jump in the pockets of those already in white kurtas – the real wala truth?

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Free laptops, social change and a bottle of rum (err, pauwa)

The kids in UP now have free laptops fully loaded with photos of Neta ji, CM sahib and something about fulfilled promises.

That’s the beauty of socialism. Sponsoring something with your own money to get your branding and faces on it is so Coke and Pepsi.

Fuckin’ market oriented capitalism. Bazarwaad!

Who needs roads, electricity, schools and teachers?
Who needs roads, power, schools and teachers?

In Samajwad, spending public money to further your brand is kosher. Social change!

Talk about social change? The digital divide is now bridged.

The glowing white light of knowledge has reached the villages with no electricity, proper roads and primary schools.

The sons and daughters of poor farmers will now crack IIT JEE, PMT and CAT. Fuck you city bred, English speaking urban elites.

Will the quality of teachers in primary schools improve? Will they come to school daily instead of calling the attendance register home? Will they teach instead of asking kids to go get some gutkha?

Damn the cynic in me. The laptops are going to put the bloody world on their fingertips. Who needs primary school Science, Math and English teachers?

What about jobs? What will the kids do when they grow up? There can be no industry because roads and electricity sucks. There can be no industrialists because who would want their kids kidnapped. Police and teacher recruitment in UP have always been a money fest. What will these laptop wielding kids do?

Job? Is being a party voter not a job?

I mean, some of them would become full time party workers all with beacons and hooters and tinted glasses and colorful stickers and flags on white Scorpios. Isn’t that upward social mobility?

Paying to get branding is so Coke and Pepsi
Paying to get branding is so Coke and Pepsi

Hmmm. How about using these 3000 Crores to build roads, better hospitals, better schools? How about providing primary health, education and improving law and order?

Come to think of it, not doing that is actually smarter. Two reasons:

a) Building roads, hospitals, schools and providing electricity, doctors, teachers are infinitely more complex than distributing laptops. More hands means more mouths means more public money disappearing on the way. It’s a brilliant move to curb corruption. Anna should be happy.

b) At least some of them will be grateful enough to remember the freebie when they go to vote.

By now, I am almost convinced of the tremendous social upliftment just waiting to be unleashed by the free laptop scheme. Only a small doubt remains.

Loan waiver schemes of the eighties/nineties led to a slew of loan waiver schemes. They provided instant relief to farmers but did nothing to remove the reasons behind rural indebtedness. Within a couple of years, the same guy came under the same debt once again.

Why not spend the money to create assets which create education, health and job opportunities so that they can buy their own laptops?

Ooops! My bad! Dumb dork me!

The above reasons a) and b) will hold for this too.

Empowering them to buy their own laptops is complex, will lead to corruption and won’t generate gratitude.

Point taken.

Hold on! This gratitude thingie?

Isn’t it the same as bribing voters? Significantly evolved, alright, but isn’t it the same as offering pauwa to the voters and counting on their quid-pro-quo.

Tum mujhe vote do, main tumhe pauwa, err, laptop dunga!

Heck, the pauwa is at least given from the election candidate’s own pocket (compensation from public funds follows and that too only if the guy wins)

Well, if your glasses are so bloody dark, even gangajal will look like pauwa to you. Why? Going by this logic, wouldn’t doing anything amount to bribing the voters?

Tum mujhe vote do, main tumhe roads dunga, bijli dunga, school dunga, hospital dunga, job dunga….

Fair enough. I rest my case. All hail social change.

Hey wait a sec! How will a guy in a village which doesn’t see power for days charge the laptop?

Dude, communism died decades ago. State largesse is a fossil. You can’t expect government to provide everything for you. Why, can’t you even arrange for electricity yourself? Fuckin’ beggars. Give them a finger and they’ll ask for the entire arm.

Grow some balls. Get some self respect. Do something on your own you khairati hospital!

Agreed. Convinced. Surrendered.

Free laptop scheme is the iPod of social welfare schemes.

If only UP were not so poor or the central government not anti-UP, it could have been even better – free IIPM degrees for all kids in UP.

Just then, Kero Mama walks in smiling ear to ear with an evil glint in his eyes – It’s the look of a twelve year old who has just been tapped on the head by the  hot neighborhood aunty. Or the look on your face the day you score higher than the topper of your class in moral science.

“Some smartass kids are already selling these laptops for 10,000”.

Trust the market forces to determine the true value of anything, I want to remember my MBA Fin prof but regain my senses quickly. Thank god for that.

Market sucks. Bazarwaad sucks.

All hail social change. Free style. Fully let loose.

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