Sunday, July 31, 2011

O for Opposition; O for Obscure

While the nation, sorry, not the nation but a few among the populace worry about all round degradation in governance, the brazenness and shamelessness of the government and helplessness of the people, they fail to notice or fail to emphasize that the bigger culprit is the 'opposition' of the day. It is the fragmented and good for nothing opposition that has allowed government of the day to continue to smile all the way to Swiss banks while the nation continues to reel under anarchy and total chaos. The meteoric rise of non-political forces ( some exceptionally intelligent citizens don't hesitate to consider them as non-democratic as well; for them democracy probably ends with elected men/women of straw) such as Baba Ramdev and Team Anna is a clear pointer to an obscure opposition.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

L for Lokpal; L for Lincoln Law

At last I have come across a voice of reason in media about obsession of Team Anna with Lokpal bill. Newspaper- none other than 'The Statesman' and writer- none other than Sh. Rajinder Puri. This is what he had to say in his article titled 'Hasan Ali and Anna Hazare' and published in the Statesman dated 26th July, "More than admiration, the single minded pursuit by the Anna Hazare team to enact the Lokpal Bill has started to cause surprise. The surprise arises from the team’s obsession with the Lokpal law as its avowed goal to end corruption while the government’s continuous delay and derailment of the raging ongoing corruption cases is being virtually ignored. Increasingly, the Hazare team’s effort has started to appear more an attempt to divert attention from the current crisis than a genuine effort to fight corruption. Whatever the efficacy or otherwise of a Lokpal to fight corruption, whatever the final shape the Bill to enact the office might take, the exercise is unlikely to show concrete results before the end of this year. Meanwhile, will India continue to be drained by corruption cases that are not resolved by the government? ......................How brazen and shameless can the government get? And to what helplessness and impotence can the Indian public be reduced? Mr Anna Hazare and his team should reflect. It is futile to focus on a distant Lokpal when justice is being raped under their noses. By all means pursue the Lokpal Bill. But why ignore the brazen cover up of corruption proceeding currently?" Thank God! Commonsense does exist though very rare.

As I am educated about Lincoln Law (being practiced in USA) by Sh. Shiv Karan Singh, I feel sure that this law if introduced in India will be hundred times more potent to fight corruption than the Lokpal bill even as per team Anna's draft. In fact proposed Lokpal bill will be effective only as much as it incorporates any provisions of Lincoln Law. Lincoln Law may even be more effective in India than it has been in USA because of our inherent crab mentality. Only thing necessary will be proper and true implementation. Surely well meaning people and a nation of billion plus have simply been wasting their time and energy in pursuit of a Lokpal bill which this very day has been termed 'Jokepal Bill' by team Anna.

Monday, July 18, 2011

P for Parliament; P for Prostitute

It was hundred years back that Mahatma Gandhi had compared Parliament (British at that time) to prostitute and sterile woman, both at the same time. Still we adopted same system of governance for our country. The result is there for everyone to see. More so in last one year when we have been achieving greater heights of anarchy each passing day. Gandhiji has been proved correct beyond any doubt. 'Cash for Vote' scandal is back in the news, again courtesy none other than our Hon'ble Supreme Court. I have said enough about it already. It was perfectly expected of the govt to keep the issue under wraps. Opposition also keeping quiet for three years could indicate that they also had something to hide. But why did our great media chose not to talk of the worst scandal ever having hit the country except whenever they were forced to?

Mahatma Gandhi has been very logical while espousing the above comparison in the book 'Hind Swaraj'. Each word he said 100 years ago at the age of about forty rings true through our experiences of over sixty years of independence. While readers may like to go through the book or the relevant chapter in order to understand what Gandhiji meant, I shall also like to share my own experience with Indian Parliament and Parliamentarians. When the Minister, the bureaucracy and the media comfortably slept over the continuing leakage of about Rs. 5000 crores per anum, I brought the matter to the personal knowledge of all MPs of Lok Sabha and a few prominent MPs of Rajya Sabha through a letter to each of them. My logic was simple. Being public representatives they should bother about public money more than anyone else. They did bother. In their own way. The more responsible ones forwarded my letter to the concerned Ministry also informing me of this action. The wiser ones must have used my letter and its enclosures as toilet paper. The loot continues unabated to this day. I marvel at the wisdom Mahatma Gandhi possessed when I read Hind Swaraj. No wonder we revere him world over through our words. No wonder we abuse him world over through our actions. Hypocrisy remains our greatest characteristic. God has made us that way.

When Churchill made prophetic comments about leaders India would be having, he forgot to tell that it would be so since India were to copy British parliamentary system for its governance. What a coincidence that at this very moment both these countries are being rocked by scandals!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Let us tolerate but let us not accept

I feel tolerance is the greatest virtue of we Indians. And excess of tolerance is our greatest evil. We extend our tolerance in accepting things we must not accept and it is there that we fail as a nation. We tolerate to accept a helpless Prime Minister who publicly says that survival of his government is more important than good governance for the country. We tolerate to accept police atrocities openly on innocent citizens who pay for that police force. We tolerate to accept leaders whose only virtue is that they are past masters in licking some particular asses. We tolerate to accept leaders (in opposition) who are good for nothing but making right or wrong noises. We tolerate to accept media for whom non-issues are the issues and the real issues are non-issues. We tolerate to accept a bureaucracy for whom self-service is the greatest virtue. We tolerate to accept a judicial system which has no time frame for imparting justice.

As a citizen we must understand what we should tolerate and what we must not accept. To give an example nearer home, a relation misbehaving with elders in the family could be tolerated but a relation refusing to look after old and ailing parents or parents-in-law should not be tolerated and should be socially boycotted.

W for Whistle-blower, W for Win

Out of blue, a few days back Railway Board issued an order constituting a committee for revamping RDSO (Research Design and Standards Organization at Lucknow) and naming me as Secretary of the committee. RDSO is an organization of Indian Railways that is supposed to be the root cause for annual loss of thousands of crores of rupees in procurement I and The Statesman have been talking of. Therefore this action of the Rly Board, though belated, is a clear official recognition of my efforts so far as a whistle-blower. In Indian context it is something unprecedented and the Railway Board deserve kudos if they did it out of free will and not under unavoidable compulsions or pressure. I should feel elated since by God's grace it does signal win at last for me as a whistle-blower.

As the initial euphoria dies down, the harsh reality dawns. There will be any achievement only when corrections or improvements are incorporated in the system and as a result of those thousands of crores of public money are saved year after year. That appears too far still though seed has been sown. At present the loss continues unabated as the existing self inflicting rules and procedures continue to rule. With fingers crossed, let us pray something good ultimately comes out for our deprived country-men.