Government stays

July 22, 2008

Its official, the UPA has survived the confidence motion. Congratulations.

Exactly how the multitude of deals behind the nuke deal and survival of the government were made is very suspect. The government, the political parties should all do some serious introspection and if we should continue to see such political immorality, the people are indeed doomed.

The left was probably right in saying that the UPA can win the vote but has lost the confidence.

Mr. Manish Tiwari says that the BJP has desecrated the parliament by bringing the notes to the house. The SP is saying that all the allegations of Mr. Advani are proven wrong.

Who do these people think they are fooling? The notes were brought to the house to expose the manner in which the horse trading was taking place. And by the same “desecration” logic, have the congress and SP and for that matter, all parties not desecrated the country by all the defection and buying of support.

I still think the whole thing reeks of a conspiracy, a coup by Manmohan Singh to dislodge the left from the ruling side.

About 3 months back, Manmohanji created an alliance with Amar Singh of SP. They confirmed their numbers and calculated the risk that they have to take for getting the extra support to replace the left’s support. He suddenly gets so eager on the deal that he pretends not to care about the left. And finally, with a ultimatum served to him, he has gotten rid of the left.

Of course by now the PM had already made arrangements to buy, entice etc. the other party members for the deal. The PM is for a long time extremely confident while all the other “deals” are being made.

Yesterday Pranab Mukherjee claims support of 276 people. And indeed, 275 votes are obtained by the government. Well orchestrated, good play of events actually, just that Mr. Amar Singh and Mr. Unclean Manmohan have given away the plot slightly before the actual turn of events. That apart a brilliant drama by the UPA.

Now, if it is said that BJP did not try hard enough, as is being alleged, I would actually be happy, because the parties which have tried hard have shown the limits that they can go to and it can only be a good thing that the BJP and the left have not tried in the same manner as Congress and SP and to some extent BSP have.

Congress gamble

July 11, 2008

Somehow it appears that the nation is waking up to the left hypocrisy, the public sentiment shifting rightly against them. And I myself am not fond of the left, they are China’s fifth column in India amongst other pathetic things. But as much as I hate the left and their policies, the nuclear fall out is not the making of the left. For once, apart from being blindly anti-american and anti-bush (who finishes the term before the deal comes into force) and linking the deal awkwardly to the IPI pipeline, this time the left have got it right on most things. It is fishy when you find the left thinking about the “national interest” suddenly, but the congress has been fishier on the deal issue more than any other party.

Some fallacies when put in context give the plot away. Start with the absolutely mistimed enthusiasm on the deal- US is going for elections, there are bleak, if not, zero chances of the deal getting through the US related procedures before the elections. After having kept the deal in cold storage for more than 2 years, why would the congress suddenly be re-energised to take the deal through now, at the most inappropriate of times.

The entire fall out drama is all the congresses making, who wanted to get rid of the left. The left was more of a liability than a help and with differences solved between Cong and SP the Congress needed an excuse to get rid of the left who are a part of all decisions in the parliament, give no proper suggestions in the parliament, and yet criticize severely outside the parliament. The fall out was all pre-planned to get out of this damaging alliance. And SP, now has won the brownie points by playing the savior to the government and now by digging all the muck they can summon to spoil the reputation of BSP. The congress for its part has parted quite happily and deserve no sympathy.

Instead, the sympathy should go to the common people, since in all this ruckus the congress has forgotten and neglected the issues that concern the people most. The economic mismanagement and the other national issues are now being attempted to be overshadowed by the petty bickering in the ruling alliance to meet the political ends of Congress. Moreover, the issue that the congress used, the nuclear deal is also not really going to help anyone for a long time to come. Nuclear power has long since ceased to be a cheaper source and survives on the govt. subsidies. Whats more, the deal does not even have adequate safeguards to ensure regular supply. This nuclear technology for generation of electricity is not likely to be cheaper than the electricity generated using locally available coal. The deal which is highly debatable is not even being made public, and inflation and price rises remain the biggest problems of the people.

The deal is, the issue around the deal to deviate attention, the staged downfall; the entire political drama is all the “innocent looking” Manmohan Singhji’s making.

With Dr. Manmohan Singhji at helm has taken ethics in politics have fallen to a new abyss.

Big deal

June 26, 2008

Recently there were demands that Mr. Advani could be a “statesman” by coming out in support of the deal. The BJP points of opposition is somewhat different from the stance of the left, they are not opposed to the deal as such, they want that the deal be renegotiated and not agree to put a cap on the nuclear tests. Still listening to the calls for support, the PM aspirant has come out to spell it out again that they are not opposed to the deal as such. Besides the deal was a internal matter of UPA more than the NDA, and its not as if the Congress is engaged in trying to convince the BJP or the other NDA partners about the deal. The statements by Advani are indicative of a compromise in the stance to save the deal, and the PM has not spent any time to have a dialogue with the BJP to gain consensus. On an earlier occasion also the PM has been calling desperately for consensus when the political cards are played by Sonia.

And if the government falls because of the deal, it is not as if the BJP can support it because the governance has been pathetic on many counts and the BJP as the opposition has been critical of the bad policies of the government. The BJP could vote in favour of the deal in the parliament if the issue should come up, which it is not likely to. In any case the PM himself has not initiated any dialogue as such. Then what statesmanship are we talking about? The congress refuses to acknowledge that when most parties except itself are opposed to the deal, the deal should either be renegotiated or should be let go of. But the congress today has issued signs of indifference towards other parties’ opinions and said that they would go ahead with the deal.

The left has shown its true communal colours, this time in full glare of the media. It is increasingly obvious that their opposition to the deal was meant to pander to the minorities, placing the interests of a community over those of the nation.

The leaders of Muslim organisations for their part who had opposed the deal said that they were opposed to the deal because it was against national interest and that it had nothing to their Muslim identity. The SP also has said that they know the minorities very well. Somehow no one has opposed the claim that the SP has the Muslims in their pocket. Even the SP has not gone ahead to decline it, they have acknowledged the fact and said that they “know the minorities” very well and need not be lectured on the subject by the left.

The congress finally took some stance and did not yet make any efforts to get a real concensus with the opposition as well. Yet it did take a stance and while they pat their backs for it, we have to lament that this feat was reserved for a deal which is rather not in the interest of the country which inspite of all the claims by the congress is not a do-or-die situation. It is not imperative for the nation’s energy security, in the present form.

Farmers have to change

June 25, 2008

The media here in Karnataka was all filled with a police firing which killed a farmer in North Karnataka till few days back. The incident was reported in a very much biased way by all the newspapers and news channels. It was obvious that they would take the farmer’s side. Agreeable, since the sole bread winner of the family was killed by the police. But the other side of the story was just brushed under the carpet.

The kind of violence indulged by the farmers is really worrisome. One wonders as to why the farmers have suddenly started protests and indulged in burning buses and pelting stones at police stations, agriculture offices and other state government properties. The reason being given is the shortage of fertilizers. Many questions intrigue me here. Why did the farmers suddenly start protests just after the new government assumed power in state? Did they not face any shortage of fertilizers till now? If so, they dont seem to have proper planning for the future. Why did any so called farmer-leader not go to the governor and make a representation of the shortage of essential farming supplies in the state? There was Central rule for more than six months in the state, and in case of any protests then or even any peaceful representations, farmers could have really got their problems solved long back. I seriously wonder if these protesters are all true farmers or farmers instigated by the opposition or just not farmers at all, but political cadres. If the case belongs to last two categories, then perpetrators of violence should be handled firmly. If they are genuine farmers, then there are more things to do, apart from just providing them fertilizers.

Indian farmers have come a long way in utilizing the chemical fertilizers so much so that they just cannot do farming without them. Stopping the use of fertilizers suddenly is definitely not possible, but gradual reduction is very much possible and essential. They can get together in small groups and manufacture organic manure and pesticides locally to suit their requirements. The kind of coordination seen in protests is actually needed in bringing a change in the farming methods. Better material management, better storage and processing and better marketing of the produce is needed. They must also look at improvised and customized tools for Indian farming conditions.

Farmers have to reduce their dependency on the government. Most of them still depend on the governments for things right from seeds, fertilizers to selling the produce. The latter one needs large network and huge investments. But other things can be managed by the farmers at their level itself – preparing seeds for the next crop or even procuring manure. Again, proper coordination amongst themselves will help them a lot.

I believe that for most of the farmers, corporate farming can be the key for their problems. Especially for the small and medium farmers, who generally have issues with finance, economy and business of their farming, corporate farming is a bless. Opposition to such initiatives saying that they harm farmers’ interests, that too by people who do not have any know-how of farming, is naive in deed and only has ulterior motives driven by a sick ideology of anti-all-corporate. Farmers should try their luck with corporate farming when the good old times of happy farming with the complete government support are gone.

The so-called farmer leaders have failed the community badly. Those self proclaimed leaders are only making money and fame in farmers’ name. They also do politics over farmer suicides. Many a times those leaders are themselves not true farmers! Farmers have to be cautious of such terrible leadership.

Farmers really need to stop ending lives, for that it gives no relief for their families, neither solves their problems. If they believe that by ending self the families can survive with the compensation by the government, is utter foolishness. Unfortunately many of them believe so strongly in getting compensation that they do end up in ending their lives. The administration and as a society we all need to do something to stop this suicide spree by those who provide food for us. These suicides are also a psychological issue apart from the financial failure of farmers. It is imperative to counsel the farmers in distress, motivate and orient them towards a self-confident and self-sustained entity. They are insecure — socially and financially.

Dirty politics around farmers’ death has to stop. I saw the opposition parties up in arms against the government protesting the killing of one farmer in police firing. While I do not deny the crime on the part of police and blood on the hands of the administration, the politicians should also shed a tear or two for those who are committing suicides. I see the Congress making a huge hue and cry on the issue. It should look into what it has done in the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and what it did in Karnataka. They are hunting for the new chief minister’s head. When they can celebrate Sharad Pawar, they have zero morality to talk about farmers. Sharad Pawar is better off licking cricketers’ boot than serve the poor farmers. I also saw some communists coming out and protesting here and there on the issue. Believe me, I could not control laughing, for me having seen brutal killings of poor farmers in West Bengal and absolute ignorance of their plight by the state government.

I remember one Mr. R. Madhavans [not the ‘maddy’ guy, but a revolutionary farmer who despite being an IIT graduate, has taken up farming as a passion and finds peace of mind in his high-yielding farms] repeated quote that farming is not just an art, but also true science and a great engineering.

I know, these things are easily written as a blog and forgotten there after. But somehow, someone needs to bring revolutionary changes in fields or at least trigger them. The hands that feed the nation should never beg for their own bread.

Reorganisation of states

June 21, 2008

Recent gorkhaland demands have sparked off a new debate about reorganisation of states. An interesting debate was published in the ET also. Mr. Peter Desouza gave an interesting opinion that enumerates the following reasons: –

  1. Five fold growth in electorate since independence.
  2. Democracy of communities
  3. Increased recognition of leaders at community level
  4. The fourth is the development deficit – politics weighs pros and cons, and if a communities gain is another communities loss the losers are bound to react and that will cause new protests and demands.[link]

The possibility of demand for telangana has been known for almost since formation of Andhra.

The States Reorganization Commission (SRC) was not in favour of merging the Telangana region with the then Andhra state. Para 382 of States Reorganization Commission Report (SRC) said “..opinion in Andhra is overwhelmingly in favour of the larger unit, public opinion in Telangana has still to crystallize itself”. The concerns of Telanganas were manifold. The region had a less developed economy than Andhra, but a larger revenue base (mostly because it taxed rather than prohibited alcoholic beverages), which Telanganas feared might be diverted for use in Andhra. They also feared that planned dam projects on the Krishna and Godavari rivers would not benefit Telangana proportionately even though Telanganas controlled the headwaters of the rivers. Telanganas feared too that the people of Andhra would have the advantage in jobs, particularly in government and education. Para 386 of States Reorganization Commission Report (SRC) said “After taking all these factors into consideration we have come to the conclusions that it will be in the interests of Andhra as well as Telangana area is to constitute into a separate State, which may be known as the Hyderabad State with provision for its unification with Andhra after the general elections likely to be held in or about 1961 if by a two thirds majority the legislature of the residency Hyderabad State expresses itself in favor of such unification.”

The central government decided to ignore the SRC recommendations and established unified Andhra Pradesh on November 1, 1956. However, a “Gentlemen’s agreement” provided reassurances to the Telangana people.[link]

Please read that link on the gentlemen’s agreement, and the states reorganisation commission report on andhra and decide if all that was necessary at all. The state reorganisation committee discusses how to break and join the kanadda majority areas with karnataka and how to do the same for telugu majority areas. The lingual identities were not belonging in many cases to their respective states, this was grafted. Many districts hence remain under dispute. Absolutely illogical fashion of executing the formation of states!

I for one think that there are two main goals of a nation to maintain stability, one is to keep a national interest before any other, and to therefore have a strong national identity and patriotism. Other is to strengthen local economies, so that interdependence is not a constraint for co-operation. All non-local resources should be within the purview of the centre. Lingual identity reinforces a european model of nationalism which would fail miserably in our nation where there are many many different toungues. We already see the MNS issue, and the KaRaVe issue, and though some of both their concerns are indeed genuine, they both place their regional interest over the national interest.

Interestingly there is a rejoinder to Mr. Peter’s arguments by a certain Nilotpal Basu, from the CPI(M) central secretariat. Mr. Nilotpal, keeping in line with the glorious tradition of his party, has blamed everything from RSS to US imperialism for the gorkhaland and other state demands. He stops short of making a point when he starts with a correct premise.

However, the post-Independence period has not been free from tensions. The inherent nature of capitalist development has resulted in regional imbalances. Lack of development has been a basis for demanding new states, often undermining the principle of linguistic states. On the other hand, ethnic and linguistic considerations, which ignore the question of viability, have been pushed to the fore. Care has to be taken to evolve mechanisms like autonomous councils for some communities — with adequate constitutional safeguard for their respective identities and greater role in deciding their own future.[link]

Now it is inherent nature of capitalistic development which is the cause for the Gorkhaland demand in West bengal, which has neither had a capitalist government and nor has it seen any resemblence of development happen for the last 31 years. His own argument is out to hit him! And he is right about regional imbalances, and that can be overcome by strengthening the local economies by giving regional autonomy not by forming autonomous councils and more such complicated government sitting benches.

It is extremely worrisome that Mr. Nilotpal’s only argument is that since RSS demands it, we shall protest it. This bigotry stems from an absolute absence of strong ideology. Even RSS does not hesitate to praise Indira for somethings that they feel were good and in the nations interest. The hollowness of ideology in the communist parties is a sign of dark times ahead for my state of Bengal.

CPM on foreign policy

June 19, 2008

Prakash Karat and Bardhan have a great nack for delivering nonsense, still some times they manage to surprise me.

New Delhi, June 15 (IANS) India has been drawn into the strategic designs of the US, and the Indian government’s flourishing defence relations with Israel are a direct result of the paradigm shift pushed by Washington and Tel Aviv, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat said here Sunday. Speaking at a function here, Karat said the issue of India’s defence ties with Israel cannot be separated from the “overarching” strategic relations with the US. All “patriotic, progressive and anti-imperialistic forces” should work to disentangle the country from the US-Israel axis, he added.

“On this point, there is no compromise on foreign policy,” he said, referring to the cause of creation of a separate Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

He alleged that Israeli defence companies, most of whom are state-owned enterprises, are “known to pay heavy bribes”.

“The Barack missile scandal is but an example. If our ties continues, it will subvert our won military and security establishment,” he said, referring to the defence deal which is now being probed.

The CPI-M leader, whose party supports the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government from outside, rebuffed the Indian government’s explanation for launching an Israel spy satellite earlier this year “as a purely commercial decision”

The function was also addressed by Issam Makhoul, a politburo member of the Communist Party of Israel, who ended a week-long visit to India.

Makhoul, a former secretary general of the party, was strongly critical of the military ties between Israel and India, which he pointed out had propelled Tel Aviv to be among the top five defence exporters in the world.[link]

One realises that there are a lot of problems in the middle east, some caused by Iran, Palestine, Syria etc. and many caused by Israel as well. Surely that can not be a reason for severing any ties, we have strategic interests that we should look out for, and thats the only rule in international relationships. They have been immensely helpful in the Kargil War by supplying arms without any agreement. Besides, like India, Israel too has suffered a lot at the hands of islamist terrorism and continues to suffer the presence of hostile neighbours. The Islamic world which has gone on the offensive towards the Israel in the past, prosecuted the jews in large numbers can not suddenly wave the white flag and expect peace. The minimum territorial integrity of Israel should be acknowledged as well.

What a fifth columnist party that Communist party of Israel is? India was a country which had welcomed the jews when they were being prosecuted world over. And the party sits in a function to support the cause for a palestenian state with jerusalem as the capital! Just how pathetic can communism be to advocate against the interest of your own people.

Even if we should not get into strong ties with Isreal, why should we support a palestine state with jerusalem as the capital. It is similar in temerity to the suggestion of Osama running for US president. The left should also know that these people they defend are going to be their worst enemies. The left at least has the freedom to form their communist party in Israel, and propogate such ideas, but no such freedom exists in the Islamic world.

Recently, two people were killed in isolated independent incidents, both very alarming and revealing of an underlying untruth.

  • Mr. Lalit Mehta, an activist of Vikas Sahyog Kendra, was trying to organise social audits to help the NREGA function better.
We are deeply disturbed by the recent murder of Lalit Kumar Mehta, member of Vikas Sahyog Kendra (Palamau District), who was brutally killed on 14 May 2008 as he was returning from Daltonganj to Chhattarpur on a motorcycle.
The circumstances of this murder are disturbing. Lalit (aged 36), an active member of the right to food campaign and Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, has been working in this area for more than 15 years on issues related to the right to food and the right to work. He was a very gentle person and his work was widely appreciated. However he was also fearless in exposing corruption and exploitation, and often came in the way of vested interests.
At the time of this incident, Lalit was helping a team of volunteers from Delhi and elsewhere to conduct a social audit of NREGA works in Chainpur and Chhattarpur Blocks of Palamau District. Attempts had already been made to dissuade the team from conducting this investigation, particularly in Chainpur Block. Is it a coincidence that Lalit was murdered just one day after the investigation began?
If this murder was an act of intimidation, it did not succeed. Friends and supporters from all over Jharkhand gathered at Vikas Sahyog Kendra on 17 May. They unanimously resolved to continue the campaign against corruption and exploitation in this area. [link]
  • Mr. Kameshwar Yadav tried to use RTI to get the NREGA details, he was another activist who wanted to verify the system to help it work better.

Giridih, June 8: In a rerun of the Lalit Mehta murder case, Kameshwar Yadav, an NREGA activist, was killed by unidentified gunmen near Gaadi village about nine last night.

Kameshwar was returning to his Khatori residence — about 75km from here — after taking part in a CPI-ML bandh over the fuel price rise in block headquarters Deori.

Rajkumar Yadav, a CPI-ML state committee member, said being a morally upright person, Kameshwar had questioned — under the Right to Information Act — the nexus flourishing among officers, leaders, contractors and middlemen regarding minor irrigation work in Deori.

Kameshwar was also a block committee member of the party. CPI-ML leaders, including MLA Vinod Singh, blocked the Jamua-Koderma road for around six hours today demanding the arrest of criminals. Giridih SP Murari Lal Meena said that the killers would be arrested within June 13. [link]

NREGA is a wonderful scheme, it is aimed at guaranteeing the constitutional right to work to rural people by providing employment to one person from each household in rural areas. It is a flagship of the congress government and was flouted very proudly at the congress 4 year anniversary. But there are many skeletons in the closet. Mr. Mihir Shah writes about the discrepancies in implementation.

But even after the enactment of NREGA, things have been slow to change at the grass-roots. Displaying remarkable ingenuity, the old order is already finding ways to sidestep the radical provisions of the Act. Contractors deploy machines with impunity, even as forged muster rolls are filled up with fictitious names and thumb-marks of workers, to show as if the work was done by labour. This is especially the case in States like Jharkhand, which still do not have elected Gram Panchayats. [link]

Even Mr. Shourie in his article has raised some objections about how ‘right’ data is filled after initial data is pencilled in so that the performance of the flagship program of Congress remains grande.

After citing what the PM, FM, etc. have been saying about ensuring outcomes and not being lulled by outlays, Saxena asks, and ‘How is outcome delivered in the states?’, and answers, ‘By falsifying records!’ He cites the tour observations of a person in a position to know, and unlikely to state things that would embarrass the Government:

‘We discovered that all data of children at the centre for the past five months, weight, vaccinations, health records etc, were filled in with pencils. On probing further, I found it was done so that in case of an official inspection, the figures could be erased and “correct” data inserted to make the centre’s performance look good!’

The writer? The Congress MP, Sachin Pilot. Recalling such accounts, Saxena observes, ‘The practice is so widely prevalent in all the states, presumably with the connivance of senior officers, that the data reaching GOI [according to a recent study by the National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development] shows only 8% as the overall percentage of malnourished children in case of 0-3 years (with only one percent children severely malnourished), as against 46% reported by NFHS-3.

What is equally astonishing is the fact that records show a steep decline in the percentage of malnourished children from 29% to 8%, which is totally at variance with the findings of the various NFHS surveys. By sending bogus reports the field officials are thus able to escape from any sense of accountability for reducing malnutrition.’ [link]

Someone had felt constrained to exclaim at the state of affairs to describe it as ‘Loot for work program’, and after these killings, it is tending towards a ‘kill for work program’!

Lalit was killed on the 14th May, and the congress celebrated its four years on the 23rd May, touting NREGA as their proud achievement. Either the congress is cheeky enough to take us voters lightly or it is sure it wont return to power. Either way, we’ll show them.

Tax to relax!!!

June 11, 2008

Its surprising that the taxation on products in India is very heavy compared to many countries. Though there are not many welfare programs funded by the Government like in USA ,significant infrastructural development,improvement in education or maintaining a clean and green environment , the amount of tax we are asked to pay is quite high. And its not that India is a larger country with more infrastructure to maintain. Indian public facilities are rather poor and are now a prospective challenge to curbing the growth. And we call it valued added tax!!, just whom are we adding value to?

We pay a startling high,12.5% on the purchase of commodities. In spite of being heavily taxed, the Government is not able to stabilize the economy. Petrol and Diesel prices have increased by a large extent, the cost of LPG, without which no household can run, increases in cost by 50 over midnight! It would not be a stretch to call this economic terrorism at all because this eats right into the pockets of the aam-aadmi.

And what is worse is that this tax is not showing any results, its not clear where the tax is going.

Here is what i found out, Mumbai resident Chetan Kothari, filed the RTI application to get the travel details of ministers and after some hassle he obtained the following details.

Manmohan Singh has spent nearly Rs 120 crore in 2005 and 2006 on flight travel. That’s nearly 30 per cent of what has been spent in the last 10 years by the PM’s. Whats more shocking is the sudden business trips that our Union Cabinet Ministers take to their hometowns and that too on the weekends, the UPA Government ministers had lodged in more than 1 crore kilometers of foreign travel. Commerce Minister, Kamal Nath has been out of the country for 14 months out of his 42-month tenure and the expenditures come to Rs 1.81 crore.”

Charity begins at home, so Mr. Kamal Nath started by throwing tax payer’s money.

“I urge every citizen to conserve energy at every step, every minute of the day. Be it petrol, diesel, kerosene, LPG, electricity or even water – let us learn to save and use efficiently. Let us reduce wasteful consumption of petrol,” – that was how Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed to the nation on Wednesday to bear with the fuel price hike. It is so ironical how a person who is portrayed so simplistic and advising fellow men to conserve energy actually ends up spending millions on his travel alone. Mr. Manmohan is plain reckless and irresponsible or he is also in the big pool of schizophrenic politicians.

Ministers are not expected to leave their cars and travel on bicycles but the common man would be impressed if they cut down their wasteful spending and act as leaders and role models in conserving the energy and resources like Shivraj Chouhan, CM of MP and Gopalkrishna Gandhi, guv of WB did by cycling to office and by turning off supply in the raj bhavan for 2 hrs daily, respectfully.

With the charitability of these ministers known, I do not feel charitable towards them with my vote.

Afzal Guru – “Please don’t compare me with Sarabjit. The issues are separate. My sympathies are with him, but my fight is for the Kashmir conflict. Now, I am not even seeking any clemency and have no objection to the government deciding my fate.” [link]

Afzal Guru has also said something that MF Hussain also said sometime back. Paraphrasing : The UPA govt. biggest problem is its indecision, only the NDA can come and hang me and in case of Hussain that only NDA can bring me back to the country.

Afzal Guru is pending hanging for attacking the parliament, all courts from the lowest to the Supreme have sentenced him to death. The BJP is asking for an early implementation of the courts order so that justice is done to the brave soldiers who died fighting to protect the parliament.

The congress is in a different mood altogether, they have probably taken to Arundhati Roy’s advice “What is the hurry to hang him?”. Hope Ms. Roy got her answer from the horses mouth. The BJP does have a point in demanding action, more prolonged the issue, more communal a turn it takes. Earlier it would and should have been a simple hanging of a terrorist. The congress has managed to invent more angles to the issue in trying to protect him. Many muslim organisations have come out against terror, no muslim organisation as such opposes his hanging. What is the hold up?

Alright, if we want to move towards a no-hanging sort of a culture, then make the case for that, but do not please give it a communal angle and try to justify the innocence of Mr. Guru like human rights activists. The left would be more than happy to save some face as being a part of the govt. and help you formulate this. But why the delay?

Congress justifies. “There is no authenticity of Afzal’s statement, whether the interview was done with permission, and whether he actually said it or not. Rajnath Singh should know that is a constitutional process and hence it will take time,” Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said.

Jayanthi Natarajan is trying to rub the delay off on the process, which does not exist. There are no procedures pending. No papers have moved on the issue, all trials are over and its plain action which is pending which the congress will not take. And as the matter gathers dust, it will seem as if those who ask for the court order to be obeyed are communal rascals.

The problem with congress is that they end up giving a communal angle to each issue.

Rahul Gandhi has been laying the hints for a while now, and if the sycophants really want to impress the yuvraj, they will have democracy within congress.

It would be mistaken to think that this will pose any challenge to the yuvraj’s or madam Sonia’s authority. The reason that they are at helm is not because she is simply the heir of the Nehru legacy and he the heir apparent, but more because the congress lacks leaders of stature and needs some dynasty to model in their posters for all the generations.

This could be an embarrassment to BJP in the making, the BJP will have to roll back its demand for any democracy to appear in the congress and if the congress uses it well the demand would rebound to hit the BJP as a damage to credibility.

But this has me thinking, whether the BJP demand itself is justified. First of all, BJP has partly the moral high ground because the party does not pin its hopes on a certain dynasty and does not promote people as leaders and picks emerging leaders instead. Of course, there is some misfit if some issues should arise at a high level and if a person would be a ideologue the democracy can be compromised and the leader elevated by virtue of their history with the party or because of their ideological maturity, like Arun Shourie. Still obviously there is no democracy in the party and it is pretty sad that the leader of a major party (claiming to be the largest) in the largest democracy uses the word democracy so loosely and irresponsibly without making any efforts to implement anything in his own party.

Although I have also said it otherwise in my previous post, it is debatable whether democracy in a party is relevant at all levels and good development or not. The deeper details need to looked into. Often the instance of democrats and republicans in US is used to say that democracy should come in at all levels. Definitely the party can not pick its leaders for the state or the office administrators etc. and democracy will only make the functioning of the party machinery slower. The party can pick its representatives, but that also is often done with some considerations in mind, like some political deals, caste equations etc. And as much as we resent it, these are realities in politics. Even otherwise, if all members of the party machinery and the party representatives are being elected, who is maintaining any seam of ideas which define a party? For a nation, democracy works because like the minds of people the country can undergo extreme regime changes and a nation should sustain that as the will of the people (unlike the “peoples republic of china”), but the parties can not be changing according to the wills of the people on some issues. And I realise that all the in the communist vote banks will remain communists and that the voting will not bring tendencies of capitalism or anything but the question is about the fine points. Like before internal polls, the congress may support the nuke deal and after the polls they may change their mind. That change goes away with out anyone left to take the accountability of the previous decisions and to account for the time and costs towards these changes.

This can be solved in two ways, i.e. two ways of defining democratic working in the party and country. The first would be the US model itself, where each cause is represented by a person and that person takes all blame and credit. Of course part of the blame and credit go to the persons who vote him in, but the person is responsible for what he decides. This system is not in place in the nation as such and will have to be confined to the parties which implement it, for now. The party democracy will remain restricted to the parts about nomination in polls etc.

The other system where this can work is like Switzerland, where all major decisions are elected for and the party machinery remaining as it is, the decisions of the people are taken up. Here the nominations can be made democratic in a different system which can be worked or not, because the decisions anyway are of the party vote base.

In both these systems, the application at a lower level seems less important than implementation at a higher level, because a lower level of political ground is not practically having a large enough vote base which is involved in politics, hence the difficulty of applying it, and because democracy at larger levels are more consequential and impacting. If you introduce a cog into the system at the lower levels it will not impact your party, most parties live with that. But if you bring a cog and make them the party president, then that has a huge imapct on the party and the nation.

The political reform of democracy will have impacts on the overall democratic system. Indian democratic system is quite retributive unlike the American or Swiss. In America, only bush is remembered as a war mongerer not the party which had a lot of people in support with the war as well. Somehow, Mccain says he wants to pull out troops from Iraq and he is on the same plane as Hillary and Obama w.r.t that Iraq issue. In switzerland, the parties do not decide anything, ruling or otherwise. The people decide everything major and obviously the responsibility also lies there. There is no question of retribution. These systems in India would probably make a lasting impact on the mainstay democracy as well and we could see some cleaning up being done.

In a breaking of tradition, will the parties will be a step ahead of the nation and be more democratic, it is left to be seen.