Indian Political Scene Today

24 May, 2016.

Assam election results today show that BJP has won nearly two thirds majority, its first ever in this state. Congress has lost heavily after 15 years of consecutive terms. Let us reflect on the history of this part of India. By “this part” I mean mainly Assam and West Bengal. After partition of India and Pakistan, millions of illegal immigrants continued pouring into India through its porous borders in these two states. It is estimated that WB alone had about 5 million refugees from Bangladesh BEFORE the Bangladesh Liberation War in December 1971! Bihar also took in its share, but a major chunk went to Assam. In the aftermath of the Bangladesh Liberation War in December 1971, this number swelled to some 10 million refugees of whom about two million never went back to Bangladesh. Considering the fact that 2011 census shows Assam has 10.7 million muslims, illegal refugees add up to a significant number altering demographics of the area.

All Assam Students Union (AASU) started a massive agitation in 1979 when the then Congress PM India Gandhi decided to give voting rights to illegal refugees. It was a bloody situation ending in thousands being massacred (official est. 3K, unofficial 10K). Finally Indira ended the agitation by signing an accord which came into legal enforcement in the name of Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act, 1983. This was later challenged in Supreme Court by Sarbananda Sonowal. In 2005 Supreme Court held that IMDT Act “has created the biggest hurdle and is the main impediment or barrier in the identification and deportation of illegal migrants”  and stuck it down. Today (24th May 2016) this same person Sarbananda is taking oath as CM of Assam. He was a Union Cabinet Minister of State (MoS) -Independent Charge for Sports & Youth Affairs, Skill Development &. Entrepreneurship in PM Modi’s cabinet.

Simultaneously in Kerala the current ruling coalition UDF of Congress has lost the election to LDF (Leftists coalition). In Tamilnadu, Jayalalitha’s AIADMK party has won a second term in the office. Jayalalitha thus becomes only a second CM after MGR to have won two consecutive terms in TN. Mamta Bannerjee’s Trinamul Congress (TMC) decimated all opposition to win a second term also. A few reporters have duly noted that TMC did this by hijacking the leftist agenda and giving them a taste of their own medicine in terms of violence. So, in a way, Bengalis are still stuck to the leftist rule in a different garb. In all these states (Kerala, TN, WB and Assam) Congress has been relegated to a second/third rate party. Reports in the media revolve around how this sounds a death-knell for Congress, the Grand Old Party of India. Loss of Assam after having ruled it for 60 out of 69 years is particularly troublesome. It is very possible that its repercussions will be felt in other smaller north-eastern states in a domino-like effect.

What does it all mean for Indian political scene? If BJP is usurping Congress space, is there any other national party that can challenge BJP’s dominance over India in the coming years? Next year will witness assembly elections in some crucial states like Punjab, UP and Karnataka. Already BJP has pinned its hopes on Lingayat leader and ex-CM of Karnataka B. Yeddyurappa to take over its reigns once again. It is expected that the wave against Congress will continue there also. But in UP there are two formidable parties to contend with: Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh Yadav (his son Akhilesh is the current CM in UP) and Bahujan Samaj Party of Mayawati (ex-CM of UP). BSP is a national party but in light of the losses in elections recently, Election Commission have sent them a showcause notice on why their national status should be retained. So we are faced with a plethora of regional parties holding sway mostly over one state with no other party besides Congress offering a national presence. 2019 will see general elections when the PM Narendra Modi will fight for a second term in the office. All kinds of permutations and combinations are already being offered from various quarters. None of them looks plausible at present. The reasons are not hard to see.

Most regional parties were formed as an alternative to Congress monopoly over Indian electorate. Some like TMC and NCP of Sharad Pawar were nothing but breakaways from Congress itself. The usual pretext offered is always that these parties can better represent local people and their issues. The bugaboo of Secularism is used ad nauseum to compensate for lack of any ideology or vision uniting the flock under the party banner. The basic structure remains modeled after Congress itself where one powerful family at the top usurps all power and spoils for itself. There is no concept of inner party democracy. Most started with little or no money, so whenever they came to power, they devised ingenious ways to fill the party coffers at the expense of the taxpayers (mostly the middle class). I don’t want to present a laundry list of such party names because there are way too many but suffice it to say that what is said above applies to almost all of them. As of September 2014, the total number of parties registered was 1761, with six national, 49 state and 1706 unrecognised parties. If the party fulfills certain criteria, it can be labeled a national party of which there are currently only six: BJP, Congress, CPI, CPI(M), BSP, and NCP.

Today the real influence of CPI and CPI(M) is only in Kerala and WB. BSP is mainly based in UP, and NCP mainly in Maharashtra. The coalition of Congress with Communist parties in WB failed miserably to make any mark in the election. Most writers called it the worst opportunistic alliance based only on a desperate need for survival. People saw the double face of Congress as they sat on the stage together in WB, but made speeches against each other in Kerala. Since NCP keeps making opportunistic tilts of its own as and when the need arises, they are not considered dependable partners. That leaves BSP and the Leftists. In principle, they seemed ideally suited to form a coalition except that the party structures are radically different. While the Leftists parties are cadre based, BSP has concentrated power around its high command in the hands of Mayawati. She tom-toms her commitment to lift the status of dalits and OBC all over India, but her party too has been mired in heavy-handedness and corruption scandals when in power in UP. So it is very hard to see BSP combining with the Leftists to form a coalition against BJP. Also, Mayawati cannot forget the fact that she came to power with the help of upper castes by promising fair share of representation to them in UP.

It’s a fallacy to think that the well-off Indians are a resource that can be milked forever to achieve parity in the society by offering backward classes and minorities fixed reservations in many government institutions and industries. Just like earth’s resources are limited, and nature revolts in its unique way through droughts, floods, earthquakes, tsunami, typhoons and cyclones etc. the great Indian middle class is waking up to this nationwide “loot” of their hard-earned money in the name of subsidies and reservations. The caste and social status based traditional quota system is obsolete. The reservations should be strictly for the poor – regardless of race, colour, creed, caste or religion. Anyone who is plugged into media some way would have realized by now that the old corrupt system of bureaucracy first talks about secularism (more like armchair liberalism), creates reservations and doles out subsidies and freebies and eventually pockets a good chunk of that money themselves and their political leaders.

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દાંત અને દોષ

દાંત અને દોષ December 19, 2016  admin થોડા સમય પહેલા દાંતમાં દુખાવો થયો. ડૉક્ટરને પૂછ્યું દાંતના દુખાવાનું કારણ શું? ડૉક્ટરે સમજણ આપી આપણે ખોરાક લઇએ છીએ ત્યારે તેનો અમુક ભાગ દાંતમાં ભરાઇ જાય છે. બે…

Source: દાંત અને દોષ

દાંત અને દોષ

દાંત અને દોષ

December 19, 2016  admin

થોડા સમય પહેલા દાંતમાં દુખાવો થયો. ડૉક્ટરને પૂછ્યું દાંતના દુખાવાનું કારણ શું? ડૉક્ટરે સમજણ આપી આપણે ખોરાક લઇએ છીએ ત્યારે તેનો અમુક ભાગ દાંતમાં ભરાઇ જાય છે. બે દાંત વચ્ચે પોલાણ હોય ત્યાં ખોરાકના કણ જમા થાય છે. આ કણને સાફ ન કરવામાં આવે તો તે પથ્થર જેવો સખત થઇ જાય છે.તેમાં વિષાક્ત જંતુ ઉત્પન્ન થઇ જાય છે.સાથે જ તે નવા ખોરાકના કણને આકર્ષે છે.જથ્થો વધતા દાંતમા મૂળમાં પગપેસારો કરે છે. દાંતનું મૂળ તેમનો ખોરાક બને છે. વિષાક્ત જંતુઓને કારણે પેઢામાં સોજો આવે છે. સારવાર ન કરવામાં આવે તો દાંત પડી જાય છે.

દોષ પણ ખોરાકના કણ જેવા જ છે. દાંતમાં જેમ પોલાણ હોય છે તેમ મનમાં નબળાઇ હોય છે. મન સતત વિચારોનો ખોરાક લેતું રહે છે.તેમાંનો કોઇ એક વિચાર આપણી નબળાઇ સાથે જોડાઇ જાય ત્યારે દોષ બની જાય છે. લોભ આપણા મનની નબળાઇ છે. તેની સાથે પૈસાનો વિચાર જોડાય તો કંજૂસાઇ બની જાય. જાત સાથેનો અસંતોષ (સેન્સ ઑફ સૅલ્ફ ડિસ્સૅટિસ્ફેક્શન) મનની નબળાઇ છે તેની સાથે અપેક્ષાનો વિચાર જોડાય તો ક્રોધ બની જાય, સ્પર્ધાના વિચાર જોડાય તો ઇર્ષા બની જાય. આત્મસન્માનનો અભાવ (લેક ઑફ સેલ્ફ એસ્ટીમ) મનની નબળાઇ છે. તેની સાથે વિચાર જોડાય તો અભિમાન બની જાય.

એકવાર દોષ મનમાં પોતાની જગ્યા બનાવી લે પછી મજબૂત બનતો જાય છે. દોષ વિચારો પર કબજો જમાવવા માંડે છે.દુષ્ટતાને માફક આવે તેવા વિચારોને આકર્ષિત કરે છે. આ રીતે તે વધુ મજબૂત બને છે. પછી પોતાની અસર બતાવે છે. માનસિક અને શારીરિક નુકસાન થવા લાગે છે. દોષ જો વધુ સમય રહે તો મનને પૂરી રીતે ખરાબ કરી નાંખે છે. ખરાબ મન ખરાબ વિચારોનું ઘર બની જાય છે.

દાંતના દુખાવાથી બચવા ડૉક્ટર સલાહ આપે છે કે- દાંતના પોલાણમાં જમા થયેલા ખોરાકના કણને સાફ કરતા રહો. બ્રશ કરવાથી દાંતની બહારની સપાટી સાફ થાય છે. બે દાંતની વચ્ચે ભરાયેલા કચરાને સાફ કરવા વિશેષ બ્રશ આવે છે. તેના દ્વારા કચરો સાફ કરતા રહેવાથી આપોઆપ દુખાવો જતો રહે છે.

દોષ માટે પણ આ જ ગણિત લાગુ પડે છે.દોષ દૂર કરવા કોઇ દવાની જરુર નથી. મનની નબળાઇ સાથે એકરૂપ થઇ ગયેલા વિચારોને સાફ કરો. કામ થઇ જશે.

પૂજ્ય ગણિવર્ય શ્રી વૈરાગ્યરતિવિજયજી મહારાજ સાહેબ, શ્રુતભવન સંશોધન કેન્દ્ર, કાત્રજ, પૂણે.

 

Tooth and Fault

December 19, 2016  prk

Sometime ago I was struck by a toothache. I asked the doctor about the cause of pain in teeth. Doctor explained that when we eat food some portion gets lodged in the teeth. Small particles of food accumulate in the gap between two teeth. If not cleaned these particles become as hard as rock offering a breeding ground for bacteria. Simultaneously it pulls in new food particles. The growing deposit eventually penetrates the root of the tooth. The bacteria feed on this root because of which infection sets in the gums. If left untreated the tooth falls off.

Human faults are much like these food particles. Like the gaps between teeth, human mind harbours weaknesses. The mind constantly feeds on the food of thoughts. When one of those thoughts combines with our weakness it turns into a fault. Greed is a weakness of our minds. When combined with the thought of money it becomes stinginess. A sense of dissatisfaction (discontent) with self is a weakness of the mind. Combine it with expectation and it becomes anger. Combine it with competition then it becomes envy. Lack of self esteem is a weakness of the mind. Combine it with _____ and it becomes haughtiness.

Once a fault gets rooted in the mind, it slowly becomes stronger. The fault starts overpowering thoughts. It attracts vile malevolent thoughts. In this way it becomes even stronger and then shows its ill effects. Mental and physical harm follows. If the fault remains for long, it completely maligns the mind. A malignant mind is home to malignant thoughts.

To get rid of toothaches doctor advises us to keep cleaning the food particles accumulating in the gaps between teeth. Regular brushing cleans the outside surface of the teeth. There is a special brush to clean in between the teeth. A continuous application of this cleaning process automatically stops teethache.

The same process applies to human faults. To get rid of these faults no medicine is required. Just keep cleaning the thoughts that have become one with the weaknesses of the mind. The mission will be accomplished.

(This is my first attempt at English translation of an article. I appreciate all helpful comments. With what word would you fill in the gap in the highlighted sentence above?)

 

Painful Realization!

I am very much pained with Bihar election outcome. I am made painfully aware how elections can be hijacked by petty politicians with a hateful agenda of stripping the PM of our country of any respect. I am made painfully aware of how Biharis have acted in their own selfish narrow interest confined within the bounds of their particular communities. It is amazing that Nitish and Lalu played good cop – bad cop to the hilt and swayed the entire state. I think Indians believe in magic and divine intervention more than their own logic and thinking power. I am surprised that Hindus (read RSS, VHP et al) feel that somehow controlling what people say or write, what they eat or drink, what they wear, where they worship, what they study is more important than providing basic necessities of life like water, electricity, better infrastructure, corruption – free governments… I am surprised that media is also concerned only about controlling the Indian mind share. So are there people who see through this charade, or am I the only one in a narrow group who feel strange in their own motherland? Why didn’t anyone talk about the vast criminalization of Bihar politics? Why are people still concerned about reservation for their communities rather than actual upliftment above the quota raj? Is there no shame left? How long do they expect mai-baap sarkar to dole out economic benefits & subsidies in the name of socialization? Is that truly the answer, a long-term answer to our problems?

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I am a patriotic Indian citizen who likes to write on issues which are dear to me. These issues are usually those that reflect our politics, our vast musical inheritance, computers and related tech…

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Arise, Awake, Act!

Vivekananda SwamiIt is so obvious now! Congress is getting desperate by the day because of NaMo. While the urban and savvy rural population is clued in to what is “really” going on, the illiterate toil on for their daily wages and food completely oblivious to the political scene. That’s a luxury they cannot afford, or dare, to indulge in for the fear of retributions. Such is the pathetic state of our social, political and economic systems.

For 60 plus years, our leaders have done their best to keep us in the dark by mutilating our education institutions, our business climate, power equations, moral and patriotic character by dividing the society among castes and sub-castes, race, religion, culture, language, geography you name it! And how they have succeeded… Just look at the powerful combinations of money and power they wield unabashedly now “in our faces.” They commit murder, loot, rape, corrupt, bend the legal system and get away with it while the “aam admi” looks helplessly on. Why?

One person comes along and challenges this well-entrenched system and they are all running scared? What is this “minimum government, maximum governance” he is talking about? What is wrong with him that he eschews “vote-bank politics?” How can he say “mein khata nahi hu, khilata bhi nahi hu!” How can he get re-elected THREE times in a row when he governs the state with one of the smallest cabinet of ministers? As Lalu Prasad Yadav says “ye itey witey (IT – Information Technology) kya hai?”

So what can we do about it? First and foremost, we have to exercise our right to put the “right” people in the governance. That’s one thing we can do without interference (mostly) and on our own will (most of us). So we know we have to pick the best among the worst lot of criminals, rapists, looteras what have you. We gave Congress so many years to set things straight. They not only did NOT do that, they spent all these years accumulating wealth (unbelievable amount of it) and power by putting their cohorts in places of bureaucracy (judges, commissioners, defense people etc.) where it really matters. Now they want to use that money and power to stay in power. It is up to us to see to it that it does not happen.

No regional party is up to the task of nation building for obvious reasons. Just see the conditions of individual states like W. Bengal, Kerala, U.P., Tamilnadu, even Maharashtra where NCP and Shivsena/MNS are active. If one looks at the video footage of old Mumbai, the destruction of wide open spaces is gut-wrenching. All these years, government after government, could not develop vision to raise more cities to take away Mumbai’s burden. The old charm is all but finished, completely destroyed – all that is left is a mass of concrete filled with human robots but devoid of humanity. They have proved to be totally inept at governing.

So do we put all our eggs in ONE BASKET called NaMo? We have to… There is no other choice. If anyone can save Mother India from the chaos and abyss it finds itself in now, it has to be NaMo. Who else can boast of a better track record as of today? Who else has shown guts, courage, vision, administrative ability, patriotism, can-do and will-do mentality, (and with people’s blessings) better than NaMo? The answer is NOBODY, period!

Read the history of United States of America, or England, or France, or any other great democratic nation. One will observe that they did not start out at the onset by giving voting rights to every citizen. The most powerful and rich landowners only had these rights to choose their political leaders. The poor, women and blacks came much later. But because these societies were more cohesive than ours which is divided among religious, language, cultural grounds; they were able to expand their horizons to include more of society in the collective decision making systems. The resultant wealth, health, money, power and advances in all spheres of life are there for everyone to see.

Our forefathers gave voting rights to everyone AT THE OUTSET! They believed in the innate wisdom of every individual to act in his/her self-interest but also to act in the collective interest of the nation. Alas, the first part is true but the second is not. The poor will give their votes freely under coercion but even willingly to those who promise them “free” food, “free” appliances, “free” jobs, “free” quotas everywhere, “free” education, “free” power…. The fact of the matter sadly is that none of this is “FREE” ! Someone pays, someone always pays. So the society pays in crime, corruption, selfishness, immorality, and the worst part is it divides the society ever more subtly but firmly than any of this media talk about secularism/non-secularism/pseudo-secularism ever does. Among the so-called educated professionals and businessmen who voted politicians into power based on their self-indulgent needs are also paying the price of their follies by putting up with non-existent or crumbling, pathetic infrastructure, financial institutions, flip-flop policies etc. These rich people forget that there is always someone willing to pay the higher price to get what they want. And the crumbs is what we all end up with. So who wins? NOBODY wins. But who suffers? WE ALL DO. And this is how India, an ancient superpower has lost its right, might, and fight.

Luckily nothing is permanent in this ever ephemeral world. Vedas invoke us to – “Jagrut, Uttistha, Kuru!”
Dear fellow citizens, that time has come to Arise, Awake, and Act! There is a hope, a silver lining, that provokes us to change the way we have been doing things. Let us vote not in self-interest but for the interest of the nation. Let us throw away the current leaders and make way for a new vibrant India that can reclaim its rightful place in human history. I conclude with Swami Vivekanand’s quote –

“If there is any land on this earth that can lay claim to be the blessed Punya Bhumi, to be the land to which all souls on this earth must come to account for Karma, the land to which every soul that is wending its way Godward must come to attain its last home, the land where humanity has attained its highest towards gentleness, towards generosity, towards purity, towards calmness, above all, the land of introspection and of spirituality – it is India.”

Jai Hind

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Justice Katju

justice-katju Justice Katju, a kashmiri pandit by birth, has served India’s judiciary in various capacities for the last 20 years. He retired as a judge of the Supreme Court in September 2011. He now serves as Chief of the Press Council of India. His career has been marked by some remarkable maverick judgements; and has been known to be efficient (up to 100 cases per week), bold, scholarly (fond of Urdu and Sanskrit), and comes from a family of judges including his father and grandfather.

Lately, he is in the public eye for all the wrong reasons – being outspoken and direct to the media with his comments on current events in India. It is almost as if he has thrown all caution to the winds, and feels he has a right to exploit his freedom of speech (like our ‘esteemed’ politicians who keep putting both feet in their mouths and getting away with irresponsible statements. Now here’s a yogasan that even Baba Ramdev has not fully mastered!) with nary a thought of responsibility. After all, he has publicly said that Indian media is obsessed with celebrity personality and “90% of Indians are stupid.”

He has been bombarded, probably by the other 10% Indians who feel they are more articulate and smart (myself included 🙂 ), by irreverent comments admonishing him to curtail his vocal output befitting a Chief of PCI. The following link takes you to his blog called “satyam bruyat” (speak truth).

http://justicekatju.blogspot.in/

Unfortunately, he himself seems to have forgotten the other half of this famous Sanskrit phrase:
Satyam bruyat, Priyam bruyat
meaning “speak the truth, (but) speak in softer (not harsh) tones.”

On the positive side, he does seem to be open to adverse comments and publishes them (as long as they use ‘proper’ language). Gotta hand it to him; the man is not afraid to handle criticism…and there’s plenty of it from all corners, from people from all walks of life. I implore you all to read and comment.

Jai Hind