Thursday, May 1, 2014

Changes Ahoy!

The time of reckoning is just around the corner! Will we see "the changes" everyone is so anxiously looking for? Will India be finally rid of scams, corruption & governance failures that we have seen over the years?

Personally I am quite skeptical that the current election will bring much change. Just look at the people fighting the election! They are the same guys we have been seeing year after year with their deeds and misdeeds. They are the same guys fighting election after election, promising great many things. Essentially, they are all the same, made up of the same core, the same fiber. Each may claim to be different from the other, but in the end they all belong to the same system. Once in a while we see some individuals with a glimmer of hope but soon they see the writing clearly on the wall, "be like us, or be left out"!

With all the promises, the mud heaping and shameless personal attacks and name calling that has been going on during the election campaign, it could be quite confusing and even sickening. People may be forced to go back to their regional or communal party candidates. After all, "A known devil is better than an unknown angel"!  It has happened before and it may happen again. Mrs. Indira Gandhi came back to power election after election, even after the infamous "emergency". In fact, her reelections became so popular in Hyderabad that whenever someone was faced with limited or no option, they would say "kya karenge bhai, majboori ka naam Indira Gandhi"!

Still, there is no harm in hoping and dreaming of a "New India". Each person has his or her own dream of an ideal country!  I came upon this very interesting book titled "Transforming India" by Atanu Dey. The author asserts that if issues are addressed properly, "India can become developed in all senses of the word"! It seems to be a big dream, but it is attainable, provided everyone plays his or her part! I particularly liked his statement in his Prologue "In the following pages, we will focus on economic growth only, not because it is the most important thing but because it is a necessary precondition for development". Absolutely right!

Even if the party that we are rooting for, comes to power, can we play our part and make a difference? Corruption does not take place just by corrupt politicians and corrupt government officials. If there is a receiver of bribe, there is also a giver of bribe. The next time we go to a government office, can we get the work done without paying a bribe? Can we get that certificate without paying RS. 500 as bribe?

Now, what are the chances of the major parties of winning an absolute majority?

The Congress party has got itself into a bottomless pit with spate of scams and corruptions and governance failures. Still, the party may win considerable number of seats. Personally, I hate what they did to Andhra Pradesh, promising a group of people to split a state just for their political adjustments! It did not matter how many families were affected or how many lives got uprooted ! All that mattered to them was saving a political situation, that affected the party survival!

From media reports it appears that millions of Indians have placed great hope on BJP, or rather Modi to be more accurate, coming to power. But we have seen in the past the number of times the BJP came to power, they just had a single point agenda, "Ram Janam Bhoomi". But once they were in power, they just continued with the policies of the previous government. The "single point agenda" quickly went into cold storage. It reappeared whenever the political ground shook. Perhaps, it could be different this time!

Since losing power, the BJP had over the years almost gone into political oblivion. Even the current election is not much about BJP. It is all about "Modi", "Modi Bhai", "Modi Sarkar", "Namo", "Chaiwala", and so on. We could hardly see the man with his hands eternally stuck together or the one eternally chewing something or the one with that eternal wink! At least the lady should have created a flutter by promising to shave her head if Rahul Gandhi came to power. It would have been a safe bet.

In most of the BJP election rallies, it was the same scene, Modi with his filmy-style speech in the foreground and the glum faces in the background. They must really hate this man for hijacking the party and stealing their thunder right under their nose.  But what else can they do? Right now he is their savior! The chances of BJP coming to power entirely remains on this one man! Single Point of Failure!

It looks like, even after 49 days of fiasco, Kejriwal has not learned his lesson! It is quite certain and proven that however hard he might try, he can never be a politician. He had the opportunity to be one, but more than governance he was busy with his usual tricks, many times getting himself into a corner and desperately looking for a way out. He was pathetic as a Chief Minister! He should stick to being a social activist, doing the easier job of pointing fingers at others. 

The way Kejriwal is going after Modi, it almost appears that he would rather prefer the Congress party to be in power than the BJP. It is quite understandable, for he already has lots of salvo to fire at Congressmen. After all they have given it to him on a silver platter. As for the chances of AAP in this election, they may upset some candidates and even may get some seats. But AAP is all about Kejriwal, again Single Point of Failure. It is  not a sustainable option.

In the midst of all these parties, some individuals tried to jump into the political arena. Anupam Kher saw the chance of a political career when Anna Hazare started his “Ant-Corruption Dharna” but soon got himself into trouble with his alleged remarks on the Indian Constitution. I guess, he has taken the safer bet of achieving his political dream through his wife, Kiron Kher.

The case of Kiran Bedi is more pathetic. There was a time when the bad guys feared this lady and ran for cover! But today her situation is quite sad. After leaving the service, she has been desperately trying to re-discover herself. She too saw the Anna Hazare dharna as a ticket to a political career but soon created an outrage across the nation with her remark that 'small rapes' and 'assaults' got more TV coverage than corruption! It was a horrible thing to say, herself being a lady and a social activist. Now, she is very busy criticizing the same guys she was supporting before, probably trying to impress Modi.

After all the "dharna" stunts, Anna Hazare decided to join Didi's party. During those "dharna" days, some people were comparing him to Mahatma Gandhi! Gosh! What a comparison! Now, he says that he would launch a "second freedom struggle" to root out party-based politics in the country. If that is his target, why join a party at all! I cannot understand this man!

Coming back to that question again, which party will get absolute majority? Honestly, it is very hard to tell. It is almost certain that we will again see a government formed through coalition. It does not matter that they have different ideologies (if at all they truly have one), that each of them got elected by making different promises to the people. They will come together or even jump ranks to be part of the ruling party!

To hell with the promises and people's hopes and aspirations!

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