And India’s Next PM is……

manmohan1

advani

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

General Elections are approaching in India, and I am very curious about it. Have always been. I started taking interest in politics since I was about 15, and when Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the PM for the first time in 1996. My family has been a supporter of BJP (Supporter in the sense that they wanted to see a change after so long of congress rule) . I remember my father asked the hawker specially to drop all the newspapers at our home when Mr Vajpayee took oath. And then Govt fell after 13 days, and I was disappointed, that was the very moment in my life when I started taking interest in politics and started following it closely being a BJP supporter.

  Of late I’m not that ardent follower of politics, the reason probably is that I don’t have faith in any of the political parties.But still, lok sabha elections and the counting of votes will surely be my biggest attraction on the print and electronic media in the coming days.

The biggest question is that who will be our next PM this time, let’s take a look at the contenders

1) Dr Manmohan Singh: (Current Prime Minister of India)

He is my favourite to be the next PM and lead us again. He is an educated, experienced and most importantly honest person. I admired him when he put his government at stake for Indo US Nuclear deal, when as a finance minister he started the process of economic reforms. He is a decent, soft-spoken and nice being and  deserve the top job more than anyone else. But I would like him to come out of the shadow of Sonia Gandhi

2) L K Advani: (Current leader of opposition and former Union Home minister) 

He is my second choice for the top job for having vast political experience, having been MP,home minister and deputy prime minister of India.He is well educated and i believe he  has the knack to lead the country from the front. He has a reputation of being a tough and dynamic administrator. And of late he has been trying to get rid of his image as a communal leader, which i would like him to do.

Above two are the prime ministerial candidates of the two leading national parties/coalitions and have all chance to grab the top job.Following are some other contenders whose names are doing rounds in the media.

3) Mayawati: (Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh state of India)

maya

I don’t think she has any real chance to become PM and more importantly she doesn’t deserve to be PM. Her wrong points are her opportunism, her aggression, corruption charges, lack of experience in central politics and lack of decency and sophistication among many more. Yes, she has some strong points as well like she is a tough administrator, she has risen to this level on her own and the fact that she can not be driven by others. If she becomes PM, she will certainly not be a “weak” PM.

 4) Sharad Pawar: (Current Union agriculture Minister)

sharad-pawar

His name too is coming up and I don’t understand why. There is nothing wrong with him as a contender, he is experienced politician, has been a good MP and minister, has got good administratrive experience too being central minister. But if it comes to the number game, he doesn’t stand any chance

 5) Narendra Modi: (Current Chief Minister of Gujarat State of India)

modi2

 If I am right, his name was thrown by some industrialists as an option for Prime ministership. Certainly his industry friendly approach has done good for Gujarat state of India. On personal level he can surely be an effective PM, having enough administrative/political experience, being a strong and capable chief minister and being development oriented.
But, BJP has to win 271 seats for him to become prime minister,  that’s because of his image as an anti Muslim politician and the role of his government during notorious Gujarat riots.

Out of the above, My personal choice is  Dr Manmohan Singh, but something in me wants to see a change, so I wont be disappointed if Mr Advani take the charge of our country this time.

There is every possibility that none of them gets the chance and something unexpected happens, that’s why the outcome of these elections is going to be very interesting.

Let us see what happens, the countdown has already begun…

Why should India fiddle with Sri Lankan issue?

 

Recently this has been a big issue, and I saw no post on the subject in the blogs I visit, so decided to write something about it. It’s a common knowledge that Sri Lankan government is on the way of eliminating the LTTE, a notorious terrorist organization of Sri Lanka who have been engaged in conducting heinous crimes against the humanity including assassination of  former prime minister of India,  Rajeev Gandhi and several top Sri Lankan politicians.

 

The aim of LTTE is to create a separate Tamil country in the northern and eastern parts of the island nation.LTTE are notorious for suicide bombings and here they outnumber even the Islamic terror groups. They have trained huge number of children to become suicide bombers who always carry cyanide capsules with them.Nowadays the government of Sri Lanka is running a massive campaign to eliminate LTTE and reportedly many civil Tamilians are too being victims of the same. This is an abhorable act by the government in Sri Lanka if some civilians too are suffering as a result of their drive against the militant outfit.

 

 Obviously India and other democratic countries in the world should condemn this act and request the government of Sri Lanka to protect the rights of the civilian people. I believe the reaction of India in this particular case should be same as it’s reaction in the case of Israel’s drive in Gaza which is again inhuman.But i dont think India can go out of the way and and force the Sri Lankan government to act in any particular manner.  

 

But what’s happening here in India is something different. The government of Tamilnadu state in India is forcing the Government of India to send very senior envoys to Sri Lanka and force them to stop their action against LTTE. Recently there have been lots of disruptions and Bandhs in Tamilnadu and even the colleges were to be closed. In Tamilnadu, there have been more bandhs for Srilankan Tamils than Indian Tamils, forget about other Indians:)  Even the political parties of tamilnadu are known to have links with LTTE.

 

This is what I find not appropriate, why India should go out of the way in the internal matter of Sri Lanka.I am all for the rights of civilians in Sri Lanka and for that matter any other country on the planet but have my reservations about Indian government interfering everywhere in the world and direct the respective governments to act. Can India go to Israel and make them stop their inhuman acts in Philistine, I don’t think so.World’s most influential country USA could do something but certainly not India.   

 

I must say I am surprised by this move by the government of Tamilnadu. Apparently they are doing so because LTTE and Sri Lankan Tamils also speak Tamil and are of same ethnic origin as them. But, so what? Even in Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Pakistan one can find people of same ethnic origin as Indians, so can India take the responsibility to protect their rights rather than the governments of the respective countries. It is the responsibility of the government of a country to protect the rights of its citizens and not that of a foreign country.

 

The idea of so called same race and ethnic origin is costing our country dearly nowadays. In Indian state of maharashtra, people belonging to other parts of the country have been killed by the local political parties in hope to get votes. In Karnataka state of India, people of Maharashtra are being treated badly and in return buses entering from Karnata were burnt in maharashtra.Also there were incidents of people of Karnataka and Tamilnadu beating each other. Regionalism, along with terrorism has become a roadblock in the progress of our country. And in rest of India (Northern India, Gujarat, West Bengal, Orissa, AP, etc) people fight on the names of caste and religion, if not region.

  

I am sorry to say; still we humans are deeply divided and there is no point in growing up and being educated if we are going to hate other people who we think are not like “us”.

 

PS- Recently Sri Lankan Army released photographs of Indian tamil leader Vaiko with LTTE chief Phabhakaran in the LTTE uniform. Later Vaiko said that he is proud on the photos and his LTTE links. Vaiko is a prominant Tamil politician and is known to have links with LTTE.

 

Gandhis and Bachchans

                                                               

                                                                 

  

  

 

Recently there was a buzz in the media when reportedly Sonia Gandhi came for the Rescue of Bachchan family when some antisocial elements dragged them into a controversy and tried to ban their films illegally. The buzz was about thawing the ice between the relations of the two families. But what’s so special between the two families that media is so obsessed with?

 

It’s well known that once Bachchans and Gandhis were as close as a family. The two families are among the most respected in India, and both belong to Allahabad city, it was where their relationship started. Harivansh Rai Bachchan is regarded as one of the greatest writers of Hindi Literature and was the professor of English at Allahabad University, also he was the first Indian to pursue doctorate in English literature from Cambridge University.His son Amitabh Bachchan is among the greatest actors of Indian cinema and is regarded as the biggest superstar of all time.Whereas Gandhis are the most influential political family in India and have given three Prime Ministers to the country so far, and have traditionally lead Congress, the biggest political party of India.

 

The relations between the two families started with Dr Harivansh Rai Bahchan working in India’s foreign ministry as a Hindi Officer, where he joined after quitting from the university. Nehru was very impressed with him, and respected him for his literary genius. Also, while living in Allahabad, the families of Nehru and Harivansh came close.Harivansh’s wife Teji became close friend of Nehru’s daughter Indira.  Later when Bahchans moved to Delhi, Teji Bahchan, got fame as a social activist, and her friendship with  Indira Gandhi became deeper, their friendship remained very close till Indira’s assassination in 1984.Their relationship continued in the succeeding generations too, Amitabh and Rajiv Gandhi were childhood friends.When Sonia came to India in 1968 as Rajiv’s fiancée, she was put up  at Bachchan’s residence and Teji acted as Sonia’s god mother and made her accustomed to Indian culture. Also during marriage of Rajiv and sonia, as the bride is not supposed to live with the in laws before marriage, Sonia used to live at Bachchan residence in New Delhi.Teji  was like mother to Sonia Gandhi, and did  “Kanya Dan” of sonia in her marriage with Rajiv. 

 

But what happened that now that when Taji Bachchan passed away few months ago, Sonia didn’t even attend the funeral. The relations between the two families are sour and it all started with Amitabh joining politice in 1984, mainly to support Rajiv Gandhi.That time congress desperately wanted the Allahabad constituency and wanted to defeat H N Bahuguna, which seemed impossible.

Rajiv Gandhi convinced Amitabh to contest. Amitabh contested and won the election with record margin (he got more than 68% votes) in the history of independent India.But Amitabh quit politics and resigned after three years when a newspaper reported his involvement in Bofors scam, this was the beginning of soaring of relations between the two families, though later Amitabh was declared clean by the supreme court. The relationship between the two families worsened after Rajiv Gandhi’s assessation in 1991, when Gandhis felt, Bachchans left them alone in distress, and when they relied on bachchans for taking every decision after Rajiv’s assassination. Also it’s said that Sonia didn’t take it kindly when Amitabh consistently advised her not to join politics.

 

Whereas Bahchans have point that Gandhis brought them in politics and left midway in trouble and also didn’t help them during the financial crisis after collapse of his company ABCL. And this was the time when Bachchans came close to Amar Singh, of Samajvadi Party. It’s not that Bachchan was not acquainted with Amar Singh before. In fact Amar singh was a very old friend of Bachchan , but when he helped Amitabh during financial crisis, the two became very close and later Jaya Bachchan was nominated to Rajya Sabha as a Samajvadi party member. As congress used to be rival (it has changed very recently) of Samajvadi party in Uttar Pradesh, the relations between the two families were bound to worsen.

 

In 2004 Jaya Bachchan remarked about Gandhi family not helping them during crisis and left them midway after bringing them into politics. She even said that  Gandhis betrayed bachchans. Then Rahul  Gandhi replied to Jaya’s remarks and said his family didn’t deceive any one, and termed Jaya’s remarks as bundle of lies.Finally Amitabh came to control the situation and said the the relations between the two familes stood on strong emotional ground and struck deep roots from the time of Nehru and Harivansh Rai Bachchan, and when  neither Jaya nor Rahul nor Paryanka were around and hence they don’t understand it. Amitabh said he could neither forget those relationships nor tolerate any comment on them.Those relationships were between the two families. He said, he has nothing but respect and goodwill for the Gandhis.

 

Above is the all I could write about the subject. I don’t think there is going to be any change between the relations of the two families now, and of course it doesn’t matter to any of us general public other than writing a post about it 🙂 I wish all of them good luck in their future endeavours.

 

 

Is India a soft state?

 

The nuclear deal between India and the US has been finalized, finally. The other day I saw news that, Pakistan is also willing to have a similar deal with the US, but the US denied it (So far at least 🙂). US secretary of state Ms Condoleeza Rice said that India’s case was unique, and that’s because of  India’s history.

 

So, what’s about India’s history that Ms Rice is talking about, I guess it’s about India’s record as a non aggressive state, rather a soft state. No one can imagine India attacking another country for any purpose. Even during the Kargil war of 1999, when Pakistani troops invaded India; in the process of fighting with them, Indian armed forces had a clear-cut instruction not to cross the LOC. So India avoided crossing borderline even for self-defense.

   

Second thing is that India is a successful democracy; the democratic values have been firmly embedded in the culture of our country. There has never been any fuss in the power exchange after the elections. The armed forces and intelligence are under very much control of the union government, and them taking any step without Government orders is beyond imagination.  

 

Only time when I felt exception was in 1998 when India conducted nuclear tests despite international pressure. And before that in 1975 when Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India announced emergency in the country following a judgment by Allahabad High court banning her from contesting any election for next 6 years. But, she called off the emergency in 1977, and announced fresh elections and that election of 1977 was the biggest defeat of her party (Congress) in the history of independent India. Democracy was in India to stay, and all that was the result of  the democratic traditions and values, which were entrenched in the political culture of India and which is the legacy of Indira Gandhi’s father and india’s first Prime minister Pt Jawhar Lal Nehru. Nehru in his tenure of 17 years as first prime minister of India made it sure that India is always going to follow the path of a responsible democracy.   

 

Everything about India being non-aggressive, and democratic country is fine, but many feel that India is a very soft state, which means just too non aggressive, which sometimes is not good for the country.

We have faced terrorism sponsored by nearby countries for a long time and still it continues. Kashmir, once known as heaven on earth is today among the most insecure places in the world, India’s Punjab state has faced terrorism for over a decade, and today terrorism is spreading in many major metros of India but still there is lack of any aggression on part of India to do something about terror camps flourishing in our neighbor country. Then there has been incidence of Kandhar plane hijack where we very calmly released the terrorist as per the demand of the hijackers. Also there was an incidence of our soldiers being humiliated by Bangladesh and there was no strong reaction from India.These are just some of the examples which come to my mind, and i’m sure there are many other such incidences.

 

It seems, on international level, India has developed an image of a very soft state, a state that can never become aggressive. It has it’s benefits and losses both, but I wonder whether benefits more or losses??

 

Sheila Dixit: A Chief Minister to admire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Few would disagree that Sheila dixit has done a tremendous job as chief minister of Delhi state. She is a  70 years old, but still is very enthusiastic, dynamic and a wonderful administrator. She is the second chief minister of Delhi after a brief stint of Sushma swaraj as Delhi chief minister.

 

Since last ten years, when she took oath of chief minister of Delhi, the city has transformed like anything, Otherwise Delhi was unlivable in the nineties due to traffic and pollution. But as she took the charge, and implemented her policies, the face of Delhi began to change, and in next 5 years the city underwent a metamorphosis for much better.

  

The Other Chief Ministers i admire are former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, Former Karnataka chief minister S M Krishna and current Haryana chief minister Bhoopinder Singh Hooda. All of them have dont a lot for their states, and were very enthusiastic  about that, and also they have clean and corruption free image.

 

 What i like about Sheila Dixit is her genuine enthusiasm for the progress of Delhi, her policies and their implementations, her clean image and also the way she interacts with the media

  

 

No wonder people of Delhi gave her the second opportunity in 2003, a rare phenomenon in the Indian politics. And I see bright chances for her even in the next (Dec 2008) Delhi elections.

 

 

Now reservation in faculty of IIT’s

There had been lot of fuss about reservation of OBC candidates in central universities (Including IIT’s and IIM’s), but now I was even more disturbed when I heard about implementation of 50% quota in faculty too.

 

If someone asks what is it makes IIT’s so special, answer is obvious it’s students,faculty and infrastructure. In case of infrastructure we are not helpless as we can build any infrastructure with investing money.And of course there wont be any dearth of talented students, as hundreds of thousands students take JEE every year, and only about 5000 are selected, and these are the best of brains in our country.But, the real dearth in case of IIT’s is of facuty, the faculty of our IIT’s at present is world class and it is the faculty which makes IIT’s IIT in real sense.The dearth in faculty is due to the fact that talented and educated people hardly choose teaching as an option and the compensation given to the faculty dont help either.

 

But now what’s going to happen, 50% of the faculty will be selected because they belong to one particular cast. That’s why all IIT’s were strongly opposed to the move of reservation in faculty. But I felt sad in reading today’s newspaper that finally IIT’s have surrendered against our stupid and criminal politicians and have now accepted the move, anyway they had to bow against the Govt they had no choice.

 

 But it all shows how our politicians like Arjun Singh are busy destroying our prestigious educational institutes  for political interests. Everyone can understand what a few hundred seats in IIT faculty can do for the upliftment of the underprivileged. Rather he, as HRD minister could have taken initiative to open schools in the most backwards areas of the country, and would have allowed all dalit children free of cost. There are lakhs of villages in our country without a single school, but no he will not do that, he will destroy our IIT’s IIM’s an AIIMS to gain cheap publicity.

 

 I still don’t understand why cant we leave alone our IIT’s to excel and compete with the best in the world, I am sad and disappointed.