Sixty years on……

What are we celebrating today? What have we achieved in 60 years? At the cost of the entire blogosphere rising as one to condemn me for being unpatriotic and writing this, I say that we have nothing to celebrate. Smaller and lesser countries have made huge strides and overtaken us long long ago. And we keep parading the might of our Armed Forces and showcase our culture, which our President proudly presides over. And oh, I forgot the awards. We also dish out the Padma awards like so many lollipops to everyone and sundry making one wonder at their value. Just look at the list of the beneficiaries in the recent years and you will appreciate this fact.

What are we leading in today? Corruption, black money, self-righteous posturing and finger pointing. There is freedom of speech, for the selective. There is amnesty and pardon — again for the rich and the powerful. Governments, whether in the Centre or states don’t fall anymore on such trivial issues like corruption, the country and its hapless  citizens be damned.

Corruption is no longer news. It has become so entrenched in the system that it has become non-news. All the channels scream their vocal chords out when some new scam is unearthed and then drop it to take up another one. The guilty are allowed enough time to get rid of all traces of their ill-gotten wealth and other documents and evidences so that when the CBI leisurely ambles in, there is nothing to find. And then the premier investigating agency fails to file charge sheets against the criminals who are allowed to go scot free, cocking a snook at the gullible public.

Actually we have to be more sympathetic of the ruling coalition. Caught in the compulsions of coalition politics, the poor government’s hands are tied. How dare we blame it? After all our Prime Minister is an economist of world stature and holds the impeccable record as an honest economist. Which is why it is doubly depressing to see him preside over such scams with his hands tied. Just imagine! What will happen when one or the other member of the coalition withdraws support? What then? So let the corruption cases be swept under the carpet – there are hundreds of them in the hallowed premises of the worthies, don’t worry – and wait for the public to forget the entire thing.

Better still, start a campaign against the Opposition to divert attention from such trivial issues. So what if there is 70,000 crores of tax dues from the black money stashed away in Swiss banks? Ask the BJP to take action against the Karnataka CM. Poor Raja, leave him alone.

And how can you ask the government for the names of the account holders in a hurry? It has so many legal and diplomatic considerations to take care of. And while you johnnies are busy digging out all the details, the guilty would have quietly emptied their coffers. No money, no proof, see? Like the Finance Minister happily announced that there is no money in the account of Hasan Ali. What a considerate government this is and here I am maligning it!

Switch on the TV and you have all the channels holding ‘discussions’ on one topic or other – of corruption, black money, separatism, activism, Maoism – you name it and we are ‘discussing’ it. The same faces appear over and over again, which means we have the same views, words and moral posturing. I am sick of the spokespersons of the various parties — the brazenness of the ruling coalition, the self righteousness of the Opposition, the judgmental tone of the Left. Pots calling kettles black – every one of them cutting across political parties. They hop from one studio to another with lightning speed making one wonder if they are using the floo powder of the wizards and witches of Hogwarts to teleport themselves.

Dr.Ambedkar would never have drafted the Constitution had he known that it would be twisted by those in power to suit them. Freedom of speech is not a constitutional right any more. When a member of the minority praises a CM, he is threatened, disgraced and made to resign by the religious heads. Secularism no more means that religious considerations should be excluded from civic affairs or that all religions are on par.  It is all about vote banks and communal politics today and goes by the name of secularism.

The media plays the role of the British which had divided and ruled us. From being reporters of facts, every rookie reporter and some dispenses his or her ‘views’, for whatever it is worth.

Religion has been hijacked by the politicians to get them votes and and the media unabashedly incites communal passions to boost its TRP.

The lay persons to whichever religion they belong are comfortable with each other, but the politicians will never allow it. How can they let everyone live peacefully and in harmony? What would happen to their vote banks? Their motto is to keep them divided and ignorant forevermore while busily filling the coffers in Swiss banks, so that not only their children, but their great great grand children can live in luxury. So who cares about the common man who sleeps on the streets? Talk of moral bankruptcy.

We deserve these jokers and more. For we only sit in the comfort of our drawing rooms and pontificate. We only push the keys of the computer or cell phone, not the button of the EVM to elect honest, upright representatives who don’t play politics but govern the country. The day the massive middle class does its duty as citizens, the fate of this country will change for the better, there is no doubt about it.

47 comments

  1. Hi, good to see your blog & your interest in the nation, politics & issues like corruption. I had been to Freedom Park, Bangalore to support the Anna Hazare team recently. I have shared my experience on my blog http://puneet3210.blogspot.com/2011/08/anna-hazare-freedom-park-bangalore.html . Do have a look. The same is shared on IndiBlogger also at http://www.indiblogger.in/indipost.php?post=72809 🙂 Puneet

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    1. I will certainly read and comment on your posts Puneet!

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  2. I had missed this blog post..but Kudos! I can feel your helplessness and desperation in this blog. It is so true, that we sit back and watch the Tamashas that the media shows us till they think we can endure them and then forget about them completely. Here as I feel, the media has done a far better role than they ever have in the past in atleast bringing to light the scamsters, reading your next blogpost makes me think otherwise. But again, I don’t know how I can blame the media who need to stay afloat too which is possbile they believe by making us watch shit till its sensational enough. It pains me to see much smaller countries like even Vietnam striding ahead and I can’t in my dreams now even compare us to China which was once upon a time bumbling with us. You talk about voting for educated knowledgable people. I ask you, where are they? Politics as a profession is not even considered by the so called elite and educated people. When I go to vote, and study the bios of the candidates, all I see is at the most Std X passouts..not even graduates, and a long list of crimes they might have been ‘framed’ for and acquitted. When I am forced to choose between a politician who has been ex-mafia and a law marauding Hindu or Marathi Manoos or Caste activist, I frankly do not see how it is going to help the system in eradicating anything at all. Perhaps education will resolve issues, perhaps moral value and ethics education will help. Perhaps we need an ethical dictator to rule us to root out these problems. I don’t know. I am as woebegone as you are.

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    1. The good news is that Raja of the 2 G scam was arrested yesterday. The bad news is that he might not remain there for too long since the CBI might not file chargesheet or the higher court might give him bail. The legal loopholes are so big that even an elephant can easily come out through one of them. since there is no punishment now or later, the accused have nothing to fear, except the bad publicity. And then when they get out (and sometimes when they don’t even get out) from the jail, they file their nomination papers and get massive votes to win and come back again.

      One of the points in the IAC voting site is that we would not vote for someone with a criminal record. And Richa, we have to believe that some good will come out of this campaign. Hope after all springs eternally in our hearts and let us hope and pray that things will change. For a nation of such intellectuals and brialliant people, we sure are dumb when it comes to electing our representatives, aren’t we?

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  3. One must not give up hope,this appears to be period of transition as it becomes more and more certain that we are in a state of collapse.

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    1. Hey Prophet, you say that we must not lose hope and in the same breath are saying that we are in a state of collapse. Yes we are but let us not collapse, but stand and fight.

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  4. The post echoes widespread cynicism, anger and helplessness…While I agree that corruption is not a preserve of a politician, it does start at the top.Leadership and vision can make a difference and good eg are Bihar and Gujarat. Some improvement is going on due to good governance.

    Another imp factor is that there is no punishment for the corrupt high and mighty. Income tax men continue to hound the middle class while the big fish are never caught and punished.
    If you have time pl read http://alkagurha.blogspot.com/2010/12/comedy-circus.html written in a similar fit of disillusionment.

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    1. How can the high and mighty allow stringent laws of punishment when it is clear that everyone of them will be caught and punished. The higher you go, the more corrupt they are and what is worse, they will catch a small fry and hound him for the colossal scams that they have perpetrated. The states you mention are both non UPA ones and their contribution is trashed on national media. So that leaves only the people to take matters in their hands and start a mass movement to bring the guilty to book. didyou read Rahul Gandhi’s statement that the stashed money belongs to the poor? Ha ha ha and more ha ha ha as you would have said 🙂

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  5. Yes, the roots of corruption has spread really deep in our entire system today. You really dont know whom to trust…
    Vote for a politician one day thinking him to be honest and the next day he is in the news for all the wrong reasons! I agree with your views, its a very sad scenario, it kind of bites you but its very much true!

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    1. That’s what politics does to a sincere and honest person. it turns him or her into a corrupt individual who wants to loot as much as possible within the limited time of being in power. Only those parties that continue ruling for long has tentacles everywhere and loyalists in all depratments. that’s why the scramble to remain in power forever. And to hell with the country and the people.

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  6. We have indeed come a long way,yes there are still a hell lot of areas we need to focus upon, but in my opinion we have done quite fine,not by any means up to our potential but considerable nonetheless .Democracy in a nation of our size and diversity is something to be proud of,changes take time ,in some cases more then we think would be reasonable,but changes certainly have taken place and will continue to.
    We blame that the officials are corrupt,but aren’t we equally responsible when we offer a bribe.I agree with your conclusion,we don’t have a right to point fingers from our living room,if we are really concerned and want to make a difference we need to make it happen,it just won’t happen by itself.

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    1. It is fine to feel patriotic fervour as regards our achievements, which I agree are considerable. But what democracy are we talking of? We only have dynasties everywhere, in the centre, in the states…The Gandhis, the Karunanidhis, the Sindhias, the Yediyurappas…We have exchanged crown princes for so called ‘elected’ princes and princesses today.

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  7. A rather late comment

    Good post Zephyr, Indians follow the theory of ‘More is less’ so there is no end to greed, corruption and the blah….

    @ all the above commenters- any one of you, ever broke a law ( even it means driving without a helmet)? It starts from us so the efforts to end it have to be collective and not individualized…

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    1. You are so right about the finger pointing at ourselves, but that does not absolve those sitting in positions of power who have all the wherewithal to loot the country and the countrymen while shedding crocodile tears for them. We need a mass movement which can shake the corrupt system. and when the corruption goes, one has to comply with the rules and be honest. then there won’t be any more Shindes to burn an honest official.

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  8. vey nice and appropriate post we have to do somethig for our nation to change the things. but there is colecttive responsibility.first of all we have to come together.we have to wakeup and do our duties. come and unite for the cause!!!!!!!!

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    1. Welcome here Santosh. As I have said in my reply to Chits, it is about time to use the social media to mobilise the nation for this war against corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. Do it young people!

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  9. We do need a wake up call. Actually slaps kicks and punches would work better!

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    1. LOL well said Addy! Trust you to come up with such a wonderful way to wake up the complacent citizens of our country who are happy if their lives are not disturbed directly.

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  10. Off course, its our leniency or rather blurred franchised based on caste and creed the reasons behind the scams and corruption.To root out the malaise we will have to take responsibilities.

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    1. As long as every citizen is not an equal in this country, we will have unscrupulous pandering to vote banks. We should actually be having referendums and not elections and political parties should be abolished. Utopian? You bet! But it can be done by the country which has been a leading light in the past.

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  11. Interesting perspective. Even i don’t feel so proud as I used to in my childhood about these national festivals. Every time I see a CURRENT (you can read it as corrupt) politician hoists a flag, i feel sorry for the flag.

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    1. Very well put Mohan. We are denigrating the flag when these johnnies touch it. I remember my hair standing on end when i used to see it go up back in school and college.We felt pride in our country then.

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  12. very well put. great knowledgeable post.

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    1. Thanks Pramod. We need to fight for our right to a clean government.

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  13. You are bang on girl and I couldn’t agree with you more !

    I wish somebody starts some kind of a “Jagruti” movement (like the Navnirman movement started by JPN) that would galvanise the whole country into action ! I do have hope.
    Will today’s JP please stand up ?

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    1. So much is achieved by the social media. isn’t it time to use it to mobilise an army of righteous citizens to fight for a corruption free country? And yeah, the JP of this generation, please stand up!

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  14. Just voting doesn’t help. Who do we vote for, a bunch of scumbags?
    We are willing to opine on how a country should be run, but how many of us willing jump into the dirty world of politics?

    And if a few bravehearts do (like Meera Sanyal) with the hope that they can make a difference, look what happens to them.

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    1. I agree with you that voting doesn’t help since the candidates are equally bad. And a few honest and capable individuals can’t change the face of the country. That’s why we need a movement, one which needs to be led from the front by one of the upright and honest people, not necessarily in politics. But even such worthies shy away from such a role and are content holding seminars and workshops for the youth and we all know what purpose these serve.

      Way back in the 70s, JP had started such a movement and the youth had followed him enmasse; and it has produced at least one Nitish Kumar today, hasn’t it? The movement had been so successful that it gave jitters to the Indira Gandhi government and she had clamped Emergency. Had it continued for sometime more we would have had more young people who would be setting examples in their states like Nitish.

      Perhaps the Emergency had been such a deterrent that no one today wants to lead the youth, who have no one to follow. And so they stay away from the process of electing good people, further letting the country sink and unscrupulous politicians prosper and loot the country blind.

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  15. let us all resolve to be the Change that we want to see.

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    1. Amen to that.

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  16. Hey Zephyr!

    U were right! What a coincidence! We write about the same things at times!

    Really, the middle class must cast their votes, or else they are and will misused by others. I don’t understand when educated ppl want to stay away from elections, as if it’s not their country… as if the outcome is not going to affect them.

    We must vote.

    regards

    RESTLES

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    1. the middle class of this country is like Hanuman, who didn’t know his own strength till someone reminded him of it. Now is the time for us to get what we want — a clean and working government that can put this country on top.

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      1. I love this statement – the middle class of this country are like The Hanuman

        Were we so corrupt even during the days of struggle for freedom? No we weren’t. I always wonder what happened to that passion and zeal with which the countrymen fought for independence? Have we earned this reputation of having corrupt politicians and government only during this last 64 years?

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        1. Power broking and communal politics existed then too, but the overriding concern was the right to govern oneself and so things did work out for a couple of decades. But after that it has been steadily downhill. Scams had existed in the 60s too, but we were not swamped by them as now. Today it has become the measure of a government’s success to hold on to power despite the scams dogging its steps. Look at the central government, look at karnataka. Had it been some decades ago, the UPA government would have fallen or resigned.

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  17. The upright and honest are burnt alive ala Yeshwant Sonawane!

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    1. In this country that is what you get for being honest. Why don’t we start a revolution against rulers who are robbing us blind, who are taking us for morons and who want to rule us forever through the dynasty system? Why don’t we rise up, as a nation and fight the corrupt?

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  18. One fuming post Zephyr,Agree with it to the last dot..There are a lot of things that need a change and 60 years is a long time if we wanted it..Dirty politics comes in between..

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    1. Change needs to be brought about by the monolith that is the middle class and not by others who only benefit in some way or the other by all the misuse of power by the politicians. And the middle class is reluctant to take the first step, which is voting.

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  19. We are celebrating misuse & misrule of a nation called ‘Mera Bharat Mahan’!

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    1. when will we rise up as a nation and show these leaders their true place?

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  20. Time has come to make the things right which have gone wrong over the years.

    A similar post @ India Burned http://rachitlifestyle.blogspot.com/2011/01/india-burned.html

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    1. Welcome to Cybernag, Rachit. A mass movement against corruption is called for. But in this day and age of I, me, myself, who will take the lead for the movement?

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      1. You ended the comment with a question mark. Yeah, it’s us who have to take a stand. Whether you like or not but it’s our country man.

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        1. Of course we love our country, that’s why we are anguished. Let us all resolve to fight our way out of the morass we have sunk in.

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  21. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by sharmistha mukherjee, Vineet Rajan. Vineet Rajan said: Sixty years on…… http://goo.gl/fb/CBGoO […]

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