October 21, 2011

Where's the halo around Team Anna?

I was expecting this to happen! Very often, people who lead normal lives and don't brandish a 'holier than thou' image are much more principled in life with greater self discipline. The context here is Ms. Kiran Bedi. I had great respect and regard for her while she was in service. She was an inspiration to many of us.

Her conduct since the beginning of the year as part of Team Anna's spokesperson however leaves a lot to be desired. This terrible urge to be on TV everyday and also in print media, is a virus that afflicts and leaves people addicted, I guess. Very often, I would note with amusement, how she would elbow her way to the mic and say something that either Anna or another Anna aide would have just expressed!

But the news item since two days about her charging business class fares to organizers and her defence really takes the cake! I am aghast at the standards employed by Team Anna to fight corruption. Just as Kiran Bedi justifies the inflated bills to donate to her NGO, every other crook from Raja to Kalmadi can claim to have worked on behalf of their party! Why should they be in jail? And with regards to corruption in smaller offices by junior officials, they can say their salary is not enough to pay for their family's needs!! And why not? What a bizarre explanation from Ms. Bedi. What is her new name - Ms. Robinhood??

I think Anna Hazare will do well to be in Silence for a longer time and more importantly, teach his closest aides Arvind Kejrival and Kiran Bedi the joy of being in Silence too!! Maybe with time, these aides can imbibe some of the spirit and values from Anna Hazare, apart from wearing Khadi kurtas and Gandhi topis.

October 18, 2011

Model Villages and Maharashtra

While India has about 6 lakh villages, with different degrees of development and prosperity, I am very intrigued by the fact that Maharashtra boasts of a number of model villages. While Anna Hazare may have made Ralegan Siddhi very popular, reality is that there are many more examples of model villages in the state although they don't have any iconic leader amongst them.

Its fascinating to read about the development made in these villages; to name just a few I know, check out Hiware bazar, Kathewadi, Kapsi. All of them have a common thread, the villagers took it it upon themselves to better their lot and the results are for all to see. Many neighbouring villagers are now being inspired to replicate the model and the state government has come forward to replicate it many more villages too! (don't know how successful that will be)

Makes me wonder why there are so model villages in Maharashtra? Is it the resourceful, community spirit amongst the villagers here? Is the state government promoting rural development? Are there more NGOs in this state with focus on rural prosperity?? I have no answers.. would love to hear views and comments.

October 15, 2011

Arvind Kejrival & Diggy Singh

Much as Arvind Kejrival will like to deny it, his recent sound bytes indicate that he ought to be in politics. Or rather, he is already a politician! One of the main qualifications of a standard politician is to contradict oneself and excel in doublespeak. Diggy Singh is a role model for many of his ilk, I am sureJ
Lets see what Arvind Kejrival has been saying in 2011
"Anna is above Parliament"; on hindsight, added, "every citizen is above Parliament".

On Lokpal being part of the constitutional structure; he rubbished it as "reducing Lokpal to a Jokpal".
 "Civil Society has the right to question Parliament".
But after the embarrassing statement of Prashant Bhushan on J&K, he says, "J&K is a complex situation, and decision should be within the constitutional framework".
See, what I mean?? He has come a full circle... suddenly he seems to see value in our constitution. God help us!

October 11, 2011

Open letters have gone viral:-)

I've caught the bug too!! This is the season of open letters... Anna writes open letter (OL) to PM; Digvijay Singh writes OL to Anna; India Inc writes OL to PM; Narendra Modi writes an OL... I am joining this august bandwagon:-)

I write to every Indian across the globe...

Dear Indians,

I know things have been crazy and chaotic in India, more so in the past year. We have been hit by scams of huge proportions, the ruling party seems lost, opposition is in disarray, civil society has become militant! People have become polarised to extreme cynicism / apathy to complete idealism / utopian ideology. Inflation has hit the common man hard, as prices of all the essentials - food, housing, fuel, healthcare, education are at all time highs. Loans have become dearer and interest rates unattractive. Government appears to be at a standstill with many, many pending decisions relating to mining to power projects to other infrastructure projects, as they are busy firefighting for their scam hit colleagues or negotiating with Team Anna.

But amidst all this, I urge you all to work hard and not be disillusioned by these temporary setbacks. Today, India is a force to reckon with in the world, not because of these politicians and policy makers, but despite them. So, lets get the focus away from these energy sapping news channels and politicians and lets concentrate on work. Lets work towards our dream like there's no tomorrow. Lets look forward to a new set of  industrialists, other than the Tatas, Birlas, Ambanis, Bajajs, Ruias and Mahindras, to name a few. Lets get going and chase our dreams furiously and demonstrate how hard work and innovations can drive India out of poverty!

Jai Hind

October 10, 2011

Light at the end of the tunnel

After hearing rabid, extreme views on the issue of corruption for the past few months, its such a relief to hear from India Inc, a balanced, sensible and wide ranging reforms that they have asked, in their letter to the PM. I am so glad that we have people who are influential, and yet balanced and centred. I almost thought such people didn't exist anymore.

I was particularly very distraught with the goings on, both by the ruling goverment and Team Anna, with each of them taking a moral high ground and bringing the country to a standstill. I really thought there was no hope and that we would continue to be ruled or misruled by people who have very narrow and rigid views.

This letter has come as a huge hope and silver lining, to use a cliche. I really wish policy makers at all levels, take the views raised by India Inc very seriously, as these suggestions have the potential to take India forward. The views are balanced and does not have rhetoric and jargons that we seem to be fed with. I really wish media can focus on these and invite the signatories of the letter as panelists instead of running behind cheap sensationalism.

I really hope and pray that this marks a turning point of good things to come!

October 3, 2011

Flip side of having a disastrous tour in England

Most of us in India agree that cricket has hogged away the limelight and overshadowed other sporting events and players. All of us think the players are not worthy of the adulation and cult status they enjoy. But none of us are able to do any further! Neither could other sportspersons, save a Sania (for all the wrong reasons) or a Saina (for the right reasons) could alter the God like status cricketers command.

I guess the cricketers came to our rescue and other sportspersons in our country. They finally decided to play so badly and throw their matches that people lost interest in them and the game. The disastrous tour of England has turned the spectators away and hopefully will wean them away for good. The current CT T20 tournament are witnessing the change among the audience. Eventually, the sponsors will not flock as before and hopefully the game will resemble the sport as it should be, instead of the extravaganza and entertainment show that the game has been reduced to.

Apparently, other sports' bodies and associations are quite thrilled at the development and are secretly celebrating the debacle in England. Some cricketers have received anonymous mails thanking them for their good deed towards Sports in general, in the Indian context. Yours truly was privy to a conversation about Mr. Pawar contesting for the post of President of the Indian Hockey Federation. He has sent feelers to some officials and has promised to bring in money to the cash strapped organization, so they can pay their players, if elected, unopposed! 


I love the new blogger interface and the options.. Looks cool. My very staid and drab blog suddenly looks so refreshing and hep. I really love Google's attempt to keep things fresh and current. I also think it has sparked more interest in me to do new posts and even read some of my earlier posts.

This new interface makes it very easy to browse older posts unlike the earlier version. And the options on offer, from magazine to sidebar to mosaic to flipcard look awesome! I keep flipping between each of the layout designs and have liked the 'magazine' look, the best!