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An open letter to the Prime Minister of India

[I had a blog Aagan Says previously. But in a moment of emotional foolery i deleted the blog without taking backup, and posts between May-August were lost. I am going to REPOST those again. Today i post an article i had written in July two days ahead of the scheduled “cabinet reshuffle”].

Respected Sir/Madam

I add both sir/madam in my salutation since I am confused whom to address – the octogenarian at 7 Racecourse Road or the inhabitant of 10 Janpath Road. However, I find it convenient to refer to both, since any matter of importance that is being raised before one, will inevitably be placed before the other.

Sir, I had been to a rally where you had addressed the public. Yes sir, you had spoken. It must be a tedious task for you since you prefer the anonymity of the PMO, yes sir, we know, Mr P Chidambaram had told us that it is your personality trait. But sir, I must tell you, you make a very good speaker and whenever you address the media, do it with a conviction that restores the wavering trust in the institution you represent. And I fathom reaching out to the people will embolden their confidence in the office you hold.

Ah, we can save that for the later, for now I have some important matters to press upon, sir, with your due permission. The major problem facing India currently is the governance deficit that is not just palpable but hitting us hard on the face. On several issues, the authority that you command seems to be losing steam sir. Do you not deem it fit to not just be in command but also assert your presence at the helm? (Well I am sorry if I in any way offend Madam, because we all know she calls the shots and this plea of assertion might not go down well with her, but isn’t that how our democracy should function?)

Secondly sir, the cabinet that you head is increasingly becoming a safe haven for thugs. We all agree you are a noble man and no one doubts your integrity sir, but don’t you think your credibility is being dented every other day when some minister is embroiled in some controversy? It is also no secret that for several months, many key ministries have been lying orphan waiting for a full time minister-in-charge. The cabinet “reshuffle” that is the talk of the town now, has been long pending since time immemorial. But you (or for that matter Madam) had not been able to make any choicest changes to the pack of jokers (strictly in terms of cards sir) yet!

I know you are not inept, but the void created by your inaction on several fronts have been misused by many, Sir. Take Digvijay Singh for example. Your silence can only be balanced by the volumes of absurdity he speaks on air every waking moment (or maybe he even sleep-talks). Some newspapers even claim he has prime ministerial ambitions! You must beware of such men sir! Especially so because they are close to the heir apparent (no offense madam, but being the Prime Minister, he must be responsible for the credibility of the government, No?)

The south Delhi civil societies are no better, sir. They have simply hijacked the space vacated by you and have become self confessed messiahs of the country. And guess what, the media (not the paid one) has sold itself out to them, and are planning to take over governance in India (through the proposition of Lokpal of course). I still wonder why your ministers even bothered to pay them any heed. But I welcome your stand on the inclusion of the PM in the ambit of Lokpal. But don’t you feel sir, it would dilute the institution (although, under you, or rather Madam, I daresay, there isn’t much left of the institution).

Courtesy Toonpool

It seems the contents of the letter could be bugging you (oh I mean not the bugs that were lately found in the Finance Ministry, sir). And I have almost reached the end, sir.

I wish to bring to your notice, sir, that India is a rich country with really poor citizens. And you are their leader – the face of the nation. It is your choice whether you want to poorly represent the rich or enrich the poverty stricken nation.

Thank you,

Agnivo

(Just another citizen of this nation)

FAST track to corruption free India

[I had a blog Aagan Says previously. But in a moment of emotional foolery i deleted the blog without taking backup, and posts between May-August were lost. I am going to REPOST those again. Today i post an article i had written about the Team Anna and Baba Ramdev and their farce of fasts in July].

A trend started by Kareena Kapoor in India has caught the fancy of old men. Fast. Yes you heard it right. Fast. No, not driven by figure consciousness but spurred into action by their conscience to rid the nation of corruption, people are now taking turns to fast.

No one in India is unaware of the huge sums of money stashed away in bunkers in the lush greeneries of the Swiss Alps. If some sections of the society are to be believed, the first family of Indian politics is also owner of some of those accounts (although the claims have never been made to courts and are still unfounded). And recently, the Guru who redeems Indians of their physiological ailments with his daily sessions of “Annulom Vilom” and “Kapalbhati” has taken it upon himself to bring public’s hard earned money back to the nation. By fasting, of course.

Courtesy Real Bollywood Dot Com

With trivializing the issue of corruption or the attention it needs from the people or the government, I wish to register my voice of dissent to the arm twisting adopted by non elected leaders who have imposed their leadership on the people of India without any distinction which sets them apart.

Yogi Maharaj Ramdev is a much celebrated teacher of the ancient Indian art of yog. While no one ever doubts his capacity as a teacher, the wealth that he has amassed thanks to his marketing yoga, has surely become an eye sore for many in India. A campus for his “Patanjali” centre for yoga where he “cures” cancer, AIDS and homosexuality “patients”, at Haridwar would put even campuses of Oxford or Cambridge to shame. The ascetic Baba owns islands off Mauritius, is the possessor of acres of land in the US of A and his assets amount to almost thousands of crores (although there is no OFFICIAL word on it). However, his claim that all the money he owns is showered on him by his million disciples, is difficult to digest.

If anyone has watched the film “Sivaji” starring Rajnikanth, (s)he has surely learnt a way to legalise black money. The finesse with which Sivaji collected all black money, transferred all that to different people across the globe and then made them “donate” it to his “organization”, does give the method a degree of credibility. And we surely cannot ignore the fact that “donations” could be black too.

But his dubious financial status is not why I am against his war on corruption. Ramdev is a symbol of the ideas that repel me. An opponent of economic liberalization, anti modern scientific progress, proud of centuries old culture to an extent of resisting any change to the archaic thoughts, a self confessed proud homophobe, a misogynist and a “proud Hindu Indian”, Ramdev poses threat to the liberalization of the idea of India.  Hence, empowering him in a battle as crucial as fight on corruption would mean entrusting India’s future to his hands, which would be suicidal to say the least. Moreover, the Baba who claims he has no political ambitions, had plans to launch an all India party on June 4th itself (although the plan was postponed due to some reasons). On top of that, this unopinionated sage also donated money for a national party’s poll campaigns in 2009 parliamentary elections.

With such dubious political and ideological achievements under his belt, I fathom, Ramdev is not the right candidate to lead India in this battle. Moreover, the publicity campaign that he has taken up, starting with the fasting drama, that too on a weekend, with lavish grand preparations akin to an impending marriage in a business tycoon’s family, hardly provide him with any credibility. The FASTer India did away with such farcical attempts at vote banks, the steeper would India’s growth curve be.

We all can be a part of the battle against corruption. We just need the resolve to fight it in our own lives. Pinning all blames on government, we cannot escape the loop of justice. If the system were to be overhauled, we would need a shake up too. A known enemy is better than a unknown friend. Hope we choose the imperfect diamond and not the perfect rock.

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