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Showing posts from March, 2012

Unfair to pull Akhilesh down that soon!

UP elections have always been intriguing and most of the times for the wrong reasons. This is one state where political leaders have always been riddled with controversies, be it from criminalized and caste-based politics, to corruption and scams. But this year, controversy seems to have taken a new shape. With the rise of a young and dynamic leader in UP, the scenario here would change soon. Against expectations, Samajwadi Party (SP) suddenly came out and swept the elections. This sweeping victory cannot be credited to anyone else other than Akhilesh Yadav – a young politician who never projected himself as the Chief Minister, even after the victory. But then, SP read the minds and hearts of the electorate and decided to make Akhilesh the CM. And thus a new star was born in Uttar Pradesh! Akhilesh Yadav, son of UP strongman Mulayam Singh Yadav, steered SP to a sensational victory in the state assembly, a victory that decimated all their political rivals. Uttar Pradesh may be the bigg

Kill them, but don't hike the fares... The world of visionless, uncommitted, Indian politicians!

The day our railway minister was forced to resign, a train rammed into a van killing 16 people and injuring many more! What looked like a coincidence, is not in reality one! For had he resigned almost on any other day, a similar news would have been there in any case – such is the sorry state of Indian Railways. Out of the 33,000 odd railway crossings in India, a shameful 15,000 or so are unmanned, due to which about 33% of the accidents and a whopping 60-70% of the railway deaths happen!!! Yes, that is the morbid statistics! To man a railway crossing, all we require are two men on a twelve-hour shift each, which means a salary of 1.5 lac rupees per man, multiplied by 2 per crossing, multiplied by 15000 (number of unmanned crossings); and this equates to a mere 450 crore rupees per annum, an amount that our politicians mystically do not feel the need to budget, consequently killing thousands every year, an ignominious onus that our railway ministry must directly take. While we apparent

If you thought India has a problem with election funding, then here's all about America's shameful, super PACs!

First of all, congratulations to our Chief Election Commissioner Dr. Quraishi for yet again managing the elections with the least reports of rigging; congratulations also to Akhilesh for becoming an icon overnight for the Indian youth through sheer hard work. I shall write on him very soon! This time, I want to write on something that is spoken about every time that elections are held anywhere in India – the question of election time funding. Of course, it’s shameful the way black money dominates election funding in India. But then, if you thought American Presidential elections – the nomination fight for which is underway currently in the USA – are clean, then here are some facts which will make you think again! Actually, throughout history, elections have never been democratic in the true sense with money power significantly dominating the outcome instead of ability, one way or the other. There has been rarely an election where power-variables have not played their role. Almost all

1982-2012: TEN DECISIVE CHANGES IN INDIA

My colleagues tell me that India changed decisively in 1982. I was in school so I don’t really remember the detailed newspaper headlines of those days. But I do know that the politics of Andhra Pradesh changed forever in 1982. Apparently, the then Chief Minister of AP T. Anjaiah wanted to pick up the slippers of Rajiv Gandhi. And history was made. Rajiv Gandhi was the anointed leader of Congress and somehow, fact or not, that gesture to please Rajiv Gandhi prompted a film star called NT Rama Rao to launch a movement and a party to reclaim Telugu pride. Rao and his Telugu Desam party swept the assembly elections in 1983. Cut to about 30 years down the line and you see something dramatically different; and yet dramatically similar. Despite the huge hype that surrounded the Congress campaign led by Rahul Gandhi, it is Akhilesh Yadav of a regional outfit called Samajwadi Party who has won. In 1982, when Rajiv Gandhi took over the reins, Tamil Nadu was the only major state where the Congre

ALTERNATIVE BUDGET: A Budget for Rahul Gandhi

The future of the inheritor, and more importantly, of India, depends on fighting corruption. Here is how Pranabda can use the Budget to tame the monster February 28, 1958: “While we should always be prepared to reconsider the methods we adopt, should this become necessary, we have to strive with all our strength for our planned development by conserving all our resources, increasing production and trying to ensure progressively a more equitable distribution and to thus raise the standards of the great mass of our people,” - Jawaharlal Nehru as Union Finance Minister February 28, 1970: “It is generally accepted that social, economic and political stability is not possible without the growth of productive forces and the augmentation of national wealth. Also, that such growth and increase in wealth cannot be sustained without due regard to the welfare of the weaker sections of the community,” - Indira Gandhi as Union Finance Minister February 28, 1987: “Twenty nine years ago, prese