The Challenges ahead for UPA Government

The people of the country have voted United Progressive Alliance to form the government. Dr Manmohan Singh and his new team will be formulated by the end of next week. But the faith and expectations that people have in the abilities of Dr Singh will be the tough task for the alliance. Though Left parties are off the shoulders of the Congress but still they need to deliver on few of the key issues at great pace. There are few areas which need to be looked after with immediate concern and rectify the problems gripping these areas. 

The first and foremost will be to revive the economy. With India’s best economist in the driver’s seat, a lot is being expected from the new government. PM has said in one the election rally that he will revive the economy in 100 days. Well that might be too optimistic approach but definitely a lot needs to be done to bring economy on 9-10% growth. He also needs to tackle the job losses due to current crisis. The stimulus packages need to cover both of the problems together. 

The second challenge will be the internal security and robust foreign policy. There is growing concern with volatile neighbours around. Taliban is barely 500 km away from India and hence it is imperative to revamp the security and intelligence agencies. There should be special law to prosecute the ones caught for waging war against the nation. The Police needs an overhaulment on priority basis and they should be equipped with latest gadgets and weapons. The home growth threat of naxalites should also be taken care off. Without peace all the efforts to make India stronger and leader in economy will be futile.  

The third biggest challenge for the government will be bringing the agricultural growth back on track. Not only the growth rate of agriculture sector is low but also the share of the sector in country’s GDP has come down drastically in past some years. The problem of low rate of capital investment, smaller capital formation and low share in the national income are some of the main problems facing by this sector that needs to be addressed very urgently. There are many reasons for this crisis, which mainly includes absence of adequate social support, uncertainty of agricultural enterprise in India, lack of credit availability etc. Need of the hour is to increase the productivity of the primary sector by ushering in a new green  revolution to raise the annual average growth rate of this sector to about five per cent per annum. 

One of the other major concerns should be the legitimate demand of the forces. Personally i feel this should be top agenda as well. For long time, they have not been deprived of their due by bureaucrats and policy makers. Indian Armed Forces are finding it tough to attract youth and is facing shortage of officers. If the Army cannot get youth just for the sake of low renumeration, then future is really bleak for our country. A nation is as strong as the military of that nation. Hence it will be good in the interest of this nation that the demand of Armed Forces is paid heed and their grievances are solved at the earliest. We cannot show callousness towards our soldiers who sacrifice so much for the safety of the borders and us.  Hopefully, the new government will do something positive on this front as well.  

There is tough task ahead for the new government. The way in which new cabinet will handle these issues remain interesting. Only time will tell whether Dr MMS can deliver in the tough time. I feel that he will be able to as there are no clutches of Left this time.

BJP should be a Strong Opposition in 15th Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha Elections have thrown some unexpected results. The results are unexpected for almost every political party. You can take example of Congress, BJP, Left, BSP, TC, etc. It is very clear that UPA under the leadership of Dr Manmohan Singh is going to form the government again. With Left out of the government, it is being hoped that India will push for economic reforms and policies. The stable government is advantage in this time of economic depression.

Bhartiya Janta Party has lost the elections and the results are very surprising for them. They hoped to encash the incumbency, economic crisis and internal security but failed in doing so. The party needs to do some serious introspection. If not then their might be some existential dilemma for the BJP. But for smooth functioning of the democracy, it is of great importance that BJP does some rethinking and revives itself. The strong government must have strong opposition and this is the essence of the democracy. The one step towards the revival of BJP will be the role it plays as the opposition in the next 5 years. The government will pass some bills/amendments/laws and it is the roles of opposition to scrutinize assess, seek for clarification and have a healthy debate on the same. If BJP can play the role of constructive opposition then it will be good for the country’s health. With every single party pledging the support to UPA, BJP’s role assumes further importance.

Somewhere I feel that BJP didn’t play the good role of opposition and went on to oppose and criticize each and every move of the government. The good opposition should oppose genuinely and support the government in the hour of crisis. The blame game should be limited. LK Advani once said that Congress and BJP should be political adversary and not enemies. This can be replicated for the government and opposition as well. It will be interesting to see if the BJP passes the post of leader of opposition to some younger member. Though LK Advani has agreed to be leader of opposition but mostly he will leave the post within a year time. A young leader of opposition chosen with consensus within the party is also essential for BJP to do well in future.

Bottomline:
We have got a stable government and now we should get the stable, strong and constructive opposition. The responsibility of this lies with BJP and hope they will meet up the expectation of voters who have given them mandate to sit in opposition and play an important role there.

A battle is lost, but not the war

Kanchan Gupta / Analysis

Atal Bihari Vajpayee was given to moments of jocular frivolity at times of great stress, for instance on the eve of election results. At the fag end of the 1999 election campaign, a senior journalist asked him what would rate as one of the most banal, if not asinine, questions: “Mr Vajpayee, who do you think will emerge winner?” Without batting his eyelids, Mr Vajpayee replied, “Of course the BJP.” That was contrary to what opinion polls, including one commissioned by his party, were saying: The Congress, according to pollsters, had an edge over the BJP. Later that evening, I made a passing reference to the ease with which he was predicting a BJP victory in the face of a concerted Congress assault. Mr Vajpayee laughed it off and then said, “Nobody can predict the outcome of an election, never mind what politicians and pollsters say.” Placing three fingers of his right hand face down on his left palm, he added, “Any election is like a game of ‘teen patti’ (three-card game). Till such time you turn the cards and see them, you can only guess what has been dealt to you. Similarly, till the votes are counted, nobody can say with any certitude what lies in store for the contestants.”

On the face of it, such wisdom may appear commonplace. After all, veterans of electoral wars would be the first to agree that no battle is won or lost till the last vote is counted. Yet, come election time and every politician and pollster tries to outguess the voter, more often than not coming to grief. The 1999 opinion polls, including the one commissioned by the BJP, turned out to be way off the mark. The BJP and its allies were returned to power with a majority of their own; the Congress had to eat humble pie. So also with the exit polls that were telecast 72 hours before the results of the 2009 general election were declared on Saturday — they didn’t quite forecast such a stunningly stupendous performance by the Congress and the BJP’s astonishing failure to meet its own expectations, fuelled by internal assessments that failed to reflect the popular mood. Whoever predicted on the basis of an ‘exit poll’, and thereby made the party look silly on Saturday, that the NDA would get 217 seats compared to the UPA’s 176 owes more than a mere explanation.

The Congress, no doubt, has won a splendid victory; not to accept this fact would be sheer cussedness. Having said that, it would be equally incorrect to subscribe to the view that at the moment the Congress is riding the crest of a tidal popularity wave which in the coming days will turn into a tsunami of support for the party. Yes, the Congress has made stupendous gains, but a close scrutiny of the results will show that they are not entirely at the expense of the BJP. Nor have the gains accrued to the Congress on account of either policy or programme. For instance, the Congress has picked up a large number of seats in Kerala and West Bengal for reasons that are entirely different. In Kerala, the Left has paid a huge price for infighting within the CPI(M) that has spilled into the streets: A divided cadre couldn’t get their act together. In West Bengal, the Left has been decimated because popular resentment with the CPI(M) for the various sins of omission and commission of the Marxists reached tipping point in this election, helped in large measure by the alliance between the Trinamool Congress and the Congress.

In States where the BJP has lost seats to the Congress, the credit largely goes to saboteurs within the party. It is no secret that a section of the BJP worked against the party’s nominees in certain constituencies in Madhya Pradesh. In Rajasthan, the reasons that led to the BJP’s defeat in last year’s Assembly election remain unresolved. In Uttarakhand, infighting has led to the BJP’s rout. In Jammu & Kashmir, the BJP could have won in Udhampur and Jammu if the local party units had not abandoned the candidates whom they saw as ‘outsiders’. In Maharashtra, the BJP failed to correctly assess the strength of Mr Raj Thackeray’s MNS which has turned out to be a spoiler in Mumbai’s urban constituencies where the party stood a good chance of winning. By default, the Congress has benefited on account of the BJP’s deficiencies. Nowhere is this more evident than in Uttar Pradesh where the BJP clearly failed to sense the shift in voter preference and ended up under-estimating its ability to pick up additional seats which have now gone to the Congress, swelling its national tally.

These reasons apart, at the end of the day what emerges is that the Congress has reached where it has on account of four factors whose impact could not have been predicted at any stage during the campaign when popular mood is palpable. First, the ‘Chiru factor’ has put paid to the TDP’s hopes of staging a comeback. The Congress has gained in the process. Second, the ‘Vijaykant factor’ has spiked the AIADMK’s electoral prospects. The ‘Black MGR of Tamil Nadu politics’ has turned out to be a classic spoiler. Third, the ‘Mamata factor’ was never seriously factored in, especially by the Left, while calculating the possible outcome of this election. Ironically, the amazing collapse of the Left has worked to the detriment of the BJP. Fourth, the ‘urban factor’ continues to elude logical interpretation. If the voting trend is any indication, we must come to the conclusion, and regretfully so, that India’s middleclass is no longer guided by the moral compass. Nothing else explains why corruption should cease to be an election issue and the brazen exoneration by the Congress of those who have looted India fetch no more than a cynical, couldn’t-care-less response. It is equally surprising that the middleclass should have chosen to overlook the mishandling of the national economy by the UPA Government and the pitiable state of internal security. We would have thought that these are concerns that agitate the middleclass the most since they shout the most about corruption, price rise and terrorism.

There is, however, no percentage in looking back. The BJP remains a national alternative to the Congress, more so after this election which has pushed regional parties and their identity politics to the margins of national politics. The BJP’s tally is nothing to scoff at. There is no shame in sitting in the Opposition and preparing for the next battle. Elections come and go, but parties remain. It is for their leaders to use the interregnum to reflect on mistakes, regain organisational strength and revive hope among the faithful. There are, after all, no full stops in politics, and life does not come to an end with the declaration of results.

From: kanchangupta.blogspot.com

Significance of 2009 General Election Results

The results of the General Elections 2009 are out. The results we must say are indeed very surprising and may be on unexpected lines. United Progressive Allaince under leadership of Congress has won on 256 seats while NDA under leadership of Bhatiya Janta Party has won 164 seats. This election has been significant in many ways. I see election results as the new dawn in Indian Politics.

The results of the election are significant in following ways.

1> The people of the country have shown greater faith in Dr Manmohan Singh to revive Indian economy and put the growth on track. There are no doubts on his intellect and honesty.

2> There have been debates that regional parties are paralysing the central government policies. This was not perceived as the right signal. The large number of seats to UPA with congress winning 205/206 will provide the stable government and the required reforms can be carried out easily without the brakes from the regional and communist parties. This is the most brownie point of this result.

3> The most significant part is that the Fourth Front has bitten the dust. This break away alliance of Lok Janshakti Party, Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Janta Dal from UPA was created to have better deals post poll results. But all the dreams have been shattered with LJP getting wiped out and RJD managing only 4 seats. Samajwadi Party lost 10 seats and was able to win 25. The dream of bargaining for crucial portfolios is hanging dead.
Thus this has been lesson for opportunistic politicians.

4> The Left dream of forming non BJP/non Congress government is crushed. People of the country have rejected the idea and now it is clear that people prefer only two alliances in the central politics. The fate of other third front partners has met an end similar to that of Left Parties. Maya’ elephant will have to walk miles before it can reach Delhi. :)

5> The big mafias/dons and their family members have also lost badly in the election result of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. It is also a big achievement of this election result. The names include Mukhtar Ansari, DP Yadav, Shahbuddin’s wife, Pappu Yadav’s wife and mother, Surajbhan’s wife, Rizwan Zaheer and Afzal Ansari.

6> The people of Bihar have voted for development and good governance.
The Muslim-Yadav-Dalit alliance has been broken and caste factor has been diminished to some extent in UP and Bihar.

Overall, the people have voted for stable government.

Now it is up to Dr Manmohan Singh and his team to deliver and meet the expectations of the people.

As a citizen of this nation, I am happier with the stability at the center and would love to see India’s economy booming once again!!

Muslim Community: Think before you Vote

THE GENERAL elections have begun in the country. In the coming 25 days, the world’s largest democracy will elect a new government. But one thing that peeves me is the way the political parties are trying to garner votes from the Muslims of the country. Instead of uniting the different sections of society, which ideally is their job, many politicians are playing the “Divide and Rule” game which the British preached, to keep their vote banks intact.

MJ Akbar has mentioned in an article that “A history of riot, and the threat from organizations like the Bajrang Dal are sewn into wild conspiracy theories by ‘leaders’ of the community to shape minds on the eve of an election. For secular politicians, the Muslim vote comes at an easy exchange rate. Other communities demand rice and roads. The Muslim needs nothing more than the old ploy used to help children go to sleep: stories of ghosts and monsters at the door.”

Almost 62 years of independence, 14 Lok Sabha elections and numerous Assembly elections, Muslims are still falling prey to the gimmick of our politicians. And this time too the story isn’t different. In the last one month we have seen politicians from various political parties projecting themselves as true saviors of the community.

Varun Gandhi’s rhetoric at Pilibhit landed him in jail. What Varun said was indeed shameful but the act of charging him under NSA by Mayawati government was clear move to woo the Muslim votes. Laloo Prasad Yadav then said that he would run the road roller on Varun Gandhi. Then Congress’s D Srinivas went a step further and threatened to “chop off the hands of those pointing fingers at the minorities.” A million dollar question is, Would Varun Gandhi be capable of doing what he said? I don’t think so. But these politicians made sure that they use Varun Gandhi to their advantage and projected him as the biggest threat to Muslim community.

The Babri Mosque demolition was one of the shameful incidents to happen in the history of independent India. After spending more than a decade on the lap of the Congress, Laloo realised that Congress was responsible for the demolotion incident as well. But the timing of his speech was such that it clearly showed that he wanted to prove that Muslims have to fear both the national parties and vote for him instead. Unfortunately, he forgot that there are more issues concerning to the community which needs to be addressed right away. But then he somewhere knows that this is the best way to gather Muslim votes. Seems Laloo is a champ in playing such vote bank politics.

Mulayam Singh Yadav projects himself as the messiah for Muslims. Ask him what he has done in Uttar Pradesh, while he was in power, for 23 per cent Muslims living in the state. He very happily argued that SIMI should not be banned. Though there are clear links between SIMI and few of terror strikes in the country. Isn’t this an act to appease Muslims? Also to consolidate the Lodh votes in the state he didn’t hesitate to include Kalyan Singh in his party. The same Kalyan Singh whom he had once labeled, a villain of the Babri Mosque demolition. He now has justified that Kalyan Singh was not responsible at all.

Why didn’t government try to investigate on the local support for 26/11 attacks?

What did Dr Manmohan Singh mean when he quoted that “Muslims should have first take on nation’s resources”? Aren’t they granted equal rights by the Constitution of the country? Can’t the condition of Muslims be improved by creating more awareness and making the resources more accessible to them rather then appeasing them? Won’t the broader problem remain unsolved by just appeasing them? Why didn’t any political party oppose to the lollypop of reservations to Muslims? Isn’t it similar to creating vote banks with caste based politics? Why not have some other criteria for reservations apart from caste and religion?

The answer to all the questions above lie in what MJ Akbar had once written in his article. “Indian Muslims will get development the day they vote for development. For sixty years they have voted out of fear, so that is what they have got from those they elected: the politics of fear.”

The community needs to self introspect and avoid being used as a vote bank. Community leaders need to empower their community through better education and awareness. Muslims have to realise they will get development only when they demand and vote for it. They need to seek answers from their leaders. They should make their elected personal more accountable. Things will change, if the community takes the initiative to bring that change. People of country will readily support them if they are given privileges as a citizen of this country and not as Muslims of the country. Change has to come within community itself.

A closed mind can never liberate a community from the shackles.

Can’t we think beyond reservations?

Reservations on baseless criterion has created further divisions in the already divided Indian society. Our political parties are persistently surfacing with manifestos and promises to lure voters into their votebanks.

In yet another move to use the reservations as a convenient toy to bloat up their votebank, the Lok Jan Shakti Party headed by Ramvilas Paswan has come out with few unique ideas.

What LJP has done is that it has promised to have a ‘Dalit Regiment’ in the army to make representation of Dalits in the armed forces and to infuse self-respect among them. Paswan has gone a tad bit further in making an optimum use of the tool of reservations, saying that his party wants to extend the sfacility of reservation for SC/ST, OBC and minorities to judicial services and establishment of National Judicial Services.

The manifesto has promised to take the initiative for socio-economic and educational development of minorities, especially Muslims, in the light of the findings of the Sachar Committee.

Here are some of made by the promises by LJP as a part of its election manifesto:

  • The symbol of integrity, Indian Army will have regiments on the basis of caste.
  • Reservation for SC/ST, OBC and minorities in Judicial services.
  • Reservation for SCs and STs in the private sector.
  • 15 per cent reservation for minorities, with 10 per cent for Muslims only.
  • Removal of 50 per cent ceiling on reservation.

Paswan, who was a minister in the NDA government, left it a year before the 2004 elections.

He then joined the UPA and became the Union Minister of Steel, Chemicals and Fertilisers. Now, he has broken from the UPA as well and formed a ‘secular’ alliance with Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Janata Dal. These state level leaders have lost hold in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. In an attempt to make his playing field much bigger, the party manifesto has also supported the demand of formation of Telangana, Vidarbha, Poorvanchal, Bundelkhand and Vikas Pardesh in western UP.

LJP, RJD and SP have always been opportunistic. They will be readily available after the results of elections are declared. On the basis of their own performance they will play a deal game.

How long will we see such appeasements on caste and religion to lure voters?

It’s an appeal to all well-meaning citizens, not to be the victims of vote bank politics. Let’s ask political parties to come up with an agenda. An agenda to provide employment to youth and powering the underprivileged to be able to manage their own food.

With our leaders coming up with such dividing policies, my earnest request to all the voters would be to please think practically and sensibly before casting your votes.

Regional Parties Paralyzing Centre

IS THE dominance of regional parties holding back India’s emergence as a global superpower? This is one of the most important question that one must ask because small regional parties have a potentially dangerous control over government policies of all kinds. The regional parties emerged in the political arena because national parties failed to satisfy the needs and requirements of the people belonging to different states. This led to the emergence of regional parties, which claim that they have a better understanding of what the voters want, in contrast to lumbering national parties.

So, in a way, their emergence can be attributed to negligence of the national parties. But when these small regional parties aspire to become national parties, then they pose a potential threat to our nation. Their emergence does reflect the good health of Indian democracy but when they stall a national policy for the sake of their ’narrow’ agendas then they become a danger to the same democracy.

In last two decades, regional parties have paralysed the central government and we have witnessed so many elections due to political instability. In this era of coalition government, it has become very tough for the government to carry on various foreign, economic and social policies due to hindrances caused by the regional parties. These regional parties have deviated from their path and their reason of emergence also seems hazy now. When it comes to central government, these regional parties have no clear ideology and they can alienate with anyone for the sake of their personal interests. As the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) faces the floor test on July 22, we are witnessing the number game being played between the government and the opposition.

Indian Parliament

Both the UPA and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) headed by two major national parties – the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – respectively, are trying to woo the Members of Parliament (MPs) to include them in their camp. With the game evenly poised, these regional parties with three to four numbers members are having a gala time and are looking for the best ’deal’. The Congress and the BJP are also leaving no stone unturned to attract them.

The independent MPs are demanding high price for their vote and AB Bardhan from Communist Party of India – Marxist (CPIM) has quoted that price to be Rs 25 crores. Imagine one vote can make you richer by 25 crores rupees! So who cares for ideology, policy etc as long as my pocket is getting heavier! There are 25 members in the Parliament who have still not decided and must be looking for some bigger offers.

Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has three MPs and he has been offered a ministry in the government. Congress has also decided to rename the Lucknow Airport after his father Chaudhary Charan Singh’s name. The Left has also explained to him its stand and urged him to vote against the government. Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Chandrasekhara Rao has decided to vote against the government because the UPA had failed to pass a resolution giving a commitment on the issue of forming a separate Telengana. The regional issue has overtaken the national issue. Samajwadi Party (P) has decided to support UPA (it once described the Congress as its worst enemy) in order to save itself from Mayawati. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Shibu Soren is asking for cabinet berth in return for his party’s support. There will be some MP’s who may go against the party whip on the date of voting.

So overall, we get the picture in the process of saving or toppling the government, regional parties are not paying any attention towards the concerned issues. There is an open market where MPs are being bought for some cash, cabinet berth, personal favours etc. I know there is no space for conscience in the politics.

This sort of politics is totally unacceptable. Instead of thinking collectively towards the betterment of the nation, regional and national parties are indulging in selfish games. Power without responsibility is a dangerous thing and I think regional parties and formations must realise this. The regional parties need to be more accountable and thoughtful. They should be ready to compromise on the national issues or should be barred from the Central politics. The immaturity and irresponsibility of regional parties makes them act as impediments to India’s development.

Image Courtesy: www.diehardindian.com/demogrph/democrac.htm

Why the Nuke Deal is “Anti Muslim?”

A SURVEY conducted by the Samajwadi Party (SP) general secretary Shahid Siddiqui has concluded that 70 per cent of Muslims oppose the nuke deal “with the United States (US)”. This survey by Urdu weekly has increased the problems for SP, which is getting cosier with Congress on the deal. The Muslim clerics have also voiced the same opinion and have even thanked Mayawati, CM of Uttar Pradesh, for not backing the deal.

Indo-US Nuke Deal

The politics that is being played in last few days is totally stupid and of opportunism. If the deal allows India to conduct the nuclear test in future then there should be no problem in going ahead with the deal. The nuclear deal and other questions of foreign policy should be opposed or defended on their own merits. Sadly, both the government and its opponents have played fast and loose with the Muslim card, to the detriment of the community’s larger interest.

The deal was blocked by Left parties for long time and now when the Prime Minister has decided to go ahead with the deal, we are witnessing the Muslim card being played by the opposer of the deal. I have always felt that Muslims are always used by the political parties and the same is happening in this case as well. Muslim card has always been high on the agenda of the ’secular forces’ in the country. It is sometimes felt that if you follow a minority appeasement policy then you are a “secular” by default. Leading Muslim clerics visited Mayawati on July 2 and thanked her for not supporting the deal and urged the PM for not going ahead as it is ’anti Muslim’. This is really vexatious on part of the community and the political parties. Each political party, which champions the cause of Muslims is ’secular’ but if you voice a Hindu opinion you are automatically ’communal’. This secular versus communal politics is creating new ripples in political arena.

For the past three years, Mayawati has maintained a studied silence on the deal despite its supposedly “anti-Muslim” character. Now that an alliance between the SP and the Congress is looking increasingly likely, however, she is discovering she can no longer afford to sit on the fence. “The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government is adamant to sign the nuclear deal with the US at the cost of much cheaper gas from Iran but Muslims would never accept the deal”, she declared at a press conference in Lucknow recently. MK Pandhe, a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), warned the SP against supporting the UPA Government on the nuclear issue because, he claimed, “a majority of the Muslim masses are against the deal”. So I just want to ask these political parties that whether their objections to the deal is based on some reasoning or just because it is “anti-Muslim”. If it is based on some reasoning then they can consult few experts and question the PM as well and seek clarification but if the opposition is based on some blind ideological obduracy then politics has reached yet another nadir in our country.

I will also like to ask few questions to the Muslims and parties that are dragging Muslims on this issue. What they mean when they say that “the deal is anti Muslim”. Have they studied the deal or blindly following their leaders’ opinion? The survey conducted by Urdu weekly also said that the 85 per cent Muslims called America their biggest enemy. I hope this is not the reason of the deal being ’anti-Muslim’. I would also like to press that the religion should take back-seat when their is an issue of national concern. But sadly that is not happening in India.

At this juncture I would also like to draw your attention to a survey that was conducted by The Indian Express, CNN-IBN and CSDS last year. The survey showed that the division among Muslims on the deal approximated the divisions in the larger population – 19 per cent supported the deal and 15 per cent were opposed to it. In other words, the survey found no evidence to support the argument of a monolithic ’Muslim opinion’ against the deal. Mayawati’s Muslim MLAs admit they know little about the deal – they aren’t alone, only 26 per cent of all those polled in The Indian Express survey admitted to knowing about it – but they all back their supreme leader. The majority of the population has no idea about the deal and yet they are backing their leaders. Muztaba Siddiqui, BSP MLA from Soroan in Allahabad, said the nuclear deal was “harmful for Muslims” because it had been made “with the specific purpose of harassing Muslims”. SP MLA Ziauddin Rizvi said that “The deal is an international issue and it will not affect the Muslims’ political view. Back home, our only focus is how to stop the RSS-backed BJP from coming to power.” With such doltish comments coming from the community’s leaders sums it all. And let me tell you that if these are the reasons behind the deal being ’anti Muslim’ then I support the deal at all cost.

The Muslim need to change their attitude towards the issues that concern the nation and should not declare everything ’anti Muslim’ on the basis of nothing. It is high time that liberal Muslims become the voice of their community and save their community from becoming a toy in the hands of selfish political parties. You just cannot expect the political parties to change their ways and they will always indulge in the ’secular’ politics.

Image Courtesy: www.topnews.in/files/Indo-USNukeDeal.jpg

Inflation and the stupid Economist

Child Psychologists say that a man who has got 20 years of formal education, has irrevocably lost or damaged 70% of his IQ. I have completed 18 years of formal education by 10 + 2 + 4 years (and 2 years in kinder garden) so I must have lost 63% of my IQ. Hence I have no qualms in saying “Main panchvi pass se tej nahin hoon” ( I am not smarter than a 5th grade kid.) Having said that, I hope the readers will spare me for my stupidity and mistaken concepts regarding Inflation and Economy.

Though I don’t have much of an IQ, I have my basic chemistry intact and a little bit of common sense.
Basic crude oil Refining

Basic crude oil Refining


As seen from the image, petrol being lighter and more volatile, distills out first at about 120˚C while the diesel comes out much later at 270˚C. Obviously more energy is required to extract diesel from crude oil and as such it must be more costly. However in India we get Diesel at about INR 34 and Petrol at about INR 50. Diesel is subsidised, as India being an agro-based country needs diesel for tractors, tube wells etc.

If that’s the case then I don’t understand what the Under Performing Alliance prime-minister and the famous economist Dr. Manmohan Singh means by “subsidy cannot be given forever”

Does he mean to say that Diesel prices will be raised by about INR 15? Does he mean to say that the successive government knowingly gave the Oil companies huge losses and deliberately planned a situation where they don’t have funds to buy crude oil? Does he mean to say that in last 60 years none of the oil companies ever made a profit? And ONGC being rated in Fortune 500 is a hoax?

Unfortunately, facts tell otherwise. In Pakistan, as on 16 March 2008 petrol was INR 39.64 where as Diesel was at 24.59 INR. In 2002, petrol in India was costlier by 22% and 45% compared to Pakistan and Bangladesh respectively.

Anyways, as I said I am no economist, so before starting this post I looked up to the dictionary to know what the term subsidy means. Well, Webster defines subsidy as “a grant by a government to a private person or company to assist an enterprise deemed advantageous to the public”. Unsatisfied with the definition I referred a second one and it defined the word more precisely as “an amount of money that the government pays to help reduce cost of product or service”.

Obviously the whole and sole aim of subsidy is to reduce the cost of product, so if the world wide oil prices are increasing, the best buffer can be to reduce the taxes on the fuel. And it is a well known fact, that if taxes are removed from petrol and diesel their prices will fall in India irrespective of the current state of the world market.

It follows that our government and Dr. Manmohan Singh thinks that leaving a tax of INR 20 on an item priced at INR 100 whose production cost is at INR 1 is also a subsidy and it cannot go on forever.

To show the greatness of our economist and our budget planners, let’s look at a very simple item. Milk in India costs about INR 20 while as a Soft Drinks are priced at INR 30 a litre or INR 42 per 1.5 litre. And before you jump to say that Soft drink is a Luxury while milk is a necessity, I haven’t finished yet. Mineral water is at INR 10 per litre!!!

Now, does the government thinks that drinking water is not as big necessity as that of milk? Or it simply wants to state that two litres of water are equivalent to 1 litre of milk? And don’t you think that 250 ml of carbonated water ( 1.5 litre of soft drinks) should be made cheaper???

It is pretty strange that we will fight with our grocer for charging 50 paise extra, fight out in court to avoid paying a rupee extra over MRP but never ever utter a single word when the government makes us pay through our nose in name of inflation. Like I said, we all have had formal education and has lost our IQ somewhere during our education.

So, what’s wrong if we pay more? We are making our country developed, Right? No wrong again!!! Let’s see how we spend the money! 5-year plan is turned into a 50-year plan of corruption. So our Under Performing Alliance (UPA) government takes pride in the sucess of the “Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna”. It is simply a waste of money. It’s an insult to labour and mockery of intelligence.

What kind of road do they build? Is it a pitched road? a concrete road?NO. It is a road that is made of clay. Motorable during summers and with monsoon it disintegrates, and the next summer the process is repeated again. Why can’t they sanction a pitch road?

I guess, our Prime minister has done a PhD.and thus has more than 20 years of formal education and has lost more than 70% of his IQ. He is incompetent to make his own decisions and thus needs guidance in everything he does. And the God Sent guidance in form of Under Performer’s Alliance chairperson Ms. Sonia Gandhi!!!

Ramadoss: An Embarrassment for UPA

Ever since Dr Anbumani Ramadoss has taken the charge of the health ministry he has been directly involved in lots of controversies. The recent judgement by the Supreme Court declaring the AIIMS amendment act as a void is yet another setback for the minister. The verdict came after Dr Venugopal challenged his removal as AIIMS Director following an amendment moved by Union Health Minister Ambumani Ramadoss to fix 65 years as the upper age limit for the post.
It is belived that Ramadoss forced parliament to bring amendment in AIIMS Act to remove Dr. Venugopal. Dr Venugopal was removed from AIIMS in 2007. The AIIMS Amendment Act was passed by the Parliament in August 2007. The health minister of this UPA government has done everything wrong as far as medicos are concerned. The battle between medicos and Anbumani Ramadoss started in the year 2006 after the quota agitation and since then Ramadoss is at loggerheads with the autonmous and premeier institute of AIIMS. Anbumani Ramadoss is doing everything to ensure that he remains in some lime light but in doing so, he is maligning the image of AIIMS and health ministry and it is high time that Dr Manmohan Singh takes some stern action against him.
Dr Ramadoss junior has been in the eye of a storm for urging film and sports stars to not endorse soft drinks; for stuffing AIIMS with his cronies; for publicly contesting United Nations figures on AIDS in India; Dr Ramadoss had no time to sign degrees and hence student’s got their certificates of merit late and that too after intervention of court; increasing the tenure of MBBS; and for advocating statutory warnings for smoking on screen. He is targeting Shahrukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan for various stupid reasons and has just lost his balance somewhere it seems.
The UPA and Congress is trying to put a brave face up but the verdict has certainly showed the dishonest and malafide intentions of the minister. Anbumani Ramadoss has brazenly said that there is no question of his resigning over the SC verdict. The health minister has made AIIMS a playground to play the dirtiest of politics.
But this verdict might start a fresh debate in political arena to clip the wings of the Judiciary in the country. Few of the political parties have already said that judiciary is intervening too much in the working of the parliament. As Ramadoss waits to study the verdict we may see fresh confrontations between Judiciary and Parliament. Politicians argue that laws passed by parliament should be protected from judicial review since MPs are the people’s representatives. But then Supreme Court is the custodian of the Constitution. Any decision to clip the wings of the court may lead to same scenes that we saw in Pakistan after removal of Chief Justice. Whatever be the case the fact remains that Dr Ramadoss is and embarrassment for UPA and should be removed as soon as possible.