Thursday, November 18, 2010

Politically incorrect-Quick fix

Our courts insist that nobody should remain head of different sports organizations for unlimited period. Delhi high court has slammed politicians’ monopoly on sports associations. The order means IOA president Kalmadi and such others cannot seek re-elections. The high court suggested age limit of seventy years and maximum tenure of twelve years for such persons. Now our very dear Suresh Kalmadi, the doyen of Indian sports has been in straddle of IOA for more then fifteen years and yet, aspires for Asian Games and Olympic Games to be held in India under his leadership. Don’t ever think that Kalmadi is after money. Money is to be made of course, but that is secondary, not primary. While remaining head of IOA and recently CWG, he has acquired new skills which he wants to utilize in Asian and Olympic Games for the benefit of our nation.

Think it over, while Shiela Dikshit had to pray to the Almighty for success of our CWG, Kalmadi had no such fears. He was sure of the Games’ success. While taking all criticisms in his stride, he almost willed the Games into success.

But that is not the point. The point is, our government does not recognize real talent when it finds one. Take the case of Kalmadi. He has this unique talent to turn tables in a jiffy. Bridge collapsed? No problem. Kalmadi snaps his fingers and lo and behold, there is your bridge, as new as ever. His magical powers are not utilized elsewhere by our administrators. The powers that be should look beyond sports. You want our sacred river Ganga cleaned? Suppose the budget of Ganga cleaning is a thousand Crores and time limit is two years. You can rely on dear Kalmadi and sleep over the project for twenty months. Just wake up after twenty months and take time of about three months to move files. Then call Kalmadi at your convenience. He will move his magic wand and your Ganga will be as pure as ever in no time. The only negligible issue is that the project cost will have doubled. A minor hitch that, if you ask me.

Consider our Five Year Plans. Not a single of our FYP have succeeded or completed so far. We have never achieved our targets here because we have never cared to call Kalmadi to help us. If we call him, seek his blessings, all our FYP would be roaring success and what is more, we won’t have to work for five full years.

That is the moot point. Ignore Kalmadi and you are in trouble. If our administration can find ten people like him, and I am sure there are people out there, equally talented if not more then Kalmadi, our nation will be a much better place to live in.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Political views-Exemplary Tower

One meaning of ‘Adarsh’ is ‘exemplary’. In that sense Adarsh cooperative housing society in Colaba fits the bill. This society is exemplary of how a junior defense officer can build a tower on army land. Mr. R.C.Thakur has shown people of India, how a project meant for the benefit of war widows can be manipulated to benefit him as well as other bureaucrats. He has set an ‘Adarsh’ example of how to convert a project of six storey building into a thirty one. This ‘Adarsh’ project was cleared by two ministers- Sushilkumar Shinde and Vilasrao Deshmukh. C.M. Ashok Chavan’s mother-in-law too has a flat in the tower. Shinde has shown us how to dodge inconvenient questions by just keeping mum when asked about it. Deshmukh teaches us with exemplary ease how to forget one’s own misdeeds for he claims he doesn’t remember anything about the said project. Sri Jairaj Phatak has gone a step further and has set an example of how to open ‘phatak’ (door) for construction of 104 mts. from a mere permissible 30 mts. if his son gets a flat in the ‘Exemplary’ society.

Above all our state and central governments and various other agencies connected with clearing such projects have set an example of how to sleep when the wrong doing goes on and how to wake up after a few years of the completion of an illegal project. Now our dear Mr. Thakur has been careful enough to allot flats to the who’s who of our country so that eventually when the cracker bursts, he himself will be defended by these big shots. Last but not the least, Mr. Thakur has set an exemplary example of how to remain unmoved, how to smile through criticism, how to remain confident, how to remain unaffected though a CBI enquiry is on against him in another case and how to ignore his opponents with a scorn they deserve, exemplary indeed.

To copy a cement manufacturer’s ad:

Public: “Ye illegal building toot ti kyon nahin?”

Thakur: “Tootegi kaise? Shinde, Deshmukh, Chavan, Phatak. Admiral Madhavendra Singh, Maj. Genaral T. k. Kaul jaison ke ashirvad se jo bani hai.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Mera Bharat Mahan- Indian Rope Trick

Now that our CWG was a success, magician Kalmadi has expressed his desire to organize Olympic Games. Only a few days prior to CWG, our very own, dear and beloved Sheila Dikshit was quoted as saying: “I pray every night for the games’ success.” How touching. The fact is, there was a time when there was nothing left for her to do, for she wanted the job that was to be done in seven years, done in seven days. Only God could help her and she knew it. And what is more, God did help her.

In many parts of the world it is believed that India is a land of snakes, naked sadhus, magic and magicians. Our Rope Trick is very famous worldwide. Indeed, ours is a land of magicians. We have magicians like Dikshit, Kalmadi, Gill and not to forget, Jaipal Reddy. Now this magician, Reddy, our Urban Development minister, is unable to stand erect on his two feet. He has to take support of not one but two walking sticks, is given responsibility of our Common Wealth Games. We Indians have great faith in ourselves and our God. I am not surprised that the Games went well. One of our honorable minister and magician, M.S.Gill had suggested that the CWG was just like an Indian wedding. There is chaos all around Indian marriages, but in the end every thing is hanky dory. Nothing to worry about the Games, bridges may collapse, flushes may not work, toilets may be filthy, beds may not have enough strength to withstand human weight, but Games will happen and successfully at that. He is right. If the Games’ village was not ready, there were always five star hotels at our rescue, like England team never bothered to visit our Games’ village. They straight away checked into five star hotels. Just like that other teams would have found their own way if they are not comfortable at the village. Of course, there will be extra expenditure of a few crores, but what is money compared to our nation’s image? Jerks like you and me will pay extra taxes and super jerks like ministers, officials will spend lavishly. But Games will happen. Like Gill suggested on another occasion that there will be disasters, confusion, chaos, but somehow it will work out in the end. It always does. This is our way of doing things-Indian style. Indeed, India is a land of magicians.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Current affairs-Once upon a time

The bone in the form of Amit Shah is stuck in the throat of Narendra Modi and he is not able to either swallow it or throw it out. He is stuck with it. This reminds me of an old Panch Tantra story, “Once upon a time.”

Once upon a time there was this princess in a faraway kingdom, who was extremely beautiful. She was so lovely and fair that one could see water and milk slide down inside her beautiful throat. To her misfortune, one very ordinary tailor saw her and fell in love with her. He was so obsessed with her beauty and beautiful body that he lost his sleep, his hunger and his job and lusted day and night to possess the princess and her lovely body.

A skilled carpenter friend of the tailor took pity on him and made a wooden bird with his skill which could fly. The tailor prepared a dress for himself befitting God Vishnu. Now the tailor would fly himself on the bird at midnight and into the princess’s room. He introduced himself as God Vishnu and told her that he was highly impressed with her beauty and could not contain himself without seeing her. The innocent princess was beyond herself that the God himself was in love with her and so their affair started. They married secretly (Gandharvalagna) and the tailor made full use of the princess and her beautiful body.

But as it usually happens, rumor reached in the ears of the king that the princess was having an affair and somebody was visiting her bedroom daily after midnight. The king was aghast and asked his queen to find out the truth. The queen found all evidence of physical relations on the princess’ body. The king decided to punish his daughter severely to set correct moral example for his subject. Whereupon the princess declared that she had committed no sin and she was married to God Vishnu himself. The king was overjoyed that the princess was wife of the God and officially announced their marriage valid.

After a while the king thought that since the God himself was his son-in-law, he should extend his empire. Nobody can defeat God. So he asked all small and big kings to accept his superiority and pay taxes to him or face consequences. But some refused, so he set about the task of attacking such kingdoms and requested his son-in-law, actually a tailor, to lead his army.

The tailor thought that his days of pleasures were over. If he spoke the truth, the king would have his head cut off. If he didn’t, he would be killed in the war since he was not a warrior. With a heavy heart he bid good bye to the princess and proceeded for war.

Again luck was in his favor. God Narada told Lord Vishnu that people on earth thought that the tailor was God Vishnu that was you. People did not know the truth. Now if the tailor was defeated or killed, people would think that the God was defeated. So, Vishnu had to make this tailor win, otherwise nobody would worship him. Vishnu thought that Narad was right. So he entered the tailor’s body, fought the war and won all battles, though against his will.

Similar is the case of Narendra Modi. If Amit Shah is proved guilty and sentenced, Modi,s own image is at stake. So he has to defend Shah, like it or not. He (Modi) cannot afford to leave Shah to his fate, unlike Sharad Pawar who happily dumped Lalit Modi when the going got tough.

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Indian politics-Haji Advani

I admire Sri Advani’s perseverance. He would do anything, absolutely anything to remain in limelight. The latest news being: “Advani woos Muslims and assures them of impartial governance if NDA returns to power.”

This is the same Advani who was not only instrumental, but one of the main players in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition along with Uma Bharati. It has been accepted and proved almost beyond doubt that he was the main instigator in that ghostly episode. In fact Advani was there on the site itself coaxing kar sevaks to carry on with the demolition task and it is said that later, when the demolition was over, Advani and Bharati shared sweets on the site itself.

Now I have heard that politicians have thick skin or let us put it this way, if you have thick skin, only then you can aspire to become a politician. That is one fundamental requirement and Sri Advani takes the cake in that aspect. He has the thickest skin ever. This main culprit of the Masjid demolition should be ashamed of facing the Muslim community, instead now he is wooing them and begging them for votes. Thick skin and shameless indeed, this man can stoop to the lowest moral level if it serves his purpose.

Let us, for a moment, forget about Hindu-Muslim picture. Let us, for a while, think about historical importance of Babri Masjid, built more then four hundred years back by Babar. It was a place of tourist importance and all, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christians and others visited the place. It could have been there for five hundred years more, gaining further importance but for Advani. He has destroyed a place of archeological importance, he has destroyed history.

What next? What would he do next to woo Muslim votes? I will not put it past him or be surprised, if, like his Rath Yatra, he performs Haj Yatra, and calls himself Haji Advani.

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Politically incorrect-India vs China

A few days back, our papers’ headlines shouted: “P.M. steps in, sets 24 hours deadline to fix games. Delhi hangs its head in shame. Almost every thing that can go wrong has gone wrong.”

This only eleven days before the games (CWG) started and seven years after India got the games in 2003. No surprises here. What can one expect when outdated, over aged, outlasted persons like Sheila Dikshit. Suresh Kalmadi, Lalit Bhanot and M.S.Gill are given responsibilities of such a huge adventure. Even our P.M. (with due respect to him), is not familiar with workings of the games. All the people mentioned above are useless if you look at the answers they gave to the public outcry. They are all, without exception, past their prime. Kalmadi, in particular, kept saying everything would be fine but did not bother to explain how. Whatever little success the game had seen was because of the efforts of people other than this foursome and a little bit of luck. About participants’ facilities and hygiene, the less said the better. And Kalmadi is totally silent about half the money spent on CWG either gone down the drain or into the pockets of various officials and that too without doing their job. Dollar ninety a piece toilet paper is just but one glaring example.

One of my friends, who is a student of China and Chinese culture for years, has some interesting comparisons to offer:

• India was offered CWG in 2003 and set on files for four years. Work started only in 2007. China, on the other hand, had all files cleared in first thirty days for their 2008 Olympic Games.

• In India organizing Committee had to run after different departments to clear their files and getting various permits. In China, the concerned department is answerable to the government if the files are not cleared in stipulated time.

• In China, work started immediately upon receiving various clearances. They worked at steady and constant pace, verifying the quality of work every now and then. India, on the other hand, started actual work four years too late, at an unsteady pace, never bothered to question or verify the quality of work by their contractors.

• China too had its share of mishaps and delays, but they had ample time to rectify their mistakes and faults. India always worked on war footing, compromising on quality and time.

• China was ready for the games much before the scheduled date (six months according to some), had rigorous trials of venues. India had to be ordered by the PM, no less, to step up our speed when the games were a week away.

• Last and most interesting, guilty are taken to task immediately in China, no delay there. Action against guilty is prompt and severe. India promises to take action after the games are over and that too, at the pace at which preparations of the games progressed.

However, there is one major benefit in India which China cannot match. Quite a few people connected with the games have become rich overnight. No small feat t

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Header image credit: adapted from David Niblack

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