Modiji : If Only!!

16 May 2014 is a memorable day in recent Indian history. It was a day of collective national orgasm, even the people who couldn’t differentiate an ‘o’ from a ‘a’ were orgasming at the Namo chant. For the right wing which forms a major core of his vote base and might find the word orgasm a tad offensive, I can say, the nation was in a hysteric frenzy, highly hopeful about the future, expectant of a wide gamut of changes. I too was hopeful
More than a year has passed, the Govt has been analysed by a variety of more than competent voices, pens and keyboards. I am but a tiny, nondescript voice in this whole sea, BUT a voice nonetheless
Modi the Ideologue? – Modi had come to the scene as कर्मठ  politician. He was the doer, the implementer we had been waiting for ages. India has had a rich history of spiritual-cultural gurus through its history. What we need rather is a British (or to generalise Western) tenacity, orderliness and diligence, the work ethic what we call. The first call which came with Modi was “Swachha Bharat” definitely a much needed one, kudos to him for the initiative. Man ki Baat was an interesting initiative, although I didn’t much favour a PM spending quite sometime every week to basically do BC on Radio. Par theek hai Modi sahab apne thoda zyada  bolte hain. Then came a whole lot of foreign visits. Activity in India corresponded to World Yoga Day. Everybody around me has felt happy and encouraged by the initiative except the doctors who had to go to early morning yoga under the orders of Dept of Ayush. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the initiative except some Muslims protesting. But we already had a Baba Ramdev, and this work could better be left to him rather than the PM and the official government machinery. Health improvement initiatives are not the right or duty or the territory of government, it should be more concerned with providing the sustenance, even which many Indians are lacking.
I had these points rankling my brain but the straw on the camel’s back was #SelfiewithDaughter. Its as noble an  initiative as ever. But the PM, (who himself actually left his wife stranded) should be formulating and implementing policies on ground which work for betterment of girl child rather than tweeting about it. The fact that the fathers who are actually tweeting the pics would have families which would provide atleast  superficial equality to their daughters.
Modi in one of the pre-election interviews had said, ‘Kuch banne ki mat socho, bas karne ki socho” and right now he only thinks (atleast acts) only to banana or banna, Bharat ko mahan rashtra, Yoga ko world icon, India ko tourist hub. If Only!!
HRDDD!!! – If there is an issue more important than administering or policing a nation, it is educating a nation. As I would like to say, this world has been a knowledge society from paleolithic to today. The one thing which we need to focus most in this mechanised, industrial, scientific age is education. The decision to appoint our Tulsi Bhahi to the post reflected all that was intended to about the importance of the ministry, and the value of education, a decision even the Modi fans regret about.  In no analysis of mine have I ever marked Modi as criminal rather ascribing things like Scams, Black money, land bill and stuff as guilt in conduct at max. But his neglect of education is the biggest criminal assault on the future of India he is committing. Schools are pathetic, libraries are absent, secondary education is fraught with cheating. And all Mrs. Irani is giving more and more of taxpayer to bringing up more IITs & IIMs, quite a colossal waste in whose details I wont even go.
Its not that he doesnt have the people. He has Maneka Gandhi, the lady who is associated with bringing out humane and far reaching changes wherever she has committed herself. She is the in-charge of Women and Child empowerment agreed but where did the talks of merging ministries and cutting red tape go. Child and Education together can be the best option. If only!! Mr. Modi would listen?

Handling of Myanmar – 18 Indian Army jawans were killed in Manipur inside India. India’s response was, to enter the territory of another sovereign nation and conduct army raids there. Indians got a hashtag #56InchRocks, PM Modi became the No-Nonsense PM, Parrikar the bad ass Defense Minister. But, is there any point of view which could convince me that this was the ideal step to take, in such a situation. Instead of taking it as a national insult or a terrorist attack, this should first of all be seen as a huge failure of the intelligence agencies for people to come from across the border and stage such planned outrage. Second, what would happen in case some such attack comes from Pakistan or Bangladesh, we can’t storm in there. Congress inaction was a big no no but the BJP/Parrikar knee jerk reaction and chest thumping “We don’t keep the army to preach peace” isn’t much of a positive twist either. Even the mighty (read US) can’t sustain and succeed in the wars of this age, leave aside a lowly India. There was no mention of intelligence failure or the need to develop preventive, resistive capabilities and we got a chest-thumping-making-fool-out-of-himself-previously-respected-defense-minister. If Only!!

I haven’t really gone into the points mentioned so brilliantly in the following article which were my initial thoughts.
Indian Foreign Ministry – I had decent respect for Sushma Swaraj, then she was assigned the role of a Sarkari Babu in Foreign Ministry. The poor lady had not much say in policies and implementation I can fairly assume. So bored with nothing to do at office, our honourable FM took to twitter with her personal handle being used as the SOS contact, Indians stuck in different countries ping the foreign minister of our country with the honourable minister even replying to the tweets. I had heard a lot about Modi’s micro management but that involved a foreign minister doing the work of a Secretary or Assistant was not what I had expected it as. To top it, these instances were pushed to the public timeline by the BJP bots as the example of the ‘Most Badass FM we ever had’. Head—Wall :Bam: #redefinition-of-duties-of-foreign-minister-max. It would have been so much more prudent of Modi to keep the ministry (AS he has obviously has to fulfill the ambitions of a global leader) and utilised Sushma Swaraj elsewhere. If Only!!
Schemes –  Chinnaswamy stadium receives less DLF Maximums in an IPL season as perhaps the number of new schemes launched in recent times. Make in India, Bullet Trains, Smart Cities, Jan Dhan Yojana to name a few. Make in India was an interesting concept, I am still much hopeful about it producing results. Bullet trains is as ghastly a suggestion as Marie Antoinette asking people to eat cake if they can’t have bread.
Smart cities seems a dream too far when you realise, Chennai a major Indian metropolitan(?) city got its first metro train today and that there were 70cr Rs alotted to a city, a pittance if you try to work it out. Lets first make our cities and then we can think of smart cities.
A very succesful practice adopted by China and most prudent people is to start a scheme on a small scale try and find out the weakness, strong points and implement a better tested out alternative on a larger scale. The Jan Dhan schemes launched which include opening tiny accounts,  giving basic insurance cover are perfect examples of good gone bad. Most of the benefits are availed of by the educated, middle class rather than the actually needy villager. Instead of the bank based model, we need to focus on the Banking Correspondent based model targeting the villages instead of the cities if we actually want the schemes to bear fruits. But
If Only!!!

Surrender Not Bannerjee

The pages of History which I go through
One of the biggest gain I find
The joy of marvel, the awe of being humbled
When I get to meet the giants of past

One such super cool, Bearded Suave Rockstar
One whose speeches India first heard
Was our dear old Surendranath Bannerjee
Or as I like to call him, SNB

Raja Rammohan Roy,the first modern Indian
Nehru might after all be the first independent one
But, my dear friends, talk of the Indian who was first free
The one who stood as Indian, our SNB was the one

Surrender Not Banerjee was what the British would call him
A fan of Mazzini, Garibaldi, the first Indian ICS
This was the man who scared Hume
And thus we got our own Congress

He was the one who started mutinies and won them too
Fought and won the post of ICS once
Until they couldn’t but dismiss on whim
And thus was born the first radical

Buried in the pages of Moderatism
The free Indian got blown by Tilak
The Rashtraguru faded into oblivion
But not before he had made the mark

Years countless have passed since your birth
Almost a century since your death
And yet this one son of your nation
And a lover of your extremism

Shall always remember you
The one with poise but too the swag to push it up
The one who started it all for us..
The one great grandfather we all forgot

Man ki Swachchhata

Indian win over Pakistan to win Gold Medal in Hockey.Dream come true for so many Indians who wouldn’t have known names of perhaps 2 hockey team players (Sardar Singh might be known because of being flag bearer). The era of 1948,1971 and the ages of percieved equality in 80s and 90s are gone. We have surged ahead of Pakistan. We are an emerging global power, Pakistan is a failing nation, the competition ended years ago.

Pakistan is a separated brother, agreed they are temperamental, hostile but which younger brother is not hostile to seemingly harmless actions of a big brother because of the fear of domination. I saw the fear in eyes of my 1 year old nephew. Kids are kids, my older nephew came and snatched away the toy from his younger brother and played away to glory. We the elders were left to pacify the younger one distracting him away from the toy.I wouldn’t comment too much on Pakistan but India (hopefully) has matured over the years. We are a young nation with the famous “Dividend” , not a toddler. Age of brow beating and toy snatching is gone. India’s vision, as too that of India’s youth, should be higher, better and suitable things rather than the joy of beating Pak to win Gold in a second grade competition against a similarly woeful opponent.

I would have liked atleast one to say, “This should be a building block, India should now aim for greater glory in Olympics”, it wasn’t even a celebration of India’s victory, but a defeat of Pakistan. India has moved beyond 90s in many things, this is one of the vestiges which need to be shed soonest.

With the vested interest making up political leadership in both countries, any chances of peace and brotherhood are limited for India-Pakistan. More than Pakistan, India needs a peaceful Pakistan and good relation for its benefit. Its our prerogative to offer the hand of friendship. Diplomatically its a tough nut. Only way out is “Dil Milna” of the aawam of 2 nations. When I see, some of the most politically correct, unbiased of my friends celebrating Pakistan’s loss. I can only pray for “Man ki Sawchchhata” of some, just to make a beginning. Brothers can fight but shouldn’t kill or humiliate..
Someday before I die in a world seemingly impossible hopefully realistic, I would like to able to shout the slogan “Hind-Pak ek maa ki santaan” without any brow beating or violence.