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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness has become one of the most reviewed books since and even before its publication in June 2017. The antici...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Corruption and society

Legendary Indian corruption being what it is; it is way of life not just an aberration. Though many a times politicians are the easiest scapegoats for all the ills afflicting society including corruption but a mere scratch would very easily reveal it is not just politicians but one and all who are either directly corrupt or are corrupted due to their very condoning, conniving and ignoring corruption. There are corrupt officials and if officials are not corrupt their sub-ordinates are; if not sub-ordinates then it would be superiors and still worst are the demanding spouses whose pride level thrives proportionate to the level of forcefully induced corruption in their gullible bitter halves. Then there are tax evaders and their abettors and worst of all and who wouldn't stop at anything while filling their coffers are the corporate scoundrels for whom no profits are too high and no means are too mean; no lack of ethics is unethical; no greed is too greedy, thus, feeding and thriving on each other at the same time corroding the entire edifice. Those all forces of greed and corruption work in remarkable concert and tandem. It is hardly an exaggeration to make a statement that corruption permeates every strata of society and forebodes ominous portends.      

Thursday, April 22, 2010

IPL fraud

Sometimes back I wrote that an extravagant phenomenon like IPL should have never happened. It smacked of nothing other than brazen display of wealth. It has been demeaning for the country, if that still meant anything, and more importantly it has been demeaning for the game of cricket itself. Despite changing formats cricket always retained an aura of sobriety, which has been recklessly trampled by allowing this debasing and meaningless circus to proceed and make mockery of everything fair associated with a noble game. And what is coming to light now, which anybody should with any sense of rightness have expected that the process itself has been nothing but a front for money laundering, accumulation of black money and letting underworld thugs to make hay. The brazenness with which it’s so-called chief executive went on challenging from one authority to another; be it government on election schedule or English Cricket Board on county cricket time-table; that, itself, should have caused concern and led to an appropriate and timely action. Leaving that aside the very process itself was another step down the road with bold proclamation of an era where everything can be and is being bulldozed by the affluent. If people or powers to be are still amazed at the growing Maoist movement they just need to sense the growing decadence manifested by the processes like IPL cricket and everything associated with it. The rural areas still lack drinking water; the residents of north-east are still under siege; Kashmir has still not been solved; the country lacks infra-structure for basic necessities; electric supply remains erratic and everything else is topped with ever increasing rampant corruption. Shyam Benegal didn't exaggerate when the lead character in his latest movie calls corrupt officials worse than terrorists. India doesn't need to fear secessionists demanding separation but the real fear comes from as Arundhati Roy said from the rich who have long time back seceded and insulated themselves in a stratosphere away from the concerns about the outcome of their deeds.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Perils of great power

All of a sudden there is a talk of growing threat of domestic violence in US with general hatred levels reaching unprecedented credenda. One of the biggest questions is against whom this hatred is directed or more appropriately one can ask what could be the cause of the hatred. The answer without mincing any words is Obama and reason is the frenzy created by the bigoted radio talk-show hosts like Rush Limbaugh and out of control hatred mongering Sarah Palin. And strangely none of the political leader with the exception of former President Jimmy Carter ever acknowledged the racial nature of the prevailing hatred. Democrats are sitting too complacent or too afraid to address the issue; Republicans are too gleeful to see their game being played all over again. So called tea-party activists have all overnight become Jeffersonian and started naively talking of grabbing power back from the federal government. This phenomenon has been shamelessly played by Republicans; whenever they lose power they arouse passions to frenzy and bring back the eras, which are better forgotten. In the last century, Republicans answer to Roosevelt's nation saving new deal and elevating the country to the status of super-power was paranoid McCarthyism that ended up destroying many lives. Lyndon Johnson's fair society was followed by Nixon Watergate. Republicans didn't have to do much to destroy Clinton presidency as he himself handed them a knife, which they used with a relish bordering on disgust. Fairly enough, no one sympathized with Clinton for wasting a talent that could have been used to spare the world from the hell and fraud perpetrated by his successor. Now suddenly Obama has everything that can go wrong in the eyes of conservatives and if one is to believe he is an outright socialist and plans to turn US into a communist country. One thought one would see naivety finally bottoming out but in the context of US it seems to be a bottomless creature. One can see the limits of presidential powers; with Democratic majority in the both house and senate he cannot even imagine to appoint a true liberal justice to the highest court. Jeffersonian activists cite bank bail outs and health care reform as examples of federal government going too far. Well that brings to the point where we started naivety knows no limits.

Monday, April 19, 2010

World-at large

So many things happening; Iceland volcano eruption causing air taffic chaos worse than ever seen since 9/11; Liberal-Democrats suddenly leading in the polls in UK and making Tories jittery; foot-in-mouth Shashi Tharoor finally gone; Polish president burried; Pope facing worst crisis; then there was Nazi-style legislation from Narender Modi government wisely rejected by the governor. Somehow I didn't feel like commenting on any of this.

  • Kuch to parhiye ke log kehte hain,

  • Aaj Ghalib ghazal sara na hua !!

Friday, April 16, 2010

UK election-part 1

UK will go to polls on May 6 and for the first time since 1974 outcome seems to be bordering on uncertainty. Predicted hung parliament is setting conservative media and the city into frenzy as if the end of the civilization is near. In many ways the country itself has been reduced to an anomaly. While almost all west European countries due to their rational proportional system of representation get coalition governments, the British system based on first past the post results in the disproportionate representation in the parliament and the parties tend to get inflated majorities without requirement for consensus building for government formation. And with time those brutish majorities tend to degenerate into decadence and resultant disjointed decisions. Any coalition government based on minimal consensus building would definitely have prevented Blair from plunging UK into a fraudulent war on Iraq. Coming back to the election on hand, it is likely Tories will end up in forming a new government and may even shine for an interim period before plunging into intra-party civil war on the singular issue of Europe. Barring the war on Iraq the Labour government, notwithstanding venomous reactionary conservative media, has on the record been thorough and effective in pushing an entirely new agenda in Britain and moved it away from inhumane Thatcherism. Nevertheless, the proverb 'power corrupts' has ad virtue of being true and so Labour needs to do some penance by languishing in opposition without falling into the trap of a class war.