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The pointlessness of Indian Politics


I know that this is getting to be a bit repetitive, talking about the same old things again and again.  In my defence I shall say that my writing is akin to the rendition of a Hindustani raga.  Each time a new dimension is to be added to the raga the whole cycle is repeated. The same thing can be said about my writing.  Every time when a new thing transpires in politics my writing starts yet again with the all the points that I have covered at some point in the blog.  So dear reader please indulge me a bit.  It hurts me to see my beloved country being so poorly represented by its politics, which are increasingly more opportunistic and less visionary.  That is the problem that rankles me most.  Who have we entrusted our country to and why?


First let us look at the who bit, we will come later to the why bit.  We have entrusted our great country to thugs, goons, scoundrels and rogues.  I have some more epithets but they maybe unnecessary and may offend reader sensibilities.  Let us start at the top with the Congress Party.  I say that because this is the party that is running the country and the state that I belong to, Andhra Pradesh.  If you have been reading this blog you will remember that at one time I said that there is no administration in the State of Andhra Pradesh.  Between that assertion and now, nothing has happened to change my view of things.  It was incredibly funny to see the appointment of Botcha Satyanarayana as PCC President.  He was one of the people named in the now famed Volkswagen case where monies were embezzled but the company did not come to Andhra Pradesh.  His name has been "cleared" but that was bound to happen anyway.  How many of our politicians have not been cleared?  If Kapil Sibal had his way, A. Raja, Kanimozhi et al would have not even been charge sheeted since he was proposing this wonderful new "zero sum" theory according which the nation lost nothing and the politicians gained nothing.  But mark my words, it is just a matter of time before these names too are "cleared" after the fall guys are found.  Or sometimes if you let things stay quiet enough then they die on their own.  I can recall the case of one K. Chandrashekar Rao, the Chief of the TRS and the chief protagonist of separate Telangana who had some cases of passport racketeering and human trafficking pending against him.  Now all is forgotten; so no problems with that.  


But let me come back to Botcha Satyanarayana.  He was not only involved in the Vasishtha Wahan (VW which is also short for Volkswagen) scam but also had claims of nepotism targetted against him in his native district.  Botcha Satyanarayana has been chosen because he is "soft" on the Telangana issue, that is what newspapers have to say.  I do not know what that means but  that now seems to be the reason to choose a person as PCC President.  It was hilarious to see pictures of Botcha S' coronation with caparisoned camels and other wildlife (read that as Congress goons) accompanying him to the venue of his crowning.  What message is the Congress party sending to the people?  Are they saying "we are like this only, leave it or lump it"?  Now if this is not enough the separate Telangana legislator's lobby were summoned by the Prime Minister for a tete a tete.  God only knows what may have transpired in it, but I am sure that it is nothing of any great significance.  After all this was only a sideshow.  The main act was happening elsewhere.


The main act was being staged rather dramatically by Ramdev at the Ramlila grounds in New Delhi before the lead character changed clothes (into a salwar kameez, that women wear) and took to his heels to save himself from the Delhi police who decided that they would drive out the "protesters" asking for "justice" and demanding "bring back the black money into the country" and pass the Lok Pal bill and bring the office of the Prime Minister and the entire judiciary under its ambit.  Ramdev landed up on his own private property in Hardwar where he continued his fast till yesterday.  Ramdev wanted an honourable way out and that was provided by Sri Sri Ravishankar the art of living guru who implored and pleaded with Ramdev to break the fast.  Before this Ramdev had been sent to hospital since there were fears of dehydration and also a faulty liver function.  Linda Goodman, the lady who wrote about astrology and things like that once mentioned the powers of yogis.  She claimed that there was this yogi who could gain weight and strength by not eating for one week.  So from the Linda Goodman point of view Ramdev is no yogi.  Surprisingly Linda Goodman found an ally in the irrepressible Lalu Prasad Yadav who finally called a spade a spade.  He said Ramdev is no Baba, he is no yogi, just a yoga instructor.  But Lalu's reasons were probably more sinister.  Ramdev who is also a Yadav can erode his caste vote base if he becomes too popular, so this was probably a pre-emptive strike by Lalu Prasad Yadav.


Ramdev's hogging of the media space and the mind space of people must have caused sleepless nights to the "Civil Society" consisting of Anna Hazare, the father-son Bhushans, Shanti and Prashant respectively and Kiran Bedi.  So the time was rife for Hazare to make a come back.  Hazare fasts for a day protesting the treatment meted out to Ramdev but also loses no opportunity to tell everyone that Ramdev is "immature" and too individualistic.  He (Ramdev) did not understand that there had to be negotiations between members of civil society.  So in effect, Hazare was chiding Ramdev for not including him and the Bhushans and Bedi in his struggle.  As an aside let met tell you dear reader that I find this less than 10 member Civil Society in a nation of 110 crore people a bit of a joke.  But most of Indian politics is a joke anyway.  


The opposition did not believe in wasting an opportunity.  Ramdev wears colours that the main opposition the BJP loves. So Sadhvi Rithambara, the RSS and all other right wing Hindu parties try to rally around Ramdev and that provides the Congress with a weapon to counter Ramdev and Hazare.  Suddenly Hazare is on the back foot crying foul over Pranab Mukherjee including him and his precious civil society in the RSS, VHP, BJP coalition.  Ramdev needed to eat and so in all this the Congress comes out trumps.  Mukherjee is now aggressive and claims that Hazare and his cronies had no business dictating things to elected representatives and that the office of the Prime Minister and the Judiciary cannot be brought under the ambit of the Lokpal.  In effect what Pranab Mukherjee said makes sense, but then he was using logic to continue the covering up of the dirt that the Congress had accumulated.  In all this it seems Digvijay Singh, Congress Party leader and ex Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh was feeling left out.  So he counters Pranab Mukherjee and says that the office of the Prime Minister and the Judiciary should be brought under the Lok Pal.  Now there will be mayhem with everybody shouting at everyone else.  This will be duplicated in innumerable TV studios where representatives of all groups will shout at each other and in the end the whole Lok Pal thing will come a cropper.  The monied middle class which feels cheated out of its money will sulk and use Facebook and Twitter to cry offside, foul, lbw, no ball, wide and whatever else comes to its mind asking the corrupt to be given a red card and sent off the field.


In Andhra Pradesh, the show must go on.  So the political JAC under the stewardship of an academician decides that Hyderabad has had it too good for too long and therefore gives notice of an agitation that will start with the paralysing of Hyderabad on the 19th of June, 2011.  I think the JAC is sick of fasts and therefore has decided to deploy its usual strategy; disrupt life by cooking and eating on the road.  This time the residents of Hyderabad will be gently persuaded to try out cooking and eating out on the roads and enjoy first hand the joys of such exercises.  Today the ever mischievous Times of India has quoted KCR as having said that he and his followers will turn Hyderabad and Telangana into a war zone.  The Hindu reports that since the agitation has abated the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) has decided that Hyderabad is good enough to host a global meet of industries and their Captains. So it is up to you to decide who is right in their reporting.  Meanwhile Osmania University waits with baited breath, looking forward to an agitation call so that the fun and games begin again. 


Amidst all this, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh talks about resuscitating the education system by announcing an education fortnight.  Now all Government schools will teach English from class one.  Great move, but where are the teachers?  The government long ago abdicated its responsibility to provide education.  There are half a dozen universities waiting for new Vice Chancellors to be appointed.  But let me say past experience has taught me that even if there are Vice Chancellors things will not be too different, since the universities have been long taken over by the academic mafia that has powers that equal those of the real mafia.  But life goes on.  Politicians say and do things.  The media writes and sensationalizes it all.  People like me will write diatribes in blogs and the world will go on.  So I say Ca Ira (pronounced Sa eera) or French for "it will go".  And that is the answer to the why in the question that I had raised about the who and the why.  The who is who of Indian politics is a result of the attitude that we have.  In Hindi we say "sab chalta hai" or "chalta hein to chelne do".  English translation "everything goes" or "when it is going let it go".  The Americans said if it ain't broke don't fix it.  In India we say if it is broke no point in fixing it so let it go and therefore "Ca Ira".