Dynastic Rule, Murdabad!

My greatest worry is that if the Congress wins in the upcoming elections, Rahul Gandhi will be ‘chosen’ as the next PM…What are his merits? The only merit I can think of is his Nehru-Gandhi lineage…How will a guy with no experience of governance manage a country of more than a billion people and a zillion problems? This gives rise to the question: Why do Indians vote for dynasties and why haven’t we forgotten the concept of monarchy even after 60 years of independence and democracy?

The Congress is not the only party guilty of dynastic politics – most parties in existence today are family run and the heir is appointed by the leader (father or mother)…We have the Karunanidhis in Tamil Nadu, Patnaiks in Orissa, Thackareys in Maharashtra, Yadavs in Bihar, Chautalas in Haryana and Abdullahs in J&K…BJP, which defines itself as a democratic party, is also guilty of trying ‘family politics’ to get votes…They have fielded former PM Vajpayee’s niece Karuna Shukla, the sons of Jaswant Singh and Vasundhara Raje and various other wives and daughters-in-law…

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that in India, inheritance is viewed as a birthright…Look at our indigenous businesses and Bollywood…Children of successful businessmen and film stars grow up with the notion that their place is sealed in their parents’ industry even if they have no talent…Just because their parents made it, they too will…It is their right to succeed…Politics is also looked upon as a business which requires minimal investment and has high returns…Often children get into it to protect the wealth their fathers or mothers have accumulated (often illicitly) during their tenures…

Even though a successful politician appoints his or her son or daughter as the heir apparent, why do the citizens vote for him or her? People vote for dynasties because in India personalities matter and therefore the family name is crucial…Also, political dynasties provide continuity and recognizable names and faces for the uneducated to support…

Dynasties are good for the families involved but are they good for the country? This system is so pervasive in India that it stifles and saps the creativity and energy of those on the “outside”…Only meritocracy can ensure progress in society…


Why I don’t like politics

My interest in politics is next to zero because I feel that the political game and politicians are rotten…Look at our politicians – is there even one worthy of being called a statesman? No…Why? Because politics is a nasty business -it has a habit of corrupting people and attracting those who want only power and money…If you notice, most of our politicians don’t have a predilection for public service and a passion for solving problems using democratic institutions (prime eg. Indira Gandhi who furthered her quest for power by resorting to undemocratic means)…They support policies that will benefit them personally…

Politics is about compromise – one has to do things to get elected and stay in power that one wouldn’t do otherwise…To get elected and/or to remain in power, people have to compromise on their beliefs and values and it is this that keeps a lot people with integrity out of the political arena…It is not that well meaning people don’t get into politics but often they may not get elected (especially if they stand as independents) because of the lack of funds, clout and support of the general public…The fact of the matter is that in political life if one wants to succeed, one has to be backed by an already established political party… This is not to say that new parties with a vision and wanting change won’t come up (eg. Lok Patritran) but it’ll take them years to gain support and make a difference especially if they stick to their beliefs and values and resist the established game politicians play…

Politics has a habit of attracting the wrong kind of people because of the money and power involved…For this reason, it also attracts criminals…Being an elected MP or MLA not only allows them to further their criminal aspirations, it also legitimizes them…They get party tickets because of their political ‘contacts’ (read politicians who they have bribed) and once they are elected, they don’t have to worry about getting caught…

Even though India is a democratic country, political parties are not…They are ruled by dynasties or a few senior members…Any member who does not toe the party line or disagrees with the ruling elite will be booted out…So, how does a principled person with more gumption than I have make an impact in this kind of a scenario?

Since we are a democratic country, how do these no-gooders get elected? They get elected because their constituents (who display the same trait as them) vote for them…The fact of the matter is that people are individualistic and always look out for themselves, not the general welfare of the nation…Thus they vote for leaders who will cater to their personal interests and these leaders in turn only support causes which will get them votes and let them remain in power and make money…The love of money is the root of all evil…

I know I’m going to get a lot of flak for this post and I hope not everyone thinks like me…I hope there are people in this country who are not perennial complainers like me, who will never compromise on their integrity and have the gumption to stand up to the existing political machinery and do good for the country…
Edited to Add:
Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa now has the dubious distinction of being India’s No.1 WTF CM…Reason: He has earmarked RS.130cr in the budget for temples and mutts…

By the CM’s own admission, it is to propitiate the divine forces to show mercy on Karnataka and ward off sins committed by his predecessors.

This revelation by the CM was made, when former dy CM Siddaramaiah, who has presented seven budgets in the past, scoffed at him in the assembly on Thursday for making such a huge allocation to temples and mutts. The CM’s response: “There are no rains and food production has fallen due to the sins committed by various people in the past. I believe in God. I have allocated money so that Gods will be pleased and shower mercy on us.”

Now you know why I think all politicians are idiots?

Why Are Nouns Becoming Verbs?What Is Happening?

Who is responsible for the latest virus of ‘verbing’ nouns? I know I’m not because I never say “Google this” or “Mapquest that” although I am more than capable of looking up something using Google and finding an address on Mapquest…Someone once told me she ‘Amtraked’ from Syracuse to New York…Ugh!!!I felt like killing her but couldn’t because she was a friend…So, why do people do it? Is it an American trend? Does it make English simpler to understand?Should the rules for grammar and punctuation change with time?

My grammar is not very good and I am not going to win any awards for it, but it irritates me when people say things like “I love scrap booking” and “just Google it”…People these days are easily promiscuous with nouns and verbs – morphing them one way or the other to suit their language needs…This is especially true when writing or talking about new things, things that have no roots in language or our collective psyche…I think the rapidly changing world of technology is partly to blame because any new ‘invention’ always takes us by surprise and when we are surprised we conjure up words like ‘download’ and ‘blogging’ to fill the gaps…

Who decides which nouns can become verbs?Can only nouns that reflect new trends be turned into verbs?I don’t know,do you?

Are We Indians,Err,Uncivilzed? – Part II

Does anybody remember the furore over a comment made by a Delhi based Dutch diplomat Arnold Parzer a couple of years ago? The offending comment: Delhi is a ‘garbage dump’…I don’t see anything wrong with his thoughts but apparantly our over sensitive government did…The Dutch Embassy had to intervene…My question is : why take offense when offense is due?What was wrong with what he said? India is a filthy country – that is a fact…We, the citizens, have made it what it is, not foreigners…

India assaults all the senses…The streets are filled with stinking rotten garbage, human feces and holy cow dung from holy cows that wander around freely…Who hasn’t experienced paan stained-urine smelling buildings? And what about people urinating on the streets? Ugh!!!

Why are we so insensitive to our surroundings? Why don’t we take pride in keeping our country clean and free of diseases?While we like to keep our personal spaces pristine, we have no compunctions dumping our refuse on the roads…Poverty, population and the lack of good sanitation systems are not the only reasons for this mess – the citizens (rich and poor, educated and uneducated) are equally to blame…Filth is present not only in slums but also in posh areas like Malabar Hills and Chanakya Puri…Other poor countries like Vietnam are cleaner than India…Why? Is it a case of being desensitized to the issue or not really perceiving it as an issue…Or is it something to do with our culture?

I think the hierarchical nature of our caste system has something to do with the problem and the desensitization to the issue…High castes are associated with purity and cleanliness and low castes with filth and pollution…Therefore, a high born person will avoid involvement with ritually impure substances like human wastes and household garbage…If the sweeper doesn’t come to clean his bathroom, the bathroom will remain dirty because it is beneath his status to clean it himself – it is not his job, it is somebody else’s job…It is this attitude (keeping the country clean is somebody else’s problem,not mine) that has made India the mess it is…

What do you think?

Are We Indians, Err, Uncivilized?

I’ve come to the conclusion that Indians prefer goondagiri to Gandhigiri despite the success of the Munnabhai movies…How else can you explain our penchant for molesting girls, destroying property and physically harming innocents in order to further our personal agendas? Educated or uneducated, civilians or politicians – it doesn’t matter…If we don’t like something, we resort to violence to get our point across…Why? Why can’t we be more civilized?

A violent clash between the police and advocates led to a lathi charge against lawyers at the Madras High Court on Thursday. A number of lawyers and a judge were injured. The High Court turned into a war zone as lawyers began to throw stones at the police demanding the release of one lawyer arrested for assaulting Janata Party resident Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday.

If the arrested lawyer really did assault Mr.Swamy, then what did the police do wrong?Even if he were wrongly arrested, is violence the answer?

Then we have our representatives in parliament who love unruliness…

Enraged at the Members of Parliament for their unruly behaviour, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said, “You do not deserve one paisa of public money”.Members of several political parties stormed the Well of Lok Sabha raising a spate of issues and disrupted Question Hour.

How can I leave out Madam Banerjee and her Trinamool thugs in Bengal who have taken goondagiri to a new level…These idiots think nothing of manhandling innocents and vandalising property in the name of democracy…

Are we not humans? Aren’t we supposed to have self control? At least once a month a news item appears in which a jilted lover throws acid on his (it is usually a he) girlfriend’s face…Why?Because his ego was bruised…So?

Westerners think Indians are peaceful and spiritual…B.S….We are just the opposite…We don’t care for our surroundings and others, just ourselves and we’ll do anything to further our personal agendas…I feel like laughing when thugs like Pramod Muthalik talk about our ancient culture and civilization – do people like him even know the meaning of civilization and being civilized?

I Want To Barf!

This vicious full-page anti-gay ad sponsored by America Forever ran in the Salt Lake Tribune on Sunday, February 15…

My first instinct was to laugh because I thought it was a satire but apparently this group is legitimate…It is stupid & wrong on many levels (this is what happens when you look at your moronic self as a model)…Firstly, look at the layout…These guys really need to hire a good graphic designer (I think they have used 50 different fonts) and a good copywriter (badly reasoned & too much text) if they want to come out with more ads and want to be taken seriously …This ad is not only offensive to homosexuals, it is also offensive to my eyes!

Secondly, if this ad had referred to any other minority group, it would never have seen the light of day…
I particularly love the captions “This is not about Hate or Civil Rights” and “Homosexuality is not a race!” – as if loathing gay people is not being hateful and race is the only thing discrimination can apply to! Oh, and the sentence “Like in California, it is the backdoor they need to overthrow the Marriage Amendment” is really funny…
In case you are wondering, the Common Ground Initiative is a legislative push that would offer inheritance and medical-decision-making rights to same-sex couples and make it illegal to fire or evict someone for being gay or transgender…
America Forever uses the term “anti-species” instead of homosexual, lesbian and gay, on the grounds that homosexuality does not continue the human species…

Update: America Forever is happy…The final segment of the Common Ground Initiative,HB160, failed to pass in the Utah legislature today (Feb 18)…

Probably the most frustrating part for the bill’s supporters is that HB160
obviously was dead before the House Judiciary Committee convened… Strikingly,
few committee members bothered to ask questions, prompting chairwoman Rep. Lorie Fowlke to remark: “My, we have a quiet committee today.” Rep. Keith Grover, R-Orem, idly surfed the Web on his laptop as unmarried couples told of their
fears that they would not be able to care medically, financially and emotionally
for “the person who matters to me most.” The bill’s sponsor Rep. Jennifer Seelig, later said she was disappointed with the committee’s lethargy. She was offended that her efforts were characterized by the right-wing Sutherland Institute as “mendacious.” Seelig says she will reintroduce a similar bill next year:
The issue of equality is not going away.

I’ve been tagged, again!

Thanks IHM for the tag…

25 random things about me:

1. I am extremely sensitive
2. I own over 10 pairs of jeans , countless cotton t-shirts & three salwar kameezes…I last wore a saree 1.5 years ago…I don’t like synthetic stuff – only cotton…I hate wearing sweaters & try to make do with sweatshirts and fleece jackets which can sometimes be difficult in Gurgaon
3. I love music
4. I hate shopping
5. I hate heaters especially blowers
6. I am easygoing, non-confrontational
7. I like sketching although I haven’t done it for a while
8. I can’t sing at all
9. I prefer summers to winters…I’m waiting to wear shorts
10. I don’t own a single pair of high heeled shoes
11. I don’t like jewellery
12. I love watches especially Swiss ones
13. I’m glad my hair has started greying – now people will believe my age!
14. I love reading and my wish is to have my own library room at home
15. I’m a bad judge of character
16. I’m an ok cook although I can’t cook vegetarian stuff and fish
17. I’m finicky about cleanliness especially kitchens and bathrooms (Maa, don’t laugh!)
18. I like staying at home…Hate going out at night especially to clubs & bars-had my fill during college…I don’t mind going to friends’ places nearby where I can take my daughter…We’ve never left her at night with my maid
19. Love movies although haven’t been to the theatre much since my daughter was born
20. I hate chocolates, ice-creams and sandesh
21. I’m scared to speak in public…I used to tremble while making presentations at work…Thank god I didn’t sweat though – would have been terrible
22. I tend to speak very fast when I’m nervous
23. I’m easy going
24. I get irritated very fast especially with maids when they don’t listen to my instructions properly…I don’t shout at them though
25. I believe in tolerence; I don’t believe in traditions just for the heck of it…If I see the logic, it’s fine