Monday, May 26, 2014

Is a small cabinet a boon or bane?

Is a small cabinet a boon or bane?

While one can hail the 24 Cabinet (incl PM), 11 MoS(IC) and 10 MoS, it is to be seen with such a vast agenda, is it possible for the new Govt to dispense the duties properly?

Some of the questions that came up in my mind are:

1) as many political analysts said, there are distinctly unrelated ministries under the same minister

2) same MoS (IC) is having an independent department to manage and also another department for which there is a cabinet minister. Eg., Gen V K Singh, Minister for North east and Defence for which Arun Jaitley is the Cabinet Minister. so also Ms Nirmala Sitaraman. It is like reporting to two functional heads in an organisation. This is generally not regarded as a good organisational divide as justice cannot be done for both the masters.

3) some of the cabinet ministers are heavily overloaded like Arun Jaitley. Too big a bite to swallow.

4) this is a cabinet formed based on the faith on the individuals as some of them were never before a member of parliament and may not be fully aware of the nitty gritty of the governance process. Defending in a TV debate is one thing and forming / implementing policies is another.

5) can 'smallness'  alone be a driving factor? the shoe that fits the size should have been the principle. 

6) if you ask me whether this ministry is made of competence or closeness, I may tend to say that this is bordering on proximity though competency is visibly seen 

Finally, the campaign of the Congress during election seems to be coming true. The pyramid of power is too sharply rising without not much broad base. The power gets centred. 

Au revoir Dr Man Mohan Singh......

Au revoir Dr Man Mohan Singh......

The country is rejoicing the swearing-in of the new government. Yet it is apt to say few words of thanks for what you have done to the nation as an individual and also to remember your personal qualities and the values you stood for. 

Your contribution to the nation as finance minister was great by ushering in a modern era by setting up the framework and building a strong foundation from where the successive governments took over.

Even though, it was by chance you became the Prime Minister in UPA 1, you proved to be the man India needed to steer its course and were resilient in your policy agenda.  You were firm in pushing reforms and deals with the powers of the world against opposition from within and outside. You will be remembered for the visionary sight and goal you set for the country. I should say that it was our good luck that a person with such strong economic background was chosen to head the govt. against the conventional politician at that time. For this we (even your own self) owe a lot to the opposition parties for protesting against the ascendency of the party president to the post of the PM.

Such visionary policies and bolstered economy only decimated the opposition parties and gave a second term for the UPA 2. But unfortunately, the alliance parties took this to their credit and started to think that they were responsible for the growth of the nation. They have developed roots and started to eat into the pie. In their eagerness to have their share, they overstepped and swallowed the pie with the plate. That is probably the time you were tired of working both physically and mentally. You had health problem and started to reduce the interactions. You could not take on the struggle for power equations. Had you pressed for removing of the tainted ministers and parties from power at that time in the similar fashion you did for the passing of the Nuclear bill, you probably would have seen UPA 3 in power. But that was not the case to be. Added to the agony you also had the Brutus in your own party, who stabbed you at your back. It was literal and modernised version of a Shakespearean drama.

After the elections were over, leaders of Congress and alliance parties started murmuring and attributed to your silence and inaction against the corruption to the debacle. I know you were only like the Bhishma, who sat with anguish and apathy in the court of the Gauravas. Those who unleashed all the sinful acts, embraced corrupt practices,  looted the bounty, plundered the resources pointing fingers should really have hurt you. You were weeping within you, but still put up a grim face as if you were repaying a debt.

You were not a born politician or born in a family of politicians, or groomed to be a politician, but only had occasion to move with politicians. You were great in ensuring that you were not imbibed with the qualities of them, and not many would have come unscathed after moving for such long years with that tribe. Otherwise, you would have pulled some stunts during the last 2 or 3 years, some schemes or other that would have earned the praise from the masses and countered the oppositions. Because, the memory of the people are short and they would have voted you for the favours done in the near past, by ignoring the himalayan blunders your team did in the long past. 

You may not have big visitors now in your new residence but you will be invited to Universities and Conferences where they would like to hear you. Greatness is that you put yourself in a place of people wanting you and not that you want them. 

There is line that I would like to quote from one tamil film lyrics. மாபெரும் சபைதனில் நீ நடந்தால் மாலைகள் விழ வேண்டும். The rough english translation goes like this, "You should earn a position of people adoring you when you walk down the aisle of a great gathering". Dr Manmohan Singh, you have truly earned a place for yourself.

You were a man of few words when you were in power, but we would like to hear you out loudly on the stages of literates and economists.

Wish you the best of health and calmness. 


Sunday, May 25, 2014

An open letter to the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu

An open letter to the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu

Madam Chief Minister,

There are reports appearing in the newspapers and TV channels that you might boycott the swearing-in ceremony of Shri Narendra Modi as PM, taking objections to the invitation sent to Mr Rajapakse, Premier of Srilanka. I do not know the veracity of the reports and if they were to be true, I would like you to reconsider the decision, for the following reasons, which I am sure would have gone through your mind already. But still I would like to state them.

1) The anguish you have expressed on the invite is very genuine, reflecting the sentiments of the people of Tamilnadu, our Srilankan tamil brothers living in Srilanka and who are forced to live in foreign soil due to the atrocities unleashed on them. But to bring the wrong doers to books is by engaging them in the talks and force them to meet our demands

2) Mr. Rajapakse being the the head of another country, the only option we have is to keep him on our sight and demand actions from him. By ignoring him or keeping out of engagement will only bolster him to be on his own and thus become unaccountable for his actions.

3) If we start distancing ourselves from him, there are every possibility that he will move closer to our enemies in the region which you are fully aware off.

4) There are already reports that ISI trained terrorists are using Srilanka as the conduit path and unless we are at arm's length with the Srilankan President, we can not nib this attempt. Tamilnadu will be the first victim of such terrorist acts if we do not engage properly with Srilanka.

5) It would be an option to negotiate with him for better living conditions for the Tamils of SriLanka by making our stand in UN known to him for the international enquiry.

6) Let you not succumb to the local pressure of the political situation in TN as the people TN have reposed in you unshakable faith by providing 37 seats to the Lok Sabha. They have identified the lip service parties and shown them their due places in the political arena.

7) You have expressed and recorded in strongest possible words your objection to the invite. Now let us go for the direct confrontation with him rather than any shadow fighting. Confront him face to face in the corridors of Parliament and ask him the uncomfortable questions.

8) I am sure Shri Modi also would welcome any such initiative and extend his helping hand to this tricky issue. You can sure find a supportive hand and mind in him.

9) By not showing up at the Swearing-in ceremony let us not miss the bus once again to put the ambitions of TN proper track. DMK did not do anything great when they were in power and we were denied of legitimate demands, when you took over. 

10) Srilankan Tamils issue is an important issue, but at the same time various issues of Tamilnadu also are very important to be resolved. For that we need is a Center who can lend their ears and hands to us in our endeavours. 

We have got an lifetime opportunity in having a non-congress and a friendly govt at the Center and let us not spill that due to one issue. Passive protests can be organised in Tamilnadu and Delhi against the visit of Sri Lankan president and at the same time. I want you to march Tamilnadu in the forefront with the help of the BJP led Govt. 

Let this move of not attending the swearing-in ceremony be taken advantage of crony parties like Congress and thus create any wedge between you and Center. With 2 strong minds of yourself and Shri Modi, you both can achieve greater things and bring glory to TN and to India itself.

This is a humble submission from a well wisher who want to see the progressive leaders come together to achieve greater heights.

இந்திய இருவார நாடக விழா

இந்திய இருவார நாடக விழா 

தேர்தல் முடிவுகள் அறிவிக்கப் பட்ட தினம் தொடங்கி இன்று வரையிலும், மற்றும் இன்னும் சில தினங்களுக்குத் தொடரும் நிகழ்வுகள் ஒரு நாடக விழாவில் வெவ்வேறு விதமான நாடகங்களைப் பார்ப்பது போலத்தான் இருக்கிறது.

நாடகம் 1: 'நீ என்னை பிடிக்க முடியாதே' - நிதிஷ் குமாரின் ராஜினாமா: கட்சியில் பெருகும் பிளவைத் தடுக்கவும், மோதி எங்கே பீகார் வந்தாலோ, அல்லது தாம் தில்லி செல்லும் போதோ, மோடிக்கு மாலை மரியாதை செய்ய வேண்டிய தர்ம சங்கடத்தை தவிர்க்கவும், அதே சமயத்தில், தன் கைப்பாவையாக செயல்படக்கூடிய ஒரு தலைமையிடம் ஆட்சியை ஒப்படைக்கும் ஒரு ராஜ தந்திர நாடகம்..

நாடகம் 2: 'நானே காங்கிரஸ், என் மகனே தலைவன்' - சோனியா, ராகுல் ராஜினாமா: காங்கிரஸின் எல்லா வயதானவர்களும், காரிய கமிட்டி என்கிற பெயரில் ஒன்று கூடி, தத்தம் பெயரில் பழிகளை ஏற்றுக் கொண்டு, தியாகச் செம்மல்களாக மாறும் குணச்சித்திரக் கதை.

நாடகம் 3: 'நீ வருவியா, மாட்டியா?' - இது ஒரு அதிரடி நாடகம். யாரும் எதிர்பார்க்காத வேளையில், SAARC நாட்டின் தலைவர்கள் அனைவருக்கும் பதவிப் பிரமாணத்திற்கு அழைப்பு அனுப்பி, மோதி தன் சொந்த கதை, வசனத்தில் இயக்கி அறங்கேற்றியது. இந்த நாடகத்தின் தனிப் பெருமை என்னவென்றால், வெவ்வேறு இடங்களில், நாடுகளில் கிளை நாடகங்களை ஒரங்க நாடகமாக மேடையேற்றியதுதான். 

கிளை நாடகம் 1: 'மீண்டும் ஒரு அந்த 7 நாட்கள்'. பாகிஸ்தானில் ஒரு சிறு நில நடுக்கத்தையே கூட ஏற்படுத்தியது எனலாம். ராணுவமும், தீவிரவாத (நம் கணக்குப்படி தீவிரவாதம், ஆனால் அவர்கள் கணக்குப்படி தேசியவாதிகள்) அமைப்புகளும் முட்டுக்கட்டைபோட, போனாலும் ஆபத்து, போகாவிட்டாலும் ஆபத்து என்று இரண்டும் கெட்டான் நிலமைக்குத் தள்ளப் பட்ட பாகிஸ்தான் பிரதமர், கடைசியில் துணிச்சலாக வருவது என்று முடிவெடுத்தது, பாக்கியராஜின் 'அந்த 7 நாட்கள்' கிளைமாக்ஸுக்கு சமானம். சிறைபிடித்த இந்திய மீனவர்கள விடுவிக்கும் காட்சி கடைசியாக இணக்கப்படுகிறது. தன்மானப் பிரச்சினையை அடிப்படையாக வைத்து எழுதிய நாடகம்.

கிளை நாடகம் 2: 'இலங்கை படையெடுப்பு' - ராஜ பக்சேயை அழைத்தது தமிழ் நாட்டில், தமிழின பெருமையை காப்பதில் முதலிடம் எனக்கா, உனக்கா என்ற சர்ச்சையை கிளப்பி விட்டது. வங்காள விரி குடாவில் அன்று ஏற்பட்ட நில நடுக்கத்தின் தாக்கம் வேறு எங்கும் ஏற்பட்டதோ இல்லையோ, தமிழ் நாட்டில் பெரிய விளைவுகளை ஏற்படுத்தியது. வைகோ முதன்முதலில் கொடியுர்த்த, எங்கே நாம் பின் தங்கி விடுவோமா என்று உடனே ஜெயாவும் குரலெழுப்பினார். நான் சளைத்தவனா என்று மு.க.வும் முச்சந்திக்கு வந்தார். இதில் மு.க. வை மிகப் பெரிதும் பாராட்டவேண்டும். தேர்தல் முடிவினால் குற்றுயிரும் குலையிருமாக இருந்தும், 2G வழக்கில் துணைவியை துவட்டிக் கொண்டிருந்த போதிலும், மக்கள் தம் மழலைச் சொல் கேட்டாரோ இல்லையோ, இப்போழுது இழி சொல் கேட்டுக் கொண்டிருந்த போதிலும், 'தன்மானத் தமிழன்' நிலமையை விடாமல் இருந்தார். 'நானும் உள்ளேன் ஐயா'என்று ராமதாஸ் சேர்ந்து கொண்டார். விலகிநின்றது விஜயகாந்த் மட்டுமே.  உணர்ச்சிக் கொந்தளிப்புகள் நிறைந்த நாடகம்.

கிளை நாடகம் 3: 'மோதி என் பக்கம்' - இலங்கையில் ராஜபக்சேவிற்கு இது ஒரு இன்ப அதிர்ச்சி. தமிழ் நாட்டு நண்பர்களின் அழுத்தத்தில், எங்கே மோதி இலங்கைக்கு எதிறாக ஒரு நிலைப்பாட்டிற்கு தள்ளப் பட்டு விடுவாரோ என்கிற பயத்தில் இருந்தவருக்கு, இந்த அழைப்பு, பழம் நழுவி பாலில் விழுந்தது போல இருந்தது. உடனே அவரும் சிறைபிடித்த இந்திய மீனவர்களை விடுவித்தார். இது ஒரு காமெடி பீஸ்.

கிளை நாடகம் 4: 'அறேங்கேறாத நாடகம்' - இந்த நாடகம் காங்கிரஸால் நடத்தப்பட்டிருக்க வேண்டும். ஒரு சில காட்சிகள் ரெடியாக இருந்தாலும், முக்கிய கதா பாத்திரங்களான, ஒமர் அப்துல்லா போன்றவர்கள் நவாஸ் ஷெரிப் வரவை ஆதரிக்கத் தயாராகி விட்டதால், இந்த நாடகம் நடக்காது எனத் தெரிகிறது.

நாடகம் 4: 'நான் வர மாட்டேன்' - இது வரையில் மம்தா, ஜெயா, சித்தராமையா ஆகியோர் இந்த நாடகத்தில் பங்கேற்க முடிவு செய்துள்ளார்கள்.

நாடகம் 5ம் அதற்கு மேலும்: 'வெள்ளித் திரையில் காண்க (அ) மேடை அலங்காரம்' - இனி வரும் நாட்களில் யார் யாருக்கு என்னென்ன பொறுப்புகள், மந்திரி சபையில் யார் யாருக்கு இடம், எந்த தோழமை கட்சிக்கு என்ன பதவி ஆகியவை முடிவு செய்யும் நேரம். இந்த நாடகங்களுக்கு இன்னும் ஸ்டோரி லைன் ரெடியாக வில்லை. ஆனால் ஒவ்வொரு நாடகமும் உள்ளத்தை கொள்ளை கொள்ளும் விதமாக தயாராவதாக நம்பத் தகுந்த வட்டாரங்கள் சொல்கின்றன. எதிர்பார்ப்புகள் 'கொல்லைப் பக்கம் போகுமா' இல்லை கொள்ளை போகுமா என பொருத்திருந்துதான் பார்க்க வேண்டும்.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Are they shallow or their thinking?

Are they shallow or their thinking?

The critics of Narendra Modi could not even wait till he is sworn-in and start discharging duties as PM. They started all arguments to denounce the victory and start the villainous campaign as is their business as usual. I am at a loss to know that even saner people like Gopalakrishnan Gandhi joined this bandwagon.

Let us look at the insinuation that are put up against BJP and Modi.

1) They got only 31% of the vote and 69% did not vote for them. This is Gopalakrishna Gandhi. Is it not silly to take a line of thinking like this. Our parliamentary model is a multiparty model and it is nearly impossible for any single party to cross the half way mark. Even if they cross it, then also the same argument can be extended until one reaches the 100%. By the same token, it can also be argued that the second best did get less than 31% and was rejected by more people. 

2) The development should be inclusive and not divisive. Tharoor says that so long as the model of development reaches out to all sections of society they would support it. He further says that when the water supply and roads are provided in a discriminatory manner then the development activities are divisive. Don't he know the road and water to the settlements are the responsibilities of the State and Local admin. If such discriminatory treatment is done, only the local Corporator or the MLA should be pulled up. If such is the case, none of the BJP ruled states would have returned them with such a brutal majority and in non-BJP states the ruling party would not have been trounced.

Secondly he goes on to argue that the minorities and scheduled tribes should not be left out. Please ponder over Mr. Tharoor, the Congress was ruling for the past 10 years and even before. If the minorities and scheduled tribes still have not been integrated into the mainstream, whose fault it is and now you play a watchdog role for their inclusion? 

3) One Senior Journalist says in TV show yesterday that Modi did not mention the names of Mahatma Gandhi and Ambedkar in his speech when he referred to the history of the Central Hall. Can there be any childish argument than this? It was an acceptance speech and he referred to the stepping into the Central hall for the first time. The theme and substance of the speech was how he rose to the level, what are the expectations and how he will strive to reach the goal.

4) Dig Vijaya Singh was even more cynical. He sarcastically said that let us watch how Modi achieves double digit growth, bring down inflation and step up investments. As if doing these is only their forte and no one else could achieve this. Then why did they boast that they did this in UPA I. If it can be achieved in UPA I, the targets are not unreachable. 

5) The Congress targeted BJP saying that Corporate houses were backing up with huge funding for the advertisements and wanted to know the sources of money. Now Congress leaders blame the Japanese media agency for the debacle as they mishandled the communication. The agency was said to have been engaged at a whopping ₹ 600 cr contract as per media reports. Who will answer the source of these funds?

6) The spokespersons have been tutored to say in one voice that Congress did not create or change the perception of the people and Communication management was poor. While there is a semblance of admittance in this line of thinking, they put forth this as the only reasons, and not admitting the corruption, policy paralysis, sycophancy et all.

Congress is well known for its shallow arguments as we have seen in 'zero loss' theory of Kapil Sibal, 'No loss as no mining started' theory of Chidambaram, 'Compulsion of Coalition politics' by the PM etc.,

It's time that the opponents of Modi should go back to their drawing rooms and watch some sitcoms and soap operas, rather than showing their face in TV talk shows or writing articles. Give some time to him to form his team, take stock of the situation, come to terms with the bureaucracy at Delhi, bring on board allies on policies, set up his agenda and priorities, before plunging into action. 

If you are going to argue this shallow, people will not believe you even when you argue with facts in the future.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Endangered Species

Endangered Species:

A promo ticker ran by the TV looked very apt and described the current situation faced by so many parties after the Election2014.

The endangered species are lead by none other than Congress. DMK and BSP are at the level of extinction. As some one wrote, BSP should have got at least one seat had the statutes of elephants and Mayavati erected all over the state voted in her favour. Communists, no words to describe their performance, a tamed tiger and it's voice now is no more a roar but just a 'meow'. RJD has been shown their place. SP is at its worst ever performance. National Conference and the legendary Farooq Abdullah were confined to seek the warmth of the fire place even in this hot summer. NCP and Sharad Pawar / Praful Patel found the sugarcane tastes salty and no more sweet. JD(U) is trying a resurrection drama immediately after the debacle, but how long they can hold on to the power is a question that will be answered in a few days time.

It gives great pleasure that the powerbrokers, and the loot masters have been shown their places they deserve in this election and I only wish that they should be confined to their coffins. Any attempts to resurrect them or providing lifeline support by forming the so called 'secular' minded parties conclave or coalition should be nibbled in the bud by the saner parties/people in the parties. These parties can blossom again and there is no bar for that provided they are ready to drop the ugly baggage to gutter and project a new image with a non-tainted leader as its face.

Aam Aadhmi Party (AAP) a rudderless ship strayed in its voyage.

Aam Aadhmi Party (AAP) a rudderless ship strayed in its voyage.

AAP is a good concept born from the frustration against corruption, bureaucracy, and political arrogance and it came at the right time. It was a much needed alternative for the right minded people and non-mainstream political people to get into politics. It raised great hopes and that is why people from many walks of life, like CEOs, police, teachers, writers, professionals etc lined in to join the party. 

Fighting the elections in Delhi is like testing the waters and it is fine. It should have realised its limitations and stayed way from forming the Govt., as it was a trap set by the villainous political parties.

Having done so, it should have adopted a wait and watch game to stabilise itself in the art of governance, politics and policy making. Like a baby that would want to try everything at one shot, it tried too many things right from the beginning  and thus played with fire and got burnt.

In the Loksabha elections, it did too many things wrong. 

1) To be successful in the politics, you should not have emotions or atleast know I how to hide it. They did neither. 

2) The biggest blunder they did was the decision to pitch Kejriwal to fight against Modi. We need both Modi and Kejiriwal in the Parliament. That is why from time immemorial, leaders were not pitted against the leaders. Self assessment is needed for politicians and Kejriwal lacked it. He saw an image of himself bigger than his and finally succumbed to it. Kejriwal should have chosen some other opponent and made his presence felt inside the house. He could have given tough time inside the house than by shouting on the streets outside.

3) Admitting politicians from other parties who wanted to use AAP to further their personal ambitions is another big mistake they did. 

4) Young professionals in metro cities liked AAP very much and did contribute to it heavily in terms of money and through the social media. But that was what they could do and this did not result in votes in favour of the AAP. Many of them are migrants in the respective cities and thus had no vote itself to propel AAP. They spent the Election Day as a day of outing and enjoyment. AAP should have engaged in a campaign of getting them registered and made them to vote for it. 

5) AAP is believed as a party of Metro cities and that of North by the South except in packets of IT corridors where it was supported by young. Thus AAP failed to create an image of PAN India movement (India against Corruption could do this very well).

6) 15 - 20 seats could have been own by them and at least one or two on Delhi, had they strategised properly. 

Kejriwal and his team should move away from the rhetorical acts and now concentrate on how to take this party forward. 4 seats in the nascent year of the party is by no means a small achievement and they can still put up a good show in Delhi. Given the percentage of votes they have polled and trouncing Congress to third position, they stand a good chance. Stalwarts like Kapil Sibal, Ajay makhen have become extinct and that was possible due to AAP as they ate into their vote bank. 

Regroup and move forward to set up a quality political party.