Home arrow Archives arrow Political Diary arrow Political Diary 2007 arrow Heartbreak Of Andher Nagri: LITTLE FOR AAM AADMI TO CELEBRATE, By Poonam I Kaushish;29 December 2007
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Heartbreak Of Andher Nagri: LITTLE FOR AAM AADMI TO CELEBRATE, By Poonam I Kaushish;29 December 2007 Print E-mail


New Delhi, 29 December 2007

Heartbreak Of Andher Nagri


By Poonam I Kaushish


Roll out the drums. Uncork champagne and welcome the New Year. New hopes. New dreams and new promises. Do you really think I am serious? Is there truly something to cheer and cherish? To look forward to?


Jokes apart, how should one begin an epitaph of the year gone by? Twelve agonizing months of anger and anguish. Of an all-round decline, barring, of course the booming economic front, with the rich getting filthy rich. Wherein things hit the rock bottom politically, administratively and socially. Of a disparate India searching for her soul under the increasing onslaught of immorality, and criminalization. With little thought for the aam janata, growing minority appeasement, casteism and terrorism. That, dear countrymen, is what the New Year is all about. Underscoring much that continues to be wrong in India.


One does not need to look far. Let’s start with our polity. After all, everything begins and ends with them in our democracy. And it needs no reiteration that the way they are going we might as well sound the bugle of the beginning of the end. No, I am not being pessimistic or insensitive. I am only stating a harsh reality. Former President Abdul Kalam was ever so right when he lashed out at India’s “decision makers with small minds” and deeply grieved over the “shortage of leadership with nobility.”


Think. Isn’t it ridiculous that a country as vast as India and boasting of a billion-and-growing population is swinging like a yo-yo between hope and despair, thanks to the fracas between partners. The Left has the Congress-led UPA profusely sweating over the Indo-US nuclear deal. Wherein it has threatened to pull the plug if the Government goes ahead with it. This eyeball to eyeball confrontation between gentleman Manmohan Singh and the thorny Left has pushed the country into suspended animation.


Today, post the BJP’s resounding victories in Gujarat and Himachal, the basic issue is not the Indo-US nuclear deal or whether the UPA Government stays or goes. Or, who is to blame and why? But the most striking aspect of this crass episode is the sad spectacle of today’s political class capriciously exposing their hollowness and hypocrisy of political commitment and subordinating national interest to petty personal interests and egos. Thus undermining further the people’s eroding faith in democracy as a desirable system.


Just see. The country is in the throes of deadly terrorism and instead of coming to grips with it, the UPA and the Left are both humming about a mid-term poll, not about national interest, stability and good governance. Last week, former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s brutal assassination underscored as never before that India is in the crosshairs of terrorists, serious and deadly terrorists. Please note. Of the 670 districts in the country, as many as 270 are terror-prone and 70 of these have already been ravaged by terrorists. Terror has already cost India more than 72,000 civilians and 12,000 security personnel.


More worrisome is the fact that 15 States are Naxalite-hit and there are 40 Naxalite groups active in India. Having links with Pakistan’s ISI and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). Making even the semblance of governance virtually impossible in half the country. Worse, they are running a state within a state, with their own parallel revenues. In Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, teenagers are busy romancing the Naxalites. The terrorists’ war games of “robbing Peter to pay Paul” have earned them more cadres. Even if it is for two square meals a day and chicken thrice a week.


Are these merely stray incidents of violence? No, a big no. They are just torch-bearers of the rising peoples anger and discontent against the widening disparities sweeping across the country. They have seen through the “sham of democracy” and refuse to say die. Call it the Chak De effect, they have made poverty their USP. Whereby they no longer will tolerate injustice or inequality. The lathi and gun is now the symbol of their disillusionment with the polity.


Tragically, nobody has time for the aam aadmi’s growing disillusionment with the system which explodes in rage. Turn to any mohalla, district or state in the country, the story is mournfully the same. Resulting in more and more people taking law into their own hands. Borne out by the increasing chakka jams, rioting, looting and burning of buses. Capital Delhi is replete with gory tales of road rage resulting in murders. The system has become so sick that women today are being raped in crowded trains with co-passengers as mute spectators. Sporadically converting the country into andher nagri.


Another sad reflection of the times is that minorityism and reservations are the flavours of the season. Anyone and everyone is busy wooing the minorities in the garb of reservations in the educational institutions, recruitment in Government services and bank loans if one is a Muslim. More. The Muslims now have the first claim on Government largesse, a la Manmohan Singh. Are the majority of Indians second class citizens?


Nothing epitomizes this better than the brazen communal campaigning witnessed in the just concluded Gujarat Assembly poll. Astonishingly, the ball was set rolling by the Congress supremo, Sonia Gandhi. Wherein she denounced Modi as a maut ke saudagar. Why? Because the police killed ‘terrorist’ Soharrabdin in a fake encounter. Retaliated Modi, “It is they who are hand in glove' with maut ke saudagar. Till today, Afzal Guru, who masterminded the attack on Parliament, hasn't been hanged, defying the Supreme Court. “Gujarat ke dharti pe maut ke saudagar nahin rahne doonga!”


Raising a basic question: Should democratic elections be fought merely on the negative and ill-defined premise that my enemy is a maut ka saudagar? Why? Because Modi refuses to fall in line with the Congress’s so-called pseudo-secularism? Does he not head a democratically elected Government? Sadly, as oft is the case, power breeds arrogance and absolute power breeds absolute arrogance. Intoxicated by power, all forget that this arrogance often leads to defeat. The BJP’s victory in Gujarat and Himachal should be a lesson to Sonia and her chamchu brigade!


Not only that. Rebellion is brewing in the countryside. From Singur and Nandigram in West Bengal to Pune and Vidarbha in Maharashtra, the reaction of the farmers to the Special Economic Zones, the battle of the illiterate village woman in Meerut for her pension or of the weaver in Kancheepuram for his pay are a sure give-away that the aam aadmi is angry, very angry. Either he too partakes the economic cake or else he will stop you from doing so. Anger will no longer be dormant or their life treated as their tryst with destiny. The Asli Bharat wants its share of Brand India.


True, the intelligentsia and political pundits will dismiss the foregone as an over-reaction. But that would be both myopic and tragic for the country. The polity’s callous and lackadaisical reaction to the farmers suicide says it all. Compensation is virtually non-existent. Where have the hundreds of crores gone? Even the Prime Minister has rued the fact that the monies are not percolating down to the end user.


Yet for our polity, India is Incredible! Economically speaking, our cash tellers are overflowing. Multinationals are wooing everything Indian as never before. India is the flavour and toast globally and on the threshold of becoming a super power. Indian tycoons are the new international takeover kings. The 200 million rich and powerful exult in the luxury of Brand Reel India.


Trust our politicians to lap it up and yell from the rooftops: India is set to rule the world, it has arrived. Where? More to the point, from where? Sadly, beyond the financial might of overflowing tillers et al of Brand India lies the squalor and the filth that is the reality of Brand Asli Bharat. Which no amount of sops or verbosity of Mera Bharat Mahan can disguise.


Shockingly, 77 per cent of India’s population of more than one billion lives on just Rs 20 a day. Not only that. A staggering 86 per cent of our working population is in the unorganized sector without any security cover. There are over 12 lakh manual scavengers who load human excreta with their bare hands. These scandalous facts have been compiled by Arjun Sengupta’s National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector. Yet, neither the UPA Government or Parliament has so far bothered to respond.


Worse, nearly 44 million children aged 5-14 years are engaged in economic activities and domestic and non-remunerative work. Another 74 million children are neither enrolled in schools nor accounted in the labour force and come under the category of ‘Nowhere Children’. And yet we talk of a good deal for Gen Next? Mera Bharat is indeed Mahan!


In sum, the country stands at the crossroads of destiny. It is time for the masses, especially its silent majority, to think beyond the country’s petty power-at-all-cost polity, throw out the scoundrels and look at the perilous implications for India’s unity, integrity and the future. True, a people, get the leaders and the Government they deserve. But, at the end of the day, are we going to mortgage our conscience to ‘small minds’? We need leaders and people with grit and determination. To build a new and honourable India in 2008. ----  INFA

(Copyright, India News & Feature Alliance)           

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