Saturday, August 22, 2015
This is a reproduction of the petition I published today on Change.org. For once, I'd be happy seeing more signatures on the petition there than seeing likes on my post here :-) - Happy Independence Day to all my compatriots. https://www.change.org/p/prime-minister-of-india-include-right-to-quality-civic-infrastructure-to-the-list-of-fundamental-rights
Monday, June 8, 2015
Friday, October 31, 2014
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Dear Mr. Modi,
Heartiest congratulations on receiving a clear and emphatic mandate from the people across India!
I always believed great leadership is what India needs at the current juncture and in your relatively successful demonstration of a development based governance model in Gujarat and in your super-effective execution of the poll blitzkrieg unleashed by BJP, I see a definite promise of this leadership need getting fulfilled.
Cynicism however being the hallmark of an oft-let-down individual/ population, I am a tad cynical despite nurturing a predominant hope of seeing a promise materialize. Upon introspection, I realize that my current bout of cynicism has been triggered by what I repeatedly hear about this verdict of Indian population being a mandate against corruption; a mandate for a long overdue Indian-spring, no less & finally a mandate for development.
Mandate for development? Probably yes. But is it against corruption & pro-clean governance too? The cynic in me doesn’t agree….
I’m cynical largely since a small but a startling fact I’ve stumbled upon pretty much trashes the claim of this election being a mandate against corruption; the fact being that AAP that contested on a national scale on an anti-corruption platform manages a mere 2% vote share and trails behind the 2.5% of an upstart regional party that symbolizes everything corrupt in Indian polity.
Even if I discount this as owing to the tell-tale impact of an escapist-legacy that AAP couldn’t shrug-off, this for sure underscores the fact that corruption wasn’t the top-of-the-mind issue for the average Indian citizen headed for the polling booth & there was every sign out there to say that money flowed like water in this general election and a significant proportion of the voting junta had had a field time letting one party out-bid the other.
I am cynical also because in the revamped scheme of things within your party, the past blemished have sauntered back right-in and have been duly resurrected and reinstated honourably, all in the larger context of coming to power and providing an alternative to the chronically fatigued dynasty that grappled with corruption at all levels.
Finally, I am cynical because there is this improvised practical theory gaining ground among the Indian citizens that corruption isn’t a big issue as long as development happens & within the narrower realm of visible development.
I absolutely loved it Narendra bhai, when during the victory speech at Vadodara, you reiterated the importance of inclusiveness in development. Unlike many liberals who raised an eyebrow on what you didn’t state explicitly, I indeed understand you meant to include all segments of population in the development process without malice towards any one in particular. I know for sure anyone who has come to power on such a unique mandate, much less you, would waste such an opportunity by indulging in antics that result in polarization & marginalization of a specific segment. Only, I’m worried that all this inferred disengagement between development & corruption in the Indian psyche shouldn’t end up making inclusion merely a term to denote equitable sharing of spoils among a corrupt polity and a corruptible populace, irrespective of region, community or caste.
Notwithstanding the oft-employed reproach that Indian growth rate over the past few years has been way above the rate of most advanced countries’, I know you understand well that we aren’t exactly comparing apples to apples here & in reality India lags behind these nations in infrastructure and civic amenities by a decade at the least. I trust that you fully realize that development at this scale isn’t possible merely by launching or going after symbolic, disjointed developmental initiatives that neither impact the quality of life nor help improve the perception of an ever-doubting international community on India’s capability to operate as a transparent & corruption-free business nation.
Cynicism apart, I am thrilled by the fact that the clear mandate will help you avoid the oh-so-typical arm-twisting, blackmailing politics of the coalition/ alliance governments and this in-turn will allow you to focus on executing your vision that much more smoothly and without hindrance. Given this and given your own leadership potential this is the closest, I suspect, India would ever get to an Indian spring.
I’m positive Mr. Prime Minister-Designate that you’ll seize this moment to redefine the paradigm & give me a reason or a score to feel more proud of being an Indian wherever I go.
I wish you, your cabinet and all Indian citizens the very best in the days to come!
Acchey din…, bas ab aane hee chaahiye!!
A fellow Indian