Sunday, August 26, 2007

What if the Left, for a change really decides to pull out ?

Who wins and who doesn't in MP, Bihar and Chattisgarh

If the Lok Sabha elections are held immediately, the BJP may suffer heavily in Bihar and Chhattisgarh. But, with the Congress a strongly divided house in Madhya Pradesh, the same may not hold true for the central state. Though It can be safely said that the Bahujan Samaj Party will gain in MP.
The BSP which had organised a big rally of upper caste-Brahmins and Dalit in Bhopallast week, would do particularly well in Chambal and Vindya belt, comprising Rewa, Satna,Gwaliar and Bhind.
According to the political observers,the BJP may lose some important seats in Chhattisgarh, particularly in the tribal dominated Bastar and Surguja regions,from where it had won all the seats previously .The BJP has nine out of 11 members in the Lok Sabha from the state.

In the 2004 elections, the Congress had won the Mahasamund seat only , but in the by-elections held a few months back, the Congress captured Rajnandgaon seat which was retained by the BJP in 2004 elections.

The observers pointed out that the anti-incumbency factor would work strongly against the BJP, particularly the common -man and the common workers of the BJP are strongly against the chief minister, Raman Singh.The BJP government could not keep its promise of supplying Cows, Charan padukas (Shoes),free salt and subsidized gas cylinders in the rural areas. The party could not also keep control on corruption as there has been several cases of corruption confirmed by the committees of the state assembly, like the infamous Kunkuri rice scandal of Jashpur district.

The BJP may be able to capture only three to four seats, these observers feel and claimed the Congress would emerge stronger because of default.In Bihar, the recent floods and poor relief management may cause set back to the BJP in the elections,if held immediately. There has been several incidents of people being killed in police firings and riots over distribution of relief materials. The BJP would be sufferer as its leaders did not come to the aid of the common-man.

The RSS had the practice of rushing to the aid of the masses in distress, but in the instant case, the RSS cadre remained silent. Maybe because the CM, Nitish Kumar is from JD-U.

The Congress which has three members in the Lok Sabha from Bihar may not be able to improve its tally. This can be attributed to the fact that the Congress leaders, like their distant cousins remained inactive during distress of the people.In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP has 25 out of 29 members in the Lok Sabha, the Congress has four, including Jytoridatiya Scindia and Kamal Nath.

The Congress is a deeply divided house in Madhya Pradesh with Digvijay Singh, Subhas Yadav and Jamuna Devi, all having their own different followings and different programmes. Uma Bharti who had helped the BJP to victory in the last elections may definitely cut into the strong BJP vote bank and may help the new combination formed by the Bahujan Samaj Party to get three to four seats in Chambal and Vindhya regions.

Satna, Rewa, Gwalior, Bhind and Morena may go to the BSP with the support of the Brahmins who have a very strong say in these areas.The BSP may also get support of the Gondwana Gantantra Party in the Mahakoshla belt where the regional party has strong following and this may affect the prospects of the BJP and the Congress.

The Congress may not be able to retain even the four seats in the present House from MP. Scindia junior had won the last elections with poor margin and with the BSP becoming more stronger, he may find it difficult to re-enter the Lok Sabha, according to the political observers.

Overall ‘an interesting battle’ ; if it happens that is.

Cremation at Ganga: A Grim Situation

This is to share my experiences about the sad affairs on the banks of the river Ganga in Patna. The holy river is missing from the famous Bans Ghat and Buddha Ghats of Patna and has moved 7 to 8 kms away from the Ashok Rajpath.

It has changed its course over the years and the route on which once the Mahendru Ghat-Pahlezaghat-Hajipur passenger ships (pani-jahaj) of Bachcha Babu use to sail has turned into farm lands as the river route on which ferry service operated is now dry. Today no one would believe the "Pani Jahaj" which carried even four wheelers between Patna and Pahleza was frequently stranded mid-way in the Ganga several times .
The then union industries minister George Fernandes, the then Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur and several ministers used to visit North Bihar areas only on the Pani Jahaj as that was the only medium which connected North Bihar to the other parts of the state.

The worst sufferers of the shifting away of the Ganga are the friends and relatives of the "dead" whose bodies are taken for cremation to the banks of the Ganga.
Few would believe that the first President Dr Rajendra Prasad or the dreamer of Total Revolution Jayaprakash Narayan were cremated at the famous Bans Ghat which was the most favourite spot for the thousands of worshippers of the Sun God during the Chhat festival.
The government, the Patna Municipal Corporation, in particular has remained indifferent . The platform on which Rajendra babu was cremated has become a leisure spot for gamblers and boozers at Rajendra Park near Budha Ghat. Drunken people create brawl with the mourners. There is no water tap on the banks of the Ganga. The Sulabh operated hand-pump is also dry on the bank of the Ganga.
There are incidents of robbery of the pall-bearers going and returning from crematorium, 7 to 8 kms away from Patna, as they have to pass through the farms of local villagers. Robberies take place even in the day hours between Bans Ghat and the crematorium on the bank of the Ganga.

There is no management by the government or civic authorities. The mourners are cheated, fleeced and robbed by different groups of people - right from the purchase of woods to the final rites - permission from the Dom Rajas. They demand and charge hefty amounts from the mourners. Unlike the crematorium at Buxar or Benaras, there is no arrangement by the local civic bodies.
The locals engage professional pall bearers who charge for chanting the last journey mantras - Ram Naam Satya Hai - from friends and relatives of the dead. They are found to be in hurry as they have to get engaged with another round of the "last journey".
BJP, the 'Hindu party' as it prides itself in being called, is one of the coalition partner in the state government and yet it has turned a blind eye to a place where all the Hindus finally rest.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Why a Journalist? but then Why not one.

"Change of profession is on the cards. Honeymoon is over, marriage on the verge of collapsing". No, I am not typing a comment on the policy of the Left but now since i have brought them into the picture then i would like to say i wish they would have 'left' politics forever.

This post is about me and its about how genuinely i am working on building a new dream, a dream that talks about me earning big fat pay cheques and running ( just for the hack of writing) an MNC.

Three months ago i was 'Soulfully' into journalism. Even now i am a journalist, coz i haven't resigned from my organization and more importantly i do contribute when and where my service is solicited,though that happens rarely. But now the dream has broken and the reality has dawned. One of my dear friend AJ when confronted with this change of plans from a journalist to a manager was as bemused as Dubya is whenever he is publicly speaking.

"Manager! what about the Journo thing? How about a Lawyer? or how about being into a "Seasonal profession"; that way you can change jobs with the onset of every new season. I am sure 3 months from now you will say " AJ i am trying my hands in 'politics', the country needs me , for the Congress will find it difficult to counter the Leftist and the Rightist without me ".

When I,We were still protected by the non-existent boundaries and barb wires of NLIU at that time money was the last thing on mind. Call it the 'exuberance of a youth who has got a shot of 'Camu'ka'.

We were more leaning towards living a comfortable life, supported by the minimum of basic amenities . For us a 'secluded place to lie in Kerwa' was more valuable than a penthouse in a metro.

Now when i look back into those time spent , i think those were innocent thoughts, thought that were not yet touched by the materialism.

No, it was not too naive of us to think in this aesthetic way. In those days also we were aware of the hardships, the practical aspects of life, but we were not able to see the 'bigger picture'. Occasionally we did see the picture, but that was mostly under the influence of the Kingfishers and the Haywards, and as the 'high' decreased , practicality would also take a leave.

Life those days was 'predictably unpredictable' but now it has become more of 'predictable', devoid of any fun and adventure; philosophically and physically.

Coming back to the professional life , i would say that journalism has so many things lacking. Professionalism is one thing that matters in the long run in any profession..but sadly it has still not evolved in media. Perhaps the most important issue is financial security, and the less i dwell on this issue the better.

But then acting like a seasoned politician i can't switch off before praising an issue which i had just criticised (Hope Sonia Gandhi or Rajnath Singh is a regular reader of my blog!).

Overall it was been an enriching experience, both personally and professionally. Met many a people from the different spheres of life, went through many a dramas and enjoyed the power and prestige of a being a journalist which are second to none.

"Educationally a lawyer, professionally a Journalist..."hopefully an administrator one day". That sums the whole curve of the "materialistic life' i have lived and will live.

I have blogged after a long while (2 -1/2 months). I was pleasantly surprise to see that i too have a section of dedicated readers, who reminded me again and again that i have a blog to update...Thanx guys!..


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