Friday, November 28, 2008

The Country bleeds

The tragic events that have engulfed Mumbai have sent waves of shock all across the country. It has been more than 40 hours since the first shot were fired and still the fighting between the security personnel and the terrorist is raging on.

As the number of dead continues to rise and the personal loss of the many affected turns into a national tragedy, we as common citizens of this country are facing many a questions that are very tough to answer.

Our mind sways from experiencing pain to anger. From hopelessness to frustration. Should we salute the bravery of those who died while trying to save the innocent or should we cry for them?

This national tragedy has also given a chance for the government at the centre to redeem itself of the guilt that I presume has surrounded them. Maybe it is the last opportunity for the Prime Minister to show himself as a man who can take decisions that for him may look tough, but otherwise are obvious and expected in the national interest.

The death of children, women, tourists, police officers who had no reason to die will perhaps spur him to keep everything aside except the interest of nation and its citizens while doing what has been long desired from him.

He can advance any number of reasons for still maintaining the status quo, beginning from India being a responsible democracy, a regional superpower, diplomatic relations etc. But deep inside us we know that an attack on innocent civilians taken after so much meticulous planning and preparation cannot be seen as just another act of terrorism.

Politically also he has nothing to lose. The general elections are just months away. And Congress will go down is something that even a die-hard supporter will accept. Maybe if he acts proactively, then he might no go down in the history books as the weakest-unresponsive PM this country had.

He has no precedent to bank on. For never have been we subjected to such frequent-daring attacks at the pan-India level. He must do what is in the best interest of the country. He must remember that politics and accountability are not to be mixed. He as a PM is accountable to all of us. Not to a particular individual, religion or a party.

He has more than enough evidence to prove to the international audience that region of Pakistan occupied Kashmir were used to train the terrorist. The dismantling of the terrorist camps in PoK by the Indian troops may look a too far fetched thought right now, but then who could imagine the 26-11 attack at the heart of Mumbai.

Suddenly the thought of India becoming a police state does not appear too absurd now. We had such a scenario in Kashmir, Punjab and Assam. We might also gradually settle in to live under the shadow of guns and blast but then that would be amounting to disrespecting those who lost their lives while trying to stop this exact scenario.

In midst of this national loss we have been given an opportunity to put things in order. Political will is something that we have craved for long. Mr. PM show us that you have some.

Whenever this whole things end, the memories that it will left behind will make us shudder from the pain, the helplessness and the fact that many of the dead were killed for no reason.

Those who have lost the touch, the voice and the warmth of their closed ones will never be able to come out of the shock and the pain. All we can hope is that no further such incident takes place, incidents where daughters lose their father, mother their sons, wives their husbands and friends their soul.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Their loved one rest in peace

I don’t feel terrorized

neither I feel scared

The heart rending cry, the moist eyes

The fallen bodies, The broken hope

the blood on the streets

tell many a untold tales

the crying eyes of a girl

reveals the identity of one of the dead

a lady who was someone’s wife moments ago

wails for her now dead husband alone

the man who saw his family die

seeks the solace of the god up high

those who died will perhaps now go to sky

asking the almighty how many more before humanity dies

The memories of those who died

Will forever be in our mind

Monday, November 03, 2008

Poll bugle sounded in Madhya Pradesh

Wheels and fortunes leading to Shaymla hills, which house the coveted residence of Madhya Pradesh CM, have started to roll in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

With the election commission announcing notification for holding polling in 230 constituencies in a single phase on November 27 the political atmosphere in the state has acquired the traditional vibrancy.

Shivraj Singh Chauhan is counting on good governance and development across the state, coupled with the global financial crisis, price rise and spurt in terrorist activities to help him keep Congress out of the state.

It has been secretly acknowledged even by the Congress leaders that Madhya Pradesh will be a difficult nut to crack. In case this happens, the one who would suffer the most will be former union minister and current PCC chief Suresh Pachori, as this might well spell doom for his political career.

The Congress could have reaped political mileage if only it would have properly highlighted the numerous corruption cases that have cropped up against many BJP leaders in the state.

At present Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chauhan and five other ministers of his cabinet are facing corruption charges. The CM is facing a case under Section 420 of the IPC for favoring a business house.

The former Health minister Ajay Bishnoi had to quit after Income Tax raids were conducted at his brothers’ residence and following his involvement in health scam.

The CAG report has pressed several corruption charges against the PWD and IT minister Kailash Vijayvargiya. Similarly, Revenue minister Kamal Patel has been charged with disproportionate wealth. A PIL raising these issues are pending in the Jabalpur High Court.

Irrigation minister Anup Mishra - he is the nephew of former PM Atal Vihari Vajpayee - used his powers to rent helicopter for personal use while the rent was paid from the state exchequer. The PHE minister Chaudhary Chandrabhan Singh is also under scanner for misusing his position and acquiring properties in his constituency. Chhindwara. Senior leader and Agriculture and Cooperatives minister Gopal Bhargava shot into limelight when he equated them with 'beggars'.

Similarly the Congress has still not been able to decide whether to politicize the arrest of Pragya Singh Thakur alias Sadhvi Purna Chetnanand Giri who was arrested for allegedly being a part of the Malegaon bomb blast.

A section of leaders feel that already the stigma of being soft on terror is making it difficult for leaders to answer their voters and they feel that raising Pragya’s issues may back fire and alienate the already discontent majority voters.

BJP has more or less taken care of countering the anti-incumbency wave by following the Gujarat model and neutralizing the damage by denying tickets to candidates whose report cards as sitting MLAs in the past five years were not found upto the mark.

As many as 78 sitting MLAs have been given tickets, while 28 have been denied keeping in view the anti-incumbency factor. Sources said that few more sitting MLAs might be dropped in the second list.

The experiment has worked well for the BJP in Gujarat, where as many as 49 of the 127 sitting MLAs were denied ticket.

The only issue on which both the Congress and BJP seem to agree is that this time the BJP will not be able win as substantially as it had in 2003, when it bagged 173 of the total 230 seats. The 170 plus seat in 2003 had more to do with two waves which were working simultaneously- the ‘Uma Bharti wave’ and the huge discontent against Digvijay Singh for his 10 years of not so good governance.

The ‘lesser’ parties like Uma Bharti’s BJS, the BSP , the GGP and the SP will also make sure that BJPs tally decreases. Though BJS doesn’t have a very past good record , but this time Uma Bharti has given her everything and this may result in her getting a pie from the cake. Similarly GGP may well increase its tally in the state with the party allotting tickets to Brahmin candidates in region of Rewa.

In case of a hung assembly, which for some doesn’t appear to be a too distinct possibility,these parties may well decide who sits in the opposition.

All in all it’s an election that holds better opportunity for speculators and expert commentators with room for many ‘ifs’ and more ‘buts’.


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