Category Archives: Thoughts

BEING POLITICAL!!!!

Youth form a major section of India’s 120 Crore population. So are they, when it comes to forming India’s Electoral College which decides who should rule the nation, be it Local bodies or the Parliament. The Democratic setup enables everyone to take part in the decision making process in the country, but it must be carefully threaded and it is not that easy as explained in our Social Science textbooks. An important issue that is before us “Should youth take up the challenging job in politics?”
When the answer expected is a big No, I would suggest them to take that challenging Job.
The perception of our generation about politics has never been positive. Though we have few young politicians, they have not been allowed to stretch their wings. The politicians need to open up and promote the young generation into mainstream politics; And youngsters do not refer to the ones in their 20’s with no experience but refer to those in their 30’s or early 40’s with a good mix of energy and experience.
Yes, It is important for Youth to involve themselves in politics, if not active, let it be passive. Well, Life is not only about studying, enjoying with friends, partying or any other activities but it is also about giving back to the society that has given you a lot more than what you deserve. You have grown into an adult passing all stages of adolescence. Family at home, Teachers at School, Friends at College, colleagues at work and society in general are e or the reason for your success and failure, equally. And it’s time for you, me and all the youths here to give back. Like many other job opportunities, even politics is a field where you can work and do something for your people.
On hearing the word Politics, many of us turn our backs and hurl abuses, which is not the right attitude. That doesn’t mean Politics here is worth being praised as many issues like rampant corruption, criminalisation of politics, apathy towards people’s needs; lack of accountability galore our political setup. And that is when we think “When we have so many options to explore, why should we dirty our hands in politics?”
But let us make an effort to reason out where the system failed. We put the blame on the government and our elected representatives whenever we feel that they are not doing their job efficiently; But more than 50 per cent of population does not take part in voting process of our country, who instead would like to spend that Voting Holiday to relax back at home. Thus we have no right to blame anyone except ourselves. We all feel that the system needs to be changed but we don’t want to take the responsibility on our shoulders. We have potential human resources who can change the scenario, but we choose to go abroad for studies and jobs and restrict our lives only to “secured” jobs and settle there permanently.
If we truly believe that the future of our country lies in the hands of the youth than we need to take a step forward. Only youth can change the pace and width of the course of our nation’s progress and make India a global giant. If we want to see a better India it’s time to take charge. It is not intended to mean that old people should leave the political scene and rest. What is wanted is that they should be there but for guidance because they are treasures of invaluable experience.
We have to build a foundation now for a prosperous future. Unless youth take the responsibility and involve in politics at all stages, we cannot expect a nation to grow.
Remember, our country can leap forward only when we take up the responsibility to steer and not by just complaining about the system. Let’s make ourselves useful.
As Che Guevara rightly says, “Power is not an apple that falls from a tree into your lap. Power has to be snatched from people who already have it.”

Why Karnad hates Naipaul?? What is his problem if Naipaul gets an award?? – Prof. Dr. S. R. Leela

Prof. Dr. S. R. Leela, Hon. MLC writes abt Girish Karnad’s narrow mindedness in today’s Kannada daily Vijayawani.. I’ve translated this so that non- Kannadigas can also read.. Yesterday evening when i met her, i told her that i regularly read her columns in Vijayawani. That is when she asked me to read her writeup regarding Girish Karnad. It is as below,

Girish Karnad’s tirade and disrespect against V. S. Naipaul on being awarded Lifetime Achievement award by Landmark and Literature Alive Institutions at the recent Literature Fest, Mumbai is to be condemned.
The three important issues mentioned by Girish Karnad for his tirade are
* Naipaul has stated that it is a fact that Muslim invaders attacked, destroyed and occupied illegally. His opinions regarding Ayodhya and Babar is not right. Naipaul has been propagating that The Glorious Hindu Past of India has been destroyed.
* It is astonishing that Naipaul has never written about Indian Music in any of his books. He is not an Indian and doesn’t know much about Indianism.
* The Lit Fest organizers, who have awarded Naipaul should answer to a lot of questions.

Babar’s invasion is History now. The day his Military Commander, Mir Baaki destroyed Hindu temples in Ayodhya to build Mosques (1528), Ayodhya issue is controversial. This issue has led to Hindu Muslim standoff from the past 500 years and is still alive. The 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict tried to put an end to this issue. It also asked Archaeological Survey of India to study the background and give proofs related to this. Prof B. B. Lal had submitted to the court all documents and proofs. Dr. Jaya Menon, Prof. Ashok Datta and others have told the court that there was remains of Hindu Temple at Ayodhya.

The remains that have been found in the controversial site resemble Hindu Temple signs and not that of a mosque. This has been clearly told to the court. Girish Karnad reposes a lot of faith in historians such as Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib, who have been propagating that Babar didn’t demolish Hindu Temple at Ayodhya to build the mosque. We are no one to question it. But this Mosque lover, great Historian Karnad didn’t give any statement in the court when it was discussing Ayodhya issue. Reason? We should understand that this historian has no guts to face prosecution. If history is altered as per his whims and fancies, does it become the Truth? Who are the ones who are playing politics in the name of Ayodhya?? Who has to answer all these? I don’t know what to call those people who laugh looking at a dead housefly in someone else’s plate, though their plate carries a dead lizard. [ Libtards]

The issue that Naipaul has not written about Indian Music in any of his books is surprising, says Karnad. Does he know that his statements hasn’t surprised, but has come as a rude shock to many?

When the movement for classical tag for Kannada wad at its fore, what this Jnanapith winning, Intellectual had to say about it is still fresh in the minds of Kannadigas. ” Kannada is still alive. Why do you need Classical tag for Kannada when it’s alive. Sanskrit is dead. Let them bestow classical status on Sanskrit.” Whattay a thinking. It is still worrying a lot of people that this World Famous Intellectual doesn’t know the meaning of Classical Language Status. This Intellectual should know that what has been expressed in Sanskrit, other languages in the world haven’t. Is his Brain dead, he equates Classical status to Death. Dear Girish Karnad, your name is a Sanskrit word, and you are still Alive. You needed Sanskrit basics for your theatre playwright. ‘Hayavadana’, ‘Yayati’, ‘Agni matthu Male’ etc are all Sanskrit based. Your intellect has grown due to a Dead language.

Kannadigas had a rude shock when Karnad was award Jnanapith. They got to know the price of Jnanapith, only then. They understood that to get awards, name and fame, people can stoop to any level. Noted Kannada writer, Chandrashekar Patil reacted to this saying “. The first four Jnanapiths were achieved, the rest were taken.” [ Probably Hellas referring to U. R. Ananthmurthy].

Dear Karnad, Is Naipaul an Indian? Is it true? Are you an Indian? What Indian qualities have you retained to lecture Naipaul?? Is it right on your part to attack a Nobel Laurate when someone is bestowing him with Lifetime Achievement award? Is it right to defame him? Is this your culture? You must be still remembering what Kannadigas and Karnataka’s reaction was? What moral rights do you have, to ask for an explanation from the LitFest organizers for bestowing Naipaul with an award? Are you an Indian?? When M. F. Hussain painted Hindu Gods in a vulgar manner, not only Hindus but a lot many Muslims too opposed it. But what was your reaction then? You went on to say that these people are fundamentalists who are trying to suppress one’s Freedom of Expression. Doesn’t Naipaul have the freedom that Hussain had?? If Hinduism is shown in the dark, it is Freedom of Expression, and when someone points out the Historical truth and writes about Islam, it is questionable, right? Why these double standards???

You criticized Naipaul for visiting a political parties office. Everyone knows which political parties’ street you visit, who you work for, why you do that, what you gain from it, is a known fact. You can be “Biased”, “Partisan”, others shouldn’t!! Why?? Please answer.

When Muslims first came to India, they came to loot, to invade, to occupy Indian land. This fact has been accepted by Islamic Historians. The Loot History of Muhammad Bin Sibkuthgin has been detailed by Al- Baruni in his book Tehkeek- A- Hind. Culturally and wealth wise, ancient Indian cities like Mathura, Somnath, Ayodhya, Ujjain were rich.

Al- Baruni writes in his book: ” Mathura city was within a magnificent Stone Fort. Wherever you see, the city was filled with beautiful, huge, rich temples. The palace that was at the city centre was the most magnificent. Our Sultan was taken aback by that magnificence. He had never come across such a magnificent building, until then. The temple’s cost itself must be some 10 crore Dinars. There were numerous beautiful idols. Out of which, 5 were of pure gold. The eyes of one such idol was made of a big Padmaragamani. The cost of one such Mani itself is more than a lakh Dinars. The other idols weren’t any less. The weight of those 5 idols was itself around 98,300 Thoole( some unit of measurement). The number of silver idols were 200. For about 20 days, we looted all the temples. We demolished some temples completely. We carried 6.5 tonnes of Gold and 50,000 war prisoners from Mathura city alone!”

Al- Baruni in his book Tehkeek- A- Hind, writes about the underground loot of Ghazni’s loot as ” The region was very rich. Wherever you see, it was filled with grains, cereals, fruits, art, wealth and many more. The King’s journey was satisfying and was successful.”

America’s greatest thinker, the author of ‘ Story of Civilization’, Will Duront, said ” The Islamic Invasion of India was the Bloodiest Period.” Romila Thapar is not the only historian. Why do you people act so weird when the truth is told?? To appease whom??

The writer Prof. Dr. S. R. Leela is BJP MLC , Karnataka Legislative Council and teaches at R. V. College.

PANCHAYAT RAJ “CYST”em

Before I proceed, I would like to tell you that I’m from a rural area and so I have dared to write this. 
After reading India Today’s article “Killing Fields of Bihar Villages” http://t.co/iUNmpb53, I felt I should write an article regarding the negative sides of the much hyped Panchayat Raj system. I feel the negative aspects outnumber the positives. I may be wrong, but still…
Though the system of Panchayats can be dated back to British era in India, the 73rd Amendment to the Indian constitution in 1992 made it a constitutional institution, thus the 3- Tier Panchayat Raj system was introduced. The 74th amendment introduced Urban Local Bodies and obviously, expectations were high. The 73rd Amendment contains provision for devolution of powers to the panchayats and responsibilities to the panchayats both for preparation of economic development plans and social justice, as well as for implementation in relation to 29 subjects listed in the 11th schedule of the Indian constitution.
The panchayats receive funds from3 sources,
• Local body grants, as recommended by Central Finance Commission
• Funds for implementation of centrally sponsored schemes. Ex: MGNREGA
• Funds released by the respective state governments as recommended by the State Finance Commission.
Panchayats have a reservation system enabling a certain ratio of reserved for SCs, STs and Women- which are regarded as the Weaker sections of the society. Yesteryear’s Panchayat system was only limited to solving local issues and disputes and was always headed by Powerful Men, or basically rich landlords.
Coming to the actual image of these Panchayat raj institutions, they are not living upto what was expected from them. If what it was supposed to do for India was done, our villages would have been self-sufficient, there wouldn’t have been migration to urban areas from rural areas and there would be no social problems. But what we get to see today is a totally bleak image. Villages are still the same. Water, sanitation, roads… nothing has improved much. Only the pocket size of these panchayat members has grown big.
Some of my observations regarding these panchayat institutions:
1. The system of reservation has given these institutions a major blow. Not that having all seats as General would be any different. When a seat is reserved, the usual contender of that seat goes for a candidate who acts according to his whims and fancies. In any rural setup, the labourers, usually belong to these reserved categories. In many cases, they are illiterate too. So when a seat is reserved, they are the ones who will be looked for. They are made to contest the seat. They become puppets at the hands of the rich. This can directly lead to massive misuse of funds. When so much is spent on developing our rural setup with these institutions, why are villages underdeveloped?????
2. Reservation for women in most cases, has not succeeded in empowering women but has empowered their husbands/brothers or their families. Most of the cases, they are easily manipulated and to sign bills, though works are not done.
3. There are people, politicians who have been demanding more powers to these panchayats. But from what we have seen in Bihar, I feel it is best not to give them more powers, especially financial powers. Instead of working to be an institution that can develop the village, build social ties, it has ended up in increasing enmity between people, the winners and the losers.
4. These Panchayat Raj institutions were setup in an effort to reduce the burden on state governments but what is the result?? They have ended up burdening the state governments. Many Gram Panchayats have not cleared their electricity bills, burdening the already overburdened, under loss ESCOMs (DISCOMs).
5. Political instabilities are a matter of concern. The term of a president of GP is 2.5 years and ZP is 20 months. But hardly have they got a chance to complete their term. Either they are removed by no confidence motions or under some understandings in the ruling party or the group, their term is divided so as to water down dissidence activities.
6. Most of these panchayat don’t meet regularly. Sometimes these meetings are cancelled at the last moment due to lack of quorum.
7. Gram Sabhas are not called regularly. Neither people are not taken into confidence before going ahead with any project concerning them nor are they consulted.
8. Schemes like MGNREGA have more drawbacks than advantages. In the name of employment, unnecessary infrastructure projects are taken, thus making the contractors richer. The projects are not built in a scientific manner. Thus undermining the very purpose they were built for, ends up burdening the government.
9. Also, MGNREGA has killed the backbone of Indian Economy in rural areas. There are hardly few who are interested to take up agriculture as they have seen the greener pasture on the other side of the river. There is labour shortage everywhere. There is no one to plough the fields, forcing farmers to grow for commercial crops which are an annual crop. Also, it is forcing people to migrate to cities in search of a living. Then where is Grama Swarajya that Mahatma Gandhi wished for?? After all, this scheme of rural employment has been named after him.
10. These panchayats, Gram Panchayat, Taluk Panchayats and Zilla Panchayats have become more of a Decorative institute. All the enthusiasm that is there when there are elections to these bodies evaporates once they get power.This habit is there everywhere, but is more in these institutions. There is no coordination between the three institutes of Panchayat Raj.
All these observations that I’ve made may not stand to be the same everywhere. I’ve just shared my opinions based on what I have seen and read.
I feel these Panchayat Raj institutions would be ideal if it was like this,
• Gram Panchayats and Taluk Panchayats must be abolished. A nodal officer, similar to that of a PDO ( Panchayat Development Officer) must be appointed at Hobli ( intermediate to Village and Block) level to monitor and implement the development projects and social schemes that are designed by the consortium of ZP, MLAs and MPs representing the district.
• Gram Panchayats should be replaced with Panchayat Development officers and knowledgeable locals should be given a chance to involve themselves with the PDOs by forming a Panchayat Samiti at village level to work and carry out development works. It should be an honorary service. It may seem to be practically impossible for some, but I don’t think so.
• Schemes like MGNREGA must be done away with and instead Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana must be strengthened. Similar Yojanas to strengthen rural sanitation and water supply projects must be adopted. MGNREGA just creates a VOTE BANK whereas schemes like PMGSY creates infrastructure. Fact!!!!

Please live your comments and point out where I’ve gone wrong.
Note: PDO means Panchayat Development Officer and was a post created by BJP Government of Karnataka when Kum. Shobha Karandlaje was the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister. It was done with the due participation of experts from Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. PDOs are like DCs of the villages, they replaced Gram Panchayat Secretaries. The PDOs are appointed based on an exam conducted by KPSC. This set in a new trend in Karnataka. Many graduates took up this exams and are now serving in rural areas.

Regional Parties and their clout on National Political Scene. How to tackle them??

After the fall of PV Narasimha Rao Govt. at the centre, the era of coalition Govts started. Thus marking the beginning of political instability at the centre. After 1996 General Elections, Atal Bihari Vajpayee headed a coalition Govt. which lasted for a mere 13 days as he failed to garner the required numbers to reach majority. Between 1996 and 1998 two coalition Govts of the Third Front didn’t last long. After which, the Lok Sabha was dissolved and fresh elections were called in 1998, which again put BJP in the lead. BJP stitched an alliance with regional parties under the banner NDA. But AIADMK, a regional outfit from Tamil Nadu withdrew support to the 13 month old NDA Govt. and the Govt. could not gather majority and Lok Sabha was dissolved. And Vajpayee continued as PM, but a care taker PM. In the General elections of 1999, NDA headed by BJP won a whopping 303 seats out of 543 seats and ruled for full term. BJP managed to control its allies. After the 2004 General Elections, Congress being the single largest party formed the Govt. under the banner UPA. Many regional parties such as DMK, NCP, PDP were part of it. Regional parties continue to influence the policy making of the Government and also give a sense of political instability.

How to overcome this??

The Election Commission of India should formulate strict rules and regulations as to give any political party a National Party status. The party should have a broader national agenda. Parties like BSP, NCP, SP, JDU though don’t have any regional agenda as such, they don’t have a pan-India presence. They are confined to only few pockets which is enough for not accepting them as National Parties. And parties like DMK-AIADMK of Tamil Nadu, TDP of Andhra Pradesh, TMC of West Bengal, INLD of Haryana, JDS of Karnataka-Kerala, JKNC and PDP of Jammu and Kashmir and so on are confined to only those states. Also, these Regional Parties should not be given important portfolios and also should not be given Cabinet Ministerial berths as they can’t think on a broader national consensus. Best example is Mamata Banerjee’s tenure as Union Railway Minister. She acted as if she was the Railway Minister for Poschim Banga (West Bengal) and MoS Railways for Congress-UPA states, thus leaving Opposition ruled states orphaned. And, DMK heading Telecom Ministry took the Telecom sector to ransom. The ever growing clout of these regional parties is a threat to pan India growth. Also regional parties tend to influence policy making to suit their regional agenda. This trend has to go or else India will be pushed to a Third World Country status.
The Constitution should be amended for making it compulsory for anyone willing to be a Union Cabinet minister to be elected on a National party’s ticket and also regional parties should be given only Minister Of State(MoS) posts or may be no posts. Also they should be given MoS only if they account to 50% of the total LS seats in their respective states. Also the Number of MoSs to be given should be not more than 15% of their total strength in Lok Sabha.
This could lead to political stability.

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