Category: Nation

Where does the buck stop??

India did just great with managing the first Covid wave…But what really happened now?? Who messed up – Mr Modi? Mr Kejriwal? Mumbai Mantralay? Elections…? You?…me???

No definitive answer would emerge, ever… But an incontrovertible role- has to be attributed to all of us. We – declared victory too soon. Post lockdown narrative had almost nothing to do with COVID19. Pent up demand, double digit GDP growth, continual patting ourselves on the back with FDI stats…it was all about economy – which – then, understandably was expected and accepted.

So where does the buck stop? I guess at Mr Modi. I have been and shall continue to be a staunch ‘bhakt’ as those who know me say. And truly nothing – as yet- would shake my confidence in his leadership – both in terms of ability and intent. He is the best our nation’s got. Yet we’ve been much disappointed just because we compare Mr Modi of today with Mr Modi which the country has known.

Certainly, the buck stops at Mr Modi to not see it coming. Buck stops at him to not have enough Remdesivir. Buck stops at him to not have enough Oxygen. Buck stops at him for having been distracted with Bengal… and there absolutely would be many other areas where the buck would stop at Mr Modi.

But I earnestly believe the biggest blunder Mr Modi probably committed – was to trust the states.

Having braved huge, consistent all-round criticisms for its strict 2020 lockdowns, maybe Mr Modi got overwhelmed by the immense economic sufferings of the strata – whom we – living room commentators – would never ever be able to fathom.

Understanding India’s size, regional diversities and varied work culture dispositions, Mr Modi believed – or maybe was made to believe – that one size would not fit all and left critical decisions to address COVID imperatives to – almost all – inept state governments – irrespective of the fact whether they were from the ruling dispensation at centre or otherwise.

However, the basic difference in the predicaments of the Centre and State was limited to not just the quality, but also about the ‘intent’ of leadership. When the lockdown was imposed by the Centre, massive relief and stimulus packages were announced, running into hundreds of billions – funded and underwritten by the centre.

And still reeling under the impact, the ‘lockdown authority’ was abdicated to the States. And the States crumbled to the fear of losing revenue. The fear made them live in denial. State leaderships were back at setting Rs 100 Crore monthly targets from its forces. State CMs were busy campaigning in other far away states – just to settle political scores – not even remotely bothered about setting up O2 plants – funds for which were granted to all states by the Centre in December 2020. BJP state or not – made no difference. Almost all state leaderships were back to doing what they’ve always practiced – self serving politics.

But having said the above and fully acknowledging – a definite deficit of political leadership, the buck stops at all of us – you and me included. We carried on with our lives as if all was ok. As if there was no COVID19. We threw caution to the air. Withering mask discipline, ‘socialising’ and celebrations peaked. Restaurants were consistently running overbooked. Celebrating the recent quarter GDP numbers, auto sector figures, GST collections, revelling in almost everything. We celebrated too much, just too soon.

But things still haven’t changed… and what’s truly frightening is that we’re still not getting it. So many of us inexplicably and pretentiously continue to go to live life as if all’s still ok – either with a pure selfish intent and fear of lost business or a foolish, careless contempt, putting lives of all around us at grave risk.

However, what’s happened cannot be undone… Whether you and I are vaccinated, or have COVID antibodies in our bloodstream, simply does not matter any more. We absolutely- are responsible not just for our families, but for all around us… Those who work for us and for those who earn daily to see it through.

Remember, what goes around comes around. History shall be unequivocally and brutally unforgiving if we still do not get it now… Please, be compassionate; please, stay at home; please, stay safe. Not just a slogan – but an undeniable imperative.

Its sure tough out there, but keep your chin up friends!!

We are in a marathon and it’s not over…until it’s over…

India’s tryst with destiny

Just about a week for those magic machines to tell us where India is headed- decisively or otherwise..

While the growth story of our nation shall continue, whether or not Mr Modi is back to power, yet a GDP growth or any fiscal deficit number is never a reflection of how great a nation is, or how great a nation would be.

In terms of the GDP numbers, India would grow irrespective, and in fact -inspite, of certain political dispensations at centre. That’s because of a strong and, maybe good-maybe bad, robust bureaucracy. However, growth numbers in this century are far too integrated with the global developments than they ever were. Trump’s eureka moments and Eurozone hiccups have far more impact on domestic numbers that they ever did. Read more

Legacies of ABV and Modi

While the world is still reflecting on Vajpayee’s legacy- between my travels- I couldn’t stop myself from comparing the legacy left behind by ABV and the huge impact BJP’s second prime minister, Mr Modi has been busy creating.

ABV was absolutely, most certainly, the tallest statesman Indian politics ever saw. (Pic courtesy Zee News) Far more than Nehru, who was labelled one – by British leftovers and could never get anything done. Whenever I try to dig in to look at Nehru’s achievements, I struggle, because almost always, all good works done during his tenure, were those by stalwarts like Sardar Patel, who disagreed with him rather openly. So many books, auto bios of leaders of that era discuss candidly that had it not been for Patel, India would not have been what it is today. While a unified India’s was Sardar’s gift to us, Nehru left us a messed-up Kashmir, the way it is today. Anyways, so much about Nehru, because this post is not about him… Read more

Is our justice delivery system, itself becoming the biggest violator of human rights???

With about 3 Crore cases pending in various courts of the country, why can’t our country engage an IT firm like TCS or an Infosys to do a 90-day, time bound, rigorous all India exercise, across all courts and prepare a consolidated database? A huge proportion of these cases have been pending for more than 10 years. Even if the courts had convicted the undertrials, the punishment would have been less than that anyways.

Can’t this database help government to sort such cases and, by an act of Parliament, drop these cases, release the undertrials and clear a huge backlog?

Judicial reforms really need to be Mr Modi’s next BIG step. Judicial apathy, for whatever reasons, has been significantly responsible for institutionalizing corruption in our country. Lower courts are often taken for granted, frivolous cases filed, dates after dates after dates become the norm with a complete disdain and making a mockery of the system.

While the Hon’ble SC, State High Courts and the District Courts have been pushing hard, with the best of efforts, to get over the years of backlog, yet the fact remains that Justice delayed is justice denied.

Is our system itself becoming the biggest violator of human rights???

#JudicialVacancies #NextBigDisruption #JudicialReforms #MoreCourts #MoreJudges #MyTwoCents

Historic verdict, not just for the state of Uttar Pradesh, but, for the Republic of India…

On May 26, 2014, India rebooted with a new OS. Today, less than three years later, armed with this historic electoral mandate, it just upgraded its OS. Bugs hampering performance of the system were addressed. Finally, we would have an upper house, which would not be able to block every single reform on flimsiest of pretexts. Notably, a 300+ number indicates, a portion of Muslims having voted for BJP as well..


This also underlines the fact that a Prime Minister, while secularly running a nation, fully and equitably respecting each religion, can unabashedly practice his own beliefs and does not necessarily need to wear a skull cap, just to satisfy a TRP hungry media…


This, unprecedented mandate was just what India was looking for… Finally, before India enters the general election year, it now prepares to handle an emboldened #NaMo , who would surely bring in many more #DisruptiveChanges in the next 15 odd months, move to a cruise mode and pursue nation’s growth agenda relentlessly…


This verdict is historic not just for the state of Uttar Pradesh, but, for the republic of India…


Judicial Reforms..ever on agenda??

Wondering as to why talks of Judicial reforms never gain steam.. Supreme Court’s recent judgement on delay in trial being a ground for leniency in punishment, followed by the acquittal of RG killers are both disappointing..

With the our judicial system being one of the tardiest ones around, criminals would now find ever better hope of getting away with just anything.. Knowing fully well that even the first court of law would take at least a decade to pass any kind of judgement… and then, such flawed rulings would always come to their rescue..

More than 2.8 Crore cases are pending in lower courts, with an average case taking as long as 15 years to get past the first judicial layer.. This period increases much more once litigants challenge the verdict in the HC and then in the Supreme Court.

Also, pondering about the career options for many of our political class, who have scores of cases pending against them. If our system could be quick and robust enough mandating lower courts to dispose of cases within, say two years, and the High and Supreme Court , say 6 months each.. how efficient, transparent and cleaner the system would be, when an individual risking contribution to any felonious activity would have sword by his neck… Wonder if we would really need any Lokpal then.??

Well.. knowing our dynastic political class, no wonder, this may never get to be higher up on their agendas..

Where’s the due diligence??

Just like we do our due diligence and look at the track record of an individual, before we place our trust in him, isn’t it amusing that some of us are willing to gamble our nation’s future to someone who just shouts out loud?? It is no news to my friends that I do not like Arvind Kejriwal’s style of politics promoting anarchy. This certainly, is no revolution. A myopic drive, on way to lose all sheen post the general elections, very reminiscent of the VP Singh era..

While I have no allegiances to any political group, yet the fact remains that when I look at my options in terms of who would I like to see as the PM and lead my country, I really, am unable to see beyond Modi.. Those being overly critical of him or his party and have the audacity to compare him to Kejriwal and his party to the BJP, are simply unable to appreciate so many things..

1) Namo is into his fourth term, voted back with an even greater mandate each time… Is it that the 6 crore people of Gujarat are insane?? Or have they simply been voting for good, clean governance??

2) Similarly, governments in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, voted back again.. and of course unprecedented Rajasthan tally..

3) The kind of work done during Atal Bihari’s regime during 1999-2004, has been unparalleled.., whether it was India getting into the nuclear club or the tremendous amount of work done for the Highways.. (Wiki : The UPA Government on July 1, 2013 accepted before Supreme Court that NDA National Democratic Alliance Government lead by Vajpayee has developed half the roads in last 32 years in their 5 year term)..

4) @ Dipin..sorry that I saw your post late.. BJP has always advocated smaller states for better governance. In fact, Uttarakhand, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand were all carved out during Atal Bihari’s term.. Telangana is going to be good for the region and so is Vidarbha, if that is ever taken up by the political establishment.. Of course, I am not bringing up the uniform civil code here..

5) Political Parties are based on ideologies which (should), generally, contain inclusive development, good governance, willingness to serve the people and certainly- lead the nation.. Those critical of RSS have probably never had any understanding of its core ideology of sustained, selfless service to the nation..

It is indeed sad to see intelligent, well-read people of today falling prey to politics of sensationalism, cynicism. At some point, we need to look beyond finding a conspiracy theory in every story and appreciate the fact that established stalwarts who restarted the anti-corruption crusade, Anna Hazare and Kiran Bedi, have all snapped ties with AK. In fact rewarding those went who against the law of the land and did not pay electric bills, will only institutionalize anarchy and lawlessness..
And of course, AK’s press-famous FIR against GOI and RIL regarding the gas price hike.. For once we’ve got to move away from the politics of subsidies, appeasement.. Indian Industries using gas have been importing LNG consignments costing as much as $15-18/mmbtu.. But for gas prices in the US, international LNG prices are in that range.. In the US, the prices are much lower at around $5- 6/ mmbtu, but that is because of a the gas glut they are in, on account of the Shale Gas boom.. A free market, US encouraged investments into Shale Gas exploration- a high risk, very capital intensive venture. No government has the kind of money which goes into on shore/ off shore exploration and if it is not attractive to the private sector, nobody would invest and hence there would be no gas.. Our power plants would continue to be starved of gas and stay shut, effectively depriving over 300 million people of any electricity..

Finally, cutting the long story short and probably needless to reiterate .. that future of our Nation, today, is indeed Modi.. There is no better alternative…he may not be ‘the’ solution to all our country’s woes, yet undoubtedly is the most capable person to lead our nation..

Bharat Ratna for Tendulkar??

Tendulkar should not have been conferred the ‘Bharat Ratna’, particularly at a point when he was barely done with his playing career… While he, surely has been a great sporting hero and certainly an exemplary youth icon, yet the timing of this showcases brazen political opportunism from a failed government, on its last breath-desperately struggling for ways to connect with the masses, particularly the youth. This also so much belittles the stellar contribution of the many many freedom fighters, leaders of change, industrialists the nation has had…Wonder if Sachin’s contribution to the nation has been more than or even close to that of the likes of Ratan Tata, Azim Premji, NRN Murthy…who created millions of jobs… Or even close to several national heroes who, selflessly laid down their lives during the course of the making of our nation….pity that the government chose to award Bharat Ratna to Sachin, rather than even consider declaring Bhagat Singh a martyr…,such a pity.. Bharat Ratna, would never invoke that pride…ever again

Where does the buck stop??

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