Friday, September 21, 2012


A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and bOOKS. In Casablanca, the classic film of the 1940,s there is a famous line: One in one out, thats the way it goes. This line is equally true of Indian politics; One out, Mata, one in, Mulayam. This merry go round will continue until the next election which are scheduled to be held in 2014. Unfortunately opportunistic alliances of sheer convenience whose only purpose is to cling on to power at all cost is legitimized using the "secular" card. It does not take too much imagination to realize that the most corrupt and obsessively dynasty based are the so called secular parties. The DMK is neck deep in the 2G Spectrum scam and the old bandicoots daughter too was in jail for nearly a year, Laloo Prasad Yadava is caught in the Fodder Scam and though the witnesses are being killed systematically the case is still alive, Mulayam Singh Yadava if facing a disproportionate assets case and since the CBI is a coalition partner of the UPA, the case is weakening or strengthening based on the politics of the Yadava chieftain and there is no need to even mention Mayawati with her diamond nose rings and flashy salwars with bags in tow.With such specimens in the political field the UPA will not run out of partners who will suddenly discover the virtue of "secularism" in order to hide their sins. There is however, one snag in the calculations of the UPA and its potential partners in crime and power. All these parties are directly in competition with the Congress for the same political space and the more they support the Congress the more they will have to face the responsibility for the scams, scandals and corruption. It will also have to bear the backlash and it is inevitable for the FDI in the retail sector which will dominate the next elections more than any other issue. The Congress will be able to dilute peoples anger by pointing fingers at their partners, and therefore it is not in the interest of these parties to throw a life line to the Congress. Of all the regional players only Mamtha Banerjee has understood the inherent logic of the emerging political scene. The Congress Party is heading for a total disaster in the coming elections and with the revival of the Left in West Bengal, Mamtha had few options left. She pulled the rug from underneath the feet of the UPA hoping to create a crisis and she has succeeded eminently. The options before Mulayam and Mayawati are rather slim. THe next elections both these parties will not be able to retain their seats and they also have to take responsibility for all the sins of the dynastic fascist party, the Congress. Without understanding this basic issue both these parties are falling over eachother to extend support.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Aseem Trivedi Cartoons: An Essay

A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books Indian politicians are getting touch and sensitive about cartoons. I think when a political order is in a state of absolute free fall, the decaying order becomes hypersensitive to the caricature in cartoons. The MPs and MLAs now know that the citizens of India are filled with contempt and anger for the egregious plunder they have indulged in over the years. Actually more tham corruption which is there in all political systems, it is the politicians like Laloo Prasad Yadave and D P Yadava, Jagdish Tytler and other such criminals who masquerade as "peoples" representatives which stokes the anger of peo on his carple. P Chidambaram, the Finance Minister, was defeated in the Sivagnagai Parliamentary Constituency but goes arpound with the emblem of the Republic emblazoned on his car. Rightly there is anger because the Constitution of India does not envisage a Kletocratic state. Dr B R Ambedkar and his team worked out a Constitution which would be the basis of a civilized political order underpinned by Rule of Law. We now have the rule of outlaws and some of them like Poolan Devi even were elected to parliament and I am sure that Tamil Badu would have elected Veerapan, had he not been encountered. Now the Cartoons. I have shown them with this blog not because the cartoon are of a high artistic value but because they succeeded eminently in doing what Shri Aseem Trivedi set out to do: provoke anger and contempt. There is nothing remotely seditious about the cartoons and to invoke the outdated Anti Sedition Law is outrageous. The arrest and imprisonment of Shri Trivedi only shows that the corrupt political class is hitting back using the instruments of the state and when this happens we know that the end is in sight. A discredited political order tottering at the weight of its own monstrous inequities is struggling to regain the ground that is slipping from under its feet and in this I do not see any difference between the Congress and the BJP. I was surprised at the response of both Kiran Bedi and Arvind Khejriwal who in an oblique manner justified the arrest and imprisonment of Shrri Asseem Trivedi. I see this issue as one that frames an informed citizen's right to critique the politics of his land. He has not offended any religious or identity group and his depictions are not scandalous. I have a complaint. I personally dislike the use of animals as symbols of evil. In ome of the cartoons the lions of the Republic are replaced by jackals. I like Juno the Jackal of Karadi Tales and I made him the hero of a whole series of stories on which my daughter grew up and I strongly condemn the use of the animal is this disgusting way. The lions could have easily been replaced by a Gandhi topi wearing kletocrat and it would have been OK. Otherwise these cartoons do make a powerful impact on the viewer. I appeal to the authorities through my Blog to release Shri Trivedi,