Saturday, January 26, 2013

Asis Nandy and Corruption: Is there a caste angle to corruption in India

A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books Asis Nandy is the infant terrible of Indian political journalism. From time to time he stirs up the hornet's nest and there is considerable speculation for some time. India today has become both caste conscious and status conscious and there is no neat fir between the two. In the past political power was in the hands of the educated elite which had some values. Post Independence brought mass democracy to India and with the vote came the temptations of power. The Other Backward Classes ot the OBCs as they are derisively referred to in India are the most powerful political grouping in India and they have administrative, political and muscle power. If we look at the list of the mega corrupt in India we find that they are usually of the OBC variety. Laloo Prasad Yadava has become the symbol of corruption due to his involvement in the Fodder Scam. For the benefit of my readers who may not know let me describe what the fodder scam is. Money meant for animal welfare was swindled to an alarming extent and Laloo and his political cronies were directly the beneficiaries of the scandal. The corruption and mal administration made Laloo lose the election. Other OBC politicians like Kalmadi, Mulayam Singh Yadava, Vilas Rao Deshmukh, Sharad Pawar are all involved in corruption and there corrupt deals are common knowledge. Even the BJP has had its share of corrupt OBC politicians: Nitin Gadkari is the most recent. There is nothing wrong in what Asis Nandy has said. The OBCs in the IAS are notorious for their corruption. The recent conviction of the IAS officer Neera Yadava the former Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh is a case in point. OBC officers have accumulated tonnes of gold which has beeb recovered in raids ususally conducted by other OBCs and so perhaps like the Kula ring reciprocity and exchange govern these transactions. What Asis Nandy has said is usually spoken in hushed tones in the privacy of ones home. People are afraid of the "goonds" support enjoyed by the OBCs and hence even the press keeps quiet. In Tamil Nadu the backward caste have been in power since 1967 and the state is a cultural desert with atrocities against dalits increasing by the day. Asis Nandy has provoked outrage by his remarks because in these days of Indentity sensitivity which borders on political correctness one does not talk about OBC corruption. The dalits are not on the same scale for the simple reason there is more value formation in the dalit society and also there is fear of being scapegoated by powerful OBC officers. In the medival scam of the dalit queen bee in UP all the officers involved were OBCs. Asis Nandy has not said anything objectionable. He has spoken the truth.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Rahul Gandhi and Dynastic Rule in India: Will the "Congress Party" Survive

A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books One of the promises of Indian freedom movement was the transformation of India from a society of privilege based on birth to a society of "opportunity" albeit not equal opportunity for all. The Congress Party by nakedly promoting dynastic rule has broken this historical contract between the people and the Constitution. With the sole exception of North Korea,no other country has established a dynastic rule in the name of democracy and this truth itself highlights the absolute hollowness of Indian claims to being the world's largest democracy. The usual justification given is that other countries like the USA have dynasties: the Kennedys and the Bushes etc. What the apologists for dynastic fascism do not realize is that there are dynasties within the Republican and the Democratic parties, the Congress in India is the only dynasty which possesses a political party and its members are not politicians serving a public cause but courtiers fawning and grovelling at the feet of the Dynasty. The very presence of the Congress and its Dynasty on the political landscape is an affront to the dignity of India and its people. The hidden cost of dynastic rule is borne by the people of India. Political accountability for actions done by public personalities is just not there. Even the very idea of public accountability is alien to the political culture fostered by the dynastic fascist, Congress party. Congressmen are routinely accused of rapes and murders and because of the clout of the factions aligned to the ruling family are able to escape the long arms of the law. In Rajastan a leading Congressman and a Minister in the cabinet had his concubine killed and her body disposed off using another Congress MLA. In Himachal Pradesh a Congress MLA who was recently elected in on the run having been accused of the rape and murder of a young girl. Congress Ministers even from pre Independence days are notorious for raking in the moolah and Jawaharlal Nehru's Planning Raj made it possible for ministers to indulge in unlimited corruption in the name of "socialism" and "Party Funds". Since there is no legal requirement in India for the audit of Party Funds, there is the practice of parking ill-gotten wealth in party coffers and hence the temptation to covert political parties into family possessions. The Congress Party was responsible for this horrible tradition is followed by all regional allies of the Congress. The DMK in the southern state of Tamil Nadu has already undergone the transition to full blown dynastic rule as the 2 sons of the old bandicoot called Kaunanidhi are engages in a full fledged war of succession. We hope the two sons fight to the finish. Dynastic fascism of the sort encouraged by the Congress has undermined rule of law. The mass killings of Sikhs in 1984 after the death of one of their leaders is a direct fall out of the dynastic politics. The son of the dead leader was named her successor and local party leaders like Jagdish Tytler, HKL Bhagat, Lalit Makken and Sajjan Kumar organised mass killings of innocent Sikhs in the name of the Party and the ruling dynasty in order to prove the loyalty to the new crown price. The Crown Price famously said: When a big tree falls the earth shakes. Retribution caught up with this man when he himself was mercilessly eliminated a few years later. The elevation of Rahul Gandhi to the Vice Presidency of the Congress Party in in line with the dynastic fascist ideology of the Congress Party. The fact is that the people of India are sick and tired of the corruption, criminality and monumental mis governance of the ruling party and its allies. The BJP is caught in its own internal factional squabbles and unless the Hon'ble Narendar Modi is given the reins of the Party it is unlikely that the party will do well in the next elections. The regional parties are emerging stronger and that is the unfortunate fallout of the opportunistic politics of dynasty, corruption and crime.