My Views

Sudan’s History – Al Jazeera

Posted in Uncategorized by dullar on January 31, 2011

Mass Street Protest – Not for India

Posted in India and World, Internal Security, Reality Check by dullar on January 31, 2011

When the Arab world is boiling and people have descended into streets demanding a fair, able and righteous governance, the world has been gripped by a sense of awe and confusion. What has made the people to come to streets? Is it ripple effect? Or surfacing of long suppressed agonies and frustrations? Many analysts and commentators are now talking about further spreading of the protests in different corners of the world, at various level – national, regional or local.

In India, common man has always thought of such protests as – are they worth fighting for. Democracy, some say, along with Judiciary and more so, 2 decades of economic reforms have insulated a large section of society from the day to day problems of governance and livelihood. People, above middle class, have been less concerned about corruption, politics, scams etc because their life’s goals are fulfilled and rooted through corridors of market economy, which by and large has sustained its growth through last 2 decades. Urban population happy with their (Increasing) monthly pay-slips, and pseudo-satisfied in increasing consumption are not the protest material.

For some time, rising inflation has dented the pockets of common man but there is little evidence of their dented spirits and faith in the market economy which continue to be promising. The section of society which lives below lower-middle class is the one which can provide for any protest whatsoever. But they are the voices which mean less than less in the power corridors- both economic and political. They are amorphous, segmented and unorganized to prove to be any danger of concerted protest, if at all.

The only form of threat of such street protest in India lies in pockets. Kashmir’s youth protest sometime back is one of them. But they have been effectively, if not sustainably, controlled, thanks to organized and fully controlled army, which operates under the garb a democratic political environment in the valley.  Further the central government dolled out some economic packages to temporarily feed envious Kashmiri youth. In the south, Telangana movement has been on fire for some time and will continue to do so, as it is also fueled by young blood of college and university students. Their demand have some color of genuineness but a long drawn out political and administrative path for dispute redressal might puncture the steam out of people’s spirits.

Democratically elected governments, police, independent judiciary, grass-root governance systems, civilian controlled army and para-military forces, and a rapidly growing economy are very effective in insulating mass street protests in India as witnessed in Arab world.

 

My Twitter

Posted in Uncategorized by dullar on January 20, 2011

Twitter has changed the way people express themselves. Journey from seasonal blogger to seasoned socio-politico-economic (or any other -o- -ic) observer and commentator passes through twitter, I guess! Follow me on http://twitter.com/#!/ankurd295

Hereditary Politics in India

Posted in Insight, Polity by dullar on January 14, 2011

PATRICK FRENCH in an interview to a magazine recently, while commenting about his new book said,

…..”I was quite surprised by the results when I did that survey of the Lok Sabha. I did not expect the data to be so overwhelming—the  fact that, for example, every MP under the age of 30 is hereditary. I don’t think it’s a bad thing having political families in any democracy. The problem really is the scale of what is happening. For instance, the quite inspiring grassroots leaders who came up in the past—certainly in the Congress—would have no chance of winning a ticket for a Lok Sabha seat now. You have this ironic situation where democracy is deeply entrenched and yet, at the same time, for the top reaches of certain parties, you have to be the son or daughter of an existing leader in order to get anywhere.”

And still Rahul Gandhi often gabble about the new line of leadership which has its inspiration and roots in youth of this country. He talks about the how youth should participate more in the party affairs. For what? As they know success in the politics is more about the family affiliations, godfathers, and hereditary genealogies rather than hard work and merit.

Politics is not a career in this country as there is no level playing field in here. Why do people shy away from entering the politics? Why is there a dearth of political talent in this country of overflowing academic talent?

Fatwa on Divorce

Posted in Religion, Society by dullar on November 16, 2010

For a Muslim wife in India it is not necessary to hear the words “talaq” three time from her husband to get divorced. A Muslim man can give her wife divorce by calling her on mobile phone and saying the word talaq three times. It doesn’t matter if the wife has listened his words or not.

Almost all of us must be quite shocked to learn this, but it is how Holy Quran says, according the learned religious interpretors of Darul Ifta of Darul Uloom, Deoband. The Deoband is one the esteemed and respected Ismalic learning centre in India. According to school –

Darul Ifta has always been centre of attraction and held great respect and trust in public and court circles. Darul Ifta, besides guiding in religio-social matters is also a very forceful means of rapport between Darul Uloom Deoband, and the common run of Muslims. The Fatwas of Darul Uloom have been highly esteemed in and outside the country; besides, the masses the law court in the country also honour them and consider them decisive. “

It shows how even the modern technologies like mobile phones are working against the women in Muslim society in India. (In the today’s information age, new electronic means like chatting, mobile, sms etc are successfully used by men to give divorce to the wives.)To any citizen of this liberal and democratic country with rule of law and right to equality as its foundation principles, this ruling will surely seem not only as regressive but utterly offensive.

Although the fatwas do not carry a binding effect on Muslims but they speak volumes about the mentality of the religious leaders of the school whose words carry a lot of weight in the Muslim society. It will frustrate Muslim women’s efforts to garner respect and equality in the society.

It will be interesting to know how the courts of law in the country take these, if any aggrieved person approaches it due to the above fatwa.

Sustainability

Posted in Uncategorized by dullar on July 5, 2009

For quite some time people are talking about sustainability. Such people belong to almost all sections of our society, be it business, politics, pressure groups, environmental institutions, community or the common man. The meaning of sustainability i think remains same for all of them. Its something like living a more fulfilling and happy life by sustaining the choices of present without compromising the capabilities and choices of our future generation to do the same. Its something like sustainable development. You and i have to accept that people understand the meaning of sustainable development in their own ways.Burudtland Report defined sustainable development, which i think is much more widely accepted world-wide.

Business corporations and industries are they way this world is producing its assets. They not only define the meanings of our economic sustenance but also provide us the means through which we interact amongst ourselves and with nature. For Ex: Before Monsoon hit North India, people had a very tough time dealing with the oppressive environment that prevailed for not less than a month. Power cuts made the things more than worse. Now, most of use Coolers, ACs in our home in summers. Some industry manufactured these for us. Now these appliances need power. There comes the role of power generators, may be though coal, petroleum or hydro.All in all i want to say that how we interact with the nature is largely defined and almost dictated by the manufacturers and industrial corporations.

Do we at all care how the businesses around us function. How sustainable their operations are? If i buy a products from the market, do i ensure that the company that made it is taking care the environment in which i live. Is my product environmentally sustainable? Do i penalise any company for selling me a product which is unsustainable from the point of view of the environment or the community? These are some straight forward questions which have some complex answers. But they need to be found out. For wake of you and me and for our society.

Trends in Indian Election Politics

Posted in Polity, Reality Check by dullar on March 10, 2009

It has been quite a long time since the coalition politics, backed by a fragmented electorate,has descended in the political scene in India and political alliances to gain power have been the order of the day. Political parties with different colours and hues devise different strategies to lure the voters and align with other political parties across regional affiliations. Here are some of the general observations about the new age political scenario in India:

1) Accept it or not INC (Indian National Congress) and BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party) are the only two truely national parties. Dont go into definitions. Others small national parties and state parties align with these two political parties to gain power in State Assembly and the Lok Sabha. Although few political parties like CPI and CPI(M) are trying to build athird alternative, called Third Front, for some time. But it has met a limited success as far as bringing different regional political parties under one umbrella.

2) National parties are getting weaker day by day and the regional and state parties are becoming stronger. It can be easily concluded by the fact that two biggest national parties only come to form government when the regional and state parties support them with required simple majority arithmatic.

3) There is a much competition among all political parties to forge pre poll alliances in the wake of forthcoming general elections. But as far as the profits and losses of these alliances are concerned different parties are at different angle of the recieving end. National parties expose weaknesses and unpopularity in the states when they go and bargain seat sharing with the state parties. The electorate is slowly shifting towards the regional and state parties in the long term. See the recent case when the long standing alliance between BJD and BJP fell flat for the want to bigger pie of the Lok Sabha seats.

4) State elections are fought on the grounds of performance of the sitting government and the anti-incumbency rules is not always followed. The third term of Congress government in Delhi is just one example. Incumbent governments in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh came into power for second time.Yes this is again debatable, but fact remains fact. The economic liberalisation and reform preiod sice last decade has given much needed financial leverage to the states and with their economies the governeance is slowly improving. The incumbent government which passes the fruits of modernisation to its public increases its chances to retain power.

5) The key issues thus are good governance, economic development, basic infrastructure (roads, power, water), job creation amd corruption free administration.

6) The role of identity is ubiquitous in the polity of this nation in both physical and temporal framwork. Caste plays (as always) deciding role in getting the election ticket and getting the vote. Different political parties take due care infielding their candidates and it largely depends uponthe caste and indentity demographics of the constituency. There has been different blocs of forward castes, backward castes, reserved castes and now newly formed block of Economically backward castes (EBCs). Caste factor play a very important role in alliances of different blocs. Muslims form a different bloc of votes.

7) Rise of BSP is a new development in the Indian Polity, especially after the last UP elections. It has managed to pull together the forwar cates and the reserved castes to sideline the backwar castes in the state of UP and the strategy has brough immense results for the BSP supremo Ms Mayawati. Now she is all set up to replicate the model in other states where there is a sizable reserved castes population like Maharastra.

New strategies has to be carved out by all the political parties if they want to remain afloat. Voter of 21st century India is more smart than his fore fathers. Some issus like, roti, kapda, makaan has always been the there for every election this counrty has witnessed but the realm of their definitions has changed in the modern liberalised world. The recession hit economy has added its share of challenges for the parties. No matter what part mere politics play in the reuls of the elections but the party which goes to the voters banking upon its past performance and futuristic agenda will have greater chances to be rewarded. By the way, no one can deny the possibility of last minute chaos of post polls alliances, political bargaining and horse tradig among the elected candidates.

Lahore Tremors

Posted in Cricket, Internal Security, Pakistan, Reality Check, Society, State, Terrorism by dullar on March 6, 2009

The aftermaths of 3/3 are slowly unfolding. And what is worst hit that cricket itself. Pakistani cricket is doomed for many years to come. Like the security personnel who have become shaheed protecting the Sri Lankan team, cricket is also going to pay its part of that shahaadat. It was yet another nail in the cricket’s coffin, and jihads have hit that nail very hard. What was conspired, has already happened in Lahore or Pakistan but its shockwaves have travelled east and we are frightened more than shocked.

The same home minister who took the charge of home affairs after the 26/11 tragedy and resolved to provide a secure and free environment to the citizens of this country who were already shaken to the core by the ghastly act, has now seems to be succumbed under the pressure. He dont want to divulge the secuirty forces to secure our cricketing avenues for the IPL. After people of this country faced the Mumbai challenge with grit and sensibility and never allowed fear to overpower our freedom, home ministry is giving signals of fatigue, more so after the Lahore attacks. Experts has cited many parellels betwen 26/11 and 3/3, but one point where two incidents stray apart is the way Indian side is seen to be going at backfoot as far as assuring for security for the sport in near future. Cricketers and cricket stadiums have always been a kind of potential target for the terrorists. The danger of same is now more real in South Asia which is already bleeding with many terrorist attacks in many major cities. The ideal way to deal with all this should be to increase the security cover, gather intelligence about the whereabouts of terrorists and their activities, and put a brave public face in the national and international media so that the public sentiments should not be hit byt the jihadi terror agenda.

A vibratnt, democratic and strong state should never put hinderances on the freedom of its people. State should gather its resources to provide best security ot its citizens. It should not shy away from such responsibility citing lack of security forces, be it General elections or IPL. Postponement of IPL for the already discussed reasons would amount to a failure of Indian state in more than one sense. It will also give signals as how government is going to provide security for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

In the name of security

Posted in Cricket, Internal Security, Reality Check, Society by dullar on March 5, 2009

There has always been security concerns for the much hyped and popular cricket mania summed up by the name of IPL. But this year’s edition of the sporting saga has clouded in some unprecedented security dilemnas and the talk of its postpoonement is doing rounds in the union home department. States has also shown much concern regarding the same. The reason cited is the non availability of enough security personnels who can cover general elections and IPL, both being held in the months of April and May.

Its highly unfortunate that we have concluded onthese lines. General elctions are the biggest festival of this largest democracy in the world where people celebrate their identity as free and sovereign republic and exercise their most powerful right, that is to choose their forthcoming leaders. Cricket is the next big thing that happen in this country in the modern times. The craze and enthusiasm by which this sport sweeps the entire nation is no secret to anybody. Its in this sense that watching and following cricket shows a sense of freedom for people.

Known for its one of the largest security personnels in the world, has such a day come in the life of this nation that there is not enough security for the people when they watch their most favorite sport. Can state afford to curb the freedom of its people to this level that it do not allow some twenty or thirty thousand people to assemble at a place to watch a cricket match. Now the government is mulling over these restrictions on the cricket tournament, tomorrow some other thing can come under the scanner of their twisted priorities. General elections are coming, state do not have enough security forces, so all the people are advised to be in their homes. Is this what we call the celbration of our democracy. Oh no, by the way, people can come out and attend the political rallies and election campaigns, as such events are full under the security cover. Politicians are the only heroes and vvips that we can afford to secure. Yes, they are also much qualified to provide some wuality drama and entertainment to us. Not for one day or one month, but for 5 years in and out of parliament.

Postponement of IPL for security reasons will be very sad and unfortunate precedent, if set.

Troubled Neighbours

Posted in Foreign Policy, India and World, Pakistan, Relations with neighbours, Terrorism by dullar on February 27, 2009

The latest developments in east has added to the worries of India, who is already having tough time dealing with its western state and non state actors. Mutiny by Bangladeshi Rifles (BDR) might have dangerous consequences for not only Bangladesh and its government but entire South Asia. The episode has shown some deep seatd fissures within and acrosss the security establishments. The mere size and the unity that the lower rank officers and soldiers of  BDR has shown during the whole operation indicates towards a long standing anguish and frustations inside the ranks of force. Their main demand was low salaries and inferior service conditions vis-a-vis the Bangladesh army. They also voiced their anger against the control that Bangladesh army exercise over BDR. Although Sheikh Hasina government has done a visibly decent  job by pressurising the mutiniers through warnings of strong lawful actions. Matter is soon expected to be over albeit with many important lessons.

The internal conditions of Pakistan are also in a rapid flux, both politically and strategically. With latest judicial decision of barring Sharif brothers of contesting polls, the political environment is very much heated up and there are many allegations on the incumbent government of influencing the judgement. In the north and west the situation is, as always, grim. The influence of taliban and many fundamentalist outfits is slowly gripping up. On one hand where Pakistani government has shown undesirable weakness in compromising the internal security and democracy in the SWAT valley, Obama administration is sooner or later going to increase its military influence on the western and northern frontiers adjoining Afghanistan.

Where does India’s role lie in all this series of so called dangerous developments in our neighbourhood. India can no longer afford to wash away its responsobilities as the largest democracy in world and biggest country in South Asia, by merely declaring everything happening in the neighbouring countries as their internal affairs. The poison that is spreading in east as well as west is slowly going to cross the borders in a more visible manner. We are already facing fundamentalist terrorism in its worst form. Even international community expects India to play a major and proactive role in such related matters. Sheikh Hasina’s goverment’s friendly relations with India should be capitalised in a better way. BDR’s mutiny has some very deep security concerns for India as we share a long boundary with Bangladesh and BDR is the guard of Bangladeshi borders. As far as Pakistan is concerned we have been seriously pursuing the case of 26/11, but a more broder policy is required to deal with Pakistan and its uncontrollable non state actors. We have to get our equations more straight and aligned with US in this matter. In Afghanistan as well, time has come when we increase our presence beyond humanitarian and reconstruction areas.

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