The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Wednesday 15 August 2012


Another 15th August is here, marking 65 years to the moment when a nation had triumphed. What has followed the legacy has been both a boon and bane. It is not pessimism but a reality to write here that the recent three-four years have given an upper hand to the ‘bane’ elements.

So there is much noise and less music. So there is much rubbish and less content. So there are proclamations and empty promises splashed all across once again – from full page advertisements in newspapers and extended-length clips on television to the every nook and corner of lanes and streets – from ruling and opponent mouthpieces to the industrial outfits to the wannabe politicos.

Welcome to the present reincarnation of the India’s Independence Day – differently seen by the political class than what the Indian populace perceives about it. And midst all this, come two routine events – presidential address to the nation on the eve of the Independence Day and prime-ministerial speech on the Independence Day. I should say the language and style of Pranab’s speech was far more scholarly than Manmohan’s but when it comes to the relevance of the content, both were in the same league, all was like making castle in the air.

No one can say when the politicians would stop making larger than life speeches when they seldom look instilling confidence even in one needy life. Except style, Pranab had no particular content in his speech in the context of the stark reality of the day. Except on few parameters, the speech was more like touching all the pointers briefly to complete the quorum and so can be left at bay comfortably. But why to complain about that when it has become a tradition rarely broken. After all, he cannot be expected to be a Rajendra Prasad, or a Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, or a Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam.

Among other routine stuff enwrapped well in personal and historical anecdotes, he chose to lecture us on sanctity of the democratic institutions devoting a significant portion of his speech. He looked to point to this that we, the Indians, need to have trust in our leaders (the political class he belongs to) and the ‘affiliated’ institutions.

Now don’t we know India’s democratic institutions have become, even if temporarily, synonymous with its corrupt leaders mingled across the party line. What else can be a more scathing proof than leaders like Shivpal Yadav advising bureaucracy that ‘if they work, they can steal a little’.  Shivpal Yadav is Public Works Department minister of Uttar Pradesh and brother of Mulayam Singh Yadav, who is proving lifeline of the United Progressive Alliance government these days.

When politicians charged with murder, rape, loot, scam worth thousands of crores go scot free, it is foolish to expect any action would be taken against the likes of Shivpal Yadav. And Indian polity is crammed with multitude of politicians of similar hue, be it BJD in Odisha, BJP and Congress in various states, TMC in West Bengal, SP and BSP in Uttar Prafdesh, AIADMK and DMK in Tamil Nadu, Left Front in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura. Corruption and authoritarian nature have become endemic among the ranks of all the political parties. See Mamata Banarjee’s antics (read acts of intolerance on even mild criticism).

Pranab’s intellectual speech looks hollow in the context of this stark reality for it does only lip-service to the most vital issue of the day – political and bureaucratic corruption and doesn’t even mentioned growing political intolerance.

Dear Pranab Babu, while quoting Mahatma Gandhi, could you think of the greed of the political and bureaucratic class that  has made corruption the most widespread social malaise?

This is indeed a crisis time for the country as it can be said safely that almost of the politicians acquiring branches of state and central legislatures and its various bureaucratic wings are seen as corrupt and increasingly elite and authoritarian, scavenging on the taxpayers’ money. How can they be trusted then as Pranab Babu advises? When suspicion runs so deep, trust eventually becomes the casualty.

And apathy of such a political class is bolstered by poorly managed civil society run anti-corruption movements like India saw in the last 16 months. It is a war cry that India needs effective voices of dissent against the increasing political and bureaucratic corruption and political nepotism and intolerance. We indeed need a second freedom struggle, from the clutches of the corrupt and elitist polity. But the failure of the anti-corruption movement has again created a void on this issue emboldening the political and bureaucratic class.

Pranab’s speech had hangover of his recent political past that pushed him to go at length in justifying the political class in the garb of democratic institutions.

Remember Pranab Babu, we all Indians are not treated equal and the political class you hail from is the chief culprit in taking the common Indian to this mess.

Beyond that, his speech was a show sounding like coming from a president of India who is well read, seasoned and highly experienced. Some of the stats mentioned like India’s output in world manufacturing in 18th-20th centuries could well be the collectibles provided we come to know the methodology and exercise in reaching at the figures.

But, overall, Pranab looked charming on the screen while delivering the address. Listening to him was at-least not boring.

On the other hand, Manmohan was dull and routine as usual, inspiring nothing but a reaction on some more empty promises.

To continue.. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -