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.

Sunday 30 September 2012



Arunachal Pradesh to enforce austerity drive
Govt austerity, AI woes force Balmer Lawrie to start travel portal
Austerity steps to pinch PGI doctors – Chandigarh
DUSU poll contenders in no mood for austerity
Govt may tighten purse strings further – (subsidy and fiscal deficit)

'Austere' UPA's 3rd anniversary bash cost Rs 7,700 per head
Twelve-fold blow to UPA government's austerity plan as globetrotting ministers blow Rs 678 crore of taxpayers' money
UPA's Rs 100 crore ad blitzkrieg amid talks of austerity

Two different set of headlines above, filtered out of the Google search engine after hitting it with the ‘UPA Austerity’ and India Austerity’ combination tags.

7 Race Course Road, May 22, 375 guests – Manmohan invites over 600 to celebrate three years in office during his stint as the prime minister of India. Everything is going wrong for him. Scams, corruption charges, rising prices, weakening Rupee, clubbed with a bad Monsoon has made his condition precarious.

Everyone is pointing fingers at him for ‘governance mismanagement’ and ‘bad governance of Economy’. He is trying hard but is not able to go beyond his dull, routine, toothless explanation. He then tries to evade direct answers as far as possible. (Sometimes in the near future he would claim his ‘right to silence’ - remember his famous (notorious) ‘my silence’ anecdote in the Parliament.) He tries to create a comfort zone in his by getting 'selectively silent'. 
Completing 8 years in office - he probably sees some solace in at-least this symbolic positive at this difficult time. So he decides to go unrestrained once more, the way he and his colleagues have been doing, defying the austerity measures ‘defined’ by them only. Now see this.

Rs. 11.34 Lakh: Catering charges for the party
Rs. 14.42 Lakh: Tent
Rs. 2.92 Lakh: Electricity
Rs 24,444: Flowers
Total expenses on the party thrown by the PMO: Rs 28,95,503

(All figures courtesy the Times of India - 'Austere' UPA's 3rd anniversary bash cost Rs 7,700 per head / September 28, 2012 – which in turn is based on an RTI reply by one Ramesh Verma from Hisar)

The Ministry of External Affairs took care of the catering and tent charges while the PWD was pitched in for the electricity and flower arrangements.

Now tell me do you remember the last time when did you have a Rs. 7,700 dinner?

This is the same government that expects us to survive on Rs. 30 or so a day (Rs. 32 in urban areas; Rs. 26 in rural areas – a gem of Montekonomics).

It tears into the doublespeak of our selectively numb economist prime minister; it rams into the double standard of our political class.

Preaching for us to follow austerity, advising us to be ready for tough economic measures and reduced government spending and subsidies, they spend the fund lavishly that is supposed to be used for Manmonan’s ‘aam aadmi’.

What Manmohan said on the same day he splurged bares what the current political class is made of (and read it with the rider that Manmohan was seen as the person of integrity). He said (I quote from a PTI report dated May 22, 2012), “Difficult decisions have to be taken on both spending and revenue mobilisation. I recognize that we face pressure on our balance of payments and that the fiscal situation needs careful management.”

Now isn’t it a known fact that the subject of such difficult decisions is the Manmohan’s ‘aam aadmi’ only and not Manmohan and his political class? Yes, probably Manmohan and his political class use every such occasion to reiterate the class divide that the political class is creating in India.

It is not that this over Rs. 28 Lakh extravaganza is going to take India out of its fiscal mess but it tells us one thing very clearly. It shows us the true intent of our political class that we so often witness by their shameless justifications whenever a report of their excess comes into the public domain.

They propose. We cry hoarse. They enjoy. They continue with their splurging. They continue to be parasitic on public’s fund.

The list is long. The list is getting longer. The headlines in the second lot mentioned in the beginning of this write-up tell about the most recent additions. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -  

Saturday 29 September 2012


My reflections on life – in quotes (XXVI)     

Everyday counts in our lives but certain days arrive 
to remind us the significance of the word LIFE 
making us realize the vivacity of 
the theatre of the existence 
that rides high on the experiences we LIVE every moment. 
Positive or negative, 
recollect ‘your’ moments, 
reflect on ‘your’ days, 
to make ‘your’ IDENTITY.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Friday 28 September 2012




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©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Thursday 27 September 2012




But given the mindset at the moment, they won’t. Today, the Supreme Court opinionated in the ‘2G Judicial Reference’ case hearing that its verdict about auctioning natural resources was not applicable to all the natural resources. Soon, the government sprang into action and Kapil Sibal was flashing into cameras giving his wisdom of ‘enormous clarity’ on SC’s opinion. The ‘enormous clarity’ in his opinion cleared all the misdeeds on natural resources allocations including the coal blocks.

But how can he thump his feet when the SC reiterated its auction-stand on the 2G spectrum allocation scam? Does SC’s opinion today exonerate the UPA of the mammoth loot?

The ‘enormous clarity’ of Mr. Sibal and his colleagues in the government didn’t tell them the courts could still hear the natural resources allocation on case-to-case basis including the Coalgate.

The fiscal deficit illogic: Now this is what Manmohan’s main problem is evident from his September 21 speech. The way he spoke, it told us that his diesel, LPG and FDI decisions would wipe them out. Be sensible folks. There are no such immediate prospects for an urgent crisis situation (as Manmohan has told us). I would like to quote from some reports here.

They say India’s current account deficit is over $70 Billion. The target this year is around Rs. 5,10,000 Cr0re (or approximately $98 Billion)

Last year, government had failed its fiscal target. 4.1 per cent was planned but 5.76 per cent was the final figure. This year too, the story is expected to remain the same. Projections say it is expected to reach at 5.8 per cent against the planned 5.1 per cent as emerged in a Reuters poll of 25 eminent economists. Being an analysis, it may change and government can sight this but the ground realities tell the same story.

Government is in no position to lower down the expenses keeping in mind the 2014 elections. So whatever Manmohan says just contradicts him that bold decisions were mandatory as the country was heading towards a 1991 crisis. Seeing all this, the immediate measures being taken at the cost of taking risky and political decisions might be nothing more but an effort to generate fund to fund the pre-Budget populist measures.

It helps politicians in another way. Industrialists finance big-ticket expenditure like elections of the political parties. A report from the Association for Democratic Reforms and the National Election Watch tells names of many corporate houses donating to the political parties. Apart from that, the major chunk of the thousands of crores of income of the political parties comes from anonymous contributions. (Do you remember a political party representative approaching you with a receipt book in hand requesting for a donation to the party?)

Fighting elections in India is big event costing tens of thousands of crores (in absence of electoral reforms) and any political party cannot raise that much by donation simply. It has to business houses. Therefore, the government cannot antagonize the industrialists by writing off the taxes. So find some other way to fill the government’s currency chest – and the readymade victim the Manmohan’s ‘aam aadmi’. Already burdened, burden him some more. After all, what the poor fellow can do except getting worried about the reducing value of his meager income.  

Manmohan and his illogical doublespeak!

Even Raghuram Rajan, India’s new economic adviser to the finance ministry told the country should not show excessive hurry in controlling the deficit as it may impede the development process. In a different interview to the Economic Times, he refuted the claim that India is staring at 1991-type economic crisis. He said, “There has been a deterioration in the macro-economic picture, but I don't think it has brought us anywhere close to when we were two weeks short of running out of reserves. We still have significant reserves and we are not dependent on external debt anywhere near as close as we were at that point.”

Rajan does talk about dangers of the fiscal deficit and advocates about reform measures of the government but see them a long run confidence building shot.

But India of the day does need much more that these narrow-focused silly reforms that hit the Manmohan’s ‘aam aadmi’ the most.

It’s must be a matter of national priority on what to reform and when.

It is not about fiscal deficit. That is a real and present danger for India, no denying to that, but it is not as urgent as Manmohan projected. We are nowhere near to a balance of payment crisis as was the case in 1991.

Whatever that is going to be generated out of the FDI decisions would never suffice the mammoth requirement that India’s fiscal deficit needs.

India’s present current account deficit is $70 Billion and the country needs $1 Trillion of investment to come back to high growth curve. Analysts say the retail FDI decision is expected to generate FDI of $2.5-3 Billion per year for coming 5-6 years provided all states implement the move. Aviation FDI is not a big bet immediately, with potential of a few hundred million dollars only. Power exchanges are still in infancy with small capital base so don’t read much into the 49 per cent FDI decision here.

So we are not going to have a miracle anywhere on the Economy front. And the condition is not as bad as Manmohan has projected. Yes, there are issues of concern, but blindly cutting subsidies in a poor country like India while sleeping on the governance mismanagement is the real culprit.

That killing unequal distribution: Another worrying feature of India growth story is the growing social disparity. It is not that country’s wealth has not increased. It is not that the per capita income has not increased. From 1991 to 2011, size of the Indian Economy has quadrupled.

But it is also there that the per capita expenditure requirement is simply outdoing the majority of the Indians and incessant price rises are adding havoc to the already dilapidated psychological frames. The 2012 Global Food Security Index puts the world's fourth largest Economy at 66th position out of the 105 countries surveyed. India’s Human Development Index was ranked 134 in 2011 while it was 123 in 1991. (What explains this decline?)

But the comfortably numb economist-turned poor economist-turned poor politician Manmohan doesn’t want to see it or doesn’t want us to see it or doesn’t care at all, if we, at all notice it.

So an ‘aam aadmi’s Manmohan can throw a lavish party for his ‘khaas’ (special people) on completing three years of the UPA-2 where every platter cost over Rs. 7000 (in the high days of austerity that his own government had announced), reveals an RTI reply. And this government decides that the poverty line income of India would be at Rs. 3500 a month.

So an ‘aam aadmi’s Manmohan allows his ministers to splurge Rs. 678 crore on foreign tours during the year 2011-12 (in the high days of austerity), reveals an RTI reply.

Scams, policy-handicap, misplaced national priorities, ill-conceived electoral mileage – ill-intent, shamelessness, insensitivity – Indians politics of the day sucks!

P. Sainath uses the term Corporate Plunder Line (CPL), but there should be another vital term – the Political Plunder Line (PPL) – thoroughly conceived, debated and propagated. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -  

Wednesday 26 September 2012


Continued from:

For most Indians, subsidy is a necessary evil; it’s the politicians who suck really

In a country as poor and unequal as India, subsidies are the lifeline for millions. Indian government reports on poverty line estimation and population size have drawn flak for oversimplifying the poverty issue in the country. If we shift to some international data sets for the universal poverty line, a 2011 World Bank report says 68.7 per cent of the Indians live on less than $2 (Rs. 110) per day on PPP basis. That comes to a monthly income of Rs. 3500 a month.

Managing meals, maintaining healthcare, providing education and sustaining a standard family life in Rs. 3500 a month is next to impossible these days!  

World Health Organization says Indians constitute world’s largest open defecators community, the 58 per cent of the chunk.

Planning Commission of India says the country is facing a 76 per cent shortfall of doctors.

United Nations’ Global Hunger Index puts India at 67th position out of the 80 countries surveyed. Indians make 25 per cent of the world’s hungry lot.

All these tell Indians do need subsidy; Indians do need state’s help in sustaining their day-to-day lives; Indians do need state’s assistance in finding the route to lead an independent and dignified life not dependent on the state’s help.

And for these inevitable reasons, Indian policymakers must never think of doing away with subsidies that directly hit a family’s monthly budget. Diesel subsidy is one such thing.

Manmohan’s poor statement delivered on September 21 said, “We raised the price of diesel by just Rs. 5 per litre instead of the Rs 17 that was needed to cut all losses on diesel. Much of diesel is used by big cars and SUVs owned by the rich and by factories and businesses.  Should government run large fiscal deficits to subsidise them?”

But Mr. Manmohan Singh, tell us how many of Indians sustaining below Rs. 110 a day drive even a Tata Nano, put aside the big cars and the SUVs?

Mr. Manmohan Singh, these Indians depend on public transportation like buses and trains that run on diesel. It is not all CNG and electricity yet.

Mr. Manmohan Singh, these Indians depend on the food, grocery and other household supplies every month the prices of which are governed by these modes of transportation.

Prices of essential commodities have shot up by 20-25 per cent after the ‘reformist’ diesel price hike. And whatever this hike does to reduce the government’s burden, (Manmohan says Rs. 20,000 crore), is nowhere near to the high fiscal deficit of over Rs. 5 Lakh crore.

Instead, government’s governance management could be the key that Manmohan (or say any politician in the driving seat) doesn’t want to accept. The loss to the exchequer in scams like 2G spectrum allocation and coal-block allocation could alone have saved billions of dollars. True, the figure of loss in these cases are expected figures but they are based on market values and arrived at by India’s supreme accounting body. Billions of dollars of Black Money stashed away – why can’t government act sincerely to expose the culprits (if not to bring the money back)? That would deter such practices in the future and would substantially enrich government’s treasury by inflow of taxes.

Vested interests!
How can Manmohan act to crack down when many of his political fraternity are deep-neck in these scams?
But why then trying to sound serious for concerns of the ‘aam aadmi’ while acting to preserve the interests of the corporate and political elite?

It’s not the subsidies but the politicians who suck.

I quote here some random line from one of P. Sainath’s articles (To fix BPL, nix CPL, The Hindu, March 26, 2012), “Since 2005-06, for instance, the union government has written off close to Rs.4 lakh crore in corporate income tax. Throw in concessions on customs and excise duties and the corporate karza maafi in this year's budget sneaks up to nearly Rs.5 lakh crore. In just this budget and the last one, we've written off Rs.1 lakh crore for diamonds, gold and jewellery in customs duties. The total write-off on these three (revenue forgone under corporate income tax, excise and customs) heads in eight years since 2005-06: Rs. 25.7 lakh crore. That's over half a trillion U.S. dollars.”

Huge! Isn’t it?

It is true we cannot take utopian view of any hard reality. Industries do generate jobs and they need promotions but we need to see at what cost. We need to see what types of industries are being promoted. Sainath mentions some sectors like diamond, gold and jewellery and hospital equipments (most beneficiaries have been the corporate hospitals) being benefited from these write offs.

There has been a controversy on the huge fund (Rs. 95,000 crore) that the proposed National Food Security Bill would require. Opponents say it would cost the country dearly as it is already bleeding from the monstrous subsidies under different heads. The two budgets that have written off almost a crore in the custom duties on diamonds, gold and jewellery could alone have done it. Isn’t it Mr. Manmohan Singh?

Writing off practices like the retrospective taxation are understandable as they do hit the prospects of large employment generating entities in the country but why bestow largesse on sectors that serve very few in the country.

What requires immediate attention, is corruption, political and industrial, and not the subsidies.

Petroleum products are heavily taxed in India, at central and state levels. Rationalize them and there would be no need for subsidies then. Why can’t politicians do it?

Petroleum products are the easiest source of large revenue for many defunct and corrupt state governments due of its ‘lifeline sort’ of use. Goa generates handsome revenue from its tourism industry and so it could easily do away with VAT on petrol.

Why can’t state and central governments act to create alternative sectors of competence to generate revenue?

To continue..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -   

Tuesday 25 September 2012


Continued from:

Its bad timing dear: One thing that is clearly questionable in Manmohan’s move is his timing. Why this hurry all of a sudden, and that too, when the government was finding itself on the back-foot as the Coalgate revelations were naming many UPA members.

Why this long delay if the retail FDI decision was so imperative for India growth story?
Why didn’t he go to notify it earlier then?
Why now when the next General Elections are well in sight?

He says he is ready for any sacrifice for his proposed reforms. Why this enlightenment now?

If it was so imperative, why he kept Indians bereft of such a panacea for this long? Is he going to pay for it?

If it is really about reforms, why he then he became a party in derailing the Lokpal legislation?

Yes it is bad timing from other angles too. A bad Monsoon has created problems. Inflation and hence prices are to remain high. GDP rate is coming down. Internal factors and external factors like Eurozone and China slowdown are putting pressure on the Indian Economy. Rating agencies are downgrading India and investors’ confidence is low. S&P yesterday reduced India’s GDP estimate from 6.5 to 5.5 per cent.

And this situation hasn’t arrived just in a month or so. Policy paralysis of the UPA-2 has led it to get the monstrous shapes. The UPA government ignored all the war-cries when the Economy parameters were performing poorly, inflation was heading up and the Rupee was going down. Instead, what we would have were empty eloquence of the UPA leaders including Manmohan Singh and Pranab Mukherjee assuring us that everything was under control and whatever little problem, if it was there, was mainly due to the external factors. And now we have come to this.

It is not just S&P, almost every major agency has downgraded India, in terms of its credit-rating and GDP growth. Morgan Stanley reduced its GDP estimates - 5.1 from 5.8 per cent, HSBC - 5.7 from 6.2 per cent, and Standard Chartered - 5.4 from 6.2 per cent. These were indeed warning signs as the signs tell us now. Instead, Manmohan’s government chose to blame them of showing India in poor light, beating the bush that things were under control. By doing so, they let the things go so volatile that it is threatening Indian’s Economy now, if we use Manmohan’s words only, comparing the situation now with the 1991 crisis.

So, why, all of a sudden, such a hurry on reforms now? It rightly raises questions? There might not be much reading into this but it is spicy enough for the populist politics to make a groovy curry out of it.

Doublespeak: Isn’t it doublespeak especially if personal integrity is concerned when Manmohan, too, had opposed the retail FDI in a December 2002 letter to a trader body of Maharashtra? Manmohan was then leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. Mamata Banarjee has posted the correspondence on her Facebook page.

It isn’t unusual to change stand on an issue given the way the Indian politics is behaving but should then Mr. Manmohan Singh try to miserably score the brownie points in the name of his personal integrity whenever he takes the microphone to speak?

Concurrence of the retail FDI decision with the Coalgate and the compulsion to present a populist Budget next year bolster the theory that this was nothing but a politically selfish move aimed at evading direct answers on the involvement of the UPA members in the countless corruption cases.  And to UPA’s solace, the Coalgate cry has significantly dampened. After all, the opposing groups are all same Indian politicians only, isn’t it?

Manmohan said on the ‘6 subsidized LPG cylinders cap’ in his September 21 speech, “Almost half of our people, who need our help the most, actually use only 6 cylinders or less”. Why then almost of the Congress state governments had to raise the number of subsidized cylinders in their states? Congress party’s spokesperson Janardan Dwivedi said on September 19, a day after Mamata walked out, "Sonia Gandhi has asked Congress CMs that now the government's decision of subsidizing six cylinders should be increased to nine. Now nine cylinders will be given at subsidized prices".

Manmohan and many colleagues of his cabinet had slammed the rating agencies on downgrades but Manmohan says in his most recent speech, “We need a revival in investor confidence domestically and globally”.

 The great doublespeak!

To continue.. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - 

Monday 24 September 2012


Continued from:

Though Manmohan Singh did some plain talking in terms of the tough economic measures on September 21, it is not enough to help his cause (if there is really any cause). But apart from ‘that some plain talking element’, it was all similar Manmohan’s speech, playing with statistics, overstating his achievements and beating the drum about the bravado of his 1991-1996 term as India’s finance minister. The way he has been doing it so regularly, it has started belying his persona. His speech on this Independence Day was full of canards and was widely panned.

Sadly, he still doesn’t look to offer us anything more sensible.

Manmohan’s laidback attitude on Coalgate and other scams have shown him in poor light. It was only exacerbated with the timing that he chose to push forward his reformist agenda.

There is nothing wrong in opening up sectors for FDI. Caps have been raised or new norms have been introduced in single brand, multi-brand, broadcast, aviation and power exchange sectors. The only noise puller is the retail FDI move as it concerns a large segment of population. Other sectors, being too small in terms of people directly associated with them are of no use for the political parties.

And in any case, opening up of the retail sector for FDI would help the country in the long run, there should be no denying to this fact. Organized retail is a reality in India and is growing strongly. Currently it is about 7 per cent of the total retails business in India ($35 Billion out of $450 Billion). An AT Kearny 2010 report projects it to reach a size of $200 Billion by 2020 with a growth rate of 25 per cent. We should expect a better rate as the multi-brand retail FDI was not allowed when this report came out. But the other side of the report tells even a better story. It tells the Indian retail sector would reach to a size of $850 Billion by 2020. Its means the unorganized retail business would be of $650 Billion turnover.

So, where is the loss factor for the common man? Both modes of delivery would grow.

And how does it matter if the owner of an organized retail chain in India is the Future Group (Big Bazar) or the Wal-Mart?

Are the foreign multinational chains going to bring foreigners to man the stores? That is foolhardy to think and only politicians and politician-likes can think.

So where does the question of livelihood and employment loss come-in?

In fact, multitudes can get benefitted by the improved business practices that the multinational retail chains would bring in like investment in backend infrastructure and logistical operations and supply chain management. Also, it would help to enhance the farm productivity manifold as a major chunk of the farm produce is destroyed in transit due to poor storage facilities. Better storage facilities would push for improved availability and logical prices for the consumer. The direct access (that is likely to happen) to the farmers would reduce the burden of food spoilage on the farmers giving them more produce at hand per crop cycle.

The real thing is about the volume business here. If both, the producer (farmers) and the trader (retail chains), manage to do good volume business, there is nothing like that. And organized retail can do that in India.

It is true that there would be no immediate changes, not in terms of the livelihood of the farmers or the fiscal deficit of the government of India. It is true that the immediate beneficiaries would be the large Indian retail chains in the business who are currently bleeding and would get a fresh lease of life with the FDI cash infusion.  

But in the long run, it is going to benefit all in a country like India which is basically about volumes and masses. What Wal-Mart or likes do in their respective countries or other developed economies is not going to help in India. They need to adopt an Indianised strategy (something like McDonald’s McAloo Tikki). That means going mass-centric and that is certainly going to help masses of India – optimized prices and a better people driven business sense.

Given the large size of the retail business, that makes around 15 per cent of the Indian GDP and employs around 3.5 per cent of the Indian workforce, any fundamental business policy move here comes with big-ticket returns that can only be realized over sustained period of time.

So it’s not about a bad policy move.
So, it’s about good politics and bad politics.
So, it’s about ruling politics and opposition politics.

Manmohan cannot be blamed for pushing Indians to misery on this front (in fact, he would have deserved accolades) provided he had acted on the right time, with the positioned elements.

To continue..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -    

Sunday 23 September 2012


Continued from:


On September 21, Mulayam Singh Yadav, on the expected line, announced his continued support to the UPA-2 government shielding him behind the ‘secular politics’ veil. Though, the populist sentiment compelled him to attach a rider that he would continue with his opposition of the retail FDI.

He might have got the UP package deal. He might have been threatened of the CBI hunter as Mayawati was ready to extend support.

Anyway, he has got some deal, positive or negative. The way, he spoke on September 22 of bringing a Parliamentary Resolution to oppose the retail FDI, tells us more of a CBI hunter threat, that what might have been his compulsion behind continuing his UPA support. Also, Manmohan’s insistence on ‘reforms’ and UPA’s need to fill its treasury for a populist pre-election budget rules out Akhilesh Yadav’s demands of over $20 Billion relief package.

But, then committing to a move that is politically so unpopular that it can be classified as a communal pariah, is like giving your submission to someone who as an axe to grind. And so, the announcement of the Parliamentary Resolution might be nothing but yet another cacophony, telling his voter that he is opposed to the retail FDI in-principle but cannot let his Muslim voters down by allowing the BJP to exploit the situation in case the Congress party led government falls.  

Also, there can’t be read much into his meeting with the SAD leader and Punjab Deputy CM, Sukhbir Singh Badal. It was projected that he was rooting for common ground among old friends (extending his yet another statement that Third Front would be a post-election arrangement), keeping the 2014 elections in mind. Anyway, Mulayam’s party is not going to perform well to the extent that he could become the next prime-ministerial candidate.

It’s a bi-edged sword for Mulayam this time – he cannot bring down the UPA government for the reasons we saw in the previous lines – at the same time, he cannot be seen supporting the recent FDI policy move, diesel price hike and LPG subsidy cap of the UPA government.

In all this, whatever deal that Mamata has got, she has been let-off lightly. The vote of sympathy, of being humiliated by the Congress, of being pro-people, would be her added planks in the next election.

But this episode, at least, clears one doubt – of the conspiracy theories doing rounds around the Mulayam-Mamata duo during the presidential polls. Now it is clear that it was Mulayam who had turned away leaving Mamata to bite the bullet after announcing together their opposition to Sonia’s choice of the presidential candidate.

But are their chances that it might make yet another U-turn of Mulayam Singh Yadav. Yes, very well.

Even if Mulayam does bring the Resolution, he would do so only if he sees a chance that it goes to the extent of voting and the UPA government is going to be defeated.

Till then, it’s about empty words of high crescendo of the Opposition, of the Opposition within the government and of the government. Heard more empty cannons on Manmohan Singh in last two days?

It’s not about reforms.
It’s not about retail FDI.
It’s not about fuel subsidies.

Every economic move and policy is as good as the priorities attached in its implementation.

To continue..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -   

Saturday 22 September 2012


Sense, sensibility and the time – the triad of the human existence

When the sense starts sucking sensibility, it roughs-up all the niceties irrespective of the compulsion of time and transcendentalism.

Time brings you all that was to come.
You bring all to the time that it was to see.

Time generates its own set of sense values.
You create your own sub-set of sense priorities.
They ‘both’ run, walk, drag-on, to maintain the harmony.

A harmony that is the life nectar, a harmony that is the root of the conscious human growth, a harmony that has always led the human civilization to hit back whenever it has faced the ultimate ruin.

And any civilization’s basic entity is you.
Its harmony that maintains its pivot searches its source in you.

Over the time, it builds on you, transcending to the next higher realms of you.
It creates multitudes of you; suppressing some traits; highlighting some other.
You talk to your senses and your sensibility talks to the external factors that time imposes.
A confluence ensures the harmony is maintained and the civilization grows with all the niceties in place.
A disagreement makes your senses question the sensibilities creating the identity crisis and they run to break away from all the compulsions.
And it happens, time and again.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Friday 21 September 2012


Continued from:

By Opposition, I mean to say here the political parties who form the current opposing group of the government in the Parliament.

Given on the electoral wisdom or manipulation (if not interchangeably, both terms can be used alternatively to explain the confusion that prevails in the mind of the Indian voter in absence of good candidates to go for), these parties form the ruling or the opposition groups based on the number game. A party that is in Opposition today, might well be in the government tomorrow; could well have been in the government yesterday.  

Main Opposition party of the day, the BJP, is a sorry tale of internal bickering, lost opportunities and flawed fundamentals. The BJP and its senior brotherhood in the RSS have their origins and growth in following the Hindu nationalist ideology. There was nothing wrong in it provided it would have been allowed to remain an ideological following like many Muslim political outfits do (but with no base at all). So in order to gain the wider political canvas, the BJP went on to manipulate the ideology with militant elements of radical fundamentalism when it started fueling religious hatred that culminated with the Babri demolition episode. The instant reaction brought the BJP to power in Uttar Pradesh and paved its way for governing seat in Delhi.

But Uttar Pradesh was not enough and with emergence of casteist political groups like the SP and the BSP in the state and a deliberately delayed Ayodhya temple construction promise midst the piled-up court cases on the demolition issue, the voter started drifting away from the BJP. After Kalyan Singh’s government, BJP has always been languishing in Uttar Pradesh looking for the wider political background.

Though the BJP could form government at centre, and could from again, it had to bite the dust the way it had begun. It could form government only in coalition with many others. That made the BJP realize the need of a moderate approach politics and Atal Behari Vajpayee could lead a successful government at the centre.

But the BJP’s character had not changed. We saw it in Gujarat riots. First, Hindus were killed. The state had the responsibility to stop the reaction. Instead, it became complicit in the riots that followed killing around 1200.

Religion is the opium of the masses – the ‘so often’ quoted quote says – and that tells us its universal nature. Political leaders have manipulated it to the extreme and Indian politics is a burning example of it. But equally universal is its immediate aftermath – public gets fed-up of provocation if the same line is repeated again and again without any element of newness and militant spark and then even religion cannot hold the scattering base together.

Of and on, the BJP has been changing tracks to find a viable political alternative without making efforts to bring fundamental changes in its core ideology.

Babri gave the BJP the national political canvas. Godhra aftermath gave Narendra Modi an unbridled run in Gujarat since 2001 and he is expected to continue for another five years after the upcoming Gujarat assembly election.

But as Modi is harbouring prime-ministerial ambitions, he needs to come out of the mode of the politics that he does in Gujarat (and Gujarat’s demographics suits his hardline brand of politics blended well with real good development). He has been trying to reach out to the wider sections including the Muslims but there is little hope for him.

That leaves BJP in a quagmire of political fate – confusing the voter and the party worker of which line to toe.

And the BJP is not alone in practicing religious appeasement. Two other parties, the Congress party and the SP are always there to show their excessive zeal for Muslim appeasement.

But given India’s demographical statistics, no party or coalition can think of coming into power across the country by targeting one or few categories of vote banks. And that leads to the dirty game of opportunist and crude political agenda of every other party.

The other important Opposition group, the Janta Dal (United) that finds its political existence in Congress’ opposition (in words of Nitish Kumar), has been giving hints that it might tag along with the UPA if the centre adequately fulfills Bihar’s coffers. JDU shares power with BJP in Bihar but is going to fight against the BJP in Gujarat assembly polls.

The Left Front, decimated in its stronghold of West Bengal, was always a ruin of the Left ideology. They fought Congress in West Bengal but helped the Congress party form the government at the centre during UPA-1 days before pulling out the support on the India-US Nuke Deal issue.

Recently, they have been trying to plead with Mulayam Singh Yadav to join the Third Front going as far as saying Mulayam should lead it. Prakash Karat said yesterday, “Mulayam as the leader of the largest group should take the lead in this movement. Among our eight parties he should take the initiative, both inside and outside Parliament. He is the leader of the biggest party”. Only a day later, the seasoned U-turner, Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav announced that his support to the UPA government would continue though he would continue to oppose the diesel, LPG and retail FDI moves. Certainly, Mulayam has got a big, fat bargain in the trade-off that ensued earlier this week with Mamata's move to pull-out of the UPA-2. 

Did you say something of ideology?

To continue..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -