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, 17 March 2013


‘…that was the first things most students tried to do’ quoted a Hindustan Times* report on the free laptops distributed by the Uttar Pradesh chief minister.

The report was on how the laptops crashed when the students tried to change the wallpaper that shows the CM Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Now whether to refer this act of the UP government to distribute ‘eligible’ students laptop free of cost as an act of charity or social responsibility of an elected government or poll-related or poll-promise related populist sop of a government feeling the heat of not delivering on law and order and development agenda, may have separate lines of independent debates, but it tells us one thing very clearly – nothing (not even every charity) comes free and when the political class of the day is involved, never even think of it.

The interesting report made the equally interesting observation: “Efforts to change the in-built tamper-proof wallpaper -- depicting Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav -- proved disastrous. The laptops crashed. And when local HP engineers tried to rectify the problem, Linux, one of the operating systems on the machine, got wiped.”

Brand-building the Indian politics way – imposed, forced, indoctrinated.

Indian politics is full of interesting case studies if one thinks of doing a series of satirical stories such brand building exercises.

Incidents like politicians introducing biographical lessons in text books during their term in the office or the next group of political officer-bearers purging the concerned text book content and introducing their own or politicians inundating every street and corner with photographs, placards, hoarding and statues of their own or politicians naming roads or projects in their names or politicians distributing populist dole-outs and freebies funded by the taxpayers’ money in their own name and branding, are numerous. No dearth of them.

Development as an ‘issue at the level of professional doing’ is absent in every administrative unit of the Indian government, be it the Union or the States. At some places, development gets a higher turn-out rate like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and some other Indian states and union territories. But nowhere, it is at the level of ‘professional management’ to ensure maximum efficiency.

States like Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and some others come in the category where the element of the ‘professional management’ does not even touches the political functioning in ‘developing a development paradigm’ and even if touches, it happens as a random and sometimes, standalone event.

Uttar Pradesh has become worse than Bihar of Lalu Yadav days. Not only the lawlessness is on full display, but equally frustrating are the profiles of the ministers entrusted to bring the India’s most populous state back on the trajectory of development. Many hours of daily power cuts have become regulars, and are already decades old. Civic infrastructure of almost every city is crumbling. Except the national highways and privately managed projects, the road infrastructure is in shambles. Industrial growth is just limited to the National Capital Region areas and that too, is slowing down.

The chief-minister in office was elected to begin the process to undo this all. Yes, it cannot happen in one year. But there is not even the remote sign of that beginning anywhere in view. Instead, on full display are the typical brand-building practices of the Indian politics.  

But such practices always have an element of caution – banking on them heavily costs dearly – Mayawati saw it, Lalu Yadav saw it, the National Democratic Alliance saw it, the United Progressive Alliance government will see it.

Hopes built on such a brand-building have very pertinent possibilities of coming down crashing like these ‘wallpaper tamper-proof free laptops’ are crashing.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - 

* Removing Akhilesh wallpaper crashes laptops