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Round 2 – Manmohan May 28, 2009

Posted by astralwicks in Election, Government, india, Opinion, People, Politics, Thoughts, Writing.
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6 comments

I before you

I come before you – in the family, in the queue at Andheri or at the theater. I just hate to stand in the line and await my turn. I miss those wonderful days when I just jumped the line and did what I felt like – just like my favourite Sarkaar.

After all to repress is to regress. I spit frequently sitting in my car and auto. I After all, what are a few diseases. They make us stronger – unlike those whiny white or black Europeans weaned on cleanliness.

You think I am all of warts. I am religious – doesn’t that count? I pray day in day out and dump the garbage in the nearby Arabian Sea. Once it was clean, now its black, no make that soot black. God’s will I say. Kalyug at the corner.

I am a large – hearted person you see. I’ll show you. I love my religion and my caste also. People from ‘my’ region are treated with respect when they visit my house. People who pray ‘my’ god fare even better. All my friends eat what I like. Makes for a harmonious dinner table experience. We even – oh let it be. I am not like that.

I am an extremely fair person. After I hoard for myself and my family I distribute largesse to people who are faithful, who fawn and touch my feet. I like these customs – that make people bend down and touch my feet. Such powerful feelings of love overcome me then I cannot tell you. I write poems and scripts based on these.

Karan Johar was right. I correct myself, is right. Its all about loving one’s family – blindly. The country can go up in smoke but my family should be the 1st. In cabinet births, in getting plane and train tickets, in coming out of jail at the earliest, in getting admission to a school or college, lineage is all.

Karunanidhi – the DMK supreme is a man of many quarters. He doesn’t believe in God, has a sense of humor by asking whether Ram and his monkey cohorts were holding engineering diplomas while constructing the bridge to Lanka, writes poems and scripts. You get the picture. He goes on to blackmail the nation and its people for a full week after the elections. Why? Because his blood are not in the cabinet. Or people who suck up to him.

They bargained hard and cost the nation dear. What is 10 days you say? Government formation is as big a task as winning the election. It is but natural for allies to seek their pound of flesh. So not having a working government when a cyclone is marauding through a part of the country is par for the course. Post victory when the entire country is looking for signs of stability and positive cues in times of recession one party goes for the jugular.

By standing firm Manmohan Singh has carried on from his electoral victory in Round 1. Don’t take me for granted – is the message. Respect me, respect the verdict and lets set an example – that the nation is waiting from us. Let us chart a new path. Let us at least try – young and old. The answer as one minstrel said is…

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Exclusive Zardari, Gilani, Kiyani, Pasha, Qureshi Meeting Excerpts December 7, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in Blogging, Government, india, Opinion, Personal, Politics, terror, terrorism, World, Writing.
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12 comments

President of Pakistan Mr. Zardari, chief of ISI Lt Gen Shuja Pasha, army chief Kiyani, foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Prime Minister Gilani have just seen Miss. Condoleeza Rice to the car.

Zardari, Gilani and Qureshi are waving at the disappearing car whereas Pasha and Kiyani are already walking back in.

Pasha: Mohtarma chali gayi par inka khauff…

Kiyani: Mulk main tangi hai par inki tafri kabhie khatm nahin hoti.

Zardari and Gilani walk back towards them.

Zardari: I had told you Gilli that she will believe me. She trusts me.

Qureshi: yes she does. You are a charmer sir I tell you.

Gilani: Janab mujhe shaq hai ki unhe shaq hai.

Zardari: shaq is not enough miyan…you need proof. Like they say the proof is in the pudding. Where is the pudding?

Dressed waiters rush towards the men and all of them taste it.

All: wah wah. Masha allah!

They have many a round and finally look satiated. They sit around lush surroundings watching more reportage from India.

Zardari: now?

Everybody waits.

Zardari: o.k. We will see.

He walks off. The others also go their separate ways.

Zardari reaches his room and his phone rings.

Zardari: hello

Gilani: Janab kahin jang chid gayi to?

Zardari: Nonsense. India will never attack us.

Gilani: kyon janab?

Zardari: blackmail. Nuclear warfare. Indians are too responsible for their own good. Unhe yakeen hai ki hamare mulk main itne bad-dimaag log hain ki koi bhi, kabhie bhi wo lal button daba dega.

Gilani: sahi sochte hain?

Zardari: isi ka fayda ham uthayenge. Ghabrao mat Gilli, Manmohan is a nice man…he won’t do it. Good pudding, what say?

He cuts the line; falls on the bed and dozes off. Benazir smiles from the wall.

A piercing ring wakes Zardari. It is the phone. That ring is reserved only for the President of the USA.

Zardari thinks for a while, a long while and then picks it up and gives the best accent possible.

Zardari: Mr. President.

Bush: Shut up

Zardari: but, Mr.

Bush: shut up or my drone is nearby. I will bomb your palace, really.

Zardari: you are harsh sir.

Bush: who did it?

Zardari: Mr. President, now really, we, I mean, how would I know?

Bush: how do I know?

Zardari: what do you mean? You know? How do you know?

Bush: should I bomb you?

Zardari: who did it Mr. President?

Bush: you know I used to think that I am the smartest guy around but you guys are the best, really. You are probably the most irresponsible country in the world and you get world bank loans.

Zardari: thank you Mr. President.

Bush: catch them.

Zardari: catch whom Mr….

Bush: SHUT UP you As…

Silence. More silence.

Bush: o.k don’t piss me off anymore. Catch those bearded bastards. LET, JEM, ABCD whatever.

Zardari: but sir, they didn’t

Bush bangs the phone down.

Zardari is left with the receiver in his hands. He looks around, sighs and looks at the Benazir portrait looking at him.

Zardari: this is the mess I am supposed to clean. Why did you die?

Zardari makes a call

Zardari: Qureshi all of them in 10 minutes.

Qureshi, Kiyani, Pasha and Gilani are in the conference room.

Pasha: ab kya hua?

Kiyani: mujhe aur bhi kaam hain.

Gilani: sabr kariye

Both of them shoot a glance at him and then start laughing.

Gilani and Qureshi exchange glances but are unable to do anything. Zardari walks into the laughter.

Zardari: oh…people are in great spirits here. So, shall we begin? Yes?

Everybody nods.

Zardari: who did it?

Silence.

Zardari: let me repeat myself…who did it?

Silence.

Zardari: urdu main fermaata hoon. Kisne kiya?

Kiyani: kya?

Zardari: Mumbai.

Silence.

Zardari: Abhi phone aaya tha America se. Unhe bhi pata hai. Kisne kiya hai?

Kiyani: janaab honge koi. Hamein kya?

Zardari: kisne kiya? Miyan Pasha aap bahut chup chap hain? Apni rai to farmaye.

Pasha: mujhe lagta hai unke apne log, ya to army ya to kaafiron ka kya bharosa. Malegaon ko dohraya gaya hai janaab.

Zardari stares at him.

Gilani: wo aisa kyon karenge?

Kiyani: hamare Pak aur bedaag daaman ko badnaam karne ke liye, aur kya?

Zardari: ho sakta hai. Bilkul ho sakta hai. Par aisa hai nahin. To phir kisne kiya hai? Lashkar?

Pasha: saazish hai janaab. Kaafiron ki saazish hai. Aur koi saboot bhi to nahin hai. Sirf yakeen aur daawon se kya hota hai.

Zardari: Mohtarma Rice ke file shaayad aapne nahin padha.

Pasha: janaab file se kya hota hai. Saboot chahiye. Pukhta saboot.

Zardari: jo pakda gaya uska kya?

Kiyani: uska kuch nahin janaab.

Gilani: saari duniya ham par shaq karti karti hai.

Pasha: duniya ko chodiye janaab.

Qureshi: it is getting difficult you see

Pasha: urdu main farmayenge?

Qureshi: janaab pressure badhta ja raha hai.

Kiyani: to?

BEAT

Pasha: Pakistan is not involved – ye line dohrate rahiye. Isse asaan kaam aur kya ho sakta hai?

Kiyani: na to aap front pe goliyon ka shikaar ho rahe hain aur na hi jubaani jung lad sakte hain. Aap is mulk ke kis kaam ke? Oxford ki taleem kab kaam aayegi janaab? Apne saaf lehje main muskuraate hue kehna hai – Pakistan is not involved bas…

BEAT

Zardari: shabaash Kiyani. Wah mere cheete!

Zardari goes to Kiyani and pinches his cheek.

Zardari: like that Abhishek Bachchan ad ‘what an idea sirji’. Wah wah. I have got it.

Everybody waits.

Gilani: janaab hamein bhi batay.

Zardari: hum…yani ke hum log yani ki Pakistani government ka Mumbai haadsa se koi lena dena nahi hai.

Qureshi: sir…er…janaab hum to pehle se yahi kehte aa rahe hain…

Zardari: farq hai. Pehle hum kehte the ki koi bhi Pakistani involved nahi hai – RIGHT?

All shake their head.

Zardari: ab hum kahenge ki Pakistani hukmuran yani ki government yani ki hum Bambai haadson ke liye zimmevar nahin hain. Kyon?

All think for a while.

Kiyani: iska matlab hai ki Pakistani Army zimmevar ho sakti hai?

Zardari: bilkul.

Pasha: ISI bhi.

Zardari: bilkul.

Gilani: par hamari army ye tohmat kyon le janaab jab wo begunaah hain?

Zardari: begunaah? Come on general. Tell them.

Gilani is surprised.

Kiyani: maaf kijiyega.

Kiyani walks to the side. It is an aside. Zardari joins him.

Kiyani: main kuch samjha nahin?

Zardari: aapko kya lagta hai ki main paagal hoon?

Kiyani: ji nahin…

Zardari: mere paas pukhta suboot hain. Saari duniya ke paas pukhta suboot hain? Aapko pata tha?

Kiyani is silent.

Kiyani: janaab mujhe sharminda kar rahe hain.

Zardari: aapko pata tha.

He joins the others, Kiyani follows

Zardari: to Qureshi…you know what to say. Aap kahenge ki ‘hamari…yani ki Government ki khabar main ye baat aati to hum Hindustan ki sarkar ko khabar karte aur ye haada na hota.’

Pasha: aap hum par tohmat laga rahe hain janaab?

Zardari: bilkul nahin. Aap par ilzaam laga kar mujhe marna hai kya…begum ki tarah.

Pasha: Janaab naaraaz hain?

Qureshi: sir…sir…Dawood ka kya karen?

Pasha: kuch nahin.

Gilani: hamein kuch to karna chahiye?

Pasha: kyon karen janaab…humne jab kuch kiya hi nahin.

Zardari: ENOUGH. Humne kuch nahin kiya. Bambai main blast hua hi nahin. Hamare mulk main koi terrorsits nahin, na hi training camps, na hi LET, na hi JEM…na hi Dawood, na hi Sayeed, na hi Muzammil…ye sab kaafiron ki saazish thi…BJP ki kahein to behtar hoga…elections ke liye…ya to keh dijiye ki aanewaali koi Bollywood film ke liye shooting practice thi.

Zardari walks off.

Chaos Theory August 29, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in Blogging, Car, Government, india, Personal, Policy, Politics, World, Writing.
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13 comments

I come from Jamshedpur. The flagship company of Tata’s – Tata Steel is located in my hometown. I for one have always been biased towards the city because of the many happy memories and also to the group as a whole. We were all happy when from a no-player it became the 5th largest steel making entity in the world, after acquiring Corus.

Similarly, everybody was assailed by a pang of pride when Ratan Tata unveiled the Nano, the world’s cheapest car. It certainly set many auto-enthusiasts thinking – is it possible? Mr. Tata showed that it is. And since then we have awaited the entry of the car on the streets.

It is supposed to roll out of the Singur plant in West Bengal – the eastern state that is the spiritual home of the Indian Communists. It was also in another village in West Bengal – Naxalbari – that peasant uprising pitched ordinary tillers of the land against the ruling CPI (M) government forces! Power obviously corrupts.

West Bengal had studiously avoided industrialization for much of its 30 year long reign. Mired in a self – defeating ideology and elevating laziness into an art – form, the population carried on believing in its own glory if not invincibility. By the time Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, a poet and a film critic, got elevated to the post of chief – ministership, the party polit bureau found itself in a log jam. USSR had ceased to exist and China had transformed itself, using the state apparatus to muzzle dissent to speed up the economic progress of the iron curtain state.

By then the other states of India, especially the southern states had latched on to the IT bandwagon and raced ahead. Punjab already was rich. The rich legacy of the State was evaporating faster than the vapors of tea and cigarette at the addas of the cool revolutionaries. The state and its cadre tried to emulate the success story of the Chinese.

Force it down the throat if need be, they ordered and the writ was observed. First it was Nandigram, where a chemical hub was to be set up. The farmers revolted and this led to armed clashes – between state led CPI (M) goons and local villagers, supported by a host of political parties. The casualties were more on the side of the villagers as the communist cadres had complete state support. It was Nandigram that shook the communists worst in 30 years – they lost the Panchayat election to Trinamool Congress, led by Mamta Banerjee, a firebrand, ex-Congresswoman, who unfortunately has a history of nuisance value, which harms her motives even when employed for a good cause.

Then Singur happened. The Tatas are trusted. Their pitch is ‘a century of trust’. The quiet spoken man issued a threat a fortnight ago – Nano will move out if his employees are threatened.

Was the Tata Nano land also forcibly acquired by the State government, keen to showcase their state as investment friendly? Knowing what happened at Nandigram, it is anybody’s guess. Was the compensation adequate? Again – probably not. Is it arable, cultivable land? Of course, it is. Most of West Bengal is fertile. Why is the CPI (M), known to fight for the rights of the workers, tillers and the under-privileged, become persecutors of the very people they vouch to protect? The Central government has washed its hands off the matter, saying it is a state matter.

Shouldn’t we not have a unified Industrial Policy that addresses these concerns? And it is not just Bengal. There is POSCO in Orissa where large tracts of mining land are being away dirt cheap to the Korean major. Are we still living in the dark ages to be unable to assess the negative impact of unequal distribution of wealth? To not see the divisions and social tensions that will arise when local, indigenous populations are systematically excluded from the development process. After all, for whom is this development for?

Don’t we still realize that the problems of India are not that we don’t have enough? But it is that everybody doesn’t have enough. Is Manmohan Singh, an economist and an honest man, also unable to see the wrong development modes followed by people like Buddhadeb and Naveen Patnaik in Orissa.

There is fresh news – 1/3rd of all the poor people in the world are India. We who were for the last decade congratulating ourselves suddenly find that the field data is a blot on our collective euphoria. But dig deeper and you find it is a headline for a couple of minutes and then history.

The rich can justify can anything in the name of development. Similarly the poor can justify anything in the name of survival. Welcome to chaos.