GOVERNMENT TO BRING CHANGES TO KEEP POLITICAL PARTIES OUT OF THE RTI ACT: WISH THEY HAD ACTED SO SWIFTLY TO SAVE THE UTTARAKHAND VICTIMS

It had to happen; it was not even a matter of time before we were to witness yet another shame in the name of democracy!

It was a writing on the wall that we all had read. Its precursor was made evident to us from time to time with the developments like these:

Prime Minister’s Office refuses to answer RTI query on Robert Vadra citing confidentiality

Gujarat government has not given information on Narendra Modi’s travel: RTI activist

Sonia Gandhi cites privacy, refuses to disclose info on I-T returns

No details of Sonia Gandhi’s foreign tour under RTI

Scratch a little and one would come across plenty of such reports involving politicians across the party-lines!

And so it was not even the matter of time when they decided to act. They had to act and they acted swiftly to blunt the sharpness of the democratic weapon that had grown potentially dangerous for them after a recent development.

This June (and it is still this June only), the Central Information Commission (CIC) of India ruled that the political parties were under purview of the ‘Right To Information Act’ (RTI) by rightly exploiting the elements that define a ‘public authority’ in India. The detailed report was a result of a prolonged hearing after the RTI activists approached the CIC as the political parties denied information under the RTI Act on funding related matters.

It is rare to see the Indian politicians standing united in public’s eye on an issue of social concern. Though they are similar under the skin, the vote-bank compulsions push them to act enemies to each other whether the political opposition to an issue is relevant or totally baseless.

But there come certain developments when politicians are forced to shed this ‘we are different attitudes’; developments, when we see the ugly face of Indian politics.

We witness the rare political unity on display whenever there is an event that either leads to the personal benefits of the parliamentarians like increasing salaries and perks frequently or events that might threaten their absolute run of corruption like the Lokpal Bill or the CIC decision to put the political parties under the ambit of the RTI Act.

And so, this June only, within few days of the CIC ruling, reports say the government is preparing to bring an amendment to the RTI Act or an ordinance to keep the political parties out of the RTI Act. The changes would be effective retrospective and would overrun the June 3 CIC order.

According to the reports, the Department for Personnel and Training has sent a draft of the proposed ordinance to the Law Ministry. Sources say the government is going to change the definition of the ‘public authority’ in a way so as to bring the political parties out of the RTI Act applicability.

Activists are saying they would fight it out in the court while the political parties are all praise for the government on this move.

After all, how can the law of the land that applies to the commoners, can apply to the superhuman Indian politicians?

Now, expect the ordinance or the amendment soon!

But where was this swiftness when thousands were stranded and thousands had died in the disastrous Uttarakhand flash floods? The scale of the disaster and the callous attitude of the politicians in relief and rescue efforts tell us a sorry state of affairs, a blot on the humanity and a pathogen for the democratic health of the country.

But can we question the politicians?

If they are acting so undemocratic, it is us only who are allowing them to act so. Their every move has become so predictable yet we continue making silly choices by electing them in the office, the powers of which they manipulate to exploit us.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

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INDIAN POLITICIANS, SUPERHUMANS THEY ARE!

Indian politicians, superhuman they are, elite and super-elite, a privileged class beyond reach of the commoners, a class in its own that has grown parasitic on us, the commoners.

They exploit the impulsive sentiments of the masses to keep superiority of their class intact by selectively recruiting what the masses should be given and where they should be dealt with empty rhetoric and false promises.

Indian politicians, superhuman they are, they have started acting as if they are born to rule us. They believe and act they are greater humans than us, the superhumans, and must act to ensure that their supremacy continues.

We always see, witness and become subjects of their superhumanness.

Superhumans they are, having no concern for the emotive responses that we, the commoners, feel for and occasionally express because they feel the commoners (or say the sub-humans for them) deserved to be treated like that.

Superhumans they are, as they believe these commoners do not have a sustainable memory and they forget their humiliations easily because they do not have any dignity.

And this feeling, emboldened with our indifference to the humiliation being meted out to us, gives our superhuman politicians a free hand to exploit us at the expense of ‘us’ only.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

UTTARAKHAND: WHY RAHUL GANDHI HAD TO DO IT?

There were different justifications put forward by his party members to ‘justify’ the visit of the angry but silent man of Indian politics to Uttarakhand when the miserable chief minister of the disaster-hit Uttarakhand had said NO to further VVIP visits as these were hampering the rescue and relief operations. But how could a lesser degree of politician like Vijay Bahuguna have ordered someone like Rahul Gandhi, one of the mightiest of the lot, out.

So, we were talking about justifications. Digvijay Singh, the Congress spokersperson, said Rahul didn’t use the airway and went instead by the road and so he could not be alleged of hampering the rescue operations. We are not talking of Rahul’s intent here as intent of politicians is always questionable but Digvijay’s white lie was yet another instance telling the nation why the likes of Digvijay Singh are not and should not be taken seriously. TV channels were showing visuals of Digvijay Sing defending Rahul Gandhi (shielding behind the lame road-route logic) and Rahul Gandhi boarding a chopper in Uttarakhand on split screens.

Yet another defender of Rahul Gandhi (and there were plenty of them), Renuka Chowdhury said Rahul was concerned and he went there as a common citizen to help in relief efforts carrying with him truckloads of relief materials. The justification further said Rahul Gandhi was monitoring the relief and rescue operations in Uttarakhand. See! Rahul doesn’t believe in efficiency of his own party’s government in Uttarakhand!

It was a lame logic again but the brazen disregard to the values concerning humanity was exposed out in the open when some media reports said the relief trucks sent by the Congress party failed to reach the destination in absence of clear guidance.

See! This is the monitoring being done by Rahul Gandhi. Trucks are stuck in Rishikesh; are running out of fuel and the drivers are running out of money and might be forced to sell the relief material to meet their day to day needs. Reports say there is no one from the Congress party to guide them.

All belied and disproved – arrival of Rahul Gandhi and his entourage in Uttarakhand did hamper the rescue efforts. The manpower and the precious manpower hours that the Rahul Gandhi’s sortie of the state and the demands of his SPG security consumed hampered the rescue operations at a time when the weather was not good and when there were thousands still stranded.

During the visit, Rahul Gandhi said he delayed his visit to the state as it could have hampered the relief operations but his visit did hamper the efforts as reflected in the natural anger of this victim:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=521312541257204&set=vb.100001353895975&type=2&theater
http://severallyalone.blogspot.in/2013/06/uttarakhand-why-rahul-gandhi-had-to-do.html

In face of all this, Rahul’s delayed visit and so the response sounds more like a political gesture to address debates on his absence and silence than a sincere humane response on a calamity of such a huge scale.

Also, why couldn’t Rahul issue a statement?

After all, the Congress party is projecting him as the next prime minister of India. And silence from the next prime-ministerial candidate from the ruling party of India gives rise to valid points of doubt.

WHY? Why Rahul Gandhi had to do it?
WHY? Why do we ask this question again and again?

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

SOMETIMES, DIFFERENCES CREATE A BRIDGE – LIFE IS CERTAINLY BEAUTIFUL

Life is certainly beautiful
Off late, it has been generous enough
To let me be with the rediscovery
Knowing I am not going to listen to it again

It is good to go unbound
It is bliss to feel the shared ground
I know I have marked mine
Thou shall be the next to join

Sometimes, differences create a bridge
That, the voice of the soul nurtures
Making existence one with the conscious
In conversation with the thoughts

Deciphering the rediscovered realms
That echoes, deep inside me
Reaching to the ‘self-contained’ me
Unraveling the forgotten mysteries

I cruise, to the known, to the uncharted
Steering clear of the thick sound
Creating ‘new’ is the pleasing adventure
Reclaiming ‘now’ is gaining the lost ground,
With you, with me, and with all..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

IS RAHUL GANDHI A POLITICIAN OR A COMMON CITIZEN LIKE US?

Before venturing further about superhumanness of Indian politicians in the aftermath of the Uttarakhand disaster, the Indians need to deliberate on the most burning question of the day – is Rahul Gandhi a common citizen?

Because, if, he is a common citizen, he cannot be a politician!

Indian politicians today are a privileged class much above any other social stratification while the common citizens are like those killed and stranded in different areas of Uttarakhand after the disastrous cloudburst and rains of June 16. They do not come on any priority list until they directly affect the political fortunes of the politicians.

And there is no such sorry sounding description for Rahul Gandhi. He doesn’t follow rule. He makes rules.

In fact, politicians like him prioritize about lives of over a billion of this country, much in the same way as Rahul decided to visit the state when the home minister of the country had already asked the Uttarakhand government not to allow any VVIP visit.

Rahul Gandhi cannot be a common citizen. The tag ‘common’ is obnoxious for politicians and certainly a pariah for someone like Rahul Gandhi who inhabits the top of the political elites in the country where the central-most qualification to inherit a country, even if the country is the largest democracy in the world, is to have the lineage of a powerful political family.

Nepotism, dynasty politics and family preferences are universally seen as detrimental to a progressive democracy and yet they have become the basic tenets for political elites of this ‘democratic’ country.

Common citizens cannot subvert the universally acceptable values. If they do so, they are made to face the consequences.

The universally acceptable rules of a civilized society are for the commoners like following the law, waiting in queues, writing countless papers to get educated, toiling hard to earn a livelihood and retire when it is the time, and that too, is the state-defined, a state that is run by politicians like Rahul Gandhi.

The political elite of this country certainly don’t fit in this description. They feel they are above it.

How can they, then, be the common citizens of this country? So, how can Rahul Gandhi be a common citizen?

So, a Rahul Gandhi, who is being presented as the common citizen of India, is certainly an ironical point of debate in a country where politicians are perceived as a class beyond the rule of law.

Also, talking of the rule of law, ‘this common citizen’ Rahul (pity Congress spokespersons like Renuka Chowdhury and Digvijay Singh) decided on his sortie in the flood-ravaged state violating the order of the home minister of the country issued to ensure smooth relief and rescue operations as the VVIP visits were hampering the progress.

How can a home minister’s order contain a ‘common citizen Rahul Gandhi’?

Rahul Gandhi is not a common citizen like us. It is self explanatory!

Related post:
A MAN-MADE DISASTER, THE HUMAN MISERY AND OUR SUPERHUMAN POLITICIANS
https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/a-man-made-disaster-the-human-misery-and-our-superhuman-politicians/

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

A MAN-MADE DISASTER, THE HUMAN MISERY AND OUR SUPERHUMAN POLITICIANS

Many thousands estimated to be dead, over ten thousand still stranded and in imminent danger, yet our politicians maintain a figure hanging around 1000 – see, they have this ability to lessen the impact of death and disaster by manipulating the data – superhumans! Aren’t they?

Like a man is totally helpless and hapless when the nature strikes with its fury, in the same way, the miserable Indians have resigned to their fate on being trampled over and manhandled by the politicians.

What else one should say when we, who form the nation, witness the politicians shamefully slogging out verbal volleys to hide their failure and score their prospects midst one of the biggest disasters the country has seen in the recent years – the Uttarakhand flash floods.

Failures and prospects – these two are relatively contradicting terms. What hues failure takes directly affects the prospect. It has been the norm. It is and it should still be the norm.

But like the socially responsible role of politics has been pushed to the oblivion with rampant human greed of the political corruption in India, a trend, becoming a norm, that, indeed, is not the norm, this interdependence of ‘failure and prospect’, too, has no functional dependence left.

In fact, Indian politicians of the day don’t believe in normative forms of ‘failure’. They feel they fail only when they are not able to score personal gains.

Failing in carrying out responsibilities for which they have been voted in or have been accepted as political leaders doesn’t amount to failure for them any more.

And so the governance failure in making a natural calamity, that the Uttarakhand flash floods is, a man-made disaster, doesn’t even register on the faces of the politicians when they react on it.

Instead, they are busy hobnobbing the state as if it is some election campaign battleground and so an opportunity for photo sessions and rallies. They don’t care if them rallying around by air, when air-lifting is the backbone of the evacuation operations, hampers the relief and evacuation process.

Politicians are scrambling to visit the disaster-hit state as if they are rushing on government sponsored irrelevant study tours that every year costs the exchequer millions from the public funds. It all looks so crassly insensitive.

So, if biggies like Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Narendra Modi and many other known and small politicians including some chief ministers were not enough to delay the rescue operations, another biggie, Rahul Gandhi, who had become a matter of debate by his absence as he was not in India, too, took the plunge yesterday by visiting the flood-ravaged state.

Now who cares on the worthiness of such debates as delayed responses or prolonged silences on issues of wider social repercussions have become trademarks of Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi. One is the prime-minister in office now while the other is the next prime-ministerial candidate of the current ruling party! See the misery of ‘we, the Indians’!

But, they are superhumans, like most other politicians – entitled to act so. So, they are trying to mitigate and lessen the impact of the disaster in their trademark ways. They are making statements that nothing could have been be done as they were not informed of such heavy rains yet they have done impressive work and have saved many lives by acting in time.

But what about those thousands who were still trapped while the helicopters were ferrying politicians?

But what about the unplanned development promoted by the human greed and political corruption that has made this calamity so disastrous?

Politicians like Rahul Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Narendra Modi, Digvijay Singh and others cannot answer it and they won’t bother to answer it.

A report about a biggie politician says he evacuated 15000 trapped pilgrims from his state in one day; another politician says the people from his states are being ill-treated in Uttarakhand; another politician responsible for governing the environmentally fragile state refuses aid from a state as the government there is of political opposition; a powerful political duo sitting on top of the decision-making process of the country still doesn’t find enough reasons to declare the calamity a national disaster – the list about self-made and self-followed reflections of the disaster, that is just 10 days old, is long.

Our politicians, superhumans they are! They don’t buy what the reality says. They follow what suits their interests, manipulating the reality of the masses with the feasibility of their own interests.

They believe they are not answerable to anyone. Denial is their primary weapon and manipulation is their ultimate weapon, even if it comes at a cost of thousands of lives struggling to get out of the imminent danger they are in.

Many thousands are still trapped in Uttarakhand while the weather has started taking bad shape again making the rough terrain even less accessible for the relief and rescue work and sadly, our sincere and honest soldiers, carrying out the operations at many ‘ground zeros’ of the massive devastation, are not superhumans!

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

UTTARAKHAND DISASTER: SOME REAL GOOD JOB BY AN OVER-THE-TOP MEDIA

Right from the time when the enormity of the disastrous Uttarakhand flash floods became clear, the national media has been on it, 24/7. As the thousands trapped in the rough terrain of Uttarakhand post-floods were from across many parts of the country, the regional media, too, had a major chunk of their daily plans on it. And a human crisis deepening every day brought the international media on the scene as well.

And it has continued.

And it has torn deeply into the political doublespeak. Okay, the folks have flown unrestrained, blurring every fine line of decency in reporting a human disaster like this, but it is they only who didn’t give the politicians chance to manipulate the reality to hide the scale of calamity. The world now knows the scale of the disaster that, probably, has killed tens of thousands though the government is still hovering around a figure of 1000.

The raw reporting on the crude behavior of the politicos has forced the politicians to do more, though, even now, they are not looking sincere.

Reportedly, the former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu is visiting Uttarakhand today (after 8 days!) His magnanimity has revealed its desire at a time when the delays in the relief and rescue efforts due to the visits (silly, worthless aerial surveys) of the political VVIPs like Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Narendra Modi and others have been a matter of raging debate.

According to some reports, during initial days of the calamity, when the government was still in a denial mode, almost 70 per cent of the helicopters, supposed to be used for evacuation and relief efforts, were being used to ferry the politicians.

Also, in order to stuff more in order to score over the completion, they have dug more and more on how the scale of the disaster is man made; on how the human greed, silly political considerations and unplanned development (owing to the political reasons of vote-bank politics and political corruption) contributed to make this disaster so massive; on how the government was trying to hide the facts by sending reports from the areas of maximum devastation like Kedarnath and its surrounding places; on how the relief materials like food items and medicines were in short supply at many places where larger number of people were trapped; and how the politicians went on scoring rhetoric while people were dying.

Yes, the political apathy continues even if thousands are dead and thousands are in imminent danger. The two biggest political parties, Congress and Bhartiya Janta Party, are playing politics over the dead bodies to score political mileage. The war of words is deafeningly ugly and certainly avoidable. But the folks would not let us give the leeway to look the other way.

There may be a silver-lining in this but only if we could read the message, something that we fail to read most often.

While the media carriers have their own interest in desiring for more intense war of words, the public has the opportunity, once more (like innumerable other times) to see the real character of the Indian politicians, on how insensitive and disconnected from the masses they have become to lead the Indians who vote them in the office.

Would they see it this time?

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

ALL SO EXTREME YET ENTICINGLY WILDER

Absolute thoughts of the grey in extreme wilds

Complete with exonerated guilts of nowhere

It was all so discrete and yet all so everyday

It happened to be one big anthem of nothingness

Shut up and closed down, pleading and waiting

Reading, taking notes of absence, writing nothing

The groovy slice and the curvaceous hollow

What that was there, what that wasn’t to be there

The theatre of the theatrics, beyond the insanity

In harmony with absurdity, romancing the ghetto

All said and done and yet all remained undone

The slight whisker and its magnanimous bartender

Rendered dates to the history, days remained empty

That strange love of the wilderness and its craziness

It was all so grey and extreme yet enticingly wilder

The absolute thoughts of the grey in the extreme wilds

November 20, 2012

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

EXISTENTIALIST AT HEART..

How do we contextualize life?
Do we feel the need of doing so?
Do we ever do so?
How often do we do so?

Or is it just a worded corollary, responding to the impulsive flare-ups of fleeting thoughts —

— to define, defend or suppress the  ramifications of multiple sub-identities hosted on adapted and belied sanctums with juxtapositioned sentiments of extreme hours and interim sentimentalities crossworded on the life of indices and serendipities driven by the

–         Exuberance of ‘nonetheless’,
–         Calibration of ‘something else’,
–         Fascination of ‘unknown’,
–         Magnetism of ‘unseen’, and
–         Navigation of ‘uncharted’..

..fixed fluidically on hinges made of pure conviction and platonic inhibition and fuelled consistently by a state of ‘no expectations’ in the dark alleys of adrenaline pumped Batmanesque curiosity?

After all, what is darkness but the precursor of light or the light itself playing a vital role in understanding the life, in reading its uncertainties, in writing your interpretations of these uncertainties.. the context is there..

..and it is not there..
..it’s all within you..
..whether you could locate it..
..or you failed to read it..and..
..you don’t need to be a psychic for it..
..introspect and retrospect to make sense of what is happening and why it is happening..
..see the context, read the context..

The ultimate game – the high voltage adventure – life is this – we play it up every minute..

– We may/may not read the written
– We need to write on it what we need to do
– Every moment has to be lived fully
– What is at the gateway is your soul
– You need to dig deep within
– You need to fight deep within to make the surroundings go green
– Make life secondary aperture of the living
– Be your best friend and worst critic to realize your potential

Context is free. Living is free. You are free. We exist.

Bound by ethics of an Existentialist! Make the happenings see you first.

Someone had said – be the Existentialist at Heart..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

UTTARAKHAND FLASH FLOODS: IT MAY BE A NATURAL DISASTER BUT ITS ENORMITY IS MAN-MADE

The usual deafening noise in the aftermath of a catastrophe forced on us by the nature –

–        the less than enough rescue operations, as always,

–        the uncertainty over the scale of calamity, as always,

–        the reports in the aftermath that the warning signals were ignored by the administration, as always,

–        politics over the calamity, as always, and,

–        the insensitivity over the lives lost, as always

The flash floods of Uttarakhand have caused huge devastation, on unprecedented scale, that happens in case of natural calamities of this scale where a large geographical area is affected.

But what is aggravating the situation more is the administration’s attitude. Four days on, the governments (state and union) are still maintaining a death toll of around 100 while the eye-witness and survivor accounts about it vary from 2000 to 20,000. The final figure, that may take months to compile, may come out to be even much more than 20,000, if honestly reported by the governments.

Local people from affected areas say many localities across many districts in the hilly state are washed away in the mudslide. Reports say only the Shivling of the Kedarnath Shrine is left and everything else there is gone. People from the affected parts of the state say clusters of villages at many places have disappeared.

It is now four days. Bodies are piled up. There is imminent danger of spread of diseases that may well prove yet another epidemic for the stranded visitors as well as the survivors and the unaffected people of the disaster hit areas. Stranded people are complaining of administration’s apathy, ill-treatment and unavailability of food.

Given the rough terrain and the inclement weather due to which even the sincere rescuers of Indian Army and Air Force are facing difficulty in locating and evacuating the people affected, no one can say anything yet about the scale of devastation but that doesn’t make anyone including Mr. Manmohan Singh qualified to underestimate the scale of the crisis.

Rs 2 lakhs to the kin of the dead, 50,000 to the injured, 1 lakh for the houses washed away – lakhs that are never adequate –- lakhs that only show the insensitivity of the political class – is this what a human life and thousands of human lives mean for the governments? – can any one think of building a house of even a single room in Rs 1 lakh?

Human lives of this country are still, more or less, the mute spectators. They will, as always, weather this calamity, for good or bad, on their own and will go on to elect one or the other politician to lead them. The political class realizes it and enjoys the System that doesn’t give the voters the option to reject the politicians in the electoral process.

But nature is not a mute spectator. It always hits back like this time, like every other time, whenever the mankind encroaches the areas where the nature warns not to venture in.

But the irony is it is the people, who do not have anything to do with such decisions to exploit the nature beyond the acceptable limits, have to face the fury.

Be it controversial hydroelectric power projects, riverbed mining, or construction in the areas along the river flow, or state government’s resistance to declare the environmentally fragile area of the state as an ‘eco-sensitive’ zone, it is the ordinary people who are left to face the disaster in case a natural calamity like this happens.

Reports and local people say most of the commercial operations including illegal buildings, hotels and resorts, encroachments and riverbed mining are being operated by politicians directly or in connivance with others.

Once such a development happens in an area in a rich country like India where the majority is still poor, it sees spontaneous flow of people looking for the elusive livelihood option; people who, someday, may become and become victims of nature’s fury while the political masters make statements sitting in secured palatial offices in metros, like it is happening in Uttarakhand now.

It may be a natural disaster but its enormity is man-made.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/