A YEAR GOES BY..

Cerebral promises
A year worked on
And a life dedicated
Thoughtful commitment
The quest and its statement

An inner urge to go beyond
It’s been a year worked on
An enlightened journey upslope
A pledge to go for the kill
A sentient resolve to respond

Cerebral periodicals
A year worked on
The seminal dissent
And a call taken in
Outwitting the inimical

A year goes by
A year comes now
An invitation to thrill
An inclination to drill
It is to be the way uphill

A meaningful year goes by
Advent of great days knocks
The music gets subtler
The song gets into the veins
Yes, for the cerebral promises

A year worked on
A year goes by
A year comes now
To be worked on
In the quest to go beyond

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

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INDIAN POLITICS: GOOD TO SEE THAT INDIAN DEMOCRACY IS EXPERIMENTING AGAIN

Politics is a social science and in a country like India, the science of politics affects the social weaving in a major way – negative as well as positive.

Unfortunately, in India, the political scenario has been mostly negative with its ill-effects of corruption, apathy and elitism.

Family rule, nepotism, dynasties and unbroken chain of tenures have created fiefdoms of politicians, that slowly and gradually, in collusion with the spirit of the ‘political camaraderie*’ (as eulogized by a senior politician), have coalesced to form a parallel kingdom of many ‘princely’ states with politicians and their families ruling with ever-spreading tentacles.

The Kings, the Princes, the Princelings, and the Acolytes, and their Hegemony – and their Rule!

For an India of an indomitable democratic spirit, it has to broken, it has to be revered, to get aligned with the textbook functionality of politics (or the academically defined responsibilities of political science.)

Wikipedia has this to say on politics (in company with its different halos) – “Modern political discourse focuses on democracy and the relationship between people and politics. It is thought of as the way we ‘choose government officials and make decisions about public policy’.”

There are discourses, debates and definitions on ‘politics and political science’ but the crux has to be this. In India ‘this relationship between people and politics’ has been highly skewed in favour of the politicians.

Time has come to change that. 2011 revived a long forgotten spirit of the gravity of the peoples’ power with the anti-corruption movement of 2011. 2013 saw a step ahead in that direction giving power to an ‘apolitical political party’, just one-year old, with almost of the members having apolitical background. None of the ministers in the Delhi Cabinet have had previous political experience.

Yes, experiments these are; no need to certify them as of now; but can certainly be lauded. It is good to see that Indian democracy is now experimenting again, after a long time, keeping in centre the concerns of the common man, the voter, the person-next-door, a person like you and me.

That is the need of the day. That has to be the war-cry demand of the times we are living in, in a Republic that is also the world’s largest democracy.

The terms ‘politics of change’, ‘politics of values’ and ‘politics of ethics’ need to take the centre-stage of the political discourse in the country.

*Never attack family: Digvijaya Singh’s lesson on political ethics to Arvind Kejriwal
http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/never-attack-family-digvijaya-singh-s-lesson-on-political-ethics-to-arvind-kejriwal-280101

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

WHOM THE DEATH SUSTAINS – THE DARK & THE LIGHT

Whom The Death Sustains-2

WHOM THE DEATH SUSTAINS- THE DARK & THE LIGHT

CREMATION WORKERS OF VARANASI

A PHOTOGRAPHY SERIES ON CREMATION WORKERS OF VARANASI

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

AAP GOVERNMENT SWORN-IN: SYMBOLISM OF SYMBOLISMS

This was the obvious comparison to be drawn and it was drawn by many. High on symbolism, Arvind Kejriwal took the Delhi Metro to the venue of his swearing-in ceremony, the Ramlila Ground. There were placards showing the movie ‘Nayak’ poster with Anil Kapoor, the protagonist, an unwilling political reformer and the transcendental chief minister of Maharashtra and Amrish Puri, the anti- to the protagonist, symbolizing everything bad in Indian politics.

Elevation of the Aam Aadmi Party and Arvind Kejriwal into the mainstream of Indian politics is being compared with many symbolisms and let’s don’t think long term, let’s don’t’ analyse the ‘ifs and buts’, let’s just enjoy the high point of these symbolisms only.

Yes, let’s enjoy the high points of these symbolisms as reflective of the misery of the incumbent political lot, the so-called mainstream political parties and politicians who have become synonymous with everything negative in the method of the sociopolitical science; who have become the fountainheads of corruption in the Indian society.

I liked the movie Nayak, for its strong anti-establishment symbolism, leading to the radically fundamental ways the politics being practiced was changed.

Crushed by the atrocities of the dominating political lot, most of the Indians are a frustrated lot who think about but don’t see solutions reaching out to them, to the society, and such imagination of imagery, as portrayed in the movie, appeals to the senses, to the suppressed sensitivities from the oppression of the political lot.

So, it was good to see someone defying them, slapping them in the face.

It was good to see that even if the mainstream politicians were using harsh language, abusive words and were scoffing at AAP and Kejriwal (as shown in sting operation of a news channel), they had no option but to support the AAP government unconditionally, even if AAP was threatening to probe and jail the corrupt ministers of the previous Congress government.

It was good to see the bureaucrats of the Delhi Secretariat destroying the files that could expose their splurging on public money fearing the wrath of the AAP government.

It was good to hear that politicians and bureaucrats of the Delhi government would not use red beacons on their vehicles.

It was so good to know that ministers of AAP would not accept the sprawling bungalows. They, including Kejriwal, have demanded flats as their official accommodation. Even if it is a conscious political branding exercise by AAP, think of the misery of those politicians more than eager to inhabit such palatial houses in the heart of Delhi. What would they do in future if it establishes a successful trend?

(Think of the misery of the sophisticated bureaucrats and the mainstream politicians used to a lifestyle of ‘excessive’ excesses).

It was good see the power distribution companies in Delhi not demanding a power tariff hike even if they presented a deficit account in their annual review.

It was good to see the Delhi Police talking like common men while dealing with common men.

And it was good to see the ministers wearing the everyday stuff while taking oath.

Many other symbolisms can be added to the list. Some will exit. Some will make it to the list as the time rolls on.

Yes, valid doubts about AAP remain, but let’s enjoy the symbolism of these symbolisms, if not for AAP, then for making life miserable and troublesome for elitist and corrupt politicians and bureaucrats.

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

SNOOPGATE PROBE VS ROBERT VADRA LAND DEALS: THE GAME BEGINS

It’s going to happen and we are going to have this funneled interest more hooked up ticking (tickling) our funny bone every now and then.

They say the Congress dirty tricks department has been activated. Who they? Obviously the BJP folks! By whom? Don’t be dumb enough to ask this!

They say why they are running away from the probe if there is no wrong on their part, a political counter-reaction used so repeatedly in the Indian politics of the day that even the terms ‘cliché’ would feel ashamed when used for it. By the way, who this they? Naturally, the BJP people!

The wisdom that has been illuminating the Sonia Gandhi-Rahul Gandhi led Congress party and the Manmohan Singh led United Progressive Alliance government, more so after the opportunity to learn lessons of the profound political wisdom given by the ‘decorated’ humiliation in the assembly elections in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana, has taken another step to target its political rival, in fact the most potent manifestation of its political rival in the prevailing circumstances, Narendra Modi.

It has ordered a commission of enquiry to probe something that we have come to know as ‘snoopgate’, a term being referred to the illegal surveillance of a woman, an architect, by the Gujarat government, as the most powerful person (politically) of the state, obviously Narendra Modi, had some interest in it and so had ordered to do so. Now there are theories and conspiracy theories behind it, many of them juicy for many folks, especially for the political rivals of BJP and the media.

So, much is going to come into the public domain and the frequency is bound to get more and more overlapping.

And like Congress, BJP, too, is going to do all to be the winner in the race.

BJP is going hit back with full force, especially, after the electoral resurgence in the just concluded assembly polls.

The beginning of it is already there. The ‘apt’ target has been identified it seems.

Some senior BJP members of the Parliament have written to the Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia to launch probe into the controversial land deals of Robert Vadra in some districts of Rajasthan, the deals that have reaped huge benefits (unexpected, unprecedented for a normal person or even a businessman) for the son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi, brother-in-law of Rahul Gandhi and husband of Priyanka Gandhi.

And yes, we have positive news elements to write that a probe ‘may’ be ordered; so expect it to be ordered, especially after this ‘snoopgate’ probe announcement.

All of them, they are going to be the experts of washing their dirty linen in the public. (Obviously, not satirically, what they have kept private must come into the public domain, if there is violation of legal norms – nothing private then.)

And therefore, expect the vivid details to emerge.

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

LIFE & YOU

LIFE & YOU

LIFE & YOU,
“It’s up to you to remain a mute spectator in the name of destiny or so,
living and leading a subservient lifestyle, or taking on it head on, with a vengeance,
with your emotional fury, with unwavering confidence of Being You,
 to tell life that let’s settle scores,
to become contemporaries with mutual respect for each other.”

LIFE & YOU

LIFE & YOU

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

CHRISTMAS: SIMILAR TUNE, DIFFERENT RHYME

Devoted to the millions of street-children and underage workers who might have heard the word ‘Christmas’ but cannot experience it..
Let’s pray the Hope of Christmas prevails and the smile spreads..

Merry Christmas to all 🙂

Dashing through the streets
Pushed by the forced speed

Day or night, we need to go
Summer or winter, we flow

Surviving odds all the way
Persisting for that good day

When life will be lit bright
Oh so great it will be a sight

A good day for every night
A good night to sing it right

Bells do not jingle, yet we say
Jingle bells jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Yet we say thinking of that day

Still no Christmas carol
No music of season as well
When we will also be well
To feel it, to dance, to regale

Jingle bells jingle bells yes we say
True bells do not jingle yet our way
But we do not have choice to fail
O Santa, we’ll have our own fairy tale

Jingle bells jingle bells
Jingle all the way yes I say
O Santa, but tell us, at least,
When you’ll come our way

Street-children: UNICEF says as high as 100 million of them quoting some estimates

Under-age workers – children in child labour: ILO (International Labour Organization) puts them at 168 million with 85 million of them working in hazardous conditions

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

ADARSH SCAM REPORT REJECTED: RAHUL GANDHI JUST MISSED YET ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY

Symbolically shambolic or shambolically symbolic! – “Biggest issue is corruption, it is an unacceptable burden on our people. We must fight corruption”

Rahul Gandhi, was, again, delivering a speech remixing the verbal elements of his speechmaking which we have become so familiar with. He was discussing the problems of India with corporate leaders. And he again spoke on corruption, in his usual style, talking big, when the acts of the many of the Congress leaders directly defy his words. In fact, if we go by the need to set the precedent, even his family needs to come clean on corruption allegations on Robert Vadra, his brother-in-law.

Anyway, that is the regular, usual stuff, keeps on happening, and keeps on defying Rahul’s words.

This time, the push for writing this came from a coincidental turn of events involving Rahul Gandhi, Congress, a speech on corruption and an act of corruption cover-up.

On December 20, the Adarsh Housing Society scam report was tabled in the Maharashtra assembly and summarily rejected by the state government. The chief minister of Maharashtra, Prithviraj Chavan, considered relatively clean on corruption, didn’t give any reason.

The report was prepared by a two-member commission (Adarsh Commission) headed by a retired Justice of the Bombay High Court, JA Patil, to look into the allegations of corruption and irregularities in the construction of Adarsh Housing Cooperative Society in Mumbai.

The report indicted four farmer Maharashtra chief ministers and Congress politicians including Sushilkumar Shinde, the Union Home Minister now, and Ashok Chavan and Vilasrao Deshmukh, former chief ministers of Maharashtra. With many bureaucrats, the report also indicted two influential NCP politicians who are ministers in the Maharashtra cabinet.

This happened on December 20, Friday.

On December 21, Saturday, Rahul addressed the corporate leaders at FICCI Annual General Meeting, talking big again on corruption.

How hollow, how disconnected such statements sound when the reality defies them upfront; when the reality and such statements by Rahul Gandhi become extremes to bridge the gap?

It is as counterfeit as Congress rushing to take credit of passing the Lokpal Bill even if the Congress is the main culprit to let the Bill linger for almost 45 years!

“Corruption is bleeding our people dry. It is an unacceptable burden on the people of our nation. We must fight corruption with all our strength and determination” – how could Rahul speak so, on December 21, addressing the FICCI AGM – just a day after his party’s government and chief minister rejected an impartial judicial commission report on a scam that shook the nation and cost a chief minister his chair?

It was really an opportunity missed and it also tells Rahul and Congress didn’t learn anything from the recent poll humiliations in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and from AAP’s unprecedented victory in Delhi. On December 8 evening, Rahul Gandhi had conceded the defeat saying his party needed to learn from AAP. Corruption and anti-establishment demands anti- the ‘present system of governance’ were the major poll planks of AAP, or the Aam Aadmi Party.

Had it been a serious thought on December 8 evening when the election results of four states were announced, we would not have seen happening what happened on December 20 in Maharashtra.

The time is running out. Talking big and talking radical is not going to help. Such a veil cannot be maintained for long and the prevailing political circumstances make it imperative for Rahul and Congress to change when the electorate is ready for political experiments like AAP. Yes, AAP is not beyond valid reasons of doubt, but it is certainly a point to begin.

Rahul and Congress need to act now, and given the mess, the political abyss, they are in, they need to act radically.

Adarsh Commission report could have been an opportunity to begin but it has been missed. A positive approach on the Adarsh Commission enquiry report, indicting big names, would certainly be a fitting, radical anti-corruption step taken.

The ‘change in politics’ that Rahul Gandhi has been talking about, even more repeatedly after his elevation as the Congress Vice-president, needs ‘politics of change’ that is much bigger than saving a Sushilkumar Shinde.

Mr. Gandhi you must, (if not react on), read and think over what Justice Patil said on rejection of his report: “We have a clear idea in our mind of what happened (referring to the Adarsh scam). Based on that we submitted our report after recording the evidence of several witnesses and perusing relevant documents. The findings were not palatable to the government and hence it must have been rejected.”

Start acting. It is already too late!

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

SUPPORT TO AAP: YET ANOTHER POLITICAL BLUNDER BY CONGRESS

It seems, the consistent electoral debacles, the deepening ill-fame of the Manmohan Singh led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, and the recent poll humiliations in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Delhi have drained the grand old party of India totally, squeezing and diluting its grey-matter.

Had it not been so, the party would not have decided to take this risk. It is beyond the rational political thinking of the day that what pushed the Congress strategists to go with it. But let’s give it a try.

The strategists might have thought that AAP would not be able to run the government effectively and would fail miserably in fulfilling the promises it had made to the electorate. They might have thought an inexperienced government burdened with extremely demanding expectations would give more than enough calls to look good while pulling out the support and bringing down the government.

Suppose that happens. What would happen then?

Now, if this ‘pulling out’ game happens just in time to let Delhi have repoll with the Lok Sabha elections (that could be one of the possibilities Congress strategists would be ‘staring’ at), then the electoral arena would be open to be exploited again.

But that would not help Congress. The mileage would go to BJP. And it is ridiculous if Congress strategists cannot see this point. A negative performance by AAP would help BJP and not Congress in Delhi as the party will have an opportunity to couple its ‘high moral stand’ ground with the Modi-factor in the backdrop of the huge anti-incumbency against the UPA government.

It is to be seen BJP is the winner of Delhi assembly polls, in terms of number of seats and the vote share. And it is well known that there was no morality involved when the party decided to bequeath its claim of forming the government in Delhi.

But a failing AAP will give the BJP decision of not forming the government a moralistic hue then and will naturally push the public to the BJP fold.

But, there is a ‘but’ involved that may also spoil the BJP’s chessboard.

If AAP can perform on the major promises of power and water tariffs and VIP culture in Delhi in the two and half months available, it will effectively make the Congress party dormant in Delhi for a long time and will force BJP to reorganize and relook on its strategy if the party has to form the next government in Delhi after the Arvind Kejriwal led AAP government that is expected to take oath on December 26.

Any which way, the Congress party is poised to come out to be the biggest loser. A performing AAP government would not let it score any point as Arvind Kejriwal has not asked for the support but a failing AAP government would give BJP an opportunity to hit directly and bluntly at Congress blaming it for pushing Delhi to the days of uncertainty and political chaos.

And what would the ‘old and new’ strategists of the grand old party of India do when the AAP government, as promised, starts probing the corruption cases against Congress leaders, and ‘possibly jailing’ them?

Certainly, as universally known about the character of the Congress party, they will pull the plug immediately, giving yet another solid reason to AAP to play the Good Samaritan on the political block.

So, we come back to the question again where we had begun – what made the Congress strategists to decide on supporting AAP to form the government in Delhi?

Bloopers! Blunder!!

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

AN AAP GOVERNMENT IN DELHI: HOPE THIS POLITICAL EXPERIMENT WORKS OUT

What could be the silver-lining, the biggest catch, in having an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi?

It will be the clinical trial of one of the most significant political experiments in India where the public, the Aam Aadmi, the voter, has been in the driving seat.

For ages, in the independent India, we have been discussing the need of fundamental changes in the Indian politics. But apart from the JP wave and the failed Janata Party government in the 70s, we do not have much to talk about.

India has had a political lineage of similarly oriented (skewed) politicians, irrespective of the party affiliations because ideology has always been compromised or co-opted by the elitism of the political corruption of the mainstream political parties.

If Congress is the biggest culprit, as it has been the dominant political force for the most the period of the independent India, other parties, too, have, more or less, followed the suit in being in bed with the corrupt political practices of the human greed, be it so with BJP or the so-called Third Front parties or the regional offshoots of the mainstream political parties, mostly from the Janata Party experiment.

Yes, the Left front parties can claim to deserve a separate benchmarking for them. But then, if they are almost marginalized in the Indian politics, it is because they could not live up to the ideology that defines the Leftists. Yes, they cannot said to be politically corrupt but then they have not been politically correct either.

So, it has been an all-pervasive environment of political corruption that, with time, has reached to the level of depravity.

And in this atmosphere of political negativity and thus the widespread frustration, an unexpected outcome has come in the form of AAP’s brilliant performance in the Delhi assembly polls.

The party is just one year old political outfit of apolitical members who have taken the political plunge riding high on the hugely successful 2011 anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare the epicenter of which was Delhi.

A System cannot be corrected from outside. And it’s good that many ‘the-person-next-door’ representatives have been elected by the Delhi electorate.

Yes, the doubts associated with Arvind Kejriwal and some of his associates who form the axis of AAP, remain in the realm of validated ‘ifs and buts’. They need to prove us wrong and they are going to have this opportunity now.

So, having a ‘failed history’ of alternative political movements, an AAP government in Delhi would be an opportunity to see how this one fares, after the failure of the Janata government led by Morarji Desai.

To see the experiment entering the clinical trial phase just before the big political show of the Lok Sabha polls of 2014 would demand clinical precision from AAP while the party tries to fulfill the many unbelievable promises made to the Delhi electorate. The positive point for them is the promises are ‘unbelievable’ if seen from the current standards of politicking. There is always the room for the alternative outcome.

They do not have time to waste. In fact, they are running out of time. It is good for Delhi. It can be good for India. And it can be brilliant for AAP. If they perform in this make-or-break battle!

The clinical trial for AAP begins tomorrow. We should hope this political experiment works out.

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