Yesterday, in a desperate effort, intended to score points of the votebank appeasement politics, like its character has been/has become, the grand old party of India having its origin in late 19th Century, the Congress party, did what was expected from it.

And in doing so, not learning lessons from the recent poll drubbings, they tell us they are yet to go into some serious thinking mode on what led them to this historic low. Yes, the loss was written and widely analysed but no one could gauge it was going to be so humiliating.

The assembly polls in the state are due later this year and the Maharashtra government, led by the Congress-NCP combine, is in imminent danger of losing its hold on the state power corridors as well. In the recently held Lok Sabha polls, the ruling combine could win only 6 seats out of 48.

And instead of putting serious thoughts into ‘whys’ of this political gloom for them to address the ‘real’ issues before the polls, they are still busy in devising cosmetic measures hoping they would be able to tackle the sky-high anti-incumbency, somehow, like the Congress led UPA government in Centre had ‘envisioned’.

And proposing reservation quota for the targeted votebanks has been among the most practiced cosmetic measures of the Congress party in the recent political history of India, irrespective of the fact it has failed to deliver most of the times.

Maharashtra government today proposed 16% reservation for Maratha people and 5% for Muslims. It is nothing but a poll sop, to go to these votebanks, claiming their right on the votes ‘in lieu of’ this largesse that is going to remain on papers.

Tomorrow, some PIL will be filed and the High Court will give stay order as has been the case in many other such cases, where states breach the 50% reservation ceiling. Also, the Indian Constitution is clear that reservation cannot be given on religious basis. And no one can say how this ‘Maratha reservation card’ is going to play, in courts, and in the electoral arena.

Even the politicians proposing the reservation quota in such arbitrary ways realize it but being politicians, they don’t care. They just need some talking points to exploit the electoral sentiments.

In the recent political history, every such political attempt by the Congress party has backfired. Attempts to introduce the Muslim reservation (before assembly and Lok Sabha polls) have been blocked by the Supreme Court regularly and have not translated into electoral victories for the Congress party. Giving minority status to Jains was just a filler, a symbolic step, never important electorally, but it was yet another window into the pre-poll mentality of the Congress party. Another electoral ploy of giving reservation to Jats just before the Lok Sabha polls proved a dud. The poll results showed the Jats voted for the BJP, in Haryana, in Rajasthan and in Western Uttar Pradesh.

And yet, they don’t change. No lessons learnt yet. No efforts to learn lessons yet.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Good Country Index or Goodness of Nations – the link in the Facebook news feed arrested the attention for a while, much on the line of some interesting daily charts of ‘The Economist’ that regularly appear on the wall of users – though the urge to click and read further is arbitrary – like most of the social media habits are.

I clicked it, unsure of, if I would be redirected to the article page or to the subscription page as I had crossed my limit of free articles for the duration (that I still don’t have any idea about).

Also, I do not have any idea if the norm applies to every linked ‘The Economist’ piece on Facebook as I do not visit Facebook regularly and do no click on every link from The Economist. But I thought I could have headway into looking more on it as few lines of the attached description told me it was a chart from a study done by some other agency.

Good Countries Index 1

Good Country Index chart from The Economist

On Facebook, the first pull was about looking at to see how India was ranked. The Economist chart of the Good Country Index had top 10 and bottom 10 countries stacked from the Good Country Index study website. The list ranked 1 to 125 with 1 being the best and 125 being the worst on the index devised to map the countries’ responsibility to the humanity globally and how much they take from it.

The chart in The Economist link had no mention of India in the overall rank column and in any other column except in ‘Prosperity & Equality’ head where it was ranked 117.

Logically, I had not expected India, a country with over 1.2 billion people with resource crunch and social inequality to handle and manage, in top-10 in a study that focuses how a country contributes outside its environs to help enrich and nurture the humanity.

But India’s 117th place on parameters like ‘Prosperity & Equality’ demanded more understanding of the index – of its utility and of its flaws.

And I went further to read more about the Good Country Index on its website and about Simon Anholt and about India’s overall ranking (81st).

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –