DOUBLED SALARY BONANZA AMIDST 400 FARM SUICIDES: WAS THE TELANGANA FIGHT FOR IT?

“I myself will represent the Telangana government and argue before the Krishna tribunal. I will create a history by arguing the case in my capacity as CM.” – K. Chandrasekhar Rao, Chief Minister, Telangana

Now, this statement could have been seen as a routine overstatement coming from a politician who likes to boast and likes to brand himself as a forerunner of his political breed.

But, no, this comes to us from K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR), the Telangana chief minister, the top most administrative functionary of India’s newest state, who has been a big letdown after assuming the office when Telangana came into existence officially on June 2 this year.

The central reason behind the decades old Telangana struggle was the contention that the Andhra counterparts had ignored the Telangana areas totally leaving the concerned population in poverty and backwardness.

KCR projected himself as the champion of the cause and though he cannot take the sole credit, going by the political equations of the time, he was rewarded by the Telangana electorate in hopes he would bring home the change. But the downward spiral began from the day-1.

As soon as he took over, the dynast in him came out. He is chief minister who made his son and nephew ministers. His daughter is a member of the Parliament (MP). And he defends and justifies it with an ‘air’.

When the agenda should have been reconciliation and synthesis till the whole process of bifurcation of revenue and resources is complete, he chose to indulge in cheap politics of sloganeering, not delivering on ground, and finding an easy escape in anti-Andhra Pradesh slogans.

And rational minds know that is not going to work.

But, the latest KCR move shows that was never his priority probably. The latest move is certainly a prime issue of national outrage that could not find its due on airwaves as other major rating-worthy stories broke out simultaneously, dominated by the round the clock developments around the controversial Haryana godman Rampal who refused to accept the orders of different courts including the high court and his arrest came after violent clashes and a long drama.

Anyway, that is a typical Indian flavour where fake religious gurus have been exploiting the insecurities of human lives in a country where universal norms of a dignified life do not come even in dreams of the majority of the population.

And Indian politicians are not much different, the political history of independent India tells us, and KCR’s latest move reaffirms that.

In an outrageous and anti-human move, the Telangana politicians, led by KCR, came together to hike their salary by 100%. Now the salary of a Telangana MLA (Rs. 2 Lakh) would be more than that of the President (1.5 Lakh) and the Prime Minister (1.60 Lakh). While doing so, the atmosphere was of almost consensus, something that we have seen so many times in ‘doing so’, including in the Indian Parliament. The bitter TRS-TDP war of words or the Congress or the BJP voices – we could not hear them.

The doubled salary bonanza came at a time where the state is facing aftermath of drought.

Different reports say, the authenticity of which we can safely accept, that around 400 farmers have committed suicide in Telangana after KCR took over in June. 350-400 farm suicides is the range of such reports and the government attempt to put them at around 80 easily blows out when we read the reports.

The burden of the hike that the state will face (Rs. 75 crore in five years) could have easily saved the lives of these farmers had they been given the loan waivers or financial assistance in time.

But that would have happened only when the people would be the priority. The brazen defence of the salary hike by the Telangana government and KCR tells us they don’t care at all.

KCR may blame Andhra Pradesh and Chandrababu Naidu for Telangana farm suicides but that would not stop the farm suicides.

KCR’s efforts to justify the MLA salary hike and deflect the blame to Chandrababu Naidu – amidst 400 farm suicides – was the Telangana fight for it?

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

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WHERE DID NEHRU ERR?

Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, like others were, in 1947, was a freedom fighter first, before being the politician of the Independent India, who was going to be its first prime minister.

And in spite of the differences with his fellow freedom fighters, he was one of the luminaries who could comfortably be placed in the second line with fellow members with the mutual respect they had for each-other. Naturally, the first line was the Mahatma himself.

But, then, that was it only.

Probably, it was one among the many harms that the sudden demise of the Mahatma caused to the cause of the independent India.

Mahatma, the architect of the Indian Independence Movement and the Father of the Nation, had foreseen something and had advocated of dissolving the Indian National Congress to establish a new political order in India with wider participation and diversified freshness.

Till August 15, 1947, the Indian National Congress was an independence movement.

After it, it directly donned the role of a political party when India needed a ‘political movement’.

What the Mahatma advocated was the propagation of a political movement.

Had the Mahatma been there, the nation could have this much needed change, under his guidance and unselfish love for the motherland.

After few months of getting independence, Mahatma Gandhi was taken away from among us when a fanatic killed him, and with it died many hopes of having a transformed India in the future.

Now, it was solely to Nehru and the Indian National Congress. Still there was some sanity till the first elections were held in 1951-52 because of the larger breed of the freedom fighter in the formative years of governance. But cracks were appearing. Many Congress stalwarts left the party because of Nehru.

These could have been accepted as products of regular political process had it not been for Nehru’s political behaviour.

What India needed when it got a wounded independence, riots, displacements and millions of humiliated souls was people in the office with highest standards of probity and personal integrity. There are many to be placed on that pedestal, but when we look back now, we can easily say that the person at the top, Jawaharlal Nehru, could not follow his dignified past of the pre-independence days.

The first and the foremost pre-condition of that probity was to take everyone else as the equal partner in the nation-building process while at the same time, following the strict discipline of the politics of probity.

Sadly, first Feroze Gandhi and then Indira Gandhi gave us a paradox that pushed us to question Nehru’s motives as he went ahead with his prime-ministerial terms, from first to second, to third.

On mass level, no one knows about the family descendents of almost of the leaders who worked for us to give us August 15, 1947.

Paradoxically, on mass level, almost everyone knows about the Nehru-Gandhi family.

And ironically (and pathetically), most in the independent India would be unaware of the family tree of the Mahatma that followed him in the independent India, family tree of the Mahatma who was the real Gandhi.

Jawaharlal Nehru erred here, willing or unwillingly, knowingly or unknowingly, pushing India into a long and tumultuous future that followed one-party rule and dynasty politics and was cursed with an immature and almost non-existent opposition for decades.

Nehru was the blue-eyed boy of the Mahatma. He should have listened to him. It was his duty. He should have worked to give us the political movement that the Mahatma ‘wished’ during the formative years of the independent India.

But…. and this ‘but’ raises many valid questions.

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

THREATENING TV CHANNELS: KCR & FAMILY – A DYNAST AND A DYNASTY IN MAKING

Three different states were created in 2000. Two have been failed by their politicians. Another new state has been created this year and the way it is heading, it looks to join the league of Uttarakhand and Jharkhand in the years to come.

The sad story and the sad story ahead – it’s all about the political leadership and the Telangana baton has slipped to the hands of a dynast it seems. He is reaping much more than what he sowed, when by the spirit of democracy – that should never be the case – something that has seldom been the case in India.

He is the chief minister. His son is minister. His nephew is minister. His daughter is a member of the Parliament (MP). And he defends it. And he justifies it.

All in the name of democracy and threaten to bury the voices, the media voices who, in his interpretation, insult Telangana.

And he vociferously goes undemocratic in doing so, assuming the role of courts and other watchdog agencies in deciding and acting on culpability, the traits of a political dynast, who always sees himself above the people who are the real currency of his authority.

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TELANGANA IS IN: BUT BEGINS ON A WRONG POLITICAL NOTE, WITH CROWNING A POLITICAL DYNASTY

Finally, on June 2, Telangana, the 29th state of the Indian Union, came into existence. For the Telangana people, the achievement to have their own home state came after decades of struggle and they deserved the celebrations that begun as the clock hit the midnight point on the night of June 1-June 2.

Sharing the wealth of the Information Technology hub of Hyderabad with the parent Andhra Pradesh (or for that matter Seemandhra, if the state is renamed), the new state can start building and rebuilding on what is available (with the expected help from the Centre, what a state’s reorganization deserves), to undo what they have been claiming – the injustice done to the Telangana people by their Andhra counterparts.

After 2000, when India got three new states in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttaranchal (now Uttarakhand), it is now the turn of Telangana and the obvious parallels will be drawn, on social and economic growth indicators.

And we don’t need to do data crunching to come to the conclusion that it has been a mixed result.

Chhattisgarh has performed well as it could get a good administrator in the chief minister Raman Singh. How questionable is the Uttarakhand experiment the Himalayan floods of June 2013 tell us. Take a drive from Dehradun to Haridwar and you won’t find even a single street-light on the highway outside the city limits. This is when the state is claimed to be a power surplus state. And we can say the Jharkhand experiment has failed to score any significant positive talking point so far. Political instability and questionable leadership in Uttarakhand and Jharkhand are to share the blame.

And the Telangana birth would be assessed on the scale of development and change with the ‘so far’ outcome of these three states.

And as we saw in the case of Chhattisgarh and other two states, lot depends on the political dispensation and the person at the top of it.

And though we need to wait to comment on how the first Telangana government is going to be on the performance scale, unfortunately, it has begun on a wrong note.

With Telangana, yet another political dynasty has taken birth in India.

KCR (or K Chandrashekar Rao), the first CM of the state, who claims the Telangana fight as his own with his political outfit TRS (Telangana Rashtra Samithi) has made his son and nephew ministers in the first Telangana cabinet. Only his daughter is left out and we should not be surprised if she is taken in the Cabinet expansion when it happens.

We can say it a royal coronation indeed – millions fought for decades, many lost lives – to crown a family – to come to this – to handover the reins of the state to a family and not to a person – the curse of India’s electoral democracy continues.

Let’s see how this curse plays out in Telangana. The time will tell if the coronation was earned or the crown was imposed.

©/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/

TEN CARDINAL SYMPTOMS OF INDIAN POLITICS

  1. The natural, prevailing discourse about the value-system of the Indian politics is that there is no value-system at all.
  1. Politicians are a class apart. They are a new, separate, higher class, exuding elitism and are well beyond the reach of other social classes in a multilayered Indian society.
  1. Politics of the world’s largest democracy is being run by the political outfits that do not believe or practice internal party democracy. The top leadership in almost every political party is in an exclusive zone and thinks, decides and acts unilaterally.
  1. The dynasty is the flavour of the developments. Barring few outfits, almost every layer of the leadership in most of the political parties is infested with the dynasty bug. The political dynasty at the top leadership acts with absolute rule and the practice of promoting the family (sans the absolute rule element) trickles down to other layers of the party hierarchy with every other politician rushing to push his/her wife, husband, son, daughter, father, son-in-law or daughter-in-law in the political foray.
  1. The law of the land is not for the politicians. They are increasingly sacrosanct. A criminal or a person with a higher degree of notoriety has almost certain chances of taking a winning dip into the viscous and opaque flow of the political developments of the country.
  1. ‘No politician is corrupt’ is the baseline of the political corruption. Corruption allegations are motivated acts by the adversaries to derail a luminous political career.
  1. Likewise, going to jail under corruption charges are more like excursion trips now. Scores of politicians are visiting jails after being sentenced by the courts yet they return with aplomb by the cheering fans, fight elections and win them, too. Likewise, sackings are the acts of adversaries. Likewise, forced resignations are the exemplary acts of morality.
  1. The oft-quoted line that ‘there are no friends or foes in politics’ is at its evolutionary top of its dominance. The shameless display of ‘washing the dirty linen’ in the public and use of ‘supercharged and sub-standard war of words’ are nothing but cover-ups to keep the prism of ‘being different’ shining and reflective in the eyes of the voters. Political parties and politicians in these outfits are ‘friendly adversaries’ who engage in friendly fights only to become first in the race to form a government but when it comes to the common concerns, they unite to thwart any attempt to encroach on or to ‘rationalize’ their acts even if seen by the public as the acts of political immorality, overall moral depravity and absolute degradation of the ‘politics of values’.
  1. Extending the line of the political camaraderie to the kinship, it is ensured that the families and friends are left untouched in these ‘friendly fights’. Applicability of ‘the law of the land is not for the politicians’ practice is a natural extension to them.
  1. With all this, the Indian politics is now the safest career option for the ‘have’s’ – the existing political class, their extended families, the business class with political interests and criminals and scamsters. Joining the Indian political league doesn’t require high academic and intellectual credentials but ensures brilliant returns on even the minimum investment made, be it of time, or money or energy.

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