THUS SPOKE MANMOHAN SINGH AGAIN!

Okay, it might not be his last one-to-one interaction with media and thus to reach out to the public on clearing the air of negative publicity around him. But like always, there was nothing much to write about a Manmohan Singh’s address except a very harsh, tough line taken against Narendra Modi. Now that is not going to help. Modi has been taking much more than this thanks to the strange ways of the Indian electorate and thanks to the lack of political alternative at the national level.

Today, too, it seems Mr. Manmohan Singh missed the bus.

But there is this thing. Though, there was nothing much to write about, he did pull to sit, watch and react on him. I thought I would not but then I could not stop me from taking the plunge, expressing my views on Twitter and Facebook.

Let’s see how it went for almost 75 minutes of his presser.

3 hours ago
#Manmohan Singh speaking again. A rare ‘one-to-one’ after 2011. In all, this being the 7th such media interaction (except his ‘Indian Air Force 1’ compulsions) since 2004. 2 during UPA-1. 1 with Sonia Gandhi after winning 2009 polls. 1 in 2010. 2 in 2011. 10 years – 7 pressers. Impressive track record.
Though the baton is to be buttoned – keep it up Sir. (Facebbok)
#ManmohanSingh #PMPressMeet #UPA3

@Toshch3h
#ManmohanSingh speaking again. A rare ‘1-2-1’ after 2011. 10 years-7 pressers. Impressive track record. Keep it up Sir. #PMPressMeet #UPA3 (Twitter)

And bravo the PM of India. He has started trending. He has taken the pole position with Top-4 slots in Twitter India Top-10 trends. #UPA3 #PMPressMeet (Twitter)

3 hours ago
And bravo the prime minister of India. He has started trending on Twitter. He has taken the pole position with Top-4 slots in Twitter India Top-10 trends of the moment. (Facebook)
#UPA3 #PMPressMeet PM Manmohan Singh Prime Minister
#ManmohanSingh

‏@Toshch3h
PM press meet: now Rahul Gandhi is trending too. 1 of the Top-4 slots gone. #PMPressMeet #UPA3
(Twitter)

3 hours ago
Though nothing interesting, be ready for the ‘interesting’ analyses on how repetitive #ManmohanSingh was this time – #NaMo is disaster – #UPA has taken India up – a Greek sounding array of statistics – policies that intend to co-opt – achievements that are on paper mostly – on Sonia-Rahul-Manmohan trio (triangular extremes) deliberations – the Foreign Policy skirmishes – the Pakistan angle, the China tangle – shirking the responsibility on the epic downfall, talking of them in passing sub-texts only – but being (forced) graceful enough to accept the recent poll humiliation – #AAP finds mention too – dreaming of #UPA3 in 2014 – taking refuge in History’s benevolence —-

Now after going through so much, don’t say why ‘all this’ again Mr. Manmohan Singh? Who told you to watch his presser after all? Don’t you make the similar complaints again n again yet you go for it?

‘But what to do this of this assignment then?’
#PMPressMeet #UPA3 (Facebook)

‏@Toshch3h
#PMPressMeet: body language-voice connect-signals-gestures-nothing much to read. Like always. #ManmohanSingh #UPA3 (Twitter)

2 hours ago
#PMPressMeet: #ManmohanSingh hangovers – #RaGa-#NaMo-#SoniaGandhi -coalition pangs – Media fang – economy mess and revival – next PM – #UPA1 vs #UPA2 – #UPA3 (Facebook)

2 hours ago
#PMPressMeet: The routine #ManmohanSingh – I’m, we’re all good. No #UPAalternative. #UPA3 is in. Enough time before polls. We delivered the best possible. Some minor faults may be. Though he always tries, but unusually harsh on #NaMo Narendra Modi. #RaGa #RahulGandhi is impeccably positioned to succeed him. The ‘raaga’ without melody continues. (Facebook)

2 hours ago
#PMPressMeet: So, after 10 years, the million-dollar question is – can#ManmohanSingh take his selfies to share with us?
#PM #MMS #UPA3

So, that’s how it all summed up. But, yes the analytical wisdom will be flowing through. And in all this, there came this news that Mr. Manmohan Singh would be holding a press conference of this type every month till next Lok Sabha polls.

Now the Lok Sabha polls are slated to be held during April-May 2014. That gives us at least three more such pressures by Manmohan Singh.

Need to have a better control on my resolve next time!

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

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AND THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE 2013 GOES TO MANMOHAN SINGH

FOR HIS PEACE INITIATIVE WITH PAKISTAN

Friday, October 11, 2013: In a development that has shocked the world community including many in India but has pleasantly stunned Mr. Manmohan Singh, Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, has announced the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize goes to the career bureaucrat, who also happens to be India’s Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh.

The prime minster’s office at the 7RCR in Delhi has opened multiple lines of communication to receive the greeting calls from the ordinary citizens in a bid to cash the announcement for the electoral mileage at an electorally tough time for the Congress party, the largest party of the ruling coalition, the United Progressive Alliance. But it’s been hours and the response has been muted like the muted reaction of the political opponents of the UPA and the Congress party.

While Manmohan Singh was elated beyond words and asked us to wait for his worded response, the Congress party said it was a testimony to what the UPA government has been doing for India.

Excerpts from the Norwegian Nobel Committee press-release read:

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2013 is to be awarded to Dr. Manmohan Singh, the prime minister of India, the world’s largest democracy. If a democracy like India is somehow functional, it is due to the hard-work of the likes of Dr. Singh. India is a rapidly developing global superpower due to its large market size and impressive growth rate over the last two decade barring the last few years. With changing times, it becomes imperative for the country, an emerging superpower, to play a major role in the global peace-keeping process and what could be the better beginning than establishing peace at the controversial India-Pakistan border.

Dr. Singh, for the past 10 years, has been relentlessly working to maintain peace in one of the world’s most hostile region, Jammu & Kashmir, the South Asian patch of land claimed and shared by both the neighbouring countries, India and Pakistan.

In announcing this Peace Prize to Dr. Singh, the Norwegian Nobel Committee is driven by the similar intent and sentiments that it had while announcing the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to Mr. Barack Obama, the serving US President and one of the great motivators of the Indian prime minister.

The decision to award the Peace Prize to Mr. Obama was based not on his achievements but on the ‘promising hopes’ he had raised with his journey to become the elected President of the USA, an inspiring journey then, with his ‘yes, we can’ promise.

Dr. Singh also raises hopes that the process of building peace in one of the world’s most hostile regions that can have serious implication for the global stability, Jammu & Kashmir, continues, even if it means drawing intense criticism back home. In fact, Dr. Singh’s achievements become even more credible when we see what compromises he had to make to continue with his peace-initiative with Pakistan.

He had to tolerate the bullying of Pakistan. His country is still being victimized by the continued acts of state-sponsored terrorism by Pakistan in many parts of India including Jammu & Kashmir. Had it been with any other leader, we could never have thought of the India-Pakistan peace process coming back to the dialogue table so early and that too, with the continued backstabbing acts of Pakistan, as Dr. Singh did during the United Nations General Assembly session last month. On this count, Dr. Singh outdoes even his motivator, Mr. Obama. Recently, Mr. Obama cancelled summit talk with Mr. Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, after Russia gave asylum to Mr. Edward Snowden, whom the US alleges of compromising the national security by leaking classified information.

Also, Dr. Singh had to face intense criticism in his country when he decided to resume summit dialogue with his Pakistani counterpart. It was in addition to the problems he was facing on internal political front owing to the multiple corruption allegations against his government and a slowing economy. That could have easily weakened anyone’s resolve to bow to the domestic pressure in the country to not withdraw from any dialogue with Pakistan at this stage.

But, Dr. Singh showed he was a man of intent. In spite of criticisms and allegations, he went ahead and held the meeting with his Pakistani counterpart, Mr. Nawaz Sharif, on the sidelines of the UNGA.

Like his domestic problems, nothing promising can be said about the India-Pakistan peace initiative spearheaded single-handedly by Dr. Singh but as mentioned earlier, the decision by the Norwegian Nobel Committee has been taken keeping in view the prospects of the peace-initiative and not its outcome. Peace between India and Pakistan, and its economic returns, would inspire other South Asian countries and hence the world to weigh their options and policies again. If South Asia could become a peace haven, it would be a boon for the world. Hosting three hugely populous countries with around 1500 million of population, the region could become a hue market, an economic powerhouse for the world, bringing prosperity to the world in a globalized economy.

For 112 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to promote a global environment of peace and prosperity and the Committee endorses Dr. Singh’s efforts to contribute to this never-ending process.

Oslo, October 11, 2013

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

WHAT MADE MANMOHAN SINGH EULOGIZE RAHUL GANDHI IN SO CLEAR TERMS NOW?

This is the second time in a fortnight when Manmohan Singh has spoken and this time, the second time, he has created a lot of buzz through his words. Now pundits are busy interpreting what he meant and political folks are busy endorsing, denying or critiquing what he said.

I am not a pundit and I don’t have any intention to be the one but our dear Manmohan, the comfortably-numb-economist-turned-poor politician-cum-weak prime minister, pushes me again and again to write on what he speaks, on what he does.

Manmohanji, my sincere apologies, but as you have the right to speak selectively and be answerable to the nation selectively, I have the right to write on you whenever my urge pushes me to write, and writing on something that you speak that is uncharacteristic of you or something that makes for some unlikely ‘dramatic’ stuff from an expressionless face like you is a natural extension of that right.

So, where were we? Okay, Manmohan Singh speaking something on Rahul Gandhi yet again, but this time, in clearer terms. To put him in his words precisely, let’s quote him from a media report on what he illuminated us with about Rahul Gandhi while returning from the G20 Summit in St Petersburg. He said: “I have always maintained that Rahul Gandhiji would be an ideal choice for the prime minister’s position after the 2014 election. I would be very happy to work for the Congress party under the leadership of Mr Rahul Gandhi.”

In past, on more than one occasion, Manmohan has endorsed Rahul Gandhi’s candidature but he was never ever so clear. In fact, in the series of ‘Rahul Gandhi’ endorsements, he endorsed even himself for the third term, like he did in April when he said ‘he was not ruling it in; he was not ruling it out’.

So, what made him eulogize Rahul Gandhi in so clear terms now?

Can it by the growing realisation that he has lost all his credibility and it is better to step aside now? But, why then he added he would be happy to work under Rahul Gandhi? Haven’t we seen more than enough of him?

Or alternatively,

Can it be the growing realisation in the Congress party that it can still win the next parliamentary polls riding on the triple factors of (1) a scattered political opposition, (2) a divided house – Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) and National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on Narenrda Modi and (3) the United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) populist electoral measures like ‘direct cash transfer, food security and land acquisition bills’ and so, it is the time to play from the front, to put forward the Congress scion for that elusive prime-ministerial chair that has been ditching the Nehru-Gandhi family for over two decades now?

Or,

Is it the dawn of ‘right’ realisation in Manmohan’s thinking that UPA is not going to win back even if counting the return of all the populist election sops in and it is the time to settle the score (by shifting the axis of electoral loss away from him) by clearly endorsing the name of Rahul Gandhi so as to give some definitive push to the demand of almost every Congress politician to project Rahul Gandhi as the prime-ministerial nominee for the next parliamentary polls in 2014? There have been real-time speculations on Sonia Gandhi-Manmohan Singh differences, especially on extreme push for the populist sops when the economy is in tatters, something that is directly ominous for the brand Manmohan Singh; something that has played a pivotal rule in bringing down Manmohan’s fame, obviously, in collaboration with the ‘compulsions of the coalition politics’.

Anyway, if Manmohan’s words come true, he will give India its yet another ‘first’ – this will be the first time in India’s political history that an ex-prime minister would take a junior job in his party’s future government.

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

MANMOHAN SINGH WAS ANGRY! MANMOHAN SINGH WAS SPEAKING!

What if it was the similar story, the expression (in this case anger) forgot how to express itself!

But, anyway, it was a winning combination, both rare events – Manmohan Singh was speaking and the words he uttered in the Parliament on Friday (August 30) expressed he was angry.

It was just yet another characteristically dull and familiar day of the Indian Parliament in session when Manmohan, uncharacteristic of him, decided to take on the Opposition even if his flat, expressionless face and a flat voice, once again, killed the essence.

Whatever he says has stopped making any difference. Probably he knows it well and so he doesn’t look making efforts to speak regularly. That may be a reason that he speaks so less, until the reactions on his recruited silence (or reticence) become too extreme.

His condition is precarious one should understand and he should be given the benefit of being a weak prime minister with no political base who, in the prevailing circumstances, has been given a fragile set-up to operate with.

Manmohan’s condition as the prime minister of the nation is too dependent on signals from the all powerful Nehru-Gandhi family. In fact, the populism (or the economic imprudence) of the policies forced by the Nehru-Gandhi family has effectively killed the economist in Manmohan Singh.

And the opportunity cost for it has been immense. It has effectively wiped out whatever good Manmohan had earned during decades of his career as an economist and an economist-cum-politician.

From a talking point for economic reforms, he has become the favourite political character of jokes and satires.

That would be a natural causal agent for anger. And when it gets mixed with difficult circumstances like the free, steep fall of Rupee, a declining GDP rate and an economy in mess, something that has been much of his government’s doing where he was forced to remain a mute spectator, it fuels the fire to create the rare flames that emerge as the ‘words of anger’ from Manmohan’s otherwise silent façade.

Okay, he needs to vent it but he cannot blame and target the ‘original’ reasons for his precarious situation so it’s better to dissipate it on the opposition benches that is what he did on Friday.

What if his expressionless face didn’t give anything when he was expressing his ‘great outrage’, what if his flat voice didn’t say anything when he was ‘aggressively hitting back’.

After all, the ‘words of anger’ were there (what if one of the most expressive words used by him was expunged from the Parliament records).

After all, he must be given the benefit of his ‘precarious’ position.

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

MANMOHAN SINGH ADDS ONE MORE CHAPTER OF EMPTY RHETORIC WITH HIS 10TH INDEPENDENCE DAY SPEECH

In the historic tradition of boring speechmaking of last 9 years, Manmohan Singh added one more chapter of empty rhetoric today with his 10th Independence Day speech from the Red Fort.

10th in row, that would have been achievement but for the reasons that the whole nation knows now and that Mr. Manmohan Singh wants to run away from!

10th in row would be nothing more but one more statistical addition to his profile now.

During his earlier tenure, the boredom was largely due to his lifeless delivery of words, a flat voice, an unclear or highly accentuated diction and an expressionless face.

But he remained largely bearable due to his personal image when the nation saw in him a man of integrity.

That is not the case anymore.

In fact, that has not been the case anymore for the last four years.

He is no more seen as a man of words, a persona of integrity. He has lost all what he earned during his first term as the prime minister of the nation. The wash-out also includes the good name earned before becoming the prime minister.

He heads a government that is undoubtedly one of the most corrupt governments in the Indian political history.

He heads a government that is ironically one of the most undemocratic governments in the Indian democratic history.

He decides to remain silent when the whole nation expects him to speak.

He decides to remain silent when he is expected to be answerable for the endless corruption and undemocratic acts of his government.

He may not be in control but his silence only implicates him. His selective utterances only tell that he has become a politician who wants to save his political chair somehow, at any cost, like almost of the politicians of the day are.

He looks and sounds more like a sorry figure now. His words, now, never reflect an honest introspection of an intellectual he was known as.

He beats the drum about achievements that are clearly misleading. He makes projections for the future while still living in the past. He is trying to claim the future by misleading us on his present, the four years of which, make us lament for the sorry state of affairs in the nation that directly affect our day-to-day lives.

There was nothing new he spoke about on India’s 67th Independence Day. It was a boring repetition of what he has been saying all these years, speech after speech.

I am not going to waste my symbolic joy of the Independence Day by digging into the shambolic soul of Manmohan Singh’s yet another lifeless speech.

I have already written much when it didn’t reserve even a passing mention.

Forgive me.

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

MANMOHANOMICS & MONTEKONOMICS: DO YOU KNOW FOLKS, MILLIONS OF US JUST GOT RICHER?

In a huge, huge achievement, in a trademark Montek Singh Ahluwalia style, packaged and presented in the Manmohan Singh style, yesterday, all of a sudden, we the Indians were told by the economy wizard of the nation that his government had lifted almost 15 per cent of the Indians above the poverty line since 2004-05.

Maybe, we, the Indians, could not assess it given our choked mental faculties that keep working 24/7 to ensure how to handle the daily and monthly expenses with regular price rises, of almost everything of use, from routine items, to the means of absolute necessity.

And like Manmohan Singh has always been very comfortable with the manipulative duplicity of statistics, this time too was no different. Only a week ago, the economist in Manmohan Singh had proclaimed: “The percentage of population below the poverty line declined at 0.75 percentage points per year before our government came to office in 2004-05. It has fallen more than 2 percentage points per year between 2004-05 and 2011-12” – and so be it. Isn’t it?

After all, one of our principal lords says it. After all, he represents the luminous class of the politicians with a parasitic lifestyle enjoying luxuries of life on taxpayers’ money while regularly lecturing the taxpayers to practice austerity.

It is indeed largesse on their part when they give us the lowest possible figure (statistics dear!) for ‘our’ Poverty Lines. It is, in some way, a sort of mechanism to take millions of Indians away from the clutches of the ‘defined’ poverty limits.

And so, the Montekonomics version of Manmohan’s proclamation is now out.

It is like – see, you are not poor because we say that you are not in the poverty line list. So, celebrate your day with Rs. 33 a day if you are an urban Indian and Rs. 27 if you are from some rural neighbourhood.

A mouth organ sort of tool of our lords, the Planning Commission of India, headed by the Economy Nobel defying wisdom, that we also know as Motekonomics, of Manmohan Singh’s learned deputy Monetk Singh Ahluwalia, has come up with the miraculous statistical manipulation, yet again, to lessen the miseries of ‘we, the Indians’ – by telling us to believe that hundreds of millions of us have become richer by overnight.

Overnight, because, the intended millions did not know or could not realize their windfall gain (the gain, thanks to the committed acts of Manmohanomics). Probably they would realize it now.

So, the school of Montekonomics, the Planning Commission of India has announced: “The percentage of persons below the Poverty Line in 2011-12 has been estimated as 25.7% in rural areas, 13.7% in urban areas and 21.9% for the country as a whole. The respective ratios for the rural and urban areas were 41.8% and 25.7% and 37.2% for the country as a whole in 2004-05. It was 50.1% in rural areas, 31.8% in urban areas and 45.3% for the country as a whole in 1993-94. In 2011-12, India had 270 million persons below the Tendulkar Poverty Line as compared to 407 million in 2004-05, that is a reduction of 137 million persons over the seven year period.”

And see, how the Montekonomics under the aegis of Manmohanomics has achieved it.

The Planning Commission has calculated, based on the method it uses (the controversial Tendulkar Method), the state-specific and all India urban and rural Poverty Lines for 2011-12.

It is Rs. 816 per month (Rs. 27.20 per day) for rural India and Rs. 1000 per month (Rs. 33.30 per day) for urban India while the same was Rs. 356.30 (Rs. 11.86 per day) for rural India and Rs. 538.60 (Rs. 17.95 per day) for urban India in 2004-05.

Now hundreds of millions of us complain that surviving a day on Rs.33/Rs. 27 a day (Rs. 18/Rs. 12 in 2004-05) is not possible and such ridiculous estimations must be changed. Pity us when we demand so. After all, what else can give us such a comfortable psychological cushion to forget the chronic problems we are in – the poor citizens of a rich country?

And we repeatedly fail to learn the lesson.

Last year too, the country had seen a huge uproar when the Montekonomics had come up with the previous Poverty Lines (Rs. 32 for urban India and Rs. 26 for rural India). Our lords led by Manmohanomics and Montekonomics were so pained that they had to form a committee (like many others in the past) to look into the methodology to calculate the new Poverty Lines. Its head, C. Rangarajan, say it will take one more year to come up with the reworked Poverty Lines.

One more year! How could our caring politicians leave us in peril by denying us the psychological cushion that could tell us to ‘believe’ that we were not poor ‘as we were not on the Poverty Line lists’?

So, they decided to take the pain again. They are so committed to the millions of the poor that they would be ready to face the brunt of the ‘uncalled for’ criticism yet again.

And so, yesterday, we had the Pathbreaking development when millions of us were lifted out of poverty; when Manmohan’s and Montek’s Planning Commission of India came up with the ‘miraculous’ and ‘new’ rural and urban Poverty Lines of Rs. 27 and Rs. 33 a day.

Now that they have told us, what all we need to do is to believe them, as we have been doing in the past ‘by telling us that we are not poor because we do not figure on Poverty Line lists. They have given us back our psychological cushion to fight the poverty.

See, it is so simple. Isn’t it?

See, so caring they are. Aren’t they?

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

CAN’T SAY IF BHARAT NIRMAN DID HAPPEN, AND LO! HERE COMES YET ANOTHER UPA-II AD-SPEND BLOOPER

We are going to be burdened (indirect effects of which we are to feel later that might come in form of some more subsidy cuts) a bit more and as usual, it is the immense wisdom of our comfortably numb prime minister Manmohan Singh that is (or going to be at play again) at play again.

But before going into that let’s scratch our heads to know a little that what Rs 200 crore can do the life of some ordinary Indians:

Let’s take a simple corollary. India is the youngest nation in the world and millions of its young representatives are staring at the prospect of a stable livelihood.

To go into that let’s pan across some data:

  1. ‘Around 7 crore people are unemployed or underemployed in India’ said Labour and Employment Minister Mallikarjun Kharge in Rajya Sabha (upper house of the Indian Parliament) last December.
  1. According to an assessment from the latest Economic Survey of India report, the per capita income of India at current prices in 2012-13 was around Rs 5200 (with the national average of Rs 61,564 an year).

According to an exclusive story by the daily DNA (www.dnaindia.com – DNA exclusive: UPA-II’s India story is going abroad, for Rs200 crore, June 6, 2013), the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government is planning to launch a massive advertising campaign to go for an overseas image makeover to address the brand UPA hara-kiri and disgrace. The report says: “After being battered at home and abroad, the UPA government is planning a Rs200-crore blitzkrieg to shore up its nirman story with a desperate bid to woo foreign institutional investors, particularly from North America, western Europe and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nations.”

What does it mean for you and me and for an Indian who elects the people who make the governments like the UPA?

Nothing, except, some more misuse of the resources that were supposed to be used for the betterment of the public by the ‘people from among the public elected by the public’!

Rs 5200 per month, we all know that it is not a level of income to lead a satisfactory standard of living but let’s see what 200 crore can do for a rich country of poor where millions survive on less than 2$ a day.

This Rs 200 crore can employ around 3.2 lakh people for a year with Rs 5200 in monthly emolument. If we consider an average family size of four members, it effectively adds to the support system of 3.2 lakh families or around 1.3 million people in those families.

See! This much of the resources are going to be wasted again and this much, like always, like the Rs 150 crore for the recently re-launched Bharat Nirman campaign, would be taken out from the public fund that is supposed to be used for the public betterment. Okay, the government would justify it with more than one reason, in reality, nothing can justify it, especially when the very same government is shedding the crocodile tears to reduce the energy and fuel subsidies under the garb of increasing burden on the financial health of the nation.

Simultaneously, Rs 150 crore can effectively add to the support system of 2.4 lakh families or around 9 lakh people in those families. It becomes even more glaring if we take into account the ad-spend of the UPA-II government since 2009 when it retook the office.

According to the reports, the ad-spend figures available till February 2012 show the UPA-2 government had already spent Rs. 2246 crore on advertisements by then. Going by the corollary of the Rs 5200 per month per capita income, it could have translated to an effective aid to the support system of 3.6 million families and around 14 millions of individuals of such families.

We all know who Rajiv Gandhi was and what he did for India. Why do we need multiple advertisements across multiple platforms by most of the government departments and ministries commemorating Rajiv Gandhi on his birth and death anniversaries?

Okay, if they have to do so, why don’t they do so from their own, private funds? Why to waste the money meant for (and must be) used for the betterment of the public?

Okay, the argument may be propagated that the ad-spend was necessary but such an argument easily gets punctured in the light of the related developments.

Such arguments sound sham when we come across regular reports of massive corruption in almost every government project. Almost nothing, not even the rural India centric massive projects with an ambition to cover the most parts of the nation are beyond the web of the neck-deep political and bureaucratic corruption.

Advertisements by the government departments and ministries are supposed to act as tools to aware and empower the people intended to be the beneficiaries of different programmes and projects to ask for what is rightfully and legally theirs.

Instead, their ignorance and their inability to convey the wrongs happening as reflected in the large-scale corruption tell either the government efforts to aware and empower the people are failing or the government is not at all serious about the ultimate aim of such initiatives – making aware and empower and instead is busy in bushing the beat making such advertisements a personal branding exercise for the person or group of persons involved. And if that be the case, it is certainly not an acceptable practice. Such wastage of public funds is deplorable.

But, as has become clear, the insensitive political class doesn’t even think about such considerations. Rather, they prefer to suppress the voices trying to show them the reality. As the election time is approaching near, the UPA government and Mr. Manmohan Singh are ratcheting up the (empty) rhetoric again with heavy advertising to showcase what is not there; literally, to befool us again.

Coming back to where we began, on youth and unemployment in India, Manmohan Singh recently said: “The unemployment rate came down from 8.3% to 6.6% between 2004-05 and 2009-10. This period suffered from one of the worst global meltdowns in history and most of the countries, developed and developing, have registered increased in their unemployment rates while we were still able to create additional jobs. Employment in the unorganised sector registered a growth of more than 9% from 26.5 million in 2005 to 29 million in 2011.” 

But his assertions fall flat when we see the larger picture that is not what Manmohan is trying to make us see.

According to a report published in The Wall Street Journal (Young, Jobless and Indian, November 23, 2012): “The latest World Development Report by the World Bank says India’s youth unemployment — as a percentage of the youth work force — was 9.9% for males and 11.3% for females in 2010. In 1985, the figures were 8.3% and 8%, respectively. Youth unemployment in India, like most countries, has consistently been above the national average. But of late, the data indicate rising youth unemployment, now virtually 50% more than the national average, or total unemployment rate.”

Qualitatively disturbing! Now see this assessment from the International Labour Organization (ILO).

ILO says in its Global Unemployment Trends 2007-13, released in May 2013: What does it say about unemployment in India: “In India there is evidence that youth unemployment rates are higher for families with incomes over the $1.25 poverty rate than for those with incomes under this poverty line. “In developing countries such as India, as much as two-thirds of young workers receive below average wages and are engaged in work for which they are either over-qualified or under-qualified. Over-education and over-skilling co-exist with under-education and under-skilling. Such a mismatch makes solutions to the youth employment crisis more difficult to find”

A mismatch!  Indeed it is. A population of over a billion with majority of them quality-illiterate, poorly-fed and living a sub-standard quality of life needs a political and bureaucratic class that could understand this mismatch to work out effective solutions.

Instead, we have a political and bureaucratic class that has become synonymous with corruption, nepotism, insensitivity and elitism.

Instead of addressing such grave problems with the seriousness demanded, the Manmohan Singh led governments is pouring the money from the public funds freely into massive cover-up operations to create an illusion of the achievements that are not there, to create a layer of propaganda to hide the utter failure that his government has been during its second terms in the office since May 2009.

The insensitivity and the rashness reflect in the advertisement campaigns like Bharat Nirman or this reported campaign targeting the overseas audience or the reports of a Rs 100 crore campaign by the UPA government in September 2012 to justify the retail FDI decision and diesel-pricing deregulation and price hike or the Hindustan Times report (UPA ad blitz gets Rs. 630 crore more, June 6, 2013) that says the Finance Ministry okays Rs 630 crore more for the Bharat Nirman campaign.

Mr. Manmohan Singh, the youth from the 7 crore of the unemployed or underemployed people or 70 crores or more of the Indians, quality-illiterate, poorly-fed, the Indians forced to live a sub-standard quality of life, cannot buy your sham every time. NDA had learnt this lesson in a bitter way in 2004.

This time, it may well be a telling development for your government the signs of which you are not reading. Stop wasting millions that could give livelihood to the millions. That is not your private money. It is rightfully theirs.

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

THE BOLD NEW INDIAN POLITICS & ASHWANI KUMAR, PAWAN BANSAL AND THE MS-OFFICE (MANMOHAN SINGH, WHO ELSE?)

Let’s take the trend-setting and norm-establishing deeds of the breed of politicians of this generation who are neck-deep in corruption but are refusing to budge, who are in denial of their wrongdoings even if it is proven beyond doubt, even if it is there for everyone to see.

We have, here, the ruling coalition of India and its leading party, Congress, in the driving seat topping the corrupt-pack, with its high-profile leaders zooming to be in vogue of new highs of corruption and manipulation of the public office.

And this all is happening under the ‘able’ guidance of the prime minister of India, Mr. Manmohan Singh and his office, which has become exceptionally active, an otherwise comfortably numb prime minister.

Our dear Manmohan Singh and his ‘MS Office’ have enriched us with such many developments in the last few weeks and Manmohan Singh is clearly emerging victorious in the latest incarnation of the Indian politics that is bold,  brazen and immune to any criticism, even if a justified one in the public perception. The list of his gems adorning the list of corrupts is long, from Suresh Kalmadi to A Raja to Ashwani Kumar to Pawan Kumar Bansal.

While the development of the long list did involve some cases of surrender by the politicians when they had no other option left to manipulate and continue clinging to the power, the recent high profile cases of Manmohan’s two trusted aides, who incidentally come from his home state Punjab, Minister of Law & Justice Ashwani Kumar and Minister of Railways, Pawan Kumar Bansal, are representative of the new thinking of the Indian politics that has started believing in its right to absolute denial, not caring even if they do not have any option left to manipulate any more.

Now, they simply say they won’t surrender even if the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court of India, alleges them of breach of trust.

If they don’t care for the Supreme Court of India, who we are then to be taken seriously, though, we elect them and therefore, we give them the power to manipulate?

So the Congress is up, in arms, in brazen defense of its these two tainted ministers saying they won’t resign, when they should have resigned already, even if they go by the standard set by A Raja and Suresh Kalmadi.

And all this is happening the under the watch of MS-Office.

One of the duo, safe in the troubled waters, Ashwani Kumar, has subverted the guidelines set by the Supreme Court. The apex court had asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) not to share the status reports of the coal block allocation scam probe with the political executive. But, as the reports say, Mr. Kumar, the coal ministry and the MS Office directed the CBI Director, who says he is very much part of the government (the government that beats the bush every day claiming CBI’s independent functioning), to modify the status report in the investigation of a case in which Manmohan and his government is facing the heat.

Isn’t it like asking a thief to probe himself and come up with the investigation report so that he could be sentenced?

The other one, safe in the troubled waters, Pawan Kumar Bansal, until now seen as a non-controversial and clean politician, has got embroiled in an age-old scam of India where, in case of government jobs, a huge sum of money changes hands before any high-profile and lucrative transfer and posting takes place.

With every passing day, more and more skeletons are tumbling out telling us how companies were built in the name of Bansal’s son and wife; how they registered meteoric growth in a span of few years only; how the main accused in the case, his nephew Vijay Singla, was so close to him and how he managed his 2009 Lok Sabha election campaign; and how the Bansal family members share business interests with Vijay Singla. Being the Railway Minister, appointment for the Railway Board position for which the bribe was offered comes under directly overview of Mr. Bansal.

Had there been even an iota of verity in the claims of Mr. Bansal of being a clean politician, he would have resigned on the day his nephew was arrested for brokering the bribery deal misusing his department and his name.

He needed to come out clean. He needs to come out clean. And so Mr. Ashwani Kumar, and so Mr. Manmohan Singh, and so every other politician charged with allegations of manipulating and corrupting the public office.

They simply cannot be allowed to trade and tread our trust, again and again.

But this bold new breed of Indian Politicians is doing exactly that. This bold new breed of Indian Politicians believes in killing every such spirit. And they get support when they see that we, the voters, are short of options; when they see that we, the voters, are not able to make informed decisions while electing them.

A good case in point is the Karnataka assembly elections. Congress, neck-deep in corruption is poised to win when the votes are counted on May 8 because the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) government has lost its credibility due to massive and widespread corruption in the state under its regime.

See! We, the voters, are replacing one corrupt regime with regime of another political party that, in all probability, is going to lose the next parliamentary elections, due to the massive and widespread corruption in the country under its regime.

We, the Indian voters, wandering in the troubled waters, facing the classic dilemma of choosing between Scylla and Charybdis! Isn’t it?

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

ONCE, THERE WAS A PERCEPTION CALLED MANMOHAN SINGH

Manmohan Singh’s biography on the official website of the prime minister of India says about him: India’s fourteenth Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh is rightly acclaimed as a thinker and a scholar. He is well regarded for his diligence and his academic approach to work, as well as his accessibility and his unassuming demeanour.

There is nothing much to decipher about Manmohan Singh. There is nothing left to decipher about Manmohan Singh after his absolute fall from the ‘high of the apolitical and honest brand name of 2004’, during his second term as the prime minister of India.

Still, let’s see him and his integrity in the context of today’s developments; an integrity that is more fragmented than ever before.

A television news channel broke the news at around 1:55 PM that Manmohan Singh was studying the Supreme Court’s observations against his government on the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) affidavit on sharing the Coalgate probe status report with the government and would later come up with his response.

The Coalgate, a mammoth coal block allocation scam, in making over the years but precipitated during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)’s regimes with maximum coal block allocations, is being probed by the CBI. A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in September 2012 involved the Supreme Court in the ongoing case. In March this year, the SC asked the CBI not to share the Coalgate investigation reports with the political executives.

And today’s observations by the SC that made the ‘thinker’ in Manmohan Singh to say that he was studying the apex court’s observations, is just the tip of an iceberg that, no doubt given the developments in the case till now, is going to throw big dirt on the sham of the UPA government and Manmohan Singh when the CBI submits its detailed affidavit in the SC on May 6 furnishing full details, naming persons and footnoting the changes describing the level of intervention by the political executive (Manmohan Singh’s government) in a clear case of vested interests and law-subversion.

But, beware, though you are already aware, that we are going to have a similar response from Manmohan Singh even then, shirking every responsibility, belittling the norms of democracy and shattering the notions of personal integrity and political sanctity.

So, the ‘thinker’ in Manmohan Singh pushed him to say, at 1:55 PM today, that he was studying the SC observations.

But the ‘scholar’ in him has got stuck somewhere in the ‘thinking’ mode it seem as it is over nine hours, while writing this, and we are yet to see what the studious assignment of Mr. Manmohan Singh has resulted in as Mr. Manmohan Singh is yet to come out with his ‘observations’ on the SC observations directly questioning his moral grounds putting him and his government in the dock. This all is happening on a day when there is a need of immediacy in responding to the SC’s remarks.

It simply tells us Manmohan Singh doesn’t bother about such questions of ‘moral sanctity’ and he is like any other politician of the political class that just doesn’t care for the values of democracy.

The prime minister’s website describes his academic credentials from Cambridge to Oxford but we need to find the source institution where this sort of ‘scholarship’ is a norm making the students immune to every criticism even if it is rightly targeted at them and intended to push them to take the corrective measures.

It is not a sad and black day for Manmohan Singh. It is a sad and black for the Indian democracy and its common man.

No politician is easily accessible in India. It cannot be said what does the website mean by ‘well regarded for his accessibility’? It has been written about a person who chooses not to speak when the whole country expects him to speak on a day like this after the highest court of the land makes scathing remarks against his government.

The country had expected in 2004 that the apolitical Manmohan Singh would prove a genuine politician and would serve the country differently, honestly. But all that is shattered now. Before becoming even a politician, he drifted to become one among the insensitive political class mascots of the day.

On political level, even after today’s development in the SC, nothing would move. Reports at the moment say that the government is firmly behind the Minister of Law and Justice Ashwani Kumar who is the front of the government’s manipulation machinery in the Coalgate probe by the CBI. Even on April 26, when the CBI Director Ranjit Sinha had admitted in the apex court of sharing the probe report with the political executives despite SC’s restrictive orders, Manmohan Singh was very prompt in defending his minister saying there was no question of his resignation.

The country had not expected this ‘diligence’ and it is certainly not an ‘unassuming behaviour’.

He is at the centre of criticism. He has been at the centre of whirlwind criticism. He is at the centre of political satire and jokes. His silence and selective responses on the monumental corruption cases by the colleagues of his government implicate him fairly. And this all is a well established line of discussion now.

Once, reading stuff on Manmohan Singh like that in the initial lines of his personal profile at his official website sounded good. But who knew then that it was driven more by the perception of yore. It started fizzling out as Manmohan’s term in the prime-ministerial office changed the calendar dates with rising corruption of unimaginable scales.

Manmohan Singh is failing India. Manmohan Singh is failing its common man.

Once, there was a perception called Manmohan Singh.

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