Monday, December 8, 2008

The 'T' Word

Unbelievable but true. It’s not even a week since some semblance of normalcy has returned to our battered city…. and the wretched ‘tu tu main main’ game is on in full swing. The worst offender is the side- lined politico Narayan Rane, who is showing his asli colours by frothing at the mouth and talking big about ‘toppling’ the government if he is further ‘provoked’. Himmat hai….. to karke dikhao.The fact that he was considered at all is nothing short of shocking. But we all know how these equations are made – in Bollywood parlance, it is referred to as ‘setting’. Which involves moral compromises galore, at all levels, and to hell with what is in the state’s interest. The fact that we had a headless government during our worst crisis, with no state home minister, a chief minister behaving more like a tourism minister, a sulking cabinet minister, Shivraj Patil, a puppet-like prime minister, and a reluctant finance minister who bluntly said he was ‘disinclined’ to take the job thrust on him (Home). In the midst of this mayhem, we were being made complete asses of by well briefed Pakistani ministers who brazenly appeared on our tv channels and blew the smug\agitated anchors away with their sharp retorts and factually correct responses. In other words, they, unlike our netas, had done their homework, did not suffer from a foot in the mouth disease, nor blab on incoherently about nothing of consequence. So much for that…
The Gateway Protest March got diluted completely when immature loudmouths took the mike and yapped away irresponsibly, making zero sense. Apart from silly teenspeak (“Let’s @#*@ the Paki b@$@&*#@!”), they could as well have been at a rock concert. Even though the rage was genuine, it lacked focus…. and there was an absence of any cogent thought - no agenda nor even a simple charter of demands defining what it is that citizens expect under these extraordinary circumstances. But, talking to regular people (not colour co-ordinated celebrities holding candles), one got the actual sense of how scarred the city is. And these are the people with basic common sense who are working on a plan of action within their immediate neighbourhood. Building societies are holding emergency meetings to tighten security and demand better identity proofs before hiring domestics. But the single most important shift has been in the way the aam janata has started to view politicians. For sixty years, the public thought of our netas as
‘Mai baap’ – or worse – our ‘rulers’. When in fact, the correct description is ‘public servants’. Meaning, we have voted them into power to serve our interests – not the other way around. This one thought has brought about a revolution in the common man’s thinking and freed him from some abstract fear about being targeted by politicians for voicing frustration\annoyance Today, for the first time in Independent India, it is the politicians who are running for cover, realizing that if they expose themselves to the public, they may be spat upon or beaten up.
Students, teachers and others who kept calling all of last week had just one question to ask, “What should we do…. we feel so helpless.” This is not the time to surrender to feelings of helplessness. Citizens have woken up to the fact that the most potent weapon each one of us possesses is a voice. There are 16 million voices in Mumbai – enough to form a mighty roar that can be heard loud and clear, not just in New Delhi, but around the world. Use that voice. And do not depend on others to solve the problem. It is ours. We have to find the answers – calmly and intelligently. Don’t kid yourself that the international press and world leaders are here because they’ve suddenly fallen in love with India…. They are there to protect their own people and interests. Had so many foreigners not been taken hostage, had the Jews in Nariman House not been killed, I doubt Condi Rice would have turned up in Delhi, or Obama used such strong language to condemn Pakistan. International news coverage focused almost exclusively on the foreigners who were killed\trapped. Why blame them?? How much coverage do we give to terrorist attacks in say, Tokyo \ Tel Aviv?
Our war in India has to be fought against corruption . Period.
Let us win that war first and almost everything else will then automatically be taken care of….
What a pathetic state of affairs - while Mumbai burned, all that our leaders did was plot each other’s downfall and worry about hanging on to their kursis! Thugs. And worse – desh drohis, who sell the country for a few pieces of gold…. and priceless real estate, of course.


hitch writer said...

Dear Shobha,

Atleast things are turning.

Atleast now you and I are concerned about politics... People didnt gather in just mumbai at Gateway but even our smaller town bharuch or as far as shillong... to name a couple...

Crowds seldom function orderly... and with no parties or no leaders organising still people gathering a few things will always go wrong or not be ideal...

For a change Pakistan is being squeezed in the right way... no, we dont want a war.. we want the culprits... and i think the culprits are going to pay this time...

Things can change... I am optimistic... hope its not a mirage..


Digistrom said...

I have made it a point to vote for the last several elections. This time it's more important than ever to vote but who the heck does one vote for? I have always favored the secular Congress but this time I think they need a kick in the pants just to send a clear message out to all sides.

People like Naqvi make the statements they do because the educated elite form a teeny tiny portion of their vote bank. The media houses (who seem like our only hope) need to take the lead and speak up with a single strong voice but I see politics playing out there too with everyone humming his own tune. I would love to see Arnab, Rajdeep & Prannoy confer with some industrialists and high profile individuals and form some sort of coherent, realistic agenda.

Sagarone said...

I agree with you that the first task is to become active, take part in the political process and fight against corruption because that is the fountainhead of all our problems. Everything else follows from there. I have been saying so on my blog as well.

Faisal.K said...

We are as pleased here in Pakistan as you are in India at our government taking due and timely action against these thugs against humanity.

Corruption has been rife in both our countries ever since they were created and IMO is the only thing holding us back, well that and an obsession with each other.

Can change be brought about though? elections are coming in India, perhaps you lot can regard this as a wakeup call?

Bhavisha Joshi said...

Dear Mam,

I agreed with you.. We are going throw such crises.. These so called leaders has no dignity or shame, that on what occasion they were doing tu tu mei mei...

And media is making them all big.. while showing their tu tu mei mei..

I wonder when Narayan rane said in front of media.. Deshmukh was one of the corrupt Neta... Where were he past 4 years.. Why cant he raised his voice that time.. Chalo.. kuch mahine pahel bola hota..

Narayan Rane is Loyal Corrupt Neta.. who see situation and shows his loyalty .. Bloody he dont even know after being in politics for so long.. wht his state people going throw..

He said i have 42 MLA support.. but That din even tried to get support of mumbaikar.. on what basis he wants to be CM of Maharashtra..

For doing nothing after being in politics for somany years..

if he would have wish .. he would have done many thing..

Being Neta is not at all mean they need power of Kurshi .. Than only he can help the state..

They need to win people hearts..

More i feel pity about our self.. Every one of us want to do something against all this .. Bloody our life has became monotonous..

I can just write down my frustration and raise my voice.. Common man is helpless with this damn system..

I have made promise to myself.. NO matter if cannt bring the change.. but yes i can object things going wrong around me..

I wish that i wont let slow down this thought of mine with time.

Biprashish said...

Hi Shobhaa ji,
Inspite of all that we have been saying/ blogging/ raising a storm of public awareness, the results of the state elections are out....& its horific to see that Congress still gets to win in Delhi & Rajasthan, BJP gets to win in MP & Chattisgarh.... if responsible citizens are going to do this harakiri time & again, I dont know what we are really headed for!!!!!
Such inept leadership still gets recognised, & u see celebrations in thier camps....frankly am quite dumbfounded.
Th Gateway Protest March(& I was there as well),is fizzling out slowly into oblivion again, as a dream unrealised....
We have tried to raise an agenda, inviting solutions which are real time & performance oriented.... but that needs to be backed up by the 1 billion strong people.... where are they??....why are they so shy to come out in the open???....
Maybe, this movement needs voices like you to be at the forefront (I had mentioned this to you earlier).
So please take up this initiative & we will all back you up....
I have some suggestions....vist me at Do put in your thoughts & improve on it....lets make it happen...before its too late...

Balvinder Singh said...

Rhetoric Over, Brass Tacks Now.

We have seen enough happening in the country in past few days. While so many symbolic gestures have been made at various levels which include resignation by or removal of some ministers, rallies at public places by citizens and group discussions by celebrities on the electronic media, little has been done to prevent such tragic events happening again. Slowly we are slipping back to normalcy and hence, complacency. It is high time that we put our act together and get down to Brass-Tacks NOW. In view of the above may I appeal to our countrymen belonging to different strata of society to take certain urgent measures to prevent reoccurrence of such events.

Appeal to the powers that be:-

1. I will appeal to all our real or pseudo VIPs to remove those beacon lights from top of their cars. The vehicles with beacon lights enjoy certain immunities as far as security checks are concerned. Since beacon lights are available dime a dozen in the markets, these can be fixed by terrorists on their cars and drive unchecked into any high security areas. This was done by the terrorists who attacked the Indian Parliament. Let only ambulances and fire tenders display the same. They have to be given the right of the way as they are rushing to save someone’s life. VIPs are not. At the most they are going to attend some meeting where it will be decided that when will the next meeting be held.

2. Send back those gun totting commandoes walking behind the VIPs to their barracks. They need to get training and remain in battle worthy position to save precious lives of the common citizens and not of the VIPs who have made enemies by shooting off their mouths at some public meeting or the other. Let the politicians make their own security arrangements and pay for the same from their party funds.

3. Create a central agency to gather intelligence as well as to investigate such incidents and put it under the unified command of the three defense services.

4. Place crack commando units at all big cities. Give them dedicated jet aircrafts and not propeller driven ones to maintain lightening mobility for inter city movement at the time of need. They may also be provided with dedicated assault helicopters.

5. Withdraw all .303 rifles and other obsolete weapons and equipment form the armed police, railway protection and other such forces that are responsible for guarding the public life and property. Equip them with automatic weapons and latest equipment.

6. Bring a constitutional amendment to make a legislation that during an election rally or a public meeting the speeches of the politicians should contain the achievements of own candidates or of their party and not negative remarks on the opponents.

7. Put behind bars anyone creating hate in the minds of one community, or class against the other. Such a person should be treated as a traitor and dealt with accordingly.

8. Give the right to the citizens to recall an elected candidate if he/she does not perform.

Appeal to the citizens:-

9. Did you know that there is a system in our constitution, as per the 1969 act, in section "49-O" that a person can go to the polling booth, confirm his identity, get his finger marked and convey to the presiding officer that he doesn't want to vote anyone? Yes such a feature is available, and this is called "49-O". Why should you go and say " I VOTE NOBODY"... because, in a ward, if a candidate wins, say by 1000 votes, and that particular ward has received "I VOTE NOBODY " votes more than 1000, then that polling will be cancelled and will have to be re-polled. Not only that, the candidature of the earlier contestants will be removed and they cannot contest the re-polling, since people have already expressed their decision on them. This would bring fear into parties and hence look for genuine candidates for contesting elections. Expressing your desire not to vote for anybody, is even more powerful than voting.

10. And I will appeal to all the citizens to kindly co-operate with the security officials wherever they are posted as per the security requirements of the respective place. But yes don’t forget to tick off the lax or corrupt security or police official.

Pritesh Patel said...

I am feeling unreasonably optimistic that this time something will certainly emerge out of the outburst we have witnessed.
I am clueless in knowing how to contribute in bringing about this anticipated change yet i feel strongly that i must, i should contribute!
Hoping against hope that this momentum, this energy isn't lost...

John Doe Alive and Kicking said...

I tell you our leaders are playing cats and dogs and in the process, cutting a very sorry figure for themselves and the nation at large. Through his juvenile histrionics N.R. has lost what little credibility he had left in him. To be fair to Monsieur Chavan, I do not know enough about him and his politics to make a qualified comment. That said, I feel strongly the best man for the job ( of Maha CM) is a woman. Will the Supriya Sules of Maharashtra please stand up?!

Another Kiran In NYC said...

"Our war in India has to be fought against corruption. Period."

You said it all.

Is our intrinsic culture itself corrupt... through the ages to today? Is that who we are? I often wonder.

Another Kiran In NYC said...


Dear Shri John Doe,

And how exactly is Supriya Sule (or Poonam Rao etc) qualified? Where has she been training in the public eye? How am I supposed to judge if she or others of that ilk, will make a good administrator? Where is thier apprenticeship?

After all the essential reason we have "netas" is because we need effective policy makers and good managers. Civil servants are advisors and executers. Policy has to be formulated and the public needs to be convinced why the policy exists. Thats the Netas Job.

The would be netas are only training themselves to be electable. Not in thier job description...efficient and pragmatic policy makers.

I read on several blogs how Rahul Gandhi was going to be the hope for the future as the new PM. Exactly what has his apprenticeship been? What is his public record? And no... an internal job like Congress general secty dosent count becasuse that is not under public scrutiny. What has he got to say in parliament? Not much at all. He still has a long way to go baby!

No Charlie perfume for him yet!****

**** okay only folks my age will get that reference to the iconic line for the ewwwwww Charlie perfume... "You've come along way baby!"

Warm regards,
Kumari Jane Doe (sorry, my toe tag fell off)
Another Kiran in NYC

Anonymous said...


ankur kakkar said...

hi shobhaa maam, there is no denying the fact that we need a major revamp of the entire system , the entire intelligence bureau .....

but alas things dont happen overnight.. we are actually helpless, and this misdirected anger of the public does not have any relevance.. normalcy will be restored soon... the common man is but a mere hapless pawn in this 'polished' system

Another Kiran In NYC said...

Errata... Correction... Addendum.... et al.

I totally stand corrected and abjectly apologize for misidentifying the tagline I reffered to earlier. Shobhaa, rightly pointed that out to me.

"You've come a long way baby" was the tagline for Virginia Slims (a particularly nasty tasting cigarette... to my teen tastes atleast) rather than Charlie perfume.

What can I say, with age memory is the first thing I am losing!

I am sure Charlie Perfume had some equally distaste tagline and I shall use it another time!

So yes.. Rahul Gandhi is not smelling of dark colored, very foul and very long cigarettes made by Philip Morris. While that is a VERY GOOD thing, he still has to "go a long way baby" as a real Neta!

Another Kiran In NYC said...

arrey errata ka errata ho gaya...

I am totally losing it... memory and spelling. I really should spell and grammar check!

This is what I meant to say...

So yes.. Rahul Gandhi does not smell of dark colored, very foul and very long cigarettes made by Philip Morris. While that is a VERY GOOD thing, he still has a "long way to go baby" as a real Neta!

Anonymous said...

Finally you've heard what your "national icon" SRK has said? Good

sat said...

Dear Non-muslims,
We are idiots!! We gave our hard earned money to make these muslim actors rich and famous while muslims are enjoying killing of thousands of non-muslims world over. I urge all non-muslims to boycott these muslim actors films and muslim shops as a homage to those brave and innocent people who got killed in this muslim terrorism. Some members in this forum pointed out that these muslim actors are dumb and innocous. Let me give you some examples. 1. Salman – A criminal who horrendously killed poor people sleeping on the streets is still roaming outside… 2. Munnabhai (hybrid, muslim)-involved in the 1993 Mumbai blast (killing around 250 people) conspiracy is still roaming outside because it is India. Also, his next mission is to get elected as a politician one day... 3. SRK, the shahenshah, and sometimes called as "Delhi ka Goonda" is another actor who is plundering our hard earned money. 4. People already know that aamir is a hypocrite. His nephew (Imran Khan) was wearing a T-shirt showing Bush as International terrorist at the premiere of "The president is coming" I am sure he or any other above mentioned muslim actor will never wear a T-shirt showing Osama bin laden as international terrorist.
Dawood is the binami producer behind rab ne.. and ghajini.. Please non-muslims, make SRK’s Rab ne bana de and aamir’s ghajini a box office disaster.
Jai Hind!!

Arjun said...

it is always a pleasure to read your writing and that of those who comment thereafter - from peace vigils to social boycott... they tell all!!

My two cents worth:::

Awareness of our threat perception (internal and external)is good - but not enough.
We need to get into politics - you, me, those who really want to make a difference.
I wonder who'd vote for me though...

Anonymous said...

sat you can shuv ur comments up ur ***. Nobody needs to hear that bull at this moment or ever. Your our enemy you filthy piece of ****. Im supposing the likes of you vote BJP... am I not right?

i_am_a_nymph said...

so many of sit and advice others but is there anyone who follow it.the root is us the citizens.the first step is to purify ourselves,then help purify others.when we do our duties properly,speak and do things truthfully the corruption will gradually stop.and when everyone does so individually the whole nation will shine with goodness.

Joy said...

Ms. De
The problem lies as much in the choice of politicians, as much in the people.

Do we have a choice ? Do we have a leader who has the charisma, the capability and the basic honesty, and most of all, the courage to stand up for OUR rights ?

Do we have the maturity in the people of our country to realize that there are two sides of the coin, and just like Afzals and Ajmals are a by-product of Kashmir, Togadias and Sadhvi Pragyas are a by-product of 1971 East Pakistan riots, '46 Noakhali riots, '06 Baluchistan bombings,the displacement and butchering of 400000 Kashmiri Pandits and, 700 years of history.
Let me assure you - just because I have pointed out two sides of the coin in a truly objective fashion, I'll have the tag of "Hate-Mongerer" labelled on my back in no time.

We are too scared to go into the slums to weed out the D-Company and LeT henchmen.
We are too scared to wipe out the problem in Kashmir.
We are too scared to send plains people to live in Kashmir (that's what China did in Tibet).
We are too scared to after Masoor Azhar.
Heck - we are too scared to go after Dawood - and he still is an Indian citizen !!!

In the meantime, our embassies get bombed, our cities get seiged and our airplanes hijacked.
We, however, thanks to our leaders - the worthless INC - remain calm.
In 2008 alone, 800 innocent people lost their lives but we dont even call it Islamic terrorism and don’t search their hideouts in Muslim areas and madrassas.
Six people dying in front of banned SIMI office in Malegaon got 11 arrests and 4 narco analysis each on these 11, along with extensive media coverage of the so-called "Hindu Terrorist".
By no means is INC alone in this.
BJP - the only party I had faith on, accuses Offcr. Karkare of torturing Sadhvi Pragya.
And then goes to give his wife money.

Now imagine this kind happening to China.
They tried - in the XinXiang province.
China did something (we don't know what - nobody does).
Never tried it again.

BJP is horrible, I admit. I am just wondering if it is the lesser of the two evils right now.

fazal said...

i felt the pain ,Anger and protest Mubaikers and the rest of the nation going through......... But only one question come's into my mind waht the "End Result" of public Anger on our System .....there will be some changes in the system and politicians psych!............But (you "Shobha De" are the symbol of optimism among the readers)after reading such an Artical by you i think there is a Dark Dead End !

Desperatelly Awaiting to Read some Optimistic Artical's on your Blog !

Anita said...


Nice, enlightening post (the last one you made).

Yes, I agree - we are too scared - but are we scared for a reason maybe ? Do you think India has enough resources to start a full fledged war? I dont know....just asking.

Another Kiran in LA said...


What are you on about ? Charlie parfum and all.
We've had it up till here with all these motherhood statements and similes coming from our leaders. Now don't you start.

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