Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bechara Manmohan....


Two feline beauties shot by our Blogdost, Nitin Rai....
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This appeared in Asian Age yesterday....
Bechara Manmohan…
Bechara Manmohan is a beleaguered man these days. We should really get off his back and let him resign with some dignity… after Madam gives him the green signal to do so, of course.Poor chap, here he is getting it right left and centre, at home and abroad, with nobody standing up for him and saying, “There,there… it’s okay. We all make mistakes… we all screw up big time. Don’t sulk. Everything’s gonna be alright….” But that’s not happening. The reason it’s not going to happen either is because we all know nothing’s gonna be alright. And there’s no point in pretending a tooth fairy is going to drop by with a magic wand, wave it around and – voila – India will get back on track. The rather dismal truth is that India ki railgaadi track se phisal gayi hai. To get that train to huff and puff again as it steams towards a great and glorious future seems highly unlikely. But, hello! Why do we need a Washington Post to tell us what is so damn evident? And even if the Post has put it all in a manner so blunt and unambiguous, it made us squirm, the point is, Manmohan Singh had lost the plot ages ago. Today, if he does indeed cut a ‘tragic figure’ it is of his own making. At 79, one expects a certain distilled wisdom to kick in. True, age is an unforgiving and harsh factor for most mortals, but in the case of politicians, it can be a gigantic attribute. Especially in Asian societies that still venerate and respect age. No matter what social scientists have to say about India’s love affair with youth ( irritatingly dubbed ‘Youngistan’), we remain deferential towards elders ( well… for the most part) and do yearn for a wizened old Pitama of the epics, to show us the way out of a bottomless abyss. Someone who has a vast and varied experience of life, who can guide and mentor others, who can be relied on to resolve a series of big and small crises. Manmohan Singh could have been… should have been… India’s father figure. But he blew it – for India and for himself. Today, he faces the ignominy of being described as a weak, ineffectual, cowardly puppet who refuses to quit… and worse… who refuses to do his job as prime minister of a vast and unwieldy democracy.
What are the options in front of him? If he yields to pressure and does indeed resign, does it solve even a single problem? If he quits, what happens next ? Will Sonia suddenly emerge in a new avatar as Ma Kali, and take charge of a chaotic, headless country? Will the BJP seize the moment and gain control over the reins of power? Or will we witness an outbreak of anarchy the likes of which we have not seen before? Which is the better, more sober option? A silent, weak prime minister waiting mutely for orders from his lady boss, or a state dominated by opportunistic players ready to pounce on the rapidly deteriorating situation?The Post has referred to a ‘deeply corrupt government’ and warned Singh that he faces the ‘danger of going down in history as a failure’. Rather a failure than a despot or a tyrant - that’s one line of argument. But a failure at the cost of the country’s progress? Never.
In all this finger pointing, perhaps the root cause of this malaise has been overlooked. Endemic corruption has gone unchecked for over 50 years of our country’s existence. It is only far more in your face and brazen now. Or,more accurately, it is only in today’s more transparent times that we talk about the extent to which corruption has corroded our system. One just has to examine the daily charade that passes for parliamentary proceedings to know what a cruel joke is being played on the people of India. Yes, let it be said loudly and clearly – the Congress Party has fostered and bred corrupt practices across the board for the longest time. But can we single out even one other political party with an untainted, blemish free track record? The Post tells us somewhat sanctimoniously that several things went disastrously wrong under Singh. So they did. The Post goes on to list what those are… stalled economic reforms, the rupees collapse etc. But according to the paper, what is equally damaging to Singh’s reputation is that ‘he looked the other way and remained silent as his cabinet colleagues filled their own pockets.” Oh dear. That is just so unfortunate. His silence. His compliance. His passivity. Par dekho toh sahi - that is the real Manmohan Singh. The essential him. That is the man he has always been…. always. It is our mistake that we bestowed him with exaggerated attributes he never possessed. We labeled him an economic wizard who’d lead India into the Brave New World. We expected him to almost single handedly make us into a global superpower, quite forgetting the inbuilt weaknesses of our own system. It is really not Manmohan Singh’s fault that we read him wrong! As the Post reminded readers, he had famously told broadcaster Charlie Rose in 2006, “I am a small person in a big chair.” Truer words were never spoken. Can we just leave the guy alone now and look for other scapegoats for our collective failure?

6 comments:

snehal said...

The prime minister has to blame no one but himself for the consequences of his silent acts.

Rafeeq Ahmed TK said...

Again today he is in the news again for the wrong reasons....Having asset value to the tune of 10 crores while last year declaration shows of value 5 crores.. ...No you are wrong...it is only appreciations of current assets but no addition...:)

Tsomo85 said...

Perfect end! HAHAHA I'm sure in every house hold the elders teach their children that the twist of this world is "not being able to read others mind correctly." Which eventually leads them with macho puzzle in the world of troublesome & idiocy! No wonder the art of journalism was needed for fools! After all, when there's a lack of inherent in knowledge & wisdom of human minds; it requires major schooling & practice to it! Perhaps that's why the case of MMS is never ending, one confusing play! HAHAHA those that have no business from him good for them but those that do, have macho task yet to ACCOMPLISH before they claim INDIA as world's next super power!

Alex Engwete said...

I hope you'll soon come out to express your outrage over the illegal arrest and jailing in Mumbai--your home city--of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi. I mean, has the world run loco?
We'd seen nutjobs kill over cartoons defiling prophets. Then this year, we've seen, first, painter Brett Murray go into hiding in South Africa after receiving death threats for painting Prez Jacob with his penis hanging out (The Spear)--a painting that has since been defaced. (Earlier on, South African cartoonist Zapiro had being sued by none other than Zuma himself for depicting the president and his cronies set to rape Lady Justice!)
Then, recently, Bristish painter Karine Percheron-Daniels's retouch of the 19th century French painter Marie-Guillemine
Benoist's "Portrait d'une négresse" featuring
Michelle Obama with her boobs out drew out an unexplainable outrage among African-Americans! The sad irony in the latter case is that Karine Percheron-Daniels's painting was meant to be a tribute to Michelle Obama; and the Marie-Guillemine Benoist's painting was not only a celebration of the end of slavery but also the first portrayal in painting of a black woman as a legitimate object of sexual desire and in a bourgeois setting...
But the Indian state arresting, charging, and remanding in custody Aseem Trivedi over his cartoons is a frightening overkill and belongs to a league of its own! Or rather, it puts India in the same league as Pakistan, which prosecute and persecutes innocent members of religious minorities on trumped-up charges of so-called blasphemy! This ridiculous affair stains the good image of one of the world's greatest democracies... So, please, Madame, come out swinging against this outrage perpetrated against Aseem Trivedi and the Indian democracy!

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