Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Anna ignites a flame that will burn UPA and Congress for a long time

As a child my mom used to warn me when playing with fire. She used to always tell me that do not play with fire, you may hurt yourself. I think the UPA government and the Congress party are orphans and they do not have a motherly figure to give them such an advice. Else, how could you explain them playing with a fiery character like Anna Hazare? 

I really do not know how good or bad a person Anna Hazare is. However, I know for sure that the cause he is fighting for is the need of the hour. We can’t expect the corrupt politicians to bring a strong law that will restrict them from looting the nation. If you catch hold of a thief, will you allow the thief to decide the kind of punishment he should be given? How can we then allow these corrupt politicians to decide on a punishment for themselves? 

After Anna’s fast at Jantar Mantar, the UPA government was forced to discuss the Jan Lokpal bill. However, even after those discussions, the initial draft that they prepared for the bill was a weak one. The Congress accused Anna of undermining the Parliament by not waiting for a debate on the bill that the Congress is proposing. However, I do not understand why the draft proposed by Anna and his team could not be considered for discussion in Parliament. Let all points be discussed. Why should points like including the Prime Minister and judiciary in the ambit of Jan Lokpal be left out from being discussed in Parliament? Whether or not such a bill gets passed should be left to the Parliament.

Anna had given ample time to the UPA government and had also warned the government about going on an indefinite hunger strike if they fail to bring a strong Jan Lokpal bill. He being a citizen of India has every right to protest but the Indian government made sure that they laid down conditions like hunger strike should not go beyond 3 days and the number of people assembling should not cross 5000. There were many other stupid conditions laid out to frustrate and dissuade Anna Hazare and his team from going on a hunger strike. Around 8 am on 16th August, 2011 (Tuesday), Anna Hazare was detained from lawyer Prashant Bhushan's house in Mayur Vihar in Delhi. Hazare was sent to seven-day judicial custody in Tihar Jail. It is ironical that a person fighting corruption is being held at the same Tihar jail where most corrupt politicians of all times Suresh Kalmadi and D Raja have been jailed. I do not understand which law was imposed to arrest Anna since he had not even stepped out of the house to begin the hunger strike. Nationwide protests followed his arrest. Supporters of Anna Hazare courted arrest to express their solidarity with him. The support for Anna and his cause has been overwhelming. Unlike political parties that pay people to come for their rallies, this was something spontaneous. Noticing the support that Anna Hazare was getting, the jail authorities were ordered to release Anna by 9:30 pm on Tuesday.  However, Anna refused to come out of jail. 

I really pity the Congress and at the same time I feel that Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India has to come out and explain to the nation. He being the Leader of the nation cannot keep tight-lipped about the whole issue. I strongly feel that the way the Indian government has acted can be termed as an attempt to murder democracy.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pot holes of Mumbai

Pot holes of Mumbai and Mumbai rains are inseparable. Rains arrive and pot holes start appearing right after.  It seems like they are made for each other. At least the organizations responsible for the roads would want us to believe so.  These organizations are supposed to do something to ensure that roads are pot holes free. Do these organizations do anything to prevent pot holes from forming? No, they don’t. If they can’t do something to prevent pot holes from forming and if we have to live with the pot holes, then we should be doing something innovative and creative to ensure that we enjoy and celebrate their presence.

Here are some of my imaginations to live with the reality of pot holes:
Create a profile named Pot holes on Facebook. Pictures of pot holes can be uploaded and shared. We all can then like it. We can also start a cause on Facebook called “Save pot holes”. We can then protest filling up of these pot holes after monsoon. If they fill up the pot holes and kill them, we would then get used to good roads. It will become very difficult for us to adjust to pot hole ridden roads again in the next rainy season. Moreover, separation hurts.

We can organize a pot holes competition and have film stars to come and perform on stage to promote the competition. At the end of the show, the area with the biggest pot hole and the maximum number of pot holes should be awarded a cash prize to ensure that year after year their numbers can be maintained. Possibly the money could be utilized to create situations and circumstances so that new pot holes come up and existing ones grow larger in size. May be someday these pot holes will find mention in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Pot holes tourism. Pot holes are a rare site for developed nations. We can take pictures of pot holes and post it on online sites promoting tourism. We will generate good revenue out of it. I am sure these pot holes will give tough competition to the Goa and Kerala tourism industry.

Pot holes can be used for agriculture. The portion of the road having pot hole cannot be utilized any ways. Using it for agriculture will help boost our agricultural production thereby giving a thrust in the right direction for the Indian economy.

Students can do Phd on pot holes. They can then write books on the history, art, science and economics of pot holes.

The citizens of India can be provided training by the Indian Army to drive battle tanks on these pot hole ridden roads. Such trained soldiers can then join the Indian Army and protect our nation from our enemies. I think they can also join the Short Service Commission.

I know I am being sarcastic about the whole situation but then what else can be done about this. We all know that pot holes are growing only and only because of corrupt officials of the organizations responsible for construction and maintenance of roads. These officials allow contractors or should I say force contractors to create roads of inferior quality. The contractors pay bribes to the officials to bag contracts. Now after paying a hefty sum to the officials passing the contract, whatever little funds that remain will be utilized to do shoddy work.  Moreover, these roads are like the goose that lays golden egg. If you build a road that lasts for 4-5 years then next year there won’t be any contracts for repairing the roads. So, why would someone kill the goose?