Wednesday, May 02, 2007

World Political Roundup...

Am back to regular newspaper reading after a long long time...its a wretched world of politics out there...had enough matter to write on atleast 15 of the states in the indian union and an equal number of countries in the world...but for the moment this will hands have itched to do some writing and after all, politics is a resort for every scoundrel how can I be left out!

UP Elections...No Lesser Devils Here
Those who even casually follow the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections will know sure enough that it is an indicator of the depths to which the Indian democracy has plunged. The BJP and BSP have brought out CD's that urge people to vote on religious and caste lines, the Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh Yadav after 5 years of misrule and corruption shamelessly believe they are still the best of the lot, the Congress has thrown out its future face, Rahul Gandhi into the political minefield and on expected lines the cow-dung littered cow-belt has become a happy hunting ground for this St.Stephens-Harvard(or is it Cambridge!) educated future Prime Minister's to land his cold feet in, with innumerable gaffes...the way he, his mom and sis shamelessly remind people of the Gandhi-Nehru legacy is embarrassing to say the least. The Election Commission's deployment of paramilitary forces was the saving when can we see electoral reforms that firmly uncloak the politician's garb from criminals...will it happen in our lifetimes?

Smart CM!!!
VS Achuthanandan after almost torpedoing the crucial Smart City project achieved the impossible by forcing the DIC to come around to agreeing to most of the conditions his team set for them. I feel sorry now for Oommen Chandy who is fumbling now to come forth with an answer for why he couldnt project the same unbending attitude VS showed...the fact is he didnt have the time in an election year, and more importantly he took the attitude of "Beggars cant be choosers". It remains to be seen if the govt can maintain its 25% stake in the project as it keeps getting bigger..after all we have a treasury which is forever on the verge of default...the news that the Cochin Infopark cannot repay its loans to KSIDC just made the rounds. Anyways alls well that ends well!

Pushing Bush...
So what if the American people gave the Democrats a clear mandate in both the Senate and the House of Representatives to withdraw from the Iraq War. He can just shirk the democratic lasso on his cowboy act by a mere veto. If there is one quality you gotta praise him for...that is his steadfastness. His defense of Attorney General Gonsalvez and World Bank President Wolfowitz, two cronies of his, even in the face of their proven misdemeanor could be praised/condemned depending on which side of the political spectrum you vouch for. This is one man who just cant see the clear writing on the wall and wants to go down as the worst US president ever. Elsewhere his party's nominees for the next prez elections fumble everywhere while the Clinton-Obama-Edwards triumvirate are breaking records by the dozen in their fundraising act.

Who's Afraid of India...
The Indo-US nuclear deal was a milestone...the only problem is it came up in a dead alley. India cant conduct anymore nuclear tests which speaks miles for Developed World hypocrisy/snobbery and neither can we reprocess spent nuclear fuel. America maynot be the last word in business anymore but energy companies here know that if India with its huge thorium reserves uses the reprocessed fuel they are losing a huge huge market for years and years to come. Cheers to the two Indian scientists, Kakodkar and Chidambaram who stood up to the Goliath even while the PM and bureaucracy beamed like schoolboys at the press-photographers.

The Stakes in Africa...
Indians, Chinese, Americans, seems the whole world has a stake in the poorest continent on Earth. Indians continue to face the heat in Uganda, elsewhere in Africa(i forget the countries) China is facing trouble for economic-exploitation. Reading about Darfur is a sure-shot way to feel despair at the politics and apathy that the capable world displays in putting an end, to worthless violence for the capture of a region that cud be the closest place on earth to biblical hell.

Judicious Activism!!!
Manmohan has never been a fan of PIL's and the Judiciary's enormous appetite to intrude into the turf of the Executive-Legislature turf has vexed him often. But when ministers-bureacrats-legislators gang up against the common man it is only fitting that the same loopholes which allow the unholy trio to sin without fear of the law allows the judiciary to take up cudgels for citizens without fear of the vague laws in the constitution that determines its scope of functioning. Kudos to the men in black and white who have thrown a challenge to caste-appeasing politics of OBC reservation. At the end the government and Thakur Arjun will win...but I hope to see the creamy layer denied easy skimmings of a pie they were waiting to lap up in a country that will never see meritocracy functioning, thanks to a wretched past which everyone seems wanting to preserve for the present and the future.

Tony Blair, Goodbye...
In 1997, when a youthful looking man who defied the cliched description of the stiff upper-lipped Englishman, took over the reins of England, a few years after a handsome, charismatic Clinton arrived on the scene across the Atlantic in an America poised to go into the millennium, i watched with gushing admiration his inaugural speech in Parliament to Britons on BBC unveiling his concepts of New Labour, at a time when septuagenarian H.D.Deve Gowda slept and tripped through his tenure as India's PM. Of course, not many would have noticed, in that speech he spoke a sentence of how England would have to piggyback on the US to maintain its relevance in international affairs. It is a pity, that this wise man kept his word so seriously that he followed one of the most stupid men around, George W. Bush into a needless war that today leaves him a mere shadow of the fresh-faced statesman he was touted to become 10 years ago.

Preparing for Post-Mushy Pak...
Its official. Gen.Mush is getting increasingly cornered. After suspending his Chief Justice and then getting him manhandled, followed by capitulation to a set of clerics who fatwa'ed his minister for an innocuous hug and now increasing criticism for Pakistan's withdrawal from its own territory, Waziristan for the Al-Qaeda-Taliban duo to run free...if Pakistan's next leader is a Mullah, it will be a situation India hasnt faced before...dealing with a theocrat in a nuclear-possessing rogue state. Will soft-spoken Manmohan, crowd-savvy Vajpayee, baby-faced Rahul or Loha-Purush Advani measure up...


Anonymous said...

Very precisely summarised.

Hope the Indian investors in Uganda treat it as their home n dont over exploit.

What you pointed in Tony Blair's speech was interesting. Hope the man had used a little of his wisdom and saved face in his country rather than follow Bush to be doomed.

I regularly follow ur blogs...first time in the comments section.

Your writing seems very sincere, no pretenses at all. Like it. :)

Rajesh said...

Hey Jiby

Are you in the US or back in India?
Was just wondering based on this post.
My news sources are restricted to Rediff and
And from your post, I have a feeling that you are reading Indian newspapers.
I get disillusioned nowadays reading about the things that are newsworthy now (Gere-Shilpa, another court case against Rakhi Sawanth, the Bacchan family saga, The nonchalant way in which politicians speak in election rallies almost as if they know that they are speaking bullshit, everybody who hears them knows the same but its just fine for all concerned)
I wish fervently for a leader/politician who speaks what really is on his mind and the truth at least most of the time. But I wonder whether that itself is a paradox.
Do we live in times where expecting something so basic is asking for too much

mathew said...

actually too big shots in europe are retiring..blair..and Chirac..Infact a new set of world leaders for next year..from US,UK and France..sounds like a generation of leaders are gonna change..

silverine said...

Jiby, you have a future in such writings. Do consider it. In the meatime please make this a regular affair here. Great insights. Great analysis!

Anonymous said...

This is a trite and lazy post, with little insight or analysis. To be fair, Jiby's headline spoke only of a "roundup". But some regular commenters, with a penchant for posting two lines of praise on every blog, go overboard. I wish you guys would help Jiby improve his blog and writing by being as unpretentious as Jiby.

Jiby said...

anon, thanks for commenting, i take it in good spirit and no worries on comments here making me strut with pride. but you have been a little too harsh on my friends here...some of them, like silverine have been my earliest readers and have seen my evolution and fluctuations as a writer they must be having their reasons for praise. besides they have given me constructive criticism whenever i have solicited for suggestions.

other than them, the reason you see so much praise on blogs is that most blog readers are people who don't know each other or the blogger being a critic on blogs is uncomfortable to most as it can get misunderstood.

yeah i guess u cud call it a trite and lazy post...but for me every post here is an attempt to keep the habit of writing and my love for writing going.

Anonymous said...

Jiby, excellent post!!

b v n said...

UP Elections - All the criminals won. Man do you believe that, all the big fishes.yet, I'm happy for Mayawati despite the taj corridor..a dalit and that too a women. a mandal full circle, it means a lot, despite the cruel hand and that too in the heartland.

Smart City - no one talks about the fifty odd industries LDF has reopened in malabar, the kannur airport, the support price for rice and the roads in trivandrum *they look sexy*. In old soviet union there used be this joke that you might not know about developments in yr village even if you live there - but you have to read Pravda for that :=). For us development is what the media syndicate says it is.

Bush - is he still there ?...that idiot

N-deal - red tape making is such a knot :( hard it is to get hold of a good N-device.

Africa - now the Asian's burden as well...China gets cheap bauxite..the warlords gets money for weapons..US gets cheap goods...everyone is happy except the children who lost their limbs

Judiciary, cute little judges,hypocrites

Tony, kinda labour has brought in revolutionary changes in UK...a job well done and Iraqily messed up..then he didnt have much of a choice.

Pakistan, one thing pakistan teaches us is that never get excited about Pakistan :) Mushy will survive I guess...but neways he will be arguably the greatest south asian of this decade..what guts!

this is a nice idea...this news round up...keep this coming...we can disagree a lot too :)

- rgds