I religiously watch News debates  on  satellite channels covering  a wide spectrum of subjects : Politics , Corruption  and Security related issues. The criteria of inviting the panelists has always been to me  a riddle,inside an enigma wrapped in mystery .

Some participants are politically charged to the point of absurdity, generating  more heat than light. Some attention - seeking TV  anchors take pride in eating into panellists’ time. They must  be held accountable  whenever debates  generate excessive acrimony  and remain inconclusive. Some anchors behave like tyrants with frequent interruptions  to the annoyance of panelists  and viewers  alike.

Arnab Goswami of Times TV ,has always been a delight to watch. His research is both intensive and extensive, constantly updated by backroom boys. An anchor par excellence,he is. He is at his best while slamming  politicians and particularly while interacting with  Pakistani guests.

Nidhi Razdan of NDTV (24x7) committed a faux pas  recently while talking with a British journalist. She, in her naivete, did not sound comfortable with UK's invite to Modi to address the House of Commons. Her anguish got a quick retort from the guest. This was embarassing.

Comments about my favourite Barkha Dutt, are reserved. Ravish Kumar of NDTV (Hindi) is an icon, mature and unbiased. I am scared of Karan Thapar and his habit of speaking  with hands. This was once objected to by Arun Shourie.

Among the defence strategists, Maroof Raza,Sushant Sareen, Bharat Verma and Maj General G D Bakhshi, are impressive. G Parthasarthy, K C Singh ,both former Secretaries in MEA , make substantive contributions to quality of debates.

Ms. Madhu Trehan has been my favourite since the “News Track” days.Matchless.

About the Congress spokespersons, less said the better.

I exercise  my right to Freedom of Speech as a TV viewer. And,of course,without prejudice to anyone.

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The PM’s Independence Day address has always been brutally dull, spineless, stuffed  with hackneyed phrases. This time lacklustre and  boring  message to the nation, could,presumably be his last I-Day speech.The leadership paralysis was writ large in the  ghost-written speech that was apparently drafted at Congress Hq. It would be unfair  to blame Manmohan Singh for that. He is not cut out for politics. His forte lies in economics. But,the common man is interested in Roti,Kapda and Makaan at reasonable cost and a scam-free government, not in economic jargon.

Take the case of  Narendra Modi. His extempore  speech was inspiring, totally identified with the masses. It toched on  ground realities impacting the Aam Aadmi.

Miffed by the contrast, several Congressmen have challenged Modi for a one-on-one debate. Self-styled “100 % tunch maal” leader like Diggy Raja, tops the list followed by Salman Khursheed, Rajiv Shukla, Manish Tewari and other Toms,Dicks and Harries.These Chaatukars have been instructed by the “ Congress High Command” to  provide a collective shield to Rahul Gandhi,the PM-in- waiting, against Modi phobia that seems to have gripped the entire Congress.The insiders  confirm this.

India is at the Crossroad, passing through a grave economic and political crisis. Scams after scams, high inflation, low GDP, total absence of leadership to tackle border incursions, killing  and beheading of Indian soldiers, frequent  insults by China and Pakistan.

I  wonder: what will be the scenario after the  National elections in India. Will the electorate vote for change or will fall for allurements and populist slogans ? Will the Congress’s pet  game changer scheme ‘Food Security’ be able to woo the voters ? Who will hoist the national flag at the Red Fort on August 15,2014? Someone from the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty or else…?

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With poverty rampant and corruption  remaining  a defining characteristic,there is despondency, all around. Disturbing news are coming from all corners.

 SP’s retort to Centre  for seeking repatriation of all IAS officers from UP, is unconstitutional and a Non-bailable offence. The Services have been created under Art 309 of the  Constitution of India.

SP’s outrageous statement is  down played by the Congress as it banks on their support for its continuance at the Centre. Besides, the Food Security Bill, the game changing flagship project of the Congress is also to be passed in Parliament.

The borders’s security  is porous. India has become the butt of  joke in international politics. Defence Minister’s irresponsible statement in Parliament(later U-turn) coupled with PM’s reticence is simply disgusting.

China’s incursions have increased manifold. Pakistan killing five Indian bravehearts within our territory, shows how much effete the leadership has grown. Retaliation (instead of  flag meetings or MEA’s demarche ) is required.

After Durga Shakti’s episode, the bureaucracy  is  demoralized, confused and directionless. Its role in relation to  the political class needs to  be  re-defined.The bureaucrats cannot remain political slaves. There is a growing public opinion in favour of change of guards both at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh.

Imposing President Rule in UP and holding General elections in the country are the only options before the Congress-led truncated UPA-II.

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Appointment of Vinay  Mittal ,former Chairman Railway Board (CRB) as Member UPSC is startling particularly as his  credentials are under the cloud. Besides Pawan Bansal, ex- CRB Vinay Mittal, has been named as one among  90  prosecution witnesses  in  the chargesheet filed by CBI in the designated CBI court, for cash-for-post scam  in  Rail ministry. Serious doubts have been expressed against converting  suspects into witnesses.How could the bribery scam involving  a Member,Railway Board and Minister’s kins take place without the knowledge of former CRB and  former Minister-in-charge ? What is the motive behind former CRB’s appointment as Member UPSC within a month of  his retirement? Will this  give constitutional protection to Mittal? Is there a  conspiracy to absolve Pavan Bansal, ultimately?

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Could the Coal ministry explain how it granted five ad hoc  extensions to the CMD of Western Coal Field Ltd (WCL), despite  several accusations by the  the CVC,CBI and without getting the approval of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. According to insiders ,17 cases have been registered by the CBI against the present incumbent. The PESB may be directed by the ACC to initiate the selection process for the post instead of remaining a mute spectator. One wonders : Whether the Coal minister is getting  support from Super Cabinet?

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A divided bureaucracy is the bane of all evils.How could  we expect  unity  in Indian bureaucracy when a majority of  self seeking civil servants subserve to  political Executive as willing partners?They indulge in unethical practices through Politico-Builders-Mining mafia by manipulating lucrative postings,  while in service  as also after retirement, by keeping  unscrupulous politicians on their right side. All governments --at  Centre,States and Local levels-- have vested interests  in keeping the bureaucracy  divided  so as to  keep  themselves in power-  by hook or by crook.The entire bureaucracy is not  bad. Performance of a majority is par excellence. Unfortunately, the law makers  have failed to rise to the occasion. Free media is our only hope. Hats off to it  for exposing  corruption.

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The  Samajwadi party’s retort to Central government by seeking withdrawal of all IAS officers from  Uttar Presesh , is unconstitutional. It calls for exemplary punishment – nothing short of  declaring President rule in UP.

The Congress banks on outside support of SP for its survival.It also needs SP’s help in getting the Food Security Bill,its game changing flagship  project,passed in Parliament.This explains  Congress’s dilly-dallying- illustrated by Sonia Gandhi’s missive to PM, Centre calling for a report from UP govt followed by reminders after reminders, accusations and counter-accusations.

Naresh Aggarwal of SP in a sting operation, while casting aspersions on Durga Shakti’s integrity, charges Media hype as motivated and “ accepts” IAS officers  working for SP politicians. This reveals the feudal mindset of SP’s uncouth   leaders.The President, mutely watching the Constitutional violation ,was expected to be  pro-active .The Prime Minister,as always, is speechless.Total  governance paralysis. The bureaucracy is utterly demoralized, confused and directionless.The role of bureaucracy  in relation to the political class,must be clearly defined.They cannot be treated as political slaves.

There is a growing public opinion in favour of  imposing President Rule in UP and declaration of General elections in the country. The Judiciary must step in to save the country.

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These attributes  will remain a far cry till the civil servants are  protected by Judiciary against political vendetta. Ironically,the UPSC has added a paper on Ethics, Integrity  from CS (Main) exam 2013. This  will produce  more  Ashok Khemkas and Durga Shaktis to suffer  browbeating, humiliations,frequent transfers and suspensions.Their fault : Failure to fall in line with political masters.

Can we expect a change when a majority of civil servants subserve to  political Executive as willing partners, indulging in unethical practices through Politico-Builders-Mining mafia- Bureaucratic nexus? They manipulate lucrative postings by keeping politicians happy. Shame on  spineless  bureaucrats prospering in all Indian States.The GOI is  mutely watching the spectacle. The Apex court  is urged to  step in and issue  guidelines for taming the unscrupulous politicians by taking suo motu cognizance and haul up UP govt for contempt . Hats off to  Media  for exposing the corrupt.

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About A.K.Saxena

A K SAXENA, an Indian national, is a retired civil servant from Government of India He is also a freelance journalist with several published investigative articles and columns in various fields to his credit. His writings are a reflection of his interest in writing on divergent themes and making the topics relevant to a wider audience. A post graduate in Chemistry from University of Delhi,he could not sustain his interest in pursuing research and instead chose to enter the government service through the IAS etc exam held by the UPSC. “KALASAVYA” that brought out several publications besides organizing cultural shows.


You can contact me at

aksaxena1947@gmail.com

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