Apropos news item on ' Shifting PM's house closer to South Block ' in TOI , dated Nov 3,2019.

The selected Gujarat-based architect wants PM's house to be shifted near South block.This means razing of several bungalows and offices in Lutyens Delhi.

What happens to present PM's house on which crores of rupees have been wasted including building an underground tunnel upto IG international airport and helipad.

PM Modi rarely uses his present bungalows,anyway,being mostly abroad or out of Delhi

I suggest both PM's office and residence involving cluster of bungalows,may be built near airport.

One facet of PM's overall personality startles every one.

How could one with a humble background is so self-indugent with passion for living a luxurious life style.

Scant or zero concern for poor tax-payers' money.No austerity,no simplicity.

On same considerations, PM's obsession for revamping Central vista complex at an estimated cost of Rs 10,000 crores (Completion cost will be many times over) raises suspicions about pressures of builders' mafia.

Was the RBI compelled to transfer Rs 1.76 lakh crore of its surplus reserve to the government to undertake such activities of tertiary importance ,bypassing priorities like roads, national highways, hospitals and other socio- economic schemes/projects. Investment is also needed for development of UTs of J&K, Ladhak and finally POK after its annexation

Nation wants to know,how funds are going to be utilized?

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The Media is usually the first to protest to is no longer free. It has become captive by lending its secret support to policy formulation by successive ruling dispensations.

The jingoistic Media has always been on the right side of party in power.Paid news,fake news. Journos change narratives for pecuniary considerations. No ethics, no morals. No accountability. No self-regulatory mechanism.They can go to any extent for fabricating news replete with sensationalism.No one can question them

Freedom of Speech is a farce. Debates in a majority of mainstream of TV channels are moderated by journalists, especially chosen to favour the ruling party. Anchors are ordered by media barons controlling majority stakes, to toe a particular line.The panellists who oppose government policies , are shouted out, blacklisted.

No consistency. Ad-hocism galore in all departments of governance. A  deep state, seems to be influencing  decision making, sometimes leading to ludicrously improbable situations. The ostensible government is being constantly manipulated by the invisible deep state.

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EU MPs, admired india for hospitality,condemned Pak's continuous terror attacks, appreciated abatement of corruption in Kashmir.Quick reality checks.

Statements made at the Press conference seemed guarded, ostensibly out of gratitude to the hosts.

Credibility became the casualty.

Whether,the guests will be able to influence european nations in India’s favour (and, if so, to what extent),only future will tell. Support of every small country counts. However, its impact in moulding world opinion, is debatable .

Acknowledging thanks-giving by foreign guests is discretionary.

Pakistan is a pastmaster in organising such jamborees for foreign media and members of civil society. To that extent,a matching Tit-for-Tat by India. Let no indian make mountain out of a mole hill and support Kashmiri separatists.

EU lawmakers' pro-India narrative surely enhanced the feel-good factor of every Indian.

Now,it is Pakistan's turn to invite Congis' and Commies' traitors from from India for a reality check of the situation in their country and enjoy hospitality at Lahore's food street.

 

 

 

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India invites 27 members of European Union Parliamentarians to show normalcy in Kashmir.One wonders why so much hue and cry is being raised by the Opposition?

It is India's sovereign right to invite anyone for mobilising international opinion. This will bolster up our stand on Kashmir especially as the EU had recently expressed concern about the situation in Kashmir. More importantly,India must gather support of as many countries as possible before embarking on legitimate annexation of POK including Gilgit and Baltistan.

The Congressmen and pseudo intellectuals were blocked from visiting Kashmir due to their unholy nexus with Kashmiri separatists and the ISI. It was , a clear threat to national Security at that point of time.

There could possibly be no issue with MEA's invite to the EU lawmakers to visit the valley, though selection of delegates could have been arbitrary, based on pick and choose. They allegedly belong to the right wing parties of Europe. The entire west is turning to right-wing ideology,anyway.

So far ,so good. But, I am somewhat perplexed by the private nature of the visit (not officially sponsored by the EU). Will the MPs influence their countries,back home?

One hopes,the foreign jaunt does not end up as a 5-Star holiday,enjoying MEA’s hospitality.Surely, the decision on invite must have been taken by the MEA on holistic considerations after taking into account all secret aspects to which the critics are not privy.

PM wil surely be able to convince the indian Parliament, starting from Nov 18,2019.

 

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All terror alerts sounded are fake, fabricated.Mere tactics to create false scare in the public mind , divert attention amid political rhetorics by leaders with scant or no regard for security threats from across the border.

The leaders,after Assemblies’ poll results,are now obsessed with governments formations through horse-trading. Scramble for power, quota-sharing of ministerial portfolios, sweet promises to public (Not necessarily honest) are prominent activities taking away their times.No time for redressal of public grievances. Splitting of  5 years tenure in Maharashtra with two chief ministers in succession.

Leaders are part-time ministers and full-time politicians. At micro-levels, 90% time spent on politics and 10% on public welfare.

The gullible public refuses to react,protest.The paid media is callous,unfazed. Politicians' sole objective is to earn cheap publicity and brownie points for others' hard labour and achievements. Brazen, Power-hungry political creatures.

Democracy,surely, is bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.

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Economic parameters taking dangerous down-turn.

PM's excessive reliance on crooked bureaucrats and financial advisors will boomerang.

Dr Subramanian Swamy must be appointed as the new Finance Minister with full freedom and accountability. One knows, PM may not be comfortable with Swamy, who is supposed to be blunt and unstoppable. He would be the best choice to lift the country out of financial morass.

No time to stand on ego by delegating authority to new FM. No time for experimentations.

Nirmala Seetharaman may be given another important portfolio.She was doing very well in MOD,anyway. Political compulsions must over-ride national interests.

Emotive issues like Ayodhya title dispute, Triple Talaaq etc are secondary to financial recovery, and security.

 

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October 1921

Strange bedfellows

Days after Xi's exit from Chennai,he started his usual mind games by conducting military exercise in Tibet near Arunachal Pradesh. India had also recently conducted military exercise in Arunachal Pradesh.This was condemned by China through diplomatic demarche.

So, mistrust still exists between two neighbours.This will always remain. All words of emotional bondings uttered by President Xi at Chennai are farce.Let India’s diplomats demonstrate more foresightedness rather than be swayed by sweet pillow talks of China which is adept in playing mind games.

Consider a concomitant development.

India is making its presence felt by pledging a $1 billion Line of Credit for development of the Russian Far East.This region though minerally rich , has a hostile climate and is sparsely populated.Some separatists tendencies have reportedly been noticed, of late,by Russia in the area due to low investment on infrastructural development. Russia is suspicious about wily intentions of the expansionist China,having its eyes set on the area.

India is governed by its geo-political compulsions, not business interests. It is also trying to counter growing Chinese presence in Russian Far East.It would also guard against China's growing hegemony around south-China sea region.

Nations have no permanent enemies or friends. But, only interests are permanent.

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Contemplating switch over from Parliamentary to  Presidential form of government ,seven decades after independence could be part of the wishlist of the present ruling dispensation. But,it is the favourite timepass for the aimless and unproductive bureaucrats in the corridors of power.

No wonder that even former Prime minister Ms Indira Gandhi had secretly toyed with the idea of exercising all executive powers as President of India. All after getting brute majority in Parliament. After tasting power ( 15 years as CM Gujarat plus 5 years as country’s PM) PM Modi is also attracted to the pampering makeover as the combined  Head of Government  and the State like the US President .

Who does not want Authority without Accountability ?.But, the ground reality is in a state of flux. No permanence should be attached to the phenomenon of brute majority.The electorate is impatient. It wants rapid results  of its expectations than are possible from the new policies of Modi sarkar 2.0 in ‘ Naya Bharat’.

Failing this, the unpredictable electorate can always switch to a different party at the next general election in 2024. Worse,  there is a great danger of  Political gridlock  whenever the Presidential head  and the legislative majority are from different parties.

Indian citizens are very sharp and intelligent. Never underestimate them.

They are becoming increasingly aware of the growing tendency in PM Modi towards authoritarianism. All decisions on governance appear to be Modi-centric. Bureaucrats see  him as a “ Control freak ”,who loves centralisation of powers in the PMO but hates decentralisation and delegations of authority. Hates Accountability,too .

Decisions like lateral entry into bureaucracy, appointments of retired civil servants etc are merely symptoms, manifestations ,omens of  a deeper malaise.

Politicians think they know everything; but, actually they know nothing.

BJP may have a comfortable position in the Rajya Sabha in due course besides brute majority in Lok Sabha.

But, re-writing or amending the Constitution of India will not be so easy that can be done with eyes shut.

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Contemplating switch over from Parliamentary to  Presidential form of government ,seven decades after independence could be part of the wishlist of the present ruling dispensation. But,it is the favourite timepass for the aimless and unproductive bureaucrats in the corridors of power.

No wonder that even former Prime minister Ms Indira Gandhi had secretly toyed with the idea of exercising all executive powers as President of India. All after getting brute majority in Parliament. After tasting power ( 15 years as CM Gujarat plus 5 years as country’s PM) PM Modi is also attracted to the pampering makeover as the combined  Head of Government  and the State like the US President .

Who does not want Authority without Accountability ?.But, the ground reality is in a state of flux. No permanence should be attached to the phenomenon of brute majority.The electorate is impatient. It wants rapid results  of its expectations than are possible from the new policies of Modi sarkar 2.0 in ‘ Naya Bharat’.

Failing this, the unpredictable electorate can always switch to a different party at the next general election in 2024. Worse,  there is a great danger of  Political gridlock  whenever the Presidential head  and the legislative majority are from different parties.

Indian citizens are very sharp and intelligent. Never underestimate them.

They are becoming increasingly aware of the growing tendency in PM Modi towards authoritarianism. All decisions on governance appear to be Modi-centric. Bureaucrats see  him as a “ Control freak ”,who loves centralisation of powers in the PMO but hates decentralisation and delegations of authority. Hates Accountability,too .

Decisions like lateral entry into bureaucracy, appointments of retired civil servants etc are merely symptoms, manifestations ,omens of  a deeper malaise.

Politicians think they know everything; but, actually they know nothing.

BJP may have a comfortable position in the Rajya Sabha in due course besides brute majority in Lok Sabha.

But, re-writing or amending the Constitution of India will not be so easy that can be done with eyes shut.

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The recent incidents of political misbehaviour with the bureaucrats at the Centre and the States, have been very disturbing.These have jolted the conscience of the common man.It is time for their punishment and withdrawal of undeserved privileges.

Politicians in India enjoy extra-ordinary privileges. All from public exchequer. Free furnished bungalows, Security, unlimited telephone calls, free power, car fuel, passes for Rail, Air trips and many more. And, above all,food at highly subsidised rates in Parliament and State legislatures (Rs 20/25 for Veg/ non-Veg thalis).

They have the authority to fix their Salaries, allowances and privileges. No debates, no walkouts.  Total unanimity among elected representatives,cutting across party lines. All adding up to lakhs of crores of rupees per annum out of  public exchequer. No austerity measures. The politicians take pride in behaving in the most uncivil, uncouth and arrogant manner.  Such  brazen display of  VVIP status and high comfort levels are abhorent to common man.

I am amazed by the hospitality guidelines issued by the then Chief Secretary ,UP for hosting MPs ,MLAs and local politicians by officers in their chambers. Micro details include asking for cold water and nimbu-paani in the first round followed by chai or coffee with two spoons of  sugar, biscuits,burfi etc in the second round. Receiving the VVIPs at the portico and escorting them to officers’ chambers and the reverse. Such heightened scale of hospitality to politicians who are ever ready to give taste of their tongue-lashing to bureaucracy,if the job is not done. All, at the behest of CM Yogi.

No VVIP status for politicians. Remove all VIP security covers barring  the usual exempted categories like the President, PM, SC Judges, HM, Raksha mantra, Finance minister, NSA.

Media had reported security cover for NSA’s son. What is the threat perception to the son who is a private person? No Z+ Security covers for Priyanka Gandhi , her family including Vadra  and Rahul Gandhi. One body guard for the rest.

Why should Tax payers hard-earned money be utilized for such senseless expenditure , one would like to know? Why separate bungalows and separate security covers for them.

Ethics committees of Parliament are urged to lay down clear guidelines for LS/RS members. Non-compliance  must attract appropriate penalties.There is a need to discipline MPs by the Parliament, not mollycoddle them.

Parliament must intervene. All MPs must be asked to stay at borders, share boardings and lodgings  with army jawans, para-military forces etc.This will  help them in inculcating  fine qualities of head and heart. A week-long stay, once every quarter in a year in difficult terrains including insurgency –infested areas , would suffice in imparting them lessons in austerity and tolerance .Let them come out of their comfort zones. Same drill  may be ordered by States’ Assemblies to cover their MLAs.

 

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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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