China betrays a typical house wife mentality. It will be naive to take it at face value in the context of serious differences confronting the two countries. While China needs to be upfront, which it cannot , India must remain alert 24x7, if the experiences in the past are any guide. The competition between India and China is not merely on economic and military issues.It is for establishing hegemony in the South-Asian region. The latest verbal onslaught confirms China’s intellectual and diplomatic bankruptcy. Its advisory to India against massing troops along the Sino-India border, looks to be downright childish for a sovereign country. Let China show mirror to itself and see its deployment of PLA at the border. It is making inroads into Nepal and Pakistan, trying to encircle India by a "String of Pearls"? What is China’s rationale in staking claim over Arunachal Pradesh,Laddhak and parts of North-eastern India ? Making frequent incursions into Laddhak and painting the red chinese dragons on indian rocks are provocative actions. And, now, it is asserting its sovereignty over the South-China sea as part of its expansionist policy. India abandoned the oil drilling project ostensibly due to technical grounds. Internal story is otherwise. Let China see the ground reality before embarking on any mis-adventure against India.Let it improve its human rights record first before addressing its concerns against the largest democracy of the World. Let it not gloat over India’s reverses in 1962.No more territorial aggrandizement. Things are much different now.For its own security, let China learn to shut up and put up.

Tags:

Absence of intra-party democracy in the Congress has resulted in political arrogance. Its uni-centric approach has led to concentration of power . The steel frame of bureaucracy has failed to maintain its political neutrality. A coterie of pliable officers is infamous for manipulating their return to Central government on deputation without completing the mandatory cooling off period. They manage to get empanelled against rules with plum postings. Post retirement, some bureaucrats get rewards for their political loyalty. They get placements as Governors, Members of CECs, CICs UPSC, Regulatory authorities, Commissions, independent directors of PSUs and several sinecures. The politicians extract their pound of flesh. There is the case of an officer appointed as Member CAT, despite being reprimanded by the same tribunal while in service for some wrongdoing. Square pegs in round holes ! So much for misuse of discretionary power by political masters despite NAC’s recommendation to the contrary. Why this double standard? The vicious circle of “give and take”, “pick and choose” and the “specific suitability” clause are arbitrary, discretionary and subjective? Why does the Cabinet Sectt not prescribe specific guidelines for curbing misuse of discretionary power and bring about transparency in empanelment and postings? For how long, will the bureaucrats promote their self interests by playing into the hands of politicians?

Tags:

Controversy is chasing Retired Justice Katju.His sermons to the Fourth estate do not seem to end. Deprecating the prevailing self-regulatory mechanism , he wants the electronic media, to be accountable to the PCI . Former CJI J S Varma says: "irresponsible talk is best ignored.". Ambika Soni and Katju ji are on the same page. She sermonizes the Media to sensitise itself. A perfect Quid pro quo deal,it is to implement the Congress's mandate. Katju ji tries to justify his viewpoint by stating that since the lawyers are accountable to Bar Council and Judges could be impeached by the Parliament, the electronic Media must be accountable to the PCI or the Lokpal. This is specious and misleading. The menace of 'Paid Journalism'is certainly a stigma on the Fourth estate.But, why paint the entire Media as corrupt? Why not file defammation suits in courts against the Media. Making the Press subservient to the Executive is liable to be misused and manipulated by the Executive. This will be worse than 'Paid Journalism'. Let us not forget the contribution made by the print and electronic media in exposing successive scams. Demand for Media accountability is anathema to Freedom of Speech flowing from the Right to Life, enshrined in the Constitution of India.

Tags:

The comparison between two former Directors of CBI D P Kohli ( 1963-68) and D Sen (1971-77) is not apt. One must appreciate the opposite scenarios in which the two functioned. Consider the scenarios. While Kohli as the founder Director of CBI in 1963 functioned in a comparatively non controversial environment under two successive premiers: J L Nehru and L B Shastri, there was no political interference during those halcyon days of Indian bureaucracy. The paradigm shift in work ethos took place when Indira Gandhi took over the reins in 1969. The corruption was re-defined. The CBI's erosion of its credibility reached its zenith during the national emergency declared by Madam Gandhi (1975-77). The CBI became politicised. The Shah Commission of Inquiry indicted the CBI for allowing itself to be misused as an instrument of harassment of innocent people by Indira Gandhi and all- powerful Sanjay Gandhi assisted by 'chaatukaars'. All of them are now occupying high positions in the GoI and the Congress party by switching their loyalties. Both acted like bulldozers while seeking compliance of their orders . How could D Sen , the then Director(CBI) , an officer of great professional competence who inspired fear and awe ,be expected to oppose the dictators during the national emergency when the entire clan of high profile IAS officers, as also observed by the Shah Commission, "worked as agents of GOI and zealously collaborated with the authoritarian regime" ? This is how the politicization of CBI started. The IAS officers chose to prostrate when asked to bow before Indira-Sanjay duo. How did the CBI become a convenient tool in the hands of present day politicians to armtwist the bureaucrats and politicians , is anybody’s guess

Tags:

I am convinced that inclusion of Caste in Census 2011 is an Electoral Fraud! The views supporting caste reservations in India are subjective. Continuance of reservations based on anomalies of the past is fallacious.. A Civil society does not permit inequities. Our present society is ‘unequal’. No purpose is served by repeating the atrocities allegedly perpetrated by the high castes( One wonders who coined this phrase in the face of sub-castes within castes) on the lesser mortals. Lord Krishna ( A yadhuvanshi ) is worshipped by all Hindus irrespective of their castes. The triumvirate of Mulayam, Sharad and Lalu must ponder over this before playing the OBC card. The ‘yadavas’ are among the most affluent and influential classes. Persons belonging to the so-called high castes are presently performing the most menial jobs.Ironcally, the creamy layers in SC,ST and OBC have been blocking benefits to the less fortunates in their categories. How could one forgive (Murtidevi) Mayavati? The assets owned by her are mind-blowing. Instead of building class rooms for dalit poors in UP , she erected hundreds of Statues of dalit icons- all at public cost. There are anomalies galore in the prevalent caste system. The ‘Vaishyas’ in Bihar are listed as OBC, but as high castes elsewhere. The “Muslim kayasthas” are unjustifiably listed as OBC in UP due to vote bank politics. The Gurjars are OBC in J&K. They are agitating for ST status in Rajasthan much to the annoyance of the Meenas who are allegedly eating into the shares of the STs of the North-east. An all-round confusion has been created by the caste-driven politicians. Against this background, will the inclusion of ‘Caste’ in the Census questionnaire not open a Pandora ’s Box of divisive politics in the country. The memories of post- Mandal violence across northern India is a historical reality. Please watch my words. This time,the scope and dimension of violence will be far more ferocious.It is futile to expect any support from the myopic , self-seeking politicians. The Judicial pro-activism, if at all, will be struck down by legislative arrogance . How to save the country from the possible caste war that may reach a flash point in the aftermath of the Census report? An “Intellectual Revolution” is the need of the hour.The Egg-heads of the country must unite and rise above petty politics ! The Editors, journalists, writers,reporters,poets,the electronic and print media,the social activists, the sociologists and eminent social thinkers must endeavour to create public awareness against the evil of casteism.There must also be a debate on the need for “disenfranchisement” in respect of SC,ST and OBC categories, if the reservations are to be continued. Same logic must apply to religious minorities. This will make them self reliant and not dependent on wily politicians.It is now or never!

Tags:

J L Nehru, a liberal democrat, governed India by allowing the public sector to attain “commanding heights of economy” to build infra-structures. Sardar Patel , India’s Bismarck, ruled with an “iron hand”. Lal Bahadur Shastri governed with his “modesty and honesty”. Indira Gandhi ruled through “Nationalization” and later through “Emergency’, that proved her waterloo. Sanjay Gandhi, the extra-constitutional authority during the emergency , ruled through “ Coercion”. Rajiv Gandhi governed through “Missions”. Morarji Desai governed through his “ Obduracy and the infamous Urine therapy”. P V Narasimha Rao ruled by exchanging “Suite-cases of black money”. H D Deve Gowda , a Prime Minister by chance, ruled by upholding “ liberalization”. Atal Behari Vajpai governed through “delegation of power” to his close confidants both at “home” and “office”. Dr Man Mohan Singh, the de jure PM, governs through “Groups of Ministers” . Sonia Gandhi, the de facto PM, rules by “ back-seat driving” to avoid accountability. States’ Chief Ministers rule by building infrastructure (including parks and memorials) through “Corruption” and by playing the Dalit, Hindutva and minority cards”. Can the Aam aadmi still claim with pride: "Mera Desh MahaanjQuery15205886916291642998_1339834085652?”

Tags:

The deadwood in the Indian governmental bureaucracy is like the non-performing assets. The nationalised Indian banks have failed to overcome this problem on their sides due to lack of pro-active approach. At least, the GOI must lead by examples by chopping off the deadwood by strengthening its performance appraisal system and applying it effectively before it is too late. Its application must be across the board and irrespective of the organised Service to which the laggards belong. This will cut down the existing strength of bureaucracy by 40% and removing corruption in the process. Unfortunately, we can't apply the same guillotine to the political executive due to compulsions of real-politik !!!

Tags:

I wonder whether Bal Thackeray has made any contribution to the Indian society. It did not take me long to conclude that as a narrow-minded individual,he has always generated hatred, disharmony and friction among the peace-loving motley of indian communities co-habiting in cosmopolitan Mumbai. He is merely wasting his time and energy in building Berlin walls within Maharashtra. Where were his paper tigers hiding during the 26/11 attack at Mumbai? His excessive "patriotism" borde-ring on "Xenophobia", is misplaced. Both Shiv Sena and the MNS workers must dedicate themselves to the cause of the poor slum dwellers of Mumbai instead of sitting in the air-conditioned comforts of their ivory towers! Let them not tarnish the name of the great Shivaji Maharaj! The country already has enough problems at its hands which the incompetent Government of India, is unable to cope with. One more appeal. Let Bal, Udhav and Raj Thackeray refrain from denigrating the achievements of any artistes or cricketers by spewing venom against them through "Saamna". It is strange that even at this age and his failing health, Bal Thackeray is not showing sign of maturity by making plebeian statements against others. He has deservedly earned the epithet of "bad cholesterol" among Mumbaikars!

Tags:

A seemingly innocuous statement by Sharad Pawar on Dec 20, 2009, attributing the existing price rise of consumer goods to ‘global warming’ jolted me into writing this piece. Sheer baloney, was it! The price inflation during the past two years has been phenomenal. Does it not demonstrate GOI’s failure in controlling price rise? Will the country’s economists including the PM agree with such frivolous and escapist statement of Agriculture minister on ‘Food Security’? Let us spare a word about the BPLs (37% as per GOI estimate) . They do not get two square meals a day. They merely get election promises on ‘Food Security’ in terms of UPA’s mandate. On the contrary, the mollycoddled MPs who represent them get total’ food security’ through highly subsidized canteens located inside the Parliament House, its Annexe and the Library. Is this concealed subsidy justified? One feels such food security to MPs in the temple of democracy is a blot on the Parliament. How could these parliamentarians digest food at such abysmally low price and debate the issue of 'Food Security ‘for the down-trodden. This is hypocrisy at its worst!. Worse still, enjoying virtually free lunches and dinners by the staff and officers of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Sectts looks to me down- right vulgar, to say the least! I have personally seen them shamelessly enjoying the 5-Star grub during the deliberations of the Standing Finance Committees attached to various ministries. All this at the tax-payers’ cost. Will the Speaker, Lok Sabha and Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha jointly ponder over these matters seriously in a transparent manner and order immediate withdrawal of concealed subsidies to Parliamentary food jaunts. These heavenly canteens must also be declared in-accessible to the Parliamentary Secretariat babus and Security Staff. Let the Parliamentarians cutting across party lines lead by examples and boycott these canteens, run by the Railways, if they have the slightest concerns for the poor.

Tags:

Buta Singh’s ugly defence of Chief Justice Dinakaran of Karnataka High Court on caste considerations against allegations made by a body of advocates is most reprehensible particularly when his own conduct has been under cloud and investigations by CBI in the bribery scam is underway. The misuse of high Constitutional Office by him in promoting the illegal activities of his son, calls for severe punishment under the law of the land. If he is subjected to Narco-analysis test, more startling truths will come out. The CBI is expected to finalise investigation and book the culprits. Buta has habitually played either his minority card or the caste card, whenever his misdeeds were exposed. Law of the land applies uniformly to all and sundry irrespective of their religions, castes, political or ideological affiliations. The self-styled representatives of Scheduled Castes have done nothing for the uplift and empowerment of the weaker sections they pretend to represent. They have exploited them as part of vote bank. The likes of Buta Singh wish that the SC group remained perpetually weak so that their monopoly continued for ever. Baba Bhim Rao Ambedkar, one of the greatest visionaries, India has produced, who drafted the Indian Constitution, never vouched for reservation for SC/ST in perpetuity. He visualised its deleterious effect on the minds of the beneficiaries, in the long run. The decidennial continuance of reservation for SC/ST and now OBC, has divided the country on caste lines besides causing avoidable heart burnings. Is it not the high time that the policy of reservation is jettisoned once for all and all citizens treated as equals, both in letter and spirit? Is this possible without a strong political will? Alternatively, another view, which is fast gaining momentum, is that persons belonging to SC/ST/OBC must be divested, by legislation, of all benefits, bestowed by the Constitution of India, once they are convicted under the law of the land! What could be the legal implications? Imagine a hypothetical scenario where there is no distinction based on class, castes and religion. And, no reservations. Would the five star icons like Sonia and Rahul Gandhi still visit, share meals and stay overnight with the poor dalits under the thatched roof of their leaky homes? Perhaps, never! This will always remain a Utopian dream! Never a reality!

Tags:

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

Month List