Blind Drive of UPA II

The Government of the day is responsible in providing both physical, human and social securities to every citizen. The UPA Government although loud mouths about the turn around of social disparities is yet to prove its capacity in this front. Many fancy schemes sponsored by the Central Government is announced often to attract sympathies of common people. Alas! there is no positive change in many downtrodden people’s lives. It is important to create and sustain a team of committed force from the planning to implementation stage. If this crucial exercise is left to a loosely jokers with ministerial tags and cabinet perks it is bound to fail. There may be trumpeting in paper about the success of these schemes. Most of the central schemes instead of creating positive changes is bringing in negative impact. For instance the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Programme has take away the farm labour. If the take away farm labours are creating constructive assets then it is a happy news. They are wagging away time to get Rs. 80 above per day. This destroy both the private agriculture and public funds. Instead of focusing on the crucial aspects of national development the UPA government is losing balance. Before it takes the nation to the irrecoverable accident some sense should stop this blind driving of India.
Shiv Viswanathan writes in The Deccan Chronicle 16 July 2010
The other day someone asked me what I thought were the three most important ministries. The standard answers expected were defence, home and finance. Some would hyphenate foreign and defence. I must admit these are important ministries, if law and order, security are the most important goals of the state. But in a futuristic sense, as a vision for creativity, the three most important ministries are health, environment and education. These constitute the framework for the future. Today I want to focus on one of them — education.
The reason is we are being outthought. Education in India is creating a mimic man, an imitative society content with being a fourth-rate America, glad if it has Donald Duck or Spiderman on the flag. It is turning us into a third-rate global regime. We are so pleased with our success abroad, from Spelling Bees to a two-inch column in the Times, that we don’t recognise that we are being bypassed intellectually.
Competition is good in its own way but what are we competing about? Our leadership is quite happy to have reached the 19th century of ideas in a society they still treat as 14th century.
Our dynamism is misdirected because our language and theories of education are flawed. Look at how we approach education. It is in the language of productivity and numbers. The way our minister speaks we don’t know whether he is in charge of buildings or education. He sounds more like a minister for housing because building education is a totally different game. The numbers game creates a sense of targets but an obsession with it forecloses the debate on quality, plurality and content. We play the multiplication game with slogans of more IIT, more IIMs, as if we have patented a way of cloning institutions. No one takes a critical look at these institutions beyond an occasional critique of their admissions policy. The IIMs and IIT have research ratings which would embarrass a modest, even provincial, US university. In fact, we have no theory of the modern university.
Ironically, we are still children of Macaulay. His ghost overpowers the Gandhian vision. There is an irony to it because Macaulay made us middle class English speakers. It is our comparative advantage in English that powers our economy. Our model of education is still the tutorial college. More students have grown up reading K.K. Dewett and Ruddar Dutt than the management expert Prahlad and the economist Sen.
What is the tutorial college? It is the ultimate fantasy of reduction and miniaturisation. A society’s inversion of Macaulay’s perverse dream. Macaulay’s arrogance proclaimed that all of Indian civilisation is not worth a shelf of Western books. The irony was that we literally reduced Western civilisation to a shelf of dull functional books. We then bowdlerised it, simplifying it to its crudest elements. The kunji or cogbook was born. We reduced Western civilisation from a text to a textbook and religiously updated it. These books are the publisher’s ultimate fantasy and run up to 40 editions. We turned education into an instrument like a lathi or a screwdriver between the kunji and the tutorial college. The ultimate dream of the tutorial college is entry into IIT and IIT pays back by imitating its pedagogy.
If imitation is a sign of flattery, India is the ultimate mimic civilisation. Mimicry may be a form of temporary survival but it cannot be a substitute for creativity in a democratic society. One has to be more inventive.
More crucially, India can’t create a history where education mimicked the violence of colonialism. Imperialism could, with the aid of homogenising development models, museumise tribe and craft, or condemn them to assimilation. We need plural structures of knowledge and education where craft is reworked as a new kind, as a new hand-brain hyphen and our linguistic wealth, both written and oral, is sustained.
Our university is still the examination machine of the 19th century, meant for turning out clerks and bureaucrats. Our mandarins still emerge from that system and exemplify it. We are masters of the exam system but mediocres in research. We are poor at knowledge creation and it is in the domain of knowledge creation and knowledge strategies that India is losing out.
We need a gradient of knowledge systems from the primary school to the centres of advanced knowledge. We have to realise it is one chain of being, like a food chain, and violence to any part damages the whole. To a theory of integrated knowledge, we have to add a theory of knowledge itself.
We have to keep the varieties of knowledge in our society dynamic. We have to realise that the democratisation of knowledge demands that the tribal, the peasant, the hawker, the nomad be seen as strategists of survival, as men and women of knowledge. Our informal economy is a knowledge system of its own that we are loathe to appreciate. The democratisation of knowledge has to be part of the democratisation of democracy. This demands that we be a knowledge culture first before we are a knowledge economy.
The Knowledge Commission actually did not work. India has no current equivalent of the Kothari or Radhakrishnan Report. We need such an overall statement which links education to new ideas in science, ecology and culture. Europe and the USA are continually rethinking their universities. These changes don’t merely cover budgetary reform but critical changes in economy and the structure of science.
Our paradigms of education are 19th century and our policy is only a collection of add-ons. What we need is a new “Educational Report” which is as ethnographically rich as a colonial gazetteer, which connects to other critical reports like the Sengupta Report and the Sachar Report on Minorities. A theory of the knowledge economy cannot be a nation state document. It has to be simultaneously civilisational and located in community and civil society. A project that links all these into a vision of the future is a project whose time has come. The question is do our politicians have the will to create such a vision and implement it, or is obsolescence and illiteracy the strategy of our populism-seeking elite?

he Government of the day is responsible in providing both physical, human and social securities to every citizen. The UPA Government although loud mouths about the turn around of social disparities is yet to prove its capacity in this front. Many fancy schemes sponsored by the Central Government is announced often to attract sympathies of common people. Alas! there is no positive change in many downtrodden people’s lives. It is important to create and sustain a team of committed force from the planning to implementation stage. If this crucial exercise is left to a loosely jokers with ministerial tags and cabinet perks it is bound to fail. There may be trumpeting in paper about the success of these schemes. Most of the central schemes instead of creating positive changes is bringing in negative impact. For instance the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Programme has take away the farm labour. If the take away farm labours are creating constructive assets then it is a happy news. They are wagging away time to get Rs. 80 above per day. This destroy both the private agriculture and public funds. Instead of focusing on the crucial aspects of national development the UPA government is losing balance. Before it takes the nation to the irrecoverable accident some sense should stop this blind driving of India.
Shiv Viswanathan writes in The Deccan Chronicle 16 July 2010
The other day someone asked me what I thought were the three most important ministries. The standard answers expected were defence, home and finance. Some would hyphenate foreign and defence. I must admit these are important ministries, if law and order, security are the most important goals of the state. But in a futuristic sense, as a vision for creativity, the three most important ministries are health, environment and education. These constitute the framework for the future. Today I want to focus on one of them — education.
The reason is we are being outthought. Education in India is creating a mimic man, an imitative society content with being a fourth-rate America, glad if it has Donald Duck or Spiderman on the flag. It is turning us into a third-rate global regime. We are so pleased with our success abroad, from Spelling Bees to a two-inch column in the Times, that we don’t recognise that we are being bypassed intellectually.Competition is good in its own way but what are we competing about? Our leadership is quite happy to have reached the 19th century of ideas in a society they still treat as 14th century.
Our dynamism is misdirected because our language and theories of education are flawed. Look at how we approach education. It is in the language of productivity and numbers. The way our minister speaks we don’t know whether he is in charge of buildings or education. He sounds more like a minister for housing because building education is a totally different game. The numbers game creates a sense of targets but an obsession with it forecloses the debate on quality, plurality and content. We play the multiplication game with slogans of more IIT, more IIMs, as if we have patented a way of cloning institutions. No one takes a critical look at these institutions beyond an occasional critique of their admissions policy. The IIMs and IIT have research ratings which would embarrass a modest, even provincial, US university. In fact, we have no theory of the modern university.
Ironically, we are still children of Macaulay. His ghost overpowers the Gandhian vision. There is an irony to it because Macaulay made us middle class English speakers. It is our comparative advantage in English that powers our economy. Our model of education is still the tutorial college. More students have grown up reading K.K. Dewett and Ruddar Dutt than the management expert Prahlad and the economist Sen.What is the tutorial college? It is the ultimate fantasy of reduction and miniaturisation. A society’s inversion of Macaulay’s perverse dream. Macaulay’s arrogance proclaimed that all of Indian civilisation is not worth a shelf of Western books. The irony was that we literally reduced Western civilisation to a shelf of dull functional books. We then bowdlerised it, simplifying it to its crudest elements. The kunji or cogbook was born. We reduced Western civilisation from a text to a textbook and religiously updated it. These books are the publisher’s ultimate fantasy and run up to 40 editions. We turned education into an instrument like a lathi or a screwdriver between the kunji and the tutorial college. The ultimate dream of the tutorial college is entry into IIT and IIT pays back by imitating its pedagogy.
If imitation is a sign of flattery, India is the ultimate mimic civilisation. Mimicry may be a form of temporary survival but it cannot be a substitute for creativity in a democratic society. One has to be more inventive.
More crucially, India can’t create a history where education mimicked the violence of colonialism. Imperialism could, with the aid of homogenising development models, museumise tribe and craft, or condemn them to assimilation. We need plural structures of knowledge and education where craft is reworked as a new kind, as a new hand-brain hyphen and our linguistic wealth, both written and oral, is sustained.Our university is still the examination machine of the 19th century, meant for turning out clerks and bureaucrats. Our mandarins still emerge from that system and exemplify it. We are masters of the exam system but mediocres in research. We are poor at knowledge creation and it is in the domain of knowledge creation and knowledge strategies that India is losing out.
We need a gradient of knowledge systems from the primary school to the centres of advanced knowledge. We have to realise it is one chain of being, like a food chain, and violence to any part damages the whole. To a theory of integrated knowledge, we have to add a theory of knowledge itself.
We have to keep the varieties of knowledge in our society dynamic. We have to realise that the democratisation of knowledge demands that the tribal, the peasant, the hawker, the nomad be seen as strategists of survival, as men and women of knowledge. Our informal economy is a knowledge system of its own that we are loathe to appreciate. The democratisation of knowledge has to be part of the democratisation of democracy. This demands that we be a knowledge culture first before we are a knowledge economy.
The Knowledge Commission actually did not work. India has no current equivalent of the Kothari or Radhakrishnan Report. We need such an overall statement which links education to new ideas in science, ecology and culture. Europe and the USA are continually rethinking their universities. These changes don’t merely cover budgetary reform but critical changes in economy and the structure of science.
Our paradigms of education are 19th century and our policy is only a collection of add-ons. What we need is a new “Educational Report” which is as ethnographically rich as a colonial gazetteer, which connects to other critical reports like the Sengupta Report and the Sachar Report on Minorities. A theory of the knowledge economy cannot be a nation state document. It has to be simultaneously civilisational and located in community and civil society. A project that links all these into a vision of the future is a project whose time has come. The question is do our politicians have the will to create such a vision and implement it, or is obsolescence and illiteracy the strategy of our populism-seeking elite?

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UPA loses its diplomacy at NAM

Manmohan-Singh-Gilani-0080Is the UPA foreign policy mandarins so weak to lose to Pakistani diplomats? That’s what it seems to have happened in the NAM summit in Egypt. Leaving its original position of “no talks untill action against 26/11 Mumbai attackers”. Although I welcome the change in India’s stand, I feel sorry for the flip flop foreign policy. India should maintain its communication channel under all trying circumstances. Any letdown in communication will push the progress many miles backward.

The Times of India writes (17 July 2009)
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The meeting between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani on the sidelines of the NAM summit in
Egypt has been a profitable one. Building upon the talks between the respective foreign secretaries, Shiv Shankar Menon and Salman Bashir, the joint statement has put terrorism and the Mumbai attack front and centre as New Delhi had been angling for. It has also stated that the foreign secretaries will meet as often as is necessary to explore the possibilities with regard to the composite dialogue. Crucially, the statement also delinks the terrorism issue from the composite dialogue process, ensuring that the former need not be held up by the latter. The truth is, India and Pakistan need to make progress on both quickly. And cooperation on terrorism is a precondition for any other initiative to succeed. In its absence, another major terrorist attack launched from Pakistani soil would set back anything achieved through dialogue.

New Delhi needs some comfort on this score as there are various issues of concern, from Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed walking free because of Islamabad’s failure to share confidential evidence with the Punjab government to the lack of verifiable dismantling of terrorist infrastructure across the Line of Control. This has become particularly crucial in light of intelligence reports of possible attacks in Mumbai and the increase of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed activity in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

New Delhi should leave no doubt that if the dialogue is to be expanded, it will be done in a phased manner calibrated by Islamabad’s holding up its end of the deal. Getting Washington to exert pressure from its end is another option it must pursue. Hillary Clinton’s upcoming visit to India is an apposite time to make its standpoint clear. It has done its part by returning to the table; now, Washington must press Islamabad to reciprocate if it wishes to have the Pakistani military’s undivided support along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

If New Delhi is to take the peace talks forward again, it must have concrete gains to show for it in a domestic context. And conversely, another attack could well send the entire process into a terminal tailspin. Islamabad must understand these compulsions, just as it must understand that a compartmentalised approach to combating extremism is no longer viable. Top UN official Richard Barrett has highlighted the links between Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Taliban. It is time for Pakistan’s civilian government and military leadership to show that they understand the implications of this

A Different Tale About NREGA

nrega1Good intentions may not turn out be good outcome. This is mostly true in government sponsored programmes. The rural employment guarantee scheme NREGA has cheer leaders and doomsayers. But definitely this scheme is not cent percent success. On the other hand it can be abandoned as it provides little cooling effect to the rural folks who are suffering from the heat of poverty and unemployment. Now it is up to the state governments and local administration to make effective use of the scheme to help the poor. This scheme should be implemented in the lean agricultural season. during peak harvest season if this is carried out, agriculture will suffer as the labourers prefer to go to NREGA scheme as this is no work pay method.

Shankar Raghuraman writes in The Times of India (12 July 2009)
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) is seen by those who pushed most vigorously for its enactment as a piece of legislation that can

potentially transform the picture of rural poverty. It is not difficult to understand why this perception should exist.

The Act guarantees at least 100 days of employment as unskilled labour to at least one adult member of any rural household that registers for employment under it. Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has promised in his budget speech that the real wage rate paid under NREGA will be Rs 100 per day. Put those two things together and what it amounts to is that if the Act is perfectly implemented, any rural household availing of the scheme should be able to earn at least Rs 10,000 a year from it.

The rural poverty line, which is now in the region of Rs 400 per capita per day, means that an average household that is below the poverty line (BPL) will have an income of something in the range of Rs 24,000 per annum or less, assuming a five-member household.

In other words, if a BPL family were to get the full promised benefit of NREGA they could earn the equivalent of more than 40% of their annual income from this one scheme alone. That should be enough to see why NREGA should not be seen as just another of the plethora of poverty alleviation schemes that India has had since Independence.

But how much of this potential has actually been realized? Data for the three years during which NREGA has been in operation, 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09 shows that on average only 50% of the households that registered under the scheme actually got employment. Further, the average number of days each household got employment was only 45 against the promised 100. In short, at best a quarter of what was promised has been delivered. It’s a beginning but a long way from meeting the objective.

What’s more, the all-India figures do not reveal the true picture. The reality is that there is a wide variation of performance across states. In terms of the percentage of registered households provided work, Maharashtra has averaged an abysmal 13% over the three years while Rajasthan at the other end of the spectrum has averaged 73%.

In terms of the average number of person-days of employment per household too, the variation is quite wide — from 22 in West Bengal to 79 in Rajasthan. If we take both parameters together, states like Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Assam are above the national average, others like Gujarat, West Bengal, Bihar, Karnataka and Kerala are below the average on both counts and most others have performed well on one of the two counts but not so well on the other.

The average wage rate paid is now a touch over Rs 85, but again that varies from around Rs 70 per person per day in states like Gujarat and Meghalaya to double that amount in Haryana. For many states including Uttar Pradesh, therefore, the promise of Rs 100 per day will not add anything to what is available. Nevertheless, the fact that the government is willing to stipulate a minimum floor across the country rather than leaving it to minimum wage criteria in the states is a welcome development.

What the disaggregated picture shows, thus, is that there is considerable scope for improving the implementation of the scheme, more so in some states. Making the NREGA work well could become particularly crucial in the current year if the apprehensions about drought in some areas turn out to be well-founded.

A study of the seasonal pattern in the demand for work under NREGA shows that the July-October period is the lean season while May-June is the peak period. While there may be other factors, the monsoon and the kharif crop would seem to have a major role to play in providing farm employment opportunities during this period and hence reducing the demand for employment under NREGA.

A drought could change that and raise the demand for work during these lean months. Will the system be able to cope with that increased demand? Finding the money to fund it is the relatively easy part. Streamlining the delivery mechanism might be much tougher.

Silly to speak of war

tanksOnce again the war clouds are gathering around Indo-Pak border. 2002 situation seems to be back again. After the attack on Parliament in December 2001, Indian troops were massively mobilized and parked in the border areas with Pakistan. Although there were no major firing and killing, mere mobilization of troops sent shivers across several spines. Forgetting the dark episodes of Kargil war, Parliament attack and several other explicit Pakistan sent terrorist acts, Indian government exercised patience. Without wasting much time, peace process was put in place. But for the past 6 years after the threat of war a lot of progress has happened in the peace building between the two countries. The increasing attacks in India by Pakistan grown terrorists bring the whisper of war again.  

 

There is frustration in the power corridors of India over the inaction by the Pakistani government against the list of terrorists it handed over. Over 120 countries envoys of India were called to New Delhi by the external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjhee for possible international intervention. In this hour of helplessness it is natural for India to speak of war against Pakistan. According to the popular opinion, least Indian government can do is to perform surgical strikes in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) which is the breeding ground of anti-Indian forces. Most of the Indians are not against full-scale war but for surgical strikes. This is nothing but short-sightedness.

 

Not just PoK is nurturing anti Indian attackers but the global terror network aided by the Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan government has penetrated deep into several parts of the country. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari there is a wide network of Pakistan abetted sleeper cells. Silently they have established fast operating bomb makers and gun firing squads. The latest discovery of anti-India operation is a tunnel from Pakistan to India in the desert region of Rajasthan. This tunnel in Baramer is used to smuggle drugs and counterfeit currencies. The plot to disable India is not the handiwork of one country or one group. I sincerely suspect the involvement of multi nations and many groups in this grave design against India.

 

After failing in the four direct wars with India, Pakistan operates clandestinely against its neighbor. By sending heroin, virus infected animals and fake currencies, by defacing important websites, by instigating insider trading, by organizing speculations for the Indian economy downfall and many other non terrorist damages. All these indirect external threats can be countered by a country which has given responsibility to uproot it. But many people involved in this anti-India battle are bought over cheap bargain and bribes. Combining with the internal weakness is the collaboration of external enemies.  

 

The international politics work in a different way. It is subtle and strong. When the Indian government sends strong war message, the Pakistani rulers smilingly say that “We have China with us for anytime support”. This statement coming from none other than the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Yousaf R Gilani should alert the Indian government that it is not a straight battle between the two.

 

I am opposed to even the talk of war for many reasons. It is a well-known fact that Pakistan is involved in anti-India activities. This history is the history of two countries since independence. Sixty years old animosities cannot be eliminated with few peace measures or some bombardments. The onus squarely lies on India. Firstly it should strengthen its calmness and peace of mind. The battle is against many hidden enemies. It can unplug the enemy power-points only with a long-term vision and strategies. Second, local and global intelligence should be gathered and acted upon. Three, sensible people in the governance should build a strong coalition against indirect warriors silently. Four, sanitizing the armed forces, intelligence, power corridors from corruption. Fifth, putting the Civil Defence Force (CDF) on the ground action rather than paper presence.

 

The friendship between the two countries and its people must continue. Any amount of damage inflicted by Pakistan directly or indirectly should be swallowed bitterly. To answer it India should follow the above mentioned five steps. It is a long and sleepless fight to give good night sleep to the generations to come. This can happen only if the Indian government players and public understand its strength and weakness. The ground situation is that India is surrounded by open stateless terrorists supported by hidden national enemies. Are we ready for this sustained war through strong mind to put an end to killing spree forever?

Divorce the immoral wife

left-congresss.jpgThe marriage between the Left and Congress is on turmoil. From the day one of the marriage proposal, it sounded as an inconvenient wedlock. Still Dr. Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and their Grand Old Party managed to lead a life. They postured in public decently and did not reveal the internal disruptions in the married life.  After three and half years of this turbulent marriage, the greatest of all errors has occurred. An illicit affair of the Left with the opponents of the Congress is coming to the surface. Hob nobbing of the Left with Samajwadi Party, Telugu Desam, Indian National Lok Dal and Asom Gana Parsihad clearly states the dirty moral life lead by the Left. Although this may be politically correct for the Left’s future it violates the coalition dharma. Only for this kind of double standard life, the Left had opted for the support to the UPA government from outside. Calling the Prime Minister and his policies as futile and debunking all the programmes as anti people, the Left is in fact expressing in public about the fault lines in the marriage. The blame is put on the wrong side. Despite enjoying all the benefits of the marriage the Left is violating the minimum level of marital responsibility. Now it is high time for the Congress to divorce the Left and go for fresh elections. The Congress came close to this stage few weeks back. Sonia Gandhi’s public condemnation of the Left at a rally in Jhajhar after unveiling a power station gave the lead to the divorce. But the murmurs expressed by the allies of Congress like NCP, RJD and DMK stopped the break up in the UPA relations.

The Insurance Regulatory Authority Bill, SEZs, Foreign Universities Bill, Forests Act,  the Indo US Nuclear Deal and almost all the constructive proposals mooted and put forward by the UPA government were blocked by the Left. While opposing these legal constitutional provisions and external collaborations at the pretext of the national interests, the Left had next government formation at its back of the mind. In every breadth of its opposition an image was created that the Left stands for the safeguard of Indian sovereignty. But the past record of the Communists does not have an inch of sovereignty safeguard credibility. It is the same old political force that opposed India’s freedom, supported Chinese aggression in the 60s and stood on the way to the nation’s march to modernity. After a complete public rebuttal in most parts of the country for its anti-development and anti-modern attitude of the Left it was lying low for few years. Now with the young and aggressive leaders in the forefront, the red shirt warriors are once again masquerading as the pro India development politicians.

It is the high time for Congress to take stock of the situation. An overall analysis of the coalition partners and their crucial role tells two important factors at this stage. The Congress is trying to cobble a coalition where the majority of the leaders have Prime Ministerial ambitions. This was expressed both directly and indirectly by the supporting heads of the parties. It is an open secret that Sharad Pawar and Lalu Prasad Yadav the regional leaders from states with big numbers of MPs have P.M chair occupying dreams. The DMK patriarch is nursing this dream as a closed secret after G.K. Moopanar’s very close reach to the P.M chair in 2006. The successful P.M crowning of Deve Gowda and I.K. Gujaral have sowed the P.M dream seeds in the minds of few numbers holding party leaders in the parliament. “Anything is possible” stage had arrived in the Indian central politics in the post liberalization phase. With this kind of immoral and backstabbing opportunists Congress cannot have a future. Either it will be permanently made as a dependable party on the regional forces to run a government at the centre or it will be wiped out as the pan Indian political entity. Currently the major parliamentary seats holding states are out of the Congress hands. Uttar Pradesh (80), Bihar (50), Maharashtra (48), West Bengal (42) and Tamil Nadu (39) tell us the inability of the Congress to work out permanent solutions to its problems. It is dependent on its allies for a sizeable share in these major states. With the miraculous victory of BSP in U.P assembly elections a new headache has started for the grand old party. Mayawati has vowed to introduce her victorious U.P experiment in other states. Even if she managed to win 20 parliamentary seats outside U.P the Congress will face a historical challenge to its political existence.

To take the party ship out of this perennial cyclone, the Congress should work out few long term fixations. It is not just enough to shout slogans like “Hamara hath aam aadmi ki saath”. The first step in this direction is to get rid of its sycophancy culture in the party management. There is a feeling of isolation among the hard working cadres and workers with strong ideological roots. A complete objective handling of the party is a must. The present party managers are too hierarchical and suspended from the ground realities. As long as this trend continues there is no hope for the Congress to come to the central power on its own.  

 

Red alert for Congress

Sonia Gandhi took more than a month to thank her parliamentary constituency, Rae Bareli voters. Nevertheless she injected enough rhetoric to wake up coma struck Congress leaders and cadres in Uttar Pradesh against Mulayam Singh Yadav run Samajwadi party government. But as usual her followers found it too sweet to hear from their chief about the possibility of overthrowing currently fragile S.P. On the other side, Com. Prakash Karat is going around the country to mobilize support to bring down Manmohan Singh run coalition sarkar in the center. After closing the Central Committee meeting in Hyderabad, the Left chieftain met politically down Chandrababu Naidu. They mutually agreed and appeased to place a non-congress and non-BJP government in Delhi soon. Next Karat called on DMK supremo, M. Karunanidhi when the octogenarian came to Delhi to seek more funds for his pet projects in Tamil Nadu. Then the comrade hit the road to Lucknow where Mulayam found it too useful to hear red news about the new political setup. This came at the critical stage of cycle riding S.P chief’s political isolation. With U.P assembly election just a year away and court cases against his family regarding disproportionate wealth is rubbing salt to his wounds, new activism of Left came as soother to Mulayam Singh.

Add these parties MPs to the Left strength in the parliament. Is that not making a formidable combination to pull down Congress managed coalition government in the center? Yes, the recent assembly elections and clean sweep of Left in West Bengal and Kerala had given enough guts to comrades to take this tough mission. But Congress is busy with fighting inside and troubling coalition partners across the country. Administration is completely out of control at the center with different power points pulling in different directions.

More importantly Congress is innocent of Left tricks and coolly taking communists in its arms in the states where the former is strong. For instance in Punjab, Andra Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Communists have struck alliance with Congress. The explicit Left rhetoric is that they want to defeat communal BJP in these states. But implicitly comrades want to build up their organizational structure in all these states. If their real concern is to trash communal forces why not they give Congress a good share of MLAs in Kerala and West Bengal?

Apart from this political assault, revolutionary comrades are intruding deep into the forests of the nation to take tribals into their fold. More than 160 districts are already in the hands of Naxalites. A red corridor starting from Nepal runs through Jharkhand, Bihar and reaches Andra Pradesh in south. Is this not inspiring for many frustrated and unemployed youth to take up arms? Yes of course many young Indians are asking the route and contacts numbers of Naxalite leaders to join their force. At this do or die battle stage, politicking of law and order is high. Congress government in Delhi is keen to blame BJP run states in Jharkhand, Chattisgarh for security failures.

Greedy Congress leaders with the hope to capture power on their own are messing up with regional coalition arrangements. In Maharastra they tried to play with the mighty Maratha warlord Sharad Pawar regarding the NCP nominee for Rajya Sabha. Shrewd Pawar quickly dismantled Congress connections and struck rapport with Shiv Sena to get his nominee – Rahul Bajaj elected to the upper house.

In Jammu & Kashmir, Ghulam Nabi Azad is trying to completely debunk PDP Chief Mufti Mohammed Sayeed. From top to bottom, Congress is affected with coalition mismanagement and factionalism. In the union cabinet most of the Congress ministers are performing dismally and defying Prime Minister’s line to report to the madam in 10. Janpath.

Congress is collapsing; BJP is not in a position to rearrange its army to face the next election. The only alternative remaining is Third Front with comrades leading in the front. Given the combat strategies and young Karats and Yechurys on the top of the Left there is little doubt that Communist government is very near to India.

The days are not far to see Communist governments in India and Nepal. Having agreed to participate in the coalition government run by Girija Prasad Koirala, CPN (M) led by Prachanda is going to contest the near future parliamentary elections. Given their clout and arm-twisting in the interior areas of Nepal there is a fine probability for the radical Leftists to conquer the Himalayan Kingdom soon. Marx is laughing in his tomb about this red possibility in south Asia!