Friday, July 31, 2009

Zen and the art of lawmaking

If somebody asks what the 3 pillars of our democracy are, even a supermodel will know that it’s the judiciary, legislature and safari suits. This bermudaic-triangular structure also implies that we are still one pillar less to make it a stable table. Now if you are a politically unaware person, you may ask why ‘people’ are not considered a pillar. The answer is, people’s job in upholding the democracy is negligible - just a tap on the voting machine – hence they are as shaky a pillar as that of Delhi metro and cannot be employed to guard our hard earned democracy. However, nobody can deny the role of our legislature(From Latin Leg and Greek Slaughter which stands for "amputate’em all!"), especially that of our state assemblies because they are not only just upholding our democracy, but also are taking law making to a different level altogether. This post is a tribute to this particular pillar for all the services it’s doing for making us a future-proof democracy.

I think our state legislatures are the most vibrant of all law makers hitherto known to humanity - in terms of the diversity of nation building activities they perform every day, starting from humble verbal abuses and allegations to de-garmentation to breathtaking, desk-breaking martial arts performances. Now those of you who are educated, voting, ignorant, uncivilized, tax-paying, arrogant, pessimists may ask whether this is what we have elected and pay them for, the answer is a big “Yes" and my rationale behind this is not just a "So that they won’t perform these activities elsewhere and hurt innocent civilians", the reasons are many.

Firstly, I think they are seeking unique and novel methods to enable our assemblies capable enough to make any new laws and break any existing ones, required in our journey towards becoming a democratic center of excellence. More of such pioneering efforts should be recognized, rewarded and repeated to boost the morale of our elected men and women. This move from the Karnataka assembly sure is a laudable one. We can also supply some of the state of the art equipments to our state assemblies that can accelerate lawmaking, such as slingshots, water/air guns, chilly-sprays etc. It will also make sure that tax payers money spent on procuring furniture and communication equipments will not come in the way of lawmaking as well.

Secondly, we are far ahead of other countries in our journey to build the so called 22st century-ready, legislature 2.0s because our assemblies are professionally (and literally too) very rich and advanced with capable men and women who can not only do politicking but also indulge in socio-economic activities such as wealth creation, land acquisition, uplifting of women and children etc .

Now it's only a question of how our leadership efficiently taps these skills and utilizes them for the noble cause of nation building. And I think we are improving day by day, for example earlier if somebody say "Opposition attacked the government on xyz issue", it would just mean that some old, good-for-nothing-else, khadi-clad men did sound pollution, but now things are changing. If the opposition is going to attack a minister in the assembly, he/she better come equipped like a cricket batsman or a hockey goalkeeper. I wish mother nature bestow something like Karna's Kavach-Kundal for the next generation of our politicians so that they can be born parliamentarians and follow their parents footsteps safer.

It makes me proud when I see how different we are from the murky, mundane, monarchic lawmaking bodies of other countries..Jai Ho!(Btw, why we say this? Ho I thought is from Vietnam?)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Uncultured cultivation

There are many funny ways to react to this news item which says girls were made to plough fields naked for rain, so that the rain gods will be embarrassed and will ultimately come down.

I can joke "Ok, so that means weather gods are all women?" Another more effective idea I can suggest here is to arrange few big screens in the drought hit areas and play some of the Bollywood 'numbers' instead where item-girls do un-garmented mowing and plowing, it can virtually embarrass anybody, let alone rain gods. Or on a second thought, what if the rain gods commit suicide unable to bear the embarrassment, so let’s not take such extreme measures.

However, those of us who joked on it might not have noticed that it's a perfect image of many things that are wrong in our country.

  • We still lack education and awareness which makes people become more and more superstitious.

  • Our women still are treated second-class citizens – why didn't the organizers think of making men do so?

  • We still are incapable of providing basic facilities like irrigation to our farmers that they go to such extremes.

  • Not just that much, it also shows how our law enforcement is not capable of stopping such atrocities done against women

  • Our perpetually-concerned, hypocritical culture-guardians are so worried about filthy, fifth-rated TV shows but they have nothing to say about such things. May be these kind of things are not against ‘our values’

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rainbow is the colour

Gay-rights activists in India sure deserve a Nobel peace price or two - nobody ever have achieved something as remarkable as what they have accomplished - bringing all the religious leaders together under one umbrella, fighting for a common cause. Real religious harmony stuff...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Gastric Trouble

Here is a story of two brothers who are fighting for nothing but gas. A minister who got involved says "People of India own Gas". I think is he has a point, they do.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Marianismo índico

As an aware person you might have already observed that more and more women are becoming successful politicians in our country unlike earlier where it was a profession reserved for mighty men such as loaded landlords, mutilated maharajas, bar-less barristers, unskilled unionists, treacherous traders, non-Gandhians, known-Gandhis and the likes. I think the future of Indian politics is going to be in the hands and handbags of our women leaders. This is not accidental or due to the influence of the so called Feminist Senes as many people thought wrongly, it’s because they have many natural and social advantages over their male counterparts. Here are some of the reasons why I think our political future is feminine.

  1. Behind every successful man there needs to be a woman or two. But no such constraints apply for women.

  2. They have more chance of getting into high posts as a successor of their father/mother/husband/boyfriend where as for men it’s limited to parental promotion.

  3. They can wear colorful sarees and elephant-foot bindis that help them stand out everywhere.

  4. Such verbal attacks can help both the attacker and the attacked get equally good political mileage only if it happen among women.

  5. Their male opponents will have to think multiple times before politically attacking them, these days virtually anything one do with women can be interpreted as harassment(Including this write-up)

  6. They are more practical. How many of our male politicians can think of such strategies ?

  7. They can never be blackmailed with molestation charges; ok, at least in the prevailing social order.

  8. They are born orators unlike men for whom it’s an acquired skill.

  9. They are very good managers compared to men; they had been running the world’s most chaotic and complex organization for millions of years successfully – it’s called ‘The Family’.

  10. Above all, they have a better future as well, unlike men who are going to be an endangered species soon.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ministerial birth control measures

The union health minister has come up with a one of a kind solution for population control – Watch more TV. He says if people spend more time watching TV, their appetite to indulge in activities that lead to population growth will reduce. I totally agree with him, the reality shows and soaps in Indian television sure are capable enough to make any productive men and women who watch them impotent, ‘unseeded’ tennis players in no time.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Budgetary bewilderments

Union budget analysis is one ritual that news analysts(of all sizes and shapes) in our country perform every year because it’s a tradition that we follow for many centuries though we don’t exactly know why we do it. Legend has it that this has been observed by news analysts from the time the first budget was presented by Kautlia when he was the finance minister in Chandragupta Maurya’s ministry in the 2nd or 3rd (or it could be 4th also) century B.C.

This author too is a big believer of the power of union budget because it’s the only thing powerful enough to increase the price of cigarettes and reduce the price of LCD TV at the same time. Unfortunately, this time around I missed the budget presentation and the entire pre and post budget tele-poisoning due to some other engagements and will not be able to give you a detailed impact analysis here. However, from my years of experience in analyzing budgets, I can do a quick review anytime, anywhere - even without any prior knowledge of the budget in discussion as well, here is how it goes.

Traditionally, budgets are events where some taxes will be cut while some others will be introduced so that the overall tax-weight of the country is balanced. This year also the tradition is followed, which you as an ‘aam aadmi’ would have already noticed. Also one key factor to note about budgets in India is that they are always pro-poor, growth-oriented and forward looking for you if you are a supporter of the ruling party, but will always lack ‘substance’ if your loyalties lie with the opposition. Though no economic theory explains this phenomenon, my conclusion is that it’s because nobody else is interested in it. Otherwise a third opinion sure would have been floated by now.

The most important factor you will notice about the union budget is that the finance ministers always carry the same brown suitcase when they come for budget presentation. This is also one of the reasons why opposition always say there is nothing new in this budget. I recommend the FM change the suitcase next time to a back-pack or something that’s more contemporary so that you can bring the opposition on your side to some extent. Else they will always keep shouting and screaming like a ‘responsible(for all the noise) opposition’, no matter how many benefits you announce for parliamentarians, ex-parliamentarians, their kith and kin in the budget.

Another main item(no number though) in any budget’s agenda will be to reduce the number of people living under the poverty line. The measures towards achieving this include a budgetary proposition to lower the line further so that more poor can jump to the other side. In the past also many poor who tried jumping over the line have broken many national records in that process, some even broke their own necks as well. It’s also worth noticing that this time the FM aims inclusive development, unlike earlier where we were looking for exclusive development. This in my opinion is a good move because a change is always good, look how Obama won the presidential election hands down.

Agriculture is one sector that will always get a higher amount set aside in every budget, I recommend we stop this because our agricultural production is always inversely proportional to the amount set aside Y-O-Y. Though this could be explained economically that the more money you set aside, the more will be ‘consumed’ by the babus and middle men, I would like to go superstitious on this because after all our entire agriculture sector depends on the divine intervention of rain gods. I suggest we set aside less money and more rain-pooja equipments for the agriculture sector next year on, and to ensure more religious coverage, set aside few Mullas and Pastors as well.

Then next big topic of budgetary discussion will be the amount set aside for uplifting our under performing Public Sector Undertakings or PSUs. I assume this year also the FM has followed the tradition of pumping more and more tax money into them because only then they can live up to their name – of being Undertakers of Public’s money.

I’m forced to wind-up this analysis here for two reasons. One that I’m an economically weaker science graduate to analyze it any further, secondly I’ve a solitaire game going on parallel and I find it much more amusing at the moment. But one thing that I would say is that this is not an inclusive budget as the government proclaimed, the FM missed out setting aside funds for many of the emerging weaker classes in our society such as homo-bi-a-trans-sexuals, young MPs, Ex-terrorists, LokAyukta victims, Left party general secretaries, Sania lovers…the list is long. That’s why I say this is not a complete, inclusive budget at all.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I had been a regular reader of Newsweek, initially by subscribing hard-copies and later through web because I turned green environmentally and red financially by then. I chose Newsweek because Fareed Zakaria was making a lot of sense most of the time irrespective of what the rest of America and the East thought about each other.

But this one article that appeared in Newsweek website recently surprised me, which presents us "The Fifty Books of our times" . I went and browsed through the list, eager to find some of the greatest works in world literature. The authors started with 'We know it's insane', 'no one needs another best-of list etc', and I was wondering then what are they up to. But on reading the list, I got why they are taking an advance bail. I think a more apt title could have been "34 American books of our times and 16 others to make it 50". So the conclusion is that literature doesn’t exist in any other parts of the world. Sartre, Camus, Chomsky, Kafka, Marquez… such names simply don’t belong to our times, may be they are all too futuristic? Or I’m too dumb? Yes, you guessed it right, the answer is - both.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The pink panther show

This report says dozens of National ‘Panthers’ Party members protested against a court verdict that legalizes homosexuality. Good to know that there are still dozens of panthers left in the country and also that they are all heterosexuals because if such endangered species turn homosexual, it will be a big concern for the conservationists and the wild-life department.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Racial nuts

It’s high time the United Nations declare racism against Indians as a pandemic I think, its spreading faster than all the other flues put together. Here is another victim, a town councillor of Indian origin in the U.K whom a fellow councillor called “Coconut” . Your question obviously will be can inanimate things like nuts have race, well the answer is that anything that can symbolically represent a race can also be a racial thing. Since coconut is 'brown outside and white inside’, it perfectly resembles a person of Indian origin living like a white in the West, hence coconut is a racial nut is the theory.

Now if we extend this theory further, we can associate many other human groups with fruits, vegetables, nuts etc. Here are some that comes to my mind right now,

Onion – Layers of skin, nothing inside – Politicians?

Castor beans – Black outside, poisonous inside – Lawy...ok, I don’t want to get sued, so let me stop imagining further, you can continue.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Majority, minority and the rest

I’m a strong believer of democracy because I don’t have another alternative to strongly believe in. But that doesn’t mean I’m in agreement with majority bullying minorities, I value rights of minorities of all types, as long as they don’t hold hundreds of neutrals* hostages in traffic jams by conducting rallies in cities to score over their majority counterparts. This post is on some of the challenges our country is facing today because of having too many kinds of majorities and their corresponding minorities with many unfortunate neutrals getting caught in between.

As I stated earlier, I respect minorities, be it the religious, racial, trans-racial, cultural, trans-cultural, genderal(a better word than ‘sexual’, which makes me feel ‘harassment’ follows), trans-genderal, linguistic, professional, physiological, psychological, habitual … the list goes on which means I got to respect almost anybody because everybody is some or other type of minority in our country. Now that more and more of these minorities are coming out of the closets where they claim the majority had hitherto locked them in, I think the government should take a strong stand on their rights and wrongs to avoid majority-minority tussles.

What is the most essential thing a typical minority needs? Freebies? Job reservations? Educational concessions? Or is it constitutional equality? All these can be arranged easily by amendments in the law, which is easy. But if the problem is the attitude of majority towards them (neutrals are neutralized, they have no attitude, no emotional attachments, no particular affinity towards anything anyway), then we got to plan better because that involves a lot of work. We might have to try all four ancient political methods - Sama, Dana, Bheda, Danda (in the reverse order as we always do) – to stop the majority’s discrimination against the corresponding minority. Let me explain why this is difficult with a scenario study(Please note that the scenario is fictitious, any resemblance to any majority/minority living or dead could be because you are a pervert).

Say you are a member of majority who think men are men and women are women, and children are of both, by both, for both is the only possible ‘genderal’ orientation. For argument sake let’s call this majority as ‘the shortsighted’. It’s not that easy to educate you that among other groups of people things are not that simple, there men can be either men or women and women can be either women or men and some men and women can be both while some others can be neither, depending on what the situation demands. This many permutations and combinations are simply too much for (majority) shortsighted to accept because they are all bad in math.

Now the question is how do we educate them? Can we have school text books changed? That means Kabil Sibal and his team got to do hell a lot of rework on the present education system that they are already planning to mess-up, especially places where we teach morality, religion, physiology, anatomy and stuff like that. Now even if we decide to educate the younger generation of ‘shortsighted’ against discrimination, what about their adults? Mr.Sibal has no control on them, he cannot bring them back to school except for the usual Parent-Teacher pandemonium, unless of course somebody sues all the ‘shortsighted’ adults and hires Mr.Sibal as the attorney.

Now let us look at the possible ways to influence adults. One option is by using Mr.Chidambaram and his forces to force them to accept the minorities, but this is 21st century and we are a democracy, Mr.Chidambaram will not do anything that will get his party voted out in the next election, public is simply too aware these days. The other option is to hire Amitab Bachchan, Rajani Kant and the likes to run ad campaigns. Again a lot of adults are not fans of movie stars, who will influence them? Can we hire Bollywood item-girls to do the job? I doubt because there is a limit to how much flesh somebody can eat, also what about ‘shortsighted’ adult women? Bollywood’s Chest-nut item-boys look too dumb to influence their own girlfriends, let alone somebody else.

Now, there is another future problem as well. Say somehow we managed to play a lot of cards – Mr.Sibal, Mr.Chidambaram, Mr.Bachchan, Miss.Fleshly, Mr.Chestnut etc – and somehow managed to make the majority accept the minority. Then what if the majority transform to minority - like what happened in the case of religions in the past - seeing the privileges, freedom etc that the minority enjoy? Don’t we have to again start from scratch (our own backs I mean) to safeguard the majority who now became a minority? That’s why I say the majority-minority equation in our country needs a clear strategy to handle; it’s a very complicated problem, more complicated than even Rakhi Sawant's Swayamvar I would say.

Unfortunately, I’m not a philosopher, political thinker/tinker, think tank, water tank or not even a tv-expert to suggest a solution to this ever prevailing problem, all I can say is this majority vs minority is an issue that needs more government attention, it needs a permanent solution that takes care of the interests of both minorities and majorities of all kinds, at the same time protect the neutrals who just want to live their lives, pay their mortgages, bring up their children and die.

*Neutrals - those who enjoy neither majority, nor minority status and privileges.