Sunday, December 24, 2006
As I was putting together the second short essay about our Prime Minister (Dr.) Man-Moron Singh, I noticed two interesting transformations occurring before me. And how the media and the public willingly suspended disbelief to allow that to happen.
The first was the transformation of Afzal Guru -- from a ruthless, cold-blooded, murderous Jihadi to a "family man".
It all started within minutes of the Supreme Court declaring Afzal Guru guilty and sentencing him to death. Predictably, the judgement stirred the tender sensibilities of India's conscience keepers (epitomised by folks like Prannoy Roy, pseudo-sec apologists, JNU-wallas, jhola-wallas, among others) . What we have here is a miscarriage of justice.
The Supreme Court had become Communal.
The mention of that word was enough to send the media ballistic -- like a sniffer dog that had just found a huge cache of cocaine.
And the dog bared its fangs -- its sharpest, ugliest and most vicious fangs.
Enter Rajdeep Sardesai -- who humiliated and reduced to tears the families of the killed security folks, making it sound like it was their fault that Afzal Guru was given the death sentence.
Other enterprising TV channels had sound bytes of Afzal Guru's mother -- weeping that her son was innocent.
Barkha Dutt held the usual perfunctory debates, where the conclusion has already been drawn: India is "harsh on its minorities".
Arundhati Roy used the occasion to write another book that will earn her a handsome royalty and get her invitations to sundry "guest lectures" in Bush-whacked America where she can weep for the poor Afzal, along with other terror apologists.
After the fangs had torn into Indian minds, repeating "innocent" ad nauseam, Afzal Guru emerged... mysteriously... inevitably... inexorably... innocent.
The Government notes that it will take them 7 years to do something, as the utterly destroyed and demoralised families of the martyrs return their medals.
Truth by repeated assertion has worked its magic.
The other transformation was of Sanjay Dutt -- of a gangster into a 'man of peace'. Notice, how perfectly timed it all was... days after appealing for bail, Dutt visits a home for children with cancer.
Awww... how can this soft-hearted Gandhian be anything close to a terrorist?
A tragic study of how emotional positioning can be effectively used to gloss over real crimes.
In stark contrast stands another killer -- Manu Sharma. In reality, Manu's crime, though equally heinous, is a far smaller offense. Mr. Sharma has committed a single homicide, Afzal and Co are mass murderers. But Manu is getting skewered, and rightly so -- after all he has no communal or political card to play.
We used to learn as children the Sanskrit Sholka (from the Upanishads):
Tamaso ma jyotirgamaya (Go from darkness to light)
Asato ma sad gamaya (Go from untruth to the truth)
Mrutyormaa amrutam gamaya (Go from [this] place of death -- to immortality)
Om Shanti Shanti shanti (Let there be Peace, Peace, Peace)
I guess the time is ripe for a remix of this old meaningless couplet --
Go from light to darkness, from truth to untruth and from immortality to the mortal!
With an intelligentsia and media that has bartered its morals and its sense of right and wrong.
This truly is kaliyuga -- the end of living and the beginning of survival.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Celebrating the achievements of PM (Dr.) Manmohan Singh
In early 2004,
Gone was the weak kneed Vajpayee (of the infamous Kargil debacle, and the famous Kandhar and bus trip successes), to be replaced by the strong and dynamic Manmohan Singh -- the man who unleashed liberalisation in
Does Manmohan Singh deserve all the credit?
Success, as they say, has many fathers. Failure is an orphan.
So it is with Dr. Singh's successes.
Many have sprung from the woodwork to claim credit for our PM’s success. Some say… “aah it was the communists that forced ... err encouraged... him to do that”, or “Sonia madame must have said so” or “this is the peril of a coalition”.
This is blatantly unfair, for at least two reasons:
First: Manmohan Singh is the Prime Minster of India. This isn’t some badly run business we’re talking about: this is the Government of India, a well run ship with a clear strategy. Further, these are not petty gains but dramatic victories. In a well run organisation, none of these can happen without strong leadership.
Second: It is unfair to blame leaders for failures but look elsewhere to celebrate success. If Bush gets the blame for having trigger happy deputies (e.g. Rumsfeld?), Manmohan Singh must get credit for the achievements of his team.
This set of essays begins with foreign policy, where arguably, the successes have been most spectacular (though his achievements in the field of minority development, educational excellence may be considered equally dramatic).
First fix your neighbours: Successes in Foreign Policy
No single area captures the statesmanship of Our Prime Minister like his achievements in the field of Foreign Affairs. In particular, his handling of
Highly successful sale of Indian security interests to Pakistan
Since being appointed PM (he was never elected, but what do people know about leadership?) Dr. Singh has superlatively handled our nasty neighbor,
But we are getting ahead of ourselves here. So we will start from the beginning.
As a first gesture, on coming to power, Dr. Singh immediately scuttled POTA (Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act). POTA was a draconian legislation that had allegedly offended the human rights of several terrorists. Some say this was at the behest of the Leftists, Madame Sonia, others; but the rightful credit must go to the man in charge.
Dr. Singh then established a most innovative solution for reducing terror: forming a joint terrorism reduction network with
They will see for example, how foolish terrorists left behind evidence trails that allowed Indian police to trace them back to
Manmohan has ensured that these efforts for efficiency are not hampered by Indian red tape and bottlenecks that habitually obstruct economic activity. Several jobs are actively being created in
With this masterstroke, painted across a global canvas (India, Havana, elsewhere), Manmohan has bested Chamberlain in negotiating “peace in our lifetimes”, against a remarkably hostile enemy.
Given the time constraints, Dr. Singh had to move quickly, ignoring Parliament in the process. Which is fine: after all, decisive leadership never works on consensus!
See the following references for more details:
“Annual reports” on the robust growth of terrorism:
An encouraging 2004:
A better 2005:
A spectacular 2006:
Man of action:
PM ignores prejudiced Police briefings (what do our Cops know? They’re lazy, corrupt and communal)
Instead of indulging in this nonsense, the Mumbai police should think creatively and establish a joint “crime reduction commission”. Imagine how powerful that would be: the men in khaki and the sundry dons of Mumbai sitting across the table defeating crime! Alas our cops know nothing, and are lazy, corrupt and communal.
Making it happen in
Coming next: Towards a nuclear and bright India
If the masterly handling of
I will post this article over the next few days.