Monday, January 30, 2012

Pioneer-Dilli Billi-Jan.29th.2012-"THE POWER OF FOUR"


Four women have been making news. They are tough & ensured they succeed in a man’s world.

When it comes to women in Indian politics, people may be amused by the recent trend of politicians’ wives jumping into the fray, but the scene has actually been dominated and driven by four very different and unmarried women of power.

The first on the list is West Bengal’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. I am sure that nobody in the UPA can take a call on how to handle her. She is aggressive, moody and expresses her views vocally. One, of course, can’t take away the fact that she has had to struggle to reach where she is. Clad in a white dhoti and rubber chappals she has come a long way since she took oath. She has also taken a few U-turns on the way — becoming pro-maoist as soon as she came to power. It is unfortunate that nothing has been done to initiate peace talks with them.

Then we have Mayawati, the self-proclaimed messiah of poor Dalits. Behenji, in my opinion, should be the last person to talk about corruption. After all she has over the last four years has used her partymen to collect money for funding the election. But she has dropped them when fingers were raised on how corrupt the Ministers were in her party.

I wonder what Queen Victoria would have thought of Mayawati when she compared herself with Queen Victoria and Mughal Emperor Babar in her book. It is amazing how the Dalit leader, who is not known to have a clean image, has managed to throw out corrupt Ministers from her Cabinet. What is more surprising is that not a word has been heard from these Ministers.

No other political party would have been able to do away with so many heavyweight leaders and come out unscratched. This proves that Mayawati has never allowed any of her party leaders to reach that level.

How can we forget Uma Bharti. Though she is charismatic, she is also known to have a sharp tongue as many in the BJP and the media have been a witness to. She fretted and fumed and left the BJP. Now she is back. Hopefully her tantrums will be more controlled this time round.

And there is Jayalalithaa. She is known for not sticking to her decision. One does not know what her next move will be. She is a no nonsense lady. Ministers or officials who are asked to leave never get to know the reason for the orders. But her manners are impeccable and she is very sophisticated.

Despite their rudeness and tantrums, these four women are a class apart. It is amazing to see the confidence they have in their voters. They rule with an iron hand and no one dares to cross their path.

The tall leaders of the UPA have had their share of problems while dealing with them. One nevers knows if they are your friend or foe. One thing is, however, clear — they are tough bosses and they are here to stay and rule in a man’s world!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pioneer-DilliBilli-22nd.Jan.2012-"WHERE'S THE FUN GONE?"


Birthdays have become quite a money spending event. They lack love & personal touch of yesteryear.

Last week, I attended a birthday party of a two-year-old. It was an eye-opener. Hailing from a small town, values, traditions and family have always been a priority over everything else for me. Birthday parties at that time were celebrated with a lot of love and affection.

Things are done differently now. Most kiddie parties in the capital are celebrated in either five star hotels or shopping malls. Event managers are hired to make sure that everything runs smoothly. The family sits back and relaxes. The over-excited mother is happy with all the money being spent on the baby.

Sadly, there is no personal touch. There are swings, bouncers, toy trains and all kinds of latest rides for the children to enjoy. You name it and everything that money can buy is there for the children’s entertainment. The whole decor looks like a mini Appu Ghar. The menu is pastas, pizzas, chicken nuggets, noodles and, of course, McD burgers. The hosts arrive like guests bedecked in designer clothes and make-up done by professionals. The maids who accompany the children gets special box of goodies. The return presents are expensive toys — mobile phones and remote cars.

I wonder where the simple pleasures of celebrating birthdays has gone? Our birthdays had games like passing the parcel and musical chairs. Birthday cakes were simple and homemade. Pakoras, sandwiches and the channa bhaturas was the standard menu. There was no show of money however rich one was. Return present consisted of pencil boxes, rubbers and lollipops.

Today, the wannabe middle class goes all out to spend huge amount of money on such parties. Unfortunately, it all goes unappreciated. The invitees are dressed from head to toe in branded clothes. Yet, they are not happy. They complain about how cold the pasta was or that a certain dish was missing in the menu. There have been instances where the guests have left without wishing the child. The maids crib about the dabbas that they get. The children who attend the party complain that they didn’t get a certain toy. It has all become so materialistic these days.

Even though one should not be making fun of how people dress for such events, the dress sense of the people makes for a show. The heavy-built Punjabi ladies forget that a nice salwar-kurta or a sari will hide all the flab which tight jeans and boots can’t. It appears more like a comedy show of a fashion show that has gone horribly wrong. One really feels sorry for such women. They have given up their values, their culture and simplicity which our country is known for.

I miss those good old days when simplicity was the mantra. We wore simple frocks which were not expensive. We thoroughly enjoyed opening the presents one by one. A special treat on the birthday could be a picnic to a local park or a trip to the zoo. It was so much fun to play outdoor games.

Sadly, the children of today miss out on all the real pleasures of life.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pioneer-DilliBilli-15th.Jan.2012-"VOTE FOR THE RIGHT PERSON"


Election time is testing for the voter. But, one should not get swayed by pretty words of politicians.

Election time is a cause worry for the common man because there is uncertainty. It is also a time when the public is entertained the most. There is disgust as well as majority of politicians are facing charges of corruption or have done no work in their respective constituency. The public is wary as friends turn foes and the worst enemy suddenly becomes the best friend overnight. Self interest has taken precedence over everything.

If one goes into ticket distribution, especially in Punjab, it has become a family affair. If the relative can’t be given a ticket by the party, he stands as an Independent. Obviously he will get support from their relative in the party. After all there are only so many candidates that a party can accommodate because he happens to be related to the chief of the political party. It is surprising how wives, brothers, sisters and sons, without any political backing, qualify to run the Government the minute they win the elections.

In Uttar Pradesh, things run on similar lines. We see Ajit Singh’s general secretary and long time associate being given a warm welcome by the Samajwadi Party as she joins them leaving behind Singh. What value she will add to the SP is a million dollar question.

In such a scenario, one is impressed with the way Rahul Gandhi has taken it upon himself to lead the Congress in the UP Assembly elections. I think that he has the ability to take every Opposition leader head on. The hard work he has put in has become a topic of conversation within the Congress. The problem is that a few Congress partyworkers have become lazy and are finding it difficult to live up to Rahul’s expectations. Whatever be the outcome of the Assembly elections in UP, at least there is an admiration for Rahul’s campaigning in the State.

Meanwhile, Mayawati is busy cleansing the tainted Ministers from her party. She is throwing them out regularly. One wonders what she was doing for the past five years. The SP chief Mulayam Singh’s son Akhilesh Yadav still has to prove his mettle. As far as the BJP is concerned, it still needs to get its house in order and stop the infighting. In the midst of all this, one wonders what has happened to SP’s former heavyweight Amar Singh? The fact that he has not been in the news just shows that he is not being missed by anyone.

Coming back to Punjab. It may be easy for the family members to win as there is a Congress wave. It would be interesting to see how many Independents will win. But in these times of elections it is the politicians who need to sweat it out and the aam aadmi is the VIP for the time being.

It is a five-star treatment for them — dance, drama and food — the public is enjoying the show. But it is not likely to last forever, so the common man needs to make the most of the present situation.

One hopes he will vote for the deserving candidate and not be swayed by pretty words.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pioneer-DilliBilli-8th.Jan.2012-"AAM AADMI WANTS ACTION"


There is anger & frustration about how politicians work. It is time they worked for betterment of the nation.

The 2012 year is the year of the elections. Be it the Assembly elections in five States or the President’s election. The youth in the country is getting impatient and angry. He is aware of his rights and wants the people he elects to work for the betterment of the nation. The common man over the years has become a little more selfish when it comes to what he wants from the Government. The generation today, doesn’t really have to work very hard for the comforts of life. We, on the other hand, had to struggle before we could afford any luxuries. The younger generation feels that the world owes them a lot more than what they are getting. They are aggressive and more clever.

The youth today questions every move of the politicians and how they are running the country. There are many politician’s sons who have now forayed into the political arena. The father retires and the son takes over. It’s like a family business. Rahul Gandhi started a good system in setting up a democratic system even in the students’ elections and in the Youth Congress. Yet it has angered many who are upset that the leader they had chosen was rejected by the High Command. If the person had to be rejected why hold the elections?

We have SP chief Mulayam Singh’s son, Akhilesh Yadav, Parkash Singh Badal’s son, Sukhbir, Prem Kumar Dhumal’s son, Anurag Thakur, Farooq Abdullah’s son, Omer Farooq and many others who are at the top because of their. The trend is common across all parties. It is strange why these parties talk about a dynastic rule. At least Rahul Gandhi has taken upon himself to start a democratic system.

And it doesn’t stop at just running for a political post. Some have taken it upon themselves to run sports bodies like cricket. We have Chief Ministers and Union Ministers who support each other in this association and have a soft corner for each other’s welfare cutting across political parties. It is one big happy family even if they are on different sides. The aam aadmi who want to enter into politics or a sports association has no idea on how to break this bonhomie and gets frustrated.

So the question is how does a common man who wants to enter into politics break the nexus considering he has no political inheritance, money or a Godfather to support him? The truth is that is is almost impossible to break this link however, patriotic and well meaning the person maybe.

There has been noise about passing the Women Reservation Bill. But no consensus has been built, just like it happened for the Lokpal Bill. For now, the Women’s Bill is in the cold storage. The antics by our parliamentarians in Parliament over the Lokpal Bill left the nation shocked. It is sad when democracy is hijacked by senior politicians. I am sure even the young politicians are unhappy with the way things have shaped up. One wonders why it happens? Is it the selfish interest that takes precedence once the other is taken? Well, it appears so.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Pioneer-DilliBilli-1st.Jan.2012-"LET'S PRAY FOR HONEST PRAY"


2011 was chaotic. Hopefully, this year, the corrupt will be punished & good governance will be the mantra.

One can heave a sigh of relief that 2011 is over. Hopefully, 2012 will be better. In the last couple of years, India has emerged economically stronger. We are at par with other emerging nations in the world. Sadly, last year was filled with chaos, political upheavals and scams. But being an optimist and having complete faith in the Judiciary, I can look forward to more cases of corruption being solved. The aam aadmi is tired of cases against politicians.

The cases go on for a couple of years and then die down with the politician serving any punishment. Sometimes I feel we need is a dictator who will put the mess the country finds itself right. Selfish and opportunist politicians should be behind bars. I look forward to a responsible opposition taking the ruling party head on. I want Anna Hazare’s message to spread far and wide. Hopefully scamsters and tax evaders will be caught. The public needs to understand that the selfish and careless attitude of the allies of the Government. The common man must vote for one major party if they want good governance.

Hopefully, in 2012 our politicians and bureaucrats will declare all their assets including the money stashed away in foreign banks. The citizens, too, need to act more responsibly. They must protect Government property and treat it like their own. They must also know what their rights are and fight for it and challenge what is wrong. The choice of voting is theirs and it must be done with utmost care. With elections to be held in five States this year, every citizen must make it their duty to elect a politician who is honest and does work for the common good. We have seen how people who jumped into politics without any grassroot knowledge are not politically savvy.

A nexus exists between the politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen. Till now, it has done more harm that good. But I am of the opinion that this link can be used for the betterment of the country. I would like to see National Food Security Bill and NREGA be delivered with honesty and commitment. Doctors should be made to go to the rural areas and treat the poor. It is time we had a good health insurance for all, orphanages where the children are treated well and proper old age homes.

We try and copy everything that the West does. But we overlook how they treat those who are handicapped or are too old to earn a living. The West has a system which takes care of those who need special attention. We, too, need a similar system. Though our Government makes tall promises, it seldom delivers. The result — the rich are becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer.

Let us take a pledge that this year, we will vote for people who are honest, work for the good of the society, ensure that every citizen is safe, there is no crime against women, children are not abused, roti, kapda aur makaan is available to all.