Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pioneer-DilliBilli-April.29th.2012-"Congress is losing ground steadily"


 The Congress’ dismal performance in the elections continues. Its top brass continues to keep its ears and eyes closed. This is not good for the country.

After the loss of the MCD elections in Delhi the Congress is even more demoralised. After the debacle in various States one had thought that Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit’s personal image may save the day for the party. But sadly that did not happen. The overall poor performance of the Congress led UPA-II overshadowed everything.

Dikshit is one of the popular leaders that the Congress has today. The three time Chief Minister has obviously delivered what she promised and hence, has been voted to power time and again. The Congress has very few Chief Ministers who live up to the expectations of the people. Despite the fact that she has been surrounded by controversies over various issues, she still manages to hold her ground.
In Maharashtra, things are no different. The Chief Minister, Prithviraj Chauhan has an honest and clean image. For now, he is not succumbing to the State’s builder’s lobby which can corrupt even a saint. But he is being tagged as slow. The Mumbai Municipal elections were dismal for the Congress.

In Himachal Pradesh the party boycotted Virbhadra Singh’s son Vikram Aditya who had won with a thumping majority in the Youth Congress elections. By asking for fresh elections by Foundation for Advanced Management of Elections (FAME), the High Command was not able to do much about the Congress’ image in the State. In the re-election Virbhadra Singh’s candidate again won with a majority. The result — the Congress workers have developed a bad image towards FAME and High Command.

In J&K, when Ghulam Nabi Azad was the Chief Minister many projects were announced. The projects that were finished during his tenure are the only ones with showed results. The rest of the projects are still in the pipeline. The developmental work is the State is exactly where he left off, even though the National Conference is the party’s ally. It should be the duty of the Centre to see that development takes place, at a steady pace, in States which are ruled by them or by the allies to make sure that they come back to power.

In Andhra Pradesh, the infighting in the Congress has left everybody confused. The end result is that no developmental work can happen in the State for the moment. It is impossible for the Congress to come to power in States where regional parties are in power. Their leaders are more popular with the aam aadmi.
It is very unfortunate that the party’s image has taken a bashing that it is near impossible for it to make up for lost ground. Even if one forgets about the corruption charges the common man’s needs of roti, kapda aur makaan are yet to be met.

The price rise and inflation has hit not just the poor man but also the middle class in the country. The sad part is that the attitude of the Government remains unchanged. It continues to ignore the plight of the common man, has an arrogant and stubborn approach to everything.

But it has forgotten that the youth of this country, comprising of over 65 per cent of the voter today, is aware what is happening around them. They have realized the power of their vote and are using it. The Ministers in the UPA-II have on several occasions said to the media that India is a ‘democracy, let the public decide not the media’.

Well, the public has spoken. It’s a wake-up call. But strangely the top brass in the Congress continues to keep its ears and eyes shut. They are living in their own world. India’s image has taken a steady fall in the last two years. This scenario is not encouraging either from the economic perspective or for the country where corruption has become a norm of the day.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pioneer-DilliBilli-April.22nd.2012-"Congress stands corroded""


Regional parties are making full use of the mess surrounding the UPA Government, especially the Congress, to strengthen their position and base.

The entire nation is familiar with how the UPA allies and regional parties are flexing their muscle because of the weak leadership of UPA-II. It is not only annoying but also a scary situation for the ordinary man. Since day one, the UPA-II Government has been rocked with scams involving its allies.

The telecom and other scams happened right under the nose of the Congress leadership. The row between the Army chief and the Government has not set a good precedent. It is the first time that the Army has had a verbal duel with the Government. For the aam aadmi, the Army is above everything. They are a class apart and politicians are no match when the question of integrity arises in the Forces. A soldier dies for the country’s honour. For the common man, it is not just the soldier who commands respect, even his family is worthy of respect. People salute those who are in the Forces.

The fact that the Forces have been in the news for all the wrong reasons is a shame. The Shimla Annandale land being grabbed from the Army for sporting activities by the Himachal Pradesh Government is unfortunate. Why could the Government not let the land be used to build family quarters for soldiers? What is the reason for constant attack against the Forces? They are the backbone of the nation. It is sad that the Army is being pulled into  scams and controversies.

UPA-II has spoilt the reputation of the Congress.  The MCD polls held in the Capital last week have also showed how the party has lost direction. The results of the Assembly elections held in Bihar, UP and Punjab have shown the preference of aam aadmi. It’s the silent frustration which the public was feeling that came out in the elections. UPA-II’s main gainers are regional parties and allies. Riding high on the Congress, they have made full use of strengthening their roots and weakening the Congress leadership. It’s a win-win situation for them. They are taking full advantage of the platform in Delhi and fight tooth and nail in the States to demolish the Congress from its roots. Price rise, inflation and corruption are corroding the Congress.
The Congress needs to stay in power at the Centre at all cost. One reason is that it is not used to sitting in the Opposition and most of decision makers are Rajya Sabha members who are used to power. After Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement, the public has concluded that the Government has no scruples and is corrupt from top to bottom.

The youth, today, is aware of what is happening due to the messages that are being spread by Anna and Baba Ramdev’s teams. They have exposed the Government’s double standards. Anna and Baba Ramdev have highlighted an issue that binds everybody in the country under one umbrella — the issue of corruption.
Strangely, the leaders are targeting those who have spread awareness rather than finding a solution to the problem. This is making the Government unpopular and the public angry. The regional parties are taking advantage of this. They are proving their mettle by working fast and delivering what they have promised. They are in touch with reality and know what sells. They don’t have any self-importance.
Under such a scenario, hats-off to the likes of Naveen Patnaik and Nitish Kumar. They are honest and humble and rule with a no-nonsense attitude.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pioneer-DilliBilli-April.15th.2012-"Congress needs a real people's leader"


Last week, Rahul Gandhi called a meeting of Uttar Pradesh MPs and MLAs along with some Congress office-bearers. The senior Congressmen who attended the meeting did not expect much. 

It is a known fact that sycophancy in the Congress takes precedence over everything else. When one MP spoke his mind, he was later told by his colleagues that his reactions were immature and too open. And what was it that he had said?

He was bold enough to point out that there were the loopholes in the co-ordination between the Centre and the State Congress units. He drove home the fact that one can’t fight State elections on computers. Leaders need to be available all the time for discussions and minute-to-minute changes and negotiations during an election. You can’t be switched off from seven in the evening to nine in the morning. A leader can’t be surrounded by a handful of advisors. He also said that 44 helicopters were on duty during UP elections but unfortunately, the party could not even get that many seats. Money flowed like water without any accounting and over 200 newspapers carried advertisements before and through the elections which was quite an expense. Never has any candidate or media campaigns been funded so much in any State by the Congress.

Meanwhile, Digvijay Singh and Rita Bahuguna Joshi submitted their resignations to the Congress president. All Congressmen are keeping their fingers crossed that what happened in Bihar is not repeated. After the debacle in Bihar, the State Congress president had submitted his resignation. Till date it has not been accepted and a new PCC president had not been appointed.

Things are no different in Punjab. After the the defeat of the party, the leaders are fighting and partymen are wondering at the High Command’s next move. By not taking a decision, the party is encouraging rumour mongers to have a field day which is a disaster for the morale of the Congressmen. Not only this, one becomes a laughing stock in the country.

All talk about money and personal relationships playing a vital part of selecting State leaders should be put to rest. The reins should be given to the person who can deliver. Deliverance and capability and his loyalty to the High Command should be the only criteria. In six months from now State elections are to be held in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. The elections in these two States is important for the Congress and the BJP.

Elections in Himachal will be tough for the Congress. Himachal Congress leaders have no connect with its grassroots party workers. The stature of a leader in any State should be monitored by popularity, experience and touch with the common man. Someone who spends more time in Delhi is not the kind of person who can deliver because if he was a man of results he would not stoop to chamchagiri. He would know the power of his strength in the State. That is how the Sharad Pawars were created. Leaders of that stature do not give in to sycophancy. The High Command needs to be careful in choosing State leaders from Delhi corridors. If the party looses in Gujarat and Himachal it will bring down the morale of the Congressmen. It will be very difficult for the party to to build its base from grassroots level again.

At the Centre, the Congress is completely run by UPA-II coalition partners. In States the party is losing base rapidly. Harsh decisions need to be taken. Older generations who have the experience of delivering steadily should be taken into confidence. The UPA chairperson and Congress president’s team needs to gear up and take some mature decisions. That is the only way the Congress can save itself.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pioneer-DilliBilli-April.8th.2012-"This Sach is too much to handle"


The reality show on Life Ok is an eye-opener for many. The fact that women continue to be abused by family members and relatives till this day and age is horrifying.

I  was surfing the television channels last week when I happen to come across a show called Sach Ka Saamna. Since I had read something about the show in the newspaper, I decided to watch it. One of the contestants on that day — the lady on the hot seat was called Hemlata. I don’t know the exact parametres and rules of the show, but one thing I understood — the person on the hot seat has to answer questions and the lie-detector will decide whether the answer is correct or not. The people who take part in this reality show must be truly amazing people. I don’t know whether the show is for real or scripted but it is an eye-opener for many.

Coming back to the show. The questions got tougher and the lady was asked whether she was abused by her father when she was a teenager. She said ‘yes’. Then she was asked if she had told her mother, the lady once again said ‘yes’. The lady also said that the abuse took place when the mother was not at home and when she came back she was told about the incident. But the mother asked her to forget the whole think and never talk about it. The lady was then asked if her brother had ever forced her to have sex with him. The brother immediately got up and pressed the orange light. So obviously it was true.

The programme intrigued me so the next day also I tuned into the channel. A young lady was asked whether she was ever raped. She said that an associate of hers had promised to help in her business. He called her at a hotel to meet some people who could help her, instead he raped her. Other questions that the host asked the people who came on the hot seat were whether they had ever cheated, abused and had extra-martial affair. The questions were extremely personal and that too in front of family members.

I am not criticising the content of the show. What is horrifying is that even in this day and age, women continue to be abused, molested and raped by family members and business associates. That incest exists in our society is a known fact. When reported, the elders hush up the matter to maintain cordial relations.

But what about the victim? The incident leaves the person scarred for life. It is extremely sad that we live in a society where the women are not respected. I am not talking about legal rights here, it is about family rights. From the day a girl is born, she is treated inferior to the boy. He is fed better and clothed better. The  girl is brought up with the sanskaar that she is supposed to suffer in silence come what may. If a girl is abused or raped, she brought it on herself.

One wonders what makes these people come to the show? Why would they want to reveal their darkest moment? Is it to clear their consciousness? Is it the money or is it because they want their moment of publicity and finally get even with their abusers?

For me it was like watching a horror show where one can win money but completely destroy the reputation of the near and dear ones, break their hearts and ruin the future of many family members. Imagine what is does to a family when a spouse declares on a television show that he have had extra-martial affair, cheated his colleague and even raped a woman. It requires immense mental strength by all involved to be able to live with the fact that the truth is out now.

What is the message that the show wants to send across? The participants have children, family and colleagues who watch the show. What future will they have now that the truth is out? I wonder how many relationships break due to these revelations. One feels really sorry for these people that their past mistakes resurface to haunt their present and future.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Pioneer-DilliBilli-April.1st.2012-"Lesson in moral values is must"


The new breed of children drive in their superfast cars with a false sense of importance. The blame lies with the parents who have no time for them.

I have been living in Delhi for over 20 years now but the city still manages to fill me with horror and amazement at the diverse lifestyles that exist. With affluence on the rise so are the problems associated with it. Today, most children who live life in the fast lane come from rich families. They love to drive Ferraris, Porches, Lamborghinis and jeeps, flaunt designer labels and can be spotted regularly at pubs.

This new breed of children, with their VVIP license plate numbers, drive around the city with a false sense of self importance. Since they are children of big business houses or have a political backing, it opens doors to everything where they want to go. The fact that most of them have got their degrees from some foreign university only adds to the pseudo importance. Of course, it doesn’t matter that the university from where they have graduated has never been heard of back home. It just needs to have a foreign stamp. The thin line between the nouveau-riche and those with old money is diminishing. However, the difference in the upbringing is easy to spot — the nouveau-riche are crass and are not apologetic about flashing their money.

They earn to spend on everything that they can flaunt — from cars to wearing designer labels to branded sunglasses to belts and shoes — everything they wear screams of money. Their egos are bigger than their bank balances. In short, they are rolling in money and think that the passport to getting accepted in the society is by showing their fancy car, huge house, a fat wallet and be seen at all the happening places. This class of people thinks that by giving away expensive gifts to friends, drinking and smoking will make them ‘hep’ instantly. They don’t think twice about undergoing cosmetic surgeries and fly to London for haircuts every six weeks. Going for surgery to lose weight is the done thing, whether it is good or not takes a backseat.

In the last few weeks, I have read a lot about the irresponsible behaviour of the 20-plus. Driving recklessly in their superfast cars and killing the innocent on the road has become a norm for them. One wonders who is to be blamed — the parents or the children?

To keep the children happy and prevent them from interfering in the busy life, parents today have forgotten to impart the right morals and values in their children. Instead they send them to expensive hostels and and once they have passed their Class XII, they are send to foreign universities. This behaviour in parents is appalling. The mothers attend kitty parties and the fathers are busy networking to give the message that they have ‘made it big’.

In order to keep the younger generation grounded, the parents will have to make a lot of sacrifices. They first need to cut down the pocket money and second, give children lessons in moral values. It is unfortunate that this breed thinks that scandals like MMS and coming in and out of rehabilitation centres is nothing out of the ordinary.

The sad part is that the under-privileged also wants the same kind of lifestyle and resorts to wrong means to achieve it. But can they be blamed?