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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Union Health Minister, Anbumani Ramadoss, is targeted for his statements on the consumption of alcohol on-screen.

First it was Sharmila Tagore, the Censor Board chief, dismissing his statement and asking him to concentrate on other pressing activities pending Health Ministry’s action. Then it was the Big B, who wondered –“Now the Health Minister, Mr Ramadoss, is asking film stars to stop drinking scenes in their films. First the smoking, then the drinking. Hola!! What next?,”. Finally, it is the turn of our own ‘Puratchi Kalaignar’ Vijayakanth to give his valuable comments on this issue – “First, he should try to find out the reason for the death of the children… then he can talk about the actors. There are so many issues which have to be taken care by him. I appeal him to do that, instead of indulging in such kind of activities

My 2 cents on this

  • Though there are open issues in the plate of Health Ministry, they are free to interfere and decide on matters which they feel necessary
  • I can give many instances, where teens start smoking or drinking, to imitate their favorite actors on-screen
  • Rampant drinking scenes, like staggering on the roads with bottles and inebriated tussles, should be avoided
  • Scenes expressing the idea of ‘love-failure-leading-to-a-drunkard’, should be avoided
  • Scenes where female actors intake alcohol and behave in a dastardly manner, should be scrutinized and avoided as possible
  • Smooth scenes like drinking in a bar over dinner may be permitted, based on their importance to the movie, as such

In summary, I do not wish to criticize either Anbumani Ramadoss or Union Health Ministry, for their decision to ban drinking on-screen. The ban must be a little flexible, but making sure that their objectives are met.

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After quite some time, a nice political speech has been delivered.  The power of young mind was clearly visible in the text of the speech.  I am referring to the one made by Rahul Gandhi at the AICC one-day session, in New Delhi.

The core of his speech revolved around the changes that need to be made to India and also on developing the youth congress as a meritocratic community.  A lot has been said by other leaders in Congress and also their peer political parties, about the development activities.  But the common man (‘Aam aadmi’ – pun intended) is yet to taste the sweetness of the fruit.   In India, plans made for public welfare turn out to be similar to a budget made by a lavish bachelor.  A lavish bachelor makes elaborate saving plans at the beginning of a month, but ultimately would find himself with no money on the last week of the month.  Public welfare plans are facing the same fate.  A lot of vigor has been shown by Rahul in his speech and I would be more than happy if it translate in to actions.

Indian politics is in dire need of young and educated politicians, to get an uplift.  Young minds are the source of ideas, that can develop and move the nation into the path of success.  Older minds are always needed for their experience, but the younger blood is needed for innovation and action.  In this context, Rahul Gandhi’s emergence as a full time politician, sounds good for the Congress.  If he succeeds in building a Youth Congress, consisting of people with high attitude and energy, then he would have done a lot of justice to his party.

Rahul – you have expressed your ideas and created huge expectations in the minds of the Indians.  We are looking forward to something from you, which might change the face of Indian National Congress! The countdown starts…

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BJP and other Hindutva parties are keenly looking for opportunities to criticize the ruling coalition Government.  And they seem to be missing no chances.  First, it was the Nuclear Deal with the US and now it is the Sethusamudram project.  The controversy has revived following an affidavit filed by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).  This affidavit is claimed to have hurt the Hindu sentiments, by declaring Ramar Setu (or) Adam’s bridge as a “non-man made” structure.

Adam’s Bridge or Ramar Setu represent the limestone formation south of Rameswaram, leading up to north western Sri Lanka.  This formation has two different stories behind it.  According to the Hindu epic ‘Ramayana’, Lord Rama built this bridge with the help of Vanara Sena to travel across the ocean to Sri Lanka, to get back his abducted wife Sita.  Another story from Islam claims that, this bridge has been used by Adam to reach Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka, where he stood repentant on one foot for 1000 years (This peak also has significance in the Buddhist Religion).  Whatever the reality may be, this bridge has great religious significance.

The sea across this bridge is very shallow, making passage of ships next to impossible.  Thus all ships heading to the eastern part of India must travel around Sri Lanka.  Dredging this shallow region would enable ships pass through this strait, thus reducing about 30 hours of travel time.  This would improve trade and also help the ports on east coast of India to flourish.  It was with this vision in mind, the Sethusamudram project was born.  Main controversy around this project was religious in nature.  But the DMK Government, which strongly believes in atheistic policies, had no problems in giving a kick start to the project.

For many years, number of researches have taken place around Adam’s bridge and many conclusions were drawn.  NASA has analyzed the structure and given diplomatic conclusions, mainly declaring the structure as a natural formation.  But a research by Geological Survey of India suggests otherwise.  They have proof to show that it is impossible for a structure like this, to be formed naturally.  Similar contradicting results were drawn by various researchers in the past.  (Research findings)

The controversy which was dormant for some time, is back in the limelight, thanks to the affidavit filed by ASI.  In a Hindu-majority country like India, any move that hurts religious sentiments would be viewed as blasphemy.  With DMK so serious at this project, Congress had no option, but to encourage.  But it had shot back like a boomerang.  With the 123 Agreement still in a quagmire, Congress has set a wrong foot again.  Proceeding with the project would make Congress unpopular among the Hindus and scrapping it would not please DMK.  Cultural Minister, Ambika Soni has been made the scapegoat of all this fiasco and it is not yet known, whether she would be able to retain her ministerial berth.

It is ideal for the Congress to set up a committee which analyzes and works closely with all the researchers, who have spent considerable time studying the Adam’s bridge.  The major objective of this exercise should be to identify the ways to carry out the Sethusamudram project, without causing considerable damage to Adam’s bridge.  If not, the next route for the Congress is to look for ways, to convince DMK against the project.  I cannot believe that the third option will be used by the Congress, to continue with the project, against all the opposition.

Let us hope that Islam or Buddhists don’t join the Hindus in claiming the religious significance of Adam’s Bridge.   In that case, Sethusamudram project might definitely come to a demise.

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Rangasamy, Back from hibernation!!

Nowadays around the Parliament, only 4 words could be heard – US, 123 Agreement, Hyde Act and Sovereignty. I decided to dig into this and report the latest status to our readers.

Outside the Parliament there were a group of politicians. From a distance it looked like BJP members…

Me: Rajnath Singh Ji. What is the problem all about regarding the Nuclear deal?
Rajnath: Indian Sovereignity. That is the only word I can say.
Me: What do you mean by sovereignty sir? Can you elaborate?
Rajnath: Hmm ha…hmm… Don’t ask me too many questions… 123 Agreement is a danger to Indian Sovereignty and UPA must be thrown out so that we can be back at center. This is a very good chance for us. How can we miss it? Only that I know…

Then there was a conclave of the Left party members. They did not seem so excited as BJP members, but still a lot of discussions were going on.

Me: (To Mr. D. Raja) Sir, what do you think could be the implications of the 123 Agreement?
D. Raja: US is trying to fool India. 123 Agreement says US must meet the Hyde Act provisions. Hyde Act is way to ‘hide’ many details from us, which will be a danger to our country.
Me: But, Nuclear energy will help improve India’s power generation….
D. Raja: Develop power with coal. That is what we have been doing…
Me: But Sir, Coal based power generation contributes to Global Warming…
Raja: What is global warming? Is it a new agreement between India and US…

Ultimately I happened to meet the man behind everything, Dr. Manmohan Singh.

Me: Sir, What do you think could be the final outcome of this agreement? Are you confident to convince Left and the opposition?
Manmohan: We are sure that 123 Agreement is good for India. But for us being in power is also important. How can we strain our ties with Left? It is like a suicide.
Me: If you are sure that 123 Agreement is good for our country, why don’t you proceed with it.
Manmohan: We staying in power is first priority. Then the priority of the nation comes… Only if we stay in power we can server our country nah…

As I was coming out, I happened to meet Mr. Prakash Karat. He was very serious about something. I could hear only a few words uttered by him. “India can attend IAEA meeting coming up, but nobody should speak the word ‘Safeguards’. If that is the case, then we will withdraw support from the Government…”. So the committee, which goes to attend the IAEA meeting must ‘safeguard’ themselves, by making sure that nobody uses the word ‘safeguard’ in any of the meetings. 🙂

Now the country is witnessing the drawbacks of the Coalition Government!!

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Ms. Prathiba Patil! The whole of India is very happy at your elevation to the most honorary position of the country and we congratulate you on that.  But we would like to remind you that Presidential election is not a race – a race gets completed, once a winner comes out of it, but not an election.  Your real race starts only now.  You are leading a large group of varied people.  There are millionaires in the group and also people earning less than a dollar per month.  One side of India’s face is shining, but the other side is gloomy.  We are very proud at a woman occupying the Rashtrapati Bhavan for the first time in Indian history; but at the same time we are worried about female foeticides and dowry related grievances all over the country.  GDP is rising and inflation is contained; but still farmers are committing suicides.  Inclusive growth in Indian economy is still only in letters and not in spirit.  Everyone of us look at the President as a role model; one who shows the path and leads the way.  We want the President to be independent and not biased towards the ruling party.  With UPA so particular about their candidate (and that is you), we see it as a strategy to have a favorable person at the topmost position.  But, we would be happy if you prove us wrong.   We have a lot of faith in you to help the country.  You have the best of opportunities in the world to serve a country.  We are sure that you are capable to do wonders in this position.  We are proud of you; we look at you for our better future.

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I have read during my innocent days, that don’t care a shit about those who constantly make noise. It is due to the absence of anything significant, that they make noise. I have seen many such instances in my life – the latest one being the Presidential elections in the ‘Republic’ of India.

There were a herd of politicians headed by Jayalalitha, Chandrababu Naidu and Mulayam Singh Yadav, who were shouting about boycotting the presidential elections. Very much like the chameleon that these politicians are compared with, a good majority of them have forgotten their ‘ideals’ and voted in the elections. We are made to believe that the democratic ideals got better of the political ideals, and thus made them vote.

This is very much expected of these politicians. When they give impossible promises during the election campaign and comfortably forget them after being elected; when they switch between parties not logically but opportunistically; nothing better can be expected. Also I read about some politicians speaking in public about the candidates that they have voted for. Then why go for ballot system and elections, when the individual choices are made public? Basics of democracy are very much absent with these politicians and those who have elected them to the constituency must be ashamed.

Overall, the presidential elections have turned out to be funny times for the public, with politicians playing games in the center.

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I have always charmed the position – ‘The President of India’.  Like a CEO of a corporation or Managing Director of an organization – the President is the chief of an entire nation.  This straightaway implies that the President must be good at governing people.  Thus, when electing a president, one must consider various aspects and the choice must be unanimous.

But what is going on right now in India, is nothing short of a constituency election.  Like how a normal election has several contestants, the presidential arena is crowded with candidates.  It is very clearly seen, that the political parties are trying to choose a person for the topmost position, who might be faithful to them when in power.  So this is nothing short of POLITICS.  By letter and spirit, the President of India must be insular to political parties and their influence.  If this not going to happen, then it is better to scrap the position from the Indian constitution.  A president, who is influenced by ruling parties in the decision making process, is better non-existent.

So the political parties must understand the real role and duties of the President of India and come to a consensus on the candidate.  Otherwise, it is better that India is without a President!

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