Worst Swap Deals

Not many could have fathomed how terrible an alternative the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would be, for the erstwhile Indian National Congress (INC). While the latter keeps getting decimated with each passing election (albeit some minor positive upswings), it is quite clear the direction in which this nation aspires to move. While there are no formal metrics to analyze vote swings at a disaggregate level, it is quite fathomable (seeing the numbers) as to why this is something that needs to be mentioned. For there surely have been household-level decisions that led to this swap of choice. 5 years on, Modi ended up getting one more shot at arresting this slide (thanks to yet another landslide verdict based on unquantifiable metrics) but it seems like things will have to hit rock bottom before they improve. Not much of this predicament has led to a dialogue on fixing this mess other than toxic name-calling, blame game, and sometimes, sheer silence and ignorance.

Meanwhile, I received this classic on WhatsApp (in Malayalam):

It says, “they grabbed hold of things based on a wild majority but there seems to be no one capable of riding this vehicle. Any resemblance of this post to the state of the Indian economy is purely coincidental…”

I think this disastrous swap that most Indians are complicit to simply blows away the monumental failure of a swap between Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Also, RIP alternative punditry.

One more fast-unto-death, Mister Anna Hazare??

So, this joke called Anna Hazare decides to go on a fast-unto-death from tomorrow, his second or third fast with absolutely no results one must point out. Relentless. Earlier, the government used to atleast budge a little to his demands. That was until he did not have corruption in his own backyard. And once that got proven, nobody ever gave him a fuck too. That is actually the story of our country. We have a grand beginning to anything that happens. Although its a matter of time until it fizzles out as well. I had predicted this as early as August last year, in my article here.
 
In this case, any sensible man would have taken to account the sheer impossibility of the objectives, anna had set during his campaign. His dream of being a second mahatma, riding on the wave of a corrupt free India backfired for the first time really when we discovered the contradictions and the varying opinions coming out from the Anna camp. It gave the impression that the team had immense differences in opinion and never had a sound agreement over the core issue. His second mistake – joining hands with Baba Ramdev. Baba Ramdev himself has unaccounted assets worth billions in both land and money as far as the Scottish Isles. Ridding the country of black money would have had to start from their own backyard, something which is shameful enough to begin a possible downfall. 
 
 
Third and the most lethal one in my opinion was his dream of being a political alternative. Although it sounded very well, considering how much this country is fed up with the two major political powerhouses, one still cannot accept the reality of seeing a third alternative. And sadly, the third alternative will always be seen as the third best in this country. That explains the lean crowds that he has begun to experience for the first time since the campaign took off. He is not used to the thin attendances. And I am pretty sure there won’t be many takers for his fast-unto-death drama, starting tomorrow. With the recent digs at the media as well, apart from the political babus of the country, I believe they have managed to dig a deeper hole into their miseries. One wonders why they still vouch for media presence when all they have been doing is to trash them including. Subramaniam Swamy called them naxalites, in one of his recent meetings. I wouldn’t say the term naxalites is descriptive of team Anna and their campaign, but they sure seem no real alternative in this mega cauldron geopolitik environment prevailing in this country.   
 
My thoughts today are with those people who might eventually turn up for his fast-unto-death hoping for a change. This word change was first defined by Barack Obama in his political campaign in 2007. To be honest, there was no change at all since his election into office, if not for more wars and bloodshed. I would just like to tell these people that the change is a myth that certain people promise you, in lieu of seeking few personal benefits for themselves. The verdict is already out in the open for you all to take it and make an informed sensible decision on this regard. Its hot in Delhi – so sit back at home and relax with friends & family. Learn to accept the realities of life as they come in front of you and try to accommodate them in the best possible manner.   

On reinstating faith in democracy…

Going by the title, reflecting on the need to reinstate faith in the minds of people regarding democratic governance policies and institutions might be a bit too far fetched considering we haven’t been doomed as yet, some would say. But then, we are very much on that motion, winding down the lanes into believing that the democratic setup that we have been witness to, over the last 60 odd years has started showing signs of rupture and tear.
As I write this piece, riots have broken out in Ara, Bihar over the untimely killing of the Ranvir Sena chief. The MLA from Najafgarh has just been shot by unidentified gunmen in broad daylight. The government has simply failed to curb inflation, that which was INR 63 against a Euro is now standing at 73 in the space of 8 months. Fuel prices have shot up. The man accused in the biggest corruption scandal is out on bail and attends the upper house of Parliament, the next day. The national carrier which was once among the top 5 airlines in the world is sinking and nobody cares about it. Acute power shortages – while we complain of 2-hour outages in Chennai, some areas of New Delhi have had close to 8 hours and worse, some areas of Jammu and Kashmir have 18-hour power cuts. Mamata Banerjee’s paribortan drive took a turn for its worse and ended up splurging INR 9 crore on a private club team which won a private league (the debt of West Bengal exceeds INR 190,000 crore as of today). And if all this was not enough, the government tried to curb social media independence by attempting to filter online content which you and I release onto Google and Facebook, even taking them to court over-exercising this issue. 
 
And I for one, have always have had my reservations over the need to exercise my franchise over such a setup existing in the country, sometimes even going to the extent of saying that the British Raj was much apter than what is currently on display today – drawing a lot of flak expectantly from all quarters. All the above-given instances are just a minuscule into the conundrum that people are getting to be increasingly aware of and start inquiring on. Well, if you were indeed to ask me if after all this whether India was really shining as is being perceived by the west, I wouldn’t agree so. At least not right now. People need to be reinstated with renewed faith in the system prevailing. I don’t know how this will come about and I am no economist or a financial school cat to put in those hard terms on the forefront, simply for the lack of knowledge on them than anything else. 

Impatience and frustration are engulfing the masses and they won’t keep quiet for longer periods from now. And thus the need for reinstating faith – soft measures to stem the aftershocks of inflation and price rise, fast-tracking of the judicial exercises on the 26/11 attacks, stemming corruption (with or without Jan Lokpal), delineating dangerous coalitions like the Trinamool and the DMK to name a few could all be some positives that the babus of New Delhi could try to achieve. 
Although, having said that, there is one person who is “fairly positive” when it comes to the growth story of India right now – Bill Gates, who reiterates some faith on the situation in his recent interview to NDTV. Although I fail to understand how its always good to know. Excerpts from the interview are attached along with this post:
   

By the way, Travel Trails have been updated with new photographs just to remind everyone.