Yesterday we derived confidence that the rule of law which we often skeptically say is plummeting in India and is often considered to be more absent than present finally made itself felt. The Supreme Court packed off “Sahara Shri” Subrata Roy to Tihar Jail as a common prisoner for his inability to come out with a concrete action plan to pay back Rs. 19,000 crores due to his investors. Continue reading
Yesterday, we saw the Chief of India’s Naval Staff hand in his resignation which was promptly accepted. Admiral D K Joshi submitted his resignation taking moral responsibility for the criticism against the performance of the Indian Navy over the last year. The Indian Navy, as you know, came in for a certain amount of flak after a series of accidents big and small. The sinking of the INS Sindhurakshak following a dockside explosion in August 2013 was shocking and this was followed by the recent accident involving the INS Sindhuratna. Continue reading
Come to think of it, I don’t dream too often. I mean in my sleep, not during the day. Yet there are dreams that I still vividly recall days, months and years after they have taken place. Why is this so? I was interested in researching more about dreams in general. What fascinates me is that dreams have an almost meaningless juxtaposition of people, places and events across different time periods. In a recent dream, I recall interacting with professional colleagues whom I haven’t spoken to for two decades and in the same dream featured some folk from my school days which dates back to five decades.
Charles Dickens wrote in his classic, ” A Tale Of Two Cities” : “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…”, Continue reading
Whenever a person of Indian origin makes the headlines in the United States, people in India tend to get very excited. I guess we take a vicarious pleasure in watching his/her achievements and feel proud that “one of us” has got to where he has. A recent story, of course, is that of 46-year-old Satya Nadella, who was appointed CEO of that powerhouse Microsoft yesterday.
Most of us spend long periods of time looking at computer screens or at the many gadgets that have become an integral part of our lives, like the indispensable all-purpose cell phone. Doctors report that increasingly people are being afflicted with computer vision syndrome and other such issues with our eyes. The computer vision syndrome is a condition which comes out of focusing our eyes on a computer display for long periods of time. Continue reading
Usually I don’t blog about politics but I am making an exception today as for the last month or so, the AAP ( Aam Aadmi Party) has been the centre of attraction in India after their most praise worthy performance in the Assembly elections in Delhi. As the name suggests the Aam Aadmi Party (as I understand it) seeks to represent the common man and largely came out of the phenomenal anti-corruption movement that caught India’s imagination under the leadership of Anna Hazare.
Some members of the erstwhile “Team Anna” went into active politics like Arvind Kejriwal and they formed the AAP. I must mention here that during the agitation led by Anna Hazare, I admired Kejriwal for his ability to connect with people and bring greater vigour to the movement. Shouldn’t I then be rejoicing that the AAP has formed a Government in prestigious Delhi? Here are the reasons for my disappointment:
1. I expected new standards of political conduct from AAP when they said they would do things differently. It was shocking to see them form the Government in Delhi when they accepted the outside support from the party they abused the most as being corrupt, the Congress party. I don’t think their explanation that the people of Delhi asked them to form a Government is a good one. On the contrary, it sets a dangerous precedent because in real life important decisions cannot be taken only because a large number of people support it by sending SMS. What was the alternative? If they were as principled as they claimed to be, and I expected them to be, they should have opted for a re-election. I believe they may actually have got more than 28 seats if they had adopted this course. Anyway, they didn’t and what followed disappointed me even more.
2. Their political decision as regards water and electricity smack of short-term expediency. To say they exempted a section of people from paying bills because they had not done so at their behest is most dangerous as a trend.
3. I am disappointed that their whole anti-corruption plank stands exposed as till date they have not taken steps to initiate any action against those like former Chief Minister Shiela Dixit who was roundly abused by them day in and day out. At one time Kejriwal said he had 300 + pages of proof of her corruption, now they are asking the BJP to provide evidence. Their website Pol Khol also no longer has mention of Shiela Dixit’s corruption.
4. Lakhs of people are said to have joined the AAP. Here’s where it becomes essential for them to have made a framework of their national policies on a variety of important issues such as defence, economics, internal security , health, education etc. They have been in power for less than a month, but they became a party formally over a year ago. This gap had led to controversies with Prashant Bhushan’s stand on nuclear power and referendum in Jammu & Kashmir.
5. While more eminent people like Meera Sanyal, Capt. Gopinath and Mallika Sarabhai have joined the party, this raises the question of who is an aam aadmi? These are very well off, to put it mildly and hardly qualify for being the typical aam aadmi in a literal sense. If you go by the earlier understanding that the aam aadmi was someone who was not the big bad, corrupt morally weak politician, this no longer holds true as they have joined a political party and have become politicians themselves. It is now emerging to be a left of centre party.
6. Controversies regarding U turns in decision-making , be it about Kejriwal’s accommodation or about Janata Durbars are not exactly adding to my confidence of the maturity of its leaders. I believe they tend to oversimplify things. Kejriwal said there was not much difference between the number of rooms in his current apartment and the new one he planned to take up. He forgot to take location into account, there being a world of difference between his current location in Ghaziabad and the apartment in question in a posh area of Delhi.
The next few months will be very crucial for the AAP. They have made it clear that the Congress is not a factor in the General Elections in 2014. How they will perform is anybody’s guess. They may shine, they may fall but as of today, these are some reasons why they haven’t got me on board the AAP band wagon.
Another year has flown past. Another year for you of achievements, disappointments, victories and setbacks, but then that’s part of life. We need to gear ourselves up for the challenges ahead. In this, the last post, for 2013 I would like to point you to a few inputs which could help you, as a young professional, or a budding professional, face up to the challenges that 2014 will bring with it. Continue reading