Sunday, April 13, 2014

And now, something for Rahul Gandhi

A friend of mine pointed to me that I should ask questions, not only to Arvind Kejriwal, but also Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi. Well, I want to, because no party is perfect, nor has any party in India provided a sustainable plan for India's development and progress. So, I decided let's start with the Grand Old Party of India's youth icon, Shri Rahul Gandhi.

Dear Shri Rahul Gandhi,
 With you being the Indian National Congress' de-facto nominee for the Prime Minister's post, the voice of the youth, the one bestowing the 9 rights, lone fighter of corruption I have a few questions for you. My only worry is the reply to most of my questions being "RTI and women's (or womens') empowerment." Or you lobbing the question back to me an asking me "what would you do about it?" But please, since your party aspires you to be the PM, I hope you will answer the questions of a concerned citizen of India.

  1. What is it with you being called "youth icon"?
    You were born in 1970. And you are being called a youth icon! Isn't that ironic? Don't you feel embarrassed by this? I mean, Sachin Tendulkar, who is three years younger than you has already retired from his primary occupation of playing cricket. And he is called a "senior sportsperson", an idol to be emulated and a role model. But where are you? I agree that the Indian constitution didn't allow you to debut before the age of 25, which gave Sachin a head-start of 5 years (he debuted in international cricket at just under 17), but then you were never seen involved with the students' wing of the Congress or its branch in Cambridge.  So, would mind shedding off the "youth icon" tag?

  2. Aren't you imposing a state's will onto people through the Right-to-food act?
    I agree that the intentions of such an act are noble. That those who aren't in a position to buy food for themselves, should receive the state's help. But then, isn't a better way of implementing this programme? By saying that we will give wheat, rice and millets at a cheap rate, aren't you imposing the state's will on to people, which goes completely against the tenets of a free democracy? There are areas where people rarely eat wheat or rice or coarse grains. E.g., Marathwada region in Maharashtra prefers to eat jowar and bajra, over wheat and rice. Or those in Konkan eat more of rice than wheat and millets. But then, because of the limits imposed by the food act, they would be forced to either buy the remaining from the open market or change their food habits. Is it morally correct to force people to alter their food habits? Moreover, by this act, you are also distorting the dynamics of agriculture, where you have ended up converting India into a wheat and rice country. Because farmers know that the government will buy their wheat and rice and hence aim to grow no other crop. Do you know edible oil is India's single largest agriculture import? An ingredient, without which no Indian dish can be cooked. That too, at a time when the FCI godowns are overflowing with wheat. With the government's procurements of wheat, rice and millets set to further rise, didn't you and your mother add another disturbance in the dynamics of the agriculture industry?

  3. Do you really, sincerely think that those nine weapons of yours will ease people's lives?
    You either tend to think or want people to believe that legislation is the best treatment for the malaise in public life. But, tell you what, once there is a system, there are loop holes. Everyone will exploit the loop holes in the system for his/her own benefits, thereby derailing the overall objective of the democracy. Please wake up from this day dream of yours, where you believe that legislation will cure the country of all ills caused by corruption. There is need for deterrence through prosecution and conviction of the accused, which the entire political spectrum in India today doesn't want to create. Even the Bofors case hasn't received closure and Sukh Ram got convicted by a lower court after fifteen years of trial! By contrast, Rajat Gupta's trial in the United States was over within 3-4 years right up to the Supreme Court.

  4.  You really feel that "Congress does not talk about one individual"?
    Yours is a party, whose president, D. K. Baruah, once said, "India is Indira and Indira is India." Now, you would say, that is history and the Congress has changed. That is difficult to understand. At least your grandmother had worked at various lower levels in the original Congress before she rebelled against that party and formed her own Congress(R), which was known as Congress(I), with I for Indira for quite a long time. And you have become the party's vice-president, before proving your mettle at lower or state levels, which many of the current AICC members have done. Do you still feel that Congress doesn't talk about an individual.

  5. For empowerment of women, will you do anything to undo the constitutional amendment emanating from the Shah Bano judgement?
    How about beginning from there. Your father had created this amendment, perhaps under pressure or wrong advice. His government overturned the judgement of the Supreme Court. If you want to empower women, can you begin from there. You will receive the BJP's support for that very easily. And your party will not go against what you say. So why not restore the rights of Muslim women for an alimony after divorce as per provisions of the civil law? This would be a great example of women empowerment that you keep repeating.
Sir, I sincerely hope that you will find the time to answer the questions.  They aren't  too many, because you are a busy person, but I would be grateful if you can answer them.
And now, something for Rahul GandhiSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Political fever catches me: My questions to Arvind Kejriwal

Dear Arvind Kejriwal. You have got me in the game. Since every body is asking politicians questions, I felt like asking you as well. I hope you will find the time to address those. Here are my questions. They are not too many in number, like those you submitted to the Chief Minister of Gujarat. So, I hope they won't take too much of your precious time.

  1. Why did you resign as the Chief Minister of Delhi?
    Only 48 days into the government, you gave up! In the drama of a resignation speech that you gave outside your party office, you claimed that it was because the Congress and BJP ganged up against you on the behest of Mukesh Ambani. But, you didn't bother to present any proof of that. We were supposed to believe that since the opposition put hurdles in passing an anti-corruption law, you resigned. And also because you filed an FIR against their (according to you) super boss, Mukesh Ambani. Then, you said that you didn't flee the responsiblities, and again repeated that they were colluding and not allowing the government to function. But pray, would you tell us what activities of the government were they stalling? Only the introduction of an anti-corruption bill, for which you too weren't following the procedures requested by the LG of Delhi! You haven't bothered to tell us what other activities were stalled! At least, the UPA claims that the opposition didn't allow passing of key bills, which is a valid point, doesn't matter what those bills were.

    Do you want to know what is not quitting and fleeing? Sachin Tendulkar batting in the second innings of the 1999 test match against Pakistan in Chennai, despite an aching back. He would have got his match fees even if he retired hurt, but he gave his best and though India lost, he didn't give up! Or fours years later, Anil Kumble bowling in a test match in West Indies, with a broken jaw. And claiming Lara's wicket. You know why they are considered role models? Because they didn't give when they felt things were going against them.

  2. Why weren't people consulted before you resigned as Delhi CM?Before forming the government in Delhi, you claimed to ask the opinion of the citizens of Delhi whether they wanted you to form the government. Then, you said that since there is an overwhelming majority of people wanting you to form a government, you are doing so. But then, what happened to the people's desires when you resigned? In my opinion, you have gone against the people's desire to withdraw from governing Delhi. You didn't ask for their opinion before resigning. You simply wanted them to believe that you resigned because the Congress and BJP were colluding to not allow the AAP government to function. Again, without a proof to back your statement.

  3. How did you determine that the KG-D6 gas costs US$ 1.00 to be extracted and hence shouldn't be priced at more than US$ 1.20?What is the basis of these figures? You are an IIT engineer. You must have done some project costing and analysis to come up with this figure. Why haven't you presented your analysis to the people? You are quoting final results without showing your procedure of calculations. Remember, as engineers we used to ask the professors about partial credit for correct procedure? Even the letter where you claimed that Narendra Modi himself wrote a letter to the centre to hike gas prices, turned out to be one written by the chairman of the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC), and not by the Modi government. Sir, the GSPC is a listed company, headed by a civil services (IAS) officer. How do you say that the chairman of a listed PSU is same as the government?

  4. Why are Delhi MLAs being given Lok Sabha tickets?
    You mentioned in the end of February that no sitting MLAs of the AAP will receive a ticket for the 214 Lok Sabha elections. But then, as of March end, Rakhi Bidlan is your candidate from a seat in Delhi, you are contesting against Narendra Modi in Varanasi. Pray, why this change in stance and why is there no explanation for this change? What if the Delhi LG invites the AAP to form a government in Delhi? Surely, Somnath Bharati can't become the CM!

  5. How are corruption and communalism two sides of the same coin?
    You said this in your speech, didn't you? But how did you reach to this conclusion? Are you saying that a corrupt person is communal and vice versa? Or that communalism leads to corruption? And corruption leads to communalism? Pray, how? I am at a loss to understand this!

  6. Is a letter signed by a PSU chairman an order of the government?
    You released a letter, written by the chairman of the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation, which is a public sector undertaking, claiming that it was a Gujarat government letter. Is it true that all PSUs are a part of the cabinet of any government? You were in the Income Tax department. Can you tell me then, is it possible that the profits that the PSU earns can be claimed as income by the government to which the PSU belongs? If yes, then fine. But if no, then how come a PSU chairman's letter becomes the letter of the government. No, if you say that the Gujarat government didn't stop the GSPC chairman from writing such a letter, then you are saying that governments should interfere with the business matters of the PSU. If you say, the government is forcing the PSU chairman to write such a letter, then please prove that. Further, the gas price that has been sought is for the GSPC's gas field, which will earn "windfall profits" for the PSU itself, not Mukesh Ambani!!
Sir, I know you are an extremely busy person, since you have to expose a lot of corrupt activities of politicians and business persons. However, I would be extremely grateful if you could answer these questions. 
Political fever catches me: My questions to Arvind KejriwalSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend