The Durga Nagpal Case.Is Honesty A Deal Breaker?

“Beta yeh India hai.Yahan tum system ko nahin, system tumhe badalta hai”. To my sad shock and surprise, my pessimistic uncle’s words ring true today, in light of the absolute nonsensical suspension of 2010 IAS Officer from the UP Cadre, Dugra Shakti Nagpal. This post is an attempt to file my, and by extension, a wide standing view of displeasure against the decision. However before I enter into my opinion, I would like to present the facts of the situation.
WHO?
Durga Shakti Nagpal, a 2010 IAS Officer from the UP Cadre who was a Sub District Magistrate(SDM) in Ghaziabad
WHAT?
She was suspended for allegedly demolishing an illegal mosque wall as she “lacked foresight and disturbed communal harmony” and suspending her was because of “administrative compulsion to ease communal tension”(As expressed by Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav)
WHAT?
This suspension is a clear act of revenge based tit-for-tat. Durga, in accordance to the UP government’s orders, was trying to stop the illegal sand mafia in her district. Fed up by her meddling in a near 500 Crore business/scam, certain mafia members with political connections are rumoured to have engineered this entire suspension
————————————————————————

In a modern day India, where the dream to change the country for the better is finding nearly no takers, the sad incident of Durga Nagpal’s suspension acts as a disastrous deterrent.
All reports indicate that Durga Nagpal only stuck to the law and the rule book. She in actuality, never issued any demolition orders. After her inquiry found the wall to be illegal, it was the locals themselves who pulled down the wall. However, somehow the spark lit the haystack, and the corrupt politicians have found a shoulder to fire their gun from.
However, it’s time that we don’t let this die. In such dire times, the nation needs to stand up for what’s right and by a direct relation, for Durga. Let’s stand up and show the country that the youth supports and backs honesty, integrity, service to the nation and above all, we shall always choose loyalty and love for the country over nonsensical corrupt political manoeuvres.

Go mad on Facebook. Tweet about it.Write Blogs.Do whatever you can. Remember, each drop forms the ocean and it shall never be an ocean, behest of that single drop.
Sources

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Chanakya’s New Manifesto by Pavan K.Verma-A Book Review

The Republic of India was born on 26th January 1950 after Hindustan gained independence on 15th August 1947. These two marvelous events are the important highlights of India’s history, results of a exhaustive meticulously fought revolution. Jump to modern day India. We are in the middle of a transformation, a revolution if you will. Yet, what we are missing is a concise pathway to follow. The struggle for independence, although never backed by a document, always followed a principle. The principle of non violence, ahimsa etc also cumulatively known as Gandhi’s principles. Somehow this book is exactly what we need right now.

Author of Chanakya's New ManifestoThis 247 paged novel is an excellent book by Pavan K. Verma. Before I dive into how the book is and how it deals with India’s needs perfectly, a word about the author. Mr.Verma is an ex-civil servant who took voluntary early retirement from the Indian Foreign Services and now leads an actively involved public life. I believe these credentials are enough for him to provide an accurate commentary on the topics this book covers.

Inspired by the great Vishnu Gupta or more commonly known as Chanakya’s Arthshastra, this book lays down a blueprint of systematic changes India needs to become a superpower. It clearly lays down five key areas which are down in the dumps and are in a desperate need for improvement. Mr.Verma, in a concise and precise way, first details the current situation in that sector, tells us how this problem came about and what its roots are. Thus, after establishing a firm background and working knowledge of the topic to be dealt with, Pavan elaborates on the changes he thinks are needed while backing each one of them with a sound and logical reason(s).

The only flaw which I could even possibly relate to this book is extremely remote i.e. it didn’t debate the cons of the plans laid down in the book. But in the author’s defense  he ends the book by humbly saying that these points are not perfect and should be debated. So, no harm done. This along with a grammatical error or two, the book is perfect.

Chankaya's New Manifesto

As a whole, the book is something India desperately needs right now. We are plagued by inefficient governance, archaic policies, slow judicial mechanisms, a corrupt system and a lax bureaucracy. Although we have an enraged population, anger is not what will change the system. People hate corruption but have no way to fight it. This book presents an idea, an implementable idea. Something for us to follow and do. The X factor lies in the fact that the author himself has been in the very system he is trying to change. As he is already aware of its nooks and cranny, his ideas lay out the battle plan to combat them as well. I don’t say the ideas of this book are perfect as that perception differs from person to person in a free and independent society like ours. All I am saying is that like those fancy self-improvement guides we buy, this book is a nation-improvement book. We have the blueprint, we want the change. All that’s left to do is, ironically, is to do!

Like: Clear, concise, precise, effective, well planned, well thought out, reasonable logic
Dislike: Nothing

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RIP by Mukul Deva-A Book Review

Mukul Deva, author of RIPToday’s India is defined by scenario which is disturbing. A corrupt political class which was used to ruling over the masses and fooling them, but is slowly meeting its downfall with the emergence of what I call, “the part-time street activist”. These new citizens of India refuse to accept the idiosyncratic standards of Indian governance and using mass-appeal techniques like social networking, protests and anshaans, have taken the country by storm. It is not news that India is changing. But a portion of the crowd believes the change is slow. This book is like wine to them.

 

This 286 paged novel is Mukul’s 12th novel. As I have not read any of his other books, I cannot comment upon the continuity of style, but this book is what we Indians like to call, teekhior spicy. The plot is pretty simple and straight forward. No detailed mysteries to be cracked or codes to be interpreted. Just a bunch of ex-army men wishing to eliminate corruption from their beloved nation as they swore to. How do they do this? By killing of the corrupt and jolting them into reactionary phases. The characters of the book are relatable as well easy to connect with. Deva has been creative with the real life inspirations as all the politicians and political parties referred to in the book, although slightly differently named, can be guessed in one go.
RIP(Resurgent Indian Patriots)The factor that drives this book is the honesty of the author’s thought process, brutal expression of ground reality and it’s impeccable timing( the violent revolutionary anti-establishment mood of the book is extremely similar to India’s reaction to the Nirbhaya gang rape case). The author is clearly a person who wishes to change India, but unlike Anna’s Gandhian movements or Kejriwal’s political outfit, he wishes to do this, Rang de Basanti style. A idea advocated by a growing group every day.
Coming to the bumps in the road, RIP, according to me is a bit too fantastical. The way the protagonists execute the key figures of the Indian political arena is yet believable. But the fact that they get away with successful assassinations of many important figures in a period of just 2 weeks, is slightly unrealistic. It is something that none of the major terror organisations have been able to pull off. In fact such a case has never been observed in history. That was one thing that put me off. Couple this with the over-the-top Bollywood like end; I was left feeling a range of emotions. Imagine that you’ve just seen an Anurag Kashyap movie which ends like a Yashraj flick. That’s what I’m talking about.
Overall, this book is an excellent read and is easy on the eyes as well. Mukul tactfully narrates the story through different POVs without any glitch or loopholes, a feat which is an achievement in itself. So to every angry young Indian out there who is seething at the government, rush to the nearest store (or just buy it online). A revolution is in the making.
Like: Easy to read, Revolutionary, Radical ideas, Matches the mood of the nation
Dislike:  A wee bit fantastical, Bollywood like over-the-top end

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This Ain’t Done BOSS- Cartoonist or Fake Celebrity

NOTE: This article was also published on Youth Ki Awaaz(http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2012/10/this-isnt-done-boss-cartoonist-or-fake-celebrity/)

On 7th October 2012, Big Boss started with its new season. One of the participants on the show is Aseem Trivedi, an anti-corruption cartoonist from Kanpur,Uttar Pradesh. Recently, he was in the news for his arrest under the controversial charge of Section 124 of the Indian Penal Code i.e. Sedition. The arrest of this black-kurta and blue jeans clad artist caused uproar in the entire nation as the arrest was simply ridiculous in the very first place. Soon after, he was released but not before he clearly refused both bail and the defense of a lawyer. This left an image of Marxist revolutionary with a zeal for anti-corruption. The fierce enraged look soothed millions of egos in India, satisfying them of the fact that “Yes, the youth is doing something.”Alas, the dream was to be broken.
In a disappointing turn of events, Aseem Trivedi ended up doing what most sudden-risen-to-fame people do. He turned to the world of glamour. When this cartoonist shot to fame, our hearts zoomed with expectations. We had someone who could be compared to the revolutionaries of the yore. Someone whom most called “a firebrand”. Unfortunately, Trivedi’s decision to take part in a banal reality show which ironically is the most idiotic departure from reality we will ever find. In all contrast,Aseem Trivedi fought against corruption, wily politics and planned voting which are the core factors to succeed in the so called “Reality Show”.
Although our Marxist in Black or the Indian MIB says that he wishes to use the platform to take forward his message. The idiosyncrasy and stupidity behind this statement astounds me. This was never expected from a courageous cartoonist who had the guts to stand up to pack of hungry werewolves. Social activists, who wish to spread the message, are out there, on the field. Working, bit by bit to affect the aspects they wish to change. Arvind Kejriwal is burning bills to protest Electricity price hikes in Delhi. Prashant Bhushan is busy fighting the case for the Kudankulam Nuclear power plant in the Supreme Court while as a joint effort; both have carried on with their fight against corruption. Anna Hazare is busy organizing his next “INDEFINITE” fast. However, none of them are sitting in the luxury of a fully furnished massive house with some other celebrities, bickering over the task of the week.
Personally, it is my belief that India is on the brink of change. Very rarely do such moments arise in history when we have a concerned, well informed populace with dynamic, inspirational leaders to lead them. The youth always was important in such movements against improper governance and archaic disgusting rules. Now is a perfect time for change. The iron is red hot and the hammer is ready to strike. But if the carpenter himself is busy fighting with the “Yeh toh bada toing hai!” girl over kitchen timings and engaging in a shyari match with a certain Siddhu, I highly doubt the success of our struggle. I hope we change. Soon, Fast and Now.

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Politics Or LOLitics ; Time For A Change

NOTE: This Article Was Posted On Legally India(http://www.legallyindia.com/Blogs/Entry/politics-or-lolitics-time-for-a-change)

For the past few months, the Twitter-verse has blown up with numerous trends such as #Election2012, #Rs35Lakh etc. Corruption and elections related scams are the most frequent ones. However, to my eye, these elections by far played a subsidised role when it boils down to actual administration. Correct me if I’m wrong when I say that these elected legislators shall only be responsible for passing bills for any current or future endeavour. However, the basic executors shall remain the same obnoxious, plenteous, corrupt individuals.

Does the road sweeper belong to a political party? Should he clean the roads only if Mayawati’s government is in place and should not if Congress had won? Due to over hyped media drives; we have come to believe that a particular political party may/may not do well. Let me explain with an example. Let’s consider the crime of murder. May it be the BJP or the Congress or the Maoists or the NCP or whatever, NO political party shall pass a bill saying “Okay, Murder Is Allowed”. Every entity shall endorse criminalisation to the extremist means. But, even if certain laws are constituted, they are just a meaningless and useless bunch of papers unless they are properly enforced! In Mumbai, it’s a criminal offence to travel in a local train without a valid ticket punishable with a fine of maximum Rs.500 or a year in jail or both. To an outsider, this may resemble perfection but only an insider knows how much the railway loses every year due to criminalist hounds just due to lax enforcement by the railway officials. Simply put, having the perfect laws is not the epitome of justice even though contemporary Indian society treats it to be so.

For example, let’s consider the CSA (Child Sexual Abuse) Bill passed recently. Hailed by activists, citizens and politicians alike, I admit it is a massive step forward keeping in mind the protection of the innocent victims. But on the flip side of the coin, a pessimist questions that what if this bill is enforced but not followed?  There are numerous cases where in even the police is completely unaware of the modernistic and so called “sacrilegious” and “culture-shaming” laws. Believe it or not such cases exist. Gay couples jailed because cops are unaware or somewhat more mainstream, a couple belonging to different religions not getting police protection despite orders from the High Court( detailed in an episode of Amir Khan’s Satyamave Jayte). Now it doesn’t matter whether the Lotus is in power or the Hand, the shitty implementation remains the same. So whatever the case may be, unless we fix the administration, even a supposedly perfect constitution won’t work.

Also, noting our despairing need of intelligent law officers, whether they may be judges or lawyers or anyone else. I’m not accusing anyone but all I wish to point out that there are many examples where in our law mechanism has churned results which border on the bizarre( A Boy cannot marry until the age of 21 and can’t have sex at 18. A girl can’t have sex till 18 and can’t marry till 18. Oh! But wait! If she is Islamic, she can be married at 15. Absurd right? Can’t vote, Can’t Drink, Can’t Have Sex but Can Marry)

Coming to the issue of the inefficient administration, many note it to be a vicious circle. Corruption, low salaries etc. are some of the numerous reasons brought in. But what we forget is that the bureaucracy functions as a group i.e. it’s impossible for a single civil servant to carry out any task alone. Even if a bureaucrat tries a radical breakthrough, lack of mutual support destroys him. Earlier, films carrying story of revolution were ultra-inspiring. But slowly, everyone realised that a film is after all a film, not reality. Dibakar Banerjee’s Shanghai too showcases the same issue highlighted which is failure of an honest civil officer due to mean powerful crooks and co-workers. So what’s the solution?

Tough to say. Should we go with the idealistic “I Change, You Change, Everyone Changes!” or stick to what has been happening in our nation from the past 65 years; “Iss Desh Ka Kuch Nahi Ho Sakta”. Should we blindly trust a political party and hate its rivals or join Anna Hazare in his undemocratic but democratic revolution? Personally, I would go with the idealistic change. It may sound optimistic or farfetched, but it makes far more sense to me when compared to the other possible solutions. Also, I did have a personal experience which fuelled my belief in this theory, the irony being, I inspired myself. Once a pair of old uncles from my community had come over and coincidently it was when Anna Hazare ji was fasting for the Jan Lokpal Bill. Just before departing, the topic of discussion was corruption (inevitably).At the door one of them said, “Corruption ka kuch bhi bolo sikhate toh hum hi hain na ghar pe (call corruption whatever you want, but at the end of the day, it’s we who teach it at home!)”.I said nothing but just before I shut the door, I proudly said, “Uncle jo bhi ho, mere mummy-papa ne toh kabhi nahin sikhaya (Uncle, whatever it may be, my parents never taught me that)” and slammed the door.

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What A Fucking Joke=India+Politics

 NOTE: This Article Was Published On Legally India (http://www.legallyindia.com/Blogs/Entry/what-a-fucking-joke-indiapolitics)  and Rajneeti.org(http://raajneeti.org/ispark/what-a-freaking-joke-indian-politics) too

“What a fucking joke!” Immortalized by Arvind Adiga’s The White Tiger, this phrase holds true for the state of Indian politics today. Ministers fight over personal instead of patriotic differences while they fill personal instead of public coffers. Scams have become a common foothold for a politician and the “Honest, Hardworking politician” has become an evergreen character in Indian cinema which has to date, never been immortalized in flesh. Despair filled my heart, as during one of my numerous musings, I pondered the answer to the question “Who will I vote for when I turn 18?” In a search for the answer, I quantified the scenario today.
No political party is clean. A fact agreed upon by all. If Congress was responsible for the Emergency, BJP had an equally guilty hand in the Hindu-Muslim Riots over the years. If MNS campaigned against the North Indian populace in Mumbai, SP or BSP too has not done something overtly special for Maharashtrians either. Tamilnadu wants Sri Lanka to be tried for Human Rights violations while Their Own police officers feel that “Women invite rapists by warring indecent clothes”. So you get the gist, political parties that claims to be clean are rather the unclean one.
Next moving on to the media sensationalism of “Youth Leaders” or “The Emerging Young Leaders” or “Future Leaders”. Again I say, “What a fucking joke!” Congress’s so called youth leader, a certain Rahul Gandhi is at the ripe young age of 41. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, in a nation where nearly 58% of the population is under 30 and can be legally elected with a minimum age of 25, 41 is classified as “YOUNG”. I still remember the indignant feeling I felt when I woke up one day to the news that “Rahul Gandhi Travels via Mumbai Local Trains to Understand the Urban Transportation Problem”. Yes, the common man’s problems can easily be seen in a non-peak hour time empty train’s first class compartment with a plethora of bodyguards.
Even the Bhartiya Janta Party is not the doodh ke dhule political party they claim to be. Two porngate incidents, numerous Hindu-Muslim riots instigation and an emerging pro-Hindu Gujarati Prime Ministerial candidate who was denied a visa to USA (Chuck USA, he is not allowed in Bihar itself) are just some of the stains they have and believe you me, Yeh daag kisi ko acchhe nahin lagte.
I have not even given full credit to scams, regional parties (the main culprits behind the veiled caste system of India) and individual MPs. Also, I would be a raving idiot if I say that our country has done nothing since Independence. On the contrary we have done numerous things including some amazing growth (one of the few countries to possess nuclear weaponry, top in grain production etc to name a few). But my point is that we could have done much much more just if our politicians would have thought of patriotism instead of party-ism, and OUR money instead of MY money. Also, the extravagance of our political bureaucracy (Ask any Indian citizen what comes to mind when he imagines a political honchos office. Nearly everyone will describe a scenario of a rich, plush office with poor people pacing about for days and weeks together while Babus drive their files from here to there) has played an extremely detrimental role in demoralising our nation.
So, to answer my question, I conclude that as of now, it’s my personal gamble to vote in the best of the worst or the lesser evil, while we bide our time, learn from our mistakes and clean up our nation. To quote the movie Rang De Basanti, “Desh kaise theek hoga? Yeh Desh ka kuch nahin hoga!” ” Hoga.Hum badlenge Desh ko. IAS join karenge, politics mein entry karenge, police aur army mein bharti honge. Koi Desh perfect nahin hota. Usse perfect banana padta hai.”
I think it’s time ki hum Desh ko perfect banaye.
India's National Emblem- Satyamave Jayte

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Corruption: A Threat To Democracy

Democracy is based on the principle of forming a government “of the people, for the people and by the people”. So when a nation of the people stops being for them, one of democracy’s fundamental principles itself is challenged.

Corruption is the very threat itself which has nearly destroyed India’s government and has tarnished a fake image of being a nation which is clean right down till its roots. Corruption always was a part of our system, right from our independence in 1947 up to the recent events, always existing in varied forms. It has become one of those things which are taught to us as fundamentals of life.”Corruption toh sab maa ke paet se sikh kar aate hain” is one way of putting it; because it is something which is profoundly true because may it be bribing traffic officers as a child for avoiding underage driving or giving ‘gifts’ to ministers for building approvals, we have made corruption an innate attribute. Recent events such as the CWG games scam (courtesy Suresh Kalmadi) , 2G spectrum scam(a certain A Raja) and of course the Jan Lokpal Movement led by Anna Hazare has brought this elusive tyranny to the limelight.

A national poll reveals that nearly 73% of India’s adult population was forced to give bribes to ensure the smooth passage of their tasks. So the question arises is this: How do we stop this menace? How do we eradicate something that is today running through our blood? Can it really be stopped or will it just be hidden behind a new mechanism?

Although passion is a helpful thing, it is not enough. Because if it would have been enough, I would have been a Steve Jobs-cum-Dan Brown figure in society because that’s my passion. I believe that although further reforms will help us in solving ridding our nation of this problem but the same can be achieved by proper exercise and awareness with regard to existing mechanisms such as the Right To Information Act (RTI), reporting bribe demanding authorities to the Anti Corruption Bureau etc. This will not only be highly practical when compared to a new mechanism but viable also. But then there also arises the issue that nobody uses them thus a monitoring body is required. But imagine this: India is a nation with a huge population. Imagine what would happen if each one of us reported at least one corrupt officers? I would like to end by modifying Mr. Obama’s popular slogan,” Together We Can!”


Anna Hazare Fasting In Protest (Anshan)



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