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INDIA: THE COUNTDOWN IS ON

By Sanjay Jha

Also on TEHEKHA FW
http://www.HamaraCongress.com

I truly admire people who are thick-skinned; nothing affects them, they are almost impervious to core human sensibilities. They are contemptuous about their environment , are essentially immune to reasoned arguments , operate in their own gigantic bubble and have scant respect for a larger cause, albeit that’s what they profess defines their existence. The word empathy is conspicuous by it’s absence in their otherwise burgeoning bag of clichés. Worse, some have become inveterate narcissists thanks to the megalomania generated by constant exposure for several months punctuated by a rare bout of self-imposed silence. There is one disease which is worse than the emperor of all maladies, it is called ego. It breeds a sinister presumption of infallibility, coupled with a blushing companion called arrogance. Quite a heady cocktail. Naturally, unfortunate souls afflicted with this disease just don’t listen; the latter being the wide-ranging cause of marital conflict , boardroom battles and even world wars. As India nears the end of a maddeningly turbulent year, largely on account of its own self-inflicted melodrama , the charade continues. I am referring to the uncontrollable unreasonableness of a bunch, supposedly fractured, but yet magnanimously referred to as Team Anna. It is reached atrocious levels.

Tragically, this Lok Pal thing is actually now becoming a bit of a farce. What started off as a determined resolve by an ageing old-man from an obscure village from Maharashtra to expedite an anti-corruption legislation ( already proposed by the ruling government itself ) soon degenerated into an orchestrated attempt to hijack the whole Bill itself, lock, stock and two smoking barrels. Let’s understand the Lok Pal bill from a dispassionate perspective. As by now everyone knows, the Lok Pal Bill is one amongst several measures to combat corruption, it is not a single-bullet solution to eradicate the bribe-kickback menace that has been the bane of India for years. Thus, the disproportionate investment of prime time , national resources and ugly negative energy that has been invested in this endeavor has come at a great cost to several other initiatives that have had to willy-nilly remain in the back-burner. Common sense tells you that after the unprecedented public attention generated at Jantar Mantar and Ram Lila ( brilliantly manufactured by manipulative PR trapeze artists of Team Anna) , any smart, sensible government would create a Bill that would be comprehensive, it would ignore certain crucial legislative provisions to merely hoodwink people at its own peril. For heaven’s sake, have we become such a pathologically cynical nation ?? If so, India will diminish downwards of it’s own volition, with or without a little nudge from the perennial pessimists called Team Anna. We will have no one else to blame but ourselves.

The good news is that despite a few recalcitrant, obtuse and blatantly opportunistic opposition parties , the government and Parliament has upheld the highest democratic principles. The Parliament in an extraordinary effort held a one-off historic session to pass a parliamentary resolution on the Lok Pal Bill in August this year. Basic decency and good sense demanded that thereafter one let the Standing Committee do it’s job; they are not a bunch of novices merely grandstanding , you know. Everyone has a reputation, livelihood and future life and career to work on , it is not the prerogative of only those who have an unusually large pharynx. What one saw instead was sporadic bursts of insane abuse, puerile ridicule and substandard dialogue in an attempt to keep the pot churning . Even outright lies ( phone-tapping it seems was being done to eavesdrop on their televised plans ) ! And this from people who were parading themselves as India’s self-appointed paragons of virtue, some who ingeniously designed a novel method of claiming travel expense vouchers ! Too ridiculous to be true, but there you are. Ekta Kapoor in 2011 has received several real-life inspiring scripts to make more dirty pictures.

But let’s go back to what seems has got the ex-Gandhian mighty incensed; it seems the government has gone back on the commitment to respecting the “ sense” of the house, as decreed in the parliamentary resolution. Utter nonsense! First, no government in India’s parliamentary history has so conscientiously, meticulously drafted such a gargantuan proposal for Lok Pal with full transparency and after taking multiple views into account. Secondly, it has fully adhered to its three commitments made ; 1) Lok Ayukta in states ( under the same Lok Pal Bill) 2) Citizens Grievance mechanism ( in a separate charter ) , while 3) lower bureaucracy will come under the CVC, but will have a reporting relationship with the Lok Pal. The decision on whether the Prime Minister must come under Lok Pal has been left to Parliament to decide. On the CBI, the Standing Committee has taken the stance that a superpower structure of a Lok Pal with the sweeping authority of being investigator, prosecutor and judge would be setting a dangerous precedent. You cannot get more fair than this. By the way, which sanguine day-dreamer expected 100% agreement from all MP’s representing 15 different political parties on such a complex, new experiment that combines legal, financial and administrative architecture ? That would be wishful thinking. Secondly, the Bill is up in Parliament for a full-fledged debate anyway for full public consumption. Thirdly, the Standing Committee had only 11 members from the Congress, the rest are from different political formations ensuring a democratic process. Fourthly, if there is a different viewpoint from that of any civil society ( whether IAC or NCPRI or anyone else ) , isn’t Parliament the ultimate supreme authority ? Aren’t MP’s finally responsible to the people of India? Won’ t they be seeking re-election in two years, while some new civil society heroes will be signing book-deals and speaker-ship contracts?

As I write this, Team Anna will be at their vitriolic vociferous best once again doing their usual bit to arouse hatred against our democratic institutions. Amidst this much ballyhooed jamboree , the real “old man” who has been India’s inspiration has redefined “ fast” in ways unheard of before. Unassuming, down-to- earth, rambunctious, the inimitable Virender Sehwag. On a day when India was sweltering under its usual installments of some more depressing news about 2G, price rise , FDI in retail and Lok Pal, Viru rewrote the record books in his trademark cavalier style achieved with contumacious ease. His 219 runs against West Indies in a ODI match at Indore set a world record, catapulting the Nawab of Najafgarh into bigger haloed kingdoms. Sehwag of course brushed off his mind-numbing success as the hard work of an “ old man”. His humility in a country obsessed with the self-obsessed was cathartic; like a dip in a cold pool on a sultry day.

Some over-rated old men need to take a leaf out of Sehwag’s books. Modesty and decency personified. In the 1980s, I remember an ad campaign for a product I fail to remember which said ; “ Above the noise of trumpet blowers comes the silent roar of a born winner” . The others need to learn from Sehwag. Or keep whining interminably with a morose grim prognostication about its future, even as India has some exciting appointments awaiting it . Either way, India needs to move on ahead of these chronic obstructionists . There is a lot of hard work ahead. And time matters, as we are already behind the clock.

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18 Comments on INDIA: THE COUNTDOWN IS ON

  1. I think your first paragraph is picture perfect. Hope you will now do reflect on it dispassionately.

    The rest is party spin, but one expects from that a party mouthpiece.

  2. murthyleadership // December 24, 2011 at 6:57 am // Reply

    Dear Sanjay

    Delight to read your latest insights , i guess we missed one key detail that is the role of BJP / NDA alllies . Shiv Sena true to its identity totally disbeliefs in the concept of the Lokpal itself !!! . In the whole mela in the last one month of this lokpal squabling BJP has been virtually been pushed to the side wing of indian politics and continues to struggles to build the attention of the country , once again they have displayed their moral and political bankrupcy on key issues dogging the nation .

    I sense team Anna is loosing steam and the cloud of imagination built earlier is moving away and people are able to see the sinister views and also the role of “Bill Vidya Pravina ( I mean Travel Bill) ” Kiran bedi ‘s acts too .

    I pray the country will see through this RSS B Team act via Team Anna and a working Lokpal is passed in the parliament .

  3. Dear Mr. Sanjay; You served well with civil society earlier. We hoped you would continue your contribution towards nation. But you changed your mind and started attacking Anna.

    Pl. note that you do some better contribution try connect with anti corruption movement again. Congress has used hundreds of people like you earlier as well.

    I am writing as a wish of a true Indian who want a corruption free Nation.

    Regards;

    Well Wisher

  4. Ask Digvijay- How many times did Jawaharlal Nehru set on fast with Gandhiji? How can Digvijay ask other Team Anna members to sit for Fast…..If RSS has agents like Anna then I should abonden congress and join RSS. I am congreess voter for years but now I hate Rahul-Sonia approach to IAC and whole lokpal dilly-dallying.
    On TV, team Anna members talk only on LOKPAL technicalities and try to explain LOKPAL. Whereas, Congress, BJP and other political parties just shout and blaim each other…see MAnish Tiwari, Kapil, Beni prasad, Digvijay…Even other pro-congress people come on TV and never speak about wrongs in JAn-lokpal that include you Sanjay…You people just shout… We are watching you and do not want to be part of party like this…we are a congress group on the verge of deciding leaving Congress collectively…
    On TV best argument against Jan-Lokpal comes from NCPRI…they technically explain where JAN_Lokpal is short. All neutral people support Anna – even with their disagreement on certain issues. Pro-Congress people look like paid-campaigners….

  5. md sadiq ali khan // December 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm // Reply

    hi!
    it surprises me whenever i listen to kejrival when he tells its 42 yrs we have been waiting for this bill to pass. the first time got to know about this bill was when i read that sonia is very keen to introduce this bill but this team anna very conveniently hijacked this . i dfinitely feel even large section of media is also hand in glove with them.

  6. I truly admire people who are thick-skinned; nothing a…………….. in those line Sanjay I thnink, you are truly / unnecessarily praising Team Anna in these lines……..

  7. Sanjay Jha will surely get prize from SoniaJi.

  8. The first para I thought described the thick skinned politicians, the cunning, devious congress party. Basically its all blah blah blah. Too much of an egoistic character called Sanjay Jha, loves going on the tv but with a closed mind.The verbal loose motions on blogs is mindless bunkum.

  9. good job… i wish you all the best and hope that you are remunerated sufficiently for the efforts!!

    may the best man win!!

  10. Cngress is really having thick skin. That it cannot burn.

  11. Mr. Sanjay, I disapproved you in the past because you lecturing on TV pretending (and fooling us) as neutral observer.
    Anyway, now we have confirmation of your true color. Your argument style makes it clear you Congressman acting for crook & blackmailer Manu Singhvi. Surely you have the right to be by the side of mafia.
    People who are thick-skinned; nothing affects them….Sanjay Jah one among them!!
    Your personality comparable to “cockroach” filled with jealousy.

  12. It seems that you are in line to officially join the congress along with Kumar Ketkar.. so my congratulations!!!
    Unfortunately, Our country had a been a victim of a situation where people (highly successful people like you) who have always sported a role of ‘pseudo advocates of a biased political ideologies’ and keep pursuing it time to time based on the needs of their economy of scale/life cycle .. these folks keep such ideologies in a phase of dormancy till they get liberate from their ‘holy hygienic’ responsibilities and instantly come out of their dormancy to the age of senescence (may be professional, age etc).. They country men should be watchful of such highly acclaimed and socially famous ‘pseudo advocates’.

    I wish all the success of your new full fledged journey (political?) and hope you walk the talk ( a few from your training sessions).. Sadly signing out from your blog permanently 🙂

  13. Charudatta Thute // December 27, 2011 at 4:31 am // Reply

    Hi ,
    Sanjay Jha
    I think you are unnecessarily targeting the Janlokpal people.I saw your debate on Timesnow yesterday where you five; Ketkar(A known dummy man of sharad pawar),Shobha de(I guess,living in posh society of mumbai..she may not understand what corruption is),Bachi(I still think she is bacchi);Shiv Sena leader(They already have a long history with Anna..Well said Arnab) were talking like hyenas fighting a big lion(Mr.Hegde).I guess you all were frightened with the limelight team Anna people have taken in these days.

    I also know, Government must have manupulated your views and stimulated you to talk against team anna to change the public perception.
    Just want to ask you Jha,in your own language..’KITNA PAHUCHA SARKAR SE..YE SABKE KE LIYE’..BATAA DE BACHE..
    I can make out easily,the way you talk.Dont fool us Jha anf yourself.

    Bye..
    Charudatta Thute
    Will fight against corruption.

  14. Mr. Sanjay Jha,
    You should thank Team-Anna. By shamelessly becoming the “point-man of Congress” to attack India against corruption movement using blogs & talk shows, seems you pocketed not less than Rs. 50Lakhs in this month alone.
    Remember, what ever you earn this way thro’ Congress is nothing but the blood tainted money snatched from poor & decent Indians.

    Supporting the corrupt & mafia regime is nothing but TREASON.

    Success of evil is temporary and GOOD will prevail soon or later.

  15. Dear Mr.Jha,
    The very fact that you realize that people will tend to use foul language after reading your posts is an abuse to you itself.
    You are convinced that your posts are outrageous and will attract foul language and abuse.
    So, no need to abuse you or your posts.
    I heard you on CNN-IBN a few days ago.
    It took me no time to form an opinion about you and I wont express these here, as per your policy of not getting personal.

    with regards,
    An AAM AADMI
    Sudarshan Pathi
    Engineer,SAIL

  16. I totally agree with this article… Team Anna ‘s two stalwarts, who manipulated even Annaji, continue on their path of government bashing, and yet, neither of them have the courage of conviction to stand for election. kejriwal continues to defend his stand by saying that he has chosen to stay out of the system and ‘put pressure’…whereas, his IAC has lost moral ground even to talk of anti corruption….

  17. I find that this blog is critical of BJP only. Is there nothing wrong from Congress’s point of view regarding all the scams that are in the news today?

    I support the good leaders from both the parties, but at the same I dislike someone simply praising a party not even speaking a negative point about them!

    If everything with Congress was good, then why India hasn’t become another Japan with more human force, with human intellect and with more resources available to us compared to that of Japan?

    Poverty and population are no answers to this, because reading the statistics and comparisons about how we can best utilise the black money to clear all our debts, etc, makes us understand that Poverty and population are not really hindrances to our development, but Corruption is!

    Are you aware of what is happening in Andhra Pradesh, during the rule of YSR????

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