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Aam Aadmi Khaas Baat

Latest in the series of embarrassing revelations about the ostentatious lifestyle that Aam Aadmi Party leaders, and in particular their supremo Arvind Kejriwal seem to leading, is a set of bills for catering at his official residence. Raised by The Delhi Tourism and Tpt Development Corporation, they are for meals provided by Taj Mahal Hotel at exorbitant rates of Rs 12,472 and  Rs 16,025 per plate (on 11 Feb 2016 and 12 Feb 2016). This comes on the heels of revelations of similar extravagances at public expense – Rs 1 Crore worth samosas (including Rs 47 Lakh worth at office and residence of Arvind Kejriwal), Rs 1.05 Crore paid to a PR agency for promoting Kejriwal’s social media outreach program ‘Talk to AK’ in Punjab, Goa and Gujarat, and the move to pay … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Politics

The PM’s Speech

The PM’s Speech

I gaped at the screen in horror. The prime minister was addressing the nation – an unscheduled talk announced just 30 miutes back. It was ten minutes into the speech and my despair grew with every word he uttered. On the screen, he adjusted the mics and hiked his sleeves for the nth time, shuffled through his written speech and, unable to find what he was looking for, gave a dimpled smile to someone offscreen. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Politics

Breaking the Neo-Caste Barrier

An interesting, and for most of us, encouraging, phenomenon is visible in India today. It is the brick by brick dismantling of the neo-caste system in our society. Of course, the caste system per se was abolished by our constitution shortly after independence, yet the same independence slowly engendered this other, equally insidious neo-caste system in the country. It had only two gradations in it’s scheme of things – ‘us’ and ‘them’. ‘Us’ being the ‘upper caste’, the progenitors and propagators of the system, and ‘them’ being the rest of us. From politics to bollywood to newsrooms, seminar rooms to the social circuit, members of the neo-elite had ready access. It worked very well to propagate careers of member’s progeny with their own domains – politicians kin getting tickets and star … Read entire article »

Filed under: Aam Aadmi, Blogitorial, Common man, Democracy, Politics

Appointment of Army Chief – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

Amidst speculation and heated debates about the delay in appointment of the next army chief, rumours about the two senior army commanders likely to be superceded are doing rounds. One argument being forwarded is – “shouldn’t merit rather than seniority be the criterion?” As arguments go, its a tempting one, one which is difficult to disagree with. But it’s not without its pitfalls. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that there is significant difference between Army Commanders in terms of their merit or suitability for the job. What would be the parameters on which such differences could be measured? How would the performance of a Northern Army Commander dealing with Counter Insurgency operations be compared with that of, say the Western Army Commander who’s peacetime deliverables would be substantially different? … Read entire article »

Filed under: COAS, Military, Politics

Is the Indian Army in Danger of Being Politicised?

The following article appeared in The Quint. Original can be accessed here. Gen Dalbir Suhag, the present army chief is due to retire at the end of this month. However, in a surprising break from past practice, the name of his replacement has not yet been announced. As things stand, Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi, the present Eastern Army Commander, is the senior most on the day the Gen Suhag retires, and going by the precedence, he should have been named as the next chief by now. Appointment of Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa as the Chief of Pakistan army was in the news on both sides of the border for the past few days. It was announced just three days before Gen Raheel Sharif retired, and the new incumbent took over the reins … Read entire article »

Filed under: Civil Military Relations, COAS, Military, Politics

Aam Aadmi Party and the demise of hope

Aam Aadmi Party and the demise of hope

Aam Aadmi Party was born of hope. The Lokpal movement of 2011, led by Anna Hazare, was a watershed event in India’s recent history. A diminutive mild mannered 70 something former soldier and social worker, Anna caught the nation’s imagination and inspired following like only Mahatma Gandhi had before him. It was half-way into the second tenure of UPA government, and each new day brought with it news of another scam, each bigger than … Read entire article »

Filed under: Aam Aadmi, Politics

Feeding the wrong dog will kill off Twitter

Feeding the wrong dog will kill off Twitter

In an insightful piece in the Mumbai Mirror, @PritishNandy has highlighted the reasons why he feels Twitter is dying. Commercialisation, politicisation, and the emergence of the much maligned supra nationalist troll – all these have led to a sharp decline in the quality of discourse. This, he feels, is directly reflected in the fall in the evaluation of Twitter’s price in the eyes of prospective buyers. He laments the end of open, intelligent debate and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Internet, Politics

Aim before you shoot

Aim before you shoot

Any military operation has clear aims. These differ at different levels, with the aim at the lower level contributing towards (but not necessarily fulfilling) the aim at the higher level. For example, the aim for a battalion commander could be to capture Hill ABC. For his GOC who assigned him the task, the capture would be a step towards securing his own, larger, aim – say the capture of Area XYZ which includes the Hill. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Military, Politics

Another Wednesday

Another Wednesday

The Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) is the most important appointment in the Indian Army and amongst the most important in the government as a whole. He is custodian and executor of the operational plans of the country. Even within the Tri-services milieu, he can be considered as Primus Inter Pares – the Airforce and Navy both have his counterparts in Air Operations and Naval Operations, but the DGMO heads Military and not Army … Read entire article »

Filed under: Military, Politics

Jaane Mat Do Yaaron

Jaane Mat Do Yaaron

It wasn’t very long ago that media (or press, as it was better known as) enjoyed near universal public trust and respect as the fourth pillar of democracy (the legislature, executive and judiciary being the first three). This because of its onerous role of keeping the other three pillars honest. It was rightfully considered as people’s watchdog, representing their voice against corruption, injustice, malpractices and all other forms of exploitation that the people were otherwise … Read entire article »

Filed under: Media, Politics