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Swordarm » Common man

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

Fix the broken windows – letter to Justice Verma

Below is the text of my mail to Justice Verma in response to invitation for suggestions towards the commission headed by him Respected Justice Verma,  I write to offers some suggestions towards the changes needed for avoiding incidents like the gruesome gang rape in Delhi recently.  While there has been a popular outcry for amending the laws to cater for a more severe punishment for rapists, that may not be the solution, at least not in isolation. The issue of safety of women needs to be viewed in the perspective of the overall issue of improving the rule of law – as the former will automatically follow the latter. This needs to be tackled in a three pronged manner:-  ·         Enforcing existing laws. ·         Swiftly dealing with infringements. ·         Updating  laws and improving legal process. Enforcing Existing … Read entire article »

Filed under: Common man, Corruption, Law and Order, National Issues, Politics, Reforms

Vox Populi

Vox Populi

The lack of any credible response from all political parties to the recent spontaneous protests against the gang rape in Delhi is not surprising. In the last 65 years our democracy has transformed into an elitocracy. Those who like to call themselves leaders have actually lost touch with those they profess to lead. To them, people are at best an unavoidable nuisance to be tolerated for the sake of garnering votes every five years. They … Read entire article »

Filed under: Common man, Media, National Issues, Politics

Mango Shakes Politics

Mango Shakes Politics

The turnout at the rally to launch Aam Aadmi Party at Jantarmantar, held on the 63rd anniversary of the adoption of our constitution, was an indicator of popular sentiment prevailing in the country. That it happened on a day when the major political parties were busy imparting spin to stories justifying corrupt acts by their leaders and minor parties busier making a nuisance of themselves in parliament and state assemblies only underscored the need for … Read entire article »

Filed under: Aam Aadmi, Agitation, Common man, Corruption, Democracy, Elections

Muzzling the Mango

Muzzling the Mango

Six and a half decades since we got our independence. For all intents and purposes, we are citizens of an independent democratic country whose constitution guarantees freedom of speech.  But when the first son-in-law of the country calls it a ‘Banana Republic’, he definitely is speaking with the authority of an insider. And the grand old party which constitutes his sasural is hell bent on proving him right. Consider the following:- As per Google’s transparency report, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Common man, Corruption, Cyber, Media, National Issues, Politics

Mediocrity Rules

Mediocrity Rules

Now we Indians have yet another dubious distinction. We can boast of the largest ever power blackout in human history. Ironically, this took place at the time when one of the greatest festivals of human endeavour, the Olympics are on in another part of the world. In the games we, a nation of 1.2 billion have managed only a fraction of the medals won by even a tiny country like South Korea. Whether it is … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Common man, Military, National Issues, Ponderings, Values

The Importance of Being Anna

Watching Anna’s agitation from the comfort of my living room I got the impression that it was a damp squib this time around. As per the news, the crowd was extremely thin, and the zing was missing. Breathless anchors on channel after channel prophesied the lingering death of the Jan Lokpal movement. Various reasons were ascribed to this, from people being disillusioned with team Anna not being above board themselves, to ‘agitational fatigue’. Print media was also quick to dismiss the latest episode of the agitation. As per one columnist, Team Anna has been ‘knocked off the pedestal’ that people had put them on. But then I went over to Jantar Mantar to take a look for myself. I found the story completely different. The crowds are very much there. Ordinary … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Common man, Corruption, Media, National Issues, Politics

What next common man?

What next common man?

It was a little ironic that the poster boy for the parliamentarians during the Lok Sabha debate on the Lokpal Bill was none other than Lallu Prasad Yadav. MPs cutting across party lines were probably nodding in agreement silently and internally when he spoke of the noose tightening around their necks. Fine role model of probity in public life speaking on a bill that aims at tackling corruption, Mr Lallu lost his Chief Ministership of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Agitation, Common man, Corruption, Parliament

What I would do if I were Kiran Bedi or Om Puri

Here is a excellent piece – not written by me, something I received on mail. But I do echo the sentiments. Details of the author / originator are given at the bottom. Even though I have least interest in politics and social service, I somehow feel compelled to express what I am going to express below. If I were Om Puri or Kiran Bedi, I would have been so happy to be summoned for the breach of parliamentarians privileges. I would have made the following assertion while availing of the opportunity to defend my utterances. Madam Speaker, I have been called here to speak and explain why I said what I said about the members of this house. First of all I would like to thank you for having invited me to speak … Read entire article »

Filed under: Common man, Corruption, National Issues, Politics, Ponderings, Values

A Matter of Honour

A Matter of Honour

It’s been the refuge of demagogues down ages. Confound, confuse, silence critics by changing the frame of reference of the issue. We are at the receiving end of this right now. “Keep quiet!”, we are told. “Don’t raise a stink, don’t get taken in by the sensation hungry media’s hyperbole. Things are not quite all that bad, it’s just that our standards are a tad lower.” And of course, the ultimate exhortation – the nation’s … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Common man, Media, Military, National Issues