Wednesday, July 31, 2013

SCAMS, SILENCE OF PROF. AMARTYA SEN -MUSINGS
I renew my appeal in my previous blog “As proletariat let us educate the masses to choose
the one that is “incorruptible”, can offer "good governance", can connect with the masses and involve them in their own growth. He was applauded by many foreigners too in the same vent.”

"Hurt mind seeks solace in sleep. Sleeping mind dreams sweet. Dreams are what remain for the poor. Poor do not need rulers who loot their dreams too!" One Telugu lyricist wrote long ago.

When the hungry get angry they bit their lips. They forget their anger once they see blood on their lips. They cant hurt their oppressors. “The tragedy of the poor is that they can afford nothing but self denial', said Oscar Wilde.For them poverty is a fact of life. Blood on the bitten lips and redness in the eyes form part of their lives. Albert Einstein said, “ An empty stomach is not a good political adviser”. Hence poor are not invited into TV studios to explain their plight. Rich people take their mantle. Nobel laureates lecture. Planning Commission speaks, while its chairman and members fly overseas. They do not talk about poor man or poverty. They moralize about riots. They castigate a CM They do not eulogize the work done by the CM to eradicate poverty. They do not say many words why poor are perennially poor and why rich are richer. They do not go into root causes of poverty. Instead, they rout for individuals who have an ability to better the lives of the people. Might be some of them aspire to rule the nation and ruin the the poor further with their “drawing room” economics or 'boardroom politics”. The country had enough of an economist PM by default. Let us pray God there were no repeat.

Why are the poor poorer by the day? Charles Darwin said, 'If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature but by our institutions, great is our sin.” It speaks volumes. Gradual erosion in the moral fiber and gradual erosion in the authority of institutions is the bane. Comatose approach to running but uncanny agility in ruining institutions all but demolished them. This started in Indira's regime and but for a few years of rule under two effective and noble PM s this continued. The malaise took deep roots after 2004.

When an economist PM took over the reins of the nation in 2004, everyone expected a corruption free, glowing economy. For, he is an honest face, an experienced bureaucrat and a proven economist. It took a while to know that behind the veil of honesty the real face is ineptness. The real quality is inability to tackle crises. The real problem is his ambition to continue in power come what may. The real malaise is his self-denial. The crux of the whole rot lies in his silence and select quotes to silence his conscience.

Truth and honesty are not contemporary. A truthful man need not be honest. He tells the truth. But he is dishonest in his thought. An honest man may not tell the truth. But the fact that he is lying, is hidden behind his smiling, honest face. Because he knows he is not telling truth, he remains silent. Silence too is a lie. If you see an accident, a molestation or a robbery on road and do not vouchsafe to the truth before the authorities you are as good as lying. For a party ruling the country, for a head of state and for a ruling party chief the people are the masters. They are the authorities. If one is not talking truth to them directly when corruption is rampant, when scams break out and when public money is being looted by covert means, he is as good as lying. He is as good as dishonest. Then why are all these 'veils' of honesty?' If they keep information pertaining to a family 'confidential' whither his truthfulness? Why is there RTI?

So, the result is the country plunged into a mire of scams. When VANPIC and irrigation Scams in AP, Adarsh and irrigation scams in Maharashtra, the CWG and 2G (to quote a few) were made public on massive scale he said “Law will take its course”. When the massive “Coal Scam” in his own Ministry was unearthed he said meekly “I don't know”. The purport of all these scams is that it caused the exchequer loss of about Rs. 5.00 lakh crore. And poor remained poor. They admit themselves 67% of population require a meager 5 kg of food grains per month. They urgently issue an 'ordinance' as, according to their young spokesperson, any delay might lead to a calamitous situation In a way they agree 67% of people are kept poor over the years. They think of spending 3% of GDP on this scheme. They see it as 'game changer' not for the 'poor' but for their party. Their leader is a mute spectator for all this.

Any man with common sense would have known that the amount involved in scams, if invested in employment generation through infrastructure development and manufacturing, people would have crossed the poverty line. They would have had education. They would have had better living conditions, better roads, electricity, public toilets, sanitation and purified water. They do not want to do it. This is not about the PM or his party. They are politicians. They are not above self. They want people to remain poor, illiterate and dependent on their mercy. This is about economists. To be precise it is about a particular economist. He is a Nobel Prize winner in economics. His feelings and speeches hurt more than that of the PM or his mentors.

He visits India now and then. One leader described him as a “migratory bird'. Because he is from West we can call him a 'night bird' too. His sense of reality about India is minimal. He rarely lived in India. He was never poor, God bless him and his family. He never lived in India among villagers. He never saw pregnant young ladies working in fields till their ninth month of pregnancy with a hand over their waist to control the piercing pain. He never heard women delivering babies in thatched sheds in fields with hardly any cover or medical aid. He never saw women carrying two/three month old babies behind their backs working in fields. He never saw women carrying a small pot of water to the far away fields to attend nature's calls with half shyness. 

He never saw villagers suffering from twelve hour power cuts with almost all small businesses dying naturally and agricultural pump sets burning. He never saw village men and women sharing day and night in fields for power to the motors, as nobody knows when the power is available Did he ever see huge mosquitoes biting just born babies trying to suck blood that is not there in their body? No. He never might have seen women walking a mile or two for a pot of potable unprotected water. Did he ever travel on the mud roads to a village in red buses? These are our villages. The villages that Mahatma Gandhi wanted us to see the nation through. He saw them. He lived there. I saw them. I lived there. I saw my mother undergoing the trauma for fourteen years. That does not make me a  Gandhi or a better economist than the one from the West, just as his vision of India, seen thorough huge economics books, does not make him a better politician than a Modi or a Nitish Kumar.

So when he talks about one model or the other he is seeing it through his books. Both models are good for their respective states. We have to see the inherent leadership qualities. Just because one and only riot took place in his State, one CM need not be ostracized for ever. How many CMs were haunted like that for the hundreds of riots that took place in the country post independence? Did the PM of the country face public and media trial for the 1984 riots. When he remarked “When huge tree falls...”,it is a non-issue. If a CM says 'even if a puppy falls under his car wheels which he was not driving', he turns communal. Shall we do so with the other CM because 23 children died there due to state negligence? Or shall we accept his argument of conspiracy by another state? Is this the type of the economist's vision of India by pitting one CM against the other? Only one of them speaks about the other. The other does not comment. That is his dignified way of dealing. Our Nobel economist lacks that dignity.

Then, the question is whether a particular leader is qualified to be a national leader. Is he not better than the untried and the imposed one just because of his lineage? Where do all these politicians come from? Are they not from grassroots? Did we not see a panchayath president becoming a CM with the sheer experience of 'good governance' in his panchayath? Why is all this noise? What the PM aspirant is telling us is about  good governance in his state. He never said he would replicate it at the national level. He is clearly stating his vision for viable solutions to the national problems, not his state's way but differently. He is telling us that when he did it at the state level the non-corrupt way, he could do it at the national level. The other leader is never seen doing this. Nobody does know what his model is in many of his own words.

Now, about the silence part. When the economist speaks about models of growth, inclusive growth or catering to the poor through subsidies, why is he not not talking about massive erosion of national wealth by the powerful? Why is he not castigating the PM for turning a deaf ear to all his critiques of the scams? I can not castigate the economist for his silence, without proof. But he goes around blaming a good leader about human rights violations without proof. Why is he not telling people their wealth was looted by those people in power to the tune of lakhs of crores, thus making them poorer by day? That their basic human right of living a dignified life with full stomachs is being violated daily by highly corrupt politicians? Why doesn't he tell them they could have had a better life if all that money, the mines, the land, the water, the power, the roads et al were made available to them? Why does he still support a 'novice' for PM post with the same blood and background?

It is for people to surmise the reason behind the silence. I do not say it is ambition. I do not say it is collusion. I do not say it is confusion, I do not say he is ignorant of all these facts. Please draw your own conclusions and vote that one only, to whom he said he won't vote. Please do not vote to the one whom he would prefer as a 'better choice'. Let me quote Noel Coward

It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.”

Let us come out of the shock of honest faces or dishonest faces behind veils of honesty and see the truth.
I repeat

I renew my appeal in my previous blog “As proletariat let us educate the masses to choose
the one that is “incorruptible”, can offer "good governance", can connect with the masses and involve them in their own growth. He was applauded by many foreigners too in the same vent.”


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