Category Archives: Indian Politics

Dude, where goes my tax money?

How would you feel if your hard earned money is taken away and “redistributed” to the  mostly political activists or favored constituencies of the respective parties in the name of the poor? or blown on some minister’s foreign jaunt or better still into the black hole of hair brained schemes like the NREGS and for the purpose of sending more and more rich or middle class OBC kids to the IITs, IIMs and other institutes of higher learning while myself who has by now paid a good amount in tax money since the last 4 years cannot rely on the government to provide proper services in return- i have to drive on pathetic roads, put up with unreliable and erratic power supply, pathetic public transport, drains that overflow at the first burst of monsoon and added to that the country sorely lacks an efficient public health care system, primary education system and so on and so forth.

India will reform much faster and things will change for the better much more sooner if only more and more Indians demand accountability from the government for how it is spending their hard earned money it collects as taxes.

Narendra Modi should be commended for being the first person to demand such accountability. I completely agree with him that the government should be held accountable for how it spends the taxes it collects from the people.

Should the brightest student in a class be forced to dumb down to accommodate the dullard?

The essence of democracy prevents Indian politicians from giving honest answers to such questions. Ever since “equitable growth” and “inclusive development” became consensual buzzwords, India’s policy framework has been geared to target the last person in the last row. On paper this sounds noble but the reality is less appetising. In the guise of giving a leg up to the needy, we have punished enterprise, rewarded criminality, indulged mediocrity and brutalised the vulnerable. The Incredible India of smiling peasants and the Fab India-kitted woman prancing about on a Rural Employment Guarantee picnic — a la the ads during the IPL telecasts — exist entirely in the imagination of demented propagandists.

The mindless attachment to failed mantras has blunted the politicians’ capacity for innovative thinking. This may be a reason why Modi’s plea to the Centre to let Gujarat enjoy complete fiscal independence for one year has been met with incomprehension or drawn a hysterical response — including the silly assertion that he be charged with sedition.

The chief minister’s demand that revenues from Gujarat be largely spent on Gujarat is a radical departure from existing federal norms. At present, the Centre collects the lion’s share of all major taxes, including income tax and customs and excise duties, leaving the states with the crumbs from stamp duties, irrigation cess, tax on liquor and VAT on consumer sales. A percentage of the central revenues are ploughed back to the states under the Finance Commission’s guidelines. But the returns are never proportionate. Additionally, the Planning Commission doles out the capital expenditure on approved schemes.

The present system was centred on two principles: the government in New Delhi should be a redistributive Centre and development should be centrally planned and not left to the market. The system worked without major hiccups as long as the Centre played the role of a neutral arbiter and until the public sector occupied the “commanding heights” of the economy.

Both assumptions are no longer valid. While the market economy has ushered rivalry between states for private investments, fiercely competitive politics has forced ruling dispensations to be more responsive to voters. At the same time, the growing mismatch between those who pay taxes and those who benefit from government expenditure has produced strains in places as far removed as Darjeeling and Mumbai. There is a feeling that revenues generated in the region are inadequately ploughed back and that the present system favours the inefficient. Likewise, there is dismay over the culture of non-accountability that governs grandiose schemes such as the loan-waiver and the NREGS. Some people, it would seem, pay their hard-earned money in taxes while a small, privileged minority squanders and loots it recklessly. Most important, the system is not geared to apportioning accountability for expenditure. A politician in, say, Jharkhand doesn’t give a damn for fiscal rectitude because he knows that the funds at his disposal have actually emanated from somewhere else.

In saying that Gujarat should have a greater say in the money it gives to the Centre, Modi is not seeking sops and handouts. Shorn off its polemical flourish, it is a call for a new mindset that treats those who pay for nation building with respect.[link]

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Filed under Governance, India, Indian Politics, Indian States, Infrastructure Politics, Social Issues

The UPA Arrangement

A very apt comic to show the relationship between the Congress President and the Prime Minister.

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Filed under General, Humour, Indian Politics

Say NO to this Fraud!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Read this, this and this.

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Filed under India, Indian Politics, Neglected/Sidelined News

Naxalite Nightmare

Ajai Sahni writing on Rediff warns that left unchecked the Naxalites can become a big security nightmare for the Indian state.

The ‘Red Corridor’, extending from ‘Tirupati to Pashupati’ (Andhra Pradesh to Nepal), has long been pass in the Indian Maoists (Naxalites’) conception. Maoist ambitions in India now extend to the farthest reaches of the country, and this is not just a fantasy or an aspiration, but a strategy, a projection, a plan and a programme under implementation. A multiplicity of Maoist documents testify to the meticulous detail in which the contours of the current and protracted conflict have been envisaged, in order to ‘intensify the peoples’ war throughout the country’.

These documents reflect a comprehensive strategy, coordinating all the instrumentalities of revolution — military, political, economic, cultural and psychological — harnessed through the ‘three magic weapons’ Comrade Mao spoke about: the Party, the People’s Army, and the United Front.

The Maoists have established regional bureaus across a mass of nearly two-thirds of the country’s territory (Map 1) and these regions are further sub-divided into state, special zonal and special area committee jurisdictions (Map 2) where the processes of mobilisation have been defined and allocated to local leaders. As these maps indicate, there are at least five regional bureaus, 13 state committees, two special area committees and three special zonal committees in the country. This structure of organisation substantially reflects current Maoist organisational consolidation, but does not exhaust their perspectives or ambitions. There is further evidence of preliminary activity for the extension of operations to new areas including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Meghalaya, beyond what is reflected in the scope of the regional, zonal and state committees. A ‘leading team’ recently visited Jammu & Kashmir to assess the potential of creating a permanent party structure in the form of a state committee to take the Maoist agenda forward in the state.

Within this broad geographical spread, the Maoists include, in their inventory of ‘immediate tasks’, among others, the following:

  • ‘Coordinate the people’s war with the ongoing armed struggles of the various oppressed nationalities in Kashmir, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and other parts of the Northeast.
  • ‘Build a broad UF (United Front) of all secular forces and persecuted religious minorities such as Muslims, Christians and Sikhs�
  • ‘Build a secret party apparatus which is impregnable to the enemy’s attacks�
  • ‘Build open and secret mass organisations amongst the workers, peasants, youth, students, women and other sections of the people�
  • ‘Build the people’s militia in all the villages in the guerrilla zones as the base force of the PGA (People’s Guerrilla Army). Also build armed self-defence units in other areas of class struggle as well as in the urban areas.’

The Maoist strategy is clearly to fish in all troubled Indian waters, and to opportunistically exploit every potential issue and grievance to generate a campaign of protests and agitations. The principal vehicles for these ‘partial struggles’ are ‘front’ or ‘cover’ organisations of the Maoists themselves, on the one hand, and a range of individuals and organisations best described, in a phrase often attributed to Lenin, as ‘useful idiots’ — well intentioned and often gullible people who are unaware of the broader strategy and agenda they are unwittingly promoting through their support to specific and unquestionably admirable causes.

The last category can include everyone from the Human Terrorist Rights Mafia, Mainstream Media personalities to so called “intellectuals”, some of them could perhaps be well intentioned and gullible but some others might well be Communist sympathizers and quislings.

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Filed under Governance, India, Indian Politics, Indian States, International Communism, Law & Order, National Security, Terrorism, The Indian Subcontinent

Nandigram Massacre

Communist thugs massacre poor, innocent, defenseless villagers in Nandigram, West Bengal because they dared to stand up to their tyranny and prevent the commies from stealing their land and livelihoods.

Warning – graphic video

With the fall of the Soviet Union died the Communist ideology. Now the surviving communist regimes in China, Cuba and West Bengal state in India have lost their ideological veneer and have become plain thugocracies who maintain their power only through sheer terror, intimidation and cheating. They always arrogate themselves the right to speak for the common people but have no qualms to kill them if they dare challenge them in anyway and ofcourse with the usual accompanying gaudy red rhetoric that it is all for their own good !!

This is similar to what is happening in China, very much admired by Indian communists and their sympathizers in the media and intellectual circles, where the Communist government there is stealing land from its poor farmers for the sake of “development”, which could mean anything from a factory to a shiny hotel and golf course, through intimidation and violence. The Chinese government is also involved in a massive organ trafficking scam stealing organs from poor people to sell it to rich foreigners.

Update- Nandigram Media Archive at  sacredmediacow.com

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Filed under Freedom of Speech & Information, Governance, India, Indian Politics, Indian States, Infrastructure Politics, International Communism, Law & Order, National Security, Social Issues, Terrorism

Kalam’s Address Faulted by Comrades

India’s good for nothing comrades have created another meaningless controversy over nothing.

February 23, 2007 President Kalam’s address to Parliament on Friday stirred up a row with the Left parties asking the Central government to take cognizance of the Hindi translation of the word secularism used in the address, saying ‘dharmanirpeshkta’ (secularism) had been wrongly termed as ‘panthnirpeshkta’ (only Hindu religion).

Perhaps if they can assemble ten people who can spell either of those two words let alone know what the difference between them really is.

At a joint press conference convened to brief the media about the issues the Left proposed to raise during the Budget Session of Parliament, Communist Party of India parliamentary group leader Sitaram Yechury said whether it was a ‘bureaucratic’ or the translator’s mistake, it had to be corrected as Indian Republic was based on separation of religion from the state.

Maybe Mr Sitaram Yechury should better spend his time finding out why his parents gave him such a communal first name- It has both Sita and Ram in it.Perhaps he will blame it on the “imperialist conspiracy” and in true Maoist style denounce his own parents as “reactionaries”.

It is noteworthy to remember that the left had opposed Dr Abdul Kalam’s nomination for President back in 2004. Since according to them he was not pseudo-secular enough.

They are creating all this unnecessary nonsense while even after 60 years of Socialist rule India is at the bottom of every development index and hundreds of millions of our countrymen are living in inhumane conditions and the left parties on the other hand are blocking every meaningful reform that would raise all those people out of poverty and instead are protecting the labour aristocracy in the PSUs and ofcourse creating useless controversies to distract the people from the real issues needing urgent attention.

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Filed under Comrade Circus, Indian Politics, International Communism

Gas Pipeline Blown Up by Baloch Rebels

That too in the very area where that accursed pipeline from Iran to India will have to pass through if built.

Quetta, Balochistan: Suspected Baloch militants blew up a gas pipeline near Quetta on Tuesday, cutting supplies to a power plant and several areas, a gas company official said. Gas supplies were cut to four districts near Quetta and a 95 MW city power plant. Supplies might be restored to some areas within 24 hours, Nawaz said. No one was hurt in the early morning blast in the outskirts of Quetta. “They planted explosives under an 18-inch pipeline that blew out a 4-foot piece of the pipe,” said Sheikh Nawaz, general manager of Sui Southern Gas Company.

If that pipeline is built not only will India have sleepless nights worrying about when the Paki goverment will pull the plug on this vital line. One has to also worry about when the Baloch militants will want to use it for some target practice.

Added to that India will have to pay several hundreds of millions of dollars as transit fees to Pakistan. That’s a lot of easy money for Pak to finance its terrorist campaigns against India.

The whole hair brained pipeline deal therefore is a lose-lose bargain all the way and should be scrapped right away, if it has not been already. A very viable alternative to this is to use the sea route since

1) India can then import all the gas it needs from every friggin part of the world including Iran and even Venezuela.

2) The Indian Navy can very much handle anyone who wants to play some mischief along the way.

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Filed under Geopolitics, India, India and the World, Indian Foreign Policy, Indian Politics, Infrastructure Politics, International Politics, Liberal Extremists, National Security, Pakistan, The Indian Subcontinent