Category Archives: Indian States

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]

2 Comments

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

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.

3 Comments

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

1 Comment

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

Illegal Bangladeshi Immigration Into India

A two year old TV documentary, perhaps originally produced by and telecast on Aaj Tak, on the issue of illegal Bangladeshi immigration to India and its links to rising terrorist violence in many parts of the country. It is quite well researched and well made with interviews of many experts, on the ground investigations and hard data.

In the words of former CBI director Joginder Singh- India is ‘tolerating’ upto 5 crore(50 million) illegal immigrants on its soil.

p.s- The program is only in Hindi with no English subtitles. But if you have a working knowledge of Hindi it is not very difficult to follow.

17 Comments

Filed under Freedom of Speech & Information, Geopolitics, Governance, India, Indian States, Law & Order, National Security, Terrorism, The Indian Subcontinent, TV/Movies

Samjhauta Train Blasts handiwork of Pak-based militants: India

End of ALL Speculation. It is not the Martians, not the mythical Hindu terrorists and certainly not the flying spaghetti monster but terrorist militant charity “freedom fighter” groups based in the territory of our own “loving neighbour” to the west having nearly 28 years of worldwide experience in doing these kind of things –butchering innocent civilians and then hiding behind a wall of lies and denials.

February 21, 2007– Security agencies probing the Samjhauta Express blasts on Tuesday night said the incident was the handiwork of Pakistan-based militant groups.

Highly-placed sources in Union Home Ministry said they had “vital clues,” which included a telephonic conversation between a caller from Delhi to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The sources declined to give out the identity of the militant groups behind the blasts, but hinted at sleeper cells of Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed.

These militant groups, the sources said, have adopted a new modus operandi of detonating low-intensity blasts with explosive materials comprising readily available combustibles.

1 Comment

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

Peace talks with ULFA was a Mistake: Assam CM

This is what the Yankees call as a’Flying Pig moment‘. When a politician actually admits his mistake and even says sorry to boot.

The UPA government’s deplorable soft attitude towards terrorism has only lead to a spurt in terrorist activity all over the place by emboldening the terrorists. One cannot negotiate with Terrorists who refuse to disarm and instead use these generous “ceasefires” as a mere timeout to regroup and rearm for the next round.

NEW DELHI: Indirect talks with the separatist group United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) through the People’s Consultative Group (PCG) was an incorrect step, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said on Monday.

It was a wrong move by the central government to continue peace talk with the ULFA. They got their sweet time to regroup themselves and now they are again spreading terror,” said Gogoi while addressing a press conference on the 33rd National Games.

Gogoi said he was also to be blamed for the wrong step.

“I am also to be partly blamed for this process because the central government had taken me into confidence for the talks with the ULFA,” he said.

Yet it is hard to shake off the lingering suspicion that this “abject admission” at this time has got something to do with the fast approaching election season in states like UP whose migrant labourers suffered the brunt of ULFA’s ethnic cleansing brutality.

Earlier posts on the Assam situation: 1, 2, 3, 4

Leave a comment

Filed under Governance, Indian Politics, Indian States, International Communism, Law & Order, Liberal Extremists, National Security, Terrorism

The Socialist Attitude

They are OK with things like Free Speech, Democracy and Rule of Law ONLY as long as it suits their purpose. Otherwise they want all this “inconvenient” things to be jettisoned rightaway for some their “higher cause”(They trumpet all their agendas as “higher causes“).

Centre urged to ‘rewrite’ the Constitution (via Vichaarah)

Chennai, Jan. 20 (PTI): Tamil Nadu Governor Surjit Singh Barnala today urged the Centre to “rewrite afresh” disband the Constitution(and replace it with Soviet style banana republic), keeping in mind the changing needs of the nation Votebank while preserving basics like the country’s unity, integrity and sovereignty (Do as we say or else we will start a people’s war butchering innocent men, women and Children to save them from themselves- this is nothing but blackmail in coded language.).

Barnala said there was an increasing need to transfer more powers to states save our 69% reservation rule by reviewing the division of powers between states and the Union getting the bloody judiciary off our backs, to ensure that true federalism prevails we can do whatever we feel like and the wheels of social justice revolve bring in reservation for undeserving creamy layer candidates in the name of Social justice without any hindrance.

“Hence, this government urges the Union Government that the Constitution of India should be rewritten afresh abolished and replaced with Soviet style banana state, having regard to the changing needs damn the meddlesome judiciary , while preserving the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the nation(Do as we say or else we will start a people’s war butchering innocent men, women and Children to save them from themselves- this is nothing but blackmail in coded language and its repeated again, so you can imagine how agitated they have become with the hon’ble Supreme court’s decision),” Barnala said.

He appealed to the Centre to bring forward necessary amendments to the Constitution that will empower states to levy a service tax (this is on top of all the central, state and local taxes you are paying already, have no illusions about it) , as the responsibility for providing services to people was with state governments(Have they ever? Or am i imagining all those potholes on the roads and the six hour powercut in the Cities and Six hour per week single phase only power supply in the rural areas and i’am not even getting started on the water supply and sanitation).

This is nothing but a plain ransom note to the Indian State dressed up in typical leftist/socialist flowery language. They are basically saying- disband the Indian constitution or atleast get it out of our way or else.

p.s- Vichaarah points out that according to the not yet abrogated Indian Constitution the Governor merely reads the Speech written by the Government of the day. So the above speech though given by the Governor need not be his own personal views but should be seen as the views of the DMK led Government.

1 Comment

Filed under Governance, Indian Politics, Indian States, International Communism, National Security, Opinion