Monday, May 26, 2014

N-talk shows up Sena; Modi needs to cut it to size

It is appalling that the Sena choose to assert itself with Narendra Modi by talking of exercising the nuclear option against Pakistan.

The comments, on the eve of the swearing of the Modi ministry, not only are inopportune but also shows up the shallowness of the Sena leadership on weighty matters affecting the nation. The Sena either has no knowledge of the cataclysmic consequences of the nuclear option, and the ability of Pakistan to survive a first strike and launch a devastating counter strike, or they lack the caliber to grasp such issues. Additionally, by talking like ruffians engaged in a street power game, they have shown themselves up as unable to provide leadership to the nation.

The very fact that the Sena, an important ally to the BJP and a key Hindutva party, was willing to think of an option that would send billions of living beings into oblivion, is even more worrying. Sena watchers may not be surprised at the statement but the callousness with which it was uttered makes it frightening to think the kind of leadership India is going to get.

Makes it all the more imperative for Narendra Modi to run a tight ship, and if need be, to press the eject button on allies like the Sena. The way the Sena has been carping about getting more cabinet berths shows it is more interested in power and pelf rather than good governance. Modi has made a good start by resisting those pressures. He should now slowly tighten the screws on the Sena and bring it in line -- he can do that; the Indian people have gifted him a majority for strengthening the nation.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

UPA's comeuppance but will the new claimants to the throne rise to the challenge?

The drubbing that the Congress is facing is just comeuppance for its hubris, lack of connect with the people, and last but not least, its ineptness. The last few years of UPA rule have been, to put it mildly, disastrous for this country -- in every front. Worse still, the common people had to suffer the humiliation of Congress worthies pontificating about everything under the sun, as if no one else had the wisdom to see things in the "correct" perspective.

Even when onion prices went through the roof, the UPA was unmoved -- because the engineers of that artificial price rise were none other than their own allies, the Nationalist Congress Party in Maharashtra. Its chief and Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar is more focused on getting control of the lucrative cricket board in India. He  actually had the gall to tell journalists, who asked him about onion prices during a cricket-politics function, that it is not the time and place to ask such questions. The underlying contempt and message was clear: the common man can go to hell, who are you to ask?

Now that the common man is finally pulling the rug from under the feet of these racketeers and daylight robbers, the next logical step would be throwing them into jail.

Just like the tough rape laws, we need tough anti-corruption laws. Will the new claimants to the crown be able to rise up to the challenge?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Mumbai's top cop gets a tight slap from Thackeray but will he get the marching orders?

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has given a slap on Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh's face, and rightly so. Thackeray asked the  city's top cop what is the need for a police force if Ganesh Mandals are to be made solely responsible for the security of women devotees.

Singh has the habit of pontificating about social issues beyond his grasp to hide the dubious record of his force in bringing crime and criminals under control in India's financial capital and his own ineptness in leading them. This time he tried to bite more than he could chew.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan gave a meek response that he will speak to Singh about his statement, a clear sign that nothing will happen and the cop will get away without even a rap across the knuckles. But it is time someone did something about this police force which has cut such a sorry figure. The only persons who can do that in the current political spectrum are the Thackeray cousins but they seem to be in no mood to grab power which is for their asking. Their mutual bickering will only let the effete ruling front get away with their follies.

If Mumbai has to be saved from further going down the spiral of crime and violence, a beginning has to be made somewhere and the top cop has offered himself as the most visible choice for that beginning. Will someone bite the bullet this time?