Sometimes I wonder why do I provide only the rosy pictures from India in my ‘Booming and Bubbling India’ series. Perhaps one reason is that there are many to provide shocking silly happenings in the country. However, there are occasions when many a news items appearing on a single day perturb me and force me to think about the future of our nation. Are we moving ahead or going behind or will we reach anywhere if the conditions persist?
CPM, Presidency College, West Bengal Politics
West Bengal is a unique case. Jyoti Basu got the adulation of the majority, but Bengal became repulsive for industrialists and managers. Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s entry brought a hope, but the grip of the party machinery on the system is so strong that he fails to get some thing done the way he wants. It is now more than a year and half that I was in Kolkata, my city. Buddha babu agreed to grant autonomy to Presidency College. But it is still a mirage, while St. Xavier’s has got it. UGC is in favour of granting it to Presidency, but it can’t be done without the green signal from the state government. Being one from Presidency College myself, I feel shocked and enraged to keep on hearing that. By now Presidency College would have become a deemed university and a heritage venue too.
Very lately, I was arguing with my friends that Mayawati had all potential to head a government at the Centre one day. My logic is simple. If BJP because of its association with RSS, VHP and BD remains untouchable, what can be the other alternative national force? The strategies of Mayawati that own her UP with thumping majority could make her BSP win at national level too. However, she must mellow down. She must have a core group of intelligent colleagues and not sycophants. Terrorists’ way of achieving the end can’t get a lasting result. It is difficult to digest Mayawati ordering overnight demolition of Lucknow’ s premier Ambedkar Sports Complex that she herself had opened in 1994, to have a memorial for Ambedkar near her pet Ambedkar Park. Why can’t that sport complex itself be upgraded to be a fitting memorial? Why does she want to do things that spoil her image built so painfully because of the folly of Mulayam Singh and weaknesses of the national parties? What makes her feel that the building a statue of B. R. Ambedkar higher than the nearly eight-storied Statue of Liberty can only take the Dalit pride to new heights?
Lalu Backing Drunk RPF DIG
As reported, a drunken railway police deputy inspector-general traveling in the same coach molested the wife of an IPS officer in presence of her sister, an IAS officer, known as no-nonsense bureaucrat, in AC first class compartment of Sampoorna Kranti Express on the intervening night of July 8 and 9. When the sisters were asleep, the DIG went out and returned allegedly drunk and “fell on the officer’s sister”. The sisters and the fellow passengers slapped the DIG and took away his identity card. The IAS Bandana Preyashi registered a complaint in the TTE’s book and later lodged complaint with the Government Railway Police, Patna under Section 354 IPC (assault or criminal force against woman with intent to outrage her modesty). And surprisingly, in the full view of TV news channels’ camera, Lalu Prasad gave clean chit to his errant DIG. Why should Lalu consider himself knowing everything about everybody? Why can’t he treat even IAS officer’s version true? If it happens with women with so high position, how can an ordinary woman travel alone in railway?
Inefficiency Getting Burdened on TV Users
The Centre is trying to restart a television tax to make Prasar Bharati financially more viable. TV manufacturers, broadcasters or viewers will have to take the burden. Is it encouraging consumerism or the inefficiency of Prasar Bharati that runs TV and broadcasting? Why should the department be not wound up or made to run on its own by giving autonomy and good management? And if it comes to the viewers as it used to be at one time, it will be a nuisance as additional task to remember annually and pay with lot of administrative control for nonpayer like many others?
Are these not shocking and depressing enough news?