Sunday, August 31, 2008

Kashmir and commoner's voice

Do you have a stand on the Kashmir issue? Everyone has. At least after 61 years of independence one is expected to have some take on this issue as an Indian. Though, this may have its own shortcomings. Like for an instance, if you support Kashmiris, you’ll be named a terrorist or a Muslim League supporter. Or if you stand against Kashmir, people of Jammu will see you as their ally. This may be ironical, but that’s the reality. Also, there may be a large sect of people who have made the Govt.’s view, their own view, without any exception.

Nonetheless, ours is a system in which each and every party has once in its lifetime enjoyed the taste of power in the centre. If not in majority, definitely in coalition, all the major parties have got a fair chance to rule the nation. At the time when Kashmir started raising its voice for independence, why didn’t any of the parties then come up and solve the issue? There were parties who supported it and there were parties who didn’t, but why wasn’t the matter resolved there and then? These questions would obviously go unanswered. So what if the parties did no good to the whole issue? Wasn’t that an obvious thing? Nobody can escape the wrath of politics in India.

However, I think that even if the conditions in any state, Kashmir for that matter, become worse like this, then curbing the media is no solution. Withholding media means Democracy at stake. It’s outrageous on the part of the State to curtail the freedom of expression.

How about visiting Kashmir first and then commenting on it? On this, anyone would say that, instead a visit should be paid to have a glimpse at the lives of the kashmiri pandits, living in agony. But this cannot be a feasible option definitely. When one is in the valley, during the evening hours, no one is sure of his life. You never know when you will be asked your identity. And worst will happen if you are a Muslim. Also, if your vehicle carries a number plate of any other state, you’d be safe, but what if it says Kashmir? Your life will be in a big trouble. Every torture owes to the Indian Army in Kashmir. Hence, a demand for independence becomes critical here. No one would want to live in such a condition.

I got a chance to visit POK. I was with the Kashmir reporter, Ashraf. When people got to know that Ashraf was a Kashmiri, they wanted to know if he was married or not. They wanted to marry off their daughters to him so that she could lead a better life in Kashmir. This shows sheer desperation among the Kashmiris in POK, to migrate to India.

POK is a procreated hell, unlike Kashmir, which is supposed to be a ‘heaven’. POK has negligible vegetation and is in the state of abandonment. According to the citizens, Pakistan fears to lose POK; hence exploits and over-exploits POK’s resources. POK has no industry and cutting trees and mining are the only means of livelihood. No one is oblivious to the fact that POK is a living hell.

The whole question isn't that what will happen if Kashmir continues to demand independence, or what can be done to solve that. Ours is not a nation that would want the Hindus and Muslims to live separately. Whatsoever people may say about India being a communal nation, this is not true to an extent. Or at least the evidences make that clear. Mahatma Gandhi's assassination being an example. As a matter of fact, he was killed by a Hindu and not a Muslim.

The Govt. has always mirrored the issues as a threat to the nation and hence never justified them. It's high time we should realize that we are the ones who will break this and make this nation a better place to live.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Independent Kashmir?

It was on the 25th of August 2008, that Kashmir was sans newspaper. The same scene happened once in 1953, but the conditions were never too grave. It was the Army that abstained media from covering Kashmir and this raised a question that is independent India synonymous to India without Kashmir? The valley has been constantly demanding its independence, but the condition was never so worse. Or the first time Delhi is in a position of teaching a lesson to separatists with the help of the army.

Whatever be the reason, it’s important to get back to the history to answer this question. Back in 1987, the then Govt. started its viciousness in the Vidhan Sabha elections. Badgaon district’s Amira-Kadal Vidhan Sabha elections seemed one sided with Md. Yusuf Shah as the winner. However, Md. Yusuf Shah was framed to make way for National Conference’ Farooque Abdullah.

However, Md. Yusuf Shah was framed to make way for National Conference’ Farooque Abdullah. Congress was the framer of the whole conspiracy, and the result was obvious, Md. Shah lost. Not only this but also his four polling agents, Hamid Sheikh, Ashfaq Majid, Mir and Yasin Malik were imprisoned. The results gave way to the demand of independence. As soon as Md. Yusuf Shah came out of the jail, independence was his only demand. Yusuf Shah was in the state of true agony and that made him a rebel. He opened an armed rebel and demanded independence.

Md. Yusuf once aspired to become a doctor, eventually became a fanatic. His inner fire and conflict transformed him into Sayyed Salauddin, who founded Hijbul Mujahiddin. Too lost in his Jehadi dreams, he became the head of the union of thirteen terrorists organizations

The demand for independence by Sayyed Salauddin echoed in the entire Kashmir valley but it was only in 1989 that it got recognized. Ironically, the game played by the Congress Govt. back, reverted back in this year. On 8 December 1989, Rubia Sayyed, daughter of the erstwhile Home Minister was kidnapped by Yusuf Shah’s polling agents. They were the same agents who were jailed along with Md. Yusuf Shah during the elections. It was a day light abduction and no one in the valley ever imagined its possibility. But, sadly it happened.

Consequently, the Home Minister, held meetings with people like T.N.Sheshan, Commerce Minister Arun Nehru, IB Director M.K.Narayanan and NSG’s Deputy General Ved Marwah. Ved Marwah was immediately sent to Srinagar, followed by I.K.Gujral and Arif Md. Khan. In lieu of Rubia’s release, Md. Yusuf Shah demanded the release of 5 terrorists, Hamid Sheikh, Md. Altaf Butt, Sher Khan, Javed Ahmed Zargar and Md. Kalwal.

Interestingly, the govt. never showed signs of where Rubia was. Neither did it ever tried to find out the people behind the conspiracy. Importantly, the IB chief was also the country’s Defense consultant. However, this made no difference.

At that time of crisis, the Govt. was trying to resolve this self dispute. The Govt. feared of failure and was confused. The whole conflict zone created due to Rubia’s abduction in a way opened various gates of settlement. Everyone significant to the country had to say something or the other thing. There were people like Mufti Sayyed and M.K.Narayanan. Then there were people like, Journalist Zafar Miraj and Abbas Ansari. By this time, The Congress Gov. had realized it safe enough to free the terrorists and hence did the same. It was self assured that everything’s fine and that nothing else can go wrong. Ironically, on the day of Rubia’s release, Kashmir was elated and every Kashmiri hopeful of their independence. The reason was clear. They were celebrating the release of the terrorists.

Ved Marwah in his book Uncivil War, elaborately describes the whole scene of Rubia’s release and the liberation of the terrorists. He explains that the whole of Kashmir was celebrating the release of the terrorists like a festival. The Army, the police force, the ministers, no one was untouched. The Kashmir valley welcomed the incoming of terrorist rule. The Govt. was on its feet and everyone was overboard.

In spite of what happened, the underlying politics played by the Govt. didn’t come to an end. Firstly, the Joint Director Saxena was made the Director General of Jammu Kashmir Police. The state police however was not convinced with this decision. The Congress Govt. was overpowered. The law and order in Kashmir became questionable. Consequently on 20th December 1989, Union Bank of India was robbed. This was followed by the murder of security personnel of Allahabad Bank on 21st December. The police force was targeted by the terrorists between 20th and 25th December. A bunch of them died. Krishna Gopal and two other IB officers were murdered in January. In the due course it was blindly believed that all this happened because the DGP and other senior officials of police were not in Srinagar to handle the situation. Rather, they were in Jammu. The politics didn’t even stop here. None of the officials demanded by Farooque Abdullah were sent to the state. And the Govt. hence concluded that Farooque was inefficient and wasn’t doing anything.

As a result of all this, Jagmohan was made the Governor and Farooque resigned on 18th January 1990. The condition became worse. Kashmir was in pieces. The riots took over the whole valley and the Kashmiri Pundits fled, leaving their homes, to save their lives. Kashmir wanted independence. The Central Govt. was nothing but a mute spectator of this wild agony and bloodshed. Kashmir was ruined and it became terrible. However, the anguish and torture continued, but it made the Govt. indifferent and passive.

The call for an independent Kashmir strengthened even more during P.V.Narsimha Rao’s Congress Govt. (1991-1996). Kashmiris continued to die. The death toll achieved heights. The Army made the life of masses a living hell and the Central Govt. chose to be silent and immune.

Firstly, a voiceless set of officials, the Governor’s ploy and a constant demand for independence. It’s high time that the present Govt. instead of withholding the media influence in Kashmir should question its own functioning. Kashmir is a part of India and it’ll anyhow have to face the ups and downs of being a state is something that the Govt. still fears to accept. Jammu Kashmir is a witness to the politics of divide and amidst all this; it is obvious on the part of the Central Govt. to be anxious.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Democracy: a new form of dictatorship

The phenomenon of development has not only led to a rural to urban shift, but is also a central reason for the depletion of Indian Democracy. In this context, depletion of democracy is synonymous to the domination of the affluent section of our society. Owing to this it seems very clear that the modern Indian democracy is redefining itself, in terms of profit and market rules and not even the Constitution is left untouched. Consequentially the merchants of markets are the new rulers. Rulers of the Indian democratic system. Nothing else matters to them anymore, not even humanity and human rights, which formulate the basis of any democracy.

In the last two decades Bihar, Uttarakhand, Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have witnessed dire consequences of Human Rights violation. These Human Rights usually get violated pertaining to some or the other political influence, leaving the common masses in agony. Like for an instance, in these above mentioned states the so called imprisoned criminals didn’t even know the reason of their imprisonment. Most of the cases are sans F.I.R. and even worse is that the culprits are not even given a copy of an F.I.R. No matter how much the gravity of this issue may be, the reality is absconding. What a pity. This is a normal trend visible apparently in every other state. Our democracy is weakening and it’s clear that democracy is changing its state too. Presently, it’s more of a dominion than anything else.

Bhilai, a city in Chattisgarh, is an eye witness of this appalling actuality. After spending sleepless nights in jail, Ajay TG when came out, he was clueless about the reason of his arrest. Police never bothered to tell him anything about the same. During his trial days Ajay’s wife Shobha and son Aman had no place to live. And sadly Ajay was granted bail on a condition that he would mark his presence in the jail every Monday. He was tortured every now and then for no fault. Is that what a democracy is? Ajay TG, a photographer had never been well off throughout his life. He wanted to teach children, so started up with 10-12 children. For the same cause he linked up with various human rights organizations and volunteers. This made him eye catchy and resultantly he had to bear the brunt of his goodness. His house was ransacked and he was jailed for no cause. Police granted him bail after 93 days, without telling him the reason of his arrest. On papers, Ajay was declared a culprit and his arrest was justified as a special arrest under some illegal offense Act, however the true reason of his arrest is still a mystery.

Similarly, Gadhchiroli district of Maharashtra has witnessed a diminishing sense of Indian democracy. Manku Udake, a denizen, is totally oblivious of the fact that India is now free and that the Govt. works for the nation and its citizens. The only thing he is aware of is that the police rules.

Manku’s father was imprisoned for no reason in 1993 when he was 3. His father died in custody in 1995 and it was only in 1996, an year later, when the family was told about his death. Manku and many others in that area have grown up watching this happen. Police and their injustice. He always wanted to tell this to someone, but didn’t know who, so he decided. He travelled to Delhi, with his lawyer’s letter and lodged a complaint in the Human Right Commission. According to Manku, his father was arrested under TADA as an alleged Naxalite. He was arrested under IPC Act 307,334,353,435 and Arms Act 3/25. All this unfortunately happened without even mentioning the reason of taking him into custody. Manku’s father Renu Kejiram Udake died in the Nagpur jail in 1995. Manku says it is the domination of the audacious police force in Nagpur, who won’t let anyone live. And as far as his petition in the Human Rights Commission is concerned, it’s nothing more than a trivial and insignificant piece of paper now.

Vinod belongs to Sonbhadra, U.P. Ironically Vinod’s very own city has abandoned him. No one cares. The story is the same old one, arrest without being told. Vinod lost his only job, five years back, owing to the closure of a company. Along with other fellow mates, he demanded a compensation. The whole issue resulted into severe police firings in which 3 died and 24 were injured. The company took no notice to this injustice and declared the victims as dead, Vinod being one of them. Vinod, dejected and miserable looked up at the Human Rights Commission (Delhi) for help. He saw a ray of hope which could get him his job back. However, Vinod was unaware of the results he was to face way back home. He was arrested and beaten up for demanding compensation. The company’s building was broken to erect a new building for another company. The reimbursement was demanded again. No one was given anything. On the contrary Vinod was re-arrested. This time with a reason: he had alleged relations with the Maoists and other illegitimate organizations. A depressed Vinod when cried for justice at the Human Rights Commission was given nothing but an assurance, a mere assurance and not a guarantee.

The underlying reality is that no one would claim ones freedom to breathe in the country, but sadly no one would ensure it too. However this is a question in itself. The democracy is shattering and the State isn’t responsible for anything.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Yavatmal Farmers are Forced to Borrow for Their Child's Education

The dream of a developed and changed India in 2020 has done no good, but has definitely shattered the lives of thousands of mortals residing in the rural India. May it be the hapless farmers or the ill-fated labourers; everyone has to bear the brunt of this so called change. The policies framed by the Govt on the name of development are nothing but a bunch of frivolous papers, leading onto nothing. And the nuance of this sheer 'development' is apparent in the education of the rural masses of our country, Yavatmal, a poor district, being no exception.

The whole deceit is evident from the incident in Yavatmal. This year, the students who appeared for their class 10th exams were all promoted to class 11th, or to be more precise were made to pass. The whole issue got messed up when the students found it difficult to get themselves admission in colleges. The reason being an acute shortage of colleges in Yavatmal. And a district sans college resulted into no admissions or a high admission fee. Like for an instance, Santaji College in Yavatmal, considered the most mediocre college of that area, demanded 20,000 for admission to class 11th. And interestingly, the college is a 2 room building with just 5 teachers in the faculty. What a pity.

In Yavatmal, a majority of children seeking admissions belong to a poor agricultural background, with farming and labour as the only source of livelihood. And this has only added to the worries as they are finding it very difficult to get admissions. And admission in a college would definitely mean a heavy loan which would add dearth to their already poor homes.

However, owing to this critical lack of colleges, opening colleges too is a big pain. The license to open a college costs some crores and the ones already existing are owned by the minister class. To make the matter even worse, if a student wishes to take a loan, the source of money other than the banks is also the minister class. And ironically ministers are the ones who sugarcoat themselves and are the first ones to cry when a farmer dies.

Now the big question arises that who will bring an end to all these untold atrocities? Who’ll be the saviour? Will it be the esteemed UN or the World Bank, or the members of American Senate who recently paid a courtesy visit to Yavatmal and showed their concern for the inhabitants? The local people say that the ‘whites’ have only two things to question. One, who works after the death of the farmer in the family ? And two, what techniques are employed in farming?

"Women are very brave" the whites say, when they see women farming. Satirical it is to note that this comment is addressed to none other than those miserable widows. Rahul’s Kalawati being one of them.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Llife is cheaper than Rahul’s poster in Kalawati’s village

Jalka is one of the twelve thousand villages dotting the area. Over the last three years, the village has acquired a stature of its own with Rahul visiting it. The village is now known as the village of Rahul’s Kalawati. The village belongs to the Yavatmal district which is yet to have a rail link. But the high incidence of suicide among the farmers in the area has focused international attention on it. However, this changed Yavatmal into a laboratory where the international agencies tried to find out how the local farmers in a liberalizing India still managed to survive or to comprehend the circusmstances that spawned a critical crisis for them. The representatives from international organizations including the United Nations Organization, world bank, international monetary fund and American senate have already visited the area to see its terminal illness. Their report is still awaited. But when rahul Gandhi mentioned kalawati and shashikala in his speech in parliament kalawati’s village jalka became a symbol of the crisis gripping the entire countryside in yavatmal where as if in a laboratory every single farmer was being used as a guinea pig.

When stepping into the fields of Kalawati’s village, one is confronted with long and deep pits and hollow surfaces. One wonders about the purposes of these pits. But when this laboratory became open to all and sundry, pandit shri ravishankar could barely help using it. He also began spiritual experiments which would calm down the farmers bent on committing suicides. Ravishankar’s experiments led to the digging of pits and hollow surfaces as they were meant for testing out his theory on how to help the farmers through the water of the tanks in the fields. As soon as Ravishankar himself left the place, all his experiments ground to a halt and his followers could do nothing in his absence. Not only that, the pits dug for the experiments got filled with water during the rainy season adding to the woes of the local farmers. Meandering through the footpaths when one moves towads the residential portion of the village, suspicions about the settlement being a political laboratory begin to get confirmed.

In delhi one may talk about rahul’s kalawati but here in jalka things are different. Here it is kalawati’s rahul whose posters are strewn over grass and are hanging like children from the dung-smeared walls of the flimsy houses. The big rahul posters are tied with ropes at all the four ends of the village and when the strong winds snap these ropes people in droves go to kalawati to inform her. And immediately these big posters are tightly tied and restored to their points. Some small size rahul posters come unstuck in the rain and find their way into the water. But other farmers in the village also expect so much of kalawati’s rahul that they hold even the broken posters close to their chests hoping to be noticed by delhi one day so their woes may as well come to an end. When the sulabh international gave kalawati five lakh rupees , the local congressmen began loudly claiming they had arranged this amount. When the villagers started going to the congressmen to get their share they were told the political leaders did not distribute money. The villagers could not believe it. When they enquired from kalawati as to how she could get the amount she told them it was through rahul’s grace. Even the congress state president said if rahul had not mentioned kalawati who could have given her money. In other words, it is rahul’s grace that matters, not the actual distributor of the gift money. As rahul can not belong to all, he is kalawati’s rahul alone. The village is replete with the rahul posters and their smithereens and the people of the village hope if not rahul himsel, at least his posters may yield them benefits. Building the huts in the village has cost even less than the posters adorning them. The village has only a few brick-built houses and most of the dwellings are made of bamboo, grass, plants, mud and dung. One can imagine the plight of the tenants of these huts when their dwellings get damaged or collapse. The morghade household gives a graphic picture of this situation. His hut got destroyed by the storm and the rain and rebuilding it would cost him about hundred and fifty rupees. But he does not have this amount. Somehow this man managed to get hold of the Rahul posters made of cloths and plastic and he so arranged them as to make them look as the walls of his hut. When the Sulabh Internation gave Kalawati money some state-level congress leaders visited the village and one of the congress workers took away the Rahul posters from morghade’s hut but when morghade protested this congress worker told him that he should not use the rahul poster as an ornament. When morghade drew his attention to the widespread use of the rahul posters in the village including the big posters being used by kalawati, the congress worker explained it was a matter of rahul;s kalawati not the other way round. So a compromise was reached as per which for two days morghade’s house was covered with rags and thread-bare cloths and the poster was fixed on a high platform. As soon as the congress leaders went back, morghade got back the posters.

It is not that the village has only the rahul posters. Ever since kalawati has been mentioned by rahul, the villagers have begun realizing if they hung the posers of the leaders coming from delhi their life would also change. It is by chance that rahul came only to jalka but every other leader has visited yavatmal. The latter is the burial ground for the farmers in vidharva. Most of the suicide deaths have been reported from here. During the last ten years in the whole of maharasthra 8 thousand farmers committed suicide out of which 5 thousand farmers were from yavatmal alone. This explained why sonia Gandhi visited the area during the 2004 general elections. During the vajpayee regime more than 16 thousand farmers had committed suicide. Then nobody thought that more than 17thousand farmers in maharasthra would commit suicide during the manmohan regime. Anyway, when rahul came to kalawati’s house her fate changed but this has set her neighbours thinking even if they had lost their lives a visit from rahul could have vastly changed the fate of their families.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sting Operations : Open Your Eyes And See the Reality

Even if the sting operation tape had been shown by the news channel concerned would it have erased the black spots on Indian democracy?

The ethical concerns of parliamentary democracy that 80 percent people have forgotten about, would they have been restored and reinstated in the body politics?

MPs who openly auctioned and marketed their conscience or those who influenced by the so called patriotic fervour of some political parties lost no time to switch over loyalties, could they have been rehabilitated and regained their lost glory or credibility?

Leaders who played pivotal roles in pulling down governments or saving governments could they have been given some other nomenclatures instead of middle men?

Indeed the manner some politicians who were themselves involved in the sale/purchase of MPs are now questioning and analysing the reluctance on the part of news channels to telecast the sting operation tape, and their own murky and conspiratorial involvement, if brought to light, would prove to be another hair raising tale.

How these politicians glued to power for past ten years have been playing with the destiny of the nation and mocking at the democratic institutions needs no reiteration, ten years because almost all political parties across the spectrum have tasted power during this period. Before questioning the news channels and imputing motives it would be fair to objectively analyse the role of the political parties and the politicians in our country.

It was Tehelka that first exposed the underhand defence deals involving politicians and ministers who in order to promote their own selfish interests compromised the security interests of the country. We saw how national security interests were bypassed to make quick money through cuts and commissions in defence contracts. But what happpened even after the sting operation expose? The media was intoxicated by the success of the sting and elated with a sense of justifiable pride after long years.

All parties and MPs thoroughly enjoyed the sting operation, both the ruling and opposition benches. For days and weeks the country soaked in controversies and comments relating to the sting operation, everyone made to believe that the Gangotri of corruption had at last been breached. What more proofs were required, the man on the street asked. The MPs woke up, the matter soon reached the courts after the parliament got bogged down with procedural niceties and wrangles, but at the end of the day did a single MP land in jail? Was anyone punished?

After Tehelka another sting operation exposed the "rupees for question" in parliament involving a dozen MPs belonging to almost all parties. Once again parliamentary democracy was brought to shame as a result of the corrupt practices by some who claimed to represent the people of this country. The people of this country did applaud and appreciated the work of the media persons involved in this sting operation, but did a single MP go to the jail?

What then is the meaning and role of sting operations in a democracy? You might say that India is a democratic country because of its system of checks and balances. True. But the media's role at the end of the day is to just keep an eye like a watch dog of the society or as the fourth pillar of the estate. That is all.

The basic question confronting us remains: the remaining three pillars are not only not performing their roles but to make matters worse parliamentarians have converted parliamentary politics into granting them immunity if they indulged in corruption or crimes. And their wrongful or anti-people acts are treated as sanctioned by the system -be it at the community or the party level. Not only that, while pursuing anti-people policies , the rulers are openly declaring that they do not give a fig about anything including the prospects of losing power. The conditions in which the elections are held are so vitiated that no reasoned debates on public policies take place and people are conned into casting their votes on narrow selfish social calculations.

Even the system of checks and balance provided for in the constitution has been sacrificed at the altar of crass political power within the parliamentary democracy. When people elect a certain political leader from among many candidates fighting the elections , this selection by the people of a particular candidate is subverted by the political parties forging alliances of convenience among themselves on the morrow of elections. So much so that in a particular state the parties fiercely opposed to one another ideologically and otherwise come together on the basis of the so-called cmp and form govt. this is tantamount to insulting the constitution. Even those parties and politicians indulging in all this have the temerity to organize sting operations to expose the system.

There is no denying that the system suffers damage but still retains morality. And it is this morality that explains why politics is not averse to using media to its advantage. But the truth about them can be revealed only by having a look at what they do when in power. Even today 70 percent people of the country are woefully dependent on agriculture. All govts be it the bajpayee govt or the manmohansingh govt all of them without exception have been unfair and cruel to the farmers. In one of the most developed states maharashtra sixteen thousand farmers committed suicide as the then bajpayee govt failed to buy their grains. The farmers kept waiting to get the proper price for their produce from the middlemen year after year.

But the middlemen had so manipulated things as to compel the farmers to sell their produce for a song and thus forcing them to take loans to continue with their farming. The farmers’ crisis has continued unabated and no govts whether the previous or the current one have done anything about it. Consequently, farmers are getting still poorer and many of them dying .

during the the present regime a record breaking figure of 70 thousand farmers have committed suicide as against i6 thousand during the bajpayee govt. in other words, not that the middlemen exercise a decisive control over the govt but the govt itself has assumed the role of the middlemen. While earlier in the name of making it profitable through reimbursement a large portion of the nation’s wealth was handed over to the private sector , now there is a move to handover the agricultural land to the foreign companies. Both the center and the state govts are oppressing the farmers in their respective spheres. The govt machinery including the police-bureaucracy and the judiciary began asserting that the nation’s development was all important and that this overwhelmed all other considerations. The process of alienation of land began through what is termed compensation.

The whole energy of the govt got spent on ensuring conditions for the growth and expansion of the foreign companies. Of course in all this the govt is entitled to its own commission. Even the communist govt in west Bengal which carried out land reforms in the interest of the peasants, went out of its way to take away the land from the farmers to give it to the salim group from Indonesia Suddenly the cadre that swore by the dictatorship of the proletariat began spilling its blood in the defense of the dictatorship of capital and market.

In the past ten years or so no political party in India remembered the quintessence of democratic value system. Ruling parties in the last 13 Lok Sabhas have been expressing their commitment to the fulfilment of the basic human needs, but for the first time the concept has been buried alive that education, health and drinking water should receive the top priority of the government.

To open a primary school in a village hardly a lakh or one and a half lakh rupees are required but this government has no funds for this, a reflection of our distorted priorities. The sale of cars registered 300 times more than the total number of schools or primary health centres opened in the country. The special economic zones concept being flaunted about will further sharpen disparities and in the name of providing jobs to some 60 lakh people, render crores of farmers landless to suffer in chill penury.

The moot question is which parties and who all MPs are raising the question of the failure of the media to show the sting operation on moral grounds. How does it matter for the majority of the people of this country whether the government stays in power or goes. You might ask if the culprits shown in earlier sting operation tapes had been jailed what then?

The fact is that the other side of the coin is equally tragic. When MPs who are already in jail for various offences have played a crucial role in saving the government of the day by arriving to vote in the parliament, what relevance does this question have and how does it really matter to the system? Actually the truth that you have waited long enough to see in the sting tape is already there in bold relief right before your eyes, and we all want to close our eyes and see the virtual reality through the camera eyes to protect some and punish others to keep alive our faith in the hypocritical open society.