Friday, August 26, 2011

That roar in Parliament

They say Rahul Gandhi roared in parliament today. A few news channels reported it as a ROAR. Asking TNOW, CNNIBN, & NDTV - 'Did Rahul ROAR in LS & sent oppn scurrying for cover?' That 'roar' was probably straight out of Animal Crackers! let me go further to say that if that was a ROAR, then Rahul should be the crown prince of Madagascar!

This brings us to the way things happen in parliament.

Yes, I did watch a part of the proceedings in both the LS and the RS... and was aghast to see the way it functions. LS in action has more of Meira Kumar whining: 'baith jayiye' 'why are u standing?' 'Go back to your seat'.. until she adjourns it. Is the parliament a circus where hand flailing, jumping up and down, and shouting boo-boo & hoo hoo are a normal way of functioning?

Sometimes I feel if parliamentarians are asked to 'stand on the bench' by Meira Kumar, they would - & love it! Do we take them seriously?

A friend on FB remarked: 'YOu do not need to--as they ahve already been taken seriosuly by couple of lakhs of people when they got elected...'

I replied: 'Yes, and it is these people who need 'Anna ki pathshala'... the awareness needs to spread all over India. It is because the parliamentarian disregards the seriousness of an electorate that the public now clamours for reforms.'

He persisted: 'Which public are you speaking about the the urban lumpen middle class who do not even vote...'

I insisted: 'Statistics of the past two elections speak otherwise... yes, they were quite the 'urban lumpen middle class' as you call them, but this profile has already undergone a serious intent make-over. Whatever is left will be completed by movements like the one we are witnessing. By the way, it wasn't just the 'urban lumpen middle class' but also the 'limpid squiggly upper class' and the 'sallow shallow professionals' who formed the non-vote squads. This phase is now over. Just wait and watch. :)'

Our debate may subside, but the TV channels insist that Rahul roared in parliament today... I believe that the roar was less significant than the uproar that followed.

The enigma of a Nehru cap

A friend asked on FB: 'Filmi support for Anna Hazare! The cast & crew of the movie Mum Bhai spent an entire day wearing the trademark Nehru cap in order to show support for the cause. Another publicity stunt?'

If it was indeed a pre-conceived publicity stunt, the person who suggested it will be eligible for the PR-Oscar, if there is any.

The Nehru cap has been intrinsically associated with 'a crusade that comes from the heart'... and you all have surely noticed that the practice among our politicians wearing these caps has dwindled to almost nothing in recent times -- which goes on to show that crusades are no longer heart-art but tear-apart!

Anna has revived & resuscitated the institution of a crusade! :)

The posterless election

A friend on FB has posed this query: "With little more than 2 weeks to go for Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) elections, there are no fancy posters or stylish portfolios this year. Has DUSU elections lost its glamour?"


Not really. It is all about glamour redefined.

'Glamour through posters' did not have universal admiration as it came to be perceived as a passive form that never really told the truth about any candidate. The weathered torn forms were no art form to be encouraged. The defaced walls and the tattered clutter on the footpaths left everyone aghast. Could mere posters have ever debated any concerns of any students was what everyone asked.

On the other hand, no posters means candidates will need to have a powerful image that will be carved out of what they demonstrate by their courage when they speak out, talk, debate issues by meeting potential voters.

This sounds MORE GLLAMOROUS, doesn't it?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The truth in a few lines

Place a glass of water on a table and see what happens after a day... the level comes down. More water needs to be added. A day comes when even the glass needs to be thoroughly cleaned and refilled with water.


Countries and governments are the same. We have a constitution in place. We have laws. We have regulations and regulators. We have a democratic process too. We also have politicians. They're all vital. 


However good the system, it needs to be revitalised periodically. Revisited. Revised. Redone sometimes. This needs a catalyst or a push -- whatever works. The civil society is doing just that.


The people of India want just this.


Arvind Passey

09 June 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Weaving a Revolution through Blogs, Micro-blogs, & Gandhi

Do you really know what happened in Egypt? Was there a revolution or just a premature revelation of a stressed-out response? Was it the impending fear of a massive blood-bath that made Hosni Mubarak give up? Were blogging and micro-blogging the real heroes? Did Gandhian principles once again rise and conquer? Or is it simply a smart declaration by a shrewd president?

I did read about the comparatively peaceful marches towards Tahrir Square and wondered if a spirit of non-violence could actually have the power to survive in an age where rage has become synonymous with a contemporary lifestyle. And anyway, how could a continent where the barbarism of bloody coups was the norm, suddenly take a turn and embrace a non-violent stance? Breaking through all this din from the past, Gandhi’s voice did seem to make a come-back in far-away Egypt. Even Obama, the US President, admits: “And while the sights and sounds that we heard were entirely Egyptian, we can’t help but hear the echoes of history – echoes from Germans tearing down a wall, Indonesian students taking to the streets, Gandhi leading his people down the path of justice.”

Does this revolution then resurrect Gandhi?

... to read more, please click on the link below: