Politics and progress

The recent developments (If thats the word!) in Maharashtra following some unworthy comments by Mr.Raj Thackeray - Chief of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena - once again brings to the fore the dismal state of India - A country I was taught to be proud of as a child and am still, but more of its rich cultural and historical heritage rather than its present chaotic political and economic condition - and shocks of this kind do not help further patriotic fervor. How long can history (The ruins of the earliest civilizations) keep patriotism alive - especially at a time when pragmatism is the new mantra for success!!

Returning to Mr.Thackeray's remarks - here's are some links and a brief of what happened from what I gathered from the various sites (I don't read paper regularly as it depresses me so much that I cannot carry on the way I should - call it escapism - Its better than reading and not confronting!!)
1.News at rediff
2.Thoughts of an ordinary man - A good summary of the man in spotlight
3.An interview with Raj Thackeray

I came to the conclusion that the spotlight lingered and called attention to Mr.Raj Thackeray so that is bonus points for him. His pictures flashed everywhere and for sometime Mr.Bal Thackeray and his son were forgotten. He also garnered some votes and obviously forgot that there are pockets of Maharashtrians all over the country and abroad apart from this State.

He was also probably correct in bringing up a sensitive issue but the level of aggression was wrong and the root cause was not addressed at all!!

- The Centre is obviously not bothered about the States - They are allowed to administer as they please (Bihar, Orissa and UP are more notorious for goondaism than progress) and the result is that the progressive States are dis-proportionately burdened. Worse still - there is no incentive for the progressing States but there are huge amounts doled out to those who show no progress. I do not understand the economics behind this!!

The ultimate sufferer is obviously the common man who has no contraptions in the form of beaurocratic power to help him! What happened that day was witness to the fact that there is a burgeoning frustration and those were only the undercurrents - It was enough to demonstrate racial discrimination within the world's largest democracy - It doesn't seem a suitable epithet for a country trodden with red tapism, hooliganism (The corruption faced in day to day life is so huge in scale that I will actually have to take it up as a new blog!!), neo- casteism (Where the so called backward classes are given a leeway in every way! - in schools, colleges, workplace at entry level and later - I fail to understand how we are supposed to produce able leaders this way? Again a topic for a new post!!) , illiteracy and poverty. I sometimes wonder where we are heading - Nadir???

Last year on the Republic day (26th January) I had asked a few children the meaning of a 'Republic' - For most of them it meant wearing your country on your sleeve [pun intended - I mean pinning a flag on the sleeve of your dress as the pin might hurt if you wear the flag on your chest], pinning two on the windscreen wiper of your car, singing the National Anthem for the two chocolates you get at the end of the whole charade, and a cultural program in the evening, not to forget the holiday!! At the end of it all - lets face the truth - it is nothing but another welcome holiday in the lives of the Nation's workforce. I fear and wish - I wish my country would be a semblance of what the Constitution called it - Socially Sovereign Democratic Republic.

Once I had seen a discussion on TV where few politicians were called to discuss one of these issues with the common people. Margaret Alwa had correctly questioned the seething masses as to why none of them take part in the Country's working - meaning politics - if they were all so concerned! I ask myself every now and then - will I do it? and sadly the answer is still no!!

I guess I too need someone to bell the cat!!