Sunday, November 28, 2010

Federalization of Indian Politics - The Contrast of "Federal BJP" & "Imperial Congress" ruled States

THE WEEK THAT WASN'T - My weekly Blah Blah on issues concerning the nation..ENJOY!
The week gone by was politically very significant in many ways. Political outcomes in 4 major states - Maharashtra, Bihar, Karnataka & Andhra may not seem very significant at the outset, but they are telling a much deeper story of changing POLITICAL GOVERNANCE AGENDA as to how 2 NATIONAL POLITICAL PARTIES are managing affairs of their STATE UNITs - Federal of BJP vs Imperial of Congress ....Read on....

While Nitish Kumar kept his CM's post by delivering on development & good governance agenda with a landslide electoral victory in Bihar, Karnataka CM, BS Yedyurappa, kept his seat by hoodwinking BJP central leadership.

On the other hand, in Andhra Pradesh, CM Rosaiah resigned & "High Command" appointed Kiran Kumar Reddy, to deliver on High Command's wish of countering YSR's legacy and his son's ambitions. Another "High Command" mandated change happened in Congress ruled Maharashtra, with Ashok Chavan shown the door, without even a whisper of dissent.

So here is the CONTRAST - BJP/NDA ruled States have STATE LEADERs running the SHOW & winning the elections, while Congress CMs are meekly following & delivering on High Command's wish.

So which model of governance is better for INDIA, FEDERAL style of BJP or IMPERIAL style of Congress.

Let's dig little deeper into the reasons for the emergence of these two opposing trends -

In Bihar, neither JD(U) nor BJP national leaders were relevant in this election. It was a Nitish show all the way. His image as a hard working CM of a development oriented government was the winning factor. Similarly, BJP state unit, under Sushil Modi, dictated the rules of the game to BJP's central leadership.

Similarly in Karnataka, BJP's central leadership, despite it's best efforts, could not persuade BSY to resign. He almost became a rebel, openly defying the leadership & finally keeping the CM's post. The reason for his confidence & defiance was simple - he had single handedly won the elections in Karnataka for BJP. BSY didn't need nor did central leaders of BJP have much appeal among the voters in Karnataka.

So, it is clear that if central leadership is not providing any electoral dividend, it is unlikely that state leadership is going to follow their diktat.

In case of BJP, gone are the days of "Atal Bihari Vajpayee & LK Advani" who had national appeal and were vote winners for the party. Today's central leadership of BJP is Delhi Centric with no grass root appeal. They are busy fighting among themselves for their territory & influence in Delhi's corridors of Power.

In absence of TOWERING NATIONAL LEADERs, STATE leaders are forced to think & fend for themselves to fight & win elections.

Which is not a bad thing after all, as this gives State Leadership a political dividend and an opportunity to run their states in a manner & policy, which will keep them in power & get them re-elected. They work hard & deliver on governance as they don't have to worry about HIGH COMMAND appointed puppet CM.

Modi in Gujarat, Shivaraj Singh in MP & Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh fought & got reelected on their own merit & development agenda, without much help from central leadership. This works well both for state leadership & people of the state, as CM comes back to power & people get good governance.

UNFORTUNATELY for CONGRESS, Gandhi family still has national face recognition & vote appeal.

Congress, over the years, has systematically worked to sideline any leader who was even remotely going to challenge Gandhis in appeal & popularity. This might have been smart strategy by Congress to keep "GANDHI Family" in-charge, but it has played havoc with Congress Ruled States & it's state leadership.

No Congress CM can be ambitious nor can he invest in his own political capital by doing good work as (s)he is unsure of his tenure as CM. He can't even take the credit for doing good work or winning the state election, as that honor is reserved ONLY for High Command. Congress CM is an appointed DUKE of the Royalty (High Command), not a LEADER of his people/state.

This explains the sorry state of affairs in Congress ruled states with no committed leadership or defined development agenda. Every CM is on a tight leash, serving his term at the mercy of High Command. He can't think long term nor can he invest into his own political capital.

However, there is one benefit of Congress style of High Command culture. You do not have CMs telling you to mind your own business like BSY did to BJP leadership. Ashok Chavan, followed the High Command's diktat like an obedient party worker as he owes his survival & stature as a politician, to Party High Command.

So which of the TWO political governance styles is better for our COUNTRY - "Federal structure of BJP" or the "Imperial culture of Congress"?

My Vote is for "FEDERAL" as it benefits people of the STATE as leadership invests into policies & governance agenda to get back to the power on their own merit.

Of course there are people like MAYAWATI - Federal & Imperial, All in One :).


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Delhi's TRYST with Washington - Did US Know & Let 26/11 happen!

It is that time again, when Indian Policy Makers are working hard to to convince themselves that US is indeed India's Ally & a Friend. After all US is the OLDEST Democracy & we are the LARGEST hence our friendship ought to be natural. We seem to be MISTAKEN and FOOLED once again!

We Indian's by nature are TRUSTING people & our first instinct is to believe what is being said & promised. However we need to judge the promises against actions to decide who is our REAL FRIEND and who is just an OPPORTUNISTIC ALLY. Unfortunately our Policy Makers do not seem to follow this commonsense approach.

US has a history of rubbing India on the wrong side. The proof is for all to see - US Navy's 7th Fleet threatening India during 1971 war with Pakistan, Economic Sanctions against India post Pokharan Nuclear Tests, Funding & Equipping Pakistan's Military, US Presidents Certifying Non-Proliferation Credentials of Pakistan to continue Civil/Military aid while AQ Khan was busy in Nuke Bazaar and not supporting India's claim for a Permanent Seat in UN Security Council, the list of US's anti-India bias is very long.

The most recent manifestation of this anti-India policy of US was to declare Pakistan, a nation which promotes terror as a Strategic Policy Instrument, an Ally & Strategic Partner in the War-on-Terror Campaign. BTW, Pakistan is the the only country outside of NATO, to get this honor from US. Come to think of it, it was a natural choice, given that US & Pakistan together created Taliban, which supported & sheltered Al-Quaeda. So Pakistani's obviously knew how to track & capture these terrorists.

It is hard to believe that American Policymakers are so DUMB (I would be happy to be proved wrong) that they did all this in GOOD FAITH and were trying to protect HELPLESS PAKISTAN against BULLY INDIA. It shows that US strategic interests are aligned with US not India.

Now we have David Headley (Daood Gilani of Pakistani origin,who changed his name) , supposedly a US Spy (they now call him DOUBLE AGENT, but who knows), who under watchful eyes of US Intelligence, surveyed terror targets in India for years, attended Terror Camps in Pakistan & planned Mumbai Attacks. Even if he was a Double Agent, US would have certainly tracked & known as to what he was doing during his trips to Pakistan & India.

Only NAIVE (Indian Government) would believe that US did not know about Headley's activities in India and his terror plot. But US did not find it necessary to share this intelligence with India.

However, our Home Minister doesn't tire in praising US cooperation post 26/11. We will need to redefine COOPERATION?

Let's analyze as to why US would not have shared the 26/11 terror plot with India, even if they knew it.

US had been trying to get Pakistan's cooperation on War-on-Terror but Pakistan wasn't playing the ball. US needed something incriminating against Pakistani establishment to make them fall in line. Headley & his associates fit the bill.

It seems unlikely (and lets hope that it is not true) that US (intelligence agencies) knowingly did not warn India about 26/11, but it certainly is a possibility. US intelligence agencies are known to have done worse, plotting against heads of states, toppling governments and supporting rebels, to pursue their own national & strategic interests.

Given the way Headley episode has been carefully planned and orchestrated, getting his confessions in plea bargain and then giving him immunity from any prosecution & deportation, it raises lots of questions and makes us wonder if US is telling the whole TRUTH.

Now, with Headley talking, heat is on Pakistan. It's no wonder that suddenly US & Pakistan are engaged in strategic dialogue now, with Pak Army chief playing the lead role.

Some of our Western Educated Intellectuals & Policy Makers would make us believe & give examples of US benevolence, such as, to let India enter the Nuclear Club. We all know that it was a simple business decision. American companies wanted to sell nuke technology to India. Now they are even pushing for "SALES without ACCOUNTABILITY" bill, named Civil Nuclear Liability Bill.

In fact, US never gave a damn about Nuclear Proliferation. They let Pakistan do it and even helped Israel develop Nukes covertly. So all this posturing about being nice & letting India have the Nuclear Deal was a stage-show to curry business favors in exchange for the Nuclear DEAL which, we were told, US so generously GIFTED India, the natural ally.

It will seem that Pakistan, not India, is a NATURAL ALLY of US as both nations have no moral qualms about using whatever means, to achieve their national & strategic objectives.

Indian Policy Makers - Please WAKE-UP and LEARN International Diplomacy before it is too late!!!

Please push hard and get Access to Headley and Prosecute him in India. He has committed Crime in & against India. Hence he must be tried in India. Remember 9/11 accused, they were all deported to US from across the world. So why would US not allow deportation of 26/11 accused. Why DOUBLE STANDARD. We also have a treaty with the US to this effect.

Use whatever means necessary, as other nations do, to make Americans fall in Line. Economic/Business Carrot & Stick approach may work best, given that American economy is not in the best of health now.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Wondering - How to Deal with Pakistan ???

Wondering how to Deal with Pakistan?
We lost the plot and wasted $2 Billion in aid to Afghanistan. US/UK are dealing directly with Pak on Afghanistan. India wasn't even invited for the London/Turkey summits.

Afghans LOVE India (for the help we provided) but FEAR Pakistan. FEAR is stronger emotion than LOVE.

PAKISTAN is working on a well planned strategy to control Afghanistan through TALIBAN. US/UK want to EXIT Afghanistan anyhow and letting Pak dictate the terms to bring Taliban back. Pakistan, the PROMOTER and Nerve Center of Global Terrorism, is laughing all the way, and we in India are hoping for DIVINE intervention.

India, as usual, is begging, pleading US/UK for help. We never seem to learn. Western Powers care only for their agenda.

We have to defend ourselves and need an independent strategy to deal with Af-Pak. May be we should have bombed 5th Feb Meet of JIHADIs in PoK and then negotiated a deal with Pakistan. We also need to be ready to send Troops to Afghanistan, if required. But you need Guts and Foresight to do that.

Sorely missing Strong Leadership in INDIA.