Sunday, April 13, 2014

And now, something for Rahul Gandhi

A friend of mine pointed to me that I should ask questions, not only to Arvind Kejriwal, but also Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi. Well, I want to, because no party is perfect, nor has any party in India provided a sustainable plan for India's development and progress. So, I decided let's start with the Grand Old Party of India's youth icon, Shri Rahul Gandhi.

Dear Shri Rahul Gandhi,
 With you being the Indian National Congress' de-facto nominee for the Prime Minister's post, the voice of the youth, the one bestowing the 9 rights, lone fighter of corruption I have a few questions for you. My only worry is the reply to most of my questions being "RTI and women's (or womens') empowerment." Or you lobbing the question back to me an asking me "what would you do about it?" But please, since your party aspires you to be the PM, I hope you will answer the questions of a concerned citizen of India.

  1. What is it with you being called "youth icon"?
    You were born in 1970. And you are being called a youth icon! Isn't that ironic? Don't you feel embarrassed by this? I mean, Sachin Tendulkar, who is three years younger than you has already retired from his primary occupation of playing cricket. And he is called a "senior sportsperson", an idol to be emulated and a role model. But where are you? I agree that the Indian constitution didn't allow you to debut before the age of 25, which gave Sachin a head-start of 5 years (he debuted in international cricket at just under 17), but then you were never seen involved with the students' wing of the Congress or its branch in Cambridge.  So, would mind shedding off the "youth icon" tag?

  2. Aren't you imposing a state's will onto people through the Right-to-food act?
    I agree that the intentions of such an act are noble. That those who aren't in a position to buy food for themselves, should receive the state's help. But then, isn't a better way of implementing this programme? By saying that we will give wheat, rice and millets at a cheap rate, aren't you imposing the state's will on to people, which goes completely against the tenets of a free democracy? There are areas where people rarely eat wheat or rice or coarse grains. E.g., Marathwada region in Maharashtra prefers to eat jowar and bajra, over wheat and rice. Or those in Konkan eat more of rice than wheat and millets. But then, because of the limits imposed by the food act, they would be forced to either buy the remaining from the open market or change their food habits. Is it morally correct to force people to alter their food habits? Moreover, by this act, you are also distorting the dynamics of agriculture, where you have ended up converting India into a wheat and rice country. Because farmers know that the government will buy their wheat and rice and hence aim to grow no other crop. Do you know edible oil is India's single largest agriculture import? An ingredient, without which no Indian dish can be cooked. That too, at a time when the FCI godowns are overflowing with wheat. With the government's procurements of wheat, rice and millets set to further rise, didn't you and your mother add another disturbance in the dynamics of the agriculture industry?

  3. Do you really, sincerely think that those nine weapons of yours will ease people's lives?
    You either tend to think or want people to believe that legislation is the best treatment for the malaise in public life. But, tell you what, once there is a system, there are loop holes. Everyone will exploit the loop holes in the system for his/her own benefits, thereby derailing the overall objective of the democracy. Please wake up from this day dream of yours, where you believe that legislation will cure the country of all ills caused by corruption. There is need for deterrence through prosecution and conviction of the accused, which the entire political spectrum in India today doesn't want to create. Even the Bofors case hasn't received closure and Sukh Ram got convicted by a lower court after fifteen years of trial! By contrast, Rajat Gupta's trial in the United States was over within 3-4 years right up to the Supreme Court.

  4.  You really feel that "Congress does not talk about one individual"?
    Yours is a party, whose president, D. K. Baruah, once said, "India is Indira and Indira is India." Now, you would say, that is history and the Congress has changed. That is difficult to understand. At least your grandmother had worked at various lower levels in the original Congress before she rebelled against that party and formed her own Congress(R), which was known as Congress(I), with I for Indira for quite a long time. And you have become the party's vice-president, before proving your mettle at lower or state levels, which many of the current AICC members have done. Do you still feel that Congress doesn't talk about an individual.

  5. For empowerment of women, will you do anything to undo the constitutional amendment emanating from the Shah Bano judgement?
    How about beginning from there. Your father had created this amendment, perhaps under pressure or wrong advice. His government overturned the judgement of the Supreme Court. If you want to empower women, can you begin from there. You will receive the BJP's support for that very easily. And your party will not go against what you say. So why not restore the rights of Muslim women for an alimony after divorce as per provisions of the civil law? This would be a great example of women empowerment that you keep repeating.
Sir, I sincerely hope that you will find the time to answer the questions.  They aren't  too many, because you are a busy person, but I would be grateful if you can answer them.
And now, something for Rahul GandhiSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

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