Book Review – #1 — Hello Bastar

I have been thinking to write reviews on the books I read, but couldn’t do that previously because of some reasons. But from today onward, will write my take on the books I read. I will also include the books I have already read. Today I am writing my take on “Hello Bastar – The untold story of India’s Maoist movement” by Rahul Pandita.

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Photo courtesy: Google

I came across this book “Hello Bastar” on flipkart website. Read a little bit of synopsis on the book and decided to buy it. The book got delivered the very next day and I started to eat the pages.

The book is written in very lucid manner. The typography is simple and well spaced so as to cause no trouble while reading. But what caught my attention was the detailed study of the author regarding the subject. Right from the page one, Rahul Pandita speaks with authority on the subject. And why it won’t be? He has spent some years to live with the Naxalites and have done extensive research on the subject.

He has put forward the views of Naxalites and why the Naxal groups have started in first place. We get the inside view of Naxal camps and more importantly Naxal thought process. According to me, Naxals have ideologies just like our government does. But the action plan both have is different. Government goes too much on defensive side and Naxals the other way round. As Rahul has mentioned, Naxals have come into existence because of the void created by Government policies and its execution. Politicians have always wanted to fill their pockets and never cared about those suffering from it.

The book tells in details how government has tried to suppress the Naxal movement. Without understanding their ideologies and trying to touch bases, government sees them as threat to internal security. I too was having strong reactions against Naxals till I read this book. After reading their ordeals and hardships they have lived into, government and we people are only to blame for not understanding or listening to their side of story. Government has always proposed to listen to them and whenever those people came above ground to talk, they were captured or encountered.

But the story now can be a different one too. From where Rahul has started this book, Naxal movement was really for betterment of tribals. But internally we don’t know what’s cooking between higher authorities of Naxals and government.

The book includes afterword by Kobad Ghandy, a Naxal leader who was captured and is now in Tihar jail. I can understand his pain of losing his wife – Anuradha Ghandy. But the way he has started his afterword is something I couldn’t digest yet. He says in UP a girl was raped and murdered. This has happened in the region where Dalit are in power. This has happened because Dalit have no power to fight against upper caste. This is completely wrong. Kobad mentions inhumanity because of superiority of upper castes but fails to mention inhumanity because of political support. This inhumanity is not just against a Dalit girl/woman but this happens with girl/woman from any caste. He didn’t need to bring caste in this issue, even after considering that he and Anuradha worked for Dalit people. Inhumanity doesn’t have any religion or caste.

 But in all, the book is informative and insightful. It gives details about why Naxal Movement started actually and where it stands as of now.

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Nayak 2…

“Nayak” the movie starring Anil Kapoor was anything but fallacy. We are seriously living in such a country where Government is slave of politics and politicians are the masters of Democracy. Though the thing of becoming a Prime Minister of Chief Minister for 1 day was a fantasy, the movie actually showed how bad things turned into worst things can be resolved and turned into “Everyone ever lived happily” thing.

 

Today there is lot of hue and cry of people outside from Maharashtra coming and settling in. That does create lot of problems not only to people living there but also on the government. It puts lot of pressure on municipality and police department to keep the law and order in control. This in no sense to say that people should not come to Maharashtra. Don’t start to judge me, but think about it.

 

Why do people want to travel all the way to Maharashtra travelling 1000 Kms? Its their “paapi pet” (need of cloths, food and shelter) which makes them do these things. Wouldn’t it be nice if people get jobs in their own cities or states? The niche jobs like engineering and management are irrespective of location, that’s for sure. White collar people need to travel a lot and location cannot be a bound for them. No one is pointing fingers to them.

 

So the reference to Nayak is that, I want Nayak-2 to happen and I want to be the journalist asking question. I want to be either PM of India or Chief Minister of Bihar / Uttar Pradesh. People from that land have to travel against their will just to get their stomachs filled with minimal amount of food. I want to change that scene. I want to create jobs and employment there in their own states so that they don’t need to be away from their own land. I really don’t know whats been keeping these two states from developing? Is it only state politics or National level one?

 

One thing is for sure, India on whole cannot make much of development (yeah, even considering the fact that we are now becoming one of the super powers of the world) per say. We could have done lot better in these 60 years, but we have not.

 

So waiting for “Nayak – 2” to happen.

Ganges clean by 2020, a proposal by NGRBA India…

No Untreated waste to flow in Ganga by 2020.
a) Why government waited for this long considering the fact that sewage disposal and treatment plant requires 10 years to
come into existense? Ganga was polluted before also. Ganga is victim of pollution and waste disposal
since long time, then why government waited for this long to form National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) for solving
Ganga pollution problem.
b) Now NGRBA has asked central government to provide them with 1000 MW of FREE power (electricity), why?
You have necessary funds at your disposal. Moreover if you (NGRBA) fall short of some cash you can always raise the funds
from market by floating an IPO or simply some relief fund kind of thing. As Ganga is our National River (which has been
declared in LAST November, thats Nov 2008, I mean what took them so long to declare that and take some action on keeping
Ganga clean or for that matter every river clean?) You should not be asking central government for any freebies.
c) This proposal of cleaning Ganga off wastage and pollution is good, but this proposal should go much deeper than only Ganga.
Every Indian river is ailing with pollution and wastage problem. When Government is planning to clean every river? India is
facing a very serious problem of water shortage in almost every city. Considering the fact that our rivers are more nullahs than
rivers and carry more waste than water, it needs huge investment to purify that water and supply for domestic use. So why not clean
them and use them as resources for providing water to every city and town in the country? Government should undertake that
project also as soon as possible.
d) No doubt, better late than never, Government has woke up to the fact that Indian rivers are getting polluted. But as we all
know that Indian Government is inefficient of executing anything, it will be interesting and important to see for how long the
NGRBA works in line for Ganga cleaning. It will be better if Government really follows the proposal to the exact deadlines,
unlike what’s happening in Delhi prior to CommonWealth Youth Games 2010.Project

Project:                                         Cleaning of river Ganga by 2020

Project Inception:                Still in the nascent stage.

Project planned:                    In October 2009

Project Cost estimated:    Rs. 250 crore.

Project Deadline:                  By 2020

Further process:                   A plan will be devised for cleaning the Ganga and will be presented by NGRBA.

Yes, the river Ganga is about to get clean and purified or rather Industrial wastes will not be left in Ganga anymore after 2020. But I don’t know why so late onto deciding such a critical issue? I have some doubts and questions to be asked and those are as follows:

a) Why government waited for this long considering the fact that sewage disposal and treatment plant requires 10 years to come into existense? Ganga was polluted before also. Ganga is victim of pollution and waste disposal  since long time, then why government waited for this long to form National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) for solving Ganga pollution problem.

b) Now NGRBA has asked central government to provide them with 1000 MW of FREE power (electricity), why? You have necessary funds at your disposal. Moreover if you (NGRBA) fall short of some cash you can always raise the funds from market by floating an IPO or simply some relief fund kind of thing. As Ganga is our National River (which has been declared in LAST November, thats Nov 2008, I mean what took them so long to declare that and take some action on keeping Ganga clean or for that matter every river clean?) You should not be asking central government for any freebies.

c) This proposal of cleaning Ganga off wastage and pollution is good, but this proposal should go much deeper than only Ganga. Every Indian river is ailing with pollution and wastage problem. When Government is planning to clean every river? India is facing a very serious problem of water shortage in almost every city. Considering the fact that our rivers are more nullahs than rivers and carry more waste than water, it needs huge investment to purify that water and supply for domestic use. So why not clean them and use them as resources for providing water to every city and town in the country? Government should undertake that project also as soon as possible.

d) No doubt, better late than never, Government has woke up to the fact that Indian rivers are getting polluted. But as we all know that Indian Government is inefficient of executing anything, it will be interesting and important to see for how long the NGRBA works in line for Ganga cleaning. It will be better if Government really follows the proposal to the exact deadlines, unlike what’s happening in Delhi prior to CommonWealth Youth Games 2010.

Austerity and Indian politics…

Today’s Indian Express says Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar has said that austerity by a politician should be a voluntary gesture. Well, I as a citizen of India want to question this statement made by honorary Lok Sabha Speaker.

 

-> Does flying with economy class brings down your prestige and social status?

-> Does travelling by an ambassador or any government assigned vehicle harms your status?

-> Does paying electricity and phone bills harm your status?

 

I guess every politician will answer yes to these questions, as they are not habituated to live big and work less. Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are held so as to solve the problems faced by the country and state. But the picture there is pretty different. At first place MPs don’t attend the parliamentary sessions, and use the highly costly and worldly pleasures offered at these places. If you don’t want to work there, don’t become a MP. MPs fight in the parliament like they are in a school. Are you paid to do this? Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha expenditure is done through the revenue generated from people. So MPs should note this thing and don’t pretend to be spending their own money on this.

 

Another issue is, what’s the harm in flying economy class? According to Lok Sabha speaker this issue should be left to the politicians. I bet no politician will fly economy class if left on his/her own. The ticket expenditure on every politician is through public revenue and taxes. So why waste in such a foolish way?

 

New MPs like Azaruddin and Shatrugna Sinha are demanding bigger and larger homes. What’s your status man? You are just a new born kid in the Lok and Rajya Sabha. Then why demand such foolish thing? Before becoming MP weren’t you living in the same place? So what’s wrong in living there after becoming MP? If a boy or girl of age 8 is demanding to be placed in class 10, can we do that? A person gets whatever he has got according to his abilities. So better leave demanding big things. At first do some good work and then demand.

 

MPs like Shashi Tharoor sorry Shashi (GYM)oor wants his own gym and privacy. If you want privacy build your own gym at the place you live and maintain your privacy. Aamir Khan also has his own gym, go his way. Why to live in seven star hotels and that too in Presidential suit? Who’s money you are spending there? I bet you are not spending your own money there. And if you are spending your own money, give Indian citizens the source of such huge money. Same applies for S.M. Krishna also.

 

Hon. Mayawati ji also built so many statues. Who’s money you are spending madam? Why nobody questions them? Banks and courts screw common man for not paying debt and spending more than what he got. Income Tax department raids common man’s home only, if seen some inconsistency in the income pattern. But then why not raid a politicians house and take action after that?

 

These things are really maddening. I don’t see a solution to it, until politicians follow the austerity suit. Freedom Fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, Lokmanya Tilak, Lal Bahadur Shastri and many more, had also lived an austere life.  Mahatma Gandhi left wearing full cloths because people were not having anything to wear. Lal Bahadur Shastri left eating rice because common public was not getting rice to it. Why did these people have done this? Because they followed austerity and that’s why they live thousands of years in the minds of public and in History. Today’s politician’s life is very miserable, because they have done this to themselves. These politicians will only be on the paper of history books but won’t be in anybody’s mind. Once they step down from the throne they won’t be counted also. Mind it.

No to Chinese workers in Indian Power sector…

Yes, India’s Home Minister P. Chidambaram has stated that India is home for skilled and semi-skilled worker. So India doesn’t need Chinese workers coming to India in Power Sector. Home Minister has asked companies to recruit Indian workers instead of Chinese workers.

 

On the other hand, Chinese Government is furious over India’s decision of not providing visas to Chinese workers. Some years back Indian Power Sector opened up for foreign players. India allowed foreign companies to bid for Indian Power Sector. The result was introduction of two Chinese companies “Shanghai Power” and “DongFang Electronics” bidding for Indian Power sector. Chinese Government has stated that Chinese workers are skilled to handle Chinese boilers and turbines so let them work.

 

But P. Chidambaram has taken a strong stand of not allowing them visas to work in India. It’s good to see that Indian politicians taking strong stands but it will be interesting to see how long they will be able to withstand this decision. But I don’t understand one thing. Reliance power also asked Shanghai Powers to serve power sector in India, but they strictly said that they will employ Indian workers only. So why can’t Indian Government state such thing while signing the pact only?

People and their driving sense…

Ahead of Commonwealth Games 2010, Delhi is buzzing with various infrastructure developments (only Delhi Government knows how many of those infrastructure development programs are meant for infrastructure development and how many for internal corruption and wallet filling). The development seems to be much sluggish than a tortoise walking on the beaches. Constructions have only started but the end seems no where. May be the development will end either on the date of commencement of Commonwealth Games or after the games get over. Similarly the traffic regulation and people’s driving sense seems to have gone for a vacation on some other planet (may be on Moon as Chandrayan and other space shuttles have discovered water on the Moon).

The traffic all over India is unregulated. Traffic Polices are only for a show off and for jacking money from people. But they don’t seem to regulate the traffic. They don’t even try for regulation. People also follow the similar notes. Vehicles are provided with Upper and Dipper beams so as to facilitate people in night driving. These facilities are provided for use only. But people don’t use the dipper beam and ply with upper beams only, even though that upper beam obstructs the vision of the person coming from the other side.

Similar incidence happened with me (though it happens on a regular intervals with me) recently. A person was driving a jeep and on a narrow road we came head to head. He was focussing upper beam only. So I flashed upper and dipper consecutively so as to suggest him that lower your beam as I am not able to see anything. But he refused to lower the beam. What I could have possibly done other than cursing that man. I tried to tell him to ply the vehicle on dipper and use upper when necessary, but in vain.

Delhi Government has announced a new program wherein they will educate the Delhites on proper driving rules and practices. But I doubt how useful that will be. But there is no harm in trying things out. Delhi Government and P. Chidambaram (Home Minister of India) stressed out that Germany and China have done the same thing before hosting such big events. The education program in Germany and China were successful because people there think for their nation and feel dejected if someone from outside blames their country. But that’s not the same with Indians. We Indians have lost pride in our country. And that’s the reason we are facing issues like corruption, ill-politics etc. (the list will go on and on).

This is where our TAX money goes…

This is a mail which I have received. And instead of just forwarding this to my mail list, I decided to forward this to general public and everybody out there. This is the reason I am posting this on my blog.

Politics is not a SERVICE anymore but a PROFESSION.

Salary & Govt. Concessions for a Member of Parliament 

Monthly Salary: Rs. 12,000/-

Expense for Constitution per month: Rs. 10,000/-

Office expenditure per month: Rs. 14,000/-

Travelling concession (Rs. 8 per km): Rs. 48,000/-(eg. For a visit from South India to Delhi & return: 6000 km)

 
Daily DA TA during parliament meets:
Rs. 500/day

Charge for 1 class (A/C) in train: Free (For any number of times)
(All over India )

Charge for Business Class in flights: Free for 40 trips / year (With wife or P.A.)

Rent for MP hostel at Delhi: Free.

Electricity costs at home: Free up to 50,000 units.

Local phone call charge: Free up to 1, 70,000 calls..

TOTAL expense for a MP [having no qualification] per year: Rs.32, 00,000/-[i.e. 2.66 lakh/month]

TOTAL expense for 5 years: Rs. 1, 60, 00,000/-

For 534 MPs, the expense for 5 years:
Rs. 8,54,40,00,000/-
(Nearly 855 crores)

AND THE PRIME MINISTER IS ASKING THE HIGHLY QUALIFIED, OUT PERFORMING CEOs TO CUT DOWN THEIR SALARIES. This is how all our tax money is been swallowed and price hike on our regular commodities. And this is the present condition of our country. Plus When the parliamentary sessions are going on almost Rs. 100 crores are spent daily. And even after spending so much on the MP’s comfort in the Parliament, every session almost goes futile and without any result. So why should an Indian pay taxes if the money is going into such a dustbin??? Is it really worth to pay taxes if such situation prevails??? Indian Government should answer and clarify all these things. And I know when clarifying on the things mentioned above only one answer comes and that is “These things are baseless”. I doubt how baseless these things are.

855 crores could make their life liveable!!

Think of the great democracy we have…

 

Prasad B. Kulkarni

Aurangabad.

 

 

Courtesy: A mail I have received.