Archive for Indian

The Great Election Circus

Posted in Elections, Media, Nation, Politics with tags , , , on May 17, 2019 by swatiaiyer

Elections are very fascinating – normally.  This summer has seen soaring temperatures – climatically as well as the election heat.  I am sure no one has felt the heat more than the Supreme Court and the Election Commission this time around.  This election process started on the 11th of April and the 7th and last phase of election is expected to take place on the 19th of May.  That in itself should qualify for some kind of record.

The following have been the hallmarks of the 2019 elections:

  1.   An election which took a month and a half to conduct.  I don’t know which other country has such a long drawn out election.
  2.   A 7 phase election
  3.   A lot of violence and rioting in a certain state
  4.   Massive rallies and road shows
  5.   A slew of abuses, name-calling, wild allegations, counter allegations between all parties and candidates.  Sadly enough it did not stop there.  The personal lives of individuals have been bandied about in public.
  6.   Endless appeals against contestants to the Election Commission
  7.   A highly polarized nation
  8.   Fairly large voter turnouts
  9.   A large presence of first-time voters
  10.   Emergence of smaller news channels on social media

Of all the above points, the most striking and distressing features have been the new lows public and political discourse has fallen to.  Can it fall lower?  That remains to be seen but I am sure no one really wants to know, given all that we have already been treated to.  The word ‘democracy’ has been misused to mean one can say whatever comes to their heads and nobody can stop them.  It has also been misunderstood as an opportunity to stop other political parties from holding rallies or roadshows, prevent entry to parts of the country, to pelt stones, prevent people from voting and such like.  The kind of name-calling and verbal abuses spewed are a shame to any democracy which purports to be civilized.

The role of the mainstream media has not been very praise-worthy either.  Each channel with their partisan reporting has played no small role in bringing about an extreme polarisation of opinions.  SHAME ON THEM.  However, it has been heartening to see more neutral channels emerge, albeit smaller ones limited to the social media, which have taken the trouble to go out and talk to the common person on the street to get a feel of the mood of the voters.  The kind of increase in awareness and the hard core common sense is an encouraging indicator of the fact that the politicians can’t take voters for granted anymore.  They better pull up their socks.  Let them always be conscious of the fact that the people are watching.  They are neither blind, deaf or dumb (literally or figuratively).

If whichever party or coalition coming to power truly has the interests of the nation in mind, here are a few electoral reforms I’d suggest:

  1.  Make it possible to vote online.  This should help end electoral violence on the day of polls, booth rigging as well as to limit the polling to one day or 3-5 days at the most.
  2.  No more public shows.  Whichever candidate wants to talk to their electorate can go on their own and meet them privately USING THEIR OWN PERSONAL FUNDS.  The public does not need a spectacle of the charade of concern of the public which rears its head once every 5 years.  We’d rather see evidence of all the progress that has taken place.  It is ridiculous how much money gets wasted in all these ostentatious spectacles going under the name of roadshows and rallies.  One more way to prevent unnecessary violence and destruction of private and public property.
  3.   MOST IMPORTANTLY, we the people need to know what the POLITICAL AGENDA VIS A VIS DEVELOPMENT AND ECONOMY is.  WE DO NOT CARE WHAT YOU THINK OF THE OTHER PARTY OR CANDIDATE.  Put an end to this shameful name-calling, abuse and slew of extremely personal attacks on individual candidates.  WE DO NOT CARE WHAT SOMEONE EATS, OR DOES IN THEIR PERSONAL LIVES.
  4.  If you have the gumption, dare to end all this case based, religion based politics and concentrate solely on growth and progress of the nation and ALL citizens.  STOP THIS POLITICS OF APPEASEMENT.
  5.  Talk of your achievements – party’s as well as individual – during the past five years and what you plan to do during the coming 5 years if elected to power.
  6. As for the media, I hope they search their collective conscience deep and long and restrict themselves to doing their jobs i.e. reporting facts OBJECTIVELY without allowing their personal opinions to colour any of the reportage.

I do hope we Indians do not have to see such phenomenal waste of money and such lack of civility in the name of elections ever again.


Proud to be Indian. Are we really patriotic?

Posted in Social with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2013 by swatiaiyer

Proud to beIndian. This was the sentiment echoed in the comments that followed this clip on FB.  We are proud of our educational system. No reason why we should not be.  But just think, how many times do we keep saying this, nay shouting it from the roof tops? We are a patriotic lot. Are we? Are we really all that patriotic in the truest sense of the word? How much do we do for our country?

We never stop harping on all the glories of our past, we don’t stop talking of our golden heritage, all the Aryabhats and Ramanujams we produced. We had the world’s first aircrafts ……  But what are we doing NOW? Almost everything the world knows now, we claim we knew centuries ago. So where is all that knowledge today? Why are we not world leaders? Why are we content with being followers?

We are proud of the number of IITians and IIM graduates we churn out and the number of them who make it big in the outside world – read the U S of A. Do we ever stop to ask ourselves “why are so many of them – generations of these graduates – opting to go off to distant shores? What is it that drives them to go away from the country that gave them this education in the first place? Greed? Lack of opportunities”?

Easy to point a finger at them and say they are greedy and want to run after money, they don’t have any gratitude for the motherland which made them what they are. But what about our other four fingers which are pointing back at us? As tax payers we fuel in money into the governmental kitty to fund these institutions. As parents we sweat day and night to support our off spring while they work hard and to ensure that they make the grade to get into these world class institutions. We goad them on to go off to foreign shores – for two reasons:

  • The desire to see them realize their fullest potential in their careers
  • Personal gratification and the opportunity to boast about our kids to society

Let us leave out the second reason and its ramifications for another post, another day. Let us just concentrate on the first reason. Why should they have to seek better opportunities abroad? Why don’t they have the best opportunities here in our country? Is there a lack of money? I doubt it. If we think of the amount of money that gets diverted into the personal kitties and overseas bank accounts of politicians and other financial scams, if we think of the fact that we have enough money to launch spacecrafts, do we not have sufficient money to do something here at ground level to ensure that our youngsters stay in our country and contribute to our growth? Yes, the ones who are abroad eventually might invest some money in our country, but what about the rest? What we are reaping is just a fraction of what we sow. Does this make sense?

So why is this the way it is? Lack of political will? Corruption in high places? Lack of far-sighted policies? Policies that throttle the opportunities of capable men and women from getting well-deserved posts in governmental jobs – policies such as reservation of posts based on considerations such as caste and gender? Family contacts, political contacts, bureaucracy, caste considerations, gender considerations being the primary considerations in allotment of jobs?

And then we shout out from the roof tops that we are proud to be Indian. That is not true patriotism. “Do not ask what your country does for you, ask what you can do for your country”. True, provided there were not so many goons out there parading as politicians who controlled my ability to do a lot more for my country than I presently can.

As of now I can say, yes, I am proud to belong to a country and a race which has so much of brain power. I am proud to belong to a race that has individuals like a Narayan Murthy, a Kiran Mazumdar Shah, an Azim Premji among many others. I am proud to belong to a race that produces individuals from the most ordinary backgrounds who beat all odds to rise above their circumstances and limitations to make it big. But NO, I am not proud to belong to a country that ranks high in a list of the most corrupt countries of the world, sends up satellites but does not have decent sanitation in many places, does not have sufficient health care for its poor, does not provide sufficient job opportunities to cater to that section of its population who are highly skilled and highly educated and whose literacy rates are still phenomenally low. ‘

Yes, we have a lot going for us, but it is of no use if we don’t learn to harness all the skills that our country produces more productively and if we don’t do more for our people and provide a better quality of life for everyone. It does not suffice to just say we are proud to be Indian. We have to prove it through our deeds.

A Kaleidoscope World

Just another site

The Satsang Foundation

The official website of The Satsang Foundation

Deutsch lernen mit Deutschlernerblog

Deutsch lernen - Hörverstehen, Leseverstehen, Wortschatz, Grammatik, Übungen, Prüfungen, Schreiben, Quiz, Musik, Videos, Bilder


Between learning and unlearning, some writing on climate reality, solid waste management, composting, urban organic farming, etc.


A great site

Second to None

reduce | reuse | recycle | replenish | restore | renew | rethink

A wide angle view of India

Issues Views Reviews

The sea and me

Dr. K. A. Acharya

Indian Homemaker's Photoblog

A place to share my photographs...

the healthy doctor

drcarolynee - finding the answers to health and happiness


Life comes in myriad hues and flavours. Each day brings its joys, sorrow, laughter and tears. Through this blog I shall try to connect with my readers about subjects close to my heart and subjects which touch my day to day life. I shall try and share my experiences with my readers in the hope that they will be helpful to someone somewhere and that some reader may be able to share their inputs helping me get a different perspective on Life.


This blog is my space to write my thoughts, views and notes about our travels. Osho owned 90 Rolls Royces while being a Sanyasi ..... The so-felt contradiction is very fascinating and hence the name !

Trapped Magazine

Breaking Through, Breaking the Traps

Amit Sharma

Welcome to the website

The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

My life and everything that touches it....