Not a home run, this



Poor RR Patil. Apart from the fact that he has not been having a good week, what with the July 13 serial blasts in Bombay and chief minister Prithviraj Chavan pointing out that decisions regarding law and order are delayed, he is under attack from even his own party men.

Patil was so unnerved by the blasts and his subsequent sidelining by the chief minister that he just failed to seize the initiative when Union home minister P Chidambaram held a press conference the next day; was as tongue-tied when summoned to New Delhi and reprimanded by Sharad Pawar for seeming so ineffective and could say little either when his own party man and predecessor Jayant Patil (who was Maharashtra’s home minister for ten months after 26/11) pointed out that he was indecisive as well  – it was RR Patil who had failed to act on a sanction given by Jayant Patil for the installation of 5000 CCTV cameras across the city, we were told.

Of course, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and his predecessor in the job Chhagan Bhujbal tore into RR’s critics, including the chief minister, for their nasty remarks on the home department. But I am now increasingly beginning to think of RR Patil as Maharashtra’s equivalent of Dr Manmohan Singh – clearly, it is not good enough to be an honest and sincere man in such a high profile job. Much like our beleaguered prime minister, RR is being hoist by the people he should really be able to trust and those who should trust him — by his own party colleagues, in fact.

But though even the chief minister, relatively inexperienced in state politics, may be sincere about doing something to get the law and order machinery in the state up and going, I wonder if anyone at all is able to see what’s really going wrong with Maharashtra.

It is the ambition of one man – Ajit Pawar – that is holding the state to ransom every which way. He has already got half his way by being officially stamped as the deputy and handed the finance department. But now he wants the Home department, too – and it is really he who has started this campaign against his own man. That serves two purposes – it unnerves RR Patil, who is unable to take on the likes of the nephew of his party president and it brings disrepute to the Congress which is ultimately responsible for law and order in the state.

I do not think Prithviraj Chavan has as yet spotted what is afoot but I believe the situation will get no better. Because it suits Sharad Pawar to keep RR in the job and it suits him even better to keep Ajit dissatisfied.

For, a little bird has told me, that Ajit does not give any credence to his more famous uncle anymore and it is as much as Pawar Sr can do to reign in his nephew. He made him the state’s deputy chief minister to prevent a split in his Nationalist Congress Party but it did not take him more than a few months to clip Ajit’s wings by persuading Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee to have the board of the apex Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank superceded.

For, Ajit, as its chairperson, was becoming too powerful by far – in a state whose government largely comprises sugar barons and other politicians (including from the Congress) and even the opposition BJP and Shiv Sena who are routinely dependent on the co-operative sector for their finances, Ajit, by holding their purse strings, was also holding their future in his hands and could one day have quite overtaken his uncle in importance in this regard.

It took very little time for Ajit, too, to catch on to what his uncle had done. Not surprisingly, while he had been full of abuse for Mukherjee and Chavan blaming them for conspiring against him, he did not quite dare blame his uncle as openly, I noted.

However, now that he has been divested of any real power he had (though he still holds some purse strings as Maharashtra’s finance minister, that is a job still dependent on the Centre’s largesse) it is another area where Ajit wants supremacy – by having the home department allotted to himself he could be truly the chief minister’s equal and even supercede his uncle in terms of reach and influence.

Knowing Sharad Pawar well, I am sure, the Maratha warlord’s survival instincts are still sharp enough – as evident in his support of arch rival Vilasrao Deshmukh for the post of president of the Mumbai Cricket Association which he can now continue to rule by proxy – not to allow his nephew unfettered power in the state.

But then that also means that much like the war between the two Thackeray cousins – Uddhav and Raj – was destroying the peace and order in the lives of ordinary people in the state, this battle for supremacy between uncle and nephew is now seriously getting in the way of the very existence of the people, literally ending up as a life and death issue for ordinary citizens caught in their cross fire.

How long then will people’s lives be held to ransom by ego battles within our political dynasties?

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (12 votes, average: 3.08 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...
  • Manohar_T

    The problem with RR Patil has been his obsession with moral policing – he has tried and succeeded to certain extent to bring the morality and norms of his one-bull village to the urban centres of Maharashtra. His targeting of bars and restaurants – no women employees after 9-30 PM, no dance bars, etc (as if thiis would solve all the problems faced by the society) has resulted in diverting the police force (always in short supply) from carrying out their duties to prevent and detect crime. I believe he has a big hand in enforcing the ridiculous age limit of 25 years for drinking.

    It seems he has no stomach and time to tackle serious crime, only petty matters. The sooner he is divested of the home portfolio, the better for Maharashtra.

    [Reply]

  • Gt12563

    Hindus are not against Sikhs and they can not be because your Guru Nanak Dev ji father was Hindu it self and moreover in your Granth Sahib on every page Lord Ram’s name is there.Your all Guru’s were brutally killed by muslims not by Hindus.Your writing for muslimls are all because of riots in 1984 which Sikhs had started after killing of Hindu Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.I say killing of innocent Prime Minister by her body guard was coward act of Sikh.Our Prime Minister sent army to flush out terrorist who were killing innocent Hindus dragging them out from buses.If Hindus have to go defend Kashmiri Pundits we do not need your Sikh communty help.Dear your Gurunanak Devji was born in Talwandi near Lahore so as your Nankana Sahib and Punja sahib there if your community was brave enough they should have asked Khali Isthan from Pakistan whom you are defending.I can use your words Siks are like Khusro who could not able to defend their religious places in Pakistan and run cowardly as refuggees in our country.Hindus are nice enough to let Sikh be our Prime Minister even after killing our beloved Prime Minister.If Sikhs want to join with muslims fine with us because some Sikhs have too many grevounces from Hindus they should go live in Pakistan and please do not write your sarcastic language against Hindus.

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    A word about Azadi from History, I would share here. After the invasion of J&K by Pakistani Regulars & tribal’s in 1947, after the massacre of Hindus in Muzzafarabad on 22/10/1947 & killing its DC named Doni Chand Mehta in front of his wife, one KP Pandit Tarachand Wagam was taken as prisoner & later was so-called appointed as new ‘wazir wazarat’ of muzzafarabad (deputy commissioner). Radio Pakistan was broadcasting (propaganda only) repeatedly ‘kashmiri pandit ko wazir wazarat banaya gaya hai, ek aur kashmiri ko judge’. This judge was a Shia Muslim Ashiq Hussain neighbor of Abbas Ansari (former Hurriyat Chairman) & Moulvi Iftaikhar Hussain Ansari at present with PDP. With active connivance of Pakistanis & goons of Muslim conference (who was from baramullah) Tara Chand was converted to Muslim with new name given to him was Mohammad Tariq. After some days he developed fever. Medicines were not available, all the while Tara Chand was muttering the words of his family members, and 15 days later he passed away. He was buried near a mosque in muzzafarabad. His daughter and son Srikrishan came back to valley with Red Cross, this was their azadi. KP,s have tasted their so-called azadi in 1947 itself. Today no Hindu lives in POK that they had cleansed it in 1947 itself.

    1990 being water-shed in politics of Kashmir as it was continuation where Pakis tan left it in 1947, there were first targeted killing of Kashmiri Pandits, KP,s were not & are not aligned to separatism based on religion as none of their political aspirations were not going to be fulfilled by this violence & from day one. They are vindicated on this, the valley based KP Sangharsh Samiti i.e those who did not leave Kashmir (leave alone Migrants for a second) have came out with a report stating that from May-1990 to July 1990, a killing of a Kashmiri Hindu each day took place in valley & Jag-Mohan was not then the Governor, so it speaks volumes about the whole situation.

    The violence in Kashmir was not in any way in their physical & political interests so were forced to migrate. And now this 7.5 lakh KP’ they have a political demand as original residents of Valley like, after all separatists cannot spread the canard that they are politically correct with violence with gun & KP,s are politically incorrect with non-violence, that is political bankruptcy in reality.

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    About 1990 the late Mr P.N. Haksar (1913-1998) came to speak at the University of Delhi and was introduced, if introduction was needed, by the late Professor V.P. Dutt (1925-2011). In his remarks Professor Dutt noted the anguish of the Kashmiri Pandits who had started pouring out of Kashmir in the preceding year in the wake of terrorist violence that made short work of the famed Kashmiriat, which to us in India was the same as the secular attitude. The problem of the displacement of Kashmiri Pandits had started becoming noticeable.
    As the write up says, the attitude of Kashmiri Pandits was much the same as that of the displaced persons from Pakistan in the wake of the Partition. I remember my late father (1883-1978) telling me in late 1947 that we, displaced from Rawalpindi, would be back in Rawalpindi in a few months. After Gandhi’s assassination, my father stopped talking of going back. We stayed on in India, with hardly a helping hand from Nehru’s government. The refugee camps in which we lived were closed within a year. I am not surprised that the present government is not doing much for the Kashmiri Pandits.
    The world was concerned about the Jewish diaspora and decided to give them a homeland of their own: for the first time in history, a new State had been created by gift. Whenever ethnic cleansing happens anywhere in the world now, the world press waxes eloquent, especially if the victims are whites, as in the case of the Jews and the Europeans. But the equally white Kashmiri Pandits do not seem to make the grade and receive very little attention from the world press and from world bodies like the UN. Not much attention is paid to several African countries where events resemble ethnic cleansing.
    It is a moot question whether the Kashmiri terrorists, whom you still prefer to describe as militants, were concerned about Kashmiriat, a characteristic of the state of J&K, which must have had something to do with the psyche and attitude of Nehru, himself a Pandit of Kashmiri extraction. The terrorists have gone on to distinguish themselves by killing even Kashmiri Muslims who were not in agreement with the ideas and objectives that the terrorists were attempting to ram down the throats of Kashmiris. In the upshot, Kashmiriat has been the first casualty of terrorism in Kashmir.
    Perhaps we do not need to argue at great length to make the point that terrorism in Kashmir is for the most part Pakistan’s export and that Pakistan, itself far from being a secular place, could hardly be expected to care about Kashmiriat. To be sure, Kashmiriat ran counter to the ideas and inspiration that went into the making of Pakistan in the first place. If Pakistan’s leaders and terrorist masterminds had no use for Kashmiriat, it was hardly surprising. It is even possible to contend that abolishing Kashmiriat was one of the primary objectives of those who sent terrorists across the IB and LOC from Pakistan and POK. Pakistan’s leaders of all hues have been known to have been fanatics, with the possible and sole exception of M.A. Jinnah (1876-1948) who did not have much time to leave a lasting impact, though.
    Whatever the political colour of governments at the centre or in J&K, their first concern is to appeal to the Muslims of Kashmir, who, as you say, may not care overmuch for the kind of dispensation that they may have to live under if they were part of Pakistan. If these governments have to appeal to the Muslims of Kashmir, then Kashmiri Pandits naturally cannot be objects of the attention of these governments. Then, who should be concerned about ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Kashmir that you speak of? In any case, such ethnic cleansing is the handiwork of terrorists, who are still being distinguished from the State and the Government of Pakistan, in my view erroneously.
    In this scenario, there is little hope or possibility that Kashmiri Pandits shall receive much attention from the Indian central government or the state government of J&K, or from the world press.
    V. C. Bhutani, Delhi, India, 21 Jan 2012, 1200 IST

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    lame excuse to defend jihadi militants

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    make inquiry with panoon kahsmir you will find who always fought and helped kashmiri pandits, it has been rss and bjp, each year my family has been sending money which we are capable of for helping poor Hindu victims of jihadi militants

    [Reply]

  • Kumars1

    Self styled Harbir aka fanatic mullah, mind your own business. Sort out Zardari, Gilani, Kayani etc. Leave the brothers Hindus and Sikhs alone. We do not take kindly to your meddling. We are brothers, any differences are between a family, we will sort them out ourselves. Don’t stir, we are not fools. There are no anti Sikh comments. Our faiths are born from the soil of India, not Arabia.

    [Reply]

  • Abu Ahmed

    The disadvantages of bengs educated, developed, powerful and economically well-off refugees, whose only crime is that they were caught in the cross-fire between the state and its militants.

    [Reply]

  • Kumars1

    You are one of those liar jihadi types who believe everything is a conspiracy of the Jews, USA, UK, Hindus etc. You drove out these unfortunate people through murder, rape and pillage. You are beneath contempt.

    [Reply]

  • anil

    Zia Haq is now a “champion”! Join Bollywood and you will make better living!

    [Reply]

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/LRRVGRQZ7OJLNH6CLQKOGYRF44 Long_memory

    SM Hali is the buffoon who writes stories of fantasy pinning imaginary fault on India in their rightwing news paper ‘The Nation’ (www.nation.com.pk) ..Google him to get an idea of this fool – if this was the type of audiences u met with, you were better off eating biryani at Food street in Lahore

    [Reply]

  • RajX

    Zia, good job.

    “On record at that. Major Iqbal, he said, was a classmate of 26/11-accused David Headley, had long retired from the Pakistani army and lived abroad.”

    Interesting to know that the iqbal guy lives abroad. Wonder where?

    [Reply]

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fair-Reforms/100001048670263 Fair Reforms

    If he had any sentiments for this country he would have changed his name first. If the Pakistani public has to confide with him he must have blamed India and supported Pakistani views. There must be a law to severely punish such anti-national black sheep who eat Indian bread and work against its interests.

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    Lets not let our faith get in the way of our patriotism. I have read Zia’s blogs, and disagreed with him often, but let us not forget that we are all batting for the same side.

    [Reply]

  • Abu Ahmed

    Glad to learn that Pakistani people including army and politicians are veering around to the point that Indians are not their enemy # 1. Had they realized this fact in 1947, there would have been no wars between the two countrty would have prevailed in the sub-continent during all these years. Alas.
    On the Indian side, glad to see the Hindu leadership of many a political party recognizing Indian Muslims’ problems and power (latest U.P. elections) and are talking (just talking as of now) of providing 18% reservations from the OBC quota in education, jobs and welfare schemes.
    Guys, had Nehru, Patel & Jinnah come to some agreement on Muslim reservations before 1947, there would have been no Partition at all.
    It needed the USA’s bombs to teach Pakistan a lesson.
    It needed Indian Muslims’ votes to teach Indian Hindus a lesson.
    Glad both of them are learning well, after all said and done. Let us see some positive action on the ground for a change.

    [Reply]

    Dr Mishra Reply:

    Abu, muslims have not taught the Hindus any lesson with their votes- all they have done is what every militant minority does in India- grab what they can aggressively, even if it is unfair. Like the ‘creamy’ layer of the SC/ST which grabs all the benefits of reservation for itself.
    You are an intelligent man, Abu, so I wanted to engage with you. You may have been better trying to work out why, whether in India or here in UK, muslims are the most backward community.

    Partition happened not because of Nehru Jinnah misundersatnding- but because of a simple fact that the average muslim cannot live with others. Go read up the Mopallah massacre and the trial of Ghazi Ilm Din – 2 key events in preIndependence India which shows how your ancestors felt.

    [Reply]

    RajX Reply:

    Arabized nitwit. Do you understand what will happen if the Hindus decide to teach the Muslims a “lesson”? Islamist Fanatics like you are the reason why the BJP still exists. If you go the way you are going, maybe the Hindus will decide to teach your ilk a lesson and do a block vote for BJP.

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    Waal-arda madadnahawaalqayna feeha rawasiya waanbatnafeeha min kulli shay-in mawzoonin
    And the earth We have spread out (like a carpet); set thereon mountains firm and immovable; and produced therein all kinds of things in due balance.
    Qur’an 15:19

    [Reply]

  • http://www.youbihar.com/ Shalu Sharma

    Austerity does not work. USA has been able to maintain steady growth. What is required is to pump money into the economy to stimulate growth and create jobs. Greece will either leave the Eurozone, will be kicked out or paid more money to keep afloat. The next few days will be crucial.

    [Reply]

  • Arnab Banerjee

    Hyundai grand i10 petrol version might face customer concern of poor mileage. Its the same i10 engine, which has mileage concerns. After all hundai petrol engines can never compete with Maruti.

    [Reply]

  • Vinod Kumar

    The author says that Santro, Alto & WagonR had tepid starts but became best sellers. So if response to Grand I10 launch is lukewarm, that doesnt mean that it can’t be best seller. I10 is best selling B2 segment petrol hatchback for many years together. Remember WagonR is dual fuel and 9 out of 10 Swifts sold are diesel. Santro & I10 together is selling around 11000. And now adding Grand with petrol & diesel, it can easily go to 15000 -16000 all together (Santro, I10 1.1irde and Grand I10 1.2 petrol & 1.1 diesel) and that will make Hyundai happy.

    [Reply]

  • Gaurav

    Sumant,now what you have to say – Grand i10 has already sold 33,000 units in 3 months!

    [Reply]