Some yawns and many rivalries



Speaking to a man in the know, the other week, I was rather amused to hear him describe the situation in the Nationalist Congress Party rather succinctly.

“Sharad Pawar cannot stand his nephew Ajit. Ajit Pawar cannot stand his cousin (Pawar’s daughter) Supriya Sule. Supriya can’t stand Ajit either. Chhagan Bhujbal can’t stand RR Patil; RR Patil can’t stand Jayant Patil. His predecessor in the job of Maharahstra’s home minister), Jayant Patil cannot stand RR either … and so it goes on.”

I could have added: Uddhav Thackeray cannot stand Raj Thackeray. Ditto Raj vis-a-vis Uddhav. Gopinath Munde cannot stand Nitin Gadkari and vice versa. And no Congressman in Maharashtra can stand their own chief minister Prithviraj Chavan. Which is why when Ajit and Bhujbal tore into him for criticizing RR Patil’s handling of the home department at a cabinet meeting last week, not one of his own ministers came to his rescue.

If Maharashtra is, then, still standing on its feet and has not collapsed so far, it is entirely because, I believe, its people have done much good in the past to society (in the form of its pioneering reforms, etc). They helped themselves then and so God is helping the state along now.

With barely six months to go to the civic elections in Bombay, it was no surprise the that all political parties – bar the ruling ones – should jump onto the bandwagon of mill workers and demand free housing to them, 29 years after such a need became apparent. Is that scraping the bottom of the barrel? I think so – though no one denies the legitimacy of the issue, one wonders where all these political parties were when mill workers were languishing all this while.

Much was made of both Uddhav and Raj Thackeray supporting the move and many television channels even jumped the gun describing the two warring cousins as coming together for a common cause.

“Will they unite as the next step?” many queried. But I was pretty certain that that is not about to happen in a hurry. Raj refused to share the dais with his cousin and, not surprisingly, when Uddhav announced a bandh on August 1 to protest the rights of mill workers, Raj withdrew saying the better way, with an Assembly session underway, was to ask your own MLAs to press the ministers and put the government on the mat.

Of late, Raj has been coming off as the more measured and nuanced of the two, simply because Uddhav has been beating him to the kind of protests (street fights, et al) which would be right up Raj’s own sleeve. So if one decides to head north, the other would decidedly go south or east or west, so long as it is no where near his bete noire.

Now that’s the same with both Munde and Gadkari, except that both cannot stand Uddhav Thackeray either (and vice versa). They may well be able to get along with Raj but their alliance with the Sena does not allow them to explore that avenue, so each of their supporters undercuts the other’s

There is so much distrust within the NCP that only Sharad Pawar holds them together – and of course their fear of the Congress, which itself is racked with rivalry and incompetence, that the NCP seems far stronger.

In all my years as a political journalist, I have never seen any state, including my own (Maharashtra) in such a situation where no one knows where the other is going and almost everybody is resorting to reactions rather than actions.

Had it not been for the fact that Maharashtra is due for a big round of local self- government elections, across zilla parishads, municipal councils and municipal corporations, there would not have even been a morcha of mill workers on Thursday. These elections are a matter of life and death to the Shiv Sena, if no other party, and so there was some energy on display in both the government and the opposition this week. Nevertheless even that energy was a response, a reaction to situations and circumstances rather than original action. They are all turning Newton’s Law – every action has an equal and opposite reaction – not just on its head but to the side!

Without the benefit of these elections all political parties would have been content with their sloth and lethargy, thinking only about their petty squabbles and not at all about the welfare of the people that should be their prime concern.

Yawn! Gosh, their lethargy seems to have gotten into me and I am almost falling asleep at my computer! I am off for a cup of coffee – and I hope, in the meantime, political parties decide what’s best for the people and not just for themselves!

Postscript:
I hope the Congress and the NCP wake up long enough to remind the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, who were in the forefront of the morcha demanding free housing to mill workers, that their leader Manohar Joshi and MNS president Raj Thackeray are the ones who have bought up vast tracts of mill workers’ land in partnership with each other and are equally guilty of displacing them.

Moreover, when Bal Thackeray expressed the concern that these mill workers should be allotted homes in their upcoming projects, both Raj and Joshi were clear: these were commercial projects and there was no room for free housing for the displaced mill workers.

Come again?

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  • BharGo

    BTW Raj has already clarified that the settlement for Kohinoor Mills has been already given to its workers.

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  • reena

    Height of bigotery, Thakrey and Joshi own the lands and then are demanding free housing for mill workers,

    By the way, where do you get all these facts from, I wonder if there party workers themselves know that extent of their wealth and assets,
    What’s election commission and tax department doing…

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  • Parmanu

    “It’s rare when you’re young – or actually, at any time – to do things not to learn learn, not because you need them to get ahead, not because you have talents you want to explore and exploit, not because you aim to dazzle the world with your accomplishments, not because you may be good at them, but just because you want to do them, just for the pleasure of doing them, that’s all.”

    So true. I wish more parents would read what you’ve written here.

    “Why is it so difficult to learn something solely for the pleasure of it…?”

    Indoctrination at a young age, then the culture around us. In the end it reflects our constant struggle to inject meaning into a meaningless existence, and few of us notice the paradox in this.

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    Kushal Reply:

    “…our constant struggle to inject meaning into a meaningless existence, and few of us notice the paradox in this.”

    Don’t get me started, Parmanu. I have tonnes to say on meaningless existences.

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  • Kushal

    Hmm, true, play is all supervised these days. Every day, in every way, I’m glad I’m getting older and older.

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  • Kushal

    Hahahaha, Anamika, you’re just BOUNDING with energy. Happy happy new year to you too. And yay that you like science books too – isn’t education wasted on the young?

    Thanks for the Pico Iyer piece. It’s been doing the rounds on Facebook, always preceded by the comment, “It’s ironic to post this on Facebook”. Hilarious.

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  • Anonymous

    This article is not only reactionary it is downright seditous. It is breathtaking he is comparing ISRAELI PLAESTANIAN CONFLICT WITH INDIA PAKISTAN CONFLICT.
    This is ISLAM , ummah COMES FIRST , spit on the hand of the country that feeds you. I would advice this CLOSET JIHADI to read a book called THE ARABS BY EUGENE ROGAN.Jews SIMPLY KICKED OUT PLAESTANIANS FROM THEIR HOMES ONE NIGHT. Many died while trying toi swim across and flee.
    KASHMIR WAS ACCEDED BY AN INSTRUMENT OF ACCESION.
    iT IS THE PAKISTANI BALUCH AND PATHAN SOLDIERS WHO INVADED , RAPED AND PILLAGED IN 1947, in poonch rajauri which led to india intervene militarily
    here is a quote
    “As Pakistan teeters on the precipice of instability, Kashmiri groups, particularly in the UK, appear to be doing their own review of history and strategy. For the first time
    in 62 years, 13 Kashmiri political groups in the UK, under the umbrella of the Kashmiri National Party, passed a resolution against Pakistan’s tribal invasion into India in October 19″articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com
    ZIA WANTS TO AIRBRUSH 26/11 OUT OF MEMORY
    He needs to be reminded 54 OF HIS CO RELIGIONIST DIED IN THAT CARNAGE
    He quietly swallows PORKY(oops pork) offered by the ISI
    WHEN KASAB HIMSELF AND DAVID COLEMAN HEADLEY AKA GILANI HIMSELF HAVE CONFESSED THAT ISI PLANNED , TRAINED FUNDED , GUIDED MOMITORED AND EXECUTED
    Mahathir was right INDIA INDEED HAS TOO MUCH DEMOCRACY(READ RIGHT TO SPREAD FALSEHOOD), just REFLECT ON THE BLIND CHINESE LAWYER IN CHINA

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  • Anonymous

    Folks this is to counter the CANARD spread by a low caste hindu convert full of Malcontent, the facts about KASHMIR and why this has no resembaLNCE TO iSRAELI pALESTANIAN CONFLICT
    Pakistani backed[11]:18 Pashtun tribal intervention from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that aimed at supporting the revolution,[15][16] the Maharaja asked for Indian military assistance. India set a condition that Kashmir must accede to India for it to receive
    assistance. The Maharaja complied, and the Government of India recognized the accession of the erstwhile princely state to India. Indian troops were sent to the state to defend it. The Jammu & Kashmir National Conference volunteers aided the Indian Army in its campaign to drive out the Pathan invaders.[17]

    Pakistan was of the view that the Maharaja of Kashmir had no right to call in the Indian Army, because it held that the Maharaja of Kashmir was not a heredity ruler, that he was merely a British appointee after the British defeated Ranjit Singh who ruled the province before the British.[13] There had been no such position as the “Maharaja of Kashmir” prior to British rule. Hence Pakistan decided to take action, but the Army Chief of Pakistan General Douglas Gracey did not send troops to the Kashmir front and refused to obey the order to do so given by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Governor-General of Pakistan. Gracey justified his insubordination by arguing that Indian forces occupying Kashmir represented the British Crown and hence he could not engage in a military encounter with Indian forces. Pakistan finally did manage to send troops to Kashmir but by then the Indian forces had taken control of approximately two thirds of the former principality(Source WIKIPEDIA)

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  • RajX

    Acting friendly when you can’t afford to be enemies is no virtue but just a strategy. With the Pakistanis, we should always be on our guard. That country was formed on a philosophy of hatred of the everything native to the subcontinent. That will never change. The only thing we can do is to manage Pakistan and be on our guard. Destabilizing them will also affect us badly because we will be facing refugees from there and that will be a total disaster. The afghans or the Iranians will never take in Pakistani refugees if something goes terribly wrong in Pakistan.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EOII4DSW7M64RHMWEWDIHWGSKI Zain Uddin

    If Mr. Manmohan sing in his eight years govt couldn’t do any thing he will or can’t do any thing for next two years as well , He had a golden chance when Musharf Regime in Pakistan offer him Kashmir solution which was totally against the will of Pakistani and Kashmir people and UNO resolution on Kashmir,
    Strong Anti Pakistan establishment in India will never allow him to fix the issue with Pakistan what India has created since the birth of these countries,
    India is main root cause of all trouble in this region with it’s neighbours , it has issues with China,Srilanka ,B’Desh and of course, pakistan, doesn’t how many Blog you write to hide the truth and your black face truth will come out cevilizrd world is not fool.

    1947-India violated British India Independence Act and invaded Muslim Majority sates of Kashmir which suppose to join Pakistan as per this pact
    India this illegal Act leads to 1948, 65 & 99 war

    1971—India once again violated UN Charter and interfered in Pakistan and invaded in East Pakistan which leads to 71 War and creation of B’desh.

    1984—India once again violated UNO Charter and invaded line of Control and occupied Pakistan land in Sia Chin Glacier and destroy this beautiful roof top of the world, Indian army not only dumping it’s chemical or nuclear waste but also using chemical to melt down the Glacier which is costing big time Indus River system in subcontinent, which has affected weather pattern but also agriculture land both side of boarder, Indians must accept and apologies for this environmental disaster and withdraw it’s forces before 1984 position, other wise it’ll tiger one more nuclear standoff

    India- And violating Indus water treaty and steeling water and building dams on Pakistani rivers
    How Pakistani can trust India and write one more truce, where you’re violating all previous treaties…………….. Shame on you

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  • Anonymous

    You cannot trust the Pakistanis. Right now they have no money and have run out of ideas. The moment they have some money, they will be back to creating trouble. No one should underestimate the ability of the military and ISI. Only Fools will overlook the past.

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  • Anonymous

    Looks like the one guy you met in Pakistan, who, conveniently happened to be a higher up in ISI, told you exactly what you wanted to hear, and not surprisingly, you believed every word of it. Then you came here, brushed aside 26/11 because “he said so” and with a bleeding heart, started apologizing on behalf of Pakistan. Thanks, but no thanks. Your credibility has taken a hit because of all this.

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  • Anonymous

    The likes of you and Jawed Naqvi just make me sick to my stomach.

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  • Anonymous

    I read this write up with complete disbelief. I have been a student of India’s relations with Pakistan for some time, and especially from 1998 onwards. I have seen nothing in the practice of the Pakistan policy makers to encourage a hope, much less an expectation, that Pakistan could indeed turn a new page. Even the comments do not justify an optimistic assessment.
    What we see instead in all kinds of writings that emante from Pakistan is that there is colossal and consistent misinterpretation of history and everything that led to the partition of 1947. Since then Pakistan’s youngsters have been brainwashed into believing that India and its Hindus constitute a standing threat to Pakistan and Islam: therefore, they argue that everything must be done to ensure that good relations with India must never arise.
    In fact it has been my reading that in Pakistan there is no constituency for good relations with India. This is contrary to what this write up says, namely, “There is no constituency in Pakistan today that wants confrontation with India, the armed forces included,” as the Pakistani Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed put it. I am afraid I remain unconvinced.
    Pakistan blames India for everything that goes wrong in Pakistan, whether it was/is Kashmir, East Pakistan, Baluchistan, Afghanistan, or anything else. Gen Musharraf was so enamoured of seeing the Indian hand in everything big or small happening in Pakistan that a young nephew of mine once commented: “Next time his bathroom leaks, Gen Musharraf will say that India has done it.” There is a boyish exaggeration in it but it has a point. I do not entirely disagree with the underlying thought.
    Pakistan needs to run its affairs with a better regard for its own people and their development and welfare. No one wants to eat up Pakistan. For all of its 65 years Pakistan has lived beyond its means to such an extent that today it stands on the brink of national bankruptcy. We need to remember the old adage that we cut our coat according to the cloth that we have.
    Both India and Pakistan began their journeys about the same time and from the same starting line but the two have reached very different destinations. The reason is not India’s hostility towards Pakistan but because Pakistan constituted itself into India’s adversary to such an extent that one is forced to think of the two more or less as permanent adversaries. The choice was made by Pakistan and imposed by it on India all along the line. But four wars down the line, Pakistan, like the Bourbons, has learnt nothing and it has forgotten nothing. We thought 1971 would have taught Pakistan something but it did not persuade even ZA Bhutto, how could it persuade anyone else in Pakistan? Pakistan continued to maintain its armed forces at the earlier levels although it had half the territory to consider after 1971, even if more cohesive. ZAB went on to inaugurate the pursuit of nuclear weapons, a quest that his successors never gave up.
    Unfortunately, as the ISI officer said, Pakistan made a wrong choice in the context of fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan and, under Ziaul Haq, inaugurated not only pursuit of jihad but a massive dose of Islamization for the people of Pakistan. To my way of thinking, Islamization has been Pakistan’s undoing, much aggravated by Pakistan’s devotion to jihad and terror.
    It is for Pakistan, its leaders, and its people to make a re-assessment of Pakistan’s capabilities and resources. When they reach a realistic assessment in this respect, it will be time for better relations with India.
    My parting submission is if you love a dame, do your own courting.
    V. C. Bhutani, Delhi, India, 7 May 2012, 1044 IST

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    Lalit Reply:

    Very well written Bhutani ji…here is some more reading for you if you havent read this already…
    http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/pakistani-hindu-refugees-suffer-in-india-no-rehabilitation/1/186372.html

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  • Laghman afghani

    India definitely has an exaggerated view of itself and its economic clout. India needs Pakistan to bring inexpensive energy from Central Asia to India. India has been placed on pedestal because USA/EU wants it to counter balance China. I seriously doubt if India can change Pakistan’s behavior. Behavior will change once the Kashmir issue is resolved according to the wishes of Kashmir people. I find these analysis too self serving and somewhat devoid of any reality.

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SNXIA2OQ3SSDCYI3UI5O2MUVCI Lalit

    They call me muslim, why…here is the reason read the article…in fact poor pakistani hindus have no one to fight for their cause because they are not Indian politicians votebank
    http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/pakistani-hindu-refugees-suffer-in-india-no-rehabilitation/1/186372.html

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  • Anonymous

    Mr. Haq goes to Pakistan, meet some Pakistanis there, tells them that he as an
    Indian and ask for their opinion. He listens to their views, believes them and come back here and tells us how these Pakistanis are honest, virtuous and trustworthy.
    Absolutely rubbish article.

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  • Abu Ahmed

    People who repose their faith in the CIA/Mossad/RAW axis would never accept that ISI’s rogues were paid enough millions to do the needful on 26/11. The USA wants to stay put in Afghanistan and that is why they are droining out all those Pashtuns who are resisting occupation from the Pak/Af billy areas. And of course the USA wants no Pakistani interference in Afghan affairs as only the USA carry hegemonistic rights in that country. Well, for us its good that Pakistan influence is lessened in Afghanistan as that would support our interest. I am afraid Pakistan have missed the Indo-friendly bus – it will indeed take a very long time to undo the damage done to mutual trust. And as far as being on guard vis-a-vis nothern, north-western & north-eastern neighbours are concerned, that would always be the need of our security.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Acha-Bacha/100002815650894 Acha Bacha

    its not only the pakistan , india has always done the same to pakistan … if you say pakistan’s ISI is supporting anti-indian millitants then i also question that what indian RAW is doing in the case of Baluchistan ?
    i hope now its a fact that every body is aware of the role of RAW in training mukti-bahini insurgents during 1971….
    it never has been one sided ……

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Acha-Bacha/100002815650894 Acha Bacha

    dont expect pakistan to present you a red rose if u continue support baluch militancy ….

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rana-Shoukat/100002985102451 Rana Shoukat

    @ fact, it always habben india who always stabbed pakistan in back

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002847329271 Rana Rixwan

    a good Drama by the writer to hide the activities of RAW from the people of india … Lolz … babes indian people are no more fools :)

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shaukat-Ali/100003875555144 Shaukat Ali

    indians have always stabbed pakistan in back

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