Sunday, February 27, 2011

That's all, Your Honour! : Feb.20-26

1. "Antrix-Devas deal never came to government approval", confirmed our Prime Minister on the floor of the Parliament. "The Union Cabinet today gave its approval to undertake design, develop & launch GSAT-6 / INSAT-4E, a multi-media mobile satellite system," - that's how the Press Information Bureau of India begins to describe the Cabinet note of Dec.1, 2005 !! So the Prime Minister lied yet again. If the Cabinet was not told about Devas Multimedia limited, is that not a big scandal too? All such deals by ISRO have to be okayed by the Space Commission. The Space Commission consists of the National Security Advisor, Cabinet Secretary, the chairman of ISRO etc. The chairman of ISRO obviously knew about the deal. It is just implausible to believe that the Space Commission did not find it fit enough to ask questions about the satellite etc! And if the Space Commission knew, that means the Cabinet Secretary knew, and yet the Cabinet did not know?? If the Chairman of ISRO did not let the Space Commission know, then is that not wrong?? The Prime Minister, as always, just denies any wrongdoing from his part, and since he is "honest", we ask no more questions! Lying on the face has become the norm, really ! And in other news, he agrees to set up a JPC to enquire into the 2G scam.

2. Maoists (terrorists) have released the junior engineer, and district collector whom they held captive for 9 days. They didn't release them out of any largeese or any sympathy. They released because the Odisha government accepted all of their 14 demands (which included releasing of some of arrested Maoists). Wait - there's more drama. After the government accepted their 14 demands, the Maoists (terrorists) release only the Junior engineer and place more demands for the release of the Collector. The collector was released the next day, but we don't know if the demands have been met or not. The Chief Minister proudly says they didn't give in to the demands of the Maoists, the second time! He forgets to tell us that they met all 14 of their demands in the first place! Fellow blogger, Chaitanya very neatly elucidates here, how the government could not even get itself to conduct a rescue operation in the first place. Needless to say, this emboldens the Maoists to carry out many such operations in the future. The abducted collector has carried out many many developmental works in the district. Maoists (terrorists) have not allowed the administration to build roads. They now abduct a person who has done a lot for the people. Yet, not one of those shrieking "intellectuals" who were very quick to express outrage at the Binayak Sen verdict, haven't even uttered a word against Maoists (terrorists).

3. Exactly 9 years ago, 59 passengers (kar sevaks, women, children) were burnt alive when a mob set fire on the coach in which they were travelling, at Godhra railway station. This sparked of riots in Gujarat over the next 1-2 days. This week, a special fast track trial court confirmed that there was indeed a conspiracy to burn the coach and it convicted 32 people for this crime. 61 were acquitted. Many "intellectuals" did not buy the conspiracy theory, but again they went silent when the court verdict came out. Some of them said that the BJP should answer to the people of this country why 61 innocent people had to spend 9 years in jail. Er, why should BJP answer?? It was these "intellectuals" and NGOs that fought for staying the trial of this case!! Read the timeline here (compiled by fellow tweeter, centerofright) and see how these false "intellectuals" were responsible for the delay. And they blame BJP for this!

4. The NAC is back. With a bang! Apparently, they "have the full mandate" to draft bills as they wish to. It is upto the government to accept them or reject them itseems. "Full mandate" only means the invincible Sonia Gandhi has given the members the go-ahead for bashing the government, even if it scents that the government is not keen to listen to them. They also apparently have "convinced" the government on changes that need to be made to RTI and the Forest Right Act. NAC has power, no responsibility. Government has no power, only responsibility! Welcome to this political circus, your honour!

అదన్నమాట!: ఫిబ్రవరి 20-26

క్రికట్ మ్యాచ్ చూస్తూ ....చాల ఆలస్యం అయ్యింది అండి. ఈ వారం కి ఏమి రాయలేకపోతున్న :( అదన్నమాట!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Trysts with MSM - Part 15: The Hindu & China

MSM stands for Main Stream Media.

Every year, The Hindu has editorials on ALL Nobel Prize winners. Every year. On all 6 categories. This year, it did not have an editorial for the Nobel Peace Prize winner.

This year, the prize was awarded to imprisoned Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China". The absence of any editorial on this man was very mysterious. So, on twitter, I set about asking three people from The Hindu.

One is their China correspondent - Ananth Krishnan, who hasn't responded to my query as to why there was no editorial. When fellow bloggers at CBCNN asked him ( on lack of coverage I guess), he provided them with three links of his coverage. And that coverage did give us information on who this man is, what he did etc. However, that still never answered why there was no editorial in the newspaper.

Second one was Siddarth Varadarajan, Associate Editor of The Hindu.

On November 4, he replies like this (supposed humour!): @ssudhirkumar I wrote another edit in liu of him! [on why I didn't write anything on the Nobel peace prize winner 2010]

However, the question was never why "he" did not write anything on Liu. The question was why there was no editorial. And so I persisted with the question :)

On Dec.11 (a day after Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, though he was not physically present to receive it), Siddarth replies to me:

@ssudhirkumar FYI Hindu leads with Liu Nobel today

He was referring to their front page coverage of the award ceremony. Well, that still did not answer the question as why there was no editorial on it ! Asked him again, but never got an answer. The attempt to wash away the actual question with sundry replies did not come as a surprise though.

The third person is the Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu, N.Ram. The same question was being asked, whenever he came online :) And late last week, he sends a
Direct Message (a DM is not seen on a public timeline. I don't know why he had to send this as a private message):

Because we're not all-knowing and don't/can't write editorials on every subject; and our edit writers didn't know enough of the background.

Yes - you read it right folks. The Editor in Chief of The Hindu says that they don't/can't write editorials on every subject! And they didn't know enough of background, when their own correspondent dished out three articles on this subject !! Worse, The Hindu did not deem it fit to even condemn the total lack of coverage in the Chinese media. It did not find it fit enough to condemn the Chinese government's decision to black out all international channels that were broadcasting the news.

That The Hindu is Left leaning is no secret (and this is not some silly bloggers talking - even Rajdeep Sardesai recently challenged N.Ram to write an anti-left piece!). Such actions only serve as proof!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

That's all, Your Honour! : Feb.13-19

1. What happens when you dole out free stuff without studying it's long term implications? By long term, I don't mean 10-20 years. Just 3-4 years of free stuff, and how easily the government runs out of ideas! Here's a claassic example. The Andhra Pradesh government, then headed by YSR, announced full fee reimbursement for engineering, MBA, MCA students, whose families have an income of less than 1 lakh per annum. Buoyed by the goodwill it bought in, this scheme was extended to unknown limits. More courses were added, even intermediate fees was included in this! An allocation of Rs. 2000 crore was made in 2009 and now an allocation of Rs. 3500 crore has been made for 2011. So what is the problem? The government does not have the money to distribute! This article in The Hindu explains how reforms that were sought to be introduced (like minimum 75% attendance, passing all subjects) were scuttled (by opportunists politicians ofcourse!). Is it so unreasonable to ask students to maintain a decent level of attendance, when you are paying their whole fees? The politicians think otherwise! Last year, the govt. could release only Rs.1000 crore. The college managements have threatened to close their institutions from the 24th of Feb. (can't blame them - how will they run colleges without the money?). And the saviour of the people of Andhra Pradesh, Shri Jagan Mohan Reddy is now on a 7-day fast, demanding that the Congress government immediately release all the required Rs.5900 crores (actually, if he shares a small part of his wealth, he can help solve this problem!). Just 4 years into this "free" scheme, a curosry look at how badly this was handled is indicator enough for the short sightedness of our leaders. Sadly, the menance of "free" stuff doesn't seem to go away anytime in the near future.

2. Last Wednesday, the district collector of Malkangiri (Odisha) and a junior engineer travelling with him were abducted by Maoists. They set a 48 hour deadline to the government, with demands including stopping of Operation "Green Hunt", releasing of innocent tribals languishing in jails, etc etc. They even suggested the names of two people (Prof. Haragopal and R. Someswara Rao) with whom they are willing to negotiate. They have even demanded the release of some of their counterparts. The Odisha government looks inclined to release some of them. The negotiations have just begun and the Maoists have extended their deadline further. They even blocked the roads, by felling trees, so that the police will find it difficult to carry out search and rescue operations! Fellow tweeter, Dubash bought it to the public notice that the collector was travelling on a bike with no security at all, when this incident happened. This is a very big security lapse and hope the governments learn something from this. This incident has bought back the focus on this whole menace of naxalism and their terror acts. Sadly, given the dormant policy of government, this menace doesn't seem to go away anytime in the near future!

3. Post that disastrous press conference by the Prime Minister, two significant things happened. The Antrix-Devas deal was scrapped by the Cabinet Committee on Security. So the S-band is back in our hands now (though no mention of how it went out of our hands in the first place, who was responsible etc etc). And your honour, Shri A. Raja was arrested by the CBI, and will be in Tihar jail till the 4th of March! Let's hope that this is just the beginning of his political end (though that possibility is remote!). That's all, your honour!

అదన్నమాట! : ఫిబ్రవరి 13-19

"ఫీజు పోరు" - ఇది మన ప్రియతమ నేత శ్రీ జగన్ మోహన్ రెడ్డి గారు చెప్పటిన దీక్ష పేరు. ఏడు రోజులు పాటు దీక్ష చేస్తారు అంట ! ఇంతకి ఈ ఫీజు గోల ఏంటి ? నాలుగేళ్ల క్రితం, వైఎసార్ గారు ఒక పధకం పెట్టారు. ఏడాది కి లక్ష రూపాయలు కన్నా తక్కువ ఆదాయం ఉన్న ఇళ్ళలో, ఇంజనీరింగ్, ఎంబీయే , ఎమ్సీయే లాంటి కోర్స్లు చేసే విద్యార్ధులకి ప్రభుత్వం ఫీజులు చెల్లిస్తుంది ! ఈ పధకం వల్ల మంచి పేరు రావడం తో, మరిన్ని విద్యార్ధులకు పనికి వచ్చేలా ఈ పధకాన్ని వర్తిమ్పచేసింది. ఫలితంగా, ఏడాది కి 3500 కోట్లు కర్చు పెట్టె పరిస్థితి వచ్చింది. అంత డబ్బులు ఇప్పుడు ప్రభుత్వం దగ్గర లేదు మరి ! ప్రతి డిగ్రి కోర్సు కి, ఇంటర్మీడియట్ చదువు కి కూడా ఈ పధకాన్ని, ముందు చూపు లేకుండా, వర్తింప చేసింది. ఇప్పుడు ఏమో కాలేజులు ఫీజులు చేల్లిన్చందే, మేము ఇంకా నడపలేము అంటునారు ! ప్రభుత్వం ఏమో, ఇప్పుడు ఒక 1000 కోట్లు ఇస్తాము, మిగతాది తరువాత చూస్తాం అంటున్నారు. ఈ డబ్బు క్రిందటి సంవత్సరం రావాల్సిన డబ్బులు! యాజమాన్యాలు మాత్రం కనీసం సగం ఫీజులు అయిన చేలించందే , మేము ఇంకా కాలేజి నడపలేము అని తెగేసి చెప్పారు ! ఈ పధకం లో కొన్ని సంస్కరణలు తెద్దాము అని రోశయ్య సర్కారు ప్రయత్నించింది. కనీసం 75 %రోజులు కాలేజి కి రావాలి అని, అన్ని సబ్జక్ట్లలో పాస్ అవ్వాలి అని - ఇలా కొన్ని కొత్త రూల్స్ పెడదాము అని ఆలోచన చేసింది. కాని, మన రాజకీయ నాయకులు దీనికి ఒప్పుకోలేదు! ఇప్పుడు ఏమో రభస సృష్టిస్తున్నారు!

తెలంగాణా రాష్ట్ర సమితి వల్ల హింసాత్మక విధానాలకు అడ్డు అదుపు లేకుండా పొయ్యింది ! లోక్ సత్తా అధ్యక్షుడు జయప్రకాశ్ నారాయణ గారి మీద, ఒక టీఆరఎస్ కార్యకర్త (ఎంఎల్యే డ్రైవర్ అంట) దాడి కూడా చేసారు ! అసెంబ్లీ లో గవరనర్ ప్రసంగిస్తూ ఉంటె, అయన దగ్గర నుండి ఆ పత్రాన్ని లాగేసుకున్నారు! మరుసటి రోజూ, కనీస మర్యాద కూడా చూపించకుండా, మీడియా మీద విజ్రుమ్భించారు! ఈ గోల ఎప్పుడు ఆగుతుందో, ఎంతో !

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Revisiting our Civics textbook ...

Dear Prime Minister,

Back in High School, in our civics lessons, we were taught that the Prime Minister is the most powerful person in the country. We were told that all ministers report to him. We were taught that he/she is the ultimate authority when it comes to decision making. However, after the abominal and disgusting reasons you gave us yesterday, don't you think it is time to re-write those chapters, Mr. PM?

In your 71 minute interaction with TV editors, for any question on 2G, you cited "Coalition Dharma". You assert (yes, assert) that you are not in control of everything. You plead (yes, plead) for our understanding of your helpless situation and vouch (yes, vouch) to us that "you are not as big a culprit as is being made out". So what exactly is the measure of your culpritness (excuse me for the new word)?

You tell us that Raja, a cabinet minister who reports to you, took decisions on his own (also very clearly documented earlier, your lack of control on Mamta Banerjee, Sharad Pawar You tell us that Finance Ministry agreed with Raja, and therefore you found no reason to object. And then it turns out you are lying! Just remembered that early last year, 38 junior ministers come to you complaining that they have no work. 38 out of 78 don't have work to do in your cabinet!!

You enlighten us by saying that there are compromises that need to be made in coalition. When massive loot is happening to the tune of lakhs of crores, we are to feel good about your helplessness Mr. Prime Minister? Like many people asked, what about all that loot that happened within your party? CWG, Adarsh, S-Band, CVC appointment are all by-products of "coalition dharma" or your reluctance to even look at them? B.Raman, in this brilliant piece, points out how other Prime Ministers led coalitions without losing authority. So pray, what's stopping you from exhibiting even an iota of such authority, Mr PM? Just to remind you, "Coalition dharma" did not come in your way of pushing the Nuclear deal (on which you lied to us multiple times too). We shudder to think what next is going to happen in the name of "coalition dharma".

When asked about the recent S-Band deal, you read out from a prepared text. What a sad state of affairs, that you don't have enough facts on your hand about a scam that took place directly under your office! You categorically deny of any backroom negotiations with Devas. Hours later, Devas CEO comes on air and says talks have been going on till like even last month. So who is lying, Mr. PM?

A deal was arrived in 2005 by ISRO (which reports to your office). And your office did NOT know the full details of that deal (which involved building of 2 satellites, alloting of 70MHz of S-band spectrum) till 2010?? A full 5 years - and we are to believe the astute people of your office did not know about this loot! If we were to give you the benefit of doubt and believe you, what kind of incompetent unit are you running which doesn't have access to basic information regarding such deals?

When asked why reform process is not moving forward, you blame the BJP for not co-operating with the government to push forward the Goods and Services Tax (GST). You say that the BJP wants the govt. to go easy on a "Gujarat minister". Some state governments of the BJP have been opposing GST from like 2009. Amit Shah (the Gujarat Minister) was arrested somewhere in 2010. What link does passing of GST have to do with the arrest of a minister? Is GST the only reform that you have envisioned? If so, have you tried to address the state governments concerns about this proposal? If not, what are the other reforms you plan to usher in? What is their status? Will you care to tell us all this, Mr. Prime Minister?

Here's another lie. You tell us that Inflation has been a problem for the past "couple of months". It has been a problem for the past couple of years. You yourself promised to bring it under control by Feb, 2010. Then you said, April 2010. Then, December 2010. And now, neither do you give an explanation for this shifting of goalposts nor do you give us a new deadline! Just a long winded explanation of how "global factors" affect us.

Your desperate urge to sell your helplessness, incompetence and unreasonableness as an unparalleled virtue, is getting nauseating by the day. More nauseating than the spin, sections of your compliant media give us on a daily basis.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

That's all, Your Honour! : Feb.6-12

1. When the Rs. 17,60,00,00,00,000/- (if you are confused with the number of zeroes, it is Rs. 1,76,000 crores!) 2G spectrum broke out, one would have expected that it will take ages for another scam to beat this figure. Surpassing all our expectations, a potential Rs. 20,00,00,00,00,000/- (Two lakh crores!) was exposed this week! In 2005, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) entered into a commercial contract with a private company called Devas Multimedia. This company is headed by a former special secretary of ISRO, and consists of many former officials of ISRO. According to this contract, ISRO will build two satellites which will be used by Devas Multimedia for offering many multimedia services in our country. Devas will be paying Rs. 1000 crore for these two satellites. So far, so good. These two satellites will have 10 transponders which will need about 70MHz of the S-band waves. What does 70MHz mean in terms of money? Here's how one can estimate roughly. In the recent auctions , 15MHz of this band was auctioned for Rs. 67,000 crores! Just imagine how much 70MHz would have fetched! And what did ISRO agree for? Rs. 1000 crore! ISRO functions under the Department of Space, which is directly under the Prime Minister. ISRO is supposed to get Cabinet approvals for such deals. So it is fair enough for us to assume that the Cabinet also knew about this deal.

Here's where you are stumped again. ISRO chairman comes before the Press and tells us that ISRO did not inform the Cabinet that these two satellites are meant for Devas Multimedia! And he says there will be an investigation as to why this information was suppressed! The next question that comes to mind is this - no one in the Cabinet had any questions on what these satellites will be accomplishing? Isn't ISRO supposed to furnish all those details in its report? If it did not, shouldn't someone be asking for more details? How can 70MHz of S-Band be given away and the top echelons not know about it? Is this another attempt to isolate the Prime Minister from any wrong doing? That he is honest, and knows nothing about this deal?

The loud mouthed Kapil Sibal comes out and tells that the Department of Telecom objected to this deal in 2007. ISRO says Cabinet and the Prime Minister did not know about this. Space Commission (headed by the ISRO Chief, with the National Security Advisor as one of its members) recommeded cancellation of the deal in July 2010. Devas says that till atleast a month back, talks were still on, on various aspects. First the PMO even denied that any spectrum was alloted. When The Hindu refuted this claim saying allotment of transponders amounts to allocating spectrum, the PMO went silent, saying a commission was being constituted. Who's heading this commission? B.K.Chaturvedi, the Cabinet Secretary when this deal was finalised!!

They are now saying this deal is headed towards annulment, thereby wanting the people to believe that prompt action is being taken as soon as they knew about this stuff. That this deal went unchallenged for a full 5 years is a blot. That the top echelons of ISRO were involved in this is a bigger blot. That the Prime Minister, as always, has chosen to remain silent on this loss is biggest blot on our democracy.

The S-Band scam was exposed by The Business Line and The Hindu. Please follow The Hindu paper from February 7th to February 13, 2011 (you can access their archives at Their coverage has been top class.

And please don't forget the figure- a total of upto Rs. 37,60,00,00,00,000/- losses so far (only from the specturm scam, we are not even talking about the other "minor" scams). That's all, your honour!

అదన్నమాట! - ఫిబ్రవరి 6-12

ఆంధ్రుల అభిమాన హాస్య నటుడు శ్రీ కేసీఆర్ గారు ఒక ప్రాతన చేసారు - ప్రభుత్వం పై అవిశ్వాస తీర్మానం పెడతారు అంట! అసలు అవిశ్వాస తీర్మానం పెట్టాలి అంటే కనీసం 30 మంది ఎమ్యెల్యేలు ఉండాలి ! ఈయనికి ఏమో 16 ఉన్నారు! ఏదో ఒకటి సంచలనం సృష్టించకపోతే, ఈయనికి నిద్ర పట్టదు ఏమో.
"ఆంధ్రుల అభిమాన హాస్య నటుడు" అనే బిరుదుకి ఇప్పుడు చిరంజీవి గారు కుడా గట్టి పోటి ఇస్తున్నారు ! పార్టీ జెండా ఎత్తేసాక, కాంగ్రెస్స్ నేతలని కలిసి అప్పుడే మ్యాడం గారిని పొగడడం మొదలు పెట్టారు! రోజుకో మాట చెప్తూ, త్వరలో ఈ బిరుదు ని సొంతం చేసుకోవడానికి పెద్ద ఎత్తున ప్రయత్నాలు జరుగుతున్నాయి !
ఇది ఇలా ఉండగా, ముఖ్యమంత్రి కిరణ్ కుమార్ రెడ్డి తన "రచ్చబండ" కార్యక్రమాన్ని కొనసాగిస్తున్నారు. ప్రజల లోకి వెళ్లి వల్లాతో నేరుగా సంభాషిస్తున్నారు. మంత్రులు కూడా అంతే. తెలంగాణా లో కొన్ని ప్రాంతాలల్లో కొంత మంది అల్లర్లు చేసారు కాని, మొత్తం మీద బానే స్పందన వచ్చింది ఈ కార్యక్రమం కి. పెద్ద ఎత్తున్న టీవీ లో వాణిజ్య ప్రకటనలు కూడా ఇప్పించారు ! జగన్ సిబరం నడిపిస్తున్న ప్రచారానికి అడ్డు కట్ట వెయ్యడానికి గట్టిగానే ప్రయిత్నిస్తున్నారు మరి !

Thursday, February 10, 2011

From PRP President to Congress MLA ...

"How can one think of strangling one's own mother?" - Thus thundered Chiranjeevi, in a press conference on the 19th of August, 2009.

This was in response to a front page banner headline in a telugu newspaper Eenadu on that day. "Jenda Peekedama" was the headline. Roughly translated, it means "Shall we uproot our flag?". The story was about a late night secret meeting the MLA's of Praja Rajyam Party (now defunct) had with Allu Aravind (Chiranjeevi is only the namesake President, Aravind can be termed as the "working" president :D). In that meeting, a detailed discussion happened on the future course of the party, keeping in mind the debacle in the 2009 general elections. And the most discussed option was to merge PRP into the Congress. And ofcourse, "sources" leaked it to Eenadu.

Chiranjeevi came out thundering. He accused Eenadu of having an agenda. He called upon cadre to strengthen the foundation on the PRP flag. He called for a renewed effort from the cadre to ensure that the flag stays in the hearts and minds of people (all his words, not mine). He went on to say that uprooting of the party flag is equivalent to strangling your own mother. He asked what agenda is driving eenadu to ensure that the PRP pack its bag and shut its shop. He went on to remind us that 70 lakh people voted for his party and it is an insult to even contemplate such a merger.

Frankly, after watching his "performance" on that day - I believed this was his "redemption moment". If he was intelligent enough, I thought he will use this moment and this headline to gradually turn the tide towards him. The much needed "push" that his party needed, was provided by Eenadu - that's what I believed.

And about one and half year after that "performance" - on February 6, 2011, Chiranjeevi packed the bags, shut shop , uprooted the flag (equivalent to strangling your mother) and merged his Praja Rajyam Party into the Congress party.

From promising to bring in "change" in his maiden press conference on August 17, 2008 when he announced his intention to join politics, to changing his own ideals on February 6, 2011 - Chiranjeevi has really given us a glimpse into his fickle decision making process. Just a day after announcing, amidst lakhs of people on August 26, 2008, that he will usher in people's rule and hence the name Praja Rajyam, he has begun to accept all and sundry political leaders from various parties. Disgruntled political leaders from various parties (mainly opposition parties) interpreted his call for "change" as an invitation to change their loyalties from their party to his.

An old blogpost here has chronicled his various flip-flops during the election campaign. It took no time for him to prove that he and his party are just like any other party in the state. Their basic assumption that people will just look at his face and vote backfired badly when his party won just 18 seats (despite getting 70 lakh votes). Even Chiranjeevi lost in one of the two seats he contested - in what was considered his "stronghold"! Yet,today the english media somehow is desperately trying to project him as some kind of saviour of the Congress party! Why did Congress party need a saviour in the first place?

About 15 days after his "outburst", YSR died. And that's when Chiranjeevi found hope. Suddenly he became an important factor in the state politics. Given Jagan's unrelenting demand to make him the Chief Minister, PRP's 18 MLA's suddenly became the make or break factor for the Congress government. And so all the outbursts against "unprecedented corruption" of the Congress government were forgotten. PRP got ready for a tie-up with Congress for Hyderabad Municipal polls. And then there was widespread criticism in the Congress party - and the plan had to be shelved.

Chiranjeevi resumed his "attacks" on the government. Occasionally he got reminded of issues like corruption, farmer suicides, price rise. A dharna here, a statement there - that was the trend. And when Rajya Sabha polls came up, he announced his support for the Congress party candidates. By now, it was clear that he would ally with the Congress when needed, and the government had nothing to fear. Amidst all this, Jaganmohan Reddy, s/o YSR, quit the party and demonstrated that he had the strength of 24 MLAs and this set the ball rolling. Congress party badly needed him. He needed the Congress party badly. Unable to visualize himself as someone who is capable of heading the party into another election, Chiranjeevi immediately accepted the offer of merging into the Congress party.

After pompusly declaring that he will fight corruption, he shamelessly merged his party into the Congress party. And when asked the same question - Chiru had this to answer - "YSR's govt. was the most corrupt ever. I am sure Sonia Gandhi has begun the process of cleaning that cancer." And he cited the examples of Sonia Gandhi's prompt actions on 2G, Adarsh, CWG etc. (Speaks volumes about his intellect, isn't it?).

Which brings up this question - Is Sonia Gandhi planning to use Chiranjeevi to erase YSR from the annals of the Congress party? Is she using him to separate YSR and the Congress party led by Her Eminence? Is Chiranjeevi a pawn in that larger game to ensure YSR's legacy is destroyed? Entirely possible, given that Chiranjeevi has been attacking YSR for the past 3 days. A very strong effort will be made to grill into the gullible minds of people, that YSR and Congress were different entities. And like all bad things that happen in the Congress party, Sonia Gandhi had no knowledge about the corruption by YSR too.

Or in the event of the state splitting, has he been promised the Chief Minister's post of the Andhra region? Is this why he is looking so jubliant and relieved these days?

It is impossible to believe that Chiranjeevi can even retrieve half of those 70 lakh votes - given his dismal and disgusting performance over the past 2 years. That he found it fit to cheat on so many of his fans and followers will haunt him for a long time to come. Ideally he should have realised that people are not as stupid as he thinks. To assume even today that those flocking to see him while travelling will automatically vote for him, speaks volumes about his capacity to understand any situation.

Chiranjeevi has already announced that he will take up whatever responsibility "Madam" gives him - thereby fully becoming a Congressman within no time!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"మార్పు తెస్తా" నుంచి "మ్యాడం ఏది చెప్తే అదే చేస్తా" వరకు...

ఆగస్ట్ 19, 2009 నాడు ఈనాడు దిన పత్రిక లో పతాక శీర్షిక - "జెండా పీకేద్దామా" . అలా అని పలు ఎమ్యెల్యేలు అల్లు అరవింద్ తో అన్నట్టు యా కధనం సారాంశం. ఆ కధనం తో ఊగిపోయిన చిరంజీవి గారు, పత్రిక సమావేశం ఏర్పాటు చేసి - మా జెండా ని ఎవరు పీకలేరు. ఇంకా గట్టిగా ప్రజల గుండెల్లో పాతుకుపోయేలా మా జెండా ని పటిష్థం చేసుకుంటాం అని ప్రగల్భాలు పలికారు. పార్టి లో మిగిలిన కొద్ది పాటి కార్యకర్తల్లో నూతన ఉత్శాహాన్ని నింపే ప్రయత్నం చేసారు.

అసలు "పీకేస్తారు" అన్న అనుమానం ఎందుకు వచ్చింది?

కధ ని కొంచం వెనక్కి తిరగేస్తే ...

ఆగస్ట్ 17, 2008 మధ్యానం 2:30 కి శ్రీమాన్ చిరంజీవి గారు పత్రిక సమావేశం ఏర్పాటు చేసారు. ఆయన రాజకీయాల్లోకి రాబోతున్నారు అన్న విషయం అప్పటికి అందరికి తెలిసిందే. కాని ఆ రోజూ ఆయన పత్రిక ముఖంగా తన రాజకీయ ఆరంగేట్రాన్ని వెల్లడించారు. ఎక్కడ ఈయన సమావేశం తప్పిపోతాను ఏమో అనుకుని, మా చుట్టాలు భోజనానికి పిలిచినా, చిరంజీవి గారు తన సమావేశాన్ని ముగించే వరకు చూసి అప్పుడు వెళ్ళాను !! భోజన ప్రియుడు అయన నేను , దానిని కూడా వదులుకుని మరి ఎంతో ఉత్సాహం తో ఎదురు చూసాను చిరంజీవి గారి రాజకీయ రంగ ప్రవేశాన్ని !!

ఆగస్ట్ 26,2008 సాయంత్రం ఆరు గంటల సమయం లో లక్షాలాది జనం మధ్యలో, ఇక రాబోతున్నది మీ రాజ్యం - "ప్రజా రాజ్యం" అని ఉద్ఘాటించారు శ్రీమాన్ చిరంజీవి గారు. మురిసిపోయము. రాజకీయాలో తో వేగిపోయి ఉన్న ప్రజలకు ఈయన కొత్త ఊపు ని ఇస్తారు అని ఆశ పడ్డాము. కొత్త తేజస్సు వస్తుంది అని ఎదురు చూసాము. కొత్త రాజకీయం అవతరిస్తుంది అని ఆనంద పడ్డాము. ఆశ నిరాస అవ్వడానికి సరిగ్గా గంట సేపు పట్టింది. ప్రజా రాజ్యం సిద్ధాంతాలు ఎలా ఉంటాయి అని చిరంజీవి గారు అనర్గళంగా వివరిస్తారు అని అనుకుంటున్న సమయం లో - తనకి రాసి ఇచ్చిన కాగితాలు నుంచి చదివేశారు. "గాంధి ఆస్పిత్ర లో మంచం కూడా ఇవ్వలేమ " అన్న చిన్న చిన్న విషయాలు కూడా అయన చదివే చెప్పారు.

ఆ మరుసటి రోజూ నుంచి వరసు గా వలసలు మొదలు అయ్యాయి. మరుసటి రోజూ నుంచే. కొంచం వ్యవధి కూడా ఇవ్వలేదు చిరంజీవి గారు. వలసలు మొదలు అయిన ఒక నెల వరకు కనీసం ప్రజల్లోకి వెళ్ళలేదు. నెల తరువాత వెళ్ళరు. మార్పు తెచ్చేస్తా, పీకేస్తా, బరికేస్తా అని ప్రసంగాలు ఇచ్చారు. అలా చెప్పడం, ఇలా వలస పక్షుల్ని పార్టి లోకి చేర్చుకోవడం. తమ్ముడు పవన్ కళ్యాణ్ ఒక అడుగు ముందుకేసి విచ్చలవిడి గా నోరు పారేసుకున్నారు. కాంగ్రెస్స్ నాయకుల పంచెలు ఉదాతీద్దాం అని సెలవు ఇచ్చారు. అన్నయ సమర్ధించారు.

ప్రసంగాలు మూస పద్దతి లో సా ... గుతూనే ఉన్నాయి. అవినీతి ని అంతం చేసేస్తాం, పీకేస్తం, బరికేస్తం అని చిందులు తొక్కారు. పని లో పని ని తెలుగు దేశం పార్టి మీద కూడా చిందులు తొక్కారు. సామజిక న్యాయం తెస్తాం అని కబుర్లు చెప్పారు. వంద మంది బీ సి లకి సీట్లు ఇచ్చాము అని గొప్పలు చెప్పుకోవడం మొదలుపెట్టారు. అల్లు అరవింద్ గారు సీట్లు అమ్ముకుంటున్నారు అని ప్రచారం మొదలు అయ్యింది. ఇది కాంగ్రెస్స్, తెలుగు దేశం పార్టీల కుట్ర అని మనకి సెలవు ఇచ్చారు. సీట్ల పంపకం కుడా చాలా అష్ట వ్యస్తంగా జరిగింది. పార్టి అధ్యక్షుడు ఏమో ప్రచారం లో ఉంటారు - అల్లు అరవింద్ గారు నిర్ణయాలు తీసుకుంటారు. తరువాత చిరంజీవి కి చెప్తారు. అయన సరే అంటారు ! ఎవరికీ టికెట్ వస్తుందో, ఎవరికీ రావటం లేదో చివరి నిమిషం వరకు తెల్చనే లేదు.

ప్రజలు పిచ్చోళ్ళు కాదు కదండీ. కొత్త రాజకీయం కాదు, అదే చెత్త రాజకీయం ప్రజా రాజ్యం కూడా చేస్తుంది అని గ్రహించారు. 18 సీట్లు మాత్రమె ఇచ్చారు ఆ పార్టి కి. 70 లక్షల మంది వోట్ వేసారు. అంత మంది వోట్ వేసిన ఇంత తక్కువ సీట్లేనా అని ఆశ్చర్య పోయారు. పోన్లే, సీట్లు రాకపోతే ఏమైంది లే, వోట్లు వచ్చాయి కదా అని సర్దుకున్నారు. ఇన్ని తక్కువ సీట్లతో ఏమి చెయ్యగలం అని బాధ పాడడం మొదలుపెట్టారు. నెమ్మది నెమ్మది గా కళ్ళు తెరుచుకున్నారు. నమ్మి పని చేసిన అభిమానులని కాదు అనుకుని, వలస వచ్చిన నేతలతో సావాసం చేసి ఎంత నష్టపోయారో వాళ్ళకి అర్ధం అయ్యింది. అర్ధం అయిన ఏమి చెయ్యలేని పరిస్థితి. పోగట్టుకున్న నమ్మకం తిరిగి సంపాదించు కోవడం ఎలాగో తెలియలేదు. ఈ లోపల రాజకీయం గా ఎలా ఎదగాలో ఆలోచించడం మొదలు పెట్టారు. వాళ్ళకి తట్టిన కొద్ది పాటి అలోచోనల్లో ముఖ్యమైన ఆలోచన - "జెండా పీకేదామా" !

ఈ శీర్షిక, అటు పిమ్మట, చిరంజీవి గారి ఉద్ఘాటన జరిగిన పక్షం రోజులకే వైఎసార్ గారు చనిపోయారు. వైఎసార్ ఆకాల మరణం వీరికి వారం లాగ కలిసి వచ్చింది. ఒకే సారి ప్రజా రాజ్యం దగ్గర ఉన్న 18 ఎమ్యెల్యేలు అమూల్యం అయిపోయారు. జగన్ ఏ నిమిషానికి ప్రభుత్వం కూలుస్తారో అన్న భయం లో పడ్డ కాంగ్రెస్స్ చిరంజీవి ని మచ్చిక చేసుకోవడం మొదలు పెటింది. చిరంజీవి కూడా మురిసిపోయారు. తనకంటూ ఒక గుర్తింపు వచ్చింది అని ఆనదించారు. ఒకే సారి రాష్ట్ర రాజకీయాల్లో తనకి లభించిన ఈ ఉన్నత అవకాశాన్ని వదులుకోవడం ఆయనకి దేవుడు ఇచిన వారం లాగ భావించారు కాబోల్లు. కాంగ్రెస్స్ తో పొత్తు కి సిద్దం అయ్యారు. అయితే కాంగ్రెస్స్ శ్రేణులు తీవ్రంగా వ్యతిరేకిన్చేసరికి ఆ పొత్తు ఆది లోనే తెగిపోయింది. పర్వాలేదు లే, మళ్ళి అవకాశాలు రాకపోవా అని ఎదురు చూసారు. ఈ మధ్యలో ప్రజలు తన ఉనికి ని మర్చిపోతారు ఏమో భయం వేసినప్పుడల్లా , కాంగ్రెస్స్ ప్రభుత్వాన్ని విమర్శించే వాళ్ళు. ఈ ప్రభుత్వం చేత కాని ప్రభుత్వం, రైతులకి ఏమి చెయ్యలేని ప్రభుత్వం అంటూ మనకి సెలవిచారు. ఇలా అంటూనే, కాంగ్రెస్స్ పార్టి అభ్యర్దికి రాజ్య సభ ఎన్నికల్లో మద్దతు పలికారు.

జగన్ పోరు పడలేక సతమతం అవుతున్న కాంగ్రెస్స్ కి చిరంజీవి "ఆపత్భండువుడు" లాగ కనిపించాడు. చిరంజీవి కూడా ఎప్పుడు విలీనం చేసేద్దామ అని ఎదురు చూస్తున్నారు. ఇక ఆలసించిన ఆశ భంగం అని ఇరు వర్గాలు అనుకున్నాయి. కాంగ్రెస్స్ పార్టీయే ప్రజా రాజ్యం ని కోరినట్లు ఒక చిన్న నాటకం ఆడించారు. వాళ్ళు అడిగారు కాబట్టి మేము ఒప్పుకుంటున్నాము అని మనల్లని ఒప్పించే ప్రయత్నం చేసారు. చివరికి ఫెబ్రవరి 6 , 2011 న చాలా మందిని నొప్పిస్తూ, చిరంజీవి గారు ప్రజా రాజ్యపు జెందని పీకేశారు.

జెండా తో పాటు మార్పు కి తను వేసిన బీజం, పెరిగే లోపల పీకేశారు. చిరంజీవి మార్పు తెస్తాడు, తెచ్చే వరకు పోరాడతాడు అని నమ్మిన ప్రతి వ్యక్తీ కి గట్టిగ చెంప దెబ్బ కొట్టాడు. మా జెండా ఎవరు పీకలేరు అని ప్రగల్భాలు పలికిన ఏడాదిన్నర లోపలే, జెండా పీకేసి, "మ్యాడం" కి సమర్పించేసారు. ప్రజా రాజ్యం అధ్యక్షుడు నుంచి "మ్యాడం ఏ పదవి ఇస్తే, ఆ పదవి నిర్వహిస్తాను" అని చెప్పే స్థాయి కి దిగిపోయారు. మార్పు తెస్తా, పీకేస్తా, బరికేస్త అని మొదలుపెట్టి, తానె మారిపోయాడు. హాయ్ కమాండ్ సంస్కృతి కి జై కొట్టాడు. నమ్మిన అభిమానులకి చెంప దెబ్బ కొట్టాడు.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

That's all, Your Honour! : Jan.30-Feb.5

Short post - not feeling too well :(

1. 3 years after he ensured a massive loot of public money, Shri A. Raja has been arrested by the CBI. By arrest, if you are imagining that he is behind bars, you are mistaken. His own bed has been bought to him from his house, and he is just in CBI's custody for 5 days. The DMK party has decided to stand firmly behind this man. Last I heard, the party accused his opponents as maligning the messiah of Dalits etc etc blah blah. And as if this has been the most prompt action by any Prime Minister ever since we gained Independence, the Congress party is hoping to "neutralise" the BJP agenda! This is such a laughable matter - a loot of upto Rs.1,76,000 crores to the nation is a "BJP agenda" ? Demanding that a JPC be constituted to go comprehensively into all aspects of this SCAM (even questioning the Prime Minister) is a "BJP agenda" ? So the people of this country, whose resources have been sold at dead-cheap rates have no "agenda" to punish perpetrators of this crime? It is high time the ruling party realises that this demand for accountability is not just an opposition "agenda".

2. One more "agenda" of the BJP has been to question the rise in inflation. That it has been in double digits for such a long time is depressing. That the Prime Minister of this country lied to us more than once about the deadline by which the prices will come down is disgusting. The latest deadline we get is March. And in Feb 1st week, the food inflation is 17.07%. On what basis has the Prime Minister said that it will come down by March? Or by coming down, does he mean it will come down to 14% ? Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is saying that the government has no "magic wand" to tame inflation - if so, on what basis is this March deadline being foisted upon us? Another lie in the making? Another mockery on the anvil?

3. News just in - Chiranjeevi's PRP announces merger with Congress. Apparently, Chiranjeevi whose key plank was social justice and elimination of corruption is satisfied with the Congress President's response on Adarsh, 2G, and Commonwealth Games!!! More next week, your honour!

అదన్నమాట!: జనవరి 30 - ఫిబ్రవరి 5

క్రితం వారం ది రాదం అని కూర్చున్న. కాని చిరంజీవి గారు జెండా పీకేశారు అనే వార్త ఇప్పుడే తెలిసింది . దీని మీద సవివరంగా ఒక వ్యాసం రాయాలి అని ఉంది. త్వరలో ... :)