Sunday, August 28, 2011

That's all, Your Honour! : Aug 14-27

Apologize for not filling in last week...I was not keeping good health. However, the single news that dominated last week and the previous one was this - The indefinite fast by Anna Hazare, demanding the passing of his version of Jan Lokpal bill.

An earlier blogpost, written when Anna first fasted on this issue, has detailed links on the background of the bill. After the government agreed for consultations, Anna Hazare called off his fast. After that, the government of India and members of Anna Hazare's team met several times to come up with a joint draft. However, apparently there were 7 differences (strangely, am unable to find the list of these 7 items, but an extensive list is here ) between both the parties, and the government of India was unwilling to incorporate these demands. This led to breakdown of talks, and to the beginning of confusion.

The government first said, we will present both versions of the bill to the Cabinet and whatever cabinet approves, we will present it in Parliament. And then we are told that only the government draft will go the cabinet. Meanwhile, protests erupt intermittently, demanding that both versions be presented. The government suddenly realises that the opposition was not included in any of the deliberations. It suddenly realises that all this while, it has been talking about supremacy of elected representatives, and it has not consulted those very representatives! So, as is the norm, an all party meeting is called. And in this all party meeting, all opposition parties were unanimous in condemning the unilateral action of the government ignoring the opposition in the first place. Some sanctimonious UPA partners derided Anna, asking who the hell is Ann to dictate terms, at which point they were reminded that their own government was talking to Anna all along!

After taking the government to task at this meeting, it was proposed that the government should first come up with a draft, introduce the bill in Parliament, send it to standing committee, debate it further and then pass (in accordance with the established procedure). The draft bill approved by the Cabinet is presented in Parliament on the 4th of August, 2011. Meanwhile, Anna Hazare had long back announced that he will again begin fasting on August 16th, if the Jan Lokpal is not passed in this session. The government was adamant that passing the bill is impossible, we will introduce the bill and according to established procedure, send it to the Standing Committee to study it further, and then pass the bill. This process is due to take some time, and therefore the demand that the bill be passed this session is unreasonable. Fair enough.

However, the mood against the bill presented by the government was agitative. Immediately after the bill was presented, Sushma Swaraj (BJP), leader of Opposition stood up and said, the BJP wants the Prime Minister to be included in this bill. She wondered why the government is not willing to have the Prime Minister when the previous version of the bill, presented in 2001, included the PM. And she also reminded that the standing committee that went over this bill was headed by Pranab Mukherjee. Pranab reminded her that that version of the Lokpal bill was not passed. And the discussion ended there. The bill was sent to the Standing Committee.

And with this, the government washed its hands off, saying the ball is now in the committee's court. Meanwhile, the hyping up of Anna Hazare's impending fast began in all earnest. The arrogance of the government was slowly showing too. First, they refuse permission for this fast. Then they put in the most unreasonable conditions for giving permission (stuff like, you can have only 5000 people at the venue, you can fast only for 3 days and worst - only 50 two wheelers and 50 four wheeler will be allowed to park!!). The government then goes on an overdrive saying Anna is breaking the law blah blah. Anna Hazare declares that he will start his fast on the 16th of August, despite these conditions. "Supremacy of law" was played in a loop by the government. And then their biggest blunder.

The government arrested (yes arrested) Anna Hazare on the morning of August 16th, from his house!! Not just the arrest, they took him to an "unknown location". The ensuing confusion was unprecedented. Suddenly it was not about the Jan Lokpal bill anymore. It was about a citizens right to protest against the government (and Parliament). Anna's demands might be unreasonable but none can snatch away his right to protest. And along with him, the rights of thousands of his supporters. Home Minister P. Chidambaram tells in a press conference in the afternoon that he does not know where Anna is. All he knows is that Anna will be presented at a Magistrate soon! He along with Kapil Sibal and Ambika Soni reel out standard answers (they could have gone to court if demands were unreasonable blah blah). And then the next blunder happened.

The Magistrate ordered that Anna Hazare be sent to Tihar jail (along with Kiran Bedi and Shanti Bhushan). This was laughable beyond comparison. We have media highlighting that Anna is sent to the same jail that houses the epitomes of corruption. Even the worst critics of the JanLokpal Bill and the methods Anna chose to undermine the government, were shocked at this decision. TV media then suddenly flashes that the saviour of this country, Rahul Gandhi has stepped in and now Anna Hazare will be released from jail. Suddenly, all those platitudes of law taking its course and government having no hand in the arrest was blown to pieces. Now, Delhi police get orders to release Anna.

Anna refuses to come out of Tihar jail. He wants the government to relax all conditions set for his fast. He wants to fast at Ramlila maidan, and unless the government relents on conditions set for this fast, he will not leave Tihar jail. This whole arrest drama is where the government lost the entire plot. The moment the Congress government stifled the right of a citizen to protest, there is no way out of that quagmire. Ultimately the government had to relent to all these conditions, and the fast continued from the Ramlila maidan.

And the response only began to grow. In many cities across the country, protest marches were organised. Thousands of people joined these marches. Critics countered saying these thousands did not know about the draconian provisions of the Jan Lokpal bill. Critics argued that this kind of blackmail will not work, and must not be encouraged. Critics argued that this fast is setting a path towards anarchy. And with each such argument, the crowds just began to increase. Congress party even called Anna Hazare a corrupt person and used harsh language against him(only to apologise later)

The anger is real. We have seen monumental and unprecedented amounts of corruption these past two years. The breaking point of people's patience was reached. Previously, when we opened newspapers, there was news of murder everywhere. These two years, all we see is news of corruption. This massive corruption by the Congress government and the Prime Minister's stellar contribution to the rise of corruption in this country was the sole cause for this anger. It did not matter what the provisions of the bill are - all it mattered was this movement was against corruption. That's all it mattered - and this Congress government is entirely responsible. The valid arguments of blackmail were drowned in this massive support, and frankly it didn't matter if this was blackmail or not.

The outpouring of emotions on the street was a good thing. That most of them who joined these protests, at one point or the other broke some rule or the other is a fact. However, if their participation will lead to a better society, where traffic rules are not broken, bribes are not paid to get things done in the parliament, then the movement has achieved something.

Each passing day only increased the participation. People braved rain and sun, applied leave to their offices, took a break from their work - and announced they supported Anna. All this while, negotiations were on. Prime Minister also wrote a letter, in which he says "your and our object is identical"!! Finally, Anna said that if three of his demands are accepted, he will end his fast. He wanted lower bureaucracy to be bought under the ambit of Lokpal; a citizen's charter to be displayed at all offices; and establishment of Lokayukta at state level.

The government again began it's bungling here. One day, the Prime Minister says he is ready to discuss these. Next day, Rahul Gandhi is given an out of turn chance to speak in Lok Sabha and he says JanLokPal is not the solution and gives a "I believe in" kind of speech, which frankly revealed more about his stupidity than anything else. Anyways, the confusion was much more evident now. The fast entered into the 11th day and the government was nowhere close to finding a solution.

With active intervention from BJP and other opposition parties, the differences in the resolution were ironed out. The congress party was still continuing it's confusing gameplan. On thursday, we are told there will be a debate on friday. On Friday, Rahul Gandhi delivers his magnum opus at 12. More confusion. At 2:10, government says debate is at 2:30pm!! Without consulting parties on what kind of resolution, they announce a debate at 2:30. BJP objects, and more time is bought now. Finally Parliament agrees to meet on Saturday, in which the opposition tore into the government and also into some of the unreasonable demands of the members of Anna Hazare's team.

After a day long debate in Parliament (details on that later :) ), the House agreed in principle to the three demands of Anna Hazare, and sent its recommendation to the standing Committee. Anna agreed to end his 13 day fast.

Phew - that was a very long post :) Apologies, but wanted to document all at one place. That we continue to suffer from this tragic Congress regime is unfortunate. Will end this post now - and will continue later :) Before ending, hats off to the 74 year old Anna Hazare. Hats off.

Friday, August 26, 2011

THE Precedent!

On 23rd August, CNN-IBN asked:

At 10 pm tonight...Will Anna's protest style now become a precedent for the future?

A precedent? Really? So no one threatened and blackmailed the government with a fast unto death till date? Why go way back into the past, lets go to Dec 2009 when the central government announced a separate Telangana state by giving in to the KCRs demand. The resultant chaos because of that caving in by GoI, is there for all to see (well, except for these self professed national media). But back then, while the fast was on, the debate was on whether small states were good or bad, not whether fasting (and therefore blackmailing) was good or bad.

Curiously, when it came to the Anna Hazare movement, so far, the media has debated how their demand is unreasonable, how it will become a precedent, how the numbers are exaggerated, how negative energy is being created etc etc. And also, those protesting will break traffic lights argument also came into picture. If atleast 75% of those who marched on the streets, decide to follow traffic rules (even if they didn't earlier) that is a huge victory to this movement.

Karan Thapar interviews Arvind Kejriwal and Prashanth Bhushan. He starts bombarding them and questions how can they claim such massive support of people in lakhs, when a CNN-IBN survey says 24%, 42% blah blah blah. That CNN-IBN survey was done with 20,000 people. On any given day during the last 10 days, that was minimum number of people just at the Ramlila maidan in New Delhi. And we are not talking about thousands more in other cities. So for media, their 20,000 survey is the ultimate truth, but members of IAC (India Against Corruption) should NOT be enthused about the response they are getting in lakhs (which again Karan Thapar thinks are exaggerated!).

On August 16th, Anna Hazare was arrested. Ministers P.Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal and Ambika Soni addressed a press conference and were trying hard to justify the arrest. And then a gem of a question was thrown at them ( I am not able to find the transcript though). The journalist said the current outpour of anger is disgust not just with corruption at high level but even the common man has to pay to get things done. He has to pay for a passport, for a license etc. Has the government recognised this, and what steps are being taken to address that issue. In my opinion, that question summed up the correct mood. The answer was ofcourse long winded and generic.

What however was not debated threadbare, is this anger. We'd expect the media to discuss WHY there is so much spontaneous support. Why did people apply leave to their offices, moved out of their comfort zones to march on the street? Who are all these people who are braving the rain and sun, coming out to support Anna Hazare? Instead, what do we get? The Prime Minister himself has said that Anna has become a symbol of people's angst against corruption. Why then have we never debated the reasons for this angst? Why then did the media never ask the ruling dispensation of its failure to control this? As always, this was made to look like a problem of the entire political class and not of UPA alone. It is only UPAs corruption that gave fuel to this fire. To sidetrack that debate is naive. To sidetrack that anger, by citing legalese and rhetoric is disastrous.

Some of Anna's demands are unreasonable. However, what drove him to make those unreasonable demands? And why is there such an outpour of support for those demands? Ill - informed you would say? Then who will take the blame for that? The media which did not disseminate full information? Or just blame it on ignorance of the masses? First, you hype up the movement, then you say it is unreasonable. For a change, why don't you decide first?

In what have now become his trademark and famous "gnight" tweets, CNN-IBN's Editor in Chief, Rajdeep Sardesai, recently had this to say

was asked to wear an 'i am anna' cap in studio by a friend. had to remind him that journalism aint marketing! gnight

I was forced to go back to the "My Name is Khan" controversy days, when the entire English TV media wanted to us to buy a ticket and watch the show, to make a point about democracy and all that (strangely, that ain't marketing!). Here is a sample from the same Rajdeep:

to every mumbaikar: go watch mnik in the theatres, its a small, but important way of taking a stand.

Fellow blogger, Vivek, has in detail described IBN's wavering stand on the Anna Hazare issue. His blog is a must read on that topic.

When the MNIK controversy happened, there were only two sides (according to this English media). You are either with SRK or with the Shiv Sena. There is no third ground. It was impossible to get a third view across. I made an attempt, but in vain.

ok @bdutt .I believe in free speech too.I protest @iamsrk calling Pak a great neighbour.As a mark of protest I wont watch MNIK.Can you RT?

Now, since the media itself has problems with the methods Anna Hazare is using, they start debating:

Does voicing any criticism of Anna's movement make you corrupt and anti national? FTN 10pm

The impulsive and "only the present matters" approach of this TV media is getting so damaging, that pretty soon we will all rue for even watching them for so long! All they leave us is confused threadbare - not give us clarity.

Monday, August 15, 2011

That's all, Your Honour! : Aug 6-13

1. After peddling multiple lies on where the Afzal Guru file is, the Central government finally recommended to the President that he be hanged. When the issue of the delay in processing his file was bought up a couple of years ago, we were told that the file is with Delhi government, Delhi Lt.Governor, Central Govt and even with the President! And then like all issues, this issue also died down and the government once again got away with lies. It was very well known that many "prominent" people, and most of the Congress party members wanted clemency granted to him. This despite the fact that the trial court, High Court, and Supreme Court have all upheld his death penalty. Afzal Guru is the prime accused in the attack on Parliament, and this has been established beyond doubt in all court trials. The head of the interlocutors for J&K, Mr. Dilip Padgoankar has even called this decision as bad timing because this might create problems in Kashmir. That such considerations and cheap vote bank politics by many political parties hastened the hanging of a man who is primarily responsible for the attack on Indian parliament is disgusting to say the least. Here's hoping that the President will take a quick decision and close the case for good.

2. Governance in Andhra Pradesh is still being taken for a toss. The latest confrontation is about a clause in a government rule that declares Hyderabad as a free zone for all candidates appearing for SI exam ( I am not totally sure if this rule applies for only this exam or for all exams. But this rule has been bought into the picture each time this exam was planned to conduct). Pro-Telangana people want this clause deleted and their demand is that postings in Hyderabad be made exclusively for Telangana people only. Amidst high tensions last year, the Assembly passed a unanimous resolution asking the central government to delete this clause. However, our dear Home Minister, asks the Assembly to pass a fresh resolution again! This statement paved way for fresh flare-ups. CM had to convince our dear Home Minister that it is not possible to get a fresh resolution. Somehow our Home Minister seems to have realised this, and finally decided to delete this clause. Actually the SI exam that was conducted last weekend, was not for Hyderabad anyway! Wonder why these political parties made such a big issue in the first place!

3. And finally about Karnataka - the famous Reddy brothers are out of the cabinet! But no english TV media highlighted this. That's all, Your honour!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Disconnect of English TV media!

The Hindu has been presenting the findings of a CNN-IBN & CNBC-TV18 ‘State of the Nation Poll’ "State of the Nation" poll, conducted by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies. Ofcourse, CNN-IBN also debated them everyday and I haven't seen any of them. The findings of this poll have been published over 5 days. Some observations and interpretations to follow now :)

State of the Media

No no - that poll was not conducted :D. Today's poll findings were about the popularity ratings of various Chief Ministers. The results can be found here. Am just pasting a snapshot of one result below.

Now - here's my question - can anyone show or point to a link, where we can find 5 good stories about the top 5 Chief Ministers? Leave top 5 - 10 good stories of the top 10 Chief Ministers?

Let's leave CMs of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala out of this survey - they just won landslide victories, so their popularity is expected.

  • What is it that you always hear about Chattisgarh? Salwa Judum, SPO, Naxalites, law and order.
  • What is it that you hear about Gujarat? 2002. Nothing more, nothing less.
  • What is it that you hear about Orissa? Last we knew, farmers protesting about land acquisition and before that Rahul Gandhi's visit to Niyamagiri
  • What is it that you commonly hear about Bihar? Nitish Kumar is good, bought hope blah blah. One, one indepth story of about how he became so popular?
  • What is it that you hear about Madhya Pradesh?? Nothing! (except for having to hear from their former CM, Digvijay Singh on a daily basis!)
  • What is it that you hear about Uttarakhand? Maybe many of us will even forget that such a state exists, given the kind of coverage!
  • What is it that you hear about Assam? Once in 5 years, when there are elections. That's all.

If we watch and read the publications that published these results (and others too), all we will know is that the above 7 states are either screwed or don't exist!! How come their admistrators are so popular then? Karnataka CM Yeddyurappa has a 51% popular rating. 51% !! And what do we know about him?

The question here is not of media bias - we don't hear of good stories from Rajasthan either (a Congress ruled state). The observation here is the kind of negative and banal coverage silly issues get on the english TV media. The above survey results are proof enough of their severe disconnect from the masses of the country.

State of the UPA

Almost every index that was surveyed showed UPA in extreme poor light.

On Terrorism ( the most shocking thing here is that 61% actually thought government's response to terrorism was good in 2009!!) And if one were to go by the commentary of the english TV media - Chidambaram is the best Home Minister the country ever had. The same media house publishes a survey which shows the confidence declined by a whopping ~30% during his time. Another disconnect? (assuming the survey is true).

On price rise (blame on the Central government)

On Corruption (full page here) only one snapshot of a summary below:

Yet, Rahul as PM!

And finally the one thing the entire media wants to happen - Rahul Gandhi as Prime Minister of India. 19% respondents want him to become Prime Minister.

Except for the survey on Rahul Gandhi, all the other surveys had detailed break-ups of "urban", "rural", "literate", "college" etc. It will also be interesting to note what these segments think about Rahul Gandhi as Prime Minister. The survey (some good questions on the methodology here) covered 73% of rural areas, and it is not surprising Rahul Gandhi get 19% thumbs up as the Prime Minister.

Many have already analysed why despite the congress falling down, the BJP hasn't rised. It is BJP's own failing to counter a massive PR propaganda of the Rahul Gandhi machinery. The media went overdrive to project Rahul Gandhi as an entity that has nothing to do with the UPA government. Look at the state government results - the percieved "Rahul magic" does not work. When it comes to national level politics, then the perception of people is bound to change. Rural people (in general) interact more with the state government - for them a Prime Minister might not mean as much as the Chief Minister means. Urban people are lazy and impulsive - an image of Rahul Gandhi "fighting" for farmers is enough for them to think that he is "the" man. And quite frankly, BJP has so far failed in countering this PR propaganda.

And another main drawback is that the BJP still doesn't have a face for this 2014 campaign (perhaps things will be clear in 2012, post UP elections but any delay beyond that will be damaging). We still don't know if Congress will declare Rahul as PM, but for sure he is their face for any campaign.

A split up of this 19% will reveal much more than what is hidden. I have sent a mail to but haven't received any mail yet. (Update, I just got a reply, and the results are astounding! - below)

Looks like the PR machinery of Rahul Gandhi is turning out to be a success :( .

However, look at the snapshot below.

"The sentiment against the UPA continuing in power is stronger in urban areas and among the upper classes. While in rural areas, the sentiments against the UPA is strong, there are still more people among the sections who want it to continue in power".

Hence a split up of these areas when it comes to the Prime Minister is crucial to understand the Rahul Gandhi "phenomenon". Plus there is little to cheer about - look at that survey. Vajpayee's popularity was 38% in 2004. And yet NDA lost.

By the way, the survey on Prime Minister itself has 3 exclusive questions on Rahul Gandhi.

Padayatra? Show me ONE article that gives us the distance he travelled on foot? Just one.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fine print...

CNN-IBN and The Hindu are publishing results of a "State of the Nation" poll conducted by Centre for the study of developing societies. The poll is throwing up many interesting facts and will be published all along this week. A more detailed study of the poll will follow later. But for today.... couldn't help but notice something.

Yesterday's results were published in The Hindu. The topic was Rahul Gandhi (disguised in the name of who should be the Prime Minister. Don't believe me? "Opinion on Rahul as Prime Minsiter", "Rahul's trustworthy and pro-poor image", "Rahul better known than his work" - 3 out of 10 questions). Anyway, that is not what I want to talk about now.

19% of the respondents want Rahul Gandhi to become PM and he is the top scorer. Snapshot below.

Now below is a snapshot of IBN's website I took this morning.

A first look suggests that 42% of the public wants him to become PM. But the fine print "Among UPA leaders" is small font, is the key. See below.

Again, look at The Hindu's report:

That's how you report it. How come you glorify 42% and then have "Among UPA leaders tucked away?

My apologies if others were immediately able to spot "Among UPA leaders" at first sight, without the attention going to 42%, the question and Rahul's smiling picture. Only because I knew it was 19%, I searched for the fine print. Again apologies if others didn't find this glaring.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The "venemous glee" ...

B. Raman is a former officer of RAW (Research and Analysis Wing, the external intelligence wing of India). He is also the author of the book, the Kaoboys. On his blog, he regularly discusses many strategic issues. Occasionally, he also talks about hate on the internet. He is also a great admirer of Barkha Dutt, and misses no opportunity to praise her sky-high.

Recently, the Congress party announced that Sonia Gandhi went to the US for getting a surgery done and hours later Tehelka reports that Sonia Gandhi is in a cancer hospital for a surgery. While there were different viewpoints on how this serious matter can be kept so secret, Barkha Dutt emphatically declares that Sonia Gandhi is entitled to her privacy (it matters little though, that a NDTV website published the video of an ailing Steve Jobs).

B.Raman writes a blog post titled "VENOMOUS THOUGHTS THROUGH THE INTERNET" and discusses how Sonia Gandhi's illness has bought out the worst in some tweeters. He is disturbed with their thought process, through which they were hoping (or justifying) she would get more sick. Also, in this process B.Raman also brings in the "hatred" targetted towards Barkha Dutt (believe it or not, yes!).

So far, so good.

Now, this article has been picked by rediff. Small change in the headline though. "A venemous glee over the internet". And then the article is split into a slide show. First slide has a slide with an accompanying screenshot of a "I hate Sonia Gandhi" facebook page. Rediff made it look like as if there exists only a "I hate only" page for Sonia Gandhi. Slides 2 and 3 were the most contentious.

Slide 2 had a screenshot with search results on twitter for "Barkha Dutt".

Silde 3 had a screenshoot with search results on twitter for "Sagarika Ghose".

And in slide 3, tweets of yours truly appeared in that screenshot! Now, I do not believe this was deliberate targetting of certain individual tweeters. This is a very very poor editorial call. A total of 8 tweets have been shown on slides 2 and 3 - Not a SINGLE one of them is venomous, nor is there glee over them. Merely having tweets there just because Barkha and Sagarika are "mentioned" is naive. And if those tweets were "chosen" after a scrutiny, then it is a desperately cheap judgement call.

Just tweeting about Sagarika and Barkha does not amount to "venom". This kind of blind assumption that anyone criticising Barkha (because of the way she conducts interviews) and Sagarika (because of...ahh well!) have hatred written all over them and need not be taken seriously is very dangerous. Already Barkha uses this logic to not answer anyone questioning her strongly. It was sad to see rediff fall for this bait.

We requested rediff to provide us equal space to write a a counter argument, but rediff ended up removing those screenshots from the website. I would have preferred if that space was provided, but alas!

That's all, Your Honour! : July 31 - Aug.6

1. Phew - finally some closure to the "nataka" in Karnataka (pleas to excuse me folks, for repeating that phrase many times ... just that I like it a lot :D). B.S.Yedyurappa resigned as the Chief Minister of Karnataka. However, a consensus eluded the legislators on who the next leader should be. After 2 days of failed consultation, the top brass of BJP decided to go for a secret ballot. Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh oversaw this secret ballot. 65 MLAs voted in favour of Sadananda Gowda and 51 voted in favour of Jagdish Shettar. This secret ballot is not just significant for the polity in Karnataka alone. This should be a curtain raiser for many such democratic options. Party Presidents can be elected through secret ballots. Legislature party leaders should be elected by secret ballot (instead of the banal "Madam will decide"). It is sincerely hoped that this system of secret ballot envisaged and executed by the BJP doesn't become an exception but becomes a rule. The drawback though is that the internal bickering amongst party MLAs will be bought out in the open, but that should not be a hindrance to usher in such a reform. Coming back to Karnataka, Jagdish Shettar's group is disappointed that they lost and have even boycotted the swearing-in ceremony of Sadanand Gowda. Sadanand Gowda has a herculean task ahead and here's wishing him all the very best :)

2. The Congress party announced this week that Sonia Gandhi has taken ill, and has left to another country for a surgery that is required. She appointed a four-member committee to run the day-to-day party affairs. Rahul Gandhi, A.K.Anthony, Ahmed Patel and Janardhan Dwivedi are the members of this committee. As usual, some english TV media folks started hyping up Rahul Gandhi, saying that now he is "incharge"; CNN-IBN had a slide show to talk about "Rahul's rise in politics" beside the news item of Sonia Gandhi's illness. Anyways, a few hours after the announcement by Congress, Tehelka reported that Sonia Gandhi was admitted in the Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer hospital. No confirmations though. Then again there endless speculations going on about the nature of her illness. This brings us to another important point - how can the most powerful person in this country be so secretive about this? We are not asking for hourly updates on her health status, but given her prominence in matters that affect governance, shouldn't the people of this country get to know more? When did she leave? Where is she now? When is she expected to recuperate? Even basic details were missing from initial statements.

3. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India released the report on the CWG scam and severly indicted the Delhi government led by Sheila Dixit, the PMO and the central government. Not surprisingly, the english TV media and the Congress party came to the rescue of Sheila Dixit. Apparently, according to Congress, this is not a case of corruption, only a case of mis-management. NDTV group editor, who wrote an article about why Yedyyurappa should go (and she quoted Gita in that too!) was silent on this. IBN editor-in-chief Rajdeep Sardesai sermons that we should stop pronouncing politicians guilty. Where was this diligence while debating previous scams endlessly? It is common knowledge that Suresh Kalmadi is not the lone culprit. The budget for CWG was increased manifold by the central government - most of the times citing delays in the projects. Nobody wants to discuss why there were delays in the execution of the projects. Nobody wants to discuss why shoddy deals and contracts were signed by the government. All we wanted to see what Suresh Kalmadi in jail, and that's about it!

4. Monsoon session of Parliament began this week. The first two days were drowned in din, and no business was transacted in either the Rajya Sabha or Lok Sabha. However, once the government relented to discuss price rise under a voting rule, normalcy was restored. Parliament discussed Price Rise (as always this was blamed on global factors), Security scenario and Telangana issues prominently. There were no surprises in the debates - known positions only. Question hour and Zero hour also happened without interruptions (one should have listened to answers by Railway minister to pointed questions -"this is a democracy, things will take time" etc!). It is recommended to the readers that you watch these proceedings if you get a chance :) - and

5. Finally, the news of the week! A thousand tonne ship, M.V.Pavit, drifted in the high seas, and ran aground at Juhu beach in Mumbai. The best part - no one knew about this! This ship was not detected, not seen by any security agency. Only after morning joggers reported, did we come to know. So much for talking about improving coastal security ! That's all, your honour!