Friday, March 18, 2011

Whither revolution?

Whither revolution?: "Continuing our thoughts from a previous post, the question that stares us squarely in the face is simply this - if Egypt, Libya, Tunisia etc. have opted to oust their autocratic leaders through violent revolutions, why not us? Democracy is obviously not a good answer. The said countries had democracies of sort, elections too.

Now, consider these two snippets, from India's largest circulation daily, The Times of India:

SNIPPET 1: I still remember Nehru stepping into our living room and inviting Sir Alladi, my father-in-law, to join the drafting committee,' says Lalitha Krishnaswami. 'We were caught by surprise when someone informed us that Nehru who had come to attend a function at the nearby Andhra Mahila Sabha had decided to drop by. But to Sir Alladi's horror, no picture of the prime minister framed our walls. My husband was immediately asked to get one. He rushed to Luz Corner, got the first picture of Nehru he saw, framed it and rushed back home just minutes before Nehru himself walked in. Over the discussions that followed, Sir Alladi accepted his invitation to join the Constitution drafting committee,' she says. [link]

SNIPPET 2: As she took her seat in the front row next to NCP chief Sharad Pawar, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee handed her the one-paragraph statement the PM had just read out.Going through it carefully, Sonia nodded briefly to herself, signalling her approval and put the paper down. Looking up, she saw MPs thanking her for ensuring that the government accepted including caste as a point of enumeration in the national headcount. As is her wont, Sonia was quick to gesture towards Congress's chief troubleshooter while Mukherjee sat unmoved. [link]

Remarkably, these are from the news section of the newspaper. Qualitatively, we are not really different from those regimes, the same state run or controlled media and its intellectuals singing glory be.

We have gargantuan scams going on, not only do these scams deprive the very same social justice classes the rulers and their PR agents claim to benefit, but they have grave national security implications. What are some of the beneficiaries of these scams? Aside from the obvious holy cows and calves, these names are Hasan Ali, Shahid Balwa, Jagath Gasper Raj etc.

Minister after minister have been allowed to brazenly perjure themselves on national TV without so much as a murmur of protests from TV show hosts.

Secular intellectuals, whose raison d'etre seems to be to constantly decry deprivation of certain sections, have remained mum. Worse, some have actually blamed 'neo-liberal economic framework' etc. for the scams. Diabolic plans have been put in place to somehow retroactively blame folks who have not been in power for two terms. Attempts to put the right sort of people in charge of the vigilance department has backfired for the time being. The state machinery has made significant progress in blocking out any signs of dissent.

Yet, there are no signs of revolution. We remain hopeful though.