Friday, February 6, 2009
Royal Republic's Empty Throne
By Manuwant Choudhary
Welcome Home My Prime Minister after your heart bypass.
Yes, thanks to all my readers and those who took the trouble to post comments. Well, why did I post the last blog?
Can anyone explain that? How could a journalist not even working in mainstream media sense something was wrong with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh?
But now a former Prime Minister Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee is in AIMs put on a ventilator.
And in Bihar for two days villages in my home district will become the capital of Bihar as the chief minister Nitish Kumar shifts his `gorment' to the villages with an eye on elections, of course.
So I am in Patna. And there is no electricity here.
The electricity travels with the chief minister.
All government employees are on strike in Bihar for more than a fortnight after the government hiked their salaries. Yes, hiked!!
But a call from home said that the District Magistrate has ordered all petrol pumps to remain open 24 hours for the next two days.
My petrol pump is only a day pump but laws being such in this country that one has to obey the order.
Yet, I have written back to the District Magistrate saying that they must provide full security as my petrol pump has been robbed thrice in four years and three petrol pumps have faced five robberies in four years. The cases are still unsolved.
I am also writing a letter to the chief minister Nitish Kumar to remove the police station from my town as they do not even have a telephone.
And with the new criminal laws being ammended with the police not being allowed to arrest anyone who faces charges having maxmimum punishment of five years makes matters worse. The police will have to know the identity and addresses of all robbers and send them notice of appearance.
So why do we need the police? And why we do not need this `gorment' either.
But why is Nitish Kumar moving in the villages. Well, people stopped coming to his janata durbars in the capital Patna as most people's concerns were not resolved. So he has gone to the janata instead and he is collecting complaints in millions.
Nitish Kumar will make a public speach at a college built by my late grandfather but was nationalised by the government.
A new dias is being built for Nitish because it is below his dignity to use the old dias built for Indira Gandhi!
And hundreds of labour fill up roadside `gaddhas' to welcome `Bikaas'...development.
V for Bihar and V for Bikaas.
I fear for our democracy.
I fear for our region.
I fear for South Asia.
India's Supreme Court says the criminal justice system has collapsed but it also says `gorment' should not arm citizens to fight naxals.
Should citizens be left to be killed by highly armed naxals?
Thats what the judges want, I guess.
And Pakistan's High Court frees disgraced nuclear scientist AQ Khan from house arrest.
The US has still not been allowed to question the scientist.
Pakistan now blames Bangladesh for the Bombay terrorist attacks. And there is no word from Bangladesh.
Are we losing the war on terror?
Can we leave everthing for Obama?
While Osama walks free.
Just when I thought all is lost, my car fell in an open drain in Patna.
It was an isolated place. Just two rickshawwallahs took a midday nap.
I did not disturb them.
And I was just thinking how I could get help, when suddenly from a distance a scooter arrived.
Two well-dressed men stopped and got down and told me `Sir, we will lift the car out.'
A rickshaw-wallah also stopped and helped give a push and my car engine roared out of the man-hole.
I got down to thank the men.
"No, sir, its okay. Even we own cars so we understand," said the scooter-wallah, who works for a shipping company, as they sped off from the direction they came.
Then I turned and saw the rickshaw wallah. He did not own a car! So why did he help?
I offered him Rs.40 and he simply waived it down. "Nahin sir, aap se nahin lengen." (I will not take money from you).
But I was no mukhya mantri.
I got a glimpse of the India of my dreams.