Saturday, March 05, 2005

A great book

I bought and read Arun Shourie's "Governance and the scelerosis that has set within" recently. It is a great book!

Here is the official excerpt:

"Can officers use red or green ink on files? A simple question, you may think. But in government it is enough to set off meetings, letters, references to other ministries that stretch over a year. . . A tree false on to the house of the Indian High Commissioner; memos fly to and fro, and for nine years government cogitates and deliberates, and weighs pros and cons, unable to decide who is to repair the house, and how. . . From such trifles to matters that spell the difference between life and death, the same pattern. . . Environment degenerates. Laws are passed. Rules are formulated under those laws. Boards are set up to enforce the laws, the rules. The degradation accelerates. . . Intelligence agencies, governors experts on national security issue warning upon warning about the peril that the demographic inundation from Bangladesh spells for our country. Political parties keep quarreling about the matter. Ministers keep issuing statements, and disowning them. Governments keep ordering intelligence agencies to prepare position papers, and then up-dates of position papers, legislatures keep drowning the warnings. Courts keep adjourning hearing. The inundation continues. . . .
Governments shut their eyes to a problem. The problem swells. Governments look the other way. The problem explodes. Governments set up an institution to tackle it. Five years later, exactly what had been forecast comes to pass - the problem is still there, and the institution has become another problem. . . . As the institution has not worked, a law is passed. As the law is not enforced, amendments are decreed that make penalties under the law more frightening. Legislation as a substitute for enforcement. Vision statements, plan documents, strategy papers as a substitute for execution." (jacket)

I recommend this book to everyone who wonders why after 50 years of independence, we don't have adequate literacy or access to clean drinking water.

His website:

Clearances for Bangalore Airport

While people are celebrating that the 'final clearance' has been given for the proposed International Airport at Bangalore, I strongly recommend that anyone who believes that the project will happen read this:

It is a great link outlining the history of the project since 1997-98. The reader is reminded that the project was conceived even before that - in 1989.


Ah - I finally got time to do some basic changes to my blog. The interface is new, and I've started adding links to some other blogs I like.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

What democracy?

It has been a long time since I updated this blog - so here goes:

Isn't it funny that while we were mourning the death of democracy next door in Nepal, we are being mute spectators to the death of democracy in our own country!? I mean, how can anyone justify the invite to Shibu Soren? Is there no decency left in the politics of this country!? This is actually typical Congress culture - to dismiss elected governments, to manipulate verdicts, to promote horse-trading, all under the garb of secularism. Why do you support Lalu? Secularism. Why did you betray the people's verdict? Secularism. And why did you massacre thousands of Sikhs in 1984? Secularism!!!

Actually, the problem here is deeper within. The Congress thinks that it and only it can govern the country. Add to it the Italian queen-bee, some fawning idiots and a fractured verdict (of 2004) and you have a devastating combination. The recent actions of the Goa and Jharkand Governors is just the beginning. (Well, actually, the move to dismiss NDA-appointed Governors was the beginning!) Wait and watch to see how these guys murder democracy.

Anyways, God save this country.