The Daily Noose: Socialist jerks etc

Take today’s Times of India and strangle yourself with it. That crazy.

It was just two days back that I had this crazy idea of banning computers – it would have been fun to see people standing in long lines for everything like they used to do in the ’80s. Didn’t every employees union in the country indulge in such Luddite ideas in the past? Indians had lots of time on their hands in those days. And today’s edition of the Times left me speechless – Mulayam Singh’s Socialist Party has promised exactly that in its manifesto; well…not completely. Then he wants to abolish “expensive education in English.” If every one is uneducated, or ill-educated, something this move to completely nationalize the education system will ensure, no one will rise up to challenge his crooked ways. His English-speaking technocratic son can rule over us non-English-educated daily wage laborers who spend 8 hours doing something which a computer would do in five minutes. The rest of his manifesto is as big a joke as he is. Especially the move to impose Hindi; if its tried on the South, especially in Tamil Nadu, it will, to paraphrase Vaiko, lead to a bloodbath.

Of course none of it is going to see the light of day; Mulayam is a goner in this election – Mayawati will wipe the floor with his face. Even if he comes back – miraculously – he must be stupid (he isn’t) to believe that his manifesto will be acted upon. But such a manifesto allows you to see the feudal mentality and the moral bankruptcy of the party’s “leaders” including Sanjay Dutt. Mulayam Singh’s bicycle is broken. He should buy a Lexus.

The Times reports two unfortunate incidents – some women and children died in a fireworks factory blaze, and an engineer died during a bungee jump. In both cases, the paper reports pointless details- “Cracker factory had no licence” and “The organisers of the bungee camp…had not taken a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the police to conduct such an event.”

The question is, would the license and NOC have prevented the deaths. The history of the “license raj” suggest otherwise – bureaucrats routinely issue licenses in lieu of bribes – that is its main function. The question the reports fail to ask is, how is it that the legal system doesn’t ensure quick justice – mostly in the form of compensation – to the victims? Accidents are not within our control – our reactions to them are.

Another report. Farmers in Sangli have some news for politicians

The waiving of loans has not solved the problems faced by farmers in the drought-prone areas of south Maharashtra. Instead, the farmers want politicians to address the root cause of the problem.

For the last 13 years, despite continued assurances by politicians that water would be brought to the parched fields, many of the irrigation projects of the Maharashtra Krishna Valley Development Corporation (MKVDC) are incomplete. The MKVDC was set up in 1996 to use the state’s share of 594 TMC water from the Krishna basin allocated by the Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal (KWDT),

“We need water to survive, not loan waivers,” says Bhaupal Patil, a farmer from Araag in Miraj taluka. Farming in the parched areas of Sangli depends on the monsoon. Many farmers have large tracts of farmland but in the absence of water, they have migrated to the cities to work as labourers.”

“A loan waiver will not help us in the long term. If the government is really concerned about farmers, they should complete irrigation projects and help us to survive,” says Sanjay Varute, a marginal farmer from Khatav.

If I am not mistaken, a similar sentiment prevailed in Punjab when it came to “free electricity” – the farmers wanted paid-but-assured-electricity, not free-but-uncertain-electricity. See? Not every one is an outright thief, however hard the politicians may try.

In a case that leaps out of Michael Crichton’s last book on the horrors of genetics and laws surrounding gene patenting and liabilities – Next – a girl has sued a sperm bank because the sperm used to conceive her was “defective.” More legalese here.

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Comments

  • you12  On April 12, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    This is the best thing about this country. Just when you thought- it can’t get any lower than this,it sinks even lower.

    I am not sure about who SP is trying to court here- I don’t think rural and poor muslims hate technology. And if SP wanted to court that crowd, it would have been far better off proclaiming to ban ISRO- as they have polluted “ID ka Chand”.

  • Anonymous  On April 13, 2009 at 12:09 am

    This may be a yet another instant popularity gimmick, to appeal the rural voters, who often align itself to the Other India (Garib Bharat), due to the pervasion of English and now somewhat computers in their daily life and forcing them to break the old shell.

    The rural folks, including the young generation from interior semi-urban towns still envy to the English, and often attribute English as major bottleneck in there path to success. Which is not always completely true.

    Lets take a example, one old country folk goes to some railway station or bank, and found “Enter” and “Exit” sign on gate of the building, Do you think he will be comfortable and not feel like an align in his own country.

    The items from the menifesto, as we read from English Media (TOI, HT), are hand picked and made the headline of the day in quite bad taste. To understand the menifesto points which matter most to the Other India, read hindi newpaper say, Dainik Jargan of today (12/04/09, Luknow) .

    http://in.jagran.yahoo.com/epaper/index.php?location=37&edition=2009-04-12

    The emphasis is more on making English “optional” in official matters at regional/state level, which I also do not like personally, as more language means more barriers in communication.

    So guys, No need to worry. The India, in which U & I pretend to foster, will not suffer even if Mulayam represents at national level. However as ususal I am not sure about the Other India.

    • Aristotle The Geek  On April 13, 2009 at 12:35 am

      Read it (find it in printable format here and here). It mentions things which TOI didn’t highlight – income tax exemptions, raising the tax audit revenue ceiling etc etc but those are irrelevant.

      I don’t agree with you on the “envy” part. I have been into the Hindi heartland a long time back – stayed in the smaller towns – not for long, a few months. And I have noticed that the rush towards English – the need to learn the language, get into IIT etc is very strong. That’s why private English schools are popping up all over the place including the smaller towns.

      As for the “Enter” and “Exit” sign, you know just as well as I do that most signs are bilingual at stations etc. English and Hindi do coexist throughout most of India. SP is needlessly creating problems where none exist.

      # “The emphasis is more on making English “optional” in official matters at regional/state level, which I also do not like personally, as more language means more barriers in communication.”
      I agree that there needs to be one official language, and English serves that purpose well. all other languages can be “optional,” not English.

  • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On April 14, 2009 at 12:35 am

    people going for shortcuts should be tried, hung and shot. else the electricity vows and the farmer suicide will never end. it’s a clueless country and even more clueless leaders. one of the extreme forms of pragmatism.

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