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Re: 1 out of 150: AR's Reply

Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI
Hi Arindam, 

I agree 100% with you!
Thank You.


Arindam Roy wrote:
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
> are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Hello Umesh,
> I agree with you. Many a times, people up there, on the pedestal are more
> ordinary (or silly) than the most ordinary amongst us. We journalists see it
> happen almost everyday. This is as far as your experience with Seshan is
> concerned.
> Yes, though we broadly agree on various issues, our individual perceptions
> and sensibilities differ. Just as Sanjeev has suggested a para titled,
> 'Citizen Bureaucrats wanted' for inclusion, a similar para may be suggested
> for the politicians, basis your point. Their freedom of expression (thought
> & speech) may be independent of the party line.
> My other journalist friends would agree with me that a similar insecurity,
> fear and frustration lurk in the minds of these politicians. How many times
> such people air their honest inner feelings in private! They too should be
> free to uphold their honest views thru the media, if the party bosses ignore
> their
> personal political aspirations, in the garb of partyline, party whip, etc.
> After all, they should be allowed to feel that they are responsible to the
> electorate first, the people who voted them to the Assembly or Parliament.
> Their accountability should be  obligatory, statutory and mandatory.  And
> the party should not interfere with this fundamental political freedom of
> theirs.
> Do you agree with me? This is for your kind approval.
> Regards,
> Arindam Roy
> ======================================================================
> >----------------------------------------------------------------------
> >Arindam,
> >
> >I think there is widespread agreement about the deteriorating state of
> >our social, moral , and ethical values, and most of what you said is not
> >
> >in dispute. Each one of us can associate ourselves with this grim
> >reality if we happen to know anything about present day India. When you
> >say the following :
> >
> >"How can I sing a happy song when there are tears all around me ?"
> >
> >I think I can relate to it. This sad reality is just the sad reality of
> >our own society, debates cannot justify facts otherwise.
> >
> >All of us feel bad about it. But some of us must overcome the pain and
> >look for reasons to keep hope alive.
> >
> >Just as we are less then perfect in reporting about facts in news media
> >these days, we have been equally irresponsible about recording our own
> >recent history which would show clearly that until even this 20th
> >century, killings and murders on the basis of caste and religions were
> >not just some academic statistics, but there were real faces of people
> >who could not live their lives because others thought they didn't
> >deserve to live. We only remember the generalized sweeping reforms such
> >as Gandhian revolution that marked the beginning of the end of
> >untouchability, but thousands, or perhaps millions of those who suffered
> >
> >while the practice was prevalent, largely got ignored by historians or
> >became parts of some generalized statistics. If we care to recall the
> >past with our own life experiences, I think we are getting better, even
> >though some things might at the same time, be getting out of control
> >unless checked soon enough.
> >
> >On your example of the plight of the civil servants. What you said is
> >generally true, except for the fact that, there is,though very
> >insignificant, nonetheless, other side of the coin. Politicians are
> >generally considered corrupt, and Civil servants, the bureaucrats are
> >generally considered more educated, morally and ethically better, and
> >still, most of the times, frustrated because of not being able to do
> >what they consider to be the best thing for the country. Facts generally
> >
> >support this assumption, and therefore, there is nothing wrong with
> >being compassionate about this issue.
> >
> >However, there is another part, which could be termed as a sort of
> >"superiority complex" that many of our bureaucrats go through believing
> >they deserve more respect and power then the "Doti clad", less educated,
> >
> >and often not that sophisticated politicians. If I may guess, there is
> >perhaps some passed on legacy of british colonialism in it.
> >
> >Anyway, rather then generalizing on issues, and believing on someone's
> >opinions, no matter whether the individual is a Civil servant or a
> >political activist, I prefer getting closer to individual facts and
> >forming opinions purely on the basis of facts rather then where it came
> >from.
> >
> >I have a very good example of a famous bureaucrat, who has done wonders
> >for India. I think you know the name of Mr. T.N. Seshan, the firebrand
> >former Chief Election Commissioner of India, who is rightly recognized
> >for overhauling the election commission and with his firm,though
> >somewhat high-handed approach, he managed to return people's faith in
> >one of the basic foundations of our democracy. He was awarded the famous
> >
> >Megaseysey award.
> >
> >This famous Mr. Seshan came to the United States couple of years ago.
> >Before that, there were rumors about him running for the Presidential
> >elections, and Bal Thakre of Shiv Sena had already offered his support
> >etc. Just like millions of Indians who followed his tenure as CEC, I too
> >
> >was sort of a fan of Mr. Seshan until I got a chance to see him speak
> >his mind.
> >
> >I had known all along that though the integrity of this gentleman could
> >not be questioned, but he seldom believed in other people's ability to
> >do the right things. In his club, he is a dictator, and only he is right
> >
> >all the time. Knowing that I took interest in matters related to India,
> >I was summoned to participate in this get together where Mr. Seshan was
> >to speak.
> >
> >We, as a community, being so hungry of Charismatic leaders in our
> >society after the demise of the Nehru Dynasty, the hosts left no stone
> >unturned in trying to praise Mr. Seshan. There was even explicit demand
> >stated by every speaker who spoke before and after him, about conferring
> >
> >"Bharat Ratna" to him.
> >
> >Mr. Seshan starts to speak, and he clarifies that he hates
> >environmentalists like Medha Patkar etc. who are creating troubles in
> >implementation of Narmada Projects etc. Till that point it was all
> >right, then Mr. Seshan goes on to the extent of not recognizing the
> >territorial sovereignty of Pakistan while trying to suggest that there
> >is land on that part of the world that belongs to India (not talking
> >about Kashmir here). Finally comes the point of question answer
> >sessions, after he himself had clearly stated in his speech, rather
> >arrogantly that every politician of our land is corrupt, and he hated
> >every political party as well as politician, and that he deserved to be
> >either the President or the Prime Minister of India (by this time I was
> >thoroughly puzzled and started wondering whether Mr. Seshan believed in
> >our democratic system or not!)
> >
> >Anyway, I submit my question to him, which was skipped by the moderator
> >in an effort to filter out difficult questions. Then I got a chance to
> >confront him and directly ask. Since he himself expressed his desire to
> >be either the Prime Minister or the President of India, and despite such
> >
> >vast pool of talent in India, which is famous for its achievements in
> >the fields of Information Technology, Science, Engineering etc. around
> >the globe, and not much of that talents goes towards the profession of
> >politics, why doesn't he, him being the rare personality who has done so
> >
> >much for India, take on the task of encouraging new generation to join
> >politics and clean up our democracy?
> >
> >His simple answer was, "For that to happen, I am going to have to join
> >politics!"
> >
> >His one line remark had told me a lot, lot about his personal beliefs,
> >his lack of respect for the democratic institutions. It was almost
> >frightening to see such a popular national figure, a darling of
> >millions, make generalized statements about politics and politicians,
> >had such unsophisticated opinions about neighboring countries, and yet
> >he almost demanded that he deserved to be the Prime Minister or the
> >President of India.
> >
> >Our system is bad enough, we don't need to form sweeping opinions as to
> >whether Civil Servants are morally better then the politicians or the
> >politicians are generally corrupt. Every time such a generalization is
> >made, my heart goes to the politicians I personally have been following
> >for years, and who are sort of my heroes, who go on doing their duty,
> >for they believe in our system of democracy and care enough about the
> >poor and ignored.
> >
> >Thank You.
> >
> >Umesh
> >
> >
> >
> >--------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
> >Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/
> >-------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
> Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/