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On Gandhi Jayanti: First Things First

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  • Thiagarajan
    Posted by: bijoy On Gandhi Jayanthi let us reaffirm our committment to upholding the cause of the oppressed and weak and in the benign power of austerity .
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2012
      Posted by: "bijoy"

      On Gandhi Jayanthi let us reaffirm our committment to upholding the cause of the oppressed and weak and in the benign power of austerity . Our early Govts served the country with pride believing in service before self and in being self conscious about the way they internalized the grand values of serving others . Today we see a complete disregard for probity and justice for the weak. Are we too arrogant with authority and complacent in our attitude to be good examples of austerity & simplicity . When the country is today marching forward in growth and prosperity going by the GDP, let us not close our eyes on the citizen's rights to living in freedom and in upholding personal dignity . The quality of life of a country which is not measured on just economic prosperity but on the social and cultural parameters should not be sidelined . Do we have the right to freedom of thought without the fear of being victimised, equal rights to education & employment or in invoking the constitution against corruption . There's little meaning in prosperity when money does not ensure peace and security . How long will you be living in the security and comfort of a house surrounded by poor and outlawed citizens on the streets. This is the case in many countries of Africa & the Third World. Is there real freedom ?

      What is being done to speed up the pendancy of cases in our courts of law. There are criminal cases that have not been settled for years. Every Govt just provides lip service when it comes to dealing with issues like delayed justice or criminalisation in politics. How do we clean up the system, is the moot question. Yes, there's more transparency today with media & technology taking big strides . But the law enforcement is still weak. We are today talking of FDI in Retail, but what is wrong with our much maligned Co operatives. ANAND is one big success we must not gloss over. Thanks to Dr Kurien's unwavering faith in the feasibility of the movement empowering millions. AMUL has proved the model can work , but there were attempts to dismantle the system. Is the clock ticking. Grameen Bank of Bangladesh is a case in point , where the Govt has overruled the founding constitutional rights of the poor stakeholders and lately taken over their powers ( Aug' 2012) . Can we put a priority on governance and accountability . First things first , before we undo the prevailing order. Politics can play foul and only push things under the carpet .

      For the last few years the global economic scenario has been dim with countries around the world going in for austerity measures. It was only too obvious that India too needed to tighten its belt . But our Govt in 2010 thought it fit to hike the salaries 3 times more to the honourable MPs . By comparison their monthly pay check is 30 times more than the average pay in the country today. That much for our cost cutting, at the helm . Does it justify the need for taking due measures and curbing our much bloated parallel economy. Govts in Countries like France for example has shown wisdom and committment when the PM & ministers have taken a 30% cut in their salaries when the Socialists assumed power early this year. Probably we have conveniently shifted from our socialist ideals .

      As for living in fear, here's a case of intimidation . Former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan , was accused and arrested of being a spy in the cryogenic engine research scandal that maligned the premier organization and shocked Kerala in 1994. In an interview with TOI ( reported on 26th Sept'12 ) he has been candid about the way he was victimised and made a scapegoat . After 4 yrs he was acquitted by the Supreme Court in 1998 but since lived under a cloud, being a spy. Mr Nambi Narayanan wishes to expose the people who framed him and redeem his good name, but can he get back those years that passed by . Now on the wrong side of 70, he says ' I shall not die a spy' . That much for self respect and guts. Narayanan is but one of the few who've the courage to fight against the establishment . How many are languishing outside under fear of retribution and a weak order of redressal.

      Bijoy Joseph
      4, C K Gardens
      Thomas Town
      Bangalore 560 084
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