Overdoing the Anna Hazare thing?

Aren’t we really overdoing this Anna Hazare thing? I mean, OK there is a civic society, it made its recommendations on the Lokpal draft but the government differed and passed their own version. Tomorrow, the parliament may pass a similar or a different bill. But let’s face it, ultimately its the parliament that has the “rights” to do it, we cannot allow a herd of people to dictate how laws should be made in this country, though they are free to suggest.

Haven’t we ignored such herds before? (remember demands of referendum/freedom?). If Anna’s group is able to arm-twist a government, then tomorrow we should be ready for other such “civic societies” coming up with their own sets of demands, we are opening a pandora’s box really. Imagine the mining mafia coming in thousands and forcing a reinstatement of their favorite leader. IMHO, it should be OK in a democratic setup to debate, oppose, resist, pressurize against, differ or agree with other’s views but we cannot ignore that ultimately the laws should be made by the elected representatives of the nation and not by the members of society, who lead but won’t contest elections to join active politics. When they are sitting on the fence we don’t even know which political party/ideology they might be representing, or whose business interests might be behind them. Why is not a single MP or MLA part of Anna’s team? (we cannot just say that none o the politicians want this bill, that’s an easy way out. Anna’s team should have the capability to convince the parliamentarians, they cannot wage a war to get their things done.)

Coke: Bench shopping judgment

JK is happy with the recent High court ruling that allows Coke to resume production at its Perumatty plant in Kerala even if it does not get a license. There is always the “other side” to the story. Unfortunately, commie bashing has become such a fashion that we offer our prejudiced view even before we appreciate the repercussions. Now here is a story that presents the “other side” of the coin (Disclaimer: I am just a regular subscriber to this site?s press releases).

To me this is another shameless instance of MNCs openly arm-twisting local interests using the crutches of law. Imagine someone digging a bore well in your backyard, dumping the waste in your area, draining your own water resources and then selling you their bottled products to you. People have been crying foul on these biggies polluting the groundwater resources and soil since years. When V.R. Krishna Iyer, a former Supreme Court judge accuses Coke of 'bench shopping' a favorable judgment, it is not as simple as it seems.

Mushu Mushu haasi

Mushu Mushu haasi deo” must be the song on the lips of the Indian diplomats who were all gaga over the recent paltry visit of the Pakistani Dictator. I think if it achieved something, it was the dilution of the tough stance against cross-border terrorism, the existence of which was gradually being acknowledged publicly by Pakistan and the rest of the World (read USA) post 9/11. In effect, the erstwhile BJP government was perhaps better off dealing.

Analysts such as Dileep Padgaonkar say that Musharaff has progressed from an “obdurate soldier” at Agra Summit to an “astute politician” of today, with a vision. We hope this is true. Nobody can deny his efforts at projecting Pakistan as a moderate forward-looking nation (whether he is actually working towards that, Khuda only knows).

More than anything, I was taken aback by the unwarranted hype. The prior visit of Chinese Premier, probably more significant, attracted no buzz. First, there is no comparing the current visit with the Agra one. This one was no summit! There was nothing that could have emerged. With no diplomatic homework being done at all, this was just not the right occasion. It was no wonder that both the sides were so flexible. Watching the press briefings even a layman could have seen that the outcome was cipher. “We achieved much more that I expected”, said the General with a dim face. As if he had come here with the belief that Kashmir will be handed over to him in a platter.

The only positive steps taken IMHO are the efforts on restoring the two Ts, trade and travel, between the nations. The best way to coerce a misbehaved child is either thrashing or making him busy and happy. The former has not worked, so we must try the latter. Though, it?s difficult to view such steps without wariness; we have been brought up to hate Pakistan. Atanu worries that projects such as the Indo-Iranian pipeline would only let Pakistan arm-twist us later, I don?t fully subscribe to this. An economically progressive and politically stable Pakistan certainly means less trouble for us.

Swaminathan Aiyar has no faith in the summits and the bus-diplomacy either, which he says, “creates an illusion that Pakistan is a key player in the issue”. He raises another valid question on the way Kashmir problem was dealt with right from the beginning (“it was New Delhi and not Islamabad that created the problem”). He cites the example of Punjab Terrorism that was successfully tackled by the local Police rather than the Army, the latter he rightfully says, “is simply not suited to tackle civil militancy”. Hello! Is anybody listening?