Sunday, March 24, 2013

Crocodile Tears

The outcry over the US resolution on SriLanka in Tamil Nadu is a typical example of the famous Prisoner’s dilemma in Game theory. Every stakeholder in the game tries to make the best use of the situation and maximize his points.

Reduced to a mere 20+ seats in TN and stung by the ghosts of 2G Scam, DMK and Mu.ka thatha (grand father) found this as a perfect opportunity to keep themselves in the limelight. Mu.Ka wanted to position himself as the Don Corleone of the Tamils around the world, but he's just a Karunas in Endhiran (Robot). When the war was in full swing in 2009, ironically, DMK was busy fire fighting the 2G scam and was preparing for TN assembly elections. Its leaders including T.R.Balu, Kani went to Srilanka, met Rajapaksa and appreciated him for finding a solution to the never ending saga. On the other end of spectrum, poor JJ has been playing this game because all her enemies are playing it. If someone finds Vijaykant in some Tasmac shop, tell him he’s the leader of opposition.

Then there’s this huge political clout of Vaiko, Nedumaran and others who openly support LTTE, a terrorist organization. They praise Prabhakaran who in the past has used innocent Tamils as human shield against the SL army. The atrocities done by LTTE to SL Tamils are conveniently forgotten by the pro-LTTE outfits in TN.

This resolution and the inclusion of words like ‘Genocide’ and other euphemisms are farce and mere eyewash. The resolution was passed in UNHRC, but nothing has happened since then. These resolutions are big brother's way of bullying smaller nations. Weren't there any war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan? But no one dares big brother.

The Students protest has made the political parties to plunge into action. I’m worried none of the students protested against absence of basic Civic amenities or for koodankulam issues. Student protests should not be fixed on one particular resolution, but on overall development of Tamilnadu and its people. People need to understand that Anti-LTTE doesn't necessarily mean Anti-Tamil (not mutually exclusive) and think before blindly following their leader. Leaders are trying to make the best use of your zeal and energy for their political agenda. Wake up.

While I say all this, tears trickle down when I watch the Channel 4 documentary (No fire zone). That sickening visuals of merciless killing of 12 year old Balachandran pricked my heart. That 12 year old boy didn't kill people, instigate violence. He was killed just he was a son of someone who did that. Bloody hell!! Anti Tamil or Anti LTTE, I don’t give a damn. I believe war itself is a crime against humanity, and then comes issues pertaining to war crime. (Anbe Sivam)

Moving forward, what Sri Lankan Tamils need is a place to live with dignity and not the crocodile tears from the political parties. Rehabilitation of the Tamils, development work, jobs for the poor can help turn around things in Sri Lanka. A free and fair election and restoration of democracy can bring peace not just to the country, but also to the minds of the people.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills --Chinese saying

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Book Review: India after Gandhi

Boy o boy whaddabook!! Take a bow Mr.Guha and his team :)

There are two reasons why i wanted to read this book:

1. Big Fan of History: I've always believed that history should be studied for the attitude, mental strength of the people involved and for the causes that lead to extraordinary events in world history. Unfortunately our textbooks preach only events and when things happened than why they happened.

2. The need to know what happened after 1947 (where our school textbooks stop) till say 1998 when i starting knowing things myself (Vevaram therinja vayasu)

Ram Guha gives a balanced view on most of the mercurial events pertaining to Independent India. He covers almost all regions of the country including Kashmir Issue, Kerala/Bengal Communist story, Naxalite problem, Language based Dravidian politics, Emergency, Riots, Nagas Issue, Indo-Pak, Sino-India ties and the inevitable Nehru Gandhi family.

Living in a generation of constant outrage against the Gandhi family and peevish Modituva politics, it was important for us to know why the Nehru-Gandhi family took center stage in the first place. Moving from a Kashmiri Brahmin Pandit, erudite scholar, freedom fighter, consensus builder, Mass leader, face of the nation, beleaguered and withered leader, Nehru has seen it all. Ram Guha covers most of these crucial later half of Nehru’s life. April/May 1964 events provide a peculiarly poignant coda to the life of nehru’s illustrious career. With so many administrators but not leaders around, Kamraj found a sense of elegance and charisma with Indira, which powered her way to the top job.

As you read, you find a lot of similarities between Modi and Indira. Both are authoritative people who keep servile leaders at their positions of responsibilities and play the card of growth and governance. Both have their share of baggage with Gujarat Riots and Emergency. Despite having efficient leaders, these two leaders possess unparalleled charisma and populist opinion among their party members. Decision making gets centralized and is thrust upon individuals rather than them voting for a custodian of people's rights.

I feel sorry for Lal Bahadur Shastri and Rajiv Gandhi. Both visionaries in their own league, but couldn’t extend their prowess due to their untimely deaths. Also for J.P.Narayan and Rajaji for their experience and wisdom, but couldn’t take up active roles due to old age. Sheik Abdullah, a man who wanted to uphold the interests of the people of Kashmir, has succumbed to the political leadership of India and Pakistan and the mantle is now carried forward by his son Farooq and grandson Omar. We've moved away from a nation which casts its vote to a nation which votes its caste.

It is exhilarating to read the story of a nation with religious fanaticism, language barriers, regional feuds, population explosion, food shortages, inflation and still managed to progress due to some bold and practical decisions.

Overall, this book is an enriching experience for those who want to know the India story and its slow crawl to become what it is today.