Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Parakram the Second


Six years ago tens of thousands of our soldiers armed to the teeth had rushed to the borders. There they were engaged in endless excercises. Though not a drop of blood was shed much sweat had flowed in the military excercises. The world was terrrified of an imminent war. It didn't break out. Terror attacks against the parliament of India was the provocation for that sudden act of belligerence. Political leadership of the day was capable of doing that only.

The suicide killers had fallen dead in front of the parliament house itself. Those who planned the attack from safe havens might have had the laugh of their life on seeing these excercises. They lost nothing. After ten months, all those militarymen were called back to their barracks. Terrorism went on as usual.

Talking about the expenses of this kind of military excercises would be cheap. Yet, it was heard that about Rs.50 billion was spent on this exercise in futility. During this so calledOperation Parakram, though not one bullet was fired, many more people than those who died in Mumbai attacks had expired. They died in accidents during the march to the borders. Most of those who died were our own brave soldiers. Mind you, not even one Pak soldier was killed. Death in combat is an honour for any soldier. Dying in accidents during the preparations is bad luck. Those dead won't be treated as martyrs. They won't get anything other than what is written down in their emloyment contracts in fine print. Public won't know about them either.

What did the country gain from that operation? Neither Vajpayee nor Advani had mentioned anything so far. Former Pak presidentMusharraf had revealed that he lost his sleep over that Parakram during the first few days of it. Musharraf was a mafiosi who tried everything to destroy India. Still, wasn't it too much to spend 50 billions to make him lose his sleep, that too for a few days? If some one were to ask, 'What did you do when our parliament was attacked?'' Vajpayee and Advani could at least reply ' We spent 50 billions'. That's it.

Now, if you can trust the media reports, a second Parakram is in the offing. Many people have real fear that the parakram of the Manmohan-Antony-Pranab axis might lead the country to a war. There are no big budget military moves as we saw earlier. So it might not be as expensive as the last one. Most of the war is waged by Pranab's tongue. Manmohanji and Antonyji are not that capable. There's no possibility of even the inexperienced husband President of Pakistan Zardari losing his sleep over Pranab's utterances.

It is not that Manmohan or Pranab doesn't know the difference between Musharraf and Zardari. It was Musharraf himself who held the reins of ISI which nourished the terrorists. True, Zardari has become the president. He is also aware of the things happening in Pakistan through the media. That is all. He is losing his sleep terrorized speculating as to what ISI is going to do next. He has not been able to catch the terrorist killers of his own wife; how can you expect him to catch the terrorists behind the Mumbai attacks?

Terrorists have launched many similar attacks in Pakistan as they did in Mumbai. Zardari is not able to do anything to to control these activities; isn't it a bit too much asking him to control activities taking place in India? But Manmohan – Pranabs are also helpless. There are only three months left to the general elections. They have at least to demonstrate that they have done something. Without some fire works the public will scorn. Oh, the 'paarkrams' you have to do in order to go through an election!

Military brass used to say that clarity about what they are doing is the most crucial aspect as far as any military move is concerned. But the military is confused now as to what they are supposed to do . Yet, they are not as confused as those in power. Thank God!
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It didn't even take the time to fry five eggs – just within five minutes Lok Sabha passed eight bills! Don't mistake it for an attempt to get into the Guinness Book. These days, who has the time study a bill and debate over it as if it's an international issue? Everything is going instant, let it be so with legislation also.

'Talk Less, Work More', was the slogan during the Emergency era, we can paraphrase it as 'Talk Less, Pass More Bills'. You can open your mouths after a bill is passed – you can talk, make a scene, walk out and sit in the canteen or not walk out and sit in the well…it is the policy of the U P A government to allot as much time as possible for the members to concentrate their creative talents on such serious activities. This is a suitable arrangement for the opposition too to express their creative urges. If you deliver a speech in the house, no one will be there to listen. The media won't waste their time covering it either. Even if a few media people do, there won't be any readers or viewers to those stories. Then why waste time discussing things.

Before Emergency, the house used to meet for 150 days or so every year. There's no point in bragging about wasting 25 grand for every minute for a meeting of Lok Sabha. Because of that, this year the house met only for 50 days.In the 14th Parliament, during the first three years, 26% of the time was spent on interruptions. In this year's budget session they managed to increase it to 34%. During half of the total time they will make a ruckus and halt the proceedings. During the rest of the time, they will go to the canteen without making a ruckus – that was the order of the day. Government will provide the reasons to make an uproar and halt proceedings. In the last session they managed to cook up and pass only four bills without discussions; this time they managed eight ones. They are expecting leaps of progress in the coming sessions.

This is no more an underdeveloped, backward democracy as in the old days. Within the last six decades they have enacted somewhat all laws. From now on, it will be sufficient for the parliament to meet once in a while a make some speeches. This is important because you have to show this to the students who come on study tours. Let no one worry, the salary and perks of the members will be increased in proportion to the decrease in meetings, debates and legislation.

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