punish

    To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves.

roar….and act.. and get it done

Federico García Lorca, Blood Wedding and Yerma

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festival of democracy -indian elections

but only to be addressed with short-term solutions. Issues that call for long-term solutions and bold structural changes have been conveniently and cleverly brushed under the carpet by all parties in their pursuit of power. The underlying disturbing logic is very simple. Even if elected to power, no major party is prepared or equipped to address deep-rooted social and economic issues, potent with disastrous consequences.    

This is an attempt to identify five major areas this election campaign conveniently forgot to address. (Admittedly there are many more.)  


1. Climate change and environment:Confronted with the unmistakable truth of climate change, the whole world is bracing itself up with mitigating measures and eco-sensitive policies. When the time is up to dedicate ourselves to a new eco-sensitivity and a nuanced development ethos, we seem to have fallen foolishly in love with a discarded development model that has taken humanity to the brink of ecocide. No national leader acknowledged the reality of climate change. Instead, we continue to promise more ‘development’ which shall guarantee our hurtle towards ecological disaster. 

2. Corruption: Though allegations of corruption were levelled by national and regional leaders at each other with considerable creativity and effective histrionics, the net result has been the dilution of the moral pungency of corruption in nation’s collective conscience. Unfortunately, no leader appeared to be convincingly impatient with the pervasive cloud of corruption. We witnessed no committed attack on the thousand-headed monster of corruption nor heard any meaningful and well thought out strategy to create a corruption-free India. 

3. Governance: Every successive government has been high on promises and low on delivery. And the fault line of administrative inefficiency has been thwarting scheme after schemes for several decades. Yet the make-believe machinery of the governments covers the lifeless bodies of half accomplished schemes with the shiny apparel of flamboyant post-truth claims. Hardly any leader spoke in this election campaign about the inadequacy of governance. Poor governance continues to manifest itself all around in bureaucratic apathy and political indifference, reinforced by archaic rules and procedures and even more archaic mindset. If no party vows to change this where does an ordinary citizen look for administrative justice? 

4. Affordable Healthcare: Insurance-linked healthcare seems to have been accepted as the only available model. It might have its set of positive aspects. Yet that is no reason for the state to withdraw from universal healthcare and affordable treatment to the economically and socially marginalised.  In a country where literacy is still a mirage for a sizeable population, insurance-driven health care is nothing but a barren cloud. When the real need for treatment arises the cloud would have disappeared. In an increasingly commercialising health sector, the only real insurance is a vibrant public health infrastructure. 

5. Education: Another area that the campaign overlooked is the abysmal record of our education. School enrolment has shown some signs of change but the quality and coverage still remain incomplete. It is a patchwork picture of small successes dominated by huge failures. Teacher absenteeism, poor quality of classroom transaction and the problem of drop-out continue to plague our school education. University education scene is no better. The gap between public institutions of higher education and privately funded universities and institutions has been widening as the marks on the surface of an enlarging balloon. This unequal system has already created a new hierarchy among the educated people.

Evidently, these are not vote-catching issues. That itself betrays a poor idea of the electorate as conceived by the political class. It presumes that the voter too is not interested in such core issues but concerned only about short term issues and immediate gains. Therefore the rhetoric gets centered on issues which will have an immediate ‘effect’ and electoral dividend. Deeper issues demanding serious structural changes are always postponed and later ignored as they have apparently no immediate nudging effect on the voter.  Problems that cannot be addressed with simplistic solutions are thus ignored and a malady ignored can only worsen.  So like the mythical bird, we the people wait. Wait for the next rains to quench the thirst.

K jayakumar

Former Chief Secretary to Government of Kerala and former Vice Chancellor of Malayalam University

right wrong person

    We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong. Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in some way, and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness. And it isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems—the ones that make you truly who you are—that we’re ready to find a lifelong mate. Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for the wrong person. But not just any wrong person: it’s got to be the right wrong person—someone you lovingly gaze upon and think, “This is the problem I want to have.”
    I will find that special person who is wrong for me in just the right way.
Andrew Boyd, Daily Afflictions: The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the Universe

speak

    When I pronounce the word Future,

    the first syllable already belongs to the past.

    When I pronounce the word Silence,

    I destroy it.

Wisława Szymborska, Poems New and Collected

so.. why speak ..even if it is about silence.. be quiet with quietness around…

what am i here for

    Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.

    It is not enough to just say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them. Words alone are worthless. “My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.” Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is “T-I-M-E.
Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?

what am i here for

    Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.

    It is not enough to just say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them. Words alone are worthless. “My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.” Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is “T-I-M-E.
Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?