It does appear like a no-contest, in the reverse. There are a lot of views about what happened. One thing is certain the "view from the top" or media view will never get it right. There is an American saying "if it aint broke don't fix it". Maybe that gives a clue . The turnaround took place so fast that all the polls missed it. Maybe what put people off was "India shining" , "feel good" and calls from the PM - these generated nothing more than a smile. Even US and Japan at their peaks have never been so euphoric. India Shining ? Even in countries at the bottom of the heap ( and India is just a little above ) one cannot come across people in such a sorry state as the ladies - taxpaying citizens of India - who died for free Sarees. If one has to alleviate poverty there should be no requirement for BPL certificates. It is clearly visible at least to non-sarkari people. And that does not speak highly of Sarkari types. Who percieve themselves as treetops and the rest at grassroots. They should live and learn. By the way there must be a silver lining to all this - in somebody's pockets .The advertising and phone calls could not have been cheap.
As usual Vajpayeeji said the right thing the real winners are the citizens. God bless them, who think of the owners of this country as non-entities. At least the new set has a very young face which has enthused the younger generation. Lets hope they keep small towns and villages in mind. We would not have had a Kalpana Chawla if Karnal did not have a Flying Club. This is one way of keeping the youth in places where they belong . And such facilisties always generate more employment which really is the main problem. The money bags will get over the shock sooner or later.
I don't know what your thoughts about elections and voting are but I am sure that if you are not employed or associated with the Sarkar then they are going to be very similar to mine.
And here are my two bits. I think Democracy can be great if it actually adheres to its slogan "Of the People , by the people, for the people". ...So how do we end up with elected representatives who believe or make use of public money to make people believe that they are God's gift to mankind. That I think is the grave error which has been with us right from Graecian Times. Even then it was possible for people to vote directly on issues and legislation instead of electing "superior" people to represent them. As things stand there is a "vision planted in my brain" which wants to see the entire country as one big parliament. The parliament itself as one big Cyber cafe where the speciality issue open for voting is put up regularly. Lets not have just 500 or so representatives let us have 10 million. Random Sampling techniques are so well developed that the entire population does not have to vote . Miles to go before we sleep , of course. This could take a Millenium.
There are flowers all over once more . Lots of houses in Pallavpuram, Shastri Nagar, Defence Colony , Saket now maintain flower beds outside their houses and generally improve the appearance of the environment . That helps in alleviating the horrific impression created by heaps of visible garbage, due to a countrywide paucity of garbage bins, and the absence of an efficacious garbage clearing policy.
It has been said before by some of the greatest poets, yet it bears repeating. Nothing can beat the experience of seeing flowers in bright sunshine when you least expect them.
Thanks to those who take the pains to do this largely for the benefit of others.
Temperatures have already started crossing the 40s during the afternoons. By the 1st week of May there will not be a single flower left. Nauchandi must be still on. It does not have the same impact as a decade and a half back now that Abu Lane, and Begum Pul resemble a permanent Nauchandi.
Should be of interest to Meerut Dwellers as the entire cantonment area was created by the East India Company. Farm land under active cultivation was acquired on rent - never purchased..( this was repeated all over for every cantonment still in existence), Ref: Record of Rights (1826).The Race Course (1863), the Wheler club(1863) and Railway Station(1865) were built after the East India Company relinquished control . The Cemetery, St. John's Church the Military Hospital and most old Bungalows were their creations.
Note that in part II of the Ship Schedule every ship finally went to China. Why China? China was the ONLY!! source of Tea, China, and Silk maybe a host of other things which I am ignorant off. The most interesting fact is that India did not grow Tea at that time. Of course there was no Electricity, Railway or even bicycles. That does not prevent us from actively using statutes which date from that time written by an alien.
While on the subject of the East India Company let us not forget the great man Macaulay ( Member of the Supreme Council of the EIC.. picture at left) who rules India today through his unchanged Indian Penal Code. I propose a shrine in his honour so that both Lawyers and Criminals can express their gratitude to him daily. For a more learned perspective read the article on "INDIAN LAW" (also India Evidence act) in The Encylcopaedia Britannica.
Click here to read an excerpt.
Read about Opium from India in exchange for Tea from China here.
Macaulay's Speech here
More details about an opium war.
Was it Marx who said "Religion is the opium of the masses" ? Maybe but the real stuff was what turned on those who thought of themselves as the classes in Europe at that time. Here are some famous opium-eaters.
Was colonialism all bad ? That is not easy to summarise. England was definitely the better colonial power. Let an expert summarise that difficult issue. Sulochana Das in an article in the very comprehensive book India at 50 - Express Publications 1997 says that their systems of controls ( the "steel frame" ) eventually converted India from a net exporting country to a net importing one. The myriad "permisions" required from sundry Government Offices was certainly not an Indian original.
There is no record of how much plunder took place but the good work is dutifully recorded. Bentinck abolished Sati is recorded but that he put the Taj Mahal up for sale is not easy to locate. Search Google for 'Bentinck' and 'Taj Mahal' . This 'uplift' of India took place at the same time when women pulled heavy coal trolleys and children worked in shifts in the mines in NewCastle.