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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My comment on Roger Cohen's brazen PLUS defense that the New York Times would not accept.

I must have submitted the following comment about twenty times yesterday.

Usually the good moderators at the NYT are subtle. They put my comment into the cooler and let it out when they think  the traffic has waned  and nobody's around.

But this time, it was returned with a "Technical problems, try later."

Here it is. 

I have put in a little more than the prescribed 1500 characters, because my blog, thank heavens, does not have any issues with me.

I am astounded by Mr Cohen's gushing sentimental defense and unabashedly one sided, "politically incorrect" lament for someone  he describes as an " an honorable, talented, crusading journalist. "

Such hogwash in the face of damning evidence.

Why had these champions of  the rule of law and gender justice neglected to constitute a Visakha committee ?

It is that critical act of arrogant omission that revealed the entire Tehelka enterprise as a grotesque farce.

Cohen accuses the BJP government  of " respond (ing) with rare zeal smacking of political vendetta " but in the interest of balance he ought also to have referred to Tejpal's craven, nauseating missive to Sonia Gandhi.

Tejpal was no I F Stone, pursuing journalism as a vocation and independently 'crusading' for the public good.

The Tejpal groupies were only the front desk. Tejpal appears to have had friends in all sorts of  places. Tehelka became only one of his variegated money spinning enterprises

And they all catered to the plummy set. 

Oddly enough, for somebody who got his second wind as a wielder of spy-cams, in his latest and most ballyhooed venture, he sought to sell "intimacy" to a chosen few.

To prop up his fallen idols, Mr Cohen has sanitized the crime scene.

"An unconscionable and criminal act may well have occurred on that elevator."


And Mr Cohen's repine like those of Mr Tejpal/Chaudhury's water bearing "friends" are unconvincing to the point of being a nuisance.

You want hounded, Mr Cohen ? I'll give you hounded.

India is a very big country, Mr Cohen  and it has a lot of people.

A lot more than your "liberal" "politically incorrect' buddies in Lutyens' Delhi.

You do them all a singular disservice.

You ought to be ashamed.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Wall Street Journal Finds the language of my comment objectionable. Huh ?

Mr Henninger's heart is probably in the right place - who's isn't - but his perspective is musty and cockeyed.

In this day and age, one doesn't have to jump to Africa, the moment one thinks of corruption and poverty.

There is plenty of both in the West.

The way, I read the evidence it is the  force of Western greed and moral idiocy - The Price of Offshore Revisited and Inequality Underestimated  - that has straitjacketed the rest of the world to conform just to survive.

Corruption is not just about handing out little keychains come festival time.

The forces of corruption, as anybody familiar with the work of Mario Puzo or Francis Ford Coppola will tell you, make a "reasonable" offer that may not be refused.

They say,"Take my money, or I'll have your life."

Your hosannah to the Pope - This pope, with every waking hour, cares about the shafting of the world's poor- may have warmed some powerful, old hearts, but the Pope is not the only messiah in waiting.

My own "no excuses", ultra peaceful, non partisan, individual sathyagraha against corruption and for the idea of the rule of law in India, now in its 23nd year, has seen Presidents, Prime Ministers and Popes come and go.

Your readers may want to acquaint themselves with my sathyagraha here. 1. Excellence Vs Perversity  2. The Handclap That Triggered The Avalanche

Can't say for sure, but I get a feeling you, Shri Henninger, may already be acquainted with my thoughts.

I know the tenacity and passion with which my grandfather, the late Shri T S Swaminathan, MA, FIA, FCII
resisted corruption. The Prithvi connection

He too was isolated and almost broken till his massive, versatile abilities saw him rehabilitate himself. He was professionally active till well into his nineties.

In India, one often hears of a courageous citizen, usually an "RTI activist" or officer of the government who has been butchered or put to crushing travails by the forces of corruption.

Chinua Achebe was a tireless campaigner against the abuse of power in Nigeria. I would be interested to know whether he has ever inspired the WSJ to rapture ?

The abuse of power and predatoriness is universal and pervasive, thanks to the insouciance of the West.

Till it hatches out of its narcissistic shell and gets real, I find it difficult to see any hope for the survival of the planet.

That was my reply to Daniel Henninger's latest column  Capitalism's Corruptions . 

Obviously, I had invested precious time on the exercise. Imagine my surprise when my comment was rejected with this admonition.

Huh ? 

Case closed. The marvelous moderators at WSJ appear to have seen the reason in my bafflement and have published my comment. Now, when are you sending your reporter, Editor saa'ab ?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Rape is only nominally a gender issue. It is substantially an impunity issue.

We pass laws. We imagine and sometimes create leviathan bureaucracies. We scream on television. Yet India and the world keeps rotting.

Why ?

Because of our casual attitude to pervasive corruption.

Because of pervasive corruption or the culture of buying impunity for a price, an entire syndrome of malevolence has materialised, an aspect of which is the worship of the monied and the powerful and a corresponding suspicion and contempt of the powerless, a manifestation of which is the casual abuse of women and children.

Corruption is the domination and control, rape, of the very idea of rule of law and makes a mockery of and cripples the authentic psychological evolution of the human race.

Corruption is fascist. And that is why, even in the 21st century, “the more things remain the same.”

Democracies have frittered away their immense moral advantage due to corruption and the people from top to bottom have all but given up on making the system function.

The problem is as humongous as the stash of illicit money reportedly circulating in India and in the planet.

This, by all credible accounts, gargantuan supply of illicit money, is the premium that helpless citizens pay for crime and insanity.

It is an awful reminder of how societies have stopped to function for you and me.

A relevant question is, can a Non Privileged Indian rely on any institution of governance, not to sell her to the highest bidder ?

How are we going to rein in this monster of impunity ?

How do we make India and the planet safe for civility and sanity ?

How can ordinary citizens demand and achieve transparency and accountability on tap, as it were ?

Only by understanding the depth, dimensions and ramifications of pervasive corruption in India and in the world.

If we are resigned to corruption as part of our DNA, then we must resign ourselves to inequality and injustice.

To a society of a few fat predators and the rest as bakras; prey.

A society in which the powerless will be reviled, hounded, starved, enslaved and consumed.

 Rape is only nominally a gender issue. It is substantially an impunity issue .

As a grateful father of a wonderful girl child - now a thriving professional woman - I have to exhort all lovers of life to not tolerate any encroachment of their right to equality under the rule of law.

There can be no question that even so called advanced countries are shot through with an almost comical patriarchial bias. But the gender is incidental.

The real issue that all humanity and all life on the planet is groaning under is the collusive impunity of the powerful.

Some of them may even be caring, charitable people. But that is cold comfort.

And hence my stand against corruption, which is now a “no excuses”, ultra peaceful, non partisan, individual sathyagraha against corruption and for the idea of the rule of law in India.

In its 25th year. 

I request your solidarity and support.

Any struggle against a predatory authority is humanity’s struggle to honour the gift of life.

You may also look in on me on @divakarssathya on @twitter.