Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Blogging Block

I have not blogged for at least a month. One reason was my efforts to write a big one about the "Aadhaar" project (National ID Card project) and what it means to us.
But there was also one other reason. I had a general chat over IM with a long-time friend yesterday. I ranted and raved about the state of the country. At the end of it I realized I had a nice editorial to write.
So here are my excerpts from the IM; and some additional comments.
My friend asked: What about blogging? Why are you not feeling motivated?
My response went on and on:
Too many scams; and now the mask is ripped off.I dont feel like there is anything new to say. Right now the Radia tapes and the scams and Binayak Sen's conviction basically show the ugly naked face to everyone.
Till now there was some belief that we are heading towards some manageable state.
But now I am sure that there is actually an elite which is consciously pushing the country towards some policies; and the Karunanidhi family etc are very well entrenched. If you protest they can put you in jail for pretty much anything.
If there is one thing I learnt studying the Aadhaar Law, it is this - we need an Indian Tea Party [I am referring to the American crazy libertarian, anti-government movement called the Tea Party]. Basically laws are passed by our representatives;
and these laws have consequences. But much of these are not debated and pushed in.
Then we are accused of breaking the law.
One example is Chidambaram's recent statement about Binayak Sen's conviction
He said that there is the rule of law and they have to go through due process and appeal.He said that is the only way.But he missed the point. The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act was passed by all these states and it is plainly unconstitutional.
And so now we have a law that goes against the constitution and the minister is telling us we should obey it
My friend: You think the case against Binayak Sen is fraud?
Me: I dont know, but it is two things. It is guilt by association and should not be treated under sedition. Secondly the judge's comments seem to mean that the judgement was meant as a deterrent and not as a particular sentence for Sen's crime. That is shocking. He is almost saying that because Maoists cause killing and you are associated with them indirectly, this will send a message to everyone not to link with them. That is a very shocking judgement.
It violates all sense of balance
My point is that Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha matter. They pass laws that are sometimes crafted by special interests. The most important laws are passed without debate or interest and then people only realise the laws' effects much later. Such as Sen's case. Now anyone who has "Das Kapital" in his home can be arrested and sentenced.
Take the UID modification in 2003 [ I am referring to the change in the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955, that enables compulsory registration of all citizens]. We are only now realizing its implications. When we object, we are violating the law; and they tell us to obey the rule of law.
My friend: ok
Me: Parliament matters. But nobody knows the effects of its laws including the morons who pass them, I suspect

My Friend: Do you know the conditions when the bill was created and passed?
I mean, why did they have a need for that law.

Me: I think they push these through because the police want it in Maoist states but it will be good to do some research. I suspect that other states then adopt them too
That is how the line between a police state and a democracy blur.
There are 1000 different stories there. If u had a journalist staff you could just spend days covering the chennai city budget or laws in state houses or parliament and so on.
For example I found a depressing story in the Hindu that our military and top diplomats are trading visa favors from the US for influencing policy in India
The US consciously promotes that. That was one story and no one commented on it; no ripple.
Our population is under informed and no one is taking up the job of informing them.
The media is mostly corporatised. There is a crying need for independent media
Someone who can cover stories at city level, parliamennt level. I wish there was a Tea Party in India. Just to yell "tyranny" every time.
CNN-IBN in India telecast a story about lobbying. They solicited user comments via twitter during the debate. Most of the comments were supporting lobbying.
Then one guy got the screenshots from the television and website; and looked up the twitter accounts. They don't exist
IBN team was doing this themselves in trying to influence the debate because they are corporate owned and they like lobbying. That just completely depresses me.
These are smart people who think we are all idiots.
At this point in India, no information is available to most people.

My friend got tired of me at this point and left the IM. But not before the damage was done; I may start blogging again.

1 comment:

Blognostic said...

We blog, therefore we are. :)