Monday, August 2, 2010

FLIP SIDE - Candid v/s calculative

Yogesh Mishra

The British Prime Minister David Cameron is a very candid person. He says he does not like hiding his feelings. Hence, when he said Pakistan was the exporter of terrorism, India grinned. But India frowned when he offered to shift the Commonwealth games to London from New Delhi if the latter was not ready to host it.
Again, when Cameron refused to return Kohinoor to India terming it the most precious part of UK’s royal museum, India got angry, but controlled his emotions. Why? Why our leaders are sticking to calculative statements? The entire West is outspoken whether it’s a UK PM or US president or anybody else.

Even Pakistan uses objectionable statements during formal talks, thanks to its habit of committing such mistakes repeatedly, but India should at least express such feeling which is must for its own benefit and interest. At least, the Indian leaders can be candid as well as calculative while giving statements at international forums. Dear Manmohan Singh, have you overheard this advice? So, can we expect that you will not depend too much on Sonia Gandhi? After all, it’s high time to be self-reliant.

FLIP SIDE - Sigh of relief

Yogesh Mishra

When Union Home Secretary GK Pillai, during his recent Chhattisgarh visit, ruled out the possibility of deploying army in the Maoist-hit areas of the state in spite of series of naxal violence in the past couple of months, the leaders from both the ruling BJP as well as Opposition Congress heaved a sigh of relief. Although, both parties genuinely want eradication of naxalism from the tribal belts but not through army route.

Contradiction surfaces at this juncture. The BJP’s national leadership wants army to deal naxals in Chhattisgarh, but this was made public only recently by Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj while interacting with media persons during her Raipur visit. Swaraj first replied to the query on naxalism (now terrorism) in an obscure manner, but when the media insisted, she said a big ‘yes’ for army on party’s behalf. However, before her announcement, she had transferred the question to the Chief Minister Raman Singh terming him appropriate person to answer. Singh’s reply was completely indecipherable. He looked in accordance with Swaraj pertaining to use of army as a last resort to solve naxal problem, but the inference of his broken statements clearly indicated that he wanted Centre to take final decision after trying all permutations and combinations. But why Singh is not overtly supporting army deployment? The reason is simple. He knows that the army operations in the naxal-infested areas would also claim several innocent lives as it happened in Punjab and that might dethrone his party in the next elections. Hence, he wants to adopt the development route to win the confidence and mandate of tribals and has reasserted his faith in existing paramilitary forces.

The state Congress was also apprehensive that if the army was to be pressed into service in the naxal belts, people would not give it opportunity in the next Vidhan Sabha elections. Therefore, the Congress leaders, too, had kept their fingers crossed until the Union Home Secretary finally proclaimed before the media that army was not required in the present scenario and that it would take at least 5-7 years to eradicate naxal problem completely.

FLIP SIDE - Speech skills

Yogesh Mishra

There are few ministers in the Chief Minister Raman Singh’s Cabinet who have been advised by their fellow ministers as well as by the Opposition Congress to hone their speech skills. One such minister, who is rather a novice in the Cabinet, when addressing a group of investors arrived recently in the capital from different parts of the country, quickly comprehended that he would have to adopt an eclectic approach while interacting with non-political brains. He must be thinking that extolling his government’s works in state Assembly was a job more comfortable than to convince the investors that the money they spend in the state would give them high returns. Another minister, who hails from Bilaspur district, always speaks through the craftily knitted words served by the officials of his department. The Opposition Congress sporadically cracks a joke on him for groping for words when he has to answer any query pertaining to his portfolio. However, he has gained little confidence now after giving a long written reply to the flurry of the questions shot by former chief minister Ajit Jogi on irregularities in his department. Why does the state BJP unit not invite the party’s firebrand figures and speech-maestros like Narendra Modi, Shatrughan Sinha or even the entertainer Navjot Singh Siddhu to train its ministers and legislators, and of course, the workers to enrich their political vocabulary ?

FLIP SIDE - Ubiquitous leaders

Yogesh Mishra

There are too many politicos who are ubiquitous and you will find them even at those places where they are not supposed to be. But when you ask them about their omnipresence, they will answer gravely – “We are politicians. It is our duty to be present in every appropriate and inappropriate place.” One corporator-turned-MLA from Congress also belongs to the bandwagon of ubiquitous leaders. You can easily identify him even in a thickly crowded place because of his tallness. The people close to him say that he had yet to break the shell of corporator and think big, not just for his ward but for his entire constituency. Dear MLA, whether you are a corporator or a legislator, the issues would be the same, but with your domain expanded, you need to meet the expectations of more number of voters. Make sure, as your past hard work earned you an MLA berth, you do not lose the opportunity for same profile next time due to your existing approach – to be in limelight without work. Remember, sometimes, omnipresence cost dear to oneself as has happened with one of your party’s district-level leaders who had rather been rebuked by senior leaders to control his tongue in public.

FLIP SIDE - In pursuit of prominence

Yogesh Mishra

Another state-level Youth Congress leader has categorically instructed his adjutants to instantly inform him wherever they discover the people angry with the system, especially students. This leader has, in fact, decided to keep on creating scenes at Pt Ravishankar Shukla University (RSU) campus in support of students’ issues. This idea serves him two purposes, one – his image will develop as staunch supporter of students which he will encash later in terms of arranging massive crowd during arrival of his party’s national leaders and two – he wants to develop his overall image as a professional politician in well-nigh contradiction with his physical features.

FLIP SIDE - Self-reformation

Yogesh Mishra

In BJP, two leaders who suddenly became ‘Page 1’ figures for media due to their empire in the field of construction have decided to do the damage control exercise or more precisely an image rebuilding exercise by appearing in every event of the party, meetings and public as well as media interactive sessions with their humble faces and gentle ‘clarifying statements’.

FLIP SIDE - Feigned overlordship

Yogesh Mishra

There is a BJP leader and a corporator in Chhattisgarh who has been elevated to a more dignified profile in the Raipur Municipal Corporation (RMC, but he poses as if he has an aura of an MLA or a Parliamentarian. He, too, cannot help going to people which is a natural propensity of a public representative, but always trespasses his limits and starts issuing directives to the officials which is supposed to be given either by the head of the civic administration or by the first person of the capital city.

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