The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Monday, 20 April 2015

RAHUL SPEAKS - #RAHULROAR VS #PAPPUMEOWS

I took three snapshots of Twitter today, for its India trends - at around 6 PM - at 7 PM - and at around 9 PM.

In the first two, though the hashtag #RahulRoar was number one, it was followed by #PappuMeows on number two.

But in the third, at 9 PM, while #RahulRoar was still at number one, I could not locate #PappuMeows. It was out from the trending list of Twitter for its India-wide trends.

While #RahulRoar is launched by Rahul Gandhi's fans, #PappuMeows is launched by Rahul's detractors.




While Rahul didn't speak anything new in the highly publicised farmers' rally yesterday, he looked and sounded more confident today, taking on Narendra Modi and his government - over the issues ranging from farmers' suicides pushed up by unseasonal rains to the land acquisition act.

And his fans are buoyed by him today it looks - at least his fans who use Twitter.

But there are many beyond Twitter. And that includes his mother Sonia Gandhi and the political rivals of the BJP led National Democratic Alliance government. While Rahul was delivering his speech the Lok Sabha the Budget Session of which resumed today, the faces of MPs surrounding him were worth watching. They were all elated as if Rahul's sabbatical had extended its benefits to them as well.

It is 9:30 PM now, the time for the last Twitter snapshot of the day and #RahulRoar is still trending at the top of India trends, followed by the known IPL trend of #DDvsKKR at number two.


Will it change anything on the ground? 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/ 

RAHUL SPEAKS - FROM THE OPPOSITION BENCHES IN LOK SABHA

So far, Rahul Gandhi had made only two speeches in the Parliament worth remembering. And going on his political career so far, he had failed to live up to.

He failed to speak in the Parliament, and among the public. He failed to own up when Anna Hazare's anti-corruption agitation was at its peak. He failed to speak on time when the agitation against Delhi gang-rape of December 16, 2012 was on peak. He failed to own up Congress' low while Congress' decline touched a historic low.

Yesterday, he spoke, after a series of debacles and humiliating losses, but he could not offer anything new, even if he had taken some two months to think over the rout (as claimed). The projected mega rally of farmers at the Ramlila Ground turned out to be a routine affair.

And today, he spoke in the Lok Sabha. In all probability, it was his third speech in the lower House.

Budget Session of the Lok Sabha reconvened today again after a hiatus of 30 days and it was headed for a stormy session given the controversial statements of leaders and ministers (like we saw in case of Giriraj Singh today) and issues like 'land acquisition ordinance' and communal harmony among others.

Rahul Gandhi was better today. He looked confident and sounded more confident when he spoke. Though the Robert Vadra tag will not leave him anywhere, until he finds a honest remedy to it.

The farmer that is getting angrier or is in two minds and the common man - on Narendra Modi's land acquisition ordinance and the anti-poor policies - will certainly react negatively when it will come to the issue of Robert Vadra's status.

Yes, Robert Vadra as such is no issue. But his VVIP status, his riches and allegations of corruption are something that would make the common man an angry soul. This is something Rahul Gandhi needs to work on. And if his task is made difficult by the humiliating electoral losses of Congress, he has also a window of opportunity in portraying the government pro-rich, anti-farmer and anti-common man. But for that, he needs to do the cleansing of his house first.

Also, there were words about Sonia Gandhi fixing the time for Rahul's speech. Reportedly, she had spoken with some opposition parties for Rahul's speech and had issued a whip for Congress MPs. But only 28 of the 44 Congress MPs were present in the House when Rahul was speaking (from the opposition benches, for the first time).  

For the moment, we are going to take everyone's observation with a fistful of salt. It is difficult to believe on the verity of different data-sets.

Rahul came with his own. Government came with its own. States have differing versions. In centre were two issues - farmers' suicide pushed by unseasonal rains and land acquisition.

The fact midst all this is - farmers are dying, pushed to the extremities by the rain gods and the policymakers at the centre and in the states.

And land is a sensitive issue for this country of some 1.25 billion, the world's largest democracy. Most of its farmers are small land occupants and marginal labourers and the condition has worsened over the years.

The verity about data-sets will come only with time and proper implementation, something that we have missed so far, irrespective of the 'policy in question'.

And the whole political lot is to share the blame for it.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/   

Sunday, 19 April 2015

NARENDRA MODI, RAHUL GANDHI, SITARAM YECHURY AND MORE: A SUNDAY FULL OF POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS

It was a Sunday full of political developments.

First came the day's first development. Narendra Modi took classes of his MPs (members of parliament) where he talked about the achievements of his government so far and pressed on the need to take the work to the public - 'the work done by the government for the public must be taken to the public'.

The meet was being held under the clouds of Congress' farmers rally and Modi sounded pro-people emphasising on the version of the land bill brought by his government and how it was better than the one brought by Congress' in September 2013.

While making claims of such achievements, Modi must keep in mind that Sonia Gandhi and his trusted aide Manmohan Singh, the previous prime-minister (prime-minister of two terms, one highly successful, one highly corrosive - but he could not come out of the shadow of being a 'yes man' for Sonia Gandhi), also emphasised on a similar need - to take the work done by the government - for the people - to the people. And it is to be seen in the context that Sonia and Manmohan started feeling this need more pressingly when all the projected reports started indicating a clear rout for the Congress party and thus Manmohan Singh led United Progressive Alliance government.

Meanwhile, it was broken on airwaves that Sitaram Yechury was expected to be the next General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) as the party veteran S. Ramachandran Pillai had withdrawn his name.

Then came the next development.

The proposed mega rally of farmers by the Congress party at the Ramlila Ground of Delhi!

The rally began as it was being projected - as Congress' initiative aimed at reclaiming the lost ground and beginning of the process had to be the National Democratic Alliance's (led by the BJP, the party that rode to the power with clear mandate in 30 years, defeating the Congress) land acquisition ordinance which 'it says is substantially different from the one passed by it in 2013, contains many harmful provisions and is clearly anti-farmer'.

And as - Rahul Gandhi's comeback event.

But nothing changed. And nothing has changed it seems.

As expected, Rahul and Sonia came late. Manmohan Singh was mentioned in references, and was there in the front row, with a brief speech. After all, he was the previous prime-minister and Congress had its land acquisition bill during his second term.

Before them, there was a long list of Congress spokespersons and leaders to speak, to keep the audiences there till it was the turn of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. But they bored them it seems. Also, Delhi's heat was partly responsible, if we can say so. Today was the hottest day of Delhi thanks to the heat wave from Rajasthan that created some 'away from the trend' scene for Delhi.

Rahul spoke in the same way as he had been speaking. He spoke like 'he was speaking while beginning his parliamentary career'. He spoke like 'he was speaking four years ago'. He spoke like 'he was speaking after the humiliating loss in the general elections last May'. He spoke like 'he was speaking after the complete decimation in the Delhi assembly polls'.

He spoke like a typical political rival of Narendra Modi the way 'he has always been speaking'.

If indeed it was a Rahul's comeback event, there wasn't anything like 'comeback' in this rally.

If there was indeed a leave of absence, its impact was limited to the inner faculties of Rahul Gandhi because outwardly, we could not see anything.

Moreover, after Rahul's routine speech, expected on expected lines, people started leaving the Ramlila Ground even if Sonia was speaking. Also, none of the speeches, including that of Rahul, was impressive or earth-shattering.

It was, basically the same stuff about government being anti-farmer and Congress being pro-farmer, that we have been hearing about.

Also, the rally that was being promoted as Congress' launch-pad and Rahul's comeback event, was not at all had to be a place for empty rows. But empty rows were increasing in count as Sonia Gandhi was speaking.

Many farmers, brought to the rally venue, in trains and in buses, chose to leave the venue after listening to the leader who had brought them. Clearly, factionalism in the party, an increasingly nagging subject, was visible to everyone there.

So, while Rahul's vacation or leave of absence or sabbatical (or absence) may secure him the President's chair of the Congress party, as is reported and being discussed, but it is certainly not going to help the Congress party in the long run, if we read the signs now.

Then came the confirmational news from the Andhra Pradesh port city Visakhapatnam. Sitaram Yechury was elected the next General Secretary of CPI(M) anonymously after Pillai's withdrawal on the last day of the party congress.

With it, the party got all new today - a new Central Committee, five permanent invitees and five special invitees and so on.

Midst a fading relevance!

The new General Secretary who takes over from Prakash Karat, a GS of three terms, has his task cut out. He has to make the politics of the Left Front relevant again. He has to win back bastions like West Bengal and Kerala. He has to extend the work of Manik Sarkar in Tripura, the only state (and politically not of much importance when we see it in Delhi's context) where the CPI(M) is in government.

But he doesn't know how.

The road ahead to the political relevance is chequered and plagued for the Left Front and India of the day is not offering any roadmap for revival.

Let's see how he take the march forward. The one good thing that he said after taking over was 'merger' with the Communist Party of India (CPI). But then, there is no time-frame for the proposal to unite again. Apart from it was the routine stuff - like use of 'comeback' and 'turnaround' during his takeover speech.

Three big ticket developments a day before the Lok Sabha resumes - Narendra Modi comes from yet another successful foreign trip and delivers a speech for the BJP MPs during a work-shop - Rahul Gandhi makes first public appearance during a highly publicised Congress' rally (a website was also launched) to take on the government's land acquisition policy - CPI(M) gets its next General Secretary - and the related snippets - a Sunday is usually not news-heavy, but today it was.

And though, we did not reach at any point on the course of the contemporary political history of India (as expected), it well added to the political recipe of the day - a Sunday before a Monday - a Monday when the Lok Sabha is going to resume its session.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/  

Saturday, 18 April 2015

CAN THIS ‘ZAMEENWAPSI’ BE A GOOD BEGINNING?

As expected (and claimed), Rahul Gandhi met a group of farmers before the Sunday rally at the Ramlila Ground.

As expected, he did not make any press appearance.

Instead, Congress came up with a website – www.zameenwapsi.com – a day before the mega farmers rally on April 19, that in turn, is a day before the Lok Sabha resumes its Budget Session.

Many in Congress are naming the rally as Rahul’s comeback event but the wise ones are planning it as pro-farmers rally that is intented to launh a series of protests against the land acquisition amendment ordinance.

So, basically it is anti-BJP movement enveloped as ‘Congress’ hands with farmers’ and this website is a reminder of how desperate the Congress party is to reclaim the lost ground. 

This ‘desperateness’ is visible in many forms and one is the leadership crisis in the party. Good days are always taken care of but the whole party looks at party’s first family with folded hands during bad days. No one talks of the any other possible leadership that would be natural choice in any other political party.

And this website, with all technicalities, is an extension to that.





Here, the website begins with Rahul Gandhi (as expected). Sonia Gandhi, naturally, finds the place on the front page at the other edge. The second page is with Rajiv Gandhi. Manmohan Singh finds place on the third page along with Rahul and Sonia. After all, he is the previous prime-minister and it was under his government that the Congress’ land acquisition law was passed. Rahul was again on the fourth page.

Other Congress leaders are absent from the website (as expected). Also absent are Jawahar Lal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shasti and Indira Gandhi. And above all, the site’s frontage misses Mahatma Gandhi though the timeline about land acquisition in India that it talks about dates back to 1894.

Typical measures by the Congress party, very typical to its halfhearted but desperate measures of now!

Hopefully, other leaders including the historical figures find their place as the days pass on, though the site, and overall activity by the Congress party, which aims to lead the political opposition in targeting the BJP led NDA government, has an inherent danger of legitimising Narendra Modi that no one in Congress is, perhaps, thinking about.

Can Congress start to reclaim the lost ground with this ‘return of the land to its rightful owner’ pledge?


©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/  

Friday, 17 April 2015

AS EXPECTED (AND NOT EXPECTED), RAHUL GANDHI IS YET TO MEET ANYONE

As expected (and not expected), Rahul Gandhi is yet to meet anyone.

Reports say he is to meet some farmers next morning in the run up to the rally on Sunday. The farmers rally is a big thing for farmers and whether the party sees it as Rahul’s comeback event or not and the way ahead for the party depends on it.

So, the party is going full-throttle about it. Major Congress leaders and state satraps have taken the responsibility of arranging the crowd for the iconic Ramlila Ground, the epicenter of many historic rallies and movements.

So, Rahul is expected to meet the farmers tomorrow to reiterate them ‘Congress Ke Haath, Sabke Saath’ (Congress’ hands believe in taking everyone together.

And it the changed circumstances or the circumstances created after Rahul’s sabbatical or leave of absence (or absence, the way you want to put it) have made it like a ‘Rahul’s comeback event’, even if the whole machinery of Congress including its President Sonia Gandhi is looking ahead to make it a grand success.

Yes, like a mother, Sonia was there, yesterday and today, to greet and meet on Rahul’s comeback, and the day after. Priyanka Gandhi was also there yesterday.

Meanwhile, Rahul’s ‘leave of absence’ and his comeback continue to make for news elements. Even if the establishment was well aware of his whereabouts, his stay during the days of absence, his ‘reasons’ behind the absence, Congress’ leadership issue and old versus new guard would make for newsies in the days to come.

Rahul Gandhi is protected by the Special Protection Group (SPG) which is under the Ministry of Home Affairs. Also, he was out of India, using his passport, a service area under the Ministry of External Affairs. And as there is strong PMO (the Prime Minister’s office) this time, it would well be taking updates from the same. And a person like Rahul Gandhi cannot disappear like this, if the government and the top political leadership don’t want to.

Yes, it is a different matter if they (from the ruling party) don't choose to tell us about him. After all, they are political rivals of the Congress party and have come to the power by defeating (a humiliating defeat) the later.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/ 


Thursday, 16 April 2015

WELL, WHAT ABOUT RAHUL'S LOOKS NOW?

That is a million dollar question everyone should be asking.

Whether he would be in his beards and moustache or a new clean-shaven Rahul Gandhi will be unleashed before us?

The world, as we know, saw him today, this morning, for a brief period.

He was in car, a sports utility vehicle. And like his stature of coming from a political family like Nehru-Gandhi, he was in a sports utility vehicle, big in size.

All we could catch of him was in passing moments the snapshot of which is not clear.

But what was clear that he was looking fit and was 'clean shaven', as revealed in this PTI image.


So, is he charged now?

The face, in whatever passing reference, with a clean-shaved look, failed to tell us anything.

And given the spate of past failures - electoral, political and social - that gave him the epithet of a 'reluctant politician' - we are not going to guess it now.

Much depends on how he looks like and how he carries out his polity now irrespective of warring, demanding and celebrating Congress factions.

For the moment, he looks clean-shaved and fit, like one would expect him to be, after a long 'leave of absence' that included meditation sessions (including Vipassana). 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/

NOW THAT RAHUL GANDHI IS BACK..

Now that Rahul Gandhi is back, the Congress party needs to answer the following questions once again - question that are asked again and again - questions that have been asked with increased frequency during  the 59 days of Rahul’s sabbatical (if we take February 16 as the starting day of his leave of absence) and the questions that will be asked with a 'never -heard-of frequency' now - the questions that are imperative for Congress’ future - the questions that have always been vital for the party post-2000.

What role will Sonia Gandhi play? Will she remain President of the party now?

Or some role bigger than a President will be chosen for her, given her age, her experience in Indian polity and given her necessity for a section of Congress’ leaders (or for that matter, the overall Congress)?  

When will Rahul Gandhi make his first public appearance after his 'return'? Will the April 19 Kisan Rally stand for his first public appearance as claimed by many Congress' leaders?

When will he take over the Congress party from Sonia Gandhi? When will we come to know about his official coronation as the next Congress President?

What role will be entrusted to her elder sister, Priyanka Gandhi? Like the evergreen demands of the leaders from the grand old party of India - leaving Sonia Gandhi untouched or making Rahul Gandhi the party President - bringing Priyanka Gandhi to the mainstream of the party-politics also figures prominently.

Well, the government must be well aware of the whereabouts of the Congress party. After all, Rahul Gandhi is protected by the Special Protection Group (SPG) which is under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Also, if he was out of India, it would well reflect on his passport as his visit might be personal in nature, but it would have to follow the rules of land, i.e., entries in his passport. His overseas/abroad visits are bound to reflect on his passport maintenance of which comes directly under the Ministry of External Affairs.

And a person like Rahul Gandhi cannot disappear like this, even if he is in India where internet freedom is an issue - where a freedom fighter's family, even if the freedom fighter in question is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, is subjected to various snooping methods like they were done in the British colonial India - where the government has extensive methods and elaborate ways to know about anyone.

Yes, it is a different matter if they don't choose to tell us about him. After all, they are political rivals of the Congress party and have come to the power by defeating (a humiliating defeat) the later.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/ 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

BJP IS NOT DOING RIGHT THINGS SO FAR (WHEN SEEN IN CONTEXT OF 2017 UP POLLS)

The Bhartiya Janata Party is not doing the right thing as far as the Uttar Pradesh polls are concerned.

The party, which along with its associate Apna Dal won 73 of the 80 seats in 2014 General Elections, has seen a spate of electoral losses subsequent to its victory in India's largest state.

That makes the Modi Factor a parliamentary one limited the Lok Sabha polls which failed to make any impact at the assembly level.

The BJP are well aware of its plans to make a comeback in 2019 are directly dependent on cracking the riddle associated with the 403 seats of UP.

Less than two years are left in assembly polls but the UP BJP is yet to have a full-time senior leader. Rajnath Singh was never enough and the BJP have lost any of credible UP faces.

Akhilesh Yadav had stormed into the chief-ministerial office and residence in March 2012 and would hope to lubricate the Yadav-Muslim combine to work on his advantage again. His pro-OBC politics evolves and revolves around it.

Mayawati who has been dormant so far, is expected to become active to create hurdles and win back the UP from Akhilesh Yadav.

They both have roadmaps and they both haven't anything but Uttar Pradesh.

While the BJP have the nation and must also win the state to keep its hopes afloat for 2019.

But so far, it has failed in this objective.

To continue.. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/

Monday, 13 April 2015

THESE BOOKS ARE ALWAYS A 'DECISION-MAKING' PROPOSITION FOR ME..

COLORES INFINITUM  

I am a regular reader - and of what not.

And I love good books.

Someone once asked me how I selected my books.

Now, various facets may be to this - that how I select my books. But the direct one is - I go through some of the pages, scan it, read a few and make my decision on whether to pick one.

Most of my books of the lot, my personal library, have entered my life like this. And I have a healthy library.

Then there are books that I know about - like about the author and the quality of the work - and the subject matter.

These books are always a 'decision-making' proposition for me.

And the book by Rakesh Kayasth ji (or Rakesh Sir - that is how I know him), 'Kos Kos Shabdhosh' comes in this category.

The days with Rakesh Sir at Videocon Tower, Delhi, were really good days of sitting around, talking on some issue, and discussing a thing or two, whenever we got time, or whenever we got mood. And with him came some good friends.  

Rakesh Sir had been given a seat with us and our conversation began like that only - a senior who was willing to listen to his junior - who believed his junior could talk sense.  And we would discuss things - from Manoj Kumar's Clerk to the anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare. The visit to the Ramlila Ground after the office hours during the agitation led by Anna Hazare was one such product of our sitting hours. Sometimes, he would drop me to my place at IP Extension, Patparganj while en-route to his home in Ghaziabad.

Our discussions would not have a definite purpose mostly and that was for good. He was famous as the writer of our network. He was famous as crispy script writer who was called to deal in with complex subject matters. He would always look in a thoughtful mood, like thinking about his subject(s) or character(s) at hand.

He is a sensitive human being and a writer in that garb.

My time spent in that office led me to wait for the day he would write his book. Though he left the city some three years ago for better options in Mumbai, and we could not spoken with after that, our Facebook pages kept me in touch with him, even if irregularly because I am not a regular Facebook user.  

And through his Facebook posts and columns, I came to know about his book 'Kos Kos Shabdkosh'. And it was the one book I was waiting to read because I knew the author personally.

And Flipkart delivered it in lightning fast time, within 24 hours of placing the order.

Yes, I could not read it then, due to my long engagement with the AIIMS and winding hours of visit.

But now it is here. And I am writing about it.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/