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Published on November 4th, 2012

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Of reshuffles and survival instincts

Humra Quraishi writes on Delhi’s recent Cabinet reshuffle, and how the common man has more serious issues to think of.

The recent Cabinet reshuffle in Delhi happened and within minutes, one could hear the rumblings of people reacting to the news of over 20 changes in the old team – wherever you went, you could hear people saying, “BJP , SP, BSP or Congress, there are thieves in each one of them!” The reshuffle doesn’t seem to have impressed anybody here, in fact, it is becoming increasingly difficult for politicians to sway today’s Indian with reshuffles and promises, whether at the Cabinet or the municipality level.

Placements and displacements, shifts in portfolio and power, changes and re-changes, moves and  counter moves…they are no longer good distracting tactics. Those days are gone, dear politicians!

The small screen, together with the likes of constant rabble rouser Arvind Kejriwal are responsible for bringing about a greater awareness about what really goes on in the corridors of power. This awareness is nudging the average Indian to look beyond the obvious, crane his neck to look for what goes on behind the faces and the people at centre stage, occasionally glance at the Right too. And with this increased awareness and greater surveillance by the media, skeletons are rapidly tumbling out of several high-profile closets.

Each time I see Arvind Kejriwal on TV, he looks frailer but more determined to fight the good fight. He  is  diabetic, so it is a sheer wonder that he is managing to take on the accompanying stresses of his campaign – and its invariable offshoots – and still going strong with mini or full-blown revolts.

These recent movements have certainly caused a churning in the political landscape, but its gathering momentum could well be derailed not by being trampled by police boots and brute force,  but simply because the man on the street, who can really drive this momentum, has more important things to do – like fight for his survival. Political shifts and rumblings go on almost parallel to the malnourishment and semi-starvation faced by the common man due to rising inflation. The daily  realities and ongoing struggles for survival are what take centre stage for the common man just now, so to expect him to have some more grit for a larger fight is a bit much.

And though I have never been to Egypt, I’ve keenly followed the unrest there, and seeing the average  Egyptian’s well-built form, I remember thinking that they seemed better fed and structured  than us Indians. Perhaps their good health helped them relentlessly march  towards Tahrir  Square. If we had a similar demonstration here, we would get bullied on the way by thugs, or at the very least, faint in the heat.

Humra Quraishi is a senior political journalist based in Gurgaon.

 (Picture courtesy PTI)

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One Response to Of reshuffles and survival instincts

  1. Suma says:

    Anna who is fighting agianst corruption in public eyes is an inventor of a big political game through which he had kept unjustified demands which went unquestioned by public.He demanded in the Lokpal bill that the officials who will be responsible for handing corruption cases should be given police rights so that they can arrest any one and at any time.Only if one can imagine what it could lead to, if Government agreed to this, people sitting peacefully at home, with no dirt on their hands, can suddenly be caught for no reason and will be put in jail by Anna (in case he doesn’t like You ). The period given for the verdict resolution is only 2 years which is definitely not enough for an innocent to free himself of guilty before court in India.So if one has given even a 100 rupee note in bribe by mistake, get ready for an imprisonment of 10 years. Yes, the minimum is 10 years. Your whole life will turn into a black hole.I am not saying this will happen but by agreeing to his demands, Government will pass him enough rights to so this to any one in the country. So what you need to do if this happens? Well, speak out………”HAIL ANNA!”…And sleep peacefullyRight to speech, yes it is a part of our constitution but when Arundati Roy spoke agianst Anna, public responded with something unexpected “She is a bitch, she should be raped!”What a response! Of course they also have the right to speak but are they not aware that under our constitution, we are not allowed to insult anyone in public? We are not supposed to use abusive language?Some of you reading this may be thinking that I am agianst Anna, may be I am favouring some political party but I have already made it clear that I was apolitical but as a human I have views, I support right and hate wrong doings.Now looking at the Government, never ending of corruption, more than 30% of them above 70 years of age, can we expect any change?Once there used to be king rule where one family ruled over the entire regime and the crown was passed on to their successors. Now we say that we have a democratic government chosen by people but is it really that way?Look at our political structure:Congress…began with Nehru Gandhi…followed by Indira then Rajeev than Sonia than Rahul………and it will go on forever , and we all know this is not the only family.The same genes, the same values are carried by their children and their children taken from their corrupt ancestors, how can we expect any change in Indian regulation?The only solution is to break this trend, to not have the same family keep ruling. Any politician who have been a minister or MLA should not be followed by his or her children, only new people with different belief system, different background should follow the regime. This is the only way out.

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