Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pick Your Prime Minister

Which One of ‘Em?:
Manmohan, Modi, Mulayam, Mamta, Maya, or Ma?

S. P. Udayakumar
Idinthakarai, June 8, 2012

The next general elections may be held only in May 2014 or maybe a bit earlier. But there are already speculations about the next Prime Minister of India. The names that are being considered seriously include Manmohan, Modi, Mulayam, Mamta, Maya, and (Am)Ma.

It is quite safe to bet that Manmohan Singh cannot and will not be the next PM. He himself must know this. Steeped in corruption charges, inefficiency, anti-people policies and programs, and unquestioning subjugation to foreign countries and corporations, he is considered to be the most disastrous Prime Minister independent India has ever had. Most Indians are eagerly waiting to show him the door.

Modi is said to be favored to be the Prime Minister by a lot of Indians. That is all right. But what will Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and all others do? More importantly, it is highly unlikely that the BJP party will get absolute majority. Modi’s tricks may work in Gujarat but not in the rest of India.

It should also be borne in mind that the Indian Prime Minister is selected not just by the people of India alone but also by the American establishment. Uncle Sam does not even give visa to Modi and how will he give power to a complicated and controversial leader whose hands are stained with blood.

Mulayam is all set to march to Delhi after making his son the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and the daughter-in-law an MP. He is floating with dreams of repeating a rerun of the 2012 sweep of the UP polls, bagging a good number of MP seats and staking a strong claim to be the next PM. This sounds like a good plan but will Americans stomach Mulayam and his Samajwad, however hollow it is. They cannot stand even a lip service to socialism in the era of American globalization. They will never support Mulayam for the top post.

The whimsical Mamta would be equally unattractive for Americans. Of course, she is the most rabid anti-Communist leader in the country today and that is clearly an advantage. But then there is the question of consistency and trustworthiness. The capriciousness of the Indian Prime Minister may be the last thing they want to deal with in the shaky South Asia.

Similarly, the haughty Maya may also be a bit too much for the United States to handle. Lack of any exposure to or understanding of international politics, being inaccessible to everyone, and ineffectual leadership qualities may all work against her. Most importantly, the people of UP may not even consider her seriously unless the Mulayam family lets them down once again.

And this leaves only Ma as a credible candidate to be India’s next Prime Minister. She is a high caste and high class politician who can speak English well, understand global politics and operate effortlessly in the diplomatic world of winks and nods. She has a good grasp on issues, takes bold decisions, sticks to her position, and most importantly, does not let anyone to boss her around. The United States sees all these as positive traits; they would rather have her on their side as there are no other viable candidates in sight.

So Amma has been talking about winning in all the 40 parliamentary seats in Tamil Nadu and Pudhucherry. She is trying to put Sangma in the Rashtrapathi Bhavan so he would invite her to form the next government in New Delhi if she had a favorable situation. And her frequent visits to Delhi and biting comments on the Singh government all must be seen in this backdrop.

One reason why she has changed her position on Koodankulam and nuclear power is to accommodate the Department of Atomic Energy, the Indian military/security establishment and most importantly, Uncle Sam and his nuclear business interests in India so that she would have all their blessings and backing to be the next Prime Minister.

So, who is your choice? Manmohan, Modi, Mulayam, Mamta, Maya, or Ma? Any of ‘em? The fact of the matter is all of ‘em want more power but none of ‘em may use it for the powerless.[]

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Nuclear Nirvana
S. P. Udayakumar
May 30, 2012

[Newspaper Reports: Having exhausted all options to end opposition to the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant, 
the Indian government now plans to get a peek into the protesters’ minds and remove any fears with the help of 
psychiatrists from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) in Bangalore.]

If you do feel like pulling your hair off
when they deprive you of your daily bread,
If you do feel like screaming your head off
when they chip away at your wellbeing,
If you do feel like kicking up a storm
when they deny your identity and freedom,
If you do feel like raising a ruckus
when they wring you dry of life’s very meaning,
If you feel like grabbing one’s throat
when they lay on the line your survival,
You must be sick, my friend! I dare say,
            you could even be mentally ill.

You could be suffering from reality distortion
            focusing on problems rather than solutions;
You could be a victim of interpretative intention
drawing negative conclusions and opposing authority;
You are simply sick with establishmentophobia
            doubting leaders, heroes, scientists and such Noble Men.
If the State signs nuclear deals with every country
and mines adivasi land and all over for Yellow Cake,
Builds temples of technology, dumps the waste into the blue sea,
and manufactures “Smiling Buddha” products that protect us all—
They see Nuclear Nirvana but you cry foul for denuding with nukes,
and for this feeling of demoniac you need to see a psychiatrist!

The prognosis for this establishmentophobia is rather mixed.
You will continue to suspect your mother, the country, and Father, the State;
You will distrust your Brothers and sisters, the Nobility and their sentry;
You will disbelieve the fact that “road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions.”
You like a lunatic lover will be hard to talk to and even harder to listen to;
You’ll become imponderable, impregnable, and simply impossible.
If the diagnosis is rather bad and the prognosis even worse,
The therapy is the worst, calling for continuous psychiatric care.
Explore the anatomical structure of your brain and examine its neurophysiology;
            Check your preference of Democritean knowing: through senses or intellect?
And put you on corrective behavior in a correctional facility or corporate hospital
For distrusting the dual drive theory of nuking and nirvana to explain human fulfillment.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Plight of Mr. Ordinary Citizen
S. P. Udayakumar
April 22, 2012 (The Earth Day)
Listen to my plight; I am a low class low caste Ordinary Citizen;
And I’m running from pillar to post with a public interest petition
That imported and imposed nuclear reactors threaten to jettison
My community’s livelihood, resources and the very existence.
I approached all our political leaders and powerful ministers
To come and listen to our fears and concerns which are sinister.
Yelled the leaders: “Votes once cast, we could care less, Mister;
We need cuts and commissions to continue to be the Master!”
I appealed to the executives, bureaucrats, police and justices
To share all the info, honor the rules, and come out of duskiness.
The pen pushers explained age-old customs and colonial practices;
That they write what they are told with all the governing nastiness.
I prayed to the governments’ expert teams and the member jesters
To listen to what our unlettered folks had to say as a kind gesture.
“We’re all authorities, accomplished people and acclaimed experts;
We’re not used to any listening but can only explain the matters.”
I begged the savants, specialists, scientists and skilled technocrats
Who freely added safety tiers to their Third generation plus reactors.
“Don’t we need bombs and progress and supreme power status?
You must trust the scientists and all their nonsense with no hiatus.”
I turned to the traders, dealers, brokers and business magnets
Making a killing in every manner and giving a slip to dragnets.
They said “money is honey for money brings fame and power;
The poor should know they haven’t any and run for good cover.”
I requested media moguls and barons to report our sad story
And bring the world’s attention to our state of being so sorry.
The media persons were sympathetic but for business survival
They needed government ads, industry tenders and no rival.
I asked for the support of NGOs, IGOs, INGOs and the civil society
Only to be driven away by the project managers from their vicinity.
They wanted donations and contributions but no scrutiny of accounts;
More governmental blessings without any administrative hiccups.
High and dry, I cried to my House of Worship and all its high priests.
They spelled out God’s plan; explained the importance of foreign fees;
Described the power total submission and prayerful meditation hath
And wanted to be left alone without divine problems and rulers’ wrath.
Conversant with the ways of the rich and famous and powerful,
Convinced that no one with vested interests would do the needful,
I went back to the village to confide in and consult my minions,
The ordinary citizens and the extraordinary ones with millions.
I saw the disastrous development line drawn on the sand all over
As clear as high and low, North and South, or prince and pauper.
It’s always the case the rich are ‘The first to gain and the last to die’;
The wretched of the Earth are ‘The first to die and the last to gain.’
This is what our ancestors called kismet, karma, fate or providence
And stressed the need to suffer it all with faith and forbearance.
But revolutionary politics and precepts reinvent human agency
And emphasize that we make our world with a sense of urgency.

How to Build A-tomb

S. P. Udayakumar
Wuhan, China
April 5, 2011

To build anything, my dear friend,
You must be clear what it is you want.
A birth house to celebrate the arrival of an infant,
A way home to feed the hungry or protect the orphans,
A temple to congregate and turn to the Heavens,
A road to the stream, or a school with nuance,
A fort of strength, palace of power, or tower of glory,
A Taj Mahal for the love of your life with a story.
A mausoleum for mother or father or people's leader,
Or a pyramid as a heavenly possessions' feeder.

To build anything, my dear friend,
You must have a plan and blueprint.
Building of life begins in a tender womb
Before it reaches the final resting place of tomb.
Proceeds to erect many a thing with room
For individuality, originality and creativity vroom.
But if you'd rather start from death and build A-tomb,
Tomb with an A and A stands for Atom,
Tomb for the Alive and for All future generations,
What can I say with all my reservations?

To build A-tomb, my crooked friend,
Imitate the merchants of death and defend.
Claim "the road to Doom is paved with good intentions"
Superior science, bombs, national pride and pretensions.
Take tons and tons of public money
And make sure there isn't scrutiny any.
Promise the Stars and everything under the sky
Knowing well that you will hardly fly high.
Bribe those who threaten with account checks
And check the strong with untrue accounts.

Say blatant lies but never speak a word of truth,
Shower non-truths, half-truths and nothing of worth.
Never admit anything wrong, commits or omits,
Remember "it's all within the permissible limits".
Serve the State that keeps your secrets
And the MNCs that seek more profits;
And anyone else must face your wrath.
Deny, defer, deceive with silent breath!
Dialogue, Debate, Democracy – No, No!
Dictate, Debase and Debar all you know.

Institute a Department of New Clear Vision
With the same old unclear bureaucratic mission.
Think of yourself, your science and career;
Never think of the people or show remorse.
Surround them with emissions, effluents, radiations
Of energy glows and development radiance.
Kill them slowly, softly and silently please,
Entomb them with the Atoms for Peace!
And ready is your haunting A-tomb
Next to the "Atoms for War" catacomb.