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The Indian State - Rigor Mortis
|by Col. Gopal Karunakaran|
The Indian State began dying in January 2012, by the end of December 2012 – it has been unofficially certified dead.
The event coincided with the tragic death of the young 23 year old girl who fought a losing battle to stay alive after one of the most gruesome attacks on a woman in the nation’s capital at Delhi. The death certification has come through the vast throngs of young people who have been unmindful of the winter cold in Delhi and other parts of India, and who have come out in huge numbers to protest against the State. The youth have virtually been forcing actions by the state - which any truly representative government would have done on their own – speedy action to bring the culprits to book and a sensitive response by its leadership.
An old man from a small village in Maharashtra was the first to raise the hackles. He inspired an agitation which caught the nation’s imagination - and the political class literally with their pants down. Seventy five year old Anna Hazare triggered the thought among the young that they had a choice – and that choice was not to accept nonsense from their elected leaders – and that government officials were actually servants of the people and they were accountable to the citizens.
The two leading political parties were found deeply embarrassed and sometimes shamefully, but more often shamelessly, naked. The Congress party was a sorry comical spectacle with every leader worth his name defending the party President’s son-in-law when he was found involved in several murky land deal which could have been transacted only due to his proximity to power.
In 2010, the public airing of the Nira Radia tapes brought out shockingly what the Indian masses always suspected – that greasing palms – of powerful politicians was the way big businesses worked in India. That even the TATAs needed to do it – suggested the sorry constraints of doing business in India. That the media was being used to further lobbying – a western euphemism for middlemen, or more aptly dalals, made believing the media even more impossible than earlier. As a possible consequence –this year we found more authenticity of news through the social media.
The reputation of the Indian Army took a hard beating from the glory days of the Kargil War. An Army Chief chose to go public with an unhealthy and prolonged skirmish with the Government over his date of birth - which was construed as an attempt to prolong his age of retirement rather than a fight for truth. In a year of activism against the Government - it showed the Army in poor light – an embarrassment the country could have clearly been spared from the one institution among other crumbling institutions that had universal acceptance and respect.
The deaths of Bal Thackeray and Ponty Chaddha
Towards the end of the year, unrelated deaths of two prominent people again showed us how the state machinery in two of our biggest cities is itself close to death.
29th December 12
The saddest event happened at the end of the year – on the 29th of Dec we received news that the brave girl who fought hard to live was dead in the Singapore hospital where she was taken as a final attempt to save her – or save the Capital of India from more violence if she had died here.
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