Today Diwali – the festival of lights – greetings flow across the length and breadth of the country and abroad, wherever Indians are. No need however to personally convey the messages since nowadays SMS are in vogue and profitable. With the increasing mobility of mobile phones, number of mesages are bound to have a quantum leap. No one cares much about the satisfaction and cheer each derives while conveying such messages through one’s own voice whatsoever. Like any ritual these conveyances too remain a ritual. No need blaming anyone in this new era of information and knowledge revolution something more than sufficient. The family get-togethers during such festivals like Diwali have almost come down to zero level, thanks to nuclear families. With the fast disappearing joint family system each member of a family lives apart from each other, each at faraway place sometimes even abroad. The elders often end up in old-age homes with nostalgic memories, their only consolation.

Besides ordinary citizens like us, the rulers at the top echelons too convey messages, Prime Minister, President, Vice-President, Governors and Chief Ministers without being even aware of such festivals, convey their respective offices where everything is being diarised and get them published on the auspicious day in prominent media across the country. The messages often go on thus on the ocassion of Diwali – the festival of lights – symbolising the victory of good over evil, ‘ we join you in your celebration of the festival and wish you life-long prosperity and harmony, where victory prevails over evil, where people live across the country happily and with more than sufficient satisfaction, where harmony prevails among them’, they care not that which they ought to take care of before passing such messages as they are entrusted with that by the same citizens.

Our nation in fact runs through a dark tunnel with many a problem of immediate response awaiting to be settled. True, no denying the fact that much progress has been achieved especially on the economic front but it is a sad truth that the growth so far achieved is a lop-sided growth due to the distorted policies of the govts that ruled and the one that now rules our nation.

Hence we are back to square one when taken in its totality – the poverty, malnourishment, health, education, infrastructure all still badly in need of atttention. Remote corners of our nation, sorry, not only the remote corners, even the cities believed to have developed, are in a pitiful condition with crater-filled roads, lack of irrigation and transport facilities, millions still living without cover over their heads in the congested cities due to the massive inflows of job-seeking educated and illiterate people alike, acute scarcity of pure drinking water, poor state of drainage systems, lack of sanitation facilities, and add to the woes the anti-social elements, terror elements like eagles always waiting to prey upon peace-loving citizens, the under-world, erosion of morals and ethical values, sorry sir, the list is unending.

Here I am forced to write about an incident, an unfortunate incident which happened during the rule of that ‘Iron Lady’ of India, Indira Gandhi. While the nation was reeling under famine with teeming millions spending sleepless nights with empty bellies, on a rescue mission she went on a trip to USA to meet the then President Richard Nixon – don’t know whether the fellow is still alive – and pleaded before him to extend a helping hand for the sake of the people of her country. An arrogant Nixon, reportedly, ruthlessly turned down her request under some pretext and Indira Gandhi had to leave disillusioned, desperate and depressed. The man’s antagonism towards her was notorious, and upon her return to India he had reportedly made a nasty comment about the respected Prime Minister of our nation, Indira Gandhi. The man later flowed out as the Water-Gate broke-open in an unceremonious fashion one fine morning.

Before and after her death we had Prime Ministers Jawahar Lal Nehru down ManMohan Singh. Though the Nehruvian policies done away with the enthronement of P.V.Narasimha Rao, who whisked away the gentle doctor, noted economist Dr.ManMohan Singh from World Bank, who incidentally had served as RBI Governor, before flying to US and appointed Finance Minister under Mr.Rao. The doctor in the capactiy of Finance Minister and with the blessings of Narasimha Rao overhauled the entire economy and paved the way for neo-liberal economic reforms. Foreign Direct Investments were gladly welcomed, the centralised economy deregulated, thus extending helping hands to the industry, trade and business leaders more freedom loosening the complicated procedures to venture into their areas of interest. His reforms, though emerged successful, the benefits reached the industrial barons and business community only. They benefitted abundantly, they were encouraged, they were extended many tax benefits, even tax exemptions and our economist doctor played ignorance of the teeming millions still reeling under poverty. His theory that along with the growth the benefits would trickle down to the masses, but so far no trickling down worth noticing till date visible.

After Narasimha Rao, the NDA alliance under BJP led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani came to power with assurances of bettering the lot of poor across the country and upon occupying the saddle they too went on the ManMohan Singh way arguing that economic reforms are irriversible and their reforms too benefitted the industrial tycoons and business community. Under NDA too the poor remained poorer and the rich richer. The alliance ruled six years and with complacency,declared elections with the India-Shining campaign flashing across visual media intermittently, plunged into the election mode – their over-confidence was beyond imagination and as the D-Day approached, they bit the dust at the hustings something of a shock still haunting them.

The election produced a fractured verdict with Congress emerging with more MPs got the opportunity stake claim. But it was a tedious task to cobble together a majority and the Left forces were determined to keep the BJP away from the scene, the then Secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Harkishan Singh Surjt not minding his age-related handicaps shuttled between the offices of other entities bringing them together under one umbrella to help the Congress, the alliance named UPA I to stake claim before the President with Leftists supporting from outside.

Though the UPA I later ditched CPI(M) reason being the determined and stubborn attitude of Dr.Singh when the issue of passage of Civil-Nuclear Deal came up with CPI(M) turning against it. Dr.Singh got it passed alligning with two opportunist parties always sitting on the fence. But the Leftists could till it withdrew power to the govt prevail upon the UPA I govt to enact certain social welfare measures for the power. Though Congress later claimed credit and still claims, fact remains fact, the credit actually goes to Leftists.

In the subsequent election, the UPA II came to power (thanks to the Leftists),now Dr.Singh and his cohorts have turned arrogant with not even a single welfare measure getting enacted though talks of a Food Security Measure Bill in a distorted fashion going to be presented in the winter session of Parliament. Besides corruption at several levels has eaten into the vitals of the society, the CWG scam, Adarsh Housing Welfare scheme scam, the 2G spectrum scandal, only a few but to the tune of thousands of crores of rupees and the govt reluctant to book the culprits.

What about the basic realities still remain unresolved whether it would be resolved ever, however let’s say in unison Happy Diwali, after all it is a matter of ritual.

Please visit my website : www.reflectnews.com At the very outset,let me introduce myself to you. My name is K.R.Surendran,hailing from a village called Pulluvazhy near Perumbavoor.Five books in Malayalam are there to my credit now,and they are “Pooviriyumkunninte- Santhathikal”(Stories),Gloriyayude Dinarathrangal”(Stories), “Mumbai- Sketchukal”(Novelettes), and \”Indiayude Bhoopadam\” (Novel) and “Pulluvazhy”(novel). Please visit my website: www.reflectnews.com
At the very outset,let me introduce myself to you. My name is K.R.Surendran,hailing from a village called Pulluvazhy near Perumbavoor.Five books in Malayalam are there to my credit now,and they are “Pooviriyumkunninte- Santhathikal”(Stories),Gloriyayude Dinarathrangal”(Stories), “Mumbai- Sketchukal”(Novelettes), and “Indiayude Bhoopadam” (Novel) and “Pulluvazhy” (Novel).  An English novel penned by me -“Some Grassway Realitites With A Romantic Touch”- has been published recently.

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