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Irresponsible or Loutish

Irresponsible or Loutish? Romesh Thapar ARE we going to sit around and permit Rajiv Gandhi to treat the developing crisis over 'Gorkhaland' as if it were another petty quarrel in his political kitchen? He has behaved in the most irresponsible manner in declaring that the 'Gorkhaland' agitation is a matter to be tackled by what he has dismissed as the totally chaotic government of West Bengal. Even his party members are startled by the loutishness.

Playing Government-Government

Playing Government-Government Romesh Thapar BY the looks of it, there is a fierce competition in simplistic talk. The National Integration Council, with the PM chairing and chief ministers attending, calls for keeping com- munalism out of politics. The President wants to get the campus cleared of politics. And, believe it or not, that survivor, Mohammad Yunus, is so upset with the Supreme Court judgment on the national anthem and its singing that he wants the judge sacked! The people indulging in these and other mental acrobatics are becoming a threat to our survival as a democratic polity. They don't seem to be able to understand (he starting points of problems, the business of cause and effect' and the linkings between the various crises which are surfacing simultaneously. They seek solutions through degrees of authoritarian propulsion, very short-lived and faltering. Too many persons are playing government-government, or associating with the play.

A Sampling of Dynamic Leadership

A Sampling of Dynamic Leadership Romesh Thapar INDIA and Pakistan should never hurl charges at each other about 'bungling', 'inefficiency', 'contrary statements' and horrendous delays'

We Are Guilty Many Times Over

We Are Guilty Many Times Over Romesh Thapar PEOPLE all around the world, including the law-abiding Brits, have learned to live with the rowdies in their midst, sprinkled with drug fiends, ideological terrorists, gangster mafias and the spreading networks of those who have turned criminal. To 'live with' does not mean to accept the evil, but to fight it as you would a cancer without destroying yourself in the process. That's why the insane riot, motivated by vengeance, is largely nonexistent in most countries. Where it becomes a way of life, the landscape takes on the self- destructive style of Lebanon.

Aberrations at Every Level

Aberrations at Every Level Romesh Thapar ONLY the day before desh ka neta Sethi penetrated the sanctums of the P and T in the Capital for a violent confrontation, I was going through the ordeal of organising a trunk call and wanted to do likewise. How many of our citizens have gone through these emotions in a variety of government offices and institutions, only to fall silent because we are in some sort of mental discipline. I am sure Sethi's actions, being dismissed as 'somewhat crazy', will send vibrations through the country.

Money Power Manipulates the State

Money Power Manipulates the State Romesh Thapar EVEN as this benighted land is burning up with angers and alienations which have to be tackled with sensitivity and courage, we are witnessing a most extraordinary confrontation between competing business corporations aided and abetted by newspaper tycoons, investigative' journalists, editors, and hacks of various description. Dramatically revealed are the manipulations of corporations designed to 'capture' the State.

The Changes Under Way

The Changes Under Way Romesh Thapar VIEWING India from some ten thousand miles, where the legendry newspapers hardly touch upon events in our part of the world (yes, even daily killings matter little unless they are part of some critical development), and where Rajiv Gandhi sounds so wise and sensible in the company of Margaret Thatcher, it is very easy to be persuaded that we in our traumas and tensions are not alone. The world is drifting like we are.

A Commonwealth for What

A Commonwealth for What? Romesh Thapar SOON, the so-called Commonwealth will be gathering again for a limited confabulation in London. The whole exercise is increasingly shot through with contradictions. The Britian of Margaret Thatcher has already indulged in an opportunist compromise with South African apartheid, despite the opinion of Commonwealth's committee of eminent persons, and sparked many questionings about the purposes of the organisation.

Codes and Behaviour Patterns

'Codes' and Behaviour Patterns Romesh Thapar AT every level codes of conduct are being flaunted by the politicians and their hangers- on, conscious and conscious. You would think that this benighted land was on a massive moral 'trip

Crucifying India

Crucifying India Romesh Thapar EVERY now and then, I think it is necessary to distance ourselves from the disarray that represents a crucification of our federal polity. It is based on the most primitive enunciation of tribal, caste and communal interest. Even regional interests are so distorted in the political battle that they take on a meaning not really intended. In so many ways the disarray reflects the immaturity of our political life, and its unstructured state.

The Complexity of the Crisis

The Complexity of the Crisis Romesh Thapar THE gloom is all-pervading. Rajiv Gandhi and his coterie are clueless about what is to be done in a politically fratricidal situation. We had earlier believed that the nervous baba-log would clutch the arms of our experienced bureaucratic babus, and survive. But, even here they feel orphaned. The latest order of the babus is to assign senior administrators handling traumatic situations as in Punjab to report at Delhi for a week's training in Commercial marketing'. Farce? Tragic farce, in fact.

Congress Thrusts and Contradictions

Congress Thrusts and Contradictions Romesh Thapar OUR future seems to be in the lap of the gods. The politicians are playing the fool with each other, talking in term of high principles about language and land and water and boundaries as if we were a multitude of hostile nations. I only hope all this clap-trap is confined to the so-called 'politicised', that tiny minority which seldom understands what the people really want. Then, maybe, we will salvage ourselves without too much damage even under our naive and inexperienced rulers.


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