Monday, July 11, 2011

The Curious Case of the Upset Law Officer

The Solicitor General was recently miffed because a private lawyer was used by the government to defend Minister Kapil Sibal and the Attorney General against an allegation made by Mr. Prashant Bhushan relating to the allegedly improper reduction of fines against ADAG. The SG suddenly goes all over town resigning curiously discovering a new found affection for Her Excellency the President and even paid her a visit. He believes that the dignity of his office is under threat. However, it seems to be quite a bleated realization. For instance, Mr. Fali Nariman represented the Union in the Ram Setu case while the current SG was still in office. Only today Mr. Harish Salve represented the Delhi Police in the Ramdev matter. So then what is the hue and cry about?

In my view the real story that lies in between is of conflict and a lack of trust. A section of the Ministers of the government and the Attorney General himself don’t trust the SG. Besides, it does not seem like the Union is being represented in a manner dictated by the political bosses of the government rather than the qualified law officers. That to my mind is the real conflict. In any case there were several instances in which the government came out of the Supreme Court with its nose bleeding when there was no case for them or something was so palpably wrong. Take the CVC case, the bench gave adequate warning to the SG to save face for the government and retreat rather than defend the indefensible only to have a high level executive appointment declared to be non est. These are the pressing issues for the government’s law officers. They must be allowed to represent the government that is according to a well thought legal strategy. Irrespective this great projection of a standoff is unsavory and this in fact endangers the office of the Solicitor General of India. If he felt he wasn’t being listened to, he should have put in his papers and gone.

All this is demonstrable evidence of the sway within government. A sense of confusion prevails wherein nothing moves while the leadership is in a contest of long silence. Ministers don’t trust ministers, get each other bugged, ministers don’t trust law officers, law officers don’t trust each other. I shudder to think even if they trust themselves any more. I hope the PM’s dentist has a better time opening his mouth for a checkup then the people have been for answers.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Political Aspirations, Anyone?

The past few months have seen a tremendous onslaught against the present government led by the Prime Minister. The citizenry was moved into agitation against corruption by a man in his early seventies. The demand was for a Lokpal Bill, the establishment of a ferocious watchdog for babu and neta alike. Suddenly Anna Hazaare became the talk of the town almost like the new brand coming to India and opening its retail outlet. Even people from my generation were moved at least apparently unlike I have seen in a long time. Once the hunger fast of the old man ended with a joint committee to draft a bill, everything sort of died down. Now we hear cacophony from a bogus government to defame members of civil society. I don’t know how the devil this makes life better for them. This government’s biggest enemy is their leaders themselves and their urge to debrief more than brief.

One might think this is another run of the mill, let’s stop corruption piece of writing (some might call it something a wee bit worse). However, this is not. I think those issues have been dealt with and are fairly simple to understand. These events however set of a chain of thoughts in my mind. This was the first time when people my age were politically charged at least it has never been so apparent. This was significant. I attempted to analyze this further.

I wish to share an experience I had to elucidate the theme of my writing. As a kid I have grown up around a lot of political talk given the fact that my mother is a journalist. And somehow I have always been very interested in it even more as I grew up. But one incident never leaves my memory. OBC reservations were to be introduced in IITs and IIMs and other central institutions. Many civil society and student protests had broken out against this. Shiv Khera, the author and speaker was leading one such protest at AIIMS which fortunately or unfortunately was close to my home. Shiv Khera was from my school and I had even heard him speak once. I felt the urge to go and join the protests. This was tenth grade with tuitions at their zenith. I decided to bunk mine and go to AIIMS. Once, I reached there I was more intrigued than ever before. Politics did not seem so academic any more. I remained only a keen observer until I was noticed by a colleague of my mother’s who was there to cover the protests. He feared a lathi charge and therefore was obviously concerned about me. I had no clue, he had noticed me nor did I recognize him. Suddenly, my mother called me up and I was asked to return home that instant. Her concern being entirely prudent. I returned home finding my usually calm grandfather paranoid. My father returned that evening and I received a blasting of The Blitz kind. I was told that this protests and thid politics business is not what we do nor are we supposed to. My mother returned and told me that these places aren’t safe and anything could happen. After the scolding my parents seem to joke about it. I found it very odd. I never could understand what happened and why did my family react in the way that it did.
Almost three years later I was at a conference where the subject was governance rather the lack of it. There were several political and apolitical speakers. Obviously the question of the politician came up and was found to be the source of all ills. Speakers spoke of dynasties and vote bank politics leaving no choice. One such speaker came up. Her name is Sunita Narain, she has been one of India’s most well known environmental experts. She had undertaken a study exposing various harmful substances in Coca Cola and Pepsi, the study even found pesticides. Subsequent to the study a Joint Parliamentary Probe was set up. And there came to my mind that it was under the headship of Shri Sharad Pawar who at the time or I think even now is perceived to own one of the largest bottling plants of Pepsi. I said to myself that is the kind of politics this nation is subjected to, ridden with conflicts of interest and no code. There isn’t even an honour code among these thieves. Logically, I asked myself why. And the above stated experience came to my mind.

In America if a child said I’d like to be a Senator one day or even President, he is patted on the back. In India if someone said he would want to be a MP, a pat of another kind would find its way on the cheek. Every middle class or upper middle class parent whose family has never been directly involved in politics sees read as soon as their children show streaks of political activism the kind I showed when I went to those protests. One’s parents are always concerned of the dangers and the immense perils of politics and rightfully so. Dinner table conversation is where politics especially of the competitive kind must end. However, that is what ails our democracy. The middle class or the upper middle class is the one that across the world has thrown up the greatest leaders in a democracy. This class has seen the fruits of education and often the luxury of money. But in our country no child outside of a political dynasty is ever encouraged or even accepted for having political aspirations. Our middle class will complain about the performance of MPs but won’t go and vote. We will whine about a leadership vacuum but never should our child dream of representing his people in Parliament. This is the beginning of many troubles.

It creates a gulf between the people and their representatives from the very beginning. When you are a teenager even then you continue to feel that politics is someone else’s trade. Another consequence is that political office becomes fiefdoms controlled by cliques or dynasties. Political office must, in the interest of governance be discharged as a professional duty not as a favor to the electorate. The rot in the system continues since new people and fresh talent and merit hardly ever creeps in. Then why blame the politics of dynasty? It is we who elect such people even if we don’t cast our vote and it is we who have over the years limited our choice to dishonorable thieves. Cherry on top, we become cynics of democracy.

Every parent in every middle class household having seen the fruits of education must feel the agony we face because we stop our children from ever dreaming to be in politics. Our taboo of politics and the business of the nation is the genesis of the misrule we suffer. I hope and wish someday a mother is proud to say that my fourteen year old son wants to be an elected representative.

Jai Hind!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Friendship for Dummies

I have often thought about what about having a friend is comforting and makes life just easy to come by. Now one also often thinks about the different kinds of friends that one does acquire over the years. I ask myself a number of times how did these people become friends and seemingly indispensible.

After great thought I came to the conclusion that the heart of the matter lies in one’s own judgment of people around us. Well, judgment is not all that bad. It’s just the process of understanding if two people would gel. It means just that in this context even though it mutates in other circumstances.

After having established some sort of friendship. One begins to think if the person is close enough to be a close friend or bff as they say. At that point there is one question that comes to mind i.e. “Will he or she be there for me?”. There I come to another question what in the world does that question exactly mean. And there I began thinking again since I do have all the time in the world and college is still a long yawn away.

We pass everyday mundane and ordinary life, doing what we like and hate. Then there are events and circumstances; challenges and problems that seem monumental at the time. One tries to deal with situations and come up on top, ideally stronger and better. And I at least most of the time like to do that without crying bloody God. Then when a number of these ‘events’ take place: the fatigue builds up and patience dwindles. Problems seem unsolvable and challenges, a failure to begin with. At such times one wants a friend to whom on just moans of one’s own inadequacies. Even though our friend doesn’t say anything the act of just saying it out helps a great deal. To my mind that’s what you call being there.

This gets me at another question. What if our friend hasn’t been there in the manner I defined earlier? What do you do? Who do you blame? I was torn between my blasted judgment of people and my friends. That answer I still don’t get because it isn’t as direct as one would like. After rumination on that dilemma one often thinks if one hasn’t let down one’s own friends. May be that’s why they aren’t there when you need them. Now this stage is ever more perplexing.

Then as I went by one feels does one actually have a real friend or friends. This is the scary part. As more often than not one feels either let down or a feeling of guilt of letting someone else down. One begins to question the purpose of the entire exercise of friendship and confidantes thereafter. Is it actually all meaningless since one is going to clean one’s mess on one’s own anyway? One does have to clean one’s own mess but that doesn’t mean one doesn’t need a friend to moan about the clutter.

Up till now I have seemed our friend look like a shrink to moan to. However, the spirit achievement is also dampened if one doesn’t have anyone to share it with. The pat on your back and the words I am proud of you dude, go a long way. Even though, I detest the word dude. The big day seems small and insignificant and one tends to move one in the hope of the next most exciting thing coming up .

There is another curious situation that one encounters more often than not. At least I did. A situation wherein people became friends and friends in turn became close friends who in turn again became indispensable. It’s all fine when ‘events’ come and go with these wonderful individuals still there. One begins not to see beyond the select few or one. Then a situation wherein you let them down or they let you down rocks the boat more than slightly. Either way differences overshoot the distance between friends. Even after sometime when differences are forgotten one can’t restore what was there once in its full glory. Times have moved on and especially people our age, life and its trappings change every few months. Therefore one is at a loss to relate to each other.

And at this point a fish out of water, one loses completely a sense of familiarity. Many parties go by while one stares at one’s blackberry to pretend to BBM someone when there is no one at the other end. One does not want to stay at home since one begins overwork one’s blasted mind. So here we are out of place seemingly no one to moan to. And so life still does go on till the time my blasted judgment does it again. Once bitten, twice is ever bolder. Here’s to friends and the occasional damsel with fluttering eye lashes!


Monday, May 3, 2010

My Last Stand- The Graduation Day Speech

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. This is indeed going to be the most special speech of my career at Modern School, Barakhamba Road.
I wrote the first draft of the speech I make today a few months ago. It spoke of my memories and experiences as a student of this glorious school. That draft was to be the final one till I met my good friend who was my predecessor as the President of the Debating Society and Chief Editor of the school magazine. I was meeting him after a long time and at this point I was bracing myself to face the recently concluded Pre Board Examination. We spoke at great length about the various concepts of Karma in the Gita. Therefore credits to portions of this speech go to my good friend Gaurav Nath Sabharwal of the Class of 2008.
When the war ended in Mahabharat, Gandhari cursed Lord Krishna. She wanted to know why he did not stop the war. He could have saved all hundred of her sons from death at the hands of the Pandavas. Lord Krishna had earlier warned Duryodhana to give away the five villages and prevent the war. Duryodhana refused to even give the amount of soil that could rest on the point of a needle. Lord Krishna replied I could have stopped the war, I am God. But if I did, I would have to be everywhere to stop all that goes wrong. This would mark the end of the conscience.
That is the sort of education this school boasts of. The education I received here beyond all the talk of exposure and opportunity, taught me to choose between right and wrong. This school has given to all of us the skills and the grit to survive under any circumstances. That is what I value of my years at Modern School.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I had the welcome opportunity of representing the school at various debates held in a number of schools. In my first few debates, the reaction our team precipitated took me by surprise. We were typified as the privileged ones. I understood the word privilege in the right sense in terms of ability. However, I am not sure whether they meant it the same way.
When I recently met a fellow Modernite, Mr. Abhinav Chaturvedi, he said to me that the world does not know the excellence that exists within these 29 acres of holy land. He went on to say we Modenites are often misunderstood. If an alumnus decides to drive his BMW on the foot paths of New Delhi in place of the road; creating mayhem in the city. It is front page news. If an alumnus becomes the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat, no one seems to notice, that he is a product of this school. Later on that day I read the following lines by Ralph Waldo Emerson. He said and I quote
“Is it so bad to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh.”
Coming back to my conversation with Gaurav on the Gita. The Gita promotes the idea of rebirth. The Gita espouses the view that we must treat our life as among many lives. For most people this implies better luck next time. But for me given my experience at Modern School it implies; do the right thing now or you are going to pay in your next birth.
My experiences at this school find their description in Harivansh Rai Bachchan Saab’s poem Agnipath.
Vriksh ho bhale khade, ho ghane ho bade, Ek patra chhav bhi mang mat, mang mat, mang mat Agneepath Agneepath Agneepath.
Tu na thakega kabhi, tu na thamega kabhi, tu na mudega kabhi, Kar shapath, kar shapath, kar shapath, Agneepath, Agneepath, Agneepath.
Ye mahaan drishya hai, chal raha manushya hai, Ashru shwet raqt se lathpath, lathpath, lathpath, Agneepath, Agneepath, Agneepath.

This is going to be my last speech as a sitting member of the Modern School student community. Therefore I would be failing myself if I did not mention the wonderful contributions of the members of the faculty. The blame for my failure, if I shall fail shall be mine alone. However if I succeed, the credit of success shall be of the teachers I have had.
In my years at Modern School I have been taught by a number of teachers. Ironically, the teachers who remain most fond of me have never taught me. My mother often suspects that is the reason they continue to be fond of me. However, I look at it as my childhood hero Sir Winston Churchill looked at it. “I am a keen learner. However, I am not always willing to be taught.”
There is a teacher who is currently seated in the audience whom I shall remain deeply indebted to for her unstinting support while I was down. She gave me the strength and the vision to surpass the challenges that our education system unfairly and unnecessarily throws at us. Her counsel and advice I know shall be available to me for many years to come. I thank you very much Mrs. Bhalla for helping and guiding me as your own son.
Another, one of my special teachers taught me more by her absence than she did by her presence. This dynamic teacher of English ensured that my experience at the school magazine’s editorial board was worth every bit of stress that surrounded it. I am thankful to Mrs. Malini Khatri for being a friend, teacher, mother, guide, confidante, well wisher, morale booster and ego deflator in one person; particularly at the time when I needed the most.
The moments that I spent with the Honorable Principal Mrs. Lata Vaidyanathan have truly gone in a long way in impacting the way in which I look at people and events. Our conversations on a spectrum of topics were often heated. It would be very difficult to have conversations of that nature with your Principal. That is the thing about my Principal that says it all, you are allowed to disagree with her.
To conclude I would like to quote the following lines of from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Ulysses. A favorite of the Kennedy brothers and according to me defines the spirit of a Modern School education
"I am a part of all that I have met
To much is taken, much abides
That which we are, we are --
One equal temper of heroic hearts
Strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
All in all that sums up what I had to say, but for one last thing that this speech is dedicated to my best friend who is not seated amongst us. Thank you.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Something’s Gotta Give…

For all those familiar with my body of work, the title and the rest of this piece of writing may come as surprise (Ah well it may just be a shock!). Anyway, so here it goes.
I have been accustomed to writing, reading, thinking and reading about politics, the economy, war and the likes. You may think this is some old author whose books have occupied the history reference section in a library, picked up seldom but only by the courageous (at their own peril, of course). However, I hate to break it to you I am seventeen going on eighteen. And this is going to be an account of what I am as a teenager beyond the politics, economy and war. This is my first piece of writing about me and not a distant hypothesis of an event gone by.
At first I thought why I should be writing such a piece of work. Well, after great rumination I reached the conclusion- its closure. A teenager talking, debating and arguing about subjects and issues that have only international ramifications (in other words absolutely nothing to do with me!) is often seen as being unique (well, unusual would describe that better, just being nice to myself). As many of my tribe who are caught between being classified as nerds and simply different. Anyone who thinks the above description fits a nerd you will be mistaken. Teenager such as I do not do half as well in academically as anyone would expect.
There have been instances often enough in my short in my life of close to eighteen years when I have felt and reacted in a way teenager would have. Those moments are met with sudden disbelief and a sense of complete alienation from those gratuitous individuals whom I like to call my peers. Well, that is understandable given the uniqueness of my character or as I like to think of it.
After giving you a brief perspective of the individual I am with my various facets mostly contradictory in nature, I come down to the real intention behind this sneak peek into the life of The Sidhant Kumar Marwah (arrogant much, eh? Well, hell yeah!).
The past few months saw a tectonic shift in my life. Friends who I held most dear but were in a stage in life ahead of mine finally moved on. Got on to their lives and prospective careers (might I say potentially illustrious careers!). However here I was facing the last year of school. Feeling alone yet trying my level best to focus on things other than those two wonderful birds that had of course taken flight.
I needed to at this time by popular demand (not so popular with me though!) get down to serious ‘academic’ work putting on hold my non academic pursuits and passions. Now I know why an old friend of mine always said “A poet without a pen is like an alcoholic without his prized bottle of scotch”. Touché wise one, I see it happening to me. So here I was an alcoholic without his prized bottle of scotch. A poet without his pen. And it was apparent to me a teenager without a BFF ( if you know what I mean!).
This phase drew to a close when another potential BFF came around, might I add another wonderful bird. There was an old song that began playing in my mind quite loudly “Why must I be a Teenager in Love?” There you have it the teenager in me kicked in! However, it is not a simple as it seems (well, nothing is if you are me).
There was a twist in the story, a climax in the movie. There was a Third Front ( can’t stay away from political long enough can I?!). Well, a teenager would fume at the third front, make all attempts to destroy the very idea of it or should I say him. This was not to be. The mature me reestablished its supremacy. And I only 'thought' of killing him. However, he is no hero to me now, I still hate his guts and so does the bird for reasons completely distinct from those I spoke of earlier.
I thought my encounter with my teenager self was over and I was back to what I consider most normal. As I said earlier nothing non complex happens to me. The teenager was back with the same song playing aloud the same song- “Why must I be a Teenager in Love?” And there we go again. This time it was when I was being my absolute self standing up for what was right, an epitome of moral rectitude (oh balderdash!). Anyway, so here I was doing what I do best in the mean time saving a damsel in distress. Well, at least apparently to me. However this damsel never seemed even a potential bird. “Why must I be a Teenager in Love?” rings loudly in my mind as before. And then another climax (usually a film has one but it’s me you know it has to be lavish!).
One has always heard history repeats itself or history is circular not linear. However, what the scholars forgot to add was that history repeats itself and completes a full circle sooner than anyone would think. The return of the Third Party (a new one of course!). The realization of this vulture’s existence (not being mean but the tongue of course has to be firmly placed in the cheek!) shrieked the ascent of the teenager in love to a sudden halt.
And then I thought to myself. Just wait a minute, this ain’t me darlin’! This will extract me from an elite tribe of young men and throw me into the general category. I am not going to be associated with a classification that is less than unique. I threw it all up! Indo-Pak relations, drought, the economic crises here I come!
This journey that I took without having the remotest idea of what was about to hit me, was entirely desirable and good fun! If I were to write a book on my life this chapter would be called- An almost Teenager Almost in Love. As this chapter draws to a close I am wiser with the realization that the teenager in me must be let out at times and must have a role in everything that I do. Also, I end this chapter I am more prosperous with a petite damsel as my BFF and the second petite damsel gave me a rare friendship that most would envy. This was for you!
P.S BFF=bird. For anyone who would wonder it to be equivalent to something remotely romantic.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Independence Day Speech

As I stand under the halo of the tricolor, a proud Indian, I am reminded of Pandit Nehru’s words.
The appointed day has come -the day appointed by destiny-and India stands forth again, after long slumber and struggle; awake and vital as the Golden Bird readies to take flight again. The past clings on to us still in some measure and we have to do much before we redeem the pledges we have so often taken. Yet the turning-point is past, and history begins anew for us, the history which we shall live and act and others will write about.
Today our nation has come to be governed by a breed of rulers rather than people in the service of the country. As Barry Goldwater once said-
“Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed”.
It is time once again for us the people of this great nation to reestablish our authority and restore the lost sheen of the largest democracy of the world.
The system has come be to become the villain for us, in all our ills. What is the system? The system is you and I. The system is the youth of this nation. The system is the occupiers of those arm chairs in plush homes.
Hillary Clinton said on her visit to New Delhi “We share a common trait of rolling up our sleeves to get things done”. Roll up your sleeves dear friends to stir up action that has drowned in rhetoric as words.
How will this be achieved you may ask. The answer lies in the eyes of the children and young adults like those of my brethren seated before me. We make the majority of the people that is considered by the world as the bedrock of knowledge. It is for us to bring about a transformation in our own mindsets. Politics in this nation has been for too long concerned with Lutyen’s Delhi. It is for us to bring Dharavi and Chandini Chowk to Parliament and Raisina Hill, to form the mind and soul of the Government of India.
You may again ask yourself but how. The answer is I can and I will. As Adlai Stevenson said “What do we mean by patriotism in the context of our times? I venture to suggest that what we mean is a sense of national responsibility ... a patriotism which is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime”.
Dear friends Prime Minister Nehru said in the Constituent Assembly declaring Indian Independence on the eve of Independence Day in 1947-
“Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially”.
There shall be another tryst with destiny and now we shall redeem our pledge not just substantially but wholly and in full measure.
Jai Hind!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Indian Electorate Does not Really Have A Choice

“Politics is a strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage”
- Ambrose Bierce
The General Election 2009 is going to be remembered as the most complex event in history. The confusion began with the ruling United Progressive Alliance being reduced to a mere post poll alliance. The Congress Party refuses to go into alliance with most of its supporters in the alliance. The Left Front musters up another confusing and strange creature called the Third Front. This newly formed alliance of parties with absolutely nothing in common except one; the desire to usurp power from the National Parties namely the Congress and the Bhartiya Janata Party. Matters are further knotted by the breaking away of old allies such as the the Biju Janata Dal from the BJP led alliance and the formation of yet another front with of Lalu Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan. All three of whom were prime supporters of the ruling UPA and two of whom were Cabinet Ministers. Parties like the Nationalist Congress Party led by Sharad Pawar and the AIADMK led J. Jayalalitha have kept everyone guessing. All in all, there is one thing common amongst them all, they all want to be part of the next government.

Indian politics especially in the age of coalitions and fractured mandates is more to do with political expediency than ideology.

Firstly the Left Front led by the CPI (M) supported a Congress led coalition in 2004 without being a part of the Government. So in a sense the UPA Government was always a minority government. The Left has been ideologically opposed to the every policy of the UPA from the word go. It has been on the streets of this nation protesting against a regime which owes its existence to the Left itself. The Congress is the principal opposition for the Left in its bastion states of Kerala and West Bengal. Therefore this was a marriage of convenience which was always meant to end in a bitter divorce. The Prime Minister and Rahul Gandhi in the course of their respective campaigns have called the Left’s ideology regressive. But it baffles me when in the same press conference they send overtures to the Left for their support in the 15th Lok Sabha.

The ‘real’ issues (pun intended) in this election are secularism and national security. On one hand you have the Bhartiya Janata Party which is accused of instigating riots that led to the massacre of thousands of Muslims in Gujarat. If I may remind this is also the party whose top leadership stands as accused in the Babri Masjid Demolition Case. On the other hand you have the Congress which is accused of not only instigating but also executing the 1984 Anti Sikh Riots in Delhi. Even when the demolition of the Babri Masjid took place the Congress was in Government at the Centre with P.V Narsimha Rao as Prime Minister yet the demolition took place. Therefore, I have concluded that every political party is as communal and as secular as the other. This ‘holier than thou’ sort of attitude in the Indian polity is unfortunate and has caused a great deal of anguish.

As far as the issue of terrorism is concerned, both parties are accused and guilty of not doing enough for National Security. Attacks on India took place during the reign of both. The Congress is accused of going slow on the execution of Afzal Guru, a convict in the Parliament attack case. The BJP is accused buckling under pressure and releasing dreaded terrorists such as Maulana Masood Azhar who are responsible for uniting Jehadist forces against India. The fact of the matter is real solutions to the problem of security such as police reform and development of an extensive security and intelligence infrastructure in the country have been pushed out of the realm of discussion.

For far too long the Indian electorate has been stuck choosing the better of the worst. We as a nation must strive to convert this into the choice of the best, through participation as candidates and as voters.