Feb 182011

… and then Yudisthtra’s chariot came down to earth

– The Battle, Mahabharat – following Yudishtra’s lie to Drona on the death of Ashwattama.

Yudishtra, for me, is the one character in the Mahabharat whose motivations and actions I can least understand. The son of Dharma (Righteousness) and Kunti he turned silence into a fine art.

He kept quiet when his mother handed over Arjun’s bride to the 5 brothers. He kept quiet when Shakuni goaded him into  gambling his brothers, himself and then his wife. And when the famous vastraharan was played out – at the end of the first game of dice – he kept quiet when his wife- his dharmapatni -was being stripped in front of an entire sabha. When  the second game of dice was fixed and the Pandavs lost – rather than challenge the cheaters – he quietly took his brothers and wife into exile. He vasicallated when attacked in the forest. He would have possibly accepted permanent exile before the war -but for Draupadi throwing an outraged tantrum – “my sons,  brothers and father will fight to avenge me – she cried. I haven’t yet bound the hair by which  Dushashan dragged me into the sabha – i won’t rest till they are dead.” The only proactive scene that he has is the Yaksha Prasana -a set of metaphysical questions and answers – that, in his context,  are more an academic discourse than  practical application.

if i had to make a case against Primogeniture – Yudishtra would be it…. he had no business to be king. He didn’t have the courage to take hard desicions. Dharma without Karma is futile, Karma without Dharma is amoral. Yudishtra was the former, Duryodhan was the latter. There is little wonder that the Bhagvad Gita was imparted to Arjun – the third son – not Yudishtra the King to be. (my personal favorite in the Mahabharat was Bhim – because he really did do his duty)


Yesterday, when I heard the PM address the Press Conference the Yaksha Prasana came to mind.  It was a nice academic conversation – yes there is corruption. No, there shouldn’t be corruption. But what can we do -our hands are tied by Coalition Dharma.

If I hear the words Coalition Dharma one more time, I will break something. What is being practised is not coalition dharma but coalition adharma. If the price of power is to put up with this – then it is better to lose power.

as someone who voted for the Congress  because of MMS – and this was the first time i had cast a vote because i wanted someone in power, the rest of the time it is a negative vote to keep someone else out of power – keeping silent on corruption because it is the politics of expedience  is a terrible let down.

There were some answers that i was satisfied with. For example, when he dealt with the loss on 2G – the extent of loss depends on how you account for it. But, it was an economist’s answer – the academic in me was satisfied – the voter in me and the citizen in me was gravely disappointed.

I was happy with his answers on Telengana – building of consensus; Assam – the need for peace and the fact that he can’t reveal his favorite cricketeer ( that gem of a question came from Anuradha Prasad ‘do you want India to win the world cup’ ‘who is you favorite player’). I found his answer on food inflation to be accurate and honest. I found his add on comment saying that the Government could have prevented inflation but that would  have impacted growth – to be honest and brave. They could have, and it would have. That statement also tells me that he is not the puppet that he is made out to be – the Party would have sacrificed growth for lower inflation.

I also accept his word that the government has got 7 out of 10 things right

But, while I  do all that – i found the silence of the last 3 months on the 3 things that the Government has got wrong to be inexplicable. Much as i found Yudishtra’s silence…


But what really got me angry was the comment that the media should not play up scams it will impact the way the world sees us….

It was the same reaction that I had when the earlier PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee said on the Gujarat riots “I do not know what face I will show them (the world) now after the shameful events in Gujarat.”

My reaction in both cases was the same – really. you are worried about  the world – shouldn’t you be worrying about what your own people think ?

Yudishtra behavior again – he was so busy playing dharmaraj he forgot to be that..


Finally, it is never too late. There are three more years of this Government. There is still time to change – and to provide the growth, development, inclusiveness and social justice that has been promised. But for that the corrupt and the corrupter need to be penalised and made examples of.

If there is a General Election tomorrow which party will I cast my vote for ? Definitely not the BJP. Most likely not the Congress. Most probably MNS.  Three years later … who knows?

  29 Responses to “The PM’s Press Conference – Some Random Thoughts”

  1. Yudhisthir is the finest element. Closest to the source. Please interpret in that light & you will understand.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by calamur, pragmatic_desi, Venkat Ananth, Sameera , abhijeet chandwadkar and others. abhijeet chandwadkar said: wow.. @calamur .. best post till now on pm's speech.. perfect http://bit.ly/e1d5EI a must read […]

  3. Lalit, I’m no expert, but I know that the Mahabharatha holds many interpretations and this is as valid an interpretation as any other.

    Harini, your anger isn’t misplaced. My opinion of Dr. Singh has always been that he may be a fine and incorruptible man, but he’s intellectually dishonest. He’s definitely the best of a bad lot, but he’s not perfect by a long stretch.

    His intellectual dishonesty may be a product of realpolitik, but I’ve seen little evidence of that.

    • Dr Fake Singh is a totally amoral man and 100% opportunist. Remember, he was a top policy adviser incl CEA to our worst economic regime – Indira Raj in 70’s. How can one who believes in reforms can ever be part of that regime in any capacity? He was RBI governor when PSU banks were looked in the name of Rajiv Loan Melas and he kept quiet – what coalition dharma was he practising then? He was Sec-gen of South-South Commission, an out and out statist body and produced a report asking for statist measures as state policy a just a few months before he became “architect” of reform! He has presided over biggest scams / loot in out history under diff capacity – RBI Gov, MoF, PM.

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by calamur and Anand Philip, Aman Sharma. Aman Sharma said: “@calamur: blogged – the PM's press conference some random thoughts – http://bit.ly/eu18l5” […]

  5. the problem with mms and yudisthir is the same, methinks. these are two men who understand both sides of the story. mms understands the need for coalition with the corrupt and then we see his hands tied. i feel sorry for yudishthir simply because he understood the nature of shakuni, the rage of his wife, the need to stick with ‘dharma’ (the same damned dharma that raam was following when he chose the right of the dhobi over his own outrage over his wife) despite all odds. that is why his silence is eloquent. this is also why mms does not speak as often as he should with the people. these guys live in the world of debate when they need to be, as you rightly said, a bit of arjun and bheem and yudishthir combined. that is why i admired mrs g. she had the balls to tell the army we need a war when it was required and diplomacy when needed. (am not saying she did not fuck up)

    i love arjun simply because he surrendered to the blue one, and said i will do as you ask of me. he also asked questions. i could go on and on about him, and i realise i have gone on and on here, when i just wanted to say thank you for the piece. more about arjun when am sozzled in the blue one…

  6. For a guy who couldnt win a single election, he got the biggest kickback of all – the PM post. He can surely let his less fortunate colleagues to skim off few crores here and there in return.
    Who is more corrupt?

  7. Yudhishtar was just following the law of the land unlike MMS. If there is anyone he can be compared with, it’s the Dhrithrashtra – blind in more ways than one, and mentally weak.

  8. “…my personal favorite in the Mahabharat was Bhim – because he really did do his duty….”

    Randamoozham (second turn) is a classic Malayalam novel by MT Vasudevan Nair on Bhim. You should try reading the English version by Prem Panicker on his blog, you’ll love it.


  9. WORTH TO READ. Yudhisthir, the person always managed to escape in the blame game. ur literally true. After the death of Karn when Krishn pointed him as better dharmvir, daanvir . Arjun objected for the sake of yudhisthir, that time krishn reminded those mistakes mentioned by you. Karn didn’t changed his track even at the call of Krishna but Yudhisthir did.

    Coming to the point of coalition Dharma, this time it’s a big flop. bigger than ever. I adore Vajpayee he was a true leader. He knew how to lead people( He managed to get support from Mayavati, Jailalitha, Shiv shena, Naidu and abdulla altogether. a big miracle i think )BJP outdated or say obsolete as no one is there who could fit in Vajpayee’s shoes. Manmohan’s tragedy is that he is not that kind of leader who could inspire. but I’ve still little hope left if anyone then on Sonia.

  10. I think u are going far to easy on MMS ,, maybe because u are a loyalist

    ur comment
    I found his add on comment saying that the Government could have prevented inflation but that would have impacted growth – to be honest and brave.is rather amusing to me ,

    This govt was lying on inflation right from when chidambaram was fm and frankly it could not control it thanks to its inflate eat and spend policy.
    chidambaram hid inflation in oil bonds . and pranab da couldnt even if he tried because psu banks stopped accepting oil bonds as collateral.. if it was u or me the itax dept would have eaten us alive and penalised us for cooking books…
    the fact is that food inflation is/was minimal in eu America Africa and Asia , only the primary component costs have gone up like rice in Asia, corn in us and south America etc not like in india where everything costs minimum twice or thrice of what it cost when the congress took power …

    What growth are u talking about when inflation far exceeds growth by two times
    tell me who benefits from the book growth?
    and what is the extent of corruption in the congress regime, in nrega in all big deals

    also how much do farmers benefit from price rise ? Is it the farmers who earned from the onion crises or the middlemen of lasangaon market which is controlled by pawars buddy.

    and have u seen how the rbi accounts for inflation..both wholesale and retail ?
    The weights and the items included sometimes baffle me
    . the official figures are bogus and worse the inflation figures declared each week are early figures the real figures come two weeks later and when there is a 1.5% or more increase there is something deeply worrying in the way govt stats bureau and rbi is functioning nowadays …

    • i am a loyalist 🙂
      the farmer benefits very little – when onions cost 60 bucks a kilon in Mumbai – you were getting them for 15 bucks in Nashik…
      i still haven’t figured how they calculate inflation .. it baffles me too…

  11. and yes as anupam states mms is hardly a leader he just follows !
    and worse which coalition partner listens to him?
    they all head to no10

    • that split of power is there -and it is not a secret…
      10 years ago there were murmurs of ABV and Nagpur, now it is of MMS and 10 janpath 🙁

      • The good thing about u is that u admit it..
        yes i did vote congress in the first term some bjp loyalists did too no wonder they got so many seats .. but i was squarely disillusioned by the end of 5 yrs.
        –Come on the rss didnt interfere in day to day affairs … ideological yes …
        chk the facts not the media hype it was not at all that bad considering almost all of indian media is pro congress , i didnt say all that i did from media hype, i see action not words .. and one cant blame a vassal
        read my post on food security bill i have links from midday on how onion goes from 3Rs to whatever.
        what u dont understand is the system that enables politicians to make money
        even in a bearish market … remember during recession our politicans made great money and assets … more so congress politicians and sa aiyar of toi has a great piece i have linked to.


  12. It is highly anachronistic to compare a modern character with a classic “stereotype”!Those characters were created to serve a definite purpose! In the world of today,with the intrigues far beyond the reach of Sakuni, evaluation of a character is very difficult!
    “A leader-in-a- particular-situation” has to be judged in that context only,rather than in terms of absolute standards!Thanks to a “regime of scams. shames and sins’ of the BJP led NDA rule from 1998 t0 2004< like you many wanted to get rid of BJP!So UPA came to power. Sonia was elected "leader of the party'! Leaders ofdefeated BJP raised a bogey of 'doctrine of reciprocality!', to keep Sonia out.Sushmaji and Umaji promised to shave their head, and eat mud if Sonia became the PM. in such a situation, Sonia clean bowled them by renouncing the chair and putting MMS!because of coalition, the leftist kept him under check. he boldly went in for civillian nueclera power treaty. the leftists dropped out. there was a Trust vote and MMs won.Advani was and is his bitter critic.
    The present" unenviable situation' has been created by the so called "2Gspectrumscam!"
    Dr, Swamy filed a case seeking PM's sanction to arrest Raja , MOT, for scam! has anybody bothered till now to ask one siimple question: "What is his "locus standii' in this issue? Dr. Swamy has said that when Jayaa wanted him to fight for her, he agreed! the same Swamy claimed that his case only led her to quit as CM of TN for a few months! then, how came this change of heart?This conspiracy outSakunies Sakuni himself! Raja, a Dalit leader, and protege of karunanidhi . So if he is attacked, Karunanidhi will be affected and that will cretate fissures in UPA. JAYa will become the CM of TN and BJP will be back in the saddle!"Dr. aaaamartya Sen was the first to say that this unending criticism of Pm has created a dysfuntional ism in him. the villain od the piece is "systemic failure and not of MMS!"

    • i am not a supporter of Sushma Swaraj’s histrionics vis-a-vis Sonia Gandhi.
      I also beleive that Subramaniam Swamy is a loose cannon that can blow up in anyone’s face … that man is simply too unstable.
      however the post was about someone i admire greatly – and who has been an inspiration. … did not expect him to be silent on wrong doing ….

      • I don’t know why people admire this anachronic person just because he is honest or he didn’t do anything. PM chair is just too big for him.
        Prax right that we must look for development made so far, and look where we are. Some people still think about globlization/liberlization , stock market high then in 91-2. that was a blunder like one done in 1966, when Rs. devaluation done(before 1966 it was $1 equivalent to Rs 1) Globalization and devaluation are the mandatory condition to get loan from IMF/WB. MMS did that managed to get $850 million from WB. Rupee were devaluated from 32 to 42.
        In support of Globlization he gave the eg of South Korea, Malesia, Indonasia etc SK as Asian Tiger and we all know South korean seol stock exchange collapsed in 2003 and so others so badly that their National property are now owned by WB/IMF. Malesia had to legalize prostitution to generate revenue to return the loan……..so many blunders ……
        The ABV led Road plan were stopped when it was 98.6% completed.

  13. Read this rolling stones post , regarding the wall street crash and taxpayer bailout i see so many similarities with our system, that make me conclude successful politicians are scoundrels

    As for President Obama, what is there to be said? Goldman Sachs was his number-one private campaign contributor. He put a Citigroup executive in charge of his economic transition team, and he just named an executive of JP Morgan Chase, the proud owner of $7.7 million in Chase stock, his new chief of staff. “The betrayal that this represents by Obama to everybody is just — we’re not ready to believe it,…

    So there you have it. Illegal immigrants: 393,000. Lying moms: one. Bankers: zero. The math makes sense only because the politics are so obvious. You want to win elections, you bang on the jailable class. You build prisons and fill them with people for selling dime bags and stealing CD players. But for stealing a billion dollars? For fraud that puts a million people into foreclosure? Pass. It’s not a crime. Prison is too harsh. Get them to say they’re sorry, and move on. Oh, wait — let’s not even make them say they’re sorry. That’s too mean; let’s just give them a piece of paper with a government stamp on it, officially clearing them of the need to apologize, and make them pay a fine instead. But don’t make them pay it out of their own pockets, and don’t ask them to give back the money they stole. In fact, let them profit from their collective crimes, to the tune of a record $135 billion in pay and benefits last year. What’s next? Taxpayer-funded massages for every Wall Street executive guilty of fraud?


    • i hope that Raja and Balwa in prison is a start of the rich and corporotised going to prison.
      i keep giving this example to students – if you get behind the wheel of a car drunk and kill 5 people – even if it is non intentional you will go to prison (for sometime).you lose your liberty to lead your life the way you used to … but a corporate does not lose their freedom to operate – their management may go to prison – but the company does not get impacted …
      i think that you need to make an example of more than people – the Arthur Anderson case needs to be replicated a few times to get the message across loud and clear …

      • Also there is no split of power
        mms is a vassal and that is clear from actions of this govt and pm.
        Raja and balwa are pawns
        there are bigger leaders behind them … dont u read the news
        there is a powerful entity behind balwa is what news says
        even the investigating officer of cbi of telecom scam quit to join the icc

        i trust people like shouri because they are the tip of the iceberg as i had commented before


        Shourie also advised former telecom minister Raja to turn approver so that he could help reveal the money trail and the names of other beneficiaries. He slammed the Shivraj Patil Committee report calling it an attempt by Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal to deflect the blame and divert attention. “Questioning industrialists and arresting few involved in the scam is an effort to divert the attention from real issue. The CBI which has shown some courage after Supreme Court monitoring needs to find out the money trail. Who took the money, who was favoured and what were the manipulations done by the officials?” he said.

        • the DB company – ka one part was Baramati fruits and vegetables private limited. if you do a search for it … you will find a pdf that declares the incorporation of the latter in the former…
          in fact, in Deepak Parekh’s interview with Shekhar Gupta (walk the talk) he makes this reference to why real estate companies were given the Telco license.

          on the face of it, this whole thing seems like corruption…. but i think that it is far deeper than that … one thing to do is to look at assests of MP (when they got into politics) and assets as of date -and confiscate the lot – i can imagine a lot of cross party unity in defeating that motion !!

        • i respect shouries – intellectual honesty.
          don’t agree with a lot that he says but I respect his honesty. it is one of the reasons i began reading more on the scam – rather than just read and hear what is in the MSM

  14. it dont make sense to comment if u dont reply
    i think its time to stop commenting

    • sorry Prax – been overwhelmed with admin paperwork – your comments deserve more than i agree or thank you … need to think before replying 🙂

  15. more than corruption it is benami investment by politicians in their cronys
    it is what the party in power has done for the last 50 yrs under lady I
    I MEAN CRONY CAPITALISM ,that is what happened and i bet raja is not the biggest benificiary …just a big scapegoat
    i got a mail recently that was kinda interesting and facts say it isnt wrong …
    it states that we must change currency terms as such and the new definitions should be
    1Crore = 1 Khoka
    500Cr = 1 Koda
    1000Cr = 1 Radia
    10000Cr = 1 Kalmadi
    100000Cr = 1Raja
    100Raja = 1 Pawar
    10000 Pawar =
    = The party/family u are loyal to !

  16. Amid a debate over the revenue loss caused by the 2G scam, the government is planning to offer mobile operators a discount of over 99% on the maximum of Rs 3,000 crore in cumulative penalties to be levied on them for multiple violations of licence conditions.

  17. […] together to create unpredictable completely results since then, it has a profound effect on my lifeI change if my life – Indira Gandhi management Many events , is always in our minds, and a reference…oment in our lives, and affect our way, we would not […]

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