Politics of self gratification

It has been quite some time since I dumped Economic Times for Business Standard. Somehow BS' content was far more appealing than ET's slick packaging. Editorials in a newspaper normally come in pairs :-) and usually try to tackle two different topics. Todays' editorials in BS talked about two different issues - Ethnic politics and Grounding safety but both had the same root cause - degeneration of the politics.

Ethnic Politics

deals with the current burning issue in Maharashtra - Samajwadi Party workers clashing with their counterparts from Maharashtra Navanirmana Sena. Mumbai is, unarguably, the commercial capital of India. This status ensures that everyday thousands arrive everyday in this "city of opportunity". Well as the editorial says, in a different context thought, "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown". Now, a major chunk of these arrivals are people from the rural hinterland looking for odd jobs - manual labour. Citing from the editorial, Mumbai has time and again been affected by xenophobia - sometimes the object of skepticism were Gujaratis, at other times South Indians and now North Indians, largely from UP and Bihar. The cause of such xenophobia deserves more detailed investigation into the psyche of the state. What, however, is appalling is the short sightedness of the political leaders. Time and again, political parties tap these dormant sentiments to garner popularity and votes. If one really considers oneself to be a political leader, he should ensure that proper dialogue is arranged and a solution is found to the problem - IF THE PROBLEM EXISTS IN THE FIRST PLACE. Moreover, where does the whole idea of India - the country - go, if there are restrictions on movements of its own citizens. Lastly, who has benefited from this entire controversy - celebrities and politicians are still sitting pretty. The man on the street fighting for - his idol, his ideologies, money or out of plain ignorance - is the one getting the bruises on his body.

Grounding Safety

talks about how passengers flying in an already overstretched aviation infrastructure are being
subjected to more perils by decisions that are politically expedient but illegal on all other grounds. Aircrafts, which themselves cost crores of rupees and carry even more valuable lives, are being flown by pilots who have received certificates and flying credits through dubious means. There are a lot charges being traded around. The turn of events does not surprise me though. Aviation security was already on tenterhooks, with the explosion in the number of passengers in contrast to the "Hindu rate of growth" infrastructure. It took Sonia Gandhi's close shave to get the buck moving. It is another matter that just a week after the flying school in question was closed down by DGCA, the ministry of civil aviation got it reopened. The fact that the school is located in an area which is the stronghold of the party to which the Civil Aviation Minister belongs could be a coincidence.

Wondering when will the real issues get attention.

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