Power and Politics: Caste Conventions and Clout in Madhya Pradesh

Caste remains a uniting factor though the moneyed and influential also tend to flock together.

In Madhya Pradesh, caste-assertions is a relatively new trend. People belonging to particular castes and sub-castes are holding conventions on a daily basis. Sometimes they are show of strengths and also serve as political and social platforms.

It's age-old practice that once you have money or influence, you aspire for fame. When these things get inter-connected, it brings more power. The positive aspects are the cultural events during these sammelans. The weddings of unmarried youngsters are planned at these programmes.

The latest is the 'International Kalar Mahasammelan' that was held in Bhopal on February 21 though the use of 'international' may raise eyebrows. The poster shows prominent politicians of national-level and state other than local social workers and other personalities.

One may recognise Dilip Suryavanshi, a City-based builder along with other dignitaries' photos. MLAs Pradeep Jaiswal, Dileep Jaiswal, liquor contractor Dileep Shivhare and corporator Pankaj Chaukse are among those whose names adorned the hoardings.

The best part of such events it the 'parichay sammelans'. The meritorious students are honoured also. There are many other benefits but there is another aspect. Aren't caste events encouraging exclusivity and in turn fragmentising society!


Madhya Pradesh BJP turns Builders' Janata Party!

The three day convention of Madhya Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is being held in Bhopal but the unfortunate truth is that the party is not focusing on why builders are wielding enormous powers and the party is going the Congress way.

It is an open secret that builders are almost running the government by proxy. One builder partiularly is involved in transfers and postings, which has almost become a portfolio in the state government.

Bureaucracy is unrestrained and many officers of Indian Administrative Service and Indian Police Service even salute this builder. They attend his parties and dance even wearing uniform when he 'orders' them to do so.

A blogger is not a journalist and it's not his job to expose everybody or write everything. One may ask the mainstream media why they don't write it. But a party like BJP that claims that it is pro-poor and speaks about 'shuchita' and 'samrasta' should have discussed why it's also getting afflicted with the same malaise that Congress suffered from.

At least, in Congress rule the moneyed were shown their place. But in the current government, the situation is getting out of hand. Shouldn't it be a cause of concern, as the administration has become less effective and citizens don't appear happy with the goings-on.


MP BJP leaders may have to pay for anti-poor policies

State Urban Administration minister Babulal Gaur has said that he was upset because a poor man's shanty was razed to ensure that Vice-President's chopper landed near the Mandu fort but the mediamen failed to question Gaur's moral right to make such a statement.

Just a week ago an entire slum cluster was shifted from near Habibganj crossing and the residents had to spend the cold night in open. They were relocated 14 km outside the City, without ever giving a thought that how would the poor walk this distance to go to their workplaces or whether there was any dispensary or school nearby.

Gaur has razed thousands of shanties and poor men's houses and at least he has no moral right to speak for the poor. Yes, many poor residents live in shanties on encorached lands as they have no option.

But land mafia, hoteliers, big business owners and all so-called prominent citizens including bureaucrats who construct or extend houses illegally, pay extra money as compounding fee and get it legalised.

The poor can be kicked out and their houses demolished. And the joke is that the 'demolition minister' takes moral high-ground and even plays politics over it. But what does the newspapers do? They also speak for the rich, or partly the affluent middle-class.

The BJP should have learnt from Congress' that achieved success because of pro-poor schemes like NREGA. But State BJP's anti-poor actions would only make it further unpopular, and the party might have to pay for it in the next Assembly elections.


Corruption in Madhya Pradesh: Bureaucrats or Dacoits!

Crores are lying at home and property worth hundreds of crores have been amassed by some of the bureaucrats in Madhya Pradesh, as evident by the recent Income Tax raids.

Aren't these bureaucrats worse than dacoits! The dacoits rob a select few and mostly the rich exploiting class of traders and money-lenders. But the corrupt bureaucrats who are supposedly educated siphon off funds meant for everybody--all of us including the poorest citizens--money meant for nation building.

Is the pension insufficient to live a decent life? When educated class resort to such large-scale corruption, it's time to ponder for the society that what's wrong with our collective DNA. Why we are so corrupt?

Journalists should also answer why they never catch corruption and wait until only when an investigative agency like Lokayukta and EOW or the Income Tax register a case or conduct raids.


Shiv Sena leader rapes, burns Christian girl

A 20-year-old Christian woman was kept confined, raped and later burnt by a Shiv Sena leader in Barwani, an incident that has stunned the residents of this town.

The victim teaches at a school in Para in Barwani. On February 5, the local Shiv Sena leader abducted her from Bus Stand and took the girl to his residence. He raped the girl and later set her afire after pouring kerosene on the girl.

The girl has suffered 70% burns and her condition is critical, say doctors. Amit Dubey was earlier convener of the district unit of Shiv Sena. Police inspector VK Sisodia said Dubey has been arrested for rape and burning the girl.


MP IAS officers' residences raided: Arvind Joshi, MA Khan in IT net

The level of corruption in Madhya Pradesh is staggering and it was proved once again when Income Tax department raided the houses of senior IAS officers in Bhopal.

Arvind Joshi, his wife Tinoo Joshi, retired IAS officer MA Khan and Road Development Corporation officer Deepak Asai are just a few names. Raids started on Thursday morning and the officers' houses were sealed.

Machines were installed to count the currency notes and still it took hours as the moolah was to the tune of crores at home alone. Foreign currency worth Rs 25 lakh was also found at the residence at 74 bungalow.

Even after investments and naming property after relatives, crores were found at home. One can imagine who is the real culprit in this country. There are reports of hawala transaction also other than bureaucrat-businessman nexus.

The raids can answer a lot of questions that haunt the common man. Now we all know where does the money goes and who keeps this country poor. Former DGP HM Joshi's house in Arera Colony was raided also. He is Arvind Joshi's father.

Their accounts and lockers are being examined. The action must be hailed as the state is seriously afflicted with the cancer of corruption. Bureaucracy remained unchecked but the IT has swung into action recently.

The rais will certainly put fear into the minds of officers who think that getting bribes is their birthright. In Lokayukta raids, senior officers were not touched. It is hoped that the IT department would continue its operation and also catch other IAS, IPS & IFS officers involved in corruption.

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