Wednesday, 9 November 2016



In light humour: A day in post surgical strike Modi Raj

This day of November 9, 2016, started with a bit of humor, a bit of laughter and a bit of anxiety. A couple of few thousand rupees worth of useless money was lying between me and my wife. It was in high denomination notes which were scrapped last night by our Prime Minister. We had just one, hundred rupee note which I had photographed and flashed proudly on the whatsapp last night. I was a proud owner of a hitherto condemned one hundred rupee note. We did not know how to manage with banks being shut and ATMs closed for next two days and we did not want to spend this particular proud possession.

The first one to ask for money, and that too right in the morning was the milk vendor. His payments are weekly. It was awkward asking him to take his payment a few days later. He just grimaced but left without saying anything. Then came up the problem of getting bread and some eggs for the breakfast; because the cook told us that the vendor had refused to accept money as also to give credit and we did not have any smaller denomination note. So we had no option but to settle for lovely overstuffed ‘aaloo ka patantha’… Lol

Later in the day, around noon, came up the event for which we always wait rather impatiently. Today was the day when our tenant pays up the monthly rent. Today for the first time, he came up on his own but we grimaced when he gave us five hundred rupee notes. Full of disgust, we returned them back to him with folded hands requesting that he can pay us a few days later but in hundred rupee notes. At this he too made a face and went away. Perhaps he wanted to dispose of those worthless pieces of green back Gandhis.

I had to ring up my lawyer asking him about the procedure of getting bail. I have some maliciously fabricated so called ‘defamation’ cases going against me and I had to seek bail in one of them. My lawyer asked me to get some surety but hardly anyone is ready to stand by me because of the fear of the government, the Punjab police and the mighty drug lords of Punjab. I have not been able to gauge the reasons for the hostility of the Punjab government and Punjab police against me. In the absence of the surety, the next way is to deposit cash surety but it has to be in either in one hundred rupee notes or in new, yet to be released currency. My lawyer told me that my check was not likely to be accepted. Yeh to problem hai bhai jee…


A bit later, my wife had to go somewhere and her car refused to start. A mechanic was called who said that the car battery was to be changed, but there was no money for that either. In the mean time the guy who had gone to deposit the electricity and water bills in the municipal office also returned saying that they had refused to take the cash payment with five hundred rupee notes. Arguments that government installations were supposed to accept the notes till eleventh fell on their deaf ears. Now the bill will have to be paid through check after a few days with the surcharge / late fee charges. Arguments had continued past five and now office was to get closed.  Damn it.

Things were to go on like this but we then geared up. Whatever rations are at home are being used. Our helpers including the maid servant have been kind enough to lend us some hundred rupee notes and some ‘chillar’ and we are fine for the remainder of the day.

Kal kee kal dekhenge….

Reminds me of song from a movie…

Thoda hai, thoday kee zaroorat hai….

For now life is blissful in “thoda”



…Hope and wish that the government of India does not succumb to the pressure of certain political parties and extends the dead line of using present currency notes up till the elections. It will be a very mischievous move and will expose the government but knowing the ways of the government, anything is possible…

My afternoon of November 9, 2016, started with my friend Gurav of India TV dropping in. He asked me about the possible fall out of the successful Prime Ministerial surgical strike on black money, on the forthcoming Punjab elections. Man what an original question had struck him. I had not thought of this. I started scratching and raking up my hairless head when he asked this question, adding that another of our friends Anand Patel of NDTV was also on his way to ask me the same question.

When we started discussing and dissecting it then it turned out that it was the timeliest and a billion dollar question. Assembly Elections in Punjab are due in February 2017. It is a well known fact that often  Punjab elections are nothing but a mockery of Indian democracy and a tight slap on the face of an election commission which mostly remains a worth less spectator. I wish and hope that the current Chief Election Commissioner,  Naseem Zaidi, who has been a fine officer, remains alert and pro active.

Elections in Punjab are often managed with money, drugs, liquor, gifts of electrical and electronic items including motorised two wheelers besides blackmail and intimidation. Now that the Prime Minister has delivered surgical blow on black money, on account of the reasons best known to him, some of political parties may be in for a doom. Normally all these goodies are distributed and disbursed around elections but in a scenario where the current currency is sucked up by the end of December and new currency may not be all that freely available, the political scenario in Punjab may be with a difference.

We should thank god it. 

Political parties will now have to start distributing and disbursing money, goodies and gifts in kind from right now till the end of December to purchase votes but people do change later on. They will also have to spend money for bookings and purchase of election related material, book tents, pay to labour contractors who will be arranging the crowds for them at appropriate time besides managing all other sundry poll related material. Some of the political parties are likely to raise hue and cry urging Prime Minister and the Finance Minister to extend the dead line fixed to suck up the current high denomination currency notes. Though it may be a wishful thinking but let’s hope and wish that the Government of India does not succumb to the pressure of some of such political parties and does not extend the dead line for the use of current high denomination currency notes up till the elections. It will be a very mischievous, calculated and motivated move and will expose the top echelons of the Central Government but knowing the ways of the Government, anything is impossible.

And if they do not succumb to this likely pressure to extend the dead line till or beyond the forthcoming elections (to be fool gullible masses like us) then drugs, liquor and the infamous gangsters of Punjab, who are aligned with one of the other party, will play havoc. The use of muscle men and gangsters’ during elections is a black spot on Indian Democracy but the Punjabi gangsters, who are now mixed up with their brethren from other states as well, are particularly mean, malicious, ruthless and now trigger happy as well. 

The forthcoming elections may, in all likelihood and unfortunately may witness unprecedented violence and use of drugs. Lets us see how well the Election Commission of India rises up to the occasion and controls some of the political goons who have devastated the state of Punjab.



Prime Minister Modi's surgical strikes on Pakistan had indeed failed to shock Pakistan or even the world community, India included. But his surgical strike (November 8, 2016) on the black money has indeed shaken the entire country, all segments included. Surgical strikes on Pakistan had expectedly only led to the increase in our cold war with China and renewed commencement of a low intensity warfare from Pakistan which is being matched with by India. 

It is about time to study the impact of his surgical strike on black money within the country. The National Government of our country had indeed miserably failed on its ‘Jumla baji’ of promise to bring the black money stashed abroad, particularly the massive amounts lying in the coffers of the Swiss banks and other banks located in the USA, Europe and even in some small island republics. The Government failed miserable on this promise. It was also failing on almost each of other fronts as well; both on the front of the international diplomacy as also on sundry domestic fronts. Some master stroke was indeed expected. People had also failed to gauge the purport and importance of successive warnings by the government about time bound declaration of black money by people.

I remember the time when last night, Prime Minister's address to the nation had just started. The electronic media had gone into a kind of frenzy about the sudden information given to them about the Prime Ministers address in the prime time. A lot of people had started listening to it but then tuned in to their favourite channels thinking that it was yet another of his gaseous speeches.

But they were not to realise that yesterday he was there to take out the gasses out of the breath of the masses. A masterstroke it was. A facade was created in the form of a highly publicised meeting with the chiefs of all the three wings of the armed forces and the National Security Advisers.

It was followed by a cabinet meeting during the day. Thereafter was to come the sudden declaration that the Prime minister was to address the nation. In view of the cold war with China and the low intensity warfare with Pakistan, speculation went rife that it his address to the nation was to have something about these two rogue countries.

But man, hats off to the Prime Minister. The delivered the much needed and long overdue death blow on the black money circulating with in the country and it was in a way which was to reek of mystery, intrigue, suspense, romanticism etc; all nicely kneaded into one in a style which is the forte of Ajit Doval, the NSA...the banks had closed down by that time, the stock market had also got wound up for the day, shops were about to close down generally, if not already closed down. Then bank holiday, the next day. ATMs closed for next two days. High currency notes demonetised within a few hours of declaration, currency notes of lower denominations not to be seen anywhere. Panic amongst the hoarders of black money. Worry writ large on the faces of those who did not have smaller denominations, long queues at petrol pumps and ATMs, worry writ large on the faces of the labour class who were rightly worrying about their meals the very next day.

The entire country in chaos

But, again, a much needed and timely step

Blow dealt with precision and delivered right on target

Salute to both gentlemen... be continued (impact on masses and politics)

Tuesday, 1 November 2016



(Disclaimer: I am writing this blog strictly on the basis of my experience in Central and State Intelligence Agencies. I have no malice either for Judiciary or for Government)

Failing Indian democracy is on dialysis because of its renal failure. It is just a matter of time when this renal failure leads to an imminent multi-organ failure. Because of malicious polity and political environment, India has never ever been out of a crisis situation. Currently it is passing through yet another crisis of sorts which, though, does not appear to be as grave as ongoing cold war with China one hand and low intensity warfare with Pakistan on the other. Internally; deteriorating law and order situation, corruption, failed domestic, economic and foreign policies etc have but added to the pace of overall rot which is ‘violently’ eating into the very fabric of Indian democracy.

‘Institutional crisis’ between three pillars of Indian ‘democracy’ is becoming ominous. Any independent democratic sovereign state stands on three pillars; Executive, Legislative and Judicial. A precarious balance has to be maintained by this three legged leviathan failing which this monster will fall flat on ground. Without going into nitty-gritty of political philosophy, in Indian context the unblemished repute of all these three pillars of democracy has suffered to varying extent. Good name of legislative wings both in Centre and in States is tarnished beyond redemption because of general criminalisation of Indian politics. They have become houses 'less of name and more of shame'. Lesser said of executive, the better. It has become thoroughly corrupt and inefficient; protected and shielded by equally, if not more corrupt politicians whose feet most of officialdom is ready to lick bending backwards. Being a proud yoga activist, I am using this tongue twisting phrase otherwise my American friends have a simple word for it, 'Butt Licking'.

Coming to Judiciary, the third leg, one has to be as cautious as one can be. This organ of state power also consists of humans, some of whom radiate positivity and some reflect negativity. A human is basically a human and any reflection on human nature should not be taken as an ‘institutional onslaught’. This organ of state power generally remains hidden from public gaze, thriving behind the cloak of its brahmastra; doctrine of 'Contempt of Court'. This weapon has often been mis-utilised both in and out of the court rooms, in certain cases even on the roads. This mis-utilisation has only brought disrepute and alienation from a section of society in general. Whether people talk in hushed voices or openly, damage is done in both cases. Notwithstanding the fact that for some time, media has been bringing misadventure of some of its members, particularly at lower levels, to public view but the fact remains that it still remains the most protected organ of state power. It is this single reason which makes it most vulnerable as well. Executive leg of democracy, the ‘Government’, consisting of politicians coming from legislatures in cahoots with so-called ‘public servants’, invariably keeps trying to devise ways and means to ‘control and manage’ the Judiciary which in turn struggles to maintain its ‘independence’. This conflict becomes a tug of war because the government needs ‘judicial support’ for its (right or wrong) policies, programs and decisions. It does not want them to be struck down, even rightly, when aggrieved approach the courts of law.

Elaborating upon this ‘tug of war’; Judiciary tries to maintain its ‘independence’ by way of judicial pronouncements, made either in court rooms or outside in public forums, like ones made by the current CJI on the issue of dragging of feet by Central Government in clearing judicial appointments, apparent cohesiveness of judicial fraternity, in-house deliberations within collegiums and to top it all the ‘Brahamstra’ of ‘Contempt of Court’. The recent controversy about Government sitting on appointments (some names have reportedly been cleared today) has also given rise to allegations that often judiciary tries to favour their own ‘families and confidants’.

Ways of the Government are more complex and treacherous. A civil servant knows Government often ‘arm twists’ lower judiciary, both directly as also through its district level officials. In political philosophy it is called the power of ‘patronage and punishment’. Sometimes it can be managed to this extent, but State and Central Governments encounter serious problems when it comes to Higher Judiciary. Here ominous weapons include use of ‘emissaries’, phone tapping and then in rare cases even straight blackmailing. I have already said that I do not have any malice but am referring to it all just in a bid to clean the waters. This nasty work is generally done through the intelligence wings. Each of the State and Central Intelligence and Investigative Agencies has had their own phone tapping units. Often they also have their own ‘unapproved’ setups as well which are used for absolutely clandestine purposes. They are called top secret NGO units or given appropriate code names. They work directly under the head of the unit or his duly authorised senior official. Based on inputs from such NGO or ‘X’ branches; ‘further necessary action is taken’ under the guidance of political leadership. Required money comes from the unaccounted ‘secret service funds’.

Coming to ‘long term management techniques’; Judges of higher judiciary are either from judicial services or from amongst practising lawyers of repute. State Governments often try, successfully or otherwise, to get their ‘own’ men short listed at the state level. In case of same party rule in Centre and in State, ‘directions’ also emanate from Centre. Intelligence agencies like Intelligence Bureau and investigative agencies like C.B.I. often play a vital role not only in ‘vetting’ the names but also by way of getting ‘commitments’. As a former official of the Intelligence Bureau, I remember how a certain ‘Law Minister’ used to ‘communicate’ through senior field intelligence officials and only ‘cleared’ names used to be approved. Even after the clearance of names, he ‘successfully dealt’ with ‘errant’ judges grossly mis-utilising such of the Central Agencies.

 Undoubtedly independence of Judiciary is the very basic tenet for the success of democracy, but is also about time that the Judiciary also brings about more transparency and rare use of its ‘brahamastra’ of Contempt of Court. A lot many people have since started talking about corruption by a few in the judicial fraternity. The fraternity itself has to rise to the occasion and deal with such deviants. All these steps will not only install the judiciary at a still higher pedestal but will garner more respect from amongst people to ensure its independence. It need not play the gallery but it certainly needs to further strengthen its bonds with the masses. It can take a leaf from the righteous stand taken by the current CJI who is said to be stalling the bid of some in power to safforonise the Judiciary.