In times when exposes have become grandiose, Mumbai Mirror (Jan 11 issue) sent out its reporter to apply for membership to various political parties. He said he was a freelance web writer. This was enough to make him seem educated and he is young, too, which is what
everyone is looking for.
It is appalling to discover that one can become a member of any political party without anyone bothering to check on not only credentials but basic details. He even lied about his address.
The NCP was the quickest, followed by Shiv Sena, BJP and the MNS, whose office was also the most crowded. Within 48 hours he had laminated ID cards for all these parties. The Congress is the only one that asked for proof of address and PAN card number and the form he
has filled will take a week to process. I assume there will be some standard used for that.
What does this reveal? Party members can participate in several activities and have access to programmes organised by them. Should the person wish to take advantage, he can easily do so and there will not be any evidence. A fake name, a fake address, a fake profession - think about these the next time someone sells a political leader and party to you.
Are the political parties desperate or do they want such 'invisible'
people who can hide their shame?
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"It's true that the price of milk and vegetables are high. Some of this is a reflection of economic prosperity and purchasing power."
- Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman, Planning Commission
Someone tell him that we are not talking about limited edition solitaires. A country's economic prosperity is judged by how it manages to improve its main sector - agriculture here.
The high cost of essentials, in fact, is a yardstick of poor policies. I heard someone say on a TV discussion on Doordarshan, I think, that if the price rise is being attributed to bad crop, then why are egg prices high? "Murgi ne tau andey dene band nahin kiye! (the hens have not stopped laying eggs)"
If our purchasing power is so high then even the fairly pricey restaurants would not be replacing onions with cabbages. But who's to tell these kings of fancy economic policies?
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This news has made me really happy.
Polio cases in India are down by 94 per cent from 741 in 2009 to 42 last year.
It seems like such a small thing but in our land of bad health care, superstition and lack of initiative, this shows we can do it if we genuinely want to.
Just two drops can save so many people of a debilitating disease and also closed minds.