A new year dawned upon us a few days back.
As always, we made resolutions for the year to come, we had high hopes, hopes for brighter and better future.
But the realities with which 2011 has dawned upon us does make me feel a bit gloomy. That's not how a great new year should be.
The most intriguing news I heard around this time was the closure of the Aarushi murder case by the Central Bureau of Investigation, despite calling her father a prime suspect. If he still is a prime suspect how could the case be closed? Were the sleuths really facing a wall or was the closure a premeditated move? Only the Central Bureau of Intrigue (an apt description by Nana Chudasama) or God can tell. Perhaps we will never get to know the truth behind the murder most foul.
Radia-gate hogged the limelight for the last few weeks. And now the airwaves maintain a complete Radia-silence on the issue! As one would have guaged from the leaks, there seems to have been a clear attempt to paint Mr. Ratan Tata in a poor light.
Now the tapping of Radia's phone was done at the behest of the Income Tax Department. The tapes were supposed to be in their custody. They could not have been leaked out without the nod of some bigwigs in the bureaucracy or political system. At whose behest? Perhaps, some competitor?
Or is this a deliberate attempt of the government to muzzle India Inc., to coerce them, to silence them into treading the road that the political system shows them, some what like the way the regime in Russia under Putin, threatened oligarchs like Mikhail Khodorkovsky?
We may never ever know the truth, as the media is a part of the gameplan. But what I know for sure is that Mr. Tata is cleaner than a whole lot of businessmen we see around.
And now, for the last few days, onions are in fashion on text messages, Twitter and mail forwards. We ourselves bought 2 kilos of bulbs the other day for Rs. 120. But news reports spoke of onions being priced at Rs. 90 a kilo. Other vegetables are also atrociously priced. That reminds me of what Marie Antoinette said about the French public before she was beheaded "Let them have cake!" So, is Mr. Pawar trying to say "Let them have chicken", for chicken is cheaper than a lot of vegetables today?
It is indeed crazy. One of the world's fastest growing economies, an emergent superpower has inflation that kisses 20%? And no one has a clue, let alone the ability or the will to control it. The result is that we go the Zimbabwe way, when it comes to inflation.
I reserve the last few words for the sage-like, scholarly mukhauta (mask) of Indian politics, Dr. Manmohan Singh. Dr. Singh knew all along of the wrong doings in the way telecom licences were doled out. He does know the "who's" and "whys" of the inflation fiasco. But he still chooses to keep quiet. Why? God only knows what all his silence is covering up.
About 10 years back, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was accused of being a mukhauta for the rightists, despite being one of India's most-loved leaders, but Dr. Singh's penchant for inaction makes him the true mukhauta of our times.
This is how we have entered 2011. It is not the best way to begin the new year. But it may not end up being the worst of the years after all. Let's wait and watch!