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June 2017 Edition of Power Politics is updated.  Happy Diwali to all our subscribers and Distributors       June 2017 Edition of Power Politics is updated.   Happy Diwali to all our subscribers and Distributors       
Issue:June' 2017


France in safe hands

Humra Quraishi

Emmanuel Macron and Brigitte What a relief! The French have indeed signaled that all's not over! The election of Emmanuel Macron has actually relayed that sane and responsible governance will flourish in France. Lesser levels of discriminations and biases and hounding of the helpless.
Macron's win has inflicted a huge dent for fascist politics on the international scene. In fact, till the French election results trickled in, there were fears that Right – Wing's Marine Le Pen could cash on her polarising tactics, with that there'd be that doomsday sort of scenario.
Thankfully, the French rejected Le Pen's agenda. Instead, got to power the 39 year old Macron and his socialist policies. With his background as a technocrat and a banker who has the rare distinction of being an assistant to the phenomenologist Paul Ricoeur, Macron was the only candidate who could meet the populist wave spreading across Europe. In fact, I loved this one -liner of 39-year-old Macron – 'I want to be the President of all the patriots against the threat of all the nationalists.' Somewhere and somehow his words touched .Proved magical .He won! This when he had set up his political party, En Marche, just a year back.

Also, there's more to Emmanuel Macron than his becoming the new French President. None of us has ever before come across such a fascinating romantic tale : Emmanuel Macron met his future wife Brigitte when he was barely 15 and in school.
She was his drama teacher and 24 years his senior…in fact, her daughter was exactly Emmanuel's age and shared a classroom with the schoolmate who would one day become her stepfather. Love took off between Emmanuel Macron and Brigitte when he was playing the lead role in a Milan Kundera play and the pupil-teacher spent hours together. They'd not just met regularly but spent hours and hours talking over the telephone. It was an intensely passionate love affair that went on for years. In 2007, after Brigitte obtained a divorce from Andre Louis Auziere, her banker husband (and father of their three children).and married Macron…to live happily thereafter!
In fact, this brings me to write that if a man can be so very faithful and loyal to a woman who is 24 years senior to him then its almost guaranteed that he will be loyal and faithful to his nation's interests and its people. So France is going to be in safe hands!
Compare France and its new political leadership with what's been happening here, in our country. Here, deceit and hypocrisy seems flourishing not just in the professional lives but also in the personal lives of the who's who. Romance is the supposedly the 'dirty' word here! All seems well pardoned and well sanctioned if the so called 'sleazy sex stuff' is done on the sly!
Aren't we becoming a third class lot! Total governmental control over what we eat or wear or do! And if a rebel tries to take things in his or her control, he or she could be lynched. If not on any of the highways than definitely on the political circuit.

Meet in this heat !

Mahmoud Abbas Why did Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, come calling in the midst of this May heat? Why he skipped visiting India two months back, in February, when he was visiting Pakistan and Bangladesh? Is this visit of Mahmoud Abbas part of the balancing diplomatic tactics? Are we supposed to overlook the crucial fact that this coming July, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to pay a visit to Israel and with that add weightage to India's tilt towards Israel and Israeli - A m e r i c a n lobbies? Not to be overlooked the fact that though he will be in Israel, he will not travel next door, to Palestine. A break from the past when Indian leaders visited only Palestine or both- Israel and Palestine. In fact, this will be the first time that an Indian Prime Minister will be visiting only Israel and with that bypassing Palestine.
And with that in the backdrop Modi's meeting Mahmoud now in May is labelled as one of those diplomatic tactics to try and keep camouflages on.
Balancing tactics, which like all balancing tactics, have the tendency of standing exposed. In fact, though five agreements were signed between India and Palestine this week, including India's commitment to assisting Palestine in several development projects which would include an upcoming Techno Park project in Ramallah, but missing was the very spirit, the very bonding between the people of the two countries. Today, even if a hundred projects had been signed between India and Palestine, that would've meant little as that people – people connect seems politically dented.
I do recall the Press Conferences of fiery Palestinian envoys to India and the emotions they'd generated. In fact, there had come up Palestinian support forums and student groups in several of our cities and town and they were addressed by Palestinian leaders…And I do recall that warm hug that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat gave Indira Gandhi when she had hosted an elaborate reception for him at a frilly five star hotel here in New Delhi.
Besides the who's who on the political and administrative and diplomatic circuit , Indira Gandhi's office had sent invites to several middle rung families and also those from the various student organizations. Of course, those were the days when there were no security phobias .No hyped statements. That was phase of Government of India's close bonding with Palestine.
In fact, Jawaharlal Nehru's vision and policies vis–a vis West Asia made the entire so called 'Muslim world' tilt towards India. He was clear about his stand on the Middle East and Palestine ,and with that made the Arabs and West Asians strong allies of India. Alas! Today there's no Nehru and there's little trace of the erstwhile passionate connect with the Middle East; wrecked it lies.

Street plays connect !

On the National Street Theatre day,as I watched three plays staged by Delhi's young, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the college –goers are aware of the political tactics. These plays were stark in their portrayal of the political mess around, especially the play staged by Delhi University's Kirori Mal College theatre group- The Players.
Perhaps, a large section of the young do realize the reality of the day yet their voices are either sabotaged or quietened by the political mafia. Tell me why is it that these plays are not enacted every day of the week? In a democracy street plays should be the very happening 'thing' at each roundabout of our cities and towns. But it isn't so! Hopelessness hits as activists and students lament that the space is shrinking or usurped by the highhanded of the mafia , unleashed from every possible format and nook and corner , right from the television studios to the corridors of power.
Perhaps, all that the young need is that space to unleash their opinions and anger at what's been happening. With this in the background let me stress that to ban social media in the so called 'troubled states' would only drag along disasters of the worst kind.

A must read !

Mahatma Gandhi's grandson and well-known historian Rajmohan Gandhi has come out with his new book 'Why Gandhi Still Matters: An Appraisal of The Mahatma's Legacy ' ( Aleph) that looks at Gandhi's legacy…This year marks the 100 years of the Champaran Satyagraha or civil disobedience movement that Mahatma Gandhi launched in Champaran in Bihar against the British. And in two years from now, India will mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.