Water

We all need water, obviously.

Lucie has a regular stop in a ‘paddling pool’ at a neighbours house. Jains in particular will leave out water and food for cows, birds and dogs.

One of our big problems locally is there just isn’t enough water for drinking or agriculture, let alone industry. So you’d think we’d be a tad more careful with it? Nah….. The re is a massive dispute with the neighbouring state. The Kaveri river passes through Karnataka (our state) before reaching Tamil Nadu, there’s insufficient water so do we find a way to share the problem? Nah, we’re first in the queue so we take what we want. This is a worldwide problem, look anywhere: California, Australia, wherever, same problem.

What is is about us? We know the problems, we know we need to act but do we, not in any significant or meaningful way. As highlighted in this insightful book our empires collapse for many different reasons but almost always because we do t recognise what’s at the end of our collective noses and do something about it.

Water is of course a massive problem around the world.

Same here in Mysore.

Close to where we live new borewells are being drilled because that house needs it, of course. Let’s look after our own.

So who cares?

Who’s this then?

I often see pictures, usually of Gods and Goddesses left under trees. It’s as if they are no longer required but they can’t be thrown out. That just wouldn’t do!

But I don’t really know

Sometimes they just seem to be random pictures of school classes or like this one here, of a Gentleman. I wonder about his story.

Maybe my Indian friends have some insights into why the pics are left like this.

So do you know who these Gods are? They weren’t left under trees, they live at our house and have a story to tell, probably like the old man.

Banana Republic 2

It gets worse.

So to remind you. The BJP who got the largest number of seats has been given by the Governor (BJP) fifteen days (now shortened after the intervention of the Supreme Court) until today? To demonstrate on the floor of the house that they have an overall majority, (which they didn’t get at the election so they will have to poach Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) to increase their numbers).

Are you still awake?

Now the president (BJP) , remember he’s supposed to be independent and above politics has appointed a temporary speaker (chair of proceedings) also, you’ve guessed it, from the BJP. This is completely against protocol as it’s usually the senior most MLA that gets the role but he’s Congress so that won’t do, will it? The newish speaker has been in the job before who was censured by the Supreme Court for his….. partiality in a previous situation, involving the same main character Yeddyurappa and corruption.

You seriously couldn’t make this up,

More here

In despair, I’m turning away from this soap opera of unbelievableness to some light entertainment.

Banana Republic

Am I seeing things or is that a straight banana?

First let’s talk about Banana Republics. Well actually that’s a bit unfair. The state that’s probably got most bananas is the least like a banana republic. Generally over the years they’ve had reasonably coherent and stable governance although they’re maybe losing their way more recently. That’s Kerala.

Back to the point.

We’re in Karnataka, where we had a state election last week.

The result was ‘hung’ as they say between three parties: the BJP, Congress and JDS with no one party having an overall majority. The Governor (until appointed he was an active BJP politician, which is not allowed but let’s forget that, he is however supposed to be independent and above party politics), who has authority in these matters, swore in the leader of the BJP (yes, his party, no no no he’s independent remember) after the election.

This is the party with the largest number of elected representatives (called MLAs) but they did NOT have an overall majority. Got it? Yeddyurappa, the leader was given fifteen days to prove he had an overall majority, which he hasn’t ….

Woah, hang on a minute the two other parties with a combined strength had an overall majority and one was the incumbent ie previous Government. They also have signed letters from the MLAs (members of the legislative assembly) , as proof. So surely they were invited to set up the Government as a coalition? Er, no.

The BJP leader was not only sworn in he will not have a cabinet but is already making decisions on revenue expenditure, without even putting together a budget or knowing the financial situation and he’s got fifteen days to prove he’s got an overall majority. But remember, he hasn’t got an overall majority. So how will he solve that problem?

Ta ra ta ra

buy Them? Surely not.

The wonderful, patient, trusting (actually they don’t trust their politicians) people of Karnataka, registered, listened, deliberated, ok some were bribed, queued up, to cast their vote for a person carrying some sticks, a flower or a hand (symbols of each party as so many of the voters are illiterate) got a mark on their finger so they couldn’t vote twice…… used their precious fought-for- vote to elect MLAs who represented specific parties.

It’s useful having parties, by being a member of a party it helps us understand what they stand for in terms of policies, values, future of the state, that sort of thing …. but hang on, if they we’re to switch to a different political party immediately after the election…. for money? Or a job in government. Doesn’t that sort of invalidate the system? Is this real?

Wait …. is it a bird? Is it a plane? Noooooo it’s Super- Court, well Supreme Court….

STOP PRESS

The Court takes action…..

and forces the BJP to prove they can form a government. The BJP chief Minister has now just one day to bribe as many of the MLAs as possible to get his overall majority. Shameful.

So that’s how the largest democracy in the world is currently working out here in the south. So how about the longer established democracies, they working well? A shining beacon for the others to copy? Er well no, Donald being Donald in the Useless US is making a right old pigs ear of things but it’s a mistake to think that. It’s going to plan, it’s working, he’s shifting that society and the administration where he wants it to be, if only he could find the napkin he wrote the plan on, he might have an idea how he wants it to end.

What about the mother of all Parliaments? Well the disunited Britland has the most incompetent Government and opposition, and what’s called the second house is causing too much trouble messing up the mess that is Brexit so the Governments party is going to increase its membership so that it votes its way. Marvellous, now that’s a Banana Republic of the cold cold north.

Equally shameful.

Coconut palms

The two lovely palms in our drive whose tops form a backdrop for our rooftop garden have been removed by the owner of our house. I’ve managed to hold off the inevitable for a year or two. I’ve used every argument you might imagine, to no avail.

THERE WAS ABSOLUTELY NO NEED FOR THEM TO GO.

So is this…. Idiocy? Stupidity? No it’s probably not those things.

You might see this as a gross over-reaction on my part and maybe it is. It does in my view reflect something that diminishes all our societies. There are at least two key issues. The first is about the ‘trees’ themselves.

DSC02692

Looking around our area, where beautiful trees are regularly chopped (I’m the one that will go out and challenge, when I see it happening, credibility gone there then) where people dump rubbish (another key question for our guests will be covered on the blog) on the road verges, its a mess, one eyesore after another. You’d think it’s lack of awareness of environmental issues or appreciating what is beautiful. It is those things and it’s depressing.

Its also impractical. Trees are useful they provide amenity. They help freshen our air, create oxygen and now we’ve realised, a week after the carnage we’ve experienced here it provides well needed shade to reduce the temperature and make life bearable in the heat of the summer.

Yes the giving has gone.

Dysfunctional state

This might seem a big jump but…. when I first began to realise how senior civil servants were appointed and shifted at a moments notice, here in Karnataka …. I just couldn’t believe it. I previously was a senior manager in U.K. local government. I just couldn’t have done my job if I was continually looking to protect my own back to check that a politician wasn’t going to ‘punish’ me if I’d acted to challenge unacceptable practices or somehow crossed an invisible political red line. How does someone such as a District Commissioner locally manage on a day to day basis or for example challenge corruption, especially where politicians are concerned if in an instant they can be effectively demoted and sent to the back of beyond!

I write this at a time when we’ve just gone through a period when civil servants have been regularly changed as if passing through a revolving door. I mean very senior people shifted every few months, even weeks! How can an organisation function? Maybe that’s the point.

I write this as today we will get the results of the Karnataka state elections.

Check here to see how it now works in the US