I Am Not Surprised!

I have finally been vindicated.

My readers know that I am allergic to bureaucrats and politicians. I have now been given official reason why the former behave in ways that trigger that allergy in me and in zillions of others.

This article in the Guardian, unfortunately generalises from a particular. The survey was restricted to civil servants, in my blessed country, the most uncivil people who do not believe that they are servants anyway.

I refuse to accept that the findings can be extrapolated to what our politicians and bureaucrats now call the civil society, ie all those who are neither politicians nor bureaucrats.

It will be interesting to conduct the survey among politicians. I bet that the findings will be as startling to them as it will not be to me.

In my country, mental dexterity, memory and brain power somehow seems to revive when the Indian proverbial envelope or suitcase is pushed in the right direction. This is a factor that the researchers have not considered. Sad!


Nick in his blog nickhereandnow, has this very topical post on undesirables. I am in total agreement with him on the list of undesirables and just wish to add some more items to that list.

Since I live in India, I think that I should make my list relevant to India. Some of the undesirables may not be relevant elsewhere.

1. Automated telephone answering systems that ask you to push various numerals. I would like to talk to a person and not obey some machine’s commands.

2. Unsolicited promotional phone calls.

3. Door to door salespersons/charity fund raisers.

4. Spammers, both mail and blog.

5. At least in India, the yellow in our traffic signals. No one halts for it anyway.

6. Again for India, pedestrian crossings. Pedestrians cross wherever they want anyway and at signals, vehicles use the crossings to halt and rev up.

7. Non stop sound of the horn on our roads.

8. Professional politicians. Need I say anything at all?

9. Hipster jeans/trousers. Why wear anything at all?

10. Billboards announcing political sycophancy.

It would be nice to see more bloggers with their list of undesirables.


Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where eleven of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Grannymar who is certainly among the most relaxed persons that I know of. The ten other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Conrad, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Magpie, Maria SF, Padmum, Paul, Rohit and Will. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!

I bet that all of us would like to spend all our days doing just that, with the possible change to the reading. For instance, I would like to lie in a hammock and solve crossword puzzles more than read.

I can assure you that I have the wherewithal and the lack of other pressures to be able to do just that just now, but it is impossible to. Life, unless one disconnects totally from all connections from it, can be frustrating, as I had written in my post “Frustration.”

That is why the prospect of going off to the Himalayas into sanyas, is so appealing to me.

My regular readers would know that last July, I was the most relaxed person around. Nothing could faze me. Not even my father! I could take him and still be relaxed. Then a nagging pain in the leg led me to discover that I had to head for a major surgery and I was put under house arrest! I am still under that condition. Despite all the plus points in my life, try as I might, I can not relax. Physically, till the post surgery muscular pain goes away, the body and the mind simply is in no condition to relax. When someone tells me to relax, things can only get better, I smile, but inside, I tell myself, “Oh yeah?”

Let me give you another real life story about a very successful person, who, I bet is constantly told that the worst is over and he should relax. Do you think that he would be able to?

On the other hand, we have the spectacle of politicians in my country as well as in some other countries, who, no matter what happens to them, seem to be totally relaxed. Is it in their genes? Here is what I think about our politicians. They are all extremely busy just before election time. But after that, they become like this –


That is till they are sent to jail on some corruption charges. They immediately develop pain in the chest, high blood pressure and other symptoms and instead of going to jail get admitted into hospitals at tax payers expense. It must be very nice to be able to command the system to develop these symptoms.


I hope that Mr. L.K. Advani reads this post. Now I understand how it is that there is public disdain for politicians in India. We follow the Westminster system of democracy. Change the names and numbers in this extract from an article in The Independent, and we can say the same things about many of our worthies in the government and in the opposition in our parliament.

“Politicians find themselves enveloped in public disapproval. One new MP told a colleague that the hardest part of the job was coping with the disdain of the public. A cabinet minister had remarked: “Out there, they think we are self-serving shits.” Why is this? And is it an unavoidable consequence of our system of parliamentary democracy?”

“Unfortunately, for some years now our political system has propelled a stream of incompetents into high office. Note what Chris Mullin, the former Labour MP, said of John Prescott in his recently published diaries when he was one of the great man’s junior ministers. “4 January 2000. The JP of the new millennium is unchanged. Still interfering in every pettifogging little decision. Nothing too trivial to command his attention… except, of course, the big picture.”

“The primary reason for the poor quality of government ministers is that, in our system of government, they are selected exclusively from members of the majority party in Parliament, a small pool of just 300 or so people who have mastered political marketing and self-promotion – and not much else. As a result, only rarely will the secretaries of state have the attributes required for running their departments, which are complex organisations. Mr Cable was an economist before entering politics. Mr Cameron worked in the Conservative Party’s research department and then in public relations. Mr Clegg was a European civil servant.

“Yet we, who complain so bitterly about the quality of our elected representatives, control the entrance gate into the Palace of Westminster. Every one of the 650 MPs we affect to despise must come before us and seek our support at successive general elections. We could, if we wished, insist that our candidates had done something worthwhile with their lives before being elected to Parliament.

“I tried to follow this principle at the general election last May. I used local knowledge, I studied the candidates’ leaflets, I scrutinised their websites and I watched their videos with only one end in mind: to choose the person most likely to raise the quality of the House of Commons regardless of party. It wasn’t easy because the candidates revealed very little about themselves. But this is where the job of getting a better House of Commons and better governments has to start. Only then might we stop thinking of MPs as “self-serving shits”.