A Comic Tamil Tragedy

Years ago, waiting at Chennai’s Meenambakkam  airport for a flight, I was discussing the political situation with some locals. The DMK , in power, was  fops_panneer_starteracing a big challenge from AIADMK in the  elections just around the corner.

The locals said corruption was the main issue as people were fed up with paying bribes for getting anything done.

A  few months later I was there  again and the locals I was talking to included one who was present earlier. I asked how the AIADMK rule was. “The DMK people took money for everything. The AIDMK people take money and do nothing,” was the reply. Both were same. Personalities alone counted.

The silly comedy now playing
out in Chennai made it  a political tragedy.   Continue reading A Comic Tamil Tragedy

An Oasis Without Water

India, many feel, is an oasis in the desert of failed democracies.

The img-20170208-wa0023world has too many dictatorships, starving nations where the ‘ruler’ spends millions on his birthday, ‘elected’ leaders who refuse to step down as their term ends, countries with fake elections controlled by army and religious hatred for neighbour or  contestants who declare they would accept an electoral verdict only if they win!

Is it really an oasis or just a mirage where most parties are ruled by dynasties? A party whose members wag their tails at dynastic bosses calls others ‘dogs’ and thinks one family won the freedom for the country all others who died for it were fools. And that too just because it took on the name of the group of people who fought for Independence and  Continue reading An Oasis Without Water

Democracy And The Mob

03dalit-inyt-master675n the Western model of democracy which India chose to adopt, 51 is right and 49 is wrong.

This poses the danger of a demagogue appealing to chauvinistic nationalism or religious fanaticism, or promising populist measures to create a “wave” and get the support of 51 per cent who are wrong as against the 49 who are right. With dozens of parties and low voting, Continue reading Democracy And The Mob

The Writing On The Wall

This year, 2017, seems  to be the year of great-wall-of-china-pictureswalls. And the writing on the wall is clear for all to read.

The ideal of One World, global village and of  Vasudhaiva  Kutumbakam  (world as one family) envisaged by  ancient Indian scriptures may be buried in the foundations of the wall the  US  President, Donald   J. Trump, has ordered to be built.

As I write this, on Sunday, Germany  celebrated the  silver
Continue reading The Writing On The Wall

Are We Blind Towards The Blind?

imagesFor the last some months I have been hearing several non-fiction books – yes, not reading but hearing audiobooks downloaded from a library abroad, though I still like the feel of printed books, going back to re-read passages, mark and saving quotes.

Perhaps hearing books is a preparation for possible blindness (though I wish not to live so long) from a neglected, incurable, glaucoma that causes total loss of vision.

Clicking on a ‘like’ on my post, I read (justanothersinglegirlinlondon.wordpress.com)  Giulia’s fascinating account of her dining in total darkness at a London restaurant, Dans
le Noir. It made a good read. Continue reading Are We Blind Towards The Blind?

Growing Up In Information Age


–Courtesy Prakash Hegde

WhatsApp has become so much a part of our lives that there is hardly an urban Indian who is not only on the app but also on one or several groups of the messaging service.

Some find WhatsApp a big nuisance with lengthy forwards and data-consuming videos  Continue reading Growing Up In Information Age

Hungry, Sleepless in School

The  social media, like WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook are  becoming  dominant factors in Sleeples,hugry.jpgwhat we think and communicate today. A whole new culture is evolving around them. It needs another blog post – perhaps several- to deal with them.

Now I want to speak only ab0out a picture with a message that went viral recently. A post in Hindi I got on  W-App last week said a picture posted on Twitter by  Suren of Hyderabad vent viral and got prompt responses from several, including the Telangana Minister for Education  who, along with the HRD ministry at the Centre, were tagged in the post.

Suren’s post showed a KG student standing in line for the school morning prayer, with a half-eaten paratha peeping out of the uniform’s pocket. “Morning’s unfinished breakfast in pocket and sleepy eyes — kindly think of school from 10 to 5,” the tweet said.

Continue reading Hungry, Sleepless in School

Ignored by Congress, not by India


4.jpgModern Indian Politics : President Netaji — Modern Novels

                    Reblogged by UnstoppableAfterSeventy.WordPress.com

The Course of Modern Indian Politics : ‘President Netaji’

by   Soumayan Dutta

In this final installment about Netaji exclusively, I will try to briefly cover the deeds, failures and dreams that Netaji had dreamt only to see them never coming true in his lifetime as the President of Indian National Congress. And of course, I shall try to touch all possible consecutive situations that led to his forceful resignation.

Consolidating Party base :

Here he was, back from a long exile. The first stint of Subhas Chandra Bose’s Presidency was spanned across 1938-1939. It certainly was not very happy time for the world. Europe, the epicenter of modern culture and civilization was being threatened of its very existence Continue reading Ignored by Congress, not by India

Gandhi Slaughterhouse?

Posted on by  B. Someswar Rao

rm_bThe Socialist Party which has joined hands with Congress Party for the coming Uttar Pradesh elections  claims to follow Dr Ram Manohar Lohia, one of the most brilliant politicians India had ever produced.

And what his ‘followers’ did would have made him turn in his grave. As a cub reporter more than 55 years ago I met ‘Doctorsaheb’ as he was called by all who knew him well.

The founder editor of the daily I had joined in 1957 at the age of 17 was with Lohia, Nehru and  Jayaprakash Narayan (JP) in jail during freedom struggle. There they formed the Congress Socialist Party, which later broke away.(Mentioned in my book ‘A TOWN CALLED PENURY -the Changing Culture of Indian Journalism’).

So when ‘Doctorsaheb’ was in town in early 1960s, the editor’s car and myself were kept at his disposal to take him  wherever he wanted.

Though one of the best writers of English in Indian politics then (see his many books  like  ‘Interval During Politics’ and ‘Wheel of History‘), he refused to speak in that language as  “the common man did not understand it.”  However, he used to dictate some statements in English to me (perhaps thinking I was a kid and may commit mistakes in translating).

When he advocated an alliance with the Jana Sangh (the earlier Avatar of BJP) in the 1960s, I questioned if it was a right move. He was angry first but cooled down and told me, “Congress is like a huge boulder. I am hitting my head on it in the hope of causing just a crack in it. Such an alliance alone can achieve that.”

Dr Lohia felt Congress under Jawaharlal Nehru had a single-point agenda  – to grab power , for power’s sake and keeping it. He felt it must be fought collectively. Thus Dr Lohia is the father of coalition politics in India.

Dr Lohia, who did his  Ph.D in Germany during the British rule  on  Gandhiji’s Salt Satyagraha, was a Calcutta Marwari who was never interested in power or making money. When he returned from Germany and landed in Madras (now Chennai) he did not have money for train fare to Calcutta (now Kolkata). So he walked into The Hindu newspaper office, introduced himself,  asked how much they paid per 1000 words of an article, wrote one on their typewriter just long enough to pay his fare, got paid immediately and left.

And his so-called followers have an alliance with Congress just to remain in power!

It is like starting a ‘Mahatma Gandhi Slaughterhouse’ to ‘honour’ the apostle of non-violence  and vegetarianism.