Hidden Genius, Forgotten Shoeb

Vizianagaram Music College
The Government Music College at Vizianagaram, AP

IT IS VERY DOUBTFUL if  there will be a Shoebullah Khan centenary celebrated in 2020 but there will centrainly be one  in 2019 —  of south  India’s  first music college.

Shoebullah khan

This blog  suggested some weeks ago that a committee be set up now to celebrate         the centenary of  Shoeb, the young editor of Urgu daily Imtroze, who was             brutally killed by Razakars for opposing plans to make the Nizam’s Hyderabad state a part of Pakistan.


My doubts are based not only on the total lack of ressponse from ANY journalist in the country though the post was mailed to thousands of them but also because I wanted the centenary to be marked not by idle speeches and tributes but vast changes in the media values  and mass communication education in the

Adibhatla, unknown genius

country.  That was  why a commitee now for a centenary two years away.  Reforms will always be resisted.


The suggestion for setting up a regulatory body (like AICTE for engineeringcourses)  was made over a year ago in my book A TOWN  CALLED  PENURY but failed to click.  Even the PM’s office, to whom the proposal was sent,  did not reepond  despite the Congress trying to deliberately ignore Shoeb. No book or lession mentions him,  Few in Telangana, of which Hyderabad is the capital now, heard of him or how the Razakars cut off his hands.

Praising Shoeb does not suit the vote-bank


politics  of the Congress or the Communists who had led the Telangana armed sturggle, but why  the Bharatiya Janata Party, which idolizes Sardar Patel, should ignore him is puzzling.  After all  the barbaric killing and mutlilation was one of the factors that precipitated Sardar Patel’s police action which liberated what is now Telnagana.    The BJP perhaps is too busy fighting elections.


The first music college of south India?

It is not in Tamil Nadu’s Chennai  (Madras) which  can rightly be called the capital of south Indian music, or in Thanjavur, also in TN,  the hometown of Thyagaraju the father of the south Indian classicial muisc  (as distinct from the Hindusthani style). Nor is it in Karnataka, though the south Indian classical style itself is called Karnatak music.

It is  in  Vizianagaram, a backward, dirty, old town in coastal Andhra.   Maharajah’s Government College of Music and Dance was established on 5 February 1919 by Pusapati Vijayarama Gajapathi Raju, Maharajah of Vizianagram; so the centenary is less than a year away.  Ashok Gajapathi Raju who had recently resigned as the Civil Aviation Minister when Telugu Desam walked out of the NDA coalition at the Centre is a decendent of the king. Initially named “Sri Vijayarama Gana Pathasala,”  it was later taken over by the State government on 15 August, 1955.

According to Wikipedia, a friend of  Gajapati Raju, Chaganti Joga Rao had a blind son, Gangaraju, who loved music. Joga Rao donated a building behind the fort and urged the Maharajah to set up a music school.  Thus the music school.  was started. Adibhatla Narayana Dasu was chosenas its principal and Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu  the great violinist,  as a professor. After him, the institution was promoted as “Sri Vijayarama Music and Dance College” by Sri Alak Narayana Gajapati Raju with  more sections. After takeover it was affiliated to Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University at Hyderabad. Maharajah P. V. G. Raju, Ashok’s  father and a Congress Minister, promoted it further.

The college teaches vocal, classical dance, violin, veena, mridangam, nadaswaram and dolu and  offers diploma and certificate courses  in dance and music. Scholarships  are awarded to meritorious students. Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Devasthanam, Simhachalam provides free food for poor students.

The college organises Music Durbar and invites distinguished personalities to perform before their students. A music festival is organised annually during the Vinayaka Chaviti day with performances by teachers and students.

Ghantasala, the legendary playback singer of all south Indian films, is a product of this itcollege. And yet  it does not figure in the top ten music colleges of the South (may be because it is now run by the government). So the Vizianagaram royal family of Gjapapati Rajus, known for its benevolence, will ensure the centenary is celebrated. Shoed has no such backing.

Pandit Ajjada Adibhatla Narayana Das   (31 August 1864 – 2 January 1945)   born in Ajjada, near Bobbili, now in Vizianagaram district  of AP. is known as the versatile genius of Andhra. He was a poet, musician, dancer, linguist and philosopher.

A linguist with proficiency in eight languages (including Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian) besides Telugu, he was a poet, philosopher, playwright, composer, dancer, actor and the creator of the unique art form, Hari Katha,

Narayana Das has  translated from Persian and English into Sanskrit and Telugu, was the only one to write a comparative treatise on the works of Kalidas and Shakespeare,  was the only writer-composer who translated into Telugu and set to music Rig Vedic hymns and the only writer-composer who composed a geeta-malika comprising 90 Carnatic ragas. “As a writer-composer who composed music in all the 72 Carnatic ragas he was next only to Tyagaraju,” Wilipedia says.

A genius like him was unrecognized for years and was wandering around the villages singing Hari Katha songs till  Maharaja Krishna Rajendra Wodeyar of Mysore, amazed by his  ashtavadhanam  (performing eight divergent taks simultaneously)  in  his  court wrote a letter of appreciation to the Vizianagaram maharaja. Seeking him out after the letter, the Vizianagaram king appointed him the first  principal of the music college, in which post he continued tilol 1936.

Many a genius like him remains unknown due to public ignorance. Many Shoebs are victims of political  convenience.


What Men Think (They Do)

Almost all forwards we get on WhatsApp are anonymous, rarely ever written by the person sending it.
In many cases it is “forwarded as received” without even being read and not knowing who is the genius who conceived and wrote it.
In the case if the following it is obvious why the writer wants to be anonymous — for his own mental and physical well-being. He wants to live.
Husbands point of view


At last a Husband has gathered the courage and taken the time to write down all of these.
We always hear “the rules” from the Wife’s side.
Now here are the rules from the husband’s side.
These are our rules! Please note..
These are all numbered “1” because each one is as important as the others !!!
1. Husbands ARE not mind readers.
1. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.
1. Crying is blackmail.
1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Neither do Strong hints! Obvious hints never! Our wiring does not take them!! Just say it!
1. Yes and No are perfectly Acceptable answers to almost every question.
1. Come to us with a problem only If you want help solving it. That’s what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.
1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 Days.
1. If you think you’re fat, you probably are. Don’t ask us.
1. If something we said can be interpreted in two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one .
1. You can either ask us to do something Or tell us how you want it done. Not both.
1. If you already know best how to do it, please just do it yourself.
1. When I am seeing tv, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.
1. Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.
1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Like pumpkin! We have no idea what mauve or lavender is.
1. If we ask what is wrong and you say “nothing,” We will act like nothing’s wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.
1. If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to, Expect an answer you don’t want to hear
1. Don’t ask us what we’re thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as football, cars, bikes or games or page 3 pyts.
1. You have enough clothes.
1. You have too many shoes.
1. U r in shape….. Round IS also a shape!
1. Thank you for reading this. Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight;
But did you know men really don’t mind that? It’s like camping.
By pass this to as many men as you can – to give them a laugh
They rarely get a chance to.

Will Congress Admit     Dawood Ibrahim?

Naresh Agrawal
    Naresh Agrawal welcomed into BJP

THERE WAS A TIME when Bharatiya Janata Party was believed to be  a party with a difference – a party of principles which it  would not compromise.

That, it seems,  is history.

All political parties contest elections   to  win and come to power (except perhaps those who  contest just a few seats to retain  their registration).  But then winning elections becomes an end in itself — an end guided by  ‘pragmatic’ decisions and ‘electoral compulsions’.

Jaya Bhaduri Bachchan, MP    

Amit Shah has brought to the party politics of manipulation.   ‘Winnability’  is  the  main criterion.  ‘Practical considerations’ have nothing to do with what the party stood for.  Ideology takes a back seat.

For Congress  power – and wealth which came with it — became the only consideration. It took to casteism and minority appeasement, would not think twice about  giving ration cards and citizenship overnight to refugees just to build vote banks. Its  dynasty. politics promoted sycophancy and ‘darbaris’

The Congress fell because winning was all it wanted — winning so that its leader could enjoy the fruits of power. Most of them  have become multi-millionaires if not billionaires. And ‘scam a day’ was common.  That was not expected of BJP which is supposed to be ‘remote  controlled’ by  the  Rashtriya  Swayamsevak Sangh ideologues,  consisting mostly of old men of learning and wisdom  who sacrificed their lives for their ideology.

And yet it admits an old Socialist Party leader of Uttar Pradesh, Naresh Agrawal, who left his party in a huff when denied ticket for Rajya Sabha. That he was a bitter critic of BJP, supported the SP-Congress alliance a few months ago, and just a fortnight ago attacked BJP for demonetisation, did not seem to matter, as he was expected to bring with him a substantial following from SP as well as his community vote,

That is the  new face of the “pragmatic” politics of today. Rita Bahuguna-Joshi, once UP Congress President, could be admitted to BJP and made a Cabinet minister. The party could  take in Narendra Tewari, Congress CM of two states and a governor who had to quit over womanising even when facing a paternity case from a son he bore out of wedlock. It could induce defections in other states and continue to have alliance with Shiv Sena despite all is attacks —  in the name of pragmatism and electoral requirements.

So what is wrong if tomorrow Indian National Congress admits Dawood Ibrahim under the (mistaken) notion that it  could win Muslim votes for the party? Is this the new reality and pragmatism of Indian politics?

Agrawal’s  derogatory remarks against Jaya Bachchan, the Socialist Party MP,  touched off an outrage as he called her someone who dances and sings in films. I always thought Jaya was something more than just an actress (not just because her father, T.C. Bhaduri, who was a senior journalist and author, brought me into the profession) but someone who always asserted herself on women’s issues. 

Unlike most of the ‘decorative’ ‘glamour faces’ from the entertainment industry inducted into Parliament by the Congress,  Jaya has been an active parliamentarian.  Agrawal’s  attack on her came only when the Socialist Party preferred her  over him for  Parliament seat.

If it been his stand that such ‘glamour girls’ had no place in Parliament, he should have said it when he was still in SP.  Just as all the senior Congress parliamentarians kept mum when Rekhas, Tendulkars and Lata Mangeshkars, eminent in their own fields but misfits in politics, were brought in by their  party, Agrawal too was silent when Jaya  was first inducted.

One welcome aspect of the  controversy touched off by Agrawal is that among those who criticised him for is derogatory remarks were leaders of the BJP itself, including senior Minister Sushma Swaraj and Roopa Ganguly an actress-turned-MP., who defended Jaya Bachchan, who herself refused to comment.This is something unheard of in  Congress. Renuka Choudhary, known for her ‘Shurphanaka’ guffaws, was silent.

‘Behenji’ Mayawati too came to Jaya’s defence, but obviously this  was prompted only by the new electoral  understanding between her Bahujan Samaj Party and the SP,  entered into by the parties  when  the political fortunes of both declined drastically.

Agrawal’s entry could mean the exit of ideology from BJP political horizon.


Fundamental Right  –  To Die With Dignity


The choice should be free 

The Supreme Court of India, by validating euthanasia and Living Will, has only followed the world trend.

It is a good, though belated, step.

Several states in the USA have legalised euthanasia for terminally ill patients after certification by experts that the chances of recovery are  remote or nil.

Many  old people ordered expensive medical procedures by greedy doctors, the thousands who now lead a painful, vegetative existence at great cost and hardship to their close relatives, now get relief from this verdict

The sensational revelation by a lady journalist, of ritual killing of the elderly in a Tamil Nadu  district, as exposed by Aamir Khan’s famous TV show  Satyameva Jayate, has shocked the nation, but it could be more shocking if it turns out  that most of them sought such an end to a futile existence.

Many have sounded a note of caution. And rightly so. In India and rest of the Orient the emotional bonds of primary family are very strong. ,The note of caution is to warn against the possibility of the elderly being blackmailed emotionally into wanting to end their lives. Such a course of action is possible, given the Oriental family ties.

Everyone who parted with all their wealth to their sons who asked for it to tide over a business or career crisis knows he/she could never refuse, though fully aware it is a wrong step. In most cases it led to the parent’s immense suffering, to their abuse and being thrown out of homes.

The number of such sons/daughters may be less than those who do not want their parents’ death — even if they themselves want it. But such children do exist, most often due to their spouses’ pressure.

Before the libaralisation of dignified death or euthanasia comes into force, we should evolve steps to prevent such misuse and also corruption in those supervising and approving such euthanasia.

For greedy doctors who do histerectomies and c-sections when not needed or bypass surgeries on nonegeranians do exist.

India needs many many more hospices and centres of palliative treatment, instead of hospitals.

Life should be ‘StoppableAfterSeventy’ 


Are We A Corrupt Country?

                                                                     Nirav Modi      


 CORRUPTION IS in the news again. Or rather, it has never been out of it in India, giving rise to the question, “Are we a corrupt country?” The latest scandal involving Punjab National Bank and other public sector banks has only brought that question into focus.

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime was known for the largest number of scams and  the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by Bharatiya Janata  Party came to power mainly on the plank of ridding the country of corruption. The AIDMK campaigned against DMK on the  issue of corruption, won  only to became equally known for corruption.

Though the NDA government boasts to be free from corruption at ministers’ level it cannot claim the administration is completely honest and that no government official takes bribes any more.

   The Punjab National Bank

In pre-Independence India Mahatma Gandhi removed an aide suspecting that he   misappropriated money, Incidentally (or is it ironically?) the secretary was named Advani. A former Janata Party governor who was in the freedom movement told me this and wanted in-depth research to bring out the facts.

Then Gandhiji himself removed a Chief Minister of  C.P. and Berar at Nagpur, Dr. N. B. Khare (who later joined Hindu Mahasabha), suspecting some financial irregularities and brought in an outsider from Allahabad, Kailas Nath Katju as CM in Nagpur. That Katju did not know the names of some of his own ministers was the joke in those days.

One of the earliest scandals to figure in Parliament was the Jeep Scandal during Jawaharlal Nehru’s second term. Though corruption was not as rampant as it is today, it was known that many government officers’ “other income” was more than their salary and it was accepted as normal.

The main reason for corruption is that there is no social stigma attached to it. No one was socially boycotted or looked down upon because of taking bribes, as long as he was rich. On the other had if one was an MLA or MP or Minister for a considerable period and still did not make millions, he is looked down upon as inefficient or incompetent.

The most honest Chief Ministers also had the shortest terms – Comrade Ram Kishan of Punjab, S. R.Kanthi of Karnataka, T. Prakasam of Andhra and  Kailas Joshi of MP are examples.

Winning elections needed crores of rupees and money was collected though corruption. If a fraction of it went into politicians’ pockets it is nothing unusual.   Or wrong. Es. We are a corrupt people. We even try to bribe god with offerings in return for favours.

A widely circulated post following the Rs.2 billion scam in Punjab National Bank says:


(1)  A Minister has a talk with a bank’s Executive Director

(2) The ED calls the Chief General Manager

(3) The CGM has a briefing with the DGM

(4) The DGM talks to the Branch Manager

(5) A blank loan application is put up. It contains only the beneficiary’s name, and loan amount. No other details are available.

(6) No credit appraisal is done. No unit visit is made.

(7) Loan is sanctioned by a Special Committee or through the Credit Hub – so that no individual officer can be held responsible if the loan goes bad.

(8) A Manager or Asst Manager signs the loan papers.

(9) The loan goes bad almost immediately after issue.

(10) Additional loans are sanctioned to help the “business” become profitable. (Although there is no actual business).

(11) Auditors point it out. Audit report is put up to the Board, but not discussed.

(12) Next year there is another Audit observation. But auditors are assured that “everything” will be “taken care of”.

(13) Next year the Auditors’ contract is renewed. The Audit observation is re-phrased as “loan renewed due to system error”.

(14) In the fourth year, the Inspection Team points it out after the loan has become a Loss Asset.

(15) Other related bad loans are re-structured as per the advice of the Inspection Team.

(16) In the fifth year, the Inspection Team finds that the loan beneficiary has vanished, and the company is untraceable.

(17) Head of Inspection Department edits and re-phrases the Inspection Report. He feels that inspectors should focus on the overall profitability of the Bank and not on the individual fraud cases.

(18) In the sixth year, Inspection Report mentions that adequate Provisions have been made, and there was no threat to the Bank.

(19) In the seventh year, another Inspection Team finds out that the same loan beneficiary has taken another sixteen such loans, all of which have gone bad.

(20) Head Office tells the Inspection Team that their findings are inconsistent with earlier findings, and advises them to re-draft the Report.

(21) When Inspection Team writes the same findings again, they are told that unless they “improve” their quality of work, they may get transferred to Guwahati and they may find it difficult to even get a promotion.

(22) Inspection Reports are then finalised at the Head Office.

(23) The next year Government changes. The new Minister wants an enquiry.

(24) The Assistant Manager, who had signed the loan papers, gets suspended. (He is assured that he would be suitably reinstated after the initial storm dies down.)

(25) The DGM gets promoted as GM. The CGM gets promoted as ED. And the Executive Director

The Rs.2 billion  Punjab National Bank fraud by Nirav Modi and Vijaya Mallya  cheating banks of hundreds of crores  are only the tip of the iceberg. Scores of other scams will come out soon,

They have occurred mostly during the UPA rule.And yet Congress uses them as sticks to beat Narendra Modi with as they came to light during NDA rule.

Modi’s fault, perhaps,  was that he exposed them. He should have remained silent like his predecessor, ‘Maun’ Mohan Singh.