PUBLIC MEMORY, JOURNALISM students are being told for decades, is phenomenally short
I myself unthinkingly reiterated this in a whole decade as a contributory lecturer in a post-graduate Department of Mass Communications, sometimes adding that the only memory shorter than that, perhaps, was that of sub-editors.
It is no wonder that none of the reports I had seen, both in print and on electronic media, about the controversy over the Congress party President, Rahul Gandhi, adding the honorific ‘ji’ to the name of anti-India terrorist Hafiz Sayeed, recalled how the same terrorist was similarly honoured by the Congress earlier.
In 2013, the Home Minister of the Congress-led UPA government, Susheel Kumar Shinde, used ‘Ji’ and ‘sahib’ while referring to the Pakistan-backed terrorist. A huge furor
was raised about it in the Lok Sabha then, with several Bharatiya Janata Party MPs demanding that Shinde, be sacked.
Many Congress dynasty devotees felt the honorifics could just be the result of the cultured and refined speaking habits of their leaders.
It was not only the reverential reference to Hafiz Sayeed, now repeated by Rahul himself, which irritated the BJP. The Congress had parroted umpteen times that there was nothing called Islamic terrorism and that all terrorists were just criminals. Fine. It was a mere coincidence that almost all the terrorists were Muslims and the acts were done in the name of Islam and the Prophet who preached love and peace.
In the same breath, however, Shinde and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, one of the few ‘think-tanks’ in the Congress (most others have left all thinking to the Gandhi dynasty) talked of Hindu and saffron terrorism. In spite of American intelligence, better equipped in Pakistan, telling that the blasts in the Samjautha Express and a masjid in India were the handiwork of Islamic terrorists, they tried their best to blame RSS and some Hindu leaders for the same – till the courts acquitted them after years of incarceration.
The same Congress leaders, however, called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a low-born (neech) tea-seller (chaiwala), uneducated and uncouth (anpadh, Gavaar), lier and theif (chor).
It is not known where their cultured refinement of speech had done then. Perhaps it was drowned in the loud guffaws (ha ha
ha) of Renuka Choudhary, the one leader who, when she was in Telugu Desam of after defection to Congress, was never known for use of soft or refined words.
THE CONGRESS AND ITS allies in the mahagut(ter)bandhan have shown once again that they would stoop to gutter levels and personal attacks to settle political scores.
Added to the list of personal abuses heaped on Prime Minister Narendra Modi (chaiwala, Unpadh Gawar,Chor) is the latest: that he got 44 CRPF jawans killed just before the Lok Sabha polls to get public sympathy and more votes. The charge came from an ally in the gutter-alliance (mahagut(ter)bandhan), Mamata Banerjee of Trinamool Congress who has been playing appeasement politics to get minority votes.
At the same time, Congress President Rahul Gandhi came out with a discovery that at the time of the terrorist attack on the CRPF motorcade, the Prime Minister was shooting for a party propaganda film and enjoying a boat ride.
Vikram Bhalla of Times Fact Check of the Times of India media group has checked and found the Congress claim that ‘Primetime Minister’ Modi was shooting till 6-30 p.m. and enjoying a boat ride at Jim Corbett national park while the Pulwama attack took place at 3-33 pm (not 3-10 as tweeted) by Rahul Gandhi, was false.
The fact check showed that Modi was NOT shooting at Corbett at 6-30 p.m. Government sources said Modi did shoot a tourism-promotion film earlier but was so upset about the delay in being informed about the attack that he did not eat anything. Bad weather also delayed his departure for Delhi as helicopters could not fly. He had to drive on a road full of potholes.
Besides the tweet by Rahul, the party’s Chief Spokesman R. S. Surjewala also called a Press conference on the same day, February 14, to repeat the charge and add that the PM was “enjoying snacks” at the Rampur guest house.
He also flashed photographs claimed to have been taken at the “boat ride” (but clicked before the ride) but none of the PM eating. On cue, many sycophants Twitter accounts, with thousands of followers, attacked Modi for being callous and uncaring about the killings.
Surjawala also called Dar a ‘home-grown so-called terrorist’, i.e. not a real killer, though Pak- based Jaish owned responsibility.
On the other hand, a newspaper published a photograph of Rahul Gandhi checking his mobile phone (obviously for WhatsApp messages) during the three-minute silence in Parliament in memory of the slain CRPF Jawans. Perhaps he could not wait for three full
minutes before planning the false attack on Modi.
As soon as he came to know of the attack Modi was on phone with the Home Minister Rajnath Singh and the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval despite signal problems,
No wonder Modi later said in a campaign speech that perhaps Rahul Gandhi had prior knowledge of the attack. Congress leaders had earlier visited Pakistan and urged it to work for removing Modi as PM. A photoshopped Instagram picture was posted showing boot prints on Modi’s back after “being kicked”. A Punjab Congress minister, Siddhu, said Pakistan was not to blame for the attack!
BJP chief Amit Shah on Saturday alleged that Rahul Gandhi was insulting slain Army soldiers by claiming that the 2016 surgical strike across the LoC was conducted to win the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. He said that today Army jawans have developed a sense of pride that their government is standing behind them rock solid.
There are also fringe elements supporting Modi who tried to use the occasion to target Muslims and Kashmiris in particular. The Government and the Supreme Court issued orders to ensure that Kashmiri students studying in different parts of the country were not harassed.
It cannot be denied that the political debate in the country has reached the lowest-ever levels. Can Congress, which ruled for almost 70 years, deny responsibility for the decline in the country’s political culture?
VALENTINE DAY, FEBRUARY 14, is celebrated in many countries as a day of love. It is ironical that Jaish-e-Mohammed, an organization named after the Prophet who preached peace and love, chose that day to brutally murder 44 Jawans of the Indian paramilitary force, Central Reserve Police Force(CRPF), in an act of terrorist hatred at Pulwama in J&K.
It is equally ironical that the Congress Party and the National Conference, the parties responsible for the Kashmir imbroglio, tried to politicize the act of terrorism with some Congress leaders like its Chief (not cheap) Spokesman Randeep Singh Surjawala, tried to ridicule Prime Minister Narendra Modi as boasting of “56-inch chest” without action and Congress’ Punjab pro-Pak minister N. S. Siddhu, defended that country as being not to be blamed.
This despite clear indications that the terrorist act, for which Pakistani terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed proudly owned responsibility, was directed by Pakistani and its spy agency ISI. The ‘secular liberal intellectuals’ also remained as silent as they were when the Muslim majority in Jammu and Kashmir state looted, raped and drove out the state’s original residents, the Pandits.
TThe reaction of the Congress and some Opposition parties appeared to be almost one of glee as reflected in a tweet by a Kashmiri student of Aligarh Muslim University, which mimicked a film dialogue “How is the Jaish? Great Sir, #Kashmir #Pulwama” replacing ‘Josh’ with Jaish.
It is a fact that he was not alone in celebrating the death of 44 brave men who gave their lives for the defence of the country, And not all of them were Muslims as some far-right Hindu fundamentalists would have us believe. Some of the 17 or18 were Hindus. One of them, a woman journalist of a known anti-BJP news channel, was rewarded by the with two weeks of paid holiday. Another was an LIC officer.
Both the Kashmir parties, People’s Democratic Party of Mehbooba Mufti, who got three barriers on the road removed thus facilitating the suicide attack and Farooq Abdulla the dynastic leader of National Conference which initiated the Kashmir issue, and his son Omar, took clearly pro-Pakistan stands
They were all highly concerned about ‘innocent’ Kashmiris who had raped, killed and threw out the original residents of Kashmir, the Pandits, being harassed by the Army.
This can happen only in “intolerant” India.
(Written on phone on Feb.14 night. Posted 7 days later, only as a proof of being alive)
Congress personified: Muslim cap,Christian cross, Hindu sacred thread, Rudraksha garland. If unfit, Priyanka can inherit the throne
THE ONE THING common between the ruling BJP-led NDA and the Congress party which may lead the ‘Mahagut(ter)bandhan’ to power in the next Lok Sabha polls is the loud-mouthed ‘loose cannons’ making silly, inappropriate statements.
The only difference, however, is that while Prime Minister Narendra Modi has maintained dignity by not making such comments Congress President Rahul Gandhi, himself leads the pack in calling him a thief. Other sycophants joined him to call Modi a ‘chaiwala‘ (tea seller), ‘unpadh gawar’ (illiterate, uncouth) and ‘neech aadmi’ (low class man).
There are many fringe elements in the BJP who know that Modi depends on their votes to stay in power and so use no restraint in making silly statements. So it was no surprise that many NDA leaders chose to comment on Rahul appointing his own sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as the party’s General Secretary in charge of East Uttar Pradesh.
While one BJP leader commented about Priyanka’s beauty being not enough to get votes and others about the party being dynastic, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said the appointment was an admission that Rahul himself failed as a political leader and needed another family member to help him out,
Sumitra, who entered politics as a novice housewife who defeated a flamboyant Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister P. C. Sethi in Indore in the 1980s, is a very sober, mature, person. What she said was just what political analysts have always been saying, even before Rahul inherited the party presidentship from his mother who inherited it from her husband who inherited it from his mother who …
The commentators speculated about Priyanka being brought in when Rahul gave ample evidence of immaturity and earned the epithet ‘Pappu’. Her entry into politics was no ‘plunge’. She was always the hidden trump card.
And even an idiot knows that the trump card is always thrown in when the other cards in the pack are weak and defeat appears imminent. Another factor that silenced the parties, all of them started to oppose the Congress, was that ALL of them were themselves dynastic.
Had they not been disparate to cobble an anti-BJP front ‘mahagut(ter)bandhan’ to garner the Muslim votes, which BJP had already alienated due to its Hindutuva image, the parties now backing the Congress would have criticized her entry.
The Congress either is not confident of fooling Muslims or does not want to lose the Hindu vote entirely. So Rahul, Feroze’s grandson and son of an Italian Catholic, declared himself a ‘janevudhari’ Brahmin (without a sacred-thread ceremony) and put up posters declaring Priyanka an incarnation of Durga, the Hindu goddess. Of course that is secular, as is the caste-based choice of its candidates.
So these developments reminded me of a blog I had put out last July, which I reproduce here. It said —
RAHUL IS CONGRESS, INDIRA WAS INDIA
Rahul Gandhi’s tweet saying “I am Congress” might have reminded many of his grandmother Indira Gandhi’s Emergency-days campaign (by her sycophants, apparently at her instance), that “Indira is India”. (I have heard Dev Kant Baruah, the then Congress President, say it in the Central Hall of Parliament. It is another mater that he was later thrown out of the party).
That no individual is indispensable, that the party is above the leader and that the nation is above party is what any sane person would agree with.
And yet, in most developing countries individuals have been using their power to make it seem that they alone mattered more than everything. Once in power, all tend to retain power for all time by hook or crook (often by the latter).
The tendency to be lifetime rulers, common in tribal African nations, seems to have spread now to China and Russia, reminiscent of ancient kingdoms ruled by autocratic kings.
Congressmen, obviously, believe that Indira Gandhi can be succeeded only by Rajiv though he had no political background, Rajiv by Sonia though a foreigner, inexperienced and unwilling and Sonia by son Rahul though he was unfit and more of a comic figure.
In fact a senior Congress leader Mani (neech aadmi)Shankar (chai wala) Iyer declared there could only be two persons considered for party Presidentship – the mother or the son. Despite overt wooing of Muslim vote banks, the grandson of Feroze was declared to be a “Janevudhari” Brahmin (wearing sacred thread) though no thread ceremony (Upanayan) was held. He even invented a gotra.
Had Rahul refused (as his mother Sonia did) the sycophants would have unhesitatingly opted for his sister Priyanka and if she thought going to beauty parlours was more important than the strenuous job of being PM, they would have found great talents in her children. If they too preferred playing to the hard job of PM, Congressmen would not hesitate to enthrone the family’s dog which they would find miraculous and far superior to any of their own selves.
Even those who believed in the dynastic rule of kings would not have been such great believers in dynasty. All because every one of them belongs to some caste and are bound by caste rivalries, while the Indira dynasty had to no caste as Nehru’s daughter Indira married Feroze, either a Parsi or, as some say, a Muslim.
And these casteists, who demand reservations for Dalit (low caste) Christians and Muslims (who claim to be casteless), call Bharatiya Janata Party communal!
All parties with dynastic leaders now join hands with the Congress. But all want the throne.
If Indira is India and Rahul is Congress, what is Priyanka? The next PM?
THE DEFEAT OF the Bharatiya Janata Party in three Hindi hinterland States of Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Rajasthan not only spelt the revival of the Congress Party which was almost becoming extinct, but may also be a trailer for the 2019 parliamentary election
Political analysts are busy listing the reasons for the failure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP’s main leader. Neutral observers feel Modi’s party lost because non-issues like renaming of cities and roads, rebuilding of Ram temple in Ayodhya, pro-Hindutva acts like cow vigilantism, raised by the fringe elements in the party, became dominant and stole headlines.
It cannot be denied that Modi remained silent and did not check these fringe groups – perhaps because he has to depend on them in elections. Though he himself attacked the Congress only politically and on ideology, there were too many loose cannons in the BJP and the government shooting their mouths off.
On the other hand the Congress, ruled by a dynasty, has to depend only on one family as
it does not belong to any of its numerous caste-factions which consider defeating each other more important than being democratic as against dynastic.
The common man in India understands abusive language better than anything else and Congress leaders indulged in calling Modi a thief, bluffer, chaiwala (tea-seller) low-born (neech aadmi) and worse. The illiterate voters understands only gutter language and it is only they who vote. Educated ‘intellectuals’ enjoy the holiday and think politics is ‘dirty’
So the dynasty sycophants won and Modi Bhaakts lost. The rural voter. cannot understand that ‘Bhakti’
(devotion) is better than boot-licking and that a tea seller being PM is a tribute to democracy, (as against all grass-root level hard work and sacrifice being preferred to loyalty to the dynasty).
Modi did not lose the three states because of the 2002 ‘massacre in Gujarat’ ,or demonetisation. Renaming cities that glorified autocrats and invaders is a big crime, as is installing the Statue of Unity.
Congress-led genocide of Sikhs in1984, and the Army attacking the Golden Temple did not stop the dynasty coming back to power in Punjab or a Sikh minister embracing the Pak army chief, belittling his own CM as “only an Army captain” while Rahul was the captain of the whole nation as the grandson of Feroze belonged to the Dynasty. While Gujarat riot cases resulted in convictions, Congress rewards a Sikh genocide ‘hero’
Several WhatsApp groups received the following post, by a Modi ‘Bhakt‘ obviously,(only slightly edited):
MODI LOST BECAUSE OF 100 MISTAKES ‘opposed’ by those who go to Pakistan and seek help to depose India’s PM, who back J&K stone-pelters and want black money and Swiss bank accounts to remain untouched.
These elements openly appealed to one community, backed casteism and relied on anti-Hindu vote banks. That, of course, is secular!
Modi’s 100 mistakes are:
1. Surgical Strike against Pakistan which they disliked and questioned.
2. Implementation of the historic GST scheme which they kept in cold storage
3. Demonetization which hit their stashed wealth
4. Providing bullet proof jackets to the Indian Army
5. Providing modern weapons to the Armed Forces
6. Providing electricity to 18450 villages which leads to development, as they want backwardness – their main source of votes
7. Introducing Ayushman Bharat medical insurance
8. Not letting the terrorists into India like the UPA government
9. Opting for generic medicines
10. Reducing the prices of stents
11. Mainiaining good relations with Russia, USA and China
12. Providing employment through ‘Make In India‘ scheme
13. Having not a single corruption charge in four years of government
14. Making a Dalit the President of India when Rahul claims to be a ‘januadhari’ Brahmin
15. Making a woman India’s Defence Minister
16. Making an Olympic medalist as Sports Minister and promoting sports
17. Working 18 hours a day for the nation
18. Striving towards making India known and respected all over the world
19. Providing 33 % reservation for women in police department
20. Repaying Rs 2 lakh crore loan taken by the UPA government with interest
21. Making India a lending nation from a loan-receiving nation
22. Detecting three lakh shell companies thanks to GST
23. Controlling black money
24. Curbing stone pelting with note ban
25. Detecting thousands of crores of illegal trade by linking Aadhaar and PAN
26. Providing subsidy to Khadhi industry employees of and saving Rs 150 cr.
27. Breaking the backbone of urban terrorists and naxalites
28. Finding the missing 500 students and uniting them with their family
29. Detecting 13,000 fake teachers
30. Deleting 1.43 crore fake ration cards from Tamil Radu alone
31. Working towards ban on cow slaughter
32. Improving bonds with Japan
33. Bullet train project
34. Securing highest number of medals in Asian Games
35. Distributing LPG to five crore poor families through Ujwala Yojana
36. Doubling MSP on several agricultural products
37. Closing 250 fake companies
38. Launching digital India and easy and quick money transfer
39. Starting Swacch Bharat to promote cleanliness
40. Launching Skill India programme
41. Giving special package to agriculture
42. Introducing NITI Ayog
43. Enhancing India’s security
44. Strengthening international ties
45. Initiating Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao schemes
46. Making India the world’s third highest electricity producer
47. Making crores bank account holders through the Jan Dhan scheme
48. Drive to voluntarily forego LPG subsidy
49. Saffronising 22 states
50. Supporting women empowerment
51. Introducing the Smart City scheme
52. Launching Sukanya Samrudhi Yojana
53. Reintroducing Kisan Vikas Patra
54. Subsidising agricultural equipment
55. Making India a mobile-phone making hub
56. Communicating with people in Man Ki Baat and on his website
57. Subsidising fertilizers
58. Getting World Yoga Day accepted
59. Imposing death penalty for rapists of children
60. Bringing the girl child under Indra Dhanush scheme
61. Establishing AIIMS hospitals throughout India
62. Covering 50 crore people under Modi medicare
63. Making progress in Clean Ganga plan
64. Implementing One Rank One Pension in defence services
65. Spreading and modernizing BSNL which was on the verge of closure
66. Reducing Air India’s losses and trying to revive it
67. Electrifying ALL Indian village though Deen Dayal Upadhya Gram Jyoti scheme
68. Reaching nuclear agreements with Russia, Japan, Canada and France
69. Modernising Indian Railways and making it profitable
70. Indian Postal Payment Bank
71. Getting Naxals into the mainstream
72. Solar power schemes all over India
73. Using Israeli military techniques in India
74. Improving diplomatic ties throughout the world
75. reducing corruption in government
76. Seizing Dawood Ibrahim’s assets
77. Striving to make India free from dynasty rule
78. Linking Aadhaar to bank account and thus monitoring fraudulent transactions
79. Enhancing Indian Air Force’s role in India
80. Negotiating with China in Doklam
81. Trying to get back money stashed in Swiss Banks
82. Making India open-defecation free
83. Providing visa on arrival to several countries reciprocally.
84. Reviving plans to link rivers to control floods
85. Trying to ban triple talaq
86. Trying to construct Ram Mandir
87. Making air travel popular – taking India ahead in aviation
88. PM Mudra Yojana in banks
89. Cancelling Haj Subsidy
90. Increasing/doubling the tax base and making more file IT returns
91. Increasing the speed of highway construction like never before
92. Fasal Bhima Yojana (crop insurance)
93. Earning respect for India in the international community
94. Uranium deal with Australia
95. Raising the salary of Grameen Daak Sevaks through 7th pay commission
96. Increasing number of bunkers on the Indo-Pak borders
97. Signing deals to create an anti-nuclear shield for India.
98. Starting 2+2 talks with USA
99. Making India’s economy world’s fastest growing
100. He or the President visiting countries never visited, or the first time in decades.
There are hundreds of more schemes implemented by Narendra Modi which the Congress could never do in its 60 years of rule.
Modi, while striving to make India a Vishwaguru forgot that we are mentally slaves who like dynasty rule.
All we want are freebies promised by the Congress using your and my tax money, not the leaders’ wealth. The big business evades taxes and makes more money by bribing politicians whose minor children too are millionaires without working.
Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh – deliberately suppressed A NEWS ITEM about an Indian being killed in Canada, made a young relative comment that it must be the work of a ‘nigga gang’
This is the popular conception — that negroes (nigga gang) — are all evil. In the US many teenage blacks,innocent and not armed, get shot dead by police who ‘presume’ that they were armed, just because they are black.
‘Becoming‘, Michelle Obama’s new book, speaks of several cases of such racial discrimination. The entre problem of racialism is addressed without any bitterness, in sharp contrast with the ‘Dalit’ debate in India. On the other hand, when blacks get shot President Donald Trump argues they are to blame for not being armed. Indians know how prevalent victim-blaming is there in this country.
Guns are not free. Most blacks cannot afford them. Big money from guns makes the National Rifle Association (NRA) so powerful that it runs USA. No party can touch them.
It reminds me of freedom fighter Rt.Hon. Srinivasa Sastry, one of the top experts in English. Chided by the Principal of his college for not wearing a shirt,he replied: ‘Sir, if I had money to buy a shirt, I’d have bought a book with it.’
Perhaps you have never heard of Rt.Hon. Srinivasa Sastry (always addressed as Rt. Hon. and never just Mr or Sri) History in India is written and taught for generations to suit one dynasty.
Valangaiman Sankaranarayana Srinivasa Sastri, CH PC, was an Indian politician, administrator, educator, orator and an activist in the Indian freedom struggle, acclaimed for his oratory and command over the English language.
Srinivasa Sastri was born to a poor temple priest in the village of Valangaiman near Kumbakonam, India. — says Wikipedia. Today he would have been condemned by the ‘liberals’ as a Brahmin.
Born on September 22, 1869, he died on April 17, 1946 at Mylapore in Chennai.
It is said there was a dispute about the pronunciation of a word in the British House of Commons. An MP said his was correct: he had heard Rt.Hon. Srinivasa Satry pronounce it that way!
Gandhiji took him to the London Round Table Conference on India’s freedom struggle to draft the English resolutions. The shirt story NEVER fails to bring tears to my eyes, even if I tell it 100 times. But we know nothing about him but know all about third-rate White leaders and writers.
Many, born in Telangana, never heard of the,20-year-old Urdu newspaper editor Shoebullah Khan of Imroze, brutally killed by Razahars (now MIM) for opposing the accession of Nizam’s state of Hyderabad to Pakistan.
All because Congress wanted to deny that Sardar Patel and many others, like Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Subhash Chandra Bose, Maghfoor Ahmed Ajazi, Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi, Veer Savarkar, Rajguru, Chandrasekhar Azad, Prafulla Chandra Roy, Rasbehari Bose, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Alluri Seetarama Raju and thousands more, played any role in freedom struggle. Alluding to all of them as dogs, the party’s Lok Sabha leader Kharge said “not a dog barked” for freedom when only the Nehru family and Congress were fighting for it. He, obviously, does not know that Congress then was not a political party but and umbrella organisation – a movement – under which all, including socialists and Hindu groups, functioned. Then one family appropriated it by naming its party Congress and falsely calling themselves Gandhi.
British called M. K. Gandhi a “half-naked fakir.” Congress wanted to do even better.
It ignored all others but Nehru and his dynasty. All others are dogs.
Dirty communal Cong politics against ‘communal’ BJP
At Gwalior Gurudwara, Sikhs have recently honoured the chief of the party which marched the Army into the Golden Temple and organised the genocide of Sikhs after the murder of Indira Gandhi, who had imposed Emergency. And the Sikh state had voted Congress to power. This is politics!
And the party, which believes ONLY Rahul Gandhi or his Italian mother can contest for Congress president’s post, to quote Mani (Chaiwala) Shankar (neech aadmi) Aiyer, as they being to the dynasty, and ñone of the others in the party are intelligent enough. That is dynasty politics!
It will definitely come back to power, by building vote banks of religious minorities and some ‘dalits’ – both kept deliberately poor and backward by it.
It’s leader in Lok Sabha says ONLY the Gandhi family had fought for India’s freedom and not one of the ‘dogs’ (all other freedom fighters) lifted a finger for it.
A college suspended a student within 2 days for organising a meeting to celebrate Bhagat Singh’s birthday but will take 20 days to ‘investgate’ her crime. Politics can distort history..
Hardly anyone in Telangana read about a Muslim journalist who laid down his life opposing inclusion of Hyderabad state of Nizam in Pakistan as those who killed and cut his hands were secret allies of Congress. That is poltitics of convenience.
Politics are supposed to be for good governance and ideology. But they just remain means of amassing wealth and power.
A WORLD WITHOUT strife, warfare, hatred and mutual distrust is an ideal world. It is what visionaries dreamt human evolution would lead to. It will be the heaven all want — all who are normal, peace-loving humans, and not perverts or evil people.
And every thinking human being presumes he/she is a normal, peace-loving, good person and that everyone opposing him/her is a pervert, evil, self-seeking, bad person. The aim of all politics is harmony, well-being. All religions seek enlightenment, peace, bliss and happiness for every human being.
But more blood has been flown, more humans killed, more people subjected to misery and hardship in the name of religion and politics than any other cause, because of people who think their religion ALONE is right, their God ALONE is the Supreme God and their way of governance ALONE is the right way. Everything else is wrong. All else is to be changed, if necessary by violence, inflicting pain or even killing.
They do not realise the world is not just black or white. There are greys too.
The welfare and progress of the majority is believed to be the goal of democracy. How that is determined, however, remains uncertain. The West has designed the 51:49 model which, for want of anything better, has been adopted by most countries, while some believed that a dictator or a king has the divine right to decide. So some want dynastic rule. In the Western model, if 51 say something and 49 something else, what the former says prevails.
The ancient Indian model of democracy is that of Adi Shankaracharya who traversed the length and breadth of the vast Indian sub-continent twice before he died in his thirties, to argue and convince by reasoning and logic, all those who questioned the Hindu philosophy and way of life. Ancient Indians believed in consensus, as against majority. One washerman doubting the chastity of Sita could make Rama ask her to prove it, though millions worshipped Rama and Sita.
Adi Shankara vanquished in his debate all but Mandana Mishra and agreed to have a debate with him. Who was to judge the winner? Mandana Mishra’s own wife, who was herself a great scholar. And when Shankara was adjudged by her as the winner, he accepted her contention that his victory was incomplete as she was the better half of Mandana Mishra and he should defeat her too.
He accepted that too, showing what space women (then) occupied in Indian thinking.
Listening to funeral orations on the death of one who is described as the American maverick, Arizona Senator John McCain — some brilliant, touching speeches made on Saturday (here in America) — one is struck by one word: Bipartisan.
Several of those who paid tributes to McCain, at the memorial service at Washington’s National Cathedral on Saturday, were from the opposition Democratic party. It was the departed leader’s own desire that they should deliver the eulogies. Several disagreed with his political goals. But none doubted his intentions, the sincerity of his beliefs, the genuineness of the man himself.
It took a grieving daughter to capture the spirit of the man. Meghan McCain spoke, often in tears and breaking down emotionally, of him as the “fierce conscience of the nation’s best self.” The “culmination of a uniquely political week of mourning,” as a channel put it, was the realisation that democracy was all about the wellbeing and happiness of a majority.
Meghan said: “We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness. The real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly.” It is widely believed to be a reference to Donald Trump, President of the USA, who belongs to McCain’s own party
In “a stunning eulogy laced with grief, anger, pride and love” and a rebuttal to Trump, Meghan said, “the America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great.” An outburst of spontaneous applause interrupted her eulogy.
Today there cannot be a consensus on everything. But rational thinking and debate can establish what is right and what is wrong. Democracy is believed to support this debate, this churning of minds to bring out the truth. Truth can be only one. If 51 out of 100 say (due to fear or offering of some sops in return) that black is white, it does not become so.
Under Narendra Modi, the Army’s surgical strike had to be criticised. His call for rural toilets and cleanliness is ridiculed. Demonetization to eradicate black money and his crusade against corruption is faulted. Efforts for a national identity citizenship card are fought. Vajpayee praised Indira Gandhi as goddess Durga for Bangladesh liberation, but politics had to be played on his ashes after cremation.
All to keep a dynasty in power.
McCain was eulogized for his courage, patriotic service, obstinacy, humor, reverence for freedom and contempt for bullies, the personification of America itself. John McCain was a senator, like a member of India’s Lok Sabha — not the President of Vice president of the party now in the majority and ruling the country. He had contested in a party primary against President George Bush and in a presidential race against Barrack Obama.
And yet the nation celebrated him — something which India’s rulers till 2014 could never think of. The three non-dynasty Congress Prime Ministers who preceded Modi were only stop-gap arrangements tolerated by the Congress long as the dynasty called the shots. Their role is belittled. They did not deserve memorials. Their portraits do not adorn the party dais.
The Arizona senator planned to make his death an extraordinary political moment that has elevated a national debate on the values on which the United States was founded. McCain’s funeral marked the largest gathering of the bipartisan political establishment.
Bipartisan politics, where the rivals agree on national issues, is a far cry in India.
KERALA, THE MOST LITERATE state in India has experienced its worst calamity in over 100 years. And India responded with full sympathy in rushing aid to the state. Heavy rains and floods have killed hundreds of people and displaced lakhs of them.
Rehabilitating the affected people is a herculean task. The entire nation and even Indians living abroad – Kerala has a very large number of them – are contributing generously to the relief and rehabilitation work in Kerala.
But then came relief politics. Rescue, relief and rehabilitation — the three Rs of disaster management– were pushed into the background in the state that was always first in India in the “3Rs” of education – reading writing and arithmetic (popular as ‘3 Rs’ though only one of them starts with an R).
It started with someone posting on WhatsApp and other social media pictures of workers of Seva Bharati, the RSS disaster management wing, engaged in rescue and relief work in the troubled state, with a request to forward the posts to others as “the paid-news presstitutes” of mainstream media would not let the world know of their contribution. The posts vent viral.
This has obviously irked the Congress and its “comrades” of the Communist Party of India and the CPI Marxist who rule the state. They countered it with posts denigrating the RSS group’s work. Very few know that Seva Bharati has been doing commendable relief work in every disaster-struck area in the country without any publicity. In my forays into social work I was involved in disaster management after the earthquake in Latur and have seen the quiet, self-less service of Seva Bharati volunteers.
This time someone wanted to publicise it and the anti-BJP parties thought politics was more important than relief and that this was a good stick to beat the BJP-led coalition in power at the Centre.
The Central government announced an advance assistance of Rs 600 crores while the state demanded several times that amount. The state also announced that the United Arab Emirates announced an aid of Rs 700 crores. Media persons searching for some reason to criticise the Centre took it up as a big issue.
A news channel host, always at the forefront of this brigade, made it a big issue, saying the Centre was giving less that the aid offered by UAE which was not being accepted by the BJP rulers.
To the embarrassment of that loudmouthed anchor, the UAE ambassador in India made an announcement that officially no amount of aid was decided on and that the Centre had thanked UAE for its offer to help. It was the earlier Congress regime that decided that as a policy, no relief from abroad should be accepted. Had the NDA coalition government accepted the aid the same Congress would have attacked it for lowering the country’s selfrespect.
An anchor more loudmouthed than the critic of BJP got a chance to out-shout him to point out that the UAE government did NOT announce more than the Central aid and also that what the Centre announced was just the first instalment or advance. The state’s ability to spend thousands of crores at once was also questioned
“Can Kerala government spend thousands of crores on a single day? Or will it put the money in FDs?” a Facebook post taunted. Another concluded that the Centre was anti-Kerala as it was ruled by the Communists. A Congress leader pointed out the earlier decision (not to accept foreign aid) referred only to relief and not rehabilitation.
He was obviously unaware that rehabilitation comes much after rescue and relief. He also did not object to a Sikh group from Chicago, Khalsa Aid, sending relief supplies and setting up langars in Kerala – all parts of rescue and relief which, according to his party, should not be accepted. “Khalsa Aid CEO Ravi Singh told BBC that the humanitarian aid group will expand its operations in Kerala to help the distressed people,” Sikh Siyasat News reported.
There was a post about a pro-RSS teacher, whose legs were cut off by the Marxists years ago, who was doing rescue work in the floods,m when he was again attacked by the Marxists and his artificial legs broken. There were also reports of the CPI-collected relief supplies being carted away by force by the Marxists to its own relief centres.
When it came to relief politics the Marxists had no allies –Congress or CPI.
The Chief Minister’s Office in Kerala joined the fray in attacking the Centre for rejecting the UAE aid. It also issued a statement that the controversial Shashi Tharoor, Congress MP, who was spending time in Geneva when the state that elected him to Parliament was in distress, was not the authorised spokesman of the Kerala Government when he made statements about the disaster in foreign forums and the Press.
The flood disaster has not only taken up political colour but also a communal one. One tweet said Shah Rukh Khan gave away Rs. 5 crores for relief. Another said Salman Khan gave Rs 12 crores unannounced and without publicity for the Kerala flood victims. A third questioned if Amitabh Bachchan donated to flood relief at all. The tweets came from members of one community. The man who tweeted that the BJP government was anti-Kerala was asked, “Do you think only the Vatican and UAE are concerned about Kerala?”
The man’s community is obvious – as was his bias. Kerala has very large number of Muslims and Christians and both the communities play a major role in the politics of that state – one reason why the BJP has not been able to make any headway there.
It turned out that SRK gave only Rs.21 lakhs and that too from Meer Trust he controlled. What Salman Khan gave is still not known, but his track record is of high donations. Amitabh Bachchan gave not only Rs 51 lakhs from his own money but also sent six cartons containing closed, 40 pairs of shoes and other material.
The film industry joined the rest of the country is coming to Kerala’s aid. A report said Kunal Kapoor and Randeep Hooda have been actively helping the Kerala flood victims through various crowdfunding projects. Sunny Leone donated 1200 kilograms of rice and dal for the victims. Kangana Ranaut donned Rs. 10 Lakh towards Kerala CM’s Relief Fund. Sushant Singh Rajput has been “extremely agile in supporting the victims and has gone the extra mile and donated Rs. 1 crore to the state”. Singer-songwriter A.R. Rahman paid a special tribute to the Kerala flood victims. In his recent concert in California he replaced .Mustafa‘ with Kerala in the lyrics of his famous song and also sang ‘Don’t Worry Kerala‘.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the flood damage would be much more than the primary estimate of Rs 20,000 crore,..”Rehabilitation process of the displaced is progressing in the right direction,” he said. The chief minister rejected the Congress-led UDF opposition’s criticism of the relief and rehabilitation work.
Having worked in the field of disaster relief and reduction I recollect that every time there was a major disaster in any state in the country, the Centre allotted only a fraction of what the state demanded – whichever party was in power in the two places. In fact, I had spoken at some forums on why the Press exaggerated the seriousness of the disaster and why the loss figures are always much higher than the real ones.
The scaling-up is done to ensure that more come to the rescue of the affected and that the aid is stepped up. After Latur I had also warned against the affected people becoming dole-dependent and being reduced to being beggars. Kerala is one state that would never face these problems as its people have high self-respect and would never become dole-dependent. There is, perhaps, no region in India which does not have some Karaites as they are prepared to go anywhere and work hard.
But the tendency of members of a community praising contribution of celebrities of their own community and political parties trying to distract attention by politicizing relief work is, to say the least, unfortunate. Politicians only reaped a rich harvest of corruption from floods and drought as pointed out by the book ‘Everybody Loves a Good Drought’ by P. Sainath
Kerala has enough of politics and religious rifts. What it needs is relief.
Sudarshan Patnaik’s tribute in sand to a rocky leader. Will the legacy of rock crumble like sand?
THE DEATH AND SUBSEQUENT final rites of DMK patriarch M.Karunanidhi (MK) at the age of 94, may herald a new turn in the Dravidian brand of politics that prevailed in Tamil Nadu state of India for the last five decades.
An ugly drama was touched off by the rival ADMK-controlled government declining permission to bury him on Chennai’s Marina beach.
The High Court reversing that order put the focus again on a topic I dealt with many times: political differences should not mean personal enmity.
You may differ with MK or Narendra Modi, but it should not lead to hatred or enmity. Unfortunately that is the direction Indian politics are taking
MK’s body was laid to rest today, Aug. 8, near the tomb of C. Annadurai, the first Dravidian CM and leader of DK Dravida Kazagam, which MK split to form the Dravida Munnetra Kazagam. It too was split by MG Ramachandran to form Anna DMK.
It is significant almost all the leaders of the three Dravidian parties belong to the tinsel world of films, as actors or writers. It seems more amoebic divisions of Dravidian parties may also be led by film superstars, with Kamalahasan and Rajanikant vying to fill the vaccume left by the death of MK and of ‘Amma’ — Jayalalithaa who died just months earlier.
The epitaph written for himself by MK in Tamil — “Oivu edukamal uzhaithavan, idho oivu eduthu konduirukiran” (translated as “One who toiled without rest takes eternal rest here” — finally found its place on his grave.
Will the departure of the two rivals of the Dravidian parties mark the end of politics of hatred for the Aryan North India and for the allegedly-oppressive Brahmin caste?
The Dravidian movement was an off-shoot of Justice Party, based mainly on anti-brahminism, before freedom. It two main planks were atheism and hatred for Brahmins and both were forgotten when almost all leaders turned devotees of some temple or the other and an Iyengar Brahmin, J. Jayalalithaa became the chief minister
Dravidianism’s other main plank has been Tamil sub-nationalism, which too fell by the way with MK’s Telugu MGR’s Malayalee and Jaya’s Kannada origins and the fact that Rajanikant, the main contender, is a Maratha from Bangalore.
The movement, which aroused blind and frenzied following with lives lost every time a leader died — be it Anna, Amma or now MK — has only hatred for Hindi and North left as main goal This will not last long as many South Indians – once clubbed by North as ‘Madrasi’ – speak excellent Hindi and southern youth are lured by jobs to other states.
And when a ‘foreign’ English can be adopted as our own, why not Hindi?