By George, What a Life

THE COCA-COLA MUSEUM at the company’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, did not show one major event in the history of the world’s biggest beverage company – or I missed it in multiple visits to it over the years.

George Fernandes, the Socialist leader who passed away today, Jan.29, 2019 at the age of 88, had made the Coca-Cola shut down its operations in India in 1977 when he was the Industries Minister in a coalition government at the Centre. The dynamic trade unionist, who had won an election from jail, was living a vegetable existence for the last few years due to Alzheimer’s. He was so much out of public eye (with our media busy reporting only the diaper changes of Taimur Ali Khan) that many may not be aware that he was still alive.

As I had mentioned in several posts on this blog on the deaths of eminent persons, I refrain from writing about their lives already published and stick to personal experiences about them. It is known that he was one of the main accused in the Baroda Dynamite Case hoisted on him by Indira Gandhi while imposing the Emergency, along with a journalist friend Kotamraju Vikram Rao and CGK Reddy, General Manager of The Hindu daily, as they were all followers of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, but not many would know that charged along with them was Chandru (as we used to call him), manager of The Hindu’s bureau office at IENS building on Rafi Marg in New Delhi.

Chandru and dynamite? Many who knew the bachelor and affable retired journalist, always helping others, would have protested if told that Chandru had hurt a fly. His ‘offence’ was that he had sheltered Reddy in his house when the latter went ‘underground’. With the legal system as it was during the Emergency, all the accused would have been convicted and some, mainly George and Vikram, may have been even hanged – had Indira Gandhi not believed the sycophant intelligence agencies to lift the Emergency, only to lose the elections.

What brought George Fernandes into national prominence, however, was his becoming a ‘giant killer’ by defeating S.K. Patil in the Lok Sabha election of 1969 from South Bombay. Patil, a Union Minister, was known to be one of the strongest candidates with big money power and had an iron grip over Bombay Pradesh Congress Committee.

As one of those involved in the Patil Vs Fernandes campaign in Bombay, I remember how ‘Netaji’ Ladli Mohan Nigam of MP and sometimes Madhu Limaye of Bihar used to plan what Fernandes was to speak the next day. An excellent speaker in English, Hindi, and Marathi, Fernandes executed the script brilliantly. The strategy was planned at the meetings and Fernandes was just the performer.

With an eye on the large Muslim vote of Bhendi Bazar area in the constituency, Sadoba Patil one day issued a statement supporting the choice of a Muslim as the next the President of India. The next day Fernandes addressed a public meeting in Bhendi Bazar. Welcoming the choice, Fernandes spoke of how Ahmed would live in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, with its dozens of rooms and famous halls with dazzling decorations, while ‘Abdul Rehman of Bhendi Bazar’, (a fictitious character) lived in a 10X10 room with his large family and get up at 3 a.m. as drinking water taps opened only then for one hour in that area which had restricted water supply.

Fernandes’ imaginary camera repeatedly spanned from the luxury of Rashtrapati Bhavan to the harsh realities of Bhendi Bazar and almost brought tears to many eyes. It was a campaign that would have made a better book than Theodore White’s ‘Making of The President’ series about the Presidential campaigns in the USA. And even today Congress relies solely on minority vote-bank politics.

South Bombay had some very rich areas, as well as some Gujarati pockets, both believed to be pro-Patil. George Fernandes addressed several small meetings on terraces in those areas. His victory parade that night, with hundreds of affluent youth joining the labour whom Fernandes led as a trade unionist, was memorable.

George, born in Karnataka, came to Bombay to join the trade union movement which was then led by another Mangalorean like him, who happened to be externed from the metropolis then. So he stayed in the Bombay Labour Union office. Others in the union found his stay, with many people coming to meet him, disturbing and threw him out after some days. So for a few days, he slept on the footpath on a newspaper till he could make alternate arrangements.

During the campaign, I heard stories of how some young women, one of them a prominent writer, were enamoured of him. Yet he remained a bachelor till late, when he married Prof.Humayn Kabir’s daughter Leila and had a son.

Being more of a performer than an original strategist, he did not make much mark in Parliament. When the non-Congress government came to power at the Centre, he was given Defence, Railway and Industries ministries at different times.

It is tragic to see parties led by Dr. Lohia and George Fernandes – some born out of the Emergency which he opposed so strongly, now join hands with the Congress which they all fought – just to win elections and come to power – to be led by a dyngasty.

No wonder Bihar Chief Minister Nitesh Kumar of Janata Dal (U) broke into tears speaking on George Fernandes’ death.

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A Seer Above Politics, Religion

A true ‘Ratna’ of Bharat
SHIVAKUMARA SWAMIJI, who passed away on January 21, 2019 at the grand age of 111 years, is considered a ‘Nadeda Devaru’ (walking god) by many, including those who do not belong to the religious sect of Lingayats, whose most prominent pontiff he was.
He headed the oldest religious centre of Lingayats (the sect that the Congress government tried to divide by declaring Veerasaivas non-Hindu), the Siddaganga mutt at Tumakuru, not far from Karnataka’s state capital, Bengaluru. His death, deeply mourned, led to the state government declaring a three-day mourning cancelling all official functions (though a state minister, Priyank Kharge, son of Congress’ floor leader in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, defied the ban).
So much has been written about the Swamiji and so many tributes paid to him by celebrities all over India, that writing about his life would be redundant. It was just days after his death that the list of those conferred India’s highest honour, Bharat Ratna, was announced.
The Swamiji’s name was not on the list.
This led to many protests. Some came from people who were not aware that the procedure for deciding on the awardees takes months and others from those who knew but wanted to either politicalize the issue or take the credit for the act when it finally comes, as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party leaders had that a panel headed by the Union Home Minister had already decided to confer the honour and the procedure had begun.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to the seer in his routine addresses to the nation but did not, as he should have, mention that the honour would be conferred on him. A lot of vitriolic speeches and social media posts lamented the delay in conferring the honour, implying that the BJP was against it. That is politics.
The following story narrated by a friend in the field of social work is significant in saying why he remained relatively unknown:
“During tea break in office today, my Korean colleague asked me ‘Please tell me who is Shivakumara Swami, why are millions of people in such deep grief over his demise?’
“I asked him ‘Do you know Mother Teresa?’
“He replied ‘Of course, world renowned Nobel Prize winner popular for her humanitarian works. Who does not know her? We even had a lesson about her in our textbooks’
”I said ‘Very good. Now think about Mother Teresa, her accomplishments and her ecosystem, subtract religious conversions from it, subtract media publicity from it, add 132 educational institutions producing 50,000 graduates annually to strengthen Indian economy, add Gurukuls, the Indian residential schools of spiritualism, educating 10,000 students annually to safeguard traditional academic learning, add free meals facility to all students, add agricultural initiatives supporting 500.000 farmers annually, and that’s how you finally get Shivakumara Swamiji’
“He exclaimed ‘Wow!! This is absolutely unbelievable! He seems to be a role model for humanitarian efforts for the whole world. In South Korea, we knew about Indians like Mother Teresa & Mahatma Gandhi, but I wonder why we were never aware of Shivakumara Swamiji’
“I said ‘There’s a simple reason for it. The global media never tried to highlight his efforts & achievements, because he always wore saffron’.
A Congress leader was critical of “a singer” (Bhupen Hazarika) being awarded Bharat Ratna, forgetting that a cricket player (whose records are all broken) was similarly honoured earlier. So was actor MGR who spoke of independent Dravidastan.
Another friend, also in social work, thought this was all RSS propaganda. He could not deny that Mother Teresa was more known than Shivakumara Swami or that as a missionary, her primary work was conversion of Indians to Christianity.
Shivakumara Swami is to be seen in the background of some godmen amassing much more wealth than corrupt politicians and some, like Asharam Bapu, Ram Raheem and Nityananda ending up in jail. Religion, it is said, has become the most lucrative business in India.
The BJP demonstrations against Priyank Kharge’s official function, as also the repeated statements demanding Bharat Ratna award for Swamiji are both attempts to politicize the Swamiji’s death.
The friend who criticized Modi for not conferring the award said, “Mahatma Gandhi and Shivakumara Swamiji eluded the Nobel Prize, and not vice versa. Great souls like Swamiji never seek awards in this world. In the next world, they get union with Cosmic Force even which they did not seek, let alone the reward of luxuries in heaven.”
He perhaps did not know Gandhiji not getting the Nobel is the issue of international debate and that the Nobel Committee itself regretted it. They may not have even heard of Swamiji.
The friend also pointed out that Satya Saibaba of Puttaparthi got international recognition even though he wore saffron robes because of publicity. ”Do not fault the media. The world is not against Hindus as the Nagpur set up (RSS) makes us believe. Publicity happens when someone has a machinery to seek it. An effective PR officer would have achieved it for Swamiji,” he added.
I do not know about Mother Teresa but Satya Saibaba whom I visited several times, did not have a PRO. He and the original Shirdi Saibaba were above one religion and never converted people. At Puttaparthi, national days and festivals of all countries, including Pakistan, are celebrated.
In Satya Saibaba’s birthday celebrations I have seen a Pakistani delegation marching as did visitors from more nations than in the UN. I saw people from more foreign countries in Puttaparthi than in New Delhi or even in the USA. Satya Sai has put up world-class hospitals and educational institutions. Those attacking him as fake did nothing but that.
The only foreign countries Satya Sai visited were Uganda (in the dangerous Idi Amin days) and Kenya, though he was invited by many devotees to their countries. His trip to California, for which American devotees there made elaborate preparations, never materialized.
It is not just service that distinguished Shivakumara Swami. “He actually lived a puritan life, did not go overseas to attract attention, and drew admirers and devotees to his own place. We cannot compare him to anyone. He was a ‘Jeevan Muktaha’ of which Adi Sankara wrote in Bhajagovindam. Liberated souls do not seek recognition,” my friend said. No one can deny that.
The recognition is by the people and not by any party. Some political parties may have tried to drag him and his name into politics, but Shivakumara Swami was above it. Fifteen lakh people visited and received Prasad on a single day — which probably only Kumbhmela surpasses.
The pictures of thousands of people weeping over his passing away symbolizes the life of Shivakumara Swami, who wanted jeevansamadhi (being buried alive) and built a grave which he wanted to enter alive, but did not, in deference to the wish of his devotees. It was in this grave that he was finally buried.
One incident related to his equal love for all religions will remain forever in my memory. I went to an Airtel service center to have my cell number, kept in ‘safe custody’ when I went abroad. There I met Burhan Sadiq, who told me he had studied in Siddaganga Institute of Technology.
“I went to Tumakuru and visited the mutt when I came to know he passed away,” Sadiqbhai told me. He did not remember that he is a Muslim.
Neither did Swamiji. He believed in Vasudaiva kutumbakam (the world is one family).

Do We Need Patel Statue?


ON OCTOBER 31 Prime Minister  Narendra Modi unveiled a 182 metre (597.113 feet) high statue of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, India’s first Home Minister, overlooking the Sardar Sarovar dam on river Narmada in Gujarat.

Many hate Modi for various reasons like being a Gujarati or a Hindu or an RSS pracharak and above all for breaking the monopoly of one dynasty over the top post in India. So a spate of  criticism over the construction of the statue was expected. The main objection was (from Congress) that there was no such statue for Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister and originator of the ruling dynasty, or for Mahatma Gandhi called the Father of the Nation or Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar the new god of neo-Buddhists and Dalits.

Some, who consider all politicians despicable, argued that the amount of nearly Rs. 3000 crore spent for the statue could have been used to build over one lakh schools or 2.8 lakh rural toilets, both  sadly lacking in the country.

The Statue of Unity, as the Patel statue has been named by Modi,  is almost twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty near New York in the USA which is 93 metres or 305.11 feet). It is taller that the Buddha statues at Spring Temple in China (120 m or 393.t ft.) and at Ushika Daibutsu in  Japan (120 m or 393.7 ft.) regarded as the third tallest in the world.

However, according to the website ‘The Mysterious World’  which lists’ the ‘Top 10’ in  many fields, the third tallest statue in the world, situated in Monywa, Myanmar  has a height of 116 meters. It is again of the Buddha. The construction of Laykyun Setkyar started in 1996 and completed in 2008. The statue actually stands on a 13.5 m throne.


This is not the end. The sculptor 93 year old Ram Vanji Sutar, who designed and built the Statue of Unity for Larsen and Tourbo company of Bangalore, India, is also building in Mumbai the 121.92 m (400 ft.) tall statue of Chatrapati Shivaji and Dr. Amebkar statue of  76.2 m (250 ft.) height.

Significantly the three statues next-tallest to the Statue of Unity are of Gautama Buddha, also of  Indian origin. The Gujarat government is also building a 108 m tall statue of Buddha – which would be world’s tallest of him in the sitting posture.

Congressmen and Dalit politicians and the Shiv Sena (which would predictably attack Modi’s Bharatiya  Janata Party for making Patel’s  statue taller than that of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj), oppose the statue for political reasons and not because of the cost.

Others against Statue of Unity  would oppose it only as they are against all statues but have destroyed or disfigured only those of Hindus, but not because “a poor country like India” could  not afford to spend such huge amounts on non-developmental items.

True the statues would not feed the poor or provide education or toilets in rural areas. The same argument was used when my friend Vasaant Sathe, Minister for Information and Broadcasting at the Centre, favoured Indian television switching over to colour. Was colour TV needed for ‘poor’ India?

Had Indian TV remained black and white, would it not have strengthened the belief of most Europeans and Americans that ‘Injuns’ live on trees or that India is a nation of snake charmers?

The same argument would have prevented India building so many new modern airports and many other projects. Those who argue this way are ‘determinists’ holding that after Independence the country should have concentrated ONLY on education or ONLY on roads or ONLY on removing casteism. There can be many arguments on such single aims

But determinism (like the Congress Party’s belief in dynasty rule)  has been proved wrong. We do need development in different fields, as one can promote the others.

True, most statues serve no purpose except emotional.  Many old status are badly maintained and are nothing but repositories of bird droppings. Some cannot even be identified by most people;  their identities and relevance lost in history.

But some, like that of Sardar Patel who had united India and made it one country, certainly have a major role to play.

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Veteran Journalist Kuldeep Nayar, RIP


Veteran and most respected journalist of India, Kuldeep Nayar, RIP

VETERAN JOURNALIST KULDEEP NAYAR passed away today, at the age of 95, perhaps bringing to close with him an era of honest reporting in this age of fake and paid news.

Thousands of journalists, political leaders and  people in public life condoled his death — some of them not even knowing the names of his 15 books or his name itself. Former Shiv Sena leader and now Maharashtra Congress president Sanjay Nirupam tweeted “Veteran journalist Shri Kuldeep Nayer’s demise is a big loss to Indian journalism. He was a peace activist &  a great nationalist. Have fond memories of working with him in Rajya Sabha. Beyond The Line & India after Nehru were his most popular books. My condolences to his wife Bharti.”

Nirupam does not know that Kuldeep spelt his name as Nayar, unlike most Punjabi Nayyars and  one Punjabi who adopted the Malayalam version, Hollywood film-maker Meera Nair.

And his most famous book on (the then) current affairs was ‘Between The Lines’ not ‘Beyond The Line’ as mentioned by Nirupam, who perhaps did not read Kuldeep’s bylined column of the same name. The condoelnce served only to remind readers that he, Sanjay, was a member of Rajya Sabha.

A Pakistani daily, The Express Tribune,  distorted RIP (Requisit in Pace or Rest In Peace as commonly understood) to  ‘Rest in Power’.  Had he hankered after power, he would have cashed his job as IO  in Press Information Bureau,  later, or as Press Secretary to Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri.

Anyone who is 80 and waiting near the exit gate of life,  for it to open, is likely to read most obituaries and write on them. Sticking to my practice of writing only personal recollections when eminent people die – and not what is already in public domain or on Internet – I recall meeting him several times.

As the Editor-in-Chief  he visited  The Indian Express daily (then undivided) at an edition which I had launched as the first chief sub-editor.   Talking to him I mentioned his student days in the USA.

A close friend, the late Dr Singammal Iyengar,  told me that when she went to the USA for the second time for her doctoral studies at the Northwestern University at Evanston near Chicago, he was in the prestigious Medeil School of journalism at that university.  As a ‘senior’ she bossed over all the Indian students, helping them overcome the culture shock and teaching them expected basic behaviour.

Her contact with journalism was minimal: she thought the United News of India (UNI) news agency which he headed when she ttold me about “that boy Kuldeep”, was a part of the  United Nations!

A look at Kuldip Nayar even in his later days shows he must have been a very handsome, tall, Punjabi youth. Many girls wanted to be noticed by him and  told Dr Iyengar that he never socialised (that is, dated) and vanished after classes.

So Singammal summoned him to the canteen and asked why. He told her that as soon as “school” ended, he went to work for his pocket money. Educational loans were unheard of in India and most Indian students worked, some even in restaurents and motels. This led to a joke by Dr Laxmanswami Mudaliar (or his twin brother Dr Ramaswami), who as Vice-Chancellor at a convocation where Chester Bowles, the then famous US Ambassador in India, said in his welcome speech, “I am told in America, you give degrees for dishwashing.”

The intended pun was to say that American universities had degrees even in subjects like dishwashing, with a dig at students getting degrees after washing dishes in a restaurent.

Kuldeep was very quick on the uptake. He guessed that I was referring to the incident narrated by Dr Iyengar. He laughed it away, saying, “Oh, in those days, I had no money and had to work.” Having started his journalistic career in Urdu newspapers, he never wrote to show off his knowledge of English and even admitted wirting was not his  forte.

But humility certainly was. At least twice I took  students of the journalism departrment, as a teacher in charge of their Delhi ‘study tour’, to his house and he spent quality time with them. I remember him chiding the Head of Department for bringing the students late. “You must teach them to keep time,” he had said.

I regret that in my book on Indian journalism I wrote (as a joke, mentioning that he was a hihgly respected journbalist in India)  about Kuldeep Nayar’s  arrest by  Indira Gandhi during the Emergency.  I said someone described him as “Journalist-in-law”. He was the son-in-law of Bhimsen Sachar, the first Chief Minister of Bombay Presidency (before states were reorganised) and brother-in-law of  the late Justice Rajendra Sachar.

But then who would remember such trivia. I hope journalism students would remember at least Kuldeep Nayar



The Tragicomedy of Contrived Humour

Pu. La.
Pu La Deshpande

HUMOUR, THEY SAY 😊,  is a serious business.  Or, has this too become a cliche and so not funny any more?

A sense of humour is a prized possession every man wants to be known for. Women find it more attractive than appearance or affluence. In a mixed company, a sense of humour gets more appreciation than any other attribute.

Never does the difficulty of writing humour become so obvious than when you are trying to be humorous on purpose, without the humour


coming from your inner self, when you are not being natural and when it is contrived or “made to order”. Very few have the ability to write humour when their own thoughts are bordering on pathos, like the poet Thomas Hood (‘Bridge of  Sighs‘,  ‘On Her Deathbed‘ and several other poems born of despair and tragedy) who, it is said,  wrote ‘lighter stuff’ and humorous lyrics for a living.


P.G. Wodehouse

I always held that the greatest pleasure of knowing the English language was being able to read and understand P. G. Wodehouse. For those who want legal humour, there is Henry Cecil (No  Bail for The Judge, Brothers in Law)  and Richard Gordon (‘Doctor in Love, Doctor at Sea) for medical humour.


But then, humour and pathos are believed to be closely related. Natya Shastra (the ancient Indian treatise on the science of drama, dance or make-believe) holds that humour is born out of pathos,  Pu. La. Deshpande, the great Marathi humourist, told me in an interview around 1961. He explained it at great length.


Humour is a safety spring of life that absorbs the knocks and bruises life causes. Life is a tragedy you can survive only by enjoying its humour, I recall him saying decades ago. The humour of PuLa and of Sharad Joshi, the Hindi humourist who read prose at every important gathering of humorous poets  (Hasya Kavi Sammelan) and was applauded for it, was of a more enduring, impacting brand. It had depth and subtlety which many others, who believed in slap-stick or banana-peel humour, lacked. PuLa has no equal in India.

In Raj Kapoor’s magnum opus, Mera Naam Joker, the circus

Charlie Chaplin

joker, making everyone laugh, was a melancholy character. It was too subtle for the Indian audience of last century, as proved by its failure at the box-office — a  big blow to the master showman. Another great showman, Charlie Champlin with whom he was often compared, tried to bring out the tragedy of contemporary life through comedy in films like Modern Times, King in New York, The Kid, The Great Dictator, Limelight and The Tramp.

Chaplin is said to be the only comedian who could make you cry when he laughed and laugh when he cried. That reminds me of the role of Johnny Walker in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s classic  Anand. Known only for slapstick, brainless, not-so-subtle humour, Johnny plays a drama actor who humours Anand (Rajesh Khanna) on his deathbed and realising that Anand was aware all along that he was dying, keeps up the pretence. He then runs out crying that he would not let the curtain fall. Even recollecting the scene brings tears.

Many great writers have used humour to take up social issues, like T.P Kailasam (1884-1946) and BeeChi (Rayasam Bheemasena Rao, 1913-1980)  in Kannada as did in Telugu, Gurajada Apparao (‘Kanyashulkam’-1892) Mokkapati Narasimha Sastry (‘Barrister Parvateesham’-1924).  ‘Kalki’ Krishnamurthy (1899-1954) lives in the Tamil magazine that shares his pen name today.

Gujarat,’s Tarak Mehta, who died last year, had cult following in Hindi TV with his “Oolta Chashma” comedy serial, while some like Vinod Dave and Narsinh Mehta had combined journalism with humour. Hindi had a great shortage of humour writers but by the time I met Harishankar Parsai at Jabalpur in 1966, he was already a known Communist sympathiser working for his ideology.

Every language literature in India has eminent humourists and every generation has its own prominent writers. The tenor and insight of each generation’s humour varies. Some of olden days may cease to be funny now. Some jokes of today could not be imagined yesterday. We laugh WITH  some writers and laugh AT others who are out of tune.

In every language, humour has been used to draw people’s attention to social issues and motivate change for good. Humour has played a great rule in the success of many films but in most Indian-language mainstream films,  like ‘Ganget Ghoda Nhala‘ (Marathi) of  Raja Paranjape (1910-1979), it remains very crude and often vulgar.

Hindi TV comedian Kapil Sharma’s life has been turning into a tragedy and cricketer-turned-comedian-turned-minister Navjot Singh Siddhu is resorting to buffoonery in Pakistan in his third role – as a politician.

Comedians becoming mere jokers will turn humour into tragedy.


Atal Bihari Vajpayee, RIP

Vajpayee, journalist, politician but essentially a poet at heart

He was born on Christmas Day celebrated all over the world – even by thousands of non-Christians. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was kept alive artificially on Inida’s Independence Day, August 15 and the life support was switched off only the next day, August 16 evening (as the I-Day for Indians living in the USA was still on India’s Aug.16 morning).

He could not have wanted to spoil the festivities on India’s Independence Day. That was typically Vajpayee, almost 94 years old.

This blog reported several deaths, but not repeating what was already available on the Internet or other sources but with personal glimpses. So let us continue that tradition.

Taking a group of 52 students of the Department of Mass Communication, Nagpur Universithy as one of the teachers accompanying them on a Delhi ‘study tour’ I was keen that it should not end up another pleasure trip of shopping event, which it usually did. So I prepared them for each visit, be it to a news channel, media house,embassy, politiciasn, Rashtrapatyi Bhavan or news agency office.

Then I remembered that one of my ex-students was working on the personal staff of the ex-Prime Minister and then Leader of the Opposition, A. B. Vajjpayee. We did not have an appointment. I asked the ex-student to find out if Atalji would meet us if we drop in unscheduled.

Vajpayee not only agreed and spent time with the boys and girls, some of them later journalists, but treated them to tea, asnwered their questions and made them proud to have wanted to become journalists – the profession he belonged to.

At the end, responding to a student who remembered him as a poet, he even recited one of his poems. A journalist by calling and a politician with a purpose, he was a poet at heart. And he distinguished himself in all these fields.

In sharp contrast to the present day politics of hatred, when Congress leaders vie with each other in abusing an belittling (neech aadmi, chairwala, hahhaha) Prime Minister Narendra Modi — one of Vajyapee’s discoveries — the late leader praised Indira Gandhi, when she liberated Bangladesh, as an incarnation of Goddess Durga.

That was Atalji. At a time when the Indian media, bereft of credibility, ethcs and social commitment, are seen at their lowest-ever level, he makes me (and many journbalists of yester-years) proud that thety belong to the profession of the former editor of Rashtra Dharma, Swaraj (Gwalior) and Panchajanya, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.