(Reblogging post of Sept.2, 2018)
Six men of Indostan To learning much inclined, Who went to see the Elephant (Though all of them were blind). –Poem by John Godfrey Saxe
BUDGET REACTIONS ARE an annual ritual. They never fail to excite and be praised by the ruling party. And the opposition is always disappointed.
The reactions, at least by some politicians, are written out in advance
According to a friend, this budget has nothing for Poor people like Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family. The former peon could only become a multimillionnaire and not as they hoped a billionaire, which is the birthright of any Yadav.
This budget has nothing for poor farmers like Robert Vadra who keep borrowing crores (of course interest free) to buy land.
It has nothing for the working middle class like P. Chidhambaram and family.
This budget has nothing for Industrialists like Mallya, who asked ONLY for fair deal and justice.
This budget has nothing for exporters like Hafeez Sayeed, who is sweating to export terror and kill hundred of innocents for the sake of Islam.
This budget has nothing for the senior citizens like HD Deve Gowda, trying very very hard to keep himself awake at meetings.
This budget has nothing for those born-rich, like Sonia Gandhi.
This budget has nothing for honest people like Kejriwal, who is honest about wanting power.
This budget has nothing for hard(ly) working people like Rahul Gandhi who has to work 24/7 to learn new words of abuse.
This budget has nothing for (eternal) students like Kannaiah Kumar who is studying hard to split India further.
Chandrababu Naidu is disappointed that no law is made to make Lokesh the next Chief Minister.
Many godmen lament that Modi has not shut down all schools, college, banks and offices to build Ram temples in every locality of the country.
Overall it is a disappointing budget!
THE DOG IN the picture above is supernatural; it can speak, fly, do a grater job than any human being in any post…even the post of Indian Prime Minister for which several leaders of different partes are fighting – like dogs.
Many leaders of the Indian National Congress have been vying with each other to praise two leaders of the dynasty that rules the party, whose members alone can, according to party leaders like Mani (chaiwala) Shankar (neech admi) Aiyar, can head the party.
In the picture above, perhaps on a family picnic, are members of the Ghandy (wrongly changed to Gandhi) family, watching keenly the blooming of a lotus (incidentally the symbol of the now ruling Bharatiya Janata Party).
All members of the family enjoyed power – some without the corresponding responsibility, because the INC believes that only the dynasty can rule the country. No Congress worker, however senior or whatever merits, can stake a claim. Now Priyanka Vadra, sister of INC President Rahul, is being prepared for the throne in case Raul fails to make it.
This is to prevent the situation his mother faced – of ruling the country through a dummy proxy PM – being (then) inexperienced, not able to speak Hindi and an Italian.
Why the ‘miracle dog’? Because, if all others are not ready to take the PM’s post Congress may choose to install the dog in that chair
Shashi Tharoor, who held the second highest post in UN, knows huge, unpronounceable and unknown English words, and is described as “highly educated and respected” by a BJP leader, finds Rahul brilliant, capable, and the only one fit to be PM.
Sachin Pilot, educated in St. Stephens and at Wharton, both world famous, himself a part of a dynasty, feels Rahul alone can can be Congress chief and PM. His father, Raj esh Pilot died in a road accident days after calling for election to the party chief’s post.
Jyotiradtya Scindia, also from a royal dynasty, educated at Stanford Business School and Harvard, whose father died in an air rash after analysts saw him as PM material, thinks only Rahul without a degree and known for bloopers, can be a great PM.
ALL these and several other bright achievers in INC sing ‘Rahul chaalisa’ daily, praising the dynasty that partitioned India, imposed the Emergency, invaded the Golden Temple and led the Sikh genocide, because that alone can reward them with posts once INC comes to power.
And that seems a possility seeing the way BJP leaders are badmouthing Priyanka Vadra as if her entry into politics certainly means BJP’s defeat.
So, I would start praising and singing paeons of the dog before others start, because there is a possibility of Rahul being found unfit and Priyanka and her children rejecting the post. That leaves the dog.
Before others (surely) do it, I will ‘dicover’ the greatness of the canine.
Hope I will be suitably rewarded for my canine loyalty
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.
C Copyright – All Rights Reserved
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).
(AnAugust 2017 blog reblogged)
2019 – A NEW YEAR has arrived. Today, January 1, is the day of promises to oneself, New Year resolutions, bucket lists, and plans…a day of greeting everyone you know and even strangers.
This will be followed by unfulfilled promises, resolutions broken, lists that remain on paper and plans that remain in the mind. This is a pessimistic view. Some people do make a new beginning, start implementing resolutions and try to make the new year a happy one as desired
In my case, the last quarter of this year would mean completion of 80 years of age – one more year of a vigil at the exit gate of life, waiting for it to open. The boastful ‘unstoppable’ is slowing down and a decision is to be taken on whether to continue till 80 or make it ‘stoppable’ now — neither acclaimed if continued nor missed if stopped.
This post is being written, perhaps, due to the Indian belief that what happens on a new year day or a birthday will happen throughout the year – which explains why some celebrate these days by feasting and wearing new clothes.
Writing this is, however, not to ensure that this would continue for the year but an acknowledgment of the fact that I have lived, from the age of 16, by writing, with no great achievements in the past and certainly none likely in the few weeks or months that remain. That is the story of most. not all, people on earth.
And yet we wish each other a Happy New Year and celebrate the occasion. The famous poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1937-1984) who migrated to Pakistan during Partition (to start Communist movement there, but was frustrated due to his failure) asks what is new in the new year or how it is ‘happy’.
And yet, as a positive outlook and attitudes play a decisive role in life, I wish all A HAPPY NEW YEAR
INDIAN LIBERALS ARE horrified. A Governor of the Reserve Bank of India has resigned. It is the biggest blow ever for Indian economy. It will collapse. India will go begging in the international community. The country will be ruined.
But was India not begging the World Bank and IMF before?
Liberals: Oh, that was different. It was before Indira Gandhi ‘hataoed’ all ‘Garibi’ (removed all poverty) in the country. One press of the button and her son Rajiv Gandhi swept India into the 21st Century and prepared for the conversion of the entire country into more progressive faiths than the reactionary and backward Hinduism.
Liberals: But RBI governors had resigned before.