it does not belong to any of its numerous caste-factions which consider defeating each other more important than being democratic as against dynastic.
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.
IN INDIA, EVERYTHING seems to take on a political colour. Human rights advocates cry themselves hoarse when terrorists or a particular community is targeted, but remain silent when victims of terrorism or the other community are the sufferers. If a Dalit is even touched, these opponents of untouchability are up in arms. An ‘upper caste’ person can be subject to any indignity or torture and there is not even a murmur.
It is not news. But very much in the news is a journalist – M. J. Akbar, former editor and founder of two well-known newspapers. Several women journalists have revealed that though he ‘did’ nothing, he had made them uncomfortable by calling them to hotel rooms for interviews or offering them drinks – both “unacceptable” in India, though not elsewhere.
Thanks to an actress, Tanushree Dutta, who is become more famous for her sexual harassment charge than her acting or memorable roles, the #MeToo movement has been revived in India.
She charged Naana Patekar, indisputably an actor of distinction., with sexual harassment. She also attacked Akshaykumar for acting with Nana in a film and Amitabh Bacchan, the most eminent actor of Bombay film industry, for refusing to comment on the issue.
Another ‘right-leaning’ celebrity, singer Kailas Kher, was the next target
Even as these tweets, interviews and Facebook posts about the three kept pouring in on a daily basis, A recent addition to the list if Alok Nath described as ‘India’s most Sanskari actor’ (Sanskari
means cultured or traditional).
It is a welcome movement. But not political witch-hunt in its name.
Akbar is now in BJP and is a minister at the Centre. Nana and Akshay are known to be cooperating with the BJP-led government headed by Narendra Modi. ‘BigB’ Amitabh, has been the brand ambassador of Gujarat (ruled by BJP) tourism and is also believed to be favourably disposed towards Modi. The party also talks of Indian culture and traditions and that, according to liberals, makes Alok Nath a BJP man.
This opened the floodgates of socislmedia posts about 0sexually inappropriate acts of many celebrities: writer Chetan Bhagat, film-makers Vikas Bahl and Gaurang Doshi, actor Rajat Kapoor, composer Anu Malik, even a woman comedian Aditi Mittal and many more.
Sexual harassment is certainly abominable and their being pro-Modi does not absolve the perpetrators of any blame. But what is surprising is that the woman journalist who wrote an article about her experiences with Akbar without naming him, continued to work with him and remained silent when he was Congress MP and the party’s leader and spokesman. Now, suddenly, she thought it fit to reveal his name.
Several women journalists tweeted in her support. Is it a mere coincidence that most of them are anti-Modi and had remained silent when Tarun Tejpal, also anti-BJP and the brain behind string operations against that party, was accused of and arrested for rape?
What Nana Patekar and Alok Nath did are certainly indefensible if true, even after some publicly defended them. All the tweets about Akbar, however, say that when the women said ‘no’ he did not pursue the matter in most cases. But Akbar has as many as 20 women tweeting about sexual harassment – the highest so far – and has resigned from the ministry. This must obviously be at the instance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, though no one wants to give him the credit.
And all these reports are coming out years later. It is true that in India even rapes are hidden as women are in no position to complain as victim-blaming is common and mostly the perpetrators are powerful.
A main issue in the sexual harassment debate is that men should learn that ‘no’ means NO and the tweets say that Akbar always accepted the ‘no’. So they, in effect, certify that he did the right thing. That some women journalists take advantage of their femininity cannot be denied. Having spent 60 years in that profession I understand that sexual harassment and misuse of positions of power to take advantage of women.
Jokes about The Asian Age newsroom being called Akbar’s Harem and stories of many flirtations in the profession are known to all journalists. And such stories are sure to be there wherever both men and women work. The Supreme Court of India has outlined what came to be known as the ‘Visakha guidelines’ and has made it compulsory for every establishment with employees to have a committee on sexual harassment
IT IS A STRANGE coincidence that online and print media flashed the two news items on the same day: one about the Nagpur Mayor, Dr Nanda S. Jichkar, BJP, taking her son to
the US as her private secretary and the other about former minister Kapil Sibal deriding a little known Bharatiya Janata Party worker for washing the feet of a party MP.
Sibal strongly reacted to the later – and reports that the worker also drank the water with which the feet were washed. He immediately related it to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the man every Congressman loves to hate (though the PM had nothing to do with it). Sibal forgot to mention that the first political leader to hit headlines for similarly washing the feet of his mentor was none other than a Congress leader, Dr Shrikant Jichkar.
The late Dr Jichkar, whom I knew personally, was not some illiterate unknown worker but a former Maharashtra minister, once India’s youngest MP and one reputed to be the most educated politician in India as he has the largest number of degrees.
In Maharashtra, the second initial is usually the father or husband’s name and some may have wrongly thought the two Jichkars, both from Nagpur, were related, just as many may have thought that S. B. Chavan, whose feet Dr Jichkar had washed, was the borhter of Y. B. Chavan, the state’s first and most famous Chief Minister. But I knew Dr Shrikant’s wife was Rajashree. A little search revealed the Mayor’s husband was an RTO named Sharad.
And neither Kabil Sibal nor any other Congress leader was outraged about Dr Shrikant’s act. None of them issued statements condemning him. What prominent Congressmen do becomes reprehensible if done by an unknown, lowly, BJP man!
An office-bearer of the Congress Party killing his wife and trying to burn her in a hotel tandoor (a furnace) or youth Congress workers in a special train looting shops at stations along the way are their own actions and the party chief has nothing to do with them, but if a BJP man violates traffic rules, Narendra Modi is to blame for it.
Whether owing allegience to a leader simply because he belongs to the dynasty and wagging tails everytime his/her name is mentioned is any less than washing feet is for people to decide.
But before anyone from another culture is shocked or surprised at these Indian traditions, these oriental customs have to be understood in their context. There is someting oriental about them, alien to the occidental mind. A Chinese-American teacher in my journalism school six decades ago said that a floor has to be kept “so clean that you can eat off it.” Then she would explain that people don’t eat off the floor in China. I told her I undeerstood what she meant, as I was an oriental too.
In Uttar Pradesh state of India, someone passing by a Brahmin known to him on foot or a bicycle, used to say “Pai lagoo panditji” (I touch your feet, learned one). This verbal feet touching – whether the Brahmin was really learned or not – comes from generations of customs that have lost their original meaning and have been ritualised – like most of Hinduism.
I do not know whether the custom, even in its ritualised form, continues or not, but I do remember the days when Pandit Kamalapati Tripathi, then Chief Minister of UP, used to meet visitors with a single chair for himself in the room. Every visitor had to touch his feet first. It is said Tripathi used to remember months later a visitor who did NOT touch his feet and hold that against him.
He was a Congressman but Jawaharlal Nehru was not blamed for it. Feet touching is one of the first such rituals Modi stopped after becoming India’s Prime Minister, a fact never acknowledged.
Feet touching or prostrating on the ground at the feet of a learned and revered person was considered a mark of reverence for hundreds of years in India. At a parents’ day in a school just 30-35 years ago, I used to see an eminent scientist in full suit prostrating before the swamiji (post on June 30,2017: A Spiritual Space Scientist) who ran the school. It was a sign not only of respect but also humility, a virtue regarded highly in Indian culture.
The story of Dr Nanda taking her son to USA as Secretary though he was not an employee of the Municipal Corporation of which she is the Mayor also seems to have got a big play in the media because she too belongs to BJP.
Without defending her, I am reminded of the story of the first Chief MInister of Andhra Pradesh, Tanguturi Prakasham (being a Brahmin, he was always addressed as Pantulu or Panditji, as Nehru too was). The first linguistic state of India, Andhra, had Karnool as its interim capital, with many offices in tents.
Like all Congress chief ministers, he too faced opposition and ouster moves by factions in the party itself, one led by Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, who later became India’s President. In the state legislature there a no-confidence motion was moved against Prakasham for appointing his own son as his PA — just what the BJP Mayor of Nagpur did.
The Opposition had Communist stalwarts like P. Sundaraiah and Nagi Reddy. My friend the late G. Krishna, who had covered the legislature, told me of the fiery speeches of the comrades, the machinations of Sanjiva Reddy in engineering the no-trust move and the moving reply to the debate by Prakasham Pantulu .
Prakasham had earned millions as a Mylapore lawyer in Chennai and sacrificed all the wealth for the freedom struggle (travelling in what Congress leader Sashi Tharoor called the cattle class with followers and asking if someone had bought a ticket for him as he had no money to buy). He was called Andhra Kesari (Lion of Andhra) by Gandhiji as he bared his chest to British bullets during the freedom struggle.
The Chief Minister told the legislature that he had appointed his son to take care of him as his PA because he was a patient of prostate enlargement, as a result of which he had no control over bladder and bowel movements – a condition in which no outsider appointed as his PA would care for him.
The speech, according to Krishna, was so touching that it literally brought tears to the eyes of the Opposition leaders who crossed the floor to the CM’s seat, held his hands and said sorry to Prakasham Pantulu before withdrawing the no-confidence motion.
It is not known under what circumstances the Mayor showed her son as her PA. She did not even appoint him as a PA formally. Her act cannot be equated to that of Prakasham Pantulu, but it does remind me of a Chief Justice of AP High Court who, just days before his retirement, wanted to go to some place in the USA for medical treatment (of course at government expense). This was challenged in a public interest litigation.
But none was filed against many Indian leaders going abroad for treatment even though Indian hospital standarads have improved so much that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj opted for a kidney transplant in India
Sibal, in his tirade, asks if BJP members of Parliament would wash Modi’s feet and drink that “dirty water”. Whether Jichkar, who drank the water off Chavan’s feet, drank ‘dirty’ water or clean water after washing the feet clean first is not known. The same is also not known in the case of the BJP worker.
But what is known is that washing feet clean before any ritual is very highly valued in Indian traditions — something even Kapil Sibal cannot find fault with.
Sanjay (Anpadh, gawar) Nirupam
There are many people inside the Congress party working hard for the victory of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sanjay (Anpadh, gawar) Nirupam has now joined their ranks.
The most prominent among them is Mani (Neech Admi) Sankar (chaiwala) Iyer who contributed most to Modi’s victory by calling him a lowly tea seller and asking him to serve tea at the next Congress session.
Renuka (hahaha) Choudhary opens her mouth against Modi only to add to the votes he would win in the next election.
Both the defectors (Renuka from Telugu Desam and Nirupam from Shiv Sena) had used foul language against Congress earlier – and made it win. Now they joined Congress and are using foul language to help Modi win.
Shashi (Hindu Pakistani) Tharoor absuses Modi for advocating Hinduism and then circulates a video on why he is a Hindu. Congress has coalition with Muslim League and has helped Razakars (those who wanted Nizam’s state – now Telangana – to join Pakistan) start a party – Majlis Ittehadul-Muslumeen (MIM) and calls itself secular by slaughtering a cow in public and holding a beef party in Kerala.
A Congress leader who promised the post of a judge to a woman lawyer in return for sexual favours talks of the importance of judiciary!
Congress lawyers argue court cases favouring triple talaak and nikah halala and play vote bank politics of giving IDs and ration cards overnight to migrants (to show them as citizens).
And they call for advancement of minorities! They declare Rahul is a ‘janaudhaari’ Brahmin though the grandson of Feroze never had an Upanayanam (thread ceremony).
Decades of Congress rule in India resulted in a political culture of treating political rivals as enemies.
Obviously Rahul’s only qualification is that he is son of Rajiv, who they swear by.
After all the symbol of Bharatiya Janata Party is Rajiv (lotus) and the mother of Indira ‘Gandhi’ was Kamala (also lotus).
The man who became India’s Prime Minister during the post-Emergency Janata rule, HD Devegowda, is the first (hopefully the only) leader to support the Congress move to have as India’s next Prime Minister Rahul Gandhi, the grandson of Indira Gandhi who had imposed Emergency and jailed thousands of Indians.
That does not come as a surprise as Rahul’s Congress is supporting the Chief Ministership of Kumaraswamy, Devegowda’s son, though his party JDS won the LOWEST position in Karnataka Assembly election.
The parallel between his choice as PM and Rahul’s candidature is significant. Devegowda’s became the compromise candidate just to keep out a Brahmin, Ramakrishna Hegde and Rahul alias Pappu (by his own admission) to keep out an allegedly Brahminical party, the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The announcement by Devegowda is nothing more than an admission that he was prepared to pay any price for Congress support to keep his son in power.
That Rahul running the country may be a disaster, that he himself has been anti-Congress for decades does not matter to him.
Both stand for dynasty rule.
Any price for power is the real motto of all Indian political parties, almost all of them headed by dynasties.
RAHUL GANDHI’S TWEET saying “I am Congress” might have reminded many of his grandmother Indira Ganhi’s Emergency-days campaign (by her sycophants, apparently at her instance), that “Indira is India”.
That no individual is indispensible, the party is above the leader and the nation 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 they tend to retain power for all time by hook or crook (often by the latter).
The tendency to be liftetime 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, not experienced 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 admi) Shankar (uchai wala) Iyer deckared there could only be two persons considered for party Presidentship – the mother is the son. Despite overt wooing of Muslim vote banks, the grandson of Feroze was deckared to be a “Janevudhari” Brahmin (wearing sacred thread) though no thread ceremony (Upanayan) was held.
Had Rahul refused 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 son or daughter. If they too preferred playing to the hard job of PM, Congressmen would not hesitate to enthrone the family’s dog which, miraculously, they would find 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 belong 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 Bhariya Janata Party communal!
All parties with dynastic leaders now join hands with the Congress.
(Written on phone in Georgia, USA)
SASHI THAROOR obviously is proud of his mastery over words, as seen in his frequent verbal gymnastics with English words, flaunting obscure and rarely used ones dug out of some dictionary publishers.
For such a person to be be told by his own party to be careful in choice of words is nothing less than reprimand. More so for one who, by profession, deals in words; public relations is allied to journalism, if not a branch it, and that was his profession when he was an employee of the United Nations.
Perhaps he is one PR man who rose to the world’s highest position in his field, making India proud of him.
And so proud of mastery over words is Shashi Tharoor that he has been showing it off by using big bombastic words which made everyone rush to dictionaries. One suspected he was in the pay of dictionary k
Perhaps he, like all politicians, likes to stay in the limelight – even for wrong reasons like unsuccessful contest for the top UN post, multiple divorces, marriage (his third and her second or vice versa) or alleged affair with a Pakistani woman journalist, leading to his last wife’s suicide.
Sometimes over-enthusiasm makes people like Tharoor forget the very purpose of words – to communicate. Journalism is meant to communicate and not show off mastery over words, which are mere tools of the trade.
One may forgive Chidambaram for coining the term ‘saffron terror’ or former Home Minister Sushil Shinde for using a honorific for the Pakistani terrorist who masterminded Bombay blasts –in their over-enthusiasm to score over Bharatiya Janata Party.
But for Shashi Tharoor to say India was turning a ‘Hindu Pakistan’ under BJP is nothing but what the Congress high command chided him for: wrong choice of words.
And that is unpardonable for one who is primarily a wordsmith.
(Written on phone in train)
Whole nation is a garbage dump
A social media posting vehemently opposed Maharashtra plastic ban.
It declared that a ‘notion’ that plastic is hazardous and should not be used was wrong. it felt plastic ban meant using more of paper for which trees will have to be cut, resulting in global warming.
In a reply someone pointed out that some oppose anything done by Prime Minister Modi or his party. Another said similar liberals wrote articles ridiculing his Swacch Bharat (Clean India) drive too.
It is argued that lacs of people get employment and livelihood due to plastic which also yeilds considerable revenue to government. Does it mean consumption of cigarettes and liquor, or even crime, should be promoted for the same reason?
Suddenly they want to save trees to stop global warming and have not heard of old newspapers being used for paper bags and packing.
Plastic waste is blamed on failure of municipal waste management and people not using dustbins. Change of habits instead of banning plastic is suggested by those who had never complained about lack cleanliness and environmental pollution.
Politicians, they feel, are playing with common man’s life for political mileage. They have no problem with decades of dynasty rule which did nothing about cleanliness and the habit of not throwing waste outside.
Banning plastic for them, meant going back to 18th century. They tink it is same as banning all gadgets and cars.
Obviously these people don’t take a walk daily. Walking 5 km in rural areas daily, I see huge dumps of plastic waste. It is appalling.
Almost all plastic bag users throw carry bags and plastic wrappers outside, often into gutters which get clogged by it & overflow onto roads
A plan to mix plastic waste in tar for black topping of roads is being talked of for decades but it is not implimented as cement companies can bribe political leaders. Rag pickers can‘t.
Cement roads prevent percolation of water into subsoil and reflect heat, but are preferred even if they make cities hotter. Politicians go in AC cars and don’t feel the heat.Their homes, offices and even toilets are airconditioned.
A whale was washed ashore recently with thousands of plastic bags inside. Cows, abandoned and uncared for, eat carrybags – to die.
‘Liberal’ plastic ban opponents are happy that a symbol of communal Hinduism is dead. Symbolism is all that matters.
The plastic ban will remain just a symbol, unless people believe in it and administration enforces it sincerely.
Law and ban cannot achieve what sincere belief can.