All the plusses from the minuses…

I am not the only patriotic Indian who has enjoyed the commonwealth games long before it has started. I have been an eager participant in every kind of #CWG tweet and enjoyed reading up every blog, twitter feed, Facebook jokes on the games. I have laughed at many pictures of the venue including the one above which shows security taking a leak on the designer wall of the Nehru stadium.Undoubtedly in the last few weeks Kalmadi has been the butt of all jokes and rightfully so. The commonwealth games have provided us all with ample entertainment. We have a stupendous attitude when it comes to laughing at ourselves. We remain a thick-skinned nation.We tend to always remain in the pink of health despite all that crumbles around us. Nothing and no one is about to change this firm trait. Amongst all the negativity that the games has generated,there has been some positive outcomes largely missed.Jokes on Kalmadi and the games have resulted in so much mirth that they have vastly improved the cardio vascular functioning of this nation. We must be proud that we are hosting the world’s biggest circus. A delight.

We have learnt from the commonwealth games that India’s commonwealth is not meant to be distributed amongst the common people. This realization is the hardest slap on our faces and it should leave us smarting, instead it has me smiling.Commonwealth remains a prerogative for an influential few. The tax payer’s money has been used to fund the games of which most likely at least 60% ( if not more ) has gone back into the coffers of the ruling party and into the pockets of politicians. The happiest lesson here is that we must stop paying taxes immediately. I for one would rather not pay taxes than pay it and watch third-rate tricksters pull off the great Indian rope trick in front of our eyes. And the media loves covering the circus scandals over and over, so we can never forget about it either. I hereby pledge that even if Rajnikanth were to hold a gun on my head, I am not paying my taxes in India. I am not contributing to future scams.

The costs of the games are currently estimated at USD 6 billion, making it the most expensive commonwealth games ever and India heads this coveted list.We have every reason to celebrate here. We rarely top any international list ( ranking from best to worst that is )other than the population one. We can drink ourselves silly on this achievement.

For a country that treats its animals shabbily we have done extremely well for a change. We are finally treating them at par. We have provided soft bedding meant for athletes to stray dogs. This is an act of utmost empathy by Kalmadi and his team. Three cheers to him. He has taken his role of playing Noah very seriously. He has also given refuge to stray snakes in Delhi and housed them in the village. Shera, the tiger mascot too is housed at the village and Kalmadi has refused to part with him despite Shera’s repeated attempts to flee. The village is a mini zoo and sincere efforts are being taken to expand it.

We have been screaming from the roof tops in the recent past about how racist the Aussies are. We had to vent our frustrations somewhere. We waited patiently all these months and finally the moment has arrived.Thanks to the commonwealth games, we have had an opportunity to invite a plethora of Africans to New Delhi and then treat them with disdain. We cannot bully many nations , but we can show our might with the Somalian, Nigerians and the Tanzanians whilst we wag our tails to the Scots and the Brits.

With the number of athletes who have pulled out of the event (and fingers crossed we hope countries pull out too )India’s chances of securing a top place on the medal’s tally is quite high. I would not go to the extent of calling the commonwealth games the National games, but it is somewhere in the same vicinity. Those international athletes who have put up a brave face and arrived in New Delhi too will be exhausted fighting a battle with those dengue causing Aedes albopictus mosquito. So, we have nothing to fret. We have evaded defeat via the jaws of mosquitoes. Kalmadi and his men have created vast areas of cess pools in the village for Mummy and Daddy mosquitoes to frolic in. Again a good sense of animal empathy.

Now, when was the last time India was covered so much in BBC sports? Maybe for cricket, on and off? But, we have made it to the elite channel for non cricketing activities and we have done really well to hold the Englishman’s attention during prime time slot. With filthy pictures of the village being telecast for days on end, we must give each other high fives. The paan stained sanitary ware pictures have provided free advertisements to the sanitary ware company that provided the fittings to the village. The pictures of scantily clothed, ill-fed children sitting around in the village is a free hoarding for CRY India and Unicef. Incredible India too could get distribution rights of the same hoarding if it wishes.

The games have also contributed vastly to India’s so-called booming economy.By building bridges twice, by covering holes twice, by plastering and reinforcing structures twice, cement, steel and paint companies have received a tremendous boost to their profitability. We are also hoping that the few foreign athletes who have made it and fought the dengue threat are injured while trying to walk on unstable bridges or by falling into pot holes at the village. There will be a lot of use for Zandu balm, currently the balm of the nation. Hospitality companies like ITC have been roped in to clean the village.I am convinced that many listed companies will be issuing bonus shares at their next AGM.

Medical sciences too will profit from the games for treating injured athletes. If we do not wish to treat them, we can bid for the next para olympics and we will be well and truly fit for the event.Sonia Gandhi who has been sitting mum through all this without batting an eyelid needs a fix from a plastic surgeon. An operation of mega proportions needs to be done on Manmohan Singh’s Adam’s apple, if he has one that is. I cannot hear this man. Can you? Needless to say Kalmadi needs a special enclosure in Ranbaxy’s laboratories.

We can also safely conclude that Lalit Modi is a certified ivy league graduate unlike Kalmadi. Modi, a master showman made things happen despite irregularities. Kalmadi is not capable of pulling it off other than making irregularities a happening event.There is a joke going around in cyber world – Kalmadi by himself would not be an issue today, if only his father pulled out at the right time. I tend to wholeheartedly agree with this logic. Kalamdi remains India’s all time greatest show stopper.

Two other monumental events coincide with the start of the games. The Ayodhya verdict and the release of Rajnikanth’s Robot. A delightful way to make the games a smashing hit is to screen Rajnikanth’s new release at the Nehru stadium and give free hockey sticks and petrol cans to the audience instead of popcorn and coke.

PS: If you missed my letter to Kalmadi a few weeks ago, here it is –


112 Responses to “All the plusses from the minuses…”

  1. Sharmila,

    I pray that somehow the Games are completed without any more incidents so that our national pride is not dented any further. I also hope that our Govt., the organizers and everybody else have learnt their lessons well, lest our dream of hosting the Olympics is ruined forever. Perhaps I’m daydreaming. Perhaps I am a diehard optimist. But is there anything else I can do? Because in spite of everything my heart still beats for my country.

  2. Melwyn – How have you been? I doubt that there is scope to dent the national pride further, It has been fully utilized. Only a miracle will save us, we have lost face and very difficult to salvage lost pride. Of course our hearts beat for our country, but the problem is the politicians are beating the country.

  3. Somebody else Says:

    I absolutely loved this post! Don’t think I can word it well but its just the right amount of everything. The pun, the humor, the sarcasm, the appreciation, the criticism.

    Although I must admit the jokes on CWG are getting to me now. MUST put a break on them now. People don’t understand that these things when overdone get on to everyone’s nerves.

    • Somebody else says – Thank you for your comment. I agree, I am equally fed up with all the jokes, we have sucked them all dry by now I think. But, this is probably the only way the common man can vent his frustrations.

  4. Sharmila,
    Those pictures are devastating and an eye opener for those who really care for…..
    The security guard taking a leak in public is so annoying..! Are they not ashamed to act so.. ! or are they forced to do so in lack of basic facilities available to them..!?
    That cobra looks very pretty..glad they didn’t kill him…The thing that crawls can’t be kept away for good…no one knows when and how they show up…catching with you by surprise…! most of the snakes are nonpoisonous…we meet with those uninvited visitors many times in our front and backyards… mostly they are garden snakes… however Cobras can be very poisonous and proves to be fatal though…
    Does that sight of those underprivileged children sitting and playing in that multi billion $$ worth premises trying to convey any message to the blind society and deaf politicians..? or is it a regular sight for everybody..!? Probably they are the future vote banks for the politicians…
    No wonder India’s economy is booming….or else how could they afford such hocus pocus…!?
    Your anguish related to entire sham is understandable….can’t blame you or anyone else who feels the same way…
    who would like to pay taxes to such governance when they know for sure that it’s not going to be used for betterment of country and its ppl but definitely will be mismanaged to fill the pockets of those shoddy politicians…!?
    We say’ America.’..! You say…’God India’..! Don’t know who will be saved and how…! 🙂

    PS :- Why shall God be bothered to clean up our mess..!? Thee ain’t a janitor..! 🙂

    • MonaLisa – Yes, the pictures are a joke and Kalmadi says he can fix all the problems in the next two days which is a bigger joke. This is the biggest comedy show India is trying to pull off. I hope the snakes are not killed. They have rounded up 200 dogs. Also heard that Langurs are now prowling around in the village. Exactly, why the hell should we pay taxes if this is how our money is going to be put to use. God may not be a janitor, but I dont see him being much of a monitor either. I hope he does something more for this country.

  5. Sharmila, remember “God helps those…”? I doubt even He will be able to pull a miracle and salvage our national pride. This is such a sorry spectacle that it is beyond belief. For a few years now, India has been puffed up with self-pride for having a booming economy, for being the hub of technology (well, one of them anyway), and for taking its place among the economic super-powers of the world. And now — this.
    Watching the coverage of the filth and mismanagement splashed across every news channel here in the US a couple of days ago, my husband exclaimed in disgust, “This country needs a revolution.”
    Melwyn, I admire your optimism. I wish I could feel the same. But I feel very cynical right now. And I can only hope and pray India is never selected to host the Olympics — not in the near future anyway, and not till it pulls its act together anyway.

    • JJ – Yes, so true. I think even God is running out of steam when it comes to managing this country. The photos do make us cringe. Melwyn is rightfully optimistic. I wish I was too.

  6. Sharmila,

    All is well.

    BTW, Rajini does not hold a gun to the head. He says, “Daay!” and lo! the head comes to the gun.

    Rajini does not pull the trigger. He says, “Pohda!” and the bullet shoots out.

  7. And what is with this nonsense about who will be opening the games. There is a tiff now between Kensington and Rashtrapathi Bhavan. I hear one will declare the games open and the other idiot will say something on a similar line. This is the biggest circus.

  8. Sharmila, MonaLisa,

    PG Wodehouse had said that there are two ways of writing. One was his (PGW’s), writing a musical comedy without music, and second is to go deep down into life and don’t care a damn.

    The Les Charlots is the comic part.

    Here is the other one.

    Let’s do an overall reality check on what’s happening in New Delhi.

    First the CWC Members:

    Sonio has lost the plot. The in-fighting in the party has scaled a new high.

    The South Indian lobby of A. K. Antony, S. M. Krishna, Veerappa Moily, P Chidambaram, V. Narayanswamy, Venkataswamy, Mallikarjun Kharge, Jairam Ramesh are all singing carols and nursery rhymes besides occassionally taking safe potshots at the weaker members.

    In the CWG case, their punching bag is Kalmadi whose stake was INR 1600 crores out of the INR 35000 Cr between the three Sheila Dixit, MS Gill and Kalmadi. The CAG report will be tabled in the winter session and that should be one loud circus.

    The North Indian lobby from New Delhi in the CWC is as follows:

    Sonio and her litter; Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni, Arjun Singh, Digvijay Singh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Janardhan Dwivedi, Mohsina Kidwai, Motilal Vora, Mukul Vasnik, Pranab Mukherjee, Mammo Singh (the breast feeding infant), Kishore Chandra Deo.

    So, Sheila Dixit and MS Gill are well protected. The members from Delhi are stakeholders and those from the South are devotees.

    INR 32,400 Crores out of INR 35000 Crores are spent by DDA and the MoS. The network of contractors, vendors, suppliers, brokers, middle-men (Consultants) are all persona non-grata.

    The media is sleeping with the enemy, and having fun shooting at a decoy called Kalmadi.

    • 🙂 Reader,
      As per your theory Kalmadi seems like a scape goat….and seems quite right…as bigger crocks sitting in Delhi won’t allow a smaller fish (compare to them) like Kalmadi to have the entire pie himself or in other words…’lion Share’ that easily…Hmmm….So….Real criminals are operating remotely……hiding behind the curtain…..Wow…! Amazing world this politics is…! full of Greed and power play…!

      • MonaLisa,

        Kalmadi is not a scapegoat. He is party to his own sins. Within his allocated budgets he has always been a facilitator for the Corrupt Weasels Group in the congress. His CV is approved on the basis of his contributions from the National Games in Pune, the Asiad and the Youth Festivals that he has organized earlier.

        But Sheila Dixit’s DDA and MS Gill’s MoS have had an unbridled run on the funds.

        With the solid protection of all the mafioso inside and outside politics there is no one to touch them. Even the media wags at their command.

    • Well, yes, the missing money is sitting pretty in the party’s coffers but what is pathetic is Sonia’s dumb game here. She loves playing dumb blonde when the country is in crisis. No use having an honest PM who is a leading a bunch of goons.

      This was in Outlook –

      Dear Mrs Gandhi,

      Dr Manmohan Singh is believed to be one of the most honest prime ministers our country has had. But, ironically, he presides over arguably the most dishonest government machinery we have seen. The latest in the series of scams is the massive corruption in the Commonwealth Games. Despite charges of large-scale fund misuse and inefficient management, Suresh Kalmadi, almost defiantly, says he won’t step down till the PM or Sonia Gandhi asks him to do so. He seems to be confident that neither of you would ask him to step down!

      The scale and arrogance of corruption in the Commonwealth Games is so bizarre that if it goes unpunished this time also, then there is no hope for this country. Both Dr Singh and you have said on several occasions that those involved in corruption in CWG will not be spared after the games. But which agency will investigate these cases?

      The CBI? This is directly under the control of the central government. It runs almost like its department. It has been misused for political purposes almost by all successive governments and parties. With allegations against people and politicians in high places in the Commonwealth Games, it is highly unlikely that the CBI would be allowed to do an unbiased and honest investigation.

      Then we have the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), a toothless body. It has neither the resources nor the powers to investigate and prosecute. Despite this, it recently did a brilliant inquiry into some of the CWG projects. It found several irregularities. However, the CVC does not have the powers to take any action against the guilty. It can only make recommendations. It has already done that and no action has been taken against those identified. Because the people against whom action is proposed to be taken are either those who themselves have to decide whether to take action or not, or can influence decision-making. Further, the CVC does not have any jurisdiction over politicians. So, the CVC’s inquiries into CWG projects do not extend to the role of politicians.

      To make matters worse, what can one expect from the new CVC, who himself boasts of a tainted past? One wonders whether he has been posted to effectively act against corruption or to scuttle the inquiries into the Commonwealth Games and the telecom corruption charges, and save the government a political embarrassment.

      Besides the CBI and CVC, we have no other anti-corruption body at the Centre. So, who will investigate corruption in Commonwealth Games projects? The promises of effective action by you and Dr Singh simply do not inspire confidence.

      The whistle-blower protection bill recently introduced in Parliament proposes to entrust the responsibility of investigating complaints of corruption from whistle-blowers and providing protection to them to the CVC. Obviously, whistle-blower protection is required in those cases where high-and-mighty politicians and bureaucrats are involved. Interestingly, the CVC does not have jurisdiction over politicians. And it merely forwards complaints against bureaucrats to the respective department heads to investigate and report back. So, if the head of the department himself is involved, what happens then? Such serious flaws render the proposed whistle-blower protection bill a showpiece legislation.

      These critical deficiencies in our anti-corruption systems were discussed in a meeting on August 10 by none other than Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde, former CVC P. Shankar, former chief election commissioner J.M. Lyngdoh, senior Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan and others. Outgoing CVC Pratyush Sinha was present as an observer. Minutes of this meeting have already been sent to you earlier. According to this group, these critical deficiencies have rendered our entire anti-corruption systems ineffective.

      Those who participated in the meeting made a series of excellent recommendations: Create a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states to deal with corruption. They should have jurisdiction over both bureaucrats and politicians. They should have resources and complete powers to entertain complaints, investigate them and prosecute the guilty. These organisations should not need approvals or permissions from anyone to initiate investigations and prosecutions. At the same time, they should themselves be transparent and accountable in their functioning. Their appointment should be through a transparent and participatory process.

      When corruption reached its peak in Hong Kong in the ’70s, it created an Independent Commission Against Corruption and gave it complete powers. The commission sacked 103 out of 107 police officers in one go. That sent a strong signal to the entire machinery. Such swift and effective action is needed in our country also, immediately.

      You created history by renouncing the chair of the prime minister. We urge you to create effective systems in our country to rid this country of corruption.

      Yours sincerely, Arvind Kejriwal

      • Sharmila,

        Thanks for the Outlook article. But it’s not researched well. Sonio did not renounce the chair. She had no locus standi to occupy it. Dr. Swamy was bang on target and his petition is still pending in the Supreme Court.

        CBI, CVC, CAG are investigating agencies. They are not the cause of the corruption and the lawless state of affairs.

        The cause are you and I. And all those who do not respect the power of politics.

        Politics is not about the persons who occupy the chairs. That is mere information.

        Politics is about the power that these chairs offer. And we must know the scope and structure of the body politic.

        In India, political power has acquired divine dimensions. There are more garlands around an MP’s neck than flowers in a temple.

      • Reader – Yes, Swamy had a valid point despite sounding like a mad hatter at other times. His website is most interesting. Of course politics is about power. The sooner people realize the power of their voting finger, the better…else, as the CWG joke goes, neither is there light at the end of the tunnel, or the tunnel itself which has already collapsed!

  9. sowgandhika krishnan Says:


    loved reading your post.

    totally agree on how madam gandhi and Dr singh chose to keep quiet.

    dont understand why you bring poor rajinikanth in all this – what has he done to you??????????????? whether people take hockey sticks to the movie or not – well the movie hasnt released yet so its too early to come to an opinion on that. for that matter there are many useless bollywood stars whose films need the hockey stick not rajini – the man makes 350 crores out of one single movie.

    if your attempt was to lighten up the write up then sorry rajini didnt serve that purpose.

    • Thanks SowGandhika for your comment and enjoying the post. I must reassure you I love Rajnikanth more than myself. I have written a lot on him previously, try looking up some of my articles. If you see the right side of the blog, there are pictures of men and women I admire. The point about Rajni putting a gun on my head is a take from Sivaji where he bashes up those who dont pay tax. You mistook the point about hockey sticks and petrol cans is not to bash up Rajni ( NO WAY ), but to be used post ayodhya verdict against one another.

  10. Anand Khare Says:

    Any article on CWG mismanagement gives a ‘deja vu’ feeling now.CWG is a typical case of ‘nuisance’ power, the Indian media is enjoying these days. The media are responsible and accountable to no body.They give least importance to India’s international image that they have successfully projected as a caricature.

    Very strong rumor is going around that the media asked for their share in the kitty, but opened a big mouth. They were not obliged and snubbed and thereafter all this started as a revenge.

    The media spare no one except Gandhis (nothing to do with famous ‘Mahatma’ who they don’t spare) and few very senior bureaucrats (typical example in this case is M S Gill and his gang, seen no where in any reports/articles despite they are at the helm of affairs).

    Another angle is, the games were invited by BJP and hence it was not on the present government’s agenda. They were more busy in UP and Bihar where they wanted to come back in power.

    It appears that British representative of CWG reported the bad preparations confidentially to the Queen. It is only Queen’s ‘baton'(read stick or bamboo) which caused the government realize that they can’t escape it and need to take the lead. Then the PM and CM were called by high command and AM,BM,GM,ZM of various teams etc were pulled by them to meet the dead lines in all the projects.


    Reader- Hope you have seen my thanks at the last discussion.I was late for that. I fully agree with your comments on politics.

    • Anand – Absolutely right. The Times group are the biggest suckers of the Gandhi family for obvious reasons.The Aydhya verdict will be an interesting one at this time. I think I know which way it will go.

  11. Sharmila,

    While working at a PHC in the outskirts of Coimbatore, we used to make home visits, advising mothers on contraception. We were so amused when mothers of 5 kids or more hid their faces in their pallus in embarassment and giggled, “Yenna solreenge, doctor amma…!”

    An Indian’s reaction of horror and shock to corruption feels more or less like the virginal reaction of a mother of 10. We are probably the most looted country in world history – once by other nations, now by our own.
    Of the 66 gem-studded bronze idols of the Thanjavur temple, only 2 remain – the rest are missing. The CWG is not the only instance of corruption and it will certainly not be the last. Even the gurkha who works as night security in our residential area blows his whistle more near homes of those who pay him extra! Where and how can an Indian begin his/her fight against corruption?

    There’s so much gloom hovering over us like a dark cloud. I sincerely hope the games are a success – that the players are as sportive about the living conditions as they are about the games, that they bear with us, do their best and make it a memorable event for India and the rest of the world.

    After the games, we could probably write to Maneka Gandhi about converting the village to a national park – after all, that seems to be what the animals want!:)



    • Aish – Yes, it is a sham. Thanjavur temple is one and so is TTDC Tirumala temple. Most of the donations to the temple were from Krishna Deva Raya, including diamond and precious stones crown jewelry and priceless ornaments. Most of this too is missing. The TTDC authorities say that forty years ago, the royal donations were melted and made into new ones. Will any idiot touch antique and that too royal donations meant for the Lord? But even the unthinkable has happened. Corruption and sleaze is everywhere, in the Vatican too. We remain in the darkest age.

    • Aish – Pritish Nandy has shot off a letter to the Delhi CM demanding an explanation to the whereabouts of the captured dogs, snakes and langurs. Maneka Gandhi wont spare Sheila Dixit either.

      • Yay! Thats good news.

        My earlier comment was rather dull…so time now to dance away the worries… 🙂

  12. Anand Khare,

    Thank you. The search for an ideal world continues. There are always some things I laugh at. Some that I feel sorry and annoyed over. But I have never felt helpless. Perhaps that shows in my comments too.

  13. Thanks Aish & Reader for the video..;0

  14. Sharmila,

    Here is a piece of history. A leader and a politician who knew her job.

    Within 4 weeks of this interview she attacked Pakistan on two fronts simultaneously, in North West and in the East. Pakistan was defeated within 3 weeks and East Pakistan was captured and declared an independent nation called Bangladesh.

    See her language, her absolute commitment. She had the spine to say it like it is.

    • Reader,
      Thanks for the video. She is an absolutely amazing personality. So soft spoken yet speaking her mind very clearly.
      The clarity of her thoughts and strong mindedness to implement it is such an admirable quality she possessed. A quality of a True Leader…..
      I believe India lost the direction after her demise(sadly an assassination by her own guards)
      Rajiv Gandhi had charismatic personality like his mother and did try his best but he didn’t have what she had.
      Emergency polluted and tarnished her image then, but weak opposition party/ies couldn’t benefit themselves much for whatever reason.
      She is ‘The Man’ of Indian Politics… She is known as ‘An Iron Lady’…..on international level speaks for herself… Wow…! what a woman..! A magical persona…!

      • MonaLisa,

        Whatever her strengths her weaknesses, there is one thing that was taken for granted by even her worst critics – she was a patriot. And for her, India was one nation.

        Rajiv’s tenure was too short lived, literally.

        I do not see that assured patriotism for the nation in the Italiano genes.

        Same applies to today’s regional leaderships at the center. They are like mafia dons agreeing over each others territory.

    • She is the Iron Lady of India! She had the will and a steely resolve lacking today in our leadership.Nobody had the gutts to do this before. We desperately need another Indira. Priyanka reminded me of her initially, a pity she has been made to take the back seat to allow nincompoop Rahul be more attractive. Hardly helps.

      • Sharmila,
        I am not sure about Priyanka and i won’t bet on her.
        Rahul is the only heir of Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. Politics is like their family business….I am sure by hook or crook they will succeed turning a donkey into a mule for sure..if not a unicorn…! 🙂

    • Parts of her speech actually gave me the goosebumps..a pity we have spineless fools ruling us today. in an eventuality of a war with Pakistan, there is a good chance more moves will be wrong than right for us.

      • Sharmila,
        So true….! Those spineless ‘Yes Men’ proves to be good for nothing when time comes….vultures can’t be and act like Eagles…
        The present platoon is a total itself..
        what an irony…no good person/politician/leader is there, worthy to replace those nincompoops…!

  15. Reader,
    In my opinion only patriotism won’t make someone a very successful Leader and a Ruler for so many years. It takes more than that….
    She was not only a well trained politician but a great fighter and an astute visionary for her country. In a way a more stronger persona than her father many ways.
    ‘The soft spoken’…is a complement to her…not her weakness at all. To make a point one need not shout…that shows nothing but their deep seated insecurity and nervousness underneath in their subconscious mind.
    She actually is an Icon in politics of India. She did whatever she had to to be a great success in that muddy world of politics and sent a very positive message about women in the world.
    Is it not too much to ask for and expect the same from an outsider( Italiano or no Italiano)…!? Why would and should she has to feel exactly the same way Mrs. Indira Gandhi felt for her own nation..!?
    She is holding all the funding for the congress party is the only reason i see for her to be the chair person/party president after Rajiv Gandhi’s early demise. Or the vultures of congress itself would have thrown her out- probably out from the country. Money talks and money is the Power in (dirty) politics. And she alone is now enjoying the fruits of whatever is being planted by Nehru-Gandhi family.

  16. MonaLisa, Sharmila,

    Sonio Italiano Pizzano inheruted R. K. Dhawan’s diaries and Narsimha Rao’s contacts. And that is more than one needs to say. It’s a vicious combination of money and blackmail that ensalves the Congress party members.

    But let’s consider a way forward.

    I’ll suggest a model that works in the Engineering Industry.

    Take a look at some of the major peace-time disasters in the Industry.

    1. Titanic 1912 – 1,503 deaths

    2. Texas 1946 – 576

    3. Bhopal 1984 – 22,000+

    4. Challenger Space Shuttle 1986 – 7 Astronauts

    5. Texas City BP 2005 – 15 (US$3.5 billions)

    6. Gulf of Mexico 2010 – 11 deaths, cost TBA

    There are two types of hazards in this technological jungle:

    1. The Lion type: Hunts in groups, visible and audible, commonly seen in the jungle

    2. The Tiger type: Hunts alone, secretive, hard to detect, hides in the jungle.

    Both are killers, can never be tamed, can never be left unguarded, and need constant vigilance.

    The difference is the Lion type hazard hits people, the tiger type is invisible and hits the assets.

    Most peace-time disasters are caused by the tiger type which are the engineering measures like forces, composition and other process parameters.

    In politics, the Lion type is the politician who is visible and hunts openly in groups.

    The tiger type is the administrative mechanism that undermines the rights of the citizens faking national interests.

    My take is, conventional mass movements and activism, both violent and non-violent are useless. The politicians and their instruments of power including the army, the media and the NGO are completely subjugated and quite adept at the mechanics of such protests.

    The way forward is educating the common man, one at a time – cascading awareness of fundamental human rights, the devious acts and processes of the Constitution, the Executive and also the mockery of justice called Judiciary.

    • Reader – Interesting. You keep speaking of Dhawan’s diary, pray tell us more about it. What has he written in it???? Is it a list of people who he has done away with and a list of those he cannot do away with it. Pity that we are using those genuine, incredible and full of integrity Lions and Tigers to compare to our netas with zero sruples !!

      • Sharmila,

        I knew you’d say that about the Lions and Tigers!!! 🙂

        But look at positively. I am talking about saving the sheep and deer from the predators. You may call the predators Lions, Tigers, Wolves or any other such animal.

        Sheep and deer are also animals, na?

        I wouldn’t call myself a predator lover till I have the courage to feed them my own body or my young children to keep the cats alive.

        In analogical risk assessment, the predators are considered a hazard to other mammals in the jungle.

        I agree they are very useful for farmers as they keep the herds away.

        Hope you didn’t misunderstand the concept.

      • Reader – Did not misunderstand the concept… I still feel the animal kingdom is the cleanest and no comparison to ours. There is conviction in their actions, they follow the law of nature. But, i know where you are coming from. And I would not mind offering myself to Lions and Tigers if they are hungry. I am serious here. I would rather die at the jaws of an animal than on a hospital bed or any where else.!

      • You are a brave woman.


        PS: Expect MonaLisa will catch this line and say something about women Vs men.

        But I am prepared for her this time. I tested her style on a dutch technician on the rig. And he gave me a reply that I will quote if she gives me an opportunity!


  17. This is how:

    • Reader,
      You should quote that quote without waiting for an opportunity.
      Bravery these day can be defined differently in different circumstances. It is more like ‘Beauty lies in the eyes of beholder’…
      we come across ppl consisting and showing traits of Lions,tigers,elephants,deers,foxes,wolves etc…. in our day to day life…Gender is no bar…
      Lions are lazy….lioness is the one who hunts and prey for her male partner…

      ps:- How suitably appropriate “Lion King” is for AB…in that case..!? Should it be “Tiger (King)” instead..!?

      • MonaLisa,

        Quoted already. See last but one comment at the bottom of the page.

        Sharmila calls AB ‘Lion King’ probably because of the mane that he displayed on his pate in Hong Kong.

        However, in the animal kingdom, the males are better looking than females until they are cooked in an oven at 160 deg. After that ofcourse one cannot tell the difference. Like, chicken – you cannot insist on a rooster fry!


  18. The Mahatma did it on these grounds…

    • Reader,
      How do you know what Sharmila feels and why is she calling AB “Lion King”…!?
      In animal kingdom males might be better looking than females…then they are like just show pieces…what’s the fun in that..!? They are not conducting any Fashion Show there..! The looks,outer appearance is mostly deceiving….Or does it mean that they are less fierce than females of their own world…!? 🙂
      Rooster is a symbol of Arrogance…..till a dog is after him to catch him….

      • MonaLisa,

        I don’t know why Sharmila calls AB ‘Lion King’.. I said “probably” for the mane…

        I am not very conversant with the fashion statements in the animal kingdom except some obvious things like the males don’t wear an Armani and females don’t make up. But I know from Rudyard Kipling’s testimony that the f of the species is more dangerous than the m.

        Rooster’s arrogance is a new one. I have seen some skinned and cooked ones in the caterer’s kitchen. And they don’t look very happy in that state.

  19. Disclaimer: With due respect I, Reader, do not subscribe to Mahatma’s ideology of submitting reason to faith.

    • Reader,
      Is his ideology not based on Bhagvad Gita..!?
      Is your disclaimer for that Holy scripture..!?
      Is your disclaimer for whatever lord Krishna said..!?
      Is your disclaimer for whatever is written in Upnishad..!?

      • MonaLisa,

        Where does Krishna say that faith transcends reason? IN fact the entire Bhagwat Gita is a reasoning for Arjuna to fight the war.

        The Vedic Scriptures, Brahmana, Upanishad et al do not ask us to believe or disbelieve. They just say whatever they have to say. That is the beauty of the scriptures.

        Atharva Veda is full of metallurgy, medicini, physics, astronomy etc. Samaveda & Yajurveda are aesthetic and ritualistic in content. Rig Veda is spiritual.

        The superiority of faith over reason is a very brahminical idea generating from sectarian protocols. I see that in all religions where the temple priest is honored more than the scientist.

        In the vedic period those bearded sadhus were not priests. They were researchers who came up with the science of their day, like Ayurveda, Dharma Shastra, Yantra, Tantra Shastra etc.

        The types who were priests were living in forests and invited to the townships to carry out religious ceremonies.

        The faith over reason cult began much later when temple priests became advisors to the rulers. Buddha was the first to object to it.

    • Sharmila,

      Hmm.. only disclaimer noted?

      Mahatma Gandhi said these words in the most hostile place that any Indian could have been in 1931. In London at the conference.

      It is his Birthday coming saturday. C’mon, he deserves more from us than a disclaimer!

      I love his philosophy more than I can admit. He had a saint’s spirituality and a politician’s acumen. He was a leader of leaders and knew precisely how a leadership team is steered.

      He had an Indian common man’s soul yet most uncommon inspirations to drive it!

      Promise, I shall pour all my feelings for him on your page this Saturday.


      • Looking forward to it on the 2nd Reader. Why dont you do a write up on him and I can post it on the blog?

      • No.. no.. that’s your space. I can never say anything at one shot.

        I’d rather write 10,000 comments!



      • Deal! better be 10,000 comments now.

      • Lol…Reader,
        You can take a jab at me anytime…but you better be follow the rules..
        For men it is not allowed below the belt…
        For women not below neck…
        Hehe…I better put guards on…. before you make my face a punching bag….

  20. Speaking for myself

  21. MonaLisa, Sharmila,

    The disclaimer is only for his belief that Faith transcends Reason.. which, to me means, Reason can be subverted by Faith. I am unable to buy that. His philosophy cannot be challenged. Even Einstein admired his genius!

    And ye, MonaLisa, I have nothing against the boundaries you have set for men and women. It’s justified. Physically the two are completely different. Men have nothing for children. Women have something for every age.

    During my visit to the desert this time I mentioned about some outstanding performing flea who are women. And, in your style, I said, “Fine women! standing up to the world!”

    He replied, “If they were any better they’d be men!”


    • And now I am going to hide under the table while the cutlery fly!

    • Reader,
      That’s a very condescending quote…
      Cutlery would not suffice…for this matter….looking for some good artilaries….Damn…!
      As you mentioned…that woman have something for every age that makes them a provider in a way….no matter how derogatory that comment is…
      And probably that’s how ‘A Man’ defines ‘A Woman’….considering her use, whether she is useful any more or not….
      What is A Man worth…!? Here too, A Man loses his battle Vs A Woman…

      • Okay. Okay. Ceasefire…

        I’ll quote you, remember you said, “Every one has a place…”

        I’ll go by that for the moment.


      • MonaLisa,

        Sorry. I don’t mean that. I never compare men and women in real life.

        The net is too slow tonight. I’d better call it a day.

        I’m going to sleep in the closet.

        Bye for now.

  22. Sharmila,

    News in the headlines.

    The Ayodhya Verdict by the High Court at Allahabad. Ofcourse, whatever the judgement, the loser has the option of going to the Supreme court.

    The only debate that seems relevant to the day is, does anyone need the land dispute for a place that represents religious sentiments of both Hindus and Muslims?

    The nation has come a long way in the last 5 decades that this case is being heard.

    Since then, the bigots among muslims are now better organized, supported with money, arms and facilitation from across the borders. They do not want a partition anymore when they have the choice to stay and occupy.

    The mission of a Khalifat on the Indian soil, that gained momentum during the World Wars, has now grown deep roots and there is no need for symbolic aggressions like the re-instatement of a mosque in one remote village of India.

    The militancy among Hindus has also reached the remote corners of the nation, thanks to a quiver full of extremists. Breaking the mosque has delivered its objective of polarising the Hindu sentiments. The damage is done.

    The verdict may feed and give voice to some political din for the next few weeks. But apart from that it serves no purpose.

    One grave fall-out of minority politics is the customary use of fear to divide the people into opinion groups. Fear is a debate that always divides.

    Anyone who believes that politicians work to unite the people is sadly mistaken. Polticians do not unite. They consolidate their vote banks by dividing.

    The Ayodhya dispute has benefitted all the national parties and the sectarian groups. The controversy has been completely used for all that it was worth.

    The dispute was used to enrol volunteers and increase memberships of the extremist groups. That was achieved long back.

    For prayers and pleasing the Gods, people can always find other places.

    • The Ayodhya issue has dragged on for twenty years. They should have handed the case to Rajnikanth, we would have had twenty verdicts in twenty seconds and somebody said that every verdict would have been logical, plausible, rational and fit to be implemented.In India the best way to deal with a situation is to make a case of it. Most likely one dies waiting for a verdict.
      Babur, Ghazni and Ghori plundered and looted hindu temples. Babur was said to have been disgusted by the Jain “idols” carved into the rock face below the fortress at Gwalior too. Babur destroyed the temple at Ayodhya and built a mosque at the “janmasthan”.The archeological survey of India have provided evidence of a temple under which Babri Masjid once stood. But, this does not mean that the kar sevaks who destroyed the Masjid in 1992 had to to do exactly what Babur did. Hindu extremism and Muslim extremism can never provide a solution at Ayodhya.
      A verdict which condemns the destroying of the mosque and calls for rebuilding a mosque at another location and one which allows Hindu’s to pray at the existing holiest ground would be ideal. If this would ever happen is another issue altogether.
      But, we must unite and stand together irrespective of our religion and accept the verdict of the court. We must remember there is a RAM in Ramzan and an ALI in Diwali. One cannot do without the other, and that is how it shall always be.

      • Sharmila,

        This case is not twenty years old. This case was filed in 1952 after an Idol was placed in the mosque.

        The event of 1992 is about the demolition of the mosque, which is not being heard in this case. That one is against the politicians who lead the demolition squad. Advani, Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharati and Co.

        Today’s verdict is not about the 1992 demolition. It is about the ovwenrship of the property and it’s historical purpose.

        The Temple was built in the 11 AD and the mosque was built later in place of the temple. That is the conflict.

      • Thats right, I meant the case which has triggered it all in terms of the 20. But, I am happy that the court has ruled where the idol is as the birthplace of Lord Rams. a very fair judgement. Regarding the splitting of the land into three, will be interesting to watch how this goes. But, all in all I think it is a very fair judgement.

      • Sharmila,

        The verdict that you have stated is not possible.

        Because that will trigger a series of similar petitions to destroy all mosques built on birthplaces of Hindu dieties. The next in the queue is Krishna’s birthplace at Dwarka. There is a massive mosque built in place of Kansa’s palace where Krishna was born.

        Devotees go through the mosque to visit the small 8 x 8 gaol in which Krishna was born.

        If the verdict goes as you say, it will encourage further litigation.

      • Correction: Not Dwarka. In Mathura.

  23. Sharmila,

    Medievalism is easy to replicate. Because it is recorded and one can simply copy, paste and draw master plans from the known past.

    I wouldn’t call it leadership. It’s more like a solider following a trodden path.

    The new age leaders have to be brighter than that. They can’t just sit back and tell me what to feel and do.

    The youth today care less about who is ruling and why. They want to know who has got what and how.

  24. Reader – Despite people projecting a front that they will go with the court verdict there is bound to be resentment in their hearts. I will be lying if i say i will not resent the verdict if it does not go against my line of thinking above. No body can tell us what and how to think or feel, but there is a law which I would need to abide with and deal with.

    • Sharmila,

      That is my contention. Regardless of who wins, loses or no one does, the seeds of religious intolerance have sprouted by this symbolic event.

      The social fabric is permanently stained.

  25. Anand Khare Says:

    The decision today might leave us with more questions than the answers. The dispute before court was, who should be in possession of the Babri Masjid (officially disputed structure). The case was filed in 50s. Original litigator has already departed so is the case with several judges and lawyers. The disputed structure is also no longer there.

    I am lucky to have been to that place in Ayodhya, where the idols were worshiped inside the ‘masjid’ structure, where no namaz used to take place( Unique in the world we know).Apparently, sometime after Babur the Indian Muslims deserted that place for the reasons best known to them. And one fine day, some Hindus placed idol there and started puja.The hindus didn’t face any resistance in the place heavily populated by Muslims. The first riot in that area happened years after the incident. Perhaps, it was a local decision by senior hindus and muslims of the village.Perhaps,no paper was signed as no one wanted to be held responsible for this. Everyone knew what was correct.

    Judges have little options today. If they go strictly by jurisprudence, they will end up no where. They will come out with better judgement, if they apply common sense and their wisdom. Allahabad high court is always held in highest esteem in India. Moti Lal Nehru, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastry practiced there. Mrs. Gandhi, however lost a case in same court when she was PM. I hope the high court would come out with some pleasant surprises for all religious groups involved.


  26. Sharmila, Anand Khare,

    This is a historical judgement indeed.

    Just saw it on TV. The Sunni Waqf Board petition is dismissed!!

    This is a very brave and bold judgement!

  27. A strange precedence has been set.

    The place has been partitioned into 3 parts. Two for a hindu temple and one for a mosque!!

    Now, the political stand-off and divisions among Hindus and Muslims is preserved.

  28. It has to be noted that division of the 67 acre plot was not the case at all.

    The case was over the title to the whole property!

    The court did not have the jurisdiction to divide and allocate the property in this case!

  29. Sharmila, Anand Khare,

    Please read the Gist of Judgements especially that of Hon’ble Khan.

  30. Sharmila, Anand Khare

    Summary of the Judgement passed 2 -1 decreed by the panel of 3 Judges:


    1. Whether the disputed site is the birth place of Bhagwan

    The disputed site is the birth place of Lord Ram. Place of
    birth is a juristic person and is a deity. It is personified as the
    spirit of divine worshipped as birth place of Lord Rama as a

    Spirit of divine ever remains present every where at all
    times for any one to invoke at any shape or form in accordance
    with his own aspirations and it can be shapeless and formless

    2. Whether the disputed building was a mosque? When
    was it built? By whom?

    The disputed building was constructed by Babar, the year
    is not certain but it was built against the tenets of Islam. Thus, it
    cannot have the character of a mosque.

    3. Whether the mosque was built after demolishing a
    Hindu temple?

    The disputed structure was constructed on the site of old
    structure after demolition of the same. The Archaeological
    Survey of India has proved that the structure was a massive
    Hindu religious structure.

    4. Whether the idols were placed in the building on the
    night of December 22/23rd, 1949?

    The idols were placed in the middle dome of the disputed
    structure in the intervening night of 22/23.12.1949.2

    5. Whether any of the claims for title is time barred?

    O.O.S. No. 4 of 1989, the Sunni Central Board of Waqfs
    U.P., Lucknow and others Vs. Gopal Singh Visharad and others
    and O.O.S. No.3 of 1989, Nirmohi Akhara and Another Vs. Sri
    Jamuna Prasad Singh and others are barred by time.

    6. What will be the status of the disputed site e.g. inner
    and outer courtyard?

    It is established that the property in suit is the site of
    Janm Bhumi of Ram Chandra Ji and Hindus in general had the
    right to worship Charan, Sita Rasoi, other idols and other object
    of worship existed upon the property in suit. It is also
    established that Hindus have been worshipping the place in
    dispute as Janm Sthan i.e. a birth place as deity and visiting it as
    a sacred place of pilgrimage as of right since time immemorial.
    After the construction of the disputed structure it is proved the
    deities were installed inside the disputed structure on
    22/23.12.1949. It is also proved that the outer courtyard was in
    exclusive possession of Hindus and they were worshipping
    throughout and in the inner courtyard (in the disputed
    structure) they were also worshipping. It is also established that
    the disputed structure cannot be treated as a mosque as it
    came into existence against the tenets of Islam.


  31. I concur with Justice Sudhir Agarwal’s judgement.

    All the 3 judges have assessed the same set of evidences and submissions.

    Justice Agarwal’s conclusions and rationale is well expressed.

  32. Thanks for the link reader, undoubtedly, Sudhir Agarwal’s judgement has utmost clarity in this matter. Would be interesting to get a map of the place and see the demarcation.

    • The demarcation is not done. It has only given a percentage 33.33% and specifically mentioned the locations of the Janmbhumi spot and the areas of the Akhara.

  33. Waqf board is obviously appealing to SC now.

    • Sharmila,

      That is a face saving exercise, in my opinion.

      The Archaeological Society’s evidence has been accepted by all the 3 judges i.e. The mosque was built by Meer Baqi and also contravenes the tenets of Islam regarding praying at a burial place.

      Meer Baqi was a Shia. The Sunni Waqf board has no evidence to show that a Shia ruler handed over a burial place to a Sunni administration.

      It has begun to sound like an attempted land grab in the name of religion.

      The congress has always encouraged this sort of minority politics.

      The court has adjugated on teh basis of faith and this might have implications in Mathura and Kashi. And might lead to agitation if another right wing resurgence happens.

      As far as this episode is concerned both the Muslims and Hindus succeeded in polarizing their lot. And that was all that they had planned and got as far back as in 1992.

      The Congress may have won a small political battle by preserving it’s Muslim vote bank but it has lost the war for secularism.

      The Supreme Court will take another 5 years to give it’s final judgement by which time it will not matter.

      Unfortunately, in India, politics works in real time while justice is post-thamus.

      • Sharmila,

        The reason I fault Congress is that the judgement of the panel was not released as one decree alone.

        Why was the assessment of each individual judge released to public?

        This is unprecedent and very political.

      • This is a great point. Why were the three versions released? To appease a certain faction?

      • Not to forget that the Congress Government has the constitutional power to acquire the entire land and convert it into a wild life sanctuary. There was never a need to keep a case running since 1949 and for another 5-10 years to keep messing with religious conflicts.

  34. I think in a situation where a panel / bench has been appointed, verdicts are pronounced on the basis of the majority panel’s stand and each version is released.

    • Releasing each assessment is not necessary.

      For instance, in this case:

      There is Justice Khan, a Muslim, who has made assessments in favor of the Muslims and Justice Dharmveer, an Aryan Hindu, has done the same in favor of the Hindus. And the third Justice Agarwal, the Indian Jew from the Jain Marwari Godless world, has given everyone an equal share.

      Effectively, the judgement of Justice Agarwal has decided the case in each of the 16 issues.

      • This reveals the vulnerabibilty of the Judiciary when judgements have to be made on Faith. The law does not prevail over Faith.

        Religion in Politics is a vicious cocktail. Some countries have successfully segregated the two.

  35. What property rights? Nothing belongs to anyone. Every one is a watchman, a security guard, a caretaker…

  36. Inheritance?

  37. Anand Khare Says:

    Reader, Sharmila, Aishwarya and Monalisa (Both mysteriously disappeared after the decision),

    I agree with all the views expressed by Reader after the decision.

    This decision is exceptional in the history of SSDR India in several ways,

    1. It is a bold decision without any ambiguity and equivocation.It is an exemplary speaking order on such a complex issue.
    2. Supremacy of Judiciary is established.
    3. So far, rule of law prevailed.
    4. Muslims of India has gained respect in eyes of majority for the calmness they maintained.
    5. Media of India has shown remarkable maturity (Possibility of Govt bamboo can’t be ruled out).

    I wish we see it implemented in our lifetime peacefully.


  38. Thank you Anand,

    In Yoga Vasishtha, Lord Rama at the age of 14, is so disappointed that he is on the verge of renouncing the earthliness of this life when Vishwamitra and Vasishtha intervene and give him a cause to life for.

    The verses in this song summarise his state:

    • Interestingly, it is sung by Mohd Rafi and acted by Dilip Kumar, both Muslims. That was the golden era of Indian Cinema. Where art and aesthetics dissolved all differences.

  39. Sharmila,

    The year was 1857. The landlords and pesudo-rich in India were being swindled by Englishmen while the clansmen and laborers were reduced to penury. The English oppression had reached a point of no return.

    On 10 May 1857, a cadre in the Indian segment of the army defied the rule of English settlers.

    Within hours, the entire northern region from Kabul (in today’s Afghanistan) to Bihar revolted against the administration.

    A whole generation of natives, young and old, between 16 and 60, took up arms and fought for the future of their children at the risk to their own lives.

    Many died. Many lived to record their witnesses.

    However, the English empire was not so easily beaten. The private English company and its machinations were replaced by the Crown and a more sinister design of governance.

    On 2 October 1869, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, The Mahatma, was born in Sudamapuri, Porbandar, in Gujarat. He was the youngest, among 3 sons and a daughter, to Karamchand Gandhi (called Kaba for short) and his wife Putlibai.

    Gandhi libed on to write a page in human history that has inspired the entire world, from the US to Japan and USSR to South Africa.

    Tomorrow, 2 October 2010, we shall remember his work again.

    Till then, I take your leave.


    PS: If you feel, for any reason, that I am the cause for anyone refraining from writing on your blog, please let me know.

    I have promised to write my views on Gandhi tomorrow. That I shall do regardless.

    • Errata:

      Line 2, para 1: Pseudo-rich not pesudo-rich, what is pesudo?

      line 1 last but one para: Gandhi live on to write… not Gandhi libed.. libed sounds Spanish…

  40. Reader , Anand – enriching comments from both of you. This was my response to Satyam on AB’ blog who thought that the pronouncement of Ayodhya as the janmasthan of the Lord was incorrect. With reference especially to the first point in the briefing I found the judgement to be correct.
    The court’s decision on the birthplace of the Lord stems from faith and religious belief. Centuries of belief, practice, customs and traditions cannot be swept under the mat. Whether it is Ayodhya, Jerusalem, Mecca or Bethlehem, traditions have to be respected and accepted. Dividing the land amongst the three parties is also once again a remarkable decision in according respect to each of the individual faiths. More so, I believe that this landmark judgement has been accepted with grace and dignity by all faiths judging by the peaceful situation yesterday and today. Yes, this will be taken to the supreme court and both sides will fight for a larger chunk or the entire chunk. A contentious religious place has been demarcated between three different parties and two different faiths. Would something like this ever be possible in other religious conflicts in other parts of the world? Probably not. India has led by example. After a very long time I have full faith in our justice system.Yesterday’s version is a judgement that promotes secularism. Unfortunately there are men and women in the media and so called reputed newspapers who are trying hard to bring a divide. The nation stood together and was not party to any of their taunts. India has come a long way. You may have already read all the pronouncements but Note, point one which answers your question thereby making this judgement exemplary. Amongst the three judges, the Hon’ble Justice Aggarwal’s ( who can be seen as the neutral one ) pronouncement was used to decide the case in each of the sixteen issues.

  41. Satyam’s response – Sharmila.. I disagree quite a bit actually.. no one is denying centuries of belief and faith but the law in a secular state cannot put forth judgments that take a position on what is ‘unverifiable’. Much as the legal system in any Western country does not back up the dogmas of the Catholic church regarding when the earth came into existence and on all sorts of other issues. As for Jerusalem and Mecca, those cities are not housed in secular states. If they were the same questions would be raised. A legal system is let’s say simply not qualified to agree or disagree with arguments that cannot be ‘verified’. The law deals with evidence, with objective facts. It is important to take religious feeling into account when deciding a case but you cannot go beyond this and endorse the ground on which the belief is based. Think about it this way, there are a number of religions in India. How many ‘birthplaces’ would the courts be willing to endorse?! Think about the consequences. A secular state has to stay completely neutral in these matters. The question of who has what degree of ownership in terms of the site is a different debate. Because whether one agrees with the decision or not here the state is not involving itself in ‘theology’. Of course this is leaving aside the question of the destruction of the mosque and the questions of responsibility and/or criminality connected with this.

    The decision was I believe a ‘political’ one and I have some sympathy for it but it is also one that ducks the important questions involved. And again as I said this is heading to the Supreme Court where it remains to be seen whether the resolution is similar or different. Check this out:

    It’s a brief objection but one that I believe gets to the heart of the matter.

  42. Satyam – A secular state must and on all accounts should accomodate belief and dogmas that come with various religions. There is no emperical formula in any religion which proves the existence of God as somebody who is tangible and his origin as completely verifiable. Therefore, beliefs and dogmas can never be verified not just in a secular state but also in a one religion state. If there is a history attached to Ayodhya it is one which has evolved over the centuries, the scriptures have cited the importance of Ayodhya to Hindus, the judges have based their judgement on the belief in the “janmasthan” as they very clearly state Spirit of divine ever remains present every where at all times for any one to invoke at any shape or form in accordance with his own aspirations and it can be shapeless and formless also. Places of worship in India have not sprung up from thin air, there is a story behind every one of them backed by utmost reverance and complete faith by millions of devotees. From Tirumala devasthanam in Tirupati to the Church of the Virgin Mary in Nagercoil to the Jama Masjid in Delhi. Nobody can prove the origin of the deity in Tirumala, nobody can prove the wonder behind the healing powers of Mother Mary in Nagercoil or the drawing powers of the Masjid in Delhi that pulls devotees by the millions. Now, just because none of these are verifiable it does not mean that a secular state shuns it’s importance or disallows it’s functioning or questions it for that matter. A simmilar land issue at any of these sites would draw a similar reaction from the judicial machinery which will take into account the all important “faith”.A secular state must allow voices for different religions to flourish whether it is through blind faith or verifiable faith, the bottom line is “faith” and one that cannot be dismissed by a secular state or it’s judiciary. The judicial system has to toe the line of a secular state which entertains faiths of various kinds. The system has rightfully done so by identifying the birth place ( based on faith )and sharing the land between two faiths. Even the President of America, one who is completely secular pledges his allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. The God here may be ceremonial and may or may not constitue a particular religion, but the President and the state believe in him even if he is not a verifiable one and their judicial system have let God remain in the pledge.

  43. Sharmila,

    This is to wish Bapu, The Gandhi within me a very happy birthday.

    I do not remember him as statistical information on a timescale of dates, or as a part of my awareness of the geo-political history of India.

    For me, ‘Bapu’ is one word for a subconscious ideology that resides in my conceptual lexicon and mostly appears in action when it has an opportunity.

    Unfortunately, although the date is right, 2 Oct ’10, I don’t find any reason to think about Bapu today. And for a chap like me, who writes just for pleasure, a working day in the office doesn’t help too much.

    So, with your permission, I seek to stall this feature for another time another occasion.

    Saw ‘Anjaana Anjaani’ last night starring a very debonair Ranbir Kapoor and shorts-are-not-shorts-till-they-pinch Priyanka Chopra.

    It’s a re-hash of a B/W hollywood musical from the ’50s, that comes regularly on TCM, except that the male and female casts have been swapped. So, all the male dialogues from the original are given to the female character in this Hindi version. Rest of the package is as is, in color and in Las Vegas.

    The Hindi version of Endhiran, The Robot, is releasing next Thursday at 1200 noon. The air is full of reviews pouring in from India. A lot of ‘Lungi News’, as I call it, (Rumors) is coming in with that.

    I liked a fan’s take that was shown on TV, “There is Diwali for Hindus, There is Ramzan for Muslims, there is Christmas for Christians and There is Endhiran for everyone!”

    Hope to see a review on your blog before next week.


    PS: To the office and the routine grind. Shall log in from the office net.

  44. Reader- waiting to hear about endhiran, trying to see when it releases here. Also awaiting the 10k comments on bapu. I will be back with a new post.

  45. Sharmila, Anand Khare and all friends,

    This one song speaks for 10K. At the age 9, in ’75 when I heard this song first time, I cried as if I had lost my soul! My mom & dad were shocked to see me in that state.

    Here it is: (Do listen to the audio link. Beautiful rendition by Suman Kalyanpur. I didn’t find a good video)

    Sun le baapu ye paigaam, meri chitthi tere naam
    Chitthi mein sabase pahale, likhata tujhako raam raam
    Likhata tujhako raam raam, sun le baapu ye paigaam

    … … … Hear this messge, Bapu, my letter in your name
    … … … I open my letter with humble greetings to you
    … … … My humble greetings, hear my message bapu

    Kaala dhan kaala vyaapaar, rishwat ka hai garam baazaar
    Satya ahinsa karen pukaar toot gaya charakhe ka taar

    … … … Black money, black trade and these markets of corruption are hot
    … … … Truth, non-violence cry, strings of your spinning wheel are broken

    Tere anashan satyaagrah ke badal gaye asali bartaav
    Ek nai vidya upaji jisako kahate hain gheraav

    … … … Your method of fasting and Satyagraha is distorted
    … … … A new method has emerged that is called storming

    Teri kathin tapasya ka ye kaisa nikala anjaam

    … … … Look what all your difficult efforts have brought!

    Chitthi mein sabase pahale, likhata tujhako raam raam
    Likhata tujhako raam raam, sun le baapu ye paigaam

    … … … I open my letter with humble greetings to you
    … … … My humble greetings, hear my message Bapu!

    Praant praant se takaraata hai maaya par bhaasha ki laat
    Main panjaabi tu bangaali kaun kare bhaarat ki baat

    … … … Every region fights with others, wealth booted by language
    … … … I am a punjabi, you are a bengali, who speaks about India?

    Teri hindi ke paanv mein angreji na daali dor
    Teri lakadi thagon ne thag lee, teri bakari le gaye chor

    … … … Your Hindi’s feet are shackled by ropes of English
    … … … Your stick is robbed by dacoits, your goat is stolen by thieves

    Saabaramati sisakati teri tadap raha hai sevaagraam

    … … … Sabarmati is sobbing, your Sevagram is suffering

    Chitthi mein sabase pahale, likhata tujhako raam raam
    Likhata tujhako raam raam, sun le baapu ye paigaam

    … … … I open my letter with humble greetings to you
    … … … My humble greetings, hear my message Bapu!

    Raam raaj ki teri kalpana udi hawa mein ban ke kapoor
    Bachchon ne padhana choda tod phod mein hain magaroor

    … … … Rule of Truth that you imagined has smoked away like camphor
    … … … Children have left education and find their pride in destruction

    Neta ho gaye dal badalu desh ki pagadi rahe uchhaal
    Tere poot bigad gaye baapu daaru bandi hui halaal

    … … … Leaders change their values and shame the nation
    … … … Your son’s are astray, Bapu, alcoholism is common

    Tere raajaghaat par phir bhi phool chadhaate subah shaam

    … … … Yet at your memorial they offer flowers every day!

    Chitthi mein sabase pahale, likhata tujhako raam raam
    Likhata tujhako raam raam, sun le baapu ye paigaam

    … … … I open my letter with humble greetings to you
    … … … My humble greetings, hear my message Bapu!

    Listen to audio at:

  46. […] ‘All the plusses from the minuses…’ by Sharmila (@supershamz) […]

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