Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Maoists have struck again. This time at Narainpur in Chattisgarh killing 26 CRPF jawans and greviously injuring 27 others. The death toll as per reports is likely to go up. This time they struck on the eve of the 2 day bandh declared by them and the hapless jawans while they were supervising the vulnerable areas before the bandh was coming into force. As I had written elsewhere our jawans are saddled with many handicaps, both personal and job related. Personal in the sense that they are poorly paid and not provided with required leave to spend at least some moments of relaxation with their families - parents, siblings, wives and children. To work under stressful circumstances add a lot to their woes. On the other hand at the job front lack of proper training, modern and sophisticated weapons burden them a lot. Whether any arrangements from the part of govt. are on course, no idea actually.
It is high time Maoists did a soul-searching exercise, an introspection on their part for proceeding along the path of violence particularly targeting CRPF jawans and gunning them down in cold-blood. Whether such violence and ruthless killings of the CRPF jawans would solve the problems of the tribals for whom they have entered the arena. Following in the foot-steps of hard-core terrorists will bring them a tarnished image ultimately. Those who sympathised with their objectives once have slowly started looking at them with suspicions and apprehensions. The way all look at the terrorists- hatred, fear and consternation - may look up to the Maoists also if they go on with this bloody game.
Maoists unfortunately, surprisingly and embarrasingly seem to be not aware of the people across our nation living below poverty line who find it difficult to make both ends meet. Homeless a number of them, hunger haunts them, poverty shadows them, even safe drinking water and sanitation facilities lacking and are forced to slog it out under the scorching sun day in and day out to make a living but all they aspire for are a peaceful life free from fear and violence. They don't think in terms of taking up arms and go on a killing spree resisting the law enforcers and might of the governments, both at Centre and the States . They are very much certain about the consequences that follow in the event of such an uprising. This doesn't meant that they are bound to suffer all indignities, discriminations and the feelings of a neglected lot. Angry they are, protests they must but engaging in ruthless violence, killing the 'so-called class enemies' won't solve their problems facing them. Are the CRPF jawans 'class-enemies' or agents of the 'class-enemies'? The jawans do their duties to earn a living under dangerous circumstances facing all kinds of hardships in tough terrains of the jungles.
In this context I am forced to refer to the recent steep hike in fuel prices, petrol,diesel, kerosene and gas, thus raising the inflation rate. The ones already burdened with sky-high prices of essential commodities and food items are going to be more and more disappointed and disillusioned. Furthermore handing over the right to determine the future prices of the fuels to markets is to put it mildly, something disgusting and deplorable.
Calling the handing over of the right to determine the prices to a market mechanism a sensible step and a laudable decision, so to speak, has also many takers in our land. In a world where there are two sides holding opposite views to justify the beating up of one's mother by her own son or daughter, such comments are not even shocking or alarming. Such economic pundits are a curse of a nation. Having undergone higher studies in elite institutions in the nation and institutions abroad, these 'so-called' 'erudite' scholars seem to lose simple common sense that we common people are blessed with. Quoting economic jargons and rhetorical flourishes whether they are relevant or irrelevant are nothing but a show business.
A well-known economist Prime Minister while at abroad speaking at Economic summits proclaims at the top of his voice the need for emerging nations to reduce exports and find ways for developing infrastructure facilities thus creating a conducive atmosphere for creating more demands raising the purchasing power of the people, upon his return to his homeland keeps mum on the question of mounting prices of essential commodities and food-items, their scarcity which people find it quite difficult to pull on each day as the days progress. Prices are shooting up day by day with no perceptible change in the standard of living.
On the widespread demand for the extradition of former Union Carbide Co. Chairman, Dr.Singh was reported to have kept a vow of silence. Anyhow it is quite a great relief to us that he deemed it fit to demand the extradition of Anderson 'the great' breaking his vow of silence over the latter.
The fluid situation into which our country find itself caught in the web of difficult circumstances for the last decades or so, let us wait for a new dawn if not in the near future at least in the distant future.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Refuge of patients overflows,
Like rivers in spate
paywards, general-wards, verandahs
all in spate.
diseases aplenty
Dengue, Chickenguniya,
Viral fever, A(H1N1), list abound
Temperatures run high
Tempers run high
Mercury levels keep on shooting up,
pains, convulsions, fatigues,
symptoms too in spate.
Tempers run high,
Enemies of Death-
under orders of transfer
so are Florence Nightingales
Horizontally and vertically
All on protest and on leave
Tempers run high
voices of anger reverberate-
No one cares,
All order of the day.
Rains keep on pouring
Popular anger in spate
Thuglaks roam free
Be they ladies or gents
Minister just flown abroad with entourage.
Voices of masses to be spread there also.
Mission yet to be accomplished.
Call these not reality shows
but "real shows".
Revolutionaries of yore
spins several times around in
their graves
No rest allowed for them.
Who cares?
Media creations all.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Close on the heels of G8 Summit at Huntsville, Canada, attended by most developed nations , the G20 Summit was held at Toronto, Canada participated by developed and emerging developing countries which was attended by our PM and his entourage on 26-6-2010 to 27-6-2010. The previous G-20 summit was organised at Pittsburg in September 2009.The one held at Toronto was in the backdrop of the threat of recession beginning to stare in the faces of nations across the world after the initial recovery witnessed y the world after the Global meltdown, the genesis of which was at America. The Gobal meltdown hit US the most followed by other countries the world over. India too came under its harmful effect was not hit that badly because of a regulated economy unlike in USA where free market policies of George Bush administration was let loose ostensibly with no strings attached. The Sub-prime mortgage crisis and the housing bubble burst entirely upset the apple-cart with investment institutions, banks and corporations came crashing down. All nations across the world were watching with admiration, a developed country bathing in the sunshine of prosperity and even mulled emulating it till then. It was actually a cosmetic sunshine, not at all natural. The whole picture began to darken begining with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, an investment banking corporation and then what followed was like a collpase of a pack of cards.With the emergence of a new govt. under the Democratic party under the leadership of Barack Obama, a fiscal stimulus amounting to US $789 billion was declared to bail out the crashing firms, thus partially lifting the pathetic situation out of the abyss That worked to a certain extent and the picture was slowly starting to be rosy, but it was only for a while.In came the European fiscal turmoil, starting from Greece and the entire attention of the world turned to Europe. Greek Prime Minister George Pappandreau decided to undertake a whirlwind tour of his European friends, Germany, France, Italy and global financial institutions IMF and World Bank. With "generous" aid doled out by his friendly countries and the financial institutions, austerity measures, raising taxes, cutting expenditure, he seems to be nursing a feeling of a way out of the impasse has finally found. The G20 countries and the emerging economies like India were divided in their opinions regarding the fiscal stimulus with European nations like Germany insisting an immediate exit and US maintaining a stance that it is premature still to withdraw the fiscal stimulus at a critical juncture like this. Indian Prime Minister, a renowned economist that he is also of the opinion that the time has not yet arrived for the withdrawal of stimulus package. He reminded in the forum that deflation is worse than inflation and stressed the need for depending upon exports and each nation needs to promote investment especially in the field of infrastructure for creating increasing demand power of the people by adopting the aforesaid measures.An early escape route from the stimulus package will be counter-productive, he reminded.The Euro-zone crisis and its after effects are formidable.
According to Juvan Somavia, the Chairman of the ILO(International Labour Organisation) on the sidelines of G20 meeting pointed to the alarming situation of unemployment shooting upto 210 million and in the next ten years it is going to mount to the staggering level of 470 million, the world over. He was speaking at a conference of International Labour Conference organised under the auspices of ILO (International Labour Organisation) attended by more than 4000 delegates from countries around the world and the representatives of NGOs. He referred to the Pittsburg summit of G20 nations held in September last and the just concluded Toronto Summit at Canada. He dwelt strongly on the need for creating skilled jobs for the unempoyed and for the socail uplift of the employees pointing towards the social aspect.Social justice, be it anywhere is a much needed panancea and if the leaders of the nations whether developed, developing or underdeveloped nations which most leaders even our renowned economist PM selectively forgets to implement in India. Mouthing platitudes quite often won't solve the hardships and suffering of teeming millions. I am returning to Juvan Somavia's words here 'the efforts' to reduce the number of those earning US $1.25 a day each remember in our country it is 77 percent, are being reversed, thus increasing the numbers of the downtrodden.At one of the previous G8 Summits which promised US$ 50 bn for the empowerment of women and for welfare measures in the under-developed countries especially the most neglected African nations at the lower rung of the social ladder has been reduced to US $ 5bn citing the devastating financial turmoil continuing across the world at the G8 meeting at Huntsville. After all mere deletion of a zero is negligible,they must be feeling. What value a zero has?
Once again I am coming to the words of Juvan Somavia who points out that the global growth at present is 4% and unfortunately the benefits have not percolated down to socially depressed classes.
At Toronoto, while the G20 Summit was going on a crowd of approximately 10000 went on a rampage destroying police vehicles even setting them ablaze, forcing the businesses down shutters shouting slogans against globalization. Summits will come and go in future also, but what people around the world are expecting and hoping for something positive to emerge at the end of each summit.


City is like a giant
full of sound and fury
signifying many things.
Faceless crowd
Each man/woman, an island
A bunch of lonely-
islands bundled together.

------City like a loud explosion,
full of sound and fury,
signifying many things.
trains hooting past,
cars, rickshaws and lorries tooting down the roads
Endless talking ,verbal duels
Like a thunder crash
Forcing one to shut ears.

City like an ever growing tree
full of sound and fury
from the sky-rocketing flats and buildings
Signifying many things.
Airplanes roaring-
right above the buildings
With wings spread, lights glimmering
Round the clock.

---------City turns out to be horrible
full of sound and fury
signifying many things.
City a safe haven for underworld dons
terror elements
with bombs, grenades and guns
in their possession
ready to strike at will
anytime anywhere.

City like a dancing enchantress
Full of music and actions,
Dazzling tinsel world
flashing cameras.
Angels and machos
Dancing to the teachings
of choreographers.
Gossips, love, lust, anger and comedy
Makes the city vibrant throughout.

But city still remains a giant,
Full of sound and fury
Signifying many things.
Each lonely, wherever he/she is.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


We Indians always boast about our rich cultural heritage, traditions, civilization and unity in diversity in full throated voices. Much have been talked about and written about and still harp on all the afore-mentioned matters with excessive pride. Down the ages I think instead of growing, a declining trend is sadly visible across our nation. A nation once felt proud about the equality of women on a par with men in all fields of social life now finds itself running in the opposite direction. I mean, across India especially in the remote corners of each States women have turned out to be mere tools or toys in the hands of men. High talks of women breaking the glass-ceilings, scaling new heights by the ruling elite notwithstanding, do virtually nothing. Much in the field of women empowerment by providing the facilities for education, job opportunities, health, child-care, nutritious food and all such indispensable matters need to be done. On the contrary they continue to be harassed at workplaces, homes, physically and sexually and mentally tortured and are languishing within the confines of their habitats. Adding fuel to the fire millions still remain homeless and are forced to sleep on the pavements, rail-platforms, make-shift tents and tin-roofed slums. A woman President, Dalit Speaker, Congress President occupying high positions in our land do not mean down the line all other women are well-placed. I mentioned Pratibha Patil, Meira Kumar and Sonia Gandhi in this context just to dispel the notion if any that the status and progress of our women are on an upward trajectory. It is vice-versa actually. Even the decades old demand for 33 percent reservation in the Assemblies and Parliament still hanging fire due to the obstinacy of a cross-section of male-chauvinist politicians. Here the cardinal need for imparting education to the women in all spheres of society gains prominence. Sadly in our land this is not the case. Education, more and more education is a powerful weapon to all men and women as a whole and it provides all the ability and opportunity to become conscious of their rights, duties and obligations to the nation as a whole. Higher education opportunities need to be extended to all especially women to fight for their rights and provide them the initiative to seize the opportunities which come their way. Mere chanting of 33 percent reservation in Assemblies and Parliament slogan, to a certain extent desirable though, is not enough while those at the bottom ladder are still reeling under illiteracy, poverty and malnourishment. So be it.
Recently a news item purported to be that of Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Haryana Chief Minister applauding the 'Khap Panchayats'( Khap = clan) for the great services rendered by them was reported in a National newspaper which I happened to go through. The man reportedly was praising the role of 'Khap Panchayats' and its services to the people down the years.
An unfortunate phenomenon nowadays going on in Northern India especially Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar ,Delhi and a few North Indian States, simply put, is horrible and blood-chilling obviously at the behest of those at the head of Khap Panchayats.
As per the norms of Khap Panchayats it is something intolerable and violation of age-old custom prevailing there if a girl of marriageable age falls in love with a boy of marriageable age of the same clan (gotra) and if they decide to marry and live peacefully these 'Panchayat Heads' will take up cudgels against them taking exception to their violation of the norms. Even some of the close-relatives who follow the age-old custom and rules of khap panchayats take umbrage at the relationship from the same clan and go to the extent of finishing them off. It is often immaterial as far as the Panchayat heads are concerned whether they get married with the consent and blessings of their parents as per the reports appearing in the media. The fears of being hunted by the Panchayat men and the consequent nightmares often lead them to courts seeking protection to live peacefully. Elopement of both to some unknown places and settle there from the hunters is even not a solution or solace. Whenever and where ever they are traced, then and there they are tackled forever. 'Honour Killings' it is fondly termed, recently are widespread in Punjab, Haryana, UP, Bihar and even our Capital New Delhi. Scenes of weeping parents over the fate of their children are often seen in the visual and print media. Such painful sights make us angry and our eyes go wet often. Is it a crime if a girl of her own volition falls in love with a boy of the same 'gotra' (clan) and decides to marry him and lead a peaceful life? Even the courts offer them protection, order security for them from the hunters. Even court directions are often violated and whenever the eagle with the prying eyes spot them, they are done with mercilessly cold-bloodedly. Is this nothing but the rule of the jungle or worse than that?
Here comes the need of providing education to all and thereby enlightening all in the society. The laws of the jungle, the cruelties, intolerance and all such evil practices will gradually, eventually vanish from the land. The govts. both at the Centre and in the States have to raise to the occasion and take all possible measures to alleviate the harassment and sufferings of the entire lot.
Every panchayat "Khap" or "No Khap" should have to exist for the welfare and prosperity of all concerned.

Friday, June 25, 2010


In her garden of love
bloomed variety of flowers
fragrance spread smell all around
in the afternoons,
while dad and mum entered-
the world of long afternoon nap
stealthily she would move out
of her room first
walk down the steps.
Pluck she would a red rose from her garden
keeping the flower close to her heart
open the gate slowly and close it from behind
would cross over to the other side of the street
and walk down the pavement
in the direction of a flat a few steps away.
Unlock the door she would
sashay into the room
dip she would the slender stem of the red rose
inside a bottle filled with
crystal clear water
"Fade away not,
it is my love,
my offering to my beloved"-
Whisper she would.
Into the kitchen next,
boil sweet hot tea
on the micro-wave
fill the thermos
and would close and tighten it with the cap.
The next step then,
cook and ready the food and curries.
Happy and satisfied she would move inside
his private room,
switch on the ceiling fan,
beads of sweat slowly start evaporating,
her shawls often played pranks under the fan,
she loved it,
smile she would to herself
in the veil of reverie
sing,dance and gyrate as usual.
Tired, lie on the cosy bed
for a while,
look she would at the ceiling fan circling-
above for a while
time like a conditioned-reflex
would force her to wake up
reluctantly would she move out
lock the door from behind.
Down to the streets,
then to the house.

--------The routine knock at her door
sudden jolt as always,
afternoon nap broken,
train of dreams abruptly halted
with dozing eyes
wake up she would
walk to the wash-basin
Dad, Mum all woken up
into the portico would she move.
Her garden of love
blooming flower world,
she felt like it beckoning her
eyes reaching out to her beloved's flat-
still locked
move she would into the kitchen
Mum busy with routine chores,
then assume the role of Mum's assistant,
her routine chore.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Happier days are here again to the already happy Indian tax payers. Besides the fuel price hike already on the anvil Indian tax payers are forced to cough up more than Rs.1500 crore a huge chunk of which is to be paid to the hapless victims of world’s worst industrial disaster brought about by an irresponsible and careless acts of an American based company - Union Carbide (UCC) 26 years back. That is more than a quarter century. To be precise in the night of Dec 4, 1984 which killed and maimed several thousands of poor inhabitants in surrounding areas of the accursed firm. People living in shanties, on the pavements, bus stations, railway platforms, it was a crowded area where the construction of such a company itself was a huge folly and crime. The present generation too unfortunately suffer from the harmful effects due to the leak of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) and congenital effects in large numbers among the new born babies still continue unabated.

Its chairman Warren Anderson, the No.1 culprit, an American fled Bhopal in the dead of night it is alleged that he was provided an escape route to New Delhi, and as per the directions of the then ruling party leaders arranged a flight for him to USA to rescue him from the wrath of Indian citizens especially the Bhopal citizens. The man who should have been put behind bars is thus roaming free in his native nation.

For 26 years various govts under various alliances and leadership, the “ever vigilant media” about which we people extoll often never cared to take follow-up action to bring the culprits to justice even our judiciary developed a cold-feet, and as former Supreme Court Judge V.R.Krishna Iyer pointed out our highest court of land should have taken upon the task of taking notice of the crime and proceeded along and meted out punishment to the concerned accused.

Sevanti Ninan, a media watchdog, in her column ‘Media Matters’ in The Hindu, last Sunday in a sarcastic tone has castigated our mainstream media for the ‘belighted enlightenment’ dawned upon them and the competition among them to discuss, debate, interview and all such ‘art programmes’ with enthusiasm and righteous indignation about the Bhopal court verdict for letting loose the eight prominent culprits with imprisonments for a period of 2years or fine and for freeing them on bail for a surety of Rs.25000/ each and the main culprit Warren Anderson relaxing coolly in his cosy multi-million dollar flat in USA.

As a result of the hue and cry raised over the verdict at the eleventh hour a humanitarian and tender-hearted Prime Minister took up the initiative of forming a GoM (Group of Ministers) under the leadership of our Home Minister P.Chidambaram and directed them to urgently submit a report to him, the circumstances, the extent of damages caused, compensation amount to be paid to the victims’ families and for cleansing the entire contaminated environment the whole expenses and the other important follow-up actions to alleviate the sufferings of the hapless. Accordingly the meet which commenced on Friday last looked into all aspects of the disaster and further steps to be expedited submitted a report on Monday before the PM in right earnest.

An amount of Rs.1500 crores out of which 10 lakhs each to the kin of the victims who perished in the disaster, 5 lakhs each to those maimed ones and 2 lakhs each to the cancer-stricken patients as a consequence of the tragedy and specified that the amounts already doled out have to be deducted from the entire sum. The take-over by govt. of the Hospital built by the UCC which was virtually closed due to lack of amenities, equipments and doctors the contaminated materials to be collected in a covern etc etc.

A decision to file a curative petition before Supreme Court for extradition of Warren Anderson (how nice, aha aha) and for directing the UCC, America to remit further compensation. UCC meanwhile has made it clear that at the time of signing the deal there was no clause in it to provide compensation in the event of a disaster.

And now all this per-meditated drama. The compensation announced by our generous govt. to the victims of the disaster, to put it mildly is just ‘peanuts’, please note it is after a lapse of 26 years. Adding insult to injury the entire compensation amount will have to be at the expense of our already burdened tax-payers. A National daily, The New Indian Express, on an opinion survey has found that 92 percent of its readers believe that Indian tax-payer will have to bear the burden.

The hurry with which our PM and his colleagues conducted the GoM and the ‘soothing measures’ followed with an enormous speed it seems, have a hidden agenda. That our PM is in a desperate hurry to get the Civil Nuclear damage liability bill passed in parliament, his obligation to US. Let us wait and see.

It is worthwhile here to note that US President could force BP (British Petroleum) then and there for the oil-spill disaster due to the blow-out of the oil well in the Gulf of Mexico causing massive havoc to the bio-diversity deposit US $20 billion in escrow (with no cap). What about our PM and his colleagues?
Why can’t our govt. prevail upon the US govt. to extradite Warren Anderson and force UCC to deposit the eligible amount that will come to about millions of dollars? The whole responsibility lies upon those who are enconsced in the hot seats at New Delhi. But the mute question is will it dare to take on the US govt.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


“How old is the Hindutva movement? It is a relatively new development in Indian politics, but it has become a powerful force. Although Hinduism an ancient religion, Hindutva is quite a recent political movement.”- ‘The Argumentative Indian’ by Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate.

Much discussions, debates and heated arguments had taken place across our country, still taking place related to religion versus politics. V.R.Krishna Iyer, the eminent jurist, the pride of our nation reminds us the much quoted statement enshrined in the Preamble of our Constitution : ‘India, the Secular, Socialist, Sovereign, Republic’ through almost all his writings. The nonagenarian jurist despite age-related handicaps is still active in the social life of Kerala, India and the world as a whole.

Vir Sanghvi, in his weekly column ‘Parallax View’ captioned ‘The Old Gandhimarg or the Pandit Nehru Road’ in the New Indian Express has ignited further discussions and debates and earnestly invites the readers to participate to put forth their views related to the influence of religion in our political life. Ours is a nation obsessed with politics and politicians and the developmental issues occupy a secondary place. Mr.Sanghvi raises the point of keeping politics away from the influence of religion and he is of the firm opinion that the Nehruvian path or outlook of secularism is best suited to our land.

Naturally the role of BJP (Bharathiya Janata Party) in the national politics enters his writing. Though BJP swears by the ‘Hindutva view’ and harps on building a Ram Mandir at Ayodhya at the disputed site, that Party very cleverly keeps away from even talking about building the temple on attaining power at the centre. The coalition politics in India, please recall the NDA alliance (National Democratic Alliance) consisting of 18 parties most of the supporting entities were holding secular approach and staunch opponents of Hindutva view of politics and hence the issue of Ram Mandir put on hold. The obvious reason being the stability of their government.

To manage a coalition government with participants holding different perceptions, be it BJP or the GOP (Grand Old Party) of India, Indian National Congress mull countless times to reach a final decision to follow each’s respective agendas and they are forced to put the entire plans in abeyance. Clever indeed are our politicians and for that matter all politicians the world over.

The ongoing tussle between BJP and Janata Dal (U) of Bihar Chief Minister is the latest instance. Whether BJP will pull out of the JD(U) government is watched by the nation with interest and curiosity Nitish’s reluctance to share dais with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was understandable. It was suicidal on his part as the majority of Yadavas, Kurmis, Muslims, Chamars umpteen of them all his supporters would have turned tables against him had he went on with it. Modi and his party tried their level best to hog the limelight thus pushing Nitish to the background. No self-respecting CM won’t tolerate it and hence it was natural.

Vir Sanghvi aptly points out while the NDA alliance under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee was in power he always kept a comfortable distance from the Sangh Paivar elders at Nagpur and kept quiet on the issue of constructing a Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. Vajpayee always dwelt upon the importance of keeping a secular approach. (whether he was wearing a khaki knicker beneath his dhoti is another matter) Constraints of a coalition govt. were always there. The shrewd and diplomatic politician Vajpayee was through out successfully jumped all hurdles and completed a six year term (1998-2004). Sanghvi says even Narendra Modi BJP’s hard-core Chief Minister of Gujarat has never revealed his Hindutva affinity to the people in his State of Gujarat.

The columnist drives his point home about the widespread secular views of Indian masses. Leave the terror elements as they have no religion anywhere in the world.

Mr.Sanghvi at one place writes about Jaswant Singh, former External Affairs Minister who was unceremoniously expelled from BJP for his controversial book on Jinnah for singing paens of the latter, many eye-brows raised by many leaders of the Party as well as the Sangh Parivar family at Nagpur has staged a come back to the parent organisation – return of the prodigal son. What surprises me most is while the infighting was raging within the Party soon after bitter performance at the hustings in the aftermath of 15th General elections he was also one among the revolters and his pointed question to the leadership was that what the Party meant by Hindutva. He is a scholar par excellence in Hinduism- not Hindutva – and his first controversial work- ‘A Call to Honour’- ample testimony to this. It is also worthwhile to note here that even while active in BJP he had not much affinities whatsoever with Sangh Parivar. Then why he chose to return to the parent party? Only one answer comes in my way? The former Jawan must have apprehended the possibility of falling into political wilderness.

Hinduism is not in anyway connected with Hindutva which is propounded by the Sangh Parivar for its ulterior motives. Hinduism has a wider meaning. Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureated in his much sought after book, ‘The Argumentative Indian’ has written about Hinduism in detail and the narrow-minded BJP leaders distorting it and naming it Hindutva.

Other person ‘who is in transit’ (Courtesy : Vir Sanghvi) to BJP is the saffron-clad self-proclaimed Sanyasin Uma Bharti, former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh expelled by the Party years ago who is known for throwing tantrums unbecoming of a Sanyasin.

If BJP is again to stage a come back to the throne at Indraprastha in future it is not because they get consolidated under the new leader Nitin Gadkari as the President of BJP but only due to the dismal performance of the UPA 2 alliance governance, presently we are witnessing and experiencing.

Kudos to Vir Sanghvi once more for triggering a discussion on religion in politics and the need of adopting secularism as our guiding force.


Father was like a ticking time-bomb sometimes,
Or like a fuming volcano about to erupt any time
Too quick-tempered was he.
Disillusionment writ large on his face,
Gloom and agony reflected in his eyes always
Quite ruthless in behaviour sometimes,
Found something wrong in all her deeds,
Anger, accusations, vitriol,
Endless the list seemed.
No complaints she had,
Mother always listened to him,
Obeyed him, took care of all his tall orders,
A model wife she remained through out.
Quite fond of her husband,
Read she the writings on his inner mind
And saw the picture of an orphan in tears,
Orphan, he was.
While a babe his mother left him,
Without even leaving a picture
He yearned to watch it and shower kisses on her
Visualized he her face, but in vain
‘why you left me helpless in a barren world,
With no traces of love’?
His tears nobody saw.
But mother saw the X-ray of his mind
And sat helpless.
Whenever she fell ill
Father took care of her,
Took her to the doctor,
Ensured he she took the medicines in time.
But his face still moody as stony,
Children grew up,
Went to schools, colleges
Emerged successful
All of them,
Applied for jobs,
And got selected at distant parts of the world.
Daughters married off
Each left the house,
To their temples of duties
One by one.
Finally father and mother left behind.
Stream of letters came pouring in
Gradually, slowly the flow dried up.
Inner pleasure vanished,
Implosions in their life nobody saw.
Days, months, years passed by
River of time flowed in full force.
Grew old both of them
Loneliness like a curse befell on both
Father fell ill one day,
Bed-ridden he was
Quite frail he turned out
His confidence and determination ebbed away,
He always wanted her presence beside him,
‘A wicked, ruthless sinner I was’
“Quite rude to you throughout’
‘You loved me still
And continues to love me attend to my needs
Like a mother tends her child’-
Streams of tears
Ran down the corners of his eyes.
‘Self-deprication flashed in his face,
Don’t, please don’t give me pain, your tears force me to weep,
Like a child
It is my mission and my pleasure to look after you’,
Only love, nothing but love towards you’.
In broken words, her lips quivering,
she calmed him
forcefully suppressing her tears.

Friday, June 18, 2010


After a hectic schedule that day
Barry went to sleep late in the night
Sleepless days he spends these days
Nerves stretched to the limits.
In the wee hours of the morning
Barry slipped into drowsiness
Riding on a thin blurred line,
Between consciousness and unconsciousness
Barry saw a dream.
An African gentleman
Sitting beside him smiling and caressing-
Barry a ten year old child,
“Dad”, Barry with unbelievable eyes
Delighted he was
Beyond words.
Pride and happiness
Reflected in the African’s eyes,
Barry’s eyes gone teary
“Proud of you my son,
How gonna life?”
Dad inquired smilingly
“In the garden of mine and Ann’s wedded life
You were the first flower to bloom my son”. Dad went emotional,
“Auma, Roy and others bloomed later”
All dearer to me but you are my dearest.
“Forget not your roots my son,
Forget not your humble beginnings,
Forget not the yoke of slavery and oppression
Forget not our great liberation struggle and victory in the end
Forget not your forefathers”
Barry sat spell-bound.
“Hated and mocked at you were,
They called you
All sorts of epithets”
Delighted and proud I am,
You care them not,
Challenges you
Fought and won in the end
Keep on fighting
My son
Remember you are an Obama
Always be an Obama
Barack Obama,
Forget not your roots
Suppression and torture
Alien words always
Forget it not”
Patted Barry on the back
Smile and affection
Flashing on his face.
“Dad, Dad, Dad”
Barry wept aloud,
“Gonna something wrong?”,
- Michelle and Children came running to him.
“Nothing. Nothing”- He murmured and turned to the other side.

Courtesy: “Audacity of Hope” by Barack Obama

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Hunter always preys victims. He/she needs victims like an eagle with prying eyes, hunter is always on the move from Stone Age man to a modern man. From chiseled sharpened stones to sophisticated weapons mankind has journeyed a lot. An odyssey, so to speak.

US, its rulers since decades have turned hunters in search of victims. It can’t help it. Somebody to be conquered, wreak havoc, bombard the ones who resist, make them subservient or destroy – I think it is in its DNA. It can’t tolerate other nations progress beyond them hence it keeps a close vigil like that of an eagle resting somewhere above with prying eyes. A victim always it is in need of.

Be it Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, George Bush Sr. and Jr., Barack Obama, the story is the same one-upmanship.

In the ultra-modern period it has countless ways of bringing a victim under its fold, later befriending it, offering something attractive or lucrative or threatening one who is not willing to come along the dotted lines with dire consequences ranging from massive pounding with lethal, sophisticated weapons thus making the Supreme World body, the UN virtually disabled.

Still the hunter tastes defeat at the hands of lesser entities in its words victims. But it never admits to it. Though by licking wounds donning a brave face, the hunter flees from the determined victim which possesses limited resources and never-say-die-attitude, its thirst for freedom most essential weapons.

Vietnam was one of the defining examples. The sight of victim prevailing over the hunter was witnessed by the whole world with proud and appreciation. A historical moment in the history of the world written in golden letters. The hunter baring its canine tooth, blood oozing long tongue, frightening looks, tentacles, blood thirsty face, its nails clawed and ripped apart the entire national and social fabric of that little victim, bombarded it with Napalm and phosphorous bombs tried to virtually turn it into a desert with no traces of human beings but with determination under the leadership of Hochimin and Gen. Gyap ambushed the hunter forced it to vacate Vietnam leaving behind even its deadly weapons. Yet the hunter never seemed to cow down as it is not in its blood or DNA maintained a high profile in front of world even after biting dust at the hands of a small country.

The hunter is always on prowl and its eyes turned elsewhere. Besides it the former couldn’t sit idle. Piling up nuclear weapons in its kitty along with other weapons of mass destruction- enough and more to turn the entire humanity to ashes it is still moving along with Eagle’s eyes. Monopoly is always a bad thing be it anywhere. One who- whoever he/she is- never can’t digest the growth or development or progress of anyone it is a universal truth hence such tendencies or inclinations need to be nipped in the bud. Sadly in our world many keeps the word close their heart. Its bitter tastes lesser entities continue to endure. In almost all fields in the contemporary world especially in a globalised world with the spread of neo-liberal economic reforms (Thank God, it shows signs of waning as of now) its repercussions are widespread.

Even the incumbent US President, who is a black American who had to slug it out to reach the top post where the whites always preferred to rule the roost- they even termed him racist and all such kinds of epithets- on assumption of office at the Oval office from the very beginning began to talk like a George Walker Bush, his predecessor. The witnessing of some Asian countries showing signs of growing was unbearable to him and in his early days as President thought about imposing protectionism badly affecting outsourcing of jobs to other countries. Yes, agree it was a difficult period for America due to Global meltdown but he should have recalled or borne in mind that it was the undoings of his own predecessors not of the developing countries.

His foreign policy was also in the footsteps of his predecessors. Though with a mellowed approach, talking about ushering in a new world order - of peace and universal harmony he proceeded along continuing US’s fight in Afghanistan, it still goes on there with renewed vigour but with no success in sight and still has not left Iraq, though waiting on the wings keeping a low profile. Wreak destruction first and taste defeat later and mulling a face saving device to withdraw the troops is US’s new strategy.

But no looking back. The hunter’s eyes are following the movements of another victim, this time Iran. Reason not that serious though he blows it out of proportions. The apprehensions of Iran developing a nuclear weapon and to prevent it from manufacturing it- Iran has notwithstanding refuted the accusation- US with the support of 11 nations out of 15 (P5 + 1 including), has passed a resolution in United Nations Security Council imposing tight sanctions or in the words of Hilary Clinton ‘biting sanctions’ on Iran. Laughable indeed.

Prior to imposing sanctions an agreement was already signed under the initiative of Turkey and Latin American giant Venezeula to enrich 1200 kgs of Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) of Iran and outside it convert it into medical isotopes to detect cancer in human beings and transfer them it to later. But America not satisfied with the agreement though under the initiatives are of two prominent international players, Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Venezeulan President Hugo Chavez.

Here also Monopoly became the last word - who are Erdogan and Hugo Chavez while Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton are around, the final arbiters?

The hunter whether he gets defeated or not in the end never mind he is always on the hunt.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Once upon a time
She had a name
Not now,
Now umpteen names
But only one role she has.
Once upon a time
She was a village girl
A cute pretty girl
In jacket and blouse
Not now
Parents she had,
Loving and caring were they,
Siblings and close friends
She had,
All full of warmth and love.
Not now.
Her hairs thick and long
Up to the buttocks,
Face angelic
No artificial make-up
She like a giggling sparkling stream
in her anklets
Cynosure of all village boys
Envious girl-friends
But they liked her, loved her
Not now
Went to school, college
All successfully completed,
Began to apply for jobs
In came a saviour from the distant city one day
Her ‘sister’ in the neighbourhood
After a lapse of years
She was a new ‘avatar’
Cropped hair, lipstick always on her lips, expensive clothes she wore
A variety entertainment,
sarees, salvar and kammeese,
Churidhar, Top, Jeans
And glittering ornaments
Fruits of hard-earned labour,
She told her with hubris
A lovable, caring, warm one
She hugged the girl
Kissed her rosy cheeks
Praised her prettiness in abundance
A job offered in the bustling city
An attractive job.
Parents, siblings, friends,
Happiness abound
All for good
Lucky girl
All unanimous in views
At last came the D-day
Both boarded the train to the city
As the train trudged
Along slowly
Tears streamed down
The cheeks of all.
But all for good
The only silver-lining.
Unfamiliar lands, unfamiliar faces all
She like ‘Alice in wonderland’
Train covered
Unfamiliar territiories
In the broad daylight
The beast ended
Its run at the main station
The city like a seductive enchantress
Welcome my village girl,
The enchantress seemed to whisper in her ears
Faceless crowds, blaring sirens,
Vehicles hooting past
Girl, you like ‘Alice in Wonderland’,
No, ‘Wonder world’ this
City continued to whisper
Both boarded a taxi
Sped thru streets
Sky high buildings
Faceless crowd
Oceans of slums
Street childs in ragged clothes
Left behind
The ‘beetle’ reached somewhere
Both alighted
Lady climbed the stairs
She like an
Obedient child
Some climbing up, some climbing down
No idea
Entered a room
A pan-chewing lady in her sixties
Expensive clothes she wore
Bunch of chains hanging from her waist
Mischievous, sly glance
She cast at the lady and the
‘Daughter’, ‘Alice’ she called
‘Really cute you are’
‘Quite sleepy she is’
Her ‘sister’ at the lady
‘Long journey you know’
Alice’s ‘sister’ blinked once more,
Take a steaming tea
Have a nice sleep
All Mamy will arrange,
‘Shall come now’
She shook her head.
Innocence of a child
Reflected on her face
Mamy guided her
To an empty room
Saw many faces
Along the way
All in expensive clothes and raunchy smiles

All pretensions, pity and pain underneath
Like unseen undercurrents
No idea.
Tea came,
Sipped it,
Drowsiness she felt,
Lied on the bed,
No idea where she was flowing to
Hours gone
In the shock and pain
Excruciating it was
Naked she was
Bleeding she was
Her loud cries
Like in a wilderness
The ‘Mamy’ with beastly
Eyes came inside,
Slapped her left and right
Her mouth gagged by a
Faceless beast
She kicked her hands and legs in the vaccum
Writhing in excruciating pain,
Hours of silence
Looking at the ceiling
She lied
Nature’s cycles came and went
No complaints,
No anger,
No emotions,
All pretensions
Like the victims she saw the first day
Pendulum kept on
Moving to and fro
Time never stops
Stories never end…


In banking parlance, if a rich and influential customer reaches the bank to deposit a huge sum to credit his account after business hours, the cashier on the advice of his superiors or of his own volition accept it with a note ‘too’ late for today’s account. The amount will be the first entry in the next day’s scroll. Now in computer , gone are the days of heavy ledgers used as cash scrolls. A bank official be him a manager, assistant manager, clerk, cashier or peon is bound to keep a welcome smile on his lips before a rich customer and keep him delightful always. “Customer Delight” is the apt word, so to say. (As one who opted out of a bank four years back this writer was part of and witness of invited smiles infront of influential customers).
Now come to the point or the heart of the matter.
‘This is no zero tolerance Mr. Prime Minister’ an occasional column under the caption ‘Reality check’ in the Op-ed Page of the National daily The Hindu by Siddharth Varadarajan who holds a responsible position in the reputed daily.

Kudos to Mr. Varadarajan for his ‘belated enlightenment’ over the mismatch between the words and deeds of our Prime Minister Dr.ManMohan Singh.

During a press conference ‘big’ please note ‘big’ our respected Prime Minister, I think it was on the eve of UPA 2 govt.’s completion of one year in office listing out the achievements of the govt. during the period Siddharth Varadarajan in his capacity as a media person asked the PM why no action was being contemplated against the army officials who gunned down five innocent civilians of Pathribal in one of the countless fake encounters in the simmering State of Jammu&Kashmir ten years ago. PM evaded him and turned to other media person. Mr.Varadarajan was discharging an obligation of a responsible journalist to inquire about a pertinent question about an incident, a ghastly one which shook the entire J&K in 2000. Mouthing zero tolerance towards anyone violating human rights round the clock virtually doing nothing positive in that direction our PM was hiding his ‘ostrich head’ in the sand.

He always swears by his integrity and there are many takers for his claim, agree, why he evades from the steps expected from such a person?

In 2004 UPA 1 came to power amidst much fanfare and Dr.Singh occupied the throne of Prime Minister obviously with the blessings of Sonia Gandhi, the power behind the throne since then.

On assuming office, he spoke before the nation various steps to lift the nation out of the abyss of debt, corruption, worsening law and order situation, terror-threats hanging like the proverbial sword of Democles and make it a vibrant economy in his tenure as Prime Minister.

One of the first measures about which he had spoken about was his vow to root out the rampant corruption plaguing our nation. He also declared that there wouldn’t be any corrupt or scam-tainted ministers in his cabinet. And if and when a scam-tainted minister he found such a person in his ministry he vowed to throw him out.

Laughable indeed. By keeping alleged scam tainted ministers like Lalu Prasad Yadav, Shibu Soren, to name a few, he was speaking from the highest podium. Little did he take any measures to keep them out from his ministry. Rather he kept mum. In spite of the hullabaloo raised by the opposition parties and prolonged boycott of the parliamentary proceedings by them he didn’t budge rather feared to budge as his top-most priority was the stability of his government. Removing the scam-tainted ministers amounted to scuttling the existence of his govt. for which he was not prepared to. The certainty of toppling the govt. by certain parties was looming large hence he meekly surrendered to their diktats. The funniest part of the story was in the meanwhile he kept on harping about rooting out corruption from our land and as always some scapegoats dealt with. An eye wash, so to speak. During his press conference on completion of one year by UPA 2 govt. he didn’t mince no words in keeping the corrupt elements out of his cabinet. The continuation of allegedly scam-tainted A.Raja, Communications Minister notwithstanding over the issue of 2G spectrum auction. And our PM is not at all going to take any action against him even if it is proved beyond any doubt about Raja’s involvement fearing the erosion of the support base of his govt. by a powerful constituent from Tamil Nadu.

Other important measure he often mentions about ‘social inclusiveness’. Ever since he assumed power in 2004 the term ‘social inclusiveness’ he often mentioned till now barring some not so essential measures it remains where it was. His and his team’s so called economic reforms catered to the needs of corporate India and in turn they go on flourishing widening the chasm between the haves and have-nots day by day. Class-divisions often lead to tensions resultantly the entire social fabric is bound to be affected. As Pushpa M Bharagava wrote in The Hindu two days ago 80% percent of Indians live below poverty line, among them the average savings of each person is Rs 20 a day while a minority enjoy life to its full potential. Signs of unrest and violence we witness on a daily basis no amount of suppression won’t be sufficient to contain it. The Law of Eventual Destruction of Oppressors (LEDO) is applicable to all nations even US not an exception according to him. He has no hesitation to point out that America is a hated nation in front of the world unlike in the past. Pushpa M Bhargava also mentions about one of his meetings with Noam Chomsky and in the course of the talks Chomsky had told him about his anticipation of 9/11 type attack in USA. Chomsky’s anticipation proved right in his own life-time.

While writing this piece our PM was on a two day tour of Jammu&Kashmir and on the day one he was reported to have declared his govt.’s determination to deal with human rights violations sternly. What more needed?

Our PM’s US-centric attitude is embarrassing as well as appalling. Close on the heels of his assumption of office as FM (Finance Minister) under the Premiership of P.V.Narasimha Rao following the path of America he introduced neo-liberal economic reforms in our country. Following in his footsteps the next govt. which was BJP-led one under the Prime Ministership of A.B.Vajpayee in 1998, neo-liberal reforms gained momentum and in 2004 when the General elections were announced and held the NDA alliance under him was pretty sure about a victorious come back. The much publicized ‘INDIA SHINING’ slogan through print and visual media and the nationwide campaign with a note of over-confidence resulted in bitter disaster upsetting all calculations. Actually India was suffering not shining and the masses were eagerly waiting for an opportunity to dislodge the NDA govt at the earliest. NDA couldn’t read the pulse of the electorate, their sufferings and hardships while those at the top, a miniscule of them amassed huge wealth, thanks to their adoption of the neo-liberal reforms introduced by Mr.Rao and Dr.ManMohan Singh. 2004 General elections witnessed a hung parliament Congress being the first largest party with the support of several regional entities and with the Left Front extending support from outside, a govt. was cobbled together with a wafer-thin majority in parliament. Leftists with their 61 seats were a formidable force. Dr.Singh couldn’t proceed along the expected lines his hands somewhat tied up, some welfare measures had to be implemented for those at lowest rungs otherwise his line would have been different.

His pro-American approach, his obsession with US continued notwithstanding the opposition of the Leftists and George Bush was his idol then and that relationship resulted in Indo-US Civil Nuclear deal. The Leftists withdrew support to his govt. reducing it to be a minority govt. A horse-trading of sorts resulted, millions flowed and the fence-sitters came to his help- the ones without any principles or ideology and he got the deal approved by the Parliament. I recall his assurance while an uproar against the ‘agreement’ note here ‘agreement’ erupted before the parliament approved it with the support of fence-sitters Dr.Singh had given an assurance to parliament members that before signing the deal in its entirety would be discussed in the parliament but he back-tracked from his promise never discussed it with the MPs and got it approved later.

During the Indo-US strategic dialogue at Washington, US had reportedly pressed for the approval of Indo-US Nuclear liability damage bill which is now before the parliamentary standing committee. In the event of a nuclear-disaster the US firms which are about to install nuclear reactors in India could escape responsibility for the disaster by paying a nominal sum as compensation. Please note that the verdict on worst ever industrial disaster caused by an American firm in the world- the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984 which killed and maimed several thousands of innocents was a disgrace to the entire world. The accused No.1 Warren Anderson, an American is already free. US has made it clear in no uncertain terms that Mr.Anderson will not be extradited. Eight others escaped with 2 year imprisonment or by remitting a nominal fine. All of them were freed on bail with a surety of Rs.25000 each with in hours of the pronouncement of the verdict.

It is quite certain that Civil Nuclear damage liability bill is going to be passed in our parliament in a few days time. It is part of an obligation of a US-centric Prime Minister and he will ensure that his beloved friendly country has to be kept in good humour. We have got a PM worth emulating.


US leaders are not a bunch of fools to believe that Pakistan is a friend indeed. A friend in need, need not be a friend indeed at least in this context. But they need Pakistan knowing fully well that it is a hot-bed of terrorism, a breeding ground of terrorists of various hues inimical to US and to the whole world. Vice-versa Pakistan with a mask of friendship toward US keeping hatred and anger in mind, continues with I- am- a- good- friend- of-yours attitude. Both deceive each other or both play into the hands of each other.

US also is well aware that unlike Pakistan India is a peace-loving country and less dangerous one, has no tradition of deceiving any other nation and submissive to them. India is to them a dumping ground of American products ranging obsolete items like weapons, nuclear-reactors, IT-products, food-items etc. US is certain they need not dictate to India just exerting soft pressure or persuasion is enough to make out ruling elite kneel down before them. US always shows concerns and often sheds crocodile tears whenever terrorists from across the border of our traditional rival strike at our national and social fabric. Something shocking and painful to India and at the same time they always go to any great length to keep a ‘growing economy’ from flourishing- the truth only a few know - in check. This is another side of the coin otherwise the US would not have pumped billions of US dollars, and logistical help to Pakistan, a country constantly simmering under terrorist attacks killing innocents, hundred of them on a daily basis. Every one knows for sure American intentions are not to force Pakistan to concentrate upon tackling the growing terror threats there and but to force the rulers to amass their forces at North West Frontiers and provide them with sophisticated weapons to mount large-scale offensive against the hard-core Al-Qaida elements safely embedded in the harsh terrains and the Taliban elements who are bent upon forcing the US troops and the NATO allies flee from Afghanistan and capture power in Kabul dethroning Hamid Karzai. The shrewd Hamid Karzai these days have turned tables on US and befriended the old-foes Pakistan, even paid a visit to Pakistan and took the opportunity to declare from the soil of Pakistan that both of them are con-joined brothers and India a good friend and obviously with the purpose of continuing in power as US these days is not on good terms with him.

Here I don’t want to delve deep into the complicated relationship relationship between these two countries.

Pakistan itself becoming a victim of its terror groups is not a new phenomenon now. Now we are witnessing something tragic and gruesome a nation paying for its past deeds of encouraging anti-India elements arming them with weapons and training and helping them to sneak into J&K under the cover of darkness on a massive scale, their only mission being destroying the peaceful and harmonious lives of civilians resulting in tearing apart the social and national fabric of a state first and gradually the whole India. The then leaders were proud of those elements who wreaked havoc in our country and even honored them by calling them freedom fighters. The govt. inspired Jihadi elements grew thick and fast and different outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hisbul Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-E-Jhangvi, a number of them all hard-core vowed to free Jammu & Kashmir from India at any cost.

While Pakistani leaders and terrorists leaders celebrated, dined, wined and roared into beastly laughters whenever the Jihadist elements struck at various parts of India inflicting heavy casualties and destruction of properties and their leaders hiding their happiness and delight termed all those attacks ‘painful, shocking, unfortunate’ and what not? Serial bomb explosions in Delhi, Mumbai, the economic capital of India, Bangalore ,the silicon-valley, all still targets and our security forces always on the vigil to nab those beasts before they strike.

Those who laughed at the misfortune underwent by India once are nowadays seen beating their chests and weeping before the World as the progenies turning against their creators like Frankenstein Monsters. The rulers find themselves in a quandary and despite whatever steps they take the lethal outfits like Tehreek-e-Taliban strike at various landmarks shedding much blood. Pakistanis see nightmares round the clock unable to make out where those animals are about to strike next. Where is Retd. General Pervez Musharaff now, who honored those elements freedom fighters without an iota of repentance or remorse. Far away in London cooling his heels. A courageous General indeed. Remember Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister fell to the assassin’s bullets in broad daylight at Rawalpindi while on a whirlwind election tour while Musharaff was in power.

The ghastly incident was one among many. The Marriot hotel siege and ruthless massacre of national as well as international dignitaries, suicide bombings almost on a daily basis with hundreds of perishing and the latest one reported two days back that of jihadists holding siege of minarets and during prayer times of Ahmediya sects at Lahore and the shoot-out followed for long hours leading in the death of more than 60 devotees. Pakistan has virtually turned into a burning cauldron.

India faces both internal and external threat simultaneously. Two neighbouring nations in turmoil. Two South Asian nations reeling under violence besides other gigantic problems.

India’s North East has reached a flash point with the continuous blockade of the two highways to Manipur through Nagaland to transport all essential items ranging from food items, stationary items, even life-saving medicines to those admitted to the hospitals with serious diseases. The denial of permission to Naga leader Issac Muivab (IM) to visit his native place in Manipur by Chief Minister Ibobi Singh besides the Naga demand for a United Nagaland annexing the areas which Naga leaders claim to be theirs’ since decades are the reasons cited for the blockade. The centre though intervened to settle the disputes between the two States has emerged without success. Almost two months have elapsed. So far Assam already under the constant threats of militant outfits like ULFA (United Liberation Front of Assam) and the activists of Bodoland, now Manipur and Nagaland on a collision course India’s North-East as a whole sits on a fuming volcano waiting to erupt at any point to the fright of civilians who are peace-lovers wherever they are, it is mind-boggling and painful that they fall victims to the clashes and violence between different groups and by security force let loose by the govts in power. The fake encounter deaths of civilians by the army personnel and peoples’ determined fight for the repeal of the draconian AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) since years continue vigorously. It is worth remembering here that Irom Charu Sharmila, an young lady is on fast unto death since 2000 for the repeal of AFSPA now that ten years have elapsed and she is being forcibly fed through her nostrils by the govt. authorities. Suppression of a movement with an iron-fist does not behove a govt. which always claims and boasts about its vibrant democracy. Democracy as far as our ruling elite is concerned has turned out to be a label to sweep many a misdeed under the carpet. Not surprising or embarrassing as it is always like that in our country. The words and deeds of those at the top echelons do not match in contemporary times.

Another internal threat about which our Prime Minister Dr.ManMohan Singh repeatedly mentions about is that of Maoists. Even the die-hard detractors of Maoist movement while stressing the need of beefing up our security forces to fight and crush them whole-heartedly point towards the urgent measures to be taken to alleviate the sufferings of the tribals who are being exploited since decades and take all steps needed, in other words the socio-economic measures for the uplift of down-trodden slogging it out in the jungles. Maoists with their fire-brand revolutionary spirit could easily penetrate into them exert maximum influence over them make conscious of their rights and the need to consolidate and take up arms against their exploiters. Now that with the injection of revolutionary spirit into them by the Maoists they have found saviours in the Maoists and are organized under their umbrella to fight for the fruits of their hard labour. The need of the hour is expedite measures on an urgent footing to bridge the socio-economic disparities along with launching security steps to minimize the blood-bath not to maximize it with brutal suppressions. Alleviating the hardships of the socially depressed classes is long overdue and delayed measures may turn counter-productive. Recently our committed Gandhian Defence Minister held serious discussions and consultation with the chiefs of Armed forces the urgent steps to be initiated to take on the Maoists first but no decision has been finalized yet. Even a common man is very well aware that it is not the Maoists alone going to be annihilated much of the harm would certainly affect the already suffering tribals. Maoist threat is centred along the different terrains of jungles of Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Bengal.

Another internal threat stares in the face of the Kashmiri civilians. Recent gunning down of three youths at Rahiabad- who were not terror elements by the security forces and protests and violence followed had aggravated the already fragile and volatile atmosphere in Jammu&Kashmir. The bandh declared by hard-core Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Gilani and the subsequent closure of business and educational establishments of the area, the house arrest of moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq had virtually thrown the life out of gear in the affected area. Besides all these is the terror threat apprehended at any point of time anywhere in our nation.

Pakistani leaders now keep away from celebrating over the unfortunate incidents in India as they have more than handsful of problems- all horrific- to tackle. Added to these is the arrest and imprisonment of a US based Pakistani Faizal Shahsad who was nabbed by American security forces for his attempt to plant a bomb in a car at Time Square, NewYork. On grilling of Shahsad by the US authorities he was reported to be hand in gloves with the most dreaded terror outfit of Pakistan – Tehrek-E-Taliban. Besides Afghanistan Pakistan is also included in the hit list if not an imminent strike, a massive onslaught by the American forces is expected in the near future itself. The friend in need need not be a friend indeed as I had already mentioned at least in this context.