Sunday, October 31, 2010


members of the Colony of Lovers,
united, peace-loving, contended lot
barring ocassional squabblings,
wordy duels and
common to any society
every society
next moment bitter taste
gets dissolved
like a pinch of salt
thown into an ocean
forget we
bury we
all that went wrong.
members of the Colony of Lovers
a common code of conduct,
albeit an unwritten one.
And we abide by it
hold dear to us like the apple of our eyes.
A new comer
to our Colony
is put on probation
at the outset
he is a stranger to us
we remain strangers to him.
Hence the probationary period.
Duration but depends.
From the start,
he is being watched,
his movements traced
his contacts scrutinized
his antecedents put under
He could be a thug
could be a robberer
or a thief
could be a terrorist,
a traitor, a womaniser,
an anti-social element
could be anything
need a vigil
in these frightening times
aroud us.
Always we
the members of the
Colony of Lovers
make sure the fact
his movements,
dealings, way of living
everything is being put
uder the scanner,
duration of his probation,
be prolonged,
or to be curtailed
depends upon
the unanimous conclusion
after periodical reviews.
Once he passes all ordeals
then he is welcome,
a red-carpet unrolled before him
remains he
one among us,
one among the Colony of Lovers
that we are... comes another new-comer....
and we like a 24X7 TV channel
on the go....
reporters, cameras and crew,
all ready.....


Delhi though seems to be faraway from the reach of BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) is not that farway, isn't that so? Is 2014 that faraway, no, it is not that faraway since time is fast running out like an inundated river.
Be that as it may, going by the trends the power-struggle in the Conservative Party appears to have started. By 2014, L.K.Advani, the revered leader of BJP surely is poised to pave the way for the generation second leaders, or he will be forced to, umpteen of them waiting to be in the wings. Hence a power-struggle for the topmost post of the nation is a virtual possibility.
In the subsequent churning process who will emerge winner is anybodies guess.
It seems Nitin Gadkari while taking up the mantle of President of the Party from Rajnath Singh many leaders in the party as well as a section of the media, political commentators, columnists, all thought on the lines of the Party at last was blessed with a powerful leader, a 'no-nonsense' man as he was picked up by the elders, The Sangh Parivar at Nagpur. But no, in the subsequent days, he couldn't come up to expectations of the Party hierarchy and still he seems to be a mediocre President just like Rajnath Singh about whom nothing is heard of these days.
Anyhow BJP is in the process of widening its network across the nation with the help of its allies like Janata Dal(U) and is on the hunt for new allies. Whether it would be able to cobble together an alliance of other parties which departed from its umbrealla one by one depends on the performance of UPA II alliance, now at the top echelons of power. The time is not ripe to hazard a guess at the moment but one thing is for sure, the UPA I government did something for those at the lower strata of the society, not because its sympathy or compassion but due to constant pressure and arm-twisting of the leftist alliance which at that time was a powerful force to reckon with.
In the run-up to the General election in 2004, unfortunately first due to the schisms developed in the leftist alliance, second due to the opportunist politics played by certain parties like the Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh and Co., leftists got isolated, advantage UPA.
On the issue of passage of Civil-Nuclear Liability Bill in Parliament, opportunist parties till then proclaimed enemies of UPA and friendly with Leftists were roped in by the UPA I leaders allegedly through horse-trading. Thus leftist support to UPA I left redundant and with the outside support extended by Samajwadi Party, Shibu Soren's JMM (Janata Mukti Morcha) alliance helped ManMohanji to materialise the passage of the controversial bill. By this time Left parties had withdrawn support to the ManMohan Singh that in no way affected the stability of his govt.
General Elections came, all parties jumped into the fray, the tide turned in favour of UPA II alliance relegating the BJP to the second place and Leftist alliance biting dust. Both in Kerala and Bengal, two power bastions of Left parties nearly wiped out and after that for them everything turned worse both in Bengal and Kerala. The civic-local elections in Bengal and the recently held local polls in Kerala all handed down a certain defeat to them, their future in fast approaching Assembly elections a sure defeat in the absence of a miracle.
Come to the power-struggle in BJP. Of late, the tussle for the top-most position seems to be between Narendra Modi, Chief Minister, Gujarat, and Sushma Swaraj, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha. Both eye the topmost position in Delhi is an open secret and as a powerful Administrator of Gujarat - agree he could change the face of Gujarat for better but the stains of 2001 Gujarat Massacre still remians a dark spot on this person and the source of the massacred thousands haunting him throughout.
Sushma Swaraj was recently reported to have made a comment on Modi's performance in Gujarat and added that his magic need not work elsewhere, a sure sign of the tussle between the two. Though she reportedly denied statement and that she is still on good terms with him and that she had rung him up and congratulated him for having won the Civic-Local elections held there, no one seems to have taken her denial that seriously. Nitin Gadkari, on approached by the media stepped aside without passig any comments and Nirmala Seetha Raman Party spokesperson too following.
Anyhow this is a pointer to shape of things to come and a number of second generation leaders eyeing the topmost post waiting in the wings, at present the situation is quite fluid, to say the least.


Ever since she won the Booker Prize for her one and only novel 'The God of Small Things', she has been in the lime-light not only for the coveted, prestigious awards but for other reasons as well. Even before winning the Prize, she was both a writer and an actor in her own right. She had won awards for her 'Electric Moon' and 'In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones' for the best Script Writer. She had touched upon many matters of contemporary relevance but none took serious note of it before being awarded for her Booker winning novel. Winning an award escpecially if it is a prestigious one seems to be the criteria for inviting the attention of literary and cultural as well as the intellectual community.
'The God of Small Things' brought both acclaim and scathing criticism both abroad and her own nation India. Most of the acclaim came from abroad but scathing criticism alongside appreciation showered upon her in India, particularly Kerala.
She didn't try to pen a second novel, but that doesn't in anyway means that she won't write another one. And Arundhati Roy has her own explanations and much substance in them that her essays, interviews and speeches all contain an element of creativity, her self-interpretation. On going through her writings, articulate, poignant, fearless and courageous almost all of them point towards the plight of the oppressed and downtrodden and her bitter attacks on Globalisation and neo-liberalism not in the sense that they are archaic actually her attacks are levelled against the erosion values and corporate aggression over the society.
She has in the process earned the wrath of apostles of multinationals including a section of the media and a few have gone to the extent of deriding her as 'one book wonder' - ostensibly they refer to her novel 'The God of Small Things'.
She is not only a one book wonder but the author of several works, all epoch-making. That 'high-brow' historian from Bangalore, Ramachandra Guha recently reported to have advised her to concentrate on fictons and not to get involved in current affairs as if the latter is his fiefdom.
It is worthwhile to go through her book 'Shape of the Beast' where in an interview given to N.Ram, Editor-in-Chief of 'The Hindu' she has with documentary evidences attacked Ramachandra Guha's arguments relating to Narmada Sarovar Dam project. Without providing the millions of displaced farmers and other poor any rehabilitation measures even without doling out peanuts after suppressing their futile attempts to stick to forcing them to flee and remain roofless for life - Arundhtai Roy has vividly, poignantly portrayed. And according to her estimates in the name of building mega-dams across India almost 3600 of them 56 million poor people were forcibly evicted from their lands. The herculian fight launched against the ruthless evacuation of countless farmers depriving of their lands for cultivation for the sole purpose of constructing a mega-dam by Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar and other environmentalists and social activists all penned in detail by Mrs.Roy.
Here, in her interview to N.Ram titled 'Scimitars in the Sun' to the criticism of the self-proclaimed ecological historian Mr.Ramachandra Guha she has pointed out in detail the two books on ecology he co-authored do not even casually mention the havoc the mega-dam's wreak across a developing country like India and point by point through the interview she has convincingly establish the absurdities in the arguments of Mr.Guha and the self-proclaimed pro-development champion like B.G.Varghese. In a tone of sarcasm and humour she points to the deliberate personal attacks levelled against her by Mr.Guha (the full text of the interview is published in her work 'The Shape of the Beast').
Right from the day of her novel reaching more hands, she had begun to be the target of right, left and all who were against her 'The King is naked' type pronouncements to the top of her voice. She was criticised by the leftists terming her anti-left for writing a novel like 'God of Small Things' and by the Rightists terming anti-right and an agent of Swadeshi Jagran Manj and other such organisations. An all out attack launched simultaneously for her outspoken views on various issues.
Nothing could back-track her, still cannot force her to back-track and remaining most part of her life amongst the Maoist-infested States of Jharkhand and Chattisgarh and living with the tribals there, mingling with the Maoists and learning about their centuries-old exploitation by the wealthy corporate miners with the connivance of concerned govts the heavy handed repression let loose on the tribals by the State missionary and she lived with them for about more than one month without any security coveragel. Mr.Guha accuses Mrs.Roy of her 'left-wing extremism' though not a historian like Mr.Guha, as a common citizen I have never felt Arudhati Roy turning a left-extremist. Even the Communist parties who often take up cudgels against Mrs.Roy as per my observation, don't appear to have learned or play innocence where she stands, with whom she stands, for whom she fight day-in and day-out. Her one and only novel 'The God of Small Things' even cries to mirror the plight of marginalised section of the society, her character Velutha and his hapless father and brother, the blood-chilling assault by the police on Velutha, all bear testimony to her empathetic attitude towards the exploited. The way Velutha is being side-lined and kept at a distance like an untouchable by a Communist Comrade Pillai, and his remarks about Velutha to some in bitter taste, Velutha being a Paravan ( a representative of an untouchable community of those days) simultaneously preaching the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' displaying framed photos of revolutionaries of yore on the walls of his house, bares out the hipocrisy or double-face of certain Communist leaders once, well-portrayed by Mrs. Roy. That must be the reason behind certain Communists fretting and fuming even calling her an anti-Communist. Write fearlessly and courageously is always her way and none appears before her as a frightening fellow or a demon while she takes up her pen.
Mrs.Roy became the topic of my writing this time for another reason.
Her recent vist to Jammu&Kashmir and some of her outspoken statements at Delhi which turned out to be controversial much to the disgust of certain leaders of political parties.
Reports suggest she visited the State to conduct a detailed investigation in her own capacity as a social activist, the alleged human rights violations let loose against innocent civilians branding them terrorists. She points out the brutal raping of two women, Asiya and Nilofer of Shopian, then murdering them and throwing into a drainage, youth shot through the eyes alleging anti-State activities repression let loose across the State and the simple disappearance of hundreds and hundreds of civilians from the scene day by day ultimately forcing the citizens turning against their own nation and demanding 'azadi' and she asks with a heavy-heart how is it possible to make Jammu&Kashmir an integral part of the State if things are taking such a turn.
BJP (Bharathiya Janata Party) leaders, Farooq Abdullah, leader of National Conference and some other leaders have demanded her imprisonment slapping sedition charges.
Meanwhile Arundhati Roy has made a statement pitying the attitude of our nation for speaking out without fear and she has made it clear that whatever she said is out of love for our nation. Listen leaders.......

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Eulogizing the victor
in the just concluded,
wrote me a poem
extolling his virtues,
on a piece of paper,
just to present him
during his customary visit,
to offer thanks to all
in our locality,
friends and foes alike,
typical of a politician.
After anxious wait,
the esteemed leader with garlands-
around his neck
accompanied by his followers
visited our home to
bless us with his profuse
charm, promises, assurances,
thank God.
As an expression of rejoice
grateful for his generosity,
to pay a courtesy call,
we got him seated,
on our sofa
his followers to his
left and right and all around
all in good spirits.
Read me the poem,
music to his ears
and to his followers.
Presented all on a platter
fruits and snacks
got it emptied in
seemed to be like those
hailing from
starving millions of
Sub-Saharan Africa
presented him with
the poem,
elated he was
gave me a warm hug
elated myself too,
at last blessed I am
by the Local God…
Bid all good-bye
all in smiles
and in a hurry
rushed out to neighbouring
Everything over,
time ticked away,
evening came,
time for my evening walk,
and as I stepped
saw me a twisted piece
of paper on the wayside
took it up,
taken aback,
found be to my shock, surprise
and fun
found it to be
my poem presented to
the Local God,
half-an-hour back.
Divine chap, no doubt,
how come he knew,
while he came to me,
campaigning in the run-up
to the elections
the notice presented to
me by him
on his going out
was twisted in the
same fashion,
and thrown into my dustbin,

Thursday, October 28, 2010


My temple of memories
carries with it
a divine cocktail of
the scent of flowers,
sandal-paste, sandal-sticks,
camphor, holy-ash,
sugar, jaggery,
oil and fruits.
My temple of memories,
always endowed with
sanctity, serenity and tranquility,
a divine ambience,
so to say.
In the mornings and evenings,
devotees in ones, twos,
or in droves throng
before the presiding
deity, always in smiles.
Devotees offer prayers,
offer oblations,
seek divine blessings,
before the powerful deity,
thus they believe.
Once in a year,
the auspicious period of
forty-one days arrive,
both in the mornings
and evenings,
devotees, old, middle-aged,
youth, teenagers and children,
a number of them
as darkness descends
and wipe-away light
for the day,
converting the light world,
into a dark world,
my temple of memories,
stands tall like
a flood-lit divine, dome,
devotees, in and outside
wait for the
Sanctum-Sanctorum, wide-open
for ‘darshan’ of the deity,
amidst lighted oil lamps,
amidst ornamental splendor ,
lifting the worshippers
to spell-binding world,
to a trance,
while all the folded-
palms except two
turn towards the
glittering deity
in the world of lights,
the two,
two teenagers,
of course with folded-palms,
exchange of glances,
smile at each other,
messages silently conveyed,
after everything over,
each disperses for the day.
My temple of memories,
with the passage of time
now witnesses,
each of them,
now grown-ups
crossing paths,
like strangers,
with their partners,
with their progenies,
of course like strangers,
or strangers these days…..
My temple of memories
remains silent witness,
as always….
and memories keep on,


Climbed-up the stairs,
the first floor,
door wide-open,
the morning calm,
Benumbed stood still
like a statue,
for a while. cheeks,
Heart missing a whisper,
welcomed me
a face.
The rosy
cherry lips,
thick, lengthy flowing hairs
seemed like the same face,
the same face,
the same figure,
the same dimpled smile,
that mischievous smile,
attired in violet flower saree .
Mulled running away first
but that pleading glance,
those wide eyes,
that welcome smile…
The poignant memory
of a face,
the same face,
the same features,
all forced me
rooted there.
Her charming delight,
excitement, immeasurable pleasure.
‘Forgot me?
Forgot your beloved?
Your Angel?
Forgot me…..?’
Like a red rose,
turning pale,
petals withering away,
in the warmth of
a blazing hot sun,
her face turned grim
her eyes welled-up,
No….No…No…? “
began me sweating,
heart missing beats,
the rhythm lost,
like a stethoscope,
turning the heartbeats
into drum-beats,
that much audible to one.
Like a fairy-tale,
like a puzzle,
like an enigma,
heard me, saw me,
a sobbing figure,
a t a faraway land,
a far, far, faraway land.
On a conditioned-reflex,
ran me down the stairs,
to the streets to the
faceless crowds,
sans turning back,
I was weeping literally.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


It resembles an apple
but not an apple
innumerable layers it has
but not an onion
gifted to me by my Guru
in my childhood days,
advised he to peel each
layer off one by one daily.
I, an obedient disciple of him
peeled its layers off
one by one.
It turned out to be one
of my routine activities
such a tedious task
it was
the more I peeled off
the layers
the more layers left
to be peeled off
fed up at times though
angry at times though
impatient at times though
but no turning back
not disheartened
went on and on and on
an ongoing process.
Layers still left
to be peeled off
seemed to be like
an unending process
but the mission
I felt like continuing
months, years passed
my features underwent
but my grit and determination
remained intact
'slow and steady
wins the race' - my Guru often
reminded me
the ongoing process
still I continue,
one day, may be, yes
may be, one day
I might reach the
ultimate truth
the Absolute Truth
to my ecstasy,
if not in my lifetime
might be by the
Gen X.
But no
as long as I exist
here on the face of
the process would continue,
never would I stop till
my mission, my duty,
my obligation, this....

Monday, October 25, 2010


through a
dark tunnel
whenever you see
two blazing eyes
approaching you
Whenever you
lend your ears
devils preaching scriptures
Whenever you start
listening to
your heart murmuring
Whenever your bitter enemy
approaches you,
with an olive branch
of friendship
Whenever you start
keeping your head held
always upwards
without ever looking down
ignoring the pitfalls
Strange are the times
listen to words of
even prophets and saints
atleast with a pinch of
Whenever elections are
round the corner
comedians in the garb of
diplomats with folded palms
smiling profusely
seeking welfare
pleading for votes
falling prostrate before you

Sunday, October 24, 2010


'Be honest to yourself
to everyone
it is the best policy,
be frank always
and don't try to
hide anything from your elders
be studious and gentlemanly
and be obedient
to parents, teachers,
be pleasant always
keep a broad-smile
be happy, try to be
displaying a glum face
too bad,
always ventilate your grievances
before your elders
thus reducing the burden
of your heart,
always be a nice guy'
-thus went on
mother's advices,
mother always remained
happy and cool
always she sported a
broad warm smile
she always remained
a model-wife to my father
a model-mother to myself
remained she loyal and
lovable toward father
made for each other
thus they looked like
thus they behaved
proud of her
we celebrated
forcing others envious
of us.
---------One day
to my shock and dismay
found I
she weeping alone
while nobody was around
inside the bedroom.
Beads of tear-drops
I saw on the floor below
spellbound I stood
she saw me not
remained me silent
her mind like a butterfly
must have been winging
around somewhere
what forced her to weep,
who made her weep
what made her weep
a chain of thoughts
started nagging me.
First time in my life
yes, the first time
noticing her weeping.
'Amma' - I called
my soft hands on her shoulder
shocked she turned around
rubbing eyes with a towel
sporting that usual
broad smile,
as if nothing had transpired
looked she straight
into my eyes
like a camera
focussing me.
'What made you weep'
'Amma tell me what'..?
'Naughty you
don't, you know
haven't I told you,
not to hide anything
to be frank and honest
to ventilate your griefs
and joys.....?'
I stood aghast
finding no answer
without she telling me
now I know very much
I know
like the basement of
a crystal-clear stream
where stars and moon
reflect on a starry night.


You need not be a Master Of Business Administration (MBA) and for that matter any degree or diploma holder in any of the managment courses to deal with any kind of labour problems, where you happen to be a management executive or owner. Sheer common sense plus an element of diplomacy and compassion towards your employers or labourers, if not empathy sufficient to deal with their grievances and settle matters amicably. A management execuitve if he is an egomaniac and a stubborn one, no amount solutions seem possbile to solve the problems and demands of his sub-ordinates. Only benefit being he can claim to the top of his voice, extoll himself from a high pedestal, his management qualifications and his 'rare virtue' of breaking a strike declared by the employees. This hubris never lands him anywhere instead he will have to make a climb- down with egg on his face.
Furthermore, quite unawares by pushing the employees back to the wall he infact is extending a helping hand to the employees by providing a chance to sink their differences if any thus facilitating their regrouping bringing them under a single umbrella. Especially in an era of liberalisation and globalisation when the trade unions' bargaining capacities are showing signs of dwindling the tendencies to suppress them by an iron hand fortunately helps the trade unions to gain strength eventually bringing the stubborn management to its knees. Suppression of any kind anywhere and everywhere feeds resistance and more resistance leads to more power and strength to the victims. Hence a resurgence of trade unions and collective bargaining will be more visible across the world especially European nations in the coming dates.
Greece witnessed it already, followed by Hungary, Spain, Britain and France is caught in a turmoil of its worst kind for the past one month or so. All, the aftermath of global recession followed by austerity measures adopted by these countries. It is quite unthinkable on the part of employees being deprived of their hard-earned rights on a fine morning pointing out this and that. For instance under the pretext of adopting austerity measures, raising the retirement age scaling down the existing salaries, pension amounts, reducing recruitment drives, rendering many educated youth unemployed - all unimaginable and deplorable.
If trade unions protest against such moves and strike work, organise processions and rallies, turn violent leading to clashes with police and army personnel, how is it possible for us to squarely blame them for it. Fighting for the legitimate demands are trade union rights and fighting to the hilt till the demands are met for which these unions were formed by great revolutionaries of yester years their primary responsibility.
It seems Nicholas Sarkozy, French President derives a thrill to the verge of orgasm in turning a stubborn attitude towards the irate, restless employees and students, millions and millions of them by not coming to terms with their just demands. His govt's decision to raise the pension age from 60 to 62 years old, even while it was on the anvil was sternly objected to by millions of French employees. Paying no heed to their objections, protests and demands the man went on with the move with the active connivance of the infamous Labour Minister Eric Woerth and got it passed in the Lower House of Parliament. Employees' rage aggravated, they went on with protest rallies and strikes but no, Sarkozy remained adamant took the next step forward. While tension was mounting on one side with students also joining the striking workers of factories, railways, post-offices, educational and health institutions, his govt got the bill passed in the Upper House, the Senate. The next week it is scheduled to be presented before the Parliament , its permission a forgone conclusion.
Meanwhile employees have declared strike on thursday followed by another strike on Novemebr 6 with a vow to not to back-track from their agitational path till their demands are met.
Sarkozy's diminishing popularity rate, we can very well assume - no need to go through statistics - and this fellow's stubbornness really astounding.
It is a conclusion foretold that before the collective might of millions he would have to bow down in the end. Even otherwise his Presidential ambitions of 2012 will certainly be his Waterloo. Please dont' be mistaken readers, by mentioning Waterloo, I am not in anyway comparing that giant of a warrior like Napolean Bonaparte with such a 'pigmy' like Nicholas Sarkozy. By doing a yeoman service to French Trade Unions by bringing them under a single umbrella he has infact intensified the coming together of trade unions across Europe and thus their diminished fortunes are seeming to be on the upswing.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Whistle blown,
deadline kept,
guides and gymnasts ready,
mind you, intellectual gymnastics.
lively, vibrant, vigorous,
Topic : live-in-relationships.
Clash of ancient and
modern sensibilities
fire-works of arguments begun
relevant to the times really
like the burning social
aspects - poverty, illiteracy,
health, women breaking glass-ceilings.
Imported from the West
representative of ancient values
suits not the Indian
against the cherished
Indian heritage and ideals
against the cultural
question of morality
disagreed another.
live-in or not live-in
no foul play be
man defrauding woman
throwing her
into drains after
squeezing the
essence out of her
lack of shelter, security,
about which no mention
not anyone's business.
Legal validity to such relationships,
provision of alimony,
rules the esteemed
highest court of land.
Foresaken lady, the esteemed court
rules, only a 'keep'
discussions, live, sharp,
vibrant, adrenaline overflowing
turn out to be
a clash between
East and West.
All said and done
as the whistle blown
to close the arguments
at the nick of the moment
concluded the anchor
with a broad-smile
and a request not
to touch the remote.
What I expected
and what i missed to listen
was the most wished after
four letter word
the quintessence of all
the foundation upon which
all relationships stand
withstood the
test of times.
After all who needs it?
Neither East nor West.


A bohemian lived amongst
till the other day
a moving skeleton
attired in ugly cloths
dishevelled hair
got he drunk and drunk
to the point of
wandered, wandered and
till he got tired
and slept on the way sides.
He lived with a flame
of madness intact
wrote with a flame
of madness welling up
in his veins
his poems
products of his
flames of madness
it touched and burnt our
his acerbic
pen corroded our
hearts and minds
forcing us to writhe in
pain and grief.
Lived he the way he wished
died he the way he wished
anarchist, humanist to the core
and died a pauper
on the street-side
with not a soul to
identify him
landing in the mortuary
among unclaimed
life-less bodies
heaped like garbage.
Gone away
flew away he
to an unknown abode
with a red-rose
placed over his heart
his last wish.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Meet her
the cricket-crazy girl
who goes gaga after
the macho all-rounder
who hits fours and sixes
a dime a dozen
bowls out one
after other
in quick succession.
Meet him and her
she who goes gaga
after a steely, handsome chap
and he who goes
after a sensuous actor
order of the day.
Meet him and her
who go gaga after
hot and cold drinks
get intoxicated
dance together
and exchange kisses
while the concert goes on
the orchestra
reaching its crescendo
and ends in bed.
Meet him and her
go gaga after sea
engage in sea-bath
with like-minded gagas
followed by sun-baths
lying on the beach
in under-garments.
All gagas and
reaching the ultimate
Rest fill up the blanks.


David Coleman Headley, the Pakistani-American, who once frequented India incognito to conduct surverys on behalf of LeT(Lashkar-e-Taiba) across the nerve-centres of India to make it easy for the dreaded militant organisation to strike mortal blows by its recruits at present is relaxing in an American prison as the prize for acting as a double-agent simultaneously enacting double-roles both for America and Lashkar-e-Taiba, one of the prominent terror organisations of Pakistan.
In his 'former birth' he was a Pakistani named Dawood Geelani born in Pakistan and upon entering maturity he flew to US and christened himself as David Coleman Headley. Whether baptism into Christianity was solemnized by any of the Christian Missions in America remains anybody's guess.
David Geelani alias David Coleman Headley flew to US with the deadly venom of fanaticism in his fang, he turned a willing serpent, a venomous serpent in the hands of both US and Pak based terror outfit. If he had confined himself to serve US Intelligence Agencies he could have roamed freely but no, he was primarily a Pak agent and his service to American Intelligence Agencies a secondary one and hence his relaxation inside an American prison.
India's repeated requests and demands for his extradition for indepth questioning were turned down by Uncle Sam as it had certainly apprehended that in the event of such an eventuality many a skeleton would tumble out of its cup-boards and it was quite unthinkable for that nation. Moreover David Coleman Headley's request to US authorities not to extradite him to India if the authorities were to heed his request he would turn approver and accordingly made it clear to the US authorites he was ready to spill the beans and the very assurance was music to their ears. His appeal got approved and India's repeated requests and demands (?) fell on deaf ears. When the requests and demands continue to nag US authorities, at last they agreed to let Indian authorities if they were that particular, okay let they visit US and go on with their questioning of Mr.Headley. Headley was already agreeable to it and Indian authorities were more than satisifed even music to the ears of some of them.
David Coleman Headly was a dreaded militant, a Muslim fanatic right from his early days annd he had many a thing to settle with the enemies. And to accomplish his mission he put on the garment of the double-agent but his heart always went out for his absurd religious beliefs. Absurd in the sense that his beliefs had nothing to do with true Islam and were not based on the holy teachings of Quran.
He travelled around the world in the guise of a tourist he was paid for it, visited potential targets to conduct surveys and India being one of them he visited India not once but several times made friends with many resided in posh hotels like Taj, Oberon-Trident etc - surveys and enjoyment simultaneoulsy.

One of his targets was Denmark where Jyllands-Posten a newspaper establishment his focal point of wrath and vengeance ever since its staff cartoonist, Kurt Westergaard published a cartoon of Holy Prophet which as per the beilefs of Islamic teachings was 'blasphemy'. But the media establishment stuck to its decision and it even refused to tender an apology to the Islamic clerics instead vowed to go on with publishing cartoons of Holy Prophet in future also. Their vows, as per the beliefs of Islamic clerics were tantamount to arrogance and David Coleman Headly 'the Islamist' decided once and for all to wreak vengeance on the establishment and its staff cartoonist. With that purpose in mind he flew to Denmark made necessary surveys and returned to US and upon his arrival the air-port authorites got suspicious of him and in the subsequent questioning he stumbled and had to lay bare to his whereabouts and plans and that's that. He was put behind bars, grilling followed and one by one like a parrot spilt the beans to the shock of authorities. The man sitting before them was indeed a prize catch.
In came his indirect involvement in 26/11 Mumbai carnage by ten LeT militants from Pakistan who held entire Mumbai hostage for three days resulting in the blood-chilling massacre of more than 160 innocents and massive destruction of properties by bombardments, grenade attacks and firings.
Headly married to three women one based in Morocco, the third one Faisa from Pakistan and about the second one and her country, (may be America) no idea. In the four hour grilling India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) at a prison in Chicago forced Headly to reveal more. One Pakistan's Intelligence Agency, Inter Services Intelligence Agency's active involvement in the 26/11 incident and Headly's association with one of its 'Colonels' Kamran and two 'Lt. Generals'. That he was paid handsomely and to boost Lashkar-e-Taiba's sagging morale its active participation in striking a mortal blow at an important landmark in India, Headly chose Mumbai first, natural, at a time when many anti-Pak militant organisations in its own soil, like Tehreek-E-Taliban were mushrooming. LET's declining growth in Pakistan led to its splits into many units some of them turned to widen bases in other countries all the behind the scene secrets came out into the open.
Of late it has been made public that which is a shocking news to many across the world that Headly's Morrocoan wife and Pakistan wife on being aware of it conveyed his plans to the US Intelligence agency and Pakistan Intelligence agency ultimately drawing a blank.
His Pak wife Faisa's warningto Pak Intelligence Agency was responded by it by a 'get lost' response.
There is a prize for playing the role of a double-agent and Headly being awarded the prize already by the Super Power, India needs to be more cautious, more and more cautious.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Once I thought,
and believed
my mother is wholly mine
mine only.
Too possessive I was
never ever entertained
me the thought of
she belonging to another
unendurable and painful
the very thought to me.
Her warm shower
of kisses
warmth of her breasts
her lap my cradle.
Mother's proximity
I always cherished
she leaving me alone,
I couldn't stand,
that made me cry
aloud, weep and sob
showered she with
warm kisses
made me hear the whispering
music of her heart
her lap of my cradle.
Tending me
caressing me
embracing me
all made me think and
remain she would
always mine, my role-model.
One night my string of sleep
got broken
and found her missing
from my proximity, the bed,
and in the dim-light of
zero-watt bulb
to my shock
I saw her
in the arms of father.
With all fury and sorrow
angered at the betrayal
of my mother
a full-throated cry
a prolonged one
blurted out of me
like a spontaneous overflow of
painful emotions.
Father angered at my
full-throate 'music'
gave me a hard slap
a shocking one it was
aching my body and mind
and that day onwards
I saw in my father
a rival
and my father
saw in me his rival
and mother remaining
a silent smiling witness.
My sharp glance at her
made no difference in her
still smiling as always
and that made me
too furious......


Never melancholic,
never sad,
ever jubilant,
ever delightful,
life was to her,
a carnival.
Friends she kept,
all very close and sincere,
mingled she with them,
travelled she with them,
once in a while
get togethers common
life to her always a carnival.
Travels she loved,
lengthy travels to
hitherto unknown lands
sometimes alone,
sometimes with friends.
its vast expanse,
its infinity
always made her spell-bound,
calm or violent
liked she to watch
and enjoy
its dancing waves
its whispers through
winds and breezes
life was to her
always a carnival.
Never she remained idle
the very words 'idle'
and 'boredom'
all missing in her lexicon
of life.
Azure sky-kissing mountains,
rivers, rivulets, streams,
lush green, areas of
forests, vast green fields,
sprawling gardens,
splashing, sparkling lakes,
coconut trees lining
and leaning towards
the lakes, its reflections
seemed to her like
they bowing down
before the lakes
out of respect and worship.
Her houseboat rides,
with friends and
engraved in her tender walls of memories
life was to her
always a carnival.
One day a stranger
came to her life
tied the nuptial knot
around her neck
felt she like a hangman
tightening a noose
around a convict's neck
before sending him to gallows
and in the golden-cage
gifted to the stranger
by her parents
he got her locked
inside it in the presence of
her parents, friends and relatives
went away to
his abode,
where she remained
the caged bird thereafter
throughout her life,
she remained as such
Life to her was a
carnival once,
once upon a time.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Blame thee not the Sun,
blameless he is
duty-bound he is
never does he play truant,
works he round the clock,
lige-giver he is,
life-denier not he
blame him not thee
blame thee thyself
man, all your own undoing
and you still continue
playing with fire
and you pay for it
pay you have to.
Earth if getting flooded
by the melting glaciers,
upset climate cycles,
all your fault man,
but you need to atone
for it.
Sitting idly
keeping fingers crossed
no remedy
no panancea reaches
you sans effort.
Sea-levels rising
habitat submerging
bio-diversity extinct
day by day, minute by minute,
second by second.
no answer,
no-one there to listen to,
forests deforested,
afforestation namesake,
no pupose saved
greenery, gardens,
rivers, rivulets, streams,
sky-high mountains
all will turn out to be dreams,
cherished dreams.
193 rulers across the globe
all 'enlightened ones'
meet, debate,deliberate
dispute, disperse
with vows to meet, debate
deliberate, dispute again and again
and the cycling goes on unabated
decision unanimous in the
to meet, further meet and
no tangible decision
never taken, however in the end.
Never any committments
reached at,
never any promises made
never any assurances given.
Conglomeration of 193
at different locations,
locations always ideal,
magnificient, picturesque, tourist resorts
tea, coffee, snacks, sumptuous feasts served
all tempting, mouth-watering.
The big, wide, frightening
mouth of demon
the ever widening
the entrapments though
our rulers seem like
noticing not.
193 , however will and
continue to meet, wine, dine,
till the last moment
when all get caught
on the spider-web
or in the big, wide, frightening,
mouth of
the demon on
the prowl
when everything turns
too late.


Rohinton Mistry, you are really lucky. Since you are in Canada, sitting pretty there you could give vent to your anger, righteous indignation, protest as also appeal to the Vice-Chancellor of Mumbai University who threatened with an 'existential crisis' cowered under the pressure of Shivsainiks and withdrew your book from the premises of the University to the delight and satisfaction of the so-called 'Marathi-Manoos'- the Shivsainiks.
Since you are far away from India, you need not fear a threat to your life otherwise what would have happened to you about which the 'little Thackeray' - Adithya Thackeray has already made clear - a young chap aged 20 bestowed with 'Marathi valour'. That the same fate of your book suffered at the hands of 'little Thackeray' and his followers - made a bonfire of its copies - the same fate would have befallen on you. Means you would have been roasted alive by this time. Let's shower praises on God Almighty for your miraculous escape.
You must be knowing the harrowing days our world famous writers Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nasreen, passing through these days. They are still in hiding need not tell you and and the latter atleast once in six months knocking on the doors of world's largest democracy to give a fresh lease of life which she, Taslima is blessed with, in instalments. Her requests for permanent asylum in India always get rejected and please do not ask a citizen like me 'why is it so'?
In Canada, you face no such problem you need not be in hiding, you need no protection from the govt with gun-wielding security guards peeping into your privacy.
Your book 'Such a long journey', I haven't gone through yet and not felt like going through till the other day and now it has turned out to be my desire and decision to purchase it and to leaf through it. The 'little Thackeray', the grandson of Big Thackeray - Bal Thackeray - has thus turned out to be a great Advertising and Marketing Executive of your ' Such a long journey' free of remuneration and rewards. Really lucky you are. In the coming days, copies of your work will journey through - a long journey - such a long journey - through out the length and width of India and the chances of further copies of it undertaking long journeys to other continents too. Best of luck Rohniton Mistry. You must be experiencing boundless delight and I am at a loss to know whether you are jumping with joy, yes, pain you will have, natural, when your work is being withdrawn from your Alma Mater, another matter.
Freedom of Speech and Expression, though enshrined in our constitution not always being followed in letter and spirit unfortunately.
Why? You know the answer and you have pointed out one of them : Parochialism. Parochialism is the hallmark of Shiva Sena, a narrow-minded communal party confined to Maharashtra only.
Countless of inncoents from across other States fell prey to its narrow-mindedness or 'Son's of the soil' policy and countless falling prey to it even today. Many got killed, many maimed for life, many fled for life - all before the very eyes of the so-called rulers who at the top of their voices continue to preach the virtues of democratic ideals and virtually doing nothing to stop these fissiparous tendencies. Besides whenever elections are round the corner these rulers nurses no compunctions to seek alliance or help from this parochial elements. Secularism often turns out to be a commodity up for sale, its value depending upon the market prices prevailing as on date if Alan Paton's renowned book 'Cry, my beloved country' comes to my mind at thiis particular moment I think it is quite natural.
Unlike Rohniton Mistry, a person, be he a celebrity in Maharashtra if dares to take on Shiv Sainiks airing his protest freely and courageoulsy contrary to their's, imagine the plight awaiting him/her, something unimaginable. A celebrity will get protection, what about an ordinary citizen? Get doomed.
Aditya Thackeray who took up cudgels against Mistry's book has not gone through it and he is not willing to flip through it even. Just a few lines however he read and that's enough for him to arrive at a conclusion. A great chap. No doubt. He is a student of the same university- final year BA (History) student where Mistry also spent his days as a student. That which Rohniton Mistry couldn't hand over to the university the little Thackeray and his cohorts could - a great name.
Nothing left to mention about or nothing left to feel about the great Vice-Chancellor who reportedly cowed down under the pressure of the great Marathi Manoos.
In Mistry's concluding part of his letter to the Vice-Chancellor, he has taken the opportunity to quote from Joseph Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness'..step back from the abyss or go over the edge. The most apt part however is a quote from Tagore's 'Gitanjali' and I quote here 'Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high ; where knowledge is free ; where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls ; ....Into that heaven of freedom, my Father let my country awake.'
Best of luck, Mr. Rohinton Mistry.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


driving down the city-streets
late into the night
awash with milky, foaming
senses he a mellifluos music
joyous cracks and laughter
from his empty left side seat,
further left the rocking sea
lashing wings of waves
against the rocky shores
and withdraw
again to come back
with double the force
and recalls he
her fathomless love and beauty,
then with pain and sorrow,
hits he his head
on the steering wheel,
in utter despair and agony
the vacuum he feels
that much deep.
Says he, whispers he
wherever she is
this emptiness
this left-side seat will
exclusively be there for her
'like this, dear'
perhaps in the vast blue starry expanse
up above
with mischievous glints
of smile,
watching you might be
and showering tear-drops
up above.
Jumping signals
red, green, yellow,
let me speed along
with no destination
in mind.....

Monday, October 18, 2010


Finding all exits
closed except one
decided he to approach
the watchman sitting
at the door step.
Pleaded him
permission for a way out
in response
demanded the watchman
'sell your soul'
once and for all to us.
Nothing else left,
finding no let-up,
with pangs of conscience
laying him on a thorny bed
with tearful eyes,
sold he the soul,
his invaluable possession.
A warm red-carpet reception accorded
by charming, enchanting
dancing beauties
enchantressess all of them
the glitterati around,
overwhelmed him.
Led them he to
a royal palace
where the King in the company of
his consorts
was making merry
introduced him by the beauties to the King
in royal robes
served they
variety of fruits,
delicious eatables,
wine served in gold-designed
crystal glass one after another
inebriated he went
drowsed and dozed he
upon his consciousness
fading away and
entering another unknown world
somebody lifted
him to an unknown
where he was laid to asleep.
After hours of sleep
woke up he to find
himself before a
frightening giant,
a cannibal,
donning dark robes,
dread-locks of hair,
flowing down,
mouth wide open,
moustache too shockingly-
horrible, thick and pointed at both ends,
red eyes frightening
long reddish lashing tongue
blood-droplets oozing out
incisors projecting
his frightening roars
throughout the vast
with sun showering
incessant fire.
Wished he, tried he
to run away
fright made him mum.
Resigned to his fate
lied he eyes tightly
shut for the inevitable.


The great sports extravaganza, the Common Wealth Games-2010 is over. An event which would have turned out to be an abject failure thanks to the timely intervention of Prime Minister Dr. ManMohan Singh concluded on a grand note thus helping to save the face of India - before the world. True, crores must have been poured into event at the last moment that is another matter but it was inevitable to finish the arrangments on a war-footing since the dead-line was staring in the face of the responsible ones. The justification for holding the grand extravaganza spending Rs 70000 crores+ though questionable at a time the nation is passing through difficult times.
Now that after controversies after controversies, flops after flops, scams after scams, the time has arrived to conduct a post-mortem and accordingly the govt has appointed a three member committee headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General V.K.Shunglu, to look into the allegations levelled about the ways the games were being organised on one side. And washing dirty linen in public - trading of charges and counter charges - everything in public, as nobody has anything to 'hide'. The Pandora's box already opened and the coming days are going to witness a number of funny things.
The focal point of all allegations reportedly is a gentleman named Suresh Kalmadi, who holds the position of Chairman Olympics Committee. It would have been between if he on his own volition stepped down till the enquiry is completed and in the event of him emerging unscathed could be enthroned once again with a good certificate. No, the gentleman reportedly is sticking to his post albeit countless allegations perhaps he must be thinking that his hands are free of stains of corruption. In the event of him held culpable by the committee pointing out facts and figures, he will be eased out of his post by the Prime Minister himself.
Even otherwise PM could have demanded him to step aside for while ie. till the enquiry is completed but the former keeps his mouth shut, baffling or puzzling to say the least. Heave a sigh of deep relief, friends, the grand gala has come to a somewhat happy end that itself is a credit as many must have felt like post-poning the game considering the sorry state of affairs prevailing even a few days before the games were to begin. The collapse of a foot-overbridge connecting Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the collapse of roofing of the weight-lifting stage, the dirt and filth accumulated at the Games village and the firing at the Juma Masjid premises by unknown elements posing a threat to security coverage, all added to woes of authorities concerned.
Now that, everything is over, may I point out the reported disappearance of a great patriot days before the games were to be commenced and his subsequent appearance abroad. He is none other than our own Mani Shankar Iyer, former Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs. His love and patriotism towards his Mother Country far surpasses our own and that reported to be the reason for flying abroad his tender mind could not have endured Indian sports scene being vitiated due to corruptions, irresponsibility, so many other reasons.
As a former seasoned diplomat and a former Indian Minister he is widely respected and acclaimed across the world. He has already covered England and US and of late he was reportedly in US.
His charges are countless and he reportedly made them public to the media persons in USA. Whether he aired his opinions elsewhere, no idea, still in the garb of a Congressman and let me point out each of them.
1) A poor nation like India cannot afford to hold a sports extravaganza like Common Wealth Games spending Rs 70000 crores+ while millions of Indians are struggling to make both ends meet.
2) The first step India should have done was to spend the said amount for developing sports facilities which are in a dismal state as of now.
3) A part of the Rs. 70000 crores if spent to our struggling sports youth and children and according to him 95 percent of them are deprived of such facilities would have been a great deed.
4) Rs. 960 crores spent to construct the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium according to Mani Shankar Iyer involves deep corruption.
5) As to the reports that there were not much audience left to watch the concluding ceremony if the truth was on those lines why couldn't the authorities have invited the construction labourers who toiled day-in and day-out to meet the deadlines set by the authorities to complete the preparatory works in time.
What all he uttered abroad are absolutely true but the mute question being why he continues to be a Congress loyalist even at this moment.
Unable to witness and endure such unendurable things, Mani left India for abroad with a vow to return only upon completion all such dirty goings on, wishing Suresh Kalmadi a Merry X'Mas and Happy New Year. Whether his was a merry go round keeping all pains and sorrows to himself.
Next Common Wealth Games are scheduled to commence at Glasgow, Scotland in 2014, and Mani Shankar Iyer would be a welcome, respectable guest there.
Just before his going abroad, to a query posed by CNN-IBN, Editor-in-Chief, Rajdeep Sardesai, why couldn't he seek an appointment with Congress President Soniaji who incidentally is UPA Chairperson also if not possible at least Rahulji to air his grievances over the shoddy way the preparations were going on, the loyal Congressman that Mr.Iyer is, cleverly evaded it instead started speaking about other things. A typical Congressman indeed.
Dear Mani, the games over, now please comeback , Mother India anxiously waits for you.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


One day,
Grandma woke up
in the wee hours of
the morning.
The entire village
still in the grip of
slumber, musical silence,
ornamented by the anklets of
musing crickets
audible though.
Locked in the
cool embrace of
the ambience, her hair
too resembling a bunch of white cloud
Grandma in pure white, stepped down
to the foreground
walked toward the well,
drew water
washed faces, legs
and returned.
unlocked the door in the middle,
stepped inside,
her room, her empire of purity.
The scent of camphor, holy-ash,
sandal sticks, curd, oil lamp
all arranged
with poetic felicity.
Took up the oil lamp
oil poured to the very edge
and matchbox,
came outside and
lit she the lamp,
in the cool moving hugs
of the surroundings and
light flickered and danced.
Her skinny, wrinkled body,
very much visible in the darkness,
like the white sky upabove.
Sat she nearby
the lamp,
sat she cross-legged,
palms folded across
the chest
Grandma's prayer
in whispering tones
Her eyes half-closed,
as if in meditation,
concentrated she
only on her favourite God.
Wee hours ticked
black blanket slowly
faded, faded and faded
for the fresh light of the day,
entire village, entire homes'
gradually began to
open their glowing eyes,
conch-shell blown
at the temple infront
and she felt like
it beckoning her,
woke up she
stepped down
walked past the
bridge, the paddy-fileds ,
briskly, briskly
chanting prayers
all the way
and melted into the oblivion.
My naughty Grandma...
Recall me the days,
I sat beside
her on the floor,
during the mornings
while she used to churn curd,
parables, fables,
messages conveyed...
all bygone days
never to come again.........


Bihar, one of the least developed States of India goes to polls shortly. Its backwardness has something to do with many a thing. One reality, stark reality is its poor infrastructure facilities. A State's overall development is very much linked with its infrastructure development. Even after decades of rule by various parties Indian National Congress down Rashtriya Janata Dal(RJD) and presently Janata Dal (United), the State's development was at a standstill as each party, its leaders all concentrated on filling each's coffers and as a result corruption ate into the vitals of the entire society. Many a scam unearthed,a few leaders at the top had to spend their days behind bars, but inspite of all this, corruption was widespread among political parties and bureacrats. For instance Lalu Prasad Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal, though ruled 15 years at a stretch virtually did nothing was reported to have done nothing for the uplift of the masses. Instead he got embroiled in the infamous fodder scam involving crores of rupees and consequently he was imprisoned for a short span and in his absence he made it sure that power should not go into the hand of any other person in his party as he was not sure of that person's loyalty and therefore the baton was handed over to his wife Rabri Devi , reportedly an illiterate lady her only qualification being two facts, one she is the obedient wife of her husband, second she is a home-maker. Of late, Lalu has brought into politics one of his children and in practically all election campaigns junior Lalu is very much seen. Penchant for dynastic succession is seeming to prevalent among certain parties of India, infact not only India but also across a few countries abroad. Instances abound and I don't want to finger-point those elements at this particular juncture.
Poverty, unemployment, lack of education, malnoursihment, lack of better health facilities, lack of irrigation facilities, power shortage, crater filled roads, all are reasons behind the backwardness of this poor State.
In Bihar, though after Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United) came to power some positive changes are however visible. Infrastructural facilities have somewhat changed for the better, investments in business and industrial sectors slowly developing the standard of living has marginally gone up than the previous levels to the satisfaction of those at the bottom ladder of the society. Furthermore, though JD(U) is an ally of Bharatiya Janata Party, Nitish Kumar has always cared to keep it under check and the playing of communal card by that Party is not allowed by him. His antipathy towards Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is well-known and his very visit to Bihar is to the dislike of Nitish Kumar and the latter has vowed not to share dais with the BJP strong man. For the time-being BJP has taken care to play it safe as breaking the alliance with JD(U) over the Modi issue is tantamount to dig its own grave. At a time BJP is planning to widen its network across India, that is quite unthinkable. Keeping mum is seen to be the best way out for the time-being, thus it feels. Once Congress ruled the State for prolonged periods and even after prolonged rule that party could do virtually nothing for the progress of the State. Another painful fact of that periods though Congress was at the helm, the Communist parties too were formidable forces, particularly Communist Party of India (CPI). CPI(M) was also very much in the picture and if these two parties could join hands and fought the elections, and launched mass struggles, the scenario would have been quite different.
But both parties adopted a lukewarm attitude towards the grave problems the State was facing and that cold approach paved the way for their disintegration in fact. For namesake the two parties exist in the State, and in the coming elections though both have decided to contest almost all seats at some places hand in hand and at other few places friendly contests without any party's support, nothing fruitful would result instead there is every possiblity each party forefeiting deposits. Our communist parties need not blame others rather squarely blame themselves for their abject, pathetic plight in the State.
Their failure and lukewarm approach to the immediate needs of the society as also the same deplorable approach of Indian National Congress (INC) paved the way for the budding of caste divisions in the party under certain caste leaders. This resulted in the birth of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) of Lalu Prasad Yadav, Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) of Ram Vilas Paswan, communal parties like Muslim League and like-minded parties. People thinking along caste lines are a bane of our society which actually led to the eclipse of National Parties in North India as well as some States across South India. Regional Chauvinism now has many takers not only among parties but also among political commentators, columnists, media community et al. An unfortunate truth ofcourse, numerous justifications they might have. A national debate across the wide-spectrum of society including intellectuals, writers and media people and social activists is long overdue and is highly desirable.
Even Nitish Kumar though claiming to be hailing from a so-called national party too thinks along caste-levels and to perpetuate his rule he leaves no stone unturned to satisfy the needs of a bundle of castes across Bihar like Yadavs, Chamars, Muslims and his own caste Kurmis. And keeping elections always in mind, he takes care to propitiate the 'deities' of these castes and thus a caste-driven society has resulted. Is it desirable or not, please decide.....
One perennial problem like a thorn in the flesh is the Maoist problem and it is a pointer towards the grim plight of the tribals, their centuries old exploitation and consequent poverty, hunger, lack of education, health and unemployment. The manifestation of their anger and frustration through violence needs to be taken care of seriously, suppression not at all the answer instead a holistic approach needs to be taken both by the Centre and the State. Otherwise with the approach of the elections Maoist threat is quite probable and the innocent ones will be the worst suffered.

Friday, October 15, 2010


My friend once wrote
to me :
she visits me anytime
she chooses to.
A 'WELCOME' sign
never needed for her.
My doors are always
open to her,
restrictions never matter
to her
she knows I am her worshipper,
she the deity,
she alone the deity
the sanctum of
my heart, my soul,
my everything.
Sometimes makes she
her appearance,
in deep slumber,
sometimes in dreams,
or when awake,
even when I am at work
in a crowd,
or during my merry moments
with my beloved, my friends, relatives
she is such a naughty.
Her collections abound,
pictures of joy,
different facets of life.
My obligation
just to abide by her,
obey her,
pray before her,
always be her,
trusted, worshipful disciple
the model disciple and she,
my only obsession.
I wrote back to him :
My obsession too,
she, she, she, she,
she only.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


On November 7, Myanmar, ruled by a Military junta goes for polls after a gap of 20 years. The question looming large before each one of us is what for this farce? But elections there will be, and it is a forgone conclusion that the party formed by the ruling junta led by the dictator Than Shwe is poised to sweep the polls as the main opposition party led by pro-democracy leader Aung-San-Syuuki is nowhere in the picture upon the decision of the authorities of National League for Democracy (NLD) led by her not to participate in the scheduled elections. The junta dissolved it forth-with and decided to plunge into the battle arena, guaranteeing a cakewalk ultimately. Again one is forced to ask, what for this farce? Whom they want to convince? Is there anybody left to be convinced? No one. Still the Theatre of the Absurd is being enacted at an amusing juncture like this.
In 1990 when elections were held in Myanmar, the National League for Democracy (NLD) secured a formidable majority and the party staked claim to form a government. The military junta under Than Shwe couldn't stand such a possibility, it is at the helm of affairs since decades and promptly put Aung-San-Syuuki under house arrest. Since then she is languishing in solitary confinement, imagine a lady past her sixties even after 20 years is still being confined to house arrest. Solitary confinement is enough to lead an average lady to reach a nervous breakdown. But an outstanding lady that she is, her quest for freedom, principles, ideals, her conviction all steely and even now ready to face any eventuality is determined to fight to the hilt. The only access allowed by the junta is party spokesman Nyan Win and through him the world comes to grip with Mrs Syuuki's messages.
Many a struggle fought in Myanmar, even by Buddhist Sanyasins, but the junta brutally suppressed them, silenced them.
Whenever the picture of Mrs Syuuki enters my mind, my heart goes all out for millions of people across various nations where ruthless dictatorship prevails and the suppressed hopes and aspirations for their freedom. Likewise the face of an equally courageous and principled man whose thirst for freedom remained unquenchable, who fought it out by waging freedom struggles and undergoing solitary imprisonment for almost three decades the harassment and torture he had undergone, he is none other than Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa. He could be a role-model for anyone particularly Aung-San-Syuuki. The same courage and conviction I see in her and if not today, atleast in the not too distant future the military junta would be overthrown since peoples' thirst for freedom always remains unquenchable. We could see and hear and the lessons from history passed on to us since our early days remain defining examples.
Myanmar could have broken the chains of dictatorship had the countries across the world, especially its neighbouring countries could prevail upon the military junta. But no. In the changed world order each nation nurtures its own self-interest and as long as this self-interest gains an upperhand, what these countries look forward to is how much can they extract from a country be it democratic or a dictatorship.
For instance, Myanmar is blessed with abundant mineral wealth and with that enormous resources in its possession it enters into relationship with each nation approaching them and accordingly agreement and pacts are signed thus cementing relationships with each of them. India, which had to suffer under the brutal rule of Britain for centuries fought a prolonged battle for democratic freedom under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Subash Chandra Bose, Sardar Vallabhai Patel and millions of faceless freedom fighters - numbers galore. Even before Mahatma and Pandit Nehru many glorious men were in the picture and to name all of them is an ardous task. The same India in the 20th and the first half of 21st centuries, forgetting its own history of struggle for freedom has not even raised a finger against the Myanmar junta instead has established warm and cordial relationship with Myanmar. Why? The reason not at all respect and regards. Then what? Self-Interest. To extract maximum from the dictator blessed with abundant natural resources, signing of extradition treaty for a variety of purposes. The Pretext : we should not interfere in the internal affairs of a nation. Yes we should not. Agree. But why can't we prevail upon the dictators with a diplomatic approach the need for making way for a democracy. 'But that is none of our business', the common refrain.
Not only India, each country keeping self-interest in mind eyes other's wealth and resources. Self-interest is the key.


When earthly existence,
turns out to be a train travel
through a dark tunnel,
when human existence
reaches a dead-end,
when Mother Earth turns
it entire wrath on mankind with
gigantic force,
kind of rebound phenomena
and begins to avenge
for all the pain and
plunder inflicted on it,
since time immemorial,
where to we human-beings,
flee for an umbrella of shelter?
Mind you, human existence
comes to a nought on
making it an unlivable
the very name earth will
evolve into a bloody hell.
None will be left
to sing a requieum,
for once a happy, lovely place.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


One afternoon
while resting in the balcony
of her flat
while all other flat residents
went inside for the afternoon nap
heard she from a
an enchanting music
music flowing like
a caressing breeze
that made her oblivious of
the surroundings.
When it breezed
into her,
to the entire surroundings
she knew not,
Her eyes like her ears
got drunk with
melodious flute music
'Leave me not alone, stranger,
Leave me not...'
Her memories drove backwards
and stuck upon a
of an yester-year
Bollywodd film....
Music brings along
memories of
pain, agony, love, ecstasy.
A handsome face of a young man
who lived opposite to her flat
the first signs of strangeness
exchange of eloquent glances
the unspoken words and
with tears gathering in his eyes
one day bid silent adieu
only a flying kiss he gifted
and went alone to an unknown land.
Like an uninvited guest
the face,
the looks,
the smiles,
eloquent glances,
unspoken words,
like lovely images,
as if like a poem on celluloid,
came before her face once again.
Her ears close to the balcony wall
sensed she the
nearing, nearing melodious
flute music.
Her heart began to play
the role of a percussion instrument
her eyes glowing
like the afternoon silvery sun,
glanced around with
the eyes of a
proverbial danseuse.
Saw she a handsome child
in his early teens
walking along the path,
with a bunch of flutes
kept inside a long bag,
hanging over his shoulder.
caring none,
forgetful of surroundings
played on music,
the same music
that always made her
drunk with joy and pathos.
He moved along,
longed she however
for his glance
but he moved,
ahead, ahead.....
and ahead....
'Leave me not alone, stranger,
Leave me not...'


August 5, Copiopa, Attacama desert in Chile, the Latin American nation. 33 miners of a gold-copper mine must not have apprehended even in the widest of their dreams that it would turn out to be a fateful day in their life. Likewise their near and dear ones.
But the unfortunate event happened to the shock of those 33Chileans especially their dear ones. The mine caved in and 33 of them got trapped inside. All outside the mine including their co-workers resigned to the fate that their comrades had gone forever. Unfortunate news flashed across Chile and the world over. But all resigned to fate, the ultimate bitter truth. How was it possible for the 33 trapped inside about 2050 feet down to remain alive, no, improbable, impossible to say the least. Hopes and prayers of the dear ones with tearful eyes must have its effect otherwise how come it was possible for the trapped ones to survive.
At the very moment, their co-workers felt like signals of their comrades still fighting for an escape route, the fading lights of hopes and beliefs brightened once more, comrades outside girded-up their loins to rescue their brethren by struggling to the last. They fed their brethren by feeding them from above through a narrow way going downwards water, dehydration gel and food, as by that time the exact location where they were trapped could be located and numerous obstacles about to be surmounted from thereon.
Each day news came out pouring through visual, internet and print media, the progress achieved so far infront of a world awaiting with fingers crossed to the hopes and reliefs of each one.
A shaft, wider than the shoulder adjacent to the mine was being dug to enable the trapped ones to come to the open each one at a time in a capsule 'phoenix', named after the mythical bird which out of its ashes comes to life. Imagine their plight, each day passed with darkness all around unable to see each other. Light at the end of the tunnel - was their only hope and that hope provided each the determination and courage, one day all of them would be able to overcome the ordeal they were passing through. And their overall belief lied in the grit and determination of their comrades who were round the clock working literally slogging it out to rescue them. This light of life - the light of hope and confidence mankind still continues to hold aflame even amidst wars, terror, ethnic rivalry, territorial claims et al gives each human-being the strength to pull on, though at times in fits of rage and righteous indignation, we curse others and even ourselves and lament our fate of leading lives in an imperfect world. But somewhere at the very bottom of each one's mind their is a flame or a spark of love and kindness. If this flame of hope was not aflame or if we are not willing to keep it intact, what would have been our fate. Going philosophical, no? sometimes.
Aug 5 - Aug 13, 'an era' of anxious wait especially to the Chileans and particularly to the friends, relatives, parents, wives and children.
69 days elapsed.
Attacama desert getting ready for celebrations. Celebrations already rent the air. As also anxious moments. An abode 'Camp Hope' already built days before, dear ones started camping there. Imagine the rarest of rare moments of a happy re-union. Attacama for the first time in history might be vibrating with festivals of re-union.
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera must have already arrived at the spot. Among the 33, one is a Bolivian, and hence Bolivian Presdient Evo Morales has made it known that he would be at the spot to greet his fellow Bolivian.
As per latest report, three have already come out and it would take 48 hours time for all of them to come out. At a time only one can be accomodated in a capsule and half a kilometer has to be covered to reach the top, therefore this delay.
Man is great, he will ever remain great and I wish if the entire mankind strove to be great setting aside all narrow, destructive tendencies of brother turning against brother is stopped forthwith and let good sense prevail. Is it possible to escape human depravity? Possible?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Election campaign
sometime back I
watched them on TV screens
all street-side dwellers,
with no roofs over
their heads
only roof
the common roof
a canopy of
shapeless, moving patterns of
blue, white, dark, ash, orange
the sky with various moods
warm, blazing,
needling rays
sometimes like tears
of God
a heavy downpour
but no
refuge whatsoever
from scorching heat
from seething cold
tiny tots
with not even a
torn cloth to cover
in the piercing cold,
all shivering like oracles.
A channel reporter
sympathies eyes full
it has no dearth these days
interviewing each
your votes to whom this time?
A big 'No' in chorus
'what for we vote?
see our plight
not even a roof over head,
not even a good cloth to wear
not even a blanket to cover
not even some food to
feed our starving children
what for, tell us what for?'.
Seemed like poverty
painted on a canvas
in black and white,
'what for we vote?
Roads pot-holed,
acres of pollutants
littered, dumped,
on street sides,
stench, nauseating
forces one to cover the nose
ten to fifteen minutes
bring all candidates
here, force them to be here
let them
enjoy the beauty and
feel the stench for a full day'.
One heard speaking
on passing through,
'let a tsunami come
and wash out all
these candidates
for good'.
Election day.....
'pan the camera'
the panicked reporter
his eyes wide open
unable to believe his own eyes
shouted to
his camera man,
a serpentine queue
'the ones without roofs -
over their heads
the ones with only
a common roof
the sky
the ones who swore
'no vote' in unison
and 'what for?'
stood the reporter
still spell bound.


He needs no formal introduction. A larger than life picture in his own right. A great personality who like Mahatma Gandhi, Father of our nation, fought relentlessly for the freedom of his country facing torture, long years of incarceration, braved bullets, lathis and chained by the British colonolists and finally paved the way for independence of his nation from the iron grip of white men. Centuries of colonial rule, however could not break the backs of blackmen, their grit, determination and love of freedom and facing heavy odds along the path littered with many an obstacle finally achieved their goal. The guiding force however was he the great man named Nelson Mandela fondly called by us as 'African Gandhi'. Imagine the soul of a man who underwent 27 years of imprisonment, solitary imprisonment, his courage, conviction and thirst for freedom.
He won umpteen laurels not only in his country, but worldwide. Yes, he needs no introduction, each and everyone knows him, respects and hold him in high esteem. He won Nobel prize for peace, was awarded Bharat Ratna and Indira Gandhi Peace Foundation Award, similarly many nations across the world honoured him with numerous awards and now this 92 year old great global citizen, don't confine him to South Africa only in the twilight years of his life. Spends his days reflecting upon his fabulous and eventful years with his beloved ones away from all hullaballoo or hundrum of daily existence.
As the founder President of African National Congress (ANC) first, then as the leader who fought against the British, a mighty fearless campaign from the vanguard, almost three decades in prison, snatching freedom for his country and occupying the highest post of President a nation where he was a slave once like his followers, upon completion of his tenure happily handing over charge to the next leader Thabo Mbeki and Mbeki to Jacob Zuma, the incumbant President.
Problems, ofcourse South Africa faces like any other nation, but the most important thing is South Africa is a free country now, not one under a colonial yoke. Freedom, ofcourse, is a great concept be it South Africa, India, China and for that matter any other nation, for which mankind often aspire for, dream for, fight for, since time immemorial, stifling the voices of freedom equivalent to suffocating a human-being to death.
Here I do not want to dwell upon the myriad problems that country faces, there are countless of them but this is not a moment for concentrating on them because the subject about to be dealt with here is another one but equally important.
Today the 12th October, a book penned by Nelson Mandela is going to be released. Even before the release - it could however happen - some contents have already come out into the open.
"Conversations with Myself" as the book is titled, Mandela has taken the opportunity to take strong exception to the attitude of many painting a larger than life picture of him. Deification he hates most and he always likes to be known as a common citizen of South Africa otherwise he hates idolatry. Like any other freedom fighter of South Africa he was also a part of struggle for freedom like any other freedom fighter, he too underwent prison terms and torture like any other freedom fighter he had his own pains and sorrows and one pain still etched in his mind is the death of his elder son, other things being his Ex-wife Winnie and children suffered while he was in prison and when Winnie too was jailed leaving the children helpless and hapless - those frightening painful days through which he went through all poignantly mentioned.
Let me be frank.
The book I don't have. I could go through only the excerpts that set me thinking and ponder upon.
When I went through the excerpts, with fun and also with pain, I was thinking about, still thinking about in a country where Mahatma lived fearlessly, today his followers as well as other so-called leaders and ministers aspiring to be deified, to be painted larger than life pictures, erecting their own statues at every nook and corner across the country to be remembered by posterity, demanding escorts armed with gun wielding security guards both in front, back and side ways as if they 'might' be thinking that they deserve such ornamentalities or embellishments ofcourse everything at tax-payers' expenses.
Sir, frankly speaking I am at a loss to find out the meaning of such meaninglessness.
Dear Mandela, pay a visit to India to witness such 'exhilarating sights'- the clowns who ply the roads with escorts and the clowns who fly by air ofcourse in executive classes round the clock. All larger than life pictures Mr.Mandela.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Early in the morning,
when the blanket
of darkness being
slowly, slowly unveiled by
a warm rising sun and cool breeze
the dusky lady
clad in grimy, torn dress,
her dishevelled hair,
fluttering in the breeze,
talking to herself,
laughing to herself,
smiling to herself,
weeping to herself,
singing to herself,
all lullabies,
dancing round and round,
emotions like fluctuating,
weather patterns,
reaches our junction.
A daily visitor, she
nobody seems like seeing her,
nobody cares not watching her,
ugly and dirty her features,
all move away from her,
what she sings,
why she smiles,
biting her lower-lips,
why she laughs wildly
and from where
she comes,
no one knows,
no one wants to know.
Daily she comes before a coffee shop,
permission already denied to her,
sits like an untouchable,
on the wet patch of earth.
And in a clay plate
the hotel boy
places before her something to eat
his face gets distorted
on watching her
covering his nose
goes he inside.
Never she asks for more ,
never the hotel boy gives further,
wakes up she smiling
from a big drum filled with water
washes the clay plate
places it somewhere in the backyards,
of the coffee shop and
talking to herself,
laughing to herself,
weeping to herself,
smiling to herself,
singing to herself,
all lullabies
dancing round and round
she plays a disappearing game.


Impending visit of US President Barack Obama to India in November is pregnant with enthusiasm, expectations and also apprehensions by political leaders, international as well as national observers including activists, writers and intellectuals across the world. Even months before the visit is to take place spadeworks started for the international celebrity's visit to our country. Amidst much fanfare, pomp and pageantry, a red-carpet welcome awaits 'the most powerful personality of a most powerful nation'. Eminent persons holding powerful positions like NSA, Foreign Secretary and even Ministers of both nations have already completed several rounds of trips, both to US and India for the preparatory works in anticipation of the high profile visit. The celebrity's security coverage being of primary importance especially when terror elements like eagles with prying eyes are on the prowl beefing up of security cover ought to be in place in a few days from now. Even without it the Home Ministry had taken maximum caution by providing and overlooking security coverage to those participating in the Common Wealth Games now going on in Delhi. To provide His Excellency and his entourage maximum protection is a primary responsibility till the moment the team bids adieu to India.
Industrialists, businessmen, software professional besides those at the higher echelons of power, the first Lady Michelle Obama and their two kids are expected in the entourage.
Obama's visit to India is at a critical juncture especially when Russia and China are getting more and more closer to each other, remember China and Russia both nurture plans of cementing their relationship with India about which US is very much aware of. As US unlike Indian authorities keeps a keen eye around, watching the changing equations, permutations and combinations and in accordance with it chalks out future course of actions and impement them to its advantage. The respect and regards that the neighbouring country of little Bhutan extends towards India, we display our respect and regards to US and most often we the citizens witness our 'bosses' at the top always play subservient to America. US's stern demands and reminders are being willingly and slavishly followed by our leaders and it is something shameful to us citizens if not to our rulers.
Now that US-Pakistan relationship has reached a sour note due to the frequent bombardment of Pak's North-West Frontier Province after intelligence report of a terrorist attack across Europe came out into the open Pakistan is fretting and fuming against US. Kind of impotent rage - nothing else. One factor behind America getting closer to India is this one. Only one factor. As we are already aware, US also knows for certain that Pakistan is the epicentre of terrorism since years. More essential factors lie elsewhere, I am coming to it.
India too nurses some complaints towards US and they are expected to surface during the upcoming talks with Obama. Unemployment situation in US is alarming, 95000 went unemployed within a short span. Already millions have gone out of employment in US. Ever since the global economic meltdown US, one way or other though struggles its maximum to lift the suffering economy and bring it back to normality has not succeeded in its attempts. The alarming situation forced Obama to adopt protectionist policies and proceeded on the lines of taxing those firms outsourcing jobs abroad, among the badly affected nations India is a prominent loser. As the jobs gone Bangalored earlier, the flow came to a gradual stop affecting our software professionals badly. A double whammy to software industry in India and soon after our leaders and officials besides meekly protesting flew to US to shed tears before Uncle Sam. Last week Pranab Mukherjee, our all-rounder Finance Minister delivered a speech in USA attacking the protectionist tendencies of countries and took time to warn about the repercussions if such countries are bent upon continuing such policies. During Obama's visit Indian side will be raking up this issue before him and we will have to wait with bated breath his responses regarding the matter. Even if a positive response is assured, soon after reaching home country, whether Obama will backtrack from his assurance, wait and see. He is at his diplomatic best whereever he goes and 'that is the trouble'.
Our Finance Minister, missed no chance in requesting US to lobby for a permanent seat in UN Security Council. Dreaming after all is no one's monopoly. Let's dream of becoming a permanent member in the UN Securtiy Council and it is worthwhile to remember that this dream we nurture is years old.
Furthermore, this is a critical juncture as far as US is concerned. For us too.
In anticipation of US President's visit to India , an article titled - 'Russia sets with US, sprints with China' - by a former Indian diplomat M.K.Bhadrakumar appeared in a national daily today. Whether this new discovery is something to do with my 'wild imagination', if so beg your pardon.
In his artcile Bhadrakumar, a man of leftist leanings, dwells upon the visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to China and the talks transpired there in a cordial atmosphere and the agreement signed between the two nations, thereby Russia would supply oil and gas to China which is one of the large consumers of oil and gas in the world. Besides both nations have arrived at a consensus on 'mulit-polarism' and 'poly-centrism' , thus building up bilateral relationships more stronger.
And within minutes after his arrival in his home soil a call from US greeted Dmitry Medvedev, this time by none other than US President Barack Obama informing him of the glad news of extending invitation to join World Trade Organisation (WTO). Russia was kept out of WTO for long years, to be precise, during and after the Cold war era Obama's invitation was certainly to do with widening and strengthening the cordial relations with China.
NATO has invited Mr.Medvedev to attend a conference to be held in Lisbon under the auspices of France, to be attended by Germany in November.
Russia's unqualified support and recognition of Taiwan, Tibet, Zianjiang has also helped warming up the relationships between the two countries.
As I had already pointedout changing equations would lead to new permutations and combinations and therefore India like US, Russia and China should have to keep its ears glued to the ground to come to grips with the changing scenarios and move ahead accordingly. A number of agreements and pacts are expected to be signed by the two countries and I need not dwell upon the areas about to be called as everyone is very well aware of the aforementioned.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


a voluminous work,
takes a life-time,
to leaf through it,
churn it,
devour it,
left to your will and pleasure,
left to your whims and fancies.
Read or don't read,
your discretion.
Interpret and misinterpret,
interpret or misinterpret,
your discretion.
Either you might find out something,
or might seem like nothing to find out,
everything crystal clear,
like your inner palm.
Try to find out the,
hidden meaning, if anything,
there might be, might not be,
your discretion,
as long as lines remain subjective,
you might find meanings,
and meaninglessness,
meaninglessness in meanings,
mystery hidden sometimes,
despite digging deep,
mystery migt continue,
to be mysterious,
always continues to be elusive,
like our life,
like our Universe,
like the search for God,
like love itself,
All your discretion.


Two nations. Two heads. One President, the other Prime Minister. The Presidential head recently demitted office upon completion of two terms, commanded a popularity rating of 80 percent. The other one, Prime Minister of a nation widely acclaimed and applauded around the world but his popularity rating across the country a dismal low but goes on bragging about his achievments albeit farther from truth.
Former President of Brazil, Luiz-Inacio-Da-D'Silva of Brazil, the largest Latin American country, since retired, followed market-friendly economic reforms and paid equal attention to social problems, empathetic towards the ones at the lower strata of society and tried his best for the uplift them, endowed with popularity and charisma was in office for two terms. As per Brazilian constitution the Head of State should have to demit office paving for another who could be his follower upon completion of two terms. Hence despite majority of the masses stood for his continuation in office by obliging constitutional requirements bowed out of office calling for fresh elections.
While Lula was at the helm of office it was the golden period of Brazil as he could read the pulse of the people. Never did he could he concentrate all his attention only on a section of the countrymen but his attention reached far and wide unlike his counterpart in India, world's largest democracy. Lula's counterpart in India, Prime Minister Dr. ManMohan Singh, a great advocate of market-friendly reforms, contrary to his claims paid heed to the voices of a minority and took interest, still takes interest in improving the 'lot' of this minority - the haves. Despite laying emphasis to social aspects and inclusive growth nothing substantial he could achieve, still doesn't do for those at the bottom ladder. He, his cohorts all, 24X7, brag about the high GDP growth inviting attention to the high growth trajectory achieved by the nation, meaning the growth has trickled down or percolated down to those at the bottom-level. But percolation of any kind has actually taken place, insteadly the entire GDP growth centered around the industrial and business tycoons. In this connection I recall the lines of former UN Secretary General Koffi Annan's article appeared in a national daily on the eve of 2nd Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) conference on poverty held in NewYork under the auspices of United Nations. He dwelt upon the fact that high GDP growth need not co-exist with the welfare of the down-trodden and therefore measuring poverty employing the yardstick of GDP growth is not correct. Still harping on the developments achieved by a country pointing towards the GDP growth has become somewhat fashionable as far as our rulers are concerned.
Two leaders of two countries preaching the same economic reforms, one living up to his promises, the other just mimicking the former makes amusing reading.
Indian leader has four more years left to demit office and the Brazilian leader following constitutional obligations already bowed out of office and it is election time there.
Lula has hand-picked his Chief of staff Dilma Rouseff (62) to contest for the prestigious post who is his close confident also. In the 1970s she joined a militant group to fight against the dictatorship, underwent years in prison and brutally tortured there by the then dictators. Unlike Lula her minus points are lack of charisma and popularity. In spite of that she was expected to scrape through without a run-off, ie. in the first round itself as she is hand-picked by Lula himself who still has a massive popularity rating of 80 percent.
But contrary to the expectations of Workers Party (PT) as also observers in and around Brazil calculated, she could garner 47 percent votes only and therefore a run-off has become inevitable. If she could garner 50 percent of votes in the first round itself the need of a run-off would not have been needed. The run-off is poised to take place in the last week of October.
Her close rival Jose Serra representative of the Conservative Party could acquire 33 percent and te third rival Mrs. Marina Silva, leader of Greens Party emerged with 19 percent votes.
As on today the result is fluid and in case Mrs Rouseff wouldn't be able to garner 50 percent in the next round, the Greens Party leader would turn out to be the king-maker if not the Queen herself.
Jose Serra, Conservative Party leader's aim if got elected is to cut public expenditure unlike Workers Party of Mrs. Rouseff which concentrates attention on public-private participation for infrastructure development, social justice for the betterment of the lot of the masses. Sort of adjustment with Greens Party accommodating their demands would prove beneficial and which ever party emerges successful in arriving at a deal in case the second round might turn out to be the replication of first round. Such a possibility is rare taking into account Lula's popularity rating hence chances are that Mrs.Rouseff herslef would emerge victorious in the end.
The lessons to be arrived at after comparing the leaders of both Brazil and India are a leader attentive to the needs and aspirations of the masses turn out to be the ideal leader - be it anyone.