Friday, December 31, 2010

FLOWERS OF JANUARY

One more December departs
with the promise to visit us
the next year
along with memories most
coveted, moon-struck, star-struck nights
the birth of Infant Jesus at a
cattle-shed in Bethlehem
with angels fluttering around
informing the world of
the arrival of
beloved Saviour
thus
heralding a new dawn
full of hopes and expectations.
The moon-lit, star-lit
frosty nights awashed
with neon brightness, colourful
lush greenery all around
flowers all around, their
fragrance, beauty
left to us by December
as new year gifts
the new hopes and new
expectations,
a new beginning
wishing hilarious, peaceful
days
the messages which
criss-cross to each corner
of the world
wishing a VERY VERY HAPPY
NEW YEAR
even when
we find ourselves
in the midst of
wide spread violence
poverty, people without
coverings over their
heads
still we hope
expect
dream about
bright, warm breezy dawns
and
wish each other,
A VERY VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR
waiting for light at
the end of tunnel
human nature, so to speak….

DECEMBER BIDS ADIEU

December cat-walked inside
pushing back November
December came stealthily
not making its presence
felt in the beginning .
December gradually made
its presence felt by
each and everyone.
December reminded
us of the birthday of
Infant Jesus ,
Dcember brought with it
stars, chandliers, X’mas trees
with colourful bulbs
blinking,
December accorded reception
to Santa Claus, the long
red-robed Grandpa with
flowing snowy beard, messenger of
Universal peace, love and
harmony, carrol songs
drumbeats raising the
celebrations to its
crescendo
December left us handing out
sweet memories and misty milky
nights, providing us
with a new gift
-January………

ANOTHER NEW YEAR – WELCOME IT

World over citizens await for the approach of a new dawn, a happy new year, champagne bottles ready to be popped up and splashed , fire-works, glittering dresses, moulding a colourful world, at least for a few hours. Passing of 2010 to 2011, that defining moment, that refining moment that citizens dreams about soar high like their spirit that too at least for a few hours.
While the eagerness as well as happiness reverberate across the world, each of us knows for well that we are sitting on a time-bomb likely to explode at any time. Such are the threats we are confronted with, from various corners, still we nurture happy moments and wish for happier days to prevail among humanity, their well-being in the coming days. This is not intended to travel around the world, this is just to concentrate on our lingering apprehensions that pose a threat to Indian democracy which is at crossroads since a few years, especially since 2009.
Talks of the sad, shocking, painful goings on across our nation started from the top echelons of power but don’t forget our bureaucracy got caught in the web of corruption since decades ago and as it is at the lower rung not much talked about and we took it for granted as the order of the day.
Now corruption has seeped into almost all spheres of life and it seems we have no escape from it. How is it possible to contain this menace while those who are entrusted with tackling it get entangled in it. That is the situation in India and that is the situation prevailing across the world barring few cases.
One thing which shocked our nation however was that our media world itself which is supposed to keep a close vigil on matters relating to corruption themselves get embroiled in the muddle. With the leaking out of taped conversations between a corporate lobbyist, one Niira Radia, and many media icons whom we always held in high esteem since years. We respected them, many journalist aspirants of the Gen X tried to emulate them not knowing their true colours, conferred awards on them for their valuable contributions to the field of journalism in the presence of revered intellectuals without being aware of the unholy nexus between the corporate lobbyist and these gentlemen and women. The news that one national news channel was being run by the corporate journalist was kind of a bomb explosion. If the income tax sleuths had not taped the conversations that transpired among them we would not have come to know of it even now. The whole matter would have been swept under the carpet and the game would have gone on as before reducing common men like us to fools.
The media world actually got caught in the swamp even before this nasty state of affairs. In the general elections 2009 a new affectation called ‘paid-news syndrome’ very much prevalent even in these times. ‘Paid-news syndrome’ enabled media tycoons stash their pockets with bundles of currencies by entering into shady deals with the political leaders, especially candidates – there are crorepatis, millionaires and billionaires among them – who greased the palms of the media tycoons to report in their favour which would make sure an easy victory for these candidates. Under such a situation, the ones with their hands empty bit the dust at the hustings as they didn’t have the wherewithal to lure the voters with money. As average Indian voter could easily be lured, throwing away all his/her principles such was his/her predicament.
A Minister who allegedly cost a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer. A government which vehemently oppose a JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee) probe to investigate the scam - the 2G Spectrum scam - which cost such a large loss.
A Congress leader who allegedly swindled Rs 70000 crore in Common Wealth Games -2010. A govt which is not much concerned with the issue the slow progress being made in investigating it.
The Adarsh Housing Scheme scam which cost a Chief Minister his job, the loss incurred still a matter of conjecture.
Still one by one scams and scandals baring out their ugly heads. The three loss makers still remain free birds.
At the same time a human rights activist known the world-over, a humanist, a saintly doctor Dr. Binayak Sen sentenced for life and incarcerated all in our India.
Still we, like a ritual, convey to each other a happy new year, a very very happy 2011.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

THE MORE – THE LESS

To the outsider
his life is a bed of roses,
with all comforts of life
accompanying him,
to the envy of everyone.
Behind the fa├žade of glitterati
Behind the mask of diplomacy
his mind
a boiling sea
fear, ambitions, dreams, anxieties,
race for one-upmanship
all concocted.
Behind his invited smile
his mind is a tight-stringed
violin, too tensed up
Even while chasing mental peace
for which he is always
willing to pay a heavy price
that which eludes him
is nothing but this.
Except this much sought after peace,
everything is within
his easy reach
but the mirage of
tranquility
glides past him
the more he runs after it
the far it goes fast
giving him no respite.
Still with restlessness abound
his thirst to reach
atop the material-
comforts
he runs
non-stop
that too
giving him no rest….

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

CRIMSON TO BLACK

With the sun undressing
the thick black gown
of the night and throwing
it away
and draping the day
in the transparent costume
the nameless, faceless old beggar
wakes up, wraps up the
torn ugly clothes
around his body
slowly steps down
the platform,
slowly moves out of
the railway station
ignoring the deafening
sounds of the local trains
through the surging crowd
in a pathetic state
to his permanent camp
where fellow beggars
are lined up on
both sides of the
way to the famous church.
Christ’s worshippers rushing
ahead to the church
most of them in glittering
white
seeking Christ’ profuse
blessings
and
at times throwing coins
at the beggars sitting
seeking alms with beseeching
eyes
kind of self-imposed
obligation.
The transparent costume
with which the sun
had draped the
day in the morning
evolves into red hot costume
as the day progresses
his hot embraces like
catching fire
faceless beggars get
absolutely exhausted
but continue to be rooted
in their places expecting the
once in a while thrown
coins at them.
Unbearable heat forces
many to lie over the
roasted earth in the meanwhile
stretching hands beseechingly
listing out their plights and
predicaments,
and as the day gets
draped by the crimson dress
each moves to their
permanent abodes
the railway platform.
As our nameless old beggar
lame-duck he is
slowly, slowly crosses the path
a speeding vehicle
sans pressing brake
hits and runs over him
and speeds away.
He lay crushed on one
side of the road
in a pool of blood
unclaimed,
unattended by
anyone
even by the fellow beggars
the city as usual
forges ahead
like a hungry beast
searching victims
and
crimson dress turns into
black blanket….
with the unnamed, unknown
beggar lying still…..

SHIV SAINIKS ON THE RAMPAGE IN PUNE

Nowadays one serious doubt continues to linger in me. Whether the success of an agitation or protest depends upon the magnitude of the damage it causes? Whether it seriously affects the mobility of the common citizens causing massive threat to their existence? Such a doubt nags not only me but others too might be thinking on those lines. Whereever a strike, agitation, rally, is declared and observed, the leaders who give a clarion call to their follower proceed with much vigour, we can very well expect the hidden meaning behind that ‘vigour’. To cause maximum destruction such as stone pelting, injuring maiming and killing, set ablaze maximum number of vehicles as well as buildings and the more the number of casualties the greater the success.
Naming one or two parties or organizations is meaningless and absurd as all parties irrespective of ideologies and colour of flags, move on the same wavelengths. Why such a perverted thinking has taken hold of our political parties or organisations.
On carefully looking into or pondering over you can very well reach the conclusion that I am not exaggerating even a bit and what I am pointing out is absolutely true.
Suppose a national strike is declared by a group of political parties what they expect most is the magnitude of the damage caused after the strike is over but remember this is not to cast aspersions on these entities I was pointing towards the need of changing the mind-set of them. As far as a trade union is concerned strike is the last resort, as its trump card is collective bargaining and when that avenue is not attended to by the authorities concerned the last resort of striking working is adhered to but it should be held in a peaceful manner.
I was constrained to think along these lines when I happened to read about a massive agitation let loose by the Shiv Sainiks in Pune apparently for a silly reason but one of the biggest issues in their eyes. That is due to their narrow-mindedness is another matter.
Shiv Sainiks’ blood boiled as a result of shifting of a statue of Dadoji Konddeo, the mentor of Chathrapati Shivaji ,to another place from its original place by the Pune Municipal Authority (PMA). As far as the Shiv Sainiks are concerned, the shifting of the statue is quite unpardonable and hence unbearable subsequently enraging them. Militant Shiv Sainiks went on the rampage ever since the statue was shifted and vandalized vast areas of Pune destroying properties in the heat of which 53 buses were reportedly set ablaze. Shiv Sainiks charge the Congress – Nationalist Congress Party alliance (INC-NCP) for the act and the communal organization will not be satisfied as long as the statue of Dadoji Konddeo is installed at its original place. The agitation has surpassed the borders of Pune and spread to other places in Maharashtra including the nearby Lonawala. This is the third day of the agitation and if things are allowed to spill over across Maharashtra what would be the consequences? Hard to imagine. Communal spirit is something which could be injected easily for enraging the masses. Even while the Pune agitation is going on the Gujjar agitation in Rajasthan is gaining momentum with the Gujjars and the govt sticking to their respective positions.
On thinking about the goings on in Pune, one is forced to think over the fact that while many other issues concerning the welfare of the citizens are very much in the air seeking immediate attention Shiv Sainiks who swear by the welfare of the ‘Marathi Manoos’ are not at all concerned instead they prefer to make a mountain out of a mole-hill. See the price to be paid by we people for the narrow-mindedness of a communal organization?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Poems Visualized

Life - A Voluminous Work
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAcO8GUy3qE

Metropolis
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8vVUAAUiEw

December, I Love You
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fhdaxk0YRbo

These are visualizations of three poems from my book 'Treasure Trove of Life' (collection of poems) available @ Lulu.com

VIRTUE OF MEDIOCRITY

In the race to
reach the top
don’t hurry up
try to be in the
back,
speed quite slow.
Mediocrity has its
potential,
enormous potential
see for yourself
watching our rulers.
Follow in their foot-steps
and reach
the top echelons
of power…
academic pursuits,
efficiency,
honesty,
sincerity,
dynamism,
vibrancy,
all mere wastes
in these times
my friends…

FORMER CHIEF JUSTICE UNDER TRIAL

It was a D-Day in the history of Indian Judiciary. When a Dalit was ushered in as the Chief Justice of India, for the first time not only the Dalits but the entire nation was elated. The name K.G.Balakrishnan became a byword for independent justice in the annals of Indian Judicial history. In the beginning there was no doubt about the integrity and dignity of this gentleman. V.R.Krishna Iyer, the renowned Justice of Supreme Court even commented that with the enthronement of K.G.Balakrishnan as the Chief Justice of India ‘we have entered the K.G.Balakrishnan era’ in the history of Indian judiciary. The fact that Justice K.G.Balakrishnan is a Dalit enthralled all across the nation. From the very outset he gave interviews to many media personalities who sought his viewpoints on various judicial matters and he with his head held high answered each question and carved a niche for himself. Some of his comments though attracted both constructive criticism and scathing ones but all in an healthy conducive atmosphere. Thus the name K.G.Balakrishnan turned out to be the pride of our nation.
But as the days went by murmurings from legal hierarchy had begun to mount and a few of his opinions were being taken strong exception to even by his juniors. A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by advocate S.C.Agarwal before the Delhi High Court praying for the disclosure of assets by Supreme Court judges was not to the taste of a few of the latter category including the then Chief Justice K.G.Balakrishnan. A few junior judges, eminent are they, voluntarily came out to disclose their assets online wrote lengthy articles in National newspapers like Indian Express, Justice D.V.Shailendra Kumar was one among them and he was of the opinion that each judge irrespective of those belonging to Supreme Court, High Court and other courts are bound to disclose their assets on the web for public’s knowledge as also it would ensure transparency in Judiciary. The Delhi High Court passed a verdict directing the Supreme Court judges to disclose their assets, instead the Supreme Court under Justice Balakrishnan didn’t relent instead chose to file an appeal before the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court. The reluctance on the part of Justice Balakrishnan came in for scathing criticism and his hesitation cast clouds of suspicion over his integrity and dignity as the Chief Justice of the nation.
Another change, a recent one is related to Justice Reghupathy, who was reportedly approached by an advocate of Madras High Court on behalf of A.Raja with temptations not to proceed against the latter in a case but was rejected by Justice Reghupathy. Instead the Honourable Justice made it public that a Minister had approached him through a third party and that he promptly reported the matter to the High Court Chief Justice G.K Gokhale under copy to the then Chief Justice of India K.G.Balakrishnan. Justice Gokhale, now a Supreme Court Judge in turn reported the matter to Justice K.G.Balakrishnan, but Justice Balakrishnan vehemently objected to the charge that he was in receipt of that letter written by Justice Gokhale. Gokhale in turn has stuck to his position that justice Balakrishnan was in receipt of the copy. These charges too cast a serious suspicion over the integrity of Justice Balakrishnan.
Soon after his retirement Justice Balakrishnan was appointed Chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). National Human RIGHTS Commission is a prestigious institution and it is a must that the gentleman who heads it must be of untainted reputation. But reports pouring in on a daily basis over the character of its Chairman is something finger-pointing his status which is open to question and widely talked about.
One of the worst charges which has spilled into the public domain is totally shocking. That his son-in-law and Congress leader P.V.Sreenijin has amassed money to the tune of 7 crores – a heavy chunk of which is spent on purchasing real-estate properties in the two districts of Ernakulam and Thrissur and building bungalows. Malayalam newspapers are celebrating the news by publishing the massive piling up of money by Justice Balakrishnan’s son-in-law allegedly misusing the name of his father-in-law while he was at the helm of Supreme Court. Now a hullaballoo is being raised by various quarters to prevail upon enquiring about Justice Balakrishnan’s assets as of now.
Once upon a time, I mean, when Justice K.G.Balakrishnan got enthroned as the Chief Justice of India his name was synonymous with all the good sides of justice and gradually the very name Justice K.G.Balakrishnan has come to be synonymous with all the ugly sides of his personality, if all what we listen to are truth nothing but the truth. If at all there are elements of truth in the allegations it is high-time Justice Balakrishnan resigned from his post of Chairman of National Human Rights Commission. Those at the higher echelons of power need look into the matter and take appropriate action they deem fit. The mute question is that who is left to take appropriate action against Justice Balakrishnan.

Monday, December 27, 2010

FORBIDDEN FRUITS GALORE TODAY

Fruits are lovely, sweet
and delicious
in the Garden of Eden
and
demands galore.
Today’s man and woman
care not the truth that
forbidden are the fruits of Eden
tasting which
invites the wrath of God
punishment
shame and death.
Consequences they not fear
eternity, salvation and
blessings not a must
already sinners they are
repentance always the remedy.
Life is to be enjoyed
to its full like popping up champagne bottles
thus they believe
fig leaves they do have
to cover their shame.
Wearing the cloak of
hypocrisy
they wine and dine
wearing smiles throughout
each pulls the carpet
from under the feet of
his/her neighbour
charging cut-throat interest
man turns Shylock
utilizes others to his/her
advantage
and resting in the palatial building
chases sky-high dreams
sin and repent
sin and repent
sin and repent…
God, the Almighty
always there to pardon.
Amen…

Sunday, December 26, 2010

BINAYAK SEN’S TRYST WITH DESTINY

Juxtaposing two news reports, both of them prominent hence occupying the front-page of National daily, The Hindu, to the left is the smiling face of a man who is charged with defrauding the country’s exchequer to the tune of Rs 1.76 lakh crore boarding a car after questioning by CBI sleuths and at the right side, the sad face of a human-rights activist who incidentally is the Vice-President of Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties Dr.Binayak Sen sentenced to life-imprisonment, the national daily has displayed the two sides of the same coin in other words, the one who deserves to be more elated shown in a gloomy mood, as he deserves not such a harsh sentence. The other one, a wily politician, known across the spectrum for his skin thickness, no surprise is already in a jubilant mood, the reason eloquent to all of us.
Dr.Binayak Sen, a renowned paediatrician after spending more than two years in a Chattisgrah jail under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 – the charges levelled against him being he was allegedly acting as a courier of Maoists imprisoned in the Chattisgarh prison while visiting the jail inmates for their treatment was released on bail in 2008 and court procedures went on which lasted for two years.
The respected doctor was forced to literally languish in the jail for two years till he was released on bail. Though human-rights activists across India and the worldover applied pressure on Central govt to have mercy on him and release him from incarceration the govt stuck to its guns as long as possible maintaining that he was a hard-core Maoist but it has to buckle under pressure exerted by the International Human Rights organizations and freed on bail. But the case went on, in the Raipur sessions court for the last two years finally ending in his conviction for life. Along with him, prominent Maoist leader Narayan Sanyal and Kolkata based businessman Piyush Guha was also awarded the life-imprisonment and three of them bundled together in a police van and taken to the Chattisgarh jail in the presence of social activists, advocates and onlookers.
While Dr.Binayak Sen was confined to jail an International recognition in the form of Jonnathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights in 2008, for his contribution to the cause of human-rights was awarded unfortunately even after massive pressure by human-rights activists around the world to allow him to accept the award, the govt didn’t extend permission. Be that as it may. One painful thing which shook the conscience of many independent citizens was, while in jail he was suffering from heart ailments and was not allowed proper treatment by cardiology specialists.
Imagine the plight of a humane doctor whose patriotism towards his mother country was never under cloud, but slapping sedition charges on such a person by the government and try him in a court of trial is too rude to a wide cross-section of human-rights activists and independent thinkers, even lawyers like Prashant Bhushan.
Life term sentencing of Dr.Sen invited the wrath of educated and uneducated alike and their reactions are pointers in that direction.
While men of stature are put behind bars countless of so-called looters who were and are entrusted with ruling the country to the satisfaction of masses continue the game of looting piling up wealth, enjoy the pomp and pageantry comfortably reclined in their cosy seats at the cost of tax-payers money. These so-called looters always escape the clutches of law and even if they are put behind bars within a week or two they come out unscathed in jubilant moods and rousing receptions being arranged by their followers. Look for instance in our India many political leaders with shady pasts even after convictions and sentencings are roaming scot-free availing bails minutes after being convicted and the minority with criminal backgrounds each of them charged with murders in the capacity of political leaders and members of Parliament enjoy first class facilities in jails like computer, TV, mobile-phones – all sorts of amenities.
Meanwhile educated lot with no shady past who are always at the service of human community languish in jails often under unbearable conditions along with hard-core criminals, sometimes under solitary confinements even without provided with staple food . Such persons of substance are often charged with sedition charges and are branded traitors.
We are caught in kinds of lop-sided system of punishment and if that was not the case how come the big gun’s escape without much ado while the humane elements get caught in the web of treason charges and are jailed for a prolonged period?

TIME MANIFESTATIONS

Time,
a stagnant pool
no ripples, no waves
pool a swamp with
fern grown in abundance.
Pool surrounded by pandanus,
lush green mangroves
and an eerie silence prevailing
all along like around
an age-old dilapidated
pond.
Time,
an endless road
snaking through unknown
lands ,
where it begins, where it ends
no one knows, it is for sure.
Time, still a riddle
a fast flowing river
transparent at times
with pebbles moving ahead
fish, water snakes
swimming to and fro
along the basement
muddied at times
reminding an opaque
mirror
with nothing beneath
visible to the naked eyes,
sometime inundated
converting the entire land
into a sea
at times dry and barren
like a desert
not a drop of
water in sight
instead patches of
grass grown here and there.
Time,
a village lass
cute and pretty
shy, ever smiling and reserved
anklets jingling
on moving ahead
thick growth of flowing
hairs reaching up to the
knees.
Time,
like a vibrant city
full of sound and fury
sophisticated children
and youth
dressed in sophisticated
dresses
jeans, t-shirts cropped
hairs, cigarattes in lips
enjoying rock ‘n’ roll
pop music, bar-dances
drinks hot and cold
moon walk, Michael Jackson
shyness absent
in their lexicon
time
a roaring lion, tiger,
all hullaballoo , all the way
time, a fast forward metropolis.
Time,
which never blinks
a magician’s sleight of hand,
and a clown’s sense of humour
simultaneously
manifest in variety of
ways
changes the very shape of
this earth and its children.
Time,
a bifocal lens
worn by a middle-aged
man
blessing him with a clear vision
near and afar.

HER MELANCHOLY

Right or wrong
I care not….
whenever I dash to
the city
always make it a
point to visit her
spend a few minutes
with her
an outing
a cup of coffee, tea,
ice-cream and
come back to the flat.
Upon bidding adieu
plant kisses on
her forehead ,
teary eyes
quivering lips
hold her close to me
lock her in an embrace
for minutes together
then melting into the
crowd
a bye till the next time.
Sitting afar
our cell phones,
kiss
whispering to each other
dreams and pleasantries
and that warm kisses
exchanged.
One day she in a
tone of melancholy
opened her heart out
ever since we parted
depressed I go
my melancholy
like an infection seems like
spreading to my children
and Him
while the city plays rock ‘n’ roll
inside the flat
four separate ‘islands’
four deep sighs
dreams turn nightmares
always eyes wide open
I know, I know
this is a gradual progression
mood swings …
depression, melancholy,
called her daily
to make her cheery
thorns of fear but gnawing me,
growing in me .
One day her mobile,
fell silent
tried and tried
no response
flew me to the city
rushed me to the flat
found me the flat locked
shocked and stood still
saw me a bird,
flying over the roaring
city
flying towards me
who is there to anwer
me?

HER MELANCHOLY

Right or wrong
I care not….
whenever I dash to
the city
always make it a
point to visit her
spend a few minutes
with her
an outing
a cup of coffee, tea,
ice-cream and
come back to the flat.
Upon bidding adieu
plant kisses on
her forehead ,
teary eyes
quivering lips
hold her close to me
lock her in an embrace
for minutes together
then melting into the
crowd
a bye till the next time.
Sitting afar
our cell phones,
kiss
whispering to each other
dreams and pleasantries
and that warm kisses
exchanged.
One day she in a
tone of melancholy
opened her heart out
ever since we parted
depressed I go
my melancholy
like an infection seems like
spreading to my children
and their children
while the city plays rock ‘n’ roll
inside the flat
four separate ‘islands’
four deep sighs
dreams turn nightmares
always eyes wide open
I know, I know
this is a gradual progression
mood swings …
depression, melancholy,
called her daily
to make her cheery
thorns of fear but gnawing me,
growing in me .
One day her mobile,
fell silent
tried and tried
no response
flew me to the city
rushed me to the flat
found me the flat locked
shocked and stood still
saw me a bird,
flying over the roaring
city
flying towards me
who is there to anwer
me?

Jammu and Kashmir – Need of a political settlement

Is it possible? Whether the three member team of interlocutors appointed by the Central govt could find out a permanent solution to the perennial problem of Kashmir? Or the appointment of three interlocutors Dilip Padgaonkar, senior journalist, Radhakumar, academician and M.M Ansari, former Chief Information Commissioner, a mere eyewash by the Central government to make others feel that it is doing something worthwhile to find a solution to the ‘K’ word? The formation of three member interlocutors, let’s assume is the result of govt’s sincerity to wriggle out of a more than six decades old issue needling our nation. Anyhow one doesn’t feel like casting aspersions on the three member interlocutors team. Three of them have carved a niche in their respective fields, true, but the billion-dollar question nagging us is, whether any progress could be made in the end. Such a doubt arises in one’s mind, here I mean an independent citizen, be he a Kashmiri or any Indian citizen for that matter any person. As I had already mentioned the ‘K’ word is six decades old and hitherto each solution thrashed out for namesake gets washed away with the flow of time, bringing the situation back to square one. Still Pakistan lays claim on it, still its militant elements cross the border, from across the border, well-trained, well-funded and provided with sophisticated weapons to wreak maximum havoc in our part of Kashmir. Not only do they kill, cause maximum destruction to properties, they impart jihadi teachings to a section of youth, hypnotizes them into their flock thus encouraging them to fight against their own nation, turning traitors in the process.
Some of the militants get killed, some caught and imprisoned but the story never ends with it as the flow of hard-core militants continues from across the border, thus creating Kashmir a veritable zone of violence and death.
That is only one side of the picture. It is reported that our soldiers and paramilitary forces along with the police are always on the hunt and whoever appear to them suspicious are caught, assaulted, tortured, incarcerated, even done to death. Add to the woes, children especially girl children, married and unmarried women are caught, molested, raped, gunned down and are reportedly thrown away into drainages. Innocents being caught and done to death cause unrest in the valley, people irrespective of young and old, gather in the streets and they give vent to their ire pelting stones at security forces, chanting azadi (freedom) slogans. The oft repeated hunting down of the innocents and large-scale unemployment among educated youth lead to the mindset of anti-India attitude and such a mindset is very cleverly utilized by the anti-India pro-Pakistani organizations. Kashmir was a towering inferno with almost all of the Kashmiris turning violent last summer with the full throated slogans of ‘we want azadi, go India go’ renting the air.
As India was to them during the unrest and violence, Kashmiris are equally irate towards Pakistan as the people of Kashmir very well know that Pakistan is not at all a safe place for seeking rehabilitation as that country too was a burning cauldron and even now the case is no different.
What Kashmiri citizens need is peace, stability, a totally violence-free atmosphere, freedom from fear and nightmares and a self-sufficient existence.
Here comes the interlocutors’ relevance as at present no other alternative is visible.
Now that three sittings have been completed and in the latest sitting, the committee has come out with certain suggestions.
First and foremost is reducing the trust-deficit between the Kashmiris and the government. To reduce the trust-deficit, one suggestion put forward by the interlocutors is providing employment to unemployed youth. The other one is the release of prisoners. With regard to the claims of Pakistan, confidence building measures need to be taken forward and the talks between the two nations are to be continued, without any halt. By reducing trust-deficit and through confidence building measures the importance of a political settlement is given emphasize by the three-member committee.
We can very well fathom the depth of sorrows of the Kashmiris both in and outside Kashmir, their mother-land being torn to shreds by the militants on a day to day basis with no end in sight. As citizen of India, living at the Southern tip of India, if my pain is that much intense, a typical Kashmiri’s pain could very well be gauged.
But unfortunately nobody is sure, when would we be able to see permanent solution to the ‘K’ word, whether it is possible at all while two neighbouring nations are always at loggerheads with no signs of relenting by both. Is autonomy to Kashmir a solution? Widespread human-rights violations across Kashmir unleashed by the security forces which led to the killings, maimings and incarceration by applying AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) led to the outburst of a human-rights activist like Arundhati Roy ultimately landing her in trouble even her patriotism reportedly coming under cloud. It is somewhat painful that a lady of her stature is coming under scathing criticism attracting such charges.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

TRAPPED IN ONE’S OWN TRICK

Digging deep
into the annals of
her husband’s history
hidden away by him
she went on
digging and digging
at last
her fingers
touched the hot,
steely
fingers of her paramour of yester years
who first caressed
her fingers
then his fingers
abruptly turned vibrant
coiled around her fingers
and twisted, twisted
and twisted and
crushed
forcing her cry
with excruciating pain..

WHEN RIVALS TURN GODS

Sitting stunned
with a frozen mind
I wonder
the intricacies of relationships.
True,
in the realm of politics
no permanent enemies
or friends exist.
Egos, clash not,
even if clashes do occur
not for eternity.
Exceptions, yes, exceptions
they are just to justify
the law.
Eulogies being shed
profusely
words stutter
remembrances gush forth
all fond and to be fondled
upon the passing away of
a political rival
I wonder if
the rival’s rivals
keep a gritty charm
while shedding crocodile tears
over the passing of
their political rival
whether the rival pours out his remorse
sorrows and pains
a safety-valve
atone for the
scathing criticisms and
choice epithets?

GUJJARS UP IN REVOLT AGAIN IN RAJASTHAN

Gujjars in Rajasthan are up in arms again. Last time they took up cudgels was in 2008 led by their indomitable leader Kisori Singh Bensal. Then Rajasthan was under the rule of Bharatiya Janata Party leader Vasundhara Raje Sindhia. The Gujjars were demanding reservation in govt jobs and the then govt under BJP outrightly rejecting it. Vasundhara Raje, the then Chief Minister of Rajasthan tried her level best to suppress the agitation but the Gujjars couldn’t be cowed down. Rajasthan literally burned bringing life to a stand-still and Jaipur-Mumbai rail traffic came to a halt for several days as the Gujjars laid siege to prominent govt departments and resultant efforts of the then govt to forcibly remove them met with stiff resistance and in the ensuing clash almost 70 persons succumbed to injuries. Col.Kisori Singh Bensal is a man of steely resolve and he along with his followers blocked the rail-traffic from Jaipur-Mumbai by sitting on the rail tracks. Col.Kisori Singh Bensal is held in high esteem by the Gujjar community and whatever he orders them to do is followed in its letter and spirit. At least govt made a climb-down and extended an olive branch to Col.Bensal and in the talks that followed, situation brought back to near normality. Government agreed to Gujjars demand and enacted a legislation in the assembly to reserve 5% jobs in govt departments. Since then a luck pervaded and now in 2010, the riots have erupted again with Gujjars demanding 5 percent reservation in govt jobs as the Rajasthan High Court suspended the legislation for one year in order to establish the backwardness of Gujjar Community. The High Court action was a jolt to the State govt under Ashok Gehlot of the Indian National Congress as well as the Gujjars. The Chief Minister Mr.Gehlot though was ready to accommodate the demand of Gujjars the High Court has suspended the agreement for one year within one year the backwardness of Gujjar community has to be established as per the court order.
The verdict is not acceptable to the Gujjars and they have decided to continue the agitation with double the force and laid siege to the rail-tracks connecting Jaipur with Mumbai and Col.Kisori Bensal along with his fellow Gujjars remain entrenched on the rail-tracks blocking the Jaipur-Mumbai rail journey as long as their demand is met. Trains are delayed as a consequence and many trains are cancelled. Though a Jat leader appeared as a mediator but Col.Kisori Bensal didn’t back track from his stand and the agitation is being continued with renewed vigour.
Taking into account the explosive situation prevailing in Rajasthan, Centre has rushed 1500 paramilitary forces to lend support to the Rajasthani police to tackle the situation.
Rajasthan like any other North Indian State is being inhabited by many backward communities and hence the High Court has ordered that before extending 5% reservation to Gujjars their backwardness be established. If the demand of the Gujjars is being met before establishing its backwardness naturally other backward communities will follow suit and that must be the reason being court suspending the reservation for one year favouring Gujjars. Now that three days have passed since the agitation began and we are at a loss to know whether the agitation will last long or suppressed by the government or a solution is insight.

ONCE IN FIVE YEARS

One fine morning
on my way to
office,
saw me the crater-filled
roads
being repaired and
maintained.
Craters being filled
with the hot mixture of
tar and gravel
by women carrying
them in large
blistering grimy plates
under the piercing sun.
The men on the other side
spreading the hot mixture
with shovels.
Red and green flags
waved as and when necessary
to the vehicles stopping
at either ends
flags red and green
serve as
signals to stop and let go
as and when necessary.
The smell of tar pervading
the ambience,
the atmosphere thick with
the voices of men, women
and engines
a driver astride a
road-roller
driving to and fro
pressing the mixture-filled
pot-holes
engine growling drowning
the shouts and talks of
men and women
sweating under the burning sun
literally roasting them
wondered me
why all through the last
five years
despite complaints
of the citizen’s community
and representations to the
authorities
no rectification measures
being taken.
Asked I to my co-traveller
‘why all of these on a
fine morning’
‘any VIP coming’?
Enjoying my query
With a sarcastic smile
replied he:
‘five years
gone, my friend
elections are on the anvil
and before the model
code of conduct to
be declared
at least necessary patch-works
are the need of the hour
before the whirlwind
campaigns are to be
started on a war-footing
votes, my friend, votes’
-my co-traveller was
seen gritting teeth
no smile, no laughter,
instead anger
for taking the voters for
a ride
once in five years.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

NO LOOKING DOWN…….

Traversing harsh terrains
alone
I went up to the
top of the mountain
overcoming dangers
along the path.
My steely will and resolve
helped me
cross the barriers
at last reaching
the ‘top of the world’.
I looked around,
saw none anywhere
except mountainous
terrains –
bathed in snow-white
like frozen smoke.
I looked down from
the dizzy heights
I felt like
my head squirming
dared not looking down
further
with my heart pounding
stood at the ‘top
of the world’
sans rejoicing
full of apprehensions
fright
dismay
and the fate
about to fall upon me.

EMPEROR IS NAKED – MOUNTING DEMANDS FOR JPC PROBE

Emperor has nothing to hide. Emperor is naked. Emperor himself has admitted it. Don’t worry. No frisking needed.
Emperor says Julius Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion always. Emperor himself is beyond suspicion always. Thus claims the Emperor.
Emperor has nothing to hide. His claim that Julius Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion is being questioned by a few subjects. True, they say, Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion but that is to be confirmed not by the emperor, but by his subjects.
Come to the heart of the matter. Prime Minister Dr.ManMohan Singh says he has nothing to hide and that he is willing to appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) led by BJP leader Dr Murli Manohar Joshi. But no, that is not a satisfactory answer to the opposition, both Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Communist Party of India (Marxist) and their allies. They ask if Dr.Singh is that much sure about his dignity, integrity and honesty, what prevents him from appearing before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC)? PAC and JPC are two different entities. While the former deals with audit reports of Comptroller and Auditor General, the latter is political and more powerful. Before both the committees Dr.Singh is required to make his appearance as and when summoned and as far as his hands are clean why does he hesitate to appear before the JPC and his party refuses a JPC probe even when 22 working days of winter session of Parliament without transacting any business had to be wasted losing in the process rupees 179 crore. The story never ends here going by the determination of the opposition to continue with their agitation with the commencement of Budget session. Sure the Parliament will come to standstill then also taking the country for a ride. At Germany after bilateral talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking to media persons Dr.Singh was reported to have given vent to his sorrows and apprehensions that in India parliamentary democracy is allegedly facing bleak future if it remains at a standstill during each session. Who is to blame for such a state of affairs? Opposition alone? How came a govt reject the combined opposition’s demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) enquiry into an issue which cost the exchequer Rs 1.76 lakh crore rupees, the biggest scam Independent India ever witnessed? Is it a comparatively minor issue to be swept under carpet? Whether there is substance in the opposition argument that the 2G Spectrum scam is worthy of a JPC probe to lay bare all the hidden facts behind the Radia tapes which on a daily basis bring out more and more shocking revelations capable of shaking the very foundation of our body polity. A JPC probe is indispensable to bring out all facts related to the issue at the earliest. A vigilant opposition won’t take its balls off till their demands are met, sure. From the very beginning of the UPA II regime, the govt adopted an arrogant path on almost all issues including price rise, fuel price hike, corruption at various levels scams, scandals even when the opposition took to the streets and went on national strikes, but no the govt with a comfortable majority paid no heed to the demands of the opposition and needs of the suffering masses. To launch scathing attacks is not with the purpose of dislodging the govt from power in a parliamentary democracy, constructive criticism is part of forcing the regime in power to take corrective steps and provide a better rule for the welfare of the masses.
In the 83rd Congress plenum which came to an end two days ago Congress President Sonia Gandhi has unveiled a 5 point agenda to root out correction which has plagued the nation and I wonder even while unveiling the 5 point agenda to wipe out the evil of corruption why the hell the already exposed scams and scandals are not properly looked into and action not taken as demanded by the opposition. The diversion tactics of GOP (Grand Old Party) won’t wash though it tries hard to make a mountain out of a mole-hill by playing the ‘saffron terror’ of Sangh Parivar elements like RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and the likes. Rahul Gandhi’s alleged comments that saffron terror is more dangerous than other terror outfits like LeT, Jaish-e-Muhammed, Hisbul Mujahideen to US’s Ambassador to India, Timothy Roemer which was WikiLeaked and have become talk of the town, in the end may rebound on his own party itself. Various populist measures including Food Security Act, safe dwellings, safe drinking water to all were deliberated upon in the 83rd plenum of the Congress and we have to keep a close vigil as all these measures are meant to eradicate the sufferings of the teeming millions would help the party to lift itself out of the abyss to which that party has pushed itself into.
And the JPC issue is very much in the air, which is bound to condemn the party to many sleepless nights along with nightmares. At present opposition holds the key.

MIRAGE OF RECOGNITION

History
as you and I know
is a voluminous work
pages being added
every day
with no end in sight.
You must have heard
and read about
historical characters
emperors, kings and queens
dictators - both malevolent and benevolent,
serious, mild, eccentric, lunatic
wide-ranging types.
Have you heard
or read about rulers ,
with the aim
of perpetuating their names
or to engrave their names
on the walls of history
so as not to fade
out of its pages
erecting their own status
across the length and breadth
of his/her fiefdom?
You must have…..
while millions perish
due to famine,
others with fire
in their stomachs
these rulers
spending crores and crores
build mandirs
install their own idols
and giant-sized
statues across the land
and to protect them from
enemies bent upon
demolishing them
long array of
soldiers with weapons
were/are deployed
and put on vigil 24*7.
Fables not these
still prevalent
around us
laugh if you feel like it
cry if you feel like it
ponder if you feel like it
spit if you feel like it………….

VISITS OF FIVE WORLD LEADERS TO INDIA – 2010

All came with the intention of business purposes, all talked business first, other things came later. By other things, I mean bilateral relations, international affairs, climate change, terrorism etc etc. In the new global scenario, one nation eyes other nation with business purposes in mind, self-interest being the prime motive and by the way discusses other things like already mentioned terrorism, climate change, cultural relations and improvement of bilateral relations. Of the five leaders who visited India this year, here too I am pointing out leaders of five powerful nations. While some nations gained more by extracting maximum, others shared fifty percent of the gains. Beginning from David Cameroon, British PM, Barack Obama from US, Nicholas Sarkozy from France, Wen Jia Bao from China and the last one Dmitry Medvedev from Russia – India saw an array of big guys in 2010.
I don’t want to go through the visits of each one here as it would take away a good deal of my time and at present I would like to mention the visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jia Bao from Peoples’ Democratic Republic of China. As China’s bonhomie is always with Pakistan, India’s other neighbouring country and ‘traditional rival’ neither India nor China would have expected from each other except certain trade pacts for namesake. The expectations of two nations proved true, only trade pacts worth US $ 10 billion signed and a deal to hike the trade pact to $100 bn by 2015 other issues affecting both countries came up though. But each stuck to its gun for example China’s issuance of stapled visas to Kashmir domiciled Indians intending to visit China. China’s stand on Tibet remained unaffected as also territorial disputes nagging both nations since decades. India’s repeated requests for unstapling visas to Kashmiris fell on deaf years and and China’s requests to India on Tibetan issue and United China also responded by India unfavourably.
The talks between both nations however transpired on cordial terms and that is part of diplomacy.
One thing which came out of Wen’s mouth was quite unexpected and it was music to our ears that China was supporting India for a permanent seat in United Nations Security Council (UNSC). It was quite unexpected from a nation like China as it was against India gaining a permanent membership in UNSC.
The most expected thing other than trade pacts was China agreeing to a step by step resolve the border dispute through the mediation talks by Special Representatives (SRs) belonging to both nations. Already 13 rounds of talks are over and things are back to square one and as there is no mutually agreed LoC (Line of Control) separating two nations how the perennial problem of border dispute is going to be settled remains a billion-dollar question. Perhaps that must be the reason behind one Senior Chinese expert on China-India relations once suggested both countries refrain from talks on border issues and let it remain as such instead concentrate more on developing business and cultural level talks between the two nations. As Indian Prime Minister Dr.ManMohan Singh and the then Pakistani President General (retd) Pervez Musharaf once harped on ‘irrelevant borders’ with regard to the border dispute between India and Pakistan. Even when the involved nations know for certain that that is the most amicable way of settling the problem, fissiparous elements are always at work to continue raking up one issue or another.
Wen-Jia-Bao and his team of four hundred businessmen after spending three days in India dashed to Pakistan, China’s ‘all weather friend’ to spend three days in Pakistan also. A warm red-carpet reception was accorded to Wen and his team, held wide-ranging talks with Pakistani leaders and signed various pacts beginning from nuclear co-operation and trade pacts worth US $ 18bn and both nations decided to upgrade the trade-pact in the immediate future to $35 bn. Chinese Premier addressed both houses of Parliament and spoke on various issues including needs and ways of eradicating from the soil of Pakistan, Wen and business team tried their utmost to keep Pakistan in good humour and Pakistani leaders were visibly elated.
But the funny part of the story is that Wen missed no opportunity to applaud Pakistan for fighting against terrorism in its soil thus rooting out it from its soil. The world as a whole must be laughing at this ‘appreciation’ since Pakistan is widely known as the ‘epicenter of terrorism’. Almost all terrorist elements had its origin in Pakistan and they were funded provided with military training and logistical support to sneak into neighbouring nations and wreak havoc and mayhem in the neighbouring countries. These terrorist elements later turned against its creators like Frankenstein monsters, kind of poetic justice. China must be nursing and nurturing ulterior motives in appreciating Pakistan for its ‘tireless efforts’ to defeat terrorism.
Pakistan’s ire, as always was against India that while British, US, French and now Russian leaders took deep interest in visiting India and signing business-ties, only China stood with it through thick and thin even now that bonhomie remains strong. China keeping a war and cordial relation with Pakistan is a matter affecting or relating to both those nations keeping Pakistan close its bosom anyhow is not with good intentions as far as the neighbouring nation of India concerned.
Dmitry Medvedev, Russian President arrived in India yesterday and today both countries signed 12 trade-pacts and agreed to install two more nuclear power reactors at Koodankulam and other bilateral relations. He asked Pakistan to halt cross-border terrorism to India and also bring to book the culprits of 26/11 carnage. From the days of Vladimir Putin and even before him Russia and India kept a warm and cordial relationship and it still continues under the Presidentship of Medvedev. Let us look forward towards a happy New Year and brightening of relations among all nations across the world.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

BE ON CLOUD NINE……..

In the twilight of his life
he felt like all turning
cloudy
his eyes cloudy
the sky above cloudy
the mirror he held cloudy
often
towards the many facets
of life,
all turning cloudy.
Held he the mirror
close to his eyes
held he at a distance
but no
everything cloudy
felt like his life
already turned redundant
which added to his
frustration and sadness.
‘Worry thee not
your footsteps already
stamped upon the paths
of life,
but you like
everyone on earth
never ever can’t
stop the flow of
the river called time
time never stops
though “time must have
a stop….”
Swim with the current
of time
and be satisfied with
the time allotted to
you by ever flowing time
itself
be on cloud nine’.
Heard he from afar
an unseen power whispering
to him
like an oracle.

VACUUM IN THE SOUL

The train chugged along
unknown territories
hooting sirens at intervals.
An angry sun was
spitting fire into the
compartments arranged
like tinder boxes in a row.
Vast sprawling sunflower
fields
at both sides of the
train
the peacocks moving
in between the fields
spreading wings at times
that too feast to the eyes.
Like me waving the day’s
paper in the absence of a fan
to escape from the sweat,
in the opposite seat
she too waving the
newspaper
our fans for the time-
being.
Winds too
blowing from outside
pretty hot
both complained into
each other about
the unforgiving sun.
From which station
she boarded the train
as I was caught in
a deep slumber in the night.
Waking up
to my surprise
saw me a girl occupying a seat
reading something.
I slowly stepped down from
the upper-berth
went to the wash-basin
washed my face
and came back refreshed.
The morning sun was gentle
casting warm rays
hence his embrace soothing.
Gave she a smile
pretty smile of a blonde
returned back the smile
both entered into
sweet and friendly talks
a pleasure, a great
pleasure, no moments of
boredom we felt.
Evening came,
sun shed his madness
of the afternoon,
for the day
calm and quiet
wind too soothing
caring, caressing.
Veil of darkness
in sight slowly engulfing the
whole landscape
watched her face
fading like a tender
flower in the evening.
In came the night
simultaneously came
light in the compartment
both shared food,
from the same plate
‘fun and pleasure’ –
she smiled.
Wishing goodnight
we went to our berths
fell into sleep
the next moment
woke up early in the
morning,
just to have a look
at her.
Shocked I was
missed a heartbeat
took a few minutes
to come to grip
with the painful fact
that she alighted
somewhere along
the way…
Naughty girl…
whispered me to
myself,
as the train chugged
along
hooting intermittent sirens
still that face
still that smile
still that experience
of sharing food,
from the same plate,
boarded she later
than me
alighted she earlier
than me…
naughty she……
kind of vacuum filled
my soul……..

83rd AICC PLENUM AT DELHI

83rd All India Congress Committee plenum kick-started today at Buradhi, North-West Delhi. This is 125th year since Indian National Congress was founded in the year 1885. This plenary session has been inaugurated by Congress President Sonia Gandhi at critical moment in the history of Indian National Congress. The earlier plenum of the GOP (Grand Old Party) during the time of Indira Gandhi, former Prime Minister and the shining jewel of Nehru Dynasty was at a moment when the party was out of power. But this time under another lady belonging to Nehru Dynasty Sonia Gandhi, the Congress is in the saddle though not ruling single-handed but in alliance with smaller parties.
The plenum being held at a sprawling ‘stadium’ attended by thousands of delegates from across the nation is being arranged by Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee under the Presidentship of D.P.Agarwal and Delhi Chief Minister and Congress leader Sheila Dixit. Fund crunch won’t be problem for the party to hold such a massive event especially at a moment when the party is enconsced in power the source of fund is widely known to everyone.
Let’s think more about the agenda. Going by the reports it is learnt that the Grand Old Party is set to ‘cleanse the society’ off the grand scale of corruption that has eaten into the vitals of our system. The party can’t stand up to corruption and hence heavy-handed measures are expected to be deliberated upon. The warding off the evils of corruption and the steps to be launched by the party are music to our ears. But the questions needling us like pestering insects are how come a party which finds itself neck-deep in corruption, nepotism and favoritism deal with this hydrae? Mere tongue-lashing and passing resolutions a dime a dozen won’t be sufficient to resolve the perennial threat of this ugly menace.
The party’s sincerity comes into question, when we think back or when we take stock of the happenings for last six months some issues even before that. To initiate corrective steps or to rectify the wheeling and dealing involved in various issues the opposition had to cry foul and demand umpteen times to take action against those involved but we all had the ‘opportunities’ of the party and its prominent leaders like Prime Minister Dr.Singh and UPA Chairperson and Congress President Sonia Gandhi dragging their feet hesitating to take action against those caught in the swamp.
Though mentioned several times one is forced to touch upon the issue of the scam related to Common Wealth Games 2010 under the Chairmanship of Congress leader Suresh Kalmadi which drained-off the exchequer to the tune of Rs 70000/- crore, the Adarsh Housing Scheme scam reportedly perpetrated by Ashok Chavan, Chief Minister of Maharashtra and even before these two scams one which had its roots ever since the formation of UPA II govt in 2009 the swearing in of A. Raja as the Minister of Telecom and Information Technology, his spectrum auction especially the alleged embezzlement of funds caused in the 2G Spectrum auction costing the exchequer Rs 1.76 lakh crore the worst ever scandal Independent India believed to have witnessed, yes, supposedly all transpired within one year of UPA II’s five year tenure. True, Suresh Kalmadi had to be shown the door after much dithering since an adamant persistent opposition was bent upon throwing him out in the same vein, Ashok Chavan had to tender resignation that also due to the pressure of constant pressure by the collective opposition and lastly A.Raja-the Great too joined the band-wagon that too holding on to the ministry like a ‘leech’ over the 2G Spectrum auction. How many are waiting in the wings to be dropped, remains a mute question.
It would have been some kind of consolation if all the evils have already been exorcised but no the net of corruption is spread wide and many a big fish in the corporate world as well as the media-world too involved apparently by the alleged sleight of hand by a corporate lobbyist Niira Radia who runs her own institution called Vaishnavi Communications. The wily lady could entrap all the so-called icons or bywords in the field of journalism to get what all she aimed at as per her wishes. And for the successful completion of all deals I wonder the crores that changed hands. Journalistic ethics and values given a go by which had its genesis since the ‘paid-news syndrome’ started swallowing the media-world.
As the web of corruption being spread wide almost all sectors of the society have been caught in the web ranging from politics, corporate, media, bureaucracy, to name a few.
The winter session of Parliament which came to an end last Monday couldn’t transact any business over the govt’s reluctance not reluctance but refusal to order a JPC probe over the alleged 2G Spectrum scam even after the persistent demands of the opposition by the govt.
A govt ruled by such a party – the Indian National Congress – the plenary session of such a party has started today with a vow to wipe out corruption from the body politic of India, is nothing but an eyewash. A ploy to deceive the masses of India, but its leaders should have to bear in mind that such gimmicks are not going to click unlike in the yesteryears.
Rejecting a JPC probe into a scam which shook the nation like a violent earthquake, finger-pointing a State govt led by an opposition party and crying hoarse over the issue and its failure to take action here means resignation is not all a compensation or a remedy. Corruption and malpractices are equally an unhealthy practice in any society and care should be taken to avoid or refrain from it at any cost.

Friday, December 17, 2010

ORPHANAGES – THESE KINDS ALSO

A merry go round
with a close-friend
along the streets of
cosmopolitan city
bathed in the beautiful
yellowish embrace of
sodium-vapour lamps.
Four wheelers and
two wheelers criss-crossing
though
the rush of vehicles
gradually trickling down.
Driving around,
my friend
gifted me his typical smile
then spoke in his
baritone voice :
‘I shall show you
a wonder’.
Eager personified, I sat
looked around
shops and flats
almost shut eyes,
friend slowed down the vehicle
and came to a halt.
‘Watch this’
saw me a multi-storeyed
sky-kissing building
even stars and moon
looking enviously.
‘You response’?
‘Wonderful, marvellous,
that’s all’ – I looked
askance at him.
‘Once upon a time
it was a one-storeyed
orphanage’ – friend smiled -
his typical smile.
‘So what’?
‘Now its a multi-storeyed
orphanage’.
‘What you mean’?
my eyes gone wide
looked at him with
enlarged eyes…incredulous eyes.
Wonder flashed across my eyes
the multi-storeyed wonder,
flashing before me.
Watched me a Copter
landing on top of the
wonder,
red and yellow
shining intermittently.

MADHYAPRADESH – THE SAFFRON ENIGMA

After forfeiting his position as Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, DigVijay Singh was soon called to Delhi by Congress High Command and appointed as Party Spokesman. Mr.Singh keenly concentrates on his duties and tries his level best to steal the limelight often by inviting controversies. As the blue-eyed boy of High Command especially Rahul Gandhi, he is always at the service of 10 Janpath so runs the grapewine. Chidambaram Vs DigVijay Singh, the recent alleged disclosure of Hemant Karkare’s apprehensions of Sangh Parivar threatening his life over the issue of Malegaon bomb blasts allegedly perpetrated by elements owing allegiance to Sangh Parivar and Kavita Karkare, wife of Hemant Karkare rubbishing DigVijay disclosure, Mr.Singh always discovers something to be in the lime-light. Let him continue the game as long as possible.
Madhya Pradesh evolved into a citadel of Bharatiya Janata Party after DigVijay Singh’s party Indian National Congress getting badly mauled at the hustings. Such a result was its own undoing. Then it was BJP’s turn with Uma Bharti donning the role of Chief Minister. Ms Uma Bharti couldn’t continue for a long period as she was always fond of courting controversies also engaging in squabblings with the leadership, throwing tantrums at party forums frequently and the fed-up leadership showed her the door and appointed a youthful leader Shivraj Singh Chauhan in her place. Good.
Shivraj Singh’s administration and some of his popular reforms could bring cheers to the lips of a section of masses and that was the reason why overcoming anti-incumbancy factor, he assumed the position of Chief Ministership the second time. But one thing needs to be pointed out here is, true to the ideals and traditions followed by his party – BJP – while remaining a youthful leader he is a conservative to the hilt. The leader being conservative, the followers too tread in the foot-steps of the leader. The Hindutva philosophy – it is something entirely different from Hindu religion – being a narrow concept, the leader and followers too are narrow-minded on the matter of Hindutva. The reverberations of which manifest along the length and breadth of the State.
Examples are countless. Still even in the first half of the 21st century, the society of Madhya Pradesh is caste-ridden, caste divisions being prevalent and no bridges are being built to nullify those divisions, caste divisions still exist. These caste divisions contribute to the lower castes still continue with their traditional jobs and they undergo harrowing times, remember, providing each family with grains and food items at affordable rates alone is not at all sufficient for the uplift of the downtrodden. Women and children are the worst sufferers hence women empowerment is of primary importance as also children.
The foremost thing needed to alleviate their lot and to lift them up from the deep ditch are health and education. A growing awareness of remaining educated to be at a par with the educated lot should have to be imparted among them is the need of the hour not only across Madhya Pradesh but throughout India.
The govt of the day should have the political will to wipe-out the caste divisions to put an end to the gruesome incidents of honour-killing prevalent in the Northern States of Haryana, Delhi, UP, Bihar, Punjab, Orissa, MP, et al.
In the eyes of two lovers, their love knows no barriers and in the event of them deciding to tie the knot, the caste should not enter as a stumbling block. A youth belonging to a higher caste falling in love with a girl of lower caste or vice-versa and they deciding to enter into marital relationship is not a sin and it is after all a private matter between them. On coming to know about such an affair, the girl eloping with the boy and lead a happy contented life somewhere that is their personal matter. Shadowing them, tracing them and gunning them down by their angry parents or siblings is a heinous crime, to put it mildly. Like in other North Indian States, in Madhya Pradesh too these ‘crimes’ are prevalent. The incumbent government does practically nothing to put an end to this evil practice.
One of these days, I happened to watch in a News Channel, the Madhya Pradesh government reportedly deciding to ban the consumption of eggs by the masses in deference to the wishes of certain ultra-conservative elements. While the govt of India through advertisements propagating the need of consuming eggs especially by children as it is like milk, a nutritious food encouraging each to have an egg a day, here a State govt reportedly deciding to ban the eggs is somewhat painful and shocking. Let the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh go through the teachings of Swami Vivekananda and on leafing through he could very well stumble upon Vivekananda exhorting Indians to eat meat and eggs and gain more strength and courage like Westerners to go hand in hand with spirituality and materialistic pursuits.
Similarly about 3-4 years back, an esteemed professor of Ujjain University Y.K.Sabbarwal was allegedly done to death by a section of students owing allegiance to the Sangh Parivar when he tried to avert a clash among students by interfering. The scene was vividly covered by the TV channels, the students threatening the Professor with dire consequences and manhandling him, in the melee that ensued, he was caught in the stampede and his good intentions coming to a nought with him collapsing down. Those involved in the incident escaped scot-free even after as per his son’s request to shift the case to Mumbai apprehending fair justice not coming out in his home State of Madhya Pradesh, as the witnesses to the incident were under threat of the Sangh Parivar elements but even in the Mumbai court too he didn’t get justice with the witnesses backtracking fearing threats to their life which were very much in the air. In the ancient times, in the Ramayana and Mahabharatha epics, Rama and Krishna whom the BJP elements worship as Gods paid obeisance to their Gurus (teachers) as those epic characters held their Gurus in high esteem, devotion and obedience. The Sangh Parivar elements, to be more specific, ABVP (Akhila Bharathiya Vidyarthi Parishad), the student wing of BJP – who are the worshippers of their Gods Rama and Krishna were allegedly culpable for the shocking death of their Professor. They should feel ashamed of themselves for the unforgivable sin allegedly committed by them.
On the strength of a few popular measures Shivraj Singh Chauhan left other important matters being relegated to the background.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

MANUAL SCAVENGER

A barren hand
and a barren mind
both two sides of
the same coin.
A manual scavenger’s
life is
like a vast desert
where not even a
desert flower has
blossomed.
Her mechanical existence
with nobody left to lodge
a complaint.
Wakes up everyday
steps out of her
dilapidated chawl
with her basket.
Visits each house
with a barren, indifferent
face
her duty
collecting human excreta
in a basket
no one left to lift
up the basket
hence with double the force
her emaciated body
with shoulder-skeletons protruding
actually sweats it out
to place it on her head.
With the faeces
leaking into her face
the stench she
experiences not
as
her life itself
immune to stench
or
she herself
a stench in the
society.
Despicable to onlookers
conveniently forgetting
the stench, the excreta
the urine
the cocktail of
all these inherent in
their bodies
which they keep
perfumed throughout.

Courtesy : Mahim Pratap Singh (The Hindu)

CANCUN – AFTERTHOUGHTS

Something is better than nothing. Isn’t that so? The results that Cancun produced, though not coming upto the expectations are certainly better than CopenHagen results, which was a total failure. Cancun too looked like ending in a total disaster like Copenhagen, in the end it did produce some positive hopeful results. The only reason worth pointing out was an earnest desire to find out solution to the perennial problems nagging each country particularly the developed as well as developing nations which account for the list of largest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions. And these emissions slowly, gradually pose a threat to the existence of all including least-developed nations. Hence in the Cancun Summit the unanimous decision to create green fund to extend help to those financially under-developed nations contribute in large measure to alleviate the climate related consequences affecting them. Similarly carbon-capturing technologies being discovered, developed and used widely would help reducing the increasing global warming and volatile climate cycles.
One of the most hopeful signs is the growing awareness of climate change and global warming on a gigantic scale and the need for containing the greenhouse gas emissions for the bright future of each country. And as a renowned environment expert Oleg Deripaska pointed out adopting large-scale renewable energy, more dependence on hydro-electric power in place of fossil fuels which contribute to large-scale greenhouse gas emissions thus affecting the nations disastrously.
His article titled ‘Reasons for optimism on a climate change agreement’ and I quote a few lines penned by him “National governments the world over are re-examining their sources of energy and generation capacity. Renewable energy is also attracting government support. The United States is spending $66 billion to develop and harness alternative fuel sources. The EU wants to generate 20 percent of its power renewably by 2020. China has passed a $47 billion green energy bill and is using subsidies and other financial tools to boost investment in wind and solar power”.
He touches upon the great need of, or the trend of neighbouring nations with enormous potential to co-operate on producing mass-scale renewable and hydro-electric co-operation to the mutual benefit of both, for example Sino-Indian co-operation, Sino-Russian co-operation. Similarly among other nations which would help in a large measure in reducing carbon emissions.
In such an eventuality the global warming could be restricted, leading to the protection of bio-diversity and its upkeep by afforestation thus minimizing the massive depletion of ozone layer, reducing the global warming leading to the containment of the melting glaciers which contribute to the rising of sea-levels threatening the existence of a few island nations which are situated below the sea-levels. Not only across India but the world over chemical factories lined up along the river banks pump effluents into the rivers thus polluting the rivers and destroying the rarest of rare species, lakhs of which have already gone extinct. At least to rescue the remaining species on a war-footing each nation has to plunge into concerted action, otherwise massive droughts and widespread floods converting the land uncultivable and a country like India where 70 percent of the population are engaged in agriculture who provide us with food three times daily. Remedial measures are long overdue and it is really heartening that growing awareness is being dawned upon our rulers if not all, a section of them.
Each developed and developing nation is bound to earmark a substantial sum exclusively for protecting our beautiful earth from the disastrous consequences of climate fluctuations and global warming from the grip of total extinction. As long as a strong-will exists among the nations including the business community, they are better advised to keep the long term results in mind than the short-term gains.
I am compelled to dwell upon the attitude of a section of business community who even at a critical juncture campaign and argue against the established facts with regard to the climate swings and global warming by pin-pointing absurd justifications for going on chalking out a different path conveniently forgetting or caring not the aftermaths with their eyes always centered on amassing as much wealth as possible. Their corporate social responsibility is given a go-by and by appointing their lobbyists to campaign against the global climate summits by opening blogs and enter into a verbal warfare with the environmental experts. These lobbyists are well-paid by their masters and wonder why these so-called business community instead of feeding their appointees earmark the sums to the welfare of those undergoing harrowing times due to the climate fluctuations and related unfortunate consequences. Whether these money-mongers, these greedy lot pause for a moment and think about their kith and kin - the genX, their bright tomorrow, their welfare. Money power alone will not be sufficient for them and their kith and kin to continue happily in this world, peace and tranquility equally important.
Unlike Oleg Deripaska establishes with only casual references of business community engaging in reduction of global warming and climate changes this essayist is of the opinion that while a small community of businessmen show sincerity and work towards good and positive results a big chunk of them still hesitates to contribute their mite towards reducing global warming and fluctuating climate cycles.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

MORNING WALK

A walk down,
Marine Drive,
is a pleasurable experience.
The vast expanse
of the morning sea
is calm and quiet ,
like my mother
who is the embodiment
of patience.
Cool breeze blowing
from the sea is
the caress of my mother.
While I was in the
city
I badly missed my mother’s
presence
and mother-sea
always remained in
the place of my mother…
The whispering sea,
always reminded
me of a lullaby
my mother sang to soothe
my nerves while I was her beloved baby.
Walking down from
Marine Drive to Chowpathi
and back
sometimes seated on the
concrete chair
watching the fascinating
infinity like
the infinity up above.
Listening to the whispers
of mother-sea,
its meaning always
known to me only
every morning after the daily visit
I bid bye
to her with the heavy
heart of her son,
to the office
crossing the hurdles of
traffic
in the direction of
my office
from where through the
windows in the 13th floor
of my office
I could watch a slice
of the sea
her conveyance of
messages through the
breeze
like my mother’s
letters inquiring
my welfare quite often.

New Book Published

'Treasure Trove of Life' - my collection of English poems was published on Sunday. Poems which cover the intricancies of life. The forward is written by Charles Wm. Martin. The book is available on Lulu.com.

MARY MAGDELINE

Night.
With pounding heart
like that of drum-beats
with butterflies in her belly
while all inmates
whether asleep or not
or deeply immersed in thoughts
heaving deep sighs over their
accursed fate
that of getting crushed
under the weights of
nameless persons
since years
she sat on the cosy
bed
dressed up for the occasion
inside the four screens
frequently running her
eyes in her watch
in the dim-light.
Seemed to her
her watch like
a lazy student
is ticking slow
each second ticking by
like an era
with anxiety burning in her eyes
like embers
for his promised arrival
to lead her to
man-wife relationship
atlast
unburdening the weight of
a sin-stained past
and
emerging pure from sins
after dipping in the Ganges.
Time ticked slow.
Still sleep evaded her
her eyes still wide
and bright
but no sign of him
got up from the bed,
looked around,
none around,
she moved to the front
door stealthily like a cat.
Heard she the footsteps of
Somebody nearing her
from behind and
within a split-second
an iron-hand
caught hold of her
gagged her
lifted her
threw her out
down the window
from a multi-storeyed building
into the urban ghetto
ending in a heavy thud.

WEN-JIA-BAO’S SCHEDULED INDIAN VISIT

Wen-Jia-Bao, Chinese Premier, arrives in India tomorrow to pay a three day visit. The visit assumes significance in the context of changing power equations especially in the fast changing global scenario on various fronts. It is somewhat interesting to note that 2010 has given new dimensions to India’s relations with prominent nations in the backdrop of visits already paid by David Cameroon, British Prime Minister, Barack Obama, US President, Nicholas Sarkozy, French President and the scheduled visits of Wen and Dmitry Medvedev, Russian President on Dec 21. Wen’s three-day visit to India is followed by three-day visit to Pakistan, India’s traditional rival and neighbouring country which incidentally is all-weather friend of China.
While one or two nations got away with what they wanted, more given than what was taken from them, some other nations like France gave us 50 percent of the credit and took away the other half to the mutual satisfaction of both. In the present world scenario, economy assumes the prestigious position and each nation burying all other differences moves ahead with promotion of relations touching upon various aspects ranging from trade, industry, infrastructure, space, science and technology, strategic relations, investments in various sectors, enters into pacts on a wider scale. Free-Market economy and globalization play a prominent role in forcing nations forget about all other differences, in other words while holding on to different ideologies. More than ideals and ideologies, pragmatism is here to stay at least for a brief period. All nations aim high especially at a moment the European community consisting 27 nations and US are reeling under economic recession forcing the EU nations to initiate austerity measures amidst large-scale protests, rallies and strikes by their people especially millions and millions of employees.
Wen-Jia-Bao arrives in India not alone, he is accompanied by four hundred men, businessmen as well as industrial tycoons. Nowadays, when a leader of a nation flies abroad, his entourage naturally includes hundreds and hundreds of industrial and business tycoons besides media personalities to give their leader’s visit a wider coverage and the leader as well as the business-industry honchos undertake wide ranging talks with their counter-parts discuss, debate, deliberate upon various trade and industrial issues and enters into agreements. His visit would help him and his team to pave for undertaking visits to India’s IT hub at Bengaluru and other centres , our nation’s economic nerve centre Mumbai and ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) headquarters at Sriharikota.
Thus while a big part of the engagements is centered on economic relations, improvement in bilateral relations and other external affairs relating to various nations come as a natural corollary, then terrorist menace, which has turned out to be a nightmare threatening all nations and the improvement of cultural relations. A wide ranging issues, all compared to economic relations turn secondary but simultaneously remaining significant.
The presence of Indian envoy at the conferment ceremony of Nobel peace Prize to Liu-Xia-Bao, who is languishing in an East China prison since last December for a period of 11 years may come up, may not come up and in the case of China raking up the issue before the Indian leaders, both nations are certain to keep a low key and both are sure to wipe out the matter as if nothing of seriousness has happened. China must be thinking on the lines of making a casual reference rather than making it a hot issue. Never at a particular juncture like this a comparatively silly matter is to occupy a prominent and sensitive matter as far as China is concerned.
Socialist-Capitalism a term coined by the architect of China, Deng-Zio-Ping is a kind of peculiar sort of capitalism – neither capitalism nor socialism - while claiming to be holding on to the ideals of socialism, free market economy is given a free rein. Thus even while keeping a high growth trajectory, freedom of speech and expression continues to be a taboo in Peoples’ Democratic Republic of China. The ones who demand individual freedom are dealt with accordingly, brutally tortured, repressed, imprisoned and silenced forever. Liu-Xia-Bao fought for freedom of speech and expression and against human rights violations and finds himself incarcerated. Like him thousands are languishing in jails, thousands remain outside but fearing the consequences upon plunging actively against an iron-fisted political system they continue to be mute spectators gritting teeth.
While our external relations continue to be rosy on account of remaining peaceful and independent – a non interference policy - our democracy is literally rotting. The day to day affairs that we witness across our country are pointers in that direction. While the deserving ones starve a minority piles up and up playing foul, of course with the covert and overt support of the mandarins in the corridors of power within one year of its tenure in power. India has transformed into a quagmire of scandals and scams squeezing the exchequer of round about 3 crore lakhs of rupees. Corruption like a beastly creature has bared out its tentacles across the length and breadth of the nation, virtually asphyxiating a generation. But the disgusting, distressing truth is that the ruling mandarins still continue to harp on the 8.9 percent GDP growth while sweeping the stench emanating scams and scandals under the carpet. But the truth is that an inescapable truth is the stench still continues to leak out making life unbearable for the common man and it is widely known across the nation as well as abroad.
Sonia Gandhi, Congress President cum NAC (National Advisory Council) Chairperson after keeping mum for almost a whole month after a ‘historical performance’ by Parliament – that of a session without transacting any business till the last day of the session for not acceding to the demand of the opposition to order a JPC probe over the 2G spectrum issue – lambasted the BJP and other opposition parties for not allowing to function Parliament and has reportedly thrown all her weight behind her beloved appointee Prime Minister Dr.ManMohan Singh. Her arguments go on like these: Congress never lost time in removing Ministers in the cabinet allegedly involved in various scandals and scams beginning from Shashi Tharoor, Ashok Chavan, Suresh Kalmadi, A.Raja, from their positions but it is BJP which did evade from removing its scam-tainted Chief Minister of Karnataka B.S.Yeddyurappa.
On going through her yesterday’s statement, Sonia herself is fit to be the PR manager of BJP than it’s leaders like Arun Jaitely, Sushma Swaraj, Venkaiah Naidu et al. Her arguments are ludicrous to say the least. What actually prevents her party from holding a JPC probe into the alleged 2G spectrum scam if her party has nothing to be afraid of the committee reports and that is quite baffling to some and crystal clear to many a one
We were talking about Wen-Jia-Bao’s visit, if not our internal affairs have gone rotten let our foreign relations continue to be bright as a balancing factor.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

TRICKS OF NATURE , TIME

Pathu, Malu,
Vishnu, Kitchu, Adithya,
all kids,
pretty, handsome
all companions.
Main hobby
playing pranks on
each other and
elders
all incarnations of
innocence
indelibly imprinted
on each other’s face
innocence glinting
in each other’s eyes.
As the evenings approach
the twilight sun
the yellow sun
starts to weave
scintillating, glowing, lengthy
shawls flying with the winds
kids come out of
their houses
each
starts celebrations
hide and seek games
singing, dancing,
squabbling sometimes
getting friendly soon
forgetting the squabbles
just before
till their parents
call them
appearing at the gates
with the golden shawls
woven by the yellow sun
getting blackish,
my God,
how long these innocence
personified
continue to be like this?
With the march of time
even while
wishing to be
dreaming to be
children who refuse
to be grown-up,
they have to cross
the bridge from immaturity
to maturity losing
the yester years’ innocence
along the way.

UNKEPT PROMISES……

Dawn
like a damsel
after playing truant
for days,
made her appearance
to the delight of
all across the land.
We,
came out of our
residences,
holed up in our havens
due to
torrential rains,
its murmurs, whispers,
and occasional roars,
of storms and thunder
frightening us
for days together.
The warm sun-rays,
of the morning,
caressed us,
hugged us,
energized us,
refreshed us
and stood
bathed in the
sunlight.
As warm sun-rays
with the travel of the
sun
into the middle of the
azure sky
rays turned hotter
and hotter,
we moved away
went inside
some huddled together
under a banyan tree.
Still the rain-drops
like shining beads of pearls
were coming down
from leaves to leaves
until the pearls one by one
fell down on to the ground
and like glasses getting
scattered
we watched them
with joy and eagerness.
Evening came,
land draped in
a shining, glittering
gold costume,
the twilight,
as the sun reached the
West
surrounded by crimson shade
he moved down, down,
down,
with the promise of
meeting us within twelve hours,
damsel of the morning
damsel of the evening
each one and the same.
As the weather cycles
playing according to its
whims and fancies in the
modern times
whether we could expect
for sure
sun would keep his
promise of visiting us
after twelve hours,
will it be another spell of
torrential rains, storms and thunders?

MUMBAI CARNAGE VISITED TWICE

A visibly exasperated Kavita Karkare, wife of Hemant Karkare, the IPS officer who was slain in the 26/11/2008 carnage by the militants of Lashkar-E-Taiba, yesterday burst out against the reported statements made by Congress spokesman DigVijay Singh and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Abdul Rehman Antulay that Mr.Karkare had feared for the safety to his life by the Hindu outfits who had reportedly taken part in the Malegaon blasts as he was entrusted with the duty of investigating the incident. She reacted angrily to their statements and what she needed was justice from the part of govt. authorities and demanded that the culprits involved in her husband’s killing be brought to book and justice be meted out. I think Mrs. Kavitha Karkare was living in a fool’s paradise if she had actually dreamt of a day the govt would take necessary steps to award justice to her not only she but the families of other victims including those of Vijay Salaskar, Ashok Kamte, Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who were mercilessly gunned down while battling with the ten assassins of Lashkar-E-Taiba at Taj, Oberoi Trident and various other landmarks at the financial capital of India, Mumbai.
Our authorities suffer from selective amnesia from matters posing headache to them. Anyone can shed crocodile tears but that is not the need of the hour. Kavitha Karkare, Unnikrishnan, father of Sandeep Unnikrishnan and his mother actively took part actively in protest meetings across the nation. I remember Unnikrishnan’s odyssey of pedaling 1600 Km by cycle in memory of his valiant son Sandeep spreading anti-terror messages.
Even after a lapse of more than two years, things are back to square one and even a snail’s progress is not visible on the matter which shook the nation and the world over.
Instead playing political games by the ruling party over a sensitive issue such as this one is something deplorable to say the least.
Alongwith DigVijay Singh’s statement who was Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh claiming to be a friend of Hemant Karkare who too was a product of Madhya Pradesh, the whistleblower website WikiLeaks had unearthed a US Embassy diplomatic cable which it had supposed to have obtained from the Headquarters which contained the poignant observation that Indian National Congress were playing crass opportunism and politics on the carnage issue. The information was WikiLeaked at an opportune moment thus providing the opposition a stick to beat the ruling alliance with.
Almost from all sides the ManMohan Singh led UPA II govt faces allegations – a multi-pronged attack, to put it mildly, on various issues. And it is grappling with host of issues and is virtually groping in the dark.
The menace of corruption and of late terror strike at Varanasi by extending its tentacles has virtually put UPA II in a fix.
In a sense, the game of corruption started from the very beginning of the formation of UPA II govt and even today more and more revelations are coming to the fore. Think of a situation where a corporate lobbyist successfully championing for a particular portfolio for a particular person, for example in the case of A.Raja occupying the lucrative Telecom Ministry and Kamal Nath to be the Minister of Surface Transport which would enable him to pocket 15 percent as per the demands or requests of two corporate tycoons – TATAs and Ambanis - by utilizing her close contacts with media honchos hitherto even worshipped by us by bribing them also as per reports streaming in.
2G Spectrum, Adarsh Housing Scheme scam, Common Wealth Games 2010 – all emit the stench of massive corruption plaguing the Indian society.
The winter session of Parliament virtually at a standstill starting from day one as the govt after repeated demands and pandemoniums staged by the opposition has not yet acceded to go for a JPC probe. The session is scheduled to adjourn sine die on Monday and it must be thinking on terms of silencing the opposition after that. It is estimated that almost 172 crore rupees went down the drain as the parliament could not except for one day for not transacting any business. At a critical juncture like this our Prime Minister dashed away to Brussels to attend the Asia-EU community meeting and from there to Germany for bilateral talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel and request her to relax export laws and tapping the hitherto untapped technology, civil-nuclear energy partnership, to talk about reforms to be introduced in UN as also the global menace of terrorism which has begun to haunt Germany also.
While talking to media persons Dr.Singh was reported to have talked about Parliament in a limbo and made the observation that it was quite unfortunate and that he feared for the parliamentary democracy in India. To a query posed to him about he as the Head of State, chose to fly abroad at such a moment he was quoted as saying that important summit beneficial to India should not be missed and even if he was not in the parliament nothings of consequence would transpire. It is absolutely true after all. Nothing of consequence has happened and what all had to happen already happened.
Upon return anyhow with regard to DigVijay Singh’s statement Dr.Singh is likely to keep a safe distance and he is a pastmaster in that. Whether it would enable the UPA II govt to divert the attention of the opposition let’s wait and watch.

Friday, December 10, 2010

ELIXIR OF MY LIFE

While parting,
giving a warm hug
and feather-touch kiss,
giving her usual painful
bites on the ears
beads of tears running
down her face
simultaneously smiling
she promised,
whenever you wish to
see me,
I would come to know,
and reach beside you
to exchange sweet nothings
take it from me.
Kept she her promise,
whenever I wished her
presence,
came she beside me
that warm hug
feather-touch kiss
followed by her ear-bites
too painful
but sweetening
then the beads of
tears
flowing down the face like
like two streams
flowing parallel to each other
the simultaneous smiling,
she is the inspiration
one and only inspiration
to prolong
my existence

MEDIA WAVES

Those were difficult times
like famine spreading
to a vast area and
capital at its premium
though hopes
ambitions and dreams
sky-high and pressing
hard against the
walls of the heart
had to sweat it out
for a one hour slot
in a State owned media
as no alternative was
possible those days.
Pent-up ambitions
still compelling to
ventilate
the dreamt of day
welcomed at last
and evolved into a
proud owner of
one channel.
Then no looking back
one to two
two to three
three to four
numbers went on mounting.
One man-show to
multi-faced shows
one programme to
various programmes
variety entertainments
apart from news
serious news
then
to a tabloid type
quite amusing
seriousness all gone
with the wind
profit mountains reached
heaven-wards
resulting in
corporate-media
partnership.
By gones are by gones
courtesy a neo-liberal set-up
a big courtesy to globalization
and a big salute
to you
my role-model of
yester years
and some others’
role-model of modern days.

LIU-XIA-BAO CONFERED NOBEL FOR PEACE TODAY

Calling a champion of democracy ‘a criminal’ that too by a country claiming and calling itself a democratic republic reminds one of an exercise in absurdity. Most nations get elated, here I refer to democratic nations, when prominent citizens of such nations win international acclaim for the good deeds done by them are recognized by an international organisation like Nobel Committee, notwithstanding reservations exist, over the particular person’s approach to certain matters. Wherever there are citizens, differences too are bound to exist not all carry the same views. Differences of opinions if needed are discussed, debated and deliberated upon and if possible a final solution is arrived at summits held at international as well as national levels to discuss various issues affecting world, to put it aptly, each nation participating in such summits, are discussed threadbare, without any guarantee of a solution in the end. But on that count no nation desists from taking part in such summits for good. Negotiations lead to consensus, not often but efforts are certain to continue and that is the way a variety of issues are solved across the world.
Examples are countless ranging from – it could start from anywhere – as a fine example let me point out first the Cancun Summit at Mexico, participated by 194 nations around the world, which came to an end today, G-20 Summit, ASEAN Summit, G-77 Summit, East Asian Summit (EAS) even negotiations between two enemy nations mostly under the mediation of a third country acceptable to both parties, the list is unending. True, the talks between Iran and America, though taken place several times before over the issue of Iran’s nuclear weapons programme each time without reaching a solution, both disperse for the time-being not prolonging it infinitely. Sometimes the differences of opinion could end in a war or a proxy war in such a horrific situation too peace-loving nations as well as UN explore all possible avenues to avert a war at any cost. If these things called NEGOTIATION and CONSENSUS were not given a chance in matters of dispute among various nations, what would have been the future of mankind?
Let me come to the heart of the matter. Today, Friday the 10th, Liu-Xia-Bao, the Chinese dissident leader who is imprisoned in a Chinese jail is going to be conferred with Nobel Prize for Peace, 2010, in his absence to a third party authorised by him. Liu-Xia-Bao, China’s democratic activist and advocate of human rights was sentenced to 11 years in jail last December. On being awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, the Chinese authorities didn’t have the generosity to inform him about the glad news instead they showered some kind of mercy over him by allowing his wife to meet him and inform.
China’s anger knew no limits on him being awarded the prestigious award and its ire directed against the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Not only against the committee, its anger and hatred turned against Norway and China backtracked from the already agreed decision of signing a trade pact with the former. Norway’s crime being Norwegian Nobel Committee’s awarding of Nobel to a ‘criminal’ in the eyes of Chinese authorities. How come a Chinese national who fought for freedom of speech and expression through non-violent means being called a criminal?
Furthermore China demanded its friendly countries not to take part in and conferring ceremony and the ones who depend upon it fearing adverse reaction from taking part in the auspicious occasion acting against their conscience. China’s phenomenal economic growth and achievements on various fronts have emboldened it to arm-twist and pressurize those dependent nations from crossing the line drawn by it.
The decision not to allow a prisoner who has no criminal background from accepting the award itself doesn’t behove a nation calling itself Peoples’ Democratic Republic. Intimidating other friendly nations with dire consequences in the event of such nations’ representatives from taking part in an august ceremony and adding fuel to fire calling a champion of democratic rights a criminal lay bare the authoritarian mind-set of Chinese leaders.
Differences of opinion over the issue of Liu-Xia-Bao must be persisting among the Chinese top brass but such differences to come out into the open would take further time but one fact is there for certain the opening of Pandora’s Box is only a matter of time.
One thing which is heartening however is that India’s envoy will be present there inspite of the ‘bonhomie’ continuing between the two neighbouring nations. And, Wen-Jia-Bao, Chinese Premier is scheduled to visit India for talks relating to various issues on December 15.
Whether Liu-Xia-Bao’s issue and China’s airing of protest for India’s envoy taking part in the award giving ceremony today are stated to come up still remains a mute question. Most probably such matter is unlikely to come up for discussion between the two friendly neighbouring nations.
1989 is not 2010, true, even after 21 years, that volcanic eruption and its aftermaths still engraved on the psyche of Chinese population as well as the community of citizens around the world.