Monday, February 28, 2011


The annual ritual of
cake-sharing came.
A white, bespectacled
gentleman in black-suit
cut the cake
on behalf of a
dignified community
equally respected men
and women.
Gave away the large
chunk of
to society’s very tall and
elite ones pieces left behind
distributed, to be more apt
being thrown away
to the short men
and women.
The tall men are being
are being charged small rates
even exempt them from
the short ones on
the other hand are
being ruthlessly squeezed.
The annual
ritual of presenting
budget in Parliament
thus ends on a happy
often ending with a


Ever since the news of Arab world started shaking with mass uprising raging against several Arab governments its echos began to be felt across our neighbouring State of China. Soon after the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions a few citizens in China displayed allegiance to the fights for democracy in the Arab world two weeks ago. Sensing the mood of the people, the Chinese government then and there forced them to disperse and it won in its attempts to bring the situation under control without any untoward incidents. That apart the citizens maintained a close watch at the developments in the Arab world but they tried their level best to keep quiet. But the restlessness among them grew up simultaneously the big brother the Chinese govt too started watching the situation closely. Chinese citizens going through the internet got updated information of the rage of fire spreading across the Arab world, first Tunisia, then Egypt, third Libya, the Gulf nations like Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, West-Asian nation of Iran, Algiers and Yemen.
The Libyan outrage threatening the very existence of a megalomaniac like Muammar Gaddafi and his efforts to brutally suppress the rebellion of the citizens who are bent upon ending his rule forthwith, still continuing with full vigour, the man is staring at a certain defeat at the hands of people whom he reigned and reigning for more than four decades. His predicament and predilections being watched across the world including Chinese citizens, the sand under his feet being gradually swept away, East Libya already within the grip of protesters, Benqazi too and slowly but resolutely closing in on Tripoli in the face of the ruthless gunning down of them by his powerful militia all reaching China where a semi-dictatorial govt is in power. True, a powerful dictator like Gaddafi is absent still a powerful collective leadership is very much enconsced there and a strong army - Peoples’ Liberation Army always at their service. It is widely known that human rights record of China is pathetic, even Liu-Xia-Bao, the Nobel Prize winner is languishing in a Chinese prison who is imprisoned for a period of eleven years. Each sign of resistance, the Chinese govt can’t digest and it is always on the watch out for such signals and take necessary measures to ward off them.
One thing is crystal clear and that is nothing other than the majority of Chinese citizens want to taste freedom which they value like food and clothes.
The other day fleets of water-sprayer vehicles roamed through the main street of Beijing, hundreds of policemen and security guards deployed with the rumours gaining ground of protests about to burst out but there was no visible signs of citizens gathering to launch protests.
The internet restrictions are already put in place, kind of censorship and an interesting news coming out is the very word ‘jasmine’ anywhere seen in the internet is deleted. ‘Jasmine’ always brings to Chinese govt’s memory the Tunisian revolution which is widely known as Jasmine Revolution. It is worth recalling that the first spark of Arab world flaring up started in Tunisia.
Yes, as Chinese Premier Wen-Jia-Bao while addressing an internet community in his diplomatic style mentioned about the fruits of reforms being equally distributed among the people.
But as a news report from China suggests China won’t under any circumstances tolerate dissent of any kind.
Chinese govt, it is taken for granted that, won’t allow any kind of uprisal to flare-up and it is determined to nip it in the bud itself. But how long it can prolong such a situation, how long it can hold on to restricting human freedom, something worth watching.
Its theory of economic freedom is okay but freedom of speech and expression far from okay is some kind of wonder if they are not willing to mellow their position one day they too will have to face up to citizens reprisals since democracy is an invaluable thing which everyone cherishes.
As columnist Bhaskar Ghosh in ‘Frontline’ noted Democracy for India is actually a blessing in disguise. The situation prevalent in Tunisia and Egypt such as poverty, corruption, unemployment, malnourishment et al are very much prevalent in India and the situation is ripe for a revolution but for the existence of democracy.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Societal ambitions
are speeding horses
non-stop express trains.
Societal ambitions never
know no boundaries
it run past cities
towns and villages
bestowing hope to each
and everyone living along
the boundaries and
interiors of the whole
land of existence;
Hopes turn false hopes sometimes
nevertheless societal hopes
and dreams never have
a full stop
never ever should have
a stop…
as the flames of ambitions
and hopes push us
along the endless road
of life.


Lighting a cigarette
he sits in his room
blowing smoke through
nostrils and mouth
he occasionally turns a
magician blowing smoke-rings
into the atmosphere
occasional coughs break
the rhythm of cigaretting
never mind,
he continues the game.
Each puff a panacea
for tension release
escape from existential
dilemmas, agony
and as the dictum goes
the spark at the end of
cigarette means
a spark of thought inside the brain.
He enjoys smoking
till the last puff
which is equivalent to
the first kiss of a beauty.


I love the black letters
set horizontally on white
which rejuvenate my nerves
and brighten my eyes
which could help to
inculcate in me new
colourful outlook on life
ironically in a black and white
we live in a colourful
of love, hate, anger, likes
and dislikes, disappointments, knowledge
could we say a variety of colourful
images of emotions and information
a montage?


Libya is still in flames. A Gaddafi on the defensive tries his maximum to salvage his position. The more the protesters go on the offensive, the more he fights with his back on the wall. But going by the trends, the dictator is poised to taste defeat if not now, within one or two weeks. East Libya already under the occupation of protesters, Benqazi, next important city after Tripoli also under their occupation, their confidence too strong and are determined to fight to the hilt to force the dictator to flee the ‘throne’, otherwise to kick him out. The man who well entrenched since 41 years in his saddle with nobody even to question or challenge his authority was drunk with power till recently. Because of that reason itself the first sign of resistance that too massive resistance has shaken him violently, it was something unexpected as far as he was concerned.
But his stubborn attitude of ‘not to say die’ approach, his powerful militia and armory have so far helped him to launch a massive suppression - free killing almost 1000 citizens so far. Still he finds the resistance irresistible than he had expected and the thought of giving into the pressure of citizens he finds untenable. A man with king-size ego cannot even imagine in his dreams the thought of even inviting the protesters for a negotiation as he considers himself the Almighty of Libya whom nobody could even touch. It is really a dark wonder that the people of Libya were tolerating such a man, even afraid of this man who could force them dance to his tunes like puppets. But as anywhere a dictator, however powerful and iron-fisted he is will have to do a climb down in the face of massive resistance by citizens who can’t any more resist the brutal ways of their ruler. Gradually step by step they group under one umbrella shedding their fears and apprehensions, go on the offensive, sometimes they might taste defeat, still not being taken aback they will group together to fight against the dictatorial menace.
We could read about several such dictatorships crumbling down under the might of collective resistance of citizens power we could witness many dictators fleeing away with their tails tucked in between their legs some even getting salvation even by angry mobs, pointing out each a difficult task as the list is endless, similarly is the fate of Muammar-al-Gaddafi like that of Tunisian dictator Zine-El-Abidine-Ben Ali, Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharaf, Nepal Monarch King Gyanendra etc etc.
With international pressure mounting on Gaddafi, his confidents are defecting one by one, army personnel too joining the protesters thus weakening Gaddafi’s strangle-hold on Libya with the passing of each day. There are talks of forming a parallel administration by the defected leaders like Interior Minister and once a close confident of Gaddafi. Arab League has asked Gaddafi to stop the genocide and International Criminal Court is closely watching the situation. One day, if matters are going on like these we could very well see this man booked as a culprit by ICC. Security Council has passed a resolution asking Gaddafi to stop the brutal suppression herewith, US, Britain and France are busy mulling financial and weapons sanctions as also Germany. US President Barack Obama has asked Gaddafi several times to withdraw from the scene or to stop forthwith the killing spree of citizens. International pressure is mounting upon him and the man finds himself in a vicious circle. The thought of vacating the saddle is like conceding defeat for him and that is unimaginable with Libya in the grip of massive rebellion. International crude oil prices have jumped up reaching US $120 per barrel each day which threatens each nation. The price is likely to go up in the event of the conflict turning more bitter and violent.
Non-resident Indians as well as people from other countries in large numbers are stranded there, without finding any way out some even fleeing to other nations.
The matters are in such a fluid situation and nobody is in a position to predict how long this conundrum would last, how long this dictator would stick to his position. Before a determined resistance don’t think Gaddafi can hold on to power indefinitely.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Mr. Dictator,
the venal manipulator
of our future
mind you,
our missiles of anger
are directed to hit your
forcing them to crumble down
upon you and your courtiers
your doors of past
your doors of present
your doors of future
all are going to be
shuttered down
all yours escape routes
are sealed
mind you,
our last drops of patience
have dried up
the only way left
is hit back
with our backs to
the walls
decades of plunder
decades of squeezing
the essence out of us
like pythons coiling
around its victims
your cruel games should
have a full stop.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Step by step
I climbed up the ladder
with no steps remaining to climb up
step by step
I climbed down
stationed at the middle.
Middle approach –
is always the best.


One day
during my leisurely moments
a curiosity and eagerness
enveloped me-
to go through a
collection of antiques
piled up in a corner
of our old apartment
bestowed to posterity
by my great Grandpa.
In fact
nobody had thought about
digging up the past
which according to them
was a waste of time.
Past is past
past neither present
nor future, but inter-related.
My inner curiosity to
go through the antiques
however grew tall like
a mountain
and hence no stopping.
With a towel wrapped
around my nose
to escape from dust
accumulated around
the piled-up antiques
my hands started picking
closely scrutinized each
each invaluable in its own way.
At last I got this mirror
I dusted away with difficulty
the thick cover of dust
and made it clean and glazing.
I was stunned to watch
the face of young baby
taken aback I looked again
saw this time a handsome boy
each time I looked
I saw the reflections
of childhood, teenage, youth
middle age
and even my future ‘shape’
a grand old man.
The mirror I held to my bosom
and I wondered,
why nobody did think on
the lines of finding it out
and why
my great grandpa didn’t
reveal the secret
to anyone at home
I too decided not to
reveal it to
anyone at home
it is my secret joy….


Godhra – the very name invokes in us memories, all nightmarish and that is natural as it is associated with the communal pogrom of 2002, which claimed more than one thousand two hundred lives. This 1200 is official estimate, the unofficial estimate surpasses even 2000.
In response to the immolation or burning to death of 59 Karsevaks who were returning to Gujarat by Sabarmati Express after the demolition of Babri Masjid which sent shockwaves across the nation and the world over allegedly by the Karsevaks under the guidance and inspiration of Sangh Parivar leaders led to the massive communal pogrom that too allegedly instigated by Narendra Modi government. The Nanavati Commission report and the Special Investigation Team (SIT) under former Director of CBI R.K.Raghavan both reported that the Godhra incident – the burning to death of 59 Karsevaks was perpetrated by a group of Muslim merchants doing business at the platform but both Nanavati and R.K.Raghavan couldn’t point to a specific group who allegedly poured petrol inside the S-6 compartment and set it ablaze leading to the massacre.
Gujarat State ruled by Narendra Modi of BJP, a hard-core Hindutva leader, naturally flared up and at the instigation of the govt, the ‘fanatic’ Hindus went on the rampage which was a free for all singled out the Muslims and engaged in dastardly acts out of vendetta like ripping apart the wombs of pregnant ladies, setting ablaze hundreds and hundreds of Muslims even after cries for help and refuge rent the atmosphere, even children not spared, even calling Muslims ‘child manufacturing factories’ as the whole world looked on in stunned silence. Narendra Modi could polarize Hindus on one side and Muslims on the other who felt helpless in a Hindu Majority State.
The verdict of the other day however convicted 31 persons and acquitted 63 persons for lack of evidence.
The verdict after nine years was a morale booster to Narendra Modi as his govt’s stand on the Godhra incident was given sort of ‘reprieve’.
As an efficient administrator and an orator par excellence, Modi continues to hold on to his Chief Ministership even after his image got tarnished after the 2002 pogrom. Another govt under another ruler couldn’t seize power from him as he in each election secured a massive mandate. It is widely known that as an administrator he could do a lot for his State and still doing a lot, the infrastructure at its best, standard of living also high corporate in large numbers were welcomed and they set up many industries and they were provided with many incentives, thus brought down unemployment rate to a maximum low and the entire Gujarat has turned out to be a model State for many other States in India. On learning about the good things he is doing for the State what all baffles our mind is Chief Minister of Narendra Modi’s calibre continues to be a hard-core Hindutva leader who is even denied permission in Nitish Kumar’s Bihar. The fact that thousands are turning in their graves in the aftermath of Gujarat pogrom, still continues to remain a black-spot on this man.
With him displaying a good governance in his State a few years I happened to watch a talk-show on NDTV 24X7 participated by a cross-section of entire Gujarat including Hindus and Muslims in the run-up to an election to Gujarat Assembly.
That which surprised and to a large extent embarrassed me was the response of majority of Muslim citizens appreciating Modi’s rule. That which came to my mind on hearing them was perhaps they must have been ventilating their views due to fear of Modi govt. Most of the Muslims participated in the show were businessmen and we are very well aware all business-wallahs move along the same wave-lengths. They always want their business to flourish be there a Congress govt or BJP govt at the helm. Furthermore be it in a State or country as whole, all want to live in peace and they don’t want to see recurrence of any kind of violence. And those who are perpetrating all kinds of troubles are a minority of anti-social elements in most cases. That need not be the case always. For instance, why Gujarat flared up in 2002? Why such a pogrom resulted? There must be more than one reasons. In Gujarat it was first of all an inherent hatred in the minds of two communities which assumed mountainous proportions as and when such a situation arose.
Another example worth pointing out here is the recent revolution in countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen etc etc. The reasons for such revolutions are deep-rooted and when peoples’ patience reach its nadir it is natural that citizens rise in revolt against autocratic governments.
Qutbudheen Ansari - the face that flashed across the nation and whole world which could nearly break the heart of the onlookers while the Gujarat pogrom was going on all must be remembering even now. His appeals, his tears with folded palms ‘have mercy on me’ before his torturers are very much alive in our mind.
Today I happened to read his request to Raheel Ghattiwala whose article ‘Muslim as BJP supporter in Gujarat’ (a must read) ‘please leave me alone. I want to have my privacy’.
Still many both Hindus and Muslims in fact want to live in peace, peace and peace only.


He joined politics in his
youthful days,
with service as his motto.
Melted into the mainstream
with a pledge to serve
the people, society,
the nation as a whole.
His conscience clear,
principles far from
defiled, integrity at its
He evolved a model to new-comers
model to the society
and a pride to his nation.
And he had a long array of
Those who joined politics
In their youthful days
along with him
but of a different
genre altogether.
They too melted into
the mainstream within
no time
their knack for
attracting masses
like iron ores to the
magnet quite baffling
but unlike him
they wore masks
their broad gentle smiles
pleasing nature
inspiring behaviour
modest costumes,
their attitudes of identifying
themselves with the
hardships of the masses
all ploys to
exploit the tender
feelings of the masses
and push them into
the abyss of
No sooner did he start
witnessing the
stifling of principles, integrity,
honesty and sincerity
like culling of a
than he with all
his sorrows held close
to his bosom
withdrew into a shell
- a moody world of his own
resigned to his nation’s fate
with not a drop
of tears to be shed
even by his followers
at least for once.
Resting in the world of
with a weeping heart
he, but continued to
watch his nation
thrown into the mouths
of wolves dressed as


Each time,
the desire to see her
and meet her
welled-up within me,
I nipped the desire
in bud
still the welling-up
that intense feeling
even after days, months
and years passed by
each suppression
caused each rebound.
Still I held back
still I withdrew into myself
but no
her image
as if in a celluloid poem
appeared before me.
After years of interval
again I reached the city
not to see her
not to meet her
but for other reasons
that obsessional thought
that image glued to
the wall of my mind
dragged my legs forward
in search of her
yes, that welling-up
of desire.
I knew
she is very much
in the city
like a living reality,
a beautiful reality
I knew where would
she be most probably
my legs guided me
dragged me towards
her apartment
I just wanted to
have glimpse of her
and then without
she being aware
withdraw and go back
but no
as if she was expecting me
as if she was anticipating my visit
she was sitting idle in her room
looking in my direction.
Eyes met
now no escape
I entered the room
she ran towards me
no looking around
locked in a prolonged embrace
we stood
tears rolled down
tears mingled
we couldn’t face
each other
and we couldn’t move apart
for minutes at a stretch….
‘I was waiting for you
for you’…
- she wept on


Music, as long as you are here,
I am here,
Music, as long as you
transcend boundaries, I will,
Music, as long as you exist
I will exist
Music, as long as you are
pure and golden
I will be
Music, you and I
are co-related.
Music, without you
how could I be here?
Music , the umbilical cord
connecting you and me
is HIM, the Universal power.
Both of us convey the same
message : the message of Universal harmony
my name is love….


Let bygones be bygones. Many promises had been made. As many not kept. For instance in her address to the joint session of Parliament she must have doled out promises after promises. An array of promises and assurances, in short promises are made not to keep it like laws are made to violate it.
Since the assumption of power by UPA II govt many skeletons tumbled out of the closet. Corruption occupied the No.1 position. It grew and spread like a menace. Corruption in the top echelons of power reached mountainous proportions. Many tumbled out after assumption of power first in 2004 and second term 2009. Scams worth lakhs of crores, please note, 2G Spectrum scam was the second scam which India witnessed post Independence and the amount to the tune of Rs 1.76 lakh crores and the first one being ISRO scam to be precise ISRO’s Antrix Corporation Ltd awarding a deal to Devas Multimedia Pvt Ltd, Bangalore which went as far as 2 lakh crore which was divulged recently though signed in 2005. All pointed out several times and people would get bored to death if parroted further. Hence a big mum.
Yesterday, 21 Feb 2011, the budget session of Parliament started on a peaceful note. Our Honorable President Pratibha Patil addressed the joint session of Parliament and barring a few minor skirmishes caused by Pro-Telangana loyalists the atmosphere was calm and the members, both ruling and opposition listened to her in rapt attention.
The opposition’s prolonged demand for a JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee) probe into the 2G Spectrum scam being allowed they must have been in a cheerful mood and similarly we the citizens kept smiles on our lips. A happy lot all.
What all our President read before the august audience, in her capacity as the titular head was music to everybody’s ears.
Firstly she touched upon corruption – massive corruption – squeezing our nation thus sapping the essence of the entire nation. Her assurance that the seeds of corruption will be weeded out, the black money would be unearthed and crores of money stashed abroad would be brought back by enacting legislation if needed and the culprits would be booked all heard and applauded by members especially treasury benches.
Secondly she pointed towards the necessity of tackling left-wing terrorism which reached enormous proportions last year, to bring peace to Kashmir and maintain the law and order situation across the nation. In this context she didn’t forget to mention about the role of the States in containing law and order problems with the necessary support of Centre.
Thirdly, she took the opportunity to mention about ensuring food security to all especially below poverty sections. The demand for a universal public distribution system was however conveniently left out.
Fourthly she laid much stress on improvement of infrastructure development like transport, railways, irrigation, electricity and similarly other people-friendly schemes like Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme also dealt with.
Fifthly she stressed the importance of moulding India into a powerful position among the comity of nations the world over. She also applauded the victory of democracy in Egypt which was attended to and applauded by rapturous members in the house.
As the Head of the nation, what all she was entrusted with, she did excellently. Such platitudes we did hear umpteen times by she as well as many other heads of govt.
What all we need are implementations of all policies and programmes in letter and spirit. Then only the pathetic situation our nation finds itself in could be solved and a bright image would emerge. If our rulers were that much sincere as they claim to be our country would already have turned into a paradise. But that has not yet happened and the need of the hour is a soul-searching. Then will come out pitiful pictures of poverty-stricken, mal-nourished, unemployed people, least developed remote villages in the north-Indian and north-eastern States – infrastructure at its worst – our nation’s conditions is in a sorry state of affairs indeed.

Monday, February 21, 2011


At the very outset
both of us were
like siamese twins
the distance that much
Like our physical proximity
like souls and
Even for a single day
we couldn’t live
without seeing
without meeting
without sharing our feelings
either happy or sad.
The distance between us
continued to be nil then.
Remember the days
witnessing couples living
under one roof
yes ,their physical
that much negligible
yet their minds and souls
existing within
continental distances
that much aloofness
they must have felt.
While discussing such
a tragic existence
our dreams were
our own
not anybody else’s
our life a
model to others
an example worth imitating.
Without we being aware
with the crawling
of time
like stars
moving away
from each other
with the passage of
light years
we too moved away
from each other.
Physical closeness
under one roof
okay, we lost control over
our souls and minds
both moving away to
immeasurable distances
like the existence
of two continents
at different corners
of the globe.
Now I wonder whether
the physical nearness
pleasant smiling faces
the laughter together
the pranks being played
like children upon each other
by the couples
seen through daily life
all the signs of
all the models of
harmonious existence
whether such harmony
exists in such relationships
in the real sense of that term
or everything a camouflage?
In a world where
East and West meet
and fuse into each other
forming fusion music.
I wish we could play
Jugalbandhi – the meet
and fusion of East and West.

Friday, February 18, 2011


I have been waiting
for you,
since centuries.
Neither did you come
to me nor did
I hear anything about you.
Still I hoped you would
reach my side one day
would hear my humble
would console my soul
heal my wounds
and bless me with your
hallowed palms
and make my life
flourish forever.
Let my pleadings reach you
let my sobs and tears
appear before your inner
still I hope
continue to hope.
I know one day you
would listen to my prayers.
Let the gentle rays
from your third eye
reach me
and remove the dark
shadows of my life
bathe me
in waves of your light
thus erasing all
sins from my life.


All dictators are cowards but they appear to be brave-hearted. Till the moment their thrones appear to be shaken, like leeches they stick on to the saddle. The moment they face threat to their existence they not only vacate power but flee to a place where they are offered asylum.
True, I am referring to the recent developments in Arab countries. And one or two South Asian countries.
Start from Tunisia, the nation which proved to be a source of inspiration to the citizens of other Arab nations to venture into struggles for political reforms I mean, democracy and better living conditions. With the eruption of revolution across Arab world, the news which streamed in were mind-boggling. Massive poverty, unemployment, network of large-scale corruption, suppression of even small-scale protests, all came to the fore with the leaders amassing crores and crores of dollars and remitting them in foreign bank accounts.
The Tunisian President of yesteryears Zine-ul-Abidin-Ben Ali, please note he was a so-called iron-hearted dictator thus we were made to believe until then, upon facing existential threat lost no time in fleeing the country in seeking asylum in any of the countries which was prepared to offer him refuge. Rejected by all except Saudi Arabia the man is cooling his heels in his asylum.
Soon after, the Egyptian head Hosni Mubarak who too was till then brave-hearted, remember, he occupied the throne since 1981, ie. 30 years as a dictator suppressing rebellions earning massive unaccounted money depositing it in various foreign banks, turning a deaf ear to the immediate problems of citizens - like wide-spread poverty, massive corruption, unemployment – all swept under the carpet and displayed a shining image of Egypt the facts were just the opposite. All with the overt and covert help of an overbearing army. But thirty years of continuous rule nearly broke the back of the citizens, the pent-up emotions burst out at last they were grouped under one umbrella and went on the rampage for eighteen days shaking the very foundations of Mubarak’s throne. The cold-blooded so-called iron-hearted fellow fled to England with his family in the thick of night and got ensconced in his 8.5 million pound sterling flat licking the wounds inflicted by the defeat. Whither gone his will, determination and fearlessness in the face of persistent demands by millions of citizens? The fear factor came to the fore, when all doors of escape came to be closed and I am sure all dictators are inherently coward than even an ordinary citizen. But they appear to be otherwise, don the apparels of brave rulers unwilling to bow down to even international pressure.
Look at the South Asian nation Myanmar, which incidentally is India’s neighbour. There the military junta is in power since decades, the icon of democracy like Nobel laureate Aung-Saan-Syuuki was under house arrest for almost 14 years, - she was freed recently - and when international pressure mounted on junta, they decided to form a so-called ‘democratic’ government and as a first step in the wrong direction the junta first dissolved the main opposition party National League for Democracy (NLD) and the junta formed a party of its own and conducted the election. As expected, the SPDs – the junta supported party won a massive mandate and is ‘comfortably’ ruling the country with the majority in fact against it.
Myanmar regime continues to be a ruthless one and in its decades of existence ruthlessly suppressed many a rebellion, violent and non-violent – non-violent protests by Buddha Sanyasins were bathed in blood-shed and if history and experiences are any indications Myanmar’s cruel regime too will one day go the Mubarak way.
Let’s come back to the Arab world. Flames of Tunisian revolution took no time in spreading to almost all Arab countries, for instance, Bahrain under consistent pressure by citizens the army has been withdrawn into the background. In Yemen, the ruler Abdullah Zaleh who pleaded for ‘extension of life’ till 2013, has shown his true colours by turning the army against the protesters who demand him to step down. In Libya, bloody clashes between the military and citizens have already claimed nearly two hundreds lives and Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s fate is almost sealed to be precise the entire Arab world, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Algiers, Djibouti etal besides Iran, now even China are in the grip of a revolution with rulers under constant threat of ouster.
Is power that much sweeter like nectar, otherwise why the dictators in the face of resistance by the citizens want to stick on their citadels of power facing threats to their very existence?


Poisoned milk to feed and
muddied waters to bathe
polluted air to breath
and waste food to eat
congested rooms to pull on
and stinking sanitary
breeding ground of
infectious and contagious
eyes well-trained for
witnessing blood-chilling sights
ears conditioned for
deafening sounds of
busy streets, rail-tracks
and airways,
vehicles, local trains
and air-planes
an orchestra at its
the prisoners of
red-light streets and
gallys preying victims
with smell of marigold,
cheap powder and
perfumes piercing the
nostrils of the
The parks, gardens
sea and beaches,
five-star luxuries
macho and pretty
youth and blonds
ever glittering
tinsel world
my city, your city
the one in all
our beloved city.


Dark days of ignorance
faded out
by flashing light across the society
on revocation of
emergency by the ruthless
dictator after citizens rose in revolt
the forcing the former to flee
away seeking asylum
in another country
ruled by another dictator.
Till then hidden developments under
the darkness
the hitherto concealed facts
came to light
which sent thunders down our
We came to know
shocking revelations of
the vanishing thousands
into the dust-bins of
disappearance of ocean
of slums and its occupants
in the name of beautification
of metros elsewhere
ruthlessly castrated youths
teenagers and priests in the name
of stemming population growth
the burial grounds of
those rebels who revolted
against the dictator
the skulls, limbs, bones
decaying flesh
the winds of
nauseating stench
blowing across the land
after the dark days
of ignorance were lifted
after windows and doors opened
and light flowed in
let us ask you
whether the dark days
of ignorance of history
were better
whether there is something
called ‘dark days of


Prime Minister ManMohan Singh has still many promises to keep. And he has many miles to go. Hence no stopping midway.
The good doctor is very much sure and confident that he has already done a lot to the good of the country. Otherwise what would have been our fate? Has anyone paused for a while and thought anything on these lines? If not pity him.
Under normal course, Prime Minister doesn’t address journalists. But circumstances forced him to invite visual media journalists, why no print media, for press conference at his 7 Race Course residence the other day.
Missiles of queries flown into his face but the gentle Doctor that he is found it quite difficult to answer each query.
The missiles of queries directed against him were something to do with an array of corruptions, scams and scandals tarnishing the image of the UPA II govt.
Forced into a tight corner our Prime Minister spoke about coalition dharma and as he was bound by it had to accommodate A.Raja into his cabinet. And he went on to inform the media that what was wrong on his part was that he believed A.Raja blindly and he went on to add that the ‘so-called’ loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crores was wrong. As an instance he pointed towards a fact that an expenditure of Rs 80000 crore towards subsidies to the food sector could be termed a loss to the exchequer.
The other thing that he chose to mention was that he was not afraid of a JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee) probe as he had nothing to hide. But what actually forced his govt in the face of consistent demand of opposition to constitute a JPC was not listened to by the UPA II govt during the winter session lasting for 22 days was by an adamant government causing a loss of Rs 769 crores to the treasury.
With the opposition holding on to their demands to constitute the JPC, the govt has at last conceded to its demands and in the budget session the announcement of JPC is slated to be made. If Dr.ManMohan Singh had nothing to hide there was no need for rejecting the demands of the collective opposition. A Prime Minister appearing before the JPC committee won’t in any way diminish his status, rather it would only help to brighten his image.
The govt always has one thing to boast about and it is nothing other than the Gross National Product. Yes, the GNP of 8.6 percent in 2010-2011 is something to be proud about but what is shameful from the very beginning is the growth has not percolated down to the lower strata of the society. Amounts piling up in the hands of few should not be regarded as a criteria for development while several languish at the bottom. Equal distribution of public wealth to all, call it by any name, is most essential.
Nobel laureate Amartya Sen in one of his lengthy articles recently bared out with some glaring facts with statistical data the rate of growth in various fields in India, Bangladesh and China. His words I quote : “ GNP growth can, ofcourse, be very helpful in advancing living standards and in battling poverty (one would have to be quite foolish not to see that) but there is little case for confusing (1) the important role of economic growth as means for achieving good things and (2) growth of inanimate objects of convenience being taken to be an end in itself. India lags far behind Bangladesh and China and on going through that article as Indians we feel ashamed of ourselves. Merely boasting about the Gross National Product (GNP) growth alone should have to be put an end forthwith. Life expectancy at birth in China is 73.5 years; in India it is still 64.4 years. Infant mortality rate is 50 per thousand in India, compared with just 17 per thousand in China and the under five mortality rate is 66 for Indians and 19 for Chinese. China’s adult literacy is 94%, compared with India’s 65 % and mean years of schooling in India is 4.4 years compared with 7.5 years in China.
Life expectancy in Bangladesh is 66.9 years compared with India’s 64.4. The proportion of underweight children in Bangladesh (41.3 percent) is a little lower than in India (43.5 percent) and its fertility rate (2.3) is also lower than India’s (2.7). Mean years of schooling amount to 4.8 years in Bangladesh compared with India’s 4.4 years.”
Our rulers have miles to go and promises to keep for shining image on the world map.
In the Arab world where dictatorships are prevalent from Tunisia down other Arab countries unable to withstand hardships like poverty, corruption, unemployment and political reforms people have risen in revolt against the dictatorships for clearing ways for democracy. Their dreams of democracy have many things to do with their dreams of a day free from poverty, corruption, massive unemployment etc.
We are a democracy, still we suffer umpteen sufferings ranging from poverty to unemployment and under-development. If our rulers still hold on is only due to the prevalence of a democracy, the freedom of speech and expression, the freedom to hold protests, the freedom to mingle with each other etc etc. But what all are prevalent in Arab world, I mean, dictatorial regimes and what all prevalent here is the same except the fact we breath fresh air.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Recall the day
we first saw, met
and conquered each other.
Recall the day
I told you about
your magnetic eyes
which drew me to you
the very first day we met.
Recall the days we
took strolls down the
college campus
reciting the poems of
Keats, Shelly, Emily Dickinson
Yeats and Rilke.
Recall the days we spent
our leisurely moments
in the shadows of ‘grandma trees’
in the campus
and cracked mischievous comments
of love-birds in the
shade of several other
some taking strolls down
the campus
without any aim.
Recall the days we
planned our future
the hurdles on the
and how to jump them
one after another.
Recall that day you
pleaded me ‘give me a
cupfull of your love’
and enjoyed its sweetness
like nectar,
still I feel like my
lips aching…..
Recall the day when
we first decided not
to have a third person in
our life so soon
so as to keep our selfishness
whither your razor-sharp
Whither your boundless love?
Whither your personal
magnetism turned towards?
Whither you, your old
Now I see your shadow
alone, alone, alone
think about me once
in a while, once in a while
at least once in your
that alone is my humble
request….humble prayer.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


The epoch-making Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia proved a catalyst to Egyptian citizens to rise in revolt against Hosni Mubarak, the dictator which lasted for almost eighteen days to force him out of the saddle. The reins of power fell in the hands of military and at present military authorities step by step are leading the country to the path of democracy. The vigilant citizens won’t rest till their demands for establishing a democratic government in Egypt and the military soon after Mubarak stepped down from power dissolved the Parliament and has vowed to conduct a free and fair elections within six months.
Though Tunisian and Egyptian revolution are midway from democracy it is natural – the scent of jasmine has spread to Iran, Bahrain and other West Asian nations.
But the surprising event is the flare-up in Iran with the opposition turning against the govt of Ahmedi Nejad at an unexpected moment like this. Fierce protests started the day before under the leadership of Mir Hussain Mousavi, Karroubi and Mohammed Khatami who are pro-reform leaders unlike conservative ruling heads like Mohammed Ahmedi Nejad.
In the last National elections, Ahmedi Nejad was declared won with the afore-mentioned leaders and their followers pointing accusing fingers at the ‘rigged’ elections under conservative Muslim clerics and Moulvis. The people under the opposition leaders, Mir Hussein Mousavi, Karroubi and Muhammed Khatami revolted against the results and within days the revolt turned bloody with several succumbing to death, as many getting injured, imprisoned and the leaders being put under house arrest. With the blessings of Iran’s Supreme spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni, Ahmedi Nejad put down the rebellion with an iron-hand and simultaneously blamed United States for inspiring the opposition leaders. Then and now Iranian govt and US, Britain and European nations are on collision course. The issue of Iran building a nuclear enrichment programme at Natanz led to bitter acrimony which led to imposing sanctions with the support of United Nations.
Now after a brief lull Iran has plunged into turbulence most probably the reflections of recent happenings in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and other West Asian countries.
The opposition leaders have been put under house arrest with protests raging across Iran and the latter as before has turned against US, Britain and European nations which according to Iran are orchestrating the bitter developments in Iran. The MPs and other higher-ups have gone to the extent of demanding the hanging of the opposition leaders to silence the rebellion.
Now let’s move on to Bahrain. Thousands of Bahrain citizens took to the streets demanding more democratic reforms and better working conditions. As an after-effect of the rebellion in the collisions with riot police two persons have died and Bahrain head Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa appeared on the Television to address the nation to apologise for the death of two citizens. Thousands have converged at the famous monument of Pear Roundabout which is the Gulf version of Tahrir Square of Egypt demanding reforms. Pear Roundabout is the meeting point of six Gulf nations : Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Bahrain can ignite a spark in the Gulf region and we can very well imagine the consequences in the event of it spreading to other regions.
Yemen ruler too is facing such a rebellion and he has already begged for a lease of life till 2013 and has vowed to vacate the saddle after 2013. Like Mubarak of Egypt he is on good terms with US but that in no way is going to cement his power as long as he wishes.
In short after the Tunisian revolution, the Arab world as a whole faces an existential threat the spark of democracy if and when ignited then all dictatorships are bound to bow down before the demands of citizens.


The epoch-making Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia proved a catalyst to Egyptian citizens to rise in revolt against Hosni Mubarak, the dictator which lasted for almost eighteen days to force him out of the saddle. The reins of power fell in the hands of military and at present military authorities step by step are leading the country to the path of democracy. The vigilant citizens won’t rest till their demands for establishing a democratic government in Egypt and the military soon after Mubarak stepped down from power dissolved the Parliament and has vowed to conduct a free and fair elections within six months.
Though Tunisian and Egyptian revolution are midway from democracy it is natural – the scent of jasmine has spread to Iran, Bahrain and other West Asian nations.
But the surprising event is the flare-up in Iran with the opposition turning against the govt of Ahmedi Nejad at an unexpected moment like this. Fierce protests started the day before under the leadership of Mir Hussain Mousavi, Karroubi and Mohammed Khatami who are pro-reform leaders unlike conservative ruling heads like Mohammed Ahmedi Nejad.
In the last National elections, Ahmedi Nejad was declared won with the afore-mentioned leaders and their followers pointing accusing fingers at the ‘rigged’ elections under conservative Muslim clerics and Moulvis. The people under the opposition leaders, Mir Hussein Mousavi, Karroubi and Muhammed Khatami revolted against the results and within days the revolt turned bloody with several succumbing to death, as many getting injured, imprisoned and the leaders being put under house arrest. With the blessings of Iran’s Supreme spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni, Ahmedi Nejad put down the rebellion with an iron-hand and simultaneously blamed United States for inspiring the opposition leaders. Then and now Iranian govt and US, Britain and European nations are on collision course. The issue of Iran building a nuclear enrichment programme at Natanz led to bitter acrimony which led to imposing sanctions with the support of United Nations.
Now after a brief lull Iran has plunged into turbulence most probably the reflections of recent happenings in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and other West Asian countries.
The opposition leaders have been put under house arrest with protests raging across Iran and the latter as before has turned against US, Britain and European nations which according to Iran are orchestrating the bitter developments in Iran. The MPs and other higher-ups have gone to the extent of demanding the hanging of the opposition leaders to silence the rebellion.
Now let’s move on to Bahrain. Thousands of Bahrain citizens took to the streets demanding more democratic reforms and better working conditions. As an after-effect of the rebellion in the collisions with riot police two persons have died and Bahrain head Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa appeared on the Television to address the nation to apologise for the death of two citizens. Thousands have converged at the famous monument of Pear Roundabout which is the Gulf version of Tahrir Square of Egypt demanding reforms. Pear Roundabout is the meeting point of six Gulf nations : Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Bahrain can ignite a spark in the Gulf region and we can very well imagine the consequences in the event of it spreading to other regions.
Yemen ruler too is facing such a rebellion and he has already begged for a lease of life till 2013 and has vowed to vacate the saddle after 2013. Like Mubarak of Egypt he is on good terms with US but that in no way is going to cement his power as long as he wishes.
In short after the Tunisian revolution, the Arab world as a whole faces an existential threat the spark of democracy if and when ignited then all dictatorships are bound to bow down before the demands of citizens.


Please don’t come
to a halt midway.
Nor lose momentum
rather go ahead with
vigour and iron will.
All sufferings must
have a full-stop
tolerance has its limits
try not to live with it
apprehending suppressions
and repressions.
Today’s rulers
iron-hearted they are
just show them a beating-heart
oozing blood.
Reply they will
oh, hibiscus flower, how pretty it is!
The result of mankind
suffering under the yoke
since centuries
it is time we took
away the yoke of slavery
and emerge free
to fight for our rights.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Winds of change have
started uprooting the
venomous trees of dictatorship.
Centuries and decades of
one-upmanship, slavery and
corruption have started
facing threats of extinction.
Dreams of bright morrow have started
brightening the eyes of
whose eyes were gradually
losing glimmer of hopes
and confidence.
Rivers of
blood might be flowing
in the not too distant future
lo and behold, all for
a better world thus
we need to believe.
Listen to birth pangs of a new
era, a new beginning.
For all gains some losses
ought to be expected.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Never take for granted
a business man’s broad
white smiles
such display of milking
smiles are nothing but
his trade secret.
His eagle eyes can
very well see through
your pockets
howsoever thick it might be
and can count your money
the money stashed in
your pockets could be
pocketed by him by
his sweet stimulating words
like the sleight of the
hand of a magician within
A business man is
always business-minded
his wide smiles the
product of his wily mind.
No use blaming him
that is his way of life.
A businessman always
displays a generous heart
hiding his
narrow-heart behind
a bewitching smile.


United Liberation Front of Assom (ULFA) confined to Assam only is a hard-core terrorist organization like Islamist terror organizations like Lashkar-E-Taiba, Jaish-E-Muhammad, Harkat-Ul-Mujahideen, Al-Queida etc which extend to larger areas. In the 1970s and 1980s ULFA repeatedly wreaked havoc in Assam killed hundreds of common citizens, injured as many, damaged properties worth millions turning that State into a virtual towering inferno. Even after that demanding sovereignty it intermittently struck hard and life in Assam turned out to be a nightmare. Similarly many oil-refineries in Assam and neighbouring areas went up in flames causing massive loss to the exchequer. AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) in fact proved counter-productive and its victims always were innocent citizens as the master brains behind each terrorist attack went into hiding in the forests and neighbouring nations like Bangladesh and Myanmar after committing the dastardly acts. The neighbouring country of Bhutan never gave asylum to the leaders of ULFA and those who were apprehended immediately handed over to India.
While Begum Khalida Zia ruled Bangladesh her vindictive attitude towards India was notorious the leaders who sought refuge were provided with refuge and comforts and hence had all facilities available to manage and control the activities of ULFA without fear of being apprehended. Please note that Arabind Rajkhowa, ULFA Chairman was controlling and inspiring his organization comfortably seated in Bangladesh when he was caught and extradited to India by the friendly govt of Sheikh Haseena Wajed, daughter of legendary leader of Bangladesh Banga Bandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rehman. Both Khalida Zia the wife of former Bangladesh head Zia-Ur-Rehman and Sheikh Haseena are always at loggerheads and each’s attitude towards India differs.
ULFA once stuck to its declared position of snatching sovereignty for Assam, and would satisfy with nothing other than that and govt of India never succumbing to the repealed pressures remaining adamant with each continuing on a collision course for decades. The decades old collision and encounters naturally killed the peaceful atmosphere in that State.
Each time a terror act was committed and several got killed not only the State rulers and leaders from the Centre ranging from Prime Minister, Home Minister, Defence Minister or UPA Chairperson landed on the soil of Assam and pledged to take action against the culprits involved, instituted enquiry committees and that’s that. After committing the mayhem the terror leaders went into hiding in the forests the life in the forests they are very much acquainted with or fled to neighbouring nations like Bangladesh and Myanmar. AFSPA never proved to be productive as the real culprits always remained out of reach. The innocent ones always fell prey to them and as AFSPA was given extensive powers and those who caught in their net were handled ruthlessly. Even women were dealt with brutally here it is worth remembering that wherever AFSPA is in force, the story is the same. Almost the entire North-East comes under the jurisdiction of AFSPA and please note Irom Chanu Sharmila since 2000 is on fast unto death demanding repeal of AFSPA, with no positive results forthcoming.
Same is the case in Jammu & Kashmir and Kashmir has already witnessed many a incident of violence, deaths and injuries.
Come back to Assam.
Arabind Rajkhowa upon extradition by Bangladesh was imprisoned for the last few months and on coming to realize that ULFA’s demand for sovereignty for Assam was immaterial conceded for a reconciliation talk with Central govt.
That led to a rift in ULFA, with ULFA’s Commander-in-Chief Paresh Baruah, who is hiding in Myanmar is totally against the decision of Arabind Rajkhowa and his followers decision to engage in talks with India govt but Rajkhowa has not obliged him. He proceeded on the lines of holding talks with the Central govt and last week he flew all the way to Delhi and held talks with our Home Minister Chidambaram and Home Secretary G.K.Pillai. Rajkhowa and his companions even went to the extent of tendering apology for the acts of omission and commission and made a climb-down from the demand for sovereignty to Assam. The talks went on a cordial ambience and more talks are likely to follow. While writing this a report of Rajkhowa and co. holding talks with Prime Minister appeared in the media.
Assam’s under-development, criminal neglect of the State by the higher-ups, lack of basic amenities all are reasons for the birth of ULFA and the demand for sovereignty and after the talks let’ hope the era of blood-shed would come to an end at last. But an adamant Commander-in-Chief Paresh Baruah who is entrenched somewhere in Myanmar is waiting in the wings with his reservations. That is something we would have to worry about.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Need we call
a flower a smiling flower?
Till their mission
on earth is completed
flowers do keep on
smiling always, no?
always pretty attractive
and fascinating.
flowers do vary in colour
size and smell.
Unlike a rose
jasmine, marigold,
lotus, all scented blooms.
A hibiscus flower
though not scented
so what
its beauty, colour
and size
captivating even from
a long distance.
All flowers unlike
we, human beings
don’t suffer existential
angst or agony.
Flowers always the
symbols of innocence.


Mountain of human sufferings,
Dream of a square meal
at least one time a day
Dreams of jobs worth earning peanuts
by millions of youths
corruption corroding
the social fabric
starving children witnessing
mothers with empty stomachs
willingly falling
prey to the sex-starved
human beasts
street children beginning
to learn pick-pocketing
in local trains and buses
often getting thrashed
and reduced into pulp
by the passengers
increasing numbers of witnesses
turning stone-hearted,
unresponsive day by day
with loud claims of
shining India rent the air
across the land
the exact opposite is but

Saturday, February 12, 2011


At last he is out. Egyptian citizens have kicked him out. Yesterday’s dictator is today’s average citizen. Red-sea resort of Sharm-el-Sheikh is currently his refuge.
Had it not been for the Jasmine revolution of Tunisia which ousted Zine-Al-Abidin-Ben-Ali the Egyptian uprising would not have happened this early and Hosni Mubarak would not have been out. He was an iron-fisted, cold-blooded dictator and that was the sole reason for his clinging to the post suppressing all rebellions for almost thirty years ie since 1981 after the assassination of Anwar Sadat.
Tunisian revolution was an eye-opener for African nations for instance drawing inspiration from it Egyptians rose in revolt and the same Tunisian revolution very well sent shockwaves across entire Africa.
Now that Egypt after Hosni Mubarak is in a fluid state the reins of power are temporarily in the hands of Egyptian army.
Power in the hands of Egyptian army is okay for a short span what Egyptians genuinely need is a democratic government. Hence Egyptians need to be of wary of till the power is handed over to a democratic dispensation.
Former IAEA Chief and Opposition leader Muhammed Elbaradie needs to plunge into the arena at this juncture before Islamist Organisation Muslim Brotherhood stakes claim to form a govt. Muslim Brotherhood acquiring power is not a good omen. What Egypt badly needs is a secular govt and for that the suitable person at present is Muhammed Elbaradie himself.
Now that each nation across the world has adopted a wait and see approach till the matters reach a permanent solution the approach will be on these lines.
Whichever democratic outfit is set to form a govt most probably after a free and fair election under the supervision of army many matters of immediate significance await to be resolved. First is the widespread poverty squeezing the average citizens, second is the massive unemployment and third corruption, empowerment of women, education and health also essential. Lack of these facilities really were the reasons behind the recent uprising, hence a democratic govt could cater to needs of citizens is the need of the hour.


Scent of Tunisian Jasmine
flowers is invigorating
as well as exhilarating.
Scent of Tunisian Jasmine
flowers pervaded across
Egypt and invigorated
each Egyptian
and it all
of a sudden injected invigorating Jasmine
fragrance into the veins of
the tired Egyptians and
acted as an energy booster
and each drew inspiration.
‘Rage of the day’ down
almost three weeks,
Tahrir Square turned a rallying
point of the raging Egyptians
who in chorus shouted slogans
demanding the dictator to
step down and flee.
Their emotional outburst like
the eruption of a volcano
with red-hot lava of fury
flowing far and wide
started shaking the
very foundation of the
throne of unwilling
callous, arrogant dictator
their rage and shouts like
an earthquake
followed by deafening thunder explosions
across Egypt.
The might of citizens
that much great.
Thirty years of their suffocation
burst like dams
and the position of embattled dictator
started shaking like a ship
in a turbulent sea
at last forcing him
to step down….
Licking the wounds
the dictator of yesterday
has begun his days at
Red sea resort of Sharm-el-Sheikh.
Crowds rejoiced
chanted victory slogans
waved victory signs
lit fire-works across
the land
breathing free.
Crowds saluted Tunisia
crowds wanted inhaling
more and more Jasmine fragrance
like the Tunisians

Friday, February 11, 2011


In the late hours
of the moon-lit, star-lit night
when the world starts
their silent communication
Glancing at his starry smiles
she asks him ‘why can’t you
come down and whisper
some sweet-nothings to me
and plant a gentle kiss on me
shower your golden smiles
on me again and again’
with a glint of sadness
glistening in her eyes.
Replies he thus ‘ you and I
from time immemorial
are destined to be
at far ends of the universe
neither can I come down
to you
nor can you rise up
and give me a cool
anyhow let’s pray
to that unknown force
who keeps the remote of the
Universe in His hands’,
‘Bless us with the boon
of coming closer to each
and thus
let our cherished dreams
get fulfilled.
All depends upon Him
perhaps it would
take eras
sometimes it could happen
within seconds
like an epoch-making incident
the sea-sky co-existence’
Everything depends upon Him.


If not all, most of the dictators are iron-hearted. More than iron-hearted they are cold-blooded. They go to very great lengths to cement their hold on power, they go to very great lengths to suppress rebellion by masses with the overt support of their army, most of the latter remain loyal to the dictators. Several examples do exist and let me list out a few of them some are already out of power, sometimes voluntarily other times before the determined resistance of citizens, some are on their way out after failing to hold on to power with a nation as a whole turning against them. King Gyanendra of Nepal, a ruthless dictator notorious for suppression of peoples’ rebellion was ousted two-three years back paving way for a democratic government. First under Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal – ‘Prachanda’, then Girija Prasad Koirala followed by Madhav Kumar Nepal and now after a long gap Jhalanath Khanal of Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist-Leninist).
In Myanmar, the military dictator Than Shwe ruled for decades with an iron-fist jailed many, murdered many, suppressed many a rebellion. Then last year he formed a political party SPDS, dissolved National League for Democracy headed by Nobel Laureate and freedom fighter Aung Saan Syuuki, who was imprisoned by his regime and she had to languish in prison for more than a decade. Now that his party has won majority of seats as it was the only party and small section of breakaway National League for Democracy (NLD) which contested the elections and following which a puppet Thein Sein was installed in the Prime Ministerial saddle, the real power still concentrated in the hands of Than Shwe himself who has withdrawn behind the curtains. A clever ploy to make the world feel that Myanmar too has embraced democracy.
Tunisia, the African nation is still very much in the news. The ‘Jasmine Revolution’ by which name the Tunisian revolution is known the world over led to the ouster of its President Zin-Abidin-Ben-Ali. The dictator and family has been granted asylum by Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after being rejected asylum by many nations. Massive poverty, corruption, unemployment etal led to the citizens rise up in revolt which snowballed into a massive revolution which led to him flee the nation for good. Still the people are not satisfied they still want to wreak vengeance on him and from their raging anger we can very well assume the enormity of the problems and sufferings they underwent still undergoing even after his seeking asylum in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia too is a dictatorship, but the heartening fact is that it is a benevolent dictatorship. For instance Bhutan was under a benevolent dictatorship and after decades of rule the former King Jigmi Zigmi Wang Chuk voluntarily stepped down for establishing a democratic set- up. Indonesia and Thailand all come under dictatorships, they are but only namesake dictatorships, otherwise titular heads as in Britain.
Tunisian uprising was only pointer to more developments in various countries in African continent. While the Tunisian conflagration was very much raging the next turn was Egypt’s. The protests and processions which began on a slow pitch from January 25, 2011 incited most of the citizens and ‘day of rage’ went a long way in culmination of the uprising with people holding banners and placards carrying ‘down Mubarak down’ slogans. While Mubarak was accumulating funds to the tune of US $ 7000 bn, the entire Egypt was and still is suffering from large-scale poverty, corruption and unemployment. Peoples’ pent-up anger was about to burst out anytime and the Tunisian revolution was an inspiring force or a catalyst for their anger to burst out. Now that the volcano has erupted with red-hot lava of peoples’ anger flowing widespread to the whole of Egypt and even Egypt’s friend US too demands Mubarak to step down. It is reported that Mubarak has already handed over powers to his Vice-President Omar Suleiman but has refused to step down from the post of President.
One thing I forgot to mention, that is Sudan where the dictator Omar-Hasan-Al-Bashir had to bow down before the demands of Southern Sudan’s for a separate nation consisting of Christian-Animists in a referendum held recently. 98.8 percent of Southern Sudanese voted for a separate nation in the referendum which is the store-house of more than 75% of the crude-oil. International Criminal Court already had sent a summons to him to appear before it for committing genocide in which 2 million people of Darfur perished by his army’s onslaught.
It is a foregone conclusion that if citizens’ anger continues to persist Mubarak will have to step out now that Muslim Brotherhood after its initial dithering in the beginning too has joined the rebellion.
Before peoples’ might it is taken for granted that the malevolent dictators will have to bow down before the demands of the citizens in the end.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


The restless rustling
leaves of the fig tree
spreading cool shade
blowing gentle breeze
shedding ripe yellow
fig leaves
their demand far
outstrips the supply
scams and scandals
heist, theft
corruption, looting
political leaders
especially those at
the helm of affairs
and bureaucrats
their numbers far outstrip the
honest common citizens,
I mean
the fig leaves insufficient
to them
to hide their secrets
as the demand far outstrips
the supply.


Within a few months some States are scheduled to go for Assembly polls which are comparatively of not much significance at the national level as the general elections are about four years from now. To be exact 2014 May. Even without any national significance national politics is already caught in a swamp of massive corruption. Starting from 2G Spectrum scam, Common Wealth Games-2010 scam, Adarsh Housing Scam, Money laundering and now come to the fore a scam which surpasses 2G Spectrum scam in terms of amount, the S-band spectrum scam to the tune of 2 lakh crore scam which was a deal arrived at between ISRO’s Antrix Corporation Ltd and Bangalore-based Devas Multimedia Pvt Ltd which is being overlooked by Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Suhil Seth in his blog with a sense of humour and sarcasm wrote that with the 2 lakh crores involved in the S-band spectrum Kalmadi and A.Raja could be sent to moon. The scams are tumbling out on a daily basis and the govt finds itself in a tight spot. What I was driving home was that the State election results though will have a mild impact on the Central govt it cannot however be called either a quarter final or semi-final.
This is not to cover all States slated to go to Assembly polls most probably in May.
The two States which are being looked upon with interest and ‘concern’ are the States of Kerala and West Bengal. Both are ruled by Left Democratic Front (LDF) and therefore it assumes significance. The only other State which is under the rule of LDF is the little State of Tripura, a strong red citadel. Tripura is not poised to go to polls in the May assembly elections.
Left Democratic Front of West Bengal faces a tough challenge, this time to be more exact a formidable challenge from the part of Mamta Banerji’s Trinamool Congress. In its thirty three years of uninterrupted rule, the Left Democratic Front is sensing a possible defeat at the hands of Trinamool Congress-Indian National Congress combine. Mamta sensing a certain victory, this time has nailed herself in her home State notwithstanding her sensitive Railway portfolio at the Centre. Well-known for throwing tantrums often even Prime Minister Sardar ManMohan Singh has chosen to keep mum. Even otherwise on a host of sensitive issues he is comfortable as a mute spectator. That was why Prabhu Chawla, the other day commented Dr.Singh once a man with a clear vision, has now turned out to be an average politician. Some others even hesitate to accommodate him in the average category.
So be it. Let’s come back to West Bengal politics. Almost everyone knows the reason behind the elevation of Trinamool Congress in Bengal politics as also the downswing of Left Democratic Front. It was the latter’s own undoing, recall the Singur, Nandigram episodes, the over-enthusiasm of Buddhadeb Bhattacharya in bringing the corporates to the Bengali soil, true, his intention was for the good of the State but as already written the speed with which he went ahead with his ‘corporate-encourage mentality’ led to his plans turn topsy-turvy. The land owners, peasants and share-croppers who were the driving force, the grass-roots level workers from the very inception were evicted ruthlessly, assaulted and murdered, spilt much blood on the streets of Nandigram and Singur and were even paid nominal sum as compensation and some got not even a penny which invited their wrath and vengeance. The Indonesian multinational Salim Group and Indian Corporate TATAs had to flee the scene in the face of mounting protests by the land owners, peasants, share-croppers, average citizens, the artists, writers, film-personalities and intellectuals all who grouped under the umbrella of Mamta’s Trinamool Congress, please note she could very well capitalize on the volatile situation, Mamta could spread her network, strengthen her Party’s base subsequently and simultaneously Leftists suffered a massive outflow of its cadres to her side.
Since then Mamta didn’t have to turn back and with her renewed strength and vigour, she could prove in the subsequent elections. Bye-elections to Assemblies down Local-Self govt institutions and finally the 2009 General elections the Left Front was humbled at the hustings and add to its woes Communist Party of India (Maoist) cadres joined hands with Mamta’s Trinamool Congress and Communist Party of India(Marxist) cadres were the worst cadres. Mamta’s association with them in fact had started way back precisely since Singur and Nandigram blood-shed. That relationship is still continuing both utilize each other depending upon the situation much to the chagrin of Left Front.
Since 2009 General Elections, how far LDF has gone to atone for its past mistakes how far the rectification exercises have progressed whether any progress is worth noticable, all count in the coming Assembly elections. Anyhow, though a conclusion at this point of time is somewhat risky, it is anyhow advantage Trinamool in Tennis parlance.
Similarly Kerala is also ruled by LDF. Compared to West Bengal, Kerala has its own ‘peculiarities’. Kerala in my memory has not allowed a party to rule it two times consecutively kind of alternate arrangement existed so far. Whether my knowledge is right I can’t tell it for sure.
If the LDF could rule Kerala consecutively this time it would be a wonder. In Kerala this time two fronts are in a position of strength. All depends upon the stand of various communities, Nair, Ezhava, Christian, Muslim unlike that in West Bengal. Kerala’s vote-bank politics in some way or other is connected with the approach of communities towards these two fronts. That alone is not the criteria, however. Infighting in the parties, arguments relating to seat share arrangements among alliance partners of both LDF and UDF, circumventing the chances of a candidate by an alliance partner or some other forces all are deciding factors in each election in Kerala. The cent percent literacy claim, cultural participation at the highest level, much acclaimed democratic traditions, natural beauty, everything nice and envious, no dispute about it. But when confronted with realities we have still a lot to feel ashamed of. The only consolation being, when compared with many North Indian States we are undoubtedly at a higher pedestal.
Kochi is going to be smart within a short period. It is already smart. That is another matter. See for instance, the pot-holed roads, heavy traffic, lack of parking spaces, mosquito menace, mounting pollution, road accidents on a daily basis etc etc. A city going to be blessed with the status of smart city – what all our rulers ought to concentrate upon is the improvement of infrastructure development but it is quite pathetic that not only Kochi, our State as a whole keeps poor standards on the matter of infrastructure development. The other point worth noticing is the need for change of mindset on certain matters. At present our rulers are satisfied with range of the moment decisions. A farsighted approach is sadly far away from them. Such an approach has led to a number of accidents across our State the recent Pullumedu incident near Sabarimala is only one among many.
Both UDF and LDF are equally culpable, in other words what UDF follows, the LDF follows later then the UDF then the LDF and so on and on and on.
Let’s wait with bated breath from now on…..

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


South Westerly winds once carried
my Phalguni days
down Mumbai
traversing long distances
from the faraway land.
My Phalguni moments
immerse me in enormous pleasure
indescribable my ecstatic moments.
The long slender stem of her
body her frock, jacket, jinka
bangles and jingling anklets
innocent looks and smiles, photographed
in my mind
and her present and future
features, expressions and costumes
all imaginary.
Beaches and parks, crowds,
sands and flowers
together with her family
still being cherished and
relished in my lonely moments.
The day destiny decided
my parting with the teenaged
was something unbearable to
too unbearable to her.
Destiny decided the other way
train carrying me blared
horns and hooted past
serpentine tracks
my heart aching terribly
to meet the pretty lass.
With South Westerly winds
ending its mission of
Phalguni moments,
I left to the city with
a burdened heart
reached the destination
and found her flat
occupied by another family.
My heart broke
inquired her whereabouts
only to come to know
of Phalguni’s family’s
departure to
her native Jamnagar…
With pain still lingering
in me
south westerly winds carries
no news of Phalguni
moments these days.


“What is in a name”. This is not Shakespeare asking. This is Nirupama Rao, India’s Foreign Secretary asking. She was speaking to media persons on being queried about the future of composite dialogue. She doesn’t believe in that terminology and therefore the answer “what is in a name’?
Sir, the memory of our top bureaucratic as well as political leaders especially ruling leaders are seeming to be short. Otherwise they are suffering from selective amnesia.
26/11 Mumbai carnage is two years old. The fretting and fuming on our part is a thing of the past. 166 died, many maimed, properties destroyed leaving a black mark on the psyche of not only Mumbayits, but the average Indian citizens like us. Hemant Karkare’s family, Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s parents. Vijay Kamte’s near and dear ones similarly many other family members lost their kith and kin in the carnage which shook the financial capital of India, so what, many similar explosions, deaths and injuries took place, many commissions of enquiry instituted but nothing came out of them.
Two years after 26/11 carnage even after our Home Minister continued to keep his eyes on Pakistan’s balls, the story is back to square one and the heat and dust already subsided. Pity. Really pity. How many times dossiers presented to them and when each dossier presented, Pakistan asked for more dossiers nothing other than that took place. Pakistan was taking India for a ride, still taking India for a ride, the culprits still scot-free and roaming freely in Pakistani soil. David Coleman Headely, the notorious double agent of both Pakistan and America on being questioned by Indian Intelligence officials spilt out the beans and we Indian citizens came to know about the nexus between him, LeT and Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence Agency, its acronym being ISI.
On the other hand, see the ‘audacity’ of Pakistan, in their words the guts in arresting a so-called American ‘diplomat’ for gunning down to Pakistani citizens ‘in self-defence’. Soon after the incident US State Dept snapped its ties with Pakistan Embassy in US. Furthermore in spite of US demanding the arrest of the man named ‘Raymond Davis’ the dispensation in Punjab has not cowed down to anybody’s pressure. US State Secretary Hilary Clinton on the sidelines of a conference in Munich, evaded talking to Pak Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
However both nations continue to declare before the world that both are on good terms ad both do not have any problems outstanding which need a solution. The gunning down of two Pak men in ‘self-defence’ so he claims and since being a white man hailing from US is entitled to have a gun to protect himself from attacks, thus the argument goes.
As long as this man named ‘Raymond Davis’ – the identity itself is of doubtful nature – who reportedly claims diplomatic immunity the US-Pak relationship is set to be in doldrums. In addition to it the widely talked about trilateral talks between US, Pakistan and Afghanistan scheduled to be held at month end seems doubtful.
The guts that Pakistan does have, India doesn’t have and now after the talks held at Thimphu, Bhutan on the sidelines of SAARC Meeting between Nirupama Rao and her Pakistan counterpart Salman Basheer which lasted for 90 minutes in a press release came out with a decision to go on with the bilateral talks. Her plea to the media in this connection was not to ‘kill’ the decision which was taken on a cordial atmosphere and she continued with the plea to ‘let it breath’. No one has taken any objection to the decision, cordial talks are needed otherwise as somebody put it, it would lead to a damaging vacuum which will be filled by enemity. Agreed. But this should not lead to the closure of 26/11 carnage and related procedures, it should also go on with equal vigour and see to it that the culprits are booked and brought to justice even after a prolonged dithering. Both countries do have many agendas and they are Kashmir, peace and security, terrorism, cross-border infiltration and LoC trade.
Nobody would question the good intentions behind this, all welcome it but we shouldn’t forget the dark events of the past at the hands of Pakistan. The most heartening thing being India unlike Pakistan never tried to intervene in the internal affairs of Pakistan and such reciprocity India also expects from Pakistan’s part at least in future. True, a stable, prosperous Pakistan, India always want and for that Pakistan should extend the generosity of being friendly with India always. Let this be a good beginning covering all matters of concern and here begins as Nirupama Rao told the busiest days in the coming months since Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is set to land in India in the middle of 2011.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Dismembering the elongated
serpent of history
is an exercise in futility.
The dismembered parts
join together
within seconds of
dismemberment like
a mythological demon character
who after eras of
penance blessed with such a
boon by God Almighty.
Events, past, present
and future
a long chain, otherwise
the elongated serpent
refuse to be disjointed
so is history
so are memories.
History after all is
the permanent storehouse
of memories…..


Thankachan David Thadathil
the bespectacled gentleman
aged 62 in long white robe
pepper-salt moustache
long flowing greyish beard
the obedient shepherd of
Jesus Christ.
Thankachan David Thadathil
with a hard bound Bible in hand
seen on TV screen
heard on Radio
before the crowds or no crowds on the
street sides preaching
the sermons of Jesus Christ.
Thankachan David Thadathil
once a factory worker
a fitter by profession
drew as emoluments
peanuts per month.
Thankachan David Thadathil
a reformed man now, the
obedient servant of
Lord Jesus
confesses thus before the
whole world.
I, Thankachan David Thadathil
in my younger days
was an atheist
a rebel, gambler
drunkard, womanizer
in short the very
harvest ground of
venomous crops.
One day
in the wee hours of
the morning
Lord Jesus appeared in
my dreams
I was struck by
the halo around
his head
he sat near me
his magical touch
his gentle, kind, loving
all changed entire approach
towards life.
In his soft, gentle tone
the Lord preached me
the purpose behind his
coming to me
the secret behind my
incarnation on this earth
exhorted me to
follow in his footpaths
strive to root out
all evils from this
Thankachan David Thadathil
since then learnt the
Bible by rote
then plunged into his
preached sermons
like a good shepherd
by the grace of Jesus
being covered with gold
currencies and cheques.
Alas, the shape of the
world getting worser and
And Thankachan David Thadathil
continues his mission,
full of hope
Praise the Lord. Amen.


While my grandma was alive,
I had seen her opening a
box rectangular in size
bluish in colour opening
once in a while
stealthily taking out a beautifully
woven multi-coloured bag
a cap and well-stitched
olive-green uniform
her eyes going wet
looking around
all I noticed
and even felt the scent
emanating out of it
hiding under a cot
inside the room
she couldn’t espy me.
Why her eyes welled-up
while keeping a close watch
on the glittering multi-coloured
beautifully woven bag, the
fascinating olive-green uniform
and the
attractive little cap.
I never inquired Grandma about
lest it should hurt her
neither did she tell me
about them
but I was sure,
a story lay behind it.
Grandma died keeping it
a secret to herself
I felt pained and I cried
with her bidding
farewell to the nether world.
Later my auntie one day
happened to open the box
took out the bag, cap
and little uniform.
Her eyes also went wet
I went near her
inquired her the story behind
it inside the box
like an antique property.
Hesitated for a while
she looked straight into
my enthusiastic eyes
her eyes glistened
caressed me and unraveled
the hidden story behind
the three fascinating
attractive properties.
Taken by shock and surprise
I stood motionless for a
she told me about my
eldest uncle
who had to flee the house
before I was born
as the police was
following him
for getting involved in a
banned revolutionary party.
A loving and caring heart
he kept always
simultaneously had a
hot-tempered nature
with flames of revolutionary
spirit in eyes.
Following Grandma’s advice
he fled to the distant
where he got involved in
a murder case
and went hiding and
that was that.
Never did he come back
but my middle uncle
getting to know about his
hiding place
stealthily visited him
but never did he agree to
come back.
That day my eldest uncle
bought a beautifully woven
multi-coloured bag, cap
and olive-green uniform
and entrusted
it with my middle uncle
which he upon return
kept inside the
rectangular box
for the little baby
Grandma died with the
thoughts of her eldest son
till the last breath
her life had already
turned melancholical
drawn into herself.
One day my little uncle
who remained a rebel
in his younger days
took out the bag, cap
and uniform and
donated them to a passer-by
while myself
standing a mute
an helpless witness, tears covering
my eyes.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Sitting in the balcony
in the night
enjoying the ‘whistle
blowing’ faraway sea
her motherly caressing
and whispers of
secrets hidden in its
the unknown waves of secrets
of the city
under the golden
sodium-vapour lamps,
men and women crisis-crossing
the serpentine roads
as also
vehicles hooting and tooting
the ones roaming around
the city
must be media men
with hidden cameras
to capture
hidden dealings
behind the curtains
not knowing the suspected
culprits are
being followed
just imagine, the moment
these wheeler-dealers
appearing on the TV
screens at the earliest
reflections flashing across
as if in a mirror
their hearts pounding
the frenzy of denials
with the invented statement
‘all doctored’
‘all doctored’
‘all doctored’
denials after denials
amusing drama really.


Homa Khaleeli has penned an authoritative article regarding the uncertain future of Afghan women in the wake of US-UK decision to pull out of Afghanistan in the face of mounting resurgence of Taliban elements. The impending withdrawal of US-UK forces from Afghanistan has been a hot topic of discussion among a section international observers especially diplomats. Their opinions vary in this regard, I happened to go through an article of a former foreign diplomat of India, who is very much in favour of America and allies extricating themselves from their clutches giving way for Taliban to rule Afghanistan. Though he is a commentator par excellence on foreign issues, especially Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and Russia in some of which he had served as an ambassador for years and in that capacity an expert on the internal as well as external affairs my mind lingered on the brutal rule by Taliban since 1990s to 2001.
Taliban ruled following Shariat rules in letter and spirit they ruled brutally and many had been done away with by slapping medieval age practices. A number of them including former rulers hanged in public, stoned to death, whiplashed and women were disallowed to work for earning a living and when caught with suspicions of adultery were dealt by stoning to death, caning or hanging. They were always confined to their homes and their only responsibility lay in surrendering to their men, deliver their children and nothing other that. Education was denied to them, illiteracy among women grew, their jobs in various departments snatched away by Taliban rulers and they were hubristic of their method of rule. Homa Khaleeli writes about a lady who was confined to her home and the lady noticing her child starving to death went out into the streets to sell the hats she had woven and upon finding her in the streets Taliban’s moral police caught hold of her and with her pair of shoes they slapped her left and right and forced her to flee to her home. Only after Taliban rule, that was after 2001 attack of US-UK-NATO forces in the aftermath of 9/11 she could breath the fresh air of freedom. Since then she could climb up the ladder formed an organization for women and now with the news of Taliban being handed over power by US allies as they are already fed up with ten years of war ie. 2001-2011 with no positive results emerging. Now a face-saving formula is being chalked out, a trilateral talk including US, Pakistan and Afghanistan is said to be in the offing. America must be missing Af-Pak envoy Richard Holbrooke badly as a result of his untimely death at a critical moment like this.
Though US and UK have not accepted defeat publicly they are very well aware that continuing in Afghanistan is equivalent to losing more money, expense and power. Hence they have come out with a laughable argument that the ways of Taliban ‘are part of a local culture’ and therefore they will have to find a way out to stem the threat. Taliban still controls certain parts of Afghanistan where they rule following Shariat laws even now, means rule of cruelty.
Homa Khaleeli being a woman has concentrated her full attention on the unhappy pathetic days staring in the face of Afghan women but she should have taken into the whole picture.
In the event of Taliban acquiring rule of Afghanistan, if their one decade of unbearable rule as a pointer or an indicator, Taliban with the support of Pakistan will rule more cruelly. Except in Vietnam and Iran, wherever US intervened for example Iraq now Afghanistan their last resort was and is to run away admitting the defeat.
Within the not too distant future US and UK are mulling leaving Afghanistan for good handing over power to Hamid Karzai who is still President and with the Taliban entering the scene Afghanistan is poised to come under a conglomeration of forces, one thing is taken for granted : Taliban forces would again climb the citadel leading to an internal rebellion with plethora of forces pulling in different directions.