Monday, 3 November, 2008

Letters to the unknown - 3

1. Today I read in a leading 'Business ' Newspaper about the growth in bank loan. Guess the amount that was lent during last qtr....Rs.2lakh crore. What was it in the first Qtr? 46,666 crore, if this news paper is to be believed. Bankers have no clue about who maketh these borrowers.Then what all this hype that 'credit crunch' is made into?
2.Just above the above news I found another tiny column in which K.V.Kamath was requesting the Govt. to bail out Mutual funds and NBFCs. Mr.Kamath let us talk it out logically. I 've no mutual fund units in my name. So when you made profit, I had no benefit from it. The majority of Indians belong to my category. I've been paying tax since I was 22. Any bail out plan will be only from this money. This tax money belongs to millions and meant for the welfare of the millions and not for a handful. How many of our farmers benefited from the mad bull run? You were mentioning about saving economy. Is not this economy built on the premature death of an agrarian economy. We killed the agrarian economy, the farmers , our self -sufficient villages, our nature friendly life style, our Eco friendly farm practices and indigenous varieties of seeds for the greed of money. Who benefited the most when the scrips were trading in a highly over valued market? Has the recent real estate boom made housing more affordable to the lower and middle classes? When profits were private why is that a public ode is written on loss. What if this 'service economy' is given a quiet burial as we did to the agrarian economy? Come let's 'till' it out:))

Saturday, 1 November, 2008

letters to the unknown-2

Yesterday I read an article by former minister Jagmohan. That was about Sardar Patel. People who know history will also know the role he played in the formation of present day India. Some Muslim leader said some where that Patel was a terrorist. The article was to counter this stand. It deals in detail Patel's contribution to minorities as the Chairman of minorities commission of the constituent assembly etc ..etc..
Explaining and trying to justify things to religious hooligans is unnecessary. Their skewed mind will never accept truth with impartiality. Why should a secular state have different (religious) laws? Especially the ones which suppress its women folk? Though it was proposed by the constituent assembly with a time limit, what is secularism and secularists are doing in this country?
Why is that only in India patriotism is identified with far right? Is it not my right to love my country which has given me every thing? I'm proud that my country is much more democratic than Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka and Gulf nations though, these nations were more or less contemporaries to Indian freedom. The Muslims, especially Muslim women here in India are much safer.
When I think of love for the country and its values , I invariably remember the lady from(?) God's own country. Today I have few questions for Arundhadi Roy. Do you think that you 're a writer? Do you think that you are a good writer? Do you think that you have any moral authority to talk about environmental issues, when there were allegations on you about construction in a reserve forest area? Why is that you only lend your face (at times voice also) in popular issues? for a short duration? and then nothing is heard about you? I know you're very unhappy with this nation. But what will make you happy? Why is that you only point out short comings and never give solutions for the perceived short comings? We didn't hear you much when another women writer, who had taken refuge in this nation was ill-treated in two major cities of India and was sent out in a mid night... Where was the human right activist in you at that time?Do you think that you would be allowed to get away with remarks against the govt. and state in any of your favourite nations( read..China, Afghan etc). Then why is that your common sense fail to understand the freedom that you enjoy here? Though this nation may not be as sacred as the right wing says, it still deserves sacrilege by a better person than you.. Don't you think so? This last one is out of curiosity... What would you write if you lived in Afghanistan:)?
To the Muslim leader who was talking about Patel, if all who used force are terrorists then who will be left to be worshiped?
Anybody having affiliations with religious and secular hooligans would have already been hurt by this letter. Still, I wanted to tell," keep your religious fanaticism and pseudo secularism off because the people of this nation have been livinig peacefully with various religions and cultures for more than two thousand years now"

Saturday, 11 October, 2008

Letters to the unknown: 1

To
The unknown,
Any where in the world.
Sub:- Bringing to your kind notice - anything that shakes the conscience of a civilised human-reg:
Dear dweller on earth,
Recently I read an interview with the author of the book, 'High Crimes', Mr.Michael Kodas. This book is about the crimes against humanity, committed during Himalayan expeditions.I've not read the book. However , from the interview I could make out that the book deals with the way in which, the most venerated Everest and other Himalayan expeditions have been made into deadly traps by selfish individuals and crooked governments. The author has done a lot of field work and research on the subject. It may make a' must read' for the people who plan to go on mountaineering expeditions in the Himalayas.
With best wishes
Dweller of the same home.
11/10/08

Monday, 6 October, 2008

Beyond tree line, there is heaven.

Guys , this may be really boring , especially if you had read the July edition of 'Outlook Traveller'. Still, I dare to narrate my own date with The Mighty Himalayas. Hold on! This is not a glossy paper edition of 'what I did this summer?'. At the most, this would be ranting of an incurable nature lover who cannot hold back from telling the world the details of a just finished DATE. This may come handy if you seek the same pleasure.
Day 1: 14.08.08
We started from Panchkula at 15.00 with plans to travel all night and reach Manali late in the night as it is 310 kms away. However we couldn't even reach Bilaspur due to landslide beyond Swarghat. So we stayed at the Forest Rest House in Swarghat. The FRH is beautifully located in a scenic place.
Day 2: 15.08.08
Morning opened to the chirping of birds . I sighted Oriental white eyes and Great tits, both in pairs as this is nesting season all over India. Some of us went to Naina Devi to seek the blessings of the Goddess for all the adventures to come. As all the information that was flowing in confirmed a days delay by the straight route, we decided to take the longer route to Manali via Naina Devi, Bangana, Una and Mandi ,a 120 kms extra. The road up to NainaDevi was very narrow and was eroded by rain at many places. At many places we could see live landslides happening. Our only concern was to pass this stretch before another land slide blocked our way. The labourers involved in the work discouraged us from going further. But we took a chance and kept moving. The visibility was very less. The very danger it posed made travel in this stretch thrilling. Finally when we were done with this stretch, at one turn on the road , the vast, glittering blue surface of the "Bhakra' Dam, caught us by surprise. This is the first place our photo sessions started. Just after the reservoir, there is a short cut to Una saving 15 kms. Due to the condition of the road we couldn't take this road. By the time we reached in Manali it was well past mid-night. We stayed at the guest house ofHimalayan Adventure Sports Academy ,a very well maintained one.
Day 3:16.08.08 Rotang Pass is 55kms from Manali. So we guessed that it wouldn't be more than two and a half hours before we crossed the pass. As we had already lost a day we wanted to reach 'Sarchu' -kind of mid- point between Leh and Manali -by night. We started around 10.30. By the time we crossed Rotang, it was 17.30. Obviously, we couldn't make it to 'Sarchu that day. We reduced our target to 'Jispa' almost 70 km less of the original target. When we reached 'Koksar'25km away from Rotang we realised that the other two vehicles that were following were not to be seen. So we waited at the PWD guest house at Koksar for 45 mts until the other two vehicles reached. This guest house is also well maintained.By the time we left Koksar it was 19.45.The reason for the delay was flat tire in one of the vehicles. I should mention here that the road leading to and just after Rotang is bad to say the least. They are laying the road (Project 'Deepak'). Hope it'll be ready for next season. Never ever cross this pass on week ends as the tourist population is high and causes traffic jams. This is exactly why we took seven hours to cross the pass. Back to the story..When we started from 'Koksar' with a target of 96km to Jispa we were really not hopeful. We were by now conditioned to giving up. I saw the PWD GH at 'Sisu' while passing through that place. Seemed to be a well maintained one. . After Sisu, we came across two foreign bikers. One was probably on a Royal Enfield. The other one was a brave heart on a Bajaj Boxer kind of bike. I say 'brave heart' because there was no road at all up to Keylong. By now we had lost all our sensitivity to the jerks and volleys. Now the concern was more about survival than about lowly worldly comforts. The cause of concern was the deep gorge along the road and the speedy river flowing in that. So , finally when we reached the GH in......... I remembered the Kural which says, 'it's sweeter to hold the sphere that was aimed at an elephant and missed the target than to hold the arrow that hit the hare correctly'. No other way to console about the days low performance.
Day 4:17.08.08 As we had learnt the lesson from our indiscipline, on day four all were present at the start line with 'defense' discipline. We had one aim....'Leh -Today'. It looked very much achievable as the regular trip guides on the net state that from Sarchu it's a day time's journey. We had provided for the distance between Keylong to Sarchu by starting early, So, we thought that we should be reaching Leh by late in the night. We had break fast at Jispa. Jispa to Sarchu the route is beautiful. One crosses the beautiful Deepak Tal and Suraj Tal . The colour of the water of Suraj Tal can compete with any rare gem of the world. At Deepak Tal we sighted a pair of Black winged Stilt. This is only a passage visitor to this part. Barlacha La, the first pass on our way, was cold and windy. We managed to reach Sarchu for lunch. One could see a lot of Mountain Pigeons and Yellow -billed Chough feeding on the garbage thrown around the Tibetan dhaba here. A truck driver that we met there told that Leh is just five hours away. Probably he didn't provide for contingencies. His advice was to cross 'Tangang La ' during day light. On our way to the next place, 'Pang' , we were stopped by the road laying team of BRO. As we were waiting, we saw a team of foreigners, well past their fifties, crossing us in the opposite direction. All in their brand new Royal Enfields, wore a sense of achievement on their face. They certainly knew how to travel. Just before 'Pang', one comes across beautiful geographical structures formed by wind and snow erosion. The surrounding is a treat to your eyes. When we reached 'Pang' , we realised once again that the day's target is unachievable as we could not cross Tangang La in day light. So we had an unscheduled stay in the tents maintained by Tibetans. They provide clean sleeping space which is compact, comfortable and cost effective. They provide food as well. These kinds of tents are available all along the way from Manali to Leh. But one itch is that there is nothing called ‘toilet’. Be prepared for that.
I was shivering all night as I had no conditioning to the winter climate. My last winter was two years back. My co-passengers, who were from Mussorie had no problem adjusting to the altitude , though it was much higher than that of Leh. A dose of avomin did the trick and I had a great sleep that night.
Day:5 8.08.08
We started early in the morning . Immediately after crossing Pang , the Moreh Plain unfolds itself. Spread over miles , this plain land is surrounded by mountains on all side. From here one has to take diversion to Tso-Kar and Tso Moriri , the wild life havens . Crossing this plains was a great experience. The various shades of mountains, the grazing herds on very unlikely cliffs, the gorges carved out of thousands of years of river activity and its strange resemblance to many of the enthralling landscapes of Colarado and Mexico take you away to another world. The dust trail that a distant vehicle spews into the space makes you feel that you are into some kind of cross country race. Except for the distant snow covered peaks, nature is naked here. Neither cloud nor canopying trees try to cover up nature. The gigantic and barren nature drops panoramic canvass all around you where the scene keeps changing with heavy and serene silence. Your heart drops to the level of nature's silence leaving behind the vociferous mind. You take a heart full. Some members of the team who took another route to cross the plains sighted a group of Himalayan Griffon and a Lammergeier.Both the species are residents of the Himalayas. We sighted a Lammergeier just before it flew off. Our driver , from Gharwal Himalayas was explaining its habit of throwing bones from a height to break open the bone to feed on bone marrow. On verification this was found to be correct. Around eleven o'clock we reached Tangang La, the second highest motorable road in the world. Half the group performed trek to a nearby snow covered peak. The weather was chill and was dangerously windy.Some developed headache and some others breathing trouble. Our driver was down with chills. One of the team members robed himself in as driver. After entering Indus valley river Indus accompanies us in our travel to Leh.Finally we managed to reach Leh. Day.6 19.08.08 The day was spent in sight seeing. We visited Thiksey and Hemis monastries and Shey Palace. We sighted group of Chukar, near the fields on our way to Hemis. This bird is a resident of western Himalayas. Day.7 20.08.08. We strated from Leh to Diskit. On this road,50 km ahead comes Kardung La, the highest motorable road in the world. This is a steep climb as we climb nearly 7000ft in two hours. This may cause problem to some. We stopped for a while at South Pullu before proceeding to Kardungla. At kardung La, there is a board kept by the army instructing not to stay too long there. However the group trekked to the near-by peak and at half way I could see a father coming down from the peak with his (approx )four year old son guiding his way down. 'You won't fall down son. Papa is there. Common, you can do it'... Now, that's the spirit.
After South Pullu, the road slowly vanishes and at Kardungla and up to North Pullu ,it is only pot holes for you to navigate. The toilets here are made of sand pits. I could see a lot of sparrows nesting in the staked straw roofs of the houses here. The carry on their business like a busy house maker in human homes. When we reached the GH in Diskit, we came to know that there is restriction on electricity supply here. It goes off at 2300hrs. Evening we visited the sand dunes in Hunder. The Double Humped Bactrian Camel is the star attraction. However the sand dunes are beauty in heaps. The touch of the breeze plays magic on the body of the dunes and evokes various emotions at one time. The sense of falling apart and morphing entangle the onlooker. We sighted a White wagtail, which is a summer visitor to this part of the country. It was hopping around the stream that was flowing nearby. On our way back, we sighted a group of Wooly Hare and a lonely one. They are so effectively camouflaged that it takes little effort to see them at a distance. We saw some Chukars here too. The night sky was very clear and the milky way was visble clearly to naked eyes. Star gazers need to carry sky map of the month as the latitudinal change confuses a little bit. Day:8 21.08.08 We started on a two wheeler to Panamik, the place of hot springs. The effort was worth it. This road cut a vast and sandy plain in to two in a straightline and crosses Shok river to proceed further to Siachen. We sighted Common Hoope, a Summer visiter to this place. We also sighted Redfinches, black winged Red strarts, White lapwings and a lot of Sparrows. The seabuck Bushes on both the sides of the road were full of berries and were colourful. The climb up to the spring gives a good view of the Nubra valley below. A distant waterfall was magnificent.. Day:9 22.08.08 We went for river rafting in the Indus upto Nimmu.It was a 20 km stretch. That was more a pleasure ride as the rapids were of grade 2 level only. That had it's own advantage. We enjoyed the flowing water , towering mountains on the sides and the different shades it wore. The place is untouched by humans except for the unmindfully thrown water bottles that float at few places were the water is still. The sound of water transports you into a trance and the soul starts searching the age old secret of nature. Millions of question asked by millions of minds remain unanswered. The speed of mind feels its ineptness to even penetrate the outer most aspect of nature. The nature with all its sincerity carries on with formation and destruction. But why? It's a humbling experience to be reminded that the 'I ' is an irrelevant entity in the scheme of things. Just before the end point river Zanskar joins river Indus. There is a marked difference in the water temperature of Zanskar. It's much colder than Indus. 'No one can remain in this water for more than few seconds.' was the first hand experience of one of the brave hearts that dared to venture into Zanskar. I saw him going pale while in water and was seeking help to take him immediately out of water. The numbness in joints prevents one from co-operating with the rescuer. We had dinner in Hotel Dream Land and the food was good and authentic kashmiri. The tiredness of pedalling acted as a sedative in the night.
Day 10 23.08.08 We started to Pangong Tso which is 150 km from Leh. Around nine we reached Chang La the third highest motorable pass in the world. Nearer to this is a snow covered peak. The group as usual started climbing the peak. After coming down we went to the Pass where army is serving free chai to every one. It tastes heavenly in that weather. Jai Jawan. The route to the lake is beautiful. While crossing a grazing land we saw a herd of horse probably fer. They were probably the ferrel ones. They were majestic and exuberant. Their various activities were a treat to the onlooker. I sighted White tailed red start and wallcreeper on the way. We also saw a few Marmots and a Long tailed Marmot. The very first sight of the lake from a distance is breathtaking. This is Pangong Tso for you in various hues and shades. Peace has another dimension in this place . It engulfs the soul and takes it to another level. Here sensory organs keep feeding the mind with the sight of the placid water, the touch of the cold wind, sound of the splattering water, and the earthly aroma of the place and now the mind is at trouble decoding all of them at a time. The heart just relishes. On return every one was packing up things to face the greatest of all days as we had planned to leave via Srinagar.
Day:11 24.08.08. The plan was to reach Kargil for Lunch. The journey was peaceful and made more interesting by our driver. He kept on giving anecdotes on Kashmiri culture and Kargil war. Incidently he drove for Barkha Dutt during kargil war days. The mention of her name evoked mixed response and clearly the target was her high-handed approach to the news items that she deals and the artificial sympathy that she wears. Is media working for self-emancipation? The public surely need to dissect the media these days. The hoardings on the road warn you about the enemy surveillance. This very road was occupied by the Pakistanis in 1999. The feeling of standing on an edge is unavoidable. Crossing Zozilla Pass and the disputed Amarnath valley we reached Sonmarg only to be stopped by the policemen for security reasons. Understanding life in Kashmir valley requires genuine and impartial approach. As the media, the only link between the valley and rest of the world, has it's own agenda, it is going to be really tough to reach a correct understanding of the problem. Day12,25.08.08 As instructed by the policemen we started from Sonmarg at 04.30 with the target to reach Srinagar before the curfew was imposed. By the time we reached Srinagar border the forces were already on the streets in tens and hundreds.We were stopped at not less than a dozen places by the forces. The rift between the forces is very much evident. We could see the famous Hazratbal Mosque on the other side of the Dal lake. The house boats were away from work. The town wore a deserted look with no life on road. Even the doors and windows were closed in the houses. Could have been a good shooting spot for a horror movie. What else to say about the haunted place that Srinagar was on that day? Life has been traumatised and understanding that would be very difficult for people who are used to peaceful life style.For the people here, things that we take for granted like an evening stroll , a family outing etc are distant dreams at the time of turbulance. They keep paying for peace with stints of violence. I remember my childhood when I spent most of the time out side the home and came home only for dinner and rest. For the children here life is in the reverse.How many more generations are to be sacrificed in the name of religion? Why can't there be peace like Leh? When the pawns will realise that there're being played upon? With this thought our flight took off from Srinagar. Later on that day Yasin Malik was arrested on the charges of sedition for raising Pakistani flag in public. 26.08.08 While hurrying to the train I saw a 'bank myna' drinking water from the culvert near the railway line. This reminded me of the Common Starling that I saw on a winter morning among a group of mynas on one of the grass patches of 'Rajpath'. This is a winter visitor coming to India crossing national boundaries. Nature is always in hormony. Even the birds I saw in Dal lake were going about their life without realising the curfew order. Man is the only animal that cannot live in harmony with nature. This is the curse for humanity.

Friday, 26 September, 2008

In the name of God -Khuda Ke Liye

Till very recently, I was residing and working in the old city part of modern Hyderabad. Burqua clad women, shanties put on the road, the pleasant call to the devoted ones during 'namas' time are part of living experience here. The meat shops exhibit their commodities by hanging them up side down. A minor boy mincing the meat and a pardanashin lady waiting for the minced meat at a distance from the stall is a common site. In the narrow 'gallis' of the old city one will find shops selling anything from calligraphy products to pearls.In these numerous shops surrounding Charminar, one will invariably find a minor boy working for wages in each shop. Thus goes the standard of living despite the hundreds and thousands of secularists working day in and day out for minority welfare.
I had a case where one of the employee's widow came for claiming pension benefits. The man died was 63 years old, got married for the second time just a year back and died before informing the department formally. The age of the widow is 23. The eldest daughter of the deceased is 26 years old. This lady had nothing , and was married to the said man on the hopes of getting life long pension. I was pained to send her back to obtain legal heir certificate as she had 9 other contenders who are sons and daughters of the dead man.
It was around this time that Taslima Nasrin was attacked in Hyderabad. Our great saviours of liberty(read CPI[AtoZ]) had as usual gone in to hibernation. I first read Taslima in 1999. She didn't impress me through her writing. But the plot and characters had free spirit, I thought. 'Lajja' and 'French Lover' are the imaginary versions of 'My forbidden face'. Though she is not a great writer , she is not a criminal either to be deported at the middle of the night. Shame on all of us who speak of freedom of thought and speech. The point to note here is , her invitees included men from the same community as the men who attacked her. But they were made helpless .These two incidents made me to think about the way religions treat women, particularly Islam.
I had another visitor recently, who had come for a problem related to a magazine. From the very first word, he was trying to convince that his magazine does not support terrorism in the name of Islam. I was convinced then, that every religion today is hijacked by a minority number of people within the religion, who pose that they are the only authority to decide the course the religion should take. The struggle is more for Islam as the issue has gained irreversible international connotation.In this context , a movie which I saw recently made me remember all the above said incidents. I share here my experience with the movie and I strongly recommend the movie.
This is a Pakistani movie titled 'Kudha ke liye' directed by Shoaib Mansoor.The story is about a liberal Pakistani upper middle class family.The family has a liking for music and the two sons of the family are good singers. The elder one,Mansoor, goes to America to learn music. The younger one, Sarmad gets preached by Maulana Tahiri and slowly becomes a radical. The Moulana says that singing is 'haram'and there is no remedy in Koran for that sin. Sarmad also marries his cousin Mariam deceitfully. Mariam is the daughter of Sarmad's uncle, a Pakistani Muslim and her mother is an European christian. Her marriage is a kind of 'honour' marriage. Mariam is held against her will in Waziristan , one of the most backward areas in the world. Meanwhile , 9/11 comes to US and racial profiling starts in the US in a big way. Mansoor becomes a victim of this profiling.This is the story of Mariam and Mansoor happening in two different continents ,each representing the radical and liberal points of view of Islam at the same time. The movie also underlines the 'famous' American ignorance about the rest of the world with sarcasm.
First thing that gets your attention is the music of the movie. Its a fine blend of modern and classical forms of music. Simple but soul stirring. Next is the screenplay.The scenes are so intricately woven that the great irony it tries to depict unfolds without any struggle. The selection of artists is very good and every one has done his or her part convincingly. Rasheed Naz who plays the radical Maulana Tahiri and Shaan who plays Mansoor have done a good job.This is a movie which beautifully narrates the cross road at which Islam is with world civilisation and its struggle from within and without. The voice of a devout but liberal Muslim struggles to be heard by the rest of the world through the frenzy calling of 'Takbir' 'Allaho Akbar'. This is symbolically told in the court scene.The best acting comes from Naseeruddin Shah who plays the role of Maulana Wali. His dialogue delivery with calculated pause is the ultimate entertainment. He says, 'Deen me daadhi hai, daadhi me deen nahi'( beard is in religion and religion is not in beard).His dialogue delivery in chaste Urdhu is a treat. Having back ground knowledge will be an added advantage to understand and enjoy subtle messages. The last scene is a fine poetry where the entire intention of the film is summarisedartistically.
This movie got rave reviews and said to have changed the course of Pakistani cinema. But it has also managed a fatwa issued against it in Pakistan. The director reportedly went on a holiday with family fearing harm to him and his family. Lot of bitterness is spilt all over the Internet about this movie.So its up to the beholder to see .There is much more to the movie than what I've told.There is much more to the questions that the movie raises than the movie itself.
Unfortunately, the movie, the first Pakistani movie to be released in India, despite good reviews, was not released in good theatres. This movie is the voice of a common man/woman who is caught in the conundrum of interpretation of religion and its subsequent cross firing. Its the common man whose family is split, whose rights are curtailed , whose privacy is infringed. Finally he is made to give his life for something which he doesn't really agree upon. Where will it take him ? To 'A Wednesday'?

Tuesday, 23 September, 2008

Rajmohan's tribute

I was compelled to submit a book review during my probationary days. I was bent upon impressing my Course Director. The frail old man was an epitome of knowledge. His Alzheimer's disease did not deter his will to guide us all. This student of Dr.Manmohan Singh was a good guide.However on reading the book I was too impressed by the personality I was reading about.
With due irreverance to the controversies that surround the towering personalities of yesteryears, I would like to go ahead and glorify them.Even to say a word against them , we need certain standard and moral authority.These are the ,who gave their time, money and repute. Looking back and attributing reasons is easier. So go ahead if you agreed with me on this point.
The book I'm talking about is 'Rajaji-A Life' , by Rajmohan Gandhi. Not withstanding the title , it is essentially a narration of history itself from 1890's to early 1970's with the focal point remaining on Rajaji's life.The entire political trend as captured in the book can be divided into two parts with August 15, 1947 playing the role of master divide. Pre-independent India witnessed the petitioners becoming statesmen under the parental hegemony of Gandhiji. Rajaji belongs to this school. Post -independence, this statesmanship degraded into partisan politics.Rajaji foresaw this in 1922 and said,'Elections and their corruption, injustice ,and the power and tyranny of wealth and inefficiency of administration will make a hell of life as soon as freedom is given to us.Men will look regretfully back to the old regime of comparative justice, and efficient , peaceful, more or less honest administration'. I don't have to insist the amount of truth in this statement.
His relation with Gandhiji was unique. Gandhiji found his "conscience keeper" in Rajaji and in 1922 declared 'Rajaji is my only successor'. The latter claimed that he 'loved Gandhiji more than any man on earth can do to another'.Yet their undaunted twenty eight year old personal relationship saw them in opposite sides. In 1937, Rajaji, as the Premier of Madras Presidency, ordered the arrests of few Satyagrahis. When the national leaders opposed it , he would write to his political Master that it was 'to prevent the illegitimate claims and misuse of Satyagraha'. For him logic always prevailed over loyalty.
The irony of Indian independence is that it was fought bloodlessly but realised amidst streams of blood.One reason may be that ,Rajaji, the political seer, had no takers when he proposed Congress-League pact. Indeed he was shunted to political peripheries. When the realisation finally occurred on those who opposed him , the damage had already been done.His opposition to 1942 movement and Pakistan proposal were against the popular tide and made him politically unpopular.Had he compromised his conscience and remained in the main stream, he would have gained great political miles.At one point of time he had no equivalents in politics.
Rajaji was a political prophet.He along with Mountbatten, foresaw the break up of Pakistan in 25 years time. It happened exactly in the 25th year.Mountbatten made this prediction public when it actually happened. He was a great administrator too. AS the Chairman of Salem municipality , he proposed a 'Master Plan 'for the town , way back in 1917.As the Premier of Madras Presidency, he introduced the concept of sales tax, for the first time in Asia, to make good the falling government revenue due to prohibition.This was widely acclaimed by the economist of that time.He was prophetic when he said,'license , quota and permit raj will lead to corruption and stagnation'. The nation had to wait for 30 year to understand the truth.
Those were the days when state assemblies were places where Ladies and Gentlemen used to gather and discuss issues of national importance with utmost etiquette and ethics. When the Speaker , the rest would stop taking. If the prominent leaders left the house, they would seek the permission of the Chair. Do not blame me, if your mind involuntarily compared this with the scene of Mr. Somnath Chatterji holding his forehead and shouting at an 'Honourable' member for gesticulating towards the Chair.
Back to the topic, Rajaji's eloquence ,sharp oratory skills and quick wits added life to the legislative debates. The author quotes one such incident. 'It's evident from C.R.s reaction to a demand to know what C.R. had written to Nehru about the formation of a new Andhra state.
C.R.: It is a confidential letter
Viswanatham: Under what provision of law it is treated as confidential?
C.R.: These are letters from one gentleman to another and gentle men's correspondence is always private.'
The respect he claimed along with his negotiation skills gave him the additional role of a crisis manager. Be it bringing Gandhiji's fast to an end by negotiating between him and Ambedkar or holding congress together by acting as a buffer between Nehru and Patel, he came out as a successful negotiator.
His deep involvement in Indian politics never prevented him from having a vision for the world. He was the spokesperson of the delegation which met US President Kennedy on the issue of nuclear disarmament. As Kennedy would later tell 'it had a civilising quality about it'. In acceptance of his greatness White House issued an official communique, a gesture normally restricted to a visit by a Head of the state.
While trying to bring out the positive aspects of this great mans life, the author does not hesitate 5o remind us about his shortcomings. One such occasion is the enactment of Preventive Detention Act 1951 which C.R. supported. As we tend to forget, the author reminds us about how he opposed Rowlett Act and any arrest without trial saying, 'even if the government is democratic and purely Indian". The author has given great attention to minute details. One such instant is his mentioning about the Gandhian tradition of not involving in satyagraha during Christmas. After reading this one feels that 'satyagraha weapon' was more opponent friendly than it was to the user.
This nation is known not only for sacredness but also for sacrileges. In this era of petty politics, the society finds it convenient to forget the values for which these men lived. They had conflicting political stands and ideological differences. Still the humanness was ever vibrant. They had high ideologies to live with. May be this preoccupation saved them from demeaning acts. Non existence of any such ideology in the contemporary politics is well exhibited by the political foul plays staged day in and day out in national and state politics.
With its usual vigor to forget the past, this nation has once again rejected Rajaji his due. His 125th birth anniversary on 10.12.03, which by any conscious society would have been used as an occasion to remind its youth about the value of freedom, went unnoticed. But the final victory is again C. Rajagopalchari's, for this political clairvoyant had already predicted, 'in 25 years time people will be asking, Who was Rajagopalachari?'

தலைப்பிட மறந்தது

துளித்துளியாய் வளர்ந்த தேனடை வசந்தத்தை ஆயிரம் கூட்டு கண்கள் கொண்ட பார்வையின் தேடல் தரிசனம் அது சுவைக்க மட்டுமே உனக்கு தரப்பட்டது செவ்வி அறிய தலைப்பட்டிருக்கலாம் . ஏனோ உனக்கது வசப்படுவதில்லை வெயில் வளர்த்த பாலையின் வெட்ட வெளியில் கொட்டிப்பார்த்தாய் உனக்கது சோதனை முயற்சி தகிப்பதோ என் அந்தரங்கம் .

Saturday, 20 September, 2008

தடம் இல்லா வழி

ஓடிக்கொண்டிருக்கும் கோதாவரி அதன் மீது இருள் அடர்ந்து கிடக்கும் இரவு வண்டல் இறைக்க வழியில்லாமல் கரைகளுக்குள் அடைபட்டுப்போன கைதி நதி ஆற்றுக்குள் சிறைபட்டுப்போன ஓடங்கள் இக்கரைக்கும் அக்கரைக்குமாக வாழ்வை, குதூகலத்தை , புலம்பல்களை என கரைசேர்ப்பதிலேயே அமிழ்ந்து போகும் அவற்றின் வாழ்க்கை கணந்தோறும் புதுப்பித்துக்கொள்ளும் ஒரு நதி கரை சேர்க்கும் ஒரு ஓடம் தடம் இல்லா வழி என்றாலும் ஆதிமனித ஒர்மயிலிருந்து இன்றுவரை மாறாத தொடர் பயணங்கள் .

Thursday, 11 September, 2008

சுய நோவு

எங்கோ நுணுக்கமான மூலையில் முளை விட்டு , ராப்பகல், அந்தி, இருள் எல்லாவற்றிலும் கூடவேவந்து, உத்தேசமாய் ஒரு நோவாக உருவெடுத்து , தன்னிலை இழந்து உணர்வெல்லாம் ஓரிடம் பாய சஞ்சலமும், நம்பிக்கையும் ஒரே சமயத்தில் வதைத்தாலும் மனம் மீண்டும் மீண்டும் அதையே மோகிக்கும். என்றாலும் அத்தனை அவஸ்தையையும் ஒரு கணத்தில் பேரின்பம் ஆக்கிக் காட்டும் அந்த மூன்றெழுத்து. வெற்றி !!!

Tuesday, 9 September, 2008

உருமாற்றம்

பேசப் பொருள் இல்லாத

இடைவெளியில் நீ என்னை விட்டுச் சென்றாய் .

எப்போதும் அலையும் என் மனதில்

பாடு பொருளுக்குக் குறைவில்லை .

உனக்காக கோர்த்த வார்த்தைகள்

உன் ஒரு வார்த்தை வேண்டி காத்திருந்தன,

என்னுள்ளே அமிழ்ந்தும்

என்னைப் புறந்தள்ள நினைத்தும் .

நம் இடைவெளிகள் வடிவமைத்தன

என் வார்த்தைகளை .

அவற்றில் இப்போது நீ இல்லை.

உனக்கான காத்திருப்பும் இல்லை.

உருமாறிவிட்ட உன் வெளியை

உனக்கென தந்தபடி

வேறுதிசை நோக்கி எனது பிரவாகம்.

அதில் மிதந்து செல்லும்

சொல்லாமல் விட்ட சில கோடி வார்த்தைகள்

அவை அழிவதற்காய் தோன்றியவை.

Sunday, 7 September, 2008

நெடுங்கதை

அழுத பிள்ளையை எடுக்காத மாமியார் , சொத்து தகராறில் கணவனை சிலாந்தி மரத்துக்கு உரம் வைப்பேன் என்ற கொழுந்தன் சொந்த நகையில் சீர்செய்து அனுப்பியும் கணவன் சாவுக்கு வராத நாத்தனார் வளர்த்த நன்றி மறந்து மகனுக்குப் பெண் தராத உடன்பிறந்தான் வடித்த சோற்றில் பங்கு தராத மருமகள் அதைக் கண்டுகொள்ளாத மகன் எத்தனை முறை சொன்னாலும் முடியாத நெடுங்கதை. காலம் காலமாய் தலைமுறைகள் தோறும் மனதுக்குள் அறுத்துக் கொண்டிருக்கும் பெருங்காயம் . இம்முறை ஆச்சியால் எனக்கு சொல்லப்பட்டது . ஒரு பாணனின் கரிசனத்தோடு காற்று அதை எடுத்துச் செல்கிறது அடுத்த தலைமுறையின் நினைவுகளில் கலந்துவிட ...

பதிவுகள்

ஒற்றை செருப்பானாலும் எறிந்துவிட முடியவில்லை . அதில் இருப்பவை என் பதிவுகள்.

The Deal

Yesterday, the man who's criticised as a weak PM had the final laugh. He had to sell it to every one, starting from his party high command to the snobby left. The soft spoken and suave PM was compelled to learn politics. And now, true to his academic back ground, he has graduated in it with excellent grades.So first of all, good show Mr.PM. Now coming to the deal itself, as Mr.Brijesh Misra said, this ends India's isolation in Nuclear Commerce. France and Russia are more than willing to take the first mover advantage. If some one really wondered why US had to go that extra mile in persuading nations to the waiver, there is no single answer. The most obvious being the market. It opens a $100 billion industry. Not a small one baby... Looking ahead I see a lot of challenges.Building reactors, buying technology ....all this is going to require a lot of money. How India is going to manage this finance will actually decide it's economic independence. This may take us to a point of no return where the local industrial growth gets deeply entangled with the foreign policy. India should develop alternate energy sources to reduce her dependence on one source. There is no provision for storing the fuel material.It's product in and product out. In case of dispute even the technology is returnable.As India cannot give away its testing option, it should formulate a plan that could be used in contingency ,which may arise at any time. Domestic development of technology should be given a fillip to mitigate the threats of withdrawal. This is a deal which has to be handled properly to reduce chances of making it a self -made trap.

Wednesday, 3 September, 2008

Gundya -Yedukumari Trek

My experience on day -2 of the trek from Gunya to Yedukumari Day 2 : The day started with my alarm wriggling my brain out early at five `o clock in the morning. You know, it's such a pain to come out of quilt at this part of the day especially when it's freezing cold out side. Finally I managed to be up and steady by 5.30. After a quick BF of bread and omelette we started the journey. We were accompanied by a forest guard and a local villager who were our guides. As we passed the river that we were enjoying the previous day inthe moonlight, a chill went down the spine. The river was full and we couldn't locate the rock that we were sitting on.We thanked in heart, the man, who, at the peak of his voice warned us about the water released from the upper dam.The guide told us to hurry as they'll release water in Kumaradhara river also every morning .This is the river that we have to cross to reach the mountain. Once it's flooded, all our plans will be in a major soup. Crossing this river was thrilling and -Thank God 1. Once on the other side of the river the first thing that got our attention was the stench of the elephant excreta. Meaning elephants had been there the previous night and may be still around if you're running a 7 and a 1/2. The bamboo vegetation in the surrounding was yet another testimony. This stretch of forest has all kinds of animals except the lion. Geographically this is an extension of Nagarhole wild life sanctuary. The forest guard was meant for locating these animals at a distance and to signal to us. No need totell that his hushing gesture was a major tamarind solution. So you can take this as Thank God2. Once on top, all the comrades felt the hunger calling. Meanwhile one of us was busy verifying the time at which the goods train left SubramanyaRd. As the Train had left the station 1hr15 mnts back and thedistance in between is just 25-30kms, we decided to start the track walk. The immediate one was a ½ Km tunnel. Then the railway ears amongst us told that they heard the sound of an approaching train.That fool of a driver was not blowing horn until he entered the tunnel on the other side. So we escaped a sorry crashing death by½ km. Thank God 3. This was just a harbinger of what was awaiting us further. So we stopped thanking god (4) and left our destiny to the almighty.I'm not going to tell about the bridges that we crossed for I think words will be insufficient to explain even the slightest of the feeling of that time. I'll just say that what you see in the photos is the different angles of the, first and the safest bridge that we crossed. After that everybody was busy crossing the bridges and tunnels that no photos were taken:)). I could hear some one telling "tunnel vitta bridge, bridge vitta tunnel-nu suthi suthiadikkiraangada…"
One moral of the trip was that every one was living at the present.There was no time to think about the hour next. What management books cannot do in years, this trek did in no time.Purposely I made it long. Great that you made it, to the last.

Wednesday, 30 July, 2008

உறவுகள் உதிர்ந்த போழ்து

உன் உறவுதிர்ந்த காலம் அது . நன்றாய் நினைவிருக்கிறது உதிரும் உறவு கிழித்த வலி அறியமாட்டா உன் விலகிச்சென்ற வேர்கள் . தனித்தும், தொலைந்தும் தொலைவிலும் நின்ற நான். இழப்பென்பது தனிமை. அடைக்குள்ளே உடைந்துபோன பறவையின் ஓலம் மழையின்றி மண்ணான பயிரின் ஓலம் இதில் எத்தனை நீ அறிவாய்? அதனால் சொல்கிறேன் இழப்பு தனிமை. இழக்காதவரை தனிமை தெரிவதில்லை.

Wednesday, 16 July, 2008

மலிவுப்பதிப்பு

கட்டாயக் கல்யாணம் போல் இது ஒரு கட்டாய நிழற்படம். முதலும் கடைசியுமாய் தனந்தனியே படமெடுக்க நிறுத்தப்பட்டார் ஓய்வுதியதுக்கு பதினாறாம் நாள் ஒப்பாரிக்கு என அவர் மனதுக்குள் பல கணக்குகள் ஓடியிருக்கும் நான் எப்போதும் பிரிக்க நினைத்து சண்டையிடும் நஸ்யம் பிடித்த இரு விரல்கள் வேஷ்டி முந்தியில் சொரசொரக்கும் வாழைத்தடை அதற்குள்தான் அதன் மொத்த இருப்பு மடித்த விரல்களுக்குள் இருக்கும் இடைவிடாத உஷ்ணம் முக்காலே மூணு வீசம் மூடிவிட்ட மூசுக்குழாயில் தட்டி மோதி வந்து விழும் சுவாசம் தொட்டால் ஓட்டும் நெல் பூச்சி வண்ணம் போல் மிக நெருக்கத்தில் கிட்டும் நச்யத்தின் சுகந்தம் இங்கே எப்போது சவரம் செய்வாய்? என இழுத்துக் கேட்ட மார்போடிய வெண்மயிர் கற்றையின் ஸ்பரிசம் எதுவும் இல்லாத இது தாத்தாவின் இருப்பின் ஆக உணர்ச்சியற்ற மலிவுப்பதிப்பு சட்டமிடப்பட்ட வாழ்வின் எச்சம்.

Friday, 4 April, 2008

Tuesdays with Morrie

I recently read this book called, 'Tuesdays with Morrie'. If you were a person, who loves the primary school you attended once, remembers how you loved a particular teacher's class, feels that you owe your special interest about anything in life to your teacher and above all thinks that what you are now is because of your teacher... then you have got to read this one. I leave reading the book to you because I would like you to feel it with every special moments you had with your teacher. The book surely kindled a lot of thought process in me, basically about two things. One is about my school and the other is about our education system. In a small town like mine, my school is the best. A convent run by nuns, its British structures and colonial window panes remain as vivid as ever in my mind. A good school and a good teacher are like investing in real estate - to express it in the materialistic manner in which everything about life has become to be valued nowadays - one realises its growing value as one grows.I remember the teacher who took me along with her son to the child specialist even as my parents were trying out all doctors in the town for the isnophilia that I was suffering from very severely . It worked for me. When I grew up , I asked the teacher why she took all the pains of taking me to the doctor.She said, "Your suffering was no different from my son's and I had an instinct that you were not shown to the correct doctor".Now tell me, in the modern day education factories , is there any thing called 'teacher - student' relation? I happened to tell one of my colleagues that all my favourite teachers from Primary to SSC had come to my marriage. Her immediate reaction was, " What 's wrong with you?". Indeed, a reaction of a student from a commercial education factory.I only had to retaliate with," Some thing was seriously wrong with your teachers", for I'm a student from a 'school'. A humane teacher makes human beings.Today, when I happen to interrupt people in conversation, inside me my teacher's voice says, 'bad manners' and I say 'excuse me' (for the bad manners of interrupting you, but I had to do this). Do our education system today allow for such value based dialogues between the teacher and the students? Are our teachers teach by practicing? I love all subjects because the teachers who taught me were all lovable. Will the generations to come, love the subjects based on the teachers or based on money making capacity of the subject? This is a very personalised view of our education system of the day, born out of the concern,whether my children would enjoy their school as much as I did? It may differ from person to person. But , anyone who had a lovable teacher would generally agree with me.

Monday, 31 March, 2008

அனந்தம்

வெகுகாலைப்பொழுது வரப்போகும் வெளிச்சத்துக்கு இரவெல்லாம் 'வந்துவிடும்' 'வந்துவிடும்' என ஒலிக்கும் ராப்பூச்சி ஒவ்வொரு சுழற்சியிலும் சூரியனை புரட்டி விட்ட திருப்தியில் புரண்டு ஓடும் பூமி. மல்லிக்கும் தாமரைக்கும் தர்க்க வாதம் இடைப்பட்ட நேரம் உனக்கா? எனக்கா? விடியலையும் ,எழுச்சியையும் மட்டுமே காணும் புரட்சிகள். மறைவதும் ,விழுவதும் அதே ஆதவன்தான். எட்டாப் பொருளுக்கு எத்தனையோ உடமைக்காரர்கள் . இதெல்லாம் சூரியனுக்குத் தெரியுமா தெரிந்தாலும் அபத்தம். வாழ்வும் அப்படியே ! வருவதும் இல்லை !! போவதும் இல்லை !!!