08 April, 2012

Miscellanea – Jan– Apr 2012

[latest first]

6 April, 2012

Muslim Students Dropout

A DNA Report carries excerpts from a survey co-conducted by Ms Ritu Menon that shows a very heavy dropout rate for Muslim youth from high schools in UP and Gujarat. I thought this would be so for other communities, too, since the emerging economic opportunities now offer a livelihood without completing high schooling. What do you think could be the reasons instead?



I am bemused at the hyperactive rejoinders issued by UPA on the carefully worded and the remarkably investigative report by Shekhar Gupta, Ritu Sarin and Pranab Dhal in the Indian Express today on the questionable movement of two key army units towards Delhi at precisely the time Army Chief, Gen Singh's frustration was at its peak. The report carefully avoided the "C"word [coup, in case this is still a mystery! Living so close to Pakistan we need no glossary in this context].

Why should the Army Chief be treated like His Holiness? He is a professional and a patriot and a government servant no more [and no less] than the Director General of Police, the traffic constable and the peon in the revenue department next block, assuming that they are equally clean. Indeed, the Chief has behaved in a very irresponsible manner. In Indira regime he would have been sacked for indiscipline.

Notice that while the PM, the Defense Minister and the UPA have all denied any wrong doing on the part of the army, the Chief himself, or the Army per se, are yet to deny the motives, to the best of my knowledge.

Granted that Coup appears a very unlikely move by Indian army, but the General's comments and behaviour, coupled with a perceptibly weak Centre, and this unusual movement of soldiers, breaking the notification protocols, does raise questions, and must be asked. After all isn't eternal vigil the price of the freedom? Who bugged the Minister's office, who moved mobile phone detection devices, and earlier, why did the Army give statements against civilian government of Kashmir, appear to be endorsing Anna campaign... are additional questions from us.


April 4 2012

Watching NDTV, CNN-IBN, HEADLINES TODAY, and TIMES NOW for a year, I could count no more than, may be two hundred odd people, that keep appearing on all the channels for most of the discussions. And about 10% of them over 50% of the times. Who says India is burgeoning with people?


March 30

My security officer is a strange fellow, ji. Some years ago when we were considering his promotion we faced a snag, na: he was wanting in age. This was resolved with him advancing his date of birth. Everything was fine, no? But last month when he was due to retire, he sought to change it back to his original date. That was not fair, no? So we did not permit that. The chap has since been leaking out our company’s secrets to competitors. Can you believe it?

Not only this, he has now written to our Board of Directors alleging many lapses in our security and fire fighting capabilities. Wonder why he did not worry about these all these years, no!

My GM almost wanted to fire him, but I prevented him. After all it is a matter of our image, na, and this old man has served the company so long anyway. But you know what, he is now bypassing me completely, and you know, he says all kinds of funny things to our GM. Not that the latter believes a word of his. But this is no good, na?

My name is Antony, no, not the Gonsalves variety ji, but the Arackaparambil Kurien variety, you see. You have surely heard of my GM, no? Doctor Manmohan Singh JI. Yes, yes, you guessed our Security officer’s name. Right. Yes, the same V K Singh, Ji, the General kind of person. What to do, no?


March 27

Anna Hazare sets 2014 as deadline for the Lokpal

Did I hear the anchor correctly? Was it really 2014? If so, wasn't it this same Anna who was setting a 90-day deadline and wouldn't extent it even for one month, or wait for the next session of the Parliament?
Has wisdom prevailed, or skepticism set in? Or is he under the arguably valid assumption that elections are the only time to coerce political parties?


27 MAR 2012

Rs 7 crore, and nine years later Nanavati Commission to submit its final report this month end.

What is it likely to contain? It has not even summoned Mr Modi for cross-examination. The Judges had chosen to go to his residence to submit their Interim Report. Forebodings are not good.
For the record: Out of sheer skepticism, [pessimism?], I did not file any affidavit nor depose before this Commission. None will be happier, though, if the final report sides with the truth and delivers justice.


March 25


Mr Modi a Curse or a Blessing?

* Is Gujarat truly developing?
* Is Mr Narendra Modi a blessing for Gujarat, or at least for Hindus?
* Where does Mr Modi derive his strength from?
* Is it true that the Muslims suffered merely because of Godhra incident?
* Why we shouldn’t ‘forget and forgive’? Why denial of justice will lead to further violence?
* How did the right wing politics of the BJP change Gujarat systematically?
These and several other questions are answered boldly and candidly – with due decorum – in a mock interview in Hindi and in English at http://www.sprat.in/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=364&Itemid=392
Also available on YouTube, both as a whole and also in broken up files.
If you appreciate our point of view, may we request you to propagate these links?


March 25 2012


I could take it no more. After all, the Secretary General of the United Nations is somebody, what if he is no UThant, Kurt Waldheim, Kofi Annan. If Ban Ki-moon calls up asking me to resume my Facebook posts, I can’t deny no more. Would you?

Pressure does work. The poor, unwilling Akhilesh Yadav had to finally cave in to become the UP Chief Minister, the good old Suresh Kalmadi had to continue to chair the Indian Olympic Association, our own poor Narendra Modi had to lead BJP in Gujarat for the sake of the state just as he is caving under pressure for a national role for the sake of the nation, and down south, the good old Yeddyurappa is willing to be pressured into accepting the mantle of Karnataka. So it is in good tradition, you see, to give in to high pressure.

On my part, I resisted the pressure from governments, NGOs, “professional agitationists” like the Team Anna, and the vast multitude of Facebook users successfully. For a full five days I did not post on the Facebook, ignoring their protests, pressure and entreaties - in the tradition of an adamant, fasting Anna, until the doctors pressurized even more, to the contrary.

But I had known it all along - that if I didn't post on FB, every day, the world would be unhappy, India would be disturbed, everyday life would come to a stand still, millions of hearts would ache, many wouldn't eat or sleep - all for not having their daily dose of, well, my FB posts.

I also know that sad as they undoubtedly were, many of my friends pretended to be normal, as if they could bear this terrible loss with fortitude. Pretentious lot! I could see through the veneer of their make-believe. I know how dejected and miserable they really were. Now, I can't bear to see them in this state any longer. I can’t foist misery on the world any more.

So here at last I am - caving in to their loving entreaties conveyed by their deceptive silence. Shedding my great reluctance, I am breaking mine own, finally. You see, love after all, is the final arbiter. I could ignore their love no more...
[I hope though that the City Municipality will not dig up our BSNL phone lines and disrupt the net connection any time soon again!]

Here goes the first:
Kisi pe baar na guzre bayan-e-barbadi / shaoor chahiye izhar-e-muddaaa ka liye!
[Lest your tale of woe should burden others, deploy adequate culture in relating it]


March 17 2012


Someone had told me years ago that as people we prefer individual achievements to collective performance. She added that we produced more heroes than teams - whether in sports or in science and technology.

Be that as it may, I was surprised that even as India suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the cricketing minnows, the Bangladeshis, we were gleefully celebrating the centurion century of Sachin Tendulkar.

By the way, I doubt if cricket is a game either. To me a game must provide plenty of exercise, offer near-equal opportunities to all, allow for mistakes and their correction, take little time and money.. This one doesn't seem to fit the bill.

I know that this is apt to offend a lot of believers [pun intended] in India and Pakistan. But for once I am game! That is the business of a rationalist, you see!


March 10 2012


It hurt, Mr Amitabh Bachan, to see you sell Gujarat with such glee right during the decennial of the infamous genocide, through the spate of your so-called Khushbu Gujarat Ki promotional ads.

You knew your ads were timed to counter the sad reminder of the decennial of the infamous tragedy, didn’t you?

You could easily also see that your ads, wholly avoidably, talk of the attack on Somnath by ‘foreign invaders’ [Muslims, of course] and they do not show any worthwhile Muslim architecture of Gujarat, including the famous Siddi Syed Ki Jali that forms the insignia of the IIMA.

Those that connive with evil, are evil, too. Aren’t they?


January 24 2012


What were the other things the loud-speaking Muslims could have done and did not do?

a. Participate in Jaipur Lit festival, identify good books and present good literature on developing a better understanding of Islam
b. Connect with influential authors / writers and win them over
c. Write and present a great book on Islam, or promote someone else doing so
d. Identified pro-Islam literature and worked to promote it, if they wished.
d. Write an appeal to the media, the Jaipur LitFest organizers, and the government, pointing out Rushdie’s alleged mischief, explaining why this type of literature should be condemned and boycotted – and assuring that no violence or physical intimidation was planned
Imagine, if they did this, not only would Rushdie not have become the hero they made out of him, but the Jaipur literati would have developed esteem for Muslims and respect for Islam. But, Alas! When was it last that the Muslim leadership behaved with such maturity?

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