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A Bystander's Diary Share This Page
Knight in Shining Armor; Near the Exit
by Sakshi Bookmark and Share
 

Knight in Shining Armour
Near the Exit
Economy of Scale
Good Looks Pay
Everything’s on Sale
Meaning of ‘Manage’
Too Many Gandhis
Think it Through

Knight in Shining Armor

I’m so glad that Lalu Prasad is once again a free man out on bail. The loss of Birsa Munda Central Jail, Ranchi which had the honor of having him as an esteemed guest for seventy days, is the nation’s gain. Lalu Prasad in the silent mode is sure sign that something is amiss. His flamboyant outbursts invariably enliven the otherwise dull and drab political vocabulary of times.

Have you forgotten Don Quixote of La Mancha — that great epic by Miguel de Cervantes, tracing the adventures of Alonso Quijano, an hidalgo who was determined to revive chivalry. This great Yadav is determined to destroy the Kans of our time, called communalism. Don’t ask me to define this monster who changes its shape and form every now and then to suit Lalu’s political weaponry.

“The CBI case against me is false…” he thundered. He also deeply regretted the emergence in Delhi of “political parties … who want to fight elections but don’t want to form government.” Don’t forget Lalu Prasad studied Political Science and cut his political teeth under JP. He and he alone knows the greatest threat to our democracy is the hydra-headed monster called “communalism represented today by Narendra Modi. Lalu is all set to make any sacrifice (including going back to jail) to ensure that communal forces don’t come to power (in 2014).”

Perhaps you be surprised if Rahul Baba dedicated to the same mission as Lalu’s, throws overtures to the Great Yadav to join hands with him in that great task. The Congress Prime Ministerial candidate will love to dip into RJD’s traditional Muslim-Yadav (MY) vote bank. So, the stage is now set for a RJD-Congress-LJP alliance in Bihar for the Lok Sabha elections.

Good luck to both the Knights in Shining Armor: Lalu Prasad and Rahul Gandhi. Remember, however, the good old saying: man is known by the company he keeps.

Near the Exit

When is a person called old? In good old days 50 was the retirement age. And once you were pensioned off you learnt to live on the fringes, relinquishing all major responsibilities of life. All you looked forward to was the call from the Maker.

Today, it is a matter of debate when to declare a person old. L K Advani, the veteran BJP leader tells us that age does not determine old or young. After the BJP pitch-forked Narendra Modi as its Prime Ministerial candidate few months ago, sidelined octogenarian Advani, has been sulking. Like a real old veteran he wants to remain in the news. And the best way to do so, I’m told, is to say something provocative enough to stir a debate. So, on with new definition of the old.

“A person should consider himself old at an age when he starts thinking that he cannot learn new things,” is Advaniji’s definition. Allow me to amend it a bit: “when a person stops understanding new things”.

Two persons eminently qualify to be called old as per this modification: Sardar Manmohan Singh and L K Advani who have to be repeatedly told: Your time is over.

And before you reach that status recall the Bard:

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;

The tragedy of human life is that we remember our entrance but forget the exit.

Economy of Scale

As the New Year approaches I started working on my list of New Year Resolves. That after a few days in 2014, I may forget all about them, is a different matter. But as T S Eliot said in Four Quartets “In my beginning is my end.”

The first on the list was to eat healthy in the New Year, and resist the temptation for burgers and fries. A wise friend I showed my list, asked me: “Do you know what eating healthy will cost you?” He showed me a report by CBS News how new research showed that adopting a healthier eating regimen does cost the average person more than convenient junk-food diet. A team from the Harvard School of Public Health recently discovered that diets rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and nuts cost significantly more than our samosa-channa diet. Why? Unhealthy food is cheaper because the emphasis is on producing a high volume of product at minimal cost.

Good Looks Pay

I’m rather envious of the good-looking. Time reports on a new study that suggests people rated as more attractive were likely to receive higher grades and land better-paying jobs. After all when you land for an interview they first look at you before they start talking. So, a good-looking stupid chap has an edge over me till he opens his mouth.

I hear the University of Illinois tracked the life paths of 9,000 people from their late teens to early 30s. On average, women deemed as attractive enjoyed an 8-per-cent wage advantage over regular people, while women with below-average looks paid a 4-per-cent penalty. Good-looking men had a 4-per-cent salary edge over their nondescript co-workers, while less-attractive men took a 13-per-cent penalty.

Everything’s On Sale

Market economy is predominant mode of ordering relationships in our times.

The term “cash nexus” was coined by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to describe the depersonalized relationship that obtains between employers and employees in a capitalist society. That was in the nineteenth century. Socialism and all that it stood for aimed at correcting this demeaning relationship between man and man where an individual’s worth is calculated exclusively in monetary terms. One of tragedies of our time is the collapse of the socialist challenge on account of its failure to combine an equitable economic order with individual freedom. The result is the unchallenged acceptance of cash nexus in almost every walk of life.

I subscribe to the much revered and also much reviled historical ideal that Che Guevara the Latin American Marxist revolutionary spelled out: “Man really attains the state of complete humanity when he produces, without being forced by physical need to sell himself as a commodity.”

My friends tell me romantic visionaries like me aren’t fit to live this world of ours. May be!

Meaning of ‘Manage’

In my working life I took once a problem to my boss to ask for his suggestion how to resolve it. His reply rings in my ears even today: “try to manage it.” Till today I don’t really know what on earth does “manage” mean?

I turned to Peter Drucker who spent a life time defining the dimensions of Management and spelling out its tools and techniques which today sustain the free market economy. He must be rolling in his grave at the spin given to the meaning and purpose of managing things in today’s society. Let me explain.

After the Congress drubbing in the recent State Assembly polls in the four heartland states, heir-apparent Rahul Gandhi spoke about reforming the party in ways that cannot be imagined.

Lo and behold, Chhattisgarh is the place where this great metamorphosis began. During the election campaign as well before ballot-counting, the state unit of the Party offered cash “gifts” ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 50,000 to about 100 journalists based in Raipur. We were told this distribution was from the “party election fund”. And it was by no means a clandestine operation. It had unequivocal Party approval. The underlying idea was to manage journalists.

What on earth does it mean if not buy them to support you? And at a time when the Election Commission and political parties have been grappling with the problem of paid news.

I hear that’s not new. Even in the previous elections too there were reports that money was withdrawn from the Congress fund for journalists. Many of them had refused, but they later learnt that their names were still mentioned in the party accounts and the money was shown as paid to them. Don’t ask me who lined his pockets? Instead, mull over how the world is changing, rendering you and me as misfits.

Too Many Gandhis

Manmohan Singh seems all set to create as many problems for Soniaji as possible before calling it a day. Now he tells us that Nelson Mandela was a “true Gandhian.” Where does Rahul Gandhi then stand in the phalanx of custodians of the patented label? You may have sometimes wondered whether Indira Gandhi knew that by marrying Firoze Gandhi she was creating the world’s most valuable political brand. Knowing how calculative she was, I have a hunch she was fully conscious that she was killing at least two political birds with one matrimonial stone.

With a name like Indira Nehru Gandhi she wanted the gullible among my compatriots to believe she was Jawaharlal’s dear daughter married to Gandhi’s son. Hence, she’s doubly entitled to the Delhi throne. No wonder her progeny is desperately keen to ensure continuity of the line of succession.

Think it Through

Whenever a crime pie is baked police joins in at some stage or the other. Were you surprised to hear how two Pune policemen were arrested on the Mumbai Pune Expressway? They were involved in a Rs 1.29 crore highway robbery.

Remember the thirteenth verse of the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament: You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its flavor, with what will it be salted?

22-Dec-2013
More by :  Sakshi
 
Views: 600
Article Comment To my understanding, Indira Nehru married to Feroze Khan, whose (Feroze's) grand mother's family name was 'Gandy' or so...
Dinesh Kumar Bohre
12/27/2013
Article Comment I love the quote from Che Guevara "Man really attains the state of complete humanity, when he produces without being forced by physical need to sell himself as commodity".

Che must have read our Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita. It is amazing how truth remains unaltered no matter experienced by whom and where?

There should be a movie made about the life and times of Lalu Yadav. It should be titled "The Absurd and the Shameless". I have the perfect Director in mind for this movie but I am afraid you will turn it down.
drgopalsingh
12/22/2013
 
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