Sep 28, 2023
Sep 28, 2023
I’m writing a whodunit. The above title is tentative. I may finally call it “The Frown That Did It.” Orders can be booked in advance which will be entitled to unimaginable discounts.
In all his profound wisdom Kalaignar Karunanidhi decided to pull the much-trodden DMK rug under the feet of UPA – an alliance of political convenience held together by the glue of self-interest that, unfortunately, is fast losing its adhesive power. Almost the next day the premises of Stalin, whom Karunanidhi has chosen as his political successor are raided to search incriminating evidence of importing luxury vehicles by evading applicable excise levies which all VIPs and, more specially VVIP’s, routinely do.
In every walk of life, the wise tell me, there are certain things which are not done. A divorced wife doesn’t, for instance, name the next day after divorce that her husband is suffering from erectile dysfunction. There is way to do things and time to do the same.
The issue now is: ‘who ordered the raid’?
Generally, such raids are authorized by the Finance Minister or someone on the bidding of the PM. Both these high functionaries have shown – at least for public consumption – their utter shock and surprise at all what happened.
There are in my reckoning two possibilities: Either those who for public consumption are displaying shock and ignorance about the whole sordid deed, ordered it on the very quiet or someone unnamed did it. My whodunit explores the story from both angles.
In case of the latter possibility, something like this would have happened. That person – the real power behind the Nehruite Sultanate – hearing about the audacity of Karunanidhi, might just have frowned. The Director of the CBI had lately been to (where else?) Harvard to do an intensive study course on Body Language of the High and Mighty. So, he chose to act days before the formal orders to ensure extension of his term for acting even before being asked to act.
I’ve seen columnists waste their breath calling the so-called refusal of Rahul Baba to assume the mantle of Prime Ministership as repeat of the Hamletian response. There is a difference – a profound difference. The Bard was talking about the human failing of indecisiveness. In our case, it’s a well-rehearsed drama enacted several times for summoned audience in the Durbar. It’s more like a spoilt child refusing to drink his milk unless everyone around coaxes and cajoles him.
Another well-rehearsed skit is the refusal to marry. One possible explanation can be that Rahul Baba prefers some other form of love-making than the traditional man-woman love. It can be divinely-inspired love for mankind. Or maybe, he wants to go down in modern times as an incarnation of Plato’s philosopher-king unencumbered by family obligations.
What then about the future of the dynasty? Don’t worry on that score. There’s bitia’s family – the Vadra clan. Also, waiting in the wing is Maneka Gandhi and his darling son Varun, the apple of the founder’s eye.
While studying extensively the lives of great leaders and leadership attributes, I reached one conclusion that, sooner or later the past deeds (and misdeeds) do unfailingly catch up with every leader. A genuinely great leader indeed is one who has nothing to hide or account for in his past. Wasn’t Gandhi extremely wise in telling in The Story of My Experiments with Truth before X and Y wrote about them?
Merciless indeed is the press which never fails to dig up the past of the great, and in these days of the internet with breath-taking alacrity. If I’m not wrong, the New Yorker came out within a day or two of Pope Francis’s assuming the leadership of the Catholic Church with an exposé entitled “Pope Francis and the Dirty War” by Jon Lee Anderson dealing with His Holiness’s role during the military rule in Argentine.
Besides, there is an oft-repeated charge against the Vatican that its practices (both lay and ecclesiastical) are based on what may be called, to quote the New Yorker piece, “the darkest kind of institutional opacity.” Need I remind you of all the disgusting cover-ups of sexual misdemeanor of certain priests?
The role of Francis the Humble doesn’t cover him with glory when it comes to what he did – and also failed to do – during the infamous rule of military junta that prevailed in Argentina from 1976 to 1983. Popularly, it is referred to as the Dirty War in which thousands of innocents were imprisoned and tortured in the name of eliminating the Communists. Really honest and truly brave are those, who stand up against tyranny of any kind and more importantly, are ever so ready to pay the price for it. This, in final reckoning, is the acid test of leadership. Nelson Mandela was one such leader to pass the test. Whom else can you name?
It all happened in 1993. Yes, twenty years ago. Generally it is known as the 1993 Bombay Bombings, which consisted of a series of 13 bomb explosions in several parts of Bombay (now Mumbai) on March 12, 1993 – called the Black Friday. Over 250 people died and over a thousand were injured.
The attacks were coordinated by the notorious don, Dawood and his chief acolyte, Tiger Memon ably aided and abetted by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Sanjay Dutt one of the accused who lent all possible help was then 33.
Supreme Court of India after due deliberation and following all legal procedures delivered judgment on 21st March 2013 after over 20 years. The main accused are absconding. Everyone knows they are in Pakistan living in luxury courtesy ISI.
Sanjay Dutt, the film actor, gets six years. Politicians and film stars are crying hoarse that he should be excused. Law after all, they are convinced, is not to be applied to the rich and mighty. It is meant only for ordinary mortals like you and me.
What really takes the cake – most literally – is the plea of the Court jester, Digvigay Singh. According to him Sanju Baba then just 33, was immature and didn’t quite know what letting terrorists operate from his house, meant. He also didn’t know, I’m sure, what happens when an AK 56 is fired though he owned one. True indeed. Haven’t you, dear readers, seen a Bollywood movie where no one really dies after gun shots?
Every country has a specialty, very characteristic of its genius – almost reflective of its weltanschauung. Victim of one invasion after another and alien to what may be called an enduring state of affairs, our specialty, for instance, is what we’ve wisely trademarked as Jugar. (The English term makeshift solution more or less conveys the meaning.) Germans are reputed to be thorough; the British, crafty to the core and so on.
How about Italians? Their genius lies in designing almost anything on earth ranging from bathtubs (both for bathing and love-making) to automobiles to shoes to you name it. No wonder Gucci and Armani are world-renowned brands for ingenuity and the latest design the world celebrities crave for. I didn’t know till very recently that their design specialty includes crafting mutually beneficial deals.
Let me give an example of the latest. Italy has after all agreed to send back the two marines – Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone alleged to be guilty of killing two Indian fishermen. No longer can the Hon’ble Supreme Court call ambassador, Daniele Mancini, as untrustworthy.
How was the deal hammered? The marines go back to the prison in Thiruvananthapuram where they’ll be lodged in a very special cell equipped with ample supply of Campari and paste and spaghetti. They will be tried in a court of law and awarded light punishment to be condoned later on after receiving news about the critical medical condition of their mothers-in-law. Italians, I’m told, on their part, have solemnly assured the Government of India never ever to breathe a word about the name of the family which received the AgustaWestland kickbacks.
Could you think of a better-designed deal?
“Having an agreeable personality might make you popular at work and lucky in love,” says Scientific American Mind. “It may also enhance your brain’s built-in painkilling powers, boosting the placebo effect. Researchers at the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina and the University of Maryland administered standard personality tests to 50 healthy volunteers. … Each volunteer then received a painful injection, followed by a placebo – a sham painkiller. The volunteers who were resilient, straightforward or altruistic experienced a greater reduction in pain from the placebo, compared with volunteers who had a so-called angry hostility personality trait.”
More by : Sakshi
You have a unique ability to combine humor with incisiveness. It bites then makes you laugh.
I wish you took it easy on us by finding simpler (may be less accurate) alternatives to terms such as "ecclesiastical" and "weltanschauung".
If one wrote a book on "How not to Manage" the Catholic Church Management Architecture will occupy virtually all the pages.
These are just my opinions, but I am only 69 years old and still an immature person like Sanju Baba..