Random Thoughts

In Search of Secular Asylum; Pea-sized Brain

In Search of Secular Asylum
VIP’s & Diamonds Are for Ever
Referred to in Third Person
Epicenter of Political Mess
Pea-sized Brain
Think it Through

Looking for Secular Asylum

In the good old days – are they really irretrievable? – it were only politicians who were – don’t mind the inelegant name of the trade – in the business of kick-my-butt once- a–day so-that-I’m in-the-news. The most pre-eminent specimen of this trade, today, is Digvijay Singh. May God his tribe flourish!

It is sad that intellectuals – both genuine and fake – too are now keen to clamber on the bandwagon. Is it to get nominated for a safe seat to join that exclusive club called Parliament of India which has privileges sans obligations? Take the example of the famous Jnanpith awardee and acclaimed Kannada writer Dr. U R Anandamurthy. He said earlier this week that he would not live in a country with Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister. He didn’t, however, specify which secular abode he has in mind – Saudi Arabia or Kosovo where secularism of Indian choice prevails.

Notwithstanding his literary qualities Anandamurthy has an enviable reputation of swaying with political climate of the day. From the Congress to the Janata Dal (Secular) has been just half a step. How can he accept Narendra Modi who’s responsible for the 2002 Gujarat riots?

Boloji as a website newspaper did a great public service by publishing a series of articles in its columns proving how far more Muslims died under the secular Congress regimes of Gujarat and Assam than in much-maligned state of Gujarat under BJP.

Remember the great punch line attributed to Vladimir Lenin “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.” However I didn’t know how gullible or stupid can be those who claim to be intellectuals.

VIP’s & Diamonds Are for Ever

“Diamonds Are for Ever” is the name of the film is based on Ian Fleming’s 1956 novel bearing the same name. It’s a pity that Fleming didn’t live to write its sequel named VIP’s Are For Ever. However, we have in India obligingly done it for him by enacting the plot day after day in our political life.

Whether they are in power or not, a very large part of India’s political class lives without the slightest qualm of conscience – if they have one – a life of ill-gotten wealth and undeserved privilege. However, in the most unlikely event of their getting convicted for corruption in a court of law, they manage to carry their VIP status with them to the allotted prison cell. How, you’ll wonder, is it possible?

It is all too simple. But don’t try the recipe on yourself. It is only for the use of VIP’s. A VIP is caught red-handed and tried in a court and convicted. The moment he enters the prison’s gate, he manages to have a heart attack. Again, you’ll wonder how? The VIP prisoner complains of severe chest pain. His earlier status demands his complaint must be investigated immediately. So he reaches the hospital where already appropriate arrangements have been made. You know what I mean. He must be kept under expert observation. Don’t you remember our friend of all seasons – yes, I’m referring to Lalu Prasad Yadav –had to be brought from Patna to VIPs’ hospital called AIIMS in New Delhi. There the doctors find that the bloke is in pink of health. But then again “arrangements” can be made to keep him under expert observation for a while, which means a few months.

Recently, we had the case of the former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, who was convicted in the teachers’ recruitment scam case earlier this year. Delhi High Court had him referred to a medical board of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. The board found there was no need to keep him in the hospital. So Mr. Chautala knocked at the doors of the Supreme Court. Interestingly, one of the judges had had the temerity to ask yesterday’s VIP politician: “If you come back to power, will you say I don’t want power citing these ailments?” It appears His Lordship doesn’t know that power is a great healer.

Referred to in Third Person

The old Indian tradition has it that wives (both old and new) refer to their husbands in the third person. I don’t know if this is out of respect or fear or some deep Freudian yet-to-be-fully-explained complex. I’m told under the impact of western influence, especially of the American variety, things have started changing. Now right from the first day the wife addresses her hubby ‘You, SoB’. Good that the times that are A’Changing. Don’t ask me where are we heading?

There are recurrent social echoes of the above complex, most especially in our journalism. Communal violence visits our country with unfailing regularity. How the State of Gujarat has avoided it for over a decade is a mystery that even Congress High Command hasn’t been able to resolve.

Communal tensions in India are just beneath the surface. A mere scratch and unhealed wound rips open. This is exactly what happened in Muzzafarnagar. But look at the way our press covers the unfortunate happenings. For the first few days all the reports said there was a clash between two communities. How solicitous! Isn’t it an endearing use of the third person? Every idiot in the country knew that the two communities being referred to are the Hindus and the Muslims. But how can the press name them like the wives of old till the elders coax them to be less reticent. After almost a week of hush-hush reporting, the agents of the fourth estate became bold and start calling a spade a shovel.

So we know what happened. But who started and why, will be debated forever.

We know the communal issue in India hasn’t been resolved nor will it ever be till we honestly face some bitter truths. Isn’t it high time we discard this mask of between two communities and report facts as facts? Newspapers are not in the business of finding solutions. Their job is to report objectively what happened.

Epicenter of Political Mess

Of all the states of the Indian Union Uttar Pradesh is most important and also the most ungovernable. Its importance lies in the fact that it would be electing some 80 MPs who along with 40 from the neighboring Bihar will play a most crucial role in the formation of new government.

Four political parties are flexing their political muscle for the Big Prize in 2014: Samajvadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, BJP and last but not least, the Rahul Baba-led Congress. Three of them swear by each letter of word secularism. BJP is the villain of the peace. With blood of innocent Gujarati Muslims on their hands how can its secular credentials be accepted? Its inept leadership doesn’t even know how to wash their hands clean after the act. Ask the High Command which detergent it used to wash away without the slightest mark, all the stains of the blood of 4000 odd Sikhs killed in Delhi in November 1984?

Behnji believes in wait and watch. She may make a deft move or two after Akhilesh Yadav, the heir-apparent makes a mess of things. The blot he has gathered on his political skirt puts in jeopardy Mulayam Singh’s prime ministerial ambitions.

In every election in the State that Rahul Baba oversaw so far the Congress share of seats came down. But his supporters say he has kept his real tricks of trade in reserve for the final round.

It was Harold Wilson the old horse of the Labour Party who famously said “A week is long time in politics.” Late in life he said he didn’t remember if and when he said that. How short is the memory of great politicians? However, a week is a week and in this case there are months to go. Anything may happen to tilt the political balance.

Pea-sized Brain

Scientists in Austria have grown a tiny human brain in a laboratory and plan to use it to help understand neurological disorders. The pea-sized structure is reported to be at the same level of development as a nine-week-old fetus and cannot therefore think. But the fact that scientists have been able to coax it into building itself the same way a brain would, has given hope to many in the field, reports the BBC. Because there is no blood supply, oxygen cannot get into the middle of the “mini-brain,” the researchers say. Though the brain is not an exact replica of a human brain, the BBC says scientists are excited at the possibilities it presents.

Also excited are the Congress leaders for reasons I leave you free to guess.

Think it Through

“Warmer temperatures are a product not of any particular human being or group, but the interaction between nature and countless decisions by countless people.”

And countless people includes all 311 million Americans. Now tell me can you blame anyone when the maximum temperature one day is 31oC and 14o the next day?


More by :  Sakshi

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