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Aura of Whodunit, An Insatiable Hunger
Aura of Whodunit
The arrest of the Indian Deputy Consul General, Devyani Khobragade, reads like an Agatha Christie thriller. It has almost all the usual ingredients of a typical whodunit: a well-planned conspiracy, hidden agendas, duplicitous actors, air of mystery et al. However, till now it is an as-yet-unresolved mystery. Was it a case of some over-zealous State Department officials acting almost entirely on their own who created a Laurel & Hardy mess or a well-planned drama which had a purpose to serve, and served it well?
Perhaps the most horrid attribute of the sordid drama was the handcuffing of a diplomat, theoretically enjoying diplomatic immunity and going to the extent of cavity search as if they had nabbed a much-sought drug smuggler. Such mistreatment of a State representative isn’t a light matter. Wasn’t it gratifying that the notoriously ‘soft’ Indian State shed, for once, its timidity and responded like a roaring great power which knows what are its rights and knows how to assert to protect them. I don’t think the American Embassy in New Delhi and those manning it, ever thought that they will get back in the same coin.
Remember Babu Jagjivan Ram, the great leader of the Harijans. (The word Harijans was coined by Gandhi for the social outcasts of Hindu society. Now the term is no longer in vogue. Dalits has taken over.) Cynical observers of our political scene believe he was valuable to the Congress as a counterweight to B R Ambedkar.
She’s a firm believer that every Minister is entitled for life time to the official bungalow allotted to him/her by virtue of his/her office. And in case of Babu Jagjivan Ram who died in 1986, the entitlement accrues to his children which is she. She found one excuse after another to stay put in the bungalow his dear father lived to serve the nation i.e., at 6 Krishna Menon Marg in Lutyens Delhi. She has twisted the UPA Government’s arm to have access to the bungalow for at least another 25 years. Why 25? Well, your guess is as good as mine. By then, she believes, the revitalized Congress under Rahul Gandhi will be back in power. So further extension for another half a century should be no problem. It is her grand plan to house there, a foundation set up in 2008 in the name of her father.
In fact, Hindus don’t need even that.
My friends in advertising tell me that after a life time in the profession backed by hundreds of surveys and studies they still don’t have the faintest clue as to what appeals to female buyers. Their buying decisions can’t just be explained by any rational norm. The good old industry maxim “sex sells” doesn’t really work on female consumers. Yes, men do get swayed by it.
Recently, we had some guests at home for dinner. They stayed with us for about two and half hours. The newly married young lady spent nearly an hour taking snapshots of someone or the other. Blessed be the inbuilt devise in smart phones.
Boxing Day is traditionally the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts, known as a “Christmas box”, from their bosses or employers. Boxing Day is the bank holiday that falls on December 26. It is observed in the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Malta and some other Commonwealth nations. In Australia, Boxing Day is a federal public holiday.
Jacques Kallis is almost universally rated as the greatest all-rounder cricketer. And he has, all his life, been a quiet, composed performer. Suddenly he delivered a shocker by announcing that he was retiring from Test cricket. A most touching and dignified way to call it a day! No Tendulkar-style tom-tom and a month-in-advance announcement almost telling everyone: “come and see me play my last test innings.” And his fans duly obliged him for want of having anything else to do.
Jacques Kallis announcement came when almost all the South African newspapers were closed. Only a couple of home journalists were around to carry the news. He was the world’s fourth highest Test run-getter, next only to Tendulkar. He scored the highest number of centuries – these days called tons; had the second highest number of test catches and, above all, the only cricketer to have 10,000 runs, 200 wickets and 100 catches.
Lord Acton famously said that “power corrupts and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.” If you want a proof of that read about what Indira Gandhi and her darling son die during the eighteen months of the Emergency in 1975-76.
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