Thursday, December 25, 2008

A pointless post

A few days back, much to my surprise, a couple of readers of this blog(whose readership hasn't made much headway since the days of single digit readership and has stayed in single digits despite such avant-garde, path-breaking, historical, thought provoking, laughter-riot-inducing, heart-wrenching writing), asked me why I am not updating my other blog. The one about music which I started in my typical I-know-about-everything style and stopped after 3 brief posts with one of them being an introduction. (Quite laughable indeed.) Despite being pretentious sometimes, I am also honest. So I said, 'En bareebeku gottaaglilla, adakke barililla' (For the English-knowing-Kannada-gottilla readership of this esteemed blog, here goes the translation. 'I didn't know what to write. So I didn't write').
Truer words have been spoken, but this too was quite true. I assumed myself to be connoisseur of music and started that blog. A connoisseur who took twenty four years of his life to discover Beatles and consequently realize their greatness. This was such a laughable discovery that I almost wanted to write a post, 'A random-passerby Harish declares that Beatles were great - a good 38 years after they shut down as a group'. This being the case, what shall I write in a music blog(although I read almost everything that's there in the wikipedia about Beatles)? Ok, to write about music, knowledge about Beatles isn't mandatory, especially for a person like me who really couldn't differentiate between jazz, rock and pop for a long time. Ok, what do I know about Indian music apart from my failed attempts to learn violin.
I started learning violin when I was a nine year old much like musicians of yore. Instantly made, Chowdiah as my inspiration - a person whose performance I had never heard. Took less than a couple of years to move on to varNaas before I discontinued. This I attributed to creative differences with the teacher. No, I actually I didn't like they way it was taught in Vijaya College Of Music and I didn't know where else to go to learn Violin. Then, 2 or 3 years later, I suddenly remembered my pledge to become Chowdiah whose violin rendition I had still not heard. Consequently I decided to resume learning violin. And where did I go? To the same teacher at the same school. It continued for less than a year or so and again creative differences arose and I left with my pledge not yet redeemed. Status - 2 or 3 varNaas. 2 or 3 years later, I had forgotten my pledge as also the fact that I had still not listened to Chowdiah. Being a man who can be very easily swayed sometimes by propaganda, I went back, at the start of my engineering, to my learn-violin adventure after I heard so many people say that, 'Harisha, jeevandalli hooby anta iTTkobeku. Adralloo sangeeta. Manassige santasa koDutte. Nee kacheri koDbekaagilla. Maneli nuDiskobahudu. Ningidu eega gottaagalla, munde gottaagutte'(Here goes the translation - 'Harisha, in life, you should have a hobby. That too music. It gives you happiness. You need not give concerts. You can play violin at home itself. You won't realise it now, you will realise later'). This time I found a pretty good teacher who taught really well and I made dramatic progress and in 2-3 years completed most of the syllabus for the junior exam. Lost interest suddenly. Left
learning. And became a software engineer.

Despite such a lengthy learning, I really didn't know much about Carnatic music that you could really write about in a serious blog on music which I wanted my other blog to be. And what about Indian film music? Well pretty much the same case when you consider that I came to know of one of India's best composers Ilayaraja only 3 or 4 years back. I should thank Arjun though for introducing me to Ilayaraja's music. (That Ilayaraja worked in G K Venkatesh's music troupe made me proud as a Kannadaiga). Instantly became so impressed by Raja sir's music that I wanted to download all the songs he has composed in all the languages and I did download few songs in Telugu and one in Malayalam apart from many in Kannada and Tamil(this despite me not understanding any of these languages apart from Kananda). What wonderful music!
And I proclaim that I am a big fan of A R Rehman's music, a fan who stumbled upon one of Rehman's best compositions - 1947 Earth - only earlier this year.
Even if we assume there's no need for any knowledge to write about music you should atleast know how to write about music. Whenever you ask me to write about a song I like, it shall usually contain two or three words/phrases like, 'melodious', 'superb orchestration', 'excellent background instruments'. If I am the most creative I might use mellifluous. In that way I might destroy songs by writing about it and making people go away from those songs. So I didn't write. Instead concentrated on writing extremely opinionated posts on significant political events apart from humour. Yes, I wrote this entire post to essentially say what the previous sentence said. Thank You.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Difficult times these are for our nation. Inflation, economic slowdown are facing us. The threat of terrorism is has engulfed the entire nation. As if these weren't enough, just based on the arrest of a Sadhvi, against whom no allegations have yet been proved in a court of law, Hindus are being branded as 'terrorists'. Hindus have been discriminated and humiliated in this country but nothing more damning and insinuating and unjust was said about the Hindus until now. If Hindus were terrorists, India wouldn't have been a multi-religious, secular nation.

Hinduism is probably the most liberal religion. Believers and unbelievers are accomodated even amongst Hindus. Budha revolted against certain aspects of Hinduism and formed his religion. Yet Hindus treat him as one of the ten avataras of Vishnu. Within Hinduism too there are so many diverse philosophies that preach everything from monism to dualism to even Charuvakas's epicurean atheism. And the beauty is that this dissent has been given due place in our epics too. Arjuna's initial rebuttal of whatever Lord Krishna said is very much part of Bhagavad Gita. Vaali's condemnation of Lord Rama for shooting him from behind is very much part of Ramayana. Charuvaka's materialistic way of life as opposed to the spiritualistic way of Vedanta, too is given a space without being dismissed as anti-Hindu. Without this tradition of tolerance ingrained in our every thought, this country wouldn't have had the capacity to embrace so many religions.

Such a glorious religion is today being defamed beyond the wildest of imaginations. This slander is based on things that aren't even proven. Words like 'Hindu Jihad' are unthinkable for any Hindu. Even if one or two individuals are found guilty, painting the entire community as terrorists is blasphemous. There is no mainstream Hindu organization that trains people to target people of other faiths. Such a thing is an anthema to Hindu thought. Hinduism is fundamentally too different to be compared with other religions which have waged wars to assert their supremacy. If this isn't realised by our 'secular' brethren, the future doesn't bode well. Hope this Deepawali brings light to our 'liberals'.

Happy Deepawali To You All.

PS: Here's an excellent article by Tarun Vijay. Please read it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Financial crisis, Internet Crisis, Judgement Crisis

How about internet crisis similar to the financial crisis? One man wakes up one fine day and downloads the internet. Virtually everything that's there on the world wide web from google to To store such huge amount of data, he would need all the servers on this planet that currently powers the internet. So with both content and the servers, practically he becomes the internet. Clever. Right?

How about judgement crisis? Suppose judges find that they have too much time and decide to give judgements to cases that are yet to be moved in the courts. Such prescience on the part of judges would mean that there would be no proceedings in courts. Even before a person moves a court, he would have the judgement. No lawyers, no judges and no law minister then.

That's it then for this seemingly lame post. Good bye.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

War On Terror : UPA's take

Congress Party has finally decided that it will fight terror. And the strategy it plans to adopt is very much in tune with its traditional thought processes. The Congress Party led Government is planning to appoint a Minister exclusively to fight terror retaining the supremely effective Home Minister Shivraj Patil.
It wouldn't be surprising if the Congress Party thinks that by this 'war strategy' terrorists would be on the back foot.
The next few days, would now be spent on naming the ministry. What could the names be? This naming is very tricky. The naming has to take into consideration all sections of society. It can't simply be Minister For Internal Security. Not even Anti-Terrorism Minister. The minority sentiments have to be kept in mind. So more likely name would be Minister Who Should Fight Terrorism And Hindu Communalism While Preserving The Secular Fabric Of The Nation And Keeping In Mind Minority Sentiments(MWSFTAHCWPTSFONKIMMS). This would be the longest named ministry in the world. Even the abbreviation is longer than names of some ministries. But that's a small sacrifice in keeping India's robust secular traditions alive.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Back to wish you all

Guruwrites is back. Back to wish you all belated wishes. Exactly a month and one day ago, this nation turned 61. Belated wishes go out from GuruWrites to all believers of Indian tricolour. A day before that, our esteemed neighbour Pakistan celebrated its 61st independence day which went unnoticed in large parts of Azerbaijan.
On 15th, people belonging to a Brahminical clan, including me, managed to celebrate Upakarma despite the patriotic frenzy that engulfs the nation every year on that day. I wish all of them and myself belated Happy Upakarma. On August 22nd, people managed to celebrate nothing despite the temptation to do so.
Few days rolled before Hindus, from rabid right wingers to liberal lefties, celebrated Ganesha Chaturthi a day after Hindu women from all walks and stages of life celebrated Gowri Pooja with much gaeity and fanfare. This author deeply regrets the use of word gaeity in this otherwise sane post. Anyhow, I would now take this opportunity to wish Indians living in every nook and corner of the world particularly those Indians in Baku and even particularly those Indians who speak Baki, a belated Very Happy Gowri Ganesha Habba.
Yesterday, September 15th, was celebrated as the birthday Sir M Vishweshwariah(Sir M V). On this occasion, noted nanogenarian from Mysore, KrishRao pondered, "If Sir MV were to be alive today, he would have turned 148".
Amidst all these, rabid right wing lunatic, ace fake news reporter and founder member of cult comedy group, Arjun Sharma came back to his homeland causing much consternation and dismay to a noted Kannada poet whom Arjun has a tendency to mock and ridicule for no apparent or genuine reason.
I will end this post here. I don't know what to say.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Shatrugna is brother of Rama of Ramayana fame

Well, if the title of this post seemed to state the obvious for some of you, it doesn't for many people. These people don't know who was Shatrugna. We found this out not by conducting an opinion like Dr. Yogendra Yadav does. Neither did we ask the census people to find out whether people knew who Shatrugna was. That wouldn't have added much value to their census work anyway. What we did was pretty simple. We thought of interviewing Shatrugna. So we did this.

We thought that that interview was hilarious. The locale for the interview and the camera work was brilliant. If saying so is being immodest, so be it. But the interview, much like the interviewee, Shatrugna, received low popularity.(When I say low popularity, it's relative to the popularity of videos like this and surprisingly this.) The reason, we found out, was that many didn't know who Shatrugna was.

A software engineer from Shimoga, whose name translates to Lotus, said, "Yeah, I know Shatrugna. He comes in Ramayana or Mahabharatha. Right?". If that was shocking, another software engineer who has based his operations in Scotland asks, "Shatrugna was Rama's son. Wasn't he?". On the contrary, Sharat Kowligi of seems to know the assets of Shatrugna's son too.

Swaroop, who plays the judge remarkably well, in this hrasva swara competition, says many did not know that a character like Shatrugna ever existed in any of our epics."This is quite shocking. We should now make elaborate documentaries on the daily lives of Shatrugna, Nakula, Sahadeva and other low key men of our epics.", says a disappointed Arjun, a much acclaimed actor and a master cinematographer in the hit comedy group Clearly, as Mr. Kadambi says here, people should stop spending time only on google searches and get to reading books, more importantly our epics Ramayana and Mahabharatha.

Friday, April 11, 2008

News Entertainment

As MiddleclassBrahmin notes here, in the last few days we have seen some extraordinary news items. Some extraordinary in their triviality, others extraordinary in the potential they hold. Either way, news, as ever, never ceases to entertain.

Sometime last week the Supreme Court dismissed a petition challenging Amithabh Bachan's 'I am a poor farmer. So I was given agricultural land' claim. With this dismissal, implicit is the acceptance of Amithabh as an economically weak farmer. Wow! The angry young man of the 70s is now a judiciary approved poor farmer. This opens up a lot of possibilities. If Amithabh can claim he's a poor farmer, so can I. Atleast I can claim I am a poor software engineer. And here I am very much closer to reality. So if poor farmers like Amithabh(not those that commit suicides everyday being unable to repay loans) are given agricultural lands, poor software engineers should be given free computers including 19 inch LCD monitors(one such I bought last week for a princely sum of 9500 Indian Rupees), free internet connections, USB drives and such other paraphernalia required in the life of a software engineer.

Our Prime Minister, of the 'weakest Prime Minister ever' fame, has said that inflation is difficult to control because of rising prices. Now everyone of us(including me although I have read about discounted cash flow and PE ratio, courtesy wikipedia), even if we have not read anything about economy or finance, are able to recognize that rising prices cause the inflation to shoot up. In other words, price rise is a more layman term for inflation. So in this light, what the PM has said is similar to a cricket captain saying, "We are not playing well because we are playing badly". Dr. Singh, you surely have become a brainless Prime Minister apart from being a spineless one.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court upheld the validity of 27% reservations to OBCs. In doing so, they have also ruled that children of MPs and MLAs(both past and present MPs and MLAs) cannot claim reservation benefit. So once an OBC Indian is elected as an MP/MLA he/she becomes ineligible to leverage his/her caste credentials to educate his/her children. But atleast he/she can make money in obscenely large amounts that shall enable him/her to buy a seat for his/her children. But even this ray of hope shall disappear if the Government falls and the MP/MLA ceases to be an MP/MLA.(Of course this does not apply to Rajya Sabha MPs who have fixed tenure of 6 years.) So all MPs and MLAs, particularly those who are OBC Indians, shall strive to ensure that the Government lasts the full term of five years. This means no more unstable Governments. Something that shall be welcomed by all Indians, OBCs or otherwise. Kudos to the Supreme Court for this.

With major state elections round the corner, stay tuned for more entertainment. Till then though, from everyone here(mainly and only me) at GuruWrites, goodbye.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Government decides to dissolve salt

The present Government being one that woks for the common man day in and day out has decided to dissolve large amounts of salt in huge buckets of fresh water. While announcing this decision at a press conference, Salt and Water Minister Mr. Soz said that this was also a tribute to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's salt satyagraha. We, being a channel which takes political news seriously, are bringing you this breaking news exclusively and comprehensively.

For more on this breaking story, we are now joined by our citizen journalist Rishikesh. Rishikesh, how would you view this decision of the Government?
"The Government has got its priorities wrong. While there are other vital issues like the state of Gilli daand sport, the Government has now got itself drowned in the collective euphoria of dissolving salt prior to elections. The Government shall not gain a single seat by this move."
"Do you think they could have dissolved something else that would have been more beneficial to the common man?"
"I think they should have dissolved small inconsequential nations"
"Do you mean they should have dissolved entire nations?"
"Yes, similar to the way in which parliaments are dissolved"

Now, to get the Congress' perspective, we shall talk to Congress spokesperson Jaipal Reddy, who lays great emphasis on pronouncing the 'R's in a word. Mr. Reddy, why dissolve salt? You could have done something more useful.
'The Congrrress Parrty led Govumment has decided to dissolve salt not because salt is soluble in water. But because this move will help common man by incrrreasing industrrrial production."
"How is that so, Mr. Jaipal Reddy?"
"When larrrge quantities of salt arrre dissolved, demand forrr prrroduction of salt incrrreases. This incrrreased prrroduction means morre job crrreation leading to morrre money in people's pockets."
That was Jaipal Reddy speaking to us about the Government's latest move to dissolve salt.

Noted secularist, lyricist and polemist Javed Akthar said that this move of the Government was rooted in 'secular ethos'. He however declined to elaborate. At the other end of the secular spectrum, the Bharateeya Janata Party has soundly criticized this move. When asked whether his party too would dissolve something, BJP spokesperson maintained a curious silence.

Union health minister Ambumani Ramadoss, though, was ebullient in his praise of the Prime Minister for initiating this move that he(Ramadoss) termed as "bold, daring and progressive". He also added that this move will lessen the salt consumption in the country thus reducing the incidence of salt related diseases. He has infact asked Union Entertainment Minister to direct the censor board to not allow the screening of movies where salt dissolution is not shown.

Where will this salt politics take the country to? Will India sign the nuclear deal with US? For answers to these questions and many more stay tuned to this channel as we go behind the scenes and bring you nothing but the truth. Truth, contrary to popular belief, is quite funny. Thank you.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

State Of Chinni Daand( or Gilli Daand) And Its Impact On General Elections

Chinni Daand. It’s an age old Indian game which involves a piece of wood with a pointed end and another stick which too is made of wood. The game involves hitting the wooden piece at its pointed end by the wooden stick. Thus hit the pointy edged piece of wood tosses up happily in the air. Before it again lands up on the ground, the player has to hit it again with the wooden stick. The longer the pointy piece of wood travels the greater is the player’s score. If it’s caught by the opponent/s, then the player who hit it is out. With this bit of information, it doesn’t require a genius to observe that this game was surely a precursor to later day cricket. While cricket seems to grab everyone’s attention in India, its ancestor, Chinni Daand also called Gilli Daand, has no takers. Hailed by social scientists as a poor man’s game, Gilli Daand requires little or no infrastructure except for modest if not abundant supply of pointed wooden pieces and wooden sticks. Despite this there is apathy, bias and neglect that haunt this simple game. We being a channel that take our sport seriously bring you this exclusive report about the state of Gilli Daand and it’s impact on national politics.

Gilli Daand, unlike cricket, has suffered from apathy and neglect not just from administrators but also from aam aadmi You won't see school kids playing chinni daand on the street unlike cricket. 'Gilli daand is a sticky game. Streets are not safe in our country today because of the threat of communal riots. Under such a scenario gillidaand with small pieces of timber don't give a sense of protection to the players unlike cricket which armours them with heavy wooden bats that you can swing around at the opponent(rioter)', says noted cricket historian Dr. Guha when asked why there is no street gillidaand. Five year old kid from Dharwad, Master Halebandi, wants to play professional ChinniDaand. 'Amma, amma naanu doDDon aadmyaala gilli daand aaDlakhattateeni'(Amma, amma I will play Gilli Daand after I grow up) says Halebandi in a determined tone. Ironically, there is not even an under 5 tournament to nurture kids like Halebandi. Infact the need of the hour is to have tournaments for every age group starting from 5 to 55. This view was also echoed by veteran octogenarian .KrishRao while reminiscing about the Gilli Daand accomplishments during his heyday.

Sports finance expert Dr. Kapadia believe that how much ever a poor man's game this game may be, it still needs players to either buy required wooden stick and pointy-piece-of-wood or buy wood to make these at home. This requires money. "Therefore", Dr. Kapadia argues, "Government should identify potential Gilli Daand players and waive off all their loans. If they haven't taken one, they should be given one. I think banks should be directed to disburse 15% of loans to Gilli Daand players and after giving such a loan to promising Gilli Daand players it (the loan) should be immediately waived off".

So what does the calls for Government intervention mean in terms of this issue becoming an electoral issue? "The people are fed up with the previous Government not the current one. They are fed up of the communal sectarian divisive agenda of the previous Government. So instead of the current Government, this time, the previous Government will face anti-incumbency. Thus the Congress and its allies will return to power bagging almost all the seats in the Lok Sabha. Infact the Congress alone may win anywhere between 270 to 470 seats out of the total 540 odd seats", argues electoral scientist Dr. Yadav before going on to add, "Thus Gilli Daand will not be an electoral issue". But citizen journalist Rishikesh thinks otherwise. He thinks and thinks quite staunchly that Gilli Daand issue and Gilli Daand issue alone will be an electoral issue. "Given the poor state of hockey in our country, I think improving the state of Gilli Daand in the country will naturally be a top priority. Naturally voters will vote only for that party which has a pro-Gilli-Daand agenda" explains Rishikesh.

Only time will tell whether Gilli Daand will be an electoral issue or not and whether Gilli Daand or Chinni Daand will move to its rightful place under the sun (Pun intended. Pun explanation follows: Since Gilli Daand is normally played outdoors, i.e., under the sun, it can move to its rightful place under the sun when more people play it and thereby the game getting what it deserves.). That's it then for this edition of news. It was a pleasure bringing this very special and exclusive edition of news to you the reader. I am sure you have thoroughly enjoyed every line of this edition. Good night.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Naavu Bharatheeyaru

'Maharashtra for Marathis', 'Tamil Nadu for Tamilians', 'Karnataka for Kannadigas', 'Bihar for Biharis' are slogans of dangerous ideologies that are antithetical to the overarching idea of India. If the people are restricted to live and die in their native states and are targeted in other states, India will cease to be a nation but a set of warring states. So parochial, divisive ideologies should be dealt with strongly. Having said that, the feeling of insecurity among the localites has to be treated in a very responsible manner.

Bangalore is one of the cities where there is a growing perception of insecurity among local people. There is a feeling among the native people that they are becoming strangers in their own land. They feel they are losing their job to 'outsiders'. Though this sense of insecurity is not entirely unfounded, the solution lies not in packing the 'outsiders' off, but in accommodating everyone to benefit from the system.

The solutions are not hard to find. First thing is proper planning. If only our planners had taken care to ensure that growth was spread not just inside Bangalore but also cities around it, the outsider problem would have been less conspicuous. The number of people who have come from other states would have been distributed across a larger area had the growth too been distributed.

Secondly, the opportunities for growth too need to be increased. IT alone should not be seen as an engine of growth. Mysore, for instance, can create so many opportunities through it's sheer tourist attractions. In any other nation, Mysore would have been a thriving, prosperous city with it's places of tourist interest.

Thirdly, and most importantly, the language and culture of each state needs to be respected, nurtured and strengthened both by the state and central governments. Blatant discrimination by Governments, as done by the present UPA regime in giving classical language status to Tamil and not to Kannada though both qualified for it, can only add unnecessarily to the discontent.

In a nation there will be places of high prosperity and also places that are not so. There will naturally be a migration of people to those areas where they feel they can lead a good life. None can deny them that right within a nation. But then they too should learn to be understanding about the native language and culture. Stubborn refusal to learn even basic communication in the native language is very annoying. Atleast an honest attempt should be made.

Given that migration between states can only increase, our education system too needs to be finetuned taking this aspect in mind. Although there is considerable awareness of other cultures through TV and internet there has to be cultural education too in schools where people learn about other states. This can be achieved through meaningful educational trips and interesting books. Above all, we need a strong sense of nationalism to be imbibed into every aspect of our national life, be it education, politics or anything for that matter.At the end of the we are the citizens of one nation and we need to remain so. ''Nation", as Dr. Kalam once said, "ïs bigger than the individual".

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My attempt at very very short story writing

The movie playing, inside the city's largest theater, was nearing climax. The protagonist and the villain were engaged in confrontation. People were cheering the protagonist. Suddenly a loud sound of explosion came from the front. The cinema stopped. Momentary silence descended on the cinema hall. Then came the cries and yells from the crowd. Panic engulfed everywhere. Bodies of the dead seemed like islands amidst the blood strewn all around. Ram, a doctor, felt that he would be of help to the injured. He asked his wife to go back home. She, though not in a mood to leave him behind, respected Ram's decision and decided to leave. There was commotion near the exit. There were people shouting at each other. It was a mad scramble to save one's own life. Amidst the chaos, tragedy struck again. Another explosion near the exit. More blood, more bodies and more mayhem. Anxious about his beloved, Ram, caught in the midst of bruised and critically ill, could not help but rush to the door . To his unimaginable horror, he realised that terror had ended his thirty day old marriage life. The magnitude of the cataclysm was so huge that it transcended every form of expression of pain. Movies end. But here, not just the movie, the life of his love too came to an end.
Dreams of a beautiful life to be lived were shattered by those who had death in their minds.

It was post-terror-attack-morning, as usual, the next day. Newspapers, politicians, 'intellectuals' condemned the attacks as ever. They, as is the tradition, asked everyone to maintain communal harmony. Police was under pressure to nab the terrorists. Next day they released computer generated images of the suspected terrorists Nadim and Salim. The faces were shockingly familiar to Suhas, Ram's friend. Feigning themselves as engineering students, they had deceived Suhas to rent his house to them. He immediately called Ram and told him about this. Off they rushed to the police station. Suhas told whatever he knew about them to the police.

A fortnight passed. The two terrorists were caught. Sufficient evidence surfaced against the suspects. Their links with terror organizations, their radical leanings, and their elaborate plan of attack were thoroughly brought out through investigation by the police.

The pace with which the police moved in this case rattled the media. 'Police torturing innocent students' screamed the newspapers and television news channels. There were protest rallies led by human rights activist Ms. Ratnakar. Though sparsely attended, these rallies were described by the media as huge. 'Is our police justified in harassing minorities under the pretense of fighting terror?' asked Mr. Desai, a leading television news anchor, in a tone so shrill that it would have put off the bats in the vicinity that night. Watching this, an otherwise calm person, Ram burst out angrily. In his rage he smashed his television. Suhas, who was then beside Ram, was moved by this magnitude of helplessness of a terror victim. Suhas' eyes went moist, but the moisture glistened in the ray of determination that became visible in his eyes. He made up his mind to organise people and stage a counter protest rally. People came in large numbers. Media condemned it as interference in the 'due course of law'.

But the wheels of justice moved forward unperturbed. The case moved to the courts. The prosecution argued their case diligently. Soon the judgment day arrived. "The two men, Nadim and Salim have been found guilty....This court sentences them to death", came the pronouncement of the judge. Joy that justice had been done, intensely macabre memories of that fateful day and the resulting anger against the murderers filled Ram's mind. Little did he know that the battle was far from over.

The case moved on to the higher court. Verdict remained the same there too. Finally to the supreme court, where too the death sentence was upheld.

'Justice has been unfair', came the media's foul cry. 'Mercy by the President is the only way to soothe assuaged feelings', wrote Ms. Ratnakar in a leading daily. She again hit the road. Violence was manufactured to show, 'the sense of hurt, that was inflicted in the name of religion'. Trivial electoral considerations forced the Government to falter. The convicted terrorists were pardoned.

'Nadim and Salim vindicated', screamed the news channels. Ram, watching this, boiled with anger. The other day there was no expression that could express his pain, today there was no expression that could express his rage, his disgust, his helplessness, his sense of having been denied justice. Memories of his wife swelled up in his mind. He could not save her then from the jaws of death. Now he was unable to see justice done to those who took her life. In his pathos, unable to compose himself, he ended his life.

Few months passed. Another terror strike. This time its prey was the country's home minister. The investigation was high-profile. 'Police arrest Nadim and Salim - main accused in Home Minister's assassination' - read the headlines few days later.

[Due thanks to Guru Anandh for helping me edit this 'story'.]

Friday, January 18, 2008

Weakest Prime Minister Is Leader Of The Year

Awards are subjective. But the choice of the jury has to be reasonable. It need not be the perfect choice because there can be no such thing as the perfect choice. But when the award is bestowed on a person who in no way deserves it, the award and the award-presenters become nothing more than a bad joke. Such was the fate of the NDTV Leader of the Year award and NDTV when they said Manmohan Singh was their choice for the Leader Of the Year.

Since the time our weakest Prime Minister Dr. Singh took over, he has hardly come to be seen as a leader not just by the people but even by his own partymen and allies. Time and again they have undermined him and his office. A very senior Congress leader Natwar Singh openly mocked at how Dr. Singh has set a world record by being the only PM who has not been elected. Remember, Dr. Singh has never won a Lok Sabha election. How many times Arjun Singh - the 'secular', 'progressive' education minister - has eroded Prime Minster's authority is best left uncounted. At the very beginning of this farcical coalition in power, there was public humiliation of Dr. Singh by Karunanidhi when he used his numerical strength in the Government to overturn the decision of the cabinet regarding disinvestment of Neyveli Lignite Corporation. Dr. Singh blindly accepted it as 'coalition dharma' without a word of protest. In 2007 alone, when he secretly tried to seal a deal with US, the Left threatened to pull down his Government. Singh considered this deal as a very personal 'achievement'. He and his party said that those who oppose the deal are 'anti-development'. He even dared the left to pull down the Government. But later, he was snubbed by his own partymen and allies on this issue when the Left became serious about withdrawing support. Left had its way. Though the PM's credibility was severely dented, he shamelessly carried on.

Rahul Gandhi ordered him to extend the rural employment guarantee scheme to all districts. It was the Prime Minister's office which had earlier decided against this move since there were problems in its implementation. But when Rahul says our PM has to agree. The PM meekly bowed to Rahul's orders. How subservient a Prime Minister he is to the Gandhis is very evident by the way our weak Prime Minster walks, sits, talks and conducts himself when he is beside Sonia Gandhi. It's a disgrace to even talk about.

When such a person is honoured as the Leader Of the Year, one can only laugh at the awardee, awarder and those who glorify such awards. It's just another credibility blow to channels like NDTV who are yet to recover from the shock of Gujarat. By the way, there was one more leader in 2007 who won an election based on his strong leadership, his Government's performance, his integrity. And that too a re-election. He too was, and is, an Indian. He lives somewhere in Ahmedabad.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Cricket 2008

Well, cricket has truly turned a new corner this new year. Gone are the days when players were at the mercy of players. Even now they are, but atleast players of one team - team Australia, are not. Infact they are not at anyone's mercy, not even the match referee or the ICC.

This's a small but significant development. Australian players are so powerful that they just need to lodge a complaint against an opposition player they are not comfortable playing against. The complaint can be anything. Let me illustrate a possible complaint. 'Player A of a non-Australian team f***** up his(A's) wife'. The ICC will soon call an emergency meeting of the Protection-From-Sexual-Abuse-And-Prevention-Of-AIDS-In-Cricket committee. Andrew Symonds, the complainant, shall offer to be the voyeuristic witness. Voyeurism pales into insignificance in front of the game. 'Game is bigger than voyeurism', said the great Australian cricketer-turned-philosopher David Ross. As a celebration of this noble thought Australian media shall hail Andrew Symonds as 'the unassuming, selfless, daring hero who uncharted delicate and private territories to save the game from going down a lusty perverted intellectual drain'. Whatever that means! And the ICC will ban the cricketer A from the game and also sperate the couple if possible.

In this way they can 'remove' key opposition players. Others can be eliminated in a simpler way with the help of umpires-who-save-the-game-by-submitting themselves-to-Australian-divinity. These umpires apply the simple thumb rule, 'There is no bowler in the world who can dismiss an Aussie batsman before he scores a 100. There is no non-Aussie batsman who can score half century'.

By committing themselves to these noble game-saving measures, Australia can proudly say, 'We play the game in the right spirit'.