26/11/2009 ..... One year later

Dear Mohammad Ajmal Kasab,

Wish you a very Happy Birthday and many more happy returns of the day. Yes, had it not been our peace loving authorities to take good care of you, you too would have died on the fateful day, 26/11, when you dared to open fire to claim many innocent Indian lives for your filthy motive. You are so cool, you took so many lives that day with a trigger and got yourself a new life!

You infiltrated into amchi Mumbai, ruined our prestigious monuments, brutally took lives of so many innocent people, widowed happy wives and orphaned countless kids and caused destruction to our much loved city with your dastardly and cowardly attacks. We can’t put our feelings in words to see you alive and in pink of your health, living on our money, surviving on rich food, taken care of by money we pay as taxes. The money that we pay as tax so that hardcore criminals like you eat, drink and sleep comfortably, while we continue spending sleepless nights waiting for another Kasab to show up.

While millions of Indian citizens spend their lives on roads, are deprived of basic amenities and medication, live with a fear of another horrendous attack by uncivilized creatures like you, our system is extra cautious for your well-being. We are sure you are safe in police custody with guards on your sides to fulfill your every small requirement.

We have full faith in our systems. And we know you will live happily ever after in the confines of the four walls of the prison where you don’t have to worry about earning your bread and butter.

Cause we have other issues to deal with, and react violently when someone discourages the use of Hindi language and Mumbai is referred to Bombay. Though its months after you confessed your crime, our ‘efficient’ system will ensure your safety and comfort for more days to come, when giving you an apt punishment is the last thing on their minds, while the common man remains busy seeking survival in this city.

Wish you a Happy Birthday again darling, and we are sure you will have no complaints with our system.

Best Wishes,

A true Indian


Make Govt Officers Efficient: Birbe Them !

Before you start reading this post, let me make it clear this is not a satirical article. I am damn serious.

Money is just another measure for your useful labour

First of all, you need to understand what money is. Money is not something you win in a lottery, or are born with. Money is a measure of your labor that came useful to someone. For example if you build a house for someone, he will give you some money in return. Therefore, the money you have is your hard earned labor, nothing else.

If you invest your money in stock market and make millions out of it, then basically you took the labor assuming the risk involved in the business you invested in. The money is now a reward for your risk taking and accurate decision making.
If you are a millionaire then you became a millionaire because you performed the labor to become so rich.
I am covering these bases because in India half of our problems are because of wrong presumptions. We in India believe that being rich or poor is a matter of luck. You can never deserve to be rich or to be poor. If you are rich, then help out the poor people. If you are poor then there is no reason why rich should be treated any more or less than the poor.

Bribe the government officials

Once you have established the axiom that being rich or poor are not the matter of fate and your own doing, you will realize that when you pay someone with money, basically you are giving them your useful labor. You are giving them this labor in exchange for their useful labor.

When you pay a traffic cop some money to not write you a ticket, that money goes to him directly instead of to the government. This is a very good thing. This makes him more efficient.
How? Here is how. What is the purpose of the traffic cop? To regulate the traffic, prevent, and deter people from violating traffic rules. When you bribe a cop, you are basically asking him to be more efficient in catching traffic violations, because more people he catches breaking the rules more money he will make for his own pocket.
When you pay a government official in say passport office to process your passport in a faster manner, you get priority over any other person who may not be able to pay for his passport. This is also a very good thing because it makes the whole society more efficient.

How? Here is how. Who is willing to pay more for a faster passport? Someone who needs the passport with more urgency. Why would a person need his passport with more urgency and why would he be willing to pay for it?

Because that person feels his time is more important to him than the money he spends on bribing the passport officials. He is willing to spend his valuable useful labor on the speed of passport because he either expects to make more money out the time he saved (in which case he is providing more useful labor to other people), or he just wants psychic satisfaction by getting his work done faster (in which case he is paying by his labor).

What about dishonest cops? Sure bribing a cop may not bring any good?

Well actually it does. You see most of our laws are basically a legacy of British Raj, take for example the law against Homosexuality, laws against guns, our Indian Penal Code was formulated in 1860 (90 years before we achieved independence), under British supervision.

A bunch of our laws are formulated because western nations with huge guilt want us to follow them through UN, take for example the environmental laws, Intellectual property laws etc.

Then a majority of our laws are there because the old people who stick to their Culture (well they don’t have any wealth to pass us on, so why not talk about the various non-tangible things they pass us, that is, Indian Culture), want the government to enforce cultural norms on us.
The point being that except for a minority of criminal laws that actually are relevant, most of the laws are made with an intention of following culture and customs. The Hindu Marriage law forces Hindus to follow Hinduism; the Muslim marriage law forces Muslims to follow Islam. Pornography is not legal in India because our culture does not approve it. The point is most of these things are not criminal offenses at all, and there are no victims. For example, rape does have a victim, what who is the victim in a case of Pornography? Surely, the women who willingly agreed to work in the movie are not, neither the person who is watching the pornographic movie.

When Police force tries to enforce these laws, where there are no victims, nothing is more moralistic to bribe the police. If you want to use drugs, bribe the local cop. If you want to engage in prostitution, bribe the local cop. If you want to watch Porn, bribe the local cop.
You might say, well where does this ‘dishonesty’ stop, how about you want to rape someone you can bribe the cop?

Well the cop is not stupid, he will not take a bribe if you raped someone or molested some young kid. Even dishonest cops have a conscience. Dishonest cops take bribe for crimes which have no real victims, or where the damage done is really small and the rewards are really high.

Although this in no way guarantees that the cops will only take bribe for victim-less crimes, but my point is just because you do not bribe them does not change the fact that our police force is highly inefficient. The point is, there is nothing immoral in bribing a cop for a victimless crime.
If the question arises in your mind, what is a more permanent solution incompetence of the Police force, well try getting rid of all these stupid laws about victimless crimes, and then the cops will only be focused on catching the real criminals.
When you pay a Train Conductor (TC) in a railway compartment, to give you a reserved seat after a high bribe, there is not better then that. This is my favorite kind of bribery. This is like the quasi-auctioning of the seats. Highest bidder gets the seat. If there are more people, then whosoever pays maximum amount of his own labor, for the comfort of the seat gets it.
Although Train Conductors do not always give the ticket to the highest bidder, they give some preference to highest bidder, and some to the person needing the seat most (like an old person or a woman with kids).
The economic function achieved here is, the Train Conductor can make maximum amount of money if he satisfies the maximum number of people and maximum need with whatever resources he has.


As you can see this article stands to what it claims in its title. Bribing the government officials brings efficiency in the government operations. It is not the best course of action for us, but with the limited means we have, this is the best course of action.
If you really want passport offices to be more efficient, privatize it.
If you really want Traffic cops to be more efficient and honest, privatize traffic police, privatize roads, and have this organization compete with each other for the consumers.
If you want to see honest cops, remove the stupid laws, make people responsible for themselves. However, these are only temporary solutions; a more permanent solution would be to privatize Police itself.
If you want honest Train, conductors privatize railways. Allow private agencies to run their railroads in India.
Until then, never feel bad for a consensual capitalist act.


Nathuram Godse's speech at trial

" On January 13, 1948, I learnt that Gandhiji had decided to go on fast unto death. The reason given was that he wanted an assurance of Hindu-Muslim Unity... But I and many others could easily see that the real motive...[was] to compel the Dominion Government to pay the sum of Rs 55 crores to Pakistan, the payment of which was emphatically refused by the Government.... But this decision of the people's Government was reversed to suit the tune of Gandhiji's fast. It was evident to my mind that the force of public opinion was nothing but a trifle when compared with the leanings of Gandhiji favourable to Pakistan.

....In 1946 or thereabout, Muslim atrocities perpetrated on Hindus under the Government patronage of Surhawardy in Noakhali made our blood boil. Our shame and indignation knew no bounds when we saw that Gandhiji had come forward to shield that very Surhawardy and began to style him as 'Shaheed Saheb' - a martyr - even in his prayer meetings...

....Gandhiji's influence in the Congress first increased and then became supreme. His activities for public awakening were phenomenal in their intensity and were reinforced by the slogans of truth and non-violence which he ostentatiously paraded before the country... I could never conceive that an armed resistance to the aggressor is unjust... Ram killed Ravan in a tumultuous fight... Krishna killed Kansa to end his wickedness... In
condemning Shivaji, Rana Pratap and Guru Govind as 'misguided patriots,'
Gandhiji has merely exposed his self-conceit... Gandhiji was, paradoxically, a violent pacifist who brought untold calamities on the country in the name of truth and nonviolence, while Rana Pratap, Shivaji and the Guru will remain enshrined in the hearts of their countrymen forever...

....By 1919, Gandhiji had become desperate in his endeavours to get the Muslims to trust him and went from one absurd promise to another... He backed the Khilafat movement in this country and was able to enlist the full support of the National Congress in that policy... very soon the Moplah Rebellion showed that the Muslims had not the slightest idea of national unity... There followed a huge slaughter of Hindus... The British
Government, entirely unmoved by the rebellion, suppressed it in a few months and left to Gandhiji the joy of his Hindu-Muslim Unity... British Imperialism emerged stronger, the Muslims became more fanatical, and the
consequences were visited on the Hindus...

The accumulating provocation of 32 years, culminating in his last pro-Muslim fast, at last goaded me to the conclusion that the existence of Gandhiji should be brought to an end immediately... he developed a subjective
mentality under which he alone was the final judge of what was right or wrong... Either Congress had to surrender its will to him and play second fiddle to all his eccentricity, whimsicality... or it had to carry on
without him... He was the master brain guiding the civil disobedience movement... The movement may succeed or fail; it may bring untold disasters and political reverses, but that could make no difference to the Mahatma's infallibility... These childish inanities and obstinacies, coupled with a most severe austerity of life, ceaseless work and lofty character, made Gandhiji formidable and irresistible... In a position of such absolute
irresponsibility, Gandhiji was guilty of blunder after blunder...

....The Mahatma even supported the separation of Sindh from the Bombay Presidency and threw the Hindus of Sindh to the communal wolves. Numerous riots took place in Karachi, Sukkur, Shikarpur and other places in which the Hindus were the only sufferers...

....From August 1946 onwards, the private armies of the Muslim League began a massacre of the Hindus... Hindu blood began to flow from Bengal to Karachi with mild reactions in the Deccan... The Interim government formed in September was sabotaged by its Muslim League members, but the more they
became disloyal and treasonable to the government of which they were a part, the greater was Gandhi's infatuation for them...

....The Congress, which had boasted of its nationalism and socialism, secretly accepted Pakistan and abjectly surrendered to Jinnah. India was vivisected and one-third of the Indian territory became foreign land to
us... This is what Gandhiji had achieved after 30 years of undisputed dictatorship, and this is what Congress party calls 'freedom'...

....One of the conditions imposed by Gandhiji for his breaking of the fast unto death related to the mosques in Delhi occupied by Hindu refugees. But when Hindus in Pakistan were subjected to violent attacks he did not so much as utter a single word to protest and censure the Pakistan government...

Gandhi is being referred to as the Father of the Nation. But if that is so, he had failed his paternal duty inasmuch as he has acted very treacherously to the nation by his consenting to the partitioning of it... The people of this country were eager and vehement in their opposition to Pakistan. But Gandhiji played false with the people...

....I shall be totally ruined, and the only thing I could expect from the people would be nothing but hatred... if I were to kill Gandhiji. But at the same time, I felt that Indian politics in the absence of Gandhiji would
surely be proved practical, able to retaliate, and be powerful with armed forces. No doubt, my own future would be totally ruined, but the nation would be saved from the inroads of Pakistan...

....I do say that my shots were fired at the person whose policy and action had brought rack and ruin and destruction to millions of Hindus... There was no legal machinery by which such an offender could be brought to book, and for this reason I fired those fatal shots...

....I do not desire any mercy to be shown to me... I did fire shots at Gandhiji in open daylight. I did not make any attempt to run away; in fact I never entertained any idea of running away. I did not try to shoot myself...
for, it was my ardent desire to give vent to my thoughts in an open Court.My confidence about the moral side of my action has not been shaken even by the criticism levelled of against it on all sides. I have no doubt, honest writers of history will weigh my act and find the true value thereof some day in future. "


Why go to Temple?

A Temple goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to Temple every day.

"I've gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So, I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all."

This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:

"I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this.. They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work.
If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to temple for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!"

UseFul Information - LPG Expiry Date

Have U ever heard about LPG gas cylinder's expiry date....!!
Do you know that there is an expiry date (physical life) for LPG cylinders?
Expired Cylinders are not safe for use and may cause accidents. In this regard, please be cautious at the time of accepting any LPG cylinder from the vendor.
Here is how we can check the expiry of LPG cylinders: On one of three side stems of the cylinder, the expiry date is coded alpha numerically as follows A or B or C or D and some two digit number following this e.g. D06.
The alphabets stand for quarters -
1. A for March (First Qtr),
2. B for June (Second Qtr),
3. C for Sept (Third Qtr),
4. D for December (Fourth Qtr).
The digits stand for the year till it is valid. Hence D06 would mean December qtr of 2006. Please Return Back the Cylinder that you get with a Expiry Date, they are prone to Leak and other Hazardous accidents ... The second example with D13 allows the cylinder to be in use until Dec 2013 .


A Tribute to the "GREATEST" thing ever happened to INDIA - Thanks NDTV for Snaps :)

1st century: On September 9, 1994 at the Premdasa Stadium in Colombo, the little master scored thfirst of his 45 centuries playing against Australia scoring 110 runs at a strike rate of 84.61.

2nd century: His second century came just a month later on October 28, 1994 against New Zealand at Vadodara. This was also Sachin’s first ODI century in India. Opening the innings, he scored 115 runs at a strike rate of 84.55.

3rd century: Sachin’s majestic form continued as just two weeks later on November 11, 1994 he scored his third century against West Indies at Jaipur. Sachin scored 105 runs at a strike rate of 78.35 this time.

4th century: Sachin went on without a century for nearly 5 months till April 9, 1995 when opening the innings, he scored a blisteringly quick century staying not out at a score of 112 at a strike rate of 104.67. This smashing inning of his won India the match against Sri Lanka at Sharjah.

5th century: His fifth century came again in India when he scored an unbeaten 127 at the Barbati stadium in Cuttack at a strike rate of 92.02 against the Kenyans on February 18,1996. All of his first five centuries helped India register victories in those particular matches.

6th century: Even though Sachin put up a fight, India tasted defeat at the hands of the Lankans on March 2, 1996 at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi. A focussed Sachin kept on going while wickets kept falling at regular intervals. He scored 137 runs of 137 balls. Yet, for the first time his century could not culminate into a win for India.

7th century: Another century for Sachin, yet another loss for team India. Even though Sachin kept his majestic form going, scoring 100 runs against Pakistan, India still ended up losing the match at The Padang, Singapore.

8th Century: Exactly 10 days later India got its revenge against Pakistan and Sachin got his eight ODI century. Opening the inning for India, Sachin scored 118 runs at a strike rate of 84.28, at the Sharjah stadium.

9th Century: His 9th century came on August 28, 1996. A day of mixed feelings for Sachin as even though he scored his first century as skipper, India still lost the match to Sri Lanka. Sachin scored 110 runs at a strike rate of 79.71 playing at the Premdasa stadium in Colombo.

10th CENTURY: On December 14, 1996, Sachin’s tenth ODI ton helped India register a win against South Africa at Sachin’s home ground Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. Opening the innings, Sachin made 114 runs at a strike rate of 90.47.

11th Century: On February 9, 1997 at Willowmoore Park in Benoni, unstoppable Sachin showed the Zimbabweans why he was the most dangerous batsman in the world. Leading India to victory, he scored 104 runs at more than a run a ball.

12th Century: On May 14, 1997 at Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore, Sachin scored his second century against New Zealand and his 12th overall ODI century which was also his last century in his first captaincy stint. His 117 runs inning led India to a comfortable victory.

13th Century: Sachin went century-less for nearly a year. On April 7, 1998 he came back to form with a century against Australia at the Green Park stadium in Kanpur. He scored a hundred runs again at a strike rate of more than a run a ball leading India to victory.

14th Century: Sachin had already started giving his opposition nightmares. On April 22, 1998 he single handedly fought Australia scoring a mammoth 143 runs. Although India lost, nobody could forget that particular innings of his at Sharjah.

15th Century: This was the time when Australia really had no answer to the unstoppable force called Sachin. On April 24, 1998, bitter from the last match’s loss, Sachin scored yet another century this time leading India to a win. He scored 134 runs at a strike rate of 102.29.

16th Century: On May 31st, 1998, Sachin scored his 16th century against Kenya. He scored a hundred runs not out at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata leading India to victory.

17th Century: Hitting centuries one after the other had become a habit for Sachin by now. On July 7, 1998 he scored his 17th century leading India to victory against Sri Lanka at the Premadasa stadium in Colombo. Sachin scored 128 runs at nearly a run a ball.

18th Century: In what was yet another victory for team India, Sachin added another century to his records, scoring 127 not out against Zimbabwe at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo on September 26, 1998.With this century, Sachin surpassed West Indian Desmond Haynes' record of the maximum ODI centuries.

19th Century: October 28, 1998: This time we are in Dhaka but the opposition is the familiar Aussie side. Sachin keeps giving them nightmares as he scored a quick 141 runs leading India to another victory over Australia.

20th Century: Sharjah has proved to be really lucky for Sachin in the past. November 8, 1998 was no different. Sachin completed his 20th ODI century playing against Zimbabwe. He scored 118 runs not out at strike rate of 105.35.

21st Century: 5 days later, on November 13, 1998, Sachin scored another century. This time it was even quicker than his last one. He scored 124 not out at an outstanding strike rate of 135 leading India to another comfortable win against Zimbabwe at Sharjah.

22nd Century: Even with the recent loss of his father, Sachin wasn’t ready to slow down. The most dangerous batsman in the world showed Kenya who the real cricketing giant was when he scored an unbeaten 140 runs at a strike rate of 138.61 on May 23, 1999 at County Ground in Bristol. He dedicated this century to his late father Ramesh Tendulkar. This was Sachin’s first ODI century where he did not open the innings.

23rd Century: On August 29, 1999, Sachin returned with the first century of his second captaincy stint. He scored 120 runs against Sri Lanka helping India to a win at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo.

24th Century: On November 8, 1999 Sachin scored his highest ODI score in an inning when he hammered the New Zealand bowlers for an unbeaten 186 runs at the Lal Bahadur Shastri stadium in Hyderabad which India comfortably won.

25th Century: His first century of the new millenium came on March 17, 2000 when he scored 122 runs against the Proteas at the IPCL Sports Complex Ground in Vadodara. Like most of Sachin’s centuries, this one too resulted in a win for India.

26th Century: On October 20, 2000, Sachin kept fighting the Lankan bowling attack on his own and stood his ground. He scored 101 runs but could not lead India to a win. This, at one of his luckiest, the Sharjah stadium.

27th Century: On December 8, 2000, India had a shocker of a defeat to Zimbabwe at the Barkatullah Khan Stadium in Jodhpur. Even a fantastic 146 run knock by Sachin could not save India from a surprising defeat.

28th Century: Another match with Australia, another century for Sachin. On March 31, 2001, Sachin scored 139 runs at more than a run a ball to lead India to victory against the Aussies at the Nehru Stadium in Indore.

29th Century: Sachin scored his second century against the Windies on July 4, 2001 at the Harare Sports Club in Harare scoring an unbeaten 122 runs leading India to a win.

30th Century: In a losing battle against the Proteas on October 5, 2001, Sachin scored his 30th ODI century at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. He made 101 runs at a strike rate of 78.29.

31st Century: Another good innings with a score of 146 came on October 24, 2001 when he helped India win at the Boland Park, Paarl against Kenya.

32nd Century: His first century against England came after being nearly a decade in the sport on July 4, 2002. He scored an unbeaten 105 batting at the number four spot at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street. This was his second century batting at the number four spot.

33rd Century: Just a week later on July 11, 2002, he scored a very fast 113 against Sri Lanka at the County Ground, Bristol, leading team India to victory. This was again while batting at the number four spot.

34th Century: Sachin went without a century for nearly half a year. He then hit his 34th ton against Namibia at the City Oval, Pietermaritzburg on February 23, 2003. Sachin for the second time managed to score in excess of 150 runs with a score of an unbeaten 152 coming at nearly a run a ball.

35th Century: The master batsman got his 35th ODI ton against Australia on October 26, 2003 in Gwalior that resulted in India's 37-run win over the World Champions.

36th century: Bowlers were finding it hard to put a stop to Sachin’s menace. Sachin hit his 36th century playing against New Zealand scoring 102 runs at the Lal Bahadur Shastri stadium in Hyderabad, winning the match for India on November 15, 2003.

37th century: March 16, 2004. It was an India Pakistan match which India went on to lose. Playing at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi, Sachin knocked the ball all around the ground to score 141 runs again at a strike rate of more than a run a ball.

38th Century: Sachin’s next century came again against Pakistan. Although this century came after a gap of more than a year on April 12, 2005 at Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, Sachin’s 123 could not win the match for India who had another defeat to Pakistan on their records.

39th Century: Sachin’s 39th century came against Pakistan on February 6, 2006 when he scored a hundred runs playing at Arbab Niaz Stadium in Peshawar. It is ironical that Sachin’s last three centuries came against Pakistan and India still lost those three matches.

40th Century: Tendulkar had slowed down by now and so had his centuries. His 40th century came on September 14, 2006 at the Kinrara Academy Oval in Kuala Lumpur against West Indies when he hit an unbeaten 141 runs. Unfortunately, just like his previous three centuries, India lost this match as well.

41st Century: On January 31, 2007, Sachin scored an unbeaten 100 to establish his 41st century. Playing at IPCL Sports Complex Ground in Vadodara against West Indies, Sachin scored at an impressive strike rate of 131.57 leading India to victory.

42nd Century: Sachin had hit a rough patch by now. Critics were harsh on him and people wanted to see the old Sachin back. Battling average form and the tongues of his critics, he silenced everybody with an unbeaten 117 against Australia in the Sydney Cricket Ground, Australia on March 2, 2008.

43rd Century: If anybody knows how to do it in style, it has to be Sachin Tendulkar. Waiting a full year after his 42nd century, Sachin impressed everybody with an unbeaten 163 against New Zealand on March 6, 2009 at AMI Stadium, Christchurch. Announcement made, Sachin is back.

44th Century: On September 14, 2009, Sachin wisely held the Indian innings together and scored 138 runs against the Lankans, at the Premadasa stadium in Colombo to lead India to victory.

45th Century: It seemed like an impossible task. India were chasing 351 runs for victory in the 5th match of the ongoing India-Australia series. The middle order crumpled, Sachin stayed on. Probably the most exciting run chase of the year, Saching kept scoring all around the ground. Maximising advantage of an injury hit Aussie bowling attack, Sachin kept hopes of a billion Indians alive by leading India very close to a victory. But the tables immediately turned when Sachin was caught at Short Fine Leg at a score of 175 runs. With the fall of Sachin, fell the hopes of an entire nation, and the mesmerising run chase fell short by just 3 runs.


On Indira's Death Anniversery

This is what I Read through an editorial by "Coomi Kapoor" in IndianExpress.

History is written by the victors. So the flood of government advertisements with beatific and benevolent images of Indira Gandhi which appeared on the 25th anniversary of her assassination is not surprising. If the birth anniversary of India's original iron man, which fell on the same day, was ignored, that also is unremarkable. Outside Gujarat, how many still remember Sardar Patel? That Indira Gandhi continues to fascinate people throughout the length and breath of the country is borne out by the long, winding queues standing daily outside 1, Safdarjung Road, the house in which she lived and was shot dead by her own guards. This is in contrast to the Birla House, where Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated, and which now houses a dusty, neglected museum.

But what took me aback was how many of our TV commentators and newspaper analysts rated Indira as one of our best prime ministers. There appeared to be far more rosy recollections than negative memories on the silver jubilee of Indira's death. As someone who has lived through the Indira years and experienced first hand the dark side of her deeply divisive brand of politics and governance, I can't help feeling that some of the nostalgia for her reign is rather misplaced.

To give a cross-section of views by prominent journalists on India's controversial iron lady:

Vir Sanghvi praises Indira for her strength and leadership. He says her critics attack her mainly for her dynastic ambitions and her Left-wing economic policies. The Emergency she imposed, he believes, has been forgotten. Sanghvi credits Indira for keeping India together and gives her high marks for strengthening the electoral process and for her foreign policy.

MJ Akbar believes that India welcomed the realism of Indira Gandhi after the travails of Nehru's idealism. He applauds her for calling elections in 1977 rather than following the example of so many post-colonial dictatorships in Africa and Asia.

Karan Thapar opines that Indira Gandhi's imprint is not just resilient, but perhaps indelible. "She is not only the best remembered of our politicians, but also, I suspect, the most misunderstood," he says. He recalls his personal interaction with the Gandhi family and recounts an incident when as Prime Minister, Gandhi wanted to make sure that she was not later than the President in arriving for a screening of the film "The Pink Panther". Thapar's sister remarked in amazement, "She is virtually a dictator, yet she's so particular about protocol and politeness."

Shekhar Gupta, with a more balanced view, feels that Indira was a different Prime Minister in each of her three spells in office. "She changed and evolved, often for the better, sometimes not quite so. She was "insecure about losing power. The extreme leftward swing in her politics came not from any genuine commitment to socialism, but as an ideological camouflage for a series of dictatorial and subversive blunders which she was to regret later."

Pratap Bhanu Mehta argues that during her tenure, Indira willfully assaulted every single institution: the judiciary, federalism, the police. She tolerated and created a style of politics that was lumpen at its core; an odd combination of corruption, violence and the use of arbitrary power. Her economic policies were largely a disaster. He adds, however, that she was the last leader who truly belonged to the whole of India. The reverence and nostalgia for her has survived, in part because her personal qualities seem to transcend her politics.

Tavleen Singh notes that Indira Gandhi was a charismatic politician with an amazing ability to convince ordinary Indians that she was their one and only benefactress. But "when I try to remember anything good she did for India from an economic or political point of view, I come up with a very short list. By 1984, when she had ruled India for over 16 years, she succeeded in turning India into a country in which everything was in short supply and everything second-rate."

My own assessment of India's iron lady comes closest to those of Tavleen and Mehta.

Many now tend to forgive Indira for her Emergency excesses, and claim that at heart she was a true democrat. After all, she called elections in 1977 when she need not have done so, her apologists argue.

Whether she did so because of her democratic convictions or because she was led to believe that she would win the next general elections and was sensitive to world opinion and her place in history, is something we can never know for sure. But in any case, the imposition of Emergency was not a one-off aberration. Throughout her political career, and not just in the Emergency years, Indira demonstrated her authoritarian and ruthless streak.

She had no compunctions about subverting the Constitution, co-opting the judiciary, emasculating her own party, victimising her opponents through the use of government machinery, unseating lawfully elected state governments and denigrating top Constitutional positions by cynically making appointments on a sole criteria -- whether the person was pliable and loyal to her. She intimidated and bullied the press, ran Doordarshan as her personal propaganda machine, furthered her son's business interests and made no bones about her dynastic intentions.

In recollecting Indira's legacy, many commentators have confused her huge personal popularity and political shrewdness with performance. She may have been a strong leader-- particularly when compared to the fractious, undisciplined leaders who succeeded her -- but the country's economy stagnated during her tenure.

The advantage of a decisive victory over Pakistan, was frittered away with no real gain. Even her enemies would not question Indira's deep commitment to India, but like many of her blind followers she had unfortunately begun to believe then Congress president Dev Kant Baruah's famously sycophantic words, "Indira is India and India is Indira".


Leaflet thrown in the Central Assembly Hall, New Delhi at the time of the throwing voice bombs.

On the 8th April, 1929, the Viceroy's proclamation, enacting the two Bills, was to be made, despite the fact that the majority of members were opposed to it, and had rather rejected in earlier.
"It takes a loud voice to make the deaf hear, with these immortal words uttered on a similar occasion by Valiant, a French anarchist martyr, do we strongly justify this action of ours."
"Without repeating the humiliating history of the past ten years of the working of the reforms (Montague-Chelmsford Reforms) and without mentioning the insults hurled at the Indian nation through this House-the so-called Indian Parliament-we want to point out that, while the people expecting some more crumbs of reforms from the Simon Commission, and are ever quarrelling over the distribution of the expected bones, the Government is thrusting upon us new repressive measures like the Public Safety and the Trade Disputes Bill, while reserving the Press Sedition Bill for the next session. The indiscriminate arrests of labour leaders working in the open field clearly indicate whither the wind blows."
"In these extremely provocative circumstances, the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, in all seriousness, realizing their full responsibility, had decided and ordered its army to do this particular action, so that a stop be put to this humiliating farce and to let the alien bureaucratic exploiters do what they wish, but they must be made to come before the public eve in their naked form."
"Let the representatives of the people return to their constituencies and prepare the masses for the coming revolution, and let the Government know that while protesting against the Public Safety and Trade Disputes Bills and the callous murder of Lala Lajpat Rai, on behalf of the helpless Indian masses, we want to emphasize the lesson often repeated by history, that it is easy to kill individuals but you connot kill the ideas Great empires crumbled while the ideas survived. Bourbons and Czars fell. While the revaluation marched ahead triumphantly."
"We are sorry to admit that we who attach so great a sanctity to human life, who dream of a glorious future, when man will be enjoying perfect peace and full liberty, have been forced to shed human blood. But the sacrifice of individuals at the altar of the 'Great Revolution' that will bring freedom to all, rendering the exploitation of man by man impossible, is inevitable."
"Long Live the Revolution."15


Yesterday, was watching star news program which declares "Bhagavan Sathya Sai of Puttaparthi" as a person who cheats Indian Public and declares himself as "GOD". The program also demonstrated various foul tricks that he does to lure public. Well, i myself one of the few people who doesn't believe in all these mans and gurus for me they are just a part of living. But then i came across one of the article by Mr. Gurumurthy on "Philanthropy" and this what he says:

We have in our country a long but uneven tradition of philanthropy’.

The charity run by Bhagwan Sathya Sai of Puttaparthi. His work for the poor is unmatched; yet equally unknown. Here are just two illustrations of his work. Anantapur district in Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh was known for water scarcity and water salinity and high fluoride levels in drinking water. Moved by the suffering of the poor, Sai Baba decided to do what the government could not for 50 long years; provide potable drinking water to the whole of Anantapur — yes, for the whole district.

He declared in November 1995, “Today it is ‘Raatlaseema’ (rocky region); it must be transformed into ‘Ratnala Seema’ (land that glitters like diamond)”. It took just 18 months. The work involved laying some 2,000 kilometres — yes 2,000 km — of water pipeline; building 43 sumps of 1.5 lakh to 25 lakh litres capacity; constructing 18 balancing reservoirs of three to 10 lakh litres capacity — where? — on top of hillocks; erecting 270 overhead reservoirs holding 40,000 to three lakh litres; installing 1,500-plus concrete pre-cast cisterns of 2,500 litres capacity, each attached with four taps for people to draw water.

This is how the 9th Planning Commission document describes the initiative. The Sathya Sai charity ‘has set an unparalleled initiative of implementing on their own, without any state budgetary support, a massive water supply project with an expenditure of Rs 3,000 million to benefit 731 scarcity and fluoride/salinity affected villages and a few towns in Anantapur district in 18 months’. Baba’s trusts repeated this feat in fluoride-affected Medak and Mehboobnagar districts. They provided water to some 4.5 lakh poor in 179 villages in Medak, and to some 3.5 lakh poor in 141 villages in the next. The drinking water projects in these districts covered more than 1,000 villages with some 20 lakh people.

Then, he saw the poor in Chennai struggling for water. He declared on January 19, 2002, “Today I have made a new resolve. Madras is suffering from acute shortage of drinking water. The rich can buy water. What will the poor do? I have decided to work towards bringing drinking water to Madras, no matter how difficult and how costly the task”. His central trust took up the construction of a 63-km stretch of the 150 km canal in the Telugu Ganga scheme, left incomplete for want of funds, thus denying water to Chennai. Thanks to Baba, Krishna water reached Chennai, irrigating some three lakh hectares of agricultural land on the way. These projects cost over Rs 600 crore.

The Sathya Sai trusts in Puttaparthi and Bengaluru run world-class speciality hospitals. They have performed some 24,000 cardiac surgeries, 34,000 cardiac cathertisations, 7,000 neuro surgeries, 40,000 eye surgeries, and 600 orthopaedic surgeries and treated millions more — all free. What is absent in these two hospitals is a billing department. The bill for these services might exceed Rs 1,000 crore. Baba’s trusts also run free educational institutions, cultural centres and music colleges. Secular India generously released a stamp to note the charity in Anantapur.

Well reader can always cross check this. Intellectual people or I can say media why the hell they don't spread positive environment across India which we need more.

As an Indian I am not starting myself as follower of "SAIJI " but then he has doen some considerable work which I really appreciate.



No, this isn't a list of swinging couples... No... not honey-mooners too,. Which Goan would like to honeymoon in Doha for godsakes?
A reader mailed this in sometime back.
This is a list of husband/wives who have travelled to Doha and UAE at the exchequer's cost. The purpose of this 'educational' visit, is to travel to the Dubai and Doha, which hosted the 2006 Asian games and learn some lessons in building sports related infrastructure. Lessons which need to be kept in mind when Goa hosts the national games in 2011. But then do you really need wives on an educational trip?
Why would Sports minister Manohar alias Babu Azgaonkar, chief secretary Jatinder Pal Singh, Dr Mohammad Modassir, Morad Ahmad and Joseph Rego need wives as they go about educating themselves as they travel around town?
If these guys need a holiday, they should call one on their own money mates...
Why make Goans pay for their portable fanny packs? And guess what guys, Doha is not the only place these pairs are gonna visit. They are also likely to drop by UAE's sin city for four days? Wonder what Babu's gonna pick up? How bout a nice kinky ear-hair trimmer... Just a suggestion.
The whole trip to Doha, UAE is going to cost us about Rs 50 lakh. The best thing to happen to sports in Goa would be if SAG Executive Director V M Prabhudessai disappears in the swirling sands there. But Goa needs guys like the chief secretary J P Singh and chief town planner Murad Admad. There must still be so many files at the Town and Country Planning department, which are waiting to go missing.

I read this blog somewhere and it was written on "7th Nov 2008".


Pratibha Patil, True Story – by Arun Shourie (Disturbing Credentials)

'A big step for women… This shows India has a lot of respect for women… My nomination will inspire other women and help their empowerment…' – that is how Pratibha Patil described her selection as the UPA candidate for being our President.

Loyalists, of course, went one better. 'A firm believer in women's causes and a tireless champion of spreading education among girls… One who always stands for a better deal for women… active role in checking such evils as female feticide and dowry...' 'Working women of Mumbai hail…' 'Yes, Ma'am Commander' – Army men look forward to reporting to first woman Supreme Commander of Armed Forces…

And all this within two days of her selection.
Her bio-data lists her 'special interests' as 'development of rural economy and welfare of women', and lists as evidence:

1.   'Establishment of Pratibha Mahila Sahakari Bank at Jalgaon, Maharashtra… of Mahila Vikas Mahamandal…'
2.   It records her being Managing Trustee, Shram Sadhana Trust.
3.   Her being the 'Chief Promoter and Chairperson of Sugar Factory in Jalgaon District'.
4.   It records her having set up the Engineering College 'for the benefit of rural youth'… 

We start with the 'cooperative bank' she set up in her own name to help other women – the Pratibha Mahila Sahakari Bank.

Although this is listed in her bio-data, and although it has been referred to again and again by newspapers, how is it that neither the bio-data nor the newspapers mention that the bank has actually been liquidated? Under orders of the Reserve Bank of India, no less. And that too on the telling ground that its continuance would be prejudicial to the interests of depositors.

Brief history
Pratibha Patil established the bank in 1973 with herself as the chairperson, and with many members of her own family as its directors. She herself became a director for several terms. As for members of her family, they inter-changed, among themselves, the chairs of the Board of Directors in one 'election' after another. But while others changed places, Pratibha Patil continued as Founder Chairperson Right till the demise of the bank.

Since the bank was not being managed properly, the Reserve Bank of India, in 1995, included it in its list of 'weak banks' and placed it under rehabilitation 'due to heavy erosion in its assets as observed in the inspection in March 1994.'

The RBI conducted an in-depth inspection of the bank's functioning again in 2002. In his order dated 25 February 2003, P.B . Mathur, Executive Director of the RBI, stated that the inspection revealed the following irregularities:

1: The real or exchangeable value of the bank's paid-up share capital and reserves stands at minus Rs. 197.67 lakh. Thus, the bank is not having adequate assets to meet its liabilities. The bank does not comply with the RBI's requirement of minimum share capital…

2: The ratio of the net erosion to net owned funds of the bank is as high as 312.4% and the erosion in the value of the bank's assets has not only wiped out its owned funds but has also affected the deposits to the extent of Rs. 197.67 lakh, forming 26% of total deposits…

3: The gross NPAs of the bank, that is loans that have gone bad, amount to 65.8% of the total loans and advances…

4: The Board has not made any concerted effort to improve the bank's financial position and bring it out of the weak status…

As a consequence, the RBI in its order stated: 'Having regard to all the facts, the Reserve Bank of India is satisfied that allowing the bank to carry on banking business any further would be detrimental to the interest of the present and future depositors and hence the license granted to the PRATIBHA MAHILA SAHAKARI BANK LTD. is hereby cancelled.'

Who got the loans?
But how did the assets of the bank get eroded? Why did this 'cooperative bank' – functioning as it must have been in the interests of its members – not take any action to retrieve the loans and instead endanger its very existence? Remember that the order of the RBI to liquidate the bank was not a sudden bolt. The RBI had put the bank on its list of 'weak banks' in 1995, that is a full eight years before the RBI had to decide that it just must be liquidated, and cancelled its license. Throughout these eight years why did Board not make any "concerted effort to improve the bank's financial position"?

A brief list of the sorts of persons who had been given the 'loans' and were not repaying them, tells the tale.

Name of the NPA holder                     Relationship to P. Patil           Amount due with penalty

Rajeshwari Kishorisingh Patil             Brother's daughter-in-law       Rs. 45, 82, 670

Kishor Dilipsingh Patil                        Nephew                                   Rs. 51, 02, 183

Kishor Dilipsingh Patil                        Nephew                                   Rs. 43, 87, 680
Udhavsingh Dagdu Rajput                 Brother's kin

Udhavsingh Dagdu Rajput                 Brother's kin and wife            Rs. 42, 89, 602
Jayashri Udhavsingh Rajput              

Randhirsingh Dilipsingh Rajput         Nephew                                   Rs. 21, 44, 800
Udhavsingh Dagdu Rajput

Jyoti Vijaysingh Patil
Kishor Dilipsingh Patil                        Nephew                                   Rs. 10, 69, 893
Dilispsingh N. Patil                             Brother                                    Rs. 3, 09, 562

Dilispsingh N. Patil                             Brother                                    Rs. 5, 62, 840

Total:                                                                                                  Rs. 2, 24, 49, 150


Notice that among the women that were being empowered by this cooperative for women – this Pratibha Mahila Sahakari Bank – were the brother and nephews of Pratibha Patil! Males behind the Muslim veil, Dr. Watson!

For my friends, the champions of employees' unions
The Cooperative Bank Employees Union wrote one memorandum after another exposing how the directors of the Pratibha Mahila Sahakari Bank were systematically bankrupting the bank. They demanded dismissal of the family-controlled board. They demanded 'a CBI inquiry against Pratibha Patil, former Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha, for the irregularities in the bank'. They wrote these letters, in Marathi, to the relevant authorities in Maharashtra looking after the affairs of cooperative banks. They sent them to the then President, to the then Prime Minister, to among others, 'Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Leader of the Opposition (Lok Sabha)…'
In one such lengthy memorandum dated 3.12.2001, the Employees' Union complained, 'Founder Chairperson Pratibha Patil – during, before and after the period when she was formally on the Board of Directors – has facilitated the loot of large sums of money in the form of unlawful loans without surety extended to her own relatives and to people close to her family.' The Union alleged that, even though the bank was on the verge of bankruptcy, Pratibha Patil got huge amounts of interest waived on the loans given to her close relatives. As illustrations, they listed three such accounts:

1) Anjali Dilipsingh Patil (Pratibha Patil's niece), who got a waiver of Rs. 21.86 lakh;
2)  Kavita Aravind Patil (sister-in-law of Pratibha Patil), who got a waiver of Rs. 8.59 lakh; and
3) Rajkaur Dilipsingh Patil (another sister-in-law of Pratibha Patil), who got a waiver of Rs. 2.47 lakh.

The waivers given, the accounts were promptly closed!
This, the Union stated, 'is a loot of Rs. 32.93 lakh'. You will not be surprised to learn that, within the bank, the complaint got nowhere. And for good reason: the legal advisor to the bank was Pratibha Patil's elder brother, Dilipsingh Patil, and Dilipsingh Patil's own wife was one of the beneficiaries of the loan waiver!

'The purpose of the cooperative movement,' the Union's letter stated, 'is to promote people's economic, social and educational development and thereby strengthen patriotism in them. But (in this bank), Pratibha Patil, her elder brother Dilipsingh Patil and the Board of Directors have, through different means, robbed nearly Rs. 2 crore… The bank is thus being bankrupted through a collusive strategy.' 'What kind of morality is this?,' the Union asked.

In a writ filed in the Bombay High Court – Pratibha Patil is one of the respondents in the case -- the employees of the bank also said something else that will be of particular interest to our champions of social justice. They said, 'The respondent Directors have also appointed staff without following the recruitment procedure that the posts are reserved for reserve categories such as S.C., S.T., O.B.C. The managing Directors have appointed their relatives as employees of the Bank…' 
To rescue the bank from imminent demise, the Union demanded 'seizure of the property of Smt. Pratibha Patil, her brother Dilipsingh Patil and her relatives'. In addition it demanded an inquiry into how they had amassed 'such huge assets'.

As a result of this memorandum, the Department of Cooperatives, Government of Maharashtra, initiated an inquiry. Even as the inquiry was going on, a past president of the Employees Union, Anantsingh Patil, wrote an ever-so-helpful letter to Pratibha Patil, on the Union's letterhead, informing her that she had nothing to do with the irregularities of the bank! He even tendered an apology to her on behalf of the Union! The Union nails the lie. It points to several telling facts. For instance, it says, on 22, January, 2002, the Board had met and, much as the Congress does today !, by resolution no. 23, authorized Pratibha Patil to decide who should be on the Board of Directors and who should be the bank's Chief Executive.
But the matter did not end with the Union's letter or the inquiry of the Maharashtra Government's Cooperative Department. The Reserve Bank of India went into the waiver also. In its confidential inspection report dated 18 June, 2002, found the charge of financial fraud involving those large interest waivers to Pratibha Patil's three close relatives to be valid. It also noted that the Board had not taken approval of the AGM for the loan waiver.
Some women were certainly getting empowered!

A pattern
Memoranda of the Employees Union show that such enterprising sleights-of-account-books were part of a pattern. The memoranda and communications were sent to, among others, Pratibha Patil herself. For instance, in a letter to her on 13 March, 2002, the President, Vice-president and Secretary of the Union informed her that

1. She had allowed her elder brother, Dilipsingh Patil, to use the bank's telephone (no. 224672, which he had got installed at his residence) for running his stock exchange business. He ran up a bill of Rs. 20 lakh. Phone records showed that the calls were made to sharebrokers in Mumbai. These records were subsequently destroyed. But later the charge was found to be one of substance. It was one of the things that Amol Khairnar, who was appointed as the chief administrator of bank, asked P.D. Patil, manager of the bank, to explain in the show-cause notice that the former issued on 1 February, 2003.

2. The show-cause notice also mentioned that the Pratibha Mahil Sahakari Bank had extended unlawful loans to the Sant Muktabai Cooperative Sugar Factory from time to time. As you will recall, the sugar factory too was set up by Pratibha Patil herself to help rural youth! It was inaugurated by Sonia Gandhi in 1999. As The Asian Age has reported, like the Pratibha Mahila Sahakari Bank, the mill too has closed down – but only after running up a loan default of nearly Rs. 20 crore and without ever producing much sugar!

3. The bank also gave loans to undeserving persons to buy shares of the Sant Muktabai Cooperative Sugar Factory. Pratibha Patil and her brothers did so for a reason that my good friend of long-standing, Sharad Pawar would again find nothing extraordinary: they did so in order to retain control over the sugar factory by having these shareholders support her in 'elections' to the cooperative.

If you don't stop…
'It is because of these reasons that the bank is now on the verge of going bankrupt,' the Employees Union charged. It then posed a question to her that those – like my friend Sharad Pawar -- who are making light of this state of affairs in the bank on the ground that such things are nothing new in cooperatives would like to answer: 'Whom should the society trust if politicians like you start cooperative institutions to rob the hard-earned wealth of ordinary people?'

And then come two paragraphs that should be weighed in the scale of the high office to which Pratibha Patil is being catapulted. Before concluding, the Union's President, Vice-president and Secretary state, 'You are the Founder Chairperson of this bank, but you are today attempting, out of selfish reasons, to lead the bank to its demise. You know that the RBI has decided to cancel the bank's license if its financial condition does not improve by March 2002. Once the license is cancelled and the bank is liquidated, you are quite capable of covering-up the fraud you have committed on the bank and the people of this region by using your influence on the Government of Maharashtra.'

And then comes the last para. To get to know our next President, the one who will be the Guardian of our Constitution, do read it twice: 'There is threat to our lives and to the lives of our family members from you. You have already communicated this to us in our meeting with you. Although you have made us aware of this threat, we are prepared to lay down our lives for the pursuit of truth. If something happens to us or to members of our families, accidentally or otherwise, you will be responsible for it, which please note.'

And a letter from the women who were to be empowered
We have focused on 'women' who got loans. But who were the depositors? They were the poor women of the area – who were eking out a living by selling vegetables, by collecting rags… What were they telling our 'firm believer in women's causes', our 'tireless champion of…'? A representative, and typically plaintive letter from them, awakens us to their wail:

'We opened accounts in your bank trusting that it had been established to help poor women and to come to their aid in times of need. You know that the bank is now on the brink of bankruptcy. Therefore, a crisis is looming before ordinary depositors. Politicians plant saplings on Tree Plantation Day and get their photographs printed in newspapers the next day. But they don't take care of the sapling thereafter. This bank too was a sapling that you had planted. It was growing well and promised to bear fruit. It had given shelter to you too. Then who killed this tree? Once the bank is liquidated, those who took the loans do not have to worry, just as when a sahukar dies, the persons to whom he had lent money heave a sigh of relief. But what about poor women depositors like us who are vegetable vendors, fruit-sellers, rag-pickers, etc, who saved our meager earnings in your bank, hoping that the money would be useful to us in our old age or for the marriage of our daughters? Pratibhatai, we tried a lot to meet you personally. We were unsuccessful. But you know everything. Therefore, we urge you to disclose the names of all those culprits who are responsible for the bankruptcy of our bank.'
And what did our tireless champion of women's rights, our devotee of rural development do?

'It is all a BJP-conspiracy'
A murder they don't care about
Arun Shourie

The 'cooperative' bank for empowering women liquidated under orders of the Reserve Bank… The sugar mill bankrupt, having swallowed over Rs. 20 crore of unpaid loans… We see the very same pattern in the other endeavours of our next President. Her bio-data speaks of the Shram Sadhana Trust that she has set up. It runs an engineering college – for rural youth, as the bio-data says.

What do documents show? A Medical Aid Account is set up for students. Naturally, money from it goes to doctors – and, lo and behold, her brother, Dr. GN Patil's name stands out by a mile… Employees of the college turn out to be working at the residences of the various directors – some in Mumbai. A guest house is built, and comes to be used, not by academicians visiting the college, but by members of the family… Money collected from the students goes to the soon-to-be-declared bankrupt sugar mill… Money is taken from the teachers' salaries as compulsory deposits in that family-controlled 'cooperative' bank; these deposits are used to enroll 'shareholders' in the bank – who in turn help the family win the 'elections' of the cooperative bank… A pattern through and through.
Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, who has been so exercised about enforcing morality on the media, is unmoved. 'A visibly upset Dasmunsi hit out at the NDA for trying to malign Patil's image,' The Indian Express reports. 'In the process, he drew a parallel between Patil's case and "many political leaders" whose brothers, sisters and relatives were loan defaulters and also "electronic media industry" which has been slapped with plenty of notices.'

Surely, the answer is to bring them to book too. Surely, the answer is to do what so many of us have been demanding for so long – namely, to publish the names of all bank-defaulters. Not to pick one of them at random and make her or him President of India!  
In any case, even Munsi, in spite of his fertile imagination, will not claim that murder has brushed the hem of the 'electronic media industry' as closely as it has in this instance.

Names and dates
But first a few names and dates.

1. Vishram G. Patil: Professor of English at a college in Jalagaon affiliated to the North Maharashtra University. A Congressman for thirty years. Elected President of the District Congress Committee not once but thrice. Murdered on 21 September, 2005.
2. Rajani Patil: his wife. Professor of Marathi at the same college.
G.N. Patil: brother of the UPA nominee for the Presidentship of India. Rival and adversary of Vishram Patil. Defeated by Vishram Patil in his effort to become President of the District Congress Committee.
3. Ulhas Patil: former member of Parliament. Close associate of G.N. Patil. Rival and adversary of Vishram Patil. Runs a number of NGOs.
4. Raju Mali and Raju Sonawane: two arrested for murdering Vishram Patil. Raju Mali tells Aaj Tak correspondent that they are just being made sacrificial goats. The real perpetrators of the murder are at large. Who are they, he is asked. "The persons who are being named by Rajani Patil," he says. He suddenly dies in police custody – three days after, at long last, the CBI team visits Jalagaon on its first visit.
5. Leeladhar Narkhede and Damodar Lokhande: two who are named as having financed the murder of Vishram Patil. Phone records show several calls between them and G.N. Patil and Ulhas Patil on the day before the murder, on the day of the murder and on the day after. The two are picked up. But four months later, they are let off. The FIR about them is withdrawn.

A few dates:

1. 21 September, 2005: Vishram Patil murdered. Great commotion in Jalagaon. People openly say that he has been killed as the result of a supari having been given to murder him. By the fourth day, Police say they have completed '90 per cent' of the investigation, and will soon get the killers and those behind them. Police arrest the two who confess to the actual murder.
2. October 2006: Aaj Tak puts out a detailed story by Manish Awasthi cataloguing the murder. In it, Aaj Tak takes viewers through the records of the mobile telephone company that establish that numerous calls were made between the two reported financiers of the murder and the brother of Pratibha Patil, G.N. Patil and Ulhas Patil – the calls were made on the day before the murder, on the day of the murder and on the day after the murder. The channel shows the exact times and duration of the calls from the records of the mobile phone company. Awasthi's story contains a devastating interview of Raju Mali from within the jail. In September 2005, they had gone on an indefinite fast inside the jail. Raju Mali says in the interview that they had stopped taking food to protest against the Police for not arresting, for not even questioning the real culprits, 'the persons named by Rajani Patil'. 'We have simply been made sacrificial goats in the case while the real culprits are untouched.'
3. 4 April, 2007: a year and a half after the murder, and after vicissitudes that we shall soon encounter, the CBI team comes to Jalagaon for its first visit.
4. 7 April, 2007: the CBI team interrogates Rajani Patil, the widow of the murdered DCC President. But something else happens in the jail not far away: Raju Mali dies in Police custody.

The brother of Pratibha Patil, G.N. Patil -- who, as we have seen, has been a close collaborator in her endeavours to empower women and bring succour to rural youth – is a frustrated rival of Vishram Patil. The latter has defeated him to the Presidentship of the District Congress Committee.
Congress workers collect funds – ostensibly to provide relief to tsunami victims. These are never deposited in the Chief Minister's Relief Fund.
Congress workers again collect funds – this time to felicitate Pratibha Patil upon her appointment as Governor of Rajasthan. No one hears what happens to these funds either.

Several office-bearers of the District Congress Committee send a memorandum to Prabha Rau, head of the Maharashtra Congress, asking her to institute an inquiry into the missing funds. They receive no reply.
15 August, 2005: nine office-bearers of the DCC issue a press release saying that G.N. Patil, the brother of Pratibha Patil, has not submitted accounts of funds that were collected by Congress workers for felicitating Pratibha Patil.

Vishram Patil commences an inquiry within the Congress into the misappropriation of the funds. He also commences an inquiry into financial dealings of Ulhas Patil and his NGOs. He brings the matter to the attention of the high-command of the Congress.  

He receives three anonymous letters. Written in hand, they state that a supari has been given out to kill him, that he should be careful. He persists with the inquiry.

He is killed. Local dailies are full of the murder. They surmise that it is the result of political rivalries in the District Congress Committee.

Because of the enormous commotion among the local people, the Police act. Within a few days, they nab the killers.

They make swift progress in the investigation. They tell Rajani Patil, the widow, that 90 per cent of the investigation is over, that they will soon get the ones who instigated the murder also.

Suddenly, the investigation goes off the rails. The police now put out a story that the murder actually took place because of a dispute over money that Raju Mali had borrowed from Vishram Patil. Rajani Patil strongly refutes the insinuation. Local papers puncture holes in this new concoction of the Police. As suddenly as the concoction had been put out, the investigation is taken out of the hands of the local police entirely, and turned over to the CID of the state Government.

1. 26 September, 2005: alarmed at the way the investigation is being derailed, the widow, Rajani Patil writes to Sonia Gandhi. She says, 'The brain behind the crime is pressurizing the investigation process.'
2. 27 September, 2005: a local paper, Deshdoot, reports that at a press conference, Rajiv Patil, the parabhari adhyaksha of the Congress, has said that Raju Mali, the killer, is an agent of G.N. Patil, the brother of Pratibha Patil, Governor of Rajasthan. Another report in the paper says that everyone in Jalagaon is talking about the contract killing, about how much was paid for it, and by whom…
The same day, 27 September, 2005, thirteen office-bearers of the District Congress Committee write to the local Superintendent of Police. They name G.N. Patil and Ulhas Patil as being the persons behind the murder and express grave concern that the investigation is being dragged down to a crawl.
3. 28 September, 2005: Local papers like Deshdoot and Deshunnati carry a tell-tale photograph. It is the day the election of the District Congress Committee President takes place. A group is standing around the victor, Vishram Patil. In the picture, mysteriously, is Raju Mali – the very man who is to kill Vishram Patil soon. He was not and is not a member of the Congress, the papers say. Who let him into the party office? With whose blessing was he roaming inside the office? With who is he linked? They have no doubt about the answer…   
On 28 September, 2005, Manik Rao Gavit, the Minister of State in the Home Ministry at the Centre, writes to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. He writes that he has received a letter from the Working President of the Jalagaon District Congress Committee, Rajiv Patil, in which the latter has named G.N. Patil and Ulhas Patil as the conspirators behind the murder. Gavit says that there is haa-haakaar in the local Congress, hence he is sending Rajiv Patil's letter. He urges the Chief Minister to have the matter investigated in this direction and to do everything necessary to get at the real culprits and have them punished.   

The local papers are full of the inaction that has overtaken the investigation. The real culprits are at large, they say. The names of G.N. Patil and Ulhas Patil are splashed across the headlines of stories connected with the murder. Rajani Patil, the widow, writes to the local Police chief: 'This murder has been committed out of political enmity. I therefore urge you to investigate the case from this angle and arrest the persons concerned. I strongly believe that, under somebody's pressure, there is an attempt to misdirect the Police investigation by fabricating cock-and-bull stories.'
4. 5 October, 2005: Rajiv Patil, the parabhari-adhyaksha of the Congress , writes to the Chief Minister, to the Director General of Police, and to the head of the Pune Branch of the CID. He records his concern that the investigation is going nowhere. He urges that some of the officers who were handling the initial investigation and who know the facts should be involved in the inquiry. He gives the names of the concerned officers. He receives no reply.
5. 15 October, 2005: Rajiv Patil writes to the authorities again pointing to the connection between the killers and G.N. Patil and Ulhas Patil. He says that the killers who have been nabbed were never Congress activists, that they were brought to the Congress office by G.N. Patil and Ulhas Patil only at the time of the DCC election.
6. 1 December, 2005: two months have gone by since the murder, the investigation has been steered into the wrong direction all too-patently. Rajani Patil, the widow, writes to R.R. Patil, the Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister of the state. She expresses her anguish at what has been done to the investigation. It is going nowhere, she says. The police had assured us that 90 per cent of the investigation is over and that they will soon get to the real conspirators. But as 'the real conspirators have high-level connections, when only 10 per cent of the investigation was left, the case was taken out of their hands and given to the state CID.'
7. 8 December, 2005: Rajani Patil again writes to the Chief Minister and Home Minister of the state. She strongly repudiates the police insinuation that there was some financial dispute between her husband and the killers. My husband was killed because of the supari given by the political rivals of my husband, she writes. You can find out who gave the supari by asking the two who are in custody, she tells them. There is no response.
Rajani Patil travels to Delhi. She meets Sonia Gandhi personally in January 2006. She narrates the sequence of the case. She also meets other Congress bigwigs – Ahmed Patel, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Margaret Alva and others.

They move not a finger. Instead, the FIR against the two who are said to have financed the murder is dropped. Having first snatched the investigation away from the local police and transferred it to the state CID, the Government now decides that the investigation is best done by the CBI!

Three months pass – ostensibly waiting for the CBI to respond. Eventually, the CBI informs the state Government that it is overwhelmed with work, that as the case has no 'inter-state or international ramifications', it is not a fit case for the agency.

Everyone sees through the attempt to kill the inquiry and thus protect the real conspirators. The intrepid widow files a petition in the Aurangabad Bench of the High Court. On 23 February, 2007, by a detailed order the Court dismisses the CBI's objections about there being no 'inter-state or international ramifications'. We are aware of this as well as of the work which the agency is already handling, the Court records. That is why only in exceptional cases does the Court direct it to take the case in hand. This is a case of that kind. 'We have scrutinized the record with the help of counsel of both sides,' the Court records in its order. 'We have considered the chequered history of the present case, the developments which have taken place after filing of the chargesheet, issues involved, and the reference to alleged conspiracy by influential political leaders of the region. Having regard to the importance of the issues involved and the alleged complicity of the influential political leaders…, in our considered opinion, this is a fit case where the investigation should be conducted by the CBI.'  

Of course, by knocking the investigation around – from the local police to the state CID to the CBI, only to have the CBI turn down the case – the powers-that-be have already achieved one objective: by now, more than a year and a half has passed since the murder was committed.

5 March, 2007: disheartened and broken, Rajani Patil again writes to Sonia Gandhi. As you also lost your husband, you are the one person who will understand my wound, she writes. She recalls the anonymous letters that her husband had received warning him to desist from the inquiry, warning that 'a supari to murder my husband had been given by Dr. Ulhas Patil and Dr. G.N. Patil, the brother of Smt. Pratibha Patil, Governor of Rajasthan. On the morning of 21.9.2005, my husband was brutally murdered…' 'I fear that my whole family is likely to get liquidated by these brutal murderers if they continue to get politically patronized by the party,' she concludes.

She receives no reply.

Recounting all this in the memorandum she submits to the President later on, and driven to despondence by the fact that no one has paid the slightest heed to her tears and pleas, she adds, 'I feel anguished that they are indeed getting politically patronized by the party.'  
The CBI team comes at last to Jalagaon on 4 April, 2007. It interrogates the widow on 7 April. On the same day, the killer, Raju Mali dies in police custody…

Throughout this period, the widow, Rajani Patil, is pleading before the state and Congress authorities. Not just she, but functionaries of the local Congress themselves, in particular Shridhar Bapu Chaudhury, the party's General Secretary keep dispatching letters and memoranda pointing to G.N. Patil and Ulhas Patil. All these letters as well as those of Rajiv Patil, the prabhari adhyaksha of the Congress in Jalagaon, are on letterheads of the Congress.  

The response
'It is all a BJP ploy. It shows their desperation at not being able to find a candidate of the stature of Pratibha Patil,' proclaim the Congress spokesmen. But the record consists of letters, memoranda, press conferences, writ petitions of Congressmen.

But I am on another point: assume that everything is a conspiracy of the BJP. What about the facts? What about the facts, for instance, set out by Aaj Tak?

'But why now? The timing of these allegations itself shows that they have been manufactured only to tarnish the image of Pratibha Patil as she is standing for the Presidentship of the country. After all, why are they bringing up these things now?' This is their other, wholly predictable defence.  
It so happens that all the events, documents, proceedings in court, communications, etc., pertain to the period before Pratibha Patil was plucked from nowhere to be the Presidential candidate. And they are being recounted today precisely because Pratibha Patil has been nominated to become the President of the country. Till the other day, these were frauds of some district politicians. The murder was of concern primarily to the Jalagaon people. Precisely because Pratibha Patil is likely to become the President, each facet -- the financial frauds, the murder, the deliberate derailment of the investigation -- becomes a matter of urgent national concern. If the frauds and murder are not exhumed today, why, that would be a real conspiracy…

The politics
Could it be that the Congress high-ups, in particular Sonia Gandhi, did not know about these associations of Pratibha Patil? I was at first inclined to think so. After all, Pratibha Patil's name had been picked out of a hat at the last minute. There might have been no time for a background check.

But on going through these letters after letters, these memoranda after memoranda – one and all of them written and sent by Congressmen, one and all of them sent to Congressmen; after reading Rajani Patil's account of her meeting with Sonia Gandhi and other Congress leaders in Delhi; after going through the proceedings in courts; after seeing the screaming headlines of the local papers, I just can not believe that neither Sonia Gandhi nor her immediate colleagues remembered nothing of the case. After all, the head of their own party in the district, the very man who had been thrice elected to the post, had been killed. After all, all concerned in the party unit had been pointing to an ex-MP of the Congress and the brother of the Governor of Rajasthan… how could everyone have forgotten? Murders of district Congress chiefs are still not that common.
So, the only inference is that they knew of the antecedents of Pratibha Patil and for the very antecedents selected her.

And that stands to reason. A person who is weak and dutifully submissive is already Prime Minister. But he has one defect – being financially honest, he is not vulnerable. There is always the danger, inconceivable though it seems at present, that at some point, he may throw up his hands...

So, what is needed is not just a weak person. What is needed is a person who is weak and vulnerable…