மஹாகவி பாரதியின் மரணம், ஒரு ஃப்ளாஷ்பேக்

மஹாகவி பாரதிக்கும் இந்த மண்ணாங்கட்டிக்கும் முக்கால் நூற்றாண்டைத் தாண்டி, ஏழ்மையை மட்டுமே நூலிழையாகக் கொண்ட ஒரு உறவு உண்டு. அதில் பலர் அறியாத ஒரு உண்மை புதைந்துள்ளது.

எனக்குச் சிரிப்பதா, அழுவதா எனக் குழப்பமும் சந்தேகமும் 80களில் துவங்கி, 90களில் ஆழத்தைப் பெற்று, 2006ல் அற்றுக்கு ஒரு முற்றுப்புள்ளி வைக்கப்பட்ட பின்பும், ஒரு நெருடல் மட்டும் இன்றும் என்னை நிழலாய்த் தொடர்கிறது.

செப்டம்பர் 20 1981

அது நான் பத்திரிக்கை உலகில் காலைப் பதிக்கக் கற்றுக்கொண்டிருந்த காலம்.

பொதுவாக, பத்திரிகை அலுவலகங்களில் எழுதிக் கொடுத்தக் கட்டுரைகளுக்கும், கதைகளுக்கும் – ஒருவர் சம்பளம் வாங்கும் சிப்பந்தியாக இல்லாத பட்சத்தில் – எப்போதாவது தான் “சில்லறை ஆசிகள்” கிடைக்கும்.

நான், நிரந்தரமான சில்லறைத் தட்டுப்பாடுள்ள ரகம்.

தேவைக்கு சற்றே அதிகமாகத் தொழில் தெரிந்த என்னை பணியில் அமர்த்துவதில் பலருக்கு சிக்கல்.

தாய் தந்தையுடன் வசித்தும் எனக்கு சில நேரத்தில் சிகரெட்டுக் கூடக் காசில்லாத் நிலை இருந்ததுண்டு.

அவ்வப்போது நண்பர்களிடம் கடன் கேட்பேன்.

கொடுப்பார்கள்.

கொத்தவால் சாவடி அருகில் வியாபாரம் செய்து வந்த ஒரு மார்வாடி நண்பரிடம் கைமாத்தாக ரூ 500ஐப் பெற்றுத் திரும்பிக் கொண்டிருந்தேன்.

மதியம் மணி 1-37.

உச்சி வெய்யில் மண்டையைப் பிளந்தது.

ஆனால், எனது நண்பர், கடன் தந்திருந்ததால், பாக்கெட் ஃபுல், மனம் ஜில்!

லோன் ஸ்க்வையர் அருகே அமைந்திருந்த பூங்காவின் வாயில் ஓரத்தில் நின்றபடி, ஆடு திருடியது போல விழித்தபடி, ஒருவன் கஞ்சாப் பொட்டலங்களை விற்றுக் கொண்டிருந்தான்.

அந்த நபர் பெரிதாக யாரையும் அஞ்சுவதாக எனக்குத் தோன்றவில்லை.

சற்றுத் தொலைவில், சுமார் 70 வயது மதிக்கத் தக்க ஒரு பெரியவர், குடி போதையில், மிகவும் வித்தியாசமான முறையில், லாகிரிப் பொருள் பரிவர்த்தனை செய்துகொண்டிருந்த நச்சு வியாபாரியை உரக்க வைது கொண்டிருந்தார்.

“எலே…நீ பொறந்தது அப்பனுக்கில்லடா, சண்டாளப்பயலே… உன்னப் பெத்தவன் உனக்குச் சித்தப்பன் மொறன்னு தெரியுமாடா! அந்த மொற கூட உங்க வீட்டுல எந்த விருந்தாளியால ஏற்பட்டதுன்னு உங்க அம்மாளுக்குத் தெரியாதுடா நாதாரிப் பய மவனே! கொஞ்சம் தேடி விசாரிச்சுப் பாத்தீன்னா உங்க அம்மா உனக்கு ஒரு விதத்துல சித்தி, ரெண்டாவது விதத்துல அத்தை மொறன்னு தெரிஞ்சுத் தொலைக்கும்! நீ பொறந்தது குடும்பத்துல இல்லடா களவாணிப் பயலே…அது விபச்சார பஜாரோட கேடுகெட்ட எல்லைக்கோடு!”

எனது காதுகள் கிட்டத்தட்ட வெந்து விட்டன என்றாலும், அவரது அச்சேறக்கூடிய கெட்ட வார்த்தைகளை நின்று ரசித்தேன்

இன்று கூட அச்செயலை அன்று நான் ஏன் செய்தேன் எனக்குப் புரியவில்லை.

அவரது அருகில் சென்றேன்.

“அய்யா!”

“என்னடா கொய்யா?”

“உங்களுக்கு ஏதோ தாகம்னு தெரியுது. அந்தத் தாகத்துல வர்ற கெட்ட வார்த்தைங்க… எனக்குள்ள… அதை தீர்த்து வெக்கற சாக்குல அதுங்களோட ஊற்றுக் கண் எங்கே இருக்குன்னு தெரிஞ்சுக்கற தாக்கத்த உண்டு பண்ணிரிச்சி. உங்களுக்கு தாக சாந்தி பண்ணினா, எனக்கு தாக்க சாந்தி கிடைக்கும்னு தோணுது,” என்றேன்.

“தொண்டக்குளியில வறட்சி…போதை பத்தாததால தளர்ச்சி…மனசுல கிளர்ச்சி! உதவி பண்ணினா, உனக்கு உண்டு மகிள்ச்சி!”

டி. ராஜேந்தர் கணக்கா அவர் சொன்ன டயலாக் இன்னமும் அதிகமாக என்னைப் பாதித்தது!

“நீ என்னோட வேதனையக் குறச்சா…நீ சாதனை பண்ணற மாதிரி சிந்தனைச் சீதனத்தத் அள்ளிக் குடுப்பேன்!”

அக்காலத்தில் விசுவின் ரிலீஸாகியிருந்த மோடி மஸ்தான் என்ற நாடகத்தின் டயலாக் ஞாபகத்திற்கு வந்தது.

“என் மூஞ்சிக்கு எதுக்கு சாதனையும் சொதனையும்?”

அடுத்த 4 நிமிடங்களுக்குள் “பெரிசு” குஜாலாகிவிட்டது.

நான் அவருக்கு “என்னென்ன வேண்டுமோ”, வாங்கிக் கொடுத்திருந்தேன்.

“குடி குடியைக் கெடுக்கும்னு மொட்டையா அரசாங்கம் போர்டு வெச்சது தப்பு தம்பி! ஒரு சில குடிய மட்டும் தான் கெடுக்கும்னு ஒளுங்காச் சொல்லியிருக்கணும்! சாராயம் விக்கறவன் குடியை அது வாள வெக்கிது..அத்தக் கள்ளத் தனமாத் தயாரிக்கிறவன அது அரசியல்வாதியாக்கி எம்.எல்.ஏ. ஆக்குது…. நல்ல தனமாத் தயாரிக்கத் தெரிஞ்சுக்கிடறவன மந்திரியாக்குது…உன்ன மாதிரி ஆள, தானம் பண்ணற பிரபுவாக்குது…வெளியே மொளகா பஜ்ஜி விக்கறவன் ரப்பர் வவுத்த ரொப்ப சூப்பர் சில்லறையக் குடுக்குது…என்ன, என்னைய மாதிரி ஏமாளியோட ஏற்கனவே கெட்ட குடியை மட்டும் தான் மேலும் கெடுக்குது … ஆனா அது பரவா இல்ல … ஏன்னு கேளு!”

“ஏன்”

“குறுக்கப் பேசாத! கொளம்ப்போயிருவேன்.”

“நீங்க ஒரு சின்ன உதவி பண்ணணும்.”

“இந்தச் சாராயக் கடை பில்லக் குடுக்கறதத் தவிர…எந்த வரத்தைக் கேட்டாலும் இந்த ஆசாமி சாமிக் கணக்கா ஆசியா வளங்கித் தள்ளுவான்!”

“அந்த கஞ்சா விக்கறவன எதுக்கு அப்படி கெட்ட வார்த்தையில திட்டினீங்க?”

 “நீ மற களண்ட கேஸா? இல்ல, அப்பன், பாட்டன், முப்பாட்டன் சம்பாரிச்சக் காசைக் கரியாக்கற கிறுக்குப் பயலா?”

“இரண்டுமே இல்ல.”

“லாட்ட்ரியிலயோ, மூணு சீட்டுலயோ திடீர்னு துட்டு கெலிச்சியா?”

எப்பவாவது சூதாடினால் பணத்தைத் தோற்றே பழக்கமுள்ள எனக்குச் சிரிப்பு வந்தது.

“இல்ல!”

“பின்ன ஏன், முன்னப்பின்னத் தெரியாத நாசமாப் பொன குடிகாரக் கிளவன் மேல உனக்கு இவ்வளவு கரிசனம்?”

ஒரு வழியா…7 மில்லியுடன் 8 மிளகாய் பஜ்ஜிகளை உள்ளே தள்ளிய மனிதர் பெரிதாக ஒரு ஏப்பம் விட்டார்.

“கண்டக் கண்ட உயர் சாதி அறிவிலிங்க…செத்துப் போன எவனுக்கெல்லாமோ சோத்தைப் போடறேன் பேர்விளின்னு ஏற்கனவே ரெண்டு சாத்தத்த சாப்பிட்ட பாப்பானுக்கு மூணாவது மொறையா சோத்தப் போட்டு, அத்த அவங்க இலையில வேஸ்டு பண்ணறதுக்காவ … துட்ட வேற குடுத்து … அளுகுறானுங்க!”

எனது நினைவுகள் பத்து வருடங்கள் பின்னோக்கிப் போயின.

ஜாதிகள் இல்லையடி பாப்பா, என்னு பாரதி சொன்னதுக்கும், இந்தக் குடிகாரன் உளருவதற்கும் ஒரு தொடர்புண்டு என அவரது பேச்சு, அடுத்த சில நிமிடங்களில் என்னை உணரச்செய்து, ஆச்சிர்யத்தில் ஆழ்த்தியது.

ஏப்ரல் 22 1971

“இன்னிக்கு நல்ல முகூர்த்த நாளோன்னோ! அதுனால…பிரம்மணா அகப்படல்ல. பிரணதார்த்திஹர அய்யர் ஆத்துல கார்த்தால டிப்பனா ஒரு சிராத்தத்த சாப்பிட்ட ராமகிருஷ்ணனும், சிவராமனும் தான் கிடச்சா … அதுனால அவசரப்படாம … மெதுவா சமையல் பண்ணினாப் போதும் மாமி. பிராம்மணாள் ஒழுங்கா, வயிறு நிறையச் சாப்பிட்டாத் தான் அவா குடுக்கற ஆசீர்வாதம் பலிக்கும்!”

“லட்சுமி மாமியோட மணக்கற சமையல்ங்கற ஒரே காரணத்துனால உங்காத்துக்குன்னா பிராம்மணாள் கிடச்சுருவா … குறிப்பாச் சொன்னா … நான் அதுக்காகத் தான் உங்காத்துக்கு வந்தே ஆகணும்னு உங்காத்துல உபாத்யாயம் பண்ணற …”

சிரார்த்தம்னா ஒரே வேளைதான் சாப்பிடணும்னு சொல்லுவாளாமே, வாத்தியார் மாமா?

நான் ஒவ்வொரு ஆண்டும் இப்படி எதையாவது கேட்டுத் தொலைப்பதுண்டு.

“புலிக்கு பூனை பேரனாப் பொறந்ததில்லன்னு ஒரு புது மொழியுண்டு! சாஸ்திர சிரேஷ்டர் பட்டாசு வெங்கடாசலய்யரோட பேரனுக்கு சகலமும் தெரிஞ்சிருக்கறதுல ஆச்சிர்யமே இல்ல! மார்னிங்ல ராமகிருஷ்ணன் பிரணதார்த்தி அண்ணாவாத்துல விஸ்வேதேவராகவும், சிவராமன் அவரோட அம்மாவாகவும் ப்ரேக்ஃபாஸ்டை முடிச்சா … இங்க… ராமகிருஷ்ணன்… உங்காத்துல உங்களோட ஸ்வர்க்கத்து மாமியார் … சிவராமன் தான் விஸ்வேதேவர் … அந்த ரெண்டு பேரோட நல்லாத்மாக்கள் புண்ணியத்துல இவா இன்னிக்கு லஞ்ச்சையும் முடிச்சுக்கறா … இந்தக் காலத்துல ஏழைப் பிராம்மணாள் இப்படி எப்பவாவது வயிறு நிறையச் சாப்பிட்டாத்தான் உண்டு … மத்த நாள்ள இவா ஆத்துல எல்லாம் அடுப்புக்குமேல பூனை செரட்டையை தறையில தேக்கற சத்தத்தவிட உரக்க கொரட்ட விட்டூண்டு தூங்கும். ஆனாப் பாரு அம்பி … ஸ்ராத்த மந்திரத்துல – அஹோ ராத்ரௌ க்ஷுதன ந பவேத்னு தான் பெரியவா சொல்லியிருக்கா … அதாவது சிராத்தம் சாப்பிட்டதுக்கு அப்புறம் ரத்திரி தான் சாப்பிடப்படாது. கார்த்தால டிப்பனா ஒரு சிராத்தம் சாப்பிடத் தடைன்னு எந்த சாஸ்திரத்துலயும் சொல்லல்ல தெரியுமோ!”

ஒவ்வொரு வருடமும், ஒருவர் மறைந்த தாய் தந்தையருக்கு ஸ்ரார்த்தம் செய்யும்போது, எந்த லோகத்திலிருந்தாலும், அந்த ஆன்மாக்கள் பூமிக்கு வந்து உணவு உண்பதாக நம்பப்படுகிறது.

பல லோகங்கள் உள்ளன என ஹிந்து சமய நம்பிக்கைகள் சொல்வதுண்டு.

வெகு தூரம் பயணம் செய்ய வேண்டி உள்ளதால், துணைக்கு, “விஸ்வேதேவர்” என்ற பேச்சுத் துணையுடன் குறிப்பிட்ட ஆன்மா பூமிக்கு வருவதாக ஐதீகம்.

மேலும், வானுலகக் கணக்கில் – நமது ஒரு வருடம் – அங்கு ஒரு நாள்.

ஸ்ரார்த்தம் நடக்கும்போது … இரு அந்தணர்களுக்கு இதற்காக உணவு படைக்கப்படுகையில் … அந்தச் சடங்கு ஒழுங்காக, பத்திரமாக நடத்த, [அதாவது வேறேதோ லோகத்துலேந்து உணவருந்த வந்த புண்ணிய ஆன்மாக்கள் நிம்மதியாக தொந்தரவின்றி உண்டு திரும்பிச் செல்கிற வரை] மஹாவிஷ்ணு அந்தச் சடங்கை காக்கும் பொருட்டு பிரத்தியட்சமாக அவ்விடத்தில் இருப்பதற்கு அடையாளமாக, சிராத்த சம்ரக்ஷகரான அவருக்கும் ஒரு இலையில் உணவு பரிமாறப்பட்டு, அதனை அந்த வீட்டு கோத்திரத்தோடு சேராத ஒருவருக்குப் படைத்து, தட்சிணையும் கொடுப்பது வழக்கம்.

முன்னொரு காலத்தில், முனிவர் ஞானேசுவரர் என்ற மகான் இன்றைய மஹாராஷ்டிர மாநிலத்தில், சன்னியாசம் பெற்ற ஒருவருக்குப் பிறந்ததால் … அவரது மறைந்த தாய்தந்தையருக்குச் சிரார்த்தம் செய்ய ஊரிலுள்ள எந்த அந்தணரும் வராதபோது … அதனைப் பொருட்படுத்தாத அந்த மஹான், யாரும் எதிர்ப்பாராத விதத்தில், தனது 3 தலைமுறைக்கான மூதாதையர்களையே  நேரிலேயே வரவழைத்து உண்ணச் செய்தார் எனவும், அதனைக் காண கண்ணபிரான் சகல ஆயுதங்களுடன் நின்று, பாதுகாத்து, தானும் உண்டு தட்சிணை பெற்றுச் சென்றதாக சரித்திர ஆதாரங்கள் அம்மாநிலத்தில் உள்ளதாக இன்றும் பலரால் நம்பப்படுகிறது.

சன்னியாசம் என விதண்டாவாதம் செய்த பணப்பித்துப் பிடித்த அந்தணர்களின் கர்வத்தை ஞானேசுவரர்ரும் கண்ணபிரானுமாக அடக்கியதாக இன்றும் சொல்வோருண்டு.

காண்டாமிருகம் சைஸ்ல இருக்கற உங்கள கனபாடிகள்னு சொல்லறதுக்குப் பதிலா, கனbodyகள்னு சொன்னாப் பொருத்தம், மாமா!

“உங்காத்துப் புள்ளைக்குத் திமிரும் வாய்க் கொழுப்பும் கூடவே பொறந்திருக்கு!”

திமிரும் வாய்க்கொழுப்பும் இருந்தாத் தப்பில்ல வாத்தியார் மாமா! சாஸ்திரத்தை சொந்தத் தேவைகளுக்காகத் திரிச்சு, தப்பாக்கி சம்பாதிக்கறதுனால நம்ம ஸனாதன தர்மத்துக்கே கெட்ட பெயர உண்டு பண்ணறேளே … அது தான் தப்பு!

நாய் ஒரு காலைத் தூக்கி மூத்திரம் போவதுபோல “அவிசக் குசு விசுவனாத கனபாடிகள்” மடங்கிய தனது அரை டன் தொடையைத் தூக்கி பெரிதாக ஒரு கீழ் ஏப்பம் விட்டு, இதற்கான தனது எதிர்ப்பைத் தெரிவித்து விடுவதுண்டு!

பழைய ஞாபகத்தில் இளித்தேன்.

செப்டம்பர் 20 1981

“நீ மற களண்ட கேஸே தான்! தனியாச் சிரிச்சுக்கற!”

“தவறுகள உணர்ந்து அதுகளைத் திருத்தற எண்ணத்தோட தன்னையே ஜோக்காக்கிச் சிரிக்காதவன், பிற்காலத்துல மத்தவங்களோட ஏளனப்பொருளாயி சீப்படுவான்னு ஒரு ஆங்கிலப் பழமொழியுண்டு அய்யா!”

“ஒரு வேளை உன்னோட தவறு சிரிக்கற மாதிரி இருக்கோ என்னவோ…ஆனா…என்னோட தாத்தா பண்ணின தவற நெனச்சு அளுகை வர்றப்ப எல்லாம் … குடிச்சிருவேன் … அப்போ ஏதாவது களவாணிப்பய கஞ்சா விக்கறதப் பார்த்தா, திட்டித் தீர்த்துருவேன்!” நல்ல வேளை…பெரியவர் தானாகவே மேட்டருக்கு வந்து விட்டார்.

“அது என்னன்னு தெரிஞ்சுக்கணும்னு ஆசை … நீங்க திட்டறது கூட ஒரு விதத்துல ஒரு வினோதமான வக்கணையோட கேட்டிச்சி!”

“பாரதத்தோட எளுத்துக்கு என்னோட தாத்தாக் கெளவன் பண்ணின துரோவத்துக்கு மன்னிப்பே இல்ல!”

“அப்படி என்ன பண்ணிட்டாரு?”

ஆகஸ்டு 15 1921

தி ஹின்டு பத்திரிக்கையை ஆரம்பித்த, பறங்கியர்களால் “திருவல்லிக்கேணித் திருகுவலி ஆறு நபர்க் கும்பல் தலைவர்” எனத் தூற்றப்பட்ட ஜி. சுப்பிரமணிய அய்யர் சுதேசமித்திரன் என்ற தேசபக்தி ஏட்டை 1881ல் – அதாவது பிற்காலத்தில் மஹாகவி என வருணிக்கப்படவிருக்கும் பாரதி பிறப்பதற்கு ஒரு வருடம் முன்பு – ஆரம்பித்திருந்தார்.

கடையத்தில் கவிதை எழுதிக் குடும்பச் செலவுகளை ஒழுங்காக நிறைவேற்ற முடியாத பாரதிக்கு 1920ல் சுதேசமித்திரன் பத்திரிக்கை அழைப்பு அனுப்பியிருந்தது.

அக்காலத்தில் மெட்ராஸ் பட்டணமாக இருந்த சென்னைக்கு வந்த பாரதி … தனக்கே உரிய பாணியில்…வெறும் வயற்றின் வெதும்பல்களின் காரணத்தால் … அனல் பறக்கும் தனது கதை, கவிதை, கட்டுரைகளை எழுதும் பழக்கத்த்தை அப்பத்திரிக்கையிலும் தொடர்ந்தார்.

முந்தினம், வழக்கம்போல வீட்டிலுள்ள அரிசியை குருவிகளுக்கும், காக்காய்களுக்கும் தானம் செய்திருந்ததால், காலையில், தனது திருவல்லிக்கேணி வீட்டில் பச்சைத் தண்ணீரை மட்டுமே குடித்துவிட்டு அலுவலகம் வந்திருந்தார் பாரதி.

“இன்றைக்கு … தங்கசாலையில … ஒரு கூட்டம் … நம்ம சுதந்திர எண்ணங்கள் பற்றி … கொஞ்சம் எங்க எல்லாருக்கும் நீங்க தான் விளக்கணும்!”

வந்த நபரை கவனித்த பாரதி … மனிதரிடம் கொஞ்சம் பசை இருக்கிறது … பணமும் இருக்கலாம். இரவில் கூட்டம் பேசி முடிக்கும்போது…சில்லறைத் தட்சிணைகள் உண்டோ இல்லையோ, நிச்சயமாக உணவு இருக்கும் எனக் கணக்கிட்டார்.

“வருகிறேன்!”

மாலையில், லாந்தர் விளக்கின் ஒளியில் மக்கள் பாரதியின் முகத்தில் தெரிந்த சிவந்த அனலை … அவரது வீரத்தின் சின்னமாகக் கருதினார்கள்.

“பாரதத்தின் மாட மாளிகைகளும் கூட கோபுரங்களும் … தமது சிறுனீராலும் உமிழ் நீராலும் உருவாக்கிய கழிசடைக் கால் நடைகள் போன்ற பொருட்களென அன்னியர்கள் வருணித்துக் கொக்கரிக்கிறார்கள் … அவை நமது மூதாதையர்கள் தமது உழைப்பால், சென்னீரை உப்புக்கரிக்கும் வியர்வையக்கி, வாயையும் வயிற்றையும் கட்டி, உண்ண வேண்டிய உணவைச் சுண்ணாம்பாக்கி செங்கற்களுக்கிடையில் சொருகி நிர்மாணித்த…”

வீரக் கவிஞர் பார்தி!

வாழ்க வாழ்க!

சுதந்திரத்தின் விடிவெள்ளி பாரதி!

வாழ்க, வாழ்க!

பறங்கியனின் சிம்ம சொப்பனம் பாரதி!

வாழ்க, வாழ்க!

பசி தனது மேனியைத் துடிக்கச் செய்து … வேதனை ஊட்டியதையும் மறந்த பாரதி … வீரத்தை வார்த்தைகளாக விதைத்துக் கொண்டிருந்தார்.

உண்ணாததால் ஏற்படவிருக்கும் மயக்கம் அவரை என்னவோ செய்தது.

மானமுள்ள அந்தக் கவிஞன், தனது சொற்பொழிவைச் சுருக்கி, முடித்துக் கொண்டார்.

அவரது தவித்த வாய்க்குத் தண்ணீர் கூடக் கேட்கத் தோன்றாத அவரது “தேசபக்த” ரசிகர்கள், தட்டிக் கொண்டு, கும்பிட்டுக் கிளம்பிவிட்டனர்.

பசி மயக்கத்தால் கண்கள் இருண்டுகட்டிக் கொண்டு வந்த இறுக்கத்தினாலும், தனது ஏழ்மையின் கொடுமையினாலும் பெருகிய கண்ணீர் மழையை எவனும் காணாத வண்ணம் இருள் ஒரு போர்வையாய் உதவி தனது மானத்தைக் காத்தமைக்கு நன்றியினை முணுமுணுத்தவாறு அந்த ஏழைக் கவிஞர் வீட்டை நோக்கி நடக்கலானார்.

லோன் ஸ்க்வயர் அருகே … மயக்கம் அதிகமாகிய நிலையில், இருளில் ஒரு கல்லில் தடுக்கி விழவிருந்த அவரை, தெருவோரம் அமர்ந்திருந்த ஒருவன் தாங்கிப் பிடித்தான்.

“கறுப்புக் கோட்டுப் போட்ட ஆளுங்க கள் போட்டுக் கால் தடுமாறுவாங்கன்னு ஸொன்னது ஸர்தான், போல!”

“எனது தள்ளாட்டத்தின் காரணம்… போதை போகத்தின் மோகம் அல்ல, பசிப்பிணி!”

“புரியும்படியா ஸொல்லு நயினா!”

“பசி வந்தால் … பத்தும் பறந்து போகும்!”

“பத்தோட ஏன்பா நிறுத்திக்கின? பத்தோட பதினொண்ண ஸேரு … இருவத்தொண்ணக் கூட்டு … நாப்பத்தொண்ணப் பெருக்கு … பத்தொன்பதைக் களி!”

 “அலை பாயும் உன் எண்ணங்களின் ஏகடியம், உமது எண்களுக்கு அழகூட்டுகிறது அய்யா!”

 “ஸுருக்கமா ஸொன்னாக்கா … வவுத்துல பஸி ஸதிர்க் கச்சேசி ஸெய்து … நீ ரொட்டுல குத்தாட்டம் போடற!”

ப்ராட்வேயின் அந்தப் பகுதியில் இருந்த ஒரே தெருவிளக்கொளியில், அந்த நையாண்டியை ரசித்து, ஆமோதித்தவாறு பாரதி தலை அசைத்தது அந்தப் பெரியவரின் கண்களுக்குத் தெரிந்தது.

 “இந்தாய்யா…என்னால் உன்னோட பஸியப் போக்க முடியாது … ஆனாக்க ஒரு மேட்டரு கீது. இத்த இஸ்துகினே தான் ஸாமிங்க கைலாயத்துல குளூர் பாதிப்பு இல்லாம ஸொகமா கீது … எந்த ஸாமியாவது ஸோறு ஸாப்பிடற மாத்ரி படம் கீதா? ஏன்னு கேளு … அவன் அல்லாம் … இத்த இஸ்துகினு கீறான் … பஸி வரதில்ல! இது பஸியை பஞ்சாப் பறக்க உட்ரும்…. துக்கத்தைத் தூரத்துக்கு வெரட்டிரும்…. தெம்ப வரவளைக்கும். அப்பால அது அல்லாம் மறுபடியும் ஸேர்ந்து வர ஸொல்லொ … துட்டு இல்லாங்காட்டி … இத்த இன்னொரு தபா இஸ்தா அப்போதைக்கு மறுபடியும் அல்லாம் ஸரியான மாத்ரி ஃபீலிங் இருக்கும்!”

 கஞ்சா நிறைந்த ஒரு புகையும் குழாயை நீட்டினார் அந்தப் பெரியவர்.

“கொன்றன்ன இன்னா செயினும் அவர்செய்த ஒன்றுநன்று உள்ளக் கெடும்!”

 குரள் எண் 109 ஐக் கூறி, பாரதி அந்தப் பகைப் புகையை வாய் வழியாக நுகர்ந்தவாறே நகர்ந்தார்.

 இரவில் இருளில் அவர் வீட்டுக்குத் தள்ளாடியபடி, பாடியபடி வந்து சேர்ந்தபோது … அவரது மனைவி செல்லம்மாள் தவித்துப் போனார்.

 “இதென்னது கையில கும்மட்டி? புகையோட நாற்றம் குடலைப் பிடுங்கறதே!”

 “புகை உடலுக்குப் பகை வகை என்றால், இறை இதனைப் படைத்தது பிழையா செல்லம்மா? சொல்லம்மா!”

 “நான் என்னத்தக் கண்டேன்?”

 “பசியால், பட்டினி விரதங்களால் புண்ணியம் மட்டுமல்ல … வயற்றுக்குப் புண்ணும், மான உணர்வுக்கு பங்கமும் ஈயப்படும், செல்லம்மா!”

“போய்ப் படுங்கோ!”

அவரைச் செல்லம்மா அன்று கண்டித்திருந்தால், அந்தப் பழக்கம் அவரை அதற்கு அடிமை ஆக்கியிருக்காதோ என்னவோ. ஆனால், அது ஒரு பெரும் விபத்தில் அவரைக் கொண்டுபோய்ச் சேர்க்கவிருக்கிறது என்ற விஷயத்தை யாரும் அன்று உணரவில்லை.

செப்டம்பர் 11 1921

வணங்கும் எல்லோர் தலையிலும் துதிக்கை வைக்க தனது செல்லப் பிராணிக்குக் கற்றுக்கொடுத்து, அதனை பிறரது பக்தியைத் தவறாகப் பயன்படுத்தி பிச்சை எடுக்க வைத்து … அதில் தனது குடும்பத்தின் வயிற்றைக் கழுவி…மிச்சம் மீதி இருந்தால்…அந்த மிருகத்திற்கும் யானைப் பாகர்கள் உணவு படைப்பர்கள்.

குறிப்பாக, கோவில் யானைகள் இதற்காகவே அக்காலத்திலும் பயன்பட்டன … இக்காலத்திலும் படுகின்றன.

அன்று பார்த்தசாரதி கோவிலில் யானை வழக்கத்தை விட அதிகமாகப் பிளிறிக்கொண்டிருந்தது.

“ஏன்டா…வேலு? யனைக்கு போஜனம் கொடுக்கலியோ?”

பெரிதாக நெற்றியில் நாமமிடப்பட்டிருந்த யானைக்கு, வழக்கமாக அங்கு கும்பிடும் ஆராவமுதன் அய்யங்கார் பிரசாதத்தட்டிலிருந்து பழங்களை வழங்கியவாறு கேட்டார்.

 “ஸாமி எந்துகொண்டு அங்ஙனெ சோதிச்சு?”

“வழக்கமா இந்த யானை பழங்கள மெதுவாத் தான் வாங்கிச் சாப்பிடும். இன்னிக்கு பிடிங்கின்னா திங்கறது?”

இரண்டு நாட்களாக அதற்கு சரியான உணவு படைக்க தன்னிடம் பணமில்லாதற்கான காரணம் – யானை சம்பாதித்த பணத்தை எல்லாம், அடகு வைக்கப்பட்ட வீட்டின் பத்திரத்திற்கான வட்டி கட்ட திருவதாங்கூர் சமஸ்தான எல்லையில் அமைந்துள்ள காயங்குளம் என்ற ஊரில் வசிக்கும் தனது மனைவி பெயருக்கு மணி ஆர்டர் செய்து, தான் யானையின் வயற்றில் அடித்த விஷயத்தை ஒப்புக் கொள்ள விரும்பாத கொச்சுண்ணி வேலு, “அதுன விசேஷிச்சு ஒன்னுமில்லெங்கிலும் … கொறச்சு சகமில்லா…” என மழுப்பினான்.

கஞ்சாவின் போதையில் கோவிலுக்குள் நுழைந்த பாரதி, தனது நண்பியான லாவண்யா என்ற அந்தப் பெண் யானையின் அருகில் வந்தார்.

“எமது பசி ஏக்கத்தின் விக்கல்களை விண்டு விள்ளலாக்கி, உம்மை யாமேயாக்கி, நீர் புசிக்க விருந்தாக்குகிறோம், யானாய் யானின் எழுத்தாய்!”

மிகவும் சாதுவாகவே அறியப்பட்ட, அன்று பசி மயக்கத்தில் இருந்த அந்தப் பெண் யானை லாவண்யா, தள்ளாடியபடி வந்த பாரதியைக் கண்டு மிரண்டாள்.

துதிக்கையை உயர்த்தி அவரைச் சுருட்டித் தூக்கி…

செப்டம்பர் 20 1981

“என் தாத்தா அந்தக் கவிஞருக்கு ஒதவறதாக நெனச்சு ஒதச்சுப்புட்டாரு! யானை தூக்கி எறிஞ்சதுனால – பாவம் பாரதி அப்பால செத்திட்டாரு. பல வர்ஸம் களிச்சு என் தாத்தா சாவறதுக்கு கொஞ்ச நாளு முன்னால, கஞ்சா போதையை சாவுக்கான சாவியா குடுத்தது பாரதிக்குன்னு தெரிஞ்சு, நெனச்சு, பொலம்பிக்கினே அந்த கஞ்சாப் போதைப் பளக்கத்தை வுட்டாரு!”

விரக்தியுடன் அந்தப் பெரியவர் சொன்ன வார்த்தைகளை நான் மௌனமாகக் கேட்டென்.

“அந்தப் பெரிய மனிஸரோட பஸியை மட்டும் எங்க தாத்தா கொல்லல்ல…அவரையே கொன்னுட்டாரு! அந்த மஹாகவி எளுதின கவிதைகளை அவருக்கு அப்பால கண்டக் கண்டவனுவ வித்துக் கோடீஸ்வரங்க ஆனானுவ. பாரதி பட்டினியில துடிச்சி, அந்தத் துடிப்ப மறக்க அந்தப் பகைப் பொகை போதையில… யானையினால செத்தாரு … இன்னிக்கு அந்த மவானோட குடும்பம் நல்லா இருக்கா இல்லியான்னு தெரியாதுபா … ஆனாக்க … அந்த நல்ல மன்ஸன கொண்ண பாவத்துனால எங்க குடும்பம் நல்லா இல்ல! நான் மட்டுமில்ல … எங்க ஊட்ல அல்லாருமே போதைக்கு அடிமை … ஆனா … கஞ்சா மட்டும் அடிக்கறதில்ல! அத்த விக்கறவனப் பார்த்தா, பத்திகிட்டு வரும்!”

அக்டோபர் 10 1981

“ஃபிலிப் தாம்ஸ் இருக்காரா?”

வைட்ஸ் ரோட்டிலுள்ள சுதேசமித்திரன் பத்திரிக்கை அலுவலகத்தில் யாரிடமோ தொலைபேசியில் சுவாரஸ்யமாகப் பேசிகொண்டிருந்த அழகான பெண் வரவேற்பாளரிடம் கேட்டேன்.

கடனில் மூழ்கி மூடப்பட்டிருந்த, பாரதி பணி புரிந்த அந்தப் பத்திரிக்கையை ஜான் தாமஸ் என்ற கேரளத்து சென்ன வாழ் வழக்கறிஞர் 1977 வாங்கி, 30 மாதங்கள் கழித்து … அதனை சுந்தரேசன் என்ற பத்திரிக்கையாளர் மேர்பார்வையில் நடத்துகையில் … தனது மகன் ஃபிலிப் தாமஸின் அரசியல் வளர்ச்சிக்காக பாரதத்தின் பிரபலங்கள் பற்றிய ஒரு ஆங்கிலக் குறிப்பேட்டை வெளியிட முற்பட்டார் … அதில் நான் சில மாதங்கள் பணியெடுத்திருந்தேன்…

சம்பள பாக்கியைப் பெற்றுச் செல்லச் சென்றிருந்தேன்.

 “ஃபிலிப் அவரோட ஃபாதரோட பிஸியா discussion ல இருக்கார். கொஞ்சம் நேரமாகும்!”

“தம் அடிக்கும்” பழக்கமுள்ள நான், அலுவலகக் கட்டிடத்தின் வெளியே காத்திருப்பதாகக் கூறி வெளியேறினேன்.

திடீரென கரண்ட் ஆஃப் ஆயிற்று.

குளுகுளு வசதியுள்ள தனது அறையின் ஜன்னலை, காற்றோட்டத்திற்காக ஜான் தாமஸ் திறந்தார்.

 “உனக்குக் கொஞ்சமாவது பொறுப்பு வரும்னு நெனச்சு … இந்த போணியாகாத பத்திரிக்கையை வாங்கினேன் … இதுக்காகவே Who Is Who ன்னு ஒரு English புக் போட செலவும் பண்ண சம்மதிச்சு … உன்னோட வேலையைப் பார்க்க ஒரு அளவுக்குத் தொழில் தெரிஞ்ச, பல மொழி பேசற பத்திரிகைக் கத்துக்குட்டியயும் வேலயில சேர்த்து விட்டேன் … நீ என்னடான்னா ஆஃபீஸ்ல தண்ணியடிச்சு, பொண்ணுங்களோட கூத்தடிக்கும்போது … கஞ்சா… அபின்…”

மலையாளத்திலும் ஆங்கிலத்திலும் கோபத்தில் ஒலித்த ஜான் தாமஸின் குரல், திறந்த ஜன்னல் உபயத்தில் காதில் விழ, கோபத்துடன் அந்தக் கட்டிடத்தைப் பார்த்தேன்.

தறையில் காறி உமிழ்ந்தேன்.

பாக்கியை வாங்காமலேயே அக்கட்டிடத்திலிருந்து வெளியேறிய நான்…

திரும்ப அதனுள் இது நாள் வரை – அதன் பெயர் – ஷேப் – முதலாளிகள் – எல்லாமே மாறிய பின்பும் செல்லவே இல்லை.

அந்த நிகழ்வுக்குப் பிறகு சுமார் 1 மாதத்தில் ஜான் தாமஸ் காலமானார்.

அக்டோபர் 7 1991

வக்கீல் பணி புரிந்த ஃபிலிப் தாமஸ், பல முறை விபச்சாரிகளுடன் பல ஹோட்டல் அறைகளில் மாட்டிக் கொண்டு அவ்வப்போது யாரேனும் பெரிய மனிதர்கள் தயவில் வெளியே வந்ததை அறிந்து நகைக்கும் பழக்கத்தைக் கொண்டிருந்த நான், அவரை ஒரு நீதி மன்றத்தில் சந்திக்க்கும் நிர்ப்பந்தம் நேர்ந்தது.

இராயப்பேட்டையில் ஒரு அச்சகத்திற்கு நான் அளித்திருந்த செக் திரும்பியிருந்தது.

அதற்கான மூல காரணம் – அச்சகத்தின் உரிமையாளர்கள் நான் கொடுத்த பணியைக் கெடுத்ததும், அதனால் நான் அனுப்பிய புத்தகங்களுக்கான பணம் வராததும் தான் என்றாலும், அவர்களிடம் பணம் இருந்த காரணத்தால் … அச்சக உரிமையாளர்களால் என் மீது சைதை மாஜிஸ்திரேட் கோர்ட்டில் வழக்குத் தொடர முடிந்தது.

பிடி வாரண்டும் வாங்கியிருந்தார்கள்.

காவல் துறையில் எனக்கு அன்றும் சரி, இன்றும் சரி, பல நல்ல நண்பர்கள் உண்டு.

“உங்க மேல வாரண்டு போட்டிருக்காங்க. நான்க அதை execute பண்ணமாட்டோம் … நொண்டிச் சாக்கு எதையாவது சொல்லி சமாளிச்சிடறோம். பணம் இல்லன்னா சொல்லுங்க …ஏதாவது ஏற்பாடு பண்ணி கோர்டுல கட்டிடறோம்,” என்றார் ஒரு காவல் துறை நண்பர்.

“அடுத்த வாய்தா வரை பொறுத்துக்குங்க,” என்றேன் சுருக்கமாக.

மூத்த வழக்கறிஞர் பஞ்சாக்ஷரமூர்த்தி எனக்காக இலவசமாக ஆஜரானார்.

வாரண்டை ரத்து செய்யச் செய்தார்.

ஒரே வாய்தாவில் … எப்படியோ பணத்தை நீதிமன்றம் வாயிலாகக் கட்டினேன்.

“ரொம்பப் பெரிய மனுஷன் மாதிரி எங்க பத்திரிக்கை ஆஃபீஸுக்கு வர்றப்பப் பேசுவ … இப்ப செக் திரும்பி… கிரிமினல் …”

நீதிமன்றத்திலிருந்து வெளியே வரும்போது அச்சகத்திற்காக ஆஜரான ஃபிலிப் தாமஸ் என்னைப் பார்த்துக் கொக்கரித்தார்.

81ல் நீ பாம்க்ரோவ் ஹோட்டலில் ஒரு விருப்பமில்லாத நடிகையை வலுக்கட்டாயமாக அணைச்சுகிட்டு இருந்த நேரத்துல, காவல் துறையிடம் பிடிபிட்டு உதை வாங்கிகதறி அழுதப்பஉயர் அதிகாரிகளிடம் உன் தந்தையின் சிபாரிசின் பெயரில் நானும் என் நண்பனான க்ரைம் ரிப்போர்ட்டர் தாமஸும் சொன்னதால் தான்லாக்கப்பில் அடைபடாமல் தப்பித்தாய், என எனக்கு அப்போது வந்த கோபத்தில் நானும் சொல்லியிருந்தால் … ஃபிலிப்புக்கும் எனக்கும் வித்தியாசம் இல்லாமல் போய்விடும் என உணர்ந்து …

“கொன்றன்ன இன்னா செயினும் அவர்செய்த ஒன்றுநன்று உள்ளக் கெடும்!” என முணுமுணுத்தவாறு என் வழியில் சென்று விட்டேன்.

2006 ல் ஃபிலிப் தாமஸ் காலமானார்.

அந்தப் பத்திரிகையில் பணி புரிந்த சிலர் இன்று ஒரு சில தொலைக்காட்சிச் சானல்களில் முக்கியப் பொறுப்பு வகிக்கிறார்கள்.

இந்த நிகழ்வுக் கோர்வையைப் படித்தபோது, அவர்களுள் சிலரது கண்களில் கண்ணீர் மல்கியது.

“நாட்டுல இவ்வளவு அநியாயமா நடக்குது?”

கேள்வியை, ஒரு தொலைக்காட்சியின் செய்தி ஆசிரியர் பொறுப்பில் உள்ள ஒரு நண்பர், தேனீர் அருந்தியபடிக் கேட்டார்.

பாரதியின் பாஞ்சாலி சபதம் நாடகத்திலிருந்து சில வரிகள் நினைவிற்கு வந்தன.

புனிதமான வேள்விக்குரிய பொருட்களை புலை நாய்கள் தின்றிட வைத்திடல் போல், பொன்னாலான உத்தரங்களுள்ள மாளிகை கட்டி பேய்களை அதில் குடியமர்த்துவது போல், மனிதனை விற்றுப் பொன் வாங்கி அதிலோர் அழகிய ஆபரணம் செய்து அதனை ஆங்கோர் ஆந்தைக்குப் பூட்டி அழகு பார்ப்பது போல், கேட்பதற்கு ஆளில்லாமல் உயிர்த் தேவியைக் கீழ் மக்கட்கு அடிமையாக்கினான் தருமன். தர்மம் அழிந்து போய், சத்தியமும் பொய்யாகி, தவங்களனைத்தும் பெயர் கெட்டு மண்ணாகி, வானத்துத் தேவர் வயிற்றிலே தீப் பாய்ந்ததுபோலாக, மோன முனிவர்கள் முறை தவறி என்ன செய்கிறோமென்று அறியாமல் மதி மயங்க, வேதங்கள் பொருளை இழந்து வெற்றுரையாகி விட, நாதங் குலைந்து நடுமை யின்றிப் பாழாக, கந்தர்வ ரெல்லாம் களையிழக்கச் சித்தர் முதல் அந்தரத்து வாழ்வோர் அனைவரும் பித்துற, பிரம்மன் நாவடைத்துப் போக, சரஸ்வதி தேவிக்கு புத்தி மயங்கிட, வான்முகில் போன்ற கருநிறத்துத் திருமால் யோகநித்திரை கலைந்து ஆழ்ந்த துயிலெய்திவிட, செல்வத்தின் அதிபதியாம் ஸ்ரீதேவி முகத்தின் செம்மை நீங்கிக் கருமையாக, மகாதேவன் யோகம் மதிமயக்கமாகி விட, சூரியனாந் தெய்வத்தின் முகத்தே யிருட் படர… இப்படியெல்லாம் குழப்பம் ஏற்பட்டதாம். நொந்துபோனவர் மனம் சுடும்படியாகச் சொல்லும் சொல் கொடிய நரகத்தில் சேர்த்துவிடும்; கற்கும் வித்தைகளைத் தடுத்துவிடும். பேராசையினால் தவறானவைகளைச் செய்கிறீர்கள். வரக்கூடாத கொடுமைகளும், பெரும் விபத்துக்களும் உங்களுக்கு வந்து சேரும், என்று விதுரர் கௌரவர்களை எச்சரித்ததாக பாரதி காவியம் படைத்தார்.

வானவெளியினின் நடுவினிலே பறந்திடும் கருடனின் மேல் சோதிக்குள் ஊர்ந்திடும் கண்ணா, சுடர்ப்பொருளே, பேரருட் பொருளே, அன்று இரணியன் மகன் பிரகலாதனிடம்கம்பத்தில் உள்ளானோ, அடா! காட்டு உன் கடவுளைத் தூணிடத்தே, வம்புசெயும் மூடா” என்று மகனிடம் உறுமிக்கொண்டு தூணை உதைத்தவனை அந்தத் தீயவல் இரணியனின் உடல் பிளந்தாய்! நம்பி, நின் அடி தொழுதேன், என்னை மானமழியாமல் காத்தருள்வாய்,” என்று பாஞ்சாலி இறைவனை வேண்டினாள். சேலை உதவி கிட்டி, அவளது மானம் காக்கப்பட்டது என்றார் அந்த மஹான், தனது பாஞ்சாலி சபதம் நாடகத்தில்..

தருமத்தின் வாழ்வுதனைச் சூது கவ்வும்… தருமம் மறுபடி வெல்லும்! என்று கூறிய பாரதி மட்டும் இன்று உயிருடன் திரும்பி வந்தால், ‘மீண்டும் என்னை மிதித்திடு லாவண்யா,’ எனப் பார்த்தசாரதிக் கோவிலில் கஞ்சா அடித்தது போல நடித்து கூக்குரலிடுவான்,” என்றேன்.

“அது ஏன்?”

“எண்பதுகளில் தமிழக சட்ட சபையில் இன்று முதல்வராக விளங்கும் ஜெயலலிதாவின் புடவைத் தலைப்பு பற்றி இழுக்கப்பட்டது நினைவுக்கு வருகிறது. காலம் மாறி விட்டது. பலர் பழங்கால பாரதத்தையும், பாரதத்தின் சுதந்திரம் கிடைக்க உழைத்த பாரதி போன்ற மஹான்களையும், அவர் உருவாக்கிய புதுமைப் பெண் என்ற கொள்கையையும், பெண்குலத்தின் பெருமை தமழகத்தின் அரச அவையிலேயே அவலம் அடைந்ததையும் மறந்து – நடு ரோட்டில் பெண்கள் மானபங்கப்படுத்தப்படுவதையும், பட்டப்பகலில் ரயிலடியில் கொல்லப்படுவதையும் நினைக்கச் செய்கிறதே இந்த மண்ணாங்கட்டி பேனா உழைப்பளியின் பாழும் மனம்! இதை பாரதி கண்டிருந்தால், அந்த மானமுள்ள கவிக்கோ வேறென்ன செய்திருப்பான்?”

ஒரு முறை வெறுப்புடன், விரக்தி ததும்பச் சிரித்தேன், அவரிடமிருந்து விடை பெற்றேன்.

சிரிப்பதா, அழுவதா எனக் குழப்பமும் சந்தேகமும் 80களில் துவங்கி, 90களில் ஆழத்தைப் பெற்று, 2006ல் அவற்றுக்கு ஒரு முற்றுப்புள்ளி வைக்கப்பட்ட பின்பும், ஒரு நெருடல் மட்டும் இன்றும் என்னை நிழலாய்த் தொடர்கிறது.

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The Kabali “cabal” exposes Rajnikant’s morphing into Rajni-can’t?

Is the so-called box-office success of Rajnikant-starrer Kabali the brazenly lying handiwork of a secret cabal [1]?

The inflated collection reports of Kabali are lies, reported the DNA. Operative excerpts:

A day after the release of Rajnikant starrer Kabali, there were reports of the film having made Rs. 100 crores on day one. According to The Economic Times, Rajnikanth’s Kabali reportedly collected a record Rs 250 crore on its first day. An industry source says these figures are grossly inflated.

The B-O figures (approximately) are: All India (four languages) + overseas = Rs 89.4 crore.

Everyone seems to have bought the Kabali lies.

Often, the producers send out inflated figures and the media carries it without checking the facts. Also, the figures are being compared to those of Aamir Khan and Salman Khan-starrers, which isn’t fair because in Tamil Nadu, films are tax-free, so tickets are cheaper, because of which audiences go to see the film in large numbers.

International Business Times termed the collection reports fake and inflated.

Media outlets like The Times of India, said the opposite. The Rajinikanth starrer [Kabali] is said to have created history at the box office, said the Times of India.

Kabali has done unbelievable business at an all India level, was the guarded verdict in a website devoted exclusively to box-office records. Operative excerpts:

The Hindi version may not have done well and the Telugu version is also not going to be up to the mark but in its original format Tamil it is huge wherever released.

There was a drop in collections after the weekend, but, that tends to happen with films down South which open so huge.

Relevant excerpts from reviews – which were – to say the least – ‘mixed’:

The expectations over a Ranjith film have not been satisfied fully. Rajni fans could have got something much better in return.

Kabali might not work for everyone. Theatres which are known to reverberate for Rajinikanth, seem a lot more silent for Kabali.

We have seen many movies in the past which couldn’t measure up to the vaulting hype around their release, and Kabali makes it to the list as well. What Kabali lacks is pace and mass, an unwanted trait in many Rajinikanth movies of late.

The first chinks appeared in the success story of Kabali through a strangely named Youtube recording wherein bouncers accused producer Thanu of wrongdoing.

Tamil magazine “Bhagya” owned and edited by ace director, screen-writer and actor Bhagyaraj has raised serious questions over the tall claims being published by those who benefited by the film vis-à-vis those who reportedly are believed to have lost heavily. The relevant cartoon depicts various sections of the exhibiting industry seriously questioning the “so-called success story of Kabali” comparing it with a bargain in a cattle market.

Reverberating booms of the “Neruppuda” [I am fire] song that rendered some Chennai streets nearly deaf have fallen silent after the initial hoopla over the release of Kabali.

Diehard fans of the actor are disappointed. One of them was heard saying thus in Chennai’s middleclass enclave of Rangarajapuram – that houses a marriage hall owned by the actor’s family:

When I saw the Neruppuda teaser, I was in ecstasy. After seeing the film, I need a fix of the ‘ecstasy’ drug to pep me up as the film was so meaninglessly boring! When someone asked me give my verdict about the film, I retorted, “Seruppudaa [footwear]! If someone tells me that the actor on the screen is Rajnikant’s double, I will start considering that allegation with some seriousness. The famous swagger seen in successful movies like Sivaji is in direct contrast with the tired trudge in the introductory scene of the film. Besides, I simply cannot believe the real Thalaivar could do such a stupid film in his right mind! Then there is this feeling on the over-dependence on Malaysia and its proximity to Singapore – when the Thalaivar reportedly underwent some treatment beyond the reach of virtually everyone else but for his immediate family. Is there some sort of mysterious symbolism hidden in all this?

The film has a wafer thin plot.

Rajni played a Malaysia based Tamil gangster who is released from prison to wreak vengeance. Every 10 minutes one is served with a flashback of some sort followed by frenzied violence full of blood and gore.

The climax is tepid and the anti-climax is insipidity raised to the power of infinity!

The Rajnikant one knew had a devil-may-care attitude about virtually everything on screen. But for his yet to be declared political ambitions, he never cared about his off-screen persona. The down-to-earth to the core simplicity of the man who regularly rubbed shoulders with his hoi polloi fans and his friends from the old times forte of the matinee idol is missing now – rather mysteriously.

A close look at his career shows a huge contrast between Rajnikant of yore and the man one encounters now.

A brief pen-portrait of the superstar

Rajnikant is the screen name of Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, whose mother tongue is Marathi. He spent is formatory years in Bangalore, Karnataka.

‘Rajni’ called himself by that name because the man wanted an “honourable” nomenclature befitting a star to boost his film career.

In the mid-seventies, “Gauravam” (honour) – a movie starring Villupuram Chinnaiah ‘Sivaji’ Ganesan – had a character called “Rajnikant.”

Since that production became a hit, and for want of a better alias, the khaki clad busman adopted it, it is said. It resulted in others copying the trend. There is Vijaykant – an ominously washed up actor as a  poor comparison. There were others. One of them is a little-known screen-baddie – Nalinikant.

The then unknown Rajnikant began living from day to day, moment to moment and had hoped for lady luck to smile on him.

An uneventful period of training in the Film Institute located in Adyar – a south Madras suburb landed Rajnikant a glorified extra’s role in a black and white flick “Apoorva Raagangal” (rare tunes) whose storyline had been “inspired” from a joke.

Rajnikant played a bearded geriatric husband to a wayward woman who chooses to love a man young enough to be her son, while their daughter falls for the son’s father like a ton of bricks.

In the movie Rajnikant’s screen presence lasted under 15 minutes.

And even in that span, his face was hidden behind a shaggy beard.

Nobody noticed him in the film – except for a few superstitious dream merchants – who felt that Rajnikant’s first shot – opening the gates of a concert theatre was a good omen.

That still didn’t make Rajnikant’s life in filmdom easy.

He hired single room in a small seedy lodge in a suburb which had the dubious name – “Kolakaran Pettai” (murderer’s area) simply because he couldn’t afford anything better and also due to the reason that nobody was willing to give him a dwelling on rent as he, self-admittedly, loved to smoke and drink.

Rajnikant’s mentor Balachander had hired him to play anti-hero roles.

The other director whose name started with the letter “B” – Periyamayathevar Bharati Raja (a man who had started life in Bangalore as well) too made him a bigger villain in his maiden venture “Pathinaaru Vayathinile” (Sweet Sixteen) too tried “claiming” Rajnikant as his “find” for some time, but to no avail.

Movie critics opined Rajnikant was a cruel joke on them and panned him endlessly. Yet, he became India’s star number one.

Vintage Rajnikant circa 1980

The set of Netrikkan [the third eye on the forehead] was garish and big.

Rajnikant’s costumes were old-fashioned and seemed like they were hired from a friendly but shady launderer.

The three leading ladies were studies in contrast – Lakshmi – a minor legend since her arrival a generation before the hero, the second – Saritha – who was a more saleable star than him in that period (therefore being given a better role) and the third  – Menaka – was destined to for a very short career that lasted a mere 6 years. There was a 4th girl in the film – Vijayshanti – who played Rajnikant’s sister in the film. Much later, she came to be known as ‘Lady Amitabh’, joined politics and faded away.  

Rajnikant was playing a dual role – each an antithesis of the other. The meatier of the two was a philanderer who never left anything wrapped in a sari or otherwise alone. The other was a straitjacketed do-gooder who pretends to marry his own father’s rape victim to reform the old lecher.

This writer wandered into the floor in AVM studios as he had been asked to interview the star who was just emerging from doomsday predictions.

Rajnikant had been called a crackpot, drug addict, drunkard and worse simply because he had been rumoured to have had links with a fading actress – who at the fag-end of her career had been the flavour of Chief Minister MG Ramachandran till 1978.[2]

In 1979, even as MGR was still CM in his first inning at Chennai’s seat of power – Fort St George, the film Mullum Malarum [bloom and bristle] won the best film award from the government of Tamil Nadu, marking the end of the so-called feud between the then current superstar and the ex-superstar-CM.

“Try to get under the skin of Rajnikant, see if we can get some nasty quotes from him,” my editor stationed in Hyderabad had said.

It was taking a long time between shots as the film inside the archaic Mitchell camera had to be rewound as per needs of the double-role shots since nobody had heard about CG then and very tricky lighting had to be done.

Rajnikant had removed his jacket as he waited because air-conditioned make-up rooms were unheard of at that time for up and coming stars like him. He was smoking a State Express 555 cigarette.

I accosted the star and asked him whether he was willing to answer a few questions.

“Is it for a movie magazine?”

“No.”

“Then you are welcome. Ask whatever you want. But please remember to print my answers verbatim.”

It t was supposed to last a few minutes. The chat stretched for four hours – two till shooting ended that day and the balance a day later during a drive from Rajnikant’s Poes Garden bungalow to the studios in his modest, air-conditioned Fiat. The matinee idol drove his car himself. The driver was seated behind as the ubiquitous “assistant”.

Three statements made by the actor during the interview while answering personal questions are etched in my memory.

“I only fear God and my conscience. When I started to earn a living as a bus conductor, I did not know that one day I would come to Madras and become film actor. For me, no matter how famous I become, I will always be a pal to my pals, because they are my roots. Tamil Nadu has become my preferred home because this people of this state have given me a new identity and my modest claim to fame. I may not speak the language properly, but I have come to realise that I express myself better in Tamil than in any other language.”

“My most humbling moment was when I went to [current Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu] Jayalalithaa’s house to discuss a role offered to be me by a producer – to play second fiddle to her. I was commuting in a scooter – something I was rather sheepish about. It didn’t work out for various reasons. She chose to ‘graciously’ see off at the gate. ‘Do not be shy about your humble present status. You will certainly be a big man one day,’ she said. I thought her eyes teased me for my rather nondescript situation. I decided that one day I would have my residence in the same area as she lived – Poes Gardens – so that I could shrug off the poverty complex once and for all. And I have done that now,” Rajnikant said the first day with a glint in his eye.

“When I left Bangalore, I wanted to be an actor, not a star, because of three things: It would fetch me a little more money than the salary of a bus conductor; I could choose the women to sleep with and get finally plenty of time to rest – in that order. I have achieved much more than that now.”

“Can I publish that?”

 “Please do so by all means.”

“Will it not hurt your image?”

“You are naïve, young man. If someone reads this, more girls will come to me.”

The 2500-word interview was printed in a magazine – which soon ceased publication. No Tamil newspaper reproduced it because Rajnikant wasn’t news then.

Vintage Rajnikant circa 1992 

The car carrying Rajnikant was making its way towards the arterial Radhakrishnan Road that links the state’s police headquarters on the eastern end to the US Consulate in the West.

Even before his vehicle reached the the main road, suddenly, a police jeep overtook his vehicle and forced it to stop.

“We are clearing the road for the Chief Minister to pass,” the cop announced when the actor sought an explanation.

For the uniformed man, it did not matter that the producer needing Rajnikant’s presence in the studio would be put to hardship and that like all citizens of Chennai the actor too had the right to the use the thoroughfare without being forced to make way.

Something must have snapped in the actor’s mind.

According to eyewitnesses and press reports, he got out of the parked car walked into the busy arterial road, crossed the intersection, went to a kiosk, ordered a packet of cigarettes, shook one out and began smoking.

Within a few minutes, a small crowd gathered to have a glimpse of the star. News spread like wildfire and a huge multitude began milling around the area as the actor didn’t seem to have a care in the world and was puffing away merrily. The whole area was gridlocked.

[The event, in my opinion, has been adapted and fitted into a Hindi film called Dirty Picture to suit the devil-may-care attitude of the central character ‘Silk’ that earned a good sum of money and laurels for its heroine Vidya Balan.]

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who wanted the road cleared, couldn’t stir out of her residence.

Finally, realising their folly, the cops begged Rajnikant to drive away to work because the CM was getting late.

“I am waiting for her to go. I don’t mind waiting,” the actor said nonchalantly for quite some time feigning innocent reluctance.

Finally, he shrugged his shoulders, got into his vehicle and drove away.

The Chief Minister called Rajnikant and apologised. She is said to have spoilt it by adding, “Why don’t you shift your residence?”

Pat came the punch-line from the superstar.

“How would it sound if I suggested the same thing to you?”

The point was made.

He may have a devil-may-care attitude for the screen. In reality, the exact opposite was true. He cared for the rights of those who rooted for him.

In the 1996 assembly elections, Rajnikant was featured in posters of the opposition indirectly endorsing the election symbol Tamil Manila Congress led by GK Moopanar. In the run up to the election, he had declared, “If the AIADMK comes back to power, even God cannot save Tamil Nadu.

Jayalalithaa and her party were routed in 1996.

Rajnikant circa 2016

The actor expressed thanks in a letter to fans hailing the success of his film. Operative excerpt:

“I am humbled by the success of Kabali. I thank [director] Ranjith, my co actors, the crew, Dhanu, distributors, press, and my fans for making this movie a huge success. Magizhchi [I am happy].”

Some of Rajnikant’s fans sounded quite disappointed with Kabali, a media report said.

The actor’s fans removed giant Kabali posters from the façade of a cinema in a southwest suburb of Chennai.

All doesn’t seem to be well within his family.

The more talented of his two daughters – Soundarya Ashwin had begun very ambitious projects with her father.

The projects stalled.

She is now said to be part of ongoing multiple litigations in the Madras High Court filed by financiers.

Her husband Ashwin Ramkumar is the scion of a family that is into major construction projects for over 6 six decades.

The company Ashwin Ramkumar partly owns had yanked its account away from Indian Bank following very poor service after banking in that institution for over 5 decades.

A private bank has given the construction firm Venkatraman & Co a huge advance to improve its business prospects. The guarantor is said to be Rajnikant. Some of the loans, sources said, are in the process of being foreclosed.

Quite a few of the latest movies starring Rajnikant viz. Baba, Kuselan, Kochchadaiyan, and Lingaa did not accord joy to its producers, distributors, exhibitors and most importantly, the thespian’s fans.

Lingaa has a sinister link. Its distribution had passed through the hands of the now “declared missing person” and juvenile delinquent S Madhan, the managing partner in a company called Vendhar Movies. Relatives of the missing person allege foul play. Reports said that Madhan had a cash exceeding Rs.100 crores collected in the name of securing admissions in SRM University – a huge complex comprising of a hotel, hostels, hospital and travel-firm located in the outskirts of Chennai. The other partner is Thandavarayapuram Ramaswami Pachamuthu alias Paari Vendhar. His political outfit Indhiya Jananayaga Katchi (IJK) had been an electoral ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party during the 2014 elections. Vendhar had shared the dais with current Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi himself! The networking was reportedly done by Rajnikant. Sections of the Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP are peeved at the matinee idol as he refused to endorse it during the 2016 assembly elections. Jayalalithaa, who continues to be Rajnikant’s neighbour in Poes Gardens, won the polls. The BJP came a cropper!

The stalled project – Sultan the Warrior involves Rajnikant’s daughter Soundarya Ashwin. Its multiple deals with Hollywood and Bollywood entities have said to have gone completely sour resulting in debts running into a few hundred crores of rupees.

Rajnikant, his wife Latha and the principal of a school run by them Vandana Tugnait are being prosecuted in a case pertaining to the disputed lease of a piece of land where ‘Ashram’, a school run by the family continues to function despite lease expiry.

Tailpieces:

[a]

A sudden power outage resulted in this writer being stuck in a lift in Sathyam Cinemas on the first day of the release for 17 minutes. A guy from the Satyam Cinemas’ management tried to assuage my feelings by serving me with some meals and two cups of coffee – the second after the interval. “Well, the coffees were good and the movie was bad,” I told the young man, who had fawned over me.

[b]

The other film Rajnikant film watched by me in Sathyam – way back in 2007 was Sivaji. There was a huge brouhaha over the ticket for the press preview. The news agency I worked for needed the review before everyone else.

I was on tenterhooks.

A nerd friend of my son asked me not to worry.

“Within 2 minutes of the first show starting somewhere, I will give you the print on your computer’s screen, uncle,” he said. I did not believe him.

The press show was at 8 a.m. I got to see the show thanks to my colleague Shobha Warrier of Rediff.com.

When I entered Sathyam cinema, I spotted producer AVM Saravanan – standing as usual with hands folded across his chest, in his milk white attire. His balding head was clean shaven – indicating a trip to the Tirupati shrine. The grim expression on his face betrayed that he was on tenterhooks. The rumour was that vast swathes of AVM studios had been hocked and the loans had turned bad. During the interval, a film-review-fixer approached me and whispered in my ear, “For each glowing review of the film, the producers and distributors are willing to shell out at least Rs.5,000 to people from news agencies whose items will be flashed all over India.” I asked the person to get lost and stay lost.

Wikipedia cited the review as a yardstick to measure the success of Sivaji.

After writing the review, I had noticed that the entire film’s pirated copy was on my desktop even as the first “official show” was on.

Pirated prints of Kabali were out before their release on the internet.

So, the excuse – if ever trotted out for the failure of the film – was kept ready. The despicable killjoy pirates were to be blamed!

Perhaps, this blog has foreclosed that option.

Asinine attempts are being made to keep the hype going by demanding a Bharat Ratna for Rajnikant. Director Ranjith has begun talking of a sequel to Kabali and its remake with Amitabh playing the lead! Well, rumours are free, but facts are costly, especially when they prove to be the roots of a massive dud.

[c]

Some of the strange ironies link Jayalalithaa and Rajnikant. Both hail from the same neighbouring state – Karnataka! Jayalalithaa was part of the drama troupe United Amateur Artists begun by Yechan Gunja Parthasarathy [YGP]. Lankan journalist DBS Jayaraj wrote about this connectionJayalalithaa’s mother Sandhya and aunt Vidyavathy acted in dramas produced by the famous Y.G. Parthasarathy the father of comedian Y.G. Mahendran. YGP as he was known ran the drama troupe United Amateur Artistes (UAA), which staged English and Tamil plays. Soon Jayalalithaa, while a school girl, began acting in some YGP plays along with her mother and aunt. She acted in plays such as ‘Malathi,’ ‘The Whole Truth,’ ‘Tea House of the August Moon’ and ‘Under Secretary’.

In a roundabout way, Latha Rajnikant – the matinee idol’s wife has family ties to those who helped Jayalalithaa become an actress. Latha is the sister-in-law of veteran playwright Y Gee Mahendran [YGP’s son]. She is also related to former actress Vyjayanthimala. Latha’s brother Ravi Raghavendra is also an actor. He is the father of Kolaveri-fame music director Anirudh Ravichander. Latha married Rajinikanth on 26 February 1981 at Tirupati. The couple had met during an exclusive press interview.

THE VERDICT

The Rajnikant of yore was lovable, likeable and to some, lickable.

The new one … er … seems to be a stranger … who seems to be pale shadow of the has-been superstar.

[1]

A cabal is a group of people united in a specific conspiracy.

The group promotes private interests using intrigue as a weapon against gullible persons located beyond the borders of the group.

The unity of a cabal is ensured by kinship and needs of acquiring financial, political, social and religious influence to control a huge section of population and profit from it. The term cabal is frequently used in conspiracy theories, says the Wikipedia.

Its definition: The artifices and intrigues of a group of persons secretly united in a plot (as to overturn a government); a group engaged in such artifices and intrigues.

[2]

Operative excerpt from a not-so-flattering website about Rajnikant’s past:

He might have ogled at fellow actresses such as Silk Smitha, he might have proposed Sridevi, he might have had frictions with MGR for the sake of Actress Latha, he may have gone mentally unstable – all during his young years.

Post Script:

Rajnikant, the superstar was famous. With the kind of attention this blog is getting, should we say that he has now become “infamous”?

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Politicians’ consensus to con Indians’ senses over vital issues?

Is there an eerie link between the “vanished state” of the GST bill awaiting the nod in Rajya Sabha and the “disappearance” of an IAF AN32 aircraft over the Bay of Bengal?

Is there an “enemy action” angle that is being hidden by India’s defence establishment?

Have Indian politicians reached a consensus to con the senses of the common public over vital issues that stumble the progress of Bharat?

The monsoon session of India’s parliament got underway on July 18 2016 and is expected to go on till August 12.

‘Evergreen’ filibustering in parliament that may push the GST Bill – touted as the magic wand to ensure the progress of India Inc to another session. The worst jocular query none chooses to answer is that even if it is passed, will it make an iota of difference.

The main ones:

[a] Verbal unprintable abuse of Dalit leader Mayawati and incessant oppression of India’s most oppressed, downtrodden castes; [1]

[b] Political brouhaha created in the aftermath of the resignation of ruling BJP MP and former cricketer NS Sidhu from the upper house, the chances of his joining the Aam Aadmi Party [2] and

[c] The AN32 aircraft that ‘went missing’ over Indian waters in the Bay of Bengal [3].

India’s leading television channels and newspapers had headlined the possibility of a series of ‘consensuses’ in the ranks of the depleted opposition leading to the safe passage of the Goods & Services Tax [GST] bill pending in the upper house – the Rajya Sabha last week. Its references have “disappeared” from the headlines with sudden mysteriousness as did the AN32 IAF aircraft over the Bay of Bengal 4 days before this blog was written.

An operative excerpt of a BBC despatch explains the situation on the GST bill.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged political parties to pass the bill which seeks to streamline India’s fragmented tax system with a single levy. Indian businesses have been lobbying for the single tax rate as it would reduce costs, particularly for shipping goods across state borders. The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian parliament, last year, but it has been stuck in the upper house of parliament, or the Rajya Sabha, where Modi’s BJP does not have a majority.”

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Muppavarapu Venkiah Naidu – was heard telling reporters thus:

“There is a broad consensus, with a few reservations. Tamil Nadu being a manufacturing state has opposed the bill. Congress wants a cap on tax rate in the constitution bill but it is not feasible and advisable… The GST bill is pending for the last eight years.”

Is Naidu being economical with the truth?

As per the current system prevalent in India local taxes’ rates range between 5% and 14.5%. That is what one reads on paper. When translated into action, evasion of commercial taxes is the most happening thing.

“India’s current, corrupt, convoluted taxation system and its applicability are more confusing than the explanation of geometry’s backbone – the Pythagoras Theorem penned in Double-Dutch and Triple-Greek,” remarked a Delhi wag at the Press Club of India’s bar, the other day.

The National Democratic Alliance [NDA] regime claims the passage of the bill would improve India’s GDP by at least 2%.

The idea is seconded by most trade bodies.

India copies most of its laws – the United Kingdom – where Value-Added-Tax or VAT is in vogue for nearly 2 decades. Its salient features excerpted from the relevant Wikipedia dossier:

Value-added tax (VAT) is a consumption tax levied in the United Kingdom by the national government. Introduced in 1973, it is the third largest source of government revenue after income tax and National Insurance. It is administered and collected by HM Revenue and Customs. The relevant law is – the Value Added Tax Act 1994.

VAT is levied on most goods and services provided by registered businesses in the UK and some goods and services imported from outside the European Union.

The current default VAT rate is the standard 20% ad valorem since 4 January 2011.

Under EU law, the standard rate of VAT in any EU state cannot be lower than 15%.

VAT is tax levied on sale of goods and services by those who raise invoices upon getting paid.

Examples: A lawyer’s or an accountant’s or a political advisor’s or a PR agency’s fee could be £100 plus VAT. The grocer’s bill for monthly supplies for home could be £200 plus VAT. A restaurant bill could be £24 plus VAT. Selling and buying sans an invoice is an offence in the UK. And VAT has to be clearly mentioned in every memo – cash/credit-card-swipe-record and/or credit invoice. At least 95% of transactions are made through credit and/or debit cards or cheques or internet banking.

Its critics say the system is loaded against the consumer.

The producer who has paid VAT on raw materials to create the finished product gets a refund on the tax. So do the stockists/wholesalers and retailers. The final burden falls on the consumer whose pay-out covers the taxes on each mark up from factory to point of sale.

Illustration: A 1 litre bottle of potable drinking water may cost £0.25 at the factory and end up at £2.40 at the final point when sold through a retailer. Of this, the consumer would have ended up paying £1.40 as VAT on a product that costs a mere £0.25 originally. Along the way, every outlet would have collected its profit margin and have the option of only paying corporate tax at the end of the year after a lot of tax-planning through experienced chartered accountants.

No such luxury is available to the end-user.

[Figures are merely illustrative and artificially kept arithmetically simple.]

In the United Kingdom, there is no guarantee as to whether the money paid by the  consumer finally as VAT – thereby underwriting the burdens of all the industrialists and their distribution networks’ movers and shakers – is put to proper use at all. Worse, the collection methods themselves leave a lot unsaid.

Criminal evasion is tacitly admitted to by the British Government itself!

A simple catechism to explore the viability of GST in India – fashioned on VAT in vogue elsewhere in the globe:

Lawyers, finance-professionals, PR agencies et al have a sizeable portion of their dealings done in cash. Reasons for the same is a criminally bent, corrupt section of the judiciary, tax authorities and parliamentarians.

Would anyone in his/her right mind, honestly reflect the fees and collect GST through printed invoices as mandated by the GST bill if and when it comes into effect?

Answer: NO!

Most of the groceries and other knick-knacks are sold through small, family run outlets who never issue cash memos. The outlets themselves buy their supplies from stockists, paying in cash.

In that scenario, what would be the chances of the stringent GST clauses producing tangible results in letter and spirit?

Answer: Close to zero!

The ruling NDA is currently accusing UPA constituents of meaningless and vain obfuscation. The leading constituent of the opposition UPA – the Indian National Congress avers that the NDA had done the same in the past. Both entities deny the charges.

On the basis of the facts stated above and the distinct prognosis scenarios pointed out earlier, are the political moves to get the law passed or the conspiracies to delay its passage in the Rajya Sabha perceivable as serving the interests of the voting public?

The answer: NO!

So, what, pray is this exercise all about?

In India, tax evasion is a national sport says a Bloomberg report:

India loses 14 trillion rupees ($314 billion) from tax evasion annually, depriving it of funds for investment in roads, ports, and power, says Arun Kumar, author of The Black Economy in India. General government tax revenue is an estimated 18 percent of India’s $1.5 trillion in gross domestic product, the lowest among the four BRIC nations, International Monetary Fund data show. With so little revenue coming in, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is now attempting India’s biggest overhaul of the tax code in half a century.

Quartz reveals a softer sinister underbelly.

Only about 12.5 million Indians — or 1% of the total population—paid tax on their earnings in fiscal 2013. Although 28.7 million filed tax returns that year, 16.2 million got away without paying any tax, data shows.

[1]

Dalit leader and Bahujan Samaj Party [BSP] supremo Mayawati was referred to very unprintably by Dayashankar Singh, recently sacked senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader in Uttar Pradesh around the start of the Monsoon Session of Parliament. He was promptly expelled from the party.

The end result is that Mayawati has virtually become the rallying point to unite against the BJP in the election bound north Indian cow-belt state of Uttar Pradesh. Modi’s reported foe within the Union Cabinet – Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tacitly eggs this opposition unity on, as can be discerned from reports.

The bitter fact, India Today pointed out recently, is that Dalits are worse off despite 68 years of India’s independence.

During the run-up to the 2012 assembly polls, the BBC quietly exposed Mayawati.

Mayawati was almost buried in the quicksand of UP politics till Dayashankar put his foot into his mouth.

Excerpts from Vidya Subramanian’s report in The Hindu after the 2014 parliament elections:

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s performance in Uttar Pradesh has been beyond belief. But equally incredible, if in reverse, is the Bahujan Samaj Party’s devastation in the State.

The BJP’s conquest is as epic as the BSP’s fall. The BJP has bettered the best predictions with a humongous 71 seats — 14 more than its 1998 high of 57. With a zero score, the BSP has done worse than the worst forecast, regressing 30 years to the time it was born. Perhaps even this does not fully capture the BSP’s ignominy because, in contrast to today, 1984 was a year of hope and optimism: it marked the start of a remarkable political journey for which there are few parallels.

Dayashankar is yet to be arrested, despite the filing of a First Information Report.

Despite being notorious for its violent means of protest in the past, the current agitation against the slur against Mayawati has been very peaceful, as is indicated in a report in The Hindu. Excerpts:

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) workers called off their agitation in Lucknow against former Uttar Pradesh BJP vice-president Dayashankar Singh for his abusive remarks against their party chief Mayawati. Police promised to arrest Singh within the next 36 hours.

Lucknow District Magistrate Raj Shekhar told BSP workers that a manhunt for Singh was on following registration of an FIR at the Hazratganj police station.

Following the categorical and time-bound assurance, BSP leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui said the agitation was called off.

Should one suspect that one of India’s cleverest politicians and former wrestler Mulayam Singh Yadav – in a desperate bid to keep the BJP out – stage-managed the slur on Mayawati through Dayashankar and got the opposition to make a serious attempt to unite temporarily in UP?

Would that be the germination of a plan to prepare the ground for the 2019 elections against the ruling National Democratic Alliance led by Narendra Modi?

If true, is that a pathetic attempt to con Indians’ senses?

[2]

The Navjot Singh Sidhu drama has taken a queer turn following a revelation by a senior Punjab BJP leader Vijay Sampla. Operative excerpts from a Press Trust of India report indicate the ex-cricketer is still part of the party:

Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, who resigned from Rajya Sabha membership recently, is still in BJP and does not have any “personal grudge” against the party, Punjab BJP Chief Vijay Sampla said.

“Navjot Singh Sidhu is still in the BJP. Therefore the question of his return to the party does not arise. He is still in BJP and he has not resigned from the membership of BJP,” Sampla, who is a minister of state in Modi government, told reporters in Chandigarh.

Should one assume that the whole thing was a chimera to divert attention from other vital issues as Sidhu is a known media personality judging several reality shows on television channels?

If this isn’t a pathetic attempt to con the senses of India, what else can it be?

[3]

Indian Air Force AN-32 aircraft, travelling from Chennai to Port Blair went missing above the Bay of Bengal with 29 people on board on July 22 2016. The plane took off from Tambaram air base in the outskirts of India’s 4th largest metropolis Chennai at 8.30 am. It went missing from the radar at 9.12 am, 280 km east of Chennai.

According to reports, the aircraft was flying at a height less than 30,000 feet above mean sea level.

The acronym AN stands for Antonov – a sturdy Russian aircraft.

The plane’s basics:

Crew: 4

Capacity: 42 paratroopers/50 passengers/24 Casualties on stretcher with three medical personnel

Length: 23.78 m (78 ft 0¾ in)

Wingspan: 29.20 m (95 feet, 9½ in)

Height: 8.75m (28 feet, 8½ in)

Wing area: 75 m² (807 ft²)

Empty weight: 16,800 kg (37,038 lb)

Maximum take-off weight: 27,000 kg (59,400 lb)

Power-plant: 2 × ZMKB Progress AI-20DM turboprop, 3,812 kW (5,112 ehp) each

Maximum speed: 530 km/h (286 knots, 329 mph)

Cruise speed: 470 km/h (254 knots, 292 mph) (econ cruise)

Range: 2,500 km (1,350 nautical miles)

Service ceiling: 9,500 m (31,165 feet)

Reference: Taylor, John, W.R. Jane’s All The World’s Aircraft 1988–89. London: Jane’s Information Group, 1988. ISBN 0-7106-0867-5.

Aircraft going missing is old news and is always meant to fool the public.

The tale of MH 370 is one such mystery that will never be declared solved in official terms.

The search would be called off soon, it was announced.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/iafs-an-32-missing-48-years-ago-another-aircraft-went-missing/

In 1968, a Russian built AN-12-BL-534 aircraft carrying 98 defence personnel crashed near the Rohtang pass.

The likelihood of Pakistani involvement was not ruled out, said a report in the Indian Express.

This isn’t the first ‘AN-32 mystery’.

On 25 March 1986, an Indian Air Force An-32 disappeared over the Indian Ocean on a delivery flight from the Soviet Union (via Muscat, Oman.) No trace was ever found of the aircraft or its three crew and four passengers. Reference: Ranter, Harro and Fabian I. Lujan. “ASN Aircraft accident: Antonov 32 K2729 Jamnagar, India.” Aviation Safety Network, 2004.

July 15 1990 saw an accident involving an AN-32 aircraft that left 5 occupants dead. It had taken off from Tambaram airbase. Despite the passage of 26 years, the final report as to what led to the crash is yet to be finalised by India’s Ministry of Defence, a report published by Aviation Safety Network said.

On 10 June 2009, an Indian Air Force, An-32 transport aircraft carrying 13 people crashed close to India-China border in Arunachal Pradesh.

All the 13 people on board were reportedly killed.

Almost immediately after the crash, India inked a $US400 million deal with Ukraine for an An-32 fleet upgrade. The upgrade, reports said, could extend the life of the aircraft by nearly 15 years.

The question to be asked is:

Why has the ‘black box’ of the AN32 aircraft not been located so far?

A flight data recorder [FDR], colloquially known as a black box, [actually sporting orange-coloured skin] is an electronic recording device present in every aircraft since 1967. It facilitates the investigation of aviation mishaps.

The flight data recorder (FDR) is a device that preserves the recent history of the flight through the recording of dozens of parameters collected several times per second. The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) preserves the recent history of the sounds in the cockpit including the conversation of the pilots. The two recorders give an accurate testimony, narrating the aircraft’s flight history, to assist in any later investigation.

The FDR and CVR may be combined in a single unit.

International Civil Aviation Organization has specified that the FDR-CDR unit should be capable of surviving conditions in worst air-accidents. They are designed to withstand an impact of 3400 g and temperatures of over 1,000 °C (1,830 °F) as required by EUROCAE ED-112.

A modern FDR is governed by ICAO Annex 6 which makes reference to industry crashworthiness and fire protection specifications such as those to be found in the European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment[27] documents EUROCAE ED55, ED56 fiken A and ED112 (Minimum Operational Performance Specification for Crash Protected Airborne Recorder Systems).

The ARINC Standards are prepared by the Airlines Electronic Engineering Committee (AEEC). The 700 Series of standards describe the form, fit, and function of avionics equipment installed predominately on transport category aircraft. The FDR is defined by ARINC Characteristic 747. The CVR is defined by ARINC Characteristic 757.

ARINC Characteristic 757 stipulates that pilots cannot access the controls or switches associated with the CVR and its operation is fully automatic. The   recorder   system   is   powered through a 1-ampere 115 Vac circuit breaker. It carries a label RECORDER POWER/FLT. It is located on the co-pilot’s sidewall circuit breaker panel.  When the plane crash lands on water, the CVR’s   self-contained battery, an electronic module and appended transducer get activated automatically. The unit emits ‘pings’ [pulsed acoustic signals] at intervals of 2 seconds each for the next 30 days incessantly at depths up to 20,000 feet. The pings are heard all over the world through most communications’ satellites. India has 84 of them.

According to the Wikipedia dossier, the Bay of Bengal occupies an area of 2,172,000 square km. Average depth is 2,600 m (8,500 feet). Maximum depth is 4,694 metres or15,400 feet.

Simply put, there is virtually no way that the plane can ‘go completely missing’ as the Indian regime wants its public to believe.

If the pilots had lost control, the plane would need at least 5 minutes to touch the sea, giving the pilots enough time to transmit the Mayday signal.

So far, no report has surfaced.

The alternative cause for such a disappearance is that the plane could have been shot down by yet to be identified enemies.

According to press reports, Chinese submarines stealthily patrol the Bay of Bengal.

The simple questions that need answers:

Did a stealth enemy submarine shoot the IAF plane down causing it to suddenly disappear from the radar screens?

Did such a missile have a chemical powerful enough to melt the CVR?

Is that why one is unable to locate the debris and the CVR?

If the answers to the 3 questions are in the affirmative, the original queries should be asked again:

Is there an eerie link between the “vanished state” of the GST bill awaiting the nod in Rajya Sabha and the “disappearance” of an IAF AN32 aircraft over the Bay of Bengal? 

Is there an “enemy action” angle that is being hidden by India’s defence establishment?

Have Indian politicians reached a consensus to con the senses of the common public over vital issues that stumble the progress of Bharat?

Ban Zakir Naik War Cry A Lie?

Is the ‘ban Zakir Naik’ war cry yelled by sections of India’s paid media a hollow one?

Why is the Government of India twiddling its thumbs in a cowardly fashion while dealing with a known spreader of spoken mayhem Zakir Naik whose words spawn real-life massacres?

Are vital details about Zakir Naik being hidden from public view by sections of India’s paid media?

The probable answers to the above queries could be in the affirmative.

Readers can judge for themselves from the details produced below.

The Union Government has a fig-leaf – presented through obliging media accessories – “Naik’s activities and antecedents are ‘being probed’. Appropriate action will be initiated.”

This is despite the bloodbath aftermath of the encounter that laid Kashmiri terrorist Burhan Wani low. Now Kashmir and a few select Muslim enclaves in India are in flames.

News evangelist Arnab Goswami demanded a ban citing a lot of reasons – some of which are part of this report in greater detail. Goswami stated a link between Naik and secular Indian politicians – without giving details.

The bitter, blunt and horrible truth is exposed with clarity. The leader of the central ruling coalition – the Bharatiya Janata Party has several reasons to obfuscate the matter. The person at the top could be none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself!

I would love to stand corrected on this one – and will publish an apology to Modi if and when Zakir Naik is detained under NSA.

The Hindustan Times is somewhat meaningful in its report. Operative excerpt:

“The National Investigation Agency is planning to register an FIR against Zakir Naik. Legal opinion is being sought,” a ministry official said.

Singh is learnt to have discussed the matter with NIA director general Sharad Kumar.

The home ministry is also reviewing permission to Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation to receive donations from abroad under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.

The information and broadcasting ministry has decided to direct cable operators to black out Naik’s Peace TV, which is not licensed in India and is uplinked from Dubai. The channel is banned in several countries.

The I&B ministry held a meeting — attended by representatives from the home ministry, intelligence agencies and NIA — to discuss all unlicensed channels broadcast in the country.

“It was decided that strict action will be taken against cable or multi-system operators who stream unlicensed channels, including Peace TV. The Intelligence Bureau and NIA have been asked to examine the contents of Peace TV in particular,” said the home ministry official.

Excerpts from another news report revealing the fig leaf:

“Speeches of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik are being examined. Appropriate action will be taken,” Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told reporters.

“We have taken cognisance of Zakir Naik’s speeches and necessary instructions have been issued in this regard. His speeches/CDs are being examined and whatever is justified will be done. We will not compromise on terrorism at any cost,” Singh told the media in New Delhi.

“The Home Ministry will study (Naik’s speeches). His speeches, as being reported in the media, are highly objectionable,” Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Naidu said.

Zakir Naik, founder of Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation, is banned in Britain and Canada for his hate speeches aimed against other religions. He is under the scanner following reports that two of the five young terrorists who massacred 20 hostages, including an Indian, at a popular cafe in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka on July 1, drew their inspiration from his speeches.

One of the Bangladeshi attackers, suspected to be Rohan Imtiaz – the son of a politician of Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League – ran a propaganda on Facebook last year quoting 50-year-old Zakir Naik, a Mumbai-based doctor and an Islamic televangelist, Bangladeshi newspaper ‘Daily Star’ had reported.

Naik reaches some 14 million viewers through his Peace TV beamed through the internet and cable television outlets in India and elsewhere in the world on a daily basis.

He spews unadulterated venom. The evidence:

Of the 6 desperados whose inhuman machete-machine-gun murders of 20 innocents in Dhaka the other day, 2 were reportedly ‘inspired’ by Naik’s audio-visual exhortations. The danger, however, is at home, within the borders of India.

Operative excerpts from a report in The Times of India dated July 9 2016:

Mumbai-based preacher Dr Zakir Naik, who is under the scanner after two of the Dhaka terrorists claimed he was an inspiration, seemed to have been followed by four youths from Kalyan, a Mumbai suburb. They had run away and joined the Islamic State.

Areeb Majeed, arrested for IS activities in Kashmir, is believed to have told interrogators of the National Investigation Agency that he was ‘inspired’ after hearing the lectures of Naik.

Copies of Naik’s lectures were also found in a library located in Bihar, a north Indian cow-belt state. Enquiries had revealed the facility was frequented by Indian Mujahedeen members.

One of those who regularly accessed Naik’s works is Yasin Bhatkal – now in custody in India.

Like the Dhaka terrorists, Mumbai youths hailing from well-to-do respected families are drawn towards fundamentalism-fuelled-violence caused by the speeches of Naik. Besides Areeb, the other Islamic State joiners in the knowledge of police are engineering students Fahad Shaikh and Amaan Tandel.

According to police sources, suitably brain-washed initially by Naik’s hate-speeches, Areeb Majeed’s hatred was honed by a woman, Tahirah Bhatt, who also helped him join the banned group. In turn, Majeed recruited Shaikh, Tandel and others. They fought in Iraq. Currently, Majeed is in jail. Shaikh had contacted his family a few months ago. The whereabouts of Tandel aren’t known.

“The named youths were provoked to commit anti-national activities citing the destruction of Babri Mosque and Gujarat riots. Primary sources of ‘inspiration’ were hard-copies of Naik’s works. Naik’s rallies used to witness huge footfall in Bihar,” the official added.

Families of 15 young men and women from Kerala state’s northern districts suspect their offspring may have joined the Islamic State, according to top sources in India’s southern-most state.

It is not exactly known whether Zakir Naik’s speeches had impelled the youths to take such a step. However, a Press Trust of India report published by the website catchnews.com revealed alarming aspects of this unlikely tale. Operative excerpts:

State Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has directed the police to launch a probe into the matter urgently, said Member of Parliament P Karunakaran. He represents the north Kerala constituency of Kasargod – located on the state’s borders that touch Karnataka.

“Family members of these youths were aghast reading Whatsapp messages. ‘We are not coming back. Here there is Divine Rule. You also should join us,’ one message said. ‘We have joined IS to fight US for attacking Muslims,’ said another. These youths were visiting the Middle-East for religious studies. We brought it to the notice of CM P Vijayan,” said Karunakaran. He had been apprised of the issue by a local body leader VPP Mustafa and a legislator M Rajagopalan.

This group comprises men, women, couple and even a child travelling along with parents.

The abhorrence of family members back home is apparent from the statement issued by Hakim, a male parent of one of the ‘missing’ youths.

“If my son returns as a good man, I will welcome him. If not, I do not want to see even his dead body,” Hakim was quoted as saying.

According to Rajagopalan, all those missing were below the age of 30 and highly qualified. This motley ‘missing’ crowd includes a medical doctor couple and an engineering graduate, his wife and a 2-year-old child. Before dropping out of sight, different persons in this group had presented varying tales for leaving Kerala. The reasons included visiting families far away job search.

The youths’ approach to life had undergone a sudden change during the last 2 years after accessing inflammatory Islamic literature, Rajagopalan added.

The 1965-born qualified medical doctor Zakir Naik heads the Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation, says the Wikipedia dossier on this man.

Naik’s admirers have spread mayhem on an international scale.

They include Najibullah Zazi, the Afghan-American arrested for planning suicide attacks on the New York subway, Rahil Sheikh [1], accused of involvement in a series of train bombings in Mumbai in 2006 and Kafeel Ahmed, the Bangalore born man killed during a failed suicide attack on Glasgow airport in 2007.

Obviously therefore, Naik is a real danger to India, Indian citizens living in India in their homes. And from India Naik spreads global mayhem with the tacit support of the powers that be.

A few details about Naik reveal how he establishes an ‘escape clause’ in most of his dangerous statements:

On Osama bin Laden

If bin Laden is fighting enemies of Islam, I am for him. If he is terrorising America – the terrorist, biggest terrorist – I am with him. Every Muslim should be a terrorist. The thing is that if he is terrorising the terrorist, he is following Islam. Whether he is or not, I don’t know, but you as Muslims know that, without checking up, laying allegations is also wrong. I have always condemned terrorism. According to the glorious Quran, if you kill one innocent person, then you have killed the whole of humanity.

Parenthesis

Part of the above quote comes from Bobby Ghosh from an article he wrote in Time Weekly. Currently, Aparisim ‘Bobby’ Ghosh is the editor-in-chief of The Hindustan Times.

Parenthesis ends

Apostasy against Islam

There is no death penalty for apostates in Islam, until the apostate starts to preach against Islamic teachings; then he can be put to death.

Secularism

How can we [Muslims] allow building of churches or temples [in Islamic] states when the other religions [and] their worshipping [methods are] wrong?

Intellectual capacity

Naik’s pronouncements are juvenile. They seldom rise above the level of undergraduate college debates, where contestants vie with each other to score brownie points, said celebrated late journalist Khushwant Singh.

Naik’s audiences listen to him with rapt attention and often explode in enthusiastic applause when he rubbishes other religious texts, Singh was quoted as saying.

The 9/11 incident

It is a blatant, open secret that this attack on the Twin Towers was done by George Bush himself.

Disinformation

Indian Journalist Shoaib Daniyal disagrees with Naik’s belief that “Americans swap wives at will because they eat pigs which also swap their wives”. He also points out that Naik’s statement that Islam allows a man to marry multiple women because “in the USA, there are more women than men”, is inconsistent with US demographic statistics.

Suspected in Islamic eyes?

Torkel Brekke, a professor of religious history in Norway, calls Naik a very controversial figure.

Naik’s rhetorical attack on other religions and other varieties of Islam are strongly disliked by many members of the Indian Ulema for ignoring their authority.

The original questions:

Is the ‘ban Zakir Naik’ war cry yelled by sections of India’s paid media a hollow one?

Why is the Government of India twiddling its thumbs in a cowardly fashion while dealing with a known spreader of spoken mayhem Zakir Naik whose words spawn real-life massacres?

Are vital details about Zakir Naik being hidden from public view by sections of India’s paid media? 

Before citing possible answers to these queries, a look at laws in India would be in order.

Detaining Naik under National Security Act is the easiest thing to do. [2]

Zakir Naik’s speeches have caused others to commit crimes that brings him under the purview of Section 107 of the Indian Penal Code as an abettor.

Naik is punishable under section 108 of the IPC.

There are other sections.

Naik’s utterances attract provisions that govern joint criminal liability governed by sections 34 [3] and 120B [4] of the Indian Penal Code.

Naik’s speeches attract provisions of Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code.

Is the Government of India not touching Naik for ‘political’ reasons?

That seems to be one serious possibility.

Indications:

“It would be useful to consider the case of Zakir Naik, perhaps the most influential Salafi ideologue in India,” observed Praveen Swami, a senior Indian journalist in his seminal work part of a book published in 2011. Operative excerpts from its blurb:

The emergence of radical extremist and violent Islamist movements poses serious challenges to the secular and democratic polity, inter-religious harmony, security and territorial integrity of states in the region. As such, religious extremism, terrorism, drug trafficking and arms smuggling are viewed by various countries in South and Central Asia and also in the West as the main threats to their security. The resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the politics and practice of Islamist terrorism in India, and the security challenges posed by religious radicalism in Bangladesh need to be seriously looked at to acquire a focus on regional security.

[Emphasis supplied]

The Salafi movement or Salafist movement or Salafism is an ultra-conservative reform movement within Sunni Islam. It emerged in the second half of the 19th-century and advocated a return to the traditions of the “devout ancestors” (the Salaf).

The doctrine can be summed up as taking “a fundamentalist approach to Islam. The Salafi movement is often described as being synonymous with Wahhabism, but Salafists consider the term “Wahhabi” derogatory, says the Wikipedia dossier on the subject.

Naik, isn’t fully a Salafist.

He uses matinee idols like Shah Rukh Khan to drive home points during his harangues.

Operative excerpts from an article published in Scroll.in:

Isn’t Shah Khan a non-believer? A questioner asked Naik this in response to a reference to the star made by Naik.

Naik, benignly says he doesn’t know: you see, he doesn’t go by hearsay; however, Khan’s views, he maintains, are more in consonance with the “true” teachings of Islam than many so-called believers.

In real life, Shah Rukh Khan openly admits that he does not read the Namaaz five times a day.

Khan has married a non-Muslim and entertains people on screen for a living.

It is not known whether Khan endorses Naik.

Naik’s bigger backers are beyond the borders of India!

Between 2013 and 2015, Naik was conferred several awards in the Middle East.

2013

Dubai International Holy Quran Award  

Islamic Personality of 2013 conferred on Naik by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice President, Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai

Parenthesis

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Rashid Al Maktoum in 2015 August.

Modi had undertaken a two-day visit to UAE in August, a first by an Indian prime minister in 34 years.

UAE is home to 2.6 million Indians.

During the visit, the two leaders pledged to end terrorism.

On September 19 2015, Rashid Al Maktoum succumbed to a massive heart attack at the age of 33.

Parenthesis ends

Sharjah Award for Voluntary Work  

Conferred by Sultan bin Mohamed Al-Qasimi Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah

Parenthesis:

Born in 1939, Sheikh Sultan III bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi is a member of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates and current ruler of the Sharjah emirate. He has ruled Sharjah since 1972. The rule was briefly interrupted during a six-day period between 17 and 23 June 1987. It was an attempted coup led by his brother Sheikh Abd al-Aziz bin Muhammad al-Qasimi.

Parenthesis ends

2015

King Faisal International Prize

Conferred upon Naik by Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud

Parenthesis

Some of the others who won this award include King Abdullah Ibn Abd AI-Aziz of Saudi Arabia himself, Al Qasimi of UAE, Presidents Dr Hamed AI-Ghabid [Niger] and [Alija Izetbegovig] Bosnia-Herzegovina and Abdou Diouf [Senegal]; Prime Ministers Mahathir Mohammad [Malaysia] and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan [Turkey]  

On April 3 2016, Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud [who had won the above award himself] presented India’s PM Narendra Modi with the Arab nation’s highest civilian award.

Well, one can easily guess the predicament of India’s Prime Minister Modi.

If detained, Naik, who received an award from the King of Saudi Arabia just like Modi did, to turn around and say, “How dare you jail a fellow awardee on the same scale as Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud who incidentally had received the same award as me and had conferred another award upon YOU!”

Parenthesis ends

Modi has other issues in common with  Naik.

Modi was denied a visa to the UK before becoming PM.

Naik has such a track record as well.

Naik was banned from entering the UK by the then Home Secretary Theresa May [who may become British PM now] in 2010.

“Numerous comments made by Dr Naik are evidence to me of his unacceptable behaviour,” May was quoted as saying.

Film producer Mahesh Bhatt supported Naik, saying the ban constituted an attack on freedom of speech.

Naik’s application for judicial review of the bank was dismissed on 5 November 2010.

The same year, Naik was forbidden to enter Canada after Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, warned MPs of Naik’s views.

The bans on the entry have not been lifted.

Surely Zakir Naik is an influential man.

Naik was ranked 89 on The Indian Express’s list of the “100 Most Powerful Indians in 2010”.

Naik was ranked 82 in the 2009 edition.

BBC’s Sanjiv Buttoo says he is acknowledged as an authority on Islam. However, he warns that Naik is known for making negative remarks about other religions.

US based senior journalist Sadanand Dhume observes that Naik has a ‘carefully crafted image of moderation’. This has been achieved through a gentle demeanour, dress sense of wearing of a suit and tie and his quoting of scriptures of other religions.

Naik is also listed in the book The 500 Most Influential Muslims under honourable mention from 2009 through 2014.

The original questions once again:

Is the ‘ban Zakir Naik’ war cry yelled by sections of India’s paid media a hollow one?

Why is the Government of India twiddling its thumbs in a cowardly fashion while dealing with a known spreader of spoken mayhem Zakir Naik whose words spawn real-life massacres?

Are vital details about Zakir Naik being hidden from public view by sections of India’s paid media?

The one word reply to all 3: YES!

[1]

Seven serial blasts had ripped through Mumbai’s suburban railway network at peak hour on July 11, 2006, leaving at least 147 dead. The death toll had risen to 189 later. The incidents’ mastermind was Rahil Sheikh, currently in prison.

Sheikh is a trained as a computer engineer.

Sheikh’s brothers – Faisal and Muzammil were charged in the 2006 bombings.

Sheikh’s telephone records had indicated that he had been receiving calls from Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Also, it has been suggested that he was acting as the point man to collect funds and pass it on to the LeT which is said to have carried out the attacks.

Sheikh is said to have travelled to Pakistan.

[2]

The justification is available from an important Apex Court verdict’s excerpt:

A preventive detention “is not punitive but precautionary measure”. The object is not to punish a man for having done something but to intercept him before he does it and to prevent him from doing it. No offence is proved, nor any charge is formulated; and the justification of such detention is suspicion or reasonable probability and there is no criminal conviction which can only be warranted by legal evidence. In this sense it is an anticipatory action. Preventive justice requires an action to be taken to prevent apprehended objectionable activities. Preventive detention is intended to prevent a person from indulging in any conduct injurious to the society.

Another judgement emphasises the necessity to get the job done as a ‘necessary evil’.

The “inn that shelters for the night is not journey’s end and the law, like the traveller, must be ready for the morrow”. As to the approach to such laws which deprive personal liberty without trial, the libertarian judicial faith has made its choice between the pragmatic view and the idealistic or doctrinaire view. The approach to the curtailment of personal liberty which is an axiom of democratic faith and of all civilized life is an idealistic one, for, loss of personal liberty deprives a man of all that is worth living for and builds up deep resentments. Liberty belongs to what correspond to man’s inmost self under our Constitution also the mandate is clear and the envoy is left under no dilemma. The constitutional philosophy of personal liberty is an idealistic view, the curtailment of liberty for reasons of State’s security, public order and disruption of 26 national economic discipline etc. being envisaged as a necessary evil to be administered under strict constitutional restrictions.

Citations: Courtesy:

http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/61884/2/02_abstract.pdf

[3]

A criminal act is done by several persons;

The criminal act must be to further the common intention of all;

There must be participation of persons in furthering the common intention.

[4]

120 of IPC

“When two or more persons agree to do, or cause to be done

(1) An illegal act, or

(2) An act which is not illegal by illegal means, such an agreement is designated a criminal conspiracy:

Provided that no agreement except an agreement to commit and offence shall amount to a criminal conspiracy unless some act besides the agreement is done by one or more parties to such agreement in pursuance thereof.

The section can be explained as two or more than two persons perform an illegal act and deciding of that act in advance is criminal conspiracy.

Did India’s Gossip Column Journo Sinh Commit Suicide?

Did freelance journalist Saumit Sinh actually take his own life on July 4 2016?

Sinh was a gossip column journalist linked to the rich, the powerful and the Mumbai underworld.

Would such a man commit suicide?

Before one discusses the issue threadbare in this strange elegy, the facts as they are known at present, ought to be accessed and assessed:

The respectable Hindu newspaper ruled out any kind of foul play. Operative excerpts:

Freelance journalist Saumit Sinh committed suicide by hanging in East Delhi on July 4 2016. A relative said a servant maid had discovered his body hanging from a ceiling fan early in the morning.

Sinh was rushed to a hospital, but was declared ‘brought in dead’.

Sinh did not leave a suicide note.

Police officials have ruled out foul play for now and revealed the deceased was suffering from depression.

“Initial probe has revealed that he had been unemployed since two years, which is why he was depressed. He had last worked as a freelancer,” said a senior police officer. His body has been handed over to his family after post mortem, police sources added.

Operative excerpts from Mumbai Press Club Secretary Rajesh Mascarenhas’s solemn obituary:

With great sorrow and regret we have to inform you that our member, Saumit Sinh, passed away on Monday July 4, 2016 at Delhi.

Saumit, aged 40, worked for leading media organisations which includes Pioneer, NDTV, Headlines Today, DNA and Mumbai Mirror amongst others in his two decade long career. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Our heart goes out to his family and may they have the strength to bear this huge loss.

Select paragraphs from the sad note penned by senior journalist Binoo John:

It is not fashionable in this click-bait age of journalism to write obits about unknown or “failed” journalists. Saumit Sinh who hanged himself to death in his Patparganj apartment belonged to the latter category.

Saumit was a celebrity gossip writer for DNA in Mumbai and did his job admirably well, till the daughter-in- law of the owner of the paper removed him with nothing asked or given. Saumit took it bravely on the chin. The then editor did not move a little finger to help him.

Even after he left, Saumit did some pretty good stories for DNA. He broke the Priety Zinta – Ness Wadia spat. Saumit moved with the Mumbai jet set crowd. One of them took him along in his private jet to watch an IPL match. They were to lodge at a plush hotel. Akin to a sequence in one of the recent real estate television commercials, Saumit had to vacate the room when a “better guest” arrived to entertain the IPL owner, or so the story goes.

His website mumbaiwallah.com had some interesting stories but the promised funding never came.

We disagreed politically, but, we had lengthy conversations and laughed at the antitheses.

Now what’s the point in recounting all that? Will anything be remembered? The Hindu dutifully announced his passing.

Most journalists are busy trying to keep away the impending clouds of doom. But for a handful of billionaire journalists, the rest are busy warding off danger. Some like Saumit just give up.

Parenthesis

Binoo is a good friend of this writer. Perhaps, Binoo isn’t aware of Sinh’s other side.

Parenthesis ends

Did Saumit Sinh really nurse a death wish?

Readers can make up their mind on the basis of the following paragraphs – that form part of a blog published a month ago:

Saumit Sinh played the cat’s paw to aid international fugitive terrorist Dawood’s aides to help them hide some sordid truths that shamed Mumbai and its press corps. The beneficiaries include a few of those accused of serious wrongdoing in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts case. Those blasts were financed partly by the loot from the Rs.1,200 crore Cobbler Scam, reports said. The same accused also illegally continue to control Government of India owned Mumbai Port Trust’s seafront property whose worth is roughly Rs.2.6 lakh crores!

The ringleaders:

Former Union Minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar – whose close relatives and business associates are partners of companies owned by the aforesaid criminal gang involved in the Cobbler Scam.

Rafique Malik Tejani, who owns Metro Shoes Ltd and Metro House P Ltd whose 4th floor recently caught fire. The incident has forced most of those who lived in Metro House to shift. Links point to Tejani being in cahoots with Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon – who are considered responsible for the 1993 bomb blasts. There is a queer angle to the 26/11 incident and a cafe operating in the Metro House complex.

Sinh used a strange ruse of an unenforceable ‘legal’ notice issued by a lawyer JJ Jadeja. Jadeja, who sits in a seedy room located cheek by jowl to the Mumbai Police Headquarters, issued a legal notice on November 19 2014 that exhorted Metro House P Ltd decision makers to vacate the structure and also remove the nearly 150-year-old building that had begun to exist since 1875 and houses an iconic beer-joint – Cafe Mondegar within 6 months.

Anyone who knows to count from 1 to 10 would place the deadline on May 19 2015.

The Times of India, Indian Express, DNA and Hindustan Times carried detailed articles saying Cafe Mondegar would be evicted April 19 2015 casting a slur on the Mumbai Port Trust for destroying an iconic landmark. All of them had sourced their stories from Saumit Sinh.

Two days later, The Times of India carried an article saying the ‘eviction’ will not happen at all!

According to media reports, Cafe Mondegar was one of the places from where David Headley had recced 26/11.

Parenthesis

Sinh had a “pressing reason” to get the tale published in as many top media outlets as possible. The guy is dead, so the steamy details are being omitted here.

Parenthesis ends

Metro House had signed a contract with Mumbai Port Trust to manage its property – then named Abu Baker Mansion – in 1995. But, Metro House obtained possession with ‘retrospective’ effect from 1991, citing an earlier lease with an Islamic Trust that had transferred its lease to Tejani a few months after the expiry of its own lease in 1986!

In multiple court cases – those said to be in cahoots with Tejani have cited Metro House to be owners of the property and have initiated legal proceedings to evict other poorer tenants under the Maharashtra Rent Control Act 1999. MRCA1999 cannot – under any circumstance – be deemed applicable to government owned property! A lot more details were made available in blogs published through Google’s BlogSpot.

http://tsvhari.blogspot.in/2015/04/media-pimps-sinh-summit.html

http://tsvhari.blogspot.com/2015/04/media-pimp.html

Very significantly, Google has killed all these blogs without offering any explanation. Tweets and emails sent to India-born Google CEO Sundar Pichchai have not produced results.

Journalist friends who had a sneak peak at this blog before publication opined that it reads like a short story.

A good short story always has a twist in the tale’s tail.

This one has quite a few.

The building cited above – Metro House went up in flames in early June 2016. But for the ground floor establishments including Café Mondegar, the rest of the establishments including a few lodges that had quite a few visitors from Africa – have been forced to close down. This includes the third floor. One of the residents was – officially he still is – Pyare Shivpuri – a maternal cousin brother of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

A former BBC producer multilingual investigative journalist, Shivpuri is been in the thick of things – in the realm of exposing the murky political goings-on in Mumbai.

They include the shady dealings of Tejani, the illegal acts on the part of the owners of Mondegar and its alleged accessory – Mumbai’s Small Causes Court. One of the judges of this august establishment introduced a blatant lie into a ‘judgement’ that paved the way for several other patently illegal ramifications. During the last part of his life on earth, Sinh aided and abetted the continuing prevalence of the blatant, brazen set of lies.

Shivpuri also has the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank in the dock in a plethora of cases. The accused are close relatives of Sharad Pawar!

In his 80’s Shivpuri has a serious back problem, had recently undergone a surgery and a lot worse. For long, Tejani and co had understandably wanted to force Shivpuri out of the building. 

The mysterious ‘fire’ came in handy.

The flat on the 3rd floor of Metro House is now inaccessible as the building has been declared ‘unsafe’ by the powers that be. That another establishment bang opposite Metro House – an old compendium of residences for state legislators has been declared unsafe for any kind of occupation for several years but continues to have regular ‘tenants’ is of no concern to anyone. It is a haven for Maharashtra politics’ shadiest fixers.

Saumit Sinh had taken several of the investigative reports from Shivpuri and promised the skies as productive consequences. Sadly no such thing happened. Instead, Sinh abused Shivpuri in utter gutter language.

The writer of this blog – was another of the victims of Sinh.

Sinh threatened to kill this scribe in full view of the CCTV cameras of Mumbai Press Club and independent witnesses. Worse, despite this journalist having every right to enter the premises as he is a member of the Chennai Press Club, the authorities in MPC ‘orally told’ this writer to keep out as one of the ‘respected members’ – Saumit Sinh – had raised a stink!

Sinh tried to foist a criminal case with the aid of a bent cop in a police station located bang opposite the Mumbai Press Club. It produced zilch.

Sinh was a regular at the Mumbai Press Club – seen drinking heavily running up ‘sizeable’ bills. He always paid on time, or so the records say. The solemn statement of Mumbai Press Club’s secretary reaffirms this.

The story planted in the major newspapers of Mumbai to mislead the nation about the dangers faced by India’s financial capital from Pakistan-based Dawood – reportedly fetched a huge sum to Sinh.

He was known to always succeed in planting doubtful stories in top Mumbai newspapers with absolute ease.

The startling questions:

Would such a man commit suicide?

How did the Delhi police know within hours of finding his body that Sinh was suffering from depression and that the depression caused by ‘unemployment’ was cause for the ‘suicide’?

Sinh was reportedly involved with the underworld and its various sinful aspects of India’s public and pubic life. This includes Dawood Ibrahim. The Zinta-Ness-mess [cited by Binoo above] had an underworld angle as well. Ness is the great grandson of Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah and is a close relative of Nusli Wadia whose fabled attempts to cause the financial stumble of the late Dhirubhai Ambani through the ‘good offices’ of late newspaper baron Ramnath Goenka gives the heebie-jeebies to those in awe of people in high places trampling the common man.

Would such a man commit suicide?

The original question once again:

Did freelance journalist Saumit Sinh actually take his own life on July 4 2016?

The Dhaka Terrorist Incident Stinks!

Indian state’s reluctance to accord the shortest shrift to home-grown hate-monger Zakir Naik living in its financial capital Mumbai is suspicious to say the least.

Bangladesh political capital’s horizons darkening with terrorist vain shadows are massive causes for a global worry.

Bangladesh’s giant neighbour – the Hindu-majority Bharat has a lot of reasons to be apprehensive about the incidents of terrorism within the borders of her soft, Muslim dominated eastern underbelly – Bangladesh and worse – its own domestic, lawless backyard.

The blame-shifting sifting sands of India’s shameful political set-up could lead to the common public decide that its civil administration and policing set-ups are adjectives of quicksands of official apathy. The mugs of the 2 main political entities – the ruling right-wing National Democratic Alliance and the hapless Congress-led, woefully divided and discredited United Progressive Alliance are acquiring darker hues of shameless greed of their respective crony capitalist sources of funding political moneybags.

Indian political system may soon stare at a very, very nasty surprise that would blow up on the her governmental countenance. Such surprises could start and startle in the India’s North East states of Assam and West Bengal where Muslim bomb-making factories seem to be as common as houseflies.

Serious gaps in the narratives post the post mortems of the dead innocents in Bangladesh’s worst terrorist nightmares in Dhaka’s fashionable diplomatic enclave and the Muslim Eid festival lend eerie sinister twists to the harrowing tales.

Bangladesh’s stout denial of an ISIS hand in the incidents, the highly doubtful claims of ISIS about the killers being part of its fold, the total non-conformity to ISIS’s execution methods in Dhaka’s terrorist incident, the dead perpetrators being well-educated and belonging to top Bangladeshi families and the selection of the victims – most of whom were foreigners – all point to something extremely sinister.

Not a single portion of the Dhaka terrorist incident conforms to the established pattern of the ISIS or ISI-led Al Qaeda – both of which are active in India and elsewhere in the world.

According to independent international media outlets, the slain ‘terrorists’ did not seem like terrorists at all and had more in common with the victims.

A close look at the aspects of this unsolved puzzle reveals the swishing of multiple-edged geopolitical swords.

Do factual fjords in official and semi-official accounts indicate hidden messages from elements using Islamic terrorism as a tool to spread global mayhem?

Are terrorist groups trying to spoil Bangladesh’s economy which is on the up-and-up by asking all foreign contributing nations to get out by specifically targeting donor nations’ citizens?

Is Pakistan disturbing India’s eastern flank yet again using the opposition parties in Bangladesh that nurse a pathological hatred for India?

Should the warning notes issued by intellectuals in India that point to ISIS entering India in a big way in the wake of the Dhaka incident be taken more seriously by Prime Minister Narendra Modi?

Are Sheikh Hasina’s lofty speeches to curb terrorism in Bangladesh hiding something else altogether?

Are several suspiciously hidden facts the causes for the vehement denial by Bangladesh of the ISIS hand in the Dhaka terrorist incident?

Is Sheikh Hasina playing to the gallery in India by shifting blame on Pakistan and worse, is Pakistan taking advantage of the murky situation by playing up the fears of Islamic fundamentalists in Bangladesh?

The facts:

The cream of the global media concentrated on the story for well over 14 hours – leaving other news items to serve as ‘fillers’. Even before the first one was buried, the second one marring Islam’s holiest festival Eid acquired its unholy, ‘HOLEY’ facet. And this part of the tale has more holes than Swiss cheese.

The ‘filler news items’ that failed to fill the sieve-like stories include tidings the political instability in Australia post the parliamentary elections and US Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s escape from a threatening FBI noose over the abuse of a private email server for highly confidential communications while serving as the virtual number 2 in Obama’s cabinet.

Other terrorist incidents that leave hundreds of bodies strewn along the wayside in various parts of the globe due to terrorists’ bombs neither shock nor awe anyone worldwide.

Seventeen of the 20 hostages were killed by terrorists in the Dhaka restaurant located in one of the crème-de-la-crème parts of Bangladesh’s capital’s diplomatic quarter with a HOLEY nomenclature were obvious foreigners – in appearance. The nine dead Italians and 6 murdered Japanese were easily identifiable and targeted for being foreigners by their killers. Eyewitnesses confirmed this.

The violent and insanely barbaric terrorist group – Islamic State a.k.a. ISIS publicly stated that the killers were part of its gang and provided so-called ‘photographic evidence’ to back the claim.

Bangladesh officially denied this and laid the blame squarely at the door of Pakistan and the local opposition parties.

Operative excerpts from the Hindustan Times:

Bangladesh blamed “home-grown” Islamist terrorists and Pakistan’s spy agency ISI for the country’s worst terror attack in which 20 hostages were hacked to death, ruling out the role of the Islamic State.

“Let me clear it again, there is no ISIS or al Qaeda presence or existence in Bangladesh… the hostage-takers were all home-grown terrorists not members of ISIS or any other international Islamist outfits,” home minister Asaduzzaman Khan said.

“We know them (hostage-takers) along with their ancestors, they all grew up here in Bangladesh… they belong to home-grown outfits like JMB (Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh),” he said.

Hossain Toufique Imam, the political adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, said the way in which the hostages were killed with machetes suggests the role of a local terrorist group, the banned Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen.

Pakistan’s ISI and Jamaat connection is well known… they want to derail the current government,” Imam told a TV channel.

The arrested terrorist pulled out at the last minute out of fear and he holds the key to crucial details, he said.

[Emphasis added]

Credible international media analysts discounted the ISIS claim.

Operative excerpts from a report published by one of India’s highly respected newspapers – The Telegraph from Kolkata:

Official sources have identified five of the gunmen as Akash, Bikash, Don, Badhon and Ripon.

However, The Daily Star newspaper of Bangladesh said friends of three of these attackers cited different names: Nibras Islam, Meer Saameh Mubasher and Rohan Imtiaz.

Nibras is an alumnus of Turkish Hope School and North South University, “a top private university” in Dhaka, according to the Star. He pursued higher studies on the Australian Monash University’s Malaysia campus, according to his friends.

Similarly, Meer and Rohan, son of a politician, were students of an elite school in Dhaka, their friends said.

All these youths had disappeared from the social circuit a few months ago and sources close to their families said they could notice sudden signs of religious leanings among them.

The profiles of the young men – they appeared to be in their twenties and the government said three were aged below 22 – did not fit the usual template of poor economic background and education rooted in seminaries.

Sumir Barai, a cook at the Holey Artisan Bakery where the hostage situation unfolded on Friday night, said the attackers spoke cosmopolitan Bengali and some English when conversing with the foreigners. “They were all smart and handsome and educated,” The New York Times quoted him as saying. “If you look at those guys, nobody could believe they could do this.”

The attackers’ background was more in sync with that of many of their victims who had varied interests and were thriving in a wired world than the stereotypes yoked to terrorism.

And Pakistan denied the Dhaka charge vehemently!

The original questions:

Do factual fjords in official and semi-official accounts indicate hidden messages from elements using Islamic terrorism as a tool to spread global mayhem?

Are terrorist groups trying to spoil Bangladesh’s economy which is on the up-and-up by asking all foreign contributing nations to get out by specifically targeting donor nations’ citizens?

Is Pakistan disturbing India’s eastern flank yet again using the opposition parties in Bangladesh that nurse a pathological hatred for India?

Should the warning notes issued by intellectuals in India that point to ISIS entering India in a big way in the wake of the Dhaka incident be taken more seriously by Prime Minister Narendra Modi?

Are Sheikh Hasina’s lofty speeches to curb terrorism in Bangladesh hiding something else altogether?

Are several suspiciously hidden facts the causes for the vehement denial by Bangladesh of the ISIS hand in the Dhaka terrorist incident?

Is Sheikh Hasina playing to the gallery in India by shifting blame on Pakistan and worse, is Pakistan taking advantage of the murky situation by playing up the fears of Islamic fundamentalists in Bangladesh?

Indications and inferences:

Pakistan – now being blamed for fomenting trouble in Bangladesh has begun singing a familiar tune – suggesting wrongdoing on the part of Hasina. Operative excerpts from a report published in Pakistan’s Express Tribune:

But as we have seen in the case of Pakistan-India relations, politics overtakes common sense. At a time when as a region we should be jointly fighting the rise in terrorism, we are all playing our little games.

My heart sank when I saw front page venom against Pakistan when I visited Bangladesh last year. This despite the fact that Bangladesh has been independent for over 40 years. The hanging of the Jamaat-e-Islami leaders and the predictable reaction that Pakistan gave to this had only added fuel to the fire.

Pakistan was only one of the many fronts opened by the government.

The opposition has been virtually silenced. A visit to the beautiful Dhaka Press Club confirmed my worst fears. The press is under siege. I heard stories of editors being harassed. Of papers being shut down. Of criticism being stifled.

At the time of my visit, social media had been blocked.

Experts now say a government crackdown on opponents, including a ban on the country’s largest militant party following a protracted political crisis, has pushed many towards extremism.

Is Islamabad issuing a veiled threat to Hasina saying, “Move away from India or else”?

Is it a not-so-subtle suggestion that a section of Pakistan media is gloating over Bangladesh’s hour of misfortune?

Is Bangladesh’s officialdom being economical with the truth while ruling out ISIS hand?

Operative excerpts from the credible New York Times suggest exactly that.

The attack also suggests that Bangladesh’s militant networks are internationalizing, a key concern as the United States seeks to contain the growth of the Islamic State.

Bangladesh’s 160 million people are almost all Sunni Muslims, including a demographic bulge under the age of 25. This makes it valuable as a recruiting ground for the Islamic State, now under pressure in its core territory of Iraq and Syria. Western intelligence officials have been watching the organization pivot to missions elsewhere in the world, launching attacks on far-flung civilian targets that are difficult to deter with traditional military campaigns.

“We need to take serious stock of the overall threat,” said Shafqat Munir, a research fellow at the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies. “There were all sorts of warnings and signs and everything. But I don’t think anyone expected anything as audacious and large-scale as this.”

[Emphasis supplied]

The ISIS angle to the Dhaka attack can be discerned from an India Today report. Operative Excerpts:

Islamic State has made its intentions clear of launching terror attacks in India through its bases in Bangladesh and Pakistan.

In an interview with the group’s online magazine Dabiq in April, Shaykh Abu Ibrahim Al-Hanif, ‘Amir of Khilafah in Bengal’ said that once the group manages to build bases in Bangladesh, it will launch raids in east and west of India.

Shaykh asserted that Bengal (IS calls Bangladesh as Bengal) has a strategic location and building a jihadi base there will facilitate ISIS to launch guerrilla attacks in India.

In a nutshell, the ISIS angle in Dhaka does threaten India.

So, why is Hasina denying the ISIS angle to the Dhaka attack and laying the blame squarely on Pakistan?

Hasina has more to gain by isolating the opposition in Bangladesh.

Her regime has been internationally slammed for the incessant, virtually unchecked, large-scale mayhem.

Operative excerpts from a report from The Guardian in April 2016:

The government of Sheikh Hasina Wajid is under growing pressure in Bangladesh to end an apparent culture of impunity after a series of brutal murders of secular writers, bloggers and liberal intellectuals by radical Islamists.

A torrent of protest followed the latest killings of Xulhaz Mannan, editor of the country’s only lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender magazine (LGBT), and Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy, an actor and fellow gay rights activist. Critics have accused the Awami League government of failing to act effectively to stop the carnage.

“It is shocking that no one has been held to account for these horrific attacks and that almost no protection has been given to threatened members of civil society,” said Amnesty International’s Champa Patel, reacting to the four killings so far this month.

John Kerry, the US secretary of state, echoed the criticism, along with other western leaders. Similar protests by Bangladeshi free speech activists and well-known foreign writers have had little discernible effect in the past.

Since 2013, attacks characterised by the assailants’ use of machetes and cleavers have claimed the lives of secular bloggers, authors, journalists, academics and teachers of a supposedly liberal bent. The common denominator is the offence their views supposedly cause to hard-line Islamists among Bangladesh’s mostly moderate and tolerant Sunni Muslim majority.

Westerners in general have also been randomly targeted in the past 12 months, as have members of Bangladesh’s Shia and Ahmadi Muslim minorities, Hindus and Christian converts.

Pro-Pakistan elements have tried to kill Hasina in the past. Excerpts from a Wikipedia dossier:

The opposition, political unrest and violence increased against Hasina have increased since the 2004. Ahsanullah Master, an MP, was killed in 2004. This was followed by a grenade attack on an Awami League gathering in Dhaka, resulting in the death of 21 party supporters, including party women’s secretary Ivy Rahman. Shah M S Kibria, Hasina’s former finance minister, was also killed that year, in a grenade attack in Sylhet that year.

A section of Bangladesh’s army continues to be in cahoots with sections in Pakistan.

Hasina has her fair share of domestic worries.

Hasina’s father and founder of independent Bangladesh – Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated on India’s Independence Day in 1975 by several junior commissioned officers from the military. Only Hasina and her sister Rehana survived the bloody coup as they were visiting Germany. It is said that the coup was planned and executed by Mujib’s former Man-Friday – Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad with some help from Pakistan and United States of America. The  foreign policy of the later was then loaded against Bangladesh’s bigger neighbour India – then a client state of the now defunct Soviet Union.

Two more military coups took place bringing the then army boss General Zia-Ur-Rahman to power with reported help from India. Zia granted Mujib’s assassins immunity from prosecution.

Zia was assassinated in 1981 in Chittagong. His widow Khaleda has been Hasina’s bitterest enemy since then.

On January 28, 2010 capital punishment was meted out to 6 retired army officers – who had held ranks of major, lt. colonel and colonel. According to Hasina, they represented the pro-Pakistan anti Awami-Party opposition who had taken part in the killing of her father Mujib and several other members of her family.

The Khaleda-led opposition has levelled several serious charges against Hasina since 2007.

In 2007, when out of power, Hasina was charged with graft over having allegedly forced Bangladeshi businessman Tajul Islam Farooq to pay bribes in 1998 before his company could build a power plant to the tune of US$441,000 in local currency called taka to obtain statutory approval. Hasina denied the charges. The stigma, however, stuck.

The same year, police filed a charge-sheet in a 7 month old murder case of 4 supporters of a rival political party against Hasina. She wasn’t convicted by the courts, but her image suffered. Then in self-imposed exile, Hasina faced attempts to keep her out of Bangladesh on charges of having made provocative statements aimed at causing public disorder. The exercise also included an arrest warrant on charges of murder.

The warrant was suspended within days, the ban against her returning home lifted, but, upon return, she was placed under house arrest. The Anti-Corruption Commission demanded she provided details of her assets. Foreign nations – especially the United Kingdom – where one of her nephews is a Member of Parliament, witnessed well attended protest rallies against her incarceration. Soon, courts suspended the trials and granted her bail.

In January 2008, a similar exercise followed against Hasina along with her sibling Sheikh Rehana and a cousin Sheikh Salim.

As had happened earlier, appellate courts flung the charges out and exonerated Hasina and the other accused.

Hasina went abroad to be treated for hearing impairment, eye problems and high blood pressure – said to have been aggravated during incarceration. Hasina returned to Bangladesh in late 2008, forged a 14-party grand alliance with the Jatiya Party led by Hussain Muhammad Ershad as a main ally. The ruling coalition led by Hasina’s Bangladesh Awami League [BAL] won a two-thirds majority in 2008. Her main opponent Begum Khaleda Zia rejected the results citing wholesale fraud and rigging. 

Hasina had survived military coup attempts in 2009 and 2012. On both occasions, rumours have it that India’s intelligence apparatus had saved her.

For reasons best known to themselves, the media in India and beyond her borders have turned a Nelson’s Eye towards Hasina’s darker side.

For the sake of clarity – the original questions once again:

Do factual fjords in official and semi-official accounts indicate hidden messages from elements using Islamic terrorism as a tool to spread global mayhem?

Are terrorist groups trying to spoil Bangladesh’s economy which is on the up-and-up by asking all foreign contributing nations to get out by specifically targeting donor nations’ citizens?

Is Pakistan disturbing India’s eastern flank yet again using the opposition parties in Bangladesh that nurse a pathological hatred for India?

Should the warning notes issued by intellectuals in India that point to ISIS entering India in a big way in the wake of the Dhaka incident be taken more seriously by Prime Minister Narendra Modi?

Are Sheikh Hasina’s lofty speeches to curb terrorism in Bangladesh hiding something else altogether?

Are several suspiciously hidden facts the causes for the vehement denial by Bangladesh of the ISIS hand in the Dhaka terrorist incident?

Is Sheikh Hasina playing to the gallery in India by shifting blame on Pakistan and worse, is Pakistan taking advantage of the murky situation by playing up the fears of Islamic fundamentalists in Bangladesh?

From the facts narrated above, the possible answers to all the queries ought to be in the affirmative.

In such a scenario, India has a lot of reasons to be apprehensive about the goings on within the borders of her eastern neighbour – Bangladesh.

Not a single portion of the Dhaka terrorist incident conforms to the established pattern of the ISIS or ISI-led Al Qaeda – both of which are active in India and elsewhere in the world.

According to independent international media outlets, the slain ‘terrorists’ did not seem like terrorists at all and more in common with the victims.

The needlessly brutal killings of a huge number of foreigners in a diplomatic enclave points to the possibility of Sheikh Hasina’s regime trying to create a smokescreen to hide its hideous acts of religious minorities being brazenly slaughtered.

All these only throw up only 2 possibilities.

Sheikh Hasina could be playing to the Indian galleries, feeding on inherent fears against ISIS and ISI and using it to the hilt to hide her government’s faults.

The second possibility is more sinister in nature.

It could be possible that the Hasina regime is telling the truth. If that is so, Pakistan’s ISI could have hatched an elaborate plan to create a diversion in India’s eastern flank to foment trouble in the already troubled eastern border states of India that is Bharat.

The verdict:

On those counts, India has to be extremely careful and watchful. Else, the denizens of Bharat may be in for a very, very nasty surprise.

West Bengal has become a cauldron of frenzied, violent, Islamic fundamentalist bomb-making activity and its offshoots in the form of communal clashes.

Pakistan could be planning something big in the state of Assam where the Bharatiya Janata Party won an unexpected majority during the recently held assembly elections. The mayhem could also take place anywhere in India, as it has in the past. Many of India’s cities has a huge section of illegal Bangladeshi migrants. One of them is the city of Mumbai – India’s financial capital. The intruders reside close to the seafront – mostly controlled by international terrorist fugitive Dawood Ibrahim.

Goswami subtly hitting Modi to emerge as next Kejriwal?

Is Goswami part of a gang subtly besmirching the reputation of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi?

Is Goswami’s PM interview the precursor to destabilise the National Democratic Alliance [NDA] regime?

Is the exercise aimed at aiding Arun Jaitley [now nicknamed Jai-Italy] to become the next tenant at 7 Race Course Road in Lutyens’ Delhi?

Or do those who are backing Goswami want him to be a more effective and better sophisticated Arvind Kejriwal?

Post the so-called ‘highly acclaimed’ Modi interview, senior journalist Hartosh Singh Bal asked two important questions on twitter that actually exposed the mens rea behind the Goswami exercise of chatting with the PM before television cameras.

If Raghuram Rajan is a patriotic Indian, doing a good job, why didn’t he get a second term?

If Swamy is wrong, what will you do? You made him RS MP, why?

These were 2 questions Goswami had not asked Modi, Bal averred.

Even before the full frankly speaking saga was aired, its promos claimed the PM had silenced Dr Subramanian Swamy by slamming the southern maverick. The entire national media took that lead. Curiously, the PM did not refer to the southern maverick politico by name.

The ‘lead’ had come from Arun Jaitley before the Modi-Goswami tête-tête.

Of course, Swamy has fallen silent. Bal, once featured in Goswami’s “Noise Hour” isn’t being accorded the honour these days.

Swamy had threatened to to expose serious wrongdoing on the part of one of Finance Ministry mainstays Shaktikanta Das. It fizzled out into a damp squib.

India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has stoutly backed the nation’s Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das.

“An unfair and false attack on a disciplined civil servant in the Finance Ministry,” Jaitley said in a tweet at 1724 hours IST on June 23 2016 implying Das is as pure as driven snow.

Rumours have begun circulating that Das could be the next RBI Governor.

Is Das a disciplined civil servant?

Consider the following:

The career of Enforcement Directorate’s Investigating Officer Rajeshwar Singh probing the 2G Spectrum scandal was almost killed reportedly at the behest of Shaktikanta Das who held the post of Secretary to Government of India, Department of Revenue. That department  oversees operations of ED and a lot other vital punitive departments that tackle tax evaders.

Singh was probing the 2G Spectrum scandal under the supervision of the Supreme Court. He was shunted out in early 2014. At that point in time, India Inc. more or less knew that the United Progressive Alliance regime was on its way out. Justice Singhvi, the strict and stern SC judge – who was hearing the 2G Spectrum scandal and monitoring Singh’s investigation had retired in December 2013.

Weeks before the 2014 parliamentary poll results that caused a change of political guard in India that is Bharat, acting on Swamy’s petition, the Supreme Court asked the immediate reinstatement of Singh. The order was ignored.

After waiting for a few months since the NDA began its rule, Swamy raised the matter in SC again.

Senior counsel KK Venugopal who appeared for ED matters in SC had been known to be against the shifting of Investigating Officers [IOs] conducting probes under the supervision of the Apex Court.

The Revenue Department headed by Das replaced Venugopal with Additional Solicitor General Nageshwara Rao. [Soon, he was directly elevated to the Supreme Court from the Bar – the 7th in the annals of Indian judiciary.]

The SC did not like the way Singh was being footballed by the Revenue Department. It curtly gave a mere 3 days to comply with its orders by reinstating Singh.

The Revenue Department pursued Singh with a vengeance.

Cases were preferred against Singh in various courts citing ‘service matters’. The endeavour was meant to stymie Singh obtaining the UPSC norm. The Revenue Department lost every case.

Following the reported ‘discovery’ of protection accorded to Das protégé Rajan Katoch [said to be a relative of Congress mainstay Digvijay Singh] and the latter’s attempt to sabotage the National Herald case against Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, Das and Katoch were transferred – allegedly under the orders of PM Modi.

For the statistically minded there are 2 points to note:

  • Das had held vital posts in Tamil Nadu when the DMK had been in power.
  • Singh’s probe is proving to be a pain in the neck of P Chidambaram and several others linked to the AIRCEL-Maxis scandal.

“If Das does become the RBI boss – someone will have to write a newer version of the Marx’s treatise – Das Kapital with a right-wing twist. Sure, Das is civil. The civil nature is because the criminal ramifications of his actions will be difficult to prove in a court of law. Das seems to be the servant of the corrupt in Delhi if the chronology of events that had exposed Revenue Department’s contempt of Supreme Court is any indication. Finally, Das is indeed a disciplined soldier of the Jai Italy army,” a Delhi wag wisecracked.

The initial questions again:

Is Goswami part of a gang subtly besmirching the reputation of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi?

Is the Goswami’s PM interview the precursor to  destabilise the National Democratic Alliance [NDA] regime?

Is the exercise aimed at aiding Arun Jaitley [now nicknamed Jai-Italy] to become the next tenant at 7 Race Course Road in Lutyens’ Delhi?

Or do those who are backing Goswami want him to be a more effective and better sophisticated Arvind Kejriwal?

There are many who allege that Goswami’s now-famous chat with the PM was a PR job.

Was it a PR Job or something else??

Excerpts from Arnab’s self-eulogy:

From NSG to China, Pakistan to Rajan, Swamy to inflation, 2019 to Uttar Pradesh and the politics of polarisation, rising unemployment to the parliament logjam, the possible passage of GST to the numbers in the Rajya Sabha, black money and the Rs. 15 lakh in every bank account promise, [my] interview had covered it all… everyone in the national media, on print, TV and digital followed it.

Was I soft?

Eventually, all of us will be judged by what we do.

NSG, China policy, Pakistan’s perfidy, Rajan, inflation, politics of polarisation, rising unemployment and the yet to be fulfilled promise of Rs.15 lakh into every Indian’s account – form a list of dubious non-achievements of the NDA regime under Modi.

Modi answered all these questions.

Perhaps misled by Arnab’s quiet tone, Modi reacted to the above queries in a way that arguably could – in future – prove to be an acute embarrassment to not only Modi and the NDA but also the BJP and the RSS.

Of course, Arnab would only be too happy to display the trophy to underline his being a fearless journalist – the same way as TimesNow shows clips from the famous interview that has virtually buried the career of Congress clown prince Rahul Gandhi.

As of now, the Congress is Gone-Gress. Goswami claims the credit for it.

One has to now wonder as to whether Goswami has begun the exercise to do the same job on Modi.

It could create a political vacuum in India’s  opposition ranks. Hypothetically, the ground would be fertile for the emergence of another Kejriwal.

Poor Arvind the cagey-re-wail is already close to the bottom of the dumps.

The initial questions once again:

Is Goswami part of a gang subtly besmirching the reputation of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi?

Is the Goswami’s PM interview the precursor to  destabilise the National Democratic Alliance [NDA] regime?

Is the exercise aimed at aiding Arun Jaitley [now nicknamed Jai-Italy] to become the next tenant at 7 Race Course Road in Lutyens’ Delhi?

Or do those who are backing Goswami want him to be a more effective and better sophisticated Arvind Kejriwal?