Remembering Rajiv Gandhi 20 August 1944 – 21 May 1991

As Indians should we be sorry about insulting the memory of Rajiv Gandhi on yet another of his murder anniversaries?

The answers could shock every patriotic Indian.

Readers are requested to go through every inbuilt link to get the full perspective.

Should the Congress Party that ruled India that is Bharat for over 70 years apologise to former India PM Rajiv Gandhi for posthumously stabbing him in the back?

Was Rajiv ‘sacrificed’ to help the Congress win the 1991 parliamentary elections that clearly triggered his widow morphing into exalted status of the ‘uncrowned empress of India’ from 1992 to 1999 and ‘unconstitutional authority’ between 2004 to 2014? Is that why Sonia had a ‘cosy’ relationship with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam – a party whose rule in TN was sacked in 1975 at the behest of the Congress [1] and was the raison d’être for pulling down the Gujral coalition at the centre? [2]

Should the Indian National Congress look over its shoulder to discern the suspicious nature of the meeting between Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Rajiv assassin Nalini Sri Haran a.k.a. Murugan in 2008?

Should the current National Democratic Alliance regime take a close look at the role of Rajiv’s Widow Sonia Gandhi a.k.a. born Edvige Antonia Albina Maino in the ex-PM’s murder?

Is someone covering up her suspected double agent roles through her links to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence and former Soviet Union’s infamous KGB and its later-day incarnations?

Is there much more to Karti Chidambaram’s flight to London to escape imminent arrest and questioning in the matter pertaining to multiple shady deals of amassing wealth beyond his known sources of income?

Are such secrets linked to Harvard don and senior advocate P Chidambaram? 

On this day – May 21 2017, around 8.a.m., in the morning, this website: http://bharatkalyan97.blogspot.in/2014/02/chidambara-rahasyam-tsv-hari.html could be clearly seen. It then disappeared and this line appeared in its place: “This website/URL has been blocked as per instructions from Department of Telecommunications of India.”  If this can happen on a Sunday, on Rajiv Gandhi’s death anniversary, obviously, someone close to P Chidambaram can pull strings within the ministry of telecommunications. Who could that be?

Meanwhile, this writer has picked up the gauntlet and is exposing the nice lawyer even more! https://haritsv.wordpress.com/2016/04/25/the-toxic-chidambaram-smokescreen Let us see if he can block that too!

At this point in time, the plausible answers to all these questions are in the affirmative.

[1]

Operative portions from a Times of India report dated June 26 2014:

“The Emergency in Tamil Nadu can be classified into two phases — before and after the dismissal of the DMK government on January 31, 1976,” said former Madras high court judge K Chandru.

“The President’s rule in the state was draconian. DMK leaders were thrashed in prison,” said Chandru, who was a member of the Justice Ismail Commission, which probed alleged prison excesses during the Emergency.

Senior DMK leaders Murasoli Maran, then MP Chitti Babu, M K Stalin, Arcot Veerasamy and several party volunteers were imprisoned and allegedly beaten up. DMK leaders say while Veerasamy lost his hearing, Maran never recovered from a back injury and Chitti Babu, who bore the brunt of the attack, died in Chennai prison in 1976.

[2]

Operative portions from the relevant Wikipedia dossier:

On 30 January 1991, the DMK government which had come to power after winning the 1989 was dismissed by the Indian Prime minister Chandrasekhar using Article 356 of the Indian Constitution. President’s rule was imposed on Tamil Nadu from 31 January. The reason cited for the dismissal was the deterioration of law and order in the state and the DMK’s alleged closeness to the LTTE. The union law minister Subramanian Swamy, cited (among others) the assassination of the Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) office bearers in Chennai on 19 June 1990 by the LTTE as the proof of collusion between the DMK government and the LTTE. The Samajwadi Janata Party government of Chandrasekhar at the centre was dependent on the outside support of Rajiv Gandhi’s Congress, which in turn was an ally of the ADMK in Tamil Nadu. The dismissal followed pressure on the Chandrasekhar government by the Congress and ADMK to dismiss the DMK government. The Chandrasekhar government fell on March 1991 after the Congress withdrew its outside support. Fresh elections for both the Indian parliament and Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly were scheduled for June 1991.

Divine Intervention – 3 [part II]

The story so far:

Nungambakkam, part of Chennai’s central region witnessed the brutal murder of a young techie – Swathi – in June 2016.

As her killer Ram Kumar too died under mysterious circumstances, the reasons for her killing remain a diabolic mystery.

The short story below is an endeavour to investigate the possibilities that could have led to the killing of Swathi.

Part one of this longish short story was published earlier.

It can be accessed here.

Young Veerabahu was set to arrive in the Nungambakkam railway station platform some 10 minutes later.

I surveyed the scene.

The evening crowd was milling around close to the point where the foot over-bridge touched the ground.

A sizeable number of the passengers were students from the nearby Loyola College – believed to be the best in India – where freedom of thought was/is as important as breathing. Some of them had participated in an ongoing survey to discern the mood of the people – as fresh elections to the assembly were round the corner. Political instability post December 5 2016 – the day Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was declared dead – had led to it.

I listened to the chatter.

A few months ago, reports alleged that the Tamil Nadu Government was functioning as per the diktat of Sasikala Natarajan, currently ensconced in Parapana Agrahara Central Prison in Bangalore’s outskirts as a convict. Politicians love to say that always law is allowed to take its course. India’s Supreme Court is of a clear mind in such a situation. “Corruption is not only a punishable offence but also undermines human rights, indirectly violating them, and systematic corruption, is a human rights’ violation in itself, as it leads to systematic economic crimes,” it said. Sasikala was punished for offences under sections 13[1][e] and 13[2] of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 read with 120B [conspiracy] and 109 [abetment] of the Indian Penal Code. Rather strangely, none from any political party in Tamil Nadu had approached the courts to sack the regime that took orders from a convicted prisoner then and there on the principle of breakdown of the constitution. Any person in custody would be disqualified from holding any government job. A convict’s fate was even clearer. By publicly admitting that a female jail bird was flinging yolk from her steel nest in another state, a senior member of the cabinet had violated tenets of the constitution,” a girl with a sharp nose and bold voice said.

“There was worse. By itself, the ‘election’ of Sasikala as the general secretary of the ‘ruling’ All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is ultra vires of its own constitution. The so-called election was patently illegal if one goes by the constitution of that party. AIADMK by-laws available in the Election Commission’s website state that the party general secretary can only be declared elected by the political unit’s representatives from all the states – including those from Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh plus the Andaman and Nicobar Islands during a specially convened General Council to ‘elect’ a ‘proper’ candidate who ought to have been an uninterrupted member for 5 years. Such an event never happened. It was this so-called election that caused Sasikala’s ‘empowerment’ to be ‘elected’ as the leader of the AIADMK legislature party. So, that was an illegal act in itself. It was the cause for the then CM O Panneerselvam to resign and make way for Sasikala – which also is legally non est. To ram all these unsavoury events down the throats of the people of Tamil Nadu, the Sasikala group had cocooned a majority of the MLAs in a beach resort, allegedly wined, dined and ‘entertained otherwise’ with dancing women. Reports said that all of them were recipients of several million rupees in cash, gold and a lot more. This captive legislators’ crowd had ensured that Chief Minister E Palanisamy survived the trust vote on the floors of the assembly vide violent harangue in February 2017. Since Sasikala’s original sin – in itself was unpardonable – the shameful aftermath could not have the luxury of hiding behind a legal fig leaf of having passed muster in the assembly. Every so called political event after the December 5 2016 demise of Jayalalithaa could be termed illegal,” a Kurta clad young man chimed in.

“The inner contradictions were too much to bear. Now, the AIADMK has ceased to exist as a party. The ‘twin-leaf’ symbol and the name AIADMK were frozen initially on account of the RK Nagar by elections. After the various groups of the AIADMK ended up shaming themselves through the results, the party has little chances of reviving itself. On the flip side, the DMK’s existence is on the basis of hate AIADMK slogan – that keeps its voters interested. Sooner or later the DMK would suffer the same chagrin as the AIADMK. The reasons are simple. There are one too many claimants for the ill-gotten wealth of the party’s leadership mainstays – comprising the members of its leader Karunanidhi’s family. Surveys conducted in the length and breadth of Tamil Nadu revealed that the people want a change … a change for the better from the self-centred politicians for whom only grabbing cash was the only vocational and ‘vacational’ theme. And that would inevitably end in the decimation of regionalism that began in southern India through the separatist Dravidar Kazhagam [DK] and its so-called political offshoot – the DMK,” a somewhat senior student added.

I smiled. The young ladies and gentlemen were on the right track.

At that moment an express train whizzed past on track three moving at 85 km ph northward.

The duty station master or his assistant was supposed to stand on platform 2 holding a green flag or light – to be spotted and acknowledged by the motorman driving the train.

After the passage of the train, the SM ought to inform master signal control that the clickety-clack sounds of the wheels on the tracks were normal and betrayed no derailment danger to the train. The acknowledgement by the motorman or driver was the proverbial feel-good-factor to help the safety of several thousand passengers’ lives in the clasps of his/her hands.

Instead of doing his duty, the person manning the railway platform’s office cubicle was chatting with someone on his mobile phone.

Seated in that console was a person whose demeanour depicted that he was someone in authority. He was flanked by 2 constables from the Railway Protection Force.

“I am conducting surprise checks for ticketless travellers. Obviously some will pay a fine or a bribe to escape. All of us can expect some ‘cash relief’ for the month end,” the ticket examiner in civvies said.

Interrupting his chat on the mobile, the person in charge of the station in white uniform quipped: “Don’t forget my share!”

The RPF men looked a bit nonplussed.

“In these busy hours, the state railway police personnel conduct their own raids … and collect sizeable booty. None of us get any share from that. Worse, they do not cooperate in nabbing those trying to run away,” one constable complained.

“Well, we are not parting with any part of our collection on that count…so one minus one is zero. Accounts are squared. All of us need to supplement our incomes thus in these difficult times. Our salaries are inadequate to maintain our families. We need the cooperation of the local cops when something like that Swathi murder blows. In the melee for audience eyeballs, television channels ignored the simple fact that on that fateful morning of June last year, none of us was performing our duties. And then, none noticed when the RPF and Railway Police beat ran round the mulberry bush on the non-existent issue of jurisdiction… simply to buy time,” the TE announced with a grim finality.

These were signs of systems’ societal decay.

The duty station master coming out every 10 minutes or so while fast trains went past was also meant to keep a wary eye on the passengers in the station and report any suspicious activity. He didn’t care a tuppence about it. Instead of according protection to passengers by incessantly patrolling the platforms as per their job mandates, RPF and state railway police personnel were actively harvesting funds for month-end pecuniary problems. Senior officials were actively collaborating.

I shook my head in disapproval.

Spotting Veerabahu alighting from the foot over bridge, I moved northward.

The slim, slender looking teenager was on the mobile phone – talking to his sister.

“Where have you reached?”

“Crossing Saidapet station,” the girl’s voice said. The kid had switched the hands free button on the instrument.

“I have homework to do. And then I have to prepare for the first semester tests,” Veerabahu protested.

“Is the rowdy waiting outside the station?”

“I actually wasn’t looking. But, what can I do if he turns violent? We need to ask pa to move home… to somewhere close to where I work,” the lass grumbled.

“What about pa’s job at the EB? What about my school? My whole life will be spoiled!”

“Would it be alright then if someone spoils and soils your sister? What kind of a brother are you?”

Veerabahu looked uneasy.

“You better come fast. I am waiting!” He cut the connection and rolled his eyes skywards in sheer exasperation.

“Why is God not around when we need him? Rowdies, crowded cities, rising prices, police apathy, scolding school teachers, difficult syllabus…”

As is the wont of youngsters, Veerabahu grumbled.

Aren’t you Damarla Veerabahu, little Swati’s younger brother?”

My question startled the boy.

“How do you know me?”

Every Friday, your sister Swathi is in the forefront of the palanquin bearers – carrying the idol of Shukaravaara Amman in the Aghastheeswarar temple nearby. I remember you because you once wanted to help your sister…but the priests forbade you from touching the palanquin, as it violates the temple rules. I see you offering prayers in that temple regularly.”

The boy looked closely at me and espied an old man with a kind face, dressed in a white Indian shirt and trousers. The salt and pepper facial and pate hair disarmed him.

“What is your name?”

Most persons in this vicinity refer to me as Agathi!”

“A very strange name, I would say,” the boy said thoughtfully.

It is the shortened form of a very famous sage – Agasthya. Some persons translate the name from Sanskrit as ‘mountain thrower’. The Tamil meaning denotes a person who has realised his inner self. In Tamil, Agam stands for a home. ‘Thiyan’ refers to a householder … who ensures the well-being of the home’s inhabitants. In a nutshell, if one goes by the Tamil meaning, every male is an Agathi … or Agathiyan. The sage Agasthya was a diminutive man. By the Sanskrit definition he could throw a mountain. It only implies that determination can cause any person to complete any superhuman feat. There is an entire city block in Kanyakumari district – called Agastheeswaram. Some 400 km off Kochi – in the Arabian Sea – there is an island called Agatti – the virtual capital of Lakshadweep archipelago. Finally, the temple you visit every Friday with your sister – is a shrine for Agastheeswarar. Hence, it is not such a strange name.”

The boy giggled.

“So what do you want from me?”

The boy pertly asked the question abruptly.

“Oh, I have no needs to be fulfilled by anyone. I only grant favours, more often than not, without anyone asking for it … completely free of charge. You and your sister have a problem in the form of a young unruly male tormentor. He follows your sister somewhat threateningly. Probably, you are here to accompany young Swathi home… because she feels safer with you around. But, you are not at all comfortable with the idea of facing the rowdy. Suppose… I give you a little formula to defeat this rowdy and thus prove that you indeed are really Veerabahu … the brave-heart with strong protecting arms. That is without any risk and no sweat. Will you be interested?”

The boy was puzzled. His confusion showed on his countenance.

“I am no Jackie Chan … and cannot hope to fight and win a grown up man who pumps iron in gyms.”

“Jackie Chan does those choreographed fights only in the films. There is a scene in a movie featuring a one minute shot where Jackie is shown as getting killed by Lee in Enter the Dragon. Bruce was his idol and Chan tells anyone willing to listen to him that he loved losing to his idol and did a lot of play acting to retain the sympathetic attention of the then more famous man. More seriously, the movie Enter the Dragon has a scene featuring Bruce Lee – teaching a little boy how to win a fight with a grown up man – without actually fighting. You could actually do it. It is very simple. I could help you win,” I informed the child.

“But, why would you do that?”

“Because… I love helping people. It is that simple. Come closer, I will teach you the trick. You can try it out tomorrow itself! And don’t worry. If something goes wrong, I will be around… to help you.”

The boy came closer.

“Is this absolutely free? No hidden tricks or charges?”

“None at all, my young friend, you can be sure.”

I then began telling him a simple trick. I took leave as the EMU steamed into the terminal.

I knew that the girl Swathi would frown at Veerabahu talking to strangers. But, that was par for the course.

O0o0o0o0o0o0o0oO

Indian Police Service [IPS] officer Nar Bahadur Thapa was posted to the Narcotics Control Bureau’s Chennai Unit in its northwest outskirts as southern India’s regional head. It was a ‘punishment’ posting. A set of corrupt men who controlled the vigilance and anti-corruption wings of the Central Bureau of Investigation had wanted Thapa out of the way.

Of Nepalese extraction, Thapa had the tenacity of bloodhounds that never let go a sniffed criminal at wrong end of an invisible but ‘smellable’ trail.

That evening, his table had 2 bulky files of criminals – linked to drug trade from across the Palk Straits – in Sri Lanka’s war-torn north and northeast, whose tentacles snaked into the innards of India’s various cities, and also into the innards of around 50 national capitals spread all over the globe.

The profits were enormous.

At its little known, obscure procurement points, prices of drugs like heroin, crack, cocaine, and marijuana was as low as Rs.50 per base unit. But, when sold in the retail ‘open air markets’, their prices ballooned 50,000 times. The methods of the underworld were becoming more sophisticated than those of the cops – and this was a worldwide malady. The resultant ill gotten wealth was round-tripped and pumped into legal economies – to push real estate prices skyward. India was no exception.

Real estate was the safest venue to park black funds – as very few could every actually measure the profit margins.

Thapa had done the hard work.

An acre of land with a legal floor space index [FSI] of 3.5 in the outskirts of Chennai or for that matter any city in India ranged between Rs. 2 and 4 crores. Each acre has 43,500 square feet on the ground level as its ‘carpet’ area. When multiplied by 3.5 – the allowed amount of FSI – the price of undivided share of the proposed built up area ranged between Rs. 133 to Rs.263 per square foot. Costs of building huge blocks of flats ranged around Rs.1000 per square foot. In a nutshell, builders spent around Rs.5 lakhs for a 500 sq ft flat and sold it for Rs.25 lakhs. Burdened by other factors of the global meltdown, big time mainstream media outlets winked at this racket. There was a method to this madness. Builders’ networks splurged money on full page colour advertisements – often occupying the first three pages of newspapers besides sponsoring hours and hours of television time.

The operators of this huge sinister machine also bankrolled political parties. In some states, political parties’ sections actually owned and ran the racket. The sinister game drew sustenance by cannibalising its own assets. Some of the real estate defaulters’ flats were used as dens to peddle drugs and then discarded whenever some “untoward” event happened. Often such “events” were “rave” parties catering to the spoilt rich brats and also to draw more potential victims into the concentric vortex of drug addiction and peddling. The victim owner of such a den – soon declared as an erstwhile owner – would be flung to the wolves as a drug trafficker. The whole racket suited only wrongdoers and rendered them richer after every deal – botched or otherwise..

A ‘foolproof’ system had been hammered into place to run this evil empire. It was done vide the creation of a network of agents employed by private and foreign banks that had begun lending money in India at usurious interest rates since the turn of the millennium.

The grey market of ‘collection agents’ was a good source of information to identify future victims to be fleeced and/or raped and/or prostituted.

‘Minor’ funding began with credit cards and ‘personal loans’. The dues amounted to a few thousands of rupees. Usurious interest rates ensured indebtedness. Before long, a vast section of the middle-class was in the thrall of these sophisticated moneylenders. Those who deferred paying on time were catchment areas of potential victims. Rowdies from the dregs of society worked as ‘collection agents’ and provided vital info. Those amongst these gangs that were smarter than the rest slowly levitated towards the drug distribution. Thus began a database of persons who be preyed upon to buy ‘dream homes’ engineered to default to turn such residences into nightmares – only to be repossessed and sold to other similar victims.

The operation was a large scale one.

While in the CBI, Thapa had been assigned the task of identifying the shady methods of foreign banks, their lending patterns and recovery methodology. At the start of his probe, he had stumbled on to the world of pricey auditing firms which violated every known law in every nation possible and yet retained the veneer of respectability. One such firm is Pricewaterhouse Coopers [PwC].

A minor cog of this giant machine, Sengodan had committed the cardinal sin of ‘leaning on’ Pachaiappan – nicknamed ‘patch-boy’ amongst a small group of friends for recovering credit card dues. Pachaiappan was the son of Duraisingham, a head constable who worked for CBI. The young man had apparently used the rectangular piece of plastic during a new year’s party in a 3-star hotel. The bill had come to Rs.26K. Patch-boy’s pals promised to pool in the money to square the loan off. But, the sharing of the financial load actually never took place.

Without knowing the antecedents of his victim’s father, Sengodan began sending threatening messages to Pachaiappan. Usually, credit card and finance companies avoid 3 categories of individuals viz. Journalists, lawyers and police officials. The avoidance is explained away with a two-word term: “negative profile”. Secretly the movers and shakers in this rat race admit that discovery of the workings of their racket is their big fear. The bigger fear is journalists, lawyers and cops using the instrument of blackmail to clean the wrongdoers out, aver the men and women at tertiary levels of this game. The bitter truth is stranger. Those who never deserve a single rupee manage to net billions of rupees and are allowed to not only default but also helped to escape the laws of India under everyone’s noses. 

Before long, seeing his son listless most of the day, the cop accessed the SMS from his son’s mobile.

Duraisingham sought the advice of his superior officer.

Holding the rank of Inspector General, Thapa merited a landlubber bosun. Duraisingham performed that task admirably in Chennai.

So, when the hapless minion approached his boss for saving his son, the IG – then looking after various high profile cases from Delhi for the CBI’s southern operations, Thapa realised the potential and pulled the young man’s chestnuts out of the fire and began watching the gang of ‘recovery agents.’ That endeavour had landed the strange fish – Sengodan.

By keeping tabs on Sengodan, Thapa had traced most of the racketeers and identified their modus operandi. That was when he suspected something else – the presence of a vigilante group of IT professionals functioning beyond their work-station borders to identify ill-gotten funds parked abroad. As he had begun taking an interest in the activities of several young men and women, one of them – a Brahmin girl aged 24 – Swathi – had been brutally killed in mid 2016.

When others above him found out Thapa’s focus, they got him transferred – virtually on punishment. But, being pushed to the wall, Thapa had decided to fight. And that fight had led to his unearthing the huge racket whose minor loose end was Sengodan. The big time players were builders and architects working from flashy offices.

Thapa looked at the clock in his office.

It was close to 7 p.m.

Pressing his buzzer, he summoned Duraisingham – who had levitated to the NCB along with his boss.

“We may have a major job to do, tomorrow, to end rackets of youngsters’ tormentors – like the man who had harassed your son,” Thapa said.

“Sure sir,” the orderly said.

“I have been tracking the mobile of this person called Sengodan. He lives in Choolaimedu area but does his trade in OMR. It seems he is also stalking a girl Swathi – like someone else had chased her namesake last year. What makes the whole thing interesting is the qualification of this girl and her core competence area. She is a code breaking ethical hacker. I suspect that last year’s dead Swathi was one as well.”

“Did the other girl – the dead Swathi do the same thing and was she killed on that count sir?”

Duraisingham asked the question at the spur of the moment in total innocence.

“I have a strong suspicion that she was,” Thapa enigmatically said.

-to be continued

Divine Intervention – 3

Official apathy, corrupted systems of governance, criminal politicians, cussed cops and the odd judicial slip have harmed human psyche.

Could God be of help?

Trying to generate hope, I have so far penned 2 pieces of fiction – to restore faith in divinity amongst humans.

The links:

Divine Intervention 1

Divine Intervention 2

In both the tales, God Almighty plays a subtle role and restores sanity and parity.

I have begun writing the third.

Here is the first instalment.

August 22 2017

Nungambakkam rail terminal seemed huge and imposing to the demure, dusky 22-year-old, Telugu speaking girl D Swathi at 5-55 a.m. that Tuesday.

Her namesake had been murdered in cold blood in that very railway station in June 2016. The perpetrator, stalker-killer – one Ram Kumar – had dropped dead in a prison under mysterious circumstances a few weeks later. Chennai’s corrupt cops had complicated the murder probe. Some among them had succeeded in getting sections in the media to cast aspersions on the character of the victim posthumously. Later, Kumar’s suspicious ‘suicide’ was hurriedly buried in the shallowest of graves.

She had other reasons to be afraid.

Fear in a male form, with rippling muscles, clad in a crocodile brand black “T” shirt and black trousers with a leery expression to boot had stalked her all the way from home located some 600 metres away.

Chennai is India’s 4th largest metropolis located on the right flank of the Asian subcontinent’s limp phallus shaped peninsula’s upper half. On a map, Sri Lanka, the island nation, seems like a drop of semen dripping from a flaccid male organ.

Swati had joined the very organisation where her namesake had worked before – Tata Consultancy Services [TCS] a few weeks back.

The firm’s offices were located in a distant suburb named Maraimalai Nagar – some 50 km due south of where she stood.

Juxtaposed to rail terminals, the names Swathi and TCS have an eerie ring. Way back in 2014, another girl by the same name had died when a bomb planted under her seat went off in a stationary train in Chennai Central Railway Station.

Hailing from a lower middleclass family, D Swathi stayed with her parents and younger brother in Choolaimedu, a nondescript district located within a km of Nungambakkam railhead.

The place is a beehive of criminals. Many of them are drug peddlers, eunuch sex workers and pimps. Most of them are stool pigeons. Policemen wink at this flotsam and jetsam of the underworld – under the guise of running a network of informers to solve more serious crimes. The shameful ruse rarely works.

Defenceless girls trudging to and from work and/or educational institutions are regularly kidnapped and handed over to rich, sexual perverts. Videos of the resultant sadistic acts are used to blackmail and force some of the survivor victims into prostitution. Less attractive girls were/are first raped, then slaughtered and flung by the wayside far away from the crime scene – where – more often than not – the bodies are not identified.

Such abominable crimes have become commonplace in almost every 3rd world city. India’s Chennai is no exception.

Small-timers operating in Choolaimedu were “service providers” for larger underworld outfits centred some 7 km northward surrounding the city’s Puzhal Central Prison.

Swathi’s killer Ram Kumar was cited as dead after biting into a live electric wire in a highly restricted and remote zone within Puzhal prison – which was off bounds for an under-trial prisoner. Kumar’s regular cell was almost a km away from where his body was reportedly found – an electrical control room. Cops trotted out a cock and bull story that Swathi’s killer had bitten into an electric cable and had died of a fatal shock.

Swathi’s initial ‘D’ stood for Damarla. It denotes origins in the neighbourhood state of Andhra Pradesh. On that very day – August 22 – in 1639, one of her forefathers – a small-time vassal of the Vijayanagar Empire – Damarla Chennappa Nayakudu – had ‘granted’ the land between 2 rivers – the first being Cooum and the second named ‘Egmore’ to the ‘Honourable’ East India Company to build a ‘factory’ and a warehouse. [1] The former has morphed into a huge gutter. The latter river isn’t even visible. The ‘factory’ served as the first seat of power of colonial British.

Fort St George is the seat of power in Tamil Nadu today. From 1744 onwards, that stockade served as the take-off stage of the career of colonial Britain’s worst specimen Robert Clive.[2]

When known as Madras, Chennai could boast of a uniformed fraternity that cared for citizens. Police commissioners like Parangusam Naidu in 1919 and Sripall [1980-1984] the citizenry enjoyed a sense of safety. The political rulers – like the late Chief Minister MGR were of better stock. Finally there were others like Mohandas – the legendary policeman of Tamil Nadu.

The situation had worsened since the turn of the century.

It had reached its nadir after the Swathi murder. Since then, the mismanagement of law and order southern India’s show piece is at its worst. In early 2017, cops had allowed half a million persons to gather at Chennai’s seafront called the Marina Beach – demanding the holding of the annual bull-taming festival that had been banned by the Supreme Court. The do had culminated in mindless violence. The cops blamed it on the sudden entry of ‘unruly, non-state, opposition sponsored so-called unknown violent elements. The vital question as to how such a huge crowd had gathered on a thoroughfare marked in the south by the state police headquarters and Tamil Nadu’s seat of power – Fort St George in the north remains unanswered. 

Swathi briefly ducked into a nationalised bank’s air-conditioned teller machine console, inserted her Andhra Bank debit card, punched her 4 digit personal index number [PIN], clicked the ‘savings account’ and ‘withdrawal’ slots respectively and typed 5-0-0. Unexpectedly, 5 crisp, hundred rupee notes came out of the dispenser.

A warning note in the balance slip informed her that she was below the Rs.1000 minimum limit in bank accounts.

“Mine is a Jan-Dhan account – and hence the minimum balance routine shouldn’t count,” she muttered under her breath.

The tall promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi didn’t matter to the shrewish females that manned Andhra Bank’s branch where her savings account was lodged.

“Those are our rules. If you think we are violating them, you can take your account and go elsewhere. The banks need to make a profit and pay its staff. You freebooter paupers keep draining our precious resources,” the school marm-like manageress had announced when Swati had tried to protest the other day. During that exercise, a diabetic subordinate of the man-eating tigress like manageress was ticked off for being a bit late in a highhanded and rude manner. His obvious chagrin caused the man to initially wince and then lurch unsteadily before he returned to his seat.

The likes of scofflaw Vijay Mallya who owed close to Rs.100 billion to high street banks in India were enjoying life abroad while the nationalised financial institutions’ decision makers that had illegally funded his shenanigans with people’s money played silly parlour games by pretending to auction the ill gotten wealth of the fugitive profligate. If the poor as much as whimpered a protest, the persons behind the counters shamelessly cited non-existent rules and barked threats – sending those whose money actually generated their salaries – scurrying for cover. Like elsewhere in the globe, the dice were loaded against the poor in India and its southern metropolis.

Swathi had needed the change. She entered a small shrine for the elephant headed Hindu God, Ganesh sitting virtually next to the ATM.

“Save me from the clutches of this cruel world, O Lord! Every day, this stalker chases me right till the station and I do not want to die like my namesake. I am afraid to go to the police because he may be part of a gang that regularly pays the cops. I am scared of losing my job. My family needs the money badly. The management will wash its hands off if something untoward happens. I get the heebie-jeebies about getting raped. Please save me, sir!”

Wiping tears from her eyes, Swathi hurriedly shoved a single Rs.100 currency note into the offerings’ box, joined her palms in prayer and ducked out of the shrine’s low threshold. As she ran up the stairs of the foot over-bridge towards the platform– the rowdy – leaning on a lamp post at ground level – whistled.

“The rhythmic movement of your behind stirs my loins and challenges my manhood! Why don’t you take an off and see a movie with me today?”

The rowdy’s cat call irked her. Pretending not to hear him, Swathi bounded up the stairs.

Meanwhile, another, similar devotee placed two plantains on the offerings’ box hurriedly and left. A hungry cow craned its neck and succeeded in grabbing the fruits. Swathi’s improperly inserted hundred rupee note slipped out and fell by the wayside.

I picked it up – knowing that it would come in good use a few minutes later.

Some 1 km to the north of the railhead is a small vegetarian eatery Subha Niwas that serves mouth watering fare at very competitive prices.

An obviously hungry beggar stood beyond the cash counter asking for a free cup of tea. The cashier was shooing him away.

“It is okay. Please give him the drink. I will pay,” I said as I entered.

“Hello! You are here after a long time,” the waiter said as he placed the cup of strong coffee on the table. A small stainless steel vessel containing sugar was placed helpfully next to the beverage. “You seem fitter than before,” the waiter added.

As the beggar finished his cup of tea and tried to enter the establishment to thank me, the cashier waved him away angrily.

A moment later, the rowdy who had stalked Damarla Swathi wandered in and devoured four idlis [spongy rice-cakes] in a jiffy.

The rowdy was obviously very, very, hungry.

Someone looking like his cousin parked his ‘Enfield Bullet’ outside and ambled in.

“You ready with the cash, Sengodan? The boss doesn’t like to wait. And the rendezvous is a long way off – close to Sriperumbudur – on the Bangalore highway,” the newcomer said.

“Yes…I have the Rs.1.5 lakhs in 2000-rupee-notes. I hope the brown sugar is of better quality this time. Last time’s supply had some silly, illegal additive. Clients got a better ‘kick’ but one of them dropped dead. Luckily none in the vicinity of the OMR [Old Mahabalipuram Road] – the IT corridor – where most of the stuff was sold – made the connection. A murder rap is the last thing I want,” Swathi’s stalker said.

“The boss has it all covered. He has huge influence in the police department – both at the state and at the centre. He invests the money earned from these shenanigans into real estate – building on lands acquired cheaply and at what are known as ‘competitive rates’. The money is very, very well hidden. Some 3 years ago, there was a building collapse in the suburbs that killed 61 chaps – all poor labourers from northern India. That makes it 61 murders and not even a single murder case was registered and/or pursued. The semi-high rise with 11 floors in question collapsed like a house of cards and yet none of those who had bought them seriously pursued the case. Whatever settlement had to be done, was perhaps done out of court. Don’t worry about murder and/or any raps. The boss will take care of them all. Talking of the drug OD victim, I heard that the boy died on the road. Someone cleaned out his purse, credit cards, wrist watch, gold chain, i-fone mobile and a lot more. That someone happened to be one of your flunkeys. So, cut the sanctimonious, self-righteous shit and let us get going.”

The duo settled the bill and left.

“You haven’t touched your coffee, sir,” the waiter announced standing next to the chair where I was seated.

“I suddenly don’t feel like having any. There is a bitter feeling on the tongue and in the intellect,” I said, settled the bill for the other man’s tea and my coffee with the Rs.100 crisp note I had picked up and emerged from the eatery. The beggar rushed towards me. I left Rs.20 and change in his bowl. I retained the Rs.50 note, for I knew it would soon find a use.

“Use the money for eating and not drinking,” I told the man and walked away.

O0o0o0o0o0o0o0oO

As she left her office around 6 p.m., Swathi called Veerabahu – her younger brother – a class 9 student.

“Come to the railway station in exactly one hour. That fellow was chasing me today morning also,” Swathi announced.

“I can do very little to that body-builder if something bad happens,” Swathi’s male sibling commented.

“Let us all hope that it never comes to that. There is a saying in Telugu – a male even if he is of the size of a palm – is protection enough.”

“Okay, I will come,” the boy grudgingly said.

It had been a hectic day at office.

Retired Director General of Police Durgaiyadimai Dheeran Thiruvachagam had addressed a select gathering of systems analysts in TCS. Swathi had been part of the audience. The man’s initials constituted the acronym DDT, an insecticide currently banned in many nations. [3]

“In more ways than one, my initials – DDT have serious similarities with the properties of the insecticide DDT. There are many who call me a ruthless, uncompromising demon who ends criminals’ lives with ruthless and cruel suddenness. I had served in the army and was known as a killing machine. More often than not, I shot the enemy-wallahs dead and never bothered asking questions. But, once I returned to civvy-street as a cop, I changed a few of my tactics. In one of the districts bordering Chennai – where I had been posted as a DIG, a retired colonel and his wife were robbed and killed by masked robbers. The killers had decamped with cash and jewels worth about Rs.60 lakhs. They were parents of one of my pals killed in action Kargil. The doctor who examined the bodies told me that they had died less than an hour ago. These gangs usually have about 10 or 11 chaps. We stopped all vehicles and the odd train leaving the area. In some 45 minutes, my juniors had nabbed the baddies. I asked my men to herd the villains into a nearby forest area sans any locals. The booty was found on them. Someone in the force who knew these types guessed that they all were hardened criminals who could be made to talk. But, recovery of stolen properties from past heists could well nigh be impossible as smart lawyers could delay matters in court. The chaps would eventually get bail, vanish and sooner or later…would commit the same crimes again, he said. I knew that the assessment was correct to the last punctuation mark. I asked the criminals to be lined up and took a hard look at them. Picking up a 303 rifle, I calmly shot all the knee caps of all the chaps and also their elbows – rendering them invalids for life. By then, the criminals were begging for mercy and said they would part with all their booty hidden somewhere in Andhra Pradesh – between the railway terminals of Bitragunta and Kaavali. The criminals were then forced to lie down on their stomachs. One of my boys ran the wheels of a police jeep on their injured limbs. We ensured that the chaps lived and dropped them off outside their village and came away leaving a note in Telugu behind – “Any and all those who wish to sample our welcoming party in Chennai are welcome. This wonderful treatment awaits you!” The number of masked robber gangs’ activities in TN has been vastly reduced. The villains, probably, are still alive but will never squeal to bleeding heart human rights’ defenders. They know my type never takes a chance. None of those gangsters can ever be sure as to what I would end up doing. In their warped mind they may imagine that I would lead a vigilante team of commandos and kill them all. Some of my batch mates actually did something like that in Maharashtra a few years ago. Nevertheless, there are cases of such gangs operating in AP. I admit that the methods I just described are not legal at all. Obviously, they are very, very cruel and inhuman. These days, such robbers have learnt a few more dirty tricks. The operators with different modus operandi come from other states too. Criminals’ heist planning quotient – has improved and larger heists have happened and are eluding the inevitable end. But, instances of masked robbers – hitting families in secluded homes in the edges of Chennai city have drastically come down. Is it only due to what I did? Perhaps not, I would carefully add. But, my tactics, sure as hell, must have contributed to the number of such instances coming down. I am like the DDT – illegal in many ways, but, have my useful sides as well,” DDT had said as his opening gambit. The listeners had giggled.

The balding retired cop advised the IT professionals to strengthen the arms of the central government by getting time allotted by the management to hack codes of secretive offshore banks that helped villains stash ill-gotten money in numbered accounts.

“These bastards stole from this nation … or … every one of you. You should help retrieve this stash and deposit it into the coffers of the Government of India, from where the baddies cannot get it back. The money will help India that is Bharat into becoming Bharat that is India. Emperor Bharat had sowed the seeds of proper, operative democracy and selection process of rulers strictly on the basis of merit some 4,000 years ago. It is well nigh impossible to do something as dramatic as that at this point in time. But, with better funding, the government can attempt doing stuff that will help the larger interests of we the people of this nation,” the former officer had stated during his 2 hour long presentation. During the tea break, Swathi had buttonholed the former officer.

“I am not sure whether the management here will allow such hacking. But, some of my friends could do this outside the office in our spare time, sir,” Swathi had told the man.

“Better be careful child. Your namesake was killed … I suspect … because …she was attempting something of this sort. Her killer Ram Kumar was a fall guy who was easily and shamelessly eliminated by corrupt elements in the police force to which I belonged sometime ago. In my opinion, a chilling message was sent to warn such covert vigilante groups – not to crack such codes and retrieve stolen stashes. But, I would say, continue doing it till the baddies find it too difficult to rob the common citizens of India. God only knows how many Ram Kumars are lurking and with what purpose,” DDT had opined.

“But sir, as you say, if some bad people from the police department are involved, what about our safety? Forget the stashes abroad. I am being tormented by a local stalker and am scared to seek help from the nearby cop house,” Swathi said bitterly.

“I played the role of an avenger while donning the uniform. Now, I can’t pull off such shenanigans. Times have changed. The way things are regressing, one can only pray to God! Who knows, God may still help,” DDT had said finally.

As Swathi got into the train at Maraimalai Nagar, her younger brother – a slender teenager lad set out from home, to accord his sister a modicum of security as she walked home.

To be continued

[1]

The factory and the warehouse were housed in what came to be known as Fort St George – from where the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu is being ruled … or perhaps more correctly … misruled.

On 22 August 1639, the piece of land lying between the river Cooum almost at the point it enters the sea and another river known as the Egmore river was granted by a junior member of the Damarla clan to East India Company after obtaining a permission to cede to the white man had been obtained from then Vijayanagar monarch whose first name was Venkatadri.

On this piece of waste land was founded Fort St. George, a fortified settlement of British merchants, factory workers, and other colonial settlers. Upon this settlement the English expanded their colony to include a number of other European communities, new British settlements, and various native villages, one of which was named Madraspatnam. The British named the entire combined city Madras to mark the occasion.

Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, Chennai is one of the biggest cultural, economic and educational centres in South India. According to the 2011 Indian census, it is the sixth-largest city and fourth-most populous urban agglomeration in India. The city and its suburbs that includes most part of Kanchipuram district, constitute the Chennai Metropolitan Area, which is the 36th-largest urban area by population in the world. Chennai is among the most visited Indian cities by foreign tourists. It was ranked 43rd most visited city in the world for year 2015.

The Quality of Living Survey rated Chennai as the safest city in India.

Chennai attracts 45 percent of health tourists visiting India, and 30 to 40 percent of domestic health tourists.

As such, it is termed “India’s health capital”

Chennai has the third-largest expatriate population in India. It stood at over 100,000 in 2016 as per census reports.

Tourism guide publisher Lonely Planet named Chennai as one of the top ten cities in the world to visit in 2015.

The metropolis is ranked as a beta-level city in the Global Cities Index and was ranked the best city in India by India Today in the 2014 annual Indian city survey.

 In 2015 Chennai was named the “hottest” city (worth visiting and worth living in the long term) by the BBC, citing the mixture of both modern and traditional values.

 National Geographic ranked Chennai’s food as second best in the world; it was the only Indian city to feature in the list.[23] Chennai was also named the ninth-best cosmopolitan city in the world by Lonely Planet.

The Chennai Metropolitan Area is one of the largest city economies of India. Chennai is nicknamed “The Detroit of India”, with more than one-third of India’s automobile industry being based in the city. In January 2015, it was ranked third in terms of per capita GDP. Chennai has been selected as one of the 100 Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under PM Narendra Modi’s flagship Smart Cities Mission.

[2]

Sometime in June 1744, a rowdy element from England’s Shropshire called Robert Clive began life as a clerk and rose to become a general. Known to have terrorised those who studied in his home’s vicinity, Clive cemented the authority of what was also then known as ‘John Company’.

Clive ‘oversaw’ the dispensation of the ‘white man’s ‘justice’. The greed of short-sighted, egoist weak Muslim noblemen – Muhammad Ali and Chanda Sahib helped him. The insistence of blue-blooded Frenchman Governor General Joseph-François, Marquis Dupleix to fight according to rules aided the cunning former clerk with enormous chutzpah. Within the next half a decade, the authority of the French had decayed and that of the British flew full mast from Fort St George.

In the mid 1740’s, British Prime Minister William Pitt ‘the elder’ hailed Clive as a ‘heaven-born-general’ without any military training.

Clive returned to Great Britain at the age of 35 with a fortune of at least £300,000 filched from India plus an annual ‘quit-rentof £27,000.

Lord Macaulay praised Clive thus: “Clive gave peace, security, prosperity and such liberty as the case allowed to millions of Indians, who had for centuries been the prey of oppression. [Clive was better than] Napoleon [Bonaparte whose] career of conquest was inspired only by personal ambition. 

[3]

DDT or Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane is a colourless insipid odourless crystalline insecticide whose early form was created in 1874. Its commercial use was perfected by Swiss chemist Paul Hermann Mueller in 1939. Some 9 plus years later, Mueller got the Nobel for medicine as the poisonous chemical was effective in destroying harmful arthropods which are insects of the arachnid and crustacean variety. These beings constitute roughly 80% of the world’s animal population. Opinion about letting them live peacefully is divided. Known to cause several diseases in two-legged and 4-legged creatures, a section of humanity wishes to exterminate them. A larger group opposes this idea because the poor voiceless things help in pollination and thus spread of vegetation – the world over.

In 1962, marine biologist Rachel Louise Carson – whose interests centred around saving the world through conservation of multiple species authored the book Silent Spring. The book revealed that DDT also caused cancer among humans and was a serious threat to wildlife, particularly birds. The ‘Bald Eagle’ [national bird of the US of A] and Peregrine Falcon were 2 birds that had almost been rendered extinct by hunters and also by DDT. A decade later, United States of America banned use of DDT by accepting the ruling made under the auspices of Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Thanks to the ban, the 2 birds in question can be seen flying freely in the American continent. Nevertheless, DDT is still used in some nations as it effectively kills mosquitoes that spread fatal epidemics like malaria.

Tamil Nadu turns politically turtle and purple!

Tamil Nadu is clearly in the middle of political crossroads buffeted by confusing cross-currents as the state edges closer to the by election to RK Nagar located north of southern metropolis Chennai. It had been represented by the late Jayalalithaa.

A familiar voice was reciting the famous poem by WH Davies.

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare. 

It was the political fixer MG seated facing the entrance of the Press Club in New Delhi. As usual, he was nursing a drink. His animated recital of the verse seemingly addressing a man dressed in homespun white – obviously a political type intrigued me.

The cocktail in MG’s hand had a strange hue – indigo – or simply purple.

“We are obviously not as good as you are in English, Mr. MG. Further, you never say anything without a political significance. Kindly elaborate,” the man seated next to him said in a treacly voice.

“Life is so full of care. Its odd absence in a hospital – during the autumn weeks of the only celebrity political heavyweight of the south – now sadly no more – Jayalalithaa rankles even more. The political developments are taking place so fast that we neither have the time to stand nor to stare at the forthcoming by elections in Chennai’s little known, dust blown assembly constituency – RK Nagar. On April 12, the day votes will be cast in the polling booths, the death knells will begin tolling for Dravidian brand of politics. The AIADMK – the political outfit founded by the late MGR will be dead as a dodo from that day onwards. But, the pace of political events is so fast that one will hardly have the time to even notice by standing and staring at it,” Minimum Guarantee said.

“It is a preposterous thing to say,” I butted in and plonked my backside on a chair, positioned adjacent to the duo. “Jaya has left behind a vibrant political body and it is bound to give the opposition in Tamil Nadu – the heebie-jeebies on April 12,” I reacted.

“The problem with you stupid journalists is that you expect people to believe that you are giving equal coverage in a fair manner to all shysters in the political spectrum. Everyone knows the obvious thing called paid news that peddled under the camouflaged as objectivity.  The only remnants of Jayalalithaa’s life comprise an interred body in a grave at the Chennai seafront, a bawdy busybodies’ bawling business of the shady kind an already forgotten legacy and footnote as a posthumously convicted criminal. Her so-called successors are fighting like Kilkenny cats – all working towards the singular purpose of destroying the other competitors from the same stable. In turn it could help the MK Stalin-led opposition romp home despite the DMK fielding a political lightweight. One even wonders whether the TN regime itself will last that long as the whole house of cards can collapse with the lightest of breezes blowing from the general direction of the MGR-Jaya graves sitting next to each other virtually cheek by jowl. Some joker may meditate, mediate and then levitate to any chosen cozy corner to corner as much dough as possible. And then, it will simply be a matter for the coroner called the Chief Electoral Officer stationed in Chennai,” the fixer observed.

“My knowledge about the south is next to zilch, so kindly elaborate,” the Guru’s new admirer chimed in.

I rolled up my eyes in despair and looked around me in sheer frustration. North Indians very well know how the land lies yet want to hear more lies – to make up their silly minds.

Thanks to the sweltering heat in national capital region [NCR], the small air-conditioned smokers’ room was overcrowded. Four journalists were playing a game of carrom, two were engaged in a game of chess and six others were eyeing the small screen of the television set in a corner.

The ‘fixer’ is a spitting image of the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s flunkey, Makhan Lal Fotedar.

The political lobbyist is known as MG which is an acronym of Maha Guru and/or Minimum Guarantee.

“The longer form of MG changes depending on the time, occasion, location and significance of each of my operations,” the man loves to tell those foolish enough to listen.

“One thing is always certain. MG does not stand for Mahatma Gandhi because I love my liquor and flaunt my cocktails,” is a constant line muttered occasionally during his con—corny-conversations.

Often, found citing own aphorisms terming and them as the Holy Minds’ Voices, he is also referred to with the sobriquet – HMV.

MG smiled indulgently at his new disciple and began speaking.

“Allow me to quote WH Davies verbatim here.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

Like cattle being herded to abattoirs, the stupid Tamils allow themselves to be bamboozled during elections by accepting cheap booze and cheaper wads of cash so that the state’s politicians can loot them in broad daylight. Else, why at all would Tamils have elected the Dravidian parties with a grim regularity since 1967 – in the full knowledge that the outfits have as much political policy as there is hair on the bald pate of veteran BJP politician LK Advani? Talking of nuts hidden in the grass, ask yourself the simple question – as to why would 122 MLAs even heed Sasikala Natarajan – currently in a Bangalore prison when she will soon be a political nonentity as her election as the General Secretary of the AIADMK is doomed to be set aside? The obvious answer: every political player suspects – Jayalalithaa’s alleged stashed wealth abroad – believed to be a little more than Rs.3 lakh crores being handled as per the whim and fancy of Sasikala. Reportedly, so far a sum said to be around Rs.1600 crores has already changed hands for the upkeep of legislators’ so-called rest cure in Golden Bay resort outside Chennai and its aftermath. The grapevine has it that the deposed CM O Panneerselvam had been promised 10% of that stash by Sasikala to propose her as the GS and CM candidate. Neither the money nor his eternal number 2 post in the cabinet materialised – and so he sat at Jaya’s grave first to meditate, took a walk and began to … er… ‘talk’. The 64 million dollar question is how Sasikala will actually transfer monies believed to be stashed in numbered accounts abroad to the legislators whose supports she needs to stay politically and also physically alive. The first major transfer of hard currency in electronic form from someplace to someplace will be known and then the entire booty will be lost forever, as the BJP types are not going let go of that kind of loot so easily. The female squirrel Sasikala has hidden her nuts and those look for them are going nuts, so far. But this Punch and Judy show will not be allowed to go on interminably. When the curtains fall, it will be the end in every sense of the term for all those whose political fortunes are tied on the side of Sasikala or are on the sides of those arrayed against her,” the fixer pointed out.

MG’s predictions are of the Nostradamus variety. They are puzzling and can be indicated as prophesies of any eventuality.

Thanks to his somewhat archaic language, he also is derisively called Long Playing Old Record [LPOR], cassette tape [CT] video-cassette-disc [VCD]. His actions have earned him other epithets. Some of them are political predicament predictor [PPP1], fixer-of the deadly instigation [FDI2], Doddering Lying Factotum [DLF3] and first-class rascally abomination [FCRA4].

“I understood so far, but what will happen to all that money,” the north Indian political greenhorn asked.

“You really need to understand the lines of Davies.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

Anything can happen to Sasikala before she sees broad daylight after her release some 4 years hence. She may be dreaming of a high-sky life in the starry heights, but the glances of entities like the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI cannot be termed as ‘beauties’ by any stretch of imagination. Jayalalithaa was a good dancer. The rumour is that her feet were amputated. Doctors at the Apollo hospice have denied it, but their stories – notice the plural – have more holes than Swiss cheese. When someone takes it upon himself or herself to watch the feet – as to whether they are missing or are not – the shit will hit the fan … even if the feet haven’t been amputated. The exhumed body will give the time of death under forensic examination. That exactly is the thing Apollo, Sasikala, a host of doctors, several central government entities and that British embalming specialist Dr Beale are trying to hide by repeatedly squealing contradictory tales. I would call that the dance of the death of dainty feet – in present tense or past,” VCD observed.

This was becoming too controversial.

I tried a different tack.

“Everyone knows that PM Modi placed his right hand to bless Sasikala during Jaya’s funeral. Obviously she has or had Modi’s blessings. In return for the lion’s share of Jaya’s stash abroad a section of the BJP could ensure in some way or another to remove Sasikala and OPS from the scheme of things and cobble a united AIADMK to be led by anyone with a little credibility left. One still hears that the actor Rajnikant is mulling over the situation. Thespian Kamal Haasan has begun making politically relevant statements,” I argued.

“Listen to what Davies finally said

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare. 

None can be sure as to when will Sasikala open her mouth. And none has the time to wait till she does. The DMK wants to return to power, but is handicapped by other considerations. Elections are due in Karnataka soon, but before that, those belonging to the party in TN would want a crack at wielding power because sentiments in Karnataka are dead against Tamils thanks to the Cauvery water dispute. At some stage, the AIADMK regime would fall due to its contradictions. Like the BJP did in Goa and Manipur, huge sections of the AIADMK legislators – perhaps – led by OPS himself – could walk into the BJP – hailing Modi and his recent electoral victories in UP and UK. Power is the dirtied river Ganges that camouflages all political sins. Take the state Congress unit chief in TN – Suppuramuthevar Thirunaavukkarasar. He was a mainstay in the AIADMK under MGR, touted as Jaya’s protector when her fight against her foes began, later became a Rajya Sabha member from MP to be made a central minister during the NDA regime and is now with the Congress, talking political turkey with the DMK. He is a miniaturised and personified version of TN’s political chameleons. It was the DMK which had carried front page exposes on the same Thirunaavukkarasar’s ill-gotten wealth in the 80’s several times. The DMK, AIADMK, PMK, MDMK and DMDK to name just 5 have all been party of NDA and UPA bandwagons directly and/or indirectly at some time or other. Politicians have no sense of shame. And I have no shame in helping the shameless,” FCRA quipped with a guffaw.

“But the Dravidian parties hate the BJP and could never trust them. More importantly, why would AIADMK politicians levitate to the BJP which has no base in TN?” I registered my somewhat feeble protest.

“You are clearly blind beyond the tip of your bulbous nose. For many like OPS, Vijaykant, Jaya’s niece Deepa and other flotsam and jetsam of Tamil Nadu – at this moment – the DMK doors are closed. To be relevant in politics every politician needs a saleable brand with some working capital. BJP – riding on the shoulders of Modi and wielding power at the centre is exactly that. Finding an excuse to be in any camp is as easy as falling off a log in politics,” PPP cackled in response.

“It would still not get the BJP its ground strength or the money from Sasikala,” I averred.

“Ha! Each Dravidian party constituency satrap will arrive with his band of followers and thus create the infrastructure for the BJP at the beginning. From then, everyone will play by the ear or as far as any of those politically blind bats can see. More seriously, when cornered inside her cell, Sasikala may never reveal the details of the stash. So be it. After all, Modi had promised to bring back the wealth stashed abroad and that promise has been conveniently forgotten for now – thanks to his success in unearthing black money through demonetisation. The stash would never be useful to her – even when she emerges from prison … for there is something called nemesis – which strikes when one least expects it to,” DLF spoke in a grim voice, colder than that of the devil.

I had had enough.

“Your drink has a strange colour,” I interpolated to obviously change the subject.

“It is called ‘Indigo’. It contains two types of liqueurs called Curaçao with a dash of Gin and a small dose of E133 dye or Brilliant Blue FCF that lends the purple colour. The due – used in various ‘edible’ applications like canned and/or bottled food, dried soup powders, ice cream, dairy products, mouthwash, soap, shampoos and toilet cleaning liquids. The name Indigo, its colour, its uses and the rarely heard abuses are the fulcrum of politics the world over. How many would know that one of the main sources of Britain’s wealth during colonial times was opium cultivated in India under the guise of indigo plantations? In the 18th century, Britain had a huge trade deficit with Qing dynasty China and so in 1773, the Company created a British monopoly on opium buying in Bengal, India by prohibiting the licensing of opium farmers and private cultivation. The monopoly system established in 1799 continued with minimal changes until 1947. As the opium trade was illegal in China, Company ships could not carry opium to China. So the opium produced in Bengal was sold in Calcutta on condition that it be sent to China. Despite the Chinese ban on opium imports, reaffirmed in 1799 by the Jiaqing Emperor, the drug was smuggled into China from Bengal by traffickers and agency houses such as Jardine, Matheson & Co and Dent & Co. in amounts averaging 900 tons a year. The proceeds of the drug-smugglers landing their cargoes at Lintin Island were paid into the Company’s factory at Canton and by 1825, most of the money needed to buy tea in China was raised by the illegal opium trade. The Company established a group of trading settlements centred on the Straits of Malacca called the Straits Settlements in 1826 to protect its trade route to China and to combat local piracy. The Settlements were also used as penal settlements for Indian civilian and military prisoners. Old man Gandhi realised this bitter truth. India’s real struggle for freedom under Gandhi began in Champaran – now in Bihar – where he fought the case of Indigo farmers. It was a dying commercial dye. None bothers to seriously report that the indigo crop also had a different use. The farmers and labourers were forced to grow indigo instead of food crops by the colonial British. indigo was bought from them at a very low price to export to China as opium.”

“What has that got to do with what I asked – the drink?”

“Patience is a virtue, boyo! This is the era of social media. It is comparable to what Lenin visualised as “socialism.” He famously said thus: Under socialism all will govern in turn and will soon become accustomed to no one governing. He then added a caveat to it: When there is state there can be no freedom, but when there is freedom there will be no state. In the 16th century tasty and juicy oranges were brought to the island of Curaçao by Spanish colonizers. The fruit, however, struggled to survive in the dry tropic climate and the fruits were stunted and bitter. A few years later, someone noticed that the skin of these oranges contained an aromatic ingredient to flavour oils and essences. The oily liqueur – Curacao was the next natural step. One can keep arguing as to which state administers the nation Curaçao – a self regime or the one in Suriname or the Netherlands. The same can be said of Tamil Nadu and several other states of India. Indigo is also one of the largest privately owned airlines in India said to be part owned by Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra. Indigo is a colour or dye, the base for opium that generates illegal cash, an apposition to political intoxication and reportedly an airline that takes passengers on punctual heights! All these attributes are linked in some way or other to colonial rule and its seeming Benami successor – the Indian National Congress – now a private limited company owned by Sonia Gandhi and family. And that, my dear fellow, is my cocktail – Indigo – politically relevant and potent – all in one smooth drink!”

The Delhi dunderhead dressed in Khadi broke into Punjabi and exclaimed, “Sirji, tussi great ho!”

Not wishing to hear more flattery, I mumbled an excuse and escaped.

[1]

The commonly known expansion of PPP is Purchasing Power Parity.

Else, in the subcontinent, it stands for Public-Private-Partnership and Pakistan Peoples’ Party

[2]

Often FDI denotes Foreign Direct Investment.

[3]

The acronym DLF is a company incorporated in India in the year 1946 under the name and style Delhi, Land & Finance.

[4]

FCRA is the short form of a law in India meant to regulate funds received from abroad for non-commercial purposes – or Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 2010.

Mumbai cops actively protect Indian criminals

The safest haven for criminals in India that is Bharat – is the nation’s financial capital – Mumbai!

The following documented crimes and their perpetrators are living testimonies to this reprehensible phenomenon:

Pakistan-based 26/11 and 1993 terrorists’ financiers continue to operate in Mumbai with impunity.

Since 2013, the sinking of a naval submarine remains unsolved despite the then Defence Minister AK Antony saying in parliament that he suspected enemy action! India’s mainstream media [MSM] cares two hoots about this.

Rafique Malik Tejani, a pillar of Mumbai’s 5-star-cocktail circuit has been accused of being in cahoots with the likes of Dawood Ibrahim and others time and again. The 3-year-long cover-up was achieved through the July 2016 so-called suicide of a shady media hack blackmailer.

Tejani reportedly had a suspect role in the enemy action that sank Mumbai’s guard-ship submarine – Sindhurakshak in 2014. The matter was exposed for the nth time in 2016. No action was taken!

Instead of being hauled up before the law, Tejani and the company Metro House – headed by him – have allegedly usurped property owned by Mumbai Port Trust.[1]

The crimes are being committed with impunity – thanks to ‘cooperative operating methods’ of the ‘yellow-section’ of India’s Mainstream Media [MSM]. The controls are in Karachi, Islamabad and Beijing!

There is worse.

Mumbai cops shamelessly collaborate with gangsters. The system plays musical chairs with a few careers. [2]

The third most important case pertains to Zakir Naik – who is having a jolly time abroad. Mumbai cops keep pretending to attempt nabbing Naik.

It is one of the most vain cover-up attempts – with the help of former Mumbai cops occupying pivotal position in Saudi Arabia! [3]

These columns had clearly exposed how and why Zakir Naik may never return to India.

Finally, there is India’s most wanted terrorist fugitive Dawood Ibrahim.

Ibrahim is said to be linked to India’s Vigilance Commissioner for Banking Operations – TM Bhasin.

Bhasin is involved in a lot worse!

Among other things, Bhasin has been suspected of being in cahoots with international terrorist criminal Dawood Ibrahim to destroy India’s finance sector by mounting an attack on India’s international banking showpiece – the Bank of Baroda.

For further details on criminal banker Bhasin’s financial misdemeanours, download and read:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/CVC-seeks-action-against-Indian-bank-CMD-ex-ED/articleshow/22177194.cms

http://tsvhari.com/template_article.asp?id=921

http://tsvhari.com/template_article.asp?id=909

[1]

Dawood’s Mumbai based accomplices are linked to an Rs.2, 60, 00,000 crores scandal tied to the Mumbai’s Port Trust. Top 5 newspapers of Mumbai carried a fallacious report about the building now called Metro House.

The plinth area of Metro House on whose ground floor a beer-joint Café Mondegar is located is 1457 square metres [a little over 14,500 square feet]. Upon this plot, 4 floors totally measuring some 57,000 square feet have been erected. The rough per-square-foot price in the area is Rs.1, 00,000. The calculable commercial value of the building on that basis is Rs.5.70 crores. But a mere 20 sq ft shop abutting the pavement has a value of Rs.3 crores. On that basis, the conservative commercial value is at least 1000 times more or simply, Rs.5.70 lakh crores! 

Metro House is situated within a 1 km radius of the offices of the Maharashtra state’s Director General of Police, the 26/11 Pak Terrorism victim Taj Mahal Hotel and Leopold Cafe, the biggest Jewish shrine of worship in Mumbai, besides the State Legislative Assembly and Secretariat.

Café Mondegar – a beer joint – frequented by the rich young crowd – was about to be evicted on April 19 2015, reports believed to have been planted by a media racketeer masquerading as a journalist Saumit Sinh, said.

The originally planted news item dated April 17 2015:

http://mumbaiwalla.com/cafe-mondegar-faces-eviction-after-bpt-terminates-building-lease/

The Times of India had to eat humble pie by publishing this report on April 21 2015 – because its sister publication Mumbai Mirror had published a report on April 18 2015 saying Mondegar would be evicted.

Operative excerpts from the ‘humble-pie’ report published in The Times of India on April 21 2015:

Eviction proceeding against the iconic Metro house in Colaba that houses Cafe Mondegar, did not begin on Monday [April 20 2015].

[The above paragraph implied the eviction was scheduled for April 20 2015.]

Metro House, a lease holder of the property, and other tenants had received a notice for termination of lease agreement by Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) last November 2014 and respondents have reply within six months.

Indian Express dated April 18 2015 scored its own goal. Excerpts:

Cafe Mondegar, an iconic watering hole, now faces closure. The restaurant and pub is among the 23 tenants of the Metro House in Colaba which was issued a lease termination letter by Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) in November last year for violation of lease norms.

The occupants of the building, including Cafe Mondegar, were given time to vacate the property, and the deadline ends on Sunday, April 19.

The eviction notice, served on November 19, 2014, says that the lessee of the building, Metro House Pvt Ltd, has flouted every possible term of the lease, including multiple instances of illegal subletting and alterations, unauthorized constructions of mezzanine floors, lofts, installation of mobile towers, besides unpaid rent, service tax and interest. The MbPT has also slapped a compensation demand of Rs. 76,16,537 (including interest, service tax) which was supposed to be paid by the tenants within one month after they received the notice.

Ex-Mumbai Port Trust chairman Ravi Parmar said, “We have served a notice terminating the lease of Metro House. After the notice period expires on April 19, we will start eviction procedure.

Operative excerpts from a report in the Daily News and Analysis dated April 23 2015 – which formed the fig-leaf cover-up:

The Metro House Pvt Ltd, which houses the famous Cafe Mondegar, has been issued an eviction notice by the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT). The last day for response is slated as May 19.

The Metro House Mystery

The building and the land on which it [Metro House] is constructed have belonged to the Board of Trustees of the Port of Bombay since 1873.

In the Small Causes Court – a matter is actually pending in a contorted manner. In one of its rulings, the Small Causes Court says:

“Admittedly, the plaintiffs [viz. Cafe Mondegar and a small roadside shop Shankar Book Stall locked in a legal dispute concerning a shop within the Metro House building] are tenants of the premises, Unit No. 2, 5 and 6 owned by Metro House Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai.”

The Maharashtra Rent Control Act 1999 declares in its own text at Section 3 that its provisions do not apply to a premises owned by the government or by a local authority and the Board of Trustees of the Port of Bombay is one such local authority.

Mumbai Port Trust’s lawyer has claimed ownership of his principals on the plot of land leased to Metro House since 1995.

Relevant excerpts from the notice issued to Metro House:

 My clients … [owners of the building located on] a plot of land bearing RR No. 2100 [Old RR No. 1312] the Trustees of the Port of Bombay had granted lease by registered lease deed dated 4-4-1995 admeasuring 1457 sq. mtrs … for a period of 30 years commencing from 1.03.1991 and expiring on 28.02.2021. My clients Trustees Resolution No. 39 of 1991, the board accords [sic] its sanction for grant of fresh lease in renewal of expired lease of the above premises in your [Metro House’s] favour.”

The original lease was in the name of a Muslim Trust or Wakf that had ended on July 31 1986.

A copy of a sort of circular dated December 2 1986 on the letterhead of Khanbahadur Haji S. Meharbakhsh 1st Wakf-alal-Aulad about Aboobaker Mansion, 23-23B-25 Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Colaba Causeway, Bombay 400 039 addressed to all tenants, signed by (i) Shaikh Abdul Aziz Meherbaksh; (ii) Shaikh Abdul Haq Meherbaksh; and (iii) Amjad Aziz Meherbaksh says:

We hereby intimate to you that by an irrevocable power of Attorney executed by us today appointed, constituted and nominated MALEK SULTAN ABDUL MALIK TEJANI and SHRI RAFIQUE ABDUL MALEK TEJANI as our attorneys to hold and manage overall affairs of our immovable property known as “ABOOBAKER” Mansion situated at 23-23B and 25 Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Colaba Causeway, Bombay 400 039 with full powers and authority inclusive of recovering arrears and accruing rent/compensation and mesne profit from the Tenants/Occupiers of the property.

We have therefore to require you to pay the arrears and accruing future rent/compensation and mesne profit and all other charges to our said Attorneys and deal with them directly without any reference to us.

On 2nd December 1986, the Wakf and its Mutwallis had no claim of any sort on the building including any income derived from it.

In simple terms, Metro House was an illegal occupant claiming to be in possession of the building on the basis of a non-existent lease – which was renewed by the Mumbai Port Trust on 1-03-1991.

How can Mumbai Port Trust renew a NONEXISTENT lease?

The owners of Metro House are directly linked to the 1993 Mumbai bombings and the multi-thousand crore rupee Cobbler Scandal.

One of so-called subtenants of Metro House – Cafe Mondegar – reportedly was one of the sites of the 26/11 planning done by David Coleman Headley.  

The owners of Metro House destroyed the career of an honest income tax official and hounded him for 12 long years.

Rafique Malik [a.k.a. Rafik] with the family name Tejani has sinister political connections that touch the 1993 Mumbai bomb-blasts, city-based criminals linked to Dawood Ibrahim who are all in turn linked to powerful politicians – like Sharad Pawar. Excerpts from an article published on August 12 2014:

Link:

http://tsvhari.blogspot.in/2014/08/gadkari-spying-saga-unearths-sinister.html

[By blocking my Gmail account, Google has blocked this blog and hence helped the enemies of India.]

Excerpts from a Times of India report dated October 25 1996 P7 under the heading Shoe scam accused aided in the city’s1993 serial bomb blasts:

“During the arguments in the case, Public Prosecutor VT Tulpule contended that a confidential report from the Intelligence Bureau hinted that the accused persons [comprising Rafik Malik of Metro Shoes, Kishore Signapurkar of Milano Shoes, who owned shops in Karachi and Singapore] had used a portion of the money to fund the serial bomb blasts that rocked the metropolis on March 12 1993.

[Emphasis added].

Excerpts from Times of India [Bombay Times] report dated October 30 1996 under the heading:

IT officer who raided Dawood Shoes falsely implicated. “Exactly 12 years after [income tax department assistant director] Manoj Mishra first exposed tax evasions [by Dawood and Metro Shoes] Mumbai Police has now begun unearthing the skeletons of the multi-crore fraud … known as the Cobbler Scam.”

“Justice VH Bhairavia of the Mumbai High Court …[observed in his judgement thus]:It is clear that the complainant [Sadruddin Daya] who was designated for some time as the Sheriff of Greater Bombay … has gone to the extent of creating a false case against innocent officers such as the appellant [Mishra].”

“Mishra had been raided by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Daya had [claimed to have] handed over Rs. 2.5 lakh to the officer [Mishra].”

“Mishra had been suspended and convicted to rigorous imprisonment for 3 years and a fine of R.50,000 was imposed on him.” The verdict came in August 1995 [12 years after his conviction].

“Mishra’s lawyers argued that over Rs.2.5 crores were due from Daya.” Among the political links being investigated is that of former Maharashtra chief minister, Sharad Pawar.

Excerpts from an Outlook India report:

Link: http://m.outlookindia.com/story.aspx/?sid=4&aid=202844

Investigations have revealed Tejani to be a director of the Rs. 500-crore Dynamix Dairy Products Private Ltd in which Pawar is believed to have a stake through the holdings of family members.

For more download and read here:

Wikipedia suggests that Sharad Pawar has other questionable links:

In 2002–03, the then Maharashtra Chief Minister Sudhakarrao made a statement that the state leader of Indian National Congress party and erstwhile Chief Minister Sharad Pawar, had asked him to “go easy on Pappu Kalani”, a well-known criminal-turned-politician now.

Sudhakarrao also alleged that it was possible that Kalani and Hitendra Thakur, another criminal-turned-politician from Virar, had been given tickets to contest election for Maharashtra State Legislature at the behest of Sharad Pawar who also put in a word for Naik with the police when the latter was arrested for his role in post-Babri Masjid Demolition riots in Mumbai.

Sharad Pawar is also alleged to have close links with the underworld don Dawood Ibrahim through Ibrahim’s henchman Lakhan Singh based in the Middle East and close relationship with Shahid Balwa, also a suspect in the 2G spectrum scam. In turn, Balwa has links with currently disgraced BJP leader Eknath Ganpatrao Khadse. It was alleged that it was Balwa who had applied for environmental clearance for two of the projects linked to Pawar linked to the kingpin in the stamp paper scam, Abdul Karim Telgi cited a link from the magazine Outlook.

Link:

http://m.outlookindia.com/story.aspx/?sid=4&aid=202844

Café Mondegar is run by the Rusi Yezdegardi clan since the 1930’s.

A member of the Yezdegardi family sought to evict a Shankar Bookstall located on its periphery since 1952 by filing a case in the Court of Small Causes at Bombay vide a suit filed under the Maharashtra Rent Control Act 1999.

The plaint cited Metro House Private Limited as the owners of the building to whom the café pay pays to a monthly rent of Rs. 14,761.65 which includes Rs. 7,909.36 earmarked for ground rent levied by the Board of the Mumbai Port Trust.

The Trial Court chose to dismiss the suit. It, however, stated in its ruling, “Admittedly, both the plaintiffs are tenant of the premises i.e., Unit No. 2, 5 and 6 owned by Metro House Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai.”

On two floors of Abu Baker Mansion – lodging houses are being run. They are said to be linked to Nigerian drug and weapons’ smugglers reportedly operated between India and Thailand. A few of them are in a prison in Bangkok.

A series of 13 coordinated bomb explosions carried out at the behest of international terrorist fugitive Dawood Ibrahim shook Bombay [renamed Mumbai later] on 12 March 1993, the first of its kind resulting 257 fatalities and 717 injuries.

The bombs were planted by his henchmen Tiger and Yakub – whose second name is Memon – the sect to which Dawood himself belongs to.

On the basis of India’s Apex court ruling, the Maharashtra state government executed Yakub Memon, on 30 July 2015.

Harvard educated Metro House boss Tejani was arrested in the 1993 serial bomb-blast case as one of the persons who funded the blasts.

The prosecution opposed his bail.

In a simple move, Mumbai Port Trust obliged Tejani by creating a fake lease deed that became operational from 1991 to hide the 1993 stigma.

 [2]

Depending on the political equations in Maharashtra and the links of its underworld dons, top cops’ careers end up stinking or smell of roses.

Here are examples.

In May 2016, IPS officer Atulchandra Kulkarni assumed charge as the new chief of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) – which – for all purposes is a posting of little consequence – these days.

Kulkarni replaced Vivek Phansalkar. The latter was transferred to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

In January, he had been promoted to the rank of additional director general (ADG) of police – and thus came to possess the same rank as Datta Padsalgikar, currently Commissioner of Police.

Said to have serious differences with current Commissioner of Police Padsalgikar, Kulkarni had set his eyes on the post of Special Police Commissioner. He said as much in SMS messages to his friends in the press.

It was at that point that the athletic Padsalgikar handed Kulkarni – what Mumbai media hacks call the “French letter” posting of ATS Chief.

Incidentally, Padsalgikar has a Master’s degree in French literature.

But CM Devendra Fadnavis shot such plans down.

[3]

The earlier CP – Ahmad Javed had taken over the post from another controversial cop Rakesh Maria.

Incidentally, Javed is India’s top diplomat in Saudi Arabia – where Islamic agent provocateur par excellence – Zakir Naik is ensconced.

The same Mumbai police officers are play acting – saying it is trying to nab Naik!

An Olive Branch For Gurmeher Kaur?

A young girl student of Delhi University from Chandigarh – daughter of Kargil martyr Captain ‘Harry’ Mandeep Singh – has been prominently featured on television screens and newspapers’ front pages saying she was threatened of rape and murder by right wing political outfits [read ABVP, RSS, et al].

If and when Gurmeher Kaur provides truthful and straight answers to the following queries, all of India must support her wholeheartedly:

Must read: https://haritsv.wordpress.com/2017/02/25/justice-for-none-1/

  1. How did you receive the rape/death threats? Were they sent by SMS, phone call [on landline/mobile] and/or by post and/or whispered into ear while walking and/or through cat-calling from the street below your residence?
  2. Could you please specify time and date of the issuance of the above threat?
  3. How did you know that the threats were issued by right wing political activists [ABVP, RSS, BJP, etc]?
  4. Since you are sure that such threats were indeed issued by the ABVP and allied organisations, did you prefer a police complaint? As you have termed those expressing a contrarian opinion as vile trolls, could you specify how do you propose to take legal action against them instead of using/abusing/misusing the media?
  5. If you have indeed preferred a police complaint, could you kindly specify the police station?
  6. If the answer to #5 is in the affirmative, kindly specify as to when you registered your complaint. Did you ask for the registration of a First Information Report [FIR]? Did police officials ask for supporting evidence for the serious charges of rape and murder threats by known/unknown persons made against you?
  7. Do you believe that India is being hoisted on the legal and constitutional petards by inimical forces?

  8. As you seem to be sure of the political identities of those who issued threats, can you pick up the perpetrators in a line-up?
  9. Have you initiated any precaution for safeguarding your honour post issuance of such vile threats?
  10. If the answer to #9 is yes, can you specify the steps initiated, please?

Divine Intervention – 2

India’s legal system has almost reached a point of no return – describable as perversion of the worst kind.

Power attained through corrupt means ensures that ill gotten wealth is retained by the obviously guilty individuals and institutions.

Frustration and anguish are the only words that spring to mind when justice is delayed and denied.

The Kargil war of 1999 has come back to haunt India’s conscience – through a video statement released by a 20-year-old college student Gurmeher Kaur.

The video has become the rallying point for slanging matches between the right and left wing political types – hailing and/or vilifying young Gurmeher.

In this verbal melee, the supreme sacrifice of brave soldiers like Captain Mandeep Singh, Gurmeher’s father, who laid down his life in 1999 somewhere in India’s northwest tip, is getting tossed about needlessly. It has now turned out that Captain Mandeep was killed by terrorists in Kupwara, 170 km from Kargil!

The 7 years’ old  Adarsh Society scandal, with its macabre connections to Kargil immediately springs to mind. The scam had surfaced in 2010. India’s mainstream media [MSM] had cried itself hoarse over it. The stinking stigma has stuck to the names of some of the nation’s top politicians, bureaucrats and many more of the richest individuals of India that is Bharat. All these ‘worthies’ had shamelessly robbed Kargil martyrs’ widows [1] [2]. Petitions and counter-petitions in this imbroglio have led to a web of legal deceit. The cases are still in limbo. The chances of the cases’ attaining a proper closure are remote.

In 2004, a fire tragedy in a school in the southern state of Tamil Nadu had devoured the lives of 94 innocent children studying in a primary school.[3]

The real relief for the anguished parents who lost their loved ones can never come. The piddly “compensation” helped the perpetrators take rest cures in prisons. Many of them have moved higher courts seeking relief and release.

There are no connections between the events listed above in real life. So, a poignant fictional link was artificially created to wake up patriotic Indians’ slumbering consciences.

Given below is an updated version of a short story penned in 2011.

Justice Advait Aher of India’s Supreme Court summoned his trusted stenographer Kaatyaayani Khandelwal to dictate his ruling in a school fire tragedy matter that had killed 94 school children in Tamil Nadu – a southern state some 11 years ago.

Exactly 94 children – most them little girls had perished in a devastating conflagration that had spread due to illegal thatched roofs in a building unfit to be a school, locked collapsible gates meant to prevent children from cutting classes which ensured their painful death and a rather callous teaching staff who had no pity or any feelings for the children. 

The criminally culpable school management had managed to hire the best legal brains money could buy in India’s capital New Delhi. An appeal against the ruling of the Madras  High Court that had sent them to prison had been filed in the Apex Court.

The judge knew that the appellants were guilty as sin for mass murder. But, numerous holes in the police investigation and the shoddy conduct of the case in the lower courts had been thoroughly exposed by Chatturbhuj Daryanaani – one of India’s senior most and smartest criminal lawyers. 

The portly stenographer walked in carrying her shorthand notebook and her mobile phone – something she used to record the dictation of her boss as a kind of back up.

Ever efficient, she did not believe in getting her boss to correct her mistakes by hand on a typed draft.

Recording the audio of what you dictate will aid its verbatim transcription without typos Sir,” she had said the first time when she had brought the gadget into his room.

“Morning, Kaatyaayani!”

“Sir…er…er…”

Aher was surprised.

His stenographer had never hesitated to say anything before.

“Go ahead, Kaatyaayani. You want take an off today? I can always dictate the judgement tomorrow.”

“No sir, it is not that. I will switch on my mobile phone that contains a recorded conversation given to me by a friend who is researching into things termed supernatural. Please hear it before pronouncing the verdict. It will take some 7 minutes. The narration is totally offbeat in nature. I know you never believe in such things. But, do listen. It is a sincere request. Thanks.”

Without a word, she flicked on the play button and began walking away.

The way a young voice began surprised Aher.

Ouch…ooh! It’s paining Amma!

Better learn to bear pain, Jambu! You are born as a girl, you know!

I had hurt myself on the knee while playing.

My mother always called me Jambu – the shortened version of Jambukeshwaran – that ought to have been my name had I been born a male.

I had been named Jambakalakshmi.

My parents always had wanted a son.

I keep hearing my mother telling all our relatives that that sons get money into the family when new brides come home with a lot of dowry – whatever that means – and daughters are only expenses.

We have to be dressed beautifully, married off with a lot of presents and cash for our future even if we have a job and all, my mom adds to the end of each conversation.

Somehow, I feel unwanted at home.

The doctor auntie told me the other day that Amma will soon be giving birth to my sibling.

I hope it will be a brother.

But, the pain is unbearable. I feel my leg is on fire, Amma!

Don’t worry, darling! A little coconut oil and turmeric powder on your wound will make it go away in a day. But, you should be more careful. Supposing you get scars from wounds, it will be very difficult to find a good husband for you. Now, now! Don’t cry, please! It is just a small wound on your knee.

Sometimes, I do not understand whether you are comforting the child or mouthing misogynistic statements!

My father, an officer in the Indian army, loves me more than my mother. He sometimes scolded her because my mother said something which my father thought wasn’t right.

His words comforted me more than mom’s turmeric mix.

Dad spends most of the time guarding our country in a place called Siachen – somewhere in north India.

He came home yesterday afternoon after six long months.

Just before I was tucked into bed yesterday, he said it was very cold out there.

The temperature, most of the time, hovers around minus 25 degrees Celsius, Jambu. The mountainous surroundings are beautifully white in a cloak of fresh snow, but the cold leaves an unpleasant feeling. One of my friends recently died while urinating in the open. Apparently, the salty liquid waste froze in an upwardly direction when he relieved himself without protection. Somehow, the cold always gets into our feet despite our wearing the correct dress, shoes, woollen socks and a lot more.

So how do you manage the cold, Appaa? How do you sleep at night?

The human mind is all powerful because it is given by God. It can do anything. The blankets, smokeless fire, sleeping bags and a lot of other equipment, for some strange reason other, allow the cold to enter our bunkers all the time. High altitude fighting involves psychological warfare. My commanding officer lieutenant colonel Simranjeet Singh Chibber taught me a trick which always helps me relax.

How?

Whenever the cold is so unbearable, I imagine that I am at home – here – where most of the year, it is unbearably hot. The imagination takes over and the mind, with some concentration, makes my physical body forget where I am. Slowly, I feel comfortable. The discomfort returns only upon being jolted when gunfire erupts.

Can one forget one’s cold by just imagining the heat?

Yes. And the opposite is also true. You can forget the heat by imagining the cold.

But I have never been to Siachen…because you have never taken me there.

Not a place for young ladies, darling! But, you have been to the nearby hill station Kodaikanaal many times! Supposing it is very hot somewhere, just imagine you are there without a blanket. Sometimes, you may feel cold enough to ask for one!

You are joking!

I am dead serious!

I tried it out. 

The green Kodai hills swam into view revealing the hat lifting and suicide points besides – the snapping, whistling wind.

Suddenly I felt cold.

The wound no longer hurt.

It was miraculous!

Amma broke my reverie.

Come on Jambu! You are getting late for school.

At school, as usual the teacher was scolding some of us, including me.

I put the trick to use again.

By thinking that my grandmother was narrating a funny story, I even began to smile.

The nice feeling was cut short rudely when I began smelling hot smoke.

A moment later, I saw it coming from the first floor of our school.

The teachers sternly ordered us to stay put.

I began teaching my trick to as many of my friends as possible.

Many began giggling.

Suddenly, as the fire burst through the roof. All of us were scared. The trick stopped working.

The stair-case was very small and narrow.

But, we could not use it because the collapsible gate outside our classroom on the corridor that led to the exit downstairs was locked as always.

The princi does not want as to escape from school and play truant.

So the exit is locked and can only be opened by the watchman uncle.

Perhaps he has gone for his cup of tea and Beedi smoke.

Some of my friends passed out.

The actions of the fire brigade breaking open the ventilator – the only one in the room caught my attention.

I called out to the firemen and helped them locate us through the thick smoke that was blinding them and us.

I think I managed to help many of my classmates.

The firemen uncles scolded me.

Charity begins at home, young woman!  Save yourself first!

The sari of my class-teacher who had asked us gruffly to stay put was on fire and she was screaming.

Even as she was being rescued, I fainted.

When I surfaced, I felt a burning sensation all over my body.

I used the trick again and began feeling comfortable.

So far 91 children have perished. I am afraid you daughter will add to this tally, major!

Is it paining too much, Jambu?

My father’s kind voice felt like a cool balm.

No Appaa! Your trick is working fine. Where am I?

You are in a government hospital, getting treated for burns.

Oh!

I lost consciousness again.

My father’s kind touch patting me on the head woke me up.

I found him crying.

Major Krishnan, your daughter has only a few more minutes to live. Nevertheless, please don’t tell your wife who is here in the neighbouring maternity ward as I do not want her to go into a shock and worse.

I did not understand why doctor uncle looked so worried.

Suddenly I felt a very pleasant breeze and very light.

I could see a girl’s burnt body in a completely singed dress…upon close examination, I recognised myself from the red ribbon that held my pigtails.

Your presence is required in the maternity ward. Please, hurry up!

The voice was gentle.

How can I come? I am here!

That was just your body. Your mother has developed labour pains. It is time for you to become your own younger brother Jambukeshwaran.

I do not understand this. And more importantly, can you find someone else to be my brother please? I really wish to stay back here with my friends now and later, play with my younger brother!

Your existence on earth was not supposed to end now. Further, you have an important task of informing the truth of what actually happened in your school today to some important person in your next birth because your current physical condition now does not allow you to continue as the currently known Jambu. Soon, you will be a Jambu again…this time…a male. Come on, child! Let us go.

I had a final look at my friends. Sadly I will never see them again here…or in the place called heaven.

The judge slowly wiped his tears.

He knew what to dictate for the two cases for which he had reserved the judgements earlier.

The first was of course, that of those seeking to end their incarceration for killing 94 innocent children.

The second one involved what Aher perceived as an insult to the memory of the martyrs of Siachen over the years.

Faulty equipment meant to prevent seepage of the effects of chilling snow and betrayals in the Indian defence ministry had killed several army personnel without anyone being the wiser.

Worse, a massive building with 31 floors meant for their widows and children that had come up in New Delhi’s fashionable Defence Colony was being misused and abused by self-seeking, well-connected, corrupt politicians and bureaucrats.

With a grim expression, he pressed the buzzer to summon Kaatyaayani Khandelwal to dictate two landmark judgements.

[1]

Operative excerpts from a report published in The Hindustan Times:

Close to a thousand soldiers have died guarding Siachen since the army took control of the inhospitable glacier in April 1984, almost twice the number of lives lost in the Kargil war.

In 1999, Pakistani aggressors occupied strategic peaks in the Kargil. The operation to push them back cost India 527 lives.

Almost a fifth of the casualties were linked to enemy fire before the November 2003 ceasefire between India and Pakistan.

The remaining deaths were because of nature’s fury, accidents and medical reasons.

Figures show 997 soldiers, including the 10 men from Madras Regiment, have died on the glacier over the past 32 years. The military casualties include 220 men killed in firing from the Pakistani side..

On the glacier, soldiers deal with altitude sickness, high winds, frostbite and temperatures as low as minus 60 degrees Celsius.

[2]

Operative excerpts from the relevant Wikipedia dossier:

The Adarsh Housing Society is a posh, 31-storey building constructed on prime real estate in Colaba, Mumbai, for the welfare of war widows and personnel of India’s Ministry of Defence. Over a period of several years, politicians, bureaucrats and military officers allegedly conspired to bend several rules concerning land ownership, zoning, floor space index and membership get themselves flats allotted in this cooperative society at below-market rates.

Unearthed in November 2010, the scam led to the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Ashok Chavan, to resign.

In 2011, a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) said, “The episode of Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society reveals how a group of select officials, placed in key posts, could subvert rules and regulations in order to grab prime government land – a public property – for personal benefit.”

In January 2011, the Maharashtra government set up a two-member judicial commission to inquire into the matter.

The commission was headed by retired High Court judge Justice JA Patil, with NN Kumbhar acting as member secretary. After deposing 182 witnesses over 2 years, the commission submitted its final report in April 2013 that highlighted 25 illegal allotments, including 22 purchases made by proxy.

The report indicted four former chief ministers of Maharashtra viz. Ashok Chavan, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushilkumar Shinde and Shivajirao Nilangekar Patil. Other accused include 2 former urban development ministers Rajesh Tope and Sunil Tatkare, 12 top bureaucrats and controversial diplomat Devyani Khobragade.

The Khobragade tale’s visa fraud side has a sinister flipside if viewed from the latest context of President Trump threatening to deport illegal immigrants in the US of A.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Income Tax Department and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are currently investigating allegations that three former chief ministers of Maharashtra – Sushilkumar ShindeVilasrao Deshmukh and Ashok Chavan – were involved in the scam.

Sadly, justice will never be done in the Adarsh matter, reveals a report by Shalini Nair in The Indian Express, dated January 2011.reveals a report by Shalini Nair in The Indian Express, dated January 2011. Operative excerpt:.

From the time land was allotted to Mumbai’s first IAS officials’ housing society — Lalit in Cuffe Parade [in the vicinity of Adarsh] in 1965 — all plum government plots have always been given to societies whose members were officials with crucial postings

Here is a complete list:

Lalit Society: Includes ex-chief secys P D Kasbekar, L D Lulla, R D Pradhan and ex-law secy Bobby Dalal [located in south Mumbai, within a 1 km radius of the secretariat].

Buena Vista Society: Members are Union cabinet secretary (retd) S Rajagopal, retired chief secretaries K B Srinivasan, S Ramamoorthy and D K Afzalpurkar, senior IPS official K Padmanabhan

Samata: Justices C S Dharmadhikari and Y V Chandrachud

Shalaka Society: Meant for government buildings but transferred to society whose members include former chief secretaries Arun Bongirwar and Ajit Nimbalkar, former BMC commissioners Sharad Kale and J D Jadhav

Dilwara Society: Members include late CBI director M G Katre, retired DGP P S Pasricha, former Anti-Corruption Bureau chief S K Iyengar and retired Mumbai police commissioner Ronnie Mendonca

Charleville Society: Members include former municipal commissioner K Nalinakshan, ex-urban development secretary L Rajwade, retired IAS officer Yashwant Bhave, IAS official Ramesh Kanade

The above residential societies are located in south Mumbai’s Nariman Point – which virtually abuts the secretariat and the legislative assembly.

Priya Society Former chief secretaries D M Sukhthankar and N Raghunathan

Sagar Tarang Society: Former police commissioners Satish Sahane, M N Singh, Julio Ribeiro, R S Sharma, S K Bapat, Hassan Gafoor and A N Roy.

Praneet Society: Land meant for government buildings given to society, with former chief secretary R M Premkumar, former additional chief secretaries Ajit Warty, Navin Kumar, Ashok Khot and Awadesh Sinha as members

Aseem Society: Built on government land in Worli, its members include State Election Commissioner Neela Satyanarayan

The above residential clusters are located in Worli – where some of the richest persons in India’s financial capital live. Till recently, Peter Mukherjea and Indrani Mukherjea lived as husband and wife in this very area. They have been accused of killing Indrani’s daughter through an earlier marriage – Sheena Bora.

Amaltas Society: This land meant for government buildings houses about 150 senior officials, including retired additional chief secretaries Jagdish Joshi, Manmohan Singh and Ravi Bhargav, former information commissioner Suresh Joshi, former principal secretary V K Jairath, former CIDCO managing director G S Gill

This building is located in Juhu, northwest Mumbai – also sometimes called the Beverly Hills of Bollywood. It has residences of the Bachchan clan, Jeetendra, [father of young female movie mogul Ekta Kapoor] and some of the real estate belonging to the late Yash Chopra, the legendary filmmaker.

Pataliputra Society: Former chief secretaries Johny Joseph, V Ranganathan and J P Dange, Urban Development (II) secretary Manukumar Shrivastav, former MMRDA commissioner T Chandrashekhar

This building is located in Lokhandwala, currently the space from where most of Bollywood operates. It encompasses the production house that belongs to Shah Rukh Khan.

Nyay Sagar and Renuka societies: This residential complex is home to many sitting judges of the Bombay High Court and politicians. The list includes the son of former Union home minister Shivraj Patil, his secretary Sudhir Khanapure, former chief secretary P Subramanyam, former Urban Development secretaries D T Joseph and Ramanand Tiwari and Nitin Kareer.

[3]

Operative portions from the relevant Wikipedia dossier:

On 16 July 2004, the fire tragedy occurred on thatched roof structure of the school. The school started at 9:15 a.m. and during one of the breaks at 10:30 a.m., one of the girls noticed the fire and alerted the teacher and the news spread to other classes. The fire sparked from the midday meal kitchen thatch and spread to the upper level, which also had thatched roofs and spread rapidly. The narrow staircase had sundry materials that prevented exit of children. The staircase was also located close to the kitchen. The kitchen did not have gas stoves and fire logs were used for cooking. The school was overcrowded, having 900 children in its rolls. The thatches and the supporting bamboo poles caught fire and fell on the children and also blocked the exit.

The total toll read: 94 children dead.

The state government deputed a committee under Justice K. Sampath to inquire into the circumstances and causes leading to the fire accident on 20 July 2004. The committee assumed office on 1 August 2004 and was constituted with expert members Dr. Rani Kandhaswami (Former Principal, Lady Willington Institute of Advanced Studies in Education, Chennai), S.K. Saxena (Fire Officer, Madras Atomic Power Station, Kalpakkam), K. Vijayan (Clinical Psychologist, Institute of Mental Health, Chennai) and P.A. Annamalai (retired Head Master).

The committee was given a timeline of four months, but extended for four times and it was able to finally complete the investigation on 30 June 2005. The investigations found out that the school was not inspected by the educational official for three years. The fire officials reported that the building laws were not followed as the school had a thatched kitchen and classroom roof, had no emergency exits and it was a “death trap”.

The committee found out that the major reason for the heavy casualty was the false tactics of the management to bring the other two school students to the aided primary school to mislead the inspecting authorities about the student-teacher ratio. The management was held responsible for the whole accident. The report pointed out that the teachers were not trained in disaster management and the prohibited thatch structure was close to the classrooms. It also stated that the schools had inadequate exit facilities and had no firefighting capabilities. Pulavar Palanichamy, the owner of the schools, was reported to have used his political clout and coalesced with the municipal and the revenue department officials getting the permits for the schools. Vijayalakshmi, the noon meal organizer and also the teacher of the English Medium school, was held accountable for not performing her duties of taking safety precautions. Vasanthi, the head cook lighted the oven in the absence of her assistant, Sivasankari, who usually lights it. There was contrasting reports on whether Sivasankari was present in the school during the event. The Tahsildar of Kumbakonam Taluk, Paramasivam, was reported “dishonest” for granting licence under the Tamil Nadu Public Buildings (Licensing) Act, 1965 to the school. The chartered engineer Jayachandran was also held dishonest of giving stability certificate to the building without visiting the school once. The additional assistant educational officer, Madhavan for allowing the school to run without recognition for 6 years. Sivaprakasam, the assistant elementary education officer, was held accountable for allowing Madhavan, who was not competent to allow permit to the school. Balaji, the deputy education elementary officer was accused of carelessly passing the papers signed by Madhavan. The local health officer r Dr. Sivapunyam was accused of giving false sanitary certificate to the school. Annadurai, a friend of Pulavar Palanichamy was accounted for advising circumvention of rules. Pingapani, the deputy educational officer, who inspected the high school, did not show interest in learning that the same campus had a primary school acting beyond rules. The other officers who were earlier responsible for permitting the nursery school against the rules during 1999, namely, Shanmughavelu, Sethuramachandran, Chandrasekharan and Dr.Palanivelu. The Deputy elementary educational officer, Durairaj and assistant elementary educational officer, Balakrishnan, were held less culpable for knowing about the thatched structure and the exaggerated attendance, but not initiating any action.

The accident was the one of the four major fire accident in the state following the Brihadeeswarar Temple fire on 7 June 1997, when 60 people were killed, Erwadi fire incident on 6 August 2001 that killed 30 mentally challenged people and fire at a marriage hall on 23 January 2005 at Srirangam where 30 people including the bridegroom were killed. A private school building collapse in a private school in Madurai during the 1950s killed 35 girls and injured 137 others.

The trial of the case started after a long delay on 24 September 2012 in the Thanjavur district sessions court. The case had 21 accused and had 488 witnesses that included 18 children affected in the accident. The headmaster, Prabharan and three others turned approvers.

A total of 17 people were chargesheeted in the case and were set to face trial. The seventeen included Pulavar Palanichamy [the school’s owner], his wife and correspondent of school Saraswati, three teachers, six officers in the education department (elementary), the Kumbakonam municipal commissioner, town planning officer and four assistants in the education department. The education department officials were accused of negligence of their duties and the lower level officers for conspiring with the officials for obtaining and renewing the licenses. The three teachers were accused of showing negligence shown towards rescuing the children.

The trial was concluded on July 17, 2014. On July 30, 2014, Thanjavur district sessions court sentenced school founder Pulavar Palanichamy to life imprisonment and fined Rs 51,65,700. Palanichamy’s wife and school correspondent P Saraswathi, headmistress J Santhalakshmi, noon meal organizer R Vijayalakshmi, cook R Vasanthi were sentenced five years imprisonment. Officials in district elementary education office, officer R Balaji, his assistant S Sivaprakasam, superintendent T Thandavan and assistant G Durairaj were also sentenced five years jail. Total fine of Rs 52,57,000 was imposed and ordered the compensation of Rs 50,000 to parents of each victim.

A higher court cleared charges of 12 accused, including three teachers, six education department officials and two municipality officers.

An October 2016 report in The Times of India adds:

The Madras high court ordered to provide Rs 5 lakh each as compensation to the relatives of 94 children who were charred to death in an inferno at Krishna English Medium School in Kumbakonam The court had appointed judge Venkataraman to look into claims of the victims’ parents.