Sunday, September 20, 2009

From Kushwant Singh to Kanimozhi – jokers and joker- makers!



I think the following  is one of the best humorous writings by Khushwant Singh.

He is all praises for YSR Reddy for not being obsessed with his Christian identity (instead showing himself as Hindu in name and looks ) and his Christian 'contribution' to India's welfare which he wants leaders of other communities to emulate. Can India bear such contributions, if all the other communities also follow him suit?



I think the saying "Ignorance is bliss" was formed for our Indian journalists only!! The other day, Ms Kanimozhi's visit to a Newspaper office in Chennai was reported by the paper with all the ingredients of an innocent observer. But it is not possible for us, the readers – the laymen – to don such innocence however we may try. We guessed what is to come soon. It came out today in the form of 4 full page government ads. That shows what has happened to that newspaper. The last of resisting columns of the 5th pillar of democracy has fallen in this rational land of Karunandhi.



From now onwards we can expect them to make jokes like Kushwant Singh and tow the line of The Hindu.






Learning from YSR

Khushwant Singh



TILL HIS tragic death on September 2 not many people outside Andhra Pradesh knew that Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy was a Christian.

Names of members of his family do not reveal their religious identity: His wife is Vijayalaxmi, his son Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, his daughter Sharmila.


As Chief Minister he was not known to attend services in churches of towns or cities he visited. He went to Hindu temples and Muslim dargahs to join their religious celebrations and happily sported a daub of vermilion powder Hindu priests put on his forehead.


He regarded religion a strictly personal matter not to be flaunted in public. By contrast Chief Ministers of other states, barring Communist, make a great show of going to temples, mosques and gurdwaras or seek blessings of some godmen the day they are elected. You may well ask, so what? The point I wish to make is simple: In any society which pretended to be secular, public figures should not assert their religious identities because it creates an unnecessary gap between them and people of other faiths.

This brings me to the role of religious minorities in India minus Parsis who are too minuscular to count.

Christians form around 3 per cent of the population of India. There are not many very big Christian landowners or Christian industrial houses. The only really rich Christian family I know of are the Matthews who own the Malayala Manorama group of papers.
Nevertheless, the community enjoys 100 per cent literacy and has done more for education and medical services of our country than others put together. I would hazard a guess that crime rates including corruption among Christians are probably the lowest.

By contrast, Sikhs who are the richest minority, forming around 2 per cent of the population, have 30 per cent illiteracy, high rate of crimes of violence, and probably the highest incidence of liquor and drug addiction.

Worst of all is the plight of the largest minority, the Muslims who form about 13 per cent of our population. Although they have a few multibillionaires like Azim Premji, Hamdard family, Shahnaz Hussain and maybe some others, they also have descendants of erstwhile ruling families of Nizams of Hyderabad, Nawabs of Bhopal, Pataudi, Malerkotla, Junagarh and vast wakf properties. Their literacy rates are the lowest, particularly among women. A majority of them continue to exhibit their separateness by clothes they wear. It used to be Fez caps, now it is skull caps and Awami salwar kameez for men, a high percentage of their women folk in urban areas continue to wear hijab, either full length burqas or head-scarves which cover more than their heads. Instead of getting on with things that matter like education and health-care, their leaders waste most of their time asserting their separateness.

I regard Rajasekhar Reddy as the best example of what a state Chief Minister should be and the Christian contribution to India's welfare as something other communities should emulate.

 Related post:-

The Assault on Hinduism under YSR's regime.







Kani's vote is for `Ms' only


She is a Muse in the sense she is a protector of arts, a poetess in fact. But that does not stop her from being very strong in her views on gender and caste discrimination, or less determined in her fight to bring down established male bastions. But how do we address her? "Simply as Kanimozhi, with the prefix of Ms, if you wish," she says with a smile.


That is a throwback to the `Thirumathi' controversy that recently racked Tamil Nadu politics. "We should do away with titles like Mrs," she says even as she takes a dig at the AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa who has been at a hill resort, away from the maelstrom of state capital politics. But, at the same time, Kanimozhi believes that the political standoff between the two major Dravidian parties should not extend to destroy social niceties.


"MGR could do it. In fact, he had beautiful relationships with all people. He used to call up my dad (chief minister M.Karunanidhi) and my dad would call him to wish him on many an occasion. The Left leaders keep in touch even today. Moopanar was like that regardless of which side of the fence he was on.
The Periyar-Rajaji friendship that transcended politics was a famous one in our state," she says wistfully.


In the cause of political etiquette she even extends an olive branch of sorts when she enquires of Jayalalithaa's health. Would she call on her at Kodanadu if she were ill? "I would if her party and her partymen allow," she says, perhaps tongue in cheek. But, make no mistake, we know her very strong DMK political views, which are reflected in her passionate and logical defence of the free colour TV scheme.


"It's not as if that is the only scheme. This is a media creation. The DMK government has excelled in setting up social welfare schemes and is unmatchable in its commitment to education and health. The state supports infrastructure. It's not as if our roads are bad.
The industries are flocking here," she points out.
Kanimozhi is equally strong in her views on the NorthSouth divide in politics and life.


"Yes, it exists. What happens in and around Delhi is all that is important for them. Understanding is needed and it is not a problem of language. They must make an effort to reach out,"
she says of North Indians.

Would she learn Hindi to create that understanding? ­ "I would rather like to learn so many other things. People can understand English," she says firmly in favour of the South which she feels is still discriminated against.


She virtually confesses that she is fortunate to be in her position in politics today. "I am not from the grassroots. I know how tough a world it is when you are not planted from above in politics.
Where are the women in politics? All parties are male bastions," she says.

Also, austerity drives, quite the flavour of the season, may not be her cup of tea because she knows no other way. She came to the Deccan Chronicle office in an ordinary car with no sign betraying she is a VIP, a Member of Parliament. By the time her interaction with DC journalists is over she has lost even that car to family chores and has to be dropped home. Her simplicity is absolutely disarming.


And just in case there is a general belief that dynastic politics is all about bringing sons and daughters into the power center of politics with plush cabinet posts, Kanimozhi's statement of her ambition, or lack of it, proves that not all chips off the old block are the same.

In reply to a question whether she aspires to emulate her dad in leading the state, she says with stunning honesty, "I have no such ambitions. I am happy with what I am doing."


In an hour, she has outdone even Dale Carnegie in making friends and influencing people.




jayu said...

Hello Madam,

I am a staunch Hindu and an avid reader of your blog. Every time I speak to some of my friends who are Hindus about the greatness of our religion and spiritual elite they just ask me one simple question. Why did not the seers and siddhas pray and prevent the attacks from Muslim rulers and British and every time I fall short of giving them an apt reply. It will be really helpful if you can throw light on this!!


jayasree said...

Thanks Mr Jayendra for being a regular reader. When I get feed back like this, it gives me further impetus that I must keep writing.

Your question is asked by many. To explain this, let me ask you to think about a question like this. Why don't our politicians or leaders (who are honest and sincere) change the rot of corruption in the country?

How would you explain an answer for this?

If Manmohan singh is honest / preaches honesty, can the entire country become corruption free?

Or if Abdul kalam can sermonize us all the time, can we become a better country?

There may be few honest leaders who are quite capable too. They may suggest or even bring out laws to check corruption. But Corruption is so deep rooted that unless everyone in the country chooses to be honest and un-corrupt, no law however sincerely executed can bring out a change.

What in reality happens is that the concerned leaders and their followers may follow a non-corrupt life. They can influence others to some extent, but can not influence everyone.

Similarly, the seers and siddha purushas can influence only those who are in the mindset to follow them. They and their followers manage to resist any incursions. They and their followers manage to protect the values of this Dharma. But their influence can not penetrate those who are not tuned to them and their ideals.

The present age of Kali is such that there are more people of corrupt (in dharma) nature. They have to undergo the results of prarabhada karma. They can not be protected.

But the presence of such good matured people have benefited humanity at large and always. From Thiruvalluvar to Auvaiyaar, they have said that the world goes on and the skies pour rains and goodness comes to people due to the presence of such good people. Humanity will survive in spite of all difficulties until a single person is there who is good natured.

It is for these people, bhagawan takes avatars ( parithranaaya sadhoonaam, vinaashaya cha dhuskruthaam, dharma samsthaapanaayaartha sambhavaami yugE yugE).

Even siddhas and adharmic people go through hardships in accordance with their previous karma. It is God who delivers the judgment - whom to save and who can not be saved.

Thinking of my own life, I was on a visit to Chennai on the week-end when tsunami broke out. I planned a visit to marina on the fateful morning of sunday at 8 am, but changed my plan the previous evening. The previous evening i was to have visited Sriperumbudur temple and my Guru. But I was not wearing the traditional sari then which I felt was a must to visit the guru and the temple. So I changed the plan and visited Marina in the previous evening and went to Sripermbudur the next morning when tsunami swept the shores. It was God providence, I felt.

In Hindu dharma it is each with individual relationship with god. Krishna was seen by each Gopika. Each gopika thought that krishna danced with her only. That is the power of God in separate equation with each and every one. Each and every one undergoes a karma of his / her own making. Others can not erase them. The prayers by others can not give a blanket protection to all. The only occasion when the masses were taken up together is reported in Ramayana when Rama left for Vaikuntham. "ANda charaa charangalaiyum Vaikundatthetthi" Rama took all the living beings with him to Vaikuntham when he left his mortal coil. No mortal has this power.

In the case of Muslim and British invasions, it is Time of Kali which was ingrained with danger to sanatana dharma. The overall picture has been deteriorating. Even krishna did not avert a mega war, for, times were such that such a war must be fought and adharmic elements must be ushered in. In such a scenario of Kali progressing (kali means war), it is upto the individuals to be dharmic so that future births in the much maligned conditions do not happen to them. Each one saves oneself by coming out of the cycle of birth and death - by the equation of oneself with god.

Hope I conveyed.

jayu said...

Thanks for your reply Madam. I just remember the saying "Un vaazhkai un kayil" when I read your reply. Also, KRishna says in Bhagavad Gita that "Some people are in such modes of ignorance that they plunder other's wealth, health and peace for their greedy ends and every time they do that they will born subsequently in demonaic wombs and repent for their actions". I am just waiting to see that happen to Britishers althought the Muslims are themselves in a trap now!!

Thanks so much for the clarification!!

Satyameva Jayate!!

Anonymous said...

Hi -- I usually go through your blog postings, came across your blog for the first time when i was looking for ys jagan horoscope. I would like to know what would be your take on/the correct answer to those if someone asks the below questions.
1.) One has to be born into Hindu caste system to be a hindu.
2.) Worshiping Idols and why does some of the god's faces resemble other living organisms on earth. Just wanted to clarify that i was a born hindu but i dont mind attending any religious prayers if any of my friends asked me to do so. The thing is i Just wanted to give the correct answer if ever face those questions. I know they were different avatars of the god. But why it has to be that of other living organisms but not human.
3.) Also why only cow is sacred but not hen ?. Yes i am aware that hindus consider snake and other organisms as sacred.
4.) Being born into Hinduism why is it ok for other castes to eat non-vegetarian but not brahmins or others?
5.) Also i guess i read in one of your comments that you must wear a saree to visit a temple or guru any specific logical reason? what's wrong with salwar kameez or a pant and shirt covering your body fully..?
I am just curious to know the answers as i feel that i should be at least able to answer those if some asks me those questions and weirdly nothing will be thought much about the hindu practices and their reasons across many sectors i guess.

jayasree said...

@ anonymous

Thanks for reading the posts.

Due to time constraints and other per-occupations, I am not able to write in detail to your questions. Though you will find the answer for your questions in other posts, let me write some in brief here.

1.) One has to be born into Hindu caste system to be a hindu.//

(1) No.
Hinduism is a Natural religion that one will deduce by rational analysis of Nature, life, the cause for life and experiences. That is why it is called as a way of life. That is also why we say that anyone trying to disturb the Hindus from their way of life is wrong and Nature will punish him some time. Such persons(Conversionists) and their actions are like going against Nature's code of Law.

Click this link to read the interview I have given to know more.

(2)On your 2nd question, the animal faced avatars are symbolic of some concepts. For instance, Kurma avatara is the avatara as a giant turtle. It symbolises holding on its back a heavy weight or becoming a fixed base for the world. Read

Like Kurma, every animal or figure has a meaning or symbolism behind it. This includes snakes also. Symbolisms like this are given for the purpose of
(1) easy understanding and relating to real life observations irrespective of the mental maturity of the person
(2)making the core ideas live on for long because when told as a story or an analogy, it will stay in memory for many generations, and can be codified any time when a person like you starts asking questions and probing.

(3) Sacredness also comes from the symbolisms that the animal stands for. Cow is foremost due to its nature of giving something (milk) without expecting anything in return (paropakaaram) and its harmless nature. Not so with hen. But hen / cock also has its symbolisms and hence cock has become an accompaniment for Lord Muruga.

There are a number of articles on cow and its sacredness in this blog. Search for them. Some sample articles are

(Subramanian Swamy on cow's sacredness):-

Gandhiji on cow's sacredness:-

(4)One is free to eat anything. But vegetarianism is recommended for one who wants to grow spiritually. It is one's choice. The Brahmins choose that path and others do not. But until a century ago most Indians were vegetarians only, as made out from travelogues written by foreigners who visited India. By going for non vegetarian food, one accumulates bad karma which further binds one to the cycle of rebirths.

(5) It is a dress code similar to what one uses in board meetings, in conferences, in interviews or while meeting the CEO.