Here Charitable Individualism is the key!… nothing less.

Archive for August, 2009


In the FACEBOOK, one of my learned friends had written in sheer exasperation that the Administration in India should be out-sourced to the British. It had generated such a heated debate that i have decided to extend the heat into this wordpress domain too.

First and foremost, one has to understand that ADMINISTRATION cannot be a primary activity. Which means ADMINISTRATION by itself cannot generate any income in the absence of Land, Labour and Capital. Administration is a system established to organize either all the three or a combination of any two, and maximise the objectives of the system.

The British did not land in India with the objective of either building an equitable system on their Christian beliefs and rescue the natives from the Muslim rulers, or to enhance productivity and bring prosperity to the Indians. They came in as traders, got graduated to collecting Revenue from a grant received by them from the Mughal Emperor and then monopolized sourcing of materials from India. In view of these objectives, the East India Company gradually brought in the hand of the Emperor who was sufficiently enriched by the Company, through trade and taxes!

This entry of the British into India through trade, tax collection and subsequently creation of armies needed to be systematized. This attempt to systematize led to the formation of the ADMINISTRATIVE systems. Now that LAND was in their hands and the Labour force had to be induced to work, revenue generation systems were brought in to enhance CAPITAL.

The Revenue model of the British was through THE RYOTWARI SYSTEM, THE ZAMINDARI SYSTEM and THE MAHALWARI SYSTEM.

Each of the topics is a study in itself, but to state it briefly, in the RYOTWARI SYSTEM, the land revenue was assessed based on the putative productivity of the soil, and the person to whom the land was granted for tilling was taxed directly. This was in vogue in the Madras Presidency and later extended to the other presidencies.

In the ZAMINDARI SYSTEM, the highest bidder was granted the rights to the land and the person to whom such rights were granted was ZAMINDAR. He deployed tenants who in turn generated income from the produce for the Zamindar and he would settle the dues to the British, as bid by him. In this between the LAND and the LABOUR stood the Zamindar, who as an intermediary had gathered  a lot of benefit and his writ ran in the area granted to him. This helped the British to wash their hands clean from the excesses perpetrated by the Zamindars to maximize their profits and please their British grantors.

In the MAHALWARI SYSTEM, the village community was jointly responsible for the the taxes due on the land. This was started in the North Eastern states as the land for agricultural purposes changed according to the seasons and the village community allocated the land to families on a rotational basis and collected taxes on behalf of the British and handed it over to the British.

On the whole, the BRITISH had adopted these systems based on the principle – MAXIMIZE TAX COLLECTIONS. The docile and conscientious Madrasi was directly dealing with the Government and paying the TAXES, so no feudal lord was acting as an intermediary. In the North, the Zamindari system prevailed, where FEUDALISM was amenable to the local man’s temperament. In the North -East the mahalwari system was in vogue, as that was the best suited for the land-labour link.


The land was linked to the labour and the capital was flowing into the coffers of the British crown.

None would have complained if the system had been conscientious, but the land assessments made by the British were heartless. There was two thirds fixed as the taxes due to the Government till they were “Rationalized” to 50% of the assessed value. In India, to pay 30% as taxes we crib, imagine the time when the government took away 66.66% of the assessed value!! And during crises and opportunities (obviously for the British) they raised it to 100%- eg. when the American Civil War took place in the 1860’s, because of the shortage of cotton, in the cotton grown silt areas the assessed tax was 95-100%.

If we do not zealously guard our own liberty, systems would be imposed by persons who will exploit us without our own knowledge and skim our toil and labour, like the British did. To be nostalgic about their ADMINISTRATIVE instruments is the last that should occur to our self-respecting minds.

The freedom granted by God, should not be wished away vainly in such musings. At least let us feel happy that only a brother/ sister Indian is skimming the profits and could be recovered sometime through social legislation etc. etc. But the Buckingham palaces, Heathrow Airports,  the British Rail & the other conquered territories of the British, using the REVENUES generated by the British using the oppressive systems on the Indian natives, can NEVER EVER be repatriated or RECOVERED from those British hands.



In the foreword to THE GITANJALI, Rabindranath Tagore had written that  after the translation of his magnum opus into English from Bengali, he was far from satisfied as he felt that English had not brought out the essence as the Bengali original had. Therefore every language has its own essence. The essence, that is the quintessential distillation of the culture. The QUINTESSENTIAL DISTILLATION that pervades the whole fabric of the movie is the THAMIZH culture, although through use of English, Thamizh and Hindi languages.

Firstly, without knowing the Thamizh culture and the expletives that are in vogue in Thamizh, it would be hard to follow and even more difficult to appreciate. For example in the movie, QGM (Quick Gun Murugun) says, “ I will spank him on his backside and apply calcium on it!” , for a minute i was a lil flabbergasted as i was not able to follow what it meant. When i asked my friend who accompanied me, he said in hushed tones: soothadichu soonaambu thadaviruven!! (which when roughly translated means I WILL BUGGER HIM AND APPLY A WHITEWASHING LIME ON IT. )

In the southern districts of Thamizh Nadu, it is very commom for persons to say this in vain boasts and during fights. If anyone is a lil uppity about this, in Hindi it is not uncommon to say GAAND MAAROONGA, which roughly means the same. But what is intriguing is that CALCIUM part. If a scorpion were to bite or a wasp were to sting then the quack remedy was application of this lime- which was freely available in local paan shops which was used for betel chewing. Maybe this an extension of that idea.

In my experience of 12 years in the northern parts of India, especially in Delhi, i had observed  a misconception that every Thamizhian was a Brahmin clerk happy with his idlis and sambar and going to a Murugan temple and making his children study English  and well! So much for perceptions. To form an opinion of a lion in its own habitat would be different from forming an opinion of it in caged circumstances! This is the same when the Sowcarpet Marwaris are perceived as money grabbing, sweet toungued docile guys by the local Thamizhians! For a living, man has to play different roles and sometimes by constantly playing that role he assumes an identity that is much removed from reality. That is what has happened to the Thamizhian expats (it they can be called that, in a country which does not recognize state domicile).

Now to MURUGAN. That is the accepted spelling of Lord Murugan, son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. He is colourful. He travels by a peacock, has two wives and quick in his actions. Now anyone familiar with that incident, would know that, when Lord Shiva got a fruit that was rare and wanted to give the fruit to  his sons, had to draw them into a competition as the fruit was not to be cut for sharing and had to be handed over to the winner as a whole. The competition was that the first person who circled the world and came back was to be the winner of the fruit. Murugan took off in his peacock and got back to find that his brother had already been given the fruit  by his specious interpretation of the words, “TO CIRCLE THE WORLD AND COME BACK TO THE PARENTS”! So murugan goes by the WORD and Vinayak goes by the SPIRIT. We can see this stream of consciousness pervading the Thamizh society. They give importance to the WORD and keep refining it to mean the same, so far as humanly possible, for everyone. The SPIRIT should not hijack the WORD. Because, SPIRIT could express itself through different persons through different ways and cause confusion. OBJECTIVITY would be lost. Lord Murugan is the patron of Thamizh, colourful, efficient and dynamic. He is not one to sit in corners and eye women  or help others in their ventures, but galvanizes people into action thru energizing them.

So Murugan being named with an epithet QUICK GUN is indeed appropriate. Now the spelling had to be changed so as to rhyme with the GUN. If Geoffrey Boycott the Yorkshire cricketer were to pronounce MURUGUN, he would say MOOROOGOON and appropriately rhyming with GOON for GUN!!

Thamizh is the language that had shown the maximum resistance to Hindi being declared the National Language, as Thamizh does not have the glottalized sounds which are in great numbers in Hindi, and thereby causing great inconvenience to the Thamizhians. In all fairness,  why should a native speaker of Thamizh language be forced to  learn a language which is not his mother tongue, when 40% of the Indians are not imposed the burden of learning another language which is not his mother tongue. Afterall there are 22 scheduled languages, and if the native speakers of Hindi are also told for the purpose of national integration to learn a DRAVIDIAN LANGUAGE, which has some peculiar sounds, there would be fairness. But imposing a language merely on the grounds that it would facilitate the communication between a set of persons who are in majority and others who have to put an extra effort to learn that language seems inequitable.

Students in schools DROP subjects. For example, under the ISC pattern in the XII standard, if one wants to DROP chemistry and do 3 other subjects besides the mandatory English and Environmental Stusied, he/she is allowed. In fact the schools encourage the students to DROP instead of burdening the children in EXTENSIVE pursuits. If that were to be the case in schools, it is but right for states not to accept a single language as the NATIONAL language, when there is no reciprocity or effort from the native speakers of Hindi to take up the burden of learning another ethinically different, but an Indian, language.

Let me give another example. in the Bible the Gileadites were a part of the tribe of Joseph (Manasseh and Ephraim), but the Gileadites were able to pronounce  SHIBBOLETH, whereas the Ephraimites  were able to pronounce only SIBBOLETH. This is an apt example, as the Ephraimites were not able to GLOTTALIZE the SA sound whereas the Gileadites were able to get the glottalized SHA sound. The net result was that the Gileadites massacred the Ephraimites, as the Ephraimites were distinguished from the Gileadites  and killed in that dispute. (pl. refer to the BIBLE , JUDGES 12:6)

Coming to our movie QUICK GUN MURUGUN, there is a scene in which a Hindi speaking killer is told by QGM in Thamizh, THUPPAKIYAI KEEZHA PODU!! ( WHICH MEANS, DROP THE GUN), but the Hindi speaking mercenary says THUPPAKIA KEERA PODU!! The sound ZHA is not available in Hindi, and QGM brings out the innate lack of sounds in certain languages and thereby shows that a language is no less because it doesn’t have a sound and it is no better if it has a particular sound!!

QGM is stereotypical. That is the way one could reach the masses with massive prejudices.

The colourful (neon orange trousers, with green jacket, bright yellow scarf) dress brings out our image of a Thamizh hero, who would be drenched in colours eventhough it might not suit him. It is the SINCERITY in the beliefs that QGM holds which makes us sympathize with the character. He is GARISH in his dress sense, but not KITSCHY  trying to be  better than the original. It is that which is redeeming.

In a true Thamizhian style after making love with Rhamba, who asks how was it?, in all innocence he says: NEXT TIME IN THE PAYASAM ADD MORE CARDAMOM!!! That is the incapacity of a Thamizian who pays homage to FACTS and not to what others might think. It is that culture that spawns a mathematical wizard like Ramanujam or a Physicist like Sir C.V Raman. It is that innocence- with no frills.

The movie may not be a masterpiece in movie-making. But the theme is unique and it brings out the essence of one of the hoariest cultures of this country. It is worth watching and sets the record straight in many ways and shows the interplay of the various cultures of this country.


Logic is one of the most important tools used in REASONING. But by no means am i implying, that LOGIC supervenes all the other tools, but when the line of reasoning is ILLOGICAL, my dumb mind is unable to grasp the line of reasoning. It is not the first time that i am confronted by this debility and i am sure that this issue would not be the last one to expose my inability!

The Supreme Court of  India, as per the News item appearing in THE TIMES OF INDIA dated 28/08/2009, has stated that the supreme court of India has sentenced a person by name Ghosh to life and has prescribed a minimum period of 35 years!!

As per the existing scheme of things as per the INDIAN PENAL CODE 1860, there are two sections (to the best of my knowledge) viz. s.392 (highway robbery between sunset and sunrise) and 457 (lurking house trespass with an intention to thieve) which prescribe a sentence of 14 years as the outer limit. In the hierarchy of sentences prescribed by the code, the next higher sentence would be LIFE IMPRISONMENT.

There is Section 57 of the IPC, which states that for the purposes of calculations of fractions of terms of punishment, for Life imprisonment the term shall be treated as twenty years. As mentioned in the section itself, there can be no interpretation that the term for life imprisonment HAS to be limited to  20 years.

Section 433A of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 clearly states that if  the conviction was for a crime punishable with Death or his punishment has been commuted to life from death, then that person shall not be released unless he had served at least 14 years of imprisonment.

Now what is this 14 years?

Herein lies the crunch. Each state government makes its own rules of Remission and Parole. The method of computation is given in those rules. However most of those rules agree that except for those category of prisoners who are convicted of heinous crimes, remission could be granted at the rate of one day per day of sentence actually served. Therefore minus the parole days, if the person had spent 14 years, the term of sentence undergone would be computed as 28 years!!

I am astonished that a person who has to undergo 35 years,  in effect  undergoes only 17 years and 6 months & thereafter he would be eligible to walk out, if his sentence were to be commuted.

In any case i am still to understand how the Supreme Court of India could put a floor limit of 35 years for the life sentence to be served by the convict Mr.Ghosh. The logic i use to question this sentence is, when the statute had given the privilege to the appropriate Government to commute the sentence, thru a statute (CrPC), from where do their Lordships derive the power to stop the appropriate government from using that discretionary power from the 14th year till the 35th year of the convict’s incarceration?

My logic fails!!


The rate of growth of each creature is different and when the sudden spurt in growth would happen, is not predictable with absolute certainty. I am talking of not the PHYSICAL GROWTH but of the MENTAL PERCEPTIONS, which are closely related to our altered priorities and circumstances.

Mr.Mohammed Ali Jinnah was a non issue in India, till Shri. L.K.Advani started a political debate. He made a visit to Pakistan and like the Buddha, who sat under the Bodhi tree and got enlightened, Shri.L.K.Advani realized, contrary to popular belief, one fine day that Mr.Jinnah was not as bad as he was painted to be.

The then leadership of  the RSS did not appear to take to that kindly, and Shri.Advani had to be less effusive about his praise for Mr. Jinnah. And he cooled off.

There are opinion makers who pick up bits and pieces of FACTS that suit their prejudiced opinion, and buttress those cherry-picked facts, to construct an acceptable argument and unleash it on the so called literate (but not erudite) masses through their instruments- such as history books, documentary films, radio news, magazines, TV programmes etc.. These opinions get bandied about through the half-baked intellect of those masses and get converted to INCONTROVERTIBLE FACTS.

In INDIA we hate FACTS. Especially, FACTS which in our perception might turn out to be inconvenient to our PROGRESS and HIERARCHIFICATION. We as a nation have been fed with the dark side of  Mr.Jinnah- that he wanted to divide India and walk away with a Muslim state. But now the time has come where a fresh debate has risen as to whether his hand was forced!!

It has RISEN from the BJP. Earlier, Jinnah was seen as the greatest threat  but now it seems that some persons in BJP have realized that they could destroy the HALO surrounding the heads of Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel and Pandit Nehru only by pitting the resurrected FACTS relating to Mr. Jinnah against them.

There was this friend of mine from the advertising profession who was besotted with the image of Jinnah. That the role of Jinnah was played in the movie GANDHI by Mr. Alyque Padamsee, added to his fascination. This was in the year 1989. I used to be furious and let down , all because a Hindu Indian was a fan of Mr.Jinnah. I went thru my history books and there was no mention that Mr. Jinnah had defended Bal Gangadhar Tilak in a sedition case successfully, that he did consider the Muslim League communal initially, that he refused to be knighted by Lord Reading, as that would have reflected his stature as a true NATIONALIST and SECULARIST. These facts could be stated as unimportant therefore left out. But i am unable to accept that line, as the history books have given inflated opinions about half-heroes, which are more banal than those mentioned above.

One needs to spend nearly 20 years in utter ignorance, before the political heavyweights feel the prick in their conscience and decide to bring the facts to light.

I am terribly indebted to WIKIPEDIA for the removal of the ignorance my history teachers had inflicted me with. They had blinded me from seeing the facts and fixed a false image in my retina. At least, there are liberal voices which advocate FACTS to be placed as it is, so that the future generations do not wallow in half-truths and painted lies.



I am in a mood to fall into the first category. Lovers are of two types, the HUNTERS and the PRIESTS.

The HUNTER loves the chase and when he sees someone who whets his appetite, he starts the chase. He is willful and cannot have respect for anything he is offered. If at all he falls in love with someone who had offered herself, then he runs the risk of turning into a priest type.

The PRIEST lover, is not willful, but either devises ways to obtain the object of his desire as an OFFERING. This devising of ways, includes display of superior skills, expression of talents- which go a long way in fascinating the women folk, and make them pursue the PRIEST TYPES.

Let me make an attempt to analyze the PRIEST type first. The PRIEST worships a deity and he is in constant communion with the deity (or so he claims and has to conduct himself in a way befitting such claims!!)

But how to identify the PRIEST type?

He is self absorbed. He is self expressive. He could ignore the most beautiful woman merely because she doesn’t recognize his priesthood. He is a LEADER and wants to be followed- he may still not respond to the type of women who pursues all because his refined TASTES have a huge threshold. But nevertheless he is the priest type. He likes to have his OFFERINGS, but what he is gonna accept should be left for him.

What is the NATURE of the PRIEST types? They are hugely talented, great EXPRESSORS of their feelings, and very refined in their tastes and less willful- even if they are willful it would not show. The greatest artistes do belong to this variety. The women are a means and by no means an end in themselves. The women they get are normally women who have made a choice consciously and are of the willful type. We could say that the opposites attract!!

The typical PRIEST type of lovers would be celebrities like Bjorn Borg, Amjad Ali Khan (Sarodist), Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Bob Dylan,  Albert Einstein, John Lennon etc. They look for besotted devotion in love by a woman, who does so more for their talents and their ASPIRATIONS- which are usually lofty. I would put a person like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan(may his soul rest in Peace), the Pakistani singer , in that category too. These PRIEST type Lovers care more for what they think of themselves or what their God thinks of them. The relationship they forge is seldom visible and never for display as trophy. When they find their WOMAN they find a completeness of their BEING.

The HUNTER TYPE of LOVER is a great EXECUTOR. An achiever who is in absolute touch with reality limited in Time and Space. They fall for a woman who is either docile, beautiful and obedient OR a woman who is as willful as themselves, but who aids their promotion. The examples that crop to my mind are King David of Israel, Chengiz Khan, Macbeth (Shakespeare’s character). They are willful to the core and they do not brook NO for an answer.

The beauty about life is that except for the examples cited and the likes, most of us are a cheap amalgam of both, and funnily the type that expresses the wrong side to the woman and thereby elicits sympathy instead of inspiring DEVOTION or DOCILITY!!


A mule driver is a muleteer and an elephant driver is a mahout. So what sets them apart from the fact that one drives a mule and the other an elephant? The differences are manifold. The major difference is that the mule is less of a threat to the muleteer than an elephant to a mahout. The day the elephant decides to take on an unarmed mahout, it might turn out, in all probability, to be the last day for the mahout. However, there are no such lurking fears for the muleteer. Whereas the mahout has to be alert in his handling an elephant.

In the Thamizh language, there is a saying YAANAI IRUNDHALUM AAYIRAM PON, IRANDHALUM AYIRAM PON ( translated into English it means AN ELEPHANT IS WORTH A THOUSAND GOLD COINS WHETHER DEAD OR ALIVE). It may be so for the tuskers, but the death of a female elephant may not produce such benefits- even though the clever ones could market the elephant hairs and its teeth for astrological and medicinal reasons, at prohibitive cost. The point is that, if an elephant turns out to be a rogue, killing it would not be a good idea as its replacement may not be easy. Whereas if a mule dies, its replacement may not be that tough. So a mahout has to be innately careful, as he is dealing with an animal with tremendous strength and could be productive to the point of bringing prosperity to him.

The MAHOUT’S methods of dealing with an elephant could be threefold: he could deal with it in an affectionate manner; he could deal with it using his wit and thirdly using his strength.

In the state of Kerala, in India, the mahout uses three different types of implements to control the elephant. The elephants which are used in pulling logs and other hard jobs are treated with greater harshness, as they are meant and maintained to accomplish time bound tasks. But the elephants which are used in temples for ceremonies are obviously treated with greater reverence and therefore the mahouts treat them with tender care at least in front of the besotted devotees.

So here we see that Economics and Functions define the attitude of the mahouts! The mahout who is handling the temple elephant, is AFFECTIONATE towards his elephant. The food for the elephant comes from the devotees and the mahout gets his dakshina from the TRUNK BLESSINGS granted by the elephant and the money received in cash from the devotees for placing the trunk on the head of the devotee!!

The THIRD method of dealing with an elephant is through WIT. The mahout has to be smart and outwit the elephant every time that the elephant submits meekly to the superior intelligence of the mahout. This type of mahout and elephant are found in the CIRCUSES now and earlier, in the ARMED forces. The elephant does not have defined humdrum tasks, but have to perform before spectators and in exigencies of the battle. They need to UNDERSTAND the Mahout’s instructions.

On the whole the MAHOUT takes the colour of the FUNCTIONS that the elephant is required to perform!!

So far as the MULETEERS are concerned, they are not half so glamorous as their elephant counterparts!! They come out as persons USING mules to carry loads and perform hard tasks. In any case even the parentage of the mules are suspect!! A MULE by definition has a DONKEY for his father and a MARE for his mother!! If the mule were to have a HORSE for his  father and a jenny donkey the mother, then the offspring would be called a HINNY!!!

I have been fascinated by the HORSE SENSE. A horse has 64 chromosomes and a donkey has 62 and the mules have 63. Incidentally this blogger was born in 64, Shakespeare in 64, Galileo in 64………..So please decide whether you are a horse, mule or donkey!! The STALLION does not MATE WITH A JENNY DONKEY and therefore HINNY is hard to come by. That is HORSE SENSE! But a MARE mates with a donkey and produces MULES and they are used as draught animals world over. One can easily find muleteers on hilly terrains in India where there are no roads. They have MULES and they negotiate those hilly paths and carry the burden placed on them!!

The idea of this blog is not to bring out the differences between muleteers and mahouts, but to state how mahouts become muleteers. In the city of Bangalore- which incidentally has the highest concentration of MOTORBIKES in this great country, everyone is made a muleteer. The roads are narrow and congested and u can not take the elephant of your car out, and you need to become a biker and thereby a muleteer!! Get into the bylanes and such straits that  you feel like a muleteer. You may even have to switch oof your bike engine and push it through the congested paths and pavements like a muleteer!!


Once Salim Chisthi, the sage who advised Emperor Akbar, told his own sons who complained that the Emperor Akbar was poaching their wives and concubines thus : IF YOU BECOME A FRIEND OF A MAHOUT, MAKE THE ENTRANCE OF YOUR HOUSE LARGE ENOUGH TO ACCOMMODATE HIS ELEPHANT TOO!!

The city of Bangalore is bursting at its seams, yet there seems to be no programme to make the roads larger, wider and capacious!! Instead the city is making MULETEERS out of us!!


The Man met a Maid!

They started a game,

A game in which he had a fistful of silvern coins,

And she a string drawn purse at the opening.

He did not want her to give it in her hand,

And she wanted to take the silvern coins in her purse.

He did not know how much he held in his fist,

Nor did she.

But she said, “I can multiply it in time & hand it back to you.

If only you dropped it in the purse without counting!”

He was sceptical, but took a chance.

He put his fist into the purse.

No sooner was his fist inside the purse,

Than the string was drawn stifling the wrist.

He opened his fist and all the silvern coins fell to a jingle.

The noosed purse  loosened

To let the opened fingers out.

She took the jingling string drawn purse and went singing all the way.

The man thought his coins were lost for good and left too..

Many months later she found him and returned

Manifold coins that his fist could never hold.

The man and maid still play the game

And increase the labour force!!

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