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Archive for October, 2010

IMBALANCED ARUNDHATI ROY!


The SOVEREIGNTY of a NATION is supreme. The government is merely the elected organ by the people of a nation to run the affairs of the country in accordance with the declared interpretations of the Constitution. Since the Government of the day is responsible to the parliament, the government is and ought to be the best judge to decide on security issues threatening the nation.

The MAOIST issue has been threatening the nation and we find a whole host of areas where the Maoist have rendered desolate thru their action. Yet the Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy has spoken of the Maoists as “Gandhians”. Arundhati Roy cites the MoUs signed between the various state governments and the commercial corporations, as a devious scheme to deprive the poor of their land by the government. I do agree with her but  this devious scheme did not come into existence now. This was brought into the Constitution of India when Article 31 was meddled with, all in the name of providing the poor land out of the massive land holdings of the Zamindars and other royals!!

When the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution of India was brutally pushed through the Parliament, all based on the report of a political party’s committee under the chairmanship of Swaran Singh, most of the seminal articles of the Constitution were amended. WE AS A NATION SLEPT! Janata party came to power, but without the numbers to amend, and since 1976 we are still with most of the Amendments intact. This 42nd amendment was the culmination of the SOCIALISM which was made the flavour of the nation- all in the name of empowering and enriching the poor.

The same amendments which gave the power to the governments to set up DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES over FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS is what is being used NOW by the political parties to swindle lands from the poor. IT IS NOT THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DAY, BUT THE AMENDED CONSTITUTION which gives the teeth to the government to tread on people’s rights and properties. That has to be RE- AMENDED and Article 31 should be RESTORED in the full spirit with which our LEARNED MEMBERS ( which i cannot vouchsafe about the present members of parliament) of the constituent assembly drafted the Constitution.

Ms. Arundhati Roy is BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE. The security of the NATION cannot be bartered away merely because lands are being taken away by the Governments and handed over to huge Corporations. Those RIGHTS on LAND has to be restored thru RE-AMENDMENTS.

Arundhati Roy calling the Naxal Maoists as Gandhian is ludicrous. How can VIOLENCE be Gandhian at all? And that too on innocent policemen who are merely discharging their duty?

I hope Arundhati Roy gets real and instead of being lop-sided, takes up issues in the right perspective. Even the Supreme Court of India has been very kind in the past and if she doesn’t change, she is likely to lose all sympathy.

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The GERMANS are up again!


TIMES OF INDIA (Europe edition dt. 17th October, 2010):-

POTSDAM (Germany): Germany’s attempt to create a multicultural society has “utterly failed”, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday, adding fuel to a debate over immigration and Islam polarising her conservative camp.

Speaking to a meeting of young members of her Christian Democrats (CDU), Merkel said allowing people of different cultural backgrounds to live side by side without integrating had not worked in a country that is home to some four million Muslims.

“This (multicultural) approach has failed, utterly failed,” Merkel told the meeting in Potsdam, south of Berlin.

Read more: German multiculturalism has failed, says Chancellor Angela Merkel – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/German-multiculturalism-has-failed-says-Chancellor-Angela-Merkel/articleshow/6761678.cms#ixzz13GStR4IK

Finally the Chancellor of Germany has voiced something which no German Chancellor since Herr Hitler had voiced more than 6 decades ago. This was something that was always expected by the Americans, Russians and the English. What is surprising is that this had taken so long, since the end of the II WORLD WAR. Legislation had been put in place to incarcerate anyone who said that there was no HOLOCAUST or that the Jews were not herded into the gas chambers at Auschwitz etc. etc.
With the arrival of  prosperity in the Sixties, there was a decline in attendance for unskilled labour in Germany (both in West as well as in East). So the Turks arrived and filled that slot with their exalted notions of their past, with SULEIMAN the MAGNIFICENT and the panoply of Sultans who threatened the world with the Islamic Ottoman Empire. But any ethnic group without a strong religious networking would have quickly lost its identity, but not the Turks who had an exalted history and a religious networking to reinforce their special position in the scheme of their God! The Jews survived years of humdrum in alien lands similarly, based on their Biblical history and the religious networking.
The only difference is that, now the turn of the Muslims has come to suffer in the hands of the Germans, who feel threatened by the growing UNINTEGRATED TURKISH population, totaling about 3 million out of the 7 million migrants in Germany. Till twenty years back the Americans, the English and the Russians had cleverly kept the Germans preoccupied with the EAST and WEST division, but after the fall of the Berlin Wall that integration has been pretty fast and surprisingly UNEVENTFUL & silent!!
This silence of the past 20 years seems to have coalesced into something similar to the times between the I and the II World Wars. Come to think of it, in a total population of 80 million the largest migrant population of 3 million is less than 4%, yet the “ANGST”- whatever that means to Germans- seems to have overtaken them. Since the Germans cannot ACCUSE anyone else they seem to be clutching at straws.
Further, Turkey should have a plan to rehabilitate the Turks in its own land, as Germans seem to have a proclivity for xenophobia more than any other country. The Germans seem to have forgotten the times when they needed cheap labour in the sixties and this statement of Mrs. ANGELA MERKEL is truly worrying. I hope this is not a clever ruse by the German political honchos to whip up national passions on ethnic grounds and start another purge.
Whether in German one calls it MULTI-KULTI or FALTU-KULTI, it is better that other ethnic groups leave the GERMANS alone. The good old saying is EAST OR WEST HOME IS BEST. Hope the Turks in Germany read the writing on the wall!!

ONE NIGHT DOESN’T MAKE A MARRIAGE!


Marriages might be made in heaven, but the recognition has to come from the society in which the marriage is solemnized. The judgment of the Supreme Court of India in the matter of D. Patchiammal Vs. D.Velusamy, decided by Justices Markandey Katju and T.S.Thakur (as reported in TIMES OF INDIA dt. 22/10/2010 Bangalore edition page 8) under the DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT 2005 is laudable and strikes at the root of the issue.

The facts of the case are that one Patchiammal cohabited with a married man named Velusamy for 2 years. Mr.Velusamy deserted Patchiammal for his wife Lakshmi. After 12 years of desertion Patchiammal moved the Coimbatore court seeking Maintenance under section 125 of the CrPC . The lower court comes up with a finding that Mr.Velusamy was married to Patchiammal and not to Lakshmi and ordered Velusamy to pay ALIMONY (not maintenance!) to Patchiammal. This was upheld by the High Court of Madras and subsequently taken on appeal by Mr.Velusamy to the Supreme Court of India, which has remanded back the matter for fresh adjudication, as no notice was given to Lakshmi to present her side of the case. There has no finality been established in this matter, but the judgment written by Justice Katju poignantly brings out the FUNDAMENTAL structure of MARRIAGE and the RECOGNITION of MARRIAGE as an INSTITUTION of the society.

The whole judgment hinges on the interpretation of the phrase “RELATIONSHIP IN THE NATURE OF MARRIAGE“, from the DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT 2005. Marriage as an institution has been brought to the current levels in our Indian society through ages of trial and error, customs, practices and finally legislation. So the structure of MARRIAGE is the norm achieved through collective effort of innumerable human beings who have lived in various types of society. This has to be fine tuned through INTERPRETATION of the statutes to serve the present needs of the society.

 MARRIAGE has many purposes, firstly it offers SECURITY– otherwise like in feudal times when the BADSHA eyes the wife of an AMIR, the AMIR has to instantly divorce his wife to accommodate the fancy of the BADSHA!! This was the case during Biblical times of King David too. David eyed Bathsheba and got rid of her husband Uriah. Chengiz Khan used to reserve most of the women for his personal sexual use when he overcame a country that stood in his way. So the society has instilled a mores in the public mind that once a person is “married”, the married person was out of bounds to his desires till the subsistence of the marriage. Thereby MARRIAGE has offered SECURITY to the weak & the preoccupied.

Secondly, MARRIAGE has lent a GENETIC CONTINUITY, even before genes were discovered. Thereby an enormous level of identification of the individual with one’s offspring.

Thirdly, the laws of inheritance have stabilized owing to the MARRIAGE laws, leading to peaceful passing of property.

Fourthly, the society has accepted FAMILY the building block of the society and MARRIAGE is the bedrock of the structure of the family.

So MONOGAMOUS MARRIAGE has become the norm, and any act that would destroy the structure or pervert it, ought to be seen as an effort to destabilize the structure that holds the society.

The Justices of the Supreme Court have RE-EMPHASIZED the importance of the structure, by questioning the second marriage of  Mr. D. Velusamy with Patchiammal, when he was already married to Lakshmi. If at all there was any desertion, it was the first wife who should be aggrieved. All the more so, if it is proven in evidence that Patchiammal was aware of Velusamy’s earlier marriage to Lakshmi.

There was a time when women were considered chattels, weaker sex  et al. May be it is still true in the uneducated sections of  our society where the finances and systems are controlled by men. But when educated, earning and self-confident adult women have consensual sex or relationship with men and when the relationship sours to take recourse to DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT 2005, on one ground or the other seems travesty of the social purpose for which the Act was passed. The profile of the woman who alleges domestic violence should also be factored while giving benefit to women under the Act. 

The best part is that the SUPREME COURT has declared through this judgment that women are equally responsible for their ways. Gone are those days when women were not made responsible for their behaviour! By ensuring that Patchiammal does not take advantage of her own wrongs, the SC has set right a much needed structural correction.

“CLOSER”- A MUST WATCH MOVIE!


CLOSER (trailer)

There are a millions movies  made every year and they pass by as yet another movie holding our attention for a while. Very rarely does  a movie hold abiding interest in our minds. CLOSER seems to me to be a movie which has made that grade. The topic is unusual and the treatment par excellence.

The lead is played by Jude Law and the actresses are Natalie Portman and Julia Roberts. The storyline could be had from the link furnished below:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closer_%28film%29

The movie has strong undertones of sexual jealousy, sexual vengeance and subterfuges to conceal sexual waywardness by each of the four main characters. The storyline when abstracted, is not  at all interesting , but as a movie it conveys a lot and suggests even lot more to a student of human passions! The only book which i recall that could measure up to this is INTIMACY by Jean Paul Sartre.

Julia Roberts is amazingly good. Each character is authentic and it would not be difficult for anyone to sympathize with each of them individually. I wish an Indian movie would take up issues like these and portray it devoid of vulgarity.

Thanks SONY PIX, which had played the movie 2 days on the trot. I enjoyed every bit of it. To tell myself the TRUTH, the theme is yet to sink deeper into my consciousness! As of today, i wouldn’t mind watching the movie any number of times to just let it sink deeper.

AFTER SALES DIS-SERVICE – AIRTEL & WHIRLPOOL!


The greatest tragedy that is besetting retail trade in India is after sales service. My personal experience with two products have made me realize that most of the “claims” made in the websites by these 2 Companies, viz. WHIRLPOOL and AIRTEL have nothing to do with the ground realities which exist. I have excerpted a write -up of WHIRLPOOL‘s website making extra-ordinary claims of “meeting customer expectation”!

Customer Excellence: Excelling the customer expectation from the company, its brands, products and services are a three-step process. The three steps are: Know a customer, Be a customer, Serve a customer.

The product in question is a FRIDGE which was bought in 2009 just prior to DIWALI, the  model being “PROFESSIONAL”  of WHIRLPOOL brand. Within the warranty period, which is one year, totally 10 complaints have been made and the technicians who are misnomered “SERVICE ENGINEERS’ attended to the faults and were perennially evasive of the problem. NO REPORT OF THE DEFECT DETECTED AND THE REMEDIAL ACT DONE was given to the client to understand the problem.

Toward the 11th months of purchase, the service technicians (designated with a lofty title ENGINEERS) started canvassing for AMCs. Now, that is Annual Maintenance Contract. The AMC guys are a part of the racket let loose by WHIRLPOOL. The problem has been recurring and almost everything from the voltage stabilizer to the internal wiring of the whole house had been redone. Yet no reprieve. The problem was recurring. WHIRLPOOL had failed and it seems, intentionally at that. Probably the DIS-SERVICE of WHIRLPOOL rose from the fact that an EXPENSIVE part had to be replaced and WHIRLPOOL’s DIS-SERVICE technicians were reluctant to do it. Phone calls have been to no avail!

Well, i thought, WHIRLPOOL was an exception, but DIS-SERVICE was a RULE was discovered when i found that AIRTEL TV was installed in 4 hours flat and the necessary charges taken , but when i wanted to relocate the dish antenna of AIRTEL TV, despite 100 calls, and much persuasion each day was deferred till the “DIS SERVICE ENGINEERS’ did not turn up. And consequently had to migrate to TATA SKY!!

So much for after sales dis-service. When i narrated my woes to my friend, he gave me a great example as to how the barber in Tirupathi temple first takes the token from the devotee and instead of  tonsuring  the head of the devotee, firstly removes a swathe of the hair on the head of the devotee and puts him on hold and takes the token from the next devotee on queue and does the same. The barber thereby enhances his client base and when he cannot handle it, he gets the help of his jobless barber friend and out-sources the pending tonsure for a pittance

Most of the RETAIL COMPANIES are doing the same. They sell fast and quick, but when it comes to attending after sales service, they are slack and reluctant. Atleast, WHIRLPOOL and AIRTEL bear me out based on my experience.

It is better we go back for products which have ENDURANCE instead of CHEAP offers of WHIRLPOOLS and AIRTELS!!

LEAVE and CLEAVE!!


AT Matthew XIX:5 Jesus says, ” A MAN SHALL LEAVE FATHER AND MOTHER  AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE; AND THEY TWAIN SHALL BE ONE FLESH ” , whether it was an observation or a law ordained by Jesus, raises a whole host of futher questions. There is an implicit rule in the wording that Jesus was recommending MONOGAMY.

This LEAVE & CLEAVE has reached such alarming proportions that even after marriage, when one of the parties to the marriage finds it “impossible” to cohabit, applies the same principle. Now the word CLEAVE takes the other meaning of “splitting”. Firstly leave the person and then “cleave” the assets in such a way that the future of one of the 2 is truly secure!

I wonder often what would be the difference between MONOGAMY and UNIGAMY? would UNIGAMY mean that there was ONLY ONE MARRIAGE throughout the life of that person as against MONOGAMY where serial MONOGAMY is possible?  Like a “monorail” is a single series of rails, a “unirail” would be one single rail.

So people who have married ONLY ONCE in their life time should have the privilege of calling their marriages as UNIGAMOUS marriages. Well that leaves out Elizabeth Taylor and her ilk out of this coinage. Since MONOGAMY has been in vogue for long and it now includes “being married to only one person at any given point of time” the need has risen to distinguish. I hope like TRIFURCATE and PREPONE, people would start using UNIGAMY too, to bring in a fine distinction.

This, in no way says that UNIGAMY is in any way superior to MONOGAMY, but merely brings a factual distinction for the society to take it further. But if one is Greek and prefers MONO to UNI (which is Latin), one could still use it for UNIFICATION like ACTRESSES who detest being called ACTRESSES and call themselves ACTORS!!

Anyways, the CLEAVAGE is showing!!

PEACE? But not at the cost of generation next.


When the Legislature skirts its responsibility and cleverly gets the Courts to decide on issues of OPINIONS, we receive Judgments which are neither decided on LEGAL PRINCIPLES nor sound logically. The RAM JANM BHOOMI issue decided by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court is primarily an issue that should be decided on DEMOCRATIC OPINION. But the problem is that if the  party with majority were to push through a Legislation, there would be every likelihood of the ACT being struck down on the grounds of violating the FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS (discrimination and non-secularism). Further the party which pushes through such a legislation would lose a chunk of the constituency, blighting its own prospects at the hustings.

So caught between the devil and the deep sea, the best option is to push the issue to the Courts. According to me, the Courts could have an “opinion” on the proof of a “fact”, but SHOULD it have an OPINION on a “belief”? And what would be the tools at its disposal to determine the validity of one opinion against another? The same old Indian Evidence Act 1872; Transfer of Property Act 1882 and the Civil Procedure Code 1908. All these Acts of parliament were enacted much after the so called Babri Masjid had been built, either on the ruins of a temple (as one of the Justices of the bench which decided the case on the 30th Sept., 2010) or by demolishing a temple thereon.

Further what i could not understand was that, it was the SUNNI WAKF Board which had filed a suit for declaration that the site belonged to them. But the judgment apportions the land between the three litigants, after dismissing the suit as time barred. If the suit was indeed time barred, then the determination of the TITLE, POSSESSION and ENJOYMENT had to be determined based on the established principles of justice and declared precedents. By dismissing the suit as time barred, the POSSESSION comes into play. So we have to go to 1992 when the Muslims were in POSSESSION  of the property. Their plea of ADVERSE POSSESSION has also been struck down. So, cyclically we have reached the starting point of our quest for a solution to the Ram Janm Bhoomi issue.

I believe that the JUDICIAL TOOLS like LEGAL PRINCIPLES, PRECEDENTS, LOGIC  and ACCEPTABLE REASONING should be deployed in the delivery of any judgment, more so in a vital one like this. One of the Justices is so sanguine that Lord Rama was born in the very place where the idols were installed in the late 1940’s. To opine on such issues without sufficient facts on hand is likely to reopen these issues on a later date, casting a heavy burden on the future generations.

We badly need a Lord Denning to sort out these issues.

I presume the simple point on which this issue could be decided is that a MOSQUE is a place of worship when it is devoid of any compelling historicity. So is a temple. But when HISTORICITY comes into play, the issue is which of the competing historicity is of greater VALUE to each religion. When we look at that, Babur was an INVADER and the person who, by hindsight, established the Mughal Dynasty in India. A place of worship which was established under the orders of  an INVADER  is to be pitted against a place of worship, which is BELIEVED to be the BIRTH PLACE of LORD RAMA. Which of these claims is of EDURING importance?

Lord Rama occupies a central place in the pantheon of the Hindu gods and goddesses. Whereas, Babur’s Mosque had a more FUNCTIONAL use as a place of worship for the Muslims, than as a significant part of the Historicity of ISLAM. So pitted against each other the place is MORE SACRED to the Hindus than to the Muslims. Further, the Babri Masjid was not a centre for pilgrimage and could never have been, whereas, as the declared birth place of RAMA, it could transform into  a place of PILGRIMAGE.

Taking all the above into consideration, the Hindus would have a greater claim on the SPACE, and the FUNCTIONS of the Mosque could be relocated to continue with the FUNCTIONS. To put it succinctly, the claim of Hindus is SPACE CENTRIC but the claim of the Muslims is FUNCTION CENTRIC. On this very ground, the place should have been declared the BIRTH PLACE of Lord Rama through the belief of Hindus.This is in no way an absolution of the vandalism perpetrated in 1992.

Further according to the Hindu laws there are properties called as DEBUTTER PROPERTY, which is a property dedicated to the deity/idol. To establish a debutter property the courts have relied on a “sanad” granting such status. In this case to find a sanad for a fact that is supposed to have taken place more than 3000 years ago, would be IMPOSSIBLE, as the courts have questioned even the veracity and the possibility of such sanads even in debutter properties over a 100 years. So in all FAIRNESS, justice should have been done based on the very old principles of JUST, FAIR and GOOD CONSCIENCE.

In any case with some judicial determination, things are posed for a positive turn, i hope. Peace is important, but that PEACE should be LASTING is even more important. Let us decide to at least relieve the future generations from this unenviable burden of determining the issues of TITLE, POSSESSION and the like!!

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