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Posts tagged ‘SASHI THAROOR’

Sashi Tharoor & his debate on the British Imperialism!

What struck me as a opening remark was I WON’T KEEP YOU LONG, which is what King Henry the Eighth is supposed to have told his six wives! 

The story has a certain perverse eagerness, on the part of the person who concocted the story, based on the historical fact that Henry VIII had had six queen consorts most of whom had been executed by Henry! Tharoor merely repeated, what was originally said by , the then Prime Minister TONY BLAIR, to an European delegation.  Events couldn’t have unfolded as per that smart one-liner, as the reason for Henry VIII disposing of the Queens on one ground or the other was that, he believed that they were incapable of producing a male heir to the throne.  As such, it must have happened after each had brought forth a female child or had gone childless for a while. So such a PREPONDERENT STATEMENT WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE AT THE OUTSET OF EACH ENGAGEMENT! It appears to me as a smart concoction post facto! 

It leads us to the next fact whether any of the six queens did finally produce a male heir and if so did Henry stop his UXORICIDE? Jane Seymour did gift a male child, who eventually sat as the Defender of Faith, at a tender age of ten and died six years after his ascension! The next was the daughter of his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. She also did not serve long and Elizabeth I, ascended the throne and she became the Defender of the Faith for a full four and a half decades, before James came and legitimised the work of Wycliffe through the KING JAMES VERSION, of the Protestant Bible. 

So history is not a mere narration of events, it is a subtle interpretation of the events seen through the mental filters of any  mind conditioned in a way either voluntarily through an ideology or events. 

So when Tony Blair said that Henry told all his wives that he WOULDN’T KEEP THEM LONG, it was an expression of a newly converted Catholic, to further blacken the image of Henry the Eighth, as a demonstration of his adherence to his Catholic belief! 

One of the ideas found acceptable by Absalom, when he usurped rather attempted to usurp the throne from his father David, was that he prove to the people with him,  that he was irreconcilably alienated from his father David, was to indulge in sex with David, his father’s,  concubines, PUBLICLY!  Absalom did it publicly and proved to his followers that he cannot reconcile with his father, ever! Likewise, Tony Blair had to be judgementally insensitive to the man on whose edifice he had built his career and his being!

When Henry asked the Church of Rome for the dissolution of his marriage with Catherine of Aragon, there was his contemporary, Charles the Fifth, who was the Holy Roman Emperor, who secured the Pope’s temporal interests. And this Charles V, was a nephew of Catherine of Aragon. So the Pope had to make a choice, and circumstances made him to go with the immediate geographical power which was of more immediate importance to the Pope, then.

The interesting part is that the Kingship of England, which is legitimised by the Protestant Church of England , had to suffer the barb of Tony Blair, who because of his catholic leanings, was not willing to see the Liberty gained by the English people even though they were the benevolent byproducts of the evil deeds of Henry VIII! 

When Tharoor repeated the quote, it must have gratified many Papists, as Henry’s role has been truly SEMINAL in the Reformatory process (called schism by the Catholic Church) of the Church if England! 

Why not we look at the Pope not having granted the dissolution of the marriage between Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon as another political compulsion (as Charles V was keen on keeping his aunt as the Queen consort of England)?  We desire no such thought as that part of the history would have no great appeal, as there was no departure from normal human affiliations, whereas Henry’s deeds of executing 3 Catherines and two Annes stand in the way of his rehabilitation, for having secured the Liberty of the Church if England! (Btw Jane Seymour died soon after she delivered the baby boy, who became Edward VI) . 


But Tharoor’s opening sentence itself was accusative of the moral grounds on which Doctrine of Lapse was invented by the Imperial Governors General, to sustain their hold on Indian revenues! 


The DOCTRINE OF PLEASURE, derives from the COMMON LAW of England, where any person holding an office in the service of the crown, would hold such post till the CROWN was pleased with his services. Which means when the Crown of England ceased to be pleased with the services of the Official in His Majesty’s service, his services could be TERMINATED, REDUCED IN RANK or REMOVED. This whole thing was arbitrary and most of the times there were no reasons given for such reduction in rank, removal or termination in service.

With the dawn of DEMOCRACY, this PLEASURE doctrine was subjected to certain procedures so that the INDIVIDUAL is safeguarded against the ARBITRARY action of the Crown, which was mostly carried out by the STAFF (alias the kitchen cabinet) of the CROWN. It was with great travail that this pleasure doctrine was altered by the parliament and the CONSTITUTION of India (hereinafter referred to as COI) had adopted the PLEASURE DOCTRINE with certain procedural safeguards (Article 311- in respect of the Union and State civil servants).

These safeguards have been secured after seeing the plight of many civil servants who had been the victim of the conspiracies and political expediencies in the Administration in India by the British. The constituent assembly debates during the deliberations on this topic would bear me out. In the COI, there are constitutional posts which go beyond the PLEASURE PRINCIPLE, such as the Supreme Court and High Court Justices (Arts. 124 & 148(2) respectively), Chief Election Commissioner(Art.324), Chairman & Members of the Public Service Commissions(Art.317). They do not labour under the PLEASURE PRINCIPLE as they are required to discharge their constitutional obligations without fear or favour and also to afford them the security of tenure so that they do not fear the then powers, however they could be IMPEACHED by the parliament.

FEUDALISM as defined by WIKIPEDIA is not merely succinct, but extremely precise and i cannot think of a better way to explain it than reproduce it:-

Feudalism is a decentralized sociopolitical structure in which a weak monarchy attempts to control the lands of the realm through reciprocal agreements with regional leaders.

The PLEASURE DOCTRINE has been refined to ensure that an Individual and his LIBERTIES are not strapped through removal from service without reasonable grounds. But FEUDALISM, survives because a weak MONARCHY has to make an attempt to control the REALM THROUGH RECIPROCAL ARRANGEMENTS WITH REGIONAL LEADERS!!

So, when we CLONE both these concepts, we revert back to IMPERIALISM. The type from which, through conscious effort we have rescued a NATION and have secured the LIBERTY to the MAN as an INDIVIDUAL, giving him the RIGHT TO FREE EXPRESSION, enshrined in our COI as a Fundamental Right.

We have the minister of state Mr. Sashi Tharoor, who in response to a tweet, responds in a way which is likely to be interpreted as offensive to the travelers of the ECONOMY CLASS in the various Airlines of India. Now did he not have the liberty to reply to a pointed query, which is merely visible to the TWITTERING public? YES HE HAS THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT. A funny question demands a funny response, and in my opinion he had responded APTLY.

But as a minister of the Government, should he have moderated his reply? NO, he has rightly exercised his option as an Individual and taken full liberty to not only express an Idea, but also his FEELINGS. I am sure that he had responded knowing fully well that a TWITTER in English is open only to the English KNOWING masses. But when half-baked pundits in English translate it into the various REGIONAL LANGUAGES and the OFFICIAL LANGUAGE of the Union, it could sound different. In the CATTLE CLASS comment, the statement becomes  derogatory if the passengers are called thus, but if the interpretation is about the airlines which treat its Economy class passengers as herds, it is an indictment on the AIRLINES.


The irony of it all is that instead of diverting the attention of the public and giving the benefit of doubt to the Minister, the spokespersons have concreted the FIRST interpretation, to be the meaning of the tweet! Alas, it is the same party which had GONE TO GREAT LENGTHS to give unimaginably fantastic interpretations when it comes to the gaffes of their first family and make those gaffes as inane comments that were said in utter INNOCENCE. But why in this case, have the spokespersons not risen to the occasion? Simple, Sashi Tharoor is not a political heavy weight. He comes from a state that merely returns 20 Lok Sabha seats and he himself after trailing mostly, won the seat by a thin margin of 50k votes. If Karunakaran could be treated the way he has been- who is Sashi Tharoor?

The Prime Minister has given the best interpretation and calling the CATTLE CLASS comment of Sashi Tharoor as having been said in a JOKING TONE. And he is right. It needs a mature person to understand the context and the person to whom the statement is uttered. NOT EVERYTHING HEARD BY US ( EVEN IF IT WERE TO BE ABOUT US), IF IT IS NOT ADDRESSED TO US, CAN BE TAKEN COGNIZANCE OF, THAT IS CULTURE.


IT IS HERE WE ARE STILL LABOURING UNDER THE PLEASURE PRINCIPLE OF FEUDALISM. How could we control the other regions without heeding to their “reciprocal arrangements” reached by the party with the “regional leaders” who send 25 MPs to the Lok Sabha? So when Ghelot says that Sashi Tharoor has to quit, the side singers give a drawl in tune with that regional leader.

After all 25 is more than 20? Ain’t it INDIANS?



Finally an Indian has risen, who could call a spade a spade. For those late tuners, as a recap let me put the context in perspective. Sashi Tharoor, who was formerly an Under Secretary General in the United Nations, and presently an MP from Kerala and holding a ministership in the External Affairs Ministry who was not allotted a bungalow befitting his stature in New Delhi, had been staying in a five star hotel. This has caused a lot of eyesore to those hypocrites, who do not pause to think if Mr.Sashi Tharoor had been staying at the hotel footing his own bills or out of the Indian Exchequer, who have been bad mouthing his INSENSITIVITY during hard times. Consequently the Finance Minister of India sends a “request” to the ministers who are supposed to be staying in such opulent circumstances, to vacate the hotel and stay in “modest” accommodation.

Then as an OSTENSIBLE AUSTERITY measure, the party to which Sashi Tharoor belongs gently nudges the ministers and MPs to travel ECONOMY CLASS in the domestic sector. That is the last straw. Because, the first instance requires a minister to live within his entitlement and the second directive requires a minister to go BELOW HIS ENTITLEMENT. So much for the ostensible austerity measures.

Now Sashi Tharoor writes one of the finest lines ever by an Indian, in TWITTER. It goes I WOULD DEFINITELY TRAVEL IN CATTLE CLASS OUT OF SOLIDARITY WITH ALL OUR HOLY COWS!

It has brought out the essence in three phrases CATTLE CLASS, SOLIDARITY & HOLY COWS.

Unless an effort is put in to learn the English language, there is hardly any scope to appreciate the construction. The chief ministers of the most populous state of India and its neighbours have been vehemently supporting the promoting of Hindi language, not because they love Hindi, but because they do not want the masses to learn English and get the cloud of their ignorance removed. As that would jeopardise their political interests. But a day would dawn when those denizens would realize that ideas generate and proliferate faster in ENGLISH than in any other language, as English has international flavour and has adopted and adapted many cultures within itself. Why i say this is because there has been a GROSS MISINTERPRETATION of the phrase CATTLE CLASS.

Let us get this one straight, CATTLE CLASS refers to the ECONOMY CLASS in the Aircraft. Not to the passengers, as cattle, who travel by that class. Most of the misunderstanding is that the ignorant read negative meanings into phrases which are not to be split. Cattle is the modifier of the class. If one had traveled by INDIGO, in their cattle class, one would understand that to obtain the EMERGENCY EXIT SEATS and THE FRONT ROW SEATS ( which have better leg room)one has to shell out Rs.100/- per seat extra. So the INTELLIGIBLE DIFFERENTIAL is that when there is more legroom, the cattle class becomes J-CLASS. Therefore even in low-fare carriers there are SEATS that are treated as PREMIUM.

Besides the alliteration in Kattle Klass, most aircrafts have shrunk the legroom between the rows so as to pack the aircraft with more seats and thereby maximise their income. It is that arrangement that Mr.Tharoor had so aptly pointed out. Let me ask any passenger who is not somebody to obtain the FRONT ROW SEATS or the EMERGENCY EXIT ROW SEATS of the Economy class of AIR INDIA- she/he would get a standard answer that they have been already BLOCKED. Do u know why? It is simply because, SOMEBODY had sent his flunky and got it blocked flaunting his position in the set up. So he escapes the travails of the CATTLE CLASS, where one has to hold his knees up, as if she/he were getting F***ed!!


It was given respectability by the labour class and especially by Lech Walesa of Poland. He was a shipyard worker in Poland and won the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize and later went on to become the Prez of Poland. His movement against the oppressive Russian government was named as SOLIDARITY. We here in India are under no oppressive rule and there is no need to simulate such solidarity. Here is a minister who is used to certain minimum comforts in life and he had acquired those through his hardwork and efficiency, yet he is asked to be like a CATTLE and show solidarity with the hoi-polloi of the society? ARE WE NOT IMPOSING OUR GENERAL STANDARDS ON AN EXCEPTIONAL MAN? He is no mean man to be treated like the common masses. This eagerness to treat the exceptional as the ordinary is the bane of not the Indian mind, but a set of HYPOCRITES who believe that if we do not show AUSTERITY in public, then the deprived are likely to have misgivings about our wealth and are likely to move over to other camps!!

That leads us to HOLY COWS. This is a tricky phrase. Contextually this could mean the persons who promoted this travelling by air below entitlement and have been making a big show of the same. Like Sarojini Naidu said,”It costs the government of India a great deal to keep Gandhiji in such state of poverty!”, it takes a great deal to keep some of the endangered politicians in such state of ostensible austerity!!

Some shameless politicians have been quick to go below their ENTITLEMENT and travel cattle class. I am reminded of a statement made in the British parliament by Dennis Healey on Margaret Thatcher, ” When Ronald Regan tells her to jump, she just asks him , ‘how high?‘ ” All because like the British who owed their very existence to the Americans, some politicians owe their very existence to some people.

Let me conclude this with a paraphrase from the Bible:

Judas of Iscariot ( the person who betrayed Jesus), was appalled that a very expensive perfume was used to anoint Jesus by Mary Magdalene (?), and said that it would have been better if the perfume had been sold and spent on the poor. Jesus said :For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always (Matt.14:7) andthe gospel of St.John goes one better and says about Judas’ objection thus: This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein(John 12:6).


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