Discussions over Tea (Of course, cutting maar ke)

Wednesday, July 02, 2003
Media and Politics

I'm amazed at the role played by the media and the columnists in Indian society.
The responsibility of a journalist is to provide unbiased information to the rest of the world, based upon which opinions are formed.
A columnist on the other hand, would be entitled to form his own opinion on facts and present them to a more "educated and receptive" audience. But I wouldn't expect a columnist to be so biased as to start pointing fingers at a community as a whole in the midst of a political commentary. Yet, that is exactly what Mr. Arvind Lavakare has done in his article "Back to the courtroom yet again".
Saeed Naqvi -- a seasoned journalist -- believes´┐Żthe community gains by keeping the proposals confidential and that the AIMPLB along with the Kanchi negotiator could well hit upon 'The solution that shall be such as to bring the two communities closer, to re-establish the warmth between them which the politics of the recent decades has destroyed.'

Now, now, Mr Naqvi, when was the last time that that 'warmth' existed between the two communities? When did the Muslims last condescend to that affinity? Subject to correction, the last occasion when the two communities came really close to each other was during that struggle of 1857 which Veer Savarkar dubbed as India's first war of independence. The Hindus joining the Muslims of the Ali brothers in the Khilafat Movement of 1919 was not 'warmth' but blackmail by Mahatma Gandhi who thought that Hindus supporting the Muslim demand for restoration of the Turkish empire's dismissed Caliph would work wonders for Hindu-Muslim unity in ousting our British masters. What we got instead was the Moplah Rebellion of 1920 when the Muslims, routed by the colonial rulers, dug into the soft targets -- countless Hindus converted and/or killed, their women raped and outraged.

Since then till now, 'warmth' between the two communities has largely remained a mental fancy.

He later goes on to make the following statement -
What solution then should we expect from this´┐ŻShankaracharya and an AIMPLB chief who locks away the secret proposals in his cupboard at home instead of straight away discussing them with his Board colleagues?
Mr. Lavakare should take note that more Hindus and Muslims might prefer to be represented by this lot rather than by the the extremist VHP.
Mr. Lavakare should take note that all those open-table discussions between 20 Hindu representative parties and another 10 Muslim parties have gotten us where we are today.
Mr. Lavakare should remember before making statement like these (In utter contrast, a very recent poll of 1,432 Muslims in eight cities showed that 85 per cent of them don't want their community to gift the disputed site to the Hindus) that the Muslims would prefer a compromise as an alternative. Would a Hindu like any such site to be "gifted" away?

Weight-watchers and Astronomers Anonymous join hands to sponsor the HRM phenomenon.

Per the recent revelation, Hira Ratan Manek has been surviving without food since 1995, just by consuming two litres of water per day and two hours of sunlight.
Hira Ratan Manek - also known as Hirachand - a 64-year-old mechanical engineer who lives in the southern state of Kerala, apparently started disliking food in 1992, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported.

In 1995, he went on a pilgrimage to the Himalayas and stopped eating completely on his return.

His wife, Vimla, said: "Every evening he looks at the sun for one hour without batting an eyelid. It is his main food. Occasionally he takes coffee, tea or some other liquid."

I think this is a super way of putting those VLCC guys out of business! Imagine the new diet control mechanisms. You had GM diets, now you've got HRM diets.

End of Post

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