Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Bits and Pieces – As I please

Bits and Pieces – As I please

I am a regular follower of a much senior IFS colleague and former EAM, Kunwar Natwar Singh. Natwar Singh is an erudite scholar
and a writer. I immensely enjoy reading his regular column ‘As I please’ in the Tribune. Taking a cue from this, I have decided to try my hand to write and make brief comments on matters of current importance and interest. This is the first such attempt.

Prof. Jagdish Chander Joshi of Jalandhar - It is one and a half year since February, 2016, I met Prof. Jagdish Chander Joshi at a lecture on India- Pakistan Relations delivered by Ambassador Sharat Sabharwal at DAV College in Jalandhar under
the aegis of Prof. Manohar Lal Sondhi Memorial Trust. It was nice to meet this son of the soil who is actively associated with the intellectual and educational life in and around Jalandhar.  I again met him at the second lecture in the series in February, 2017 on India China Relations delivered by yet another Indian diplomat, Ambassador Ashok Kantha.  In the process, we became friends by succumbing to the natural human urge of mutual respect and regard. Our common friend Ambassador Bal Anand, also an alumnus of DAV College Jalandhar further cemented our bonds of friendship. Prof. Joshi is not only an academician of high caliber but also a prolific writer on matters of interest and concern pertaining to contemporary political and social history. He is a scholar of Urdu language and a poet of sorts. He impressed me further by his down to earth but very humble manners and conduct. I am a little slow in taking initiative to carry forward the connection and friendship. Prof. Joshi, though much senior to me on all counts, thoughtfully fills the gap by talking on phone. We remain on track. He keeps me alert and alive with regard to matters of current importance.  Last week, we exchanged notes on the on-going face off between Indian and Chinese armies at Doklam, the tri-junction of India- China and Bhutan. One pertinent question was raised by Prof Joshi. If China does not recognize Sikkim as an integral part of India, why should India recognize Tibet as a part of China?  It is a difficult question to answer in the current scenario. Isn’t it? Prof. Jagdish Joshi is a treasure trove of knowledge. I would tend to educate myself by interacting with him in the days to come.

Grammar of anarchy: - Retired IPS and ADGP of UP, S.R. Darapuri along with his associates was arrested by the UP police at the Lucknow Press Club premises where they were to meet and
address a press conference with regard to the law and order situation and recent incidents of atrocities on dalits in UP and the country at large.  I know Darapuri sahib and interact with him on social media almost daily. He is a dignified and responsible member of the society. Whatever he would do, I think, would not be out of context and senseless. Darapuri sahib knows the law and the system. Obviously, in a democratic country, he is entitled to his views and their expression as guaranteed by the constitution.  What is the problem? Why the administration and government should get perturbed? Do they intend to kill the dissenting voice? Why the so called vocal and free media has not taken due notice of this? It is shameful. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s warning of pushing our polity to “Grammar of anarchy” if democratic methods are not adopted to run the country immediately came to my mind. May the saner elements take over and save the country?

Aap Ki Adalat – It is a weekly show of Rajat Sharma on India TV with considerable following. The participants (main accused) in the Aap Ki Adaat easily make ‘Who is who’ of the elite segments of the society. Last week (July 8-9, 2017), Kashmiri separatist leader
Yasin Malik was in the Box (Katgaraha) to face questions. Obviously, the show was of topical interest in view of the prevailing situation in J&K. Yasin Malik is a leader of Kashmir by his own right. It was confirmed by his conduct and articulation. Rajat Sharma, Janta’s advocate, and also the audience clearly failed to pin-down Yasin Malik, I felt. We may not like his views on the Kashmir issue but he made of lot of sense. Interestingly, the show was edited to such an extent that the ‘Judgment’ by the Judge Journalist Naqvi was not shown and the show was abruptly closed. May be Judge Naqvi’s comments were not soothing to the ears of Anchor Rajat Sharma and the audience. Is it not a self inflicted censorship?

Without comment:

“It is one thing to glorify a professional soldier dying while doing his job, wrapping him in the national flag and carrying his corpse on our shoulders shouting slogans, and quite another to see our cities, small towns, farms, factories and schools turn into a wasteland. No war is worth misery, particularly with neighbours, because they always remain neighbours and every fresh layer of hostility will only add to bitterness that will last beyond generations. It is no surprise that the Chinese chose to remind us of 1962. Every war is a milestone in memory. I wish would never have to experience a war or an earthquake or a riot.”

Rajesh  Ramachandran, Editor-in-Chief of The Outlook (July 17, 2017 issue).

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