Monday, November 28, 2011


Shiv Jyoti Public School is a premier educational institution in the city of Jalandhar. On introduction by my alma mater Dr. K.C. Mahendru, Former Principal of DAV College Jalandhar, Shiv Jyoti Public School invited and hosted me as the Chief Guest at the Annual Day function of the School on November 26, 2011. It was indeed an honour for me after a long service as a faceless diplomat. It was a new but rewarding experience for me to interact with educationalists and intellectuals back home where I belong.

Shiv Jyoti Public School is run by Pandit Drit Ram Charitable Trust named after a visionary and missionary in the field of quality education in the region. The School was stated in 1988 with 40 students and hosts more than 2500 students by now. It has a parent School by the name of Shiv Devi School for Girls which is of more than 50 years standing. I was informed that Pandit Drit Ram was a champion of education for girls and was staunch nationalist and Arya Samaji. It was a rare honour for me to unveil the bust of Pandit Drit Ram on the campus of the School. It was gratifying to know that Shiv Jyoti Public school not only aims to achieve educational excellence but also all round development of children with an added imputes to moral and social education. I was happy to hand over merit certificates and awards to the brilliant and dedicated students of the School. The cultural inputs to the Function done by the music faculty and students of the School were just superb from Vandna to Katak and Yoga.

It was satisfying to note that Shiv Jyoti Public School has a policy to help the poor and under privileged students with a view to impart affordable education to the needy. I could even notice that one of the blocks in the School has been named after the great Guru Ravidas. It is in line with the mission and philosophy of its founding father Pandit Drit Ram. Dr. D.D. Jyoti and his wife Smt. Krishna Jyoti are the guiding force of the Pandit Drit Ram Charitable Trust and the Schools. Principal Vibha Sharda of the School is an eminent educationist and manager. The Annual Day function of the School was very well organized under her able stewardship. She was totally involved with great spirit but with noticeable humility. Shri Varinder Sabharwal, General Secretary of the Managing Committee of the School is yet another great personality behind the success and prosperity of the institution with a vast legal and administrative experience. I was happy to meet them all at one go at the function. WE need more such schools.

I take this opportunity to wish the Shiv Jyoti Public School further success and progress in the years to come.

Friday, November 25, 2011

POLITICS is not a LAUGHING matter - 5

Manpreet Singh Badal on Punjab politics

“People are fed up with Amrinder – Sukhbir brand of politics where the only agenda is “TU TU MAIN MAIN. “

Manpreet Badal has certainly brought some fresh air to the polluted political atmosphere of Punjab.

Aam Adami on politics

Siyast ki apni alag zuban hai. Jo likha ho ‘IKRAAR ‘to ‘INKAAR ‘padna (Politics has its unique language for yes read no).

Aam adami should tell the politicians through the ballot paper to mind their language.

The Language of Shoes and Slaps

It is unfortunate that Aam Adami has started resorting to the language of shoes and slaps to encounter the politicians. The latest victim is Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar. In the recent past, Home Minister P Chidambaram, BJP leader L.K. Advani, Anna Team Leaders Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal had tasted the flavor of such rash behavior. But the reaction of Anna Hazare to the slap on Sharad Pawar as “Ek hi Mara Kiya (was he slapped only once “is rather too much.

Are we heading for the “GRAMMAR OF ANARCHY “as warned by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar?


Where the mind is without fear
And the head is held high,
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken
Up into fragments by narrow domestic
Where words come out from the
Depth of truth;
Where tireless striving
Stretches its arms towards
Where the clear stream of reason
Has not lost its way into the
Dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward
By thee into ever-widening
Thought and action–
Into that heaven of freedom,
My Father,
Let my country awake.
(Robindernath Tagore)

Monday, November 21, 2011

POLITICS is not a LAUGHING matter – 4

1. Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Anna Hazare Team Member Arvind Kejriwal

ना खाता ना बही; जो केजरीवाल कहे वोही सही !

It is sad commentary on some of the NGO’s run by the so called social activists.

2. L.K. Advani on PM Manmohan Singh and his Government

“केंद्रिया सरकार में एक भी समझदार व्यक्ति नहीं है” ( the central government does not have a single wise man )

“The PM calls himself an economist but he has no answer for the inflation.”

One can stoop that low in politics

3. BSP slogan

जो बहुजन की बात करेगा; वोही दिल्ली पे राज करेगा


Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies." —Groucho Marx

Sunday, November 20, 2011


By the end of next month, it will be one year since my retirement from Indian Foreign Service. In the process of settling down, we readied our flat at the IFS Apartments at Gurgaon and also purchased and furnished a small flat at the Silver Residency Apartments ( near TV Tower ) in Jalandhar, my home town. We keep shuttling between Gurgaon and Jalandhar. Of late, I have decided to spend more time in Jalandhar as I find that it offers me more opportunities to engage myself in some positive activity.

I have appeared four times on the Jalandhar Doordarshan in its various programmes. It was satisfying. I could revive some of my old contacts. It has resulted in more exposure. One such contact is of Dr. K.C. Mahendru, Former Principal of the DAV College Jalandhar. I remained his student of Political Science at the same college. Now he runs a middle school - MLD Dayanand Public School with his wife Smt. Prem Kanta Mahendru, as their post retirement activity. They were kind enough to invite and host me as the Chief Guest at the Annual Day function of the School yesterday November 19. It was an honour for me as I take Dr. Mahendru, my Alma mater, in high esteem. I thought it will a good opportunity to pay my debt of gratitude to him and I accepted the invitation with pleasure. It was a new experience for me. I could interact with the children and see the visionary Mahendru couple at work. I found them totally involved. Their contribution to the cause of education is big and great. I wish them good health and further success. I did not have the requisite skill and experience to speak to small children. In my brief speech, I stressed the need of cleanliness to be inculcated among the children. It goes without saying that India is one of the dirtiest and filthy countries. We must act and rectify the position in this regard. I also spoke about the relevance of Dr. Mohd. Iqbals prayer : MERE ALLAH BURAI SE BACHANA MUJKO; NEK JO RAH HO US PE CHALANA MUJKO ( Oh Allah protect from the evil ways; Show me the path leading to the good).

Next week, I am invited by yet another famous school, Shiv Jyoti Public School, to be the Chief Guest at its Annual Day function. Hope that it will be a good exposure and give me an opportunity to speak to grown up children also as the School caters for senior higher secondary level.


This is with regard to the match fixing allegations of Vinod Kambli in the World Cup 1996 currently in the news. I have nothing to say as regards the allegations and the resulted reactions, as reported in the media, except the one made by the then Captain of the Indian team Mohd. Azharuddin. Azaruddin said " I THINK KAMLI IS JUST TALKING RUBBISH....HE HAS SHOWED HIS CLASS."

I don't have much knowledge of the game. But as a layman I know Kambli played first class cricket in his days. He is an expert and a well recognised commentator on the game. Azaruddin is also an acclaimed player and remained captain of the Indian team for many years. But his image got tarnished and he remained suspended from the game on account of allegations of wrong doings and match fixing etc. Now my question to Azharuddin is - What class ( of Kambli ) is he talking about ? We all know his class as far as the game is concerned. I presume ( I only wish that I am not correct) that Azharuddin is talking of Kabli's social status in the caste ridden Indian society. I understand Vinod Kambli is a dalit. If it is so, Azharuddin has hit below the belt. Rather than doing this he should answer the allegations. Azharuddin does not, if I may add, deserve to hold any public position like the Member of Parliament with this vicious and casteist mindset. He should be condemned by all right thinking people in the society at large.

Friday, November 11, 2011

POLITICS is not a LAUGHING matter – 3

Recent petrol price hike and reaction of the TMC of Mamta Bannerji

“ Na Mamta ko kuch mila na janta ko kuch mila ( Both Mamta and Janta could not get anything)”

Election slogans:

BSP said -

चढ़ गुंडों की छाती पर, मोहर लगेगी हाथी पर !

The other side retorted after the BSP win –

गूंड़े चढ़ गए हाथी पर, गोली मारें छाती पर !


"Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke." —Will Rogers

Thursday, November 10, 2011

POLITICS is not a LAUGHING matter – 2

Rahul Gandhi’s nicknames:

Asaram Bapu calls him Babloo. Sharad Yadav calls him Babua. V.S. Achuthanandan calls him Amul Baby. Which do you prefer ?

( India Today, December 24 issue)

The Hard Fact of Indian Politics

विकास पर न बात पर, मोहर लगेगी जात पर !

Tail Piece

The political candidates are planning their strategy for the next campaign. Right now they must honestly decide on which issues they’re going to be dishonest.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

POLITICS is not a LAUGHING matter

With the state assembly elections in many states coming closer, the election fever is catching up. The political dust is in the air. I am in Jalandhar these days. I would pick up some amusing utterances by the politicians in the run up to elections. It may make you laugh but politics is not a laughing matter.

It is a season for Yatras – the road is full of Yatras of L.K. Advani, Swami Ramdev, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Amrinder Singh of Congress, Manpreet Badal of Punjab Peoples Party and so on. You may like to taste the flavor of these Yatra.

“One is budda chor (old thief) and the other is a jawan chor (young thief) “Punjab Congress leader Amrinder Singh on Senior and Junior Badals (CM and Dy. CM of Punjab)

“Badalan ne sirf Punjab nu lootya te kuteya hai (Badals have only looted the state and thrashed the people) “Punjab Congress leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal on Badals

“Earlier dhadis used to sing praises of our gurus from the Akali bikni clad dancers perform and Sukhbir (Punjab Dy. CM) sings ‘ tu meri chamach challo “ Punjab Congress leader Jagmeet Brar

Sukhbir Badal retorted back and ridiculing the Punjab Bachao Yatra said “ It is more of a helicopter yatra with Captain ( Amrinder Singh ) conveniently avoiding the heat and dust of villages “

More to follow….

Tail Piece

Political Rally: Where a person gets up to speak, has nothing to say, nobody listens, then everyone disagrees

Monday, November 7, 2011


Punjab is getting ready for the next assembly elections to be held early next year 2012. The spiritual deras of various sects and denominations have been playing an active role in Punjab politics even before independence in 1947. The Akali politics, obliviously, under the leadership of Master Tara Singh and Sant Fateh Singh and subsequent leadership remained attached and affiliated to the SGPC and various gurudwaras and deras. The Jan Sangh and later BJP associated themselves to the Arya Samaj and other Hindu outfits. The Congress, though claimed to be a secular party, also did not lag behind. It is a known fact that Giani Zail Singh promoted and supported Sant Bhindrawale and his dera in the beginning against the Akalis. The present Congress leadership tended to encourage and make use of the Sacha Souda Dera of Baba Ram Rahim Singh. The Dera Beas of Radha Swami has been playing a discrete but subtle role, I understand. It will remain so in the coming years as these deras have a considerable clout in the rural areas and have a definite following which would affect the election outcome this way or that way. The dalit deras, though not very well organized and strong as yet, are no exception and rightly so.

The Ad-dharm Movement of Babu Mangu Ram to which Master Gurbanta Singh ( Minister and Congress leader ) was associated have had its base at the Dharm Mandal ( Guru Ravidass Gurudwara at Kishanpura Jalandhar) – the epic centre of dalit politics in the start. Later these activities got shifted to Dera Chak Hakim near Phagwara. After independence, some of the dalit Sants and Babas got attracted to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and such got some affiliation to the Scheduled Caste Federation and Republican Party. I recall that Swami Laljidass of Bootan Mandi joined a hunger strike led by the Republican Party for some common community issue in 60s.Punjab has more than 30% dalit population. Most of the dalit population in Majha and Malwa follow the Sikh religion as Majhabi or Ravidassia Sikhs. The dalits of Doaba are mostly Ravidasia Chamars, Ad-dharmis Balmikis, and Kabirpanthis etc. and follow Guru Ravidass, Bhagwan Balmiki and Sant Kabir.
The dalits of Doaba led by the Chamars have been financially well off comparatively as they were engaged in the leather business not only in Jalandhar but also in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and Kanpur. The economic migration to the UK in the 60s and 70s further empowered the dalits of Doaba. It continued with migration to the Gulf countries and later to the USA and other European countries like Germany, Italy, Greece, Austria and others. Some of the dalit families acquired landed properties in the villages and the cities. Obviously, it has an impact on their social and economic standing in the society. The dalit younger generation could get better access to higher education. The efforts of Babu Kanshi from made the dalits become aware of their political potential. They started asserting themselves by making and renovating their Gurudwaras and Mandirs as the venue for their assembly and social intermingling. The dalit deras in the process got moral and financial boost. It also contributed to the further empowerment of the dalits.

The Sants and Babas of these deras led by the Dera Sachkhand Ballan of Sant Sarwan Dass started visiting the UK and later other countries. The enlightened and empowered dalit NRI followers supported them. Sant Ramanand of the Dera became a household name in the dalit community. The trend got strength. Others like Sant Nirmal Dass of Babe Joure of Raipur Rasulpur and Sant Gurdip Giri followed suit and started visiting the foreign countries and raised the requisite funds to spread and strengthen their activities. It was a good show. Sant Garib Dass of Dera Ballan and his junior Sant Ramanand took the lead to build the Guru Ravidass Dharamasthan at Sire Goverdhanpur in Varanasi, the birth place of the great Guru. The political intervention and involvement became necessary to meet the upper caste opposition in the region in UP. Babu Kanshi Ram and UP Chief Minister Mayawati extended the helping hand and rightly so. In the process and in due course, the dalit deras could get the desired clout. These deras not only became the centre of religious solace to the community but also the venue of social and political thinking of the community. The political parties and the politicians of all shades started wooing them from Master Gurbanta Singh and Chaudhary Jagjit Singh to Darshan Singh Kaypee and Mohinder Singh Kaypee of the Congress, Babu Kanshi Ram and Maywati of the BSP and Badals of the Akalis and also the high priests of the SGPC.

The assassination of Sant Ramanand of Dera Ballan in Vienna (Austria) in May, 2009 by the fanatics gave a turn to the events. The dalit anguish came to the road in the aftermath of the death of Sant Ramanand. The events also showed the strength and resolve of the community. The say of the Deras became loud and clear. Without going to details of the Ravidassia Dhram and Amritbani being professed by the Dera Ballan, I would confine to the political aspect of the events and role of the dalit deras in the political landscape of Punjab. The deras have to stay as the dalit community is strong and it is bound to ask for their share in the pie. In the run up to the forthcoming assembly elections in Punjab, the events have started unfolding. It has been reported in the media that the Akali leadership has already established their contacts with the Dera Babe Joure and Sant Nirmal Dass. Baba Rammed, Yoga Guru, visited them the other day. The Head of Radha Swami dera Beas visited the Dera Babe Joure earlier. It seems the Akalis would be interested in availing themselves of the clout of Sant Nirmal Dass. The other political outfits might go to the other Deras with their political aspirations. It is natural as far as the political agenda of the various parties is concerned. But the point to ponder upon for the dalit community with 30% vote share is that their unity is not shattered and broken. The dera leaders shall it take as ‘food for thought’. The caution is: United we stand : Divided we fall.