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Aam Aadmi Khaas Baat

Latest in the series of embarrassing revelations about the ostentatious lifestyle that Aam Aadmi Party leaders, and in particular their supremo Arvind Kejriwal seem to leading, is a set of bills for catering at his official residence. Raised by The Delhi Tourism and Tpt Development Corporation, they are for meals provided by Taj Mahal Hotel at exorbitant rates of Rs 12,472 and  Rs 16,025 per plate (on 11 Feb 2016 and 12 Feb 2016). This comes on the heels of revelations of similar extravagances at public expense – Rs 1 Crore worth samosas (including Rs 47 Lakh worth at office and residence of Arvind Kejriwal), Rs 1.05 Crore paid to a PR agency for promoting Kejriwal’s social media outreach program ‘Talk to AK’ in Punjab, Goa and Gujarat, and the move to pay … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Politics

Breaking the Neo-Caste Barrier

An interesting, and for most of us, encouraging, phenomenon is visible in India today. It is the brick by brick dismantling of the neo-caste system in our society. Of course, the caste system per se was abolished by our constitution shortly after independence, yet the same independence slowly engendered this other, equally insidious neo-caste system in the country. It had only two gradations in it’s scheme of things – ‘us’ and ‘them’. ‘Us’ being the ‘upper caste’, the progenitors and propagators of the system, and ‘them’ being the rest of us. From politics to bollywood to newsrooms, seminar rooms to the social circuit, members of the neo-elite had ready access. It worked very well to propagate careers of member’s progeny with their own domains – politicians kin getting tickets and star … Read entire article »

Filed under: Aam Aadmi, Blogitorial, Common man, Democracy, Politics

An Open Letter to Aakar Patel

Dear Mr Patel, This is in response to your piece published in today’s TOI under a presumptuously named column ‘AakaarVani’. I’m writing this to correct you on some factual and a lot of perceptual errors that seem to behind almost every sentence in the piece. I’m writing in the hope that you may correct these, unless of course these aren’t inadvertent, but deliberate spin that you want to give to bolster the argument you make in the title of the piece. Let me start by pointing out the irony in the title itself, since having written it yourself, you obviously didn’t spot it. That an article criticizing the army and saying a lot of things about the faujis is titled “Nothing can be said about our faujis, they’re above criticism”. If irony … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Media, Military

Close Encounters

Close Encounters

  The trouble with opposition generated and media sustained hype about anything that could be used to embarrass the government is manifold. First, there seems to be no issue too serious, no institution too sacrosanct to avoid politicisation and sensationalizing. We recently witnessed major opposition parties casting serious aspersions on the credibility of the army by asking the government to furnish proof of the operations that the DGMO briefed media about. One regional leader of the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial

Karan Johar and Capt Boycott

Karan Johar and Capt Boycott

Had Sir Charles Boycott been alive today, he may have empathized with Karan Johar. Wanting to get his lands harvested amidst protests from tenant farmers in 19th Century Ireland, Sir Charles resorted to hiring 50 workers from outside the county to do the work. The catch was that they had to work under protection of a 1000 strong force and the resultant cost was several times the profit from the harvest. Faced with a similar … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial

Mere paas Maa hai

Mere paas Maa hai

          Since Rahul Gandhi is approximately the same age as me, it would be safe to guess that he watched the same movies that I did in early childhood. The staple Bollywood fare of the 70s, which had a recurring central theme – rich versus the poor. There would be variations of course. It could be the poor mill workers pitted against the unscrupulous tyrant of a mill owner, who often had a side business of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Politics

Mirza Ghalib and the veterans

Mirza Ghalib and the veterans

Mirza Asad-Ullah Khan Ghalib died a poor, miserable man. Like most geniuses, his work got its true approbation long after he wasn’t around to bask in the glory. But the lack of recognition was only part of the reason for his misery. He had much too high an opinion of himself to hanker for praise from lesser mortals, though admittedly it never hurt to be extoled at mushairas. The major cause of his melancholy was … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Military

There will be blood

There will be blood

Regimental Colours or flag occupy a pride of place in any army unit, bordering on reverence. They are housed in the unit quarter guard, and ‘paraded’ on special occasions, always carried by an officer, and escorted by a guard. In formal parades, the spectators are expected to rise and those in uniform salute when the colours march past them. These symbols of regimental identity originated in the yesteryear, when they served a very practical purpose. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Military

Don’t ‘Angry’ the Common Man

Don’t ‘Angry’ the Common Man

I wonder if Arnab Goswami has seen Chennai Express. If he has, he didn’t seem to have taken Shah Rukh Khan’s dialogue, “Don’t underestimate the power of an ordinary man”, seriously. Or maybe its the other way around, and he overestimated his own and his channels ability to control and direct viewers minds. That’s possibly why Times Now moved from reporting the narrative to trying to script it. With provocative hashtags scrolling tantalizingly across the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Media, Politics

Join the army – and die!

Foot in the mouth disease is a common affliction of the Indian politician. It comes in two basic forms – the ‘shoot and claim misquote’ and ‘shoot and apologize’. Dr Bhim Singh, the minister from Bihar was struck down by the latter when he asserted quite indignantly that “people join the army to die”. Of course, he duly expressed remorse and apologized following a media driven outrage. But the truth is that one is not surprised to hear the attitude displayed by his remarks. Possibly in the throes of the virulent affliction mentioned earlier, Bhim Singh voiced his opinion on the role of the soldiers – that of cannon fodder, paid to lay down their lives for the great nation that the likes of him govern. And while he was … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Boundary Dispute, Military, Politics, Values